In the first six chapters the text
introduces us to the fundamental principles of psychology. It not only provides
students with the tools necessary for the study of psychology but present us with
a sampling of the major areas of psychology research. The course begins with a
short overview of how psychology developed as an academic discipline and an
introduction to a number of the principle methodologies most commonly deployed
in its study. The subsequent units are arranged around broad areas of research,
including emotion, development, memory, and psychopathology.

Below are the following topics listed
in order that I found interesting:

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The History of Psychology

It was
very surprising to learn that the science of psychology only became in
existence in the 19th century. One of the founding fathers of
psychology was Wilhelm Wundt (1832–1920) who introduced us to structuralism. Wundt regarded psychology
as a scientific study of conscious understanding. The theorist believed that
the goal of psychology was to identify components of consciousness and how those
elements unite to result in our conscious experience. William James (1842–1910)
an American psychologist believed that psychology’s purpose was to study the
function of behavior in the world, and as such, his perspective was known as functionalism. Sigmund Freud (1856–1939)
psychoanalytic theory states that the unconscious mind was a repository of
feelings and urges of which we have no awareness. Max Wertheimer (1880–1943),
Kurt Koffka (1886–1941), and Wolfgang Köhler (1887–1967) were three German
psychologists who introduce to the world various Gestalt principles.   Gestalt psychology deals with the fact that
although a sensory experience can be broken down into individual parts, each parts
remains related. Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936) studied a form of learning
behavior called conditioned reflex. Abraham Maslow (1908–1970) developed the theory hierarchy of human needs
in motivating behaviors.

of Research on Psychology

Psychology deals with as individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior, none of
whom are always predictable and reliable it is not an absolute science and is
often referred to as a ‘Social Science’ or a ‘Soft Science.’  According
to Heffner, research is extremely essential to the field of psychology. Research
aids us in recognizing how individuals think, feel, or perform in certain ways.
This allows researchers to classify psychological disorders in order to
understand the symptoms and impact on the individual and society. Heffner
explained that it also helps others to understand how intimate relationships,
development, schools, family, peers, and religion affect us as individuals and
as a society; and to develop effective treatments to improve the quality of
life of individuals and groups.(Heffner 2016).

The following are the types of
research methods used by psychologists. Descriptive
designs are utilized to offer an instant picture of the current state of
affairs.  The advantage of this
design is that is provides a relatively complete picture of what is occurring
at a given time and allows the development of questions for further study. The
drawbacks are that it does not assess relationships among variables. It may be immoral
if participants do not know they are being watched.  Another familiar design that are used is Correlational
design. This is utilized to assess the relationships between and among two or
more variables. The advantages of using this method is that it allows testing
of expected relationships between and among variables and the making of
predictions. It also can assess these relationships in everyday life
events.  The disadvantages are that it
cannot be used to draw inferences about the causal relationships between and
among the variables. Experimental designs allow researchers to assess the
causal impact of one or more experimental manipulations on a dependent variable
by allowing drawing of conclusions about the causal relationships. (     ).  The disadvantage of this method is that it cannot
experimentally manipulate many important variables and it may be expensive and
time consuming

Future of Psychology: Connecting Mind to Brain

is the scientific study of people’s behaviors and their minds. Therefore, for
psychologists studying the brain and nervous system will always be a crucial
element for psychological study.  Psychologists’
analyses the brain and the nervous system because these organs are essential to the way people
behave, think and feel. Patients suffering from  brain damages
due to a
traumatic brain injury may experience some form of mental and physical
incapacity as such injuries often interfere with the way the brain normally
works. When nerve cells in the brain are damaged, they can no longer send
information to each other in the normal way. The injury may cause different problems, depending upon
which parts of the brain were damaged most. There are three general types of problems that can happen after TBI:
physical, cognitive and emotional/ behavioral problems. This may cause changes
in the person’s behavior and abilities to think rationally or perform activities
of daily living. It is impossible to
tell early on which specific problems a person will have after a TBI. Problems
typically improve as the person recovers, but this may take weeks or months.
With some severe injuries changes can take many years.

Applying Classical
Conditioning to Everyday life

According to
Pavloc n behaviorism, classical conditioning is a kind of learning in which a
person or animal comes to associate two kinds of stimuli, one that naturally
prompts a given behavior and one that does not. Illustrating classical
conditioning through experiments with dogs,  the theorist states that when food was
presented to a dog, the dog naturally salivated. After repeatedly hearing a
bell when food was presented, the dog salivated upon hearing the bell even in
the absence of food. Although the bell initially meant nothing to the dog, it
began associating the bell with food. Sometimes classical conditioning depends
on the frequency of paired stimuli (infrequent pairing may be less likely to
lead to association). Some psychologists believe classical conditioning helps
explain learning.

I can relate to the animal story,
our dog upon hearing certain noises coming from the kitchen or dining area  often comes  running  looking for scrapings or treats.  He is usually fed twice a day where he hears
this ruffling sound and comes to investigate. He has come to recognize  this sound
 with the appearance of food, thus any
noise he hears coming from the area  he
immediately will run to and look for food and sniff, regardless of what time it
is or whether he is hungry or not.  .


TBI: Part 2 – Brain injury impact on individuals functioning

Written by Thomas Novack, PhD and Tamara
Bushnik, PhD in collaboration with the MSKTC


Written by

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