Overview of Psychology

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Overview of Psychology
1 Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes of both humans and animals
2 when applied to humans, psych covers what people think, feel, and do.
3 psychologists differ in how much importance they place on specific types of behavior
3.1 they do agree, however, that the study of behavior must be systematic
3.1.1 systematic method: asking and answering questions about what people think, act, and feel as they do reduces the chances of coming to false conclusions
4 in order to understand our observations, we usually have to combine all of our thoughts
5 Overall, psychologists seek to do four things
5.1 3.) Prediction: They then predict what organisms will do, and, I case of humans, what they think or feel in various situations
5.1.1 By studying descriptive and theoretical accounts of past behaviors, psychologists can predict future behaviors
5.2 Influence: finally, some psychologists seek to influence behavior in helpful ways
5.2.1 ones with a long-term goal of finding out more on behavior are doing basic science
5.2.2 ones who are more interested in discovering ways to use what we know to benefit others view psych as an applied science and are using psychological principles to solve more immediate problems
5.2.3 see pages 11-12 for more examples
5.3 1.) Description: the first goal is to describe or gather info about the behavior being studies and to present what is known
5.4 2.) Explanation: Psychologists are not content simply to state the facts. They seek to explain why people (or animals) behave as they do.
5.4.1 such explanations can be called psychological principles
5.4.2 psychologists propose these explanations as hypotheses- an educated guess about some phenomenon
5.4.3 more complex theories are constructed...they change as new data improves our understandings
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