Psychology | Week 2
Monday, August 22, 2016
Different ways of seeing behaviors:
∙ Biological Approach: examines behavior and mental processes through a focus on the body, especially the brain and nervous system
o Ex. talking in front of others
∙ Neuroscience: studies the structure, function, development, genetics, and biochemistry of the nervous system
o Thoughts and emotions have a physical basis in the brain
o How in blood chemistry linked with moods and emotions?
∙ Emphasizes the scientific study of observable behavioral responses and their environmental determinants.
∙ How do we learn to fear certain objects? Stop smoking?
∙ John B. Watson (1878-1958): “if you couldn’t see it, it didn’t matter”; “why did you do what you did?” We also discuss several other topics like What is transactional model of communication?
∙ B.F. Skinner (1904-1990): how we operate on our environment, and how it operates on us
∙ How does the environment effect our behavior and vice versa?
∙ Well-controlled, lab experiments initially, now some natural settings
o It can be said, “this happened because of what we did”
∙ Rewards and punishments determine our behavior
∙ Not all behaviorists reject cognitions (thoughts) as important
∙ Freud (1856-1939)
o Unconscious thoughts, childhood experiences, conflicts between biological instincts and societal demands.
o Hard to prove experimentally
o Most patients were women; during this time, women had no rights, dressed modestly
o He focused on sex and anger
∙ People choose to live by higher human values, emphasizes positive qualities and growth Don't forget about the age old question of Why geography?
∙ Carl Rogers: unconditional positive regard (“I don’t like what you did, but I still like you”), empathetic, genuineness
∙ Abraham Maslow: self-actualization; looking out for yourself and other people
∙ Emphasizes the mental processes
∙ Period of computers
∙ Cognitions control behavior
∙ How we encode, process, store, and retrieve information
∙ We have an input of information, and an output of behavior
∙ Charles Darwin
o Adaptation, reproduction, “Survival of the Fittest” We also discuss several other topics like What is a human element emerger?
o Does not account for cultural diversity and
o Nature-Nurture Debate
o Natural selection
∙ Drawback: doesn’t account for cultural diversity, or personal experiences had
∙ Focuses on how social and cultural environments influence behavior If you want to learn more check out What is the process of raw materials?
∙ South vs. North
∙ African-American, Asian-American, European-American ∙ Biopsychosocial Approach
∙ If you don’t know the culture, you don’t have a good idea of the person
Areas of Specialization: The Highlights
o Clinical and Counseling Psychology: diagnose and treat people with mental disorders
o Cognitive Psychology: attention, consciousness, information processing, memory, perceiving, and thinking; research or teaching
o Developmental psychology: biological and environmental factors that influence how we become who we are. Our changing abilities throughout our lifetime.
o Forensic psychology: legal issues
o Health psychology: psychological factors, lifestyle, healthcare system, stress, coping
o I/O (industrial organization) psychology: workplace; i.e. how can management be improved?
o Physiological psychology: physical processes that underlie psychological processes, especially the brain
o School/Educational psychology
o Sports psychology: improving sports performance o Personality psychology: persistent traits We also discuss several other topics like What is a horizontal asymptote?
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
∙ The science of psychology helps make these examined conclusions, which leads to our understanding of how people feel, think, and act as they do.
How would intuition and common sense play a role in research?
∙ Many people believe that intuition and common sense are enough to bring forth answers regarding human nature
∙ They lead us to asking the questions that you want to do more research on
∙ Gives us the foundation for asking the good questions ∙ May aid queries, but they are not free from error o We have different views sometimes We also discuss several other topics like Who is john searle?
∙ The “I knew it all along” phenomenon
∙ After learning the outcome of an event, many people believe they could have predicted that very outcome.
o Ex. Hurricane Katrina, .com Stocks, housing market Overconfidence
∙ Sometimes we think we know more than we actually know
∙ Can impact what we focus on in the research and how we conduct it.
∙ Often times, we tend to see patterns in random events and we try to make sense of them, when they are really just by chance
∙ Sometimes random things are just random
The Scientific Attitude
∙ Composed of curiosity (Passion for exploration), skepticism (doubting and questioning; this includes critical thinking abilities) and humility (ability to accept responsibility when wrong).
∙ Critical thinking does not accept arguments and conclusions blindly.
∙ It examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence and assesses conclusions. How do psychologists ask and answer questions?
∙ The scientific method to construct theories that organize, summarize and simplify observations.
∙ Theory: an explanation that integrates principles and organizes and predicts behaviors or events.
o Ex. Low self-esteem contributes to depression. o Broad based
o Take a basic idea or concept of something, and fashion it so that you can make a prediction
∙ Hypothesis: a testable prediction, often prompted by a theory, to enable us to accept, reject or revise the theory.
o Ex. People with low self-esteem are apt to feel more depressed.
∙ Research: would require us to administer tests of self esteem and depression.
o Low score: self
o High score: depression o Types:
Laboratories: control; behavior may be
changed because participants are being
Natural settings: observe true behaviors; no control.
∙ Case study: a technique in which one person or small group is studied in depth to reveal underlying behavioral o Why is this good?
Good data over an extended period of time
Get to know subject/group VERY well
o Why is this bad?
Takes a long time
∙ Survey: a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes, opinions or behaviors of people usually done by questioning a representative, random sample of people.
o Why is this good?
Higher response rate
Able to generalize it to the population
o Why is this bad?
People may not think about their answers
May be influenced by wording
o Random sampling: if each member of a population has an equal chance of inclusion into a sample, it is called a random sample (unbiased). If the survey sample is biased, its results are not valid.
∙ Naturalistic Observation: observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation.
o Observing in natural environment and recording o Drawback
Don’t have any control
If they know they’re being watched, they may change their behavior
They are in their natural habitat
∙ Summary: case studies, surveys, and naturalistic observation describe behaviors.
∙ Correlation: when one trait or behavior accompanies another, we say the two correlate.
o Looks at how closely two variables are related o R = +0.37
+ tells the direction of the relationship
0.37 tells the strength between the two
∙ Ex. As class attendance increases, grades
increase. (positive relationship)
∙ Ex. As drinking alcohol increases, GPA
decreases. (negative relationship)
o Sometimes there is a relationship between two variables that is fairly consistent, but may still look slightly scattered on a graph.
o Correlation does not mean causation.
Low self-esteem could cause depression, or depression could cause low self-esteem, or bad events could cause low self-esteem and