Critical Thinking in Psychology
WHAT IS CRITICAL THINKING?
“A unique kind of purposeful thinking in which the thinker systematically and habitually imposes criteria and intellectual standards upon the thinking, taking charge of the construction of thinking, guiding the construction of the thinking according to the standards, and assessing the effectiveness of the thinking according to the purpose, the criteria, and standards.” (Paul, p. 21)
CRITICAL THINKING HAS THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTICS:
● “critical thinking is responsive to and guided by intellectual standards and supports the development of intellectual traits in the thinker.” Paul (1995) We also discuss several other topics like cse 143
● It is “thinking in which the thinker can identify the elements of thought [reasoning] that are present in all thinking about any problem (p. 22)”
● “routinely selfassessing, self examining, and selfimproving.” (p. 22). ● it is “thinking in which there is an integrity to the whole system” that “yields a wellreasoned answer because of the comprehensive and demanding process that the thinker pursues.”
● it “is thinking that is responsive to the social and moral imperative to not only enthusiastically argue from alternate and opposing points of view, but also to seek and identify weaknesses and limitations in one’s own position.” (p. 23)
Objectives Reflecting the Elements of Reasoning
“A good critical thinker in general psychology employs the elements of reasoning in a systematic way that allows the fullest breadth and If you want to learn more check out speech final exam study guide
We also discuss several other topics like during puberty, the growth spurt proceeds in a fashion _____ to the proximodistal sequence.
depth in thinking. The elements of reasoning are reflected both in the logic of science and in the logic of general psychology.” ● Key Question: How can the science of psychology help us describe, predict, control/change, and explain human behavior and mental processes?
● Interpretation and Inference: Students will learn how psychologists gather and interpret data and apply same to the issues studied in the course.
● Information: Students will learn the benefits and limitations of the scientific method and theory in describing, predicting,
controlling/changing, and explaining human functioning and adaptation.
● Essential Concepts: Students will learn basic concepts (e.g. operant conditioning, synaptic transmission, intelligence quotient, etc.) and theories (e.g. psychodynamic, behaviorism, etc.) that underlie the psychological understanding of human behavior and mental processes.
● Assumptions: The fundamental assumption of this course is: there are intelligible and discoverable reasons why humans behave, think, and feel the way they do.
● Implications and Consequences: Students who reason well about psychology should be able to better understand their own behavior, thinking, and emotions as well as better understand the behavior, thinking, and emotions of others.
● Points of View: Students will learn how to reason using data derived from the scientific method (i.e. careful observation and systematic study) and to analyze and evaluate human behavior and mental Don't forget about the age old question of uh kinesiology
processes through the lens of six major psychological perspectives (theoretical orientations):
○ (1) biopsychological
○ (2) learning/behavioral
○ (3) cognitive
○ (4) sociocultural
○ (5) psychodynamic
○ (6) humanistic/existential.
Objectives Reflecting the Intellectual Standards ● Describe accurately, clearly, and precisely basic terms, concepts, theories, research, and relevant issues in psychology today.
● Analyze, evaluate, and apply the above to human functioning and adaptation AND to issues of diversity and technology.
● Apply good critical thinking (See “Critical Thinking in Psychology”) to the concepts, theories, and knowledge bases in psychology.
● Excel in a learning environment that respects the cultural, individual, and role differences, including those due to age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status of members of the class. Don't forget about the age old question of organizational behavior exam 3
● Engage in a course pedagogy that will include lecture, discussion, demonstrations, and Socratic questioning.
Chapter 1: The Nature of Psychology (pgs. 124)
● Textbook Definition of Psychology “The science of behavior and cognitive processes.”
What is Psychology?
● The scientific study of behavior and mental processes in context ● “The Scientific Study”
○ Psychologists use scientific principles, carefully defines methods, and precise procedures to present an organized body of knowledge, draw inferences, or make predictions.
○ Behavior refers to overt behaviors that are easily observed more or less objectively.
○ i.e. crying, aggression, etc.
● “Mental Processes”
○ Mental Processes those dynamic processes that are not readily observable but may be inferred from behavior, self reports, etc.
○ i.e. thinking, depression, etc.
○ Context the social and cultural context of any behavior.
● The Goals of Psychology:
■ What? Don't forget about the age old question of peter marsden berkeley
■ Description tells what the characteristics of behavior and mental processes are. The research method is
■ Explanation Finding the causes of behavior & mental processes. It tells why it occurred. The research method is experimental.
■ Prediction tells how likely a particular behavior/mental process will occur in the future. This is a higher level goal once the “what” and “why” are answered. The research
method is correlational.
■ Control apply research finding to change behavior or circumstances. The use of control in psychological
experiments; the method is experimental.
The Historical Context of Psychology
The Philosophical Roots Of Psychology
● Plato, Aristotle
○ Ancient Greece: Nativism, rationalism and empiricism ● Saint Augustine (354430)
○ focus on the battle between human reason and animal passions
● Avicennaabu Ibn Sina (9801037)
○ contributed to our knowledge of medicine.
● Rene Descartes (15961650)
○ mindbody dualism
● Francis Bacon (16321704)
○ founder of applied science
● John Locke (16321704)
○ Tabula rasa leading to the nature versus nurture debate. ● Immanuel Kant (17241804)
○ knowledge is the product of inborn cognitive faculties that organize and interpret sensory input.
● Hermann von Helmholtz (18211894)
○ reaction time/nerve impulse studies.
● Pierre Flourens (17941867)
○ research on the localization of brain functions
● Gustav Fechner (18011887)
○ used psychophysics in research
● Charles Darwin (18091882)
○ The Origin of Species, natural selection.
● Francis Galton (18221911)
○ founder of differential psychology, which studies variations among people.
Founding Schools Of Psychology
● James Cattell (18601944)
○ coined the term “mental test.”
○ Started a business, Psychological Corporation.
○ Often cited as being the first psychology professor—U of Pennsylvania
● Wilhelm Wundt (18321920)
○ Often cited as establishing the first psychology laboratory (1879) at the University of Leipzig, Germany
● Edward Titchener (18671927)
○ Used analytic introspection into the three basic mental elements—images, feelings, and sensations.
● Structuralism could only be studied in the laboratory.
● Introspection was no reliable.
● William James (18421910)
○ Stream of consciousness.
○ He encouraged psychologists to study how people functioned in the world.
○ Established a “teaching” lab at Harvard.
○ Helped open the door for women in psychology—especially Mary Calkins (18631930), the first female psychologist
● Principles of Psychology became a leading text of the day Functionalism
● Mary Whiton Calkins
○ Harvard denied her Ph.D.
○ Established the psychology lab at Wellesley College.
○ Promoted “Self Psychology”
○ First female president of American Psychological Association (APA).
The Growth Of Psychology
● Max Wertheimer (18801943)
○ founded Gestalt Psychology.
○ Intrigued by the Phi phenomenon—apparent motion caused by the presentation of different visual stimuli in rapid succession. ● Sigmund Freud (18561939)
○ Austrian neurologist
○ First focused on “conversion hysteria”
○ Psychic determinism: all human behavior is influenced by unconscious motives.
● Early childhood experiences were the most important factor in personality development.
● Regarded as the most important figure in psychology’s first century ● Criticisms:
○ Lack of research evidence
○ Focus on the male experience
○ Freud never tested his theories scientifically.
● Carl Jung (18751961)
● Alfred Adler (18701937)
○ Striving for superiority
● Melanie Klein (18821960)
○ Developed play therapy
● John Watson (18781958)
○ Influenced by Pavlov
○ Focus only on observable behavior
○ Favored nurture over nature.
○ Dominated psychology through the 1960s
● B.F. Skinner (19041990)
○ Stressed the role of consequences in behavior.
○ Behaviorism remains a powerful force in psychology.
Contemporary Perspectives in Psychology.
● According to Kuhn (1970) “as a science matures, it develops a unifying scientific paradigm, or model, that determines its appropriate goals, methods, and subject matter.” (p. 13)
● Psychology does NOT have a unifying paradigm.
● Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow
● Humanistic Psychology the proper subject matter of psychology is the individual’s subjective mental experience of the world. ● Maslow stressed people’s natural tendency toward selfactualization ○ fulfilling one’s natural potential
● Phenomenological Psychology primarily concerned with the study of subjective mental experience.
○ Example: phenomenological psychologists would study a person’s mental experience of depression not the observable behavior or brain aspects.
● Existential Psychology studies how individuals respond to the basic philosophical issues of life—death, meaning, freedom, and isolation. ● A prime mover in the field of psychotherapy.
● Made an impact in studying the positive aspects of human experience ○ i.e. love, altruism, the healthy personality, etc.
● Criticized about it’s lack of hardcore science.
● The cognitive perspective focuses on the study of how the mind organizes perceptions, processes information, and interprets experiences.
● Piaget studied the cognitive development in children.
● The biopsychological perspective stresses the relationship of physiological factors to behavior and mental processes.
● Subfields include:
○ behavioral genetics
○ evolutionary psychology
● Sociocultural perspective focuses on human behavior in its sociocultural context.
● Subfields include:
○ Crosscultural psychology
○ Multicultural psychology
○ Cultural psychology
○ Ethnic psychology
The Scope of Psychology
● Freud, Jung, Adler.
● Behavior is motivated by unconscious forces.
● The early years of life are important to later development. ● Defense mechanisms.
● Joseph Gall
○ Popular in Europe and America in 1800s
● This was not based on good science.
The Birth Of Modern Psychology
● Wilhelm Wundt (18321920)
○ First psychological laboratory (1879)
○ Leipzig, Germany
○ Used the introspective method to study sensation, perception, reaction times, imagery and attention.
Three Early Psychologies:
○ E.B. Titchener (18671927)
■ Analyze sensations, images, and feelings into basic
elements via introspection.
■ Once you found the basic element, then what? They had no answer.
○ William James (18421910)
■ They asked how and why of behavior—the causes and consequences of behavior.
■ The “stream of consciousness” a term still used today ● Psychoanalysis:
○ Sigmund Freud (18561939)
■ Role of the unconscious mind that contains unrevealed wishes, passions, guilty secrets, unspeakable yearnings and conflicts between desire and duty.
Chapter 2: Psychology as a Science (pgs. 3052)
Goals of Scientific Research
Methods of Psychological Research
● Researchers simply record their observations systematically. ○ Naturalistic observation observing people or animals in their natural environment.
○ Case Study indepth study of a particular person.
○ Survey via a set of questions
○ Psychological testing a formal sample of a person’s behavior or mental processes.
○ Archival research examines collections of letters, tape recordings, manuscripts, etc.
● Most researchers use a sample of a population.
● Random assignment each member of the population has an equal chance to be included
● Random selection the method used to determine what part of he population the sample will come from.
● Standardization consistent procedures for administering the test. ● Norms a set of scores used as a standard for measuring performance.
● Reliability the extent to which a test gives consistent results ● Validity the extent to which a test measures what it claims it measures.
● Research that studies the degree of relationship between two or more variables.
● Correlation: the degree of relationship between two or more variables (Range = +1.00 to 1.00).
● Independent Variable (IV)
○ An IV is manipulated by experimenters.
○ The IV would be the cause and changes in the DV.
● Dependent Variables (DV)
○ A DV shows any effects of the IV.
■ Example: A hypothetical experiment on the effects of drinking on driving:
● Alcohol intake = IV
● Steering accuracy = DV
● Experimental Group
● The experimental group is exposed to the experimental condition. ○ Example: they receive the medication
● Control Group
● The control group is exposed to the control condition. ○ Example: they receive the placebo (sugar pill).
● Internal validity refers to the extent to which changes in a dependent variable can be attributed to one or more IVs rather than to a confounding variable.
● Confounding variable is one whose unwanted effect on the DV might be confused with that of the IV.
● Watch for:
○ Random assignment
○ Participant bias
○ Experimental bias
● External Validity refers to the extent to which the results of a research study can be generalized to other people, animals, or settings.
Statistical Analysis of Research Data
● A positive correlation between two variables indicates that they tend to change value in the same direction.
○ Example: As hours of studying increase, grade point average tends to increase
● A negative correlation between two variables indicates that they tend to change values in the opposite direction.
○ Example: As age increases in adulthood, visual acuity tends to decrease.
● No correlation is present when two variable have no significant relationship with each other.
Causation VS Correlation
● Correlation does not necessarily imply causation.
Chapter 11: Motivation (pgs. 375379&399405)
The Nature of Motivation
● Motivation the psychological process that arouses, directs, and maintains behavior toward a goal
● Sources Of Motivation:
(Genes And Motivation)
● Instinct a complex, inherited speciesspecific behavior pattern. ● The more complex the organism the less instincts are involved. ● Sociobiologists suggest that some social behavior does have a genetic basis via evolutionary principles.
(Drives And Motivation)
● The drivereduction theory suggests that behavior is motivated by the need to reduce drives such as sex or hunger.
A need caused by physiological deprivation (lack of water) induces a state of tension called a drive.
● Drive reduction aims at homeostasis: a steady state of physiological equilibrium
(Incentives And Motivation)
● An incentive is an external stimulus that pulls an individual toward a goal.
● In this case money is a positive incentive.
● Some stimuli are undesirable and should be avoided; they are known as negative incentives
● Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs
The Arousal Motive
● Arousal Motive refers to the motive to maintain an optimal level of physiological activation.
● Two key researchers for the arousal motive were Yerkes and Dodson who coined the term: YerkesDodson Law.
The Achievement Motive
● Achievement Motivation the desire for mastery, excellence, and accomplishment.
○ Earn a degree
○ Write a book
○ Win a tennis match
● The need for achievement reveals itself in a variety of venues. ● It can be measured via the Thematic Apperception Test ● The need for achievement varies with the achievement situation. ● It can depend on the incentive value (rewards).
● It can depend on expectancy (the probability of success).
Chapter 3: Biopsychological Bases of Behavior (pgs60100) Nature versus Nurture
● Unilateral Neglect a disorder caused by damage to the parietal lobe, in which the individual acts as though the side of her or his world opposite to the damaged lobe does not exist.
● Behavioral Neuroscience the field that studies the physiological bases of human and animal behavior and mental processes (Evolutionary Psychology)
● The study of the evolution of behavior through natural selection (Darwinian).
● Natural Selection: “As long as particular physical traits provide a survival advantage, those traits will have a greater likelihood of showing up in succeeding generations. “ (p. 61)
● The study of the relative effects of heredity and life experiences on behavior.
● Data often gathered through twin, family, and adoption studies ● There appears to be evidence of a hereditary basis for: delinquency, intelligence, prosocial behavior, marital satisfaction, and antisocial personality disorder.
● Genetics may not be the most important factor in the development of behavior traits.
● For most psychological traits the proportion of individual variability attributable to heredity is less than 50 percent.
● The genetic effects on our behavior are indirect, not direct like eye color, hair color, etc.
● The genome project implies that behavior is often determined by the interaction among genes (polygenetic).
● Genotype An individual’s genetic inheritance
● Phenotype The overt expression of an individual’s genotype (genetic inheritance) in his/her appearance or behavior
● Heritability refers to the “proportion of variability in a trait across a population attributable to genetic differences among members of the population.” (p. 64)
● Heritability ranges from 0.0 to 1.0.
No heritability = 0.0
Total heritability = 1.0
○ EXAMPLE: The heritability of Intelligence (as measured by IQ) is approximately .50 strongly suggesting that environment plays a significant role.
● Twin studies (especially identical twins) have shown heritability for a variety of traits
○ e.g. sexual orientation and conformity to gender roles (Australia)
○ schizophrenia (Finland).
● Adoption studies have shown that adoptees are more similar to their biological parents than to their adoptive parents
(Identical Twins Reared Apart)
● Famous Minnesota Twin study has found some uncanny similarities in habits, abilities, and physiological responses of reunited twins. ● Some of the similarities might be due to coincidence, living in similar
environments, or having contact with each other before being studied. ● But we are constantly reminded that life experiences are important.
Biological Communication Systems