A. Psychology, predominantly, is the study of normal human functioning.
B. Psychology attempts to map out the essential elements of mind and behavior.
C. Benefits of studying psychology include control and modification of own behavior, thinking critically about own and others' behavior, and discovering what makes people different.
II. Previewing the Conceptual Problems
III. Defining and Describing Psychology
A. A Definition of Psychology
1. The scientific study of behavior and mind.
2. The definition is precise, emphasizing science, distinguishing psychology from philosophy.
3. Also, controlled observation is important.
4. "Mind" refers to the contents and processes of subjective experience, "behavior" to internal processes as well as more obvious actions.
B. The Invisible Mind: How Can it be Studied?
1. Analogy of the mind to a black box--how do we find out the processes that make it work?
2. Methods of inquiry
a. Ask the box to tell you how it works. Problem: the problem of the accuracy of self-report.
b. Pry the box open. Problems: internal mechanisms also need explaining, and the whole mechanism may work differently than the individual parts
c. Look for regularities of behavior. Measure and describe the abilities and limits of the box. This approach is closest to what most psychologists do.
3. Importance of understanding how the body behaves in order to understand the mind
C. What Psychologists Do
1. Clinical psychologists
a. Diagnose and treat psychological problems.
b. Typically work in clinics or private practice, providing psychotherapy.
c. Counseling psychologists are more likely to deal with everyday adjustment problems, clinical psychologists with more severe psychological problems.
d. Majority of psychologists are either clinical or counseling psychologists.
e. Psychiatrists are medical doctors specializing in the treatment of psychological problems.
2. Applied Psychologists
a. Goal is to...