Class Notes (811,155)
Canada (494,530)
Psychology (1,130)
PSYCO105 (105)

PSYCO 105 (09/10/13) - Methods

5 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Alberta
Eric Legge

PSYCO 105 (September 10,2013) Topic 1: Methods Psychology – the science that studies behavior and the processes (both cognitively and physiologically) behind it.  Modern psychology is multi-faceted. Types of psychology include: o Developmental o Social o Experimental o Physiological o Cognitive o Personality o Psychometrics – measuring mental capacities and capabilities 7 Major Themes in Psychology 1) Psych. is empirical. a. Knowledge of psych. is gained through observation 2) Psychology is theoretically diverse 3) Psychology evolves from socio-historical advancements a. As time passes and more is learned about the human brain, more theories are created and existing theories are proved, disproved, or modified. 4) Behavior is determined by multiple causes (no ONE cause) a. Behaviors is really complex because there are many factors that come into play 5) Behaviors is shaped by cultural heritage a. Discouragement and encouragement of certain behaviors are different with the many cultures in this world (liberal behavior vs. conservative behaviour) 6) Heredity and environment go hand-in-hand in influencing behavior a. A combination of nature (temperament you are born with) and nurture (environmental influences) 7) Every single person sees the world differently from the next person Empiricism and Dogmatism Empiricism – belief that the world is best understood with careful observation  Ex. Galileo observed the stars and found out that the Earth is NOT the center of the universe  Ex. Columbus’s travels proved that the Earth was round and not flat like it was previously believed to be Dogmatism – belief that the world is best understood if people “who know best” or are “highly knowledgeable” at that point in time make up theories for other people to simply believe  Ex. The Church used to claim that the Earth was the center of the universe. (pre-Galileo)  Ex. It was widely believed that the Earth was flat (pre-Columbus) The Scientific Method – guidelines to finding the relationship between ideas and the evidence found about it (direct connection or no connection)  Conduction of experiments to prove of disprove a hypothesis o The ‘idea’ is called a hypothesis Rule of Parsimony – start with the simplest theory and as more evidence is gathered, work on building onto the existing theory (evidence and new knowledge allows for more complex theories)  Hypotheses need to be falsifiable in order to be valid o Meaning they have equal opportunity to be proven or disproven (H = 1 hypothesis; H 0 “null” hypothesis)  The goal of the scientific method is to refute the “null” hypothesis and support the actual hypothesis  Why must a hypothesis be falsifiable? If it weren’t, then it would be impossible to test! o Examples of hypotheses that are NOT falsifiable  Theories that require a time period much longer than that of a human to be either proven or disproven  Theories regarding non-tangible concepts/ideas  Ex. the existence of aliens  Ex. the existence of God Gathering Evidence  The Empirical Method is used o Are rules and techniques to be followed with observance o Methods include:  Surveys  Questionnaires  Brain activity scans Difficulty in Studying Humans  We can study the amount of brain activity in people BUT we can not study the actual mental processes (unobservable)  3 Factors that Contribute to This Difficulty: o Complexity  Approx. 500mil. Neuron pathways in our brain o Variability  “Everyone’s different” o Reactivity  If people know they are being observed, they are likely to subconsciously act differently than they normally would  Two types of Observation: o Scientific – requires precise measurement techniques (ex. fMRI) o Casual – day-to-day observances of people  Problems:  You may have to wait a LONG time to get data  Bias a
More Less

Related notes for PSYCO105

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.