Psychology

History

Psychology first appeared in ancient Greece and Egypt. The Edwin Smith Papyrus is an Egyptian item that depicts the brain and some supposed functions, but terms of medical/surgical ideas. This is important as most other medical practices were rituals to ward off disease causing spirits or demons, and only one out of 50 conditions is given a spiritual reason why it occurs. The Greek psychology is what comes to mind for most westerners, however. The most well known psychological thinkers are Plato, Aristotle, and Pythagoras. These thinkers influenced all other civilizations to follow in terms of studying the mind. Of course other societies had begun to dabble in studying the mind. In China, people were given a test to draw a square in one hand and a circle in the other. This is thought to determine a person’s vulnerability to distractions. In Medieval times, a Muslim physician named Ahmed ibn Sahl-Balkhi became the first to understand that someone can be imbalanced in the soul (mind) and in the body and identified two types of what we now know as depression. That is only naming one person in a long line of Medieval thinkers that were the first to identify many topics that have become common place in modern psychology.
Modern psychology can be credited to the French Rene Descartes. Descartes set the foundation for who a stimuli can produce a certain result and how animal and humans behave differently (dualism). Now, while both of his explanations were wrong, his ideas and hypothesis were credible enough to continue on in modern thought. His other contributions to modern psychology include: rationalism, self-evident truths (I think, therefore I am.), and logical deduction. Many of the Enlightenment thinkers that are usually associated with political ideas had their hand in developing ideas that psychology uses today.
The first experimental psychology laboratory was opened at the University of Leipsig, Germany by Wilhelm Wundt in 1879. Today, we recognize the founding of psychology as a science, as up until that point psychology was taught in, and a part of, philosophy and taught in physiology courses. Also, from that initial point, many American universities began instituting their own psychology departments, the most notable being Princeton University, where an entire building was devoted to the psychology department and experimental psychology. In 1892, the American Psychological Association (APA) was formed and their first meeting

Writing

Writing assignments in the GSU psychology department seem to be dependent on the professor. Also, there is no posted information on any assignments for undergraduate students. In fact, the only ‘assignment’ that I could find information on is a personal statement for finding a graduate program and even then, it is only advice on how to write one well. The website gives students advice on how long it should be, what it should be about, how personal it should be and other information along those lines.
So rather than make up assignments and information about them, I’m just going to tell you what I know about the assignment in the Introduction to Psychology course! By the end of every semester, you either need to complete 5 hours of psychology experiments OR you can read 5-6 articles in peer reviewed, psychology journals then write what the idea was, a response, and finally a summary. In these reflections, a professional voice and near perfect grammar is expected.
Other than that, any written information is presented in the form of scholarly journals, published studies, and books.

Research and Publications

The main method of transferring information in the vast field of psychology is through the scholarly journal. In most cases, journal articles cover experiments and studies. These are typically in the form of lab reports. These reports often include graphs, statistical models, methodology, results, and a discussion at the end of the article. Obviously, before these are published, they are peer reviewed.
The publication of books usually follows publications of articles, as these books are usually based on numerous articles from varying time lines. The credibility of this source of information usually depends on the author AND the credibility and accuracy of the references.

Writing Styles

Psychology has its own specific writing style and citation guide, APA.

Blogs and Listservs

The American Psychology Association offers a [, http://www.apa.org/apags/resources/listservs/ comprehensive list] of listservs for psychology students of all levels. For those who don't know, a listserv is an emailing list. These are good tools to use to stay up-to-date with events and research developments in your field.

Education and Graduate School

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT: The field of Psychology is MASSIVE. There is no possible way for one to cover a majority of the disciplines and sub-disciplines. Nor does every school offer both and M.S or a Ph,D in any discipline. The only ones that will be covered are those that are offered by Georgia Southern University. Depending on the concentration one chooses in their undergraduate years, helps determine what higher degree they will get. My suggestion? Research what you want to do with psychology BEFORE you take any concentration classes!
Georgia Southern offers a bachelors in psychology. In this bachelor program, a total of 30 credit hours are given for electives, while the other 90 are core classes and major class that include concentration classes.
Compared to the University of Georgia’s psychology department, Georgia Southern’s psychology requirements are a little more relaxed. But GSU does offer one to choose from many disciplines within the department, be it a biological or cognitive psychology, where UGA has a requirement of at least 3 hours of biological and 3 hours of social psychology. Both are debatably better than one another. I think that GSU’s method is better; I do not want to focus on developing medicine or analyzing a persons mind through a screen, rather I want to see the social and behavioral outcomes of said medicine and observations. Plus the UGA plan seems a little bit to complex for me. But I guess that makes sense when you think about how long UGA has been open and how popular the college is.

Concentrations

Georgia Southern gives a total of six different concentrations that serve as a gateway into graduate and doctoral programs:

  1. Biopsychology
  2. Cognitive Psychology
  3. Counseling/Clinical Psychology
  4. Developmental Psychology
  5. Health/Wellness
  6. Social Psychology

As far as graduate programs, GSU offers a program in Counseling and Clinical psychology.

Graduate school options

Not every university offers graduate programs in every concentration. Here are three schools that top charts for their concentration
Cognitive: Stanford University
Developmental: University of Minnesota
Social: Ohio State University
Behavioral: University of Georgia

Links and References

Links

Stanford University's graduate program
University of Georgia's graduate program
Ohio State's graduate program
Undergrad Education at GSU
Concentrations and Classes at GSU
Recommended academic plan

References

Karen Naufel, Introduction to Psychology,
A brief HIstory of Psychology
American Psychological Association

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