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PSC Week 1 Notes

by: Kayla Dillard

PSC Week 1 Notes PSC 1

Kayla Dillard
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About this Document

These notes cover the week one lectures.
General Psychology
Dr. Simonton
Class Notes
PSC 1, General Psychology, UC Davis




Popular in General Psychology

Popular in Psychlogy

This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kayla Dillard on Tuesday March 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSC 1 at University of California - Davis taught by Dr. Simonton in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 65 views. For similar materials see General Psychology in Psychlogy at University of California - Davis.


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Date Created: 03/15/16
3/29/16 Lecture 1 What is psychology? • “scientific study of mind, brain, and behavior” Primary areas of psychology • Biological • Cognitive Neuroscience • Cognitive • Social • Personality • Developmental • Abnormal Clinical • • Counseling • Cognitive development • Social development • Social cognition • Clinical neuroscience • Social neuroscience • Social, cognitive, and affective neuroscience (SCAN) Psychology is relevant to everyone and is a broad area of study Pseudoscientific claims • exaggerated claims • over reliance on anecdotes • psychobabble • “proof” instead of evidence—“proven weight loss…” • lack of peer review by experts—ex: public opinion polls Scientific Claims • news distorts many scientific discoveries when reporting them Two major themes: • Nature vs. Nurture • Are behaviors caused by genes and biology (nature) or by upbringing (nurture)? • in most cases, it depends on both • ex: drug abuse, alcoholics • Free Will vs. Determinism Debate • Are behaviors freely selected (free will), or caused by outside factors (determinism)? • likely caused by both • ex: hearing In n’Out ad on radio and craving it later Soft sciences focus on studying people • psychology, economics, political science • “people are hard to study because they are complex and interact differently” • “must be really creative to study intangible things like thoughts” Hard sciences focus on the natural world • physics, chemistry, biology 3/30/16 Lecture 2 Theory and Hypothesis • theory: set of related assumptions from which testable predictions can be made • broad and cohesive • cannot prove it to be true—more supporting evidence makes it more likely to be true • ex: peer influence—hyposthesis: they have the same TV/music preferences • hypothesis: specific, informed, testable prediction Scientific Method • used to examine research questions Measures used in research • self report • surveys • scale measure—used in personality research • Behavioral • behavioral observation • judgements • response time measures—typically done on the computer • eye tracking • Physiological • Cellular recording • Brain imaging • fMRI • EEG • Physiological arousal • heart rate, blood pressure, skin conductance—measuring the electrical activity on the skin, hormonal changes • Animal measures • used to better understand humans and animals • very common to use rats because their physiology is similar to humans Variables: the concepts being tested • independent: predicts/causes and outcome • dependent: outcome variable, influenced by the independent variable • ex: does playing violent video games lead to higher levels of aggression? • independent: playing the games • dependent: level of aggression Descriptive Research • used to describe psychological phenomenon methods: surveys, naturalistic observation, case studies • Correlational Research • tells us how one variable predicts another • ex: does self-esteem predict level of anxiety • positive correlation—variables both increase or both decrease • negative correlation—variables move in opposite directions • no correlation—variables are unrelated Correlation Coefficient • ranges from -1 to +1, the absolute value shows the magnitude • sign tells the direction • correlation does not equal causation • ex: time of year can influence both ice cream consumption and shark attacks…ice cream consumption does not directly cause more shark attacks 3/31/16 Lecture 3 Experimental Research Design Requirements • has independent and dependent variable • independent variable must be manipulated • ex: manipulating the number of hours of sleep: one group gets 8 hrs, the other gets 4 hrs • has (at least one) control group (8 hrs) and (at least one) experimental group (4 hrs) • requires random assignment to cancel pre-existing differences—not “random selection” Statistics • analysis and interpretation of quantitative data • Descriptive • central tendency (mean, median, mode) • mean and mode are better representations when there are outliers • variability (range, standard deviation) • higher standard deviation=higher variability and visa versa • can be shown with a histogram • bell curve and normal distribution • Inferential • used to infer whether a difference it true or due to chance • determines “statistical significance” • higher variability=less likely to be significant and visa versa • t-test: compares two group means • analysis of variance (ANOVA) • regression P-value • measure of statistical significance • ranges from 0-1 • less than/equal to 0.5—> significant • greater than 0.5—> not significant


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