Module 01 Study Smart Activity
General Theoretical Principles
Imagine that four alien scientists have been observing human behavior and have observed that young males tend to act more physically aggressive than young females. Each scientist has a different theoretical perspective – briefly prepare a statement that each would use offer as an explanation for their observation.
∙ Biosocial: As testosterone is more present in males than females it affects the development and behavior of males both before and after birth. As an affect testosterone typically causes males to behave with more physical aggression than young females.
∙ Sociocultural: Different cultures have different norms about aggression as well as different rates of aggressive behavior. Though, testosterone predicts aggressive behavior aggression is also stronger for people with low socioeconomic status than for those with higher socioeconomic status. Biological factors may predispose others to aggression, but social factors act as triggers. If you want to learn more check out What did people do in pow camps?
∙ Behavioral: In many nations, women are expected to have more highly developed other-oriented attributes, such as friendliness and emotional expressivity and that when women do aggress, they use aggression as a means of expressing anger and reducing stress. Men, on the other hand, are socialized to value more self-oriented attributes, such as independence and assertiveness, and they are more likely to use aggression to attain social or material rewards.
∙ Social-cognitive: Infants develop cognitive capacity to identify sources of anger and frustration. Young boys are more physically aggressive than girls, due to biological factors and gender-role conformity in particular have an effect.
When it comes to students’ own perceptions of intelligence, learning and academic performance, what is the difference between "fixed" and "growth" mindsets? (01-B)
When it comes to students’ own perceptions of intelligence, learning and academic performance, the difference between “fixed” and “growth” mindsets is that “fixed” mindsets is the student’s level of intelligence that remains consistent over their lifetime. On the other hand, the “growth” mindset is the idea that a student’s intellectual ability can improve with practice.
How did Dweck scientifically demonstrate that changing the mindset of seventh graders can change their academic performance? Be clear about the methodology and results.
Dweck demonstrated that changing the mindset of seventh graders can change their academic performance through a successful scientific study that she conducted on approximately 100 seventh graders who were entering the seventh grade and were doing poorly in math. She divided the students into two separate mini-courses. One mini-course was a workshop on study skills, and the other mini-course taught students on the expanding nature of the brain. When the students who studied the mini-neuroscience course and how the brain forms new connections, they did significantly well compared to the other group of students who were simply being taught study skills. The study was stemmed from Dweck’s hypothetical question: “If we taught them how to think about their intelligence would that benefit their grades?” Dweck’s hunch was indeed correct. With the scientific study that she conducted, Dweck demonstrated that changing the mindset of seventh graders can change their academic performance. We also discuss several other topics like What is the chew-up bone?
What is the difference between task orientation and ego orientation? Describe these in terms of how they would shape a student’s motivation in PSYC 100. (01-G)
The difference between task orientation and ego orientation is that a task oriented person is motivated to learn new things and they feel successful when progress is made towards a personal goal. They like to focus on tasks that need to be completed to achieve their goals. Ego orientation, on the other hand, is when a person enjoys being praised for their performance. An ego oriented person is motivated by their ego; they enjoy feeling good and desirable.
Why would people use self-handicapping to protect their ego? What research evidence is there that self-handicapping occurs? Be clear about the methodology and results.
Self-handicapping is a response to an anticipated loss of self-esteem. People become afraid of potentially failing, so they self-handicap their-selves to protect their ego. A handicapper’s biggest worry is: “What if I try my hardest and do the best I can-and I still do not succeed?” We also discuss several other topics like What is the definition of whigs?
Research Evidence: An original experiment that took place in 1978 is some research evidence that self-handicapping occurs. Students took two separate rigged tests. The first rigged test consisted of sixteen unsolvable problems and four solvable problems. The second rigged test consisted of four unsolvable problems and sixteen solvable problems. The students that took the test with sixteen unsolvable problems were told that they results were outstanding and they did exceptionally well compared to previous test participants. The students were then provided another chance to take the test, but with the option of taking either a performance hindering drug or a performance helping drug. The students chose the performance hindering drug
despite doing well on an impossible test to pass. It is believed that despite the results, the students chose the hindering drug because if failure did occur it would be blamed on the drug. In essence, the decision was made to protect their self-esteem.
Why would stereotype threat detract from performance in some courses? (01- H)
A stereotype threat could detract from performance in some courses because some student’s become concerned that their performance might confirm negative beliefs about their group. The fear of being reduced to the stereotype creates anxiety. Thus, creating a negative effect on a student’s performance in a course. Don't forget about the age old question of What is the meaning of the individual level?
What are some evidence-based ways to reduce the threat?
Some evidence- based ways, very similar to the concept of the study by Jeff Stone, is to change the label of something (possibly a course) that may be viewed as intimidating to the stereotyped group. Since intimidation has an effect on results, by simply removing the factor of intimidation the stereotyped group could be successful.
Why is distributed practice more effective than "studying a lot" for an exam? (01-D)
Distributed practice is more effective than “studying a lot” for an exam because distributed practice allows a student to study smarter rather than harder. Distributed practice is done over time so there is no pressure to cram information. With distributed practice, information is better retained and studying the material overtime is much more likely to be mastered. “Studying a lot” for an exam creates the stressful issue of studying for hours at a time and it only exerts the brain in effort to hold a vast amount of information. Therefore, distributed practice is much more effective than “studying a lot”.
Why does being tested help students learn? What is the research evidence that supports the Testing Effect? Be clear about the methodology and results.
Being tested helps students learn because the information is better retained and students are more likely to remember the information longer. Research evidence from the Roediger and Karpicke experiment supports the Testing Effect. Within the experiment students were given a passage of text to study for seven minutes. One group of students were given an extra seven minutes to study and tested five minutes later. The other group of students were not given an extra seven minutes of study time, but was given a test two days or a week later. Although the group with extra time did better with the final test given five minutes later, the other group with less study time did comparably better on the test that was given two days or a week later. In conclusion, the evidence demonstrates that spending more time studying is not as effective as being tested.
Maria C. Dasilva
Module 02 Study Smart Activity
Cognition, Intelligence & Memory
What is a heuristic? Why do we need them? Give examples to demonstrate how specific heuristics work to fulfill that need. (02-C)
∙ Heuristics are mental shortcuts that can ease the cognitive load of making a decision. Examples of this method include using a rule of thumb, an educated guess, stereotyping, an intuitive judgment, profiling, or common sense.
∙ When we are trying to solve a problem or make a decision, we often turn to mental shortcuts when we need a quick solution, heuristics serve as those shortcuts that we need to speed up our problem and decision-making process.
∙ One type of heuristic is the availability heuristic is a mental shortcut that helps us make a decision based on how easy it is to bring something to mind. In other words, we often rely on how easy it is to think of examples when making a decision or judgment.
∙ Another type of heuristic is a representativeness heuristic, a mental shortcut that helps us make a decision by comparing information to our mental prototypes. For example, if someone was to describe an older woman as warm and caring with a great love of children, most of us would assume that the older woman is a grandmother. She fits our mental representation of a grandmother, so we automatically classify her into that category.
Define confirmation bias. Give an example from your life when you have experienced the confirmation bias. Why does the confirmation bias occur? How is this an example of motivated cognition? (02-D)
∙ Confirmation bias is a person’s tendency to notice and remember information that is consistent with their existent beliefs. Confirmation biases impact how people gather information, but they also influence how people interpret and recall information.
∙ I have experienced a confirmation bias as of this past year in college. I was assigned to write a research paper on a controversial issue and I chose abortion for my research topic. As I conducted research for my paper I noticed that I was primarily searching for information that would confirm my beliefs and I failed to search for or fully consider information that was inconsistent with my beliefs.
∙ Confirmation bias occurs when we lose our ability to be objective. The reason that confirmation bias is so common is because, mentally, it is easier to deal with.
∙ Like motivated cognition, confirmation bias could be biased by subconscious motivations.
What is the duration and capacity of sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory? (02-H)
-The capacity of sensory memory is very limited. Depending on the amount of time exposure to the stimulus, it can only hold a few bits of information at a time. The duration of echoic sensory memory is 3-4 seconds, while the duration of iconic sensory memory is 0.2-0.4 (less than a second).
-The duration of short-term memory is up to 30 seconds and the capacity can only hold about 7 bits (+/-2 bits) of information at a time. That is, the average is 7 (+/-2) with a common range of 5 - 9 bits.
-The duration of long term memory is relatively permanent, while the capacity is unlimited.
What is the difference between declarative and procedural memory?
Declarative memories are specific facts you can consciously recall (specific facts and events). On the other hand, procedural memories are cognitive-behavioral actions that are stored in a more subconscious form (once you learn how to do it, you can do it without thinking about it).
What is the similarity and difference between semantic and procedural memories?
The similarity between semantic and procedural memories is that they are memories that recall something in specific (ex: word meanings). However, they are different because semantic memories recall discrete facts while procedural memories, on the other hand, recalls cognitive behavioral actions in a subconscious form (ex: riding a bike).
What is the research evidence that we have state-dependent memory?
The research evidence that we have state-dependent memory stemmed from Donald Goodwin and colleagues, published in Science in 1969, who asked male volunteers to perform memory tasks that involved learning and remembering words while either
sober or under the effects of alcohol. The research showed good retention of the words if the volunteers had been sober at learning and sober at recall. However, if volunteers were sober at learning but drunk at recall, their memory was relatively impaired. On the contrary, volunteers who were drunk at learning and sober at recall were also amnesic. Goodwin thus concluded, that the results indicated “that learning which the subject acquires while intoxicated may be more available while he is intoxicated than when sober.” In other words, the research evidence concluded that we have state-dependent memory.
How might we use the concept of schemas to explain why environmental context is encoding along with other information?
Schemas is the process of interpreting and organizing information, so if we are encoding an event into memory, the memory trace is made up of details about the event (who was there, what they said, etc), but also of the context in which the event occurred. Though context in this sense is a broad term, in this case it is considered environmental context that is encompassing elements such as where and when the event happened, who else was there, and also thoughts and feelings we had while experiencing the event. These internally-generated thoughts and feelings are likely to be influenced by many factors based on the environment at the time of the event. For example, was it dark or light, warm or cold, noisy or quiet, were we happy or sad, drunk or sober, etc. All these elements under environmental context are bound together to form the memory trace or encoding relating to that event.
How can we explain why being in the same state facilitates recall in terms of priming and accessibility? (02-J)
Being in same state facilitates memory in terms of priming and accessibility because being in the same state subconsciously recalls memories based on the context. Whether it’s through scheming or priming, information is subconsciously activated by a related concept that is remembered. For example, a five year old child’s parents takes them to the zoo and is amazed by a monkey. Later as an adult they visit the zoo and the smell of the animals trigger their visit to the zoo as a child, thus they think about the monkey they recalled as a child. The related concept could be anything that triggers a memory- a smell, a sight, the environment, ect.
What are the three processes of memory? What are the order effects? Why does each occur? (02-H, Class meeting)
The three process of memory are encoding, storage, and recall (retrieval). The order effects starts with encoding information (perceiving), storing it for later use (long term or short-term), and retrieving it when we need it later. Each process occurs in order to create memories or help remember information.