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Psychology 110- Chapter 1 Notes

by: Courtney Cangelosi

Psychology 110- Chapter 1 Notes 21797

Marketplace > University of Louisiana at Lafayette > PSYC 110 > 21797 > Psychology 110 Chapter 1 Notes
Courtney Cangelosi
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
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About this Document

These notes cover notes I took from the textbook and notes from the class lecture. color coding: pink- key terms green- people
Introduction to Psychology
Monica B. Tauzin
Class Notes
Psychology, Introduction




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This 11 page Class Notes was uploaded by Courtney Cangelosi on Tuesday August 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 21797 at University of Louisiana at Lafayette taught by Monica B. Tauzin in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Psychology in PSYC 110 at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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Date Created: 08/30/16
Chapter 1: Introduction and Research Methods 1.1  What is psychology? o Psychology- the scientific study of behavior and mental processes and how they are affected by an organism’s physical and mental state and external environment o There isn’t any one definition. Eclectic-multiple ideas put together o Psychologists aren’t primarily focused on psychological problems. They are just as interested in everyday processes such as learning and memory, emotion and thought, relationships and loneliness o The 4 basic goals of psychology are to describe, predict, explain, and control behavior and mental processes  Psychology’s origins (the influence of philosophy and physiology) o Aristotle  Greek philosopher  Sleep, dreams, the senses, and memory  Rene Descartes  French philosopher  Interactive dualism- the idea that mind and body were separate entities that interact to produce sensations, emotions, and other conscious experiences o Nature vs. Nurture  Wade & Torres, 1990  Nature- heredity  Nurture- environmental factors  Nature and nurture both equally impact a person’s personality o Methods of early philosophers were limited to intuition, observation, and logic o Physiology- a branch of biology that studies the functions and parts of living organisms o Discovered: Damage to one side of the brain produced a loss of function in the opposite side of the body. Different brain areas were related to different behavioral functions (previous: thought comes from the heart)  Wilhelm Wundt o The founder of psychology o German physiologist o Founder of psychology as an experimental science  Studied mental reaction times in response to visual or auditory stimuli o Textbook: Principles of Physiological Psychology o Believed that psychology should be established as a separate scientific discipline that would use experimental methods to study mental processes o Opened the first psychology research laboratory at the University of Leipzig o Defined psychology as the study of consciousness and emphasized the use of experimental methods to study and measure consciousness  Structuralism o Edward B. Titchener  German physiologist  Earned his doctorate under Wundt  Established a psychology laboratory with 26 rooms  Structuralism- even our most complex conscious experiences could be broken down into elemental structures of sensations and feelings  Trained subjects in a procedure called introspection  Stimulus- anything perceptible to the senses  Structuralism was the first school of thought but also the first school to disappear  It was criticized for relying too heavily on introspection o Introspection had too many limitations  Unreliable: responses varied  Could not be used to study children or animals  Learning, development, mental disorders, and personality could not be investigated  Functionalism o William James  Main proponent of American psychology  One of Harvard’s most outstanding teachers  Influenced by Wundt & Titchener  Fascinated by the idea that different species evolved over time  Evolutionists- believed that species had not been created once but had changed over time  Published several works arguing that modern species evolved  Textbook: Principles of Psychology  Leading psychology textbook  Topics such as brain function, habit, memory, sensation, perception, and emotion  Had an enormous impact on the development of psychology in the US  Functionalism- emphasized studying the purpose of behavior and mental experiences o Charles Darwin  Book: On the Origin of Species  Debated the notion of evolution  Stressed the importance of adaption to environmental challenges  Survival of the fittest: the ability to pass genes onto the next generation o Expanded research to include direct observation o Examined how psychology could be applied to areas like education, child rearing, and the work environment o Importance of the adaptive role of behavior and the application of psychology to enhance human behavior  William James’ students o G. Stanley Hall  Received the first Ph.D. in psychology  Founded the first psychology research laboratory in the US  Published the first US psychology journal: American Journal of Psychology  Founded the American Psychological Association (APA) – the world’s largest professional organization of psychologists o Mary Whiton Calkins  Taught experimental psychology  Harvard refused to grant her a Ph.D. because she was a woman  Conducted research on dreams, memory, and personality  Established a psychology laboratory at Wellesley College  Textbook: Introduction to Psychology  Became the first woman president of APA o Margaret Floy Washburn  First woman to receive a Ph.D. in psychology  Advocated the scientific study of the mental processes of different animal species  Book: The Animal Mind  Second woman elected president of APA o Francis C. Sumner  Chaired a psychology department that produced more African American psychologists than all other American universities combined o Kenneth Bancroft Clark  First African American president of APA  Psychoanalysis o Sigmund Freud  Neurologist  Unconscious- hidden from the person’s conscious awareness  Psychoanalysis (psychodynamic)- emphasized the role of the unconscious conflicts in determining behavior and personality  Influenced by his patients and self-analysis  Human behavior was motivated by unconscious conflicts that were almost always sexual or aggressive  Past experiences were critical in the formation of adult personality  Glimpses of the unconscious are caught in dreams, memory block, slips of the tongue, and spontaneous humor  His psychoanalytic theory of personality provided a basis for psychotherapy  Behaviorism o Behaviorism- emphasizes the study of observable behaviors, especially as the pertain to the process of learning o Rejected structuralism and functionalism o Rejected Freud’s notions about unconscious influences o Focused on overt behavior- observable behaviors o Ivan Pavlov  Russian physiologist  Dogs could learn to associate a neutral stimulus (sound of a bell) with an automatic behavior (salivating to food) o John B. Watson  Father of behaviorism  Believed in behaviorism and structuralism  The goal of behaviorists was to discover the fundamental principles of learning- how behavior is acquired and modified in response to environmental influences  Agreed with Pavlov  Book: Behaviorism  Consciousness is neither a definite nor a usable concept  Consciousness goes back to superstition and magic  Fired from Harvard and went into advertising o Learning- how behavior is acquired and modified in response to environmental influences o Behaviorists studied animal behavior o B.F. Skinner  Used reinforcement or punishment with rats and pigeons  Rats in a maze  Ignored conscious experiences  Believed that psychology should restrict itself to studying outwardly observable behaviors that could be measured and verified in compelling experimental demonstrations  Humanistic psychology o Humanistic psychology “third force”- emphasizes each person’s unique potential for psychological growth and self-direction o Carl Rogers  Founded humanistic psychology  Influenced by psychotherapy clients  Emphasized self-determination, free will, and the importance of choice in human behavior  Suggested humanistic psychology differs significantly from psychoanalysis and behaviorism o Andrew Maslow  Developed a theory of motivation that emphasized psychological growth 1.2  Contemporary psychology o Topics of psychology have become more diverse with various perspectives o Psychologists identify themselves by their perspective or specialty area  Biological perspective o Emphasizes studying the physical bases of human and animal behavior, including the nervous system, endocrine system, and genetics o Neuroscience- the study of the nervous system, especially the brain o Focus: individual neurons, areas of the brain, specific functions o Technological advances led to the discovery of drugs to control psychological symptoms and brain-scanning systems (PET, MRI, fMRI) to study the structure and activity of an intact brain  Psychodynamic perspective o Influenced by Freud o Emphasized the importance of unconscious influences, early life experiences, and interpersonal relationships in explaining the underlying dynamics of behavior or in treating people with psychological problems o Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Anna Freud, Karen Horney  Behavioral perspective o Influenced by Watson, Pavlov, and Skinner o Studies how behavior is created or modified by environment o Emphasizes the behavioral perspective in explaining and treating psychological disorders  Humanistic perspective o Influenced by Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow o Focuses on the motivation of people to grow psychologically, the influence of interpersonal relationships, and the importance of self-concept o Emphasized among psychologists working in the mental health field  Positive psychology perspective o Based on Seligman and others o Positive psychology- the study of positive emotions, positive traits, and the social institutions that foster positive individuals and communities o Examples: personal happiness, optimism, creativity, strengths, wisdom o Developed therapeutic techniques that increase personal well- being rather than just getting rid of the symptoms of psychological disorders  Cognitive perspective o Focused on the important role of mental processes in how people remember information, develop language, solve problems, and think o Based on using computers as a model for human mental processing  Cross-cultural perspective o Focused on diversity of human behavior in different cultural settings o Culture- attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors shared by a group of people and communicated from one generation to another o Ethnocentrism- belief that one’s own culture or ethnic group is superior to all others; the tendency to use your own culture as the standard for judging other cultures o Individualistic cultures- emphasize the needs and goals of the individual over the needs and goals of the group (Donald Trump) o Collectivistic cultures- emphasize the needs and goals of the group over the needs and goals of the individual (Cajun culture)  Evolutionary perspective o Influenced by Charles Darwin o The application of the principles of evolution to explain psychological processes o Individual members of a species compete for survival o Organisms pass on their characteristics to their offspring o “An evolved psychological mechanism exists in the form that it does because it solved a specific problem of survival or reproduction recurrently over evolutionary history.” ~David Buss o Natural selection- the most adaptive characteristics are “selected” and given to the next generation  Specialty areas in psychology o Clinical psychology: diagnosis, treatment, causes, and prevention of psychological disorders (degrees: Ph. D. or Psy.D.) o Psychiatry: can hospitalize people, order biomedical therapies such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and prescribe medications (degrees: M.D. or D.O.) o Biological, clinical, cognitive, counseling, developmental, educational, experimental, health, industrial/organizational, personality, social, school, applied (pg. 15) 1.3  The scientific method o Scientific method- a set of assumptions, attitudes, and procedures that guide researchers in creating questions to investigate, generating evidence, and drawing conclusions o Events are lawful: behavior and mental processes follow consistent patterns o Events are explainable: behavior and mental processes have causes that can be understood through careful study o Open-minded: willing to consider new or alternative explanations of behavior and mental processes o Healthy sense of scientific skepticism: critically evaluate the evidence of new findings, especially those that seem contrary to prior knowledge  Steps of the scientific method: o Empirical evidence- evidence that is the result of objective observation, measurement, and experimentation o Step 1: Formulate a testable hypothesis  Hypothesis- a tentative statement that describes the relationship between two or more variables  Stated as a specific prediction that can be empirically tested  Variable- a factor that can change  Operational definition- defines the variable in very specific terms as to how it will be measured or changed o Step 2: Design the study and collect the data  Descriptive research- strategies for observing and describing behavior, including identifying the factors that seem to be associated with a particular phenomenon  Who, what, where, when  Experimental research- used to show that one variable causes change in a second variable o Step 3: analyze the data and draw conclusions  Statistics- analyze, summarize, and draw conclusions about the data collected  Statistically significant- the results are not like to have occurred by chance  Confirm the hypothesis  Meta-analysis- gathering the results of several studies into a single analysis o Step 4: Report the findings  Researchers must share their findings with other scientists with a detailed description of the study  Who participated and how they were selected, how variables were defined, what methods were used, and how the data was analyzed  Replicated- repeat the study  They must present their research at an academic conference or write a paper. If it conforms, it will be accepted for publication  Building theories o Theory- a tentative explanation that tries to account for diverse findings on the same topic o Furthers the understanding of behavior, allows testable predictions to be made, and stimulates new research o Theories evolve and change to produce more accurate and useful explanations of behavior and mental processes  Pseudoscience- promotes claims in ways that appear to be scientific and plausible even though supporting empirical evidence is lacking or nonexistent o 1. Testimonials rather than scientific evidence o 2. Scientific jargon without scientific substance o 3. Combining established scientific knowledge with unfounded claims o 4. Irrefutable or nonfalsifiable claims o 5. Confirmation bias  Confirmation bias- the tendency to seek out evidence that confirms an existing belief while ignoring evidence that contradicts or undermines the belief o 6. Shifting the burden of proof o 7. Multiple outs  Descriptive research o Descriptive research- include strategies for observing a describing behavior  When certain behaviors take place, how often they occur, and whether they are related to other factors, such as a person’s age, ethnic group, or educational level  Naturalistic observations o Naturalistic observation- observes and records behaviors as they occur in their natural setting o Patterns are more accurate if the subject does not know they are being tested o To increase accuracy, two or more observers are used o Allows researchers to study human behaviors that cannot ethically be manipulated in an experiment  Case studies o Case study- an intensive investigation of an individual, family, or some other social unit o Involves compiling lots of information from many sources to create a detailed picture of the person  Interviewing friends and family  Examining psychological, biographical, medial, neurological, school, and work records  Psychological testing and observations of the person’s behavior o Used to investigate rare or extreme conditions o Helps to understand normal behavior o Limitation: discoveries on people with rare conditions may not apply to people in the broader population  Surveys o Survey- people respond to a structured set of questions about their experiences, beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes o Advantage: easier to gather information from a larger amount of people o Sample- representative of the larger group o Representative sample- matches the larger group on relevant characteristics such as age, sex, race, marital status, and educational level o Random selection- every member of the larger group has an equal chance of being selected for inclusion in the sample o Problem: people don’t always answer honestly  Fix: rephrasing the questions multiple ways  Correlational studies o Correlational study- examines how strongly two variables are related to each other o Used to analyze the data gathered by the descriptive method o Correlation coefficient- numerical indicator of the strength of the relationship between two factors  Falls in the range from -1.00 to +1.00  Number: indicates strength  Sign: indicates direction o Positive correlation- two factors vary in the same direction o Negative correlation- two variables move in opposite directions o A correlation tells only that two factors are related. It cannot be used to demonstrate a cause-and-effect 1.4  Experimental research o Experimental research- used to demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship between changes in one variable and the effect that is produced on another variable o Independent variable- the purposely manipulated factor though to produce change in an experiment o Dependent variable- the factor that is measured for change in an experiment; “depends on” the independent variable o All conditions besides the independent variable are kept constant. Therefore, any change can be attributed to the manipulation of the independent variable o Confounding variable “extraneous variable”- a factor other than the ones being studied that could affect the outcome of the experiment  May produce inaccurate results by influencing changes in the dependent variable  Experimental design o Roediger & Karpicke  Compared the effects of repeated tests with the effects of repeated studying  “repeated testing improves learning more than repeated studying” o Random assignment- all participants have an equal chance of being assigned to any of the experimental groups or conditions  Helps ensure that any potential differences among the participants are spread out evenly across experimental conditions  Helps minimize the possibility of bias because the same criteria are used to assign all participants to the different experimental groups o Control group- the group of participants who are exposed to all conditions except the independent variable o Experimental group- the group of participants who are exposed to all conditions, including the independent variable o Testing effect- practicing retrieval of information from memory produces better retention than restudying the same information for an equivalent amount of time  Experimental controls o Double-blind technique- both the participants and the researchers are unaware of the treatment or condition to which the participants have been assigned  Helps guard against the possibility that the researcher inadvertently becomes an extraneous variable in the study o Demand characteristics- subtle cues or signals that can bias the outcome of the study by communicating the behavior or response that is expected of the participants o Placebo “sugar pill”- a fake substance, treatment, or procedure that has no known direct effects o Placebo effect- any change that can be attributed to beliefs and expectations rather than an actual drug, treatment, or procedure  Limitations of experiments and variations in experimental design o Limitations: experiments are often conducted in highly controlled labs, and are criticized for having little to do with actual behavior o Cannot always be applied to real-world populations o The phenomena the researchers want to study may be impossible or unethical to control experimentally o Natural experiment- researchers carefully observe and measure the impact of a naturally occurring event or condition on their participants


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