Saturday, May 21, 2011

Schools of Psychology

A School of Psychology or schools of thought is an organized explanation of certain phenomena believed by groups of people supporting the principle several schools of thought: 

James Wundt

Structuralism - Structuralism grew out of the work of James, Wundt, and their associates. These psychologist believed the chief purpose of psychology was to describe, analyze, and explain conscious experiences, particularly feelings and sensations. Structuralist believed in the importance of structure of the mind. The mind is instructed through conscious experiences. For example, they identified four basic skin sensations: warmth, cold, pain, and pressure. They analyzed the sensation of coolness as the combined experiences of cold and smoothness. The structuralist primarily used the method called introspection. In this technique, subjects were trained to observe and report as accurately as they could by their mental processes,feelings and experiences.

John Dewey

Functionalism - John Dewey, William James, James Rowland Angell and Harvey Carr spearheaded the groups which tried to retract the idea of structuralism. The group, who calls themselves as the Functionalist challenged the idea of presented by structuralism stating the importance of the "function of the mind" rather than the "structure of the mind". The function of matter, which is the whole system of the stimulus and the response , makes the human being functional. Functionalism also stressed the importance of functional adjustment of an organism to his/her environment

John B. Watson

Behaviorism - John B. Watson an american psychologist introduced Behaviorism in 1913. Watson and his followers believed that observable behavior, not inner experience, was the only reliable source of information. This concentration on observable events was a reaction against the structuralist' emphasis on introspection. The Behaviorist also stressed the importance of the environment in shaping an individuals behavior.

Max Wertheimer

The Gestalt - Gestalt Psychology just like the other movements, developed as a reaction against structuralism . Founded about 1912 by Max Wertheimer, a German psychologist, Gestalt literally means "to configure" or "to form or pattern". Instead of individual sensations, Gestalt Psychologist believed that human beings and animals perceive the external world as an organized pattern.

Sigmund Freud

Psychoanalysis - Psychoanalysis was founded during the late 1800's and early 1900's by the Austrian doctor named Sigmund Freud. Because of Freud bout with cancer of the jaw, Freud was incapacitated to perform hypnosis due to bad voice. He thus reiterated that not all people could be hypnotized but instead they could be psycho-analyzed. Psychoanalysis was based on the theory that behavior is determined by powerful inner forces , most of which are buried in the unconscious mind.

Sigmund Freud was able to publish psychoanalytic observations of the following popular people although they were not his patients:
  • Michaelangelo, in Freud's essay The Moses of Michaelangelo
  • Leonardo da Vinci, in Freud's book Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of His Childhood
  • Moses, in Freud's book Moses and Monotheism

Cognitive Psychology - Cognitive Psychology is theoretical perspective that focuses on the realms of human perception, thought, and memory. It portrays learners as active processors of information-a metaphor borrowed from the computer world-and assigns critical roles to the knowledge and perspective brings to their learnings.  As articulated by Jean Piaget (1969), students learn better when they can invent knowledge through inquiry and experimentation instead of acquiring facts presented by the teacher.

Jean Piaget

Lev Vygotsky (1978) emphasized the role of social interactions in knowledge construction. Social Constructivism turns attentions to children's interactions with parents, peers, and teachers in homes, neighborhoods, and schools. Vygotsky introduced the concept of the zone of proximal development. 

Lev Vygotsky

Existentialist Psychology - From this Humanistic "3rd force" grew existential psychology. Existentialist Psychology started from humanistic psychology's focus on the human condition and took it to an extreme level of discipline. Existentialist believed in both free will and the uniqueness of the individual.  Individual behaviors are not seen as evil or good, but neutral, interpreted only by the individual.

Abraham Maslow

 Humanistic Psychology - Humanistic Psychology believed that an individual's behavior is primarily determined by his/her perception of the world around him/her. ; individuals are internally directed and motivated to fulfill their human potentials. Abraham Maslow is the proponent of this school of psychology

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chapter #1

Definition and Nature

Psychology - The term psychology came from the Greek work "psyche" which means the mind and soul and "logos" which means is to study. When combined, psychology literally means the "study of the mind and soul". On the modern sense,psychology could be defined as "the scientific study and practical application of observable and mental processes of organisms". It basically deals with the systematic of behavioral processes of different organisms.

To further understand the terms used in the definition, it is necessary to recognize the following elements:

Science - Psychology is considered as a science because it is focused upon the study and investigation of certain behavior with the application of one or a combination of scientific methods. It can be categorically labeled as empirical  and dependent upon measurement. Therefore, gathering of factual information is considered important to prove certain phenomena.

Study of Behavior - The basic idea that psychology is the study of the mind may be considered to be a difficult task to achieve. As one would have difficulty on trying to study on what runs in the mind of an individual. Therefore, in order to study the mind, one has to associate the way of thinking of an individual to his/her behavior.

Mental Processes - This includes forms of cognition or the ways of knowing which includes man's perception, attention, and capability to remember, to reason, and to solve problems,dreams, fantasies, wishes, and anticipation are also considered as mentals processes.

Psychology and Other Sciences

Psychology is a branch of social science although it differs from the other social sciences such as: Sociology, Humanities, Political Science, History, or Economics, because psychology specifically is engaged with the study of an individual and its processes. While other social sciences deals with the study of groups, or history, psychology is less a science of reported findings, as it attempts to ask and answer questions using observable behavior and what can be classified as a mental processes of a subject.

The following fields of sciences are closely related to psychology:

  • Bio psychology - is the application of the principles of biology to the study mental processes and behavior.
  • Physiological Psychology - is the study of neural mechanisms of perception and behavior through direct manipulation of the brains of a non-human animal subject in controlled experiments.
  • Psychiatry - is a branch of medicine which exists to study, prevent, and treat mental disorders in humans. The art and science of clinical application of psychiatry  nave been considered a bridge between the social world and those who are mentally ill.
  • Psychotherapy - pertains to the application of specialized psychological methods to the treatment of diagnosed mental disorders or to the problem of the persons daily adjustment.
  • Psychotropics - is a sub-field of medicine that deals with the various pharmacological agents such as anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, anti-manic, and anti-psychotic agents utilized to affect behavior, mood and feelings.
  • Psycho-surgery  - is a branch of medicine which involves the surgical severing and chemical alterations of the brain fibers with the purpose of modifying psychological disturbances and other behavior aberrations.
  • Social Psychology - merged the discipline of Sociology and Anthropology together with the basic premises about the common concern of psychology which is to study human behavior and mental processes.
  • Psycholinguistics / Psychology of Language - is the study of the psychological and neurobiological  factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language.

Different Types of Behavior

Behavior refers to the actions of the individual when exposed or placed on a certain situation or environment. Behavior can be considered as:
  • Overt and Covert - Overt behavior is a behavior which is observable and can be manifested outwardly (i.e. walking, playing, eating, listening). On the other hand, Covert behavior is a behavior of which actions that is not directly visible (i.e. lying, thinking, learning).
  • Conscious and Unconscious - Conscious behavior pertains to the action that is within one's awareness (i.e. pounding of the heart when get nervous, falling in love) while the Unconscious behavior are those actions done by an individual yet he/she is not aware of doing so. (i.e. thumb sucking, nail bitting).
  • Rational and Irrational - Rational behavior is manifested through an action which is in the realm of sanity and adequate reason (admiring an athlete because of his.her physique) and Irrational behavior pertains to the actions which are done without any apparent reason and explanation.
  • Voluntary and Involuntary - Voluntary behavior is done with the man's full will and discretion while Involuntary behavior are those actions done automatically like breathing, digestion, and circulation of the blood.
  • Simple and Complex - Behavior may be also be considered as simple or complex based on the numbers of neurons involve in the process of behavior. Simple behavior utilizes fewer neurons as compared to the amount of neurons used in a complex behavior.

Aims and Goals of Psychology

Psychology also aims to contribute further to the knowledge of human nature. Specifically, it aims to deepen the knowledge about human behavior so that man can improve the quality of his/her existence. Simply undertaken to achieve these objectives to describe, to understand, to predict and influence human and animal behavior

In describing behavior, a detailed characterization of a certain phenomenon can be presented a be a means of further utilization of the study.

In understanding, it involves the organization of facts about behavior, development of reasons pertaining with the different relationships among observe behavior, and finally, arriving to a reasonable principle and paradigms of explaining behavior.

To predict behavior will enable the psychologist to anticipate any future actions of any individual. 

To influence which involves the alteration of behavior of an individual. It further tends to change a certain trait, idea, and beliefs of the individual.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A short message from the author.

This blog is an introductory open course in Psychology that covers thirteen (13) chapters which contains general topics to give a over all view what a psychologist do in his/her premises. This blog will discussed that embark advance knowledge and information for the readers especially the students who are searching to valuable such sites.

While I'm writing this blog, some of the authors were envisioned to give the readers a broader understanding of some phenomenas,events, and conditions that every human being had experience ,thereby enhancing them to be more specific,competent,scientific and objective in their approach towards life.

Some of the distinct features of this blog includes studies,articles,and researches made that provide additional information about human behavior and some facts about it.

It may not be the proffered site to make some reference but it represents a brief and clear presentation of the various important ideas,theories,areas and fields of Psychology which hopefully can add more learning's and realizations on the students and also the readers provided for each chapter to measure the acquired knowledge and capacity of the physical human being.

I'm looking forward for your responses to any topics that this blog contains...

This site is under construction and eventually will post the different topics everyday. thanks for visiting my blog! have a nice and wonderfull day.

Sincerely Yours,
Mr.Sycamore :)