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PSY 101, Week 1 Notes

by: Claudia Irizarry

PSY 101, Week 1 Notes PSY 101

Marketplace > University at Buffalo > Psychlogy > PSY 101 > PSY 101 Week 1 Notes
Claudia Irizarry
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These notes cover what was taught week 1 in Dr. Hawk's class and in chapter one in the MyPsychLab 3rd Edition Psychology textbook.
Introductory Psychology
Larry Hawk
Class Notes
Psychology 101




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Claudia Irizarry on Friday January 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 101 at University at Buffalo taught by Larry Hawk in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 68 views. For similar materials see Introductory Psychology in Psychlogy at University at Buffalo.


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Date Created: 01/15/16
Claudia A. Irizarry 1/28/16 PSY 101­ Dr. Hawk University at Buffalo PSY 101 Week 1 Lectures & Chapter 1 from “MyPsychLab Third Edition Psychology” Textbook Notes Psychology­ study of the mind, brain, and behavior; everything we do, think, or feel  it is a discipline that spans multiple levels of analysis (like a ladder where the lower rungs  represent the brain/biological influences and the higher rungs represent the mind/social  influences) *Psychological questions can be approached scientifically *What makes Psychology distinctive: a. Human behavior difficult to predict, partially because almost all actions determined are produced  by many factors. ­need to be skeptical of variable explanations of behavior b.Interrelated factors; ex: factors for women having anorexia  c. Individual differences­ people differ in emotion, personality, and behavior ­this explains why people respond differently d. People influence each other making it difficult to track what causes what. e.People’s behavior is shaped by culture *Why We Can’t Trust Common Sense a. naive realism­ the belief that we see the world exactly as it is *Science­ a systematic approach to evidence a. it begins with empiricism­ the premise that knowledge should initially be acquired through  observation *Scientific theory­ an explanation for a large number of findings in the natural and psychological world *hypothesis­ a testable prediction  *Misconception 1­ a theory explains an event *Misconception 2­ a theory is just an educated guess *Confirmation bias­ tendency to seek out evidence that supports our beliefs and deny, dismiss, or distort evidence that supports our beliefs and deny, dismiss, or distort evidence that predicts them. *Belief Perseverance­ tendency to stick to our initial beliefs even when evidence contradicts them.  “Don’t confuse me with the facts”  *Metaphysical claims­ assertions about the world that we can’t test *Science is a process of continually revising and updating findings lends its strength of inquiry;  prescription for humility *Pseudoscience­ a set of claims that seem scientific but isn’t; pseudoscience lacks the safeguards against  confirmation bias and belief perseverance that characterize science. Warning Signs of Pseudoscience a. Overuse of ad hoc immunizing hypotheses­ an escape hatch or loophole that defenders of a theory  use to protect this theory from being disproven b. Lack of Self­Correction ­many scientific claims tend to be wrong c. Overreliance on Anecdotes­ many anecdotes can seem impressive, but we shouldn’t be persuaded to put much stock on other claims ex: Soup Weight Loss Program that doesn’t show evidence *We are drawn to pseudoscience because our brains are predisposed to make order out of disorder and  find sense in nonsense. *Patternicity­ our tendency to see patterns in meaningless data. “Better safe than sorry” principle.  ex: Eerie commonalities between Abraham Lincoln and John F.Kennedy *Hot Zone (player making 3 or 4 shots in a row) doesn’t exist *terror management theory­ a basic psychological conflict resulting in having the desire to live, but  realizing that death is inevitable. *logical fallacies­ traps of reasoning leading to mistaken conclusions a. emotional reasoning fallacy­ an error of using our emotions as a guide evaluating the validity of a claim; a.k.a. heuristic by psychologists  b. Bandwagon fallacy­ error of assuming a claim is accurate only because so many people believe it. c. Not Me Fallacy­ error of believing that we’re immune from error thinking that afflict other  people. *bias blind spot­ most people are unaware of their biases but keenly aware of them in other people *Dangers of Pseudoscience­ a. Opportunity Cost: What We Give Up­ pseudoscientific treatments for mental disorders can lead  people to forgo opportunities to seek effective treatments. b. Direct Harm­ pseudoscientific treatments can do dreadful harm to those who receive them,  causing physical or psychological damage, rarely causing death also. ex: 10 year old Candace  Newmaker receiving rebirthing therapy ended up dying from it. c. An Inability to Think Scientifically as Citizens­ scientific thinking skills are not only important  for evaluating psychological claims, but can be applied to all aspects of our lives *Scientific Skepticism­ evaluating all claims with open­mindedness, but insists on persuasive evidence  before accepting them.; like the Missouri Principle by Dawes, “Show Me” *6 Scientific Thinking Principles­ a. #1­Ruling Out Rival Hypotheses­ whenever you evaluate a psychological claim, ask yourself  whether you excluded other plausible explanations for it b. #2­ Correlation isn’t Causation­ correlational designs don’t permit causal inferences, in other  words­ a correlation between two things doesn’t show a causal connection between them.   correlation causal fallacy­ when a person concludes that a correlation means causation  variable­ anything that can vary (height, IQ, etc.) c. #3­ Falsifiability­ a theory that can be proven false d. #4­ Replicability­ a study’s findings can be duplicated consistently, they can’t be duplicated, it  increases the odds that the original findings were due to change.  decline effect­ the fact that the size of the psychological findings appear to be shrinking over time e. #5­ Extraordinary claims Extraordinary Evidence­ whenever evaluating a psychological claim we  should ask ourselves whether this claim runs counter to many things we know already, and if so whether  this evidence is extraordinary as the claim. f. #6­ Occam’s Razor­ according to British philosopher Sir William de Occam (principle of parsimony),  two explanations account equally well for a phenomenon, generally select the parsimonious one   Psychology’s Early History­ ­in the late 1800’s, the landscape of psychology dramatically changed ­in 1879, William Wendt created the first full­fledged psychological laboratory in Leipzig, Germany  introspection­ examination or observation of one’s own emotional and mental processes. *Input from Germany and Austria  Gestalt­ “whole” overall patterns  figure and ground, perception can change *Great Theoretical Frameworks of Psychology a. Structuralism­ as psychology as the study of the elements of consciousness; school of psychology Wundt started b. Functionalism­ to understand the adaptive, purposes or functions of psychological characteristics, thoughts or feelings, and behaviors  William James was the founder of functionalism  Darwin’s theory of natural selection influenced functionalists of the late 1800’s        c. . Behaviorism­ study of observable aspects of behavior  Watson and Burrhus Skinner insisted that psychology would uncover general laws explaining  behavior. Skinner talks about MPL  sometimes a.k.a. black box psychology­ we know what goes in it and what goes out of it, don’t  need to worry about inputs and outputs  Pavlov vs. Freud;       d. Cognitivism­ our thinking affects our behavior in powerful ways  cognitive neuroscience­ the relation between brain functioning and thinking   “mind equals computer”; mental processes=software, brain=hardware    e. Psychoanalysis­ method of psychological therapy by Sigmund Freud focused on unconscious and  conscious forces *Nature­Nurture Debate­ are our behaviors attributable mostly to nature or to our nurture?  evolutionary psychology­ many human psychological systems, like memory, emotion, act as  adaptive functions. ex; IQ, health behavior *Mind brain problem ­dualism (Plato, Descartes) vs. monism (Aristotle) ­mind and body interconnected ex: cognitive neuroscience *Levels of analysis ­the group ­the person ­the brain **avoiding reductionism (theory oversimplifying human behavior or cognitive processes, thus neglecting  to explain the mind’s complexities *Modern Psychology ­over 170,000 U.S. jobs in 2008, and more on the way *Approx distribution of psychologists in different settings, psychologists are employed in a diverse array  of settings (based on data from the nat sci foundation 2003) *Clinical psychology­integrate science of psychology with treatment of complex human problems ­brain science and cognitive psychology ­developmental psychology *Sources ­MyPsych Lab Psychology Textbook ­Dr. Hawk lectures ­ ­


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