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Unformatted text preview: Introduction to Psychology
Psychology the scientific study of behavior and mental processes The Scientific Method
Consists of the orderly, systematic procedures that researchers follow as they identify a research problem, design a study to investigate the problem, collect and analyze data, draw conclusions, and communicate their findings. The Scientific method has enabled psychologists to accumulate a vast knowledge base about behavior and mental processes. Theory a general principle or set of principles proposed to explain how a number of separate facts are related ; enable scientists to fit many separate pieces of data into meaningful frameworks ; stimulate debates that lead to advances in knowledge Replication the process of repeating a study with different participants and preferably a different investigator to verify research findings Goals of Psychology
The goals of psychology are to describe, explain, predict, and influence behavior and mental processes First Goal
Description, is met when researchers describe the behavior or mental process of interest as accurately and completely as possible Second & Third Goals
Explanation and Prediction, go hand and hand. After describing a particular behavior or mental process, researchers often devise a tentative explanation for it, one from which they can derive hypotheses or testable predictions about the conditions under which particular behaviors or mental processes may occur. After testing one or more such hypotheses, researchers often find patterns in the results of their studies that help them build more comprehensive explanations, or theories The Final Goal Influence, is achieved when the complementary processes of hypothesis testing (prediction) and theory building (explanation) provide researchers with information they can use to apply a principle or change a condition to prevent unwanted occurrences or to bring about desired outcomes Research Two types of research help psychologists accomplish the four goals just described: Basic Research is to seek new knowledge and to explore and advance general scientific understanding. It explores such topics as the nature of memory, brain function, motivation, and emotional expression Applied Research is conducted specifically for the purpose of solving practical problems and improving the quality of life. Applied research focuses on finding methods to improve memory or increase motivation, therapies to treat psychological disorders, ways to decrease stress. This type of research is primarily concerned with the fourth goal of psychology influence because it specifies ways and means of changing behavior. Psychology's Roots
To trace the development of psychology from the beginning, you would need to start before the earliest pages of recorded history, HOWEVER, It was not until the scientific method was applied to the study of psychological processes that psychology became recognized as a formal academic discipline Founding of Psychology
Historians acknowledge that three German scientists: Ernst Weber, Gustav Fechner, and Hermann von Helmholtz, were the first to systematically study behavior and mental processes. However it is William Wundt (1832 1920) who is generally thought of as the "Father of Psychology" Wundt established a psychological laboratory at the University of Leipzig in Germany in 1879, an event considered to mark the birth of psychology as a formal academic discipline Wundt used introspection; used as a research method it involves looking inward to examine one's own conscious experience and then reporting that experience ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PSYCH 101 taught by Professor Nahad during the Winter '07 term at Ivy Tech Community College.
- Winter '07