Psychology

Psychology

by Walter Mischel
 
Early history
 
In Western culture, contributors to the development of psychology came from many areas, beginning with philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato. Hippocrates philosophized about basic human temperaments (e.g., choleric, sanguine, melancholic) and their associated traits. Informed by the biology of his time, he speculated that physical qualities, such as yellow bile or too much blood, might underlie differences in temperament (see also humour). Aristotle postulated the brain to be the seat of the rational human mind, and in the 17th century Descartes argued that the mind gives people the capacities for thought and consciousness: the mind “decides” and the body carries out the decision—a dualistic mind/body split that modern psychological science is still working to overcome. Two of the founding fathers of psychology as a formal discipline and science, which occurred late in the 19th century, were Wilhelm Wundt in Germany and William James in the United States. James’s The Principles of Psychology (1890) defined psychology as the science of mental life and provided insightful discussions of topics and challenges for a science of psychology that anticipated much of the field’s research agenda a century later.
 
During the first half of the 20th century, however, behaviourism dominated most of American academic psychology. In 1913 John B. Watson, one of the influential founders of behaviourism, urged reliance only on objective measurable actions and conditions, removing the study of consciousness from psychology. He argued that psychology as a science must deal exclusively with directly observable behaviour in lower animals as well as humans, emphasized the importance of rewarding only desired behaviours in child rearing, and drew on principles of learning through classical conditioning (based on studies with dogs by the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov and thus known as Pavlovian conditioning). In the United States most university psychology departments became devoted to turning psychology away from philosophy and into a rigorous empirical science.
 
Freud and his followers
 
Concurrently, in a curious juxtaposition, the psychoanalytic theories and therapeutic practices developed by the Vienna-trained physician Sigmund Freud and his many disciples—beginning early in the 20th century and enduring for many decades—were upsetting the view of human nature as a rational entity. Freudian theory made reason secondary: for Freud, the unconscious and its often socially unacceptable irrational motives and desires, particularly the sexual and aggressive, were the driving force underlying much of human behaviour and mental illness and symptom formation. Making the unconscious conscious became the therapeutic goal of clinicians working within this framework.
 
Freud proposed that much of what humans feel, think, and do is outside awareness, self-defensive in its motivations, and unconsciously determined. Much of it also reflects conflicts grounded in early childhood that play out in complex patterns of seemingly paradoxical behaviours and symptoms. His followers, the ego psychologists, emphasized the importance of the higher-order functions and cognitive processes (e.g., competence motivation, self-regulatory abilities) as well as the individual’s psychological defense mechanisms. They also shifted their focus to the roles of interpersonal relations and of secure attachment in mental health and adaptive functioning, and they pioneered the analysis of these processes in the clinical setting.
 
After World War II and Sputnik
 
After World War II, American psychology, particularly clinical psychology, grew into a substantial field in its own right partly in response to the needs of returning veterans. The growth of psychology as a science was stimulated further by the launching of Sputnik in 1957 and the opening of the Russian-American space race to the Moon. As part of this race, the U.S. government fueled the growth of science. For the first time, massive federal funding became available, both to support behavioral research and to enable graduate training. Psychology became both a thriving profession of practitioners and a scientific discipline that investigated all aspects of human social behaviour, child development, and individual differences, as well as the areas of animal psychology, sensation, perception, memory, and learning.
 
Training in clinical psychology was heavily influenced by Freudian psychology and its offshoots. But some clinical researchers, working with both normal and disturbed populations, began to develop and apply methods focusing on the learning conditions that influence and control social behaviour. This behaviour therapy movement analyzed problematic behaviours (e.g., aggressiveness, bizarre speech patterns, smoking, fear responses) in terms of the observable events and conditions that seem to influence the person’s problematic behaviour. Behavioral approaches led to innovations for therapy by working to modify problematic behaviour not through insight, awareness, or the uncovering of unconscious motivations but by addressing the behaviour itself. Behaviourists attempted to modify the maladaptive behaviour directly, examining the conditions controlling the individual’s current problems, not their possible historical roots. They also intended to show that such efforts can be successful without the symptom substitution that Freudian theory predicted. Freudians believed that removing the troubling behaviour directly would be followed by new and worse problems. Behaviour therapists showed that this is not necessarily the case.
 
To begin exploring the role of genetics in personality and social development, psychologists compared the similarity in personality shown by people who share the same genes and/or the same environment. Twin studies compared monozygotic (identical) as opposed to dizygotic (fraternal) twins, raised either in the same or in different environments. Overall, these studies demonstrated the important role of heredity in a wide range of human characteristics and traits, such as those of the introvert and extravert, and indicated that the biological-genetic influence was far greater than early behaviourism had assumed. At the same time, it also became clear that how such dispositions are expressed in behaviour depends importantly on interactions with the environment in the course of development, beginning in utero.
 
Impact and aftermath of the cognitive revolution
 
By the early 1960s the relevance of the Skinnerian approach for understanding complex mental processes was seriously questioned. The linguist Noam Chomsky’s critical review of Skinner’s theory of “verbal behaviour” in 1959 showed that it could not properly account for human language acquisition. It was one of several triggers for a paradigm shift that by the mid-1960s became the “cognitive revolution,” which compellingly argued against behaviourism and led to the development of cognitive science. In conjunction with concurrent analyses and advances in areas from computer science and artificial intelligence to neuroscience, genetics, and applications of evolutionary theory, the scientific study of the mind and mental activity quickly became the foundation for much of the evolving new psychological science in the 21st century.
 
Psychological scientists demonstrated that organisms have pre-wired dispositions and that human brains are distinctively prepared for diverse higher-level mental activities, from language acquisition to mathematics, as well as space perception, thinking, and memory. They also developed and tested diverse theoretical models for conceptualizing mental representations in complex information processing conducted at multiple levels of awareness. They asked such questions as: How does the individual’s stored knowledge give rise to the patterns or networks of mental representations activated at a particular time? How is memory organized? In a related direction, the analysis of visual perception took increasing account of how the features of the environment (e.g., the objects, places, and other animals in one’s world) provide information, the perception of which is vital for the organism’s survival. Consequently, information about the possibilities and dangers of the environment, on the one side, and the animal’s dispositions and adaptation efforts, on the other, become inseparable: their interactions become the focus of research and theory building.
 
Concurrently, to investigate personality, individual differences, and social behaviour, a number of theorists made learning theories both more social (interpersonal) and more cognitive. They moved far beyond the earlier conditioning and reward-and-punishment principles, focusing on how a person’s characteristics interact with situational opportunities and demands. Research demonstrated the importance of learning through observation from real and symbolic models, showing that it occurs spontaneously and cognitively without requiring any direct reinforcement. Likewise, studies of the development of self-control and the ability to delay gratification in young children showed that how the situation and the temptations are cognitively appraised is crucially important: when the appraisal changes, so does the behaviour. Thus, the focus shifted from reinforcement and “stimulus control” to the mental mechanisms that enable self-control.
 
Traditional personality trait taxonomies continued to describe individuals and types using such terms as introversion-extraversion and sociable-hostile, based on broad trait ratings. In new directions, consistent with developments in cognitive science and social psychology, individual differences were reconceptualized in terms of cognitive social variables, such as people’s constructs (encoding of information), personal goals and beliefs, and competencies and skills. Research examined the nature of the consistencies and variability that characterize individuals distinctively across situations and over time and began to identify how different types of individuals respond to different types of psychological situations. The often surprising findings led to new models of cognitive and affective information-processing systems, designed to account for them.
 
In clinical applications, cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) was developed. CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative, inaccurate, or otherwise maladaptive beliefs and thought patterns through a combination of cognitive and behaviour therapy. It helps people to change how they think and feel about themselves and others. In time, these cognitive-behavioral treatment innovations, often supplemented with medications, were shown to be useful for treating diverse problems, including disabling fears, self-control difficulties, addictions, and depression.
 
In social psychology, beginning in the early 1970s, social cognition—how people process social information about other people and the self—became a major area of study. Research focused on such topics as the nature and functions of self-concepts and self-esteem; cultural differences in information processing; interpersonal relations and social communication; attitudes and social influence processes; altruism, aggression, and obedience; motivation, emotion, planning, and self-regulation; and the influence of people’s dispositions and characteristics on their dealings with different types of situations and experiences. Recognizing that much information processing occurs at levels below awareness and proceeds automatically, research turned to the effects of subliminal (below awareness) stimuli on the activation of diverse kinds of mental representations, emotions, and social behaviours. Research at the intersection of social cognition and health psychology began to examine how people’s beliefs, positive illusions, expectations, and self-regulatory abilities may help them deal with diverse traumas and threats to their health and the stress that arises when trying to cope with diseases such as HIV/AIDS and cancer. Working with a variety of animal species, from mice and birds to higher mammals such as apes, researchers investigated social communication and diverse social behaviours, psychological characteristics, cognitive abilities, and emotions, searching for similarities and differences in comparison with humans.
 
In developmental psychology, investigators identified and analyzed with increasing precision the diverse perceptual, cognitive, and numerical abilities of infants and traced their developmental course, while others focused on life-span development and mental and behavioral changes in the aging process. Developmental research provided clear evidence that humans, rather than entering the world with a mental blank slate, are extensively prepared for all sorts of cognitive and skill development. At the same time, research also has yielded equally impressive evidence for the plasticity of the human brain and the possibilities for change in the course of development.
 
Linking mind, brain, and behaviour
 
Late in the 20th century, methods for observing the activity of the living brain were developed that made it possible to explore links between what the brain is doing and psychological phenomena, thus opening a window into the relationship between the mind, brain, and behaviour. The functioning of the brain enables everything one does, feels, and knows. To examine brain activity, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is used to measure the magnetic fields created by the functioning nerve cells in the brain, detecting changes in blood flow. With the aid of computers, this information can be translated into images, which virtually “light up” the amount of activity in different areas of the brain as the person performs mental tasks and experiences different kinds of perceptions, images, thoughts, and emotions. They thus allow a much more precise and detailed analysis of the links between activity in the brain and the mental state a person experiences while responding to different types of stimuli and generating different thoughts and emotions. These can range, for example, from thoughts and images about what one fears and dreads to those directed at what one craves the most. The result of this technology is a virtual revolution for work that uses the biological level of neural activity to address questions that are of core interest for psychologists working in almost all areas of the discipline.
 
Social cognitive neuroscience
 
The advances described above led to the development in the early years of the 21st century of a new, highly popular field: social cognitive neuroscience (SCN). This interdisciplinary field asks questions about topics traditionally of interest to social psychologists, such as person perception, attitude change, and emotion regulation. It does so by using methods traditionally employed by cognitive neuroscientists, such as functional brain imaging and neuropsychological patient analysis. By integrating the theories and methods of its parent disciplines, SCN tries to understand the interactions between social behaviour, cognition, and brain mechanisms.
Epigenetics
 
The term epigenetic is used to describe the dynamic interplay between genes and the environment during the course of development. The study of epigenetics highlights the complex nature of the relationship between the organism’s genetic code, or genome, and the organism’s directly observable physical and psychological manifestations and behaviours. In contemporary use, the term refers to efforts to explain individual differences in physical as well as behavioral traits (e.g., hostility-aggression) in terms of the molecular mechanisms that affect the activity of genes, essentially turning on some genes and turning off others.
 
Epigenetic regulation of gene activity plays a critical role in the process of development, influencing the organism’s psychological and behavioral expressions. Thus, while the genome provides the possibilities, the environment determines which genes become activated. In the early 21st century there emerged evidence for the important role of the environment (e.g., in maternal behaviour with the newborn) in shaping the activity of genes. Epigenetic factors may serve as a critical biological link between the experiences of an individual and subsequent individual differences in brain and behaviour, both within and across generations. Epigenetic research points to the pathways through which environmental influence and psychological experiences may be transformed and transmitted at the biological level. It thus provides another route for the increasingly deep analysis of mind-brain-behaviour links at multiple levels of analysis, from the psychological to the biological.
 
Evolving scope and structure of psychological science
 
The discoveries and advances of psychological science keep expanding its scope and tools and changing its structure and organization. For most of the 20th century, psychological science consisted of a variety of specialized subfields with little interconnection. They ranged from clinical psychology to the study of individual differences and personality, to social psychology, to industrial-organizational psychology, to community psychology, to the experimental study of such basic processes as memory, thinking, perception and sensation, to animal behaviour, and to physiological psychology. In larger academic psychology departments, the list got longer. The various subfields, each with its own distinct history and specialized mission, usually were bundled together within academic departments, essentially a loose federation of unrelated disciplines, each with its own training program and research agenda. Late in the 20th century this situation began to change, fueled in part by the rapid growth of developments in cognitive science and social cognitive neuroscience, including the discovery of new methods for studying cognition, emotion, the brain, and genetic influences on mind and behaviour.
 
In the early years of the 21st century, psychology became an increasingly integrative science at the intersection or hub of diverse other disciplines, from biology, neurology, and economics to sociology and anthropology. For example, stimulated by Amos Tversky’s and Daniel Kahneman’s theory of decision making under risk, new areas developed, including behavioral economics and decision making, often being taught by psychologists in business schools. Likewise, advances in cognitive neuroscience led to the subfield of neuroeconomics.
 
In another direction, links deepened between psychology and law. This connection reflected new findings in psychology about the nature of human social behaviour, as well as the fallibility of eyewitness testimony in legal trials and the distortions in retrospective memory.
 
Likewise, with recognition of the role of mental processes and self-care behaviour in the maintenance of health, the fields of behavioral medicine and health psychology emerged. These subfields study links between psychological processes, social behaviour, and health.
 
At the same time, within psychology, old sub-disciplinary boundaries were crossed more freely. Interdisciplinary teams often work on a common problem using different methods and tools that draw on multiple levels of analysis, from the social to the cognitive and to the biological.
 
Multiple tools and methods for diverse goals
 
An extremely wide range of diverse research methods are used by psychological scientists to pursue their particular goals. To study verbal and nonverbal behaviour and mental processes in humans, these include paper-and-pencil questionnaires, ratings, self-reports, and case studies; tests of personality, attitudes, and intelligence; structured interviews; daily diary records; and direct observation and behaviour sampling outside the laboratory. Diverse laboratory measures are used to study perception, attention, memory, decision making, self-control, delay of gratification, and many other visual, cognitive, and emotional processes, at levels of both conscious and automatic or unconscious information processing.
 
Complex data-analysis methods
 
The astonishing growth in computational power that began in the final decades of the 20th century transformed research on methods of data analysis in psychology. More-flexible and more-powerful general linear models and mixed models became available. Similarly, for nonexperimental data, multiple regression analysis began to be augmented by structural equation models that allow for chains and webs of interrelationships and for analysis of extremely complex data. The availability of free, fast, and flexible software also began to change teaching in the measurement area.
 
Etymology
 
The word psychology literally means, "the study of the soul" (ψυχή, psukhē, meaning "breath", "spirit", or "soul"; and -λογία -logia, translated as "study of" or "research"). The Latin word psychologia was first used by the Croatian humanist and Latinist Marko Marulić in his book, Psichiologia de ratione animae humanae in the late 15th century or early 16th century. The earliest known reference to the word psychology in English was by Steven Blankaart in 1694 in The Physical Dictionary which refers to "Anatomy, which treats of the Body, and Psychology, which treats of the Soul."
 
Structuralism
 
German physician Wilhelm Wundt is credited with introducing psychological discovery into a laboratory setting. Known as the "father of experimental psychology", He founded the first psychological laboratory, at Leipzig University, in 1879. Wundt focused on breaking down mental processes into the most basic components. Although not himself a structuralist, his student Edward Titchener, a major figure in early American psychology, was a structuralist thinker opposed to functionalist approaches.
 
Functionalism
 
Functionalism formed as a reaction to the theories of the structuralist school of thought and was heavily influenced by the work of the American philosopher, scientist and psychologist William James. James felt that psychology should have practical value, and that psychologists should find out how the mind can function to a person's benefit. In his book, Principles of Psychology, published in 1890, he laid the foundations for many of the questions that psychologists would explore for years to come. Other major functionalist thinkers included John Dewey and Harvey Carr.
 
Other 19th-century contributors to the field include the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, a pioneer in the experimental study of memory, who developed quantitative models of learning and forgetting at the University of Berlin; and the Russian-Soviet physiologist Ivan Pavlov, who discovered in dogs a learning process that was later termed "classical conditioning" and applied to human beings.
 
Starting in the 1950s, the experimental techniques set forth by Wundt, James, Ebbinghaus, and others would be reiterated as experimental psychology became increasingly cognitive—concerned with information and its processing—and, eventually, constituted a part of the wider cognitive science. In its early years, this development had been seen as a "revolution", as it both responded to and reacted against strains of thought—including psychodynamics and behaviorism—that had developed in the meantime.
 
Psychoanalysis
 
From the 1890s until his death in 1939, the Austrian physician Sigmund Freud developed psychoanalysis, a method of investigation of the mind and the way one thinks; a systematized set of theories about human behavior; and a form of psychotherapy to treat psychological or emotional distress, especially unconscious conflict.Freud's psychoanalytic theory was largely based on interpretive methods, introspection and clinical observations. It became very well known, largely because it tackled subjects such as sexuality, repression, and the unconscious mind as general aspects of psychological development. These were largely considered taboo subjects at the time, and Freud provided a catalyst for them to be openly discussed in polite society. Clinically, Freud helped to pioneer the method of free association and a therapeutic interest in dream interpretation.
 
Group photo 1909 in front of Clark University. Front row: Sigmund Freud, G. Stanley Hall, Carl Jung; back row: Abraham A. Brill, Ernest Jones, Sándor Ferenczi.
Freud had a significant influence on Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, whose analytical psychology became an alternative form of depth psychology. Other well-known psychoanalytic scholars of the mid-20th century included psychoanalysts, psychologists, psychiatrists, and philosophers. Among these thinkers were Erik Erikson, Melanie Klein, D.W. Winnicott, Karen Horney, Erich Fromm, John Bowlby, and Sigmund Freud's daughter, Anna Freud. Throughout the 20th century, psychoanalysis evolved into diverse schools of thought, most of which may be classed as Neo-Freudian.b
 
Psychoanalytic theory and therapy were criticized by psychologists such as Hans Eysenck, and by philosophers including Karl Popper. Popper, a philosopher of science, argued that psychoanalysis had been misrepresented as a scientific discipline, whereas Eysenck said that psychoanalytic tenets had been contradicted by experimental data. By the 20th century, psychology departments in American universities had become scientifically oriented, marginalizing Freudian theory and dismissing it as a "desiccated and dead" historical artifact. Meanwhile, however, researchers in the emerging field of neuro-psychoanalysis defended some of Freud's ideas on scientific grounds,c while scholars of the humanities maintained that Freud was not a "scientist at all, but ... an interpreter."
 
Behavioris
 
In the United States, behaviorism became the dominant school of thought during the 1950s. Behaviorism is a discipline that was established in the early 20th century by John B. Watson, and embraced and extended by Edward Thorndike, Clark L. Hull, Edward C. Tolman, and later B.F. Skinner. Theories of learning emphasized the ways in which people might be predisposed, or conditioned, by their environments to behave in certain ways.
 
Classical conditioning was an early behaviorist model. It posited that behavioral tendencies are determined by immediate associations between various environmental stimuli and the degree of pleasure or pain that follows. Behavioral patterns, then, were understood to consist of organisms' conditioned responses to the stimuli in their environment. The stimuli were held to exert influence in proportion to their prior repetition or to the previous intensity of their associated pain or pleasure. Much research consisted of laboratory-based animal experimentation, which was increasing in popularity as physiology grew more sophisticated.
 
Skinner's behaviorism shared with its predecessors a philosophical inclination toward positivism and determinism.He believed that the contents of the mind were not open to scientific scrutiny and that scientific psychology should emphasize the study of observable behavior. He focused on behavior–environment relations and analyzed overt and covert (i.e., private) behavior as a function of the organism interacting with its environment.Behaviorists usually rejected or deemphasized dualistic explanations such as "mind" or "consciousness"; and, in lieu of probing an "unconscious mind" that underlies unawareness, they spoke of the "contingency-shaped behaviors" in which unawareness becomes outwardly manifest.
 
Among the behaviorists' most famous creations are John B. Watson's Little Albert experiment, which applied classical conditioning to the developing human child, and Skinner's notion of operant conditioning, which acknowledged that human agency could affect patterns and cycles of environmental stimuli and behavioral responses.
Linguist Noam Chomsky's critique of the behaviorist model of language acquisition is widely regarded as a key factor in the decline of behaviorism's prominence.Martin Seligman and colleagues discovered that the conditioning of dogs led to outcomes ("learned helplessness") that opposed the predictions of behaviorism. But Skinner's behaviorism did not die, perhaps in part because it generated successful practical applications. The fall of behaviorism as an overarching model in psychology, however, gave way to a new dominant paradigm: cognitive approaches.
 
Humanism
 
Psychologist Abraham Maslow in 1943 posited that humans have a hierarchy of needs, and it makes sense to fulfill the basic needs first (food, water etc.) before higher-order needs can be met.
 
Humanistic psychology was developed in the 1950s in reaction to both behaviorism and psychoanalysis. By using phenomenology, intersubjectivity and first-person categories, the humanistic approach sought to glimpse the whole person—not just the fragmented parts of the personality or cognitive functioning. Humanism focused on fundamentally and uniquely human issues, such as individual free will, personal growth, self-actualization, self-identity, death, aloneness, freedom, and meaning. The humanistic approach was distinguished by its emphasis on subjective meaning, rejection of determinism, and concern for positive growth rather than pathology.[citation needed] Some of the founders of the humanistic school of thought were American psychologists Abraham Maslow, who formulated a hierarchy of human needs, and Carl Rogers, who created and developed client-centered therapy. Later, positive psychology opened up humanistic themes to scientific modes of exploration.
 
Gestalt
 
Wolfgang Kohler, Max Wertheimer and Kurt Koffka co-founded the school of Gestalt psychology. This approach is based upon the idea that individuals experience things as unified wholes. This approach to psychology began in Germany and Austria during the late 19th century in response to the molecular approach of structuralism. Rather than breaking down thoughts and behavior to their smallest element, the Gestalt position maintains that the whole of experience is important, and the whole is different than the sum of its parts.
 
Existentialism
 
In the 1950s and 1960s, largely influenced by the work of German philosopher Martin Heidegger and Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, psychoanalytically trained American psychologist Rollo May pioneered an existential branch of psychology, which included existential psychotherapy, a method of therapy that operates on the belief that inner conflict within a person is due to that individual's confrontation with the givens of existence.
 
Existential psychologists differed from others often classified as humanistic in their comparatively neutral view of human nature and in their relatively positive assessment of anxiety. Existential psychologists emphasized the humanistic themes of death, free will, and meaning, suggesting that meaning can be shaped by myths, or narrative patterns, and that it can be encouraged by an acceptance of the free will requisite to an authentic, albeit often anxious, regard for death and other future prospects.
 
Austrian existential psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl drew evidence of meaning's therapeutic power from reflections garnered from his own internment,[35] and he created a variety of existential psychotherapy called logotherapy, a type of existentialist analysis that focuses on a will to meaning (in one's life), as opposed to Adler's Nietzschean doctrine of will to power or Freud's will to pleasure.
 
In addition to May and Frankl, Swiss psychoanalyst Ludwig Binswanger and American psychologist George Kelly may be said to belong to the existential school.
 
Cognitivism
 
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Cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology that studies mental processes including how people think, perceive, remember, and learn. As part of the larger field of cognitive science, this branch of psychology is related to other disciplines including neuroscience, philosophy, and linguistics.
 
Noam Chomsky helped to ignite a "cognitive revolution" in psychology when he criticized the behaviorists' notions of "stimulus", "response", and "reinforcement", arguing that such ideas—which Skinner had borrowed from animal experiments in the laboratory—could be applied to complex human behavior, most notably language acquisition, in only a superficial and vague manner. The postulation that humans are born with the instinct or "innate facility" for acquiring language posed a challenge to the behaviorist position that all behavior, including language, is contingent upon learning and reinforcement. Social learning theorists, such as Albert Bandura, argued that the child's environment could make contributions of its own to the behaviors of an observant subject.
 
Meanwhile, accumulating technology helped to renew interest and belief in the mental states and representations—i.e., the cognition—that had fallen out of favor with behaviorists. English neuroscientist Charles Sherrington and Canadian psychologist Donald O. Hebb used experimental methods to link psychological phenomena with the structure and function of the brain. With the rise of computer science and artificial intelligence, analogies were drawn between the processing of information by humans and information processing by machines. Research in cognition had proven practical since World War II, when it aided in the understanding of weapons operation. By the late 20th century, though, cognitivism had become the dominant paradigm of mainstream psychology, and cognitive psychology emerged as a popular branch.
 
Assuming both, that the covert mind should be studied and that the scientific method should be used to study it, cognitive psychologists set such concepts as subliminal processing and implicit memory in place of the psychoanalytic unconscious mind or the behavioristic contingency-shaped behaviors. Elements of behaviorism and cognitive psychology were synthesized to form the basis of cognitive behavioral therapy, a form of psychotherapy modified from techniques developed by American psychologist Albert Ellis and American psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck. Cognitive psychology was subsumed along with other disciplines, such as philosophy of mind, computer science, and neuroscience, under the cover discipline of cognitive science.
 
Critical psychology
 
Critical psychology is aimed at evaluating mainstream psychology and attempts to apply psychology in more progressive ways, often looking towards social change as a means of preventing and treating psychopathology. One of critical psychology's main criticisms of conventional psychology is how it ignores the way power differences between social classes and groups can affect the mental and physical well-being of individuals or groups of people. Contributors to the field include Klaus Holzkamp and Ian Parker. Key elements within critical psychology include the study of power relations, situated knowledge, and the dualisms of the self and the agency, and the individual and the social. A discursive strain of critical psychology was developed in the 1990s by Jonathan Potter and Derek Edwards. Discursive psychology examines how psychological phenomena are created, made relevant and put to use in discourse, verbal interaction and everyday talk. It is opposed to cognitivist approaches.
 
Biological
 
Biological psychology or behavioral neuroscience is the study of the biological substrates of behavior and mental processes. There are different specialties within behavioral neuroscience. For example, physiological psychologists use animal models, typically rats, to study the neural, genetic, and cellular mechanisms that underlie specific behaviors such as learning and memory and fear responses. Cognitive neuroscientists investigate the neural correlates of psychological processes in humans using neural imaging tools, and neuropsychologists conduct psychological assessments to determine, for instance, specific aspects and extent of cognitive deficit caused by brain damage or disease.
 
Clinical
 
Clinical psychology includes the study and application of psychology for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development. Central to its practice are psychological assessment and psychotherapy, although clinical psychologists may also engage in research, teaching, consultation, forensic testimony, and program development and administration. Some clinical psychologists may focus on the clinical management of patients with brain injury—this area is known as clinical neuropsychology. In many countries, clinical psychology is a regulated mental health profession.
 
The work performed by clinical psychologists tends to be influenced by various therapeutic approaches, all of which involve a formal relationship between professional and client (usually an individual, couple, family, or small group). The various therapeutic approaches and practices are associated with different theoretical perspectives and employ different procedures intended to form a therapeutic alliance, explore the nature of psychological problems, and encourage new ways of thinking, feeling, or behaving. Four major theoretical perspectives are psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, existential–humanistic, and systems or family therapy. There has been a growing movement to integrate the various therapeutic approaches, especially with an increased understanding of issues regarding culture, gender, spirituality, and sexual-orientation. With the advent of more robust research findings regarding psychotherapy, there is evidence that most of the major therapies are about of equal effectiveness, with the key common element being a strong therapeutic alliance. Because of this, more training programs and psychologists are now adopting an eclectic therapeutic orientation.
 
Comparative
 
Comparative psychology refers to the study of the behavior and mental life of animals other than human beings. It is related to disciplines outside of psychology that study animal behavior such as ethology. Although the field of psychology is primarily concerned with humans, the behavior and mental processes of animals is also an important part of psychological research. This being either as a subject in its own right (e.g., animal cognition and ethology) or with strong emphasis about evolutionary links, and somewhat more controversially, as a way of gaining an insight into human psychology. This is achieved by means of comparison or via animal models of emotional and behavior systems as seen in neuroscience of psychology (e.g., affective neuroscience and social neuroscience).
 
Developmental
 
Mainly focusing on the development of the human mind through the life span, developmental psychology seeks to understand how people come to perceive, understand, and act within the world and how these processes change as they age. This may focus on cognitive, affective, moral, social, or neural development. Researchers who study children use a number of unique research methods to make observations in natural settings or to engage them in experimental tasks. Such tasks often resemble specially designed games and activities that are both enjoyable for the child and scientifically useful, and researchers have even devised clever methods to study the mental processes of small infants. In addition to studying children, developmental psychologists also study aging and processes throughout the life span, especially at other times of rapid change (such as adolescence and old age). Developmental psychologists draw on the full range of psychological theories to inform their research.
 
Educational and school
 
Educational psychology is the study of how humans learn in educational settings, the effectiveness of educational interventions, the psychology of teaching, and the social psychology of schools as organizations. The work of child psychologists such as Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget, Bernard Luskin and Jerome Bruner has been influential in creating teaching methods and educational practices. Educational psychology is often included in teacher education programs, in places such as North America, Australia, and New Zealand.
 
School psychology combines principles from educational psychology and clinical psychology to understand and treat students with learning disabilities; to foster the intellectual growth of gifted students; to facilitate prosocial behaviors in adolescents; and otherwise to promote safe, supportive, and effective learning environments. School psychologists are trained in educational and behavioral assessment, intervention, prevention, and consultation, and many have extensive training in research.
 
Evolutionary
 
Evolutionary psychology examines psychological traits—such as memory, perception, or language—from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations, that is, the functional products of natural selection or sexual selection. Evolutionary psychologists suggest that psychological adaptations evolved to solve recurrent problems in human ancestral environments. By focusing on the evolution of psychological traits and their adaptive functions, it offers complementary explanations for the mostly proximate or developmental explanations developed by other areas of psychology (that is, it focuses mostly on ultimate or "why?" questions, rather than proximate or "how?" questions).
 
Industrial–organizational
 
Industrial and organizational psychology (I–O) applies psychological concepts and methods to optimize human potential in the workplace. Personnel psychology, a subfield of I–O psychology, applies the methods and principles of psychology in selecting and evaluating workers. I–O psychology's other subfield, organizational psychology, examines the effects of work environments and management styles on worker motivation, job satisfaction, and productivity.
 
Personality
 
Personality psychology is concerned to enduring patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion in individuals, commonly referred to as personality. Theories of personality vary across different psychological schools and orientations. They carry different assumptions about such issues as the role of the unconscious and the importance of childhood experience. According to Freud, personality is based on the dynamic interactions of the id, ego, and super-ego. Trait theorists, in contrast, attempt to analyze personality in terms of a discrete number of key traits by the statistical method of factor analysis. The number of proposed traits has varied widely. An early model proposed by Hans Eysenck suggested that there are three traits that comprise human personality: extraversion–introversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism. Raymond Cattell proposed a theory of 16 personality factors. The "Big Five", or Five Factor Model, proposed by Lewis Goldberg, currently has strong support among trait theorists.
 
Social
 
Social psychology is the study of how humans think about each other and how they relate to each other. Social psychologists study such topics as the influence of others on an individual's behavior (e.g. conformity, persuasion), and the formation of beliefs, attitudes, and stereotypes about other people. Social cognition fuses elements of social and cognitive psychology in order to understand how people process, remember, or distort social information. The study of group dynamics reveals information about the nature and potential optimization of leadership, communication, and other phenomena that emerge at least at the microsocial level. In recent years, many social psychologists have become increasingly interested in implicit measures, mediational models, and the interaction of both person and social variables in accounting for behavior. The study of human society, is therefore a potentially valuable source of information about the causes of psychiatric disorder. Some of the sociological concepts applied to psychiatric disorders are the social role, sick role, social class, life event, culture, migration, social and total institution.
 
Positive
 
Positive psychology derives from Maslow's humanistic psychology. Positive psychology is a discipline that utilizes evidence-based scientific methods to study factors that contribute to human happiness and strength. Different from clinical psychology, positive psychology is concerned with improving the mental well-being of healthy clients. Positive psychological interventions now have received tentative support for their beneficial effects on clients. In 2010 Clinical Psychological Review published a special issue devoted to positive psychological interventions, such as gratitude journaling and the physical expression of gratitude. There is, however, a need for further research on the effects of interventions. Positive psychological interventions have been limited in scope but their effects are thought to be superior to that of placebos, especially with regard to helping people with body image problems.
 
Qualitative and quantitative research
 
Research in most areas of psychology is conducted in accord with the standards of the scientific method. Psychological researchers seek the emergence of theoretically interesting categories and hypotheses from data, using qualitative or quantitative methods (or both).
 
Qualitative psychological research methods include interviews, first-hand observation, and participant observation. Creswell (2003) identifies five main possibilities for qualitative research, including narrative, phenomenology, ethnography, case study and grounded theory. Qualitative researchers sometimes aim to enrich interpretations or critiques of symbols, subjective experiences, or social structures. Similar hermeneutic and critical aims have also been served by "quantitative methods", as in Erich Fromm's study of Nazi voting[citation needed] or Stanley Milgram's studies of obedience to authority.
 
Quantitative psychological research lends itself to the statistical testing of hypotheses. Quantitatively oriented research designs include the experiment, quasi-experiment, cross-sectional study, case-control study, and longitudinal study. The measurement and operationalization of important constructs is an essential part of these research designs. Statistical methods include the Pearson product–moment correlation coefficient, the analysis of variance, multiple linear regression, logistic regression, structural equation modeling, and hierarchical linear modeling.
 
Controlled experiments
 
Experimental psychological research is conducted in a laboratory under controlled conditions. This method of research relies on the application of the scientific method to understand behavior. Experimenters use several types of measurements, including rate of response, reaction time, and various psychometric measurements. 
 
Experiments are designed to test specific hypotheses (deductive approach) or evaluate functional relationships (inductive approach). A true experiment with random allocation of subjects to conditions allows researchers to infer causal relationships between different aspects of behavior and the environment. In an experiment, one or more variables of interest are controlled by the experimenter (independent variable) and another variable is measured in response to different conditions (dependent variable). Experiments are one of the primary research methods in many areas of psychology, particularly cognitive/psychonomics, mathematical psychology, psychophysiology and biological psychology/cognitive neuroscience.
 
Experiments on humans have been put under some controls, namely informed and voluntary consent. After World War II, the Nuremberg Code was established, because of Nazi abuses of experimental subjects. Later, most countries (and scientific journals) adopted the Declaration of Helsinki. In the U.S., the National Institutes of Health established the Institutional Review Board in 1966, and in 1974 adopted the National Research Act (HR 7724). All of these measures encouraged researchers to obtain informed consent from human participants in experimental studies. A number of influential studies led to the establishment of this rule; such studies included the MIT and Fernald School radioisotope studies, the Thalidomide tragedy, the Willowbrook hepatitis study, and Stanley Milgram's studies of obedience to authority.
 
Survey questionnaires
 
Statistical surveys are used in psychology for measuring attitudes and traits, monitoring changes in mood, checking the validity of experimental manipulations, and for a wide variety of other psychological topics. Most commonly, psychologists use paper-and-pencil surveys. However, surveys are also conducted over the phone or through e-mail. Increasingly, web-based surveys are being used in research. Similar methodology is also used in applied setting, such as clinical assessment and personnel assessment.
 
Longitudinal studies
 
Longitudinal studies are often used in psychology to study developmental trends across the life span, and in sociology to study life events throughout lifetimes or generations. The reason for this is that unlike cross-sectional studies, longitudinal studies track the same people, and therefore the differences observed in those people are less likely to be the result of cultural differences across generations. Because of this benefit, longitudinal studies make observing changes more accurate and they are applied in various other fields.
 
Because most longitudinal studies are observational, in the sense that they observe the state of the world without manipulating it, it has been argued that they may have less power to detect causal relationships than do experiments. They also suffer methodological limitations such as from selective attrition because people with similar characteristics may be more likely to drop out of the study making it difficult to analyze.
Some longitudinal studies are experiments, called repeated-measures experiments. Psychologists often use the crossover design to reduce the influence of confounding covariates and to reduce the number of subjects.
 
Observation in natural settings
 
Phineas P. Gage survived an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying much of his brain's left frontal lobe, and is remembered for that injury's reported effects on his personality and behavior.
 
In the same way Jane Goodall studied the role of chimpanzee social and family life, psychologists conduct similar observational studies in human social, professional and family lives. Sometimes the participants are aware they are being observed and other times it is covert: the participants do not know they are being observed. Ethical guidelines need to be taken into consideration when covert observation is being carried out.
 
Qualitative and descriptive research
 
Research designed to answer questions about the current state of affairs such as the thoughts, feelings and behaviors of individuals is known as descriptive research. Descriptive research can be qualitative or quantitative in orientation. Qualitative research is descriptive research that is focused on observing and describing events as they occur, with the goal of capturing all of the richness of everyday behavior and with the hope of discovering and understanding phenomena that might have been missed if only more cursory examinations have been made.
 
Neuropsychological methods
 
Neuropsychology seeks to connect aspects of behavior and mental activity with the structure and function of the brain. Cognitive neuropsychology and cognitive neuropsychiatry study neurological or mental impairment in an attempt to infer theories of normal mind and brain function. This typically involves looking for differences in patterns of remaining ability (known as "functional disassociations") which can give clues as to whether abilities are composed of smaller functions, or are controlled by a single cognitive mechanism.
 
In addition, experimental techniques are often used to study the neuropsychology of healthy individuals. These include behavioral experiments, brain-scanning or functional neuroimaging, used to examine the activity of the brain during task performance, and techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, which can safely alter the function of small brain areas to reveal their importance in mental operations.
 
Computational modeling
 
The experimenter (E) orders the teacher (T), the subject of the experiment, to give what the latter believes are painful electric shocks to a learner (L), who is actually an actor and confederate. The subject believes that for each wrong answer, the learner was receiving actual electric shocks, though in reality there were no such punishments. Being separated from the subject, the confederate set up a tape recorder integrated with the electro-shock generator, which played pre-recorded sounds for each shock level etc.
 
Computational modeling is a tool often used in mathematical psychology and cognitive psychology to simulate a particular behavior using a computer. This method has several advantages. Since modern computers process extremely quickly, many simulations can be run in a short time, allowing for a great deal of statistical power. Modeling also allows psychologists to visualize hypotheses about the functional organization of mental events that couldn't be directly observed in a human.
Several different types of modeling are used to study behavior. Connectionism uses neural networks to simulate the brain. Another method is symbolic modeling, which represents many different mental objects using variables and rules. Other types of modeling include dynamic systems and stochastic modeling.
 
Animal studies
 
Animal learning experiments aid in investigating the biological basis of teaching, memory and behavior. In the 1890s, Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov famously used dogs to demonstrate classical conditioning. Non-human primates, cats, dogs, pigeons, rats and other rodents are often used in psychological experiments. Ideally, controlled experiments introduce only one independent variable at a time, in order to ascertain its unique effects upon dependent variables. These conditions are approximated best in laboratory settings. In contrast, human environments and genetic backgrounds vary so widely, and depend upon so many factors, that it is difficult to control important variables for human subjects. Of course, there are pitfalls in generalizing findings from animal studies to humans although animal models can be helpful in developing an understanding of human behavior (e.g., addiction research).
 
Criticism
 
Criticisms of psychological research often come from perceptions that it is a "soft" science. Philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn's 1962 critique implied psychology overall was in a pre-paradigm state, lacking the agreement on overarching theory found in mature sciences such as chemistry and physics.
 
Because some areas of psychology rely on research methods such as surveys and questionnaires, critics have asserted that psychology is not an objective science. Other phenomena that psychologists are interested in, such as personality, thinking, and emotion, cannot be directly measured and are often inferred from subjective self-reports, which may be problematic.
 
Misuses of hypothesis-testing in psychology, and the use of hypothesis testing at all is controversial. Research[which?] has documented that many psychologists confuse statistical significance with practical importance. Statistically significant but practically unimportant results are common with large samples. Some psychologists have responded with an increased use of effect size statistics, rather than sole reliance on the Fisherian p < .05 significance criterion (whereby an observed difference is deemed "statistically significant" if an effect of that size or larger would occur with 5% (or less) probability in independent replications, assuming the truth of the null-hypothesis of no difference between the treatments).
 
Sometimes the debate comes from within psychology, for example between laboratory-oriented researchers and practitioners such as clinicians. In recent years, and particularly in the U.S., there has been increasing debate about the nature of therapeutic effectiveness and about the relevance of empirically examining psychotherapeutic strategies.
 
Practice
 
Some observers perceive a gap between scientific theory and its application—in particular, the application of unsupported or unsound clinical practices. Critics say there has been an increase in the number of mental health training programs that do not instill scientific competence. One skeptic asserts that practices, such as "facilitated communication for infantile autism"; memory-recovery techniques including body work; and other therapies, such as rebirthing and reparenting, may be dubious or even dangerous, despite their popularity. In 1984, Allen Neuringer had made a similar point[vague] regarding the experimental analysis of behavior.
Current ethical standards of psychology would not permit the following studies to be conducted today. These human studies would violate the Ethics Code of the American Psychological Association, the Canadian Code of Conduct for Research Involving Humans, and the Belmont Report. Current ethical guidelines state that using non-human animals for scientific purposes is only acceptable when the harm (physical or psychological) done to animals is outweighed by the benefits of the research. Keeping this in mind, psychologists can use on animals research techniques that would not necessarily be performed on humans.
 
An experiment by Stanley Milgram raised questions about the ethics of scientific experimentation because of the extreme emotional sf Counselling Psychology (R. Wts. It measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience.
Harry Harlow drew condemnation for his "pit of despair" experiments on rhesus macaque monkeys at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the 1970s. The aim of the research was to produce an animal model of clinical depression. Harlow also devised what he called a "rape rack", to which the female isolates were tied in normal monkey mating posture. In 1974, American literary critic Wayne C. Booth wrote that, "Harry Harlow and his colleagues go on torturing their nonhuman primates decade after decade, invariably proving what we all knew in advance—that social creatures can be destroyed by destroying their social ties." He writes that Harlow made no mention of the criticism of the morality of his work.
 
University psychology departments have ethics committees dedicated to the rights and well-being of research subjects. Researchers in psychology must gain approval of their research projects before conducting any experiment to protect the interests of human participants and laboratory animals.
 
Systemic bias
 
In 1959 statistician Theodore Sterling examined the results of psychological studies and discovered that 97% of them supported their initial hypotheses, implying a possible publication bias.Similarly Fanelli (2010) found out that 91.5% of psychiatry/psychology studies confirmed the effects they were looking for, which was around five times more often than in space- or geosciences. Fanelli argues that this is because of researchers in "softer" sciences have fewer constraints to their conscious and unconscious biases.
 
In 2010, a group of researchers reported a systemic bias in psychology studies towards WEIRD ("western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic") subjects.Although only 1/8 people worldwide fall into the WEIRD classification, the researchers claimed that 60–90% of psychology studies are performed on WEIRD subjects. The article gave examples of results that differ significantly between WEIRD subjects and tribal cultures, including the Müller-Lyer illusion.
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