INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY
AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE
Mrs. Mona Higazy Idrees
whenever our mind is opened to
something new, we are always curious
about it. It is nature of human mind to
absorb knowledge and explore new
things. But before exploring new things,
a question always comes in our mind
what it is related to? What is the meaning
of that particular subject?
The major goals to be achieved by students taking this
introductory course include cognitive goals (academic or
intellectual objectives) and affective goals (personal goals
involving your feelings and behavior). By the end of the course,
you should be able to:
- Define psychology and explain how the focus of psychology is
different from that of other social and biological sciences.
- Define basic psychological terminology and explain important
features of major psychological concepts and theories.
- Identify leading contributors to the field of psychology and
describe their work.
- Explain how biological, psychological, and social
factors can affect behavior.
- Identify and describe specific psychological principles
in real-life situations.
- Critically analyze information about human behavior
and distinguish between conclusions supported by
scientific evidence and conclusions based on
nonscientific ways of knowing.
- Recognize real-life situations that may call for
professional psychological help and know how to use
community resources to find help when needed.
- Develop a positive attitude toward the discipline of
- Appreciate how psychology can enrich and help to explain
individual experience and social interaction.
- Appreciate similarities and differences between individuals.
- Appreciate how culture, gender, and other group identities
can influence self-awareness and interactions between people.
- Appreciate the impact of prejudices on
attitudes and behaviors.
- Appreciate that our understanding of
human behavior has evolved and
changed over the years, and that
increasingly refined psychological theories
Help you to develop your own way to deal
with your patients.
OBJECTIVE OF THIS LECTURE:
What we will discuss…
1. History and origin of science of psychology.
2. Areas of Psychology
3. Definitions of psychology.
4. What are the Goals of Psychology?
5. Branches OF psychology.
6. What do we hope to gain from studying psychology?
7. Do we need in medicine field to study psychology?
THE FIRST ‘PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPERIMENT”
An ancient King of Egypt, as far back as the
seventh century B.C., can be considered the
first psychology experiment.
The king wanted to test whether or not
Egyptian was the oldest civilization on earth.
His idea was that, if children were raised in
isolation from infancy and were given no
instruction in language of any kind, then the
language they spontaneously spoke would be of
the original civilization of man – hopefully,
LIFE BEFORE PSYCHOLOGY
Philosophy asks questions about the mind:
Does perception accurately reflect reality?
How is sensation turned into perception?
Problem - No “scientific” way
of studying problems SCIENTIFIC
Predict what will
The roots of psychology can be traced Systematically
to the ancient philosopher based on observe events.
Do events support
their early records to understand predictions
EARLY PHILOSOPHERS AND PHYSIOLOGIST
Early philosophers were most concerned with nature of knowledge
In epistemology you ask such questions as: What is knowledge? What are
the origins of knowledge? What does it mean to know?
Physiology asks similar questions about
Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.), known as the father of modern
Plato (427-347 B.C.) view that the mind and body were
separate and the mind was located in the brain.
Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) who was Plato’s student
Ibn Sina (980-1037), a Muslim philosopher famous for his
works on medicine.
HISTORY AND ORIGIN OF SCIENCE OF
So we can Say……..
The roots of psychology can be traced to the ancient
philosopher based on their early records to understand
The earliest roots of modern psychology can be traced to
two different approaches to human behavior:
(1)philosophy and (2)physiology .
PHILOSOPHER + PHYSIOLOGIST
Philosophy explores and Physiology is the study of
attempts to explain human the human body .through
nature through introspection
or self-examination of one’s observation.
experiences. Through a process early Greek scholars
of self-questioning and asking attempted to understand
the workings of the human
philosophers have attempted
to unravel how we think, how
we learn, how we gain
knowledge and how we use
interested in the
nature of humans
psychology and how human
PSYCHOLOGY IS BORN
Focuses on the scientific
study of the mind.
Wundt focused his
experiments as conscious
experiences and he
replaced the concept of
mind with consciousness.
Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920)
Physiologist & Perceptual Psychologist
Founder of Psychology as a Science
Edward Titchner (1867-1927) First Experimental
Student of Wundt
Formed Y at Cornell
Psych Lab (1879)
William James (1842-1910)
Philosopher & Psychologist
Formed Y at Harvard
Modern psychology developed from
several conflicting traditions,
AREAS OF PSYCHOLOGY functionalism, Gestalt psychology,
behaviorism, and psychoanalysis
Psychology quickly diversified from the late 19th century, leading to a
number of distinct schools:
Structuralism, which investigated the structure of the mind
Functionalism, which investigated the adaptive functions of
Behaviourism, which emphasized the role of the environment
in guiding behavior
Gestalt, which emphasized holistic aspects of mental
Psychoanalysis, which emphasized the role of unconscious
forces in shaping behavior.
WHY DO YOU THINK THERE IS DIFFERENT APPROACHES
OF PSYCHOLOGY ?
Different approaches exist because there are
different ways of explaining phenomena.
For example, emotions can be explained in emotions
terms of the thoughts associated with them or
the physiological changes they produce.
Psychologists try to explain psychological
phenomena from a range of different
perspectives, and so use different approaches. physiological changes
As an example, what are some different ways
in which we might explain shaking hands?
Major Structuralist Thinkers:
Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920)
Structuralism was the first school of psychology and focused on
breaking down mental processes into the most basic
Researchers tried to understand the basic elements of
consciousness using a method known as introspection.
Wilhelm Wundt known as "the father of psychology ,"founded
the first laboratory dedicated exclusively to psychological
research in Leipzig, Germany.
The use of introspection: the direct observation of one's own
heart, mind and/or soul and its processes.
Wundt Focuses on the scientific study of the mind.
Wundt insists that Psychology’s methods be as rigorous as the
methods of chemistry & physics.
Functionalism formed as a reaction to the
structuralism and was heavily influenced by the William James
work of William James and the evolutionary (1842-1910)
theory of Charles Darwin.
They focused on the purpose of consciousness Major
and behavior. Functionalist
Functionalism investigated functions of mental William James
processes in adapting to the environment. John Dewey
Understand mental processes by understanding
the goal or purpose of those processes
Example: What is the goal or purpose of memory?
STRUCTURALISM VS FUNCTIONALISM
Wilhelm Wundt •William James
Analyze consciousness into basic Investigate the function, or purpose
elements and study how they are of consciousness rather than its
It focused on sensations and Functionalists believed that
perceptual experiences. psychology should study the
The goal of structuralism was to function of consciousness, not
break consciousness down into its analyze its parts.
basic parts so it could be analyzed. Functionalists began studying
Structuralisms tended to work in intelligence, child development, sex
labs, using techniques like roles, and other aspects of the real
Structure of the mind Function of the mind
Task 1: Answer the following questions.
1. The most prominent difference between
Structuralism and Functionalism is.. One is
applied science one is a pure science.
2. The main questions that structuralism
ask…What are the main principles that
govern the way the human mind works?
Scientific Psychology should focus on observable John Watson
Mental Processes cannot be studied directly
Problems with introspection: Cannot directly observe mental
• Subjective, varies by individual.
Solution: Focus only on objective, observable and measurable
behaviors in carefully controlled experiments.
• How we learn from observable responses.
• How to best study, assess and treat troubled people.
SKINNER & BEHAVIORISM
BF Skinner argued that
organisms tend to repeat
responses that lead to positive
outcomes and tend not to
repeat responses that lead to
In other words, all behavior
can be understood and
modified by examining the
patterns of rewards and
NATURE OR NURTURE?
John B. Watson argued that consciousness Behaviorism led to one of the
couldn’t be studied, but behavior could. fundamental questions in
Watson wanted psychology to be the psychology:
"science of behavior.”
Is behavior determined by
heredity (nature) or by
environment & experience
How big a role does each play
Behaviorism focuses on relating a
in determining a certain
behavior (a response) to the
environment (a stimulus).
Task 2: complete the sentences.........
1. Watson wanted psychology to be the
"science of behavior.”
2. Behaviorism focuses on relating a
behavior (a response) to the
environment (a stimulus).
3. BF Skinner argued that organisms
tend to learn behavior by rewards and
FREUD & PSYCHOANALYSIS
Psychoanalytic Theory attempts to explain Sigmund Freud
personality, mental disorders & motivation in (1856-1939)
terms of unconscious determinants of behavior.
Unconscious expressed in dreams & “slips of the
The unconscious contains thoughts, memories, and
desires of which we are not consciously aware but still
Many conflicts and problems arise from childhood
FREUD’S APPROACH WAS CONTROVERSIAL BECAUSE
1) it is antithetical to
2) it often has an emphasis on
sex, a topic which scientists were
uncomfortable studying at the
Humanism developed as a reaction
to behaviorism and psychoanalytic
Humanism holds that humans are
fundamentally different than
Humanism argues that people are
governed by a self concept and
grow toward their potential.
Carl Rogers was one of the early
humanists. He developed client-
centered therapy and the idea of
COGNITION & BIOLOGY
Also a reaction to behaviorism, cognitive
psychologists argued that behavior can’t be
understood without understanding the underlying
mental processes that control behavior.
Biological psychologists insist that we also have to
understand the physical structures and
biochemistry that allow cognition.
Focus…… How the body and brain create emotions,
memories, and sensory experiences?
New emphasis on linking brain, mind, and behavior
• How do evolution and heredity influence behavior?
• How are messages transmitted within the body?
• How is blood chemistry linked with moods and motives?
The mental processes involved
COGNITIVE in acquiring, processing,
PSYCHOLOGY storing & using information
Cognitive Psychologists return to the study of
learning, memory, perception, language, Noam Chomsky
development & problem solving. “Language”
Focus Advent of
• Focuses on mental function and reasoning (e.g; Piaget, computers
• How we process, store and retrieve information.
Sample Issues new model
• How do we use info in remembering and reasoning? for thinking
• How do our senses govern the nature of perception? about the
• 1950s: Shift away from behaviorism, back to interest in
internal mental processes.
• Better research techniques allowed more objective
observation of mental processes
• Computers became a new way to understand how the
GESTALT “The whole is
PSYCHOLOGY different than
the sum of its
Gestalt psychology is a Major Gestalt
school of thought that Max Wertheimer
looks at the human mind Wolfgang Kohler
and behavior as a
Psychology has been primarily a western European
SOCIAL-CULTURAL and North American science.
In the last 25 years, more effort has gone into
PERSPECTIVE studying the behavior and mental processes of
people from other cultures.
• How behavior and thinking vary across situations and cultures.
• New emphasis on how culture shapes the mind and behavior
Culture = shared values, customs, beliefs of a group
Example: According to Vygotsky
• How children think depends on social, cultural environment around them
• How are we, as members of different races and nationalities, alike as
members of one human family?
• How do we differ, as products of different social contexts?
• Why do people sometimes act differently in groups than when alone?
BUSS & EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY
The newest approach to psychology
examines behavior and mental
processes in terms of their adaptive
value to the species.
“Behaviors that help the species
survive become dominant over
David Buss is the leading expert
in this field.
AREAS OF PSYCHOLOGY
• Clinical – psychotherapy, assessment, diagnosis
• Developmental – how do we develop across life?
• Social – how do people behave in groups?
• Biopsychology – what is the brain basis of behavior?
• Cognitive – how do we think and perceive?
• Personality – what basic traits make up a
1. Psychoanalytic Theory attempts to
explain personality, mental disorders &
motivation in terms of unconscious
determinants of behavior.
2. Biological psychologists insist that we also have
to understand the physical structures and
biochemistry that allow cognition.
3. Gestalt psychology is a school of thought that
looks at the human mind and behavior as a
HAD ENOUGH...FEELING BURNT OUT??
From the Greek: psychology is The science
Psyche: spirit or breath of life or study of individual
Logos: knowledge or study of mental activity and
Focuses on processes occurring within the individual..
Focuses on connections between mind and body..
Is a philosophical science.. Has its roots in philosophy..
Is a science.. Has its roots in biology,, medicine and physics..
Is systematic and scientific (is structured,, has a methodology,
and is empirical)..
Is concerned with human and animal development..
"Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental
processes and how they are affected by an organism's
physical state, mental state, and external environment."
(Wade and Tarvis, 1990)
"Psychology is an interdisciplinary approach to the study
of animal and human processes and behavior.
Psychology examines the impact of proper or improper
physical and mental functioning on behavior; and, the
effects of the external environment on behavior." (R.
What is Behavior? What are mental processes ?
Any action that others Emotion
can – Behavior or mental
observe and measures:
–Physical movements – Brain waves or privates
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF PSYCHOLOGY?
To describe, explain, predict, and control
behavior and mental processes
Describe: tell what occurred
Explain: tells the why
Predict: under what conditions is the
behavior/event likely to occur
Control: how is the principle applied or what
change in condition is necessary to prevent
unwanted occurrence or to bring about a desired
WHY PSYCHOLOGY IS CONSIDERED A SCIENCE?
– Study the structure, of human society and the nature
of the individual in the society.
• anthropology, history, sociology, & economics
– Study the nature of the physical world (Brain or mind)
must follow scientific research:
hypothesis conducting experiment, collecting and
analyzing data, draw conclusion.
BRANCHES OF PSYSCHOLOGY
psychology “is the scientific study of behavior and
Psychology as a discipline aims to describe behavior,
explain behavior, predict behavior and control or
modify some behavior.
Psychology does not have a single unifying theoretical
perspective. Rather, it is a discipline comprising various
Sometimes it seems that these perspectives are
competing with each other, but many psychologists tend
to agree that the various perspectives complement each
BRANCHES OF PSYSCHOLOGY
Developmental Clinical & Counseling
Psychology Cognitive Psychology
Personality Psychology Educational Psychology
Social Psychology Abnormal Psychology
THREE MAIN LEVELS OF ANALYSIS
Natural selection of adaptive physiology and behaviors
Genetic predispositions responding to environment
Learned fears and other learned expectations
Cognitive processing and perceptual interpretations.
Presence of others Cultural, societal and family expectations
Peer and other group influences
Compelling models (such as in the media).
WHAT DO WE HOPE TO GAIN FROM STUDYING PSYCHOLOGY?
Gain insight into the mind
Understanding of people
DO WE NEED IN MEDICINE FIELD TO STUDY PSYCHOLOGY?
In the first place, there is a department of medicine which
deals with nervous diseases, such as insanity, double
personality, severe nervous shock, hallucination, etc. This
entire aspect of medicine is wholly psychological. But
psychology can be of service to the general practitioner both
in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
A thorough psychological knowledge of human nature will
assist a physician in diagnosis. Often the best way to find out
what ails a patient's body is through the patient's mind, and
the doctor must know how to get the truth from the patient's
mind even in those cases in which the patient is actually trying
to conceal the truth.
A profound practical knowledge of human nature is
necessary, - a knowledge which can be obtained only by long
and careful technical study as well as practice and experience.
Psychology can be of service in the treatment of disease. The
physician must understand the peculiar mental
characteristics of his patient in order to know how to deal
In some cases, hypnotism is a valuable aid in treatment, and
in many cases, ordinary normal suggestion can be of
The state of mind of a sick person has much to do with his
recovery. The physician must know this and must know how
to induce the desired state of mind. Indeed, a patient's
trouble is often imaginary, exists in the mind only; in such
cases, the treatment should be wholly mental, i.e. through
suggestion. Of course, the best physicians know these facts
and make use of them in their practice, but preparation for
this aspect of their work should be a regular part of their
medical education. They should not be left to learn these
facts from their practice as best they may, any more than
they should be expected to learn their physiology and
anatomy in this way.
PSYCHOLOGY IN MEDICAL CURRICULA:
“NEED TO KNOW” OR “NICE TO KNOW”?
The struggle to entrench psychology within medical
curricula has been long (Litva & Peters, 2008).
For example, the Flexner report (1910) recommended that
doctors develop a socially-oriented perspective of medical
However, it was acknowledged that it was unlikely that
psychology would be accepted in medical education unless
its relevance to clinical practice could be demonstrated.
As evidence of the importance of psychological factors in
health, illness, and medical consultations accrued, the
arguments for the inclusion of psychology in medical curricula
should have become stronger.
However, psychology did not become a core component of all
In recent decades there has been a desire to change the
perception of psychology from something that is "nice to
know” - an interesting, but not essential component of
medical education - to “need to know” -an indispensable
component of medical education (Peters & Litva, 2006).