Lecture Notes No. 1 in General Psychology


Psychology – comes from Greek words “psyche” which means “soul or mind” and “logos” which means “study”

-         the science of behavior and mental processes that seeks to describe and explain aspects of human thought feelings, perceptions and actions


The difference between AB Psychology and BS Psychology depends on your career goals. If you want to take to medicine or allied health sciences like public health or medical technology, you need to take B.S. Psychology because the main focus is on the chemical and biological aspects of human behavior. On the other hand, if you want to a job that has something to do with community service or social work, or if you want to take master’s degree in philosophy or Bachelor of Laws, a BA degree is better.


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 outcome


1. Structuralism: The first school of psychology aimed at analyzing the basic elements, or structure of conscious mental experience through the use of introspection


Wilhelm Wudnt - in 1879 Germany first formal laboratory to find natural laws of human mind -primary interest: perception -recorded in minute detail thoughts, feelings, heartbeat, respiration - Titchener was his student

Bradford Titchener - broke consciousness into three elements: physical sensations, feelings and images (memories)

2. Functionalism - explores how an organism uses perceptual abilities to function in its environment


William James - 1st American Psychologist; minds constantly weaving associations, revising experience, jumping back and forth in time "consciousness flows in a conscious stream"; nervous system changed by experiences

3. Psychodynamic/Psychoanalysis - 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


Sigmund Freud - doctor/neurologist; unconscious desires and conflicts lie at bottom of symptoms; free will an illusion; motivated by unconscious instincts not available to conscious mind; personality develops in stages-need to resolve conflicts in early stages

4. Behaviorism - school of psychology that studies observable, measurable behavior


John Watson – argued that structuralism, functionalism and psychodynamic theories mental life a superstition; if you can't measure it can't study it; focus on observable, measurable; behaviorism based on Pavlov studies that showed behavior is learned response to stimuli in the environment-conditioning;  infant "tabula rasa"
“Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. I am going beyond my facts and I admit it, but so have the advocates of the contrary and they have been doing it for many thousands of years.” [Behaviorism (1930), p. 82]

BF Skinner – added idea of reinforcement- rewarded subjects for behaving certain way; rat in cage with lever-reinforced with food when lever pressed

6. Gestalt - studies how people perceive and experience objects as whole patterns


Wolfgang Kohler, Max Wertheimer and Kurt Koffka - rather that 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.

7. Existentialism - focuses on the meaninglessness and alienation of modern life, and how these factors lead to apathy and psychological problems


8. Humanism - focused on fundamentally and uniquely human issues, such as individual free will, personal growth, self-actualization, self-identity, death, aloneness, freedom, and meaning.


Abraham Maslow – hierarchy of needs

Carl Rogers - an influential American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology; widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy research

9. Cognitive- studies mental processes including how people think, perceive, remember, and learn


Noam Chomsky - There are three key ideas. First is that the mind is "cognitive," or that the mind actually contains mental states, beliefs, doubts, and so on. Second, he argued that most of the important properties of language and mind are innate. Lastly, Chomsky made the concept of "modularity" a critical feature of the mind's cognitive architecture. The mind is composed of an array of interacting, specialized subsystems with limited flows of inter-communication. 

10. Evolutionary psychology - explores origins of behavior and their adaptive value -study altruism, mate selection, jealousy in different species, cultures, times, compare male and female -cultural and gender differences 


1. Experimental Method - the method where researchers randomly assign participants to groups and control all conditions other than the one or more independent variables which are then manipulated to determine their effect on some behavior measured--the dependent variable in the experiment

Independent variable - the factor or condition that researchers manipulate in order to determine its effect on an other behavior or condition known as the dependent variable

Dependent variable - the variable measured at the end of the experiment and that is presumed to vary as the result of manipulations of the independent variable

Experimental Group - in an experiment, the group of participants exposed to the independent variable or treatment

Control Group - a group that is similar to the experimental group and is expose to the same experiential environment but is NOT exposed to the independent variable; the group is used for comparison

2. Correlational Method - a research method used to establish the relationship (correlation) between tow characteristics, events or behaviors

* a positive correlation means when one variable increases the other increases
* a negative correlation means when one increases the other is associated with a decrease (e.g. there is a negative correlation between number of cigarettes a person smokes and the number of years a person can expect to live) -variables that are not related: grade point average and height, and illness, and shoe size
* the stronger the relationship between variables, the better the prediction
3. Case Study Method - an in depth study of one or a few participants consisting of information gathered by observation, interview, or psychological testing to provide a description of behavior or disorder

4. Survey - using interviews and/or questionnaires to gather information about aptitudes, beliefs, experiences or behaviors of a group

Population - the entire group of interest to researcher and to which they wish to generalize findings; a group from which a sample is chosen

Sample - The portion of any population selected for study and from which generalizations are made about the population

Representative sample - a sample selected from the larger population in a way that important subgroups within the population are included in the same proportions as the larger population


Participation must be voluntary, confidentiality, freedom to withdraw, deception can be used if it is only way, not a danger, participant is debriefed as soon as possible.


1. Abnormal psychology is the area that looks at psychopathology and abnormal behavior. The term covers a broad range of disorders, from depression to obsession-compulsion to sexual deviation and many more. Counselors, clinical psychologists and psychotherapists often work directly in this field

2. Behavioral psychology, also known as behaviorism, is a theory of learning based upon the idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning. 

3. Biopsychology is the branch of psychology focused on the study of how the brain influences behavior is often known as biopsychology, although it has also been called physiological psychology, behavioral neuroscience and psychobiology.

4. Cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology that focuses on internal states, such as motivation, problem solving, decision-making, thinking and attention.

5. Comparative psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the study of animal behavior.

6. Developmental psychology looks at development throughout the lifespan, from childhood to adulthood. The scientific study of human development seeks to understand and explain how and why people change throughout life. This includes all aspects of human growth, including physical, emotional, intellectual, social, perceptual and personality development. 

7. Educational psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with schools, teaching psychology, educational issues and student concerns. Educational psychologists often study how students learn or work directly with students, parents, teachers and administrators to improve student outcomes.

8. Experimental psychology is the branch of psychology that utilizes scientific methods to research the brain and behavior. 

9. Forensic psychology is a specialty area that deals with issues related to psychology and the law. Forensic psychologists perform a wide variety of duties, including providing testimony in court cases, assessing children in suspected child abuse cases, preparing children to give testimony and evaluating the mental competence of criminal suspects.

10. Personality psychology is focused on the patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behavior that make a person unique.

11. Social psychology seeks to explain and understand social behavior and looks at diverse topics including group behavior, social interactions, leadership, nonverbal communication and social influences on decision-making.


Hey Jude said...

Happy birthday Sir :) happy 25th Silver birth day.. hehehe :)

Marlon Raquel said...

thanks, jude

Anonymous said...

aw!!! birthday pala ni Sir!!!

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