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AU / Psychology / PSYC 2010 / How does the environment effect our behavior and vice versa?

How does the environment effect our behavior and vice versa?

How does the environment effect our behavior and vice versa?


School: Auburn University
Department: Psychology
Professor: Jennifer daniels
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: Psychology
Cost: 25
Name: PSYC 2010, Week 2 Notes
Description: These notes cover Monday-Friday of Psychology week 2.
Uploaded: 08/26/2016
8 Pages 53 Views 1 Unlocks

Psychology | Week 2

How does the environment effect our behavior and vice versa?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Different ways of seeing behaviors:

Contemporary Approaches

∙ 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?

Behavioral Approach

∙ Emphasizes the scientific study of observable behavioral responses and their environmental determinants.

∙ How do we learn to fear certain objects? Stop smoking?

How would intuition and common sense play a role in research?

∙ 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

Psychodynamic Approach

∙ Freud (1856-1939)

o Unconscious thoughts, childhood experiences,  conflicts between biological instincts and societal  demands.

How do psychologists ask and answer questions?

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

Humanistic Approach

∙ People choose to live by higher human values,  emphasizes positive qualities and growth Don't forget about the age old question of Why geography?

∙ Self-understanding

∙ 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

Cognitive approach

∙ 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


Evolutionary Approach

∙ 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

 40-60% Nature/Nurture

o Natural selection

∙ Drawback: doesn’t account for cultural diversity, or  personal experiences had

Sociocultural Approach

∙ 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?

Hindsight bias

∙ 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:

 Hypothesis  confirmed

 Laboratories: control; behavior may be  

changed because participants are being  

watched; unnatural

 Natural settings: observe true behaviors; no  control.

Descriptive Methods

∙ 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

 Time efficient

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

o Positives

 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  



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