1.3 Psychology has social impact

The relevance of psychology to everyday concerns, and the ease with which it can be popularised and used, mean that psychological knowledge – some of it dubious, some of it accurate – is continually absorbed into culture and often incorporated into the very language we use. Examples of psychological concepts that have entered popular discourse include the notion that we are predisposed, both through evolution and through the functioning of our brains and nervous systems, to behave in cert
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Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • describe the diversity of psychology as a discipline;

  • list some of the ways psychologists focus on different aspects of human behaviour;

  • identify different methods psychologists use to explore human behaviour;

  • illustrate the importance of ethical considerations.

Introduction

The key message of this unit is that different psychologists focus on different aspects of human behaviour in different ways. Take the topic of learning, some psychologists will study what happens in our brain when we learn, while others will consider how we learn within a social context. This unit will first highlight how psychology is now a very visible part of everyday life and then explore its diverse roots in medicine, philosophy, biology, psychoanalysis and e
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Acknowledgements

The content of this unit was developed by Volker Patent, Faculty of Social Science at the Open University. The work was funded by the Higher Education Academy and the content is released under the Creative Commons Licence.

The Open University gratefully acknowledges the Higher Education Academy (HEA) Psychology Network for its financial support to the development of SPSS which forms part of the Op
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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence - see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/ - Original copyright The Open University

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