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The Four Goals of Psychology

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The Four Goals of Psychology

The Four Goals of Psychology
Ariel Mendoza
Grand Canyon University: General Psychology
January 18th, 2012

Psychology is the study of human behavior and mental processes, not only what we do but why. Our thoughts, memories, emotions, perceptions, all fall under this category. It is the study of what makes us, us. There are ultimately four goals in psychology. Describe, explain, predict, and control. Describe, is when you observe. You look, watch, and listen so that you are able to identify and classify mental processes and behaviors as precise as possible. Ivan Pavlov was a physiologist studying digestive processes on his dogs when he came up with the concept of classical conditioning. Using the first goal of psychology, he observed that when his assistants dressed in white lab coats had come to bring edible and non-edible items for the canines, their mouths would begin to salivate. He began to explain or propose reasons for this behavior that the canines’ responses were learned actions. That in the process of trying to learn about their digestive systems by giving them food, he learned they had become accustomed to eating whenever the humans with white lab coats were nearby. Salivating to the expectation of food is a conditioned reflex. It was after what he explained that he could be able to predict what would happen if he changed their introduction to the food being presented. Pavlov wanted to change the conditioned response to a previously neutral one. The food was the unconditioned stimulus and the sound of a metronome was the neutral stimulus. The canines’ would be exposed to the ticking sound of the metronome for some time until the food was immediately brought out. After several trials, Pavlov noticed the dogs began to salivate at the sound of the metronome. "A stimulus which was neutral in…...

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