3/31: Introduction to Psychology
● Name 3 psychologists
○ Ivan Pavlov, B.F. Skinner
○ Started in a lab made by Wilhelm Wundt in Leipzig, Germany in 1879 ○ Sigmund Freud is actually a psychiatrist
○ Dr. Phil has a degree in clinical psychology, but is not licensed
○ U.S. license is present, but not valid in CA
● What is psychology?
○ Discipline a major subject and study in colleges and universities (physiological, developmental, etc.)
○ Science a method of conducting research and of understanding behavioral data (scientific method)
○ Profession a calling that requires one to apply special knowledge, abilities, and skills in order to solve human problems.
● Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes (normal and abnormal) and psychological, social, and biological processes related to that behavior. ● Goals
○ Describe behavior (observations, surveys, etc.)
○ Interpret behavior (need a standard to compare to)
○ Predict behavior (in the presence or absence of stimuli causes certain behavior to occur or not occur)
○ Ultimately, the goal is to control behavior
● Examples of Psychologists Focus On
○ Rearing children
■ Parenting techniques (some work, some don’t)
○ Getting others to honor our wishes
■ Setting up noms
○ What happens psychologically and physically when you go over the speed limit and are stopped by the police?
■ Adrenaline flows (heart starts to race)
● What do psychologists do? If you want to learn more check out dq2 guide
○ Service Providers (therapists, counselors)
○ Psychologists frequently perform more than one of these roles.
○ Career options depend on level of training and area of concentration. ● Types of Psychologists
○ Personality (also known as novel psychology)
● Environmental psychologists
○ Often study how the built or physical environment affects human behavior. ○ They may conduct research on this topic, or apply their knowledge to designing safe and ergonomic spaces that are conducive to emotional wellbeing, such as colorful, open floor plans. If you want to learn more check out realism and formalism
Don't forget about the age old question of bones study guide
Don't forget about the age old question of pos 2112
● Forensic psychologists
○ Licensed psychologists who specialize in applying psychological knowledge to legal matters, both in the criminal and civil areas. Don't forget about the age old question of geog 4540 textbook notes
● Forensic psychologists assist in a wide variety of legal matters: If you want to learn more check out hist 2100 class notes
○ Mental state examinations of criminal defendants (insanity, competency to stand trial)
○ Child custody/ family law
○ Violence risk assessment
○ Civil law (personal injury cases)
○ Social science research (e.g. explaining a scholarly topic such as memory research to a jury)
○ mediation/dispute resolution
○ Jury selection
● Consumer psychology
○ A specialized branch of social psychology, and it is the study of consumers and their behavior
● History of Consumer Psychology
○ John B. Watson, the founder of behaviorism here in America.
○ After getting fired from his academic post at Johns Hopkins, Watson began working for one of the biggest advertising agencies in NYC, J. Walter Thompson ● Consumer Psychology Techniques
○ 1. Run emotional ideas.
○ 2. Highlight the flaws.
○ 3. Reposition the competition.
○ 4. Promote exclusivity.
○ 5. Introduce fear, uncertainty and doubt.
○ 6. Physiological and mental manipulation
● Where do Psychologists work?
○ Academic settings
○ Educational settings
○ Independent practice
○ Hospitals and clinics
○ Business, government, etc.
● Psychology has 2 roots: philosophy and physical science
● Brief History of Psychology
■ Plato (428348 B.C.)
● Mind separable from the body
● Knowledge is innate
● Information based on logic
● Careful observation
● Knowledge based on experience
● Soul not separable from the body
■ Rene Descartes (1595 1630)
● Believed knowledge was innate
● Mind on separable from body
■ John Locke (16321704)
● Empiricism knowledge is derived from experience of the senses ● Mind at birth was a “blank state”
● Four Events That Catapulted Psychology Into a Discipline
○ Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection (Charles Darwin, 1859) ■ Charles R. Darwin naturalist who proposed that species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors.
■ Process called natural selection.
■ Legitimized comparative psychology
○ Sir Francis Galton correlation, regression towards the mean
■ Intelligence runs in familieseugenicism
○ Mendel (1866) showed that the inheritance of traits follows particular laws. Rediscovered in 1900.
■ Gregor Mendel
● Augustinian priest and scientists
● “Father of Modern Genetics”
● Partially the basis of heredityenvironment controversy
○ Inductive reasoningfrom the specific to the general
■ Opposed by deductive reasoning, which is general to specific
● In the Beginning
○ Wilhelm Wundt MD, “Father of Psychology”
■ First formal laboratory for psychological research at the University of Leipzig and the first journal for psychological research in 1881.
■ School of Structuralism
■ Technique Introspection
○ William James (18421910) trained as an MD, American Psychologist ■ School of Functionalism
■ Darwinian theory applied to the mind
■ Influenced John Dewey
○ John B. Watson (18781958)
■ Father of Behaviorism
■ Most important influence on Psychology until the 1950s
● S R theory
● S: Stimulus, R: Response
○ During the 1950s, the Gestalt psychologists objected to mechanisms of the behavioristic psychology and to the insignificant role it gave to perpetual processes.
■ Visual perceptions learning
■ Role of insight in problem solving
○ After 1950s, modern behaviorists took into consideration that:
■ Other stimulus input was
● Operated upon
● Thought about before it was responded to
■ Replacing SR with SOR psychology
■ Developed to account for the abnormal behaviors exhibited by neurotics. 4/2: Scientific Inquiry
○ Common sense is often uncommon
○ Popular psychology
○ Heuristics 1. Reproductiveness, 2. Availability
○ Hindsight bias
○ Illusory correlation
○ Halo Effect
● Psychology as a science
○ Science is an approach to evidence, a toolbox of skills used to prevent us from fooling ourselves
○ Communalism willingness to share our data
○ Disinterestedness attempt to be objective when evaluating evidence ● Methodology (film)
○ Isolatecontrol where is the most?
○ Hold the environment constant
○ Generalize (Applicable)
○ Independent variable (manipulate) conditions
○ Dependent variable (measure change)
○ Random selection
○ Random assignment
○ Informed consent
● Scientific Method
○ Research notices some aspect of behavior that is puzzling, problematic, or just of interest, and plan on investigation to shed light on the phenomenon
○ Answers why, explains, educated guess verbal statement as opposed to a mathematical equation found in physics or chemistry.
○ Theories are only useful to the extent they generate testable predictions.
○ Predictions, testable, tentative, based on logic (ex. If A occurs then B should follow)
○ Testing a possible relationship between variables.
● Procedures Methods to test the hypothesis.
○ Experimental methods
○ Survey methods
○ Observational methods
○ Testing methods
○ Case study, etc.
○ Correlation designs
● Experimental Design
○ Random Selection
○ Random assignment
■ Experimental group
■ Control group
■ Independent variable and dependent variable
■ Controls or extraneous variables
● Experiment Research pitfalls
○ Experimenter expectancy effect (Rosenthal effect)
■ Solution: doubleblind design
○ Hawthorne effect (Demand characteristics)
■ Covert observations, participant observation
○ Evaluation Measures:
■ Can make a casual statement, infer causation
■ Less generalizable
■ Limited by ethics
■ Limited by practicality
● Correlational Study
○ Correlations can vary from 1 to +1
○ 0 means no relationship
■ Not casual
● Results mathematical explanation/ statistical explanation of findings. ● Evaluation of hypothesis when doing experiments to test a hypothesis, the results must be:
○ Statistically significant unlikely to have occurred by chance
● Descriptive statistics
○ Central tendency
■ Mean, median, mode
■ Dispersion how loosely or highly bunched
■ Range, Standard deviation
● Inferential Statistics
○ Statistical significance
○ Practical significance
● Discussion verbal statement of the findings, as well as conclusions and recommendations.
● Ethical Guidelines
○ Institutional Review Board (IRB)
■ Informed consent
■ Justification of deception
● Scientific Method
○ 1. Make in observation
○ 2. Put forth a theory to explain the observation.
○ 3. Make predictions/ hypothesis
○ 4. Test the hypothesis with experiments and additional observations. ○ 5. Revise the hypothesis, make new predictions, and test again.
○ A hypothesis provides a conceptual framework to explain existing observations and predict the new ones.
○ We don’t prove hypotheses.
○ We either reject them or fail to reject them.
○ If we do not reject a hypothesis it becomes an accepted theory.
○ An accepted theory is not a fact.
4/7 Developmental Psychology
● Issues to keep in mind:
○ Nature and nurture
○ Continuity and stages
○ Stability and change
● Stages/ages covered:
○ From conception to old age
● Types of development
● Issues in developmental psychology
○ Nature and nurture
■ How do genes and experience guide development over our lifespan? ○ Change and stability
■ In what ways do we change as we age, and in what ways do we stay the same?
○ Continuity vs. stages
■ Is developmental a gradual change or are there some leaps to a new way of thinking or behaving?
● Fetal life: Responding to sounds
○ Fetuses in the womb can respond to sounds.
○ Fetuses can learn to recognize and adapt to sounds that they previously heard only in the womb.
○ Fetuses can habituate to annoying sounds, becoming less agitated with repeated exposure.
● The competent newborn: Inborn skills
○ Reflexes are responses that are inborn and do not have to be learned. ■ Newborns have reflexes to ensure that they will be fed.
■ The rooting reflex when something touches a newborn’s cheek, the infant turns toward that side with an open mouth.
■ The sucking reflex can be triggered by a fingertip.
■ Crying when hungry is the newborn talent of using just the right sounds to motivate parents to end the noise and feed the baby.
● More inborn abilities
○ Newborns (one hour old!) will look twice as long at the image on the left (image that looks like a face)
○ What can we conclude from this behavior?
● Maturation (not the meaning you might think)
○ In psychology, “maturation” refers to changes that occur primarily because of the passage of time.
○ In developmental psychology, maturation refers to biologicallydriven growth and developmental enabling orderly (predictably sequential) changes in behavior. ■ For example, infant bodies, in sequence, will lift heads, then sit up, then crawl, and then walk.
○ Experience (nurture) can adjust the timing, but maturation (nature) sets the
○ Maturation in infancy and early childhood affects the brain and motor skills. ■ Maturation, the biological unfolding, will be seen in:
● Brain development
● Motor development
○ Motor development
■ Maturation takes place in the body and cerebellum enabling the sequence below.
■ Physical training generally cannot change the timing.
■ Sitting unsupported: 6 months
■ Crawling: 89 months
■ Beginning to walk: 12 months
■ Walking independently: 15 months
○ Baby memory
■ Infantile amnesia
● In infancy, the brain forms memories so differently from the
episodic memory of adulthood that most people cannot really
recall memories from the first 3 years of life.
○ Cognitive development
■ Cognition refers to the mental activities that help us function including: ● Problem solving
● Figuring out how the world works
● Developing models and concepts
● Storing and retrieving knowledge.
● Understanding and using language.
● Using selftalk and inner thoughts.
○ Jean Piaget (18961980)
■ We don’t start out being able to think like adults.
■ Jean Piaget studied the errors in cognition made by children in order to understand in what ways they think differently than adults.
● The error below is an inability to understand scale (relative size) ○ Jean Piaget and Cognitive Development: Schemas
■ An infant’s mind works hard to make sense of our experiences in the world.
■ An early tool to organize those experiences is a schema, a mental container we build to hold our experiences.
■ Schemas can take the form of images, models, and/or concepts. ■ Ex. This child has formed a schema called “COW” which he uses to think about animals of a certain shape and size.
○ Assimilation and Accommodation
■ How can a girl use her “dog” schema when encountering a cat?
● She can assimilate the experience into her schema by referring to the cat as a “dog” OR
● She can accommodate her animal schema by separating the cat and even different types of dogs, into separate schemas.
○ The Course of Developmental Stages
■ Jean Piaget believed that cognitive development:
● 1. Is a combination of nature and nurture. Children grow by
maturation as well as by learning through interacting/playing with the environment.
● 2. Is not one continuous progression of change. Children make leaps in cognitive abilities from one stage of development to the next.
○ Jean Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development
Typical Age Range
Description of Stage
Birth to nearly 2 years
Experiencing the world through senses and actions (looking,
mouthing, and grasping)
● Stranger anxiety
About 2 to about 6 or 7 years
Representing things with words and images; using intuitive rather than
● Pretend play
About 7 to 11 years
Concrete operational Thinking logically about concrete events;
performing arithmetical operations.
About 12 through
● Abstract logic
● Potential for
○ Can Children think abstractly?
■ Jean Piaget felt that kids in the sensorimotor stage did not think abstractly.
■ Yet there is some evidence that kids in this stage can notice violations in physics (such as gravity).
■ Babies stare longer and with surprise when numbers don’t make sense. ● Is this math? Was Jean Piaget wrong?
○ What can children do in the preoperational stage?
■ 1. Represent their schema, and even some feelings, with words and images.
■ 2. Use visual models to represent other places, and perform pretend play. ■ 3. Picture other points of view, replacing egocentrism with theory of mind. ■ 4. Use intuition, but not logic and abstraction yet.
○ Maturing beyond egocentrism: Developing a “Theory of mind” ■ Theory of mind refers to the ability to understand that others have their own thoughts and perspective.
■ With a theory in mind, you can picture that Sally will have the wrong idea about where the ball is.
○ Examples of Operations that Preoperational Children cannot do….Yet ■ Conservation refers to the ability to understand that a quantity is conserved (does not change) even when it is arranged in a different shape.
○ Children with disorders on the autism spectrum have difficulties in three general areas:
■ Establishing mutual social interaction
■ Using language and play symbolically
■ Displaying flexibility with routines, interests, and behavior
○ Children with disorders on the autism spectrum have more difficulty than a typical child in mentally mirroring the thoughts and actions of others; this difficulty has been called “mind blindness”.
○ The Concrete Operational Stage
■ Begins at ages 67 (first grade) to age 11
■ Children now grasp conservation and other concrete transformations ■ They also understand simple mathematical transformations and the reversibility of operations (reversing 3 + 7 = 10 to figure out that 10 7 = 3).
○ Formal Operational Stage (Age 11+)
■ Concrete operations
● Include analogies such as “My brain is like a computer.”
■ Formal operations
● Includes allegorical thinking such as “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” (understanding that this is a
comment on hypocrisy).
○ Reassessment of Jean Piaget’s Theory
■ Using Models: Symbolic Thinking?
● Threeyearolds can use a tiny model of a room as a map, helping them to picture the location of objects in a fullsized room.
○ Does this 3yearold ability mean that Piaget was wrong?
Do kids use symbolic thought much earlier than he
● Although Jean Piaget’s observation and stage theory are useful, today’s researchers believe:
○ Development is a continuous process.
○ Children show some mental abilities and operations at an
earlier age than Piaget thought.
○ Formal logic is a smaller part of cognition, even for adults,
than Piaget believed.
○ Lev Vygotsky : Alternative to Jean Piaget
■ Lev Vygotsky (18961934) studied kids too, but focused on how they learn in the context of social communication.
■ Principle: children learn thinking skills by internalizing language from others and developing inner speech: “Put the big blocks on the bottom, not the top..”
■ Vygotsky saw development as building on a scaffold of mentoring, language, and cognitive support from parents and others.
○ Stranger Anxiety
■ 913 months
■ An evolutionary psychologist would note that a child is learning to walk at this age. Some of the children who walked toward unfamiliar creatures might have died before having a chance to pass on genes.
○ Attachment refers to an emotional tie to another person.
■ In children, attachment can appear as a desire for physical closeness to a caregiver.
■ Origins of attachment
● Experiments with monkeys suggest that attachment is based on physical affection and comfortable body contact, and not based on being rewarded with food. In addition, they feel more secure,
which allows them to explore their worlds.
■ Most creatures tend to attach to caregivers who have become familiar. ■ Birds have a critical period, hours after hatching, during which they might imprint. This means they become rigidly attached to the first moving object they see.
○ Reactions to Separation and Reunion
■ Secure attachment : most children (60%) feel distress when mother
leaves, and seek contact with her when she returns.
■ Insecure attachment (anxious style): clinging to mother, less likely to explore the environment, and may get loudly upset with mother’s departure and remain upset when she returns.
■ Insecure attachment (Avoidant style): seeming indifferent to mother's departure and return.
○ Is the “strange situations” behavior, mainly a function of the child’s inborn temperament?
■ Temperament refers to a person’s characteristic style and intensity of emotional reactivity.
■ Some infants have an “easy” temperament; they are happy, relaxed, and calm, with predictable rhythms of needing to eat and sleep.
■ Some infants seem to be “difficult”; they are irritable, with unpredictable needs and behavior, and intense reactions.
○ Is the behavior a reaction to the way the parents have interacted with the child previously? If so, is that caused by the parenting behavior?
■ Mary Ainsworth believed that sensitive, responsive, calm parenting is correlated with secure attachment style.
■ Monkeys with unresponsive artificial mothers showed anxious insecure attachment.
■ Training in sensitive responding for parents of temperamentallydifficult children led to doubled rates of secure attachment.
○ Fathers Count too
■ Many studies of the impact of parenting have focused on mothers. ■ Correlational studies show a strong relationship between paternal (father) involvement in parenting and the child’s academic success, health, and overall wellbeing.
○ Effects of Environment on attachment
■ Separation anxiety peaks and fades whether kids are at home or in day care.
○ Erik Erikson’s concept of basic trust resembles the concept of attachment but extends beyond the family into our feeling of whether the world is predictable and trustworthy.
○ Attachment style may be relevant to our ability to manage and enjoy adult relationships. It may even be relevant to our motivations to achieve or to avoid risks.
○ Are basic trust and attachment styles determined in childhood? ■ Erik Erikson believed that basic trust is established by relationships with early caregivers.
■ Are trust and attachment styles:
● Set by genetics?
● Formed by early experiences with parents?
● Reshaped by new relationship experiences?
○ Deprivation of Attachment
■ If children live without safe, nurturing, affectionate caretaking, they may still be resilient, that is bounce back; attach, and succeed.
■ However, if the child experiences severe prolonged deprivation or abuse, he or she may:
● Have difficulty forming attachments.
● Have increased anxiety and depression.
● Have lowered intelligence.
● Show increased aggression.
○ Children in daycare
■ We have seen already that time in day care does not significantly increase or decrease separation anxiety.
■ Warm interaction with multiple caretakers can result in multiple healthy attachments.
■ Time in day care correlates with advanced thinking skills… and also with increased aggression and defiance.
○ Self concept
■ A major task of infancy may be to form healthy attachments.
■ A major task of childhood may be to form a healthy selfconcept: a stable and positive understanding of identity.
■ By ages 810, a child moves from “that’s me in the mirror” to “I have skills, preferences, and goals”; this prepares the child for confident success. ○ Authoritative parenting, more than the other two styles, seems to be associated with:
■ High selfreliance
■ High social competence
■ High selfesteem
■ Low aggression
○ The next phase of development
■ Developmental psychologists used to focus attention only on childhood. ■ Lifespan perspective refers to the idea that development is a lifelong process.
■ The next phase of that process is adolescence.
● The transition period from childhood to adulthood.
● The period of development ranging from puberty to independence. ○ Puberty is the time of sexual maturation (becoming physically able to reproduce). ■ During puberty, increased sex hormones lead to:
● Primary and secondary sex characteristics.
● Some changes in mood and behavior.
● Height chances are an early sign of puberty.
● Because girls begin puberty sooner than boys, girls briefly
overtake boys in height.
○ Lawrence Kohlberg’s Levels of Moral Reasoning
■ Preconventional morality (up to age 9): “Follow the rules because we get along better if everyone does the right thing.”
■ Postconventional morality (later adolescence and adulthood): “Sometimes rules need to be set aside to pursue higher principles”
○ Moral Action: Doing the Right Thing
■ Character education: what helps people choose principled actions over selfishness or social pressure?
● Empathy for the feelings of others
● Selfdiscipline, or the ability to resist impulses
● Delaying gratification to plan for larger goals.
● Experience serving others/the greater good
○ While currently in the identity vs. role confusion stage
■ Adolescents have ideally just finished working through the tension of competence vs. inferiority.
■ They are ready after adolescence to take on the challenge of intimacy vs. isolation.
■ Physical development
● Physical decline
● Lifespan and death
● Sensory changes
■ Cognitive Development
■ Social Development
■ In our mid 20s we reach a peak in the natural physical abilities which come with biological maturation:
● Muscular strength
● Cardiac output
● Reaction time
● Sensory sensitivity
○ The DeathDeferral Phenomenon
■ Can people will themselves to hold off death?
● Some evidence shows that some people are able to stay alive for Christmas to be with their families.