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OVERVIEW 1)What is Psychology? 2) Goals of Psychology 3) Modern Approaches to Psychology 4) Critical Thinking

Definition of Psychology : 

Definition of Psychology “The scientific study of behaviour and mental processes” (Huffman, Younger, & Vanston, 2010, p. 4).

Behaviour vs Mental Process : 

Behaviour vs Mental Process

8 Critical Thinking Guidelines : 

8 Critical Thinking Guidelines Ask Questions: Be willing to wonder Define your terms Examine the Evidence Analyze Assumptions and Biases Avoid emotional reasoning Don't oversimplify Consider other interpretations Tolerate uncertainty

Critical Thinking Guidelines : 

Critical Thinking Guidelines 1. Ask Questions: Be Willing to Wonder How are memories retrieved? What causes schizophrenia? Why do some people become addicted? Why are some people more prone to road rage? Why do people start fires on purpose? 2. Define Your Terms: Key to good research Be precise about what is being studied.         The hypothesis is the statement that specifies (predicts) relationships between variables.         Operational definitions are the precise definitions in terms of how the variables are actually being observed and measured.         Ex: Anxiety can be operationally defined as a score on a particular anxiety test. The score is the operational definition of anxiety in this study.

Critical Thinking Guidelines : 

Critical Thinking Guidelines 3. Examine the Evidence What evidence supports or refutes the argument being made? Don’t accept a conclusion without evidence! Do children do more homework now than before? 4. Analyze Assumptions and Biases Assumptions are beliefs that we take for granted. Bias is when our assumptions prevent us from considering the evidence fairly. How do your biases impact what you think?

Critical Thinking Guidelines : 

Critical Thinking Guidelines 5. Avoid Emotional Reasoning Don’t let “gut feelings” get in the way of clear thinking! Think about why you disagree – is it about the evidence or about your feelings about it? 6. Don’t Oversimplify Resist easy generalizations and “either-or thinking”.       Resist arguing by anecdote - generalizing from a few examples to everyone. Ex: One dishonest student does not mean that all students will cheat on an exam.  All police officers are not “power hungry”.

Critical Thinking Guidelines : 

Critical Thinking Guidelines 7. Consider Other Interpretations What are all the other possible explanations? 8. Tolerate Uncertainty Sometimes there is not a definitive answer, or there is not one simple answer. Critical thinking is a process – not an final answer.

4 Goals of Psychology : 

4 Goals of Psychology Describe Explain Predict Change/Control

1. Describe : 

1. Describe describe behaviour “The child is crying and screaming.”

2. Explain : 

2. Explain explain the causes of behaviour “The child is crying and screaming because…”

3. Predict : 

3. Predict predict future behaviour “The child will likely have a temper tantrum next time when….”

4. Change/Control : 

4. Change/Control Change or control the behaviour Usually for the better! “We can change/control this tantrum by….”

Modern Approaches to Psychology : 

Modern Approaches to Psychology 7 modern approaches Each explains, predicts and changes behaviour and mental processes in a different way

Seven Modern Approaches : 

Seven Modern Approaches 1. Evolutionary 2. Psychoanalytic 3. Sociocultural 4. Humanistic 5. Behavioural 6. Neuroscience (Biology) 7. Cognition Every Psychologist Studies Human Behaviour N’ Cognition

Evolutionary Perspective : 

Evolutionary Perspective Influence of natural selection, adaptation, and evolution on behaviour and mental processes.

Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic Approach : 

Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic Approach Childhood experiences influence behaviour “Bad” wishes & thoughts repressed to the unconscious Sigmund Freud

Sociocultural : 

Sociocultural influence of culture and society on behaviour and mental processes

Humanistic Approach : 

Humanistic Approach Free-will, positive regard & positive self-esteem Self-actualization Abraham Maslow Carl Rogers

Behavioural Approach : 

Behavioural Approach How reinforcements (rewards) and punishments influence our behaviour. Examines influence of associations and environment

Neuroscience (Biology) : 

Neuroscience (Biology) How genetics, hormones, brain structures and the nervous system influence behaviour and mental processes

Cognitive Approach : 

Cognitive Approach Influence of thoughts, perceptions, & information processing on behaviour and mental processes.

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