PSYC100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Mental Disorder, School Violence, Neurochemistry

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The World of Psychology: An Overview
Psychology - the science that seeks to understand behavior and mental
processes and to apply that understanding in the service of human welfare
o Study of how behaviors/mental processes make someone an individual
Positive psychology - focuses on people’s positive experiences and
characteristics such as happiness, optimism and resilience
Subfields
o Biological psychologists - aka physiological psychologists, use high-
tech scanning devices and other methods to study how biological
processes in brain affect and are affected by behavior and mental
processes
Deja vu - biological psychologists suggest it may be due to
temporary malfunction in the brain’s ability to combine incoming
info from the senses
o Cognitive psychologists - aka experimental psychologists, study mental
abilities such as sensation and perception, learning and memory, thinking,
consciousness, intelligence & creativity
Engineer psychology - study human factors in the use of
equipment and help designers create computer keyboards, mobile
phones, web sites, GPS systems, nuclear power plant controls etc.
that are more logical, easier to use and less likely to cause errors
o Developmental psychology - describe the changes in behavior and
mental processes that occur from birth through old age and try to
understand the causes and effects of those changes
These psychologists decide maturity age and the age at which one
might be fully developed (research is used by judges and attorneys)
o Personality psychologists - study individuality (the unique features that
make us similar or different from one another)
Some seek to describe how your combo of traits differs from others
in terms of your openness to experience, emotionality, reliability,
agreeableness, and sociability
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o Clinical and counseling psychologists - seek to assess, understand
and change abnormal behavior (research causes/treatment of mental
disorders & offer services to help people overcome those disorders)
o Community psychologists - work to ensure psychological services reach
the homeless and others who need help but tend not to seek it and try to
prevent disorders by promoting people’s resilience and working with
community leaders to improve social systems (local schools, crime,
poverty)
o Health psychologists - study relationship between risky behaviors like
smoking or lack of exercise and likelihood of suffering from health
problems; explore impact of illnesses on people’s behavior, thinking,
emotions and family relationships
Psychiatrists = medical doctors specializing in abnormal behavior
o Educational psychologists - conduct research and develop theories
about teaching and learning
o School psychologists - used to specialize in IQ testing, diagnosing
learning disabilities and other academic problems and setting up programs
to improve student’s achievement in school; NOW they also are involved
in early detection of students’ mental health problems and crisis
intervention following school violence
o Social psychologists - study how people think about themselves and
others and how people influence one another; explore what determines
whom we like and why/how prejudice forms
o Industrial and organizational psychologists - research leadership,
stress, competition, pay scales and other factors that affect the efficiency
productivity and satisfaction of people in the workplace; explore worker
motivation, work team cooperation, conflict resolution and employee
selection methods
o Quantitative psychologists - develop and use statistical tools to analyze
vast amounts of data collected by their colleagues in all of psychology’s
subfields
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