Psy 130, Week 2 Notes
Psy 130, Week 2 Notes Psy 130
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Leilanie Gonzalez on Monday October 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psy 130 at California State University - Long Beach taught by Marianne Grosvenor in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see Critical Thinking in Psychology (PSYC) at California State University - Long Beach.
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Date Created: 10/03/16
Week 2 Monday, August 29, 2016 The Biology of Belief - Patternicity: the tendency to find meaningful patterns in both meaningful and meaningless data o Pattern: event a caused event b (cat hears can being opened and assumes it’s time to eat) o Also called association learning or casual associations - Agenticity: the tendency to infuse patterns with intention and agency o Purchased plane ticket(A), traffic makes you miss plane, get later flight, meet future spouse(B) (agent: fate) Someone or something made the pattern occur Reinforcement Schedules and Superstitious Thinking - Pigeons (B. F. Skinner - father of behaviourism) o Put pigeons in a Skinner box and ran experiments o Would peck a key and receive food at either variable intervals (VI) or fixed intervals (FI) VI pigeons started repeating whatever behavior they were exhibiting btwn pressing the key and receiving food (wasn’t a real pattern) Hoping side to side Twirling These behaviors were typically repeated 5-6 times in 15 seconds A causal relationship was created btwn the behavior - Humans o Sat in a box w/ 3 levers o A point counter delivered points at VI followed by a flashing light + a buzzer o Participants started repeating whatever behaviors they were doing when they received a point Touching everything within reach Jumping up to touch the ceiling - Superstitions can be defined as accidental forms of learning o It is patternicity Error Management Theory (EMT) - We have evolved to minimize costly errors o Helps us survive and reproduce o Derived from Signal Detection Theory (SDT) Discerning real patterns from random patterns It is the way we make decisions under uncertainty Ex: Research has shown that heterosexual men over-infer that heterosexual women show more interest than they really do Signal Detection Theory (SDT) - Hit: correct (ex: think you hear a predator and there’s a predator) - Correct rejection: there is no signal where there isn’t one - False alarm: say there is a signal when there is not (Type I error) - Miss: say there is no signal when there is (Type II error) Error Management Theory (EMT) - Two errors are possible o False alarm: say there is a signal when there is not (type I error) (ex: ran away and survived) o Miss: say there is no signal when there is (type II error) (didn’t run away and were killed) - Natural selection has favored strategies that make many incorrect causal associations in order to establish those that are essential for survival and reproduction - People make incorrect associations because of our evolved need to make correct assumptions The Role of Dopamine in Patternicity - Dopamine: neurotransmitter that plays a role in motivation, reward, pleasure, addiction, and psychosis o Reinforces behaviors and beliefs o Increasing dopamine increases pattern detection Too much dopamine: type I errors (false alarm) in which you find connections that are not really there Too little dopamine: type II errors (miss) in which you miss connections that are real (most costly) o Dopamine can cement perceived patterns into long-term memory because of increases in firing frequency and the growth of new neural connections (ex: studying 5 times a week for 20 mins versus studying once for 2 hours) Wednesday, August 31, 2016 Memory Memory is a three step process - Encoding: taking it in - Storage: hold it - Retrieval: take it out (remembering it later) Short Term Memory - Holding a small amount of information in an active state - Lasts for less than a minute - Capacity is 7 +/- 2 items (you can hold more information by chunking [by category or other system of organization used to remember things]) Working Memory - Working memory refers to the processes that are used to temporarily store, organize and manipulate information Long Term Memory (not all stored in one part of the brain [depends on perception used in memory]) - Lasts from a minute to a lifetime - Capacity is unlimited Encoding and Storage - Memories are encoded and stored with: o Electricity (synapses) o Chemicals (neurotransmitters) Neurons Synapses - Nerve cells in the brain (neurons) connect through synapses o Synapses are electrical pulses that leap across the gap between neurons o The firing of a synapse releases chemical messengers called neurotransmitters Each neuron can form thousands of links - The more synapses sent between neurons, the stronger the connection - The more information is repeated or used, the more likely it is to end up in long term memory - It is easier to store information about topics you already know because the new information has meaning and can be connected to information that is already known Problems with Retrieval 1. The information was never encoded (didn’t read the textbook and can’t remember information on a test) 2. You were distracted 3. There was a mismatch between retrieval cues and the encoding of information (question asked in a different way than how it was explained) Memory Distortions – Seven Sins of Memory by Schacter Types of Forgetting 1. Transience a. The decreasing accessibility of memory over time b. Ex: What did I do on my 11 birthday? 2. Absentmindedness a. Lapses of attention that result in forgetting b. Ex: Where are my car keys? 3. Blocking a. Information is present but temporarily inaccessible b. Ex: It’s on the tip of my tongue Types of Distortions 4. Misattribution a. Memories are attributed to an incorrect source b. Ex: I thought I read it in a newspaper but I actually read it in a tabloid 5. Suggestibility a. Implanted memories about things that never occurred b. Ex: leading questions produce false memories 6. Bias a. Current knowledge and beliefs distort our memories of the past b. Ex: recalling past attitudes in line w/ current ones Type of Intrusive Recollection 7. Persistence a. Unwanted recollections that we can never forget b. Ex: traumatic war memories/PTSD - Memory involves distortions, deletions, additions, and sometimes complete fabrication - Suggestion can lead to rich false memories - Confabulation: mixing fantasy with reality to such an extent that it is nearly impossible to sort them out - Just because a memory report is expressed with confidence, detail, and emotion does not mean the event actually happened