BehindPsychology

BehindPsychology - • • • Psychobabble exists because...

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Unformatted text preview: • • • Psychobabble exists because it gives people a sense of control and predictability. Our brain looks for patterns even when patterns may not exist. Psychobabble agrees with our beliefs and prejudices and scientific psychology challenges them. Thinking Critically and Creatively About Psychology • Critical thinking: the ability and willingness to assess claims and make objective judgments on the basis of well-supported reasons and evidence rather than emotion or anecdote. • If your opinion ignores reality it is not equal to any other. • Ask Questions Be Willing To Wonder o Trigger mechanism for creative thinking is curiosity. • Define Your Terms o Once a general question is generated, a solid, concrete, more specific questions needs to be asked in order to get answers. Happy – euphoric, content with life, etc. • Examine the Evidence o Reliability of the source is important. • Analyze Assumptions and Biases o Assumptions are beliefs that are taken for granted. o A Bias is when an assumption keeps us from analyzing the evidence objectively. • Avoid Emotional Reasoning o Emotional Reactions and beliefs feel right and natural and provide a person with a strong conviction. o Disagreeing is okay, but it should be because the evidence is unpersuasive. • Don’t Oversimplify o Look beyond the obvious, resist easy generalizations, and reject eitheror thinking. • Consider Other Interpretations o Generate as many possible interpretations before settling on the most likely one. • Tolerate Uncertainty o Sometimes there is little or no evidence to examine permitting only tentative conclusions. Psychology’s Past: From the Armchair to the Laboratory • Psychology was not a formal discipline until the 19th century. • Old and new wanted to describe, predict, understand, and modify behavior. • Phrenology (study of the mind) – theory popular in the early 1800s, different brain areas accounted for specific character and personality traits. • The Birth of Modern Psychology o First psych lab opened in Germany 1879 by Wilhelm Wundt. o Experiments rejected my modern scientists, but credited for initiating the movement to make psychology a science. • Three Early Psychologies o Structuralism ! Analyze sensations, images, and feelings into basic elements. o Functionalism ! Emphasized the function or purpose of behavior. ! “stream of consciousness” o Psychoanalysis ! 1830-1900: Mind Cure Movement ! Distress in patients is due to underlying emotional traumas. Psychology’s Present: Behavior, Body, Mind, and Culture • The Major Psychological Perspectives o Biological Perspective ! How bodily events affect behavior, feelings, and thoughts. o Learning Perspective ! How the environment and experience affect a person’s actions. o Cognitive Perspective ! Emphasizes what goes on in people’s heads. o Sociocultural Perspective ! Focuses on social and cultural forces outside the individual. o Psychodynamic Perspective ! Unconscious dynamics within the individual. • Other Influential Movements in Psychology o Humanists Psychologists – people are capable of free will and their actions are not completely determined by unconscious decisions and the environment. o Feminist Psychology – advanced psychology to be a study of all human beings. What Psychologists Do • Psychological Research o Basic Psychology – “pure” research o Applied Psychology – practical uses of knowledge • Psychological Practice o Improve people’s physical and mental health. o Counseling Psychologists – help people deal with problems from every day life. o School Psychologists – work with parents, teachers, and students to improve student’s performance and resolve emotional difficulties. ...
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This note was uploaded on 03/02/2011 for the course PSYCH 001 taught by Professor Benbassi during the Fall '08 term at GWU.

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