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The Four Goals Of Psychology Essay

512 words - 3 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

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 and of itself had been superimposed upon the action of the inborn alimentary reflex," Pavlov wrote of the results. "We observed that, after several repetitions of the combined stimulation, the sounds of the metronome had acquired the property of stimulating salivary secretion" (26). The metronome was the neutral stimulus and formed into the conditioned stimulus which began the conditioned response, the salivation.
The four goals help to aid humanity to a better understanding of ourselves. We learn from history and by taking the time to follow these four goals, we can learn why we have such odd behaviors, why people turn into serial killers, how mental diseases are formed. There are numerous studies out there right now, on our minds and behaviors that have helped in some form.

• Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936). (2003, April 14). Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936). Retrieved January 19, 2012, from
• Girogian, NA: Pavlov, Ivan Petrovich. In The Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Charles Schribner's Sons, New York, Vol 10, pp. 431-6, 1974.
• Kozulin, Alex. Personalities and Reflexes: The Legacies of Ivan Pavlov and Vladimir Bekterev. In Psychology in Utopia: Toward a Social History of Soviet Psychology. MIT press, Cambridge, pp. 40-61, 1984.

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