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PSYC 2010, Week 3 Notes

by: Kelli Daniels

PSYC 2010, Week 3 Notes PSYC 2010 - 001

Kelli Daniels
GPA 3.89

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Psychology week 3 notes. Pictures from powerpoint included.
Introduction into Psychology
Jennifer Daniels
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kelli Daniels on Tuesday September 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 2010 - 001 at Auburn University taught by Jennifer Daniels in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Introduction into Psychology in Psychology (PSYC) at Auburn University.


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Date Created: 09/06/16
Week 3 | Psychology *In order to better learn the different types of studies, I suggest googling “case study”, “naturalistic observation”, etc. This way, you will gain a better understanding of the different types and they will be easier to remember. Monday, August 29, 2016 Statistical Reasoning in Everyday Life  Experimentation: backbone of psychological research; experiments isolate causes and their effects  Exploring cause and effect  Some can’t be done (ex. heroin correlating to baby defects)  Many factors influence our behavior. Experiments: 1. Manipulate factors that interest us 2. Controlling other factors  Effects generated by manipulated factors isolate cause and effect relationships Evaluating Therapies  Double-blind procedure  In evaluating drug therapies, patients and experimenter’s assistants should remain unaware of which patients had the real treatment and which patients had the placebo treatment  Random Assignment  Assigning participants to experimental (writing about trauma) and control (writing about what did previous day) conditions by random assignment minimizes pre-existing differences between the two groups.  Living situations could influence outcome  You want the groups to look as similar as possible.  Independent variable: a factor manipulated by the experimenter. The effect of the independent variable is the focus of the study.  Ex. When examining the effects of writing about trauma upon stress, what is being written about is the independent variable.  Dependent variable: a factor that may change in response to an independent variable. In psychology, it is usually a behavior, a mental process, or a physiological response.  Ex. In our study on the effect of writing about trauma upon stress, stress is the dependent variable.  Confounding variables: a situation in which the independent variable is intertwined or mixed up with another, uncontrolled variable.  We cannot tell which variable is responsible for change in the behavior or interest.  Operational definition: a statement of the procedures used to define research variables.  Ex. love, intelligence, health, trust  Experimentation: a summary of steps during experimentation. Condition Independent variable Dependent Experimental Breast milk Intelligence score 2 Control Formula Intelligence score  Doubt big, round, undocumented numbers as they can be misleading and before long, become public misinformation. o Statistical significance – the results are not due to chance alone.  Based on the numbers  Just because something is statistically significant, doesn’t mean it is clinically significant. o Clinical significance – makes a difference in our lives  Ex. Give one group a sleeping pill. They sleep 20 minutes longer than other group. That is statistical but not clinical, because sleeping 20 minutes longer isn’t that big of a deal.  Ethical considerations o Informed consent: they must understand what they are getting into and giving their consent based on what they are doing.  Must be very careful with prisoners, children. o Confidentiality: all the data has to be confidential.  Can’t use names or any identifying information, may have to give participant a number, lock away information o Debriefing: when study is done, you must let them know what you were looking for. o Deception: IRB (institutional Review Board) must approve of study; they are very cautious of deception. If you are deceiving someone, the ends must outweigh the means. 3  Other considerations o Gender Bias o Cultural and Ethnic Bias o Socioeconomic Bias o Religious Bias Wednesday, August 31, 2016 The Biology of the Mind Neural Communication  The body’s information system is built from billions of interconnected cells called neurons.  Neurobiologists and other investigators understand that humans and animals operate similarly when processing information.  Neuron: a nerve cell that consists of many different parts.  Parts of a neuron o Cell body/Soma: Life supports center of the neuron. Contains the nucleus. Metabolic and reproductive functions for the cell. DNA stored here. o Dendrites: Branching extensions at the cell body. Receive messages from other neurons 4 o Axon: Long single extension of a neuron, covered with myelin sheath to insulate and speed up messages through neurons. o Terminal branches: release neuro transmitters.  Process between neurons is a chemical process  Action potential: a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon and is generated by the movement of positively charges atoms in and out of channels in the axon’s membrane.  Threshold of Excitation: each neuron receives excitatory and inhibitory signals from many neurons. When the excitatory signals minus the inhibitory signals exceed a minimum intensity (threshold) the neuron fires an action potential.  All-or-None Response: a strong stimulus can trigger more neurons to fire, and to fire more often, but it does not affect the action potentials strength or speed.  Intensity of an action potential remains the same throughout the length of the axon.  Synapse: a junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. This tiny gap is called the synaptic gap or cleft. 5  Neurotransmitters: chemicals released from the sending neuron travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing it to generate an action potential.  Reuptake: neurotransmitters in the synapse are reabsorbed into the sending neurons through the process of reuptake. This process applies the brakes on neurotransmitters. o Chemical unbalance (leading to different mental issues) is due to a buildup of a chemical in the synaptic cleft. This slows down action potentials.  Serotonin pathways are involved with mood regulation.  Dopamine pathways are involved with diseases such as schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease.  Norepinephrine 6


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