Intro to Psychology – Part 1


I get involved too much in Psychology now a days, let me start with my story of how I entered into this area.

I just enrolled into Machine Learning online course in Udacity. Where the course started awesome, but while moved on to next chapters lot of math getting involved in it and of-course we never used math in real world and become difficult. So I gave up and upset on me. And due to lot of  things which disturbs my mind, I started searching some other course in Udacity, and that’s where I found this course “Intro to Psychology” and I enrolled in it. Basically Udacity courses are not a lengthy videos to make people bored, rather it have 2-5 mins clips of explaining each modules or topics which makes us interest and learn. That how I started Psychology and finished the course, so I thought will have the important points of what we learned in my blog, which will make some progress in my blogging and also it refresh on this topics.


Introduction to Psychology:

As most of people having common idea on psychology and myself too had same thoughts that “Psychology deals only on reading peoples mind, clinical – patients on mental problems or depression, crime”. But when I started this course, I learned that psychology is dealing on vast area.

There are lot chapters in this course. So let me write about few chapters here and rest I will continue on next parts.

Psychology – Study on how people react or behave. Study about the mental function and behaviors.

1) Types of Psychology:

  • Cognitive – Mental processing. How our mind or brain processing things like memory, decision, solving problems, language.
  • Behavior
  • Development
  • Biological – Neuroscience
  • Personality
  • Industrial/Organization – Motivation, Productivity
  • Social
  • Forensics – Crime
  • Clinical

So the above list are the areas where Psychology is dealing. We will see each topics on future chapters.


2) Biology of Behavior:

Behavior comes from lot of aspects. So let see how biologically the behavior happens because of our brain.

DNA – comes from parental DNA and it is unique because of the formation of DNA strands by A, G, T, C  – four chemical parts.

Gene – (Genome) encoded in DNA which regulating expression of genes. Due to these expressions from gene our  behaviors comes out (so as differently as  gene is differ from each other)

But our brain development is affected not only by Gene, but from Gene and Environment (surrounding we grow up). So our behaviors are from both our Gene and our surroundings.

Epigenetics:  Expression affected by environment, gene or sequence will not change. So because of this, due to our environment change our behavior also changes.

So before getting deep into our behavior, let see how we react and brain works.


Nervous System:

Our nervous system contains two parts Central and Peripheral.

Central NS: connects the brain and spinal cord.

Peripheral NS: Connects other parts which works somatic and transmits sensor to brain.


Our brain activities and our body response are full of neurons. It helps to process and transmit information to brain.

Sensory neurons: to pass the sense information to brain

Motor neurons: message from brain to move muscles

Inter-neurons: connect neurons, where neurons communicate each other by transmitting electric signals.


As we already learned in schooling that brain contains many parts, where each helps to do something in our body (like memory storage, control heart and other parts)

We can read the brain activities by EEG, PET Scan or MRI. And there are lot other equipment’s to do that.


3) Sensation and Perception:

Weight and Threshold – We will feel the weight difference of threshold is above 3% weight. (For Ex: If you hold two same cups one in  a hand, and you feel the same weight. Lets pour 10ml of water in one cup, still you will feel its in same weight. You will feel the weight difference if the threshold is more than 3% of another weight).

Physical and emotional pain activates same brain cells. Which is why we feel equivalent pain in us when we physically hurt or emotionally.

Human Senses:

1) Taste:

To identify the primary flavors, chemicals in our body helps to identify the taste and smell. There are 10k taste buds in our tongue.

2) Hearing:

Everything we can hear on our limits in hertz and decibels. Dogs can hear more hertz than human. Human (20 – 20k hertz)

3) Sight

We can see clearly when the light waves hits our lens and connects exactly at retina or sensors. If it merges before or after, then we gets near or far sight problems.

We see different colors on its wavelength freq. Each color has it wavelength freq. And we see colors due to cones in eye, which has sensors of RGB color. So we see all the colors from RGB combinations.

Depth Perception:

How far the object is from us. We identify the object size, distance all by our binocular cue (2 eyes process the image). Jumping thumb ( by closing one eye and we see jumping thumb)

5) Development:

Let see how Development of our brain is as we grow.

a) Brain develops and behave on Nature and Nurture – Gene & Environment

b) Brain works through neurons. So it creates million on neurons, more on earlier stage of our childhood and it slows down. If brain neurons are not used and it will be dead.

So everyone have more capacity to works with brain and think, where we need to really do homework to make our neurons busy and active.

c) Growth and creation of neurons needs good sleep. That why for first few years children need good sleep.

d) New born babies hear more than the vision. So for first few months babies will have blur view of us and identify and react through hearing.

Child growth is a separate vast topic, which will learn later in life when needed 😛

 e) Social development:

People expects and needs secure and relationship attachment. Bowlby attachment theory – People need attachment which makes them secure and relationship.

Research explains that new born Babies on ICU incubator. Group of babies got cured and out of ICU soon and other babies got cured slowly. Difference is that cured babies are daily touched or cared by some people which makes them more secure and got them cured quicker.

f) Cognitive Development:

How our brain think, process and react.

Intelligence is on two types:

    • Crystallized intelligence  – what we learned from experience, learning and education ( problems what we seen before in life).
    • Fluid intelligence – Solving new problems, makes our brain to think and process to solve the problem. (at aging it decreases). At 60’s we start losing mental thinking.

6)  Consciousness – responsive/perception to surroundings:

a)  Coma & Consciousness – Aware of what is going on and react or not aware and not able to react. Consciousness of people vary on time, sometime we maid be fully aware or sometimes we din’t aware of our surrounding

b) Wakefulness & Awareness:

Wakefulness – Whether we are awake or sleep

Aware – Whether we are aware of surrounding, environment


c) Tip of the Tongue (TOT) – failure to retrieve word from memory. We are wake but slightly unaware.

d) Comma (no aware, no wake) – Vegetative state (wake, no aware)

e) Cock tail party – 3 person talks about your interested topic and you are concentrating to some other things, but your brain automatically listens to  it.

f) Attention – our ability to focus on aspects of our environment and to be consciously aware of it

Selective Attention – Our ability to pay attention to our environment while ignoring aspects of our environment

Sustained attention –  “the ability to direct and focus cognitive activity on specific stimuli.”

g) Meditation – growth in brain tissues, gives freshness

h) Sleep

Need 7-9 hours of good sleep.

Sleep apnea – pause in breathing 30 times in  a hour, mostly in day time sleeping.

Narcolepsy – inability to regulate sleep/wake cycle

Night terrors

Insomnia – difficult to sleep

i) Drugs

Any chemical which changes our behavior

I will end the part 1 with this, and conclude that what we do, think, behave all from our brain. And brain is responsible for our thinking and emotions( which we say as heart or love in heart).


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