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What is Psychology?

Psychology is the science of behavior and mental


processes.
Behavior:
What organisms do; actions and reactions.
Mental Processes:
Also called cognition, mental events e.g.
perceptions, ideas, memory, beliefs etc.

Why Psychology is a science?


Science means knowledge and psychology has an
organized body of knowledge. We can apply a
number of scientific methods & procedures in
psychology while conducting a psychological
research.

It is quite common that the scientists like to do their


research on animal first. Non-human reacts quite
quickly than human.

Behaviorism is the scientific study of observable


behavior of the organism. It is not concerned to
cognition.

Phenomenology is the study of events, not as they


occur, but as they are experienced by the individuals.

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Key principles of Psychology:
 Our biological and physical nature.
 Our outside experience.
 Our perception and observation.
 Complex answers.
 It is relevant to our daily lives.

The first psychological lab was founded by Wilhelm


Wundt in Germany at the University of Leipzig in
1879. He used different scientific methods to
discover the contents & structure of mind. He also
studied how mind operates. We call his approach
structuralism.

Some other psychologists e.g. Charles Darwin &


William James with other psychologists were also
concerned with the mind and mental activity. They
studied animal’s behavior as well.

Sigmund Freud: Psychodynamic Psychology


The theories of Sigmund Freud added a new
dimension to the understanding of human
psychology. Freud’s psychodynamic psychology
hypothesizes that much human behavior is governed
by hidden motives, internal conflicts and unconscious
desires.

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Humanistic Psychology:
Humanistic Psychology focuses on the person, his
internal processes and potential for growth and
development.

Gestalt Psychology:
Gestalt is a German word, which means to combine
or whole. Gestalt psychologists are interested in how
people select and organize their perceptions.
Psychologists study behavior & cognitions of
organisms. The goal of many psychologists is to use
scientific methods to learn more about their subject
matter.

Bio psychology:
The field that studies the relationship between
physiology and physiological process.

Development psychology:
The field that studies physical, cognitive and
psychological changes across the life span.

Social psychology:
The field that studies how people affect one another’s
thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

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Clinical psychology:
The field that applies psychological principles to the
prevention, diagnosis and treatment of psychological
disorders.

Educational psychology:
The field that applies psychological principles to
improve curriculum, teaching methods and
administrative procedures.

Industrial psychology:
The field that applies psychological principles to
improve the productivity in business, industries and
government agencies.

Sport psychology:
The field that applies psychological principles to help
amateur and professional athletes improve their
performance.

Health psychology:
The field that applies psychological principles to the
prevention and treatment of physical illness.

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Psychiatry:
The field of medicine that diagnoses and treats
psychological disorders by using medical or
psychological forms of therapy.

Goals of Psychology:
The goal is to use scientific methods to understand
and discover the relationship among behavior and
mental processes of organisms.

Major research areas in Psychology:


Perception:
Attention and filter theories (the ability to focus
mental effort on specific stimuli while excluding
other stimuli from consideration).
Pattern recognition (the ability to correctly
interpret ambiguous sensory information).

Memory:
Short-Term memory
Long-Term memory
Autobiographical memory
Episodic memory
Flashbulb memory
Semantic memory
Encoding, storing and retrieving memory based
information.

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Knowledge representation:
Mental imagery
Propositional encoding
Imagery vs. Proposition debate
Dual coding theories
Mental models

Language
Grammar and Linguistics
Phonetics & phonology
Language acquisition

Thinking
Logic, formal & natural reasoning
Concept formation
Problem solving
Judgment
Decision-making

Applied Psychology:
The work of psychology includes more than research,
writing and teaching. Others in the field are less
concerned with developing new knowledge than with
solving practical problems and these efforts are called
applied psychology.