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22 Oct 2010
Chapter 1: The Science of Psychology
What is Psychology?
x Psychology is a science with a special focus on behaviour
x Explaining causes of behaviour
x Psychology comes from word psukhe meaning ³breathe´ or ³soul´ and logo meaning ³word´ or ³reason´.
x Literally psychology means the science of the mind
Explaining Behaviour
x Psychologists explain behaviour by describing it, and becoming familiar with things that people or animals do
x Learn how to categorize different types of behaviour
x Discover causes of behaviour
x Events that cause other events are called casual events
x There are a wide variety of levels of explanation that is used to explain behaviour which makes psychology a
diverse discipline
The Goals of Psychological Research
x Human behaviour is the root of most of the worlds problems
x Purpose of explaining behaviour is for intellectual curiosity for the most part.
x It can also solve many of the most important and pressing problems
Fields of Psychology
Physiological Psychology:
x Examines the physiology of behaviour
x Study learning, memory, sensory processes, emotional behaviour, motivation, sexual behaviour and sleep
x Drug abuse can be explained by human physiology
x Drugs can trigger the part of our brain which is involved with pleasurable events; which leads to addictions
x Understanding drugs and the effect on the brain can help develop medications that breaks the addict
Comparative Psychology
x Studies the behaviour of members of a variety of species in an attempt to explain behaviour in terms of
evolutionary adaptation to the environment
x Comparative studies show that effects of drugs on all species of mammals act similar to humans
x Animals can also become addicted to drugs if they can control the amount of input
Behaviour Analysis
x Branch of psychology that studies the effect of the environmental events on behaviour
x Behaviour that produce pleasant outcomes tend to be repeated.
Behaviour Genetics
x Branch of psychology that studies the role of genetics in behaviour
x Inherited genes from parents include blueprint for construction of our brain.
x No two brains are exactly alike, therefore no matter the situation similar or different no two people will act alike
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Cognitive Psychology
x Study of mental processes and complex behaviors such as perception, attention, learning and memory, verbal
behaviour, concept formation, and problem solving
x Discovered the importance of teaching people coping strategies to beat drug addictions
Cognitive Neuroscience
x Closely allied with both cognitive psychology and physiological psychology
x Understanding of cognitive functions by means of studying the brain mechanism that are responsible for them
x Study behaviour of people whose brain has been damaged by natural causes
Developmental Psychology
x Study of physical, cognitive, emotional and social development, especially of children.
x Effects of aging
x Understand how drug-behaviour can change of the course of ones life
x Describe the time at which such abilities like memory are present
Social Psychology
x Study of the effects of people on people
x Explore perception(for oneself and others)
x Explores cause and effect relations between humans, attitudes and opinions, interpersonal relations, group
dynamics and emotion behaviour
x Children do not smoke because it gives them pleasure, but because their peers do so
Personality Psychology
x Study of individual difference in temperament and patterns of behaviour.
x Personality differences play a role in a persons vulnerability to drug addiction
Evolutionary Psychology
x Seeks to explain cognitive, social and personality aspects of psychology by looking at their adaptive significance
during the evolution of modern species
x Why an advanced species like us would fall prey to harmful substances? Evolutionary psychologists try to
unravel this puzzle by looking at side effects of drugs
Cross ± Cultural Psychology
x Study of the impact of culture on behaviour
x Different cultures have developed different strategies for adapting to their environment
x This can teach us more about drug addiction
x In some society drugs are associated with sacred rituals
x Some cultures have tradition of drug use that do not lead to addiction
Clinical Psychology
x Study of mental disorders and problems of adjustment
x Most of these psychologists help people solve their problems
x Research to evaluate and improve methods of psychotherapy
Fields of Applied Psychology
x Clinical Neuropsychologists Æ specializes in the identification and treatment of the behavioural consequenes of
nervous system disorders and injuries
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