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Psychology: History, Branches and Status as a Science

Psychology: History, Branches and Status as a Science

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Contains the above mentioned topics on Psychology and a Loop-a-Word game at the end which contains essential terms used in Psychology.
Contains the above mentioned topics on Psychology and a Loop-a-Word game at the end which contains essential terms used in Psychology.

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Published by: josedenniolim on Aug 06, 2010
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Psychology (Greek: Ψυχολογία, lit. "study of the mind", from ψυχή psykhē "breath, spirit, soul"; and-λογία, -logia "study of") is an academic and applied discipline involving the systematic, and oftenscientific, study of human mental functions and behavior. Occasionally, in addition or opposition toemploying the scientific method, it also relies on symbolic interpretation and critical analysis, although itoften does so less prominently than other social sciences such as sociology. Psychologists study suchphenomena as perception, cognition, emotion, personality, behavior and interpersonal relationships.Some, especially depth psychologists, also study the unconscious mind.Psychological knowledge is applied to various spheres of human activity, including issues related toeveryday life—such as family, education and employment—and to the treatment of mental healthproblems. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and socialbehavior, while also exploring the underlying physiological and neurological processes. Psychologyincludes many sub-fields of study and applications concerned with such areas as human development,sports, health, industry, media and law. Psychology incorporates research from the natural sciences,social sciences and humanities. A professional theorist or practitioner of psychology is called apsychologist.
History of Psychology
The history of psychology as a scholarly study of the mind and behavior dates back to the AncientGreeks. It was widely regarded as a branch of philosophy until 1879, when psychology developed as anindependent scientific discipline in Germany and the United States. Psychology borders on various other fields including physiology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, sociology, anthropology, as well asphilosophy and other components of the humanities. There is also evidence of psychological thoughtdating to the Ancient Egyptians.Philosophical interest in the general set of phenomena currently organized in the West under the label"psychology" dates back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, China and India. These earlier forms of inquiry began adopting what would now be recognized as a more clinical and experimentalapproach under medieval Muslim psychologists and physicians, whose practitioners built what we wouldtoday recognize as psychiatric hospitals.Psychology as a self-conscious field of experimental study is commonly said to have begun in 1879,when Wilhelm Wundt founded the first laboratory dedicated exclusively to psychological research inLeipzig. Other important early contributors to the field include Hermann Ebbinghaus (a pioneer in thestudy of memory), William James (the American father of pragmatism), and Ivan Pavlov (who developedthe procedures associated with classical conditioning).Soon after the development of experimental psychology, various kinds of applied psychology appeared.G. Stanley Hall brought scientific pedagogy to the United States from Germany in the early 1880s. JohnDewey's educational theory of the 1890s was another example. Also in the 1890s, Hugo Münsterbergbegan writing about the application of psychology to industry, law, and other fields. Lightner Witmer established the first psychological clinic in the 1890s. James McKeen Cattell adapted Francis Galton'santhropometric methods to generate the first program of mental testing in the 1890s. In Vienna,meanwhile, the psychiatrist Sigmund Freud developed an independent approach to the study of the mindcalled psychoanalysis, which has been widely influential.The 20th century saw a reaction towards Edward Titchener's critique of Wundt's empiricism. Thiscontributed to the formulation of behaviorism by John B. Watson, which was popularized by B. F. Skinner.Behaviorism proposed limiting psychological study to that of overt behavior, because that could bequantified and easily measured. Behaviorists considered knowledge of the "mind" too metaphysical toachieve scientifically. The final decades of the 20th century saw the decline of behaviorism and the rise of an interdisciplinary approach to studying the human mind, known collectively as cognitive science.Cognitive science again considers the "mind" as a subject for investigation, using the tools of evolutionarypsychology, linguistics, computer science, philosophy, and neurobiology. This form of investigation has
 
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proposed that a wide understanding of the human mind is possible, and that such an understanding maybe applied to other research domains, such as artificial intelligence.
People
Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud (6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939), was an Austrianpsychiatrist who founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology. Freud is best known for his theories of the unconscious mind and the defense mechanism of repression and for creating the clinical practice of psychoanalysis for curing psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst.Freud is also renowned for his redefinition of sexual desire as the primary motivational energy of humanlife, as well as his therapeutic techniques, including the use of free association, his theory of transferencein the therapeutic relationship, and the interpretation of dreams as sources of insight into unconsciousdesires. He was also an early neurological researcher into cerebral palsy. While of unique historicalinterest, many of Freud's ideas have fallen out of favor or have been modified by Neo-Freudians,although at the close of the 20th century, advances in the field of neurology began to show evidence for many of his theories. Freud's methods and ideas remain important in clinical psychodynamic approaches.In academia his ideas continue to influence the humanities and some social sciences.
Branches of Psychology
1.Abnormal psychology is the branch of psychology that looks at psychopathology and abnormalbehavior. The term covers a broad range of disorders, from depression to obsession-compulsionto sexual deviation and many more. Counselors, clinical psychologists, and psychotherapistsoften work directly in this field.2.Behavioral psychology, also known as behaviorism, is a theory of learning based upon the ideathat all behaviors are acquired through conditioning. While this branch of psychology dominatedthe field during the first part of the twentieth century, its hold loosened during the 1950s.However, behavioral techniques remain a mainstay in therapy, education and many other areas.3.Biopsychology focuses on the study of how the brain influences behavior is often known asbiopsychology, although it has also been called physiological psychology, behavioralneuroscience and psychobiology.4.Cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology that focuses on internal states, such asmotivation, problem solving, decision-making, thinking, and attention. This area of psychologyhas continued to grow since it began taking hold in the 1960s.5.Comparative psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the study of animalbehavior. The study of animal behavior can lead to a deeper and broader understanding of human psychology.6.Developmental Psychology looks at development throughout the lifespan, from childhood toadulthood. The scientific study of human development seeks to understand and explain how andwhy people change throughout life. This includes all aspects of human growth, including physical,emotional, intellectual, social, perceptual, and personality development. Topics studied in thisfield include everything from prenatal development to Alzheimer's disease.7.Educational psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with schools, teachingpsychology, educational issues, and student concerns. Educational psychologists often studyhow students learn or work directly with students, parents, teachers and administrators toimprove student outcomes.8.Experimental Psychology is the branch of psychology that utilizes scientific methods to researchthe brain and behavior. Many of these techniques are also used by other areas in psychology toconduct research on everything from childhood development to social issues.9.Personality Psychology is focused on the patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behavior that make aperson unique. Some of the best-known theories in psychology have arisen from this field,including Freud's stage theory of psychosexual development and Erikson's theory of psychosocialdevelopment.10.Social Psychology: Social psychology seeks to explain and understand social behavior and looksat diverse topics including group behavior, social interactions, leadership, nonverbalcommunication and social influences on decision-making.
 
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11.Media psychology emerged as an academic and professional discipline due to a social andcommercial demand for the application of psychological theory and research into the impact of media and emerging media technologies both academic and non-academic settings.12.'Developmental psychology', also known as human development, is the scientific study of systematic psychological changes that occur in human beings over the course of the life span.13.Political psychology is an interdisciplinary academic field dedicated to the relationship betweenpsychology and political science, with a focus on the role of human thought, emotion, andbehavior in politics.14.Environmental psychology is an interdisciplinary field focused on the interplay between humansand their surroundings. The field defines the term environment broadly encompassing naturalenvironments, social settings, built environments, learning environments, and informationalenvironments.
15.
Psychophysics is a subdiscipline of psychology dealing with the relationship between physicalstimuli and their subjective correlates, or percepts. Psychophysics has been described variouslyas “the scientific study of the relation between stimulus and sensation” or, more completely, as“the analysis of perceptual processes by studying the effect on a subject’s experience or behaviour of systematically varying the properties of a stimulus along one or more physicaldimensions.”
Status as a Science
Criticisms of psychology often come from perceptions that it is a "fuzzy" science. Philosopher ThomasKuhn's 1962 critique implied psychology overall was in a pre-paradigm state, lacking the agreement onoverarching theory found in mature sciences such as chemistry and physics. Psychologists andphilosophers have addressed the issue in various ways.Because some areas of psychology rely on research methods such as surveys and questionnaires, criticshave asserted that psychology is not scientific (due to the largely correlational nature of survey research).Other phenomena that psychologists are interested in such as personality, thinking, and emotion cannotbe directly measured and are often inferred from subjective self-reports, which may be problematic.Misuses of hypothesis-testing occur in psychology, particularly by psychologists without doctoral trainingin experimental psychology and statistics. Research has documented that many psychologists confusestatistical significance with practical importance. Statistically significant but practically unimportant resultsare common with large samples. Some psychologists have responded with an increased use of effectsize statistics, rather than sole reliance on the Fisherian p < .05 significance criterion (whereby anobserved difference is deemed 'statistically significant' if an effect of that size or larger would occur with5% (or less) probability in independent replications, assuming the truth of the null-hypothesis of nodifference between the treatments).Sometimes the debate comes from within psychology, for example between laboratory-orientedresearchers and practitioners such as clinicians. In recent years, and particularly in the U.S., there hasbeen increasing debate about the nature of therapeutic effectiveness and about the relevance of empirically examining psychotherapeutic strategies. One argument states that some therapies are basedon discredited theories and are unsupported by empirical evidence. The other side points to recentresearch suggesting that all mainstream therapies are of about equal effectiveness, while also arguingthat controlled studies often do not take into consideration real-world conditions.
Loop-A-Word: Psychology VersionJose Dennio P. Lim Jr.
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