100%(1)1 out of 1 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 1 - 5 out of 38 pages.
Psychology The Pearson Custom LibraryHCC Custom EditionChapter 1Psychology- the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Behavior includes all of our outward or overt actions and reactions: talking, facial expressions, movements.Mental processes- all internal, covert (hidden) activity of our minds: thinking, feeling, remembering.Scientific- the method of observing must rule out what the observer “expects” to see or “wants” to see. To be precise, psychologists use the scientific method to study psychology and to rule out bias.
Psychology’s Goals:The goals to uncover the mysteries of human and animal behavior are description,explanation, prediction, and control.1. Description: What is Happening? Observing a behavior and noting everything about it: what is happening, where it happens, to whom it happens, and under what circumstances it seems to happen. Example: Why do so many computer scientists seem to be male? Observations are made noting that many “non-techies” stereotype computer scientists as people who are obsessed with computers, computer games, junk food, and science fiction gadgets--a very masculine ambiance. That’s what “seems” to be happening.
These observations are a starting place for the next goal: Why do females seem to avoid this environment?2. Explanation: Why is this Happening?The psychologist might come up with tentative explanations like “women feel theydon’t belong such masculine environments.” Finding explanations for behavior is an important step in forming theories of behavior.Theory- a general explanation of a set of observations or facts. Goal of description: provides the observations. Goal of explanation helps to build the theory.Psychologist Sapna Cheryan and colleagues set up 4 experiments with over 250 female and male student participants who were not studying computer science.
First experiment: students came in a small classroom with 1 of 2 sets of objects: eitherStar Trek posters, video-game boxes, and Coke cans, or nature posters, art, a dictionary, and coffee mugs. Students weretold to ignore the objects because they were sharing the classroom with another class. The students spent several minutes in the classroom. While sitting in the room, they were told to fill out questionaires abouttheir feelings toward computer science. The male students’ attitudes were not different between the two environments.