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PSY 1001

by: JoAnn Moors

PSY 1001 PSY 1001

JoAnn Moors
U of M

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There are notes for each chapter of the textbook that you have to read and the study guide questions for each exam with the answers.
Kathleen Briggs
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This 149 page Bundle was uploaded by JoAnn Moors on Wednesday January 27, 2016. The Bundle belongs to PSY 1001 at U of M taught by Kathleen Briggs in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 58 views. For similar materials see Psychology in Psychlogy at U of M.


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Date Created: 01/27/16
What is Psychology? Science vs Intuition: • William Jones- founder of American psychology • Psychology- the scientific study of the mind, brain, and behavior • Different levels of analysis: biological (brain), social, and cognitive (mind) • Challenges to studying psychology: o Behavior is produced by many factors o Psychological influences are often interrelated o Individual differences o People often influence each other (reciprocal determinism) o Behavior is often shaped by culture • We’re prone to naïve realism- the belief that the world is exactly as it is • Scientific theory- an explanation for a lot of findings in the natural world, it should also predict findings for future data (have a testable hypothesis) • Confirmation bias- tendency to seek evidence in support of your hypothesis and disregard the evidence that contradicts it • Belief perseverance- tendency to stick to original beliefs even w/ contradicting evidence • Metaphysical claims- assertions about the world that aren’t testable (not science) Psychological Pseudoscience: Imposters of Science: • Pseudoscience- a set of claims that seems scientific but isn’t. it lacks safeguards against confirmation bias and belief perseverance which science does have • Warning signs: o Overuse of ad hoc immunizing hypothesis- loophole that defenders of a theory use to protect their theory from being disproven o Lack of self-correction o Overreliance on anecdotes (first or second hand experience stories)- don’t establish cause and effect, hard to verify, often not representative of population • Humans tend to want to find patterns and find order in chaos • Humans also tend to find meaningful images in meaningless visual stimuli • Terror management theory- proposes that our awareness of our own inevitable deaths leaves us with an underlying sense of fear which we handle by adopting reassuring cultural worldviews that our lives serve a broader purpose or meaning • Logical fallacies- traps in our intuitive thinking o The error of believing something is true because it is endorsed by an authority figure, has been around for a long time, many believe it (bandwagon fallacy) o Emotional reasoning fallacy- error of using emotions as guide to judge validity o Not me fallacy-believing we’re immune from errors in thinking others do have • Dangers of pseudoscience: o By pursuing these ideas/ treatments they don’t get proven, effective ones o Could result in direct physical or psychological harm o It limits us because we can’t think critically and scientifically in life Scientific Thinking: Distinguishing Fact from Friction: • Scientific skepticism- approach of evaluating all claims w/ an open mind but insisting on persuasive evidence before accepting them • Scientific skepticism- approach of evaluating all claims w/ an open mind but insisting on persuasive evidence before accepting them o critical thinking- imp to scientific skepticism, also called scientific thinking. It’s a set of skills for evaluating claims in an open-minded and careful way • 6 principles of scientific thinking: 1. Ruling out rival hypothesis- look at other explanations and rule them out 2. Correlation isn’t causation 3. A claim must be falsifiable- established findings that could disprove it 4. Replicability- study’s findings can be duplicated consistently by others 5. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence 6. Occam’s Razor (principle of parsimony- logical simplicity)- if there are 2 equally well explanations for something, we should pick the most parsimonious one Psychology’s Past and Present: What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been: • Psychology started as closely tied to philosophy w/ no experiments but common sense • 1879 Wilhelm Wundt created the first psychological lab in Leipzig, Germany. He used introspection- trained observers reflect and report on their mental experiences • psychology was also linked to spiritualism but broke free by investigating human error and self deception rather than extrasensory powers • 5 Theoretical Frameworks of Psychology: o Structuralism: ▪ Founded by Titchener (Wundt’s student), used introspection ▪ School of psych aimed at identifying basic elements of psych experience ▪ Problems: introspectionists disagreed on subjective reports and there’s no explanation for imageless thought (mental calculations like 10+5=15) ▪ Correctly emphasized imp of systematic observation o Functionalism: ▪ Founded by William James, influenced by Darwin’s natural selection ▪ Aimed at understanding the adaptive purposes of psych characteristics ▪ Like structuralism, it doesn’t exist independently today o Behaviorism: ▪ Founded mostly by John B. Watson, followed by B.F. Skinner ▪ Focuses on uncovering the general laws of learning by observing behavior ▪ Mind= black box, subjective reports aren’t scientific or psychology ▪ Rewards and punishments by the environmentà all behavior o Cognitivism: ▪ Started in the 1950-60s, ex: Jean Piaget ▪ Proposes that thinking is central to understanding behavior ▪ Need to understand people’s interpretations of reward and punishment ▪ insight (underlying nature of probs) also influences behavior o Psychoanalysis: ▪ Founded by Freud, very popular in Europe ▪ Focuses on internal psychological processes of which we’re unaware (like impulses, thoughts, memories), especially sexuality and aggression ▪ Some consider it a setback for pysch b/c it’s not very scientific • Great Debates in Psychology o Nature-nurture o Free will-determinism • Great Debates in Psychology o Nature-nurture o Free will-determinism • Basic research- research examining how the mind works • Applied research- examines how we can use basic research to solve real-world probs • Metaphysical- relating to the abstract branch of philosophy dealing with being, knowing, etc. • Anecdotal- based on personal accounts rather than research or evidence Two Modes of Thinking: 1. Intuitive Thinking (System 1) • Quick, reflexive, doesn’t take much mental effort, often relies on heuristics, ex: getting a “hunch”, first impressions • While this is happening, our brains are largely on autopilot • Everyday life often requires snap decisions so it’s important 2. Analytical Thinking (System 2) • Slow, reflective, takes mental effort, can override intuitive thinking • Used when solving problems or figuring out complicated concepts Heuristic- mental shortcut/ rule of thumb that helps us streamline our thinking Research designs- systematic techniques developed by scientists to use analytical thinking to avoid making mistakes due to the overreliance on intuitive thinking and heuristics Naturalistic Observation: • Observing behavior in real world settings w/o manipulating the situation (like in a lab) • high external validity- extend to which we can generalize findings to real world settings • low internal validity- the extend to which we can draw cause- effect inferences o high lab experiments b/c the researcher manipulates the variables Case Study Designs: • examines 1 person/ small group of ppl in depth, often over an extended period of time • can be simply observation, questionnaires, or interviews during the study • helpful in providing existence proofs- demonstration that a psychological phenomenon can occur (ex: recovered memories of childhood trauma/abuse) • create the opportunity to study rare/unusual cases that can’t be recreated in a lab • limits: no causal relationship, don’t help in testing hypothesis Self-report measures (questionnaires) and surveys: • random selection- procedure that ensures every person in a population has an equal chance of being chosen to participate. Ensures a representative sample of the pop. o Crucial for generalization • Reliability- consistency of measurement o Test-retest reliability- yielding the same results to a study over time o Interrater reliability- extend to which different researchers conducting the same experiment obtain the same results and interpret them the same • validity- extent to which a measure assesses what it claims to measure • reliability is necessary for validity (something needs to be measured consistently before it can be measured well) but not vice versa • pro of self-report measures: easy to administer, participants often have insight into the subject of questions (personality) that others wouldn’t • con: people might not have enough insight into their personality, assume that participants are honest (response sets- distorting answers to make urself seem better/ + socially acceptable, malingering- making ourselves seem disturbed for some reason) • rating data- others rate someone’s characteristics, can be more honest or not (halo effect- tendency of 1 positive rating to influence the others- make them more +) (halo effect- tendency of 1 positive rating to influence the others- make them more +) Correlational Designs: • examines the extent to which two variables are related/associated statistically • allows us to generate predictions about the future, represented by scatter plots • can be +, 0, or - and coefficients can range from -1 to 1: show the strength • illusory correlation- the perception of a statistical association between two variables where none exists, form the basis of many superstitions o we’re prone to this b/c of confirmation bias, our expectations about connections, and b/c we don’t remember non-events • doesn’t show causation Experiments (experimental designs): • characterized by random assignment of participants to conditions and the manipulation of an independent variable, which allows us to establish cause and effect relationships • has experimental group and the control group, independent and dependent variables • operational definition- a working definition of what is being measured and how • the change of the indp. variable must be the only change btwn exp. and control groups • confounding variable- any variable other than the indp. Influencing the dependent one • the placebo effect- improvement resulting from the expectation of improvement o to avoid this, patients must remain blind to the condition they’ve been assigned • the nocebo effect- harm resulting from the expectation of harm • experimenter expectancy effect (Rosenthal effect)- phenomenon in which researchers’hypothesis lead them to unintentionally bias the outcome of a study, for example through subtle cues/ body language that the researcher is usually unaware of o to prevent this, we use a double-blind- when neither the researchers nor the participants know who’s in the experimental or control group • demand characteristics- cues that participants pick up from a study that allow them to generate guesses regarding the researchers’hypothesis o may cause participants to alter their behavior to fit/ deviate from the hypotheses Ethical Considerations: • all major American research colleges and universities have an institutional review board (IRB)- reviews all research to protect participants from abuses • need informed consent (some deception is often deemed necessary), voluntary participation, confidentiality, protection from harm and debriefing • the ethics of animal testing is still a big debate Statistics: • the application of math to describing and analyzing data • descriptive statistics- numerical characterizations that describe data o central tendency- measure of the “central” scores in a data set/ where the group tends to cluster. Ex: mean, median, mode o variability (dispersion)- measure of how loosely or tightly bunched scores are ▪ range- the difference between the lowest and the highest scores ▪ standard deviation- takes into account how far each pt is from the mean • inferential statistics- determine how much findings from the sample can be generalized to the full population o there must be a .05 confidence level to decide whether the findings are significant (or a .05 or less percent chance that findings occurred by o there must be a .05 confidence level to decide whether the findings are significant (or a .05 or less percent chance that findings occurred by chance) o practical significance/ real world importance is also important almost all psychological journals send submitted articles to peer reviewers who look for flaws that could undermine the findings/ conclusions and tell them how to do better next time Neurons: • Nerve cells specialized for communication with each other • Our brains are slower than computers for some functions but they are the best and fastest at other things, like voice and face recognition • Are shaped differently from other cells • The cell body/ soma: o Central region of the neuron, manufactures new cell components, contains nucleus (where proteins are created) so if damaged, the cell dies • Dendrites: o Branchlike extensions for receiving info/ signals from other neurons • Axon and axon terminals: o Axon- nerve fiber projecting form the cell body that carries nerve impulses o Myelin sheath- fatty coat that insulates the axons of some nerve cells and speeds up the transmission of impulses o Nodes- gaps in the myelin sheath that help the conduction of nerve impulses o Portion of the neuron that sends signals to other neurons o Synaptic vesicles: spherical sac containing neurotransmitters, travel down the axon to the axon terminals where they release the neurotransmitters- chemical messengers that neurons use to communicate w/ each other • Synapse: o Fluid-filled space between two neurons thru which messages are chemically transmitted o Consists of a synaptic cleft- gap into which the neurotransmitters are released Glial Cells: • Cells in the nervous system that play a role in the formation of the myelin and the blood-brain barrier, respond to injury, remove debris, and enhance learning & memory • Work closely with neurons, different kinds, approximately as abundant as neurons o Astrocytes- most common glial cell, increase reliability of neuron transmissions, control blood flow to the brain, imp in development of the embryo ▪ w/ other glial cells involved in memory, thought, immune system ▪ In the blood-brain barrier- protective shield that insulates the brain from infection by bacteria and other intruders (tiny blood vessels wrapped with fatty coating block large particles o oligodendrocyte- promotes new connections among nerve cells and releases chemicals to aid in healing, produces myelin sheath Neuron Communication: • communicate by generating electrical responses which depend on the uneven distribution of charged particles across the membrane surrounding the neuron • resting potential- the electrical charge difference across the membrane when the neuron is not being stimulated/ inhibited (no neurotransmitters acting on it) • Once the threshold (the membrane potential necessary to trigger an action potential) is reached, an electrical impulse (an action potential) can be triggered • Action potentials- electrical impulse that travels down the axon triggering the release of neurotransmitters; waves of electric discharge triggered by a change in the charge inside the axon (when the change occurs, the neuron “fires”) release of neurotransmitters; waves of electric discharge triggered by a change in the charge inside the axon (when the change occurs, the neuron “fires”) o All or nothing, intensity is measured by frequency of the action potential o During this, positively charged particles flow rapidly into and out of the axon causing a spike in positive charge and then a sudden decreaseà slightly negative level inside; the sudden shifts produce a release of electricity o Each is followed by an absolute refractory period- brief interval during which another action potential can’t occur • After neurons are released into the synapse, they bind with the receptor sites (each one binds with specific neurotransmitters) along the dendrites of the neighboring neurons • Electrical events transmit info within neurons while chemical events triggered by neurotransmitters create communication among neurons • Reuptake- means of recycling neurotransmitters where the vesicle reabsorbs it Neurotransmitters: • Glutamate and GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid): o Both most common neurotransmitters in CNS, used by almost all neurons o Glutamate: excites neurons, associated w/ advanced learning & memory, excessà schizophrenia and mental disorders b/c it can be toxic o GABA: inhibits neurons, imp in learning, memory, sleep, involved in treatment of anxiety disorders • Acetylcholine (ACH): o Involved in arousal, selective attention, sleep, memory, muscle movement, a deficit can contribute to Alzheimer’s • Monoamines: Norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin o Dopamine: important with rewards o Norepinephrine & serotonin: activate/ deactivate some parts of the brain, influence arousal, and our readiness to respond to stimuli (like fight/ flight) • Anandamide: o Made by cells (like neurons) to bind to the same receptors as THC o Imp in eating, motivation, memory, and sleep • Neuropeptides: o Short strings of amino acids in the nervous system o Act kind of like neurotransmitters but are more targeted in their jobs o Ex: endorphins- specialized in pain reduction • Drugs: o Psychoactive drugs: drugs that interact w/ neurotransmitter systems o Either work as agonists, increasing receptor site activity, or antagonists, decreasing receptor site activity Neural Plasticity: • Plasticity- the nervous system’s ability to change • Brain’s are typically most flexible during early development • During development neuron networks change by growing dendrites and axons, synaptogenesis (forming new synapses), pruning (death of certain neurons and the retraction of axons to remove the not useful connections), and myelination (insulating axons with a myelin sheath) • brains change as we learn: form new synapses/ strengthen current ones: potentiation • structural plasticity (change in the shape of the neuron) is also imp for learning • the brain and spinal court can only regenerate limited amts after injuries/ illness • neurogenesis- creation of new neurons in adult brains. Potential for healing the NS • stem cells- cells (often originating from embryos) that don’t yet have a specific function and therefore can differentiate into more specialized cells o possible treatment for diseases that cause neural degeneration (cancer) o stem cell research is controversial for ethical reasons o possible treatment for diseases that cause neural degeneration (cancer) o stem cell research is controversial for ethical reasons The Nervous System: 1. The Central Nervous System (CNS): • Composed of the brain and spinal cord protected by meninges (3 thin layers of membrane) and cerebral ventricles (fluid-filled pockets extended thruout)- the fluid is cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) which gives nutrients and cushioning for injury • 6 Sections/Systems: i. The Cerebral Cortex: • Foremost part of the brain • Analyzes sensory processing and higher brain functions (reasoning, judgment, language,…) • The largest and outermost part of the cerebrum- forebrain • Has 2 cerebral hemispheres (left and right) which are connected with a huge band of fibers called the corpus callosum • Contains 4 regions/ lobes in each hemisphere: o Frontal lobes: ▪ most forward part of the cerebral cortex ▪ imp for movement, language, and memory ▪ oversee and organize most brain functions called executive functioning ▪ contains the motor cortex- responsible for body movement next to the central sulcus (deep groove) ▪ contains the prefrontal cortex- responsible for thinking, planning, and language • one region is Broca’s area- language area responsible for speech production • contributes to mood, personality, and self-awareness. EX: Phineas Gage o Parietal Lobe: ▪ Upper middle part, behind the frontal lobes ▪ Specialized for touch and perception ▪ Contains the primary sensory cortex- measures touch like pain, temp, pressure ▪ Responsible for spatial awareness of objects ▪ Relay visual, touch info to the motor cortex o Temporal Lobe: ▪ Lower part of cerebral cortex ▪ Imp for hearing, understanding lang, memory ▪ Separated from other lobes by the lateral fissure (a horizontal groove) ▪ At the top is the auditory cortex- for hearing ▪ Contains Wernicke’s Area- the language area responsible for understanding speech ▪ Lower part is imp for storing autobiographical memories o Occipital Lobe: ▪ At the back of our brain, contains the visual cortex ▪ Specialized in vision • Cortical Hierarchies: o When info is transmitted by a specific sense it first goes to the primary sensory cortex- regions that o When info is transmitted by a specific sense it first goes to the primary sensory cortex- regions that process it o Then it goes to the association cortex- spread thru all 4 lobes, synthesizes info to perform more complex functions ii. The Basal Ganglia: • Structures in the forebrain (cortex) that help control movement • Damage to this contributes to Parkinson’s disease (lack of control, tremors) and Tourette’s disorder (motor and vocal tics) • After the association cortex, info comes here and a course of action is calculated to transmit to the motor cortex iii. The Limbic System: • Emotional center, also imp for smell, motivation, and memory • Set of highly interconnected brain regions that process info abt internal states (blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, emotions) • Thalamus- like a sensory relay station between the sense organs and the primary sensory cortex • Hypothalamus- below the thalamus, regulates and maintains internal bodily states (hunger, thirst, etc.), imp for emotions & motivation, also regulates our body’s temperature • Amygdala- imp for excitement, arousal, and esp. fear • Hippocampus- imp for memory especially spatial memory (mental map), damage creates problems w/ forming new memories but leaves old ones intact iiii. The Cerebellum: the “little brain” • Imp for balance, coordination of movement, learning motor skills • Also helps w/ emotional balance, memory and linguistic skills v. The Brain Stem: • At the back of the brain, connects the spinal cord to the cerebral cortex, contains the midbrain, pons, and medulla o Midbrain- imp for movement, tracking visual stimuli, reflexes triggered by sound o Reticular activating system (RAS)- connects w/ forebrain and cerebral cortex, key in arousal, damage couldà coma o Hindbrain- below the midbrain, contains the pons, medulla, cerebellum o Pons- imp for dreams, connecting cortex to cerebellum o Medulla- regulates breathing, heartbeat, basic functions vi. The Spinal Cord: • Thick bundle of nerves that conveys signals btwn brain and body • Sensory neurons carry sensory info from body to brain, motor neurons carry motor commands from brain to body • Also has interneurons- send messages to nearby neurons, allow for reflexes (automatic motor responses to sensory • Also has interneurons- send messages to nearby neurons, allow for reflexes (automatic motor responses to sensory stimuli) by connecting sensory to motor neurons w/o the brain 2. The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS): • Composed of all the nerves that extend outside of the CNS • Somatic NS: o Controls voluntary behavior by relaying info btwn CNS and body • Autonomic NS: o Controls involuntary/ automatic/ unconscious behavior o Controls involuntary actions of organs and glands and w/ the limbic system it regulates our emotions o Sympathetic: ▪ Engaged during crisis/ emotional arousal/ fight or flight o Parasympathetic: ▪ Controls rest and digestion, used when there’s no threat The Endocrine System: • System of glands, hormones tht controls secretion of blood-borne chemical messengers • Hormones- chemicals released in the bloodstream, influence organs/ glands, move slower than neurotransmitters but often has longer lasting effects • Pituitary Gland: o Controls other glands, controlled by the hypothalamus, releases diff hormones o Ex: hormone oxytocin- imp for reproduction, bonding, love, in-group favoritism • Adrenal Glands: o on top of kidneys, manufacture adrenaline & cortisol during emotional arousal o adrenaline- boosts energy production in muscle cells while action and conserves energy, triggers heart muscle contractions, opening pupils, slows down digestion, opens bronchioles in lungs for more air inhalation, etc. o cortisol- response to physical/ psych stressors. Regulates blood pressure, cardiovascular function, use of proteins, carbs, and fats • Sex Hormones/ Glands: o Reproductive glands for males: testes, for women: ovaries o Both sexes make both testosterone and estrogen (diff proportions) Mapping the Brain: • First attempt: phrenology during the 1800s measuring the skull for personality/ intellect • Neuropsychological tests to observe different abilities w/ brain damage/ dysfunction • Electroencephalograph (EEG): o device that measures electrical activity generated by the brain o patterns/ sequences à what regions are used to be awake/ asleep/ dreaming o use electrodes placed on the skull: non-invasive o don’t show what’s happening inside the neurons, don’t show place of activity • computed Tomography (CT): o show brain structure by creating a 3D reconstruction of multiple X-rays • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): o Measures release of energy from water in biological tissues after exposure to a magnetic field, show structural detail, best at showing soft tissues (brain tumors) • Positron Emission Tomography (PET): o Measures change in brain’s activity in response to stimuli, it’s invasive • Positron Emission Tomography (PET): o Measures change in brain’s activity in response to stimuli, it’s invasive o Inject radioactive glucose-like molecules which neurons take in when active • Functional MRI (fMRI): o Measures change in blood oxygen levels (as neurons work, they need + oxygen) o Also relies on magnetic fields, very sensitive to motion (unlike PET) o Provides detailed images of activity in small regions over brief intervals of time • ^^^^^can only infer correlation • Magnetic stimulation and recording: o Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): ▪ Applies strong and quickly changing magnetic fields to the surface of the skull that creates electric fields in the brain which either enhance/ interrupt brain function (which temporarily effects certain abilities) ▪ Since we manipulate brain areas directly, we can infer causation o Magnetoencephalography (MEG): ▪ Measures brain activity by detecting tiny magnetic fields generated ▪ Can track brain changes over very small time intervals (milliseconds) • Interpreting brain scans: o Brain images are not a picture of the brain; it’s the image of people doing a control task (ex- looking at neutral faces) subtracted from people doing an experimental task (ex-looking at sad faces) o The colors are arbitrary and assigned by the researchers o When an area lights up it could be neurons inhibiting instead of exciting others o Calculations compare activity of thousands of brain areas across neutral versus experimental tasksà risk of chance findings that can’t be replicated • Localization: o When brain areas are active above a baseline rate of activity during a specific psychological task o Overall, the brain areas participate in many functions and coordinate • Lateralization: o Cognitive function that relies more on one side of the brain than the other o Lateralized functions especially apply to language and verbal skills o Sperry did experiments w/ epilepsy patients who underwent split-brain surgery (severing the corpus callosum) ​ ▪ They presented different stimuli to the right/ left visual field (the left/ right hemispheres of the brain) ▪ People had trouble putting together info o Still some children have half of their brain removed for medical reasons and they end up functioning normally Nature and Nurture: • We have chromosomes (slender threads inside the cell’s nucleus) which carry genes which are composed of DNA (shaped in a double helix that stores everything cells need to replicate) • Humans have 46 chromosomes, the Human Genome Project maps out human genes • Genotype- genetic makeup (from our parents) • Phenotype- observable traits, shaped by environmental influences and genotype • There are dominant and recessive genes (influence phenotype too) • Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and his theory of evolution o Some adaptations increase levels of fitness (capacity to pass on genes) • Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and his theory of evolution o Some adaptations increase levels of fitness (capacity to pass on genes) which then cause that adaption to be passed on • Evolutionary psych is controversial b/c it’s hard to determine the past of psych traits • Brain has evolved a lot over time, especially the cortexà humans have more complex and flexible behaviors than other animals • Our species is homo sapiens • Relative to body size, humans have the largest brains, 2 dolphins, 3 chimps, apes • Behavioral genetics: influence of nature and nurture on psychological traits, behavior o Estimates heritability (% of the variability in a trait across individuals due to genes) of traits and diseases o Estimated using family studies, twin studies, and adoption studies Sensation- detection of physical energy by sense organs (eyes, ears, skin, nose, and tongue), which then send info to the brain Perception- the brain’s interpretation of raw sensory inputs Illusion- perception in which the way we perceive the stimulus doesn’t match its physical reality Naïve realism- the mistaken belief that our sensory systems are infallible and that our perceptions are perfect representations of the world around us Filling in- process where our brain reconstructs a pattern without our awareness, usually helps us make sense of confusing and chaotic perceptual worlds; it’s adaptive Transduction: • Process by which the nervous system converts an external stimulus (light/ sound) into electrical signals within neurons • Done by sense receptors—specialized cells that transduces for specific sensory systems • For all senses, activation is greatest when the stimulus is first detected • Sensory adaptation—process by which our response to a stimulus declines in strength o Happens to conserve energy and attentional resources • Eventà sensationà transductionà processingà perceptions Psychophysics: • The study of how we perceive sensory stimuli based on their physical characteristics • Studies absolute threshold- lowest level of a stimulus needed for the nervous system to detect a change 50% of the time • Just noticeable difference (JND)- smallest change in the intensity of a stimulus that we can detect. Important in distinguishing stronger from weaker stimuli • Weber’s Law- there is a constant proportional relationship between the JND and original stimulus intensity • Signal detection theory- theory about how stimuli are detected under different conditions like how it becomes harder to detect a signal as background noise increases • Phosphenes- vivid sensations of light caused by pressure on eye receptor cells • To our brains, it doesn’t matter how our receptors are stimulated, it just process the input of whatever sensory organ is activated • Most areas of the same sense are connected but sometimes different ones are connected too. EX: McGurk Effect shows how our brains integrate visual and auditory info when processing spoken language o Another explanation is that some brain regions may help process multiple senses • Synesthesia- condition in which people experience cross-modal sensations like hearing sounds when they see colors Attention: • Selective attention- process of selecting one sensory channel and ignoring or minimizing others • Cocktail party effect- our ability to pick out an important message (our name) in a conversation that doesn’t involve us • Inattentional blindness- failure to detect stimuli that are in plain sight when our attention is focused elsewhere • change blindness- failure to detect obvious changes in one’s environment • binding problem- when we perceive an object, different regions of the brain process • change blindness- failure to detect obvious changes in one’s environment • binding problem- when we perceive an object, different regions of the brain process different aspects of it yet somehow our brain combines/ binds all this info into a whole o hypothesis: coordinated activity across multiple cortical areas assists in binding The Visual System: • light- form of electromagnetic energy • visible light has a wavelength of hundreds of nm (ROYGBIV) • each species has their own visible spectrum • when light reaches an object part of it is absorbed and part is reflected—the intensity of the reflected light that reaches our eyes determines the brightness of an object’s color • white objects reflect all light while black objects absorb all light • hue- color of light, we’re attuned to 3 primary colors: red, green and blue • mixing these 3 colors can produce any color (including white) • The Eye: o Sclera: the white of the eye o Iris: colored part of the eye, controls how much light enters our eyes o Pupil: circular hole through which light enters the eye. ▪ Closing- reflex response to light/ objects coming towards us- always both ▪ Processing complex info, seeing someone attractive, sexual interestà dilation (expansion) of the pupil o Cornea: curved, transparent layer covering the iris and pupil. Its shape bends incoming light to focus incoming visual images at the back of the eye o Lens: also bends light but changes its curvature to let us fine-tune visual images o Accommodation- process by which the lens changes shape to focus on objects near or far. Flat (long, skinny) for far away and fat (short, wide) for close by o Misshaped eyesà nearsightedness (seeing objects well close up and poorly far away) or farsightedness (good for far away but bad for close up) o Retina: thin membrane at the back of the eye responsible for converting light into neural activity ▪ Fovea: central portion of the retina responsible for acuity- sharpness of vision ▪ Contains 2 types of receptor cells: • Rods: allow us to see in low levels of light, are the most plentiful, are long and narrow, allow us to see basic shapes and forms • Dark adaptation- time in the dark before rods regain maximum light sensitivity, takes about 30 minutes • Cones: shaped like cones, allow us to see in color and in detail- used when reading, need more light than rods to function ▪ Optic nerve- nerve that travels from the retina to the brain. As the optic nerves enter the brain they turn into optic tracts—send most axons to visual part of thalamus and primary visual cortex, rest go to the midbrain ▪ blind spot- where optic nerve connects to retina. Part of the visual field we can’t see because of an absence of rods and cones • feature detection- ability to use certain minimal patterns to identify objects o feature detection cells- simple and complex cells that detect lines, edges • we use the lower visual pathway leading to the temporal lobe to process color o feature detection cells- simple and complex cells that detect lines, edges • we use the lower visual pathway leading to the temporal lobe to process color • color perception theories: o Trichromatic Theory: proposes that we base our color vision on 3 primary colors: blue, green, red. We have 3 kinds of cones, each max sensitive to diff colors (1/3) o Color blindness due to absence/ reduced number of one/more types of cones o Opponent Process Theory- theory that we perceive colors in terms of 3 pairs of opponent colors either red/green, blue/yellow, or black/white ▪ Accounts for afterimages (happen when we stare at a color for a long time and when we look away see a different colored replica of the image) • Blindness: most cases are treatable and are more likely to occur as people age o Blind people often rely more on their other senses, especially touch; studies show that the visual cortex undergoes changesà sensitive to touch inputs o Blindsight: ability of blind people to correctly guess about the appearance of things around them/ people’s facial expressions o Some blind people use crude forms of echolocation • visual agnosia: deficit in perceiving objects; ex: can tell shape and color of an object but not recognize/ name it The Auditory System: Audition- our sense of hearing • the disturbance created by vibration of molecules of air produces sound waves- can travel through any gas, liquid, or solid but we hear it best through the air • pitch- corresponds to the frequency of a sound wave (higherà higher) o measured in cycles/ second or hertz (Hz) o human ear can pick up 20-20,000 Hz o younger people are more sensitive to higher pitches than older adults • amplitude- height of a sound wave corresponds to loudness measured in decibels (dB) o loud noise increases wave amplitude • Timbre- complexity or quality of sound that makes musical instruments, human voices, or other sources sound unique • The Ear: o Sense receptors for hearing transduce sound into neural activity o Outer ear: ▪ Consists of the pinna (mostly skin and cartilage flap) and ear canal ▪ Simplest function; funnels sound waves onto the eardrum o Middle ear: ▪ On the other side of the eardrum ▪ Contains ossicles- 3 tiniest bones in the body; hammer, anvil, and stirrup ▪ Ossicles vibrate at the frequency of the sound wave, transmitting it from the eardrum to the inner ear o Inner ear: ▪ Cochlea- bony, spiral-shaped sense organ used for hearing, converts vibration into neural activity, inner cavity is filled w/ a thick liquid ▪ Organ of Corti- tissue containing the hair cells necessary for hearing ▪ Basilar membrane- supports the organ of Corti and hair cells in Cochlea ▪ Transduction of auditory info takes place in the hair cells ▪ Info from hair cells travels to auditory nerveà brain though the thalamus o Auditory nerve makes contact w/ the brain stemà info to the auditory cortex o Auditory nerve makes contact w/ the brain stemà info to the auditory cortex o Primary auditory cortex processes different tones in different places o Place theory- a specific place along the basil membrane matches a tone w/ a specific pitch. Only accounts for perception of high-pitched tones o 2 routes to perceiving low-pitched tones: ▪ frequency theory- rate at which neurons fire action potentials reproduces the pitch. Works up to 100Hz b/c of max firing rates ▪ volley theory- variation of frequency theory; works for tones btwn 100 and 5,000 Hz; states that sets of neurons fire at their highest rate slightly out of sync w/ each other to reach overall rates higher than indv limits o we’re sensitive to different tones and the arrangement of tones into melodies The Sensual Senses: Smell and Taste: • olfaction- sense of smell • gustation- sense of taste • work hand in hand enhancing our perception of foods, imp ex: bitter/sour tasteà bad • both chemical senses b/c derive sensory experiences from chemical substances • culture, model eating behaviors, parental approval, availability influences tastes too • odors- airborne chemicals that interact w/ receptors in the lining of our nasal passages o not everything has an odor (ex: clean water) • we’re sensitive to 5 basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami (meaty/ savory) • each olfactory neuron contains a single type of olfactory receptor that recognizes an odorant based on its shape • detect taste w/ taste buds- sense receptors in the tongue that respond to 5 basic tastes • there are separate taste buds for each taste th • controversy over fat as the 6 taste; it clearly does something to our tongues • we perceive so many diff tastes despite having only 5 tastes b/c of smell • about 25% of people have more taste receptorsà supertasters • taste and smell perception is very sensitive and formative o babies recognize their mother’s odor and siblings each other’s • after odors interact w/ sense receptors in the nasal passages, the info enters the brainà the olfactory cortex and parts of the limbic system • after taste info interacts w/ taste bunds, it enters the brainà taste-related area called gustatory cortex, the somatosensory cortex, and parts of the limbic system • a region of the frontal cortex is the site of convergence for smell and taste • emotional disorders (anxiety, depression) can distort taste perception • smell is important in sexual behavior, especially pheromones- odorless chemicals that serve as social signals to members of one’s species- for animals and maybe humans Touch, Body Position, and Balance: • the somatosensory system: our sense of touch, temperature, and pain • Pressure, Temperature, and Injury: • Somatosensory system responds to stimuli applied to the skin (pressure, temp, pain) • Specialized nerve endings located on the ends of sensory nerves in the skin allow us to sense light touch, deep pressure, and temperature • Also sense these things and esp. pain w/ free nerve endings (way more of these) • Most nerves in our fingertips, then our lips, face, hands, and feet. Least in our mid back • Info travels to our somatic nerves, then the spinal chord back • Info travels to our somatic nerves, then the spinal chord • Touch info travels faster than info about pain stimuli b/c touch informs us of our immediate surroundings while pain alerts us to take care of our injuries—can often wait • Touch/pain stimuli often activate local spinal reflexes before traveling to brain sites. After, the info travels to dif parts of brain stem and thalamusà somatosensory cortex • We can’t localize pain as precisely as touch also b/c pain has an emotional component but scientists do believe we can partly control pain by controlling thoughts/emotions • Gate control model- idea that pain is blocked/ gated from consciousness by neural mechanisms in the spinal chord under certain circumstances (child birth/ combat) o Stimulation we experience competes w/ and blocks pain from consciousness • Phantom pain- pain or discomfort felt in an amputated limb experienced by 50- 80% of amputees o one treatment is the mirror box- patients place other limb in the box so it exactly reflects the position of the phantom limb and exercise it to relieve pain • pain insensitivity is rare and dangerous as people don’t feel pain (warning) • proprioception- kinesthetic sense; our sense of body position, helps us move efficiently o use proprioceptors to sense muscle stretch and force, there are 2 kinds ▪ stretch receptors- embedded in muscles ▪ force detectors- embedded in muscle tendons o info enters the spinal cordà thru the brain stem and thalamusà somatosensory and motor cortexes where the brain combines info from muscles and tendons • vestibular sense- sense of equilibrium; sense of balance. Works together w/ ^ o inner ear has 3 semicircular canals- fluid filled canals used for sense of balance o infoà parts of brain stem that controls eye muscles and triggers reflexes that coordinate eye and head movements o infoà cerebellum à catch our balance when falling o our awareness of this sense is limitedà usually only aware when losing balance • human factors- field of psychology that uses technology to optimize our sensory and perceptual capabilities. Ex: to build more ergonomic (worker-friendly) tools perception: • parallel processing- the ability of our brain to attend to many modalities simultaneously • bottom-up processing- processing in which a whole is constructed from parts • top-down processing- conceptually driven processing influenced by beliefs/expectations o ex: perceptual set- set formed when our expectations influence perception o we tend to perceive the world in accord w/ our preconceptions • perceptual consistency- process by which we perceive stimuli consistently across varied conditions. Ex: shape, size, and color constancy • subjective contours- phenomenon in which our brain provides missing info abt outlines • Gestalt Principles: rules governing how we perceive objects as wholes within their overall context. Main principles: o Proximity: objects physically close are usually perceived as unified wholes o Proximity: objects physically close are usually perceived as unified wholes o Similarity: we see similar objects as comprising a whole o Continuity: we still perceive objects as whole, even if others block parts of them o Closure: when partial of visual info is present, our brain fills in what’s missing o Symmetry: usually perceive objects symmetrically arranged as wholes o Figure-ground: we instantaneously decide to focus our attention on what we believe is the central figure and largely ignore the background • We always recognize faces even w/ things out of proportion • Lower part of temporal lobe responds to faces. Right now it seems like neural networks instead of single cells are responsible for face recognition • Brain judges change by constantly comparing visual frames • Phi phenomenon- illusory perception of movement produced by successive flashing of images. Shows that our perceptions of movement are based on partial info and guesses • Depth perception- ability to see spatial relations in 3D. use 2 kinds of cues… o monocular depth cues- stimuli that enable us to judge depth using only 1 eye. Relies on pictorial cues to show the location of things in stationary scenes ▪ relies on cues like relative size, texture gradient, interposition, linear perspective, height in plane, and light and shadow, motion parallax o binocular depth cues- relies on both eyes. Cues… ▪ binocular disparity: left and right eye transmit diff info for near objects but similar info for distant objects ▪ binocular convergence: when looking at nearby objects, our eye muscles turn our eyes inward (converging)—degree of thisà distance • to localize sound, we use mostly binaural cues (the info from each ear takes diff routes to the brain and arrives slightly out of sink, our brain compares the infoà cues) and some monaural cues (distinguish clear sounds to 1 ear, muffled to the other b/c place) • Illusions: o Moon illusion (it appears larger close to the horizon than up in the sky) o Ames room illusion (distorted room uses relative sizeà 1 giant, 1 tiny person) o Muller-Lyer illusion (same line appears longer w/ arrowheads pointing inward) o Ponzo illusion (converging lines enclose 2 objects making 1 seem bigger) o Ebbinghaus-Titchner illusion (perceive circle surrounded by smaller 1s as bigger) • Subliminal Perception and Persuasion: o Subliminal perception- perception below the threshold of conscious awareness ▪ Compelling evidence for it ▪ It’s effects often vanish when participants are aware/ suspect it ▪ b/c we don’t do in-depth processing of these stimuli, they don’t produce large scale/ enduring changes in attitudes/ decisions (like votes/ buys) • ESP (Extrasensory perception): o The perception of events outside the known channels of sensation. 3 big types: ▪ Precognition: getting info abt future events thru paranormal means ▪ Telepathy: reading other people’s minds ▪ Clairvoyance: detecting presence of objs/ ppl hidden from view ▪ Telepathy: reading other people’s minds ▪ Clairvoyance: detecting presence of objs/ ppl hidden from view o Problem w/ most ESP experiments is replicability o Even though sufficient evidence is lacking, many people believe in it ▪ Illusory correlation: we recall coincidences but forget other events ▪ Our tendency to underestimate the frequency of coincidences • Psychic predictions: o Many use multiple end points- predictions so open-ended that they’re consistent w/ almost any conceivable set of outcomes o • Spend about 1/3 of our life sleeping. Scientists aren’t sure why we sleep • Circadian rhythm- cyclical changes that occur on a roughly 24 hr basis in many biological processes, like hormone release, brain waves, body temp, and drowsiness • Biological clock- term for the area of the hypothalamus that’s responsible for controlling our levels of alertness • urge to sleep/rest is caused by the increase in the hormone melatonin which triggers feelings of sleepiness, especially after dark • we need 7-10 hours of sleep; babies need 16 a day • sleep deprivationà mild depression, difficulties learning & paying attention, problems thinking clearly and problem solving, slowed reaction times, weight gain, higher risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, worse immune response to viruses • after 4 nights of severe sleep deprivation, can experience hallucinations • minorities, esp. Afr


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