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PSYC 1 Week 1

by: Soon-Won Han

PSYC 1 Week 1 1

Soon-Won Han

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These notes introduce the course and methods
Introduction to Psychology
Nicole Henniger
Class Notes
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Popular in Psychology (PSYC)

This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Soon-Won Han on Monday August 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 1 at University of California San Diego taught by Nicole Henniger in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Psychology in Psychology (PSYC) at University of California San Diego.


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Date Created: 08/22/16
Lecture #1: Introduction What is Psychology?  Psychology:  The systematic study of behavior and experience  We study it to … o Understand o Explain o Predict  … Behavior  Topics o Personality o Physiology o Psychiatric Disorders o Research o Cognition o Language o Emotions o Sensation o Perception o Development o Social Psychology  General Points about Psychology o "It depends"  Few things are true of all people, all the time, in all circumstances o Research progress depends on good measurement  Are you measuring what you say you are measuring?  What are you comparing it to?  Does the sample accurately reflect the population? o Some statements in psychology reflect stronger evidence that others o Correlation does not indicate causation o Variations among individuals reflect both heredity and environment  What Psychologists Do o Psychology is an academic, non­medical discipline with many branches and specialties  The educational requirements vary, but generally involve study beyond the  bachelor's degree  A master's degree or a Ph.D./PsyD. Are common terminal degrees o There are many specialties in the broad science of psychology. Psychologists practice in  three main areas:  Service providers to individuals (psychotherapists)  Service providers to organizations  Teaching and research o Service providers to individual  Psychotherapists: Professionals with training in psychology who specialize in  helping people with emotional and mental problems  Clinical psychologists  Advanced degree in psychology (PhD or PsyD) Lecture #1: Introduction  Help people with mental and emotional problems and most often work with clinical populations: People with diagnoses  Receive training inintellectual and psychological testingused in diagnosis and treatment  Can work in private practice or at a hospital (inpatient)  Counseling psychologists  Advanced degree in psychology  Help with educational, vocational, marriage, health, and other  important life decisions  Typically don't treat clinical populations  Some also do psychological testing  Psychoanalysts  Use treatment strategies based on theories and methods  pioneered by Sigmund Freud  Believe an unconscious component of the human mind affects  every day psychological functioning  "Talk therapy" and dream analysis  Psychiatrists  Trained as medical doctors (MDs)  Training in psychology  Educated in how to use prescription drugs to treat psychological  distress  Clinical social workers  Training in social work  Specialized knowledge related to treatment of and advocacy for  the well­being of emotionally disturbed people in the larger community  Forensic psychologists  Provide advice and consultation in the legal and criminal justice  systems  Questions  Which psychotherapist would prescribe a mood stabilizing medication to a patient diagnosed with bipolar disorder?  Counseling psychologist  Psychiatrist  Clinical psychologist  Psychoanalyst  Which psychotherapist would do assessment and therapy in an inpatient  facility for developmentally delayed children and adolescents?  Counseling psychologist  Psychiatrist  Clinical psychologist  Psychoanalyst o Service providers to organizations  Industrial/Organizational psychologists  Describe and explain workplace behavior Lecture #1: Introduction  Use a combination:  Social psychology  Cognitive psychology  Motivational psychology  Personality tests  Sample question: Workers in two departments at an engineering firm are  withholding information from each other. This is harming company morale and  productivity. Can this be remedied without firing or moving any employees?  Human factors, User experience (UX), and Human­Computer Interaction  (HCI) researchers  Facilitate the design of machinery, displays, software, websites, and  equipment so that the average user can operate them efficiently and safely.  Apply what they know about human behavior, perception, and cognition  to create more usable products and work environments  Sample question: How can a workstation be designed to minimize the  possibility of sustaining repetitive stress injuries?  School psychologists  Assess the psychological condition and educational performance of  students in grades K­12  Uses developmental, learning, and motivational principles and  educational and psychological tests to create plans for individual students  Same question: Does a fourth­grade student's declining grades indicate  the presence of a learning disability or an emotional problem?  Question  Which psychologist would consult in the design of an airplane cockpit to  maximize crew efficiency and safety?  Human factors psychologist  School psychologist  Industrial/Organizational psychologist o Teaching and Research  Academic or Experimental psychologists  Most teaching psychologists work in colleges and universities  Most psychologists who teach also engage in research and writing  Some psychologists are employed in full­time research positions  PhD in Experimental Psychology  Major categories of psychological research  Developmental psychology  Learning and motivation  Cognitive psychology  Biological psychology or neuroscience  Evolutionary psychology  Social psychology  Cross­cultural psychology  Learning and Motivation Lecture #1: Introduction  Developmental psychologist: Someone who studies how behavior,  personality, and performance change with age  What do people do or know as adults that they do not know as  children? Is this due to biological changes, increased experience, or both?  Learning or Motivation psychologist: Someone investigates how  behavior is influenced by outcomes of past behaviors and current motivations  Do predictable rewards produce better learning than less  consistent rewards?  Cognitive Psychology  Cognitive psychologist:  Someone who studies the processes involved in thinking and acquiring knowledge  When people are paying attention to one thing, can they notice  other things?  Neuroscience  Neuroscientist: Someone who explains behavior in terms of biological  factors  Can we see the formation of memories in the brain? How do  drugs work in the brain?  Evolutionary Psychology  Evolutionary psychologist: Someone who explains behavior in terms of natural selection pressures promoting behaviors that lead to success in  reproduction and survival  What forces led to selection for human language abilities?  Social Psychology  Social psychologist: Someone studies how an individual influences and  is influenced by other people  How do demands and expectations of authority figures influence  our behavior? How strong is the human tendency to conform?  Cross­Cultural Psychology  Cross­cultural psychologist: Someone who compares the behavior of  people from different cultures  Which cultures place more emphasis on group interests and how  does that affect individual behavior?  Question  Which would ask if people will obey a leader who is demanding  behavior that might be classified as immoral or wrong?  Developmental psychologist  Biological psychologist/neuroscientist  Learning and motivation psychologist  Cognitive psychologist Social psychologist   Which psychologist wants to know when language learning occurs most  rapidly in children?  Developmental psychologist  Biological psychologist/neuroscientist Lecture #1: Introduction  Learning and motivation psychologist  Cognitive psychologist  Social psychologist  Which psychologist would do research to determine how memories are  stores in the brain?  Developmental psychologist Biological psychologist/neuroscientist   Learning and motivation psychologist  Cognitive psychologist  Social psychologist Lecture #2: Methods Research Designs  Science is an approach to learning  Goals of science: o Describe (Survey, case history) o Predict (Correlation) o Determine cause (Experiment) o Control (Experiment)  Observational Research Design o Watching behavior, often in a real­world setting o Pros:  Natural   Good place to start o Cons:  Can't answer why  Difficult to be unobtrusive o Naturalistic Observation : Careful monitoring and description of humans and animals in  natural settings  Example: Dr. Jane Goodall's long­term observation and recording of social  organization and biological functioning of chimpanzees. o Case Study:  Thorough description of a single event ­ most often an unusual or rare  condition  Example: Phineas Gage whose bizarre, tragic accident taught neuroscientists  much about the brain's prefrontal cortex. o Surveys:  Studies of the prevalence of certain beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors, based on  people's responses to specific questions  Concerns:  Problems obtaining truly random or representative samples  Competence or honesty of those who respond   The wording of the questions  Surveyor bias  Correlational studies o Correlational research describes relationships between variables  Examples include: height, weight, socio­economic level, number of years of  education  Correlation coefficient: Numeric index of the relationship's strength and  direction  Value ranges from ­1 to 1  The higher the absolute value, the stronger the relationship  Negative (­) correlation is produced when one variable increases as the  other decreases  The more frequently a student is absent, the lower the grade  earned  Positive (+) correlation results when both variables increase and  decrease together Lecture #2: Methods  The higher the annual income, the greater the amount of  donations to charity  A 0 or near­0 correlation means that the variables have no relationship.  Changes in one are unrelated to changes in the other.  Question  Positive or negative correlation? The greater the number of years of  education, the higher the income  Positive  Negative  Positive or negative correlation? The greater the score on a depression  inventory, the lower the score on a memory test  Positive  Negative  Which relationship is stronger, +0.30 or ­0.90?  0.30  ­0.90 o Concept check  Interpreting correlational research  A study found a ­0.75 correlation between frequency of exercise and level of  depression  Possible conclusions? General Principles of Research  Experiment: A study in which at least one variable is manipulated (independent variable) and at  least one other (dependent variable) is measured  Scientists seek evidence that will support or disprove a claim o Hypothesis:  A testable prediction of what should occur under a precisely stated set of  conditions  Questions o To determine if adrenaline enhances memory, a research trains rats to run a maze. She  gives a randomly selected portion of the rats a drug to block adrenaline production. All rats  are timed running the maze.   What are the independent and dependent variables?  IV = adrenaline, DV = drug  IV = drug, DV = rat's time to run the maze  IV = rat's time to run the maze, DV = drug  IV = adrenaline, DV = rat's time to run the maze o Researchers spent six months watching toddlers in day care and home settings. They have concluded that usually children combine words in simple sentences by age 2  Naturalistic observation; description  Case study; description  Correlational; prediction  Experiment; explanation and control o By comparing three groups of people, one getting no treatment, one getting traditional  treatment, and one receiving newly developed virtual reality therapy, psychologists have  Lecture #2: Methods concluded that you can overcome fear of spiders by using a virtual reality system to gradually raise your comfort level in the presence of spiders  Naturalistic observation; description  Case study; description  Correlational; prediction  Experiment; explanation and control o Studies done in randomly selected suburban neighborhoods across the US have shown  that the higher the income level, the fewer the average number of years that a family has lived in the neighborhood  Naturalistic observation; description  Case study; description  Correlational; prediction  Experiment; explanation and control  Measurement o Psychological constructs are not directly measurable o Behavioral, observable definitions are developed for constructs: rational definitions  Specify the procedures used to measure it  Produce a numerical value for the construct o Operationalization  We are investigating the effects of televised violence on children's aggressive  behavior  We need to operationalize televised "violence"  Violence: The number of times that threats or assaults depicted  during an hour­long show  We need to operationalize "aggressive behavior"  Aggressive behavior: The number of insults, threats, and assaults by the subject during the 24­hour period after watching a television  program  Question  Which of the following is an operational definition of intelligence?  The ability to comprehend relationships  A score on an IQ test  The ability to survive in the real world  The product of the cerebral cortex of the brain o Population samples  It's usually impractical/impossible to study whole populations  A number of observations or individuals are collected instead  This is a sample. We can generalize to the whole population from it  Types of samples & sampling procedures:  Convenience sample: Chosen because of easy availability  Representative sample: Closely resembles the population in proportion  of gender, ethnic or racial groups, age levels, and other relevant characteristics  Random sample: Every member has an equal chance of being selected  Cross­cultural sample: Comprised of people from 2 or more distinct  cultures Lecture #2: Methods o Other important terminology  Experimental group:  Individuals receiving treatment  Control group: Individuals not exposed to the treatment (holding all other  conditions equal)  Random assignment: Subjects placed in the experimental or control group  based on chance Challenges in Experimentation Experimenter bias:   The researcher's unintentional distortion of study procedures or results  Methods devised to counteract these tendencies include: o Observers record data while unaware ("blind") of the study's purpose o Placebo control: A fake treatment preventing the subject (single­blind) or the subject  and the experimenter (double­blind) knowing who has received the treatment  Demand characteristics:  Cues that reveal the researcher's expectations to the subject o Example: If the subject knows that the drug being tested is supposed to improve mood, he or she may "feel better"  The Hawthorne Effect:  The tendency of people to work harder and perform better simply  because they are being watched or because there has been some kind of change in their routine  Ethical considerations: Researchers must weigh possible harm that may be inflicted against  benefits that may be gained o Humans  IRB: A panel of qualified judges who review research proposals  Informed consent o Animals  Care committees ensure that research animals are treated humanely, researchers  minimize injury and pain, and alternatives are reviewed before animals undergo  potentially painful procedures


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