Psychology-Dr. Forbey Test 1: Lecture 1 Sign up for SONA Psychology and Scientific Thinking: What is psychology? ∙ Scientific psychologists: Study the mind and behavior ∙ Spans many levels of explanation, from biological to social influences o Gain new knowledge from each vantage point ∙ Attempts to answer many exceptionally difficult quWe also discuss several other topics like What is a potential error rate?
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estions o “Mysterians”- believe that certain questions regarding human nature are unanswerable 10 things that make psychology challenging ∙ Behavior is difficult to predict o Meehl’s Maxim Past/Future behavior connection ∙ Behavior is multiply determined o Question single-variable explanations ∙ Psychological influences are rarely independent of one another o “Multicollinearity”- overlap among different causes of behavior ∙ Psychological influences are often unknown ∙ People affect each other o “Reciprocal Determinism” ∙ Many psychological concepts are difficult to define ∙ The brain didn’t evolve to understand itself o “Paradox of Reflexivity” ∙ People in psychological experiments usually know they’re being studied o Problem of reactivity ∙ People differ from each other- individual differences in thinking, emotion, and behavior ∙ Culture influences people’s behavior o Emic (insider) vs. Etic (outsider) approaches to studying a culture’s behavior Great Theoretical Frameworks of Psychology∙ Structuralism ∙ Functionalism ∙ Psychoanalysis ∙ Behaviorism ∙ Cognitivism ∙ Structuralism o Wundt, Titchener and others aimed to identify the basic elements of psychological experience Wundt delivered first “psychology” lab ‘Map’ the elements of consciousness (sensations, images, feelings) using introspection ∙ Introspection= self-reported, subjective, mental experiences o Findings lacked reliability Underscored importance of systematic observations Systematic Observations ∙ One definition of Systematic Observations o Being able to get results that are standardized, not based on casual or informal observations o Need to be repeatable under the same or similar conditions Functionalism-aimed to understand the adaptive purposes (instead of elements) of psychological characteristics (behavior, emotions, thoughts) and consciousness ∙ William James o Said mental events could be quantified via description of conscious experience (i.e., introspection) and other techniques A little more systematic, but not substantially so o Individual differences in purpose/adaption to environment EducationPsychodynamic/ psychoanalytic- focuses on internal psychological processes (impulses, thoughts, memories) of which we’re unaware ∙ Maintains that our everyday lives are filled with symbols, which psychoanalysts must decode ∙ Emphasis on the role of early experiences ∙ Unconscious processes Behaviorism- focuses on uncovering the general laws of learning by looking outside the organism to rewards and punishments delivered by the environment ∙ Psychological science must be objective, not relying on subjective reports ∙ Founded by John B. Watson, B.F. Skinner was follower ∙ Black Box- their view of the mind: an unknown entity which we need not understand in order to explain behavior Cognitivism- proposes that our thinking (cognition) affects our behavior in powerful ways ∙ Rewards and punishments can’t fully explain behavior because our interpretation of these is a crucial determinant of behavior ∙ We also learn by insight o Making connections between events Modern Psychology Critical Multiplism- ∙ Approach of using many different methods in concert o Surveys, laboratory experiments, real-world observation, etc. ∙ Basic and Applied Research o Translating research finding into real world applications Lime-Yellow easier to detect Yellow Fire Trucks Additional visual information (especially closer to eye level) Third Brake Light Predict College Achievement SAT/ACT Popular Psychology ∙ Popular psychology industry- the sprawling network of everyday sources of information about human behavioro Self-help- about 3,500 self-help books are published each year and the internet is exploding like a supernova Rarely screened The quality of the information can be good, misleading, or even dangerous ∙ Rebirthing o Therapeutic technique used to treat a person who suffered a traumatic event or had some other form of psychological issue The “idea” is to simulate a second birth ∙ “creates a fresh start in the mind of the patient” Psychology as a Science ∙ Science is an approach to evidence, a toolbox of skills used to prevent us from fooling ourselves o Involves: Communalism: willingness to share our findings with others Disinterestedness: attempt to be objective when evaluating evidence ∙ Disinterestedness o Stanford University researcher had a financial connection to a drug-development company Abortion drug as an “antidepressant” o Harvard child psychiatrist whose work has helped fuel an explosion in the use of powerful antipsychotic medicines in children Senator Grassley pushed for disclosure of financial issues o Emory University psychiatrist Editor for journal of Neuropsychopharmacology Senator Grassley again identified a conflict of interest ∙ Science as a Safeguard against Bias o Scientific Bias A focus on info that supports our beliefs, while discounting other information o Confirmation Bias Tendency to seek out evidence that supports our hypothesis and neglect or distort contradicting evidence Scientists need to design studies that may disprove their theories o Belief Perseverance: tendency to stick to our initial beliefs even when evidence contradicts them Belief remains typically through confirmation bias ∙ Scientific Thinking and Everyday Life o Strive to think scientifically- think in ways that minimize errors Become aware of your biases Use the tools of the scientific theory and method to try to overcome them ∙ Scientific Skepticism o As scientists, we should Evaluate all claims, with an open mind But also insist on persuasive evidence before accepting these claims o Pathological skepticism- tendency to dismiss any claims that contradict one’s beliefs Robert park and Sonofusion example o Disconformation Bias- tendency to seek out evidence inconsistent with a hypothesis we don’t believe, and neglect information consistent with it Evidence that suggests the hypothesis is wrong blindly accepted ∙ Evidence that suggests that the hypothesis is correct is GREATLY scrutinized o Oberg’s dictum – premise that we should keep our minds open, but not so open that we believe virtually everything Wegner and Pangea o Role of “authority”- we should be unwilling to accept claims on the basis of authority alone Basic Principles of Critical Thinking ∙ Critical Thinking- set of skills for evaluating all claims in an open-minded and careful fashiono Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence o Falsifiability- for a claim or theory to be meaningful, it must be capable of being disproved “All people are Mortal” ∙ Vs. “All people are immortal” o Occam’s Razor (parsimony)- simplest explanation for a given set of data is the best one o Replicability- findings must be duplicated, ideally by independent investigators o Ruling out rival hypotheses- need to consider alternative hypotheses o Correlation is not causation Correlation- causation fallacy A B or B A Third Variable Problem ∙ If A and B are correlated: or C A or B From Inquiry to Understanding ∙ Reliability: Getting similar results under similar conditions and/or at different times ∙ Validity: Getting “accurate” results, or measuring what you are intending to measure ∙ Scientific Method: A toolbox of skills o Allows us to test specific hypotheses derived from broader theories of how things work In psychology, and other areas, theories are never proved, by hypotheses can be supported (or not supported) Naturalistic Observation ∙ Watching behavior in real-world settings ∙ High degree of external validity o Extent to which we can generalize our findings to the real world ∙ Low degree of internal validity o Extent to which we can draw cause-and-effect inferences Case Study Designs∙ Depth is emphasized rather than breadth ∙ Common with rare types of brain damage or psychological disorders o Capgras Syndrome ∙ Helpful in providing existence proofs o But can be misleading and anecdotal Correlational Design ∙ Correlation can vary from -1 to +1 ∙ 0 means no relationship ∙ Depicted in a scatterplot- each dot represents 1 person ∙ Illusory Correlation: Perception of a statistical association where none exist ∙ Correlation cannot determine causation- merely shows things are related or associated Experimental Design ∙ Experimental Studies o Permit some cause and effect determination ∙ Random Assignment of Participants to condition o Experimental group- receives the manipulation o Control group- does not receive the manipulation Experimental Design: What Makes a Study an Experiment ∙ Independent Variable o Experimenter manipulates ∙ Dependent Variable o Experimenter measures to see whether manipulation had an effect ∙ Correlation Approach has no true IV or DV ∙ Cause and Effect o With an experiment-possible to infer With random assignment and manipulation of independent variable ∙ However, for both correlational and experimental design, there can always be a third variable∙ Confounds o Any difference between the experimental and control groups, other than the independent variable; Makes independent variable effects uninterpretable ∙ Pitfalls of Experimental Design: ∙ Placebo Effect o Improvement resulting from the mere expectation of improvement Subjects must be blind- unaware of whether they are in the experimental group or the control group Placebos show many of the same characteristics as real drugs ∙ Experimenter expectancy effect o Phenomenon in which researcher’s hypotheses lead them to unintentionally bias a study outcome Clever Hans, the mathematical horse Rosenthal’s Rat study ∙ Double-blind design o Neither researchers nor participants/subjects know who is in the experimental or control group Designed to counteract experimental expectancy effects Self-esteem vs memory ∙ Hawthorne Effect o Phenomenon in which participants’ knowledge that they’re being studied can impact their behavior Demand characteristics: cues that participants pick up from a study that allow them to generate guesses regarding the researcher’s hypotheses To minimize Hawthorne effects: ∙ Covert observation and/or deception Ethical Issues in Research Design ∙ Covert observation/deception dangers o Tuskegee Study (1932-1972) 399 African American men living in rural Alabama diagnosed with syphilis U.S. public health service never fully informed, or treated the men Merely studied the course of the disease ∙ 28 men died of syphilis ∙ 100 of related complications ∙ 40 wives were infected ∙ 19 children were born with it In 1997, President Clinton offered a formal apology Modern Ethical Guidelines ∙ Institutional Review Boards (IRB) o Informed Consent o Justification of deception Milgram’s obedience study o Debriefing of subjects afterward Statistics: The Language of Psychological Research ∙ Descriptive statistics: numerical characteristics of the nature of the data set ∙ Central tendency: where the group tends to cluster o Mean, Median, Mode ∙ Dispersion: sense of how loosely or tightly bunched scores are o Range, standard deviation, variance ∙ Inferential statistics: allow us to determine whether we can generalize findings from our sample to the population o Statistical significance- finding would have occurred by chance less than 1 in 20 times ∙ Deception with statistics o 100% increase vs 50% decrease The Brain ∙ Every part of the brain has a function Current News ∙ Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) o Unclear of exact mechanism Possible protein/plaque involvement, scar tissue Biological Psychology ∙ Study of the brain and behavior∙ The brain contains approximately 100 billion neurons (nerve cells) o Born with 200 billion The Forebrain ∙ Cerebral cortex- outermost covering o Contains: Neocortex-most recently developed cortex Cerebral hemispheres- left and right ∙ Lateralization Corpus Callosum-connects the two hemispheres ∙ Frontal lobe o Motor cortex- sends signals to muscles Central sulcus o Prefrontal cortex- executive functions Injury: ∙ Broca’s area & aphasia ∙ Phineas Gage & personality change ∙ Parietal lobe- perception of space, object shape and orientation, actions of other, numbers o Integrates vision, touch, motor information Somatosensory cortex ∙ Pressure, temperature, pain o Central Sulcus o Injury: Acalculia, contralateral neglect ∙ Temporal lobe-hearing, language, comprehension, autobiographical memories o Auditory complex Injury: ∙ Wenicke’s area and aphasia ∙ Occipital lobe- vision o Visual cortex The brain and emotion ∙ Limbic system- emotional center of the brain o Networked with the automatic nervous system to influence blood pressure, heart and the endocrine systemo Information about our internal state ∙ Hypothalamus- maintains internal bodily states by overseeing the endocrine and autonomic nervous systems ∙ Amygdala- excitement, arousal, fear, social signals related to emotion ∙ Cingulate cortex- active during emotional expression ∙ Hippocampus- memory functioning, including spatial memory Brain Mapping Methods ∙ Phrenology- early method (1800s) of linking mind and brain o Falsifiable ∙ Cases of brain damage- studying brain function following damage o Naturally occurring damage in humans vs. experimentally- induced brain lesions in non-human animals ∙ Electrical stimulation and recording of the nervous system o EEG ∙ Brain scans o CT and MRI- structural imaging o PET and fMRI- functional imaging ∙ Magnetic stimulation and recording o Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) TEST TWO Sensation vs. Perception ∙ Detection (S) vs. Interpretation (P) of sensory information ∙ Naïve Realism: We like to believe the world is exactly what we think it is o However, this is wrong o The world is not exactly as we see/experience it Sensation ∙ Transduction-conversion of external energies or substances into a nervous system signal (excitation or inhibition) o Sense receptors- “transduce” specific stimuli Sensory adaptationPsychophysics: Measuring the Barely Detectable ∙ Absolute Threshold-smallest stimulus energy needed for the nervous system to detect o Human error increases as stimuli get weaker ∙ Just Noticeable Difference-smallest change in intensity of a stimulus that we can detect 50% of the time o Weber’s law Sensory system organization within the cortex: not just a one-way street Sensory processing ∙ Parallel processing o Can attend to many senses at once o Bottom-up vs. top-down processing (co-exist) Perceptual Hypotheses: Guessing What’s Out There ∙ Perceptual sets-relationship between a stimulus and its context o Grouping, contextual effects o Preconceptions, expectations With all our sensory inputs, how do we focus? ∙ Selective attention- process of focusing on one sensory channel and ignoring others o Filter theory of attention and the dichotic listening task Listen to info coming into one ear or the other o Cocktail part effect Extrasensory perception (ESP) ∙ Perceiving events outside of typical sensory channels of seeing, hearing, touch o 41% of Americans believe ∙ Three major types: o Precognition-predicting events o Telepathy-reading minds o Clairvoyance- detecting hidden objects or people Scientific Evidence for ESP ∙ Zener card studies: subjects scored better than chance performance on precognition, telepathy, and clairvoyance, but: o Not replicable o Methodology flaws (see-through cards)∙ Ganzfield Technique- experimental setup to reduce background noise and increase sensitivity to ESP o Not replicable ∙ Parapsychologist terms for explaining away negative scientific findings: experimenter effect, decline effect, psi missing Psychic Trickery ∙ Cold Reading- a set of skills to persuade strangers that we know all about them ∙ Failed psychic predictions o People forget these ∙ Multiple end points-open-ended predictions o Steve Jobs and Blu Ray Why does anyone believe in ESP? ∙ Fallacy of positive instances- we focus on events that appear to be amazing coincidences and forget those that don’t o Underestimation of coincidences: Probability of shared birthdays in a group of 23? A group of 58? Development ∙ Developmental psychology: the study of how behavior changes over time ∙ Special considerations o Post hoc fallacy- false assumption that because one even occurred before another event, it must have caused that event o Correlation A and B are correlated ∙ A B o Stop A, stop B NO! ∙ Bidirectional influences o Children’s biological makeup influences their experiences, but their biological makeup is also influenced by their experiences Developmental Research Designs ∙ Cross-sectional design- examine people of different ages at a single time point o COHORT EFFECT ∙ Longitudinal design- track the development of the same group of people over time o Able to control for cohort effects to a larger extend o Still not a true experiment Cross Sectional vs Longitudinal ∙ Longitudinal designs o Better at controlling for confounds o But they are extremely time consuming o Would you be willing to spend decades of your life on one project? o What if you didn’t find anything interesting? ∙ Cross-sectional designs o Findings may be discovered more quickly ∙ The best researchers attempt to use both types of designs/ some form of hybrid Myths of Early Experience ∙ Infant determinism- assumption that extremely early experiences are more influential in our development than late experiences o Actually experience shapes us throughout development ∙ Childhood fragility- assumption that children are extremely delicate o Children are actually very resilient Nature vs. Nurture ∙ Nature- genetics/ nurture- environment ∙ They seem to interact o Prince and the pauper o Trading places o Or any of those teen movies about the ugly duckling becoming the prom queen ∙ Gene-environment interaction- the impact of genes depends on the environment in which the behavior develops∙ Jane o Funny Coffee o Noises in Car o Savings o Anxiety/Negative Emotionality ∙ Nature vs. Nurture o Genetic predispositions can drive us to select and/or create particular environments ∙ Jane’s Door Number 1 o Clinical Jane TV is better than REAL LIFE Quick Fixes Friends? Problems at work ∙ Jane’s Door Number 2 o Non-clinical Jane Finds a partner who is not overly disturbed by her worries Exercise vs. quick fixes Finds a job that allows her to express her uncanny ability to spot potential problems “Gonna buy me a dog” ∙ Gene Expression- some genes “turn on” or “turn off” only in response to specific environmental events o Resetting to default state? Cognitive Development ∙ How do children learn, think, reason, and communicate? o Does development occur in stages or is it continuous? o Are cognitive skills domain- general or domain-specific? o Do children learn from physical or social interactions? o Piaget and Vygotsky each came up with their own theories ∙ Piaget o Children aren’t miniature adults o Constructive theory- children construct an understanding of their world based on observations of the effects of their behavioro Stage theorist Radical reorganizations at specific developmental points o Equilibration Balance between experience and thoughts about the world o Assimilation Absorbing new information into current knowledge o Accommodation Altering a belief to make it compatible with experience o Four Stages of Cognitive Development in Piaget’s Theory Sensorimotor Preoperational Concrete Operations Formal Operations o Sensorimotor Birth to 2 years of age Physical interactions Lack object permanence o Preoperational 2 until 7 Egocentrism ∙ Can’t see you ∙ Can’t see me No Conservation o Concrete Operations 7-11 years of age Conservation achieved No abstraction o Formal Operations 12 years of age and up Logic ∙ Hypothetical reasoning Abstractions Strengths and Criticisms of Piaget∙ Strengths o Children are different than adults o Learning is an active process ∙ Criticisms o Development more continuous than stage-like o Cultural bias Vygotsky: Social and Cultural Influences on Learning ∙ Scaffolding-learning mechanism in which parents provide initial guidance in child’s learning then gradually remove structure ∙ Zone of proximal development- phase of learning during which children can benefit from instruction Landmarks of Cognitive Development ∙ Physical reasoning o Object permanence actually emerges by 5 months If tested without requiring physical research o Infants possess naïve physics (e.g. unsupported objects fall) ∙ Categorizing objects o Frees up time ∙ How? o Perceptual vs non-perceptual features Unclear which dominates ∙ Mathematics-children must first learn that: o Numbers are about amount o Number words refer to specific quantities ∙ Concept of self and others o Occurs over toddler to preschool years Rudimentary sense of self as early as 3 months o Theory of mind- the ability to reason about what other people know or believe Social development ∙ Stranger anxiety- a fear of strangers developing around 8 months, same in all cultures ∙ Attachment- strong emotional connection we share with those whom we feel closesto John Bowlby Has strong impact early on ∙ And throughout life ∙ Imprinting- phenomenon observed in birds In which babies begin to follow around and attach themselves to any large moving object in the vicinity during the hours immediately after hatching Imprinting’s “Critical Period” ∙ Critical period o Gosling’s and other birds have a “critical period” (around 36 hours) for bonding Critical period= time window when something needs to occur ∙ Sensitive period o Some evidence that humans and other mammals have “sensitive period” for social bonding o Not everyone agrees, but 6 months seems to be a replicable empirical finding Infant Bonding: Harlow’s Monkeys ∙ Studied infant rhesus monkeys separated from mother after birth ∙ Two surrogate ‘mothers’ o One wire (but with milk), one warm cloth Monkeys spent more time with cloth mother, especially when scared ∙ Contact comfort- positive emotions afforded by touch-secure attachment Attachment Styles ∙ Strange situation task to evaluate infant attachment in the U.S. o 8 Steps 1. Parent and infant Enter room 2. Infant explores 3. Stranger enters, parent leaves 4. Stranger interacts with infant 5. Parent returns, stranger leaves, parent leaves 6. Infant alone 7. Stranger returns with infant 8. Parent returns ∙ 2 aspects of child behavior are made o Exploration o Reaction to mother leaving/returning Leads to classification of infant ∙ Secure Attachment (60%) o Develops through sense of connectedness and needs being met consistently Seen as most “adaptive” o Gets upset when mom leaves o Happy when mom returns Secure base important ∙ Insecure-anxious/ ambivalent attachment (15-20%) o Develops due to inconsistent meeting of needs by mother o Child distressed when mother leaves o Acts inconsistent when mother returns Wants to be around, but also appears angry, wants to be away from mother ∙ Insecure-avoidant attachment (15%-20%) o Develops due to “disengagement” by mother o Demonstrates little emotion when mom leaves or returns o Doesn’t explore much ∙ Disorganized attachment (5-10%) o Rarest form o Not derived from Ainsworth’s research o Dazed and confused? Temperament ∙ Basic emotional style that appears early in development and is largely genetic in origin o May interact with parent style to influence attachment ∙ Types: o Thomas and Chess Easy (40%) Difficult (10%) Slow-to-warm-up (15%) Unclassifiable (35%) o Kagan: Behavioral Inhibition Inhibited ∙ 10% o Risk for anxiety disorders Uninhibited ∙ 20% o Risk for behavioral disorders Middling ∙ 70% Basic Terminology ∙ Learning- change in an organism’s behavior or thought as result of experience o Rapidly occurs in early stages of life But constantly occurring throughout life ∙ Habituation- process by which we respond less strongly over time to repeated stimuli ∙ Sensitization- process by which we respond more strongly over time (especially for irritating stimuli) o Arm rubbing Classical conditioning ∙ British associationists o We acquire knowledge by connecting stimuli o Simple associations the building blocks to more complex ideas ∙ Ivan Pavlov o Studied digestion in dogs, noted associative conditioning between neural stimuli and meat powder (Pavlovian conditioning) o Pavlov described classical conditioning, involving: UCS unconditioned stimulus- biologically significant stimulus that produces automatic response UCR unconditioned response- automatic response to a UCS that occurs without learning CS conditioned stimulus- initially neutral stimulus, becomes associated with the UCS through conditioning CR conditioned response- learned response o By virtue of CS-UCS pairing, the CS comes to elicit the CR, a response closely related, but not identical, to the UR ∙ Acquisition- learning phase during which a CR is established ∙ Extinction- gradual decrease and elimination of the CR when the CS is presented repeatedly without the UCS ∙ Spontaneous recovery- sudden reemergence of an extinguished CR after a delay o In some cases, Pavlov’s dog would salivate occasionally to the appearance of the grad student, metronome, etc.. ∙ Aversive conditioning- classical conditioning to an unpleasant UCS o Avoidance response