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The Nature of Psychology

Compiled By: Bro. Hans Moran, FSC USLS Psychology Department

What is Psychology?

Atkinson Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental process

Psychology is

A science therefore it is an objective and scientific study of how people behave and think

What is the aim of Psychology?


To Understand behavior Explain behavior Predict behavior And to Control behavior

History of Psychology

Greek Philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle: views on the nature of the soul, the body, and of human experience


Nativist view Descartes Ideas are innate to man From within and natural From inside man


Empiricist view John Locke Knowledge is acquired through experiences and interaction with the world From outside man

Wilhem Wundt

founded psychology as an academic discipline in 1879. Established the first Psychology Laboratory in the University of Leipzig in Germany.

G. Stanley Hall

Studied with Wundt Established first Psychology Laboratory in the US in 1883 at John Hopkins University

J. McKeen Cattell

Another of Wundt Student First person to be called Professor of Psychology in the US in 1888 Designed the 16 PF (sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire Personality test)

Sir Francis Galton

Studied individual differences as early as 1869. These lead to the development of intelligence tests

Schools of Psychology


Edward Titchener (Another Wundt Student) Analyzed the basic elements of conscious experience by using introspection People reported the content of their conscious experience


William James (Harvard psychologist) Concerned about how the consciousness functions


Sigmund Freud Human behavior is governed by the unconscious


John B. Watson Concerned with the study of obvert behavior what can be seen and measured. What happens within is not as important as the outward behavior Based on stimulus (outside action) and response (behavior reaction)

Gestalt Psychology

Max Wertheimer Gestalt meaning patterns, form or configuration Concerned with how people form patterns of their experience and how they organize these experiences into patterns

Recent Developments

Information Processing System by Herbert Simon Modern Linguistics


by Noam Chomsky the study of how mental structures are required for comprehension and speech Relationship between medical neurobiological events (nervous system) and mental processes


History in the Philippines

17th Century

University of San Carlos in Cebu and in University of Sto. Tomas in Manila Was a part of the Philosophy Department Taught as a separate subject in UP as part of Education First in UST

18th century


Separate Department

Pioneers in the Philippines

Agustine Alonzo First head of UP department of Psychology Sinforoso Padilla First to major in Psychology from Undergraduate to Doctoral Level Angel de Blas Made First Experimental Psychology Lab in UST

Estefania Aldaba- Lim First to receive a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from University of Michigan Alfredo Lagman Chair of UP Psychology Department for 22 years Jaime Bulatao, S. J. established the Department of Psychology in Ateneo de Manila

Psychological Association of the Philippines


Founded in 1962 Padilla, Lagman, Fr. Bulatao, and Aldaba-Lim served as the first 4 presidents of PAP Goals

To advocate learning, teaching and research as a science Advocate the practice of psychology as a profession To promote human welfare

Perspectives in Psychology

Biological Approach

Concerned with Neurobilological processes Its relation with behavior and mental processes Nervous System and Endocrine Systembiological causes of behavior and mental processes

Cognitive Approach

Concerned with mental processes Perception, remembering, reasoning, decision making, problem solving By studying the mental processes we can understand why people do the things they do

Psychoanalytic Approach

Mans behavior stems from a part within that he is not conscious or aware of People are not aware of their inner most fears and desires These fears and desires within influence the way we behave and the way we think

Phenomenological Approach

Each person is a rare and unique phenomenon and cannot be copied or imitated no two persons are the same, even twins Concern is the study of each individual as an individual, their inner life, their experiences, their life This will help us understand behavior and mental processes

Fields/Specializations in Psychology

Developmental Psychology



Study of human development and the factors that shape behavior from birth to old age How do people grow up and develop Are there similar experiences of different people who are the same age? Why do these experiences happen? What effect on the person do these experiences have?

Social Psychology

The study of how people think about, influence, relate with one another, and the ways these interactions with other people influence attitudes and behavior This is about how people behave and think when they are interacting with other people

Personality Psychology

The study of individual differences What makes each person unique and different from each other

Clinical Psychology

The study that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of emotional and behavioral problems This is limited to psychiatric patients who are highly disturbed

Counseling Psychology

The study deals with normal personal problems such as academic, social, or vocational problems This differs from Clinical in that counseling helps individuals who are normal and not highly disturbed Clinical Psychology are for those who are highly disturbed that they are no longer normal

School and Educational Psychology

Study deals with the evaluation of learning of individuals in school Study also deals with how to influence learning which is a relatively permanent change in behavior

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Study involves the selection of people most suitable for a particular job, the development of programs to train people to work in organizations, and the identification of consumer behavior

Engineering/Human Factors Engineering psychology

The study of how people and machines are related and how to improve this relationship This is also designing machines to fit human behavior and attitudes rather than just making machines and hoping people adjust to the machines

Environmental Psychology

This study the how the climate, natural resources, weather patterns, the environmental conditions, land conditions, the water supply affects the way people think and behave. The harsh and limited land area of Ilocos create people who are frugal and who migrate to other places. During the cycle of the full moon, students talk louder, laugh more, and are more giddy.

Physiological/Biological Psychology

The study that employs the biological perspective, seeks to discover the relationship between biological processes and human behavior How our human body affects our behavior and thought processes

Experimental Psychology

Uses the experimental method in studying human behavior and mental process It studies how people react to external stimulations, how people learn, how people remember, how people perceive the world This studies all the other fields of psychology trying to establish cause and effect relationships between other factors and human behavior

Forensic Psychology

How law and legal proceedings applies to human behavior and mental processes The application of psychology in solving various crimes

Sports Psychology

Study applies theories and knowledge in psychology to enhance athletes and coaches performance It is used in building team spirit and enhance athletes self-esteem to become winners It is also used to out psych opponents to give a winning advantage


The study that deals with the diagnosis and rehabilitation of brain disorders and its effects on a persons behavior and mental processes Neuro meaning human brain

Consumer Psychology

Deals with the activities directly involved in selecting, obtaining, and using products services and ideas to satisfy needs and desires, including decision processes that precede and follow these actions How do consumers choose a product? How do they buy what they need? How do they use these products? How do we get people to buy a product they may not know they need?

Health Psychology


The study of the cognitive, affective, behavioral and interpersonal factors affecting health and illness. This studies how a persons attitude and feelings affect their physical health. Does the way you think affect the way your heart beats, the way you breath, or the way your stomach makes acid? What sicknesses are related to certain psychological problems?

Research Methodology

Descriptive Research


Aims to describe behavior and mental processes in a natural setting Aims to understand what different things (variables) affect behavior and mental process Also called Observational research because it uses the power of observation Field studies are an example of descriptive research

Descriptive Strategies

Observation / Field Study

Participant & non Participant

1. 2.

Interviews & Questionnaires Open ended and closed questions

3. 4. 5. 6.

Case Histories Archival Research Pakapa-kapa (Groping Around Method) Theory Generation like Grounded Theory

Correlational Research

Aims to determine if there is a relationship between two different things that affect behavior and mental processes Or to determine if are two behaviors or mental processes are related in influencing a person. Example: Is there a relationship between ones shyness, ones grades, and ones assertiveness

Correlational Research

To establish if there is a relationship, two variables are measured and subjected to the Correlational Statistics + 1.00 = perfect positive relationship, as ones shyness increases, ones grades increase - 1.00 = perfect negative relationship, as ones shyness increases, ones grades decreases

Experimental Research

Aims to determine if a cause and effect relationship exists between two variables. Cause = Independent Variable; Effect = dependent variable In these studies the independent variable is manipulated (changed) so as to determine if the dependent variable changes. Random sampling is necessary for a true Experimental research design

Experimental Research

Quasi-experimental design (parang experimental design) Only difference is that these do not have random sampling