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PSY2012 Chapter 1 Notes 1/8-1/11

by: Tori Tindall

PSY2012 Chapter 1 Notes 1/8-1/11 PSY 2012

Marketplace > University of Florida > Psychlogy > PSY 2012 > PSY2012 Chapter 1 Notes 1 8 1 11
Tori Tindall
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About this Document

These notes are over Chapter 1: Psychology and Scientific Thinking, they cover the basics of What is Psychology, Theory and Hypothesis, A Brief History, Pseudoscience, Fallacies, and Major Frameworks.
General Psychology
Class Notes
Psychology, General Psychology




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tori Tindall on Tuesday January 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 2012 at University of Florida taught by TBH in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 96 views. For similar materials see General Psychology in Psychlogy at University of Florida.


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Date Created: 01/12/16
PSY2012 1/8/2016 Chapter 1 Psychology and Scientific Thinking What is Psychology?  Psychology is defined as the scientific study of the mind, brain, and behavior  There are a vast span of topics and techniques in this field that are united under the process of the scientific method  Generally difficult to study due to how hard it is to predict human behavior  Multiple Determinism: when there are many factors compounding and affecting the mind, brain, and behavior (contributing to the difficulty of study) o Seen to be a major key to our individual differences in emotion, thinking, and personality  Reciprocal Determinism: people influence each other o Refer to the Asch experiment with group influence on wrong decisions  Behavior is shaped by culture  Naïve Realism: the belief that the world is exactly as we see it Common Sense  Often contradictory o Example- "Birds of a feather flock together” vs “opposites attract”  Sometimes right o Snap judgements can be correct at better than chance levels Being Scientific (Ask Yourself “Is Psychology Scientific?”)  Scientific method is a way of generating knowledge, not the knowledge itself  Generally Ordered As: o 1.) start with an observation (empiricism) o 2.) generate and test the hypothesis o 3.) seek explanations that fit data o 4.) repeat steps 1-3 Theory and Hypothesis  Scientific theory explains data and yields a hypothesis  Hypothesis: specific prediction based on a theory that can be tested  Hypothesis, Prediction, Measurement, and Theory are all in a continual cycle  Tests for hypothesis must be falsifiable (ability to be wrong = good scientists) o Psychologists are people too and must deal with confirmation bias and their belief perseverance PSY2012 1/11/16 Chapter 1 Psychology and Scientific Thinking Pseudoscience  Pseudo = False, Pseudoscience = false science  Defined as a set of claims that seems scientific, but isn’t o Due to there was no scientific method applied  Examples include horoscopes, some self-help books, etc. Warning Signs of Pseudoscience  Ad hoc immunizing hypothesis (built- in loophole or excuses for inabilities)  Overreliance on anecdotes  Lack or review  Lack of self-correction  Psychobabble (over dressing an idea that is more simple) Paternicity  Humans are pattern seeking creatures o Examples like the face on mars show how people seek patterns o Also in the phrase “When there is success, there will be success” Why Pseudoscience?  Terror Management Theory o TMT: 1.) evolve self-awareness  2.)realize inevitability of death  3.) leads to paralyzing fear and sense that life is meaningless  Reminders of death explain some endorsements of culture with religion, music, action, etc.  Pseudoscience is a comforting agent, and it is often convincing 3 Logical Fallacies  Emotional reasoning fallacy o How the data/information makes you feel o Desire to believe what makes you feel good  Bandwagon fallacy o Want to believe because others believe  “Not Me” Fallacy o See self as exception to fallacies and as an unbiased viewer Why Should We Care?  3 Major Reasons o Opportunity Cost (money, time, energy wasted) o Direct Harm (such as advertising harmful medications) o Inability to think Scientifically  Never foolproof, but scientific thinking is the best safeguard against human error o Including peer reviews, and being open to new ideas Scientific Thinking  Being skeptical does not mean being closed minded  Have willingness to self-correct  Rule out rival hypothesis  Understand correlation is not equal to causation (Are you sure A causes B?) o Just because flies appear when there is rotting meat does not mean flies come from the meat itself.  Falsifiability or Can the claim be disproven?  Replicability (duplicability) o Is the effect strong throughout the trials or does it decline? (Decline Effect)  Extraordinary claims needs extraordinary evidence  Occam’s razor – Does a simpler explanation fit the data? Brief History  Psychology started from philosophy  1879, Wilhelm Wundt created the first ever psychology lab in Germany o The major studies here were structuralism and introspection The 5 Major Frameworks in History  Structuralism: systematic data collection empiricism o 1879, E.B. Titcher (and Wundt) identified most basic elements of psychological experiences o Founded introspection as well  Functionalism: evolutionary perspectives in modern psychology o 1890, William James studied adaptive purposes of thought and behavior o Influenced by Charles Darwin’s thoughts on evolutionary adaptation and natural selection  Behaviorism: General laws underlying learning o 1913, Pavlov, Skinner, and Watson studied classical conditioning through observable behaviors o This framework improved psychology’s scientific rigor  Cognitivism: role of thought o 1950’s, Piaget and Neisser studied the brain’s reaction to behaviorism  Psychoanalysis: internal psychological processes o 1900, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung studied ego, identity, and superego o Some say this framework is more pseudoscience Types of Psychologists  Clinical- mental disorders  Counselling- temporary problems (marriage, jobs, etc.)  School- development interventions  Developmental- change over a lifetime  Experimental- conducting research  Biological- physiology and behavior  Forensic- criminal justice system Notable Debates  Nature vs nurture (genes vs environment)  Free will determinism (Do we decide how we behave?) Basic and Applied Research  Basic: understanding the principals of behavior  Applied: how to apply principals to solve important problems Psychology in Everyday Life  Yellow fire engines instead of red  More accurate trials  Insisting upon evidence  Being aware of our own bias  Many Many More!


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