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LSU / Engineering / PSYC 2000 / What is the definition of behavior in psychology?

What is the definition of behavior in psychology?

What is the definition of behavior in psychology?

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PSYCHOLOGY 2000 – PROF. GREENING - SECTION 003


What is the definition of behavior in psychology?



Week 1 – Thursday

Psychology and Its History

• What is Psychology?

o Psychology – the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.

▪ 1. Behavior – any action

▪ 2. Mental processes – perceptions, thoughts, feelings

• Latent constructs

▪ 3. Scientific

• Wilhelm Wundt

o “Father of Psychology” for two reasons:

▪ 1. First attempt to bring objectivity/ measurement in psychology

o Some work involved objective introspection

• Edward Titchener


What is the definition of mental processes in psychology?



o Student of Wundt

o Translated many of Wundt’s works into English

o Structuralism

▪ Study consciousness by trying to understand its smallest, most basic  elements

o Introspection of thoughts as well as physical objects

• William James

o Functionalism We also discuss several other topics like What is the definition of metabolism in the cell?

▪ Study the function of consciousness – how the mind allows people to  work, play, adapt to new circumstances

• Max Wertheimer Don't forget about the age old question of What are the main principles that the structure and function of government is based on?

o Gestalt Psychology – How we experience the world

▪ “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”


Gestalt psychology means what?



• Sigmund Freud

o Worked with patients whose complaints had no identifiable physical cause o Focused on the role of the unconscious  

▪ Where unwanted urges and desires are pushed towards

o Psychoanalysis – therapy based on Freud’s ideas

▪ Focus on early childhood development: psychosexual stages

▪ Dream interpretation: “The interpretation of dreams is he royal road to a  knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.”

• Pavlov

o Interested in reflexes

o Discovered that reflexes could be conditioned (learned)

▪ Food-saliva (natural response)

▪ After pairing buzzer-food, get buzzer-saliva

• John Watson If you want to learn more check out How do you find the integrating factor by inspection method?

o Behaviorism – study of observable behavior

o Little Albert Study

▪ Freud: phobias are the result of unconscious conflicts

▪ Watson tried to create a phobia using the conditioning technique  

discovered by Pavlov

• Classical conditioning If you want to learn more check out What is the basic research concept?

Week 2 – Tuesday

Modern Perspectives and Psychological Methods

• Psychodynamic Perspective

o Modern version of psychoanalysis

▪ More focused on the development of a sense of self and the discovery of  other motivations behind a person’s behavior

▪ Psychodynamic psychotherapy

▪ Attachment theory – type of bond formed between caregiver and an infant • Behavioral Perspective

o After a scandal, Watson left his academic job and went into advertising o Famous behaviorist who continued and expanded upon his work – BF Skinner o How to manipulate voluntary behavior by changing the consequences of behavior ▪ Operant conditioning

• Humanistic Perspective If you want to learn more check out What is the prohibition in congress?

o Emphasis on conscious and immediate experiences and the empowerment of the  individual to become the best he/she can be (to self-actualize) We also discuss several other topics like Who is the primal mother earth goddess in greek mythology?

o Humanists held the view that people have free will – the freedom to choose/shape  their own destiny

o Client-centered therapy

• Cognitive Perspective

o Grew in part out of gestalt psychology

o How people think, remember, and store information

▪ Language, problem solving, intelligence, decision making

o Cognitive neuroscience – brain and cognitive processing

• Sociocultural Perspective

o Combines social and cultural psychology

▪ Social psychology – study of groups, relationships, social influences on  behavior

▪ Cultural psychology – study of cultural values and norms, or standards of  behavior

o Cross-cultural studies

• Biopsychological Perspective

o Mental processes can be explained by the interaction with biological factors like  genes or hormones

• Evolutionary Perspective

o Grew in part out of functionalism

o Argues that human behavior is a result of psychological adaptations that help  people successfully function and survive

Types of Psychological Professionals

• Psychologist

o Doctoral degree and specialized training in one or more subfield of psychology

▪ Clinical, counseling, developmental, cognitive, social, biological,  

personality

o Some psychologists do basic research; others do applied research; some do both ▪ Basic research example: How do patients with Alzheimer’s disease  

experience emotion?

▪ Applied research example: How can we use the intact emotional responses  of some Alzheimer’s patients to improve their quality of life?

• Therapy

o Some psychologists (e.g., school, counseling, clinical) are trained in  

psychological interventions/therapy

▪ Some other professionals also do psychotherapy, sometimes from specific  perspectives

• E.g. social workers, marriage and family therapists

▪ Some of these professions require a master’s degree (vs. a doctoral degree) o With a few exceptions, psychologists are not allowed to prescribe medication  (“pharmacotherapy”)

• Psychiatry

o Medical specialty

▪ Psychiatrists go to medical school then specializes in the diagnosis and  treatment of mental disorders

▪ Often uses medication as treatment

The Scientific Method and Psychology

• Confirmation bias 

o Tendency to notice, seek out, and interpret information in a way consistent with  your own prior beliefs

• Introduction to the Scientific Method

o Scientific Method – a system for reducing bias and error in the measurement of  data

▪ Used in psychology to accomplish the goals of description, explanation,  prediction, and control

o The steps to using the scientific method:

▪ Perceiving the question

▪ Forming a hypothesis

▪ Testing the hypothesis

▪ Drawing conclusions

▪ Reporting results

Week 2 – Thursday

Psychology Research Methods

• Methods of Psychology

o Descriptive Methods

▪ Naturalistic observation

▪ Laboratory observation

▪ Case Study

o Correlations

o The Experiment

• Naturalistic Observation

o Watching animals or humans behave in their normal environment

o Advantage

▪ Realistic picture of behavior

o Limitations and ways of minimizing them

▪ Observer effect – tendency of people or animals to behave differently  from normal when they know they are being observed

• Participant observation – a naturalistic observation in which the

observer becomes a participant in the group being observed (to  

reduce observer effect)

▪ Observer bias – tendency of observers to see what they expect to see • Blind observers – people who do not know what the research  

question is (to reduce observer bias)

▪ Each naturalistic setting is unique, and observations may not hold

• Laboratory Observation

o Watching animals or humans behave in a laboratory setting

o Advantages

▪ Control over environment

▪ Allows use of specialized equipment

o Limitations

▪ Artificial situation that may result in artificial behavior

▪ Can be difficult to generalize findings to “real world” situations

• Case Studies

o Study of one individual in great detail

o Advantage

▪ Tremendous amount of detail

• Rich source for hypothesis generation

o Limitation

▪ Findings may not generalize to others

• Surveys

o A technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes, opinions, or behaviors of  people

o Advantages

▪ Data from large numbers of people

▪ Study covert behaviors (get private information)

o Limitations

▪ People are not always accurate

▪ Small variations in wording used or order of questions can affect  

outcomes

▪ Researchers have to ensure representative sample if interested in  

generalizing findings to a certain population

• Sampling

o Population – entire group of people or animals the researcher is interested in ▪ Representative sample – randomly selected sample of subjects for a larger  population

• Examining Relationships: Correlations

o A measure of the relationship between two variables

o Variable – anything that can change or vary

o Measures of two variables go into a mathematical formula and produce a  correlation coefficient (r), which represents two things:

▪ The direction of the relationship (sign)

▪ The strength of the relationship (number)

▪ Range: -1 to +1

▪ The closer to 1 or -1, the stronger the relationship, the closer to 0 the  

weaker the relationship

o Knowing the value of one variable allows researchers to predict the value of the  other variable

• Correlations: Direction

o Positive correlation – variables are related in the same direction

▪ As one increases, the other increases; as one decreases, the other decreases o Negative correlation – variables are related in the opposite direction

▪ As one increases, the other decreases

• Correlations and Causation

o Correlation does not approve causation!

▪ E.g., ice cream sales and drowning

o If variables are casually related, a correlation won’t tell you which variable is the  cause and which is the effect

▪ E.g., self-esteem and school performance

The Experiment: Does the use of cell phones impair social-emotional functioning in kids? • Experiments

o By conducting an experiment – A researcher manipulates one variable  (independent variable) and measures the effect of the manipulation on another  (dependent variable)

▪ Aimed at determining causality

o Independent Variable (IV) 

▪ The variable in an experiment that is manipulated by the experimenter o Dependent Variable (DV) 

▪ The variable in an experiment that represents the measurable response or  behavior of the subjects in the experiment

• Operational Definition

o Definition of a variable of interest that allows it to be directly measured ▪ Intelligence >

▪ Depression >

▪ Aggression >

• Experimental and Control Groups

o Experimental group

• Subjects in an experiment who are subjected to the independent  

variable

• E.g., cell phone goes off

o Control group

▪ Subjects in an experiment who are not subjected to the independent  

variable and who may receive a placebo treatment (controls for some  

confounding variables)

• E.g., no cell phone rings

• Random Assignment  

o Random assignment – assigning participants to experimental (cell phone group)  and control (non-cell phone group) conditions by random assignment minimizes  pre-existing differences between the two groups

o Random assignment gives each study participant an equal chance of being in the  treatment or the control group

• Potential Issues with Experiments

o Confounds – extraneous variable that affects the variables you are interested in  studying

▪ Experimental and control groups

▪ Random assignment

o Demand characteristics – participants change their behavior based on what they  perceive the experiment to be about

▪ Deception

o Placebo effect – expectations of participants can influence their behavior ▪ Experimental and control groups

▪ Single blind study

o Experimenter effects – experimenter’s expectations an unintentionally influence  the results of a study

▪ Double blind studies

Week 3 – Tuesday

The Biological Perspective – Part 1

• Gray Matter and White Matter

o Neurons 

▪ Gray matter (mostly)

▪ Receives and sends messages

o Gila 

▪ White matter

▪ 90% of the cells in our nervous system are glial cells

▪ Supportive role: provide nutrients, repair damage, form myelin, get rid of  waste

• Action Potential

o All or nothing

o How does the strength of the message get coded (e.g., loud sounds vs. soft  sounds)?

o Fast versus Slow: Myelination 

▪ Oligodendrocytes – CNS

▪ Schwann cells – PNS

• Synapse

o Synapse (or synaptic gap) is the tiny gap between the axon tip of the sending  neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron

• Neurotransmitters

o Neurotransmitters (chemicals) released from the sending neuron, travel across the  synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing it ▪ They can have an excitatory or inhibitory effect

• Glutamate 

• GABA 

• Serotonin 

o Mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal…

• Acetylcholine 

o Responsible for muscle movement

o Plays a role in learning and memory

• Dopamine 

o Control of movements, sensations of pleasure

• Neuropeptides, example, endorphins

• Cleaning up the Synapse

o Neurotransmitters in the synapse are either

▪ (a) reabsorbed into the sending neurons through the process of reuptake ▪ (b) diffuse

▪ (c) are broken down by enzymes

o this process applies brakes on neurotransmitter action

• Drugs

o Agonists – increases original message that NT was supposed to send

o Antagonists – blocks original message that NT was supposed to send

o Some drugs act by affecting the amount of NT available at the synapse • Somatic Nervous System

o Sensation

o Voluntary muscle movement

• Autonomic Nervous System

o Part of the PNS that controls the involuntary muscles, organs, and glands – our  automatic functions

▪ Sympathetic NS – “arouses” (fight or flight)

▪ Parasympathetic NS – “calms” (rest and digest)

• The Endocrine System

o The Endocrine System is the body’s “slow” chemical communication system ▪ Communication is carried out by hormones

• Basic Functions of Endocrine Glands

o Pituitary gland – master gland, responsible for growth and control of other glands o Thyroid gland – metabolism

o Parathyroid gland – calcium regulation

o Adrenal glands – triggers fight or flight, engaged under stress or danger o Pancreas – regulates blood sugar

o Testes and Ovaries – secrete sex hormones for males and females respectively  

Week 3 – Thursday

The Biological Perspective – Part 2

• Neuroanatomy

o Note: only highlighting some specific functions for some brain regions o Note: the different parts of the brain work together to accomplish tasks • Cortex

o Outermost covering of the brain consisting of densely packed neurons;  responsible for higher thought processes and interpretation of sensory input o Corticalization – wrinkling of the cortex

▪ Allows a much larger area of cortical cells to exist in the small space  inside the skull

• Frontal Lobes

o Responsible for higher (complex) mental processes and decision making ▪ Also contains the motor cortex

• Parietal Lobes

o Contain the somatosensory cortex – area of neurons running down the front of the  parietal lobes

o Responsible for processing information from the skin and internal body receptors  for touch, temperature, body position

• Temporal Lobe

o Contains primary auditory cortex – processes auditory information from the ears o Contains auditory association cortex – interprets or makes sense of auditory  information

▪ Some parts also responsible for aspects of language

• Occipital Lobes

o Contains primary visual cortex – processes visual information from the eyes o Contains visual association cortex – interprets or makes sense of visual  information

• Association Cortices

o Areas within different lobes that integrate different types of information • Cerebral Hemispheres

o Cerebral hemispheres – the two sections of the cortex on the left and right sides of  the brain

o Corpus callosum – think band of neurons that connects the right and left cerebral  hemispheres

• Limbic System

o Homeostasis (keeps things functioning in normal range; e.g., temperature) o Olfaction (smell)

o Memory

o Emotion

• Thalamus

o Thalamus – a round structure in the center of the brain that acts as the brains  sensory switchboard, relaying incoming sensory information to the appropriate  sensory areas in the cortex (except smell)

• Hypothalamus

o Lies below (hypo) the thalamus

o Helps direct several maintenance activities like thirst, hunger, body temperature,  sleeping and waking, sexual behavior and emotions

o Controls the pituitary gland

• Hippocampus

o Plays a vital role in learning and memory (for facts/knowledge)

▪ Acetylcholine

• Amygdala

o Amygdala – two almond-shaped neural clusters linked to emotion, especially fear • Midbrain

o Midbrain – the segment of the brainstem that lies between the hindbrain and the  forebrain

▪ Integrates sensory processes, such as vision and hearing

▪ One area is also involved in dopamine synthesis

• Brainstem

o Medulla – heartbeat, breathing, swallowing

o Pons – messages between the cerebellum and cortex

▪ Sleep, dreaming

o Reticular formation – arousal, attention, alertness

• Cerebellum

o Controls and coordinate all involuntary, rapid, fine motor movement, as well as  voluntary movements that happen in rapid succession

Week 4 – Tuesday

Sensation and Perception – Part 1

• Sensation and Perception

o To represent the world, we must detect physical energy (stimuli) from the  environment and convert it into neural signals, a process called sensation

o Sensation – occurs when special receptors in the sense organs are activated,  allowing various forms of outside stimuli to become neural signals in the brain o This process of converting outside stimuli into neural activity is called  transduction

▪ When we select, organize, and interpret out sensations, the process is  

called perception 

▪ Perception occurs when we give meaning to our sensations

• Thresholds

o Absolute Threshold – minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus  50% of the time

o Difference Threshold – minimum difference between two stimuli required for  detection 50% of the time

▪ Also called just noticeable difference (JND) 

• Weber’s Law

o In humans, difference thresholds (experienced as a just noticeable difference)  increase in proportion to the size of the stimulus

o Two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant  amount), to be perceived as different

▪ Weber Fraction – k = ΔI/I

o Example:

▪ If the brightness needed to yield the just noticeable difference was 108  units then the observer’s difference threshold would be 8 units (i.e., ΔI/I =  8/100 = .08)

▪ The Weber fraction equivalent for this difference threshold would be .08 • Subliminal Threshold

o Subliminal stimuli – those strong enough for our sensory receptors to pick them  up, but not strong enough for us to be able to detect them

o Priming occurs when:

▪ The priming effect and other experiments reveal that we can process some  information from stimuli too weak to recognize/detect (below the absolute  threshold)

▪ FYI: this effect is too subtle to have a powerful enduring effect on  

behavior

• Habituation

o The tendency of the brain to stop attending to constant, unchanging information ▪ The brain ignores stimuli that are being sensed, but do not change

o Microsaccades – constant movement of the eyes; tiny little vibrations that people  do not notice consciously

▪ Prevents sensory adaptation to visual stimuli

• Sensory Adaptation

o The tendency of sensory receptors to become less responsive to a stimulus that is  unchanging

▪ Receptors less responsive to the stimulus, and therefore no longer send  signals to the brain

• Light

o Transduction – the transformation of stimulus energy into neural impulses o Phototransduction – conversion of light energy into neural impulses that the brain  can understand

o Light Characteristics:

▪ Color (hue)

• Wavelength – determined by the length of the wave, distance  

between wave peaks

▪ Brightness

• Amplitude – determined by the height of the wave

o How high or low the wave actually is

▪ Saturation (purity)

• Determined by whether or how much there is a mixture of  

wavelengths

o Intensity (brightness)

▪ Intensity – amount of energy in a wave, determined by amplitude

• Related to perceived brightness

• Parts of the Eye

o Cornea  

▪ Transparent tissue where light enters the eye

o Iris

▪ Muscle that expands and contracts to change the size of opening (pupil)  for light

o Lens  

▪ Focuses the light rays on the retina (through visual accommodation,  

process by which the eye’s lens changes shape to help focus near or far  

objects on the retina)

o Retina  

▪ Retina – the sensitive inner surface of the eye, containing photoreceptor  rods and cones plus layers of other neurons (bipolar and ganglion cells)  

that process visual information

• Bipolar cells receive messages from photoreceptors ad transmit  

them to ganglion cells, which form the optic nerve 

▪ Contains sensory receptors that process visual information and send it to  the brain

• Optic Nerve, Blind Spot, and Fovea

o Optic nerve – carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain

o Blind spot – point where optic nerve leaves the eye, because there are no receptor  cells located here, it creates a blind spot

o Fovea – central point in the retina, around which the eye’s cones cluster • Visual Imaging Processing

o Optic nerves connect to the thalamus in the middle of the brain, and the thalamus  to the visual cortex

• Color Vision

o Trichromatic theory – the theory of color vision that proposes three types of  cones: red, blue, and green

▪ Light of any color can be matched by the additive mixture of these 3  

primary colors

▪ Most known facts about color blindness are explained well

o Opponent process theory – based on the idea that there are four primary colors:  red, green, blue, yellow

▪ The colors are arranged in pairs (red with green and blue with yellow) a d  if one member of a pair is stimulated, the other member is inhibited

o The receptors that do the first stage of processing seem to follow principles  outlined in Trichromatic Theory 

o In later stages of processing, cells in the retina and the brain seem to follow the  principles outline in the Opponent Process Theory 

Sensation and Perception – Part 2

• Hearing

o The Stimulus Input: Sound Waves

▪ Sound waves are the vibrations of the molecules of air that surround us o Acoustical Transduction – conversion of sound waves into neural impulses in the  hairs cells of the inner ear

o Part of the Ear

o Hearing Impairment

• Sound Characteristics

o Pitch

▪ Determined by the wavelength or frequency (low, medium, high)

▪ Wavelength – the distance from the peak of one wave to the peak of the  next

• Frequency or Pitch is measured in hertz (Hz), the cycles of waves  

per second

o Volume (loudness)

▪ Determined by the amplitude (softer versus louder)

▪ Volume – amount of energy in a wave determined by amplitude, relates to  perceived loudness

• Amplitude is measured in decibels (dB)

o Timbre

▪ Determined by the purity, or the complexity (richness) of the tone of the  sound

• Parts of the Ear

o Outer Ear – consists of pinna that collects and funnels sound

▪ Eardrum – vibrates when sound waves hit

o Middle Ear – chamber between eardrum and cochlea containing three tiny bones  (hammer, anvil, stirrup) that send vibrations to the cochlea’s oval window o Inner Ear – innermost part of the ear consists largely of the cochlea, a fluid filled,  coiled shaped tunnel that contains receptors for hearing

• Theories of Hearing: Pitch Perception

o Place theory – suggests that different sound waves stimulate the basilar membrane  at different, specific places resulting in perceived pitch

▪ Best explains how we perceive high-pitched sounds (> 1000 Hz)

o Frequency theory – states that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory  nerve matches the frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch ▪ Best explains how we perceive low-pitched sounds (< 1000 Hz)

o Volley principle – theory of pitch that states that different frequencies cause the  hair cells (auditory neurons) to fire in a volley pattern, or take turns in firing ▪ Best explains how we perceive moderate to high pitches, between 40 Hz  to about 4000 Hz

• Localization of Sounds

o Because we have two ears, sounds that reach one ear faster than the other helps us  to localize the sound

• Hearing Impairment

o Conduction hearing impairment – sound vibrations cannot be passed from the  eardrum to the cochlea

▪ Caused by the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the  cochlea (e.g., ear drum punctured or tiny bones in middle ear can’t  

vibrate)

• Hearing aids

o Nerve hearing impairment – problem lies in inner ear or in the auditory pathways  and cortical areas of the brain

▪ Caused by damage to the cochlea’s hair cells or to the auditory nerve, also  called nerve deafness or sensorineural hearing loss (e.g., disease, aging,  

over-exposure to loud sounds)

• Cochlear implant

o Older people tend to hear low frequencies well but suffer hearing loss for higher  frequencies

• The Stimulus Input: Chemicals

o The gustatory (taste) receptors are clusters of cells, which are responsible for the  sense of taste

▪ They are mostly located on the tongue

o Gustatory Transduction – conversion of food molecules into neural impulses • Five Basic Tastes

o Sweet

o Sour

o Salty

o Bitter

o “Brothy” or “Savory” or Umami

• Smell

o The Stimulus Input: Chemicals

▪ Olfactory cilia – hair-like structures located in the upper portion of the  nasal passages and are responsible for smell

▪ Olfactory transduction – conversion of chemical molecules in the air into  neural impulses by the olfactory cilia

• The olfactory receptors send neural signals related to smell directly  

up to the olfactory bulbs

o Olfactory bulbs have projections to the limbic system 

o Olfactory Cilia

• Somesthetic Senses  

o The body senses consisting of the skin senses, the kinesthetic sense, and the  vestibular senses

▪ “Soma” – body

▪ “Esthetic” – feeling

o Skin Stimulus Input (skin senses) – touch, pressure, temperature, pain ▪ Sensory receptors in the skin

▪ Nerve fibers that carry information about tactile stimulation are routed  through the thalamus and onward to the somatosensory cortex

• Kinesthetic Sense

o Sense of the location of body parts in relation to the ground and each other ▪ Processed by proprioceptors in the skin, joints, muscles, and tendons

• Vestibular Sense

o Sense of movement, balance, and body position

▪ Processed by vestibular organs in the inner ear

▪ Otolith organs for sensing translations

▪ Semicircular canals for sensing rotations  

(END MATERIAL FOR EXAM 1)

Week 5 – Tuesday

Consciousness – Part 1

• Consciousness

o Awareness of everything around you and inside of your own head at any given  moment

▪ Used to organize your behavior, thoughts, sensations, and feelings

▪ Generated from a set of action potentials

• Types of Consciousness

o 2 different kinds

▪ 1. Waking consciousness – thoughts, feelings, sensations clear and  

organized

▪ 2. Altered states of consciousness – shifts in the quality or pattern of  

mental activity

• Daydreaming

• Hypnotic state

• Meditative state

• Increased alertness

• Divided attention

• Sleep

• Sleep and the Circadian Rhythm

o “Circa” “diem” – about a day

o Key players – suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus, pineal gland,  and melatonin

▪ When it gets dark, the SCN triggers the secretion of melatonin from the  pineal gland, making us feel sleepy

▪ When it gets light, the SCN stops the secretion of melatonin, allowing the  body to waken

• Other Factors Related to Sleep

o Serotonin

▪ Sleep regulation

o Body temperature

▪ The higher the body temperature, the more alert we are

▪ The lower the body temperature, the sleepier we are

o Adenosine

▪ As builds up become more sleepy

▪ Caffeine – adenosine antagonist

• Sleep Deprivation

o Microsleeps – brief periods of sleep that last only a few seconds

o Missing a single night of sleep

▪ Problems with concentration and simple task performance

o Sleep deprivation symptoms

▪ Trembling hands, inattention, staring off to space, droopy eye lids, general  discomfort psychological symptoms (i.e., irritability, depression, mania,  

hallucinations)

o Extended sleep deprivation

▪ Missing multiple days of sleep (no sleep or reduced levels)

• Significant impairment in functioning

▪ Long term sleep deprivation and health

• Obesity

• Impaired immune system functioning and increased inflammatory  response

▪ Fatal familial insomnia

• Why do we sleep?

o Adaptive Theory of Sleep – sleep is a product of evolution

▪ We want to stay safe from predators

▪ Explains why we sleep when we sleep

▪ Evidence: relationship between the amount of time particular animals  sleep and status on the food chain

o Restorative Theory of Sleep – sleep is necessary for physical health ▪ Explains why we sleep in general

▪ Evidence: most bodily growth and cellular repair occur at night in deepest  stages of sleep

• 2 Kinds of Sleep

o REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep 

▪ Active sleep

▪ Dream during this stage

▪ Voluntary muscles are paralyzed

o Non-REM sleep 

▪ Restful sleep

▪ Voluntary muscles are not paralyzed

• EEG and Sleep Stages

o Use an EEG to record brain wave activity and determine what stage people are in ▪ When people are awake and alert – beta waves (very small and fast) ▪ When people are relaxed and drowsy – alpha waves (slightly larger and  slower)

• Non-REM Stage 1 Sleep (N1)

o Theta waves replace alpha waves (even slower)

o Light sleep – people will deny they were sleeping

o Hypnotic jerk is common

o Some people hallucinate falling into this stage, called hypnogogic images or  hallucinations

• Non-REM Stage 2 Sleep (N2)

o Body temperature drops, heart rate slows, and breathing becomes more shallow ▪ Characterized by sleep spindles

o Theta waves continue during this stage

o If awakened, people are aware that they were asleep

• Non-REM Stages 3 and 4 Sleep (N3)

o Stage 3 – delta waves start (slowest and largest)

o Stage 4 – deepest sleep

▪ During this stage that body growth occurs

o If you wake a person up during this stage, they will be disoriented

• REM Sleep

o Body temperature rises to almost waking temperature, eye lids move, heart rate  increases

o Brain waves resemble beta waves

o 90% of dreams take place in REM sleep

o REM paralysis – voluntary muscles are paralyzed

• Importance of REM Sleep

o Experience more REM sleep after a stressful day

o Experience more non-REM sleep after physically demanding day

▪ If deprived of REM sleep, experience REM rebound the following night o Infants engage in more REM sleep than adults

▪ Period of brain growth and development

Week 5 – Thursday

Consciousness – Part 2

• Hypnosis

o State of consciousness in which a person is especially susceptible to suggestion o Four elements of hypnosis:

▪ Person told to focus on what is being said

▪ Person told to relax and feel tired

▪ Person told to accept suggestions

▪ Person told to use vivid imagination

o Possible uses for hypnosis

▪ Relaxation

▪ Pain control, reduce food cravings, or quit smoking (difficult)

▪ NOT appropriate for recovering “repressed memories”

o Who responds to hypnosis

▪ 80% of people have some good response  

▪ 40% of people are “good” subjects

▪ Some predictors:

• Hypnotic susceptibility scales

• Absorption scales

• Theories of Hypnosis

o Hypnosis as dissociation – the subject has a split awareness: one stream  communicates with the hypnotist and external world, while the other is the  “hidden observer”

o Evidence:

▪ Like what can happen when you drive someplace familiar

▪ Ice water experiment, press a button if feel pain

o Social-cognitive theory of hypnosis – theory assumes that people who are  hypnotized are not in an altered state, but are merely playing the role expected of  them in the situation

▪ Does not mean people are “faking it”

o Evidence:

▪ Playing an unexpected role, social role. Participants ‘unaware’ of role  playing

▪ “An authoritative person in a legitimate context can induce people hypnotized or not-to perform some unlikely acts.” (Milgram, 1974)

• Drugs

o Out in nature vs. created in a lab

o Effects on the brain and the rest of the body

o Many drugs currently illegal used to be legal

o Many drugs make people feel really good

▪ Neural basis

o Many drugs make people feel so good their life revolves around the drug o Quitting drugs can make people feel really bad

▪ Neural basis

• Drug Dependence

o Physical dependence – condition where a person’s body becomes unable to  function normally without a particular drug

▪ Drug tolerance – a person finds they need larger and larger doses of the  drug to feel the same effect they received the first time they used

▪ Withdrawal – symptoms begin to occur when lack of the drug is present.  Body is adjusting to the absence of the drug

o Psychological dependence – belief that a drug is needed to continue a feeling of  emotional or psychological well-being

• Stimulants

o Drugs that increase the activity in the central nervous system and/or sympathetic  nervous system, suppress appetite, cause people to feel more awake/alert and  energetic

o Amphetamines

▪ Drugs include:

• Methylphenidate (Ritalin)

o ADHD treatment

o Use by students/“cognitive enhancement”

• Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy)

o Stimulatory hallucinogenic

o Chronic use: memory problems

• Methamphetamine (“Crystal Meth”)

o Euphoric rush

o Also insomnia, mood disturbances, delusions, physical  

symptoms

o Cocaine

▪ Euphoria and increased energy

▪ Also, paranoia and vascular problems (including risk of heart attack and  stroke)

o Nicotine

▪ Easy to get addicted to, very hard to quit

• Treatment can help

▪ More smoking-related deaths in the US than from car accidents, alcohol,  illicit drug use, AIDS, suicide, and homicide combined

o Caffeine

▪ Mild stimulant

• 90% of Americans use caffeine

▪ if used regularly and quit, can get withdrawal symptoms

• Depressants

o Drugs that decrease activity in the central nervous system, slow down bodily  functions, reduce sensitivity to outside stimulation

o Tranquilizers

▪ Major tranquilizers – barbiturates

▪ Minor tranquilizers – benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, Valium)

o Alcohol

▪ Most commonly used (and abused) depressant

• 23% of Americans report binge drinking in the past month

• 42.2% of college students report binge drinking in the past month ▪ Nearly ¼ of all fatal car crashes for those above 21 years of age involve  alcohol

▪ Sleep

• Fall asleep faster, but disrupted sleep later in the sleep cycle

o REM sleep

▪ Long-term abuse associated with:

• Alcohol-related dementia

• Korsakoff’s Syndrome

• Physical issues – liver disease, heart disease, osteoporosis

▪ Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

• Facial deformity

• Affects cognitive functioning, speech, movement, social skills

• Heart problems

o Narcotics (Opioids)  

▪ A class of depressant drugs derived from the opium poppy that produce  pain-relieving and calming effects. They mimic endorphins

▪ Include:

• Opium

• Morphine

• Heroin

• Methadone

• Oxycodone (OxyContin)

▪ Immediate effects – dreamlike euphoria

• Duplicate the action of endorphins

▪ Long term changes in mood and sleep

• Body stops producing natural endorphins

▪ Decrease in body’s ability to naturally regulate pain

▪ High dose can lead to comatose state, convulsions, respiratory arrest • Hallucinogens

o Drugs that can alter and distort perceptions of time and space, alter mood,  produce feelings of unreality, and cause hallucinations

▪ Alter the perception of reality and can cause false sensory messages

o Vary in how addictive they are

o For some people, use can result in hallucinogen persisting perception disorder • Creator of LSD – Albert Hofman

o “an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense,  kaleidoscopic play of colors”

o “a miraculous, powerful, unfathomable reality”

Week 6 – Tuesday

Learning – Part 1

• Today’s Objectives

o Define classical conditioning

o Distinguish between unconditioned stimulus,  

• Learning Defined

o Learning is any relatively permanent change in behavior brought about by  experience or practice

o (Pavlov Video)

• Associative Learning

o Through life, we can learn to associate things with each other

o Our minds naturally connect events that occur in sequence

▪ Gestalt contiguity idea – things that occur close in time to one another are  grouped together

▪ Example: rule of language syntax

o In other words, when one event precedes another we learn to associate one event  with the other

▪ Thunder and lightning

▪ Lucky shirt and doing well on an exam

o Learning things go together is very adaptive

• Classical Conditioning

o UCS and UCR 

▪ Unconditioned stimulus (UCS) – unlearned, innate

▪ Unconditioned response (UCR) – automatic and involuntary

▪ Pavlov Example: food (UCS) and drooling (UCR)

• No learning needs to occur for a dog to drool when it sees food

• Thus, this response is unconditioned

o CS and CR 

▪ Conditioned stimulus – learned

▪ Conditioned response – learned (not as strong as UCR)

• Basic Principles of Acquisition in Classical Conditioning

o 1. Neutral stimulus needs to come before the US

o 2. The time between the two stimuli should be close (about half a second to five  seconds apart is ideal)

o 3. Pairing needs to occur several times, often many

o 4. The conditioned stimulus usually needs to be distinctive or stands out from  other competing stimuli

• Extinction and Spontaneous Recovery

o Extinction

▪ What happens if you stop pairing? Can you unlearn?

▪ Respondent extinction – when a US does not follow a conditioned  

stimulus, a CR starts to decrease and at some point completely diminishes o Spontaneous Recovery 

▪ After a rest period an extinguished CR spontaneously recovers. If CS  

persists alone becomes extinct again.

• Stimulus Generalization

o Tendency to respond to stimuli similar to CS is generalization 

o What we learn in one specific situation or with one specific stimulus carries over,  or transfers, to a different situation

o The more similar the new stimulus is to the original CS, the greater the likelihood  of generalization

o Examples: Little Albert

• Stimulus Discrimination

o Occurs when an organism that has learned a response to a specific stimulus does  not respond in the same way to the new stimuli that are similar to the original  stimulus

• Higher Order Conditioning

o Second phase of Classical Conditioning

o

• Learning Phobias

o Conditioned Emotional Response (CER) – an example of classical conditioning in  which the unconditioned response is an emotional response, like fear

o The CS, like a neutral bell, becomes associated with a fearful CR

▪ Fear conditioning

o CERs may lead to phobias – irrational fear responses

• Vicarious Conditioning

o Vicarious conditioning – becoming classically conditioned by simply watching  someone else respond to a stimulus

Stimulus and Response Volunteer In-Class Demonstration

• Person reads screen, as they see a specific word spray subject with water bottle. As the  demonstration continues, the subject starts to expect being sprayed when they hear a  certain word.

• Conditioned stimulus – the sound of the stimulus word (CAN)

• Unconditioned stimulus – spray of water

• Unconditioned response – flinching, leaning away

• Conditioned response – subtle flinching

• Stimulus generalization – flinching for words that start similarly to the stimulus word  • Stimulus discrimination – flinching very specifically for the stimulus word only • Extinction – possible

• Spontaneous recovery – possible  

Week 6 – Thursday

Guest Lecture

Week 7 – Tuesday  

Learning – Part 2

• Operant Conditioning

o Operant conditioning – the learning of a voluntary behavior through the effects of  pleasant and unpleasant consequences to responses

o Operant Conditioning and Animal Survival Learning: 

▪ Thorndike’s law of effect states that “responses that produce a satisfying  effect in a particular situation become more likely to occur again in that  

situation, and responses that produce a discomforting effect become less  

likely to occur again in that situation

• Reinforcement and Punishment

o Whether or not something is reinforcing or punishing is determined by the effect that thing or event has on future behavior

▪ E.g. time out, praise for participation

o 1. Is something added or taken away?

▪ Positive vs. negative

▪ (By application vs. by removal)

o 2. After adding or taking away something, does the behavior increase or decrease? ▪ Reinforcement vs. punishment

• Types of Reinforcers

o Reinforcement – any event or stimulus, that when following a response, increases  the probability that the response will occur again

▪ Primary reinforcer – any reinforcer that is naturally reinforcing by meeting  a basic biological need, such as hunger, thirst, or touch

▪ Secondary reinforcer – any reinforcer that becomes reinforcing after being  paired with a primary reinforcer, such as praise, tokens, or gold stars

o Immediate vs. delayed reinforcers

• Positive and Negative Reinforcement

o Positive reinforcement – the reinforcement of a response by addition or  experience or a pleasurable stimulus

▪ Stickers for engaging in boring psychological testing, clickers for  

attendance

o Negative reinforcement – the reinforcement of a response by the removal, escape  from, or avoidance of an unpleasant stimulus

▪ Example: taking aspirin for a headache is negatively reinforced: removal  of headache

▪ Using drugs when experiencing withdrawal symptoms, cleaning house to  get rid of mess

• Positive and Negative Punishment

o Punishment – any event or object that, when following a response, makes that  response less likely to happen again

o Punishment by application (positive punishment) – the punishment of a response  by the addition or experiencing of an unpleasant stimulus

▪ Spanking a misbehaving child, getting a speeding ticket

o Punishment by removal (negative punishment) – the punishment of a response by  the removal of a pleasurable stimulus

▪ Putting a child in time out, having to pay a financial penalty for turning in  a bill late

• Punishment

o Best when applied immediately so that the relationship between unwanted  behavior and punishment is clear

o Should be consistent (always follow through and similar intensity each time) o Immediate effect of suppressing behavior (explains negative reinforcement for  parent)

▪ Does not teach appropriate behavior

▪ Can lead to negative emotions (e.g., anxiety)

▪ Some types of punishment model aggression

• Operant Learning Demo

o Get test subject to do an unknown task based on positive and negative  reinforcement

o Use clapping as positive reinforcement

o Task to complete: Draw a circle on the board

o Result: It worked

• Schedules of Reinforcement (Rubric or Rule)

o Continuous vs. partial 

▪ Is the availability of reinforcement predictable?

• Fixed vs. variable 

▪ Is the availability of reinforcement related to the number of responses or  the passage of time?

• Ratio vs. interval 

o Fixed Ratio 

▪ Fixed ratio schedule of reinforcement – number of responses required for  reinforcement is always the same

o Fixed Interval 

▪ Fixed interval schedule of reinforcement – interval of time that must pass  before reinforcement becomes possible is always the same

o Variable Ratio 

▪ Variable ratio schedule of reinforcement – schedule of reinforcement in  which the number of responses required for reinforcement is different for  each trial or event

o Variable Interval 

▪ Variable interval schedule of reinforcement – the interval of time that  must pass before reinforcement becomes possible is different for each trial  or event

• Using Operant Conditioning to Shape Complex Behavior: Shaping o Shaping 

▪ Shaping – the reinforcement of simple steps in behavior through  

successive approximations that lead to a desired, more complex behavior o Successive approximation 

▪ Successive approximation – positively reinforcing numerous small steps  of a more complex behavior in sequence in order to teach said complex  behavior

• Cognitive Learning Theory

o In the early days of learning, researchers’ focus was on behavior

o In the 1950s – and more intensely in the 1960s – many psychologists were  becoming aware that cognition, the central events that take place inside a person’s  mind while behaving, could no longer be ignored

o Edward Tolman’s experiments demonstrated latent learning, learning that is not  immediately acted upon or expressed

• Learned Helplessness

o What happens when the learner has no control over when punishment is given? ▪ Learned helplessness – a breakdown in learning ability caused by repeated  exposure to uncontrollable aversive event.

▪ In other words, the tendency to fail to try or act in a situation because of a  history of repeated failures in the past

Week 8 – Tuesday

Memory – Part 1

• What is Memory?

o Memory – an active system that receives information from the senses, organizes  and alters that information as it stores it away, and then retrieves the information  from storage

o An active system

▪ Receives information

▪ Organizes and alters that information

▪ Retrieves the information

o There are multiple types of memory – it is not one thing in one place in the brain • 3 Memory Processes

o Encoding (putting it in) – process of transforming information into a form that  can be stored in memory

o Storage (keeping it in) – holding onto information for some period of time o Retrieval (getting it out) – getting information that is in storage into a form that  can be used

• Models of Memory  

o Information-Processing Model 

▪ Mechanics of how different information is processed through different  stages (or systems) of memory – how memory works. Three stages

o Parallel Distributed Processing Model 

▪ Connections and timing of memory processes – simultaneous processing  of information across multiple neural networks

o Levels-of-Processing Model 

▪ Depth that information is processed and how impacts strength of parallel  connections within memory systems

▪ Strength and duration of memory increases as the level of processing  

deepens

• Sensory Memory

o Holds information from the senses for a very brief duration

o Each sense has a sensory memory associated with it

o Visual – iconic memory (about 1 sec.)

▪ Visual sensory memory, lasting only a fraction of a second

o Auditory – echoic memory (about 4 secs.)

▪ Echoic memory: the brief memory of something a person has just heard • Sperling’s Procedure – Iconic Memory

o Showed people an array of letters very fast

o Cued to remember a certain row AFTER seeing the letters (partial report) ▪ People could remember almost the whole row

o This showed that people could remember more than they could report • Information-Processing Model: Short Term Memory (STM)

o The memory system in which information is held for brief periods of time while  being used

o Selective attention – ability to focus on only one stimulus (or a narrowed range of  stimuli) from among all sensory input present – information gets into STM  through selective attention

o Working memory – an active system that processes the information present in  short-term memory

• Information-Processing Model: Short Term Memory vs. Working Memory o Short-term memory 

▪ The thing or place into which information is put

o Working memory 

▪ The active system that processes or manipulates the information in STM ▪ Comprised of three interconnected systems:

• Central executive

• Visual “sketchpad”

• Auditory “recorder”

• Maintenance Rehearsal

o With maintenance rehearsal content can be held (or stored) in STM ▪ Information loss occurs when rehearsal stops, or the amount of  

information to be held exceeds capacity of STM

▪ (STMs tend to be encoded in auditory form)

▪ Interaction between working-memory and STM

• Using it so you don’t lose it

• Brown-Peterson Task

o Brown and Peterson (1958/1959) measured the duration of short-term memory  by manipulating rehearsal

▪ Duration of short-term memory is about 20 sec.

• STM Storage

o STM lasts from twelve to thirty seconds without rehearsal

o STM is susceptible to interference

• Information Processing Theory: Long-Term Memory

o Long-term memory (LTM) – the memory system into which all the information  is placed to be kept more or less permanently

▪ Capacity – seems to be unlimited

▪ Duration – can be relatively permanent

▪ Long-term does not mean…

• Memories can always be retrieved

• All memories are stored forever

o Elaborative rehearsal – a method of transferring information from STM into  LTM by making that information meaningful in some way

• Types of Long-Term Memory

o Non-declarative (implicit) memory – type of long-term memory including  memory for skills, procedures, habits, and conditioned responses

▪ Procedural memory (often called implicit memory) – memory that is not  easily brought into conscious awareness

o Declarative (explicit) memory – type of long-term memory containing  information that is conscious and known

▪ Semantic memory – declarative memory containing general knowledge ▪ Episodic memory – declarative memory containing personal information  not readily available to others

• Recall vs. Recognition

o Semantic memory:

▪ Name all of the seven dwarves (recall)

• Recall – memory retrieval in which the information to be retrieved  

must be “pulled” from memory with very few external cues

▪ Which of the following is one of the seven dwarves (recognition)?

• Recognition – the ability to match a piece of information or a  

stimulus to a stored image or fact

• Encoding and Retrieval Cues

o Encoding specificity (context clues)

▪ Tendency for memory of information to be improved if the physical  

surroundings at the time of encoding are also available when the memory  is being retrieved

▪ Elaborative encoding?

Week 8 – Thursday

Memory – Part 2

• Long-Term Memory Organization

o LTM is organized in terms of related meanings and concepts

o Sematic Network Model – assumes information is stored in a connected fashion,  with concepts that are related stored physically closer to each other

• Elaborative Rehearsal

o A method of transferring information from STM into LTM by making that  information meaningful in some way

▪ Goes beyond just repeating information

▪ Involves making connections

• Mnemonics

o “The art or practice of improving or of aiding the memory”

o Characteristics:

▪ Effortful

▪ Elaboration

▪ Provides multiple routes to retrieval

• Using Mnemonics

o MOVA your memory

▪ Meaningfulness (e.g., schema-building)

• Making connections to your life

o E.g., personal examples of flashbulb memories

▪ Organization (e.g., chunking, hierarchy)

▪ Visualization (e.g., imagery)

▪ Attention (i.e., effort)

• Distributed vs. Massed Practice

o Distributed practice – spacing one’s study sessions

▪ Procedures better retrieval

o Massed practice – studying a complete body of information all at once • Encoding Failure

o We cannot remember what we did not encode

▪ (would only last 20s – STM duration)

• Storage Decay: Memory Trace Theory

o Memory trace – physical change in the brain that occurs when a memory is  formed

▪ Decay – loss of memory due to the passage of time, during which the  memory trace is not used

▪ Disuse – another name for decay, assuming that memories that are not  used will eventually decay and disappear

▪ Memories recalled after many years are not explained by memory trace  theory

• Storage Decay: Ebbinghaus and the Curve of Forgetting

o Curve of forgetting – a graph showing a distinct pattern in which forgetting is  very fast within the first hour after learning a list and then tapers off gradually • Inference Theory

o Proactive – old interferes with new

o Retroactive – new interferes with old

• Amnesia

o Retrograde amnesia – loss of memory from the point of some injury or trauma  backwards, or loss of memory for the past

o Anterograde amnesia – loss of memory from the point of injury or trauma  forward, or the ability to form new long-term memories

• Brain and Long-Term Memory

o Consolidation – changes that take place in the structure and functioning of  neurons when a memory is formed

▪ Long-term potentiation – changes in number and sensitivity of receptor  sites/synapses through repeated stimulation

o Hippocampus – area of the brain responsible for the formation of LTMs ▪ Declarative LTMs

• Henry Molaison

o Hippocampus is not important for implicit memories

• The Cerebellum and Procedural (implicit memories)

o After being processed in the motor cortex, procedural memories appear to be  stored in the cerebellum 

• Alzheimer’s Disease

o Primary memory difficulty in Alzheimer’s is anterograde amnesia

▪ Retrograde amnesia can also occur and the disease progresses

▪ Procedural memory generally intact

• Infantile Amnesia

o The inability to retrieve memories from much before age three

▪ Autobiographical memory – the memory for events and facts related to  one’s personal life story (usually after age three)

• Eyewitness Memory

o Elizabeth Loftus

▪ Showed that what people see and hear about an event after the fact can  easily affect the accuracy of their memories of that event

▪ Demonstrated that eyewitness testimony is not always reliable

▪ Memory is not like a tape recorder

• Long-Term Memory is a Constructive Process

o Constructive processing – memory retrieval process in which memories are  “built,” or reconstructed, from information stored during encoding

▪ With each retrieval, memories may be altered, revised, or influenced by  newer information

• Hindsight Bias

o The tendency to falsely believe, through revision of older memories to include  newer information, that one could have correctly predicted the outcome of an  event

▪ “Monday morning quarterbacking”

▪ Reading about research studies in the news

• Misinformation Effect

o Tendency of misleading information presented after an event to alter the  memories of the event itself

▪ Source monitoring error – when a memory derived from one source is  misattributed to another – might be a contributor to misinformation effect • False Memory Syndrome

o Creation of inaccurate or false memories through the suggestion of others, often  while the person is under hypnosis

o Evidence suggests that false memories cannot be created for just any kind of  memory

▪ Memories must at least be plausible

Week 9 – Tuesday

Cognition – Part 1

• What is thinking?

o Cognition (aka thinking) – mental activity that goes on in the brain when a person  is organizing and attempting to understand and/or communicate information to  others

▪ Involves acquiring, storing, retrieving, and using information

• Making decisions, comparing things, solving problems

▪ The mental manipulation of representations of information we encounter  in our environments

• Studying Cognition

o How people think

▪ The nature of thought or the processes involved in thinking

o How well people think

▪ Variations among people in thinking ability

• Mental Imagery

o Mental images – mental representations that stand for objects or events and have a  picture-like quality

▪ Mental images are interacted with in similar ways as physical objects o Mental images are very helpful for memory, and for learning or maintaining  motor skills

• Concepts

o Concept – ideas that represent a class or group of objects, events, or activities that  share common characteristics or attributes

▪ Contain the important features of the objects and events that may fit the  concept

▪ Allow for the identification of new objects and events that may fit the  concept (e.g., seeing a new type of dog for the first time)

o Formal concepts – concepts formed by learning the specific rules or features that  define it

▪ Many acquired in school. Each member of the concept meets all the rules  (or defining properties), and no nonmember does.

▪ Example: a square

o Natural concepts – concepts formed as a result of people’s experience in the real  world

▪ Most concepts we form. Defined by a general set of features, not all of  which must be present for an object to be considered a member of the  

concept.

▪ Example: birds, fruits

o Prototype – an example that closely matches the defining characteristics (or  common features) of a concept

▪ Prototypes develop according to:

• The exposure a person has to objects in a category

• The knowledge a person has about objects in a category

• The culture of a person

• Problem Solving vs. Decision Making

o Decision making – process of evaluating alternatives and choosing among them o Problem solving – the thoughts and actions required to achieve a certain goal o Approaches to problem solving:

▪ Trial and Error (mechanical solutions) – trying one possible solution after  another until finding one that works

• Algorithms – a systematic step-by-step procedure, such as a  

mathematical formula, that guarantees a solution to a problem of a  

certain type

▪ Insight – solution seems to suddenly come to mind

▪ Heuristics (“rule of thumb”) – an educated guess based on prior  

experiences that helps narrow down the possible solutions for a problem • Examples of Heuristics: Representativeness

o An assumption that any object (or person) sharing characteristics with members  of a particular category is also a member of that category

• Examples of Heuristics: Availability

o Basing the estimated probability of an event on the ease with which relevant  instances come to mind

• Examples of Heuristics: Working Backwards and Subgoals

o Can be used together but don’t have to be

o Working backward from the goal is a useful heuristic, it involves working  backwards…

o Subgoals – formulating intermediate steps towards a solution – e.g., breaking  down steps of a term paper or planning out the classes needed to graduate • Barriers to Effective Problem Solving

o Irrelevant information – focusing on irrelevant information

o Functional fixedness – thinking about objects only in terms of their typical (or  most common) uses

▪ Mental sets – tendency for people to persist in using problem solving  strategies that have worked in the past

o Confirmation bias – tendency to search for evidence that supports our  preconceptions while ignoring evidence to the contrary

• Creativity

o Creativity is the ability to produce ideas that are both novel and valuable o Convergent thinking

▪ Type of thinking in which a problem is seen as having only one answer,  and all lines of thinking will eventually lead to that single answer by using  previous knowledge and logic

o Divergent thinking

▪ Type of thinking in which a person starts from one point and comes up  with many different ideas or possibilities based on that point

• Tips for Divergent Thinking

o Brainstorming – generate as many ideas as possible in a short period of time,  without judging each idea’s merits until all ideas are recorded

o Keeping a journal – carry a journal to write down ideas as they occur or a recorder  to capture those same ideas and thoughts

o Freewriting – write down or record everything that comes to mind about a topic  without revising or proofreading until all of the information is written or recorded  in some way. Organize it later

o Mind or subject mapping – start with a central idea and draw a “map” with lines  from the center to other related ideas, forming a visual representation of the  concepts and their connections

• Language

o Language – an open symbolic communication system that has rules of grammar  and allows its users to express abstract and distant ideas

▪ Open – free to change

▪ Symbolic – no connection between a sound and the meaning or idea  

associated with it

• Language Structure

o Phonemes – the smallest distinctive sound unit in a spoken language

▪ English has about 40 different phenomes

▪ There are 869 different phonemes through all languages

▪ All of us are born with the ability to recognize all phonemes, but this  diminishes as we get older

o Morpheme – the smallest unit that carries meaning may be a word or a part of a  word

• Grammar

o A system of rules that governs the structure and use of language

▪ Enables us to communicate and understand others

• Semantics

o Rules for determining the meaning of words and sentences

o Semantic rule tells us that adding –ed (a morpheme) to the word laugh means that  it happened in the past

• Syntax

o The rules for ordering words into grammatically correct (sensible) sentences o In English syntactical rule is that adjectives come before nouns

• Pragmatics

o The practical aspects of communicating with others, or social “niceties” of  language

o Part of pragmatics is knowing what rhythm and emphasis to use when  communicating with others, called intonation

• Language and Thinking

o Thinking and language are intricately intertwined

o Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis (Vygotsky) – the theory that the language a  person speaks largely determines the nature of that person’s thoughts

o Cognitive Universalism (Piaget) – the theory that concepts are universal and  influence the development of language

Week 10 – Thursday

Cognition – Part 2

• Intelligence

o Intelligence – the ability to learn from experience, acquire knowledge, and use  resources in adapting to new situations or solving problems

• Conceptual Difficulties

o Psychologists believe that intelligence is a concept and not a “thing”

▪ When we think of intelligence as a trait (height or hair color) we commit  an error called reification – viewing an abstract material concept as if it  

were a concrete thing

• Intelligence (as measured by IQ tests) is associated with…

o Positive

▪ Academic performance

▪ Years of education

▪ Occupation and occupational performance

o Negative

▪ Criminal behavior

o Despite general agreement among psychologists about the nature of intelligence,  there is one large controversy:

▪ Is intelligence a  

• Single overall ability?

• Several specific abilities?

• Spearman’s g

▪ Spearman proposed that intelligence is best characterized as a general capacity – underlying all branches of intellectual ability is one underlying  fundamental function, the amount of general mental ability (or mental  intelligence)

• He believed intelligence tests tap general intelligence (g) and  

specific intellectual abilities (s)

• Considerable research support for g  

o Also Gc and Gf (Cattell’s theory)

• Theory of Multiple Intelligences

o Howard Garner proposed the existence of different kinds of intelligence ▪ Verbal/Linguistic

• Ability to use language

o E.g., writers, speakers

▪ Musical

• Ability to compose and/or perform music

o Musicians, even those who do not read musical notes but  

can perform and compose

▪ Logical/Mathematical

• Ability to think logically and to solve mathematical problems

o Scientists, engineers

▪ Visual/Spatial

• Ability to understand how objects are oriented in space

o Pilots, astronauts, artists, navigators

▪ Movement

• Ability to control one’s body motions

o Dancers, athletes

▪ Interpersonal

• Sensitivity to others and understanding motivation of others

o Psychologists, managers

▪ Intrapersonal

• Understanding of one’s emotions and how they guide actions

o Various people-oriented careers

▪ Naturalist

• Ability to recognize the patterns found in nature

o Farmers, landscapers, biologists, botanists

▪ Existentialist (a candidate intelligence)

• Ability to see the “big picture” of the human world by asking  

questions about life, death, and the ultimate reality of human  

existence

o Various careers, philosophical thinkers

o As support for this theory, Gardner notes that people with savant syndrome  typically show a combination of intellectual disability and unusual talent or ability • Critics of Multiple Intelligences

o Does being clumsy or tone deaf mean you have a lack of intelligence? o Should all our abilities be considered intelligences?

• Robert Sternberg: Triarchic Theory

o Sternberg agreed with Gardner, but suggested 3 kinds of intelligence rather than 9 ▪ 1. Analytical intelligence – assessed by intelligence tests (“book smarts”)  ability to break problems down into component parts for problem solving ▪ 2. Creative intelligence – intelligence that generates novel ideas/new ways  of solving problems, or find creative ways to perform tasks (divergent  thinking)

▪ 3. Practical intelligence – intelligence required to use information to get  along in life; person adapts to environment, changes it, or selects a new  one so can succeed (“street smarts”)

• Emotional Intelligence

o Emotional intelligence – the ability to perceive, understand, and use emotions o Perceive emotion

▪ Recognize emotion in faces, music, and stories

o Understand emotion

▪ Predict emotions, how they change and blend

o Manage emotion

▪ Express emotions in different situations

o Use emotion

▪ Utilize emotions to adapt or be creative

• Assessing Intelligence

o Psychologists define intelligence testing as a method for assessing an individual’s  mental aptitudes and comparing them with others using numerical scores o Most intelligence tests report a global measure of mental ability, while also  assessing individuals’ unique strengths and weaknesses in task-specific abilities  and processing domains

• Aptitude and Achievement Tests

o Aptitude (IQ) tests are intended to predict your ability to learn a new skill and  achievement tests are intended to reflect what you have already learned • Alfred Binet

o Alfred Binet and his colleague Theodore Simon started modern intelligence  testing by developing questions that would predict children’s future progress in  the Paris school system

o Work commissioned by the French Ministry of Education to identify students in  need of remedial education

▪ The Binet-Simon scale expressed a child’s score in terms of “mental age” • Lewis Terman

o Lewis Terman, in the US, adapted Binet’s test for American school children and  named the test the Stanford-Binet Test. The formula of Intelligence Quotient (IQ)  introduced by William Stern is �� = $%&'() (+% 

,-./&/)/+0,() (+%� 100

• David Wechsler

o Wechsler developed the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and later the  Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) and the Wechsler Preschool and  Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI)

o Two major innovations to testing:

▪ Test was less dependent on subjects’ verbal ability

▪ Disregarded the intelligence quotient in favor of a new scoring scheme  based on the normal distribution

• Principles of Test Construction

o For a psychological test to be acceptable it must fulfill three criteria: ▪ 1. Standardization

▪ 2. Reliability

▪ 3. Validity

• Standardization

o Standardizing a test involves administering the test to a representative sample of  future test takers in order to establish a basis for meaningful comparison ▪ If you are tested, your score says where you stand in comparison to those  in standardization sample

• An important aspect of standardization is the establishment of  

consistent and standard methods of test administration

• Normal Curve

o Standardized tests often establish a normal distribution of scores on a tested  population – a bell shaped pattern called the normal curve 

• Flynn Effect: Why Our IQ Levels Are Higher than Our Grandparents o In the past 60 years’ intelligence scored have steadily risen by an average of 27  points – a phenomenon known as the Flynn Effect 

▪ The effect is 1/3-point increase per year (about 3 points per decade) • Reliability

o Reliability is about consistency

▪ A test is reliable when it yields consistent results each time it is given to  the same individual or group of people

• Validity

o Validity is about accuracy

▪ Reliability of a test does not ensure validity. Validity of a test refers to the  degree a test measures what it’s supposed to measure or predict

• Content validity – extent a test measures a particular behavior or  

trait that it claims to

• Predictive validity – the function of a test in predicting a particular  

behavior or trait

• Long-Term Stability of IQ

o Intelligence scores become stable after about seven years of age

• Extremes of Intelligence

o A valid intelligence test divides two groups of people into two extremes. Those  with intellectual disability – formerly referred to as having MR (IQ 70) and  individuals with high intelligence (IQ 135) are significantly different

• Individuals with Intellectual Ability

o Intellectual disability is generally defined as:

▪ 1. An IQ below 70

▪ 2. Adaptive behavior skills severely low below a level appropriate for age ▪ 3. Presentation of these limitations during development

• High Intelligence

o High-scoring people on intelligence tests – contrary to popular beliefs – tend to be  healthy, socially well adjusted, and have high academic and vocational success ▪ High intelligence does not guarantee these things

• Terman’s termites and William Shockley  

Week 10 – Tuesday

Development – Part 1

• Human Development

o The sequence of age-related changes that occur in people as they progress from  conception until death

• Influences on Development

o Biological influences 

▪ Shared human genome

▪ Individual genetic variations

▪ Prenatal environment

▪ Sex-related genes, hormones, and psychology

o Psychological influences 

o Socio-cultural influences 

• 3 Major Issues in Developmental Psychology

o Nature/Nurture 

▪ How do genetic inheritance and experience influence our development? o Continuity/Stages 

▪ Is development a gradual, continuous process or a sequence of separate  stages?

o Stability/Change 

▪ Do our early personality traits persist through life, or do we become  

different persons as we age?

• Developmental Research Designs

o Cross-sectional – different participants of various ages studied at one point in time o Longitudinal – same participants studied at multiple time points

o Cross-sequential – combination of both of the above designs

▪ Start cross-sectional with at least two groups and have longitudinal follow up

• Nature vs. Nurture

o Nature – the influence of our inherited characteristics

o Nurture – the influence of the environment on personality, physical growth,  intellectual growth, and social interactions

• Behavioral Genetics

o Behavioral genetics – focuses on nature vs. nurture

o Twin studies

o Other designs

• Nature: Genetics

o DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) – special molecule that contains the genetic  material of the organism

o Gene – section of DNA having a certain sequence (or ordering) of chemical  elements

o Chromosome – tightly wound strand of genetic material or DNA

• Genes: Our Codes for Life

o In the nucleus of each cell are 46 chromosomes (23 pairs) containing DNA ▪ 22 of the pairs, called autosomes, look the same in both males and females ▪ 23rd pair, the sex chromosomes, differ between males and females

• Females have two copies of the X chromosome, while males have  

one X and one Y chromosome

o Segments (or sections) within DNA having the same arrangement constitute genes  making proteins to determine our development

• Dominant and Recessive Genes

o Dominant – referring to a gene that actively controls the expression of a trait o Recessive – referring to a gene that only influences the expression of a trait when  paired with an identical gene

• Genetic Disorders

• Chromosomal Disorders

o Examples include:

▪ Down syndrome (extra chromosome 21)

▪ Klinefelter’s syndrome (23rd pair is XXY)

▪ Turner’s syndrome (23rd pair is missing an X)

• Prenatal Development Fertilization

o Conception – a single sperm cell (male) penetrates the outer coating of the egg  (female) and fuse to form one fertilized cell, a zygote 

o Germinal stage – first two weeks after fertilization, during which the zygote  becomes a mass of cells, moves down to the uterus, and implants the lining ▪ In the first week: the zygote is rapidly dividing

o Embryonic Stage – the period from 2 to 8 weeks after fertilization, during which  major systems, organs and structures of the body develop

▪ End of 8 weeks: embryo is about 1-inch long, weighs about 1/7 of an  ounce and has primitive eyes, nose, ears, lips, teeth, little arms and legs,  hands, feet, fingers, toes, as well as a beating heart

o Fetal Stage – the time from about 8 weeks after conception until birth of the baby

▪ Period of tremendous growth

▪ Organs accomplish differentiation and continue to become functional ▪ Muscles and bones form, enabling the fetus to make physical movements  including kicking. During last several weeks, fetus can respond to stimuli  in the outside world

• Exploring the World: Babies Physical Development

o Newborn senses

▪ Senses well developed at birth include taste, touch, smell

▪ Hearing functional but not fully developed

▪ Vision is least functional sense at birth

o Motor development

o Reflexes – a set of innate involuntary behavior patterns

▪ Provide information about health of NS

▪ Grasp, startle, rooting, stepping, sucking

• Language Development: Learning to Communicate

o Language acquisition is rapid and starts early

o The ability to understand words develops before the ability to produce words • Stages of Language Development

o Cooing stage – at about 2 months the infant begins to make vowel-like sounds o Babbling stage – at 4-6 months the infant spontaneously utters various sounds,  adding consonant sounds to the vowel-like sounds to form phonemes

o One-word stage – beginning at or around the first birthday, a child starts to speak  one word and makes family adults understand him/her

▪ Holophrases – whole phrases will be communicated in one word

o Two-word stage – before the 2nd year, a child starts to speak in two word  sentences

o Called telegraphic speech in which the child speaks like a telegram (only nouns  and verbs)

▪ Contains only essential content to carry meaning

o There is no three-word stage

▪ Once out of the two-word phase children move to longer phrases

Week 10 – Thursday  

Development – Part 2

• Infancy and Childhood

o Infancy and childhood span from birth to teenage years

o During these years the individual has rapid growth physically, cognitively, and  socially

• Cognitive Development

o Jean Piaget – children are not like adults but instead think much differently about  the world

▪ Piaget believed that cognitive development results from individual  

discovery and a child’s interaction with objects

• Schemas – Assimilation and Accommodation

o We make sense of our experience by forming schemas – concepts or frameworks  in which we organize and interpret information

o The process of assimilation involves incorporating new experiences into our  current understanding (schema)

o The process of adjusting a schema and modifying it is called accommodation • Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development: Four Stages

o 1. Sensorimotor Stage (Birth to 2 years)

▪ babies take in the world through their senses and motor abilities

▪ object permanence – (knowledge object exists even if it is not in sight) is a  major accomplishment

• children younger than 6 months do not display object permanence  

yet

o 2. Preoperational Stage (2-7 years)

▪ Piaget suggested that from 2 to about 6-7 years, children are in  

preoperational stage – too young to perform mental operations

• Display egocentricism and conservation issues (centration and  

irreversibility)

• Egocentric – see world only from their point of view

• Have not yet mastered conservation – the ability to understand that  simply changing the appearance of an object does not change the  

object’s nature

o Fail at conservation due to…

▪ Irreversibility – unable to “mentally reverse”  

actions

▪ Centration – tendency to focus on only one feature  

of some object rather than taking all of the features  

into consideration

o 3. Concrete Operational Stage (7-12 years)

▪ Becomes capable of concrete logical thought processes but is not yet  capable of abstract thinking

• Conservation possible

o Capable of decentration and reversibility

• Can classify/categorize

o 4. Formal Operational Stage (12 years to adulthood)

▪ Around age 12, our reasoning ability expands from concrete thinking to  abstract thinking

▪ We can now use analogies, critical thinking skills, and think about and test  hypotheses

• Piaget did not believe that everyone would reach formal  

operational thinking

• Studies have shown that only half of all adults in the United States  reach this thinking

• Reflecting on Piaget’s Theory

o Piaget’s stage theory has been influential globally and decades of research suggest that cognitive development follows the sequence Piaget describes

o However, today’s researchers believe:

▪ Development is a continuous process

▪ Children express their mental abilities and operations at earlier ages than  Piaget proposed

▪ Stressed the importance of the child’s interaction with objects, while  underestimated the role of others in child’s acquisition of knowledge and  skills

• Vygotsky’s Theory of Cognitive Development

o Vygotsky’s theory stressed the importance of social interactions with other people  (typically having more skill) for cognitive development

▪ Critical to this theory are:

• Scaffolding – the process in which a more skilled learner gives  

help to a less skilled learner, reducing the amount of help as the  

less skilled learner becomes more capable

• Zone of proximal development – the difference between what a  

child can do alone and what a child can do with the help of a  

teacher

• Adolescence

o Adolescence spans from the beginnings of sexual maturity to independent  adulthood

o During these years the individual…

▪ Physically matures

▪ Places high value on membership in the peer group

▪ Develops a more fully formed identity and morality structure

▪ Starts having romantic and sexual relationships

▪ Begins making decisions regarding a career choice

• Adolescents and Thinking

o Personal fable – believe they are especially unique and protected

o Imaginary audience – convinced that everyone is paying attention to them • Adulthood

o Adulthood begins in the early twenties and ends with death in old age o Women experience a physical decline in the reproductive system call the  climacteric, ending at about age 50 with menopause – the cessation of ovulation  and menstrual cycles and the end of a woman’s reproductive capability o Men experience andropause – gradual changes in the sexual hormones and  reproductive system

• Theories of Aging

o Aging is pre-programmed

▪ Cellular clock theory – based on the idea that cells only have so many  times that they can divide (telomeres)

• Division necessary for repair/replacement of tissue

o Aging is a result of cell damage

▪ Wear and tear theory – as time goes by, repeated use and abuse of the  body’s tissues can cause it to be unable to repair all the damage

▪ Free radical theory – molecules with unpaired electron, created as a by product of various biological processes, damage cell structures

• Infant Temperament Studies  

o Temperament refers to a person’s stable emotional reactivity and intensity

o Identical twins express similar temperaments, suggesting heredity predisposes  temperament

• Temperament

o 3 types of temperament

▪ 1. Easy – happy and regular in their schedules of waking, sleeping, and  eating are adaptable to change

▪ 2. Difficult – irregular in their schedules and are very unhappy about  change of any kind

▪ 3. Slow to warm up – less grumpy, quieter, and more regular than difficult  babies, but are slow to adapt to change

• Origins of Attachment

o Harlow showed that infants bond with surrogate mothers because of bodily  contact and not nourishment

• Attachment Differences

o Strange Situation: Mary Ainsworth

▪ Placed in a strange situation, 60% of children express secure attachment – they explore their environment happily in the presence of their mothers • When their mothers leave they show distress

▪ The other 40% show insecure attachment – these children cling to their  mothers or caregivers, and are less likely to explore the environment

• Attachment Styles

o Secure – willing to play and explore comfortably with their mother present,  become visibly upset when she leaves, and are quickly calmed by her return o Avoidant – somewhat willing to explore, seek little contact with their mothers,  and may react little to her absence and return

o Ambivalent – clinging and unwilling to explore, protest mightily when mother  leaves, and are hard to soothe when she returns

o Disorganized-disoriented – seem unable to decide how they should react to  mother’s return

▪ In one study, 72% of the infants received the same secure versus insecure  attachment classification 20 years later

• Erikson

o How do we “discover ourselves?” What are the pivotal points in our lives that  shape who we become?

o Erikson offered 8 major “crises” we all must pass through

• Psychological Development: Erikson’s 8 Stages of Human Development o 8 – integrity vs despair

▪ Have I lived a full life?

• Acceptance of one’s life, both successes and failures. Life review  

and retrospective evaluation of one’s past, leading to enjoyment  

and no fear of death or feeling empty and fearing death

o 7 – generativity vs stagnation

▪ Will I produce something of real value? Have I contributed to the world in  some meaningful way?

• Challenge to transmit something positive to the next generation

o 6 – intimacy vs isolation

▪ Shall I share my life with another or live alone? Can I form a committed  relationship with another individual?

• Determine who they are with another person, leading to satisfying  

intimate relationships or isolation and loneliness

o 5 – identity vs identity confusion

▪ Who am I and where am I going? Do I have a unified sense of self?

• Make decisions about occupation, beliefs, attitudes, and behavior  

patterns, leading to strong sense of identity or confusion

o 4 – industry vs inferiority

▪ Am I competent or am I inferior? Do I have unique abilities and skills? • Make social comparisons as faced with new social and academic  

learning

o 3 – initiative vs guilt

▪ Am I good or am I bad? Should I make decisions on my own, or listen to  others?

• Challenged to control/regulate behavior; feel capable and develop  

initiative or feel irresponsible and be anxious and guilty

o 2 – autonomy vs shame and doubt

▪ can I do things myself or must I rely on others? Do I have self-control; am  I in charge of my life?

• Attempts at independence fostered and successful or blocked and  

unsuccessful leading to self-doubt and shame

o 1 – trust vs mistrust

▪ Is my world predictable and supportive? Will others fulfill my needs or am  I on my own?

• Learn to trust based on whether needs are met

Week 11 – Tuesday

Motivation and Emotion – Part 1

• Motivation

o Motivation – the process by which activities are started, directed, and continued  so that physical or psychological needs and wants are met

▪ Extrinsic motivation – a person performs an action because it leads to an  outcome that is separate from or external to the person

▪ Intrinsic motivation – a person performs an action because the act is fun,  challenging, or satisfying in an internal manner

• Instinct Approaches to Motivation

o Instincts – the biologically determined and innate patterns of behavior that exist in  both people and animals

▪ In animals: migrating, nest building, mating

▪ McDougal, 18 instincts: flight (running away), pugnacity (aggressiveness) o Instinct approach – approach to motivation that assumes people are governed by instincts similar to those of animals

• Pros and Cons to Instinct Approaches

o Describes human behavior, but does not explain WHY such behaviors exist

o Forced psychologists (Behaviorists) to acknowledge the importance of heredity  factors

• Drive-Reduction Theory of Motivation

o Drive-reduction theory – assumes behavior arises from physiological needs that  cause internal drives to push the organism to satisfy the need and reduce tension  and arousal

▪ Need – a requirement of some material (such as food or water) that is  essential for survival of the organism

▪ Drive – a psychological tension and physical arousal arising when there is  a need that motivates the organism to act in order to fulfill the need and  reduce the tension

o Primary drives – involve needs of the body such as hunger and thirst o Acquired (secondary) drives – learned through experience or conditioning, such  as the need for money or social approval

o Homeostasis – the tendency of the body to maintain a steady state

• Hunger: Bodily Causes

o Insulin and glucagon – hormones secreted by the pancreas to control levels of  fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in the bloodstream

▪ Insulin reduces levels of glucose in the bloodstream

▪ Glucagon increases the level of glucose in the bloodstream

o Leptin – hormone that signals the hypothalamus that the body has had enough  food and reduces appetite while increasing the feeling of being full

o Weight set point – the particular level of weight that the body tries to maintain o Basal metabolic rate (BMR) – the rate at which the body burns energy when the  organism is resting

• Hunger: Social Causes

o Social cues for when meals are to be eaten

▪ Cultural customs

▪ Food preferences

▪ Use of food as a comfort device or escape from unpleasantness

• Some people may respond to the anticipation of eating by  

producing an insulin response

• Hypothalamus Plays Role in Hunger

o Responds to levels of glucose and insulin in the body

o Ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) – stops eating when glucose levels high.  Without it, overeating

o Lateral hypothalamus (LH) – starts eating when insulin levels high. Without it, no  eating to starvation

• The Orbital Frontal Cortex (OFC), Food, Taste, and Satiety

o OFC activity for taste and smell of food

o More pleasant – more activity

o Satiety – less activity

• McClelland’s Need Theory: Three Types of Needs

o Need for achievement (nAch) – involves a strong desire to succeed in attaining  goals – not only realistic ones, but also challenging ones

o Need for affiliation (nAff) – the need for friendly social interactions and  relationships with others

o Need for power (nPow) – the need to have control or influence over others • Needs Assessment Questionnaire (Modernized)

o Heckert and colleagues developed a modern Needs Assessment Questionnaire ▪ Need for achievement

▪ Need for affiliation

▪ Need for autonomy

▪ Need for dominance

• Arousal Approach to Motivation

o Stimulus motive – a motive that appears to be unlearned but causes an increase in  stimulation, such as curiosity, play, and exploration

o Arousal theory – theory of motivation in which people are said to have an optimal  (best or ideal) level of tension that they seek to maintain by increasing or  decreasing stimulation

o Yerkes-Dodson Law – law stating performance is related to arousal; moderate  levels of arousal lead to better performance than do levels of arousal that are too  low or too high

▪ This effect varies with the difficulty of the task

• Easy tasks require a high-moderate level

• More difficult tasks require a low-moderate level

▪ Examples: choking under pressure or flow-states

o Sensation seeker – one who needs more arousal than the average person • Arousal and Performance

o The optimal level of arousal for task performance depends on the difficulty of the  task

▪ We generally perform easy tasks well if we are at a high-moderate level of  arousal and accomplish difficult tasks well if we are at a low-moderate  

level

Week 11 – Thursday

Motivation and Emotion – Part 2

• Elements of Emotion

o Emotion – the “feeling” aspect of consciousness characterized by…

▪ Certain physical arousal

▪ Certain behavior that reveals the emotion to the outside world

▪ Inner awareness of feelings

o Facial expressions can vary across different cultures

▪ Seem to be universal

▪ Display rules

o Labeling emotion

▪ Interpreting the subjective feeling by giving it a label

• Facial Expressions of Emotion

o Facial expressions appear to be universal

• Elements of Emotion: Emotions in the Brain

o Which parts of the brain are involved in various aspects of emotion?

▪ The amygdala 

• The amygdala is a complex structure with many different nuclei  

and subdivisions, whose roles have been investigated primarily  

through studies of fear conditioning

• Emotional stimuli travel to the amygdala by both a fast, crude,  

“low road” (subcortical) and a slower but more involved cortical  

“high road”

▪ What if you don’t have an amygdala?

• Patient SM

o Bilateral, specific, amygdala lesions

o Impaired fear recognition

o Impaired fear conditioning (classical conditioning of fear)

o Which parts of the brain are involved in various aspects of emotion? ▪ Other subcortical and cortical areas (core affect network)

• Frontal lobes

• Anterior cingulate cortex

• Lateral orbitofrontal cortex

• Theories of Emotion  

o Common Sense Theory – a stimulus leads to an emotion, which then leads to  bodily arousal

o James-Lange Theory – a physiological reaction leads to the labeling of an  emotion

o Cannon-Bard Theory – the physical reaction and the emotion are assumed to  occur at the same time

o Cognitive Arousal Theory – both the physical arousal and the labeling of that  arousal based on cues from the environment must occur before the emotion is  experienced (Schachter and Singer)

o Facial Feedback Hypothesis – facial expressions provide feedback to the brain  concerning the emotion being expressed, which in turn causes and intensifies the  emotion

▪ Preventing facial expressions blocks emotional responsivity

▪ Facial expressions and Botox to corrugator supercilii

▪ Botox Depression and Treatment

• Depression severity decreased the BOTOX group (verum group)

• BOTOX increases remission rates

o Cognitive Mediational Theory – a stimulus that must be interpreted (appraised) by  a person in order to result in a physical response and an emotional reaction • Regulating our Emotional Response

o Emotion regulation – the modulation of one’s emotional response when it is  inappropriate, unwanted or excessive, so as to ensure goal relevant behavior o We can regulate our emotional responses using cognitive effort (James Gross) o Some strategies don’t work as well as others

▪ Reappraisal (or Distraction) works well

▪ Suppressing emotions does not work as well

• Emotion Regulation in the Brain

o Cognitive reappraisal and distraction both effective at suppressing emotions

o Both suppress amygdala and activity

o Recruit similar and different brain regions

• What happens when emotion regulation fails?

o Deficits in behavioral and brain markers of emotion regulation in Major  Depression, despite preserved cognitive control

Week 12 – Tuesday

Social Psychology – Part 1

• What is social psychology?

o Social psychology – branch of psychology concerned with how a person’s  behavior, thoughts, and feelings are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied  presence of others

• 3 Main Areas of Social Psychology

o 1. Social influence – how we are influenced by others

o 2. Social cognition – how we think about others

o 3. Social interaction – how we interact with others

• Social Influence: Conformity

o Changing one’s own behavior to more closely match the actions of others o Asch’s Classic Study on Conformity

• Asch’s Conformity Studies (1950s)

o Subjects were asked to judge line lengths while working in a group

▪ 7 subjects; the 6th was real, rest were confederates

o Confederates consistently gave obviously wrong answers

o The subject often conformed (about 1/3rd of the time) and gave the same wrong  answer

• Conditions that Increase Conformity

o Group size – increases as group size increases up to 4%

o Group is unanimous (lack of dissention) – even one dissenter significantly  reduces conformity

o Group observes one’s behavior – when behavior is not private, but publicly  known

o Culture – collectivist cultures tend to show more conformity than individualistic  cultures

▪ Other research has shown feeling of incompetence, insecurity, and low  self-esteem all increase conformity

• Reasons for Conformity

o Normal social influence

▪ A person’s desire to gain approval or avoid rejection

▪ Respecting normative behavior, because price may be severe if not  

followed

o Informational social influence

▪ Group may provide valuable information

▪ When the task is difficult or you are unsure, it makes sense to listen to  others

o Groupthink – occurs when people place more importance on maintaining group  cohesiveness than on assessing the facts of the problem with which the group is  concerned

• Social Influence: Compliance

o Occurs when people change their behavior as a result of another person or group  asking or directing them to change

o Foot-in-the-Door

▪ Foot-in-the-door technique – asking for a small commitment and, after  gaining compliance, asking for a bigger commitment

o Door-in-the-Face

▪ Door-in-the-face technique – asking for a large commitment and then,  after being refused, asking for a smaller commitment

o Lowball

▪ Lowball technique – getting a commitment from a person and then raising  the cost of that commitment

• Social Influence: Obedience

o People comply to social pressures. But how would they respond to outright  command?

o Stanley Milgram designed a set of studies and investigated the effects of authority  on obedience

o Obedience – occurs when one changes his/her behavior at the command of an  authority

• Milgram Experiment

o Learner “feedback”

▪ Shocks are becoming painful – 120 volts

▪ Groans from pain – 135v

▪ ‘get me out of here, I refuse to go on!’ – 150v

▪ ‘I can’t stand the pain!’ – 180v

▪ Screaming – 270v

▪ Will no longer answer questions – 300v

▪ No longer heard from, provides no answers – 330v

o Experimenter Comments

▪ Beginning

• “Although the shocks can be extremely painful, they cause no  

permanent tissue damage”

▪ Learner Begins to Protest

• “teacher, please continue”

▪ With Later Protests

• “I will take full responsibility. Please continue, you have no  

choice”

o Results

▪ 62% (26 of 40) delivered all shocks

• even after the “learner” stopped responding

▪ 75% (30 of 40) delivered at least one shock after the learner said “get me  out of here! I refuse to go on!” a 150v

• Milgram’s Studies

o Degree of obedience influenced by:

▪ Physical proximity

▪ Status of authority figure

▪ Depersonalization of victim

▪ Lack of defiant role models

Week 12 – Thursday

Social Psychology – Part 2

• 3 Main Areas of Social Psychology

o Social influence – how we are influenced by others

o Social cognition – the mental processes people use to make sense of the world  around them

▪ attitudes

▪ impression formation

• Attitudes

o Attitude – a tendency to respond positively or negatively toward a certain person,  object, idea, or situation

o Three components of an attitude:

▪ The affective component (affect)

▪ The behavioral component (actions)

▪ The cognitive component (thoughts)

• Attitudes and Behavior

o Attitudes are often poor predictors of behavior unless the attitude is very specific  or very strong

• How do we form attitudes?

o Direct contact – with the person, situation, object, or idea

▪ E.g., eating vegetables

o Direct instruction – from parents or others

▪ E.g., being told smoking is bad, or that you will like a certain movie

o Interacting with other people who hold a certain attitude

▪ E.g., if your peer group likes playing a certain sport

o Vicarious conditioning – watching the actions and reactions of others to ideas,  people, objects, and situations

▪ E.g., you see that your mother is afraid of dogs

• Attitude Change: Persuasion

o Persuasion – the process t which one person tries to change the belief, opinion,  position, or course of action of another person through argument, pleading, or  explanation

▪ Key elements in persuasion are the source of the message, the message  itself, the target audience, and the medium

o Elaboration Likelihood Model

▪ People will either elaborate on the persuasive message or fail to elaborate  on it

▪ The future actions of those who do not elaborate are more predictable than  those who do not

• Attitude Change: Cognitive Dissonance

o Cognitive dissonance – sense of discomfort or distress that occurs when a  person’s behavior does not correspond to that person’s attitudes

▪ Lessened by changing the conflicting behavior, changing the conflicting  attitude, or forming a new attitude to justify the behavior

• Cognitive Dissonance in the Brain

o Cognitive dissonance of food choices

o Larger difference between belief and behavior led to greater brain activity in  prefrontal cortex

o Same areas that are involved in difficult cognitive tasks

• Attributions

o Attributions – process of inferring the causes of mental states, behaviors, and  events which occur to ourselves and others

▪ External (situational or environmental) attributions

• E.g. behavior is due to the situation

▪ Internal (dispositional or personal) attributions

• E.g. behavior reflects the person

• Attribution Theory

o Internal/Dispositional

▪ “he probably missed work because he’s lazy”

▪ “he is not a friendly person”

o External/Situational

▪ “he probably missed work because he’s sick”

▪ “he must be having a rough day”

• Fundamental Attribution Error

o Tendency to attribute someone else’s behavior to their personal disposition and  underestimate the effect of the situation

• Impression Formation

o Impression formation – forming of the first knowledge a person has about another  person has about another person

▪ Primacy effect – the very first impression one has about a person tends to  persist even in the face of evidence to the contrary

o Ambady and Rosenthal, 1993

• Social Categorization

o Social categorization – the assignment of a new person one has just met to a  category based on characteristics the new person has in common with other  people with whom one has had experience in the past

▪ Stereotype – a set of characteristics that people believe is shared by all  members of a particular social category

• 3 Main Areas of Social Psychology

o 1. Social Influence – how we are influenced by others

o 2. Social Cognition – how we think about others

o 3. Social Interaction – How we interact with others

▪ Social Interaction – social interactions with others, or the positive or  negative relationships between people

• Aggression

o Aggression – behavior intended to hurt or destroy another person

o Frustration-aggression hypothesis – aggression is a reaction to frustration o Konrad Lorenz saw aggression as an instinct for fighting to promote the survival  of our species

o Biological influences on aggression may include genetics, the amygdala and  limbic system, and testosterone and serotonin levels

o Social role – the pattern of behavior that is expected of a person who is in a  particular social positon

▪ Violent TV, movies, and videos related to aggression

• Altruism

o Prosocial behavior – socially desirable behavior that benefits others

o Altruism – prosocial behavior that is done with no expectation of reward and may  involve the risk of harm to oneself

▪ The temporoparietal junction (TPJ) is larger in individuals who make  altruistic choices

• Bystander Effect: Kitty Genovese

o Bystander effect – the effect that the presence of other people has on the decision  to help or not help

▪ Help becomes less likely as the number of by-standers increases

o Diffusion of responsibility – a person fails to take responsibility for action or for  inaction because of the presence of other people who are seen to share the  responsibility

• Diffusion of Responsibility

o Researchers Latane and Darley found that people who were alone were more  likely to help in an emergency than people who were with others

▪ one bystander cannot diffuse responsibility

o Five steps in making a decision to help

▪ Noticing

▪ Defining an emergency

▪ Taking responsibility

▪ Planning a course of action

▪ Taking action

Week 13 – Thursday

Psychological Disorders – Part 1

• Definitions of Abnormality

o Psychopathology – the study of abnormal behavior

o Psychological disorders – any pattern of behavior that causes people significant  distress, causes them to harm others, or harms their ability to function in daily life ▪ Statistically rare

▪ Deviant from social norms

o Situational context – the social or environmental setting of a person’s behavior o Subjective discomfort – emotional distress or discomfort

o Maladaptive thinking or behavior – anything that does not allow a person to  function within or adapt to the stresses and everyday demands of life

• Diagnostic System: DSM-5

o The DSM-5 describes about 250 different psychological disorders

o In a given year, about 26.2% of American adults over age 18 suffer from a mental  disorder

▪ Only about 5.8% suffer from a severe mental disorder

▪ Common to suffer from more than one disorder at a time (45%)

• Anxiety Disorders

o Defined by excessive or unrealistic worry and fearfulness

o Phobias, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder

• Anxiety Disorders: Phobias and Social Anxiety

o Phobia – an irrational, persistent fear of an object, situation, or social activity ▪ Specific phobia – fear of objects or specific situations or events

▪ Agoraphobia – fear of being in a place or situation from which escape is  difficult or impossible

o Social Anxiety Disorder – fear of interacting with others or being in social  situations that might lead to a negative evaluation

• Anxiety Disorders: Panic Attacks

o Panic attack – sudden fear response in absence of immediate threat ▪ False alarm or “misfire” of fear system

▪ Un-cued (out of the blue) vs. cued (situation, object)

• Anxiety Disorders: Panic Attack vs. Panic Disorder

o Having a panic attack (or even a few) does not mean you have a disorder o Panic Disorder involves persistent worry about having additional attacks, worry about the implications of an attack, and/or a significant change in behavior related  to the attacks

• Anxiety Disorders: Generalized Anxiety Disorder

o Excessive anxieties and worries about a number or events/activities that occurs  more days than not for at least 6 months

o Can also have physical symptoms (e.g. tension, restlessness, fatigue, sleep  problems)

• Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders

o Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – can include both intruding, recurring thoughts  (obsessions) that create discomfort relieved by performing a repetitive, ritualistic  behavior (compulsion)

▪ Some people just have obsessions or just have compulsions

• E.g. checking, contamination…

o Trichotillomania (skin picking)

• Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders

o Acute stress disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

o Other (relatively rare) disorders

• Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders: ASD and PTSD

o Acute stress disorder (ASD) – a disorder resulting from exposure to a major,  traumatic stressor that lasts up to a month

o Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – the symptoms associated with ASD last  for more than one month

▪ Symptoms: intrusions, avoidance, negative changes in cognition or  emotion, changes in arousal/activity

• Causes of Anxiety Disorders

o Psychodynamic explanations point to repressed urges and desires that are trying  to surface, creating anxiety that is controlled by the abnormal behavior

o Behaviorists believe that disordered behavior is learned through both positive and  negative reinforcement

o Cognitive psychologists believe that excessive anxiety comes from illogical,  irrational thought processes

o Irrational Thinking (Cognitive)

▪ Magnification – the tendency to interpret situations as far more dangerous,  harmful, or important than they actually are

▪ All-or-nothing thinking – the belief that one’s performance must be  

perfect or the result will be a total failure

▪ Overgeneralization – the interpretation of a single negative event as a  never-ending pattern of defeat and failure

▪ Minimization – the tendency to give little or no importance to one’s  

successes or positive events and traits

• Depressive Disorders: Major Depressive Disorder

o Major depressive disorder – severely depressed mood that comes on suddenly and  seems to have no external cause

▪ May include thoughts of death or suicide

▪ Most common of diagnosed disorders of mood

o Episodic in nature

▪ Cognitive symptoms: feeling worthless, guilty, problems concentrating on  making decisions, thoughts of death or suicide

▪ Affective (Emotional) symptoms: depressed mood, diminished pleasure ▪ Somatic symptoms: fatigue, sleep problems

o Normal sadness vs. depression?

• Bipolar and Related Disorders: Mania

o Bipolar disorder – periods of mood that may range from normal to manic, with or  without episodes of depression (bipolar I disorder), or spans of normal mood interspersed with episodes of major depression and episodes of hypomania  (bipolar II disorder)

o Manic episodes – inflated self-esteem or grandiosity, decreased need for sleep,  more talkative than usual, racing thoughts, distractible, increase in goal-directed  activity, excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential  for negative consequences

• Causes of Depression and Bipolar Disorder

o Behavioral theories link depression as the result of distorted, illogical thinking o Biological explanations of mood disorders look at the function of serotonin,  norepinephrine, and dopamine systems in the brain

▪ Genetic origins

Week 14 – Tuesday

Psychological Disorders – Part 2

• Other Categories in the DSM

o Substance related and addictive disorders (consciousness ch)

o Sleep-wake disorders (consciousness ch)

o Neurodevelopmental disorders (development ch)

o Neurocognitive disorders

o Somatic symptom and related disorders

o Gender dysphoria

o Paraphilic disorders

• DSM-5 Feeding and Eating Disorders

o Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, (childhood disorders) • Anorexia Nervosa

o Anorexia nervosa – a condition in which a person reduces eating to the point that  their body weight is significantly low, or less than minimally expected

▪ In adults, this is likely associated with a BMI <18.5

o Intense fear of gaining weight/being fat or behavior that interferes with weight  gain

o Distorted body image

o Treatment and long-term consequences

• Bulimia Nervosa and Binge-Eating Disorder

o Bulimia nervosa – a condition in which a person develops a cycle of “binging,” or  overeating enormous amounts of food at one sitting, and then using unhealthy  methods to avoid weight gain

▪ Physical consequences

o Binge-eating disorder also involves uncontrolled binge eating but differs from  bulimia primarily in that individuals with binge-eating disorder do not purge o Both: sense lack of control

• Causes of Eating Disorders

o Causes of eating disorders

▪ Greatest risk factors appear to be someone being an adolescent or young  female

▪ Genetic components appear to be significant

o Culture and eating disorders

▪ Less common in non-Western cultures

▪ Different values placed on eating and on starvation for socially-recognized  reasons

• DSM-5 Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders o Schizophrenia – severe disorder in which the person suffers from disordered  thinking, bizarre behavior, and hallucinations, and is unable to distinguish  between fantasy and reality

o Psychotic – the break away from an ability to perceive what is real and what I  fantasy

o Characterized by  

▪ Delusions – false beliefs held by a person who refuses to accept evidence  of their falseness

• Delusions of persecution

• Delusions of reference

• Delusions of influence

• Delusions of grandeur (or grandiose delusions)

▪ Hallucinations – perceptions without sensation

• Disturbed perceptions – may perceive things that are not there

• Most common hallucinations are auditory

▪ Disorganized thinking/speech

• Form, not content

o Clanging – string words together on basis of sound

o Word salad – jumbled speech

o Loose associations

▪ Disorganized/abnormal motor behavior

• Grimaces, odd facial expressions

• Repeated/eccentric gestures

• Rigidity

▪ Positive symptoms – “excess”

• Hallucinations and delusions

▪ Negative symptoms – “deficits”

• Apathy, alogia (poverty of speech), anhedonia (loss of interest or  

pleasure), flat affect

• Schizophrenia: Causes

o Most modern theories focus on biological explanations

o Biological explanations of schizophrenia focus on dopamine, structural defects in  the brain, prenatal influences, and genetic influences

• Stress-Vulnerability Model

o Stress-vulnerability model – assumes a biological sensitivity, or vulnerability, to a  certain disorder that will develop under the right conditions of emotional stress ▪ Book focuses on this model in terms of schizophrenia, but studied as part  of many disorders

• DSM-5 Dissociative Disorders

o Characterized by disruption and/or discontinuity in the normal integration of: ▪ Consciousness

▪ Memory

▪ Identity

▪ Emotion

▪ Perception

▪ Body representation

▪ Motor control

▪ Behavior

o Dissociative Amnesia (including Dissociative Fugue), Dissociative Identity  Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder), Depersonalization-Derealization  Disorder

• Dissociative Disorders

o Dissociative Amnesia – inability to recall autobiographical information ▪ Selective or generalized

▪ Not attributable to effects of a drug or neurological/medical condition • (note, this criterion is common to many disorders)

o Dissociative Fugue – forgets identity and moves to new location

o Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) – disruption of identity, characterized by  two or more distinct personality states

▪ Recurrent gaps in recall of everyday events, personal information, or  traumas

o Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder

▪ Dissociative disorder in which individuals feel detached and disconnected  from themselves, their bodies, and their surroundings

▪ Individuals experiencing these symptoms may think they are “going  

crazy”

o Causes

▪ Role of abuse/trauma

▪ Psychodynamic theories

▪ Behavioral theories

▪ Biological

• People with a mild form of dissociative disorder have lower brain  

activity in areas responsible for sense of body awareness than do  

those without

• DSM-5 Personality Disorders

o Disorders in which a person adopts a persistent, rigid, and maladaptive pattern of  behavior that interferes with normal social interactions

o Paranoid, Schizoid, Schizotypal, Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic, Narcissistic,  Avoidant, Obsessive-Compulsive, Other Specified Personality Disorder

• Personality Disorders

o Antisocial personality disorder – a person has no morals or conscience and often  behaves in an impulsive manner without regard for the consequences of that  behavior

o Borderline personality disorder – maladaptive personality pattern in which the  person is moody and unstable, lacks a clear sense of identity, and often clings to  others

• Cultural Syndromes

o Taijin kyofusho (TKS)

▪ Social anxiety – fear of offending others

o Ataque de nervios (“attack of nerves”)

▪ Similar to panic disorder, but many include symptoms like  

aggression/screaming and suicidal impulses

Week 15 – Tuesday

Psychological Therapies

• Biomedical Therapies

o Biomedical therapies – therapies that directly affect the biological functioning of  the body and brain

o Psychopharmacology – the use of drugs to control or relieve the symptoms of  psychological disorders

• Drug Treatments

o Antipsychotic drugs – used to treat psychotic symptoms such as delusions,  hallucinations, and other bizarre behavior

o Antianxiety drugs – used to treat and calm anxiety reactions (also called  anxiolytics)

▪ Typically minor tranquilizers

o Mood-stabilizing drugs – used to treat bipolar disorder (also called anti-manic  drugs)

▪ Include lithium and certain anticonvulsant drugs

o Antidepressant drugs – used to treat depression and anxiety

• Electroconvulsive Therapy

o Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) – biomedical treatment in which electrodes are  places on either one or both sides of a person’s head and an electric current strong  enough to cause a seizure or convulsion is passed through the electrodes

▪ Still used to treat severe depression

• Psychosurgery

o Psychosurgery – surgery performed on brain tissue to relieve or control severe  psychological disorders

▪ Prefrontal lobotomy – the connections of the prefrontal lobes of the brain  to the rear portions are severed

▪ Bilateral anterior cingulotomy – an electrode wire is inserted into the  

anterior cingulated gyrus area of the brain for the purpose of destroying  

that area of the brain tissue with an electric current

• Electrode is inserted with the guidance of a magnetic resonance  

imaging (MRI) machine

o Emerging Techniques

▪ Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) – magnetic pulses are  applied to the cortex

▪ Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) – uses scalp to pass very  low amplitude direct currents to the brain

▪ Deep brain stimulation (DBS) – an electrode is inserted into the brain to  directly stimulate parts of the prefrontal cortex

Week 15 – Thursday

Psychotherapy

• Dark Ages

o Demonology and Pre-Modern Medicine

o Inhumane, Ineffective Treatments

▪ Trephination

▪ Bloodletting

▪ Cages, shackles, chains

▪ Bedlam

• Renaissance

o Reformers, Advocates

▪ Philippe Pinel

▪ Dorothea Dix

o Humane, Ineffective Treatments

▪ Kirkbride Plan

• Psychoanalysis

o Unconscious conflicts stemming from childhood

o Dream interpretation and free association

o Resistance, transference, and countertransference

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