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General Psychology, Week 1 and Week 2 Notes

by: Cheyenne Malachias

General Psychology, Week 1 and Week 2 Notes 17425

Marketplace > Kent State University > Psychology (PSYC) > 17425 > General Psychology Week 1 and Week 2 Notes
Cheyenne Malachias
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About this Document

This is the material from chapters 1 and 2.
General Psychology
Robin L. Joynes
Class Notes




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Cheyenne Malachias on Saturday September 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 17425 at Kent State University taught by Robin L. Joynes in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see General Psychology in Psychology (PSYC) at Kent State University.

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Date Created: 09/10/16
General Psychology Week 1 and Week 2 Notes I. The Science of Psychology (part 1) A. Psychology – the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.  1. Behaviors – observable actions and/or responses 2. Mental processes – thoughts or feelings **Mental processes are not always the most reliable method of observation due to untrue or unclear answers. For example:  A scientist is observing if eating habits effect how well students do on tests. She  asks students what they ate for breakfast over the past two weeks. Some students confided that  they did not remember or took an educated guess of what they ate.  It’s difficult to get accurate results when the data is not accurate. B. Goals of Psychology 1. Describe (“what” questions), explain (“why” questions), predict (“under what  circumstances” questions), control/change (“how can we change” questions). C. A Brief History 1. Psychology originated from philosophy.  **Both concentrations dealt with the same questions that were being asked, but  differed when it came to performing experiments. This lead to the split of psychology from  philosophy. a. Structuralism – the study of the basics (the STRUCTURES *hint hint*) of the  mind and mental processes; introduced by Wilhelm Wundt (1832­1920). b. Wundt described the mind by breaking the thoughts down into their simplest  forms and found that more complex thoughts required a longer reaction time.  c. Introspection – subjects evaluate their own thoughts/ concepts. **Introspection is subjective and is better suited for individual opinion instead of  universal truth. 2. Gestalt Psychology – studying the whole picture (individual(s)) instead of the  components. a. Functionalism – the study of the purpose of consciousness (thoughts and/or  feelings); introduced by William James (1842­1910). b. James found it more important to understand why we have consciousness and  what the purpose is of the mind. 3. Behaviorism – the study of observable behavioral responses; introduced by  John B. Watson (1878­1958) a. Watson argued that we should study how the environment effects behavior.  D. Psychology Today 1. The Seven Contemporary Approaches of Psychology: a. Biological – poses questions and methods to show how the brain is responsible  for behavior/consciousness. b. Behavioral – viewing observable behavioral responses; introduced by B.F.  Skinner (1904­1990) with operant learning. i. Operant Learning – a type of learning where behavior is managed by praise and  consequences. c. Psychodynamic – methods of studying the unconscious mind, the connections  between biological drives and social demands, and early childhood experiences; introduced by  Sigmund Freud (1856­1939). i. Freud argued that mental and behavior problems were due to  miscommunications in the unconscious mind and could be observed by “unlocking” these  thoughts.  d. Humanistic – focuses on the ideal self of an individual (positive qualities);  introduced by Carl Rogers (1961) and Abraham Maslow (1971) e. Cognitive – focuses on memories and how we direct our attention to solve  problems.  f. Evolutionary – an approach that focuses on ideas such as natural selection  and/or adaption to explain behavior.  g. Sociocultural – an approach of studying the effects of culture and society on  behavior. II. The Science of Psychology (part 2) A. The Scientific Method 1. The scientific method is used in conjunction with unbiased, empirical approach  to improve reliability. B. Research Methods 1. Descriptive – determining the basic constructs of some phenomenon.  a. Naturalistic Observation – watching and recording behavior **naturalistic observation can only be used to describe what is heard or  seen. NO ASSUMPTIONS. b. Case Studies – studies of one individual.  **with case studies, it is often difficult to determine if results are due to  issues within the experiment or of the individual.  c. Survey – polling of individuals to determine results. **advantages – provides the means to gather a large amount of  information in a short time. **disadvantages – results may be based upon answers that were  untrue or “guessing”. 2. Correlational – finding relationships between concepts, NOT for finding cause  and effect. a. Type of correlation depends on the strength and directions. These  characteristics are then observed to be positive or negative. For example: Figure 1: 0.87 Figure 2: - 0.92 Figure 3:  0.1 5 Figure 4: - 0.25 Say these are four different result tables each with varying correlation. As the  correlation coefficient becomes closer to 1, the relationship is said to be a strong positive or a  weak positive. As the correlation coefficient becomes farther from 1, the relationship is said to be a strong negative or a weak negative. Figure one shows a strong positive, figure two is of a  strong negative. Figure three is a weak positive, and figure four is of a weak negative. 3. Experimental – the manipulation of the variable of interest to determine cause  and effect. a. Operational Definitions – used by scientists to define the constructs of an  experiment. **operational definitions are used in every study b. Independent Variable – undergoes change in an experiment c. Dependent Variable – the results of an experiment.  **if you’re having difficulty finding which variable is which, ask yourself, “What are the effects of x on y?” ‘X’ would be the independent variable and ‘y’ would be the dependent variable.  d. Experimental Group – the group that receives the treatment e. Control Group – the group that does not receive the treatment


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