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Psy 201 Week One

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Week One
DQ1 – Refer to the charts on p. 6 & p. 20 of Psychology and Your Life. Identify the five major perspectives
in the field of psychology and list one subfield for each.
The five major perspectives of psychology are neuroscience, cognitive, behavioral, humanistic, and
psychodynamic. The neuroscience perspective considers how people and all other living things function
on a biological level. A subfield in this perspective would be behavorial neuroscience. The cognitive
perspective is an approach that focuses on how people think, understand, and know about the world. A
subfield here could be something like industrial psychology or environmental psychology. The behavioral
perspective says that observable, measurable behavior should be concentrated on during a study. One
subfield for the behavioral perspective could be the psychology of women. Humanistic perspective is an
approach that says everyone strives to grow, develop, and be in control of their lives. It also maintains
that everyone has the ability to seek and reach fulfillment. A good subfield here would be
personality psychology. Proponents of the psychodynamic perspective base it on a new idea that
behavior is motivated by unconscious inner forces and conflicts with which the individual has little control
or awareness. The best subfield for psychodynamic perspective is evolutionary psychology by showing
how behavior and actions can be influenced by genetics without us knowing about it.
DQ2 – Describe two subfields of psychology that most interest you and explain where you might
encounter professionals in that field.
The two subfields of psychology that interest me the most are behavioral neuroscience and forensic
psychology. Both of them will be key in the profession I want to go into, which is a type of behavioral
analysis. I have always been interested in how the mind works and how the body reacts to different
situations. Over 90% of all communication is non verbal so understanding that opens the door to a much
more important language. Behavioral neuroscience examines the biological basis of behavior. This could
include the reasons we act certain ways, basic survival strategies, and how the brain is ''wired''. I
imagine I would encounter professionals doing studies and experiments such as sex appeal, sleep habits,
confrontation situations, etc. Basically any situation can be studied by behavioral neuroscience to
determine where the behavior originated from. Forensic psychology takes behavioral neuroscience and
simply applies it to the forensic field. This includes talking to witnesses, criminals, and others involved
with a crime to determine the accuracy of testimonies or speak with victims. Most of the professionals in
this field will be apart of a police division or could be privately hired by anyone.
DQ3 – Refer to Module 4 of Psychology and Your Life. Describe one ethical issue mentioned in the text.
Why is informed consent necessary for ethical research?
An ethical issue mentioned is the necessity of informing participants about he nature of procedures before
their participation in an experiment. This basically means that the participants must be told what the
experiment is, how they will be participating, what the risks are, and that everything they do is completely
voluntary. The participant also has to be told that he/she can stop at any time during the experiment. This
issue is important to protect the participants from feeling required to participate in an experiment without
any idea of what to do or what the dangers are. Informed consent is necessary to prove the participants
were told the information required to conduct an experiment. It's a type of protection for the
experiment releasing it from liability in case a participant claims he/she wasn't aware of what
the experiment was or what their participation would involve. Informed consent shows that the proper
steps were taken to conduct ethical research.

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DQ4 – After reading pp. 26–28 of Psychology and Your Life, describe two research methods
psychologists use. If you were selected to participate in a study that focuses on the average college
student, what are some variables that may affect the validity of this study?
One research method psychologists use is naturalistic observation which is from the descriptive method.
It's research that observes naturally occurring behavior without interfering with the situation or
environment. This is the easiest way for psychologists to research natural behavior in it's natural
environment. Another method is correlational research. Correlational research is the research of the
relationship between two sets of variables to determine if they are ''correlated. The results include positive
correlation, which means as one variable goes up, so will the other one, and negative correlation that
says as one variable goes up, the other will go down. In the study of the average college student, one
variable is the age of the students. Behavior changes with age so depending on the study, age will affect
it. Another variable could be if the participants act differently because they feel they're supposed to act
a certain way during the experiment. If the environment changes, the validity of the experiment could be
affected then also.
DQ5 - Watch the Field of Psychology – Interactive Tutorial located at the following link:
http://media.pearsoncmg.com/pcp/pcp_94123_psych_axia/lesson_01/select.htm After completing the
tutorial and reviewing the summary, answer the following questions:
o Name two areas where most professionals in the field of psychology work.
o What percentage of practicing psychologists specializes in clinical or counseling psychology?
o What does this data tell you about the profession of psychology?
The two areas where most professionals in the field of psychology work are in universities/four-year
colleges, and in private, for profit businesses. 34% of psychologists specialize in clinical psychology, and
15% specialize in counseling. The data in this tutorial shows me that the field of psychology is a vast and
evolving one. There are numerous different theories to be explored and looked at from many different
perspectives. The field of psychology includes many different jobs in many different areas.

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