Psych1-Chapter1.03-jan-08

Psych1-Chapter1.03-jan-08 - THE FUBU BOOK OF INTRODUCTORY...

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T HE FUBU B OOK OF I NTRODUCTORY P SYCHOLOGY Steven E. Clark and The Introductory Psychology Class Winter 2009
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FUBU BOOK OF PSYCHOLOGY: CHAP. 1 1 W HAT IS P SYCHOLOGY ? Ok, so what is psychology? When I tell people that I teach psychology, or that I am a psychologist, they usually assume that I study abnormal behavior, or that I have a “private practice”. When people ask me if I have “a private practice”. I tell them, “No I don’t do that kind of psychology. I study memory”. To which they reply, “Oh, my memory is terrible. Maybe you can help me with that.” I don’t really help people. This often leaves people very curious about what it is that I do. Telling people that you are a psychologist - but that you don’t do therapy - must seem like saying, “I’m a bird, but I don’t fly or have feathers.” In the case of the bird, one must wonder, “then what makes you a bird?” In my case, when I tell people that I don’t do therapy, and I don’t study abnormal behavior, they must wonder, although they are too polite to say it, “Then what makes you a psychologist?” I study behavior. But that doesn’t fully capture what a psychologist does. Lots of people study behavior. You study behavior. You certainly spend a good deal of time studying other people, trying to predict what they will do, and what makes somebody “tick.” But that doesn’t make you a psychologist. If it did, we would all be psychologists. So, you study behavior. I study behavior. We all study behavior. But I’m a psychologist, and you’re not. Is it just that I have a PhD, and you don’t? Not exactly, although that does have something to do with it. The main thing is that I apply a particular methodology to the study of behavior – the scientific method. Ok, so perhaps psychology is the scientific study of behavior. Ok, get out your highlighter. Psychology is the scientific study of behavior . S CIENTIFIC M ETHODS OF S TUDYING B EHAVIOR Ok, so now that we’ve defined psychology as the scientific study of behavior, it seems that we now have to define what we mean by science , and what we mean by behavior . Bob Asks Sally for a Date Bob called Sally and, after making a little small talk, got around to the main purpose of his call. Said Bob: So, Sally, I’ve got two tickets to see Infected Mushroom, and wondered if you might want to go with me. Sally was a little surprised by Bob’s invitation, but she said yes, and after she and Bob
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FUBU BOOK OF PSYCHOLOGY: CHAP. 1 2 hung up, Sally texted her bf Olivia: bob just asked me to go to mushroom concert. To which Olivia replied: cool! Following this initial text exchange was a long exchange of text messages between Sally and Olivia, who pondered the meaning of Bob’s invitation. There were many ways to interpret Bob’s invitation, and Olivia and Sally discussed several of them: 1. I think Bob likes you . 2.
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This note was uploaded on 01/14/2010 for the course PSYCH 002 taught by Professor Clark during the Spring '09 term at UC Riverside.

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Psych1-Chapter1.03-jan-08 - THE FUBU BOOK OF INTRODUCTORY...

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