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Psychology 1000

Psychology Chapter 1 The Nature of Psychology - Behaviour: actions and responses we can directly observe. - Mind: internal states and processes (thoughts, feelings) that cannot be seen directly o Must be inferred from observable, measurable responses - Clinical psychology: the study and treatment of mental disorders - Cognitive psychology: specializes in the study of mental processes o Views minds as information processor o Examines: consciousness, attention, memory, decision-making, problem-solving - Biopsychology: biological underpinnings of psychology o Examines brain processes, genes, hormones  Influence on our actions, thoughts, feelings o How evolution shaped our psychological capabilities (advanced thinking and language) and behavior - Developmental psychology: examines physical, psychological, social development across lifespans (change) - Experimental psychology: learning, sensory systems o Vision, hearing, perception, sexual motivation, hunger, thirst - Industrial-organizational psychology: people’s behavior in workplace o Leadership, teamwork, job satisfaction, work motivation, performance - Personality psychology: study of human personalities o How different traits relate to each other o Core traits o Measuring personality - Social psychology: examines people’s thoughts, feelings, behavior pertaining to the social world o How people influence on another, behave in groups, form impressions and attitudes o Study social relationships involving attraction, love, prejudice, discrimination, helping, aggression - All fields in psychology study decision making and behaviour Psychology’s Scientific Approach - Science: process that involves systematically gathering and evaluating empirical evidence to answer questions and test beliefs about the natural worlds - Empirical evidence: evidence gained through experience and observation o Includes evidence from manipulating things and observing what happens - In science, observations need to be systematic, objective, precise Understanding Behaviour - Common misconceptions: o We often take mental shortcuts when forming judgments o We may fail to consider alternative explanations for why a behavior has occurred, and assume one factor has caused a behaviour o Once our beliefs are established, we often fail to test them further (confirmation bias) and selectively pay attention to information that is consistent with our beliefs and downplaying or ignoring information that isn’t - By adopting a scientific approach, psychologists can take concrete steps to minimize biases and problems that can lead to inaccurate conclusions o Video recorders, questionnaires, brain-imaging devices o Several researchers observe and compare results - Scientific progress: change and evolution of knowledge Thinking Critically About Behaviour - Critical thinking: reflection of what information means, how it fits in with your experiences, and its implications for your life and society o Evaluating the validity of something presented to you  What, exactly, is the claim or assertion?  Who is making the claim? Is the source credible and trustworthy?  What’s the evidence, and how good is it?  Are other explanations possible? Can I evaluate them?  What is the most appropriate conclusion? Of Astrology and Asstrology: Potential Costs of Uncritical Thinking - Misconceptions can add up and contribute to an increasingly misguided view of how the world operates Psychology’s Goal 1. To describe how people and other animals behave 2. To explain and understand the causes of these behaviours 3. To predict how people and animals will behave under certain conditions 4. To influence or control behavior through knowledge and control of its causes to enhance human welfare - If we understand the causes of a behavior and know when the casual factors are present or absent, then we should be able to successfully predict when the behaviour will occur - successful prediction and control are the best ways for us to know whether we truly understand the causes of behaviour Psychology as a Basic and Applied Science - Basic research conducted in lab or real-world setting - Applied research uses principles discovered through basic research to solve practical problems Key Concepts - Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and the mind. The term behaviour refers to actions and responses that we can directly observe, whereas the term mind refers to internal states and processes, such as thoughts and feelings, that cannot be seen directly and that must be inferred from observable, measurable responses. - The primary goals of psychological science are to descr
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