Psychology in Everyday Life

PowerPoint Slides


Worth Publishers, © 2015




Introduce yourself

Your goals

Some you want to do in your free time

Favorite food

Personal Relationship with God.




Psychology’s Roots, Big Ideas, and Critical Thinking Tools Chapter 1


Psychology’s Roots

What is Psychology?

Psychological Science Is Born

Contemporary Psychology


Four Big Ideas in Psychology


Critical thinking is Smart thinking

Behavior is a Biopsychosocial Event

We Operate with a Two-Track Mind (Dual Processing)

Psychology Explores Human Strengths as well as challenges



Why Do Psychology?

The Limits of Intuition and Common Sense

The Scientific Attitude


How Do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions?

The Scientific Method





Learning Activity 1 B Defining Psychology


How would you define Psychology?


What is purpose to learn psychology?




Psychology’s Roots

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)

Aristotle, a naturalist and philosopher, theorized about psychology’s concepts. He suggested that the soul and body are not separate and that knowledge grows from experience.


Psychological Science is Born

Wilhem Wundt and psychology’s first graduate students studied the “atoms of the mind” by conducting experiments at Leipzig, Germany, in 1879. This work is considered the birth of psychology as we know it today.

Wundt (1832-1920)




Psychological Science is Born

American philosopher William James wrote an important 1890 psychology textbook. Mary Calkins, James’s student, became the APA’s first female president.

James (1842-1910)

Mary Calkins


Psychological Science is Born

Sigmund Freud, an Austrian physician, and his followers emphasized the importance of the unconscious mind and its effects on human behavior.

Freud (1856-1939)


Psychological Science is Born

Psychology originated in many disciplines and countries. It was, until the 1920s, psychology was defined as the science of mental life.


Psychological Science Develops


Watson and later Skinner emphasized the study of overt behavior as the subject matter of scientific psychology.

Watson (1878-1958)

Skinner (1904-1990)


“The soul is not separable from the body, and the same holds good of particular parts of the soul.” Aristotle, De Anima, 350 B.C.

“. . . the scientific study of observable behavior.”

Watson and Skinner changed the definition in the 1920’s.


The two major force that rejected behaviorist definition


Humanistic Psychologist

who emphasized the growth potential of healthy people


Cognitive Neuroscience who explore the brain activity linked with mental activity.


Psychological Science Develops

Humanistic Psychology

Maslow and Rogers emphasized current environmental influences on our growth potential and our need for love and acceptance.

Maslow (1908-1970)

Rogers (1902-1987)


Preview Question 1: How has psychology’s focus changed over time?

Cognitive neuroscience


Scientifically explores how we perceive, process and remember information with the help brain activity.


Psychology Today

Therefore, today we define psychology as the scientific study of behavior (what we do) and mental processes (inner thoughts and feelings).


Contemporary Psychology



Psychology’s Current Perspective

Text p. 4

Table 1.1



Behavior Genetics






4 Big Ideas in Psychology


Critical Thinking

It has led to new and surprising findings as well as disproven other beliefs.



4 Big Ideas in Psychology


2. Behavior is a Biopsychosocial Event



Biopsychosocial Model Attempting to Explain the Complex Human Condition

© 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.


Shrinking Brains

“When we consider people as individuals, we don’t always get a complete picture of their emotions and motivations. Stepping back to see the same individual in a broader context can provide new insights. With this “bigger picture” (the child’s immediate surroundings and his or her group’s behavior) in mind, can you better understand why each child might be feeling and acting as he or she is? The biopsychosocial model recognizes that there is actually no single cause for our behavior or our mental states. For example, our moods and feelings are often influenced by genetics and neurotransmitters (biological), our learned responses and patterns of thinking (psychological), and our socioeconomic status and cultural views of emotion (sociocultural).”


Psychology’s Three Main Levels of Analysis


James admitted the first woman student Mary Calkins to Harvard and tutored her. Despite his efforts she was not able to attain her PhD from Harvard.


Example: Obesity Notes p. 13

The different levels are not competing but complementary


4 Big Ideas in Psychology


3. We operate with a two-track mind

Dual Processing

Our brain works on 2 tracks, the conscious and unconscious


4 Big Ideas in Psychology


4. Psychology Explores Human Strengths as Well as Challenges



Learning Activity – 3A

What do you mean by Intuition and Common Sense?

without conscious reasoning

Gut feeling

3, 1, 5, 4, 3

Judgment experience


What are common flaws in intuition and common sense?


What is difference between intuition and common sense. Give examples






Water and Pennies Activity




Why Do Psychology?



Our intuition can fail!











Why Do Psychology?

How can we differentiate between uniformed opinions and examined conclusions?

The science of psychology helps make these examined conclusions, which leads to our understanding of how people feel, think, and act as they do!


What About Intuition & Common Sense?

Many people believe that intuition and common sense are enough to bring forth answers regarding human nature.

Intuition and common sense may aid in solving problems answering questions, but they are not free of error.


Ivan Pavlov a Russian Physiologist, James Watson and Skinner were all instrumental in developing the science of psychology and emphasized behavior instead of mind or mental thoughts. From 1920 to 1960, psychology in the US was heavily oriented towards behaviorism.

Limits of Intuition

Personal interviewers may rely too much on their “gut feelings” when meeting with job applicants.



Taxi/ Getty Images


Common Flaws in intuitive Intuition & Common Sense?


Hindsight Bias


Perceiving patterns in random events




Hindsight Bias

Hindsight Bias is the “I-knew-it-all-along” phenomenon.


After learning the outcome of an event, many people believe they could have predicted that very outcome. We only knew the stocks would plummet after they actually did plummet.



Sometimes we think we know more than we actually know.








How long do you think it would take to unscramble these anagrams?

People said it would take about 10 seconds, yet on average they took about 3 minutes (Goranson, 1978).







Perceiving Order in Random Events


To make sense of our world we often perceive patterns


Example – person see a face on the Moon.

Share some of your experiences.


We trust our intuition more than we should.

Our intuitive thinking is flawed by powerful tendencies.

But scientific thinking can help us sift reality from illusion.


The Scientific Attitude

The scientific attitude is composed of curiosity (passion for exploration), skepticism (doubting and questioning) and humility (ability to accept responsibility when wrong).


Critical Thinking

Critical thinking does not accept arguments and conclusions blindly.


It examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence and assesses conclusions.

The Amazing Randi

Courtesy of the James Randi Education Foundation


Learning Activity 3B

How Do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions?

The Scientific Method






How Do Psychologists Ask & Answer Questions?

Psychologists, like all scientists, use the scientific method to construct theories that organize, summarize and simplify observations.



A theory is an explanation that integrates principles and organizes and predicts behavior or events.


For example, low self-esteem contributes to depression.



A hypothesis is a testable prediction, often prompted by a theory, to enable us to accept, reject or revise the theory.


People with low self-esteem will score higher on a depression test.


Research Observations

Research would require us to administer tests of self-esteem and depression. Individuals who score low on a self-esteem test and high on a depression test would confirm our hypothesis.


Research Process



Theory: Education levels of school teachers effect income.

Hypothesis: School teachers with a Masters Degree will earn a higher annual income than school teachers with a Bachelor’s Degree.

Research & Observations: Compare the income levels of school teachers with different levels of education.


How Do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions?

The Scientific Method






Case Study

A technique in which one person is studied in depth to reveal underlying behavioral principles.

Is language uniquely human?

Susan Kuklin/ Photo Researchers



A technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes, opinions or behaviors of people usually done by questioning a representative, random sample of people.



Wording can change the results of a survey.


Q: Should cigarette ads and pornography be allowed on television? (not allowed vs. forbid)






Wording Effects

Could be subjective!




If each member of a population has an equal chance of inclusion into a sample, it is called a random sample (unbiased). If the survey sample is biased, its results are not valid.

Random Sampling

The fastest way to know about the marble color ratio is to blindly transfer a few into a smaller jar and count them.




A sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion.

Random Sampling


Naturalistic Observation

A descriptive technique of observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to change or control the situation.


Example – Observing and recording the behavior of humans and/or animals in the wild and recording self-seating patterns in a multiracial school lunch room constitute naturalistic observation.

Courtesy of Gilda Morelli


Descriptive Methods

Case studies, surveys, and naturalistic observation describe behaviors.



How Do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions?

The Scientific Method






Helps to predict how closely two variables are related or unrelated.

This relationship can be either positive or negative.

It is important to remember that no matter how strong the relationship between the two variables is, it does not prove causation.



Correlation and Causation

Correlation does not mean causation!



“A correlation coefficient helps us see the world more clearly by revealing the extent to which two things relate.”

“Correlation indicates the possibility of a cause-effect relationship, but it does not prove causation.”

“Knowing that two events are associated, need not tell us anything about what causes what.”


How Do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions?

The Scientific Method






Like other sciences, experimentation is the backbone of psychological research. Experiments isolate causes and their effects.

Exploring Cause and Effect


Exploring Cause & Effect

Many factors influence our behavior. Experiments (1) manipulate factors that interest us, while other factors are kept under (2) control.


Effects generated by manipulated factors isolate cause and effect relationships.


Evaluating Therapies

Assigning participants to experimental (breast-fed) and control (formula-fed) conditions by random assignment minimizes pre-existing differences between the two groups.

Random Assignment


Independent Variable

An independent variable is a factor manipulated by the experimenter. The effect of the independent variable is the focus of the study.

For example, when examining the effects of breast feeding upon intelligence, breast feeding is the independent variable.


We can vary it independently-

Without concern for other factors.





Dependent Variable

A dependent variable is a factor that may change in response to an independent variable. In psychology, it is usually a behavior or a mental process.


For example, in our study on the effect of breast feeding upon intelligence, intelligence is the dependent variable.



Schacter’s Affiliation Experiment





A summary of steps during experimentation.




Below is a comparison of different research methods.


Frequently Asked Questions About Psychology

Q1. How do simplified laboratory conditions help us understand general principles of behavior?


Ans: Simplified or artificial laboratory conditions are created to study behavior in simplistic terms. The goal is to find underlying principles that govern behavior.



Q3. Why do psychologists study animals, and what ethical guidelines safeguard human and animal research participant ?


Ans: Studying animals gives us the understanding of many behaviors that may have common biology across animals and humans. From animal studies, we have gained insights to devastating and fatal diseases. All researchers who deal with animal research are required to follow ethical guidelines in caring for these animals.


Experiments that do not involve any kind of physical or psychological harm beyond normal levels encountered in daily life may be carried out.




D. Shapiro, © Wildlife Conservation Society



“Death of a Subject”