Chapter 1. Introduction to Psychology

Head with colorful cogs inside
Figure 1.1. Psychologists study thinking, feeling, and doing.

In this first chapter, we provide a general outline for the themes that we will cover in this book. We also provide some basic information about the field of psychology, including what kind of work psychologists do and what it takes to become a psychologist. You will also learn about what it means to major in Psychology in terms of skills learned and the kinds of career opportunities that are available to you after graduation. Finally, we take a critical look at the history of psychology.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define psychology and identify the main focus of the field.
  • Explain the importance of context in influencing behavior and mental processes.
  • Describe potential biases in traditional Western psychology and the need for a more diverse and representative approach to research.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of skills gained by psychology majors and potential entry-level jobs.
  • Explore different subfields and career paths in psychology.
  • Describe the history and evolution of psychology as a field of study
  • Discuss historical and current barriers faced by marginalized groups in psychology and their contributions to the field.
  • Describe  the role of psychology in promoting social justice and fighting against oppression.



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Introduction to Psychology (A critical approach) Copyright © 2021 by Jill Grose-Fifer; Rose M. Spielman; Kathryn Dumper; William Jenkins; Arlene Lacombe; Marilyn Lovett; and Marion Perlmutter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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