The Foundations of Psychology
What is Psychology?
Psychology is the study of mind and behavior. "Psychology is a multifaceted discipline and includes many sub-fields of study such areas as human development, sports, health, clinical, social behavior and cognitive processes." (Saul McLeod)
Standards for the Foundations of Psychology
- Define the field of psychology.
- Identify key figures in the history of the field of psychology and their major contributions; include Wundt, Freud, Skinner, James, Watson and Rogers.
- List and describe the major occupations and subfields of psychology.
- Explain how psychologists conduct research to describe, explain, predict, and control behavior.
- Describe the types of research methods used by psychologists; include experiment, survey, case study, and observation.
- Identify the basic elements of an experiment; include independent and dependent variables, types of experimental control (blind/double-blind procedures, placebo controls).
- Explain the differences between a correlation and an experiment.
- Classify the types and uses of statistics in psychological research; include descriptive statistics and inferential statistics.
- Interpret graphic data representations.
- Explain ethical issues in psychological research.
The Key Figures of Psychology
Major Contributions: B.F. Skinner studied the effect of consequences of behavior. He was a huge behaviorist, and created the theory of operant conditioning.
Major Contributions: He was humanistic and studied the importance of environmental influences. He also concluded the Five Characteristics of the Fully Functioning Person.
Major Contributions: He studied the "unconscious" mind. He focused on the self understanding and, "developed the psychoanalytic theory of personality." (Myers' Psychology for AP) He studied the emotional responses to childhood experiences.
Major Contributions: He was a functionalist. He focused on the minds thoughts and feelings. He was also known as very harsh and sarcastic while working with others. He wrote a book, The Principles of Psychology, which contributed to many psychological discoveries, was also very influential.
Major Contributions: He, "redefined psychology as the 'scientific study of observable behavior'." (Myers' Psychology for AP) One experiment that he is known for his "Little Albert" experiment, which observed the correlation between a neural stimulus and children's fear.
Major Contributions: He established the first psychology lab in Leipzig, Germany. He's also known for performing the "first psychological experiment." (Myers' Psychology for AP) He's known as the "father of psychology." Many future labs were based off of his foundation of his personal lab.
What are the major occupations and subfields of psychology?
1. Biological: how the human enables/handles emotion
2. Evolutionary: how evolution influenced behavior
3. Psychodynamic: how unconscious events influence behavior
4. Behavioral: the study of observable responses
5. Cognitive: the entirety of how we handle information
6. Humanistic: achieving full potential and self fulfillment by acceptance
7. Social-cultural: how different situations and cultures influence behavior
1. Biological psychologists: study the connection between the mind and the brain
2. Developmental psychologists: study how we change as we grow
3. Cognitive psychologists: study how we handle conflict/problems
4. Educational psychologists: study of influences on teaching and learning
5. Personality psychologists: study of our many traits and how they affect us
6. Social psychologists: study of how we affect one another
(Myers' Psychology for AP)
How do psychologists conduct research to describe, explain, predict, and control behavior?
If you're looking for a further explanation of these topics listed in the passage above, this website has provided an analogy to the Ivan Pavlov experiment for easier understanding.
What are the basic elements of an experiment?
What are some differences between a correlation and an experiment?
What are some ethical issues in psychological research?
What are some types of research methods used by psychologists?
What are the types and uses of statistics in psychological research?
"Inferential Statistics." Inferential Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2016.
Myers, David G. Myers' Psychology for AP. New York, NY: Worth, 2011. Print.
Rowan, Kiri. Udemy. N.p., 25 Mar. 2014. Web. 2 May 2016.
Scarince, Christine. "Elements of an Experiment in Psychology." N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2016.