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Lecture 2

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 1000
Professor
Jeffrey Yen
Semester
Fall

Description
PSYC 1000 17/09/2012 Theoretical conundrums in Psychology: The Nature-Nurture Question: • Nature – we share a common origins that gives us an inborn human nature in common o plato: ideas such as “the good” and “beauty” are inborn o Descartes: Some ideas are innate o Darwin: some traits, behaviours, and instincts are part of the nature of the species. • Nurture – we have differences… o Aristotle: All knowledge come though the sense o John Locke: The mind is a blank slate (blank chalkboard or screen) “written on” by experience • Biology Plus Environment are part of psychology’s three “biopsychosocial” levels of analysis • Sometimes culture can influence biology o The “deep” level, Biology: genes, brain, neuro-transmitters, survival, reflexes, sensation o The “outer” level, Environment social influence culture, education, relationships o In the “middle”, Psychology: Thought, emotions, moods, behaviours, trains, motivations, knowledge, perceptions • The three levels as influences on some psychological phenomenon • There are many perspectives for describing psychological phenomena o Cognitive perspective – how reliable is our memory? How can we improve out thinking? o Social cultural – how are our behaviours, skills, and attitudes shape by our culture? o Behavioural genetics – in what ways are our behaviour, skills, and attitudes there result of genetically programmed instincts? o Neuroscience – what toll do our bodies and brains plague in emotions? How is pain inhibits? Can we trust out senses? o Psychodynamic – how do inner childhood conflicts still plague me and affect my behaviour? o Behaviourists- Howa are our problematic behaviours reinforced? o How do out fears becomes conditioned? What can we do to change these fears and behaviours? o Evolutionary – why are humans prone to panic, anger, and making irrational judgements? • Six Blind Men and an Elephant • Psychology’s Subfields • Research o Biological o Developmental o Cognitive o Personality o Social o Positive psychology • Applied o Clinical psychology o Counselling psychology o Educational psychology o Industrial – organizational o Community psychology • Psychiatrists are physicians, M.D.s or D.O.s they can prescribe medication • In addition to psychologists, professional in social work, counselling, marriage and family therapy may be trained to do psychotherapy. Research strategies in Psychology Module 3 • Critical Thinking o Analyse this fictional result: o “People who attend psychotherapy tend to be more depressed than the average person.” Des this mean psychotherapy worsens depression” • The scientific method in psychology • The scientific methods is the process of testing out ideas about the world by o Setting up situations that test our ideas o Making careful, organized observations o Analysing whether the data fits wit our ideas o If the data doesn’t fit out ideas, then we modify out ideas, and test again • Some research findings revealed by the scientific methods: o The brain can recover from massive early childhood brain damage o sleepwalkers are not acting out dreams o Our brains do not have accurate memories locked inside like video files o There is no ‘hidden and unused 90 percent” of our brain o People often change their opinions to fit their actions o The basics  Theory  Hypothesis  Operational definitions  Replication o Research goals/types  Description  Correlation  Prediction  Causation  Experiments • Theory: the big picture o A theory, in the language of science, is a set of principles, built on observations and other verifiable facts, that explains some phenomenon and predicts its future behaviours • Example of a theory” All ADHD symptoms are a reactions to eating sugar” • Hypotheses: informed predictions • A hypothesis is a testable prediction consistent with our theory • “testable” means that the hypothesis is states in a way that could make observations to find out if it is true • To test the “all” part of the theory: “ADHD symptoms will continue for some kids even after sugar Is removed from the diet.” • Danger when testing hypotheses: theories can bias our observations o We might select only the data, or the interpretations of the data, that support that we already believe. There are safeguards against this: o Hypotheses designed to disconfirm o Operational definitions  Guide for making useful observations:  How can we measure “ADHD symptoms” in the previous example in observable terms?  Impulsivity = a # of times/hour calling out without raising hand  Hyperactivity = # of times/hour out of seat  Inattention = # of minutes continuously on task before becoming distracted o Critical theory • The next/ final step in the scientific method: replications o Replicating research means trying it again using the same operational definitions of the concepts and procedures o Could introduce a small change in the study, e.g. trying the ADHD/sugar test on college students instead of elementary students • Research process: the depression example: o Theories example – low-self esteem feeds depression o Leads to your hypotheses example: people with low self-esteem will score higher on a depression scale o Which the leads to research and observations example: administer tests on self-esteem and depression. See if a low score on one predicts a high score on the other. o You then confirm, reject or revise. PSYC 1000 19/09/2012 • Research goal and strategy: description/ qual
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