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CSU / Psychology / PSY 100 / What are the theories of dreaming?

What are the theories of dreaming?

What are the theories of dreaming?



What are the theories of dreaming?

- Syllabus: Exams and Learning Curve

- Psychology’s Roots

- Psychology

Syllabus: Exams

- Warm up exam – Monday 29th of January – 40 questions - 4 unit exams – 50 questions each - multiple choice – lowest exam  dropped

- no make ups unless university sanctioned

- 1st major unit exam – February 14th 

- Cumulative Final – 100 questions – unit 5 and other modules – student  ID

- All modules have learning curve assignment

- Only 25 required, do more to study

- All learning curve are due at midnight night before the unit exam - Predominantly textbook based exams

Is biology and environment, are the same?

- Anything that is both in textbook and lecture as well as bold

Module 1



Psychology has strong historical roots in biology and:


Psychology’s Roots:

- Ancient explanations about mind and behavior largely spiritual - Trepanation – drilling into the skull to release spirits and fix behavioral  issues.

- Pre-scientific method originated in India with the Buddha - What would a pre-scientific method look like? – HYPOTHESIS, PLAN TO  ANSWER IT

- Buddha had an idea of how stress affected people


- Chinese philosopher

- People play a role in their own mental life

What is the occipital lobe?


- Humourism – need for balance – biggest contribution is: - Nutrition – 4 substances

- Black Bile = Melancholy

- Yellow bile = Choleric (bad tempered)

- Red = sanguine (courageous, amorous)

- Blue = Phlegmatic (calm, cool)

- By changing diet you can change

Aristotle: If you want to learn more check out What did darwin and wallace propose?

- Heart

- What it is we study: perception, motivation, emotion, personality,  learning, memory

- How we incorporate scientific methods: observations and logic  inferences

Buddhism, Chinese Philosophy and Greek Philosophy

- Nature vs Nurture

- Body & mind: single or dualistic (Is there a spiritual component?) - Importance of experiences

You can tell someone’s behavior but not their mental processes/motivations.

Psychology’s Roots – 19th Century

- Father of Psychology – Wilhelm Wundt

- December 1879 – Germany University of Leipzig first psychology lab - How does the mind work?Don't forget about the age old question of What are the characteristics of the market system?

- Reaction time – Consciousness/awareness takes longer than perception – drop it twice as fast when they didn’t think about the sound. - “Atoms of the mind”

- Atom – building block of life, smallest units of measurement

Edward Bradford Titchener

- Structuralism – Elements of consciousness  

- Introspection – experimental self-observation – issue with people being  honest in the study (bias). Ability to analyze themselves.

Week 2

William James:


- Adaptive functions of the mind – Darwinism – adaptiveness - How/Why

- Roles of consciousness and function

Mary Whiton Calkins  

- First female psychologist

- Admitted to Harvard and Men quit the program, made it through all the qualifications but denied PhD

- Distinguished memory researcher

- 1st APA woman president 1905

Margaret Floy Washburn

- First PhD in psychology to a woman – 1894  

- Admitted by Titchener (all male experimental Psy association, not  admitted to the association)

- 1st foreign study Wundt

- The animal Mind – book studying animal behavior If you want to learn more check out What is the areolar loose?

- Second female APA president in 1921

Francis Cecil Sumner

- 1st African American PhD – 1920

- Studied refuting racism and bias in theories claiming inferiority of  African Americans

- As a faculty and researcher, struggled to get funding

- Translated articles from German, French and Spanish

- Taught Kenneth B. Clark – Civil Rights Movement

Inez Prosser

- First woman African American PhD (1933)

- Racial injustices and feelings of isolation have damaging effects on the  psyche of Black children.

- Died in car accident in 1934


Freudian Psychology

- Early conflicts

- Unconscious processes

- Id, Ego, Superego

- Development and sexuality

Behaviorism - B.F Skinner 1904 -1990, John B. Watson 1878 – 1958  - Scientific study of human behavior

- Observe and record behaviors as they are conditioned - Major force through the 1960s

Humanistic Psychology

- Influence of environment – Nurture OR LIMIT GROWTH POTENTIAL

Contemporary Psychology: Don't forget about the age old question of What is the purpose of the security council?

- cognitive revolution and cognitive psychology (1960s) - perceive, process and remember information

- cognitive roots of disorders We also discuss several other topics like What is the concept of hexagon development?
If you want to learn more check out What are the types of landmasses?

Evolutionary Psychology and behavior genetics

- Nature vs nurture

Positive Psychology

- Human flourishing and good life

- Cross cultural and gender

- Behaviors and attitudes vary, underlying processes do not

Biopsychosocial model: 3 main levels of analysis


Behavior or mental processes  

Social-cultural Psychological

Module 2

Research Strategies 

The Need for Psychological Science

- Why do research if so much of it is intuitive/

- Is our intuition, always right? – only 50%

Test scores give better prediction of job performance

Hindsight Bias

- “I knew it all along”

- Current wisdom based on what we’ve been told

- We are “biased” in favor of old information

- For example, relationships

- Change what you would have predicted after getting the answer

Coincidence Error

- Thinking you can make a prediction from a random series - Coin flip, heads 5 times – people will expect it to be tails but still 50%  chance

- We don’t know what random looks like

- Coincidence has no meaning


- Knowing the answer = overconfident

- We mistake confidence for accuracy

- Level of confidence is higher than level of accuracy

- Test preparation

- Explain something to someone else

The Scientific Attitude

- Curious  

- Skeptical

- Humble

Critical Thinking

Essential in research. Helps us examine and evaluate:

- Assumptions

- The sources of information

- Hidden biases

- Evidence

- Conclusions – only based on evidence


- Intuition – gut feelings – fail us

- Hindsight Bias makes us thin we were right all along - The Coincidence Error makes us see relationships that don’t

The Scientific Method:


Collect Data

Test Hypothesis



- Explains  

- Not law just an explanation  

The Scientific Method:

- Theories can bias observations:

o Hindsight Bias

o Confirmation Bias

- So, we use:

o Replication

o Operational Definitions

1. Descriptive Research:

- Observing and describing, NOT explaining

- Starting point

- 3 ways we describe:

o Naturalistic observation

o Case Study

o Survey

1) Naturalistic observation

- Real-world

- Aim is to not interfere

- Describes observations

- Does not explain

2) Case Study

- Examining in depth and extensive look at a rare phenomenon - Find universal truths – common between them

3) Survey

- Many cases, not as in depth

- Behavior or opinions

- Population, Representative Sample, Random Sampling

- Wording effects

- Think Critically about finding:

- Is this true for intended populations?

- How might questions or sampling influence results?

2. Correlation Research

- Predict relations

- Correlation coefficient = stat which tells us how strongly they’re  related, closer to 1 or -1 the more strongly related, the closer to 0 the  less closely related.

- Positive correlation – as one goes up the other goes up, changing in the same direction

- Negative correlation – as one increases, the other decreases, changes  in opposite direction.


3. Experimentation Research

- Cause and effect

- Variable’s effect on behavior

- Researchers manipulate a variable

- Control group

- Experimental group – manipulated group

- Random assignment

- Independent variable (manipulated)

- Dependent variable (outcome)

- Confounding variable – explains the change we didn’t measure. - Experimental control – isolated the effect of IVs on DV

- Placebo effect – “thinking”

Research Ethics

- Institutional Review Board

- Informed consent

- Debriefing – tells you the truth

When Evaluating Research Claims

- What was the theory? The hypothesis? Does the question make sense? - How was it tested? What type of research conducted>

- Were the variables operationally defined

- Who comprised the sample

- Was the sample so big wed find anything/ too small  

- Are there factors that may contribute?

Module 3

Neural and Hormonal Systems 

Nervous System:

- Biological psychologists – want to see what happens physically in the  body and behavior

- Humans and animals – similar systems

- Why is this important? – Invasive techniques that may be  uncomfortable for people


- Building block of nervous system

- Plasticity – we can change the brain and the way that it works,  constantly creating new neurons and pruning away unused neurons - Different types (3), same structure

- Neurons look white

Glial Cells

- “Glue cells”

- Support neurons

- Complex animals – fundamental difference is the proportion of glial.  The smarter you  

are the more glial cells you have.

Neural impulse

- Neurons transmit – when they receive information i.e.  

senses/chemicals from other neurons

- Action potential  

o Brief electrical charge – axon

o All or none rule

o Depends on frequency not strength, fire rapidly then take a break or slowly etc.

- Like Batteries – electricity from chemical events

- Exchange of ions occurs

o Electrically charged atoms – Na involved when channels open - Refractory period – break to recharge

- Excitatory/Inhibitory

- Action potential occurs when Excitatory is greater than Inhibitory  

How Neurons Communicate

- Synapse/Synaptic gap – small space between neurons, this is where  communication happens

- When an AP reaches terminal, neurotransmitters are released - Neurotransmitters give directions

- NTs are received – “reuptake” – send into the synaptic gap, some are  taken others, some go back into the synaptic gap and are reabsorbed


- Acetylcholine (Ach)

o Learning and memory

o Motor and muscle action

- Dopamine

o Movement, learning, attention, emotion (pleasure)

- Serotonin

o Mood, hunger, sleep, arousal

- Endorphins

o Perception of pain and pleasure

o Natural opiates

- Norepinephrine – neurotransmitter and hormone

o Alertness and arousal – boosting adrenaline


o Inhibitory (Brakes)

- Glutamate

o Excitatory

o Memory

The Nervous System

- Body’s electrical communication network

- Central Nervous System (CNS)

o Brain and spinal chord

- Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)

o Relay between rest of the body and the CNS

Central Nervous System(CNS)

- Brain

- Spinal cord

o Connects brain and PNS

o Reflexes

- 3 types of Neurons

o Sensory

o Motor

o Interneurons (in between sensory and motor; processes info)

Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)

- Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)

o Self-regulated actions

o “Auto-pilot”

- Somatic Nervous System (SNS)

o Voluntary movement

o Sensory input

- ANS Components:

o Sympathetic

 Arousing

 Fight or Flight

o Parasympathetic

 Calming  

 Conserves energy

o Homeostasis – Balance

The Endocrine System

- Nervous System = speedy electrical

- Endocrine System = slower chemical

- Hormones

o Chemical messengers

o Bloodstream, tissues, brain

o Brain: interest in sex, food, aggression

- Endocrine messages last longer

- Pituitary Gland – most influential gland

o In the core of the brain

o Growth hormone

o Oxytocin

 Birthing, bonding, milk flow, orgasm, trust, cohesion

o Directs other glands to release hormones

- Feedback System

o Brain -> Pituitary -> Other glands -> Hormones -> Body  and brain

o NS directs ES which then affects NS

o Directed by brain

How we used to know about the brain

- 100 years ago, brain damage

o Like What?

o Cognition – thought processes

- Lesions

o Tissue destruction

o Natural vs Experimental vs Therapeutic

- Posthumous examinations

Older Brain Structures


- Connection point (right and left parts of the brain)

- Medulla

o Heartbeat

o Breathing

- Pons

o Coordinates movement

o Sleep  

- Automatic actions

- Reticular Formation

o “Bridge”

o Filters stimuli

o Info to other regions

o Controls arousal

- Thalamus

o Sensory control center

 Except smell

o Sensory info to higher regions

o And replies to medulla and cerebellum

Near Brainstem – Cerebellum

- “Little Brain”

- Nonverbal learning

- Skill memory

- Judge time

- Modulate emotions

- Differentiate sounds and textures

- Coordinates voluntary movement  

Limbic Brain

- Emotions

- Drives – the need for food, sex, survival – cognition is added to basic  physiology

- Amygdala

o Decision Making

o Social Functioning

 Fear

 Aggression

o Lesions

 Reduced arousal to fear and anger

o Electrical Stimulation

 Anger reactions in cats

- Hypothalamus

o Motivation

o Control

 Pituitary gland – growth hormone and oxytocin o Emotion processing

o Influences:

 Hunger  

 Thirst  

 Temperature

 Sex

o Homeostatic State

- Hippocampus

o “Sea Horse”

o Conscious explicit memories  

o Decreases with age

 Size

 Function

Newer Brain Structures

Basic Structure – Cerebral Cortex

- Wrinkled outer area

- Left and Right Hemispheres

o Filled with axons connecting two sides

- 20-23 billion neurons

- 200 trillion synaptic connections  


Frontal Lobe

- “CEO”

- Decision making  

- Personality

- Motor Cortex

o Sends messages out

Parietal Lobe

- Sensory Hub

- Somatosensory Cortex

o Receives incoming messages

o More sensitive the body region, the larger SC area devoted

Temporal Lobe

- Auditory Cortex

- Understands speech

- Recognizes objects and faces

o Distinguishes between objects with the same name

o Brain isn’t neatly organized

- Auditory Hallucinations

Occipital Lobe

- Visual Processing Center

- Visual Cortex

The Divided Brain

- The Corpus Callosum

o Corpus Callosotomy

 Sperry & Gazzaniga

 Some differences in recognition and processing

(pointing to words on opposite side)

 Personality and intellect not affected

o Drawing one shape with your left hand and one with your  right hand, simultaneously


- Brain modifies itself

- Rewiring/reorganization despite not rebuilding

- The younger the better


- Cell nucleus

o Genetic Master Code

- Chromosome

o 46 (23 each parent)


o Contained by chromosomes

- Genes

o Small segments of DNA

o 20,000-25,000

o Expressed vs inactive


- Siblings – 99.98% of the same genetic code

- Parents – 99.975%

- Strangers – 99.95%

- Chimpanzees – 98%

- Bananas – 50%

Nature-Individual Differences

- Occasional slight variations from common pattern

- Traits have complex genetic roots

Genes & Environments

- Genes are molecules, not blueprints

- Twin studies show environment has no discernible impact on  personalities

o Genetic relatives – similar personalities

o Environmental relatives – not the same personalities - How do we reconcile this?

- Genetics deals the cards & environment plays the hand


- Study of environments triggering or blocking gene expression - “The right temperature”

Environmental Enrichment

- Results in more neuronal connections and stronger neurons

Studying Nature

- Twin Studies

o Monozygotic (identical) – 100% of the same DNA o Dizygotic (fraternal) – Same DNA as siblings

- Separated twins

- Adoptions

Studying Interaction

Same environment & Different Genetics Different environment &  Same Genetics

Study influence of genetics Study environments  influence

Nature Nurture

Evolutionary Psychology

- Behavior geneticists – Human differences

- Evolutionary psychologists – Similarities

- More variation within groups vs. between

- Small amount of DNA/genes responsible for differences - Evolution – Scientific Theory

- Natural Selection

- Gene mutations

o Random errors

- Adaption

o Genes may have been selected to make us adaptive

Dual Processing & Attention


- Psychology Roots: “The description and explanation of states  of consciousness”

- 1960s: Behaviorism: “The science of behavior”

- Awareness of ourselves and our environment

- Theory of mind: Humans have it, unknown if others o Reflect

- Present

o Adapt

- Future

o Plan

- Focus attention when learning complex tasks

- Practice – moves to semi-automatic

o Attention free for other tasks

- States of mind

- Consciousness: our awareness of ourselves and our  environment

- Subconscious: Part of consciousness not currently in  awareness; don’t have control

o Dreams

- Perception: the experience of an object, thoughts and sensory  experiences combine

Studying Consciousness

- Cognitive neuroscience

o Brain activity linked with mental processes

- How can we study consciousness?

Selective Attention

- Our senses take in 11 million bits per seconds

- But we can only process 40 bits per second

- Select to attend to a minute aspect

- What do we do with the remaining 10, 999, 960 bits?

- Cocktail party effect

Selective Inattention

- Neisser 1979

- Blind to all but only a sliver of what we see (in-attentional  blindness)

- Blind to changes in environment (change blindness) - By products of selective attention

- We are good at focusing on what’s the most important in the  environment

- Unusual things catch our eye though (pop-out effect)

Dual Processing

- Conscious and unconscious processing

o Simultaneous

- Driving

- Blindsight

- Conscious Sequential – novel problem-solving; focused  attention

- Unconscious Parallel – processing stimuli

Sleep & Dreams

Circadian Rhythm

- Roughly 24hour internal biological clock  

- Sleep/wake cycle

- Body temperature

- Strongly affects the Autonomic Nervous System

- Growth hormones (pituitary gland), Stress hormones - Changes:

o Age

 Babies get most REM sleep

 Adolescents/adults sleep deprived

o Children

o Artificial light

o Sensory deprivation


- Periodic natural loss of consciousness

- Distinct from coma, general anesthesia, and hibernation - Brain remains active

- Has its own rhythm – 4 stages in 90 mins

Measuring Sleep

- Use EEG – brain waves

- All stages of sleep are named after eye movement patterns

Sleep Stages

- Amplitude: height/strength

- Frequency: change per second

- Beta = Alert (faster)

- 90 minutes

- Non-REM-1 = Irregular – 10 minutes

o Hallucinations &hypnagogic sensations

o Lucid dreaming

o Sleep paralysis

- NREM-2 = Clearly asleep but wake easy

o Sleep spindles – brain bursts

o Lasts 20 minutes

- NREM-3 = Hard to wake up

o Delta waves – deep sleep

o Lasts 30 mins

- REM = An hour later

o Paradoxical – brain operates as if you’re awake

o Waves similar to NREM-1

 But body aroused like waking

o Vivid dreams

o Genitals aroused even when dreams aren’t sexual

o Motor Cortex (In frontal lobe) active; brainstem blocks  messages

o Twitches- myoclonic  

o 20-25% of all sleep

- Cycle through stages several times, but they aren’t the same  periods

- Deep sleep diminishes, REM increases with cycling

- With ages, sleep is more fragile

o Awakenings become common


- Biology and Environment  

- Bright morning light triggers decreased melatonin - Melatonin decreases throughout the night

- Modern lighting

Why do we sleep?

- Protective role

- Neuron repair

- REM & NREM-2 strengthen neuronal connections o Enduring memories

- Promotes creative problem solving

- Pituitary gland and muscle development

o Deep sleep, growth hormone – NREM-3

Sleep and Dual Processing

- Monitor environment while sleeping!

- Learning while sleep – NO

- Anything from the 5 minutes before sleep isn’t remembered - Binge sleeping

o Lacking sleep during the week = difficulty integrating new  material into memory

Sleep Disorders

- Insomnia  

o 1 in 10 adults; 1 in 4 older

o Meds and ETOH (alcohol) reduce REM

- Narcolepsy  

o Sudden sleep attacks <5mins

- Sleep Apnea

o 1 in 20

- Night Terrors

o NREM-3

o Act awake but really sleeping  

- Sleep Walking & Sleep Talking

o Seldom remember

o Is it safe to wake a sleep walker – attack/act out

Theories of Dreaming

- To satisfy our own wishes (Freud)

- To file memories (Information-Processing)

- Develop/preserve neural pathways

- Neural Static

- Cognitive Development  

- Sleep Restriction

o Only spend time in bed for sleep and sex, if you don’t fall asleep  after an dhour get out of bed and do something

- Relax before bedtime, using dimmer light

- Exercise regularly, but not in late evening

- Turn clock away

- Avoid caffeine after early afternoon, and avoid food and drink near  bedtime – except milk

- Sleep on a regular schedule

- Focus your mind on non-arousing, engaging thoughts

Drugs and Consciousness

Psychoactive drugs

- Chemical substances, change perceptions and moods - Effects depend on several factors:

o Biological effects

o Expectations

o Social and cultural contexts

When is drug use a disorder?

- Use is different from a diagnosis

- Substance Use Disorder

- Severity (mild-severe) of SUD depends on number of indicators o E.g. work/school disruption, reduced social activities, use  despite physical or psychological problems

- Brain changes – cravings when exposed to triggers

Tolerance & Addiction

- The need to have more and more of a substance in order to get  the same effect

- Increased dose can lead to addiction

o Cravings and use despite consequences

o 90, 000, 000 people worldwide

- Withdrawal

o Discomfort/distress when discontinuing  

- Withdrawal can be deadly

o Alcohol and barbiturates


- Calm neural activity and slow body functions

- ETOH: slows the sympathetic nervous system

o Memory disruption, reduced self-awareness, expectancy  effects

- Barbiturates (tranquilizers): depresses neural activity, impair  memory and judgement. Can be lethal when mixed with alcohol (ETOH)

- Opiates (heroine, morphine): pupils constrict, breathing slows,  lethargy, high withdrawal and cravings.


- Excite neural activity, speed up bodily functions

- Pupils dilate, heart rate and breathing increase, blood sugars rise - Drop in appetite

- Energy and self-confidence can rise

- Caffeine

o High doses – psychosis

- Nicotine

o Epinephrine and norepinephrine – reduce appetite and  boost alertness

o Dopamine and opioids – reduce anxiety and pain  


- Cocaine

o Effects depend on dose and form

o Euphoria depletes dopamine, serotonin, and  


- Methamphetamine

o Dopamine – energy and mood, 8 hours of euphoria o Reduces baseline dopamine over time.

- Ecstasy (MDMA)

o Stimulant and mild hallucinogen

o Dopamine release, and release and blocked reuptake of  serotonin

o 3-4Hrs

o Dehydration, overheating, and death

o Can damage serotonin producing neurons = depressed.


- Distort perceptions

- Evoke sensory images

- Natural and synthetic

- Brain hallucinates similarly regardless if drug, sensory deprivation, or  loss of oxygen

- LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide)

o Albert Hofmann in 1943 accidentally ingested in lab o Range – euphoria, detachment, panic

- Cannabis/Marijuana

o Mild hallucinogen

o Amplifies sensitivity to colors, sounds, tastes and smell o Similar to ETOH

 Relaxes, disinhibits, euphoric high

 Impairs motor functioning, reaction time, perceptual skills o Stays in system for a week

 Less abrupt withdrawal, smaller doses in future use

o Intensifies current mood states (happy vs depressed)

o Harm/long-term effects debated

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