Introduction to Psychology
What is Psychology?
The science of how we:
• See and hear (perception)
• Move (motor control)
• Think and speak (cognition & language)
• Learn and grow (development)
• Feel (emotion)
• Relate to one another (social psychology)
• Differ from one another (personality)
Psychology is the science of Mind and Behavior
• What is science?
• What is the mind?
• What is behavior?
The Four Goals of Psychology
Levels of Analysis
• When studying why a certain behavior or mental process occurs, one can study
the influences of:
• The brain
o Neural activity
• The person
o Emotions, ideas, thoughts
• The group
o Friends, family culture Levels Of Analysis
Level What is Analyzed Example: Using Social Media
The brain How brain What are the patterns of brain activation as people
structure and brain interact with “friends” online?
cell activity differ
from person to
The person How the content of Are there personality factors that influence how much
the individual’s people use different types of social media? Can online
mental processes social support or crisis resources improve people’s
form and influence decision making and quality of life?
The group How behavior is What features of social networking sites, such as
shaped by the relative anonymity, ease of access, and lack of faceto
social and cultural face contact, increase or decrease users’ feelings of
environments belonging and connectedness?
Psychology’s Roots in Philosophy
• Philosophy is the study of knowledge and reality.
o Philosophers posed questions and hen discussed proposed solutions
o This lead to modern day scientific theory
• Hippocrates used direct observation to test his theory of medicine; this lead to the
development of the scientific method. He developed one of the first psychological
o Physical and psychological health are influenced by the four humors .
• The Four Humors
o Sanguine – cheerful – red – blood
o Phlegmatic – cool and apathetic green?
o Melancholic – depressive – black –bile
o Choleric – anger yellow – bile The Evolution of a Science
• Wilhelm Wundt (18321920)
o Father of psychology
o Established first psychology lab in 1870
o Started a branch of psychology called voluntarism
o Studied consciousness
• Edward Titchner (18671927)
o Was a student of Wundt
o Focused on identifying the “building blocks” of consciousness
o Introspection “Looking within yourself”
o Wants to describe observable mental processes rather than to
explain, predict, or control
o Not objectively verifiable
• William James (18421910)
o Influenced by Charles Darwin
o Studied how consciousness helped an individual survive and adapt
to an environment
o Animal observations provide clues for human behavior
o The belief that mental processes are fluid “streams of
consciousness” instead of fixed element (as structuralists thought)
o Focused on pragmatic issues such as improving education
o Wrote the first psychology textbook, Principles of Psychology
which was published in 1890
• Max Wertheimer
• GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY
o Focused on the consciousness and principles of perceptual
o “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” Gestalt Psychology
• What was it?
o Consciousness cannot be broken down into small elements
o We perceive things as whole perceptual units
o The whole is greater than the sum of its parts
o Problem solving involves insight
• We see a “super white” triangle overlapping a less white triangle outlined in black
• But the edges of the super white triangle aren’t actually there
• We just perceive them to be there! The Evolution of a Science (con’t)
• Sigmund Freud (18561939)
• PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORY
o The mind has separate components
Consciousness vs unconscious
o Much of beh