• 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...


TASK 1 What is Psychology? Psychology can be defined as the scientific study of human behavior and how humans experience the world around them from a rational, scientific point of view rather than from a mythical or spiritual view. There are several areas of professional psychology activity, two of which are briefly described below. Clinical Psychology A Clinical Psychologist works with a variety of people with mental health issues, in a number of service settings such as mental health clinics, general and psychiatric hospitals, prisons and higher educational establishments. Clinical Psychologist uses a broad approach to assessing human individual and interpersonal problems; this may involve interviews to assess the individuals development, behavior, personality, cognitive process, and emotional and social function. Once an assessment is made, the clinical psychologist uses a variety of treatments to develop and maintain therapeutic relationships with clients, this is because the whole purpose of intervention is to empower clients to make adaptive choices and to gain healthy control of their own lives. Educational Psychology An Educational Psychologist works with children, with special educational needs, learning difficulties, dyslexia, behavioral problems and sometimes gifted children. Various methods are used to assess the child's strengths and weaknesses in order to establish the important factors that are affecting the child's learning and behavior this involves working with the family to gain an insight into the child's background, and working with the school to find out what problems the child is having or other agencies involved in the child's welfare who may be able to help in getting an objective picture in order to provide a framework for discussing solutions to problems. ...read more.


Pavlov studied the conditioning reflex responses also known as Classical Conditioning- the process through which a reflex response becomes associated with a stimulus that does not naturally activate that behavior it concentrates on the relationship between stimulus and response because it is not always possible to determine which stimuli brought about which response. Thorndike's work focused on the condition of voluntary behavior also known as Operant Conditioning- the conditioning of voluntary behavior through the use of reinforcement and punishment. The most influential behaviorist approach to this was Skinners work on operant conditioning, by using animals; he focused on the stimuli that may produce particular responses and the rewards and punishment that may influence that change in behavior. This theory of operant conditioning could apply to humans as well as animals. Strengths 1. It has contributed to our understanding of psychological functioning and has provided a number of techniques for changing unwanted behavior. 2. Its use of proven experimental methods has enhanced the credibility of psychology as a science. Weaknesses 1. It fails to acknowledge the possibility of biological factors in human behavior by overlooking the conscious and subjective experience of individuals. 2. Individuals are seen as passive beings at the mercy of their environment. 3. Its basis on animal research including the use of rats has been questioned. 4. The theories on classical and operant conditioning cannot account for the production of spontaneous, novel or creative behavior. 5. The assumption commonly made by behaviorist is that the theory applies to any response in any species without taking into account biological limits of conditioning e.g.; that ...read more.


For example, some people who suffer from stress may tend to loose weight or have little interest in food rather than "comfort eat" and gain weight, as in obese people or people who eat the same amount as obese people and yet do not put on any more weight than if they had a "normal" meal. It could also be argued that people who are obese could be due to genetic/biological factors rather than the amount they eat. This highlights the points that peoples' individual metabolism efficiency varies and that people will gain weight on the same dietary intake as someone with a less efficient metabolism who may loose weight ( Rodin et al., 1989, P.190) According to the National Centre for Eating Disorders, recent research suggest that body weight and size however are not totally under environmental control, for example genetic predisposition, resting metabolic rate and fat cell number, can all influence the degree to which body weight and shape can be altered. Research has also shown that people with eating disorders have very low self esteem- where this expresses itself in poor body image; it of course makes them vulnerable to pressures to diet. Treatment of an eating disorder is a lengthy and often complex process and may involve various psychological approaches in therapy ranging from behavioral changes to the way patients deal with the social and psychological pressures of a society whose culture dictates how people in particularly women are expected to "change their shape to suit the fashion of the day"(National Centre for eating Disorders). Josephine Swaray Psychology Assignment 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    In this essay I will evaluate and explain the Social Learning Theory (SLT), which ...

    5 star(s)

    * Participant observers have to particularly cautious as they are involving themselves in the study and their experiences may bias what they record. Control * The researcher has no control over the potentially confounding variables that may influence their observational study.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast two psychological perspectives I am going to research the psychodynamic ...

    3 star(s)

    As strength the cognitive perspective provided to the world with improvement with memory through methods such as mnemonics and also helped the police with eyewitness testimonies. The information processing argument has been utilized to help in education. More effectiveness in therapy when using the cognitive behavioral approach, It also helped

  1. Personality Psychology

    Cluster B: Antisocial personality disorder is associated with a risk for anxiety disorders, substance abuse, somatization disorder, and pathological gambling. Borderline personality disorder is associated with a risk for substance abuse, eating disorders (particularly bulimia), and posttraumatic stress disorder. Suicide is a particular risk in borderline patients.

  2. Highlight the key features/tenets of Freud's and Murray's theories of personality. Identify key similarities ...

    colleagues also used some other methods such as laboratory techniques, questionnaires, handwriting test and Thematic Apperception Test. Laboratory techniques including 'reaction time', can measure how quickly people respond to the sight or sound of stimuli. If they respond slowly to some words meaning that they find these words were more disturbing than other words to which they respond more quickly.

  1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using psychodynamic concepts of repression and resistance in ...

    theory, and therefore hard to prove the validity of the concept of repressed memories. However there have been attempts to conduct experiments to demonstrate the phenomenon of repression. These typically involve creating anxiety to produce forgetting or repression. After that, the anxiety is removed to show that repressed information is

  2. Interpersonal Relationships

    Interdependence Individuals cannot exist in isolation, no matter how strong their need for independence. In a relationship, what each person does affects the other person, leading to interdependence of goals and behavior. People can help or hinder each other's outcomes through their behavior, which can arouse intense emotions.

  1. How do we define Helping Behavior?

    They fell right in front of the objects and showed painful expressions when asking the objects to complete the questionnaire. Pilot test for the DV were done before the experiment. 2. Elimination of the gender differences Experimenters and interviewees should be the same in gender.

  2. Memory. In this investigation, my aim is to see whether shallow processing or deeper ...

    Finally they would know what they had just taken part in and why. Procedure A procedure of an experiment is what you are going to be doing. It will be a step-by-step guide to how to perform the experiment. The reason it is going to be like this is so

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