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Intro to Psychology Chapter One Section One

by: Emily Bowman

Intro to Psychology Chapter One Section One PSYC 181

Marketplace > University of Nebraska - Lincoln > Psychology > PSYC 181 > Intro to Psychology Chapter One Section One
Emily Bowman
GPA 3.75

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About this Document

These are the first notes that were taken during the lecture video on Monday August 22nd. 2016.
Intro to Psychology
Dr. Holden
Class Notes
Psychology, Biology, Science
25 ?




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emily Bowman on Sunday August 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 181 at University of Nebraska - Lincoln taught by Dr. Holden in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Intro to Psychology in Psychology at University of Nebraska - Lincoln.


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Date Created: 08/28/16
Chapter One: Section 1:  ❖ First a list of what we created as the differences & similarities between psychologists and  scientists:  ➢ Psychologists: therapy, couch, mental health/ behaviour, humans/ animals, brain,  research experiments, and geeky & awkward  ➢ Scientists: lab, white coat, research papers, innovation, experiments, curiosity,  scientific experiments, and geeky & awkward  ❖ Psychology is a diverse field of study;  ➢ Many different sub­fields (specializations)  ❖ Psychology, broadly defined, is;  ➢ The scientific study of behaviour and the mind  ■ Behaviour: actions/ responses we can directly observe  ● Includes observable responses like heart rate, perspiration, etc.  ■ Mind: the internal states and processes   ● Includes thoughts and feelings, these cannot be observed and must  be directly inferred from behaviour.   ❖ Biopsychology:  ➢ Focuses on the biological basis of behaviour.  ■ How the brain processes, genes, and hormones’ influences on our actions,  thoughts and feelings  ● People who “hear voices” inside of their head have the same  reaction in the brain regions as those people who hear actual voices  externally.   ➢ Evolutionary psychology:   ■ Focuses on how evolution shaped our minds and behaviours (i.e. mate  choice, problem solving).  ➢ Neuroscience:   ■ Focuses on brain processes and regions (i.e. how the brain processes  language).  ❖ Experimental Psychology:  ➢ Focuses  on basic processes like basic learning, sensation & perception, and  motivation  ■ Much research is done in this area is done with non­ human animals (rats,  pigeons).   ● Is vision different in animals living entirely in rooms with  horizontal lines versus vertical lines?  ■ Note that even though t​ his area is called experimental, a​ ll areas of  psychology do experiments.    ❖ Cognitive Psychology:  ➢ Studies “higher” mental processes  ■ Memory, judgment & decision making, problem­ solving, mental imagery,  attention, and creativity   ● How do I best remember information for a test?  ● Is creativity really a eureka phenomenon?   ● What kinds of mental “short­ cuts” do people use when making  decisions?  ■ Psycholinguistics: ​is an area within cognition that studies language  processes.  ● What is the best way for people to learn how to read?  ❖ Industrial­ Organizational (I/O) Psychology:  ➢ Examines behaviour in the workplace  ■ Focuses more on business­ related topics:  ● Leadership, teamwork, job satisfaction, work motivation,  performance, and stress  ● What kinds of test will help us identify the best applicant for a job?  ● How can we increase motivation for our employees?  ❖ Personality Psychology:  ➢ Focuses on personality traits  ■ Are there core personality traits?  ● outgoing/ shy, conscientious/ impulsive, sympathetic/ cold, etc.?   ◆ 5 basic dimensions (The Big 5 personality test is an  example of this)  ■ How do different traits relate to one another?  ■ Can we develop tests that measure personality?   ❖ Social Psychology:  ➢ Studies how people think about, feel about, and believe towards other people  ■ Focuses on how people influence one another, behave in groups. And  form impressions and attitudes  ● Why do we like some people and not others?  ● What makes a good advertisement?  ● What are the root causes of racism?  ❖ Clinical Psychology:  ➢ Examines mental disorders and helps people to overcome these disorders  ■ What treatment works best for phobias (an irrational fear)?  ■ How can we support people with post­ traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?  ❖ Subfields of Psychology:  ➢ Note that the research topics of the subfields often overlap each other;    ■ How does cooperation change as children age?  ● Social and development psychology   ■ Might low levels of certain neurotransmitters be responsible for the  symptoms of depression?  ● Clinical and biology (neuroscience) psychology  ■ What types of personal characteristics would make someone good at a job  requiring long periods without human contact?  ● Personality and I/O psychology  ➢ Psychology is linked across all its subfields  ■ Working in one area often draws on and contributes to knowledge in other  areas.  ❖ Psychology and other fields:  ➢ Psychology also links to work in other fields:  ■ Biology: ​The study of life and biological structures   ■ Anthropology:​ The Study of cultural origins, evolution, and variations  ■ Economics: ​The study of production, distribution and consumption of  goods and services  ■ Sociology: ​The study of human social relations and systems  ■ Engineering: ​The application of scientific principles to design machines,  structures, and systems  ■ Computer Sciences: ​The study of information processing and  manipulation of data  ■ Medicine: ​The study of health and the causes and treatments of diseases   ■ Psychology: ​The study of behaviour and mental processes  ❖ Science of Psychology:​ What makes psychology a science? Isn’t psychology all  common­sense?  ➢ What unifies the subfields of psychology is the interest in mind/ behaviour, and  the use of the scientific method.  ❖ What do we need science?  ➢ People are often guilty of faulty thinking:  ■ Failure to consider alternative explanations  ■ Confirmation bias:​ pays attention to things that confirm our pre­existing  beliefs and ignoring contradictory evidence.  ■ Mental shortcuts: geography is one of the many mental shortcuts that  people have.  ➢ Science minimizes these pitfalls.  ■ Science involves gathering and evaluating empirical evidence to answer  questions and to test ideas about the world  ● Empirical evidence: ​evidence that is gained through experience  and observation  ◆ The observations must also be s consistently according to specific rules/ conditions so that  they’ll be objective  ➢ So say that we want to know whether people’s  intellectual abilities decline as they age; we’re  ​ exposed to l ■ Family & friends, random people on the  internet, TV sitcoms, secular/ religious  ideas, cultural stereotypes, idioms, personal  observation (Grandpa is as smart as a whip)  ➢ Personal observations are empirical data, but are not  scientific; they are not systematic. So we need to  take a scientific approach;  ■ Systematic approach; ​use some sort of  specific test that is scored objectively as  possible (i.e. IQ test) in a controlled  environment.   ❖ Critical Thinking:  ➢ Critical thinking involves taking an active role rather than receiving “facts”  ■ When someone makes a claim you should ask yourself;  ● What is the claim exactly?  ● Are other explanations possible/ probable?   ● Is the source credible/ trustworthy?  ● What empirical tests, if any, have been made?   ◆ What was the quality of the tests? Who did them?  ● What is the evidence and how good is it?  ● What is the most appropriate conclusion?  ■ Often involves taking an attitude of ​falsification:​ trying to disprove claims  or beliefs (including your own)  ■ Rather than uncritically accepting claims as true  ● Think about what it would take to show a claim as false   ◆ Alternative explanations, quality of evidence, credibility of  source, etc.  ■ Separates fact from fiction.  ❖ 4 Goals of Psychology:  ➢ 1: ​Describe h​ ow people and animals behave   ➢ 2: ​Explain & Understand t ​ he causes of these behaviours  ➢ 3:​ Predict​ how people and animals will behave under certain situations  ➢ 4: ​Influence/ Control​ the behaviour through knowledge and controlling the causes  in order to enhance human welfare  ❖ Basic vs Applied Science:  ➢ Basic Science:   ■ Basic research is a quest for knowledge purely for its own sake:  ● How accurate are our memories?  ● What factors predict the likelihood of depression?  ➢ Applied science:  ■ Applied research is designed to solve a specific, practical problem  ● Applied research places more emphasis on goal number 4  ◆ How do we improve the reliability of eyewitness accounts?  ◆ How do we help depressed individuals?  ❖ Levels of Analysis:​ What are the levels and why does it matter?   ➢ Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and the mind:  ■ But our behaviour can be influenced by many, many things  ● Ex. I had a cookie before writing this.  ◆ Reason: I needed the sugar, diabetes, I wanted it, needed  the carbs, needed the energy, looked good, stressed out,  needed a boost, peer pressure  ➢ Biological needs:​ brain processes, genetic  influences, hormone levels, basic needs  ➢ Psychological levels:​ personal thoughts/ feeling,  motivations  ➢ Environmental levels:​ past/ current physical/ social  environment (peer pressures)  ◆ Different levels interact with one another:  ➢ Mind­ Body Interactions:  ■ Imagine your favourite food: your body  releases digestive enzymes.  ■ People with “something to live for” often  recover from severe illness faster than those  without  ➢ Environmental­ Biological Interactions:  ■ Enriched environment during infancy=  greater brain development and the opposite  can be said about a deprived environment  during infancy= less brain development   ■ Epigenetics: ​ how the environment affects  the genes in a body.  ➢ Psychology covers all the levels of analysis and their interactions:  ■ All levels interact with one another  ● Nature vs Nurture   ◆ Serial killers are a bit of both nature and nurture.  ◆ Shyness is on either side of the argument.   ● It is a mixture of nature and nurture for all subjects.    This is the conclusion to the first section for Intro to Psychology chapter one: section one.   


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