Introduction to Psychology

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Psychology & Brain Sciences

September 4th Chapter #1: Introduction to Psychology Module #1: Psychologists at Work  Psychology is the study of behavior an mental processes  Encompasses thoughts, emotions, perceptions, reasoning processes and memories  Psychologists predict/describe human behavior and mental processes while helping to change and improve the lives of people and the world in general The Subfields of Psychology: Psychology’s Family Tree  Behavioral neuroscience – examines how the brain and the nervous system determine behavior  Experimental psychology – studies the process of sensing, perceiving, learning and thinking about the world o Cognitive psychology – focuses on higher mental processes including thinking, memory, reasoning, memory, judging, decision making, etc.  Developmental psychology – how people grow and change from the moment of conception through death  Personality psychology – focuses on the consistency in people’s behavior over time and the traits that differentiate one person from another  Healthy psychology – explores the relationship between psychological factors and physical ailments and disease  Clinical psychology – study of diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders  Counselor psychologists – focus on educational, social and career adjustment problems September 4th  Social psychology – study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions are affected by others  Cross-cultural psychology – looks at the similarities and differences in psychological functioning and in and across various cultures and ethnic groups  Evolutionary psychology – considers how our behavior is influenced by our genetic inheritance from our ancestors. o Stems from Charles Darwin’s ideas of natural selection/survival of the fittest o They argue that our genetic inheritance determines physical traits, personality traits and social behaviors o Controversial  Behavioral genetics – focuses on genes and chromosomes that enable inherited behaviors to unfold o Looks at ho
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