• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What is Psychology ?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Introduction to Psychology Psychology is defined as 'both an academic and applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes and behaviour '(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychology) that is being applied more to our everyday lives. Psychology is being used in many different settings, such as clinical, occupational and educational and is being used to improve humans' lives in many different ways. Psychology has 'more major ethical issues associated with research... than in most other scientific disciplines' (Eysenck 2000). Firstly, psychologists work with living creatures (both humans and animals) that all have the right to be treated in a respectful manner. Secondly, 'research may reveal what seems to be unpleasant or unacceptable facts about human nature' and thirdly, 'psychological research may lead to the discovery of powerful techniques that can be used for purposes of social control' (Eysenck 2000). Humans' are immensely complicated creatures and great care has to be taken in the way that the research is carried out. Usually 'most ethical problems in human research stem from the participant being typically in a much less powerful position than the experimenter' (Eysenck 2000). The B.P.S (British Psychological Society) introduced a set of ethics that must be adhered to by all psychologists when studying either humans or animals. These ethics are agreed social rules and moral responsibilities and obligations that are in place to stop unnecessary psychological or physical damage occurring to subjects of any research. The main points of the ethics state investigators must consider ethical and psychological implications for research participants and should inform the participants of the objectives of the research and gain their informed consent. ...read more.

Middle

The next method I will explain about is the case study method. A case study involves the detailed gathering of information, 'in which one or two individuals are studied in great detail.' (Eysenck, M. 2000) 'Case studies and field work observations involve the researcher fitting into the environment, to be accepted by the participants the researcher will need to have appropriate materials, equipment, look the part and speak in the same style of language.' (Hammersley, M & Atkinson, P. 1995) An excellent example of the case study method was carried out by Freud on Little Hans, a boy who had developed an extreme fear of horses. According to Freud, Little Hans was sexually attracted to his mother and was scared he would be punished for this by his father, who happened to 'look' like a horse. According to Freud Little Hans was displacing his fear onto the horses, although it is still unclear if Freud's analysis is correct. An advantage of the case study method is that it is a 'good source of hypothesis, and It provides in depth information on an individual(s)' (Eysenck, M. 2000). 'Unusual cases can also shed light on situations that are unethical or impractical to study in other ways.' (Wade & Tavris 1999) Case studies also give the investigator a rich source of information that can be used to enhance ones theoretical understanding, and they can also show when 'a particular theory is in error.' (Eysenck, M.2000) Disadvantages of this method include that firstly, 'vital information may be missing making the case hard to interpret, secondly, the individuals ...read more.

Conclusion

Freud's theory has been criticised for lack of empirical evidence, and also because if aggression were instinctive, it would be difficult to explain cultural differences since all cultures would have the same levels of aggression. Even though both approaches have a reason for aggression, can they really be used in a modern world? Research has shown that biological factors play a large part in how aggressive a person may be, so can one seriously believe an approach as complicated as Freud's? Reference Page Eysenck, M., 2002. Simple Psychology. 2nd ed. East Sussex: Psychology Press Ltd. Gross, R., 2005. Psychology: The science of the mind. 5th ed. Oxon: Hodder Headline plc. Wade, C., & Tavris, C.1999. Psychology. 6th ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall plc. Woods, B., 1997. Discovering Psychology. Kent: Hodder & Stoughton Educational. Coolican., H., 2004. Research methods and statistics in psychology. 4th ed. Oxon: Book points Ltd. Hayes, N & Orrell, S., 1993. Psychology: An introduction. 3rd ed. Essex: Pearson Education Ltd. Davenport, G., 1995. Introducing GCSE Psychology. London: Collins Educational. Glassman, W. 1979. Approaches to Psychology. Buckingham: Open University Press. Hammersley, M & Atkinson, P., 1995. Ethnography-Principles in practice. London: Routledge Wikipedia. 2008. Milgram experiment. [Online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment [accessed 05 January 2008] Wikipedia. 2008. Id, ego, and superego. [Online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id%2C_ego%2c_and_super-ego [accessed 05 January 2008] Wikipedia. 2008. Behaviourism. [Online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behaviourism [accessed 05 January 2008] SimplyPsych.2008.Complete Psychology Resource for A Level - Aggression [Online] Available at: http://www.simplypsych.com [accessed 13 November 2007] The British Psychological Society. 2008. Code of Ethics and Conduct. [Online] Available at: http://www.bps.org.uk [accessed 03 January 2008] National Conference on Psychology. 2007. Science and practice. [Online] Available at: (www.cpa.ca/scienceandpractice/documents/reports-nationalconferenceonpsychology [Accessed 14 January 2008] ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    In this essay I am going to contrast and compare three approaches in psychology ...

    4 star(s)

    They first tested Albert's responses to white, fluffy objects ... He initially showed no fear response to these' (Williamson, M., Cardweel, M., and Flanagan, C., 2007: 256) Then, Albert was shown a white rat at the same time Watson made a loud noise from behind.

  2. Memory and Mental Imagery

    were likely to be parents and relatives of similar ages, age groups such as the 20-30 range and the 70+ range may have been left out. The experiment was culturally biased towards the White Caucasian British and a representative sample of the population was not gained.

  1. Describe the application of behaviorist perspectives in health and social care. Describe the application ...

    For example as a human we associate sharp pointy things as being dangerous or harmful. A person that is scared of needle would have bought this association to the sight and feeling of a needle and a needle is made to pierce the skin an there for be a unwelcome

  2. Cognition & development How a human/child develops knowledge/understanding of everything.

    * This resulted in an emphasis on discovery play Discovery play - This is where children find out about properties of an object through explanations and effort.

  1. Report on Psychological Research into Eyewitness Testimony

    Law, which suggests that when stress is very low, recall is poor. Recall improves when the level of stress is moderate, but once the stress reaches a certain threshold the accuracy of recall returns to poor. Peters (1988) attempted to show this during a nurse's clinic.

  2. In psychology there are different methods of investigation, these would be observation, survey, clinical ...

    An advantage here is that it is can give an extensive summary of the situation. A disadvantage would be that it is only suitable as a first look at a participant to give an overview of the situation. The Naturalistic Observation is a planned observation, and it records behaviours as they occur in the natural environment.

  1. Evaluate 3 Approaches to treating Mental Disorders: Psychodynamic, Biological and Behavioural Approach.

    Freud was convinced that she was suffering from hysteria caused by the death of her father. During her treatment Freud and Breuer discovered that recalling traumatic experiences with the help of free association cured her paralysis. In 1895, Freud and Breuer published Studies in Hysteria, which documented the cathartic method, also known as the talking cure.

  2. Critically evaluate some of the central themes within psychology Behaviourism VS Cognitive

    Piaget?s ideas in developmental psychology are world-wide, however there has been a lot of criticism towards his work too. For example, psychologists Samuel and Bryant cristised Piaget?s conservation tests. They believed asking the children the same question twice, the children felt obliged to change their answer because they felt their

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work