🔎 Unit 1: Scientific Foundations of Psychology
1.0Unit 1 Overview: Scientific Foundations of Psychology
1.1Introducing Psychology: The Historical Progression of Psychology
1.2Research Methods in Psychology
1.3The Experimental Method
1.5Statistical Analysis in Psychology
🧠 Unit 2: Biological Bases of Behavior
2.0Unit 2 Overview: Biological Bases of Behavior
2.1Interaction of Heredity and Environment
2.3Overview of the Nervous System and the Neuron
2.7Tools for Examining Brain Structure and Function
2.8The Adaptable Brain: Neural Fluidity
👀 Unit 3: Sensation and Perception
3.0Unit 3 Overview: Sensation and Perception
3.1Principles of Sensation
3.2Principles of Perception
3.5Auditory Sensation and Perception
📚 Unit 4: Learning
4.0Unit 4 Overview: Learning
🤔 Unit 5: Cognitive Psychology
5.0Unit 5 Overview: Cognitive Psychology
5.1Introduction to Memory
5.5Forgetting and Memory Distortion
5.6Biological Bases of Memory
5.7Introduction to Thinking and Problem Solving
5.8Biases and Errors in Thinking
5.9Introduction to Intelligence
5.10Psychometric Principles and Intelligence Testing
👶 Unit 6: Developmental Psychology
6.0Unit 6 Overview: Developmental Psychology
6.1The Lifespan and Physical Development in Childhood
6.2Social Development in Childhood
6.3Cognitive Development in Childhood
6.5Adulthood and Aging
🤪 Unit 7: Motivation, Emotion, & Personality
7.0Unit 7 Overview: Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
7.1Theories of Motivation
7.2Specific Topics in Motivation
7.3Theories of Emotion
7.4Stress and Coping
7.5Introduction to Personality
7.6Psychoanalytic Theories of Personality
7.7Behaviorism and Social Cognitive Theories of Personality
7.8Humanistic Theories of Personality
7.9Trait Theories of Personality
🛋 Unit 8: Clinical Psychology
8.0Unit 8 Overview: Clinical Psychology
8.1Introduction to Psychological Disorders
8.2Psychological Perspectives and Etiology of Disorders
8.3Neurodevelopmental and Schizophrenic Spectrum Disorders
8.4Bipolar, Depressive, Anxiety, and Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
8.5Trauma- and Stressor Related, Dissociative, and Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders
8.6Feeding and Eating, Substance and Addictive, and Personality Disorders
8.7Introduction to Treatment of Psychological Disorders
8.8Psychological Perspectives and Treatment of Disorders
8.9Treatment of Disorders from the Biological Perspective
👫 Unit 9: Social Psychology
9.0Unit 9 Overview: Social Psychology
9.1Attribution Theory and Person Perception
9.2Attitude Formation and Attitude Change
9.3Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience
9.4Group Influences on Behavior and Mental Processes
9.5Bias, Prejudice, and Discrimination
9.6Altruism and Aggression
🧐 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
✍️ Free Response Questions (FRQ)
⏱️ 4 min read
November 11, 2020
There are many theoretical approaches in psychology designed to explain certain behaviors.
Some of the earliest approaches to explain behavior in psychology include structuralism and functionalism.
Wilhelm Wundt combined physiology and philosophy to create psychology and established the first psychology lab in Germany (1879). He believed in introspection and structuralism.
Structuralism says that structure is more important than function. Structuralists believed that the mind must be broken into elements to understand the brain and its functions. With the use of introspection 🤔 (looking inward), people try to understand the thoughts or emotions they are experiencing at the time.
For structuralism to work, the subject would have to be very intelligent and verbal in order to describe their sensations, images, and feelings in certain moments. Also, introspection was unreliable since the results varied from person to person.
As a result, the impact of introspection waned, as did structuralism.
Functionalism came after structuralism and was created to understand how the conscious mind is related to behavior. Functionalists, such as William James, wanted to know how the mind affected what people did.
Early Behaviorism was the study of observable events. This theory shifted psychology from a study of the unconscious and conscious mind to a more science-based study based on observable events.
John Watson was a behaviorist psychologist who studied observable behaviors and led the Little Albert experiment, where he trained an 11-month-old boy to fear a white rat 🐁 The boy was not initially afraid of the rat, but when the white rat was paired with a loud sound the boy would show signs of distress. Eventually, the boy began to cry when just seeing the white rat without the sound. Watson believed that observable events are the only events that can be proven true, unlike studying the conscious, where results are not verifiable.
Gestalt psychology says that the whole is different than the sum of its parts. Gestalt psychology looks at the mind and behavior as a whole. It suggests that human minds do not focus on small components. Instead, humans see the greater whole. Examples of Gestalt principles are below, and are discussed in further detail in unit 3.
Image courtesy of ResearchGate.
Image courtesy of ResearchGate.
Psychoanalytic/Psychodynamic approach focuses on the study of the unconscious mind. It states that behavior is determined by past experiences stored in the unconscious mind. Sigmund Freud is the key individual that used this approach and he built his theories based on it.
The humanistic approach believes that humans have free will and the ability to grow 🌱 All individuals are striving to reach self actualization with this approach.
The evolutionary approach uses evolutionary biology to explain human behavior. Also, it looks at how natural selection of traits promotes the survival of genes. An evolutionary psychologist may study how anger could be a gene inherited from our ancestors.
The biological perspective states that behavior is based on physical processes such as those relating to the brain, hormones, and other chemicals.
The cognitive approach states that thought processes impact the way people behave. A cognitive psychologist may study how an emotion such as fear affects one’s thinking.
The biopsychosocial perspective acknowledges the person as a whole and tries to look at all of the patient's circumstances. It looks at biological, psychological, and social factors to understand a person’s behavior.
The sociocultural approach studies how thinking and behavior vary across cultures and situations. A sociocultural psychologist may study how expressions of fear vary across cultures.
Biological psychology states that physical processes shape behavior. For example, a biological psychologist might say that anger 😡 is due to a certain hormonal balance in the brain.
Clinical psychology is a section of psychology focused on assessing and treating mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.
Cognitive psychology 🤔 studies the mental processes associated with thinking, knowing, and communicating.
Counseling psychology focuses on personal issues that are not classified as mental disorders. These types of therapists help people cope with challenges and crises in life. For example, they can help a student with social or academic struggles. They could even help an individual with marital issues.
Developmental psychology 👶 studies social, physical, and cognitive changes throughout the lifespan. So, they study from “womb to tomb.”
Educational psychology 👩🏽🏫 is the study of how psychological processes can impact and improve learning and teaching.
Experimental psychology uses the experimental method to examine relationships between behavior and the mind.
Industrial-organizational psychology studies the relationships between work and people in order to help companies increase productivity, boost morale, and select and train employees.
Personality psychology is the study of how personality affects the way people think and behave.
Psychometric psychology focuses on psychological measurement and is concerned with the design of psychological examinations.
Social psychology 👫 studies how humans are influenced by one another and how we relate and think about each other.
Positive psychology focuses on making human existence more fulfilling, rather than focusing on the treatment of mental illness. Promoting strengths and virtues to improve the lives of people and communities.
🎥Watch: AP Psychology - Approaches
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