Depression example: Falling behind in grades, social, appetite, Sleep etc. (CASE
MULTIPLE LEVELS OF ANALYSIS:
-Help frame the research questions that will be explored.
-Most intuitive level. (Without conscious reasoning)
-Approach understanding of Human thought and behavious.
-This level concerns itself with the role of what happens in a subject’s mind.
-How do thoughts memories and emtions motivate our actions?
-CASE STUDY: Looking at how his emotions and patterns of thinking lie at the core
of his feelings of isolation.
-Physiological mechanisms that underlie thoughts and behavious.
-Includes the study of the function and structure of the brain.
-The molecular effects of neurotransmitters and hormones and how genetic factors
contribute. To behaviour
-CASE STUDY: Role of key neurotransmitters such as serotonin in mood disorders
and genetic factors that make them more prone to depressive episodes.
- Concerned with understanding how social, cultural and learning interactions
can influence thought and behaviour.
- CASE STUDY: Condtions that triggered and maintain his depression.
Working to change these external influences may bring positive change.
PERSPECTIVES IN PHYCHOLOGY
Particular problems may be approached from a perspective which has certain goals and
involves one or more of the levels of analysis. Commonly used are follows:
John B. Watson
- Father of behaviourism.
- Formalizing the methodology of research methods in the field.
- Overt behaviour is the ONLY valid means of measure in Phychology. (Overt
meaning done or shown openly… not secret of hidden)
- The one that creates the “Black Box”
- Role of Nurture over nature. Influencing human behaviour.
- Believed that if he were to take a dozen healthy infants, he could turn them into
any one at random and turn them into any specializalist that he would choose
(Doctor, Lawyer, artists, merchant, begger, thief.
The “Black Box”
- John Watson considered the mind to be an “Off-limits” black box.
- Takes input and makes output.
- What happens inside should be considered outside the domain of science for the time
-Researches adopted a behavioural focus on designing carefully controlled experiments
to understand the influence of the environmental level of analysis.
- Carried on the nurture view.
- Although internal mental events must exist, they remained impossible to measure
in a scientific way.
- Everything we want to know about an organism can be gained by studying it’s
- Present an animal with food, you don’t have to speculate it’s mental process of
hunger or cravings.
- General laws of stimulus response could explain organisms repeating behaviour
if it leads to something pleasant and not repeat if it is unpleasant.
- Ideas formed the core of therapy called behaviour modification. It is used in
schools, mental hospitals and informal by parents and pet owners.
- Advocates of pure behavioural have advised that notions of studying internal
events of mind had to be abandoned in order for phych to become a science.
- The above position was not accepted universally.
- Simplified the view of complex processes like memory into stimulus-response
relationships. - 1960’s cognitive revolution argued that phych must return to an interest in
internal events but under the right circumstances.
- The new movement argued proper scientific methods can be applied to study
internal mental prosesses.
- These internal processes are necessary to fully understand behaviour.
- Pure cognitive operates at the phychological level of analysis.
- Not concerned with describing the mind in terms of physiology of the brain.
- Use MODELS to construct abstract representations of how the mind functions.
- Used throughout phych to create modify and organize to explain complex
- Models can be used to make testable predictions.
- Use MODELS to construct abstract representations of how the mind functions.
- Used throughout phych to create modify and organize to explain complex
- Models can be used to make testable predictions.
- Use to understand the functioning of a complex process such as memory.
o EXAMPLE: Single memory model assumes that there is only one memory
storage. The model may begin to trigger questions leading to ask how we
determine if info has entered the storage area.
o Due proposes a change to create more complex model. Assume memory
has to steps. Enters short term and proceses to long term.
o New model must be tested to see if it explains better data.
o After conducting a number of experiments, more information supporting
the new model may make us abandon the old model
o Contradicting evidence may appear
o Revise or abandon model
o Gain more refined undersanding of complex and abstract process such as
- Models provide framework to describe data and generate interesting and testable
- Old model may no longer accound for new compelling data. - Change to a new model may arise.
- No Cognitive phychologist should assume that their model is the true model.
- It is the most useful until the next model comes around.
BIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE AND REDUCTIONISM
- Understand physiological mechanisms of human thought and behaviour
- Approach that adheres to this can lead to reductionism: all human behaviour can
be explained by reducing the problem to bio mechanisms of the brain
- Problem can be further reduced to cellular molecular atomic and sub-atomic
- What has been gained in reduction?
- How does human consciousness arise?
- What is self?
- Can the brain figure itself out
- Devoted full attention to the above questions
- Can reductionism and advanced technology alone fully exlain human thought
- Additional levels of analysis can enrich perspective as evident in the study of
cognitive and behavioural neuroscience.
- How to look at the brain :Challenge
- Pioneers tried to expose the brain. Very invasive.
- Modern uses neuroimaging
- Less invasive
- Uses x-rays
- Examine the human brain while subject is awake
-Sees what the brain is actually doing.
- Both are helpful
- Answer sorts of questions
- See sex differences in sizes of the brain areas
- Do they use the same parts of the brain to perform a specific task?
- Study relationships between people. Does not directly consider any interaction
EVOLUTIONARY AND DEVELOPMENTAL PERSPECTIVES
- We focus on immediate behaviours
- This focuses on a broader view
- “Why are men more violent?”
- Neauro may conclude “Higher Testosterone”
- Evolutionary wants to explore the ultimate cause
- Adaptive sense - Role in competition or survival?
- Unlike developmental, it focuses on genetic and environmental factos over larger
period of time (opposed to a lifetime)
- Face unique challenges
- May study infants cannot articulate themselves
- EXAMPLE: Shows image until baby gets bored. Shows another one. If still bored,
it cannot recognize as a new indiviual (HABITUATION)
- Indiciduals are influenced by culture and interactions
- influence of:
o One person on a group
o A group on one person
o A group on a group
- EXAMPLE: Crowed reacted in social situation Manipulates variables (Severity or
size of group.
- Potential concerned.
- Aware of ethical concerns
- CANNOT DECIEVE
- Fake emergency must consider ethics
- Governed by ethics commities
- Result of classic experiments
PERSPECTIVES IN OUR CASE STUDY
Specific behaviours with depression. Thereby can modify the cues. Disorder can be
cured. WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIOURS ASSOSSIATED AND HOW CAN THEY BE
-Inspired animal researched learned helpessness
-:earned they are unable to escape unpleasant stimulous
-learns it is helpless and does not try to escape.
-Have “Learned from the past actions
Adopting one of the other perspectives may be motivated by different questions
UNIT 2: Research Methods MODUAL 2
Starting off you will learn how to UNDERSTAND How scientists use the scientific
method to conduct research, APPLY experimental design to scientifically evaluate a
USE proper control groups and sampling techniques to improve the validity of
experimental results and EVALUATE participant and experimenter biases in scientific
The goal of any scientist = discover new information to understand how the world works.
They can go to the field (out of the lab) to study, or use tools in-lab to study.
They must find a way to collect and analyze data to produce reliable and meaningful
How do they analyze data and test hypotheses that help us study the human thoughts
Everyday life, we draw on people around us to come to conclusions such as whether to
play that particular video game or which school to go to in the long run. This is based off
of our friends and relatives.
Scientists must use more rigorous approaches to understand research questions.
There is a SEVEN step Recipe to selecting and analyzing information to minimise
biases and conflicts in the data.
The concept that views and theories of the world can be changed. It is challenging
current theories and causing the shift to more accurate theories.
Evidence gathered from others or self-experience.
A scientific tool to measure the effect of one variable on another. The scientist
manipulates the Independent variable on the Dependent variable.
Improved performance over the course on an experiment due to becoming more
Confounding variable: A variable other than the independent variable that has an effect on the results.
Occurs when an individual exhibits a response to a treatment that has no related
When a participant’s actions influence the results outside of the manip. Of the
Actions made by the experimenter, intentionally or not, to promote the result they hope
SCIENTIFIC METHOD SEVEN
2. Generate Hypotheses
3. Choose research method
4. Collect data
6. Report findings
7. Revise theory
A general set of ideas of how the world works
Theories lead to hypotheses- a testable statement guided by theories that make specific
predictions about the relationships between variables.
Determine the way that the hypothesis can be tested. Allow them to…
Which would be to take measurements of the outcomes of a test. For example… how
many people preferred product A to product B.
To understand the data and discover trends or relationships between variables… for
example, there was an increase in intelligence when kids were exposed to Mozart.
This leads to an ultimate accepting or rejection of the initial hypothesis and later the
Publish articles in scholarly journals. It undergoes rigorous reviews. REVISE THEORIES
Incorporate the new information into our understanding of the world.
Science is dynamic, so they can change at any time.
Eric is watching TV and sees infomercial on an energy drink that claims to help with
study due to its’ memory enhancing properties.
Eric wants to test whether or not the energy drink will actually help with studying.
The energy drink will help enhance study skills. The test performances will increase
positively if the subject drinks the energy drink. This assumes that the test scores and
be influenced by external factors.
The hypothesis is that students consuming energy drinks will be significantly better at
the test than those NOT taking energy drinks.
He may looks for someone who has taken a similar energy drink and aced the exam.
Eric uses himself as a test subject. If he aces the exam, the test passes. If he doesn’t,
then the test fails.
ERRORS in the research
- The research may not be representative of the larger mass./ not the general
- Personal experience may not represent others
- You cannot be sure that the result is due to the energy drink at all. (Easier or
IN REALITY Eric has not truly conducted an experiment at all. It does not allow him to
properly manipulate the energy drink. For example, he needs to compare exams from
those who took mega study, to those who didn’t.
Eric needs to collect more data.
Getting his roommate and him to both take the energy drink. This is the start of the
Control Groups Compare the dependant variable measure for both groups. They should be a similar as
possible in each group. This minimises differences from before the experiment so that
differences found in the experiment can be analyzed effectively. Choosing similar
classmates, averages etc. to show that the energy drink really works.
Receives a manipulation of the independent variable.
Will not receive a manipulation of the independent variable.
Manipulating the independent variable within each participant to minimize the effect of
external variables on the dependent measure.
This technique tests the same subject repeatedly. Eric can take the drink before some
tests and not before others. Comparing the results is then beneficial. It minimizes effect
of external variables.
Costly and time consuming. Also the PRACTICE EFFECT. He could get better, or the
tests could get harder. It can reduce the control of the experiment.
Between Subjects Design
One group acts as the control group. They must be the same in most ways with the
exception of manipulating the independent variable.
This is what Eric used with his roommate.
Example of confounding variable:
If everyone in the group is vegetarian, but the other group they are not, then the results
may be effected by diet.
Eric will use a between subject design since he cannot control external factors like test
difficulty. He’s using 20 students using mega study and 20 not using. He must be careful
on selecting to avoid confounding variables.
Selecting only blonde, 90 students from Holland will not help since it is difficult to find
and using a specific group can limit the general public’s actual results. The group must
be representative of an entire population.
The sample is the selection of people that he is using for the experiment
The population is all undergrad students. The sample must accurately represent the population.
You would use a Random Sample.
Random assignment is to randomly assign the control and experimental groups.
Puling names from hats. This will eliminate any differences or biases.
Conducting an experiment
Eric is ready to conduct his experiment. The experimental will take the energy drink.
He needs to keep in mind the “Placebo effect.” The students taking the energy drink
may become more motivated upon taking the drink.
When participants do not know which group they belong to. For example giving a drink
that is ‘effective’ to one group and one that is not to the other. The placebo effect will
then be removed as a confounding variable.
Researcher may cause bias.
Eric may accidently encourage one group to study more. EXPERIMENTER BIAS.
Having the experimenter be blind as well. They will find out the drink at the end, the
effect will be minimized this is called…
A double blind study.
Where no one knows anything until the end.
1. Summerize and observe trends in data using descriptive statistics
2. Evaluate the effects of an experimental manipulation using inferential statistics
3. Understand how observational studies allow scientists to collect data that
experimental studies cannot address.
4. Interpret the meaning and significance of correlation trends.
Working with Raw data
Statistics allow us to summarize, interpret data we’ve collected.
Descriptive statistics can be used to interpret large sums of data.
Present information about data at a glance. Includes summary statistics such as Mean,
Median and Mode.
Venn Diagrams and piecharts can be used to show data.
Histogram is a type used to report frequency with which groups of values appear in
data. x-axis (horizontal) is divided into groups of values called bins.
Bins span five digits in the example. Y-Axis measures the number of values that fall into
the given bin (Frequency.)
Type of graph illustrating the distribution of how frequently values appear in the data
Use histogram as a base to create a frequency distribution which is essentially a
smooth curve that connects the peak of each bar in a histogram. Height at each point of
the graph plots frequency with which value appears in the underlying data set.
Distribution with a characteristic smooth, symmetrical-shaped curve around a single
Graph resulting in a distrubituion with a smooth bell shaped curve and symmetrical is
called the “normal distribution”. Ex. IQ, height, test scores.
Measures of central tendency
Where data set is centered. Common measure is the mean “Average”. Calculated by
adding together all points in data and dividing by number of data.
Mean can be influenced by outliers (Extreme different data points)
Most commonly occurring.
Measures of variability.
They only describe a data set (measures of central tendancy) They narrowly focus on
the center or typical value. Do not tell us values that fall around that point.
You will find that example will have the same mean and median though distrubutions
are different. Graphing this would make it more spread out. Standard deviation
Review spread and distribution of data set. Measure of average distance from the
mean. Larger standard deviation means the data set is wide spread and vice-versa.
If eric had given ALL subjects flavoured water we would expect them to be the same.
Performances should not be identical. Both groups cannot perform the exact same way.
There will always be some variation between them. He may find that the groups were
higher than the other. It is expected by chance since they were treated identically.
Allow us to use results from samples to make inferences about overall underlying
Eric is interested in all undergrads.
Testing all undergrads to write his test resulting in scores would end up being a normal
distribution since there is no experimental manipulation Alternate populations
The participants should receive better scores than the control group. They should be
shifted to the right. Eric is hypothesizing that his two groups belong to different
populations. Control to general population receiving no treatment.
More on hypothesis
If eric is correct, the data that he collects is being drawn from two different distributions.
If the hypothesis is wrong, no effect can be from mega study.
Eric needs to compare entire set of data from control and experimental groups to
determine if they come from different populations.
A basic inferential statistics technique that can be used to compare the difference
between the data of the two groups.
Considers both data points. Calculates the probability that both samples were drawn
from a single population. It produces a P value, which expresses this probability. The t-
test for eric will reveal the probability of getting the same results even if his hypothesis is
“Is the difference between my control and experimental groups large enough for me to
confidently say that the energy drinks improved test scores?” Statistical significance
Prior to conducting an experiment that they will need strong evidence to be convinced
that there is a true difference between the groups by chance, even if the difference
“Doesn’t exist”. Or basically, they can be 95% confident that difference between their
groups does exist. If the resulting p-value is less than 0.05, the results are said to be
This term means that it is very likely that the result is due to some true difference
between properties of the groups being compared and not due to variation.
Back to Eric
Eric’s t-test is 0.44. This means that he would have found that result 44% of the time
even if the energy drinks have no effect. This is too high for Eric to conclude that his
hypothesis was correct. It is possible that the change was due to random chance. It
would have to be less than 5% for it to be SS.
Example: Unethical in studying the link between smoking and lung cancer to require
some subjects to start smoking.
They will have to use Observational studies To observe the effect without explicit
Measure of strength of the relationships between two variables.
Conducting an observational study find that two variables are related to each other, the
variables are correlated. Example, It might be found that as a person smokes for a
longer period of time, the risk of cancer rates increase.
The degree with which two variables are correlated is measured by the Correlation
coefficient, Symbolized by the letter r. The CC tells us the strength of the correlation as
well as the direction. The CC of +1 means tht eh variables are perfect positives. It would
increase with the other variable. (Age and wealth increase.)
-1 means they are perfectly negative. It would look inverted to the positive (Decreasing.)
i.e. Years of education increase as years spent in prison decreases. As the relationships of two variables gets weaker, the CC approaches zero. It would
indicate there is no relationship what so ever between the two variables. A graph
showing a CC of 0 would look like a scatterplot with a line. Ex. IQ and shoe size.
Sometimes there may be a strong correlation between the number of days and amount
of icecream consumed.
WE cannot use this that they are causing an effect on the other. Correlation does not
For example, icecream eaten in the summer. Summer = pollen and grass and other
allergens. MODUAL 4
Learning is both a conscious and an unconscious behaviour. It’s similar to a child
knowing to avoid the stove after being born just once.
Case Study Scenario
Nicole suffers from chronic headaches that are bad during low atmospheric pressure.
They coincides with the first drops of rain falling.
She has begun noticing that now the throbbing starts at the sight of a cloudy sky.
Her doctor prescribed medicine in the form of a red pill that causes sweaty palms and
nausea. She prefers these to her headaches.
-Suffering from headaches based on storms
-Her head now aches at the sight of a cloudy sky.
-She has to deal with side effects
-These side effects are preferred over the headache.
Two types of learning
Allows us to associate two different events
Actions and consequences.
When a contingent relationship is learned, and organism can respond to the signal
before the event occurs. This conditional response is prepatory and promotes survival.
The dog salivates to make digestion more efficient.
The foundation was done by Ian Pavlov, a Russian scientist. He was interested in the
stages of digestion which began with salivation in the mouth when food was spotted.
He made the observation that dogs would begin to salivate before any food reached
He figured there was an early step of digestion was triggered before the food arrived in
the mouth. He began to investigate further.
He sounded a metronome to the dogs, and then present the dog with food. At first there
was no effect, but eventually, hearing the metronome was enough to cause salivation.
This was called a conditional reflex because it was conditional. Contingent relationship
The presentation of one stimulus reliably leads to the presentation of another. This is
what Pavlov was studying.
For example: Anticipating thunder after a flash of lightning.
When an organism learns the association between a signal and an event, we say that a
contingent relationship is formed between the two stimuli.
Putting a lemon in your mouth, your lips will pucker and you begin salivating to
neutralize the citric acid and prepare for digestion. The sight of a lemon can cause you
to salivate or the thoughts. Because of our experience with citrus fruits, we have a
contingency between the sight of a lemon and the act of it meeting your mouth.
A grazing antelope is looking out for attacks for predators. If it stops it too late, it won’t
have time to flee. To avoid this, it must use other cue to signal fleeing. They may include
sounds, smells or sights that can be associated with predators. This increases it’s
chance of survival.
Occurs naturally before learning. For example, the food being placed in your mouth.
The response from an unconditional stimulus, i.e. salivating.
Starts when you throw a nutral stimulus. It is previously neutral, but eventually, a
response should be made. For example, The dogs and their metronome.
The CS usually comes before the US. It may take several trials of training before they
are paired and the CS can stimulate a response.
This occurs when the organism has learned a contingent relationship between the two
Initially, it didn’t elict a specific resonce. When paired with an unconditional stimulus, it
begins to create a response. The metronome with create the CS of salivation as the
food presentation did too.
The process by which a contingency between a CS and US is learned is called
Pavlov characterized the process as following a negatively accelerating curve. Normal contingencies are learned slowly by taking many trials before unconditional and
conditional stimuli are effectively paired.
Notice that most of the learning happens during the early trials. Each additional one
prompts some learning, but not as much as the early trials.
Although it takes several trials there are special cases where just one is sufficient.
Rats have developed a social mechanism for food selection. They are searching for
food sources and run the risk of consuming something poisonous. They generally avoid
unfamiliar foods, known as dietary neophobia. When they do try new foods, they will
only consume small quantities. By doing this, they can pinpoint specific foods as a
source of their illness and never eat it again.
Example of rats consuming the poison makes a rat feel sick. The sickness is paired with
the novel taste of the food and a contingency that the rat can learn in just one trial.
It now elicits a strong aversion* response even before sickness occurs.
*Dislike This taste aversion learning is just one example of special learning mechanism. Many
animals have specialized learning abilities to help them adapt to their particular
How long do the contingencies last? In theory, as long as the conditional (learned)
stimulus continues to be a reliable cue for the unconditional stimulus, it will be
maintained. If there is a change in this, the conditional response will eventually fade.
Using the extinction method to remove the CR
Extinction involves presenting the CS alone over many trials over and over without the
unconditional response it had been paired with. At first, it will elict a conditional
response, but as the trials go on, responses get weaker.
If the contingency is unlearned
We would expect that afterwards, retraining between the CS and US would lead to
Acquisition* of the CR at about the same rate as the original training.
* The process by which a contingency between a CS and US is learned is called
If extinction leads to near learning
This would suggest that there was two learned processes that sit side by side: The
original CR and a new inhibitory learned response to the CS.
This would lead to the conditional and unconditional stimuli to occur at a faster rate
compared to original training.
Suggests that extinction involves a new inhibitory learned response. Following
extinction, in which the CS is presented repeatedly in the absence of the unconditional
stimulus, the conditional response gradually fades. However, following a rest period, if
the CS is presented once more, it once again elicits a conditional response. This
suggests that the original learned association between the CS and US is not unlearned.
It seems to promote a learned inhibitory response that completes with the original
-It can seemingly be unlearned, but if presented with the CS again after a break period,
the CR will arise again. Generalization and Discrimination
World War II
When producing CC in a lab, it is done under carefully controlled conditions that are set
up to be simple. This allows the experimenter to make explicit pairings between the