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Reading Notes for PSY1101 from Myer's 9th Ed. Reading notes for Prologue and Ch's 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 11 and 12.

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Robert Brown

MYERS PSYCHOLOGY, 9 TH EDITION READINGS FOR PSY1101 PROLOGUE: THE STORY OF PSYCHOLOGY PROLOGUE: THE STORY OF PSYCHOLOGY (p. 1- 17) Psychologys Roots - Psychology: the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes. Prescientific Psychology - Socrates and Plato concluded that the mind is separate from the body and knowledge is innate - Aristotle believed that soul is not separate from the body, and knowledge grows from experiences - Rene Descartes agreed with Socrates and Plato. He dissected animals and concluded fluid in brains cavities contained animal spirits, which flowed from the brain through nerves to muscles, provoking movement. Memories opened muscles in the brain. He also believed that some ideas were innate. - Francis Bacon: the human understanding, from its peculiar nature, easily supposes a greater degree of order and equality in things than it really finds. - John Locke believed we were born a blank slate, believed in empiricism - Empiricism: the view that a) knowledge comes from experience via the senses, and b) science flourishes through observations and experiments. Psychological Science is Born - Psychologys first experiment: Wilhelm Wundt and associates tried to measure the lag between peoples hearing a ball hit a platform and their pressing a telegraph key. Results: people responded about one-tenth of a second to press a key when told to press the key when the sound was heard, and two-tenths to press the key when they were consciously aware of perceiving the sound (to be aware of ones awareness takes a little bit longer). - He created the first psychology lab in 1879 - Two historical routes of psychology are philosophy and biology Thinking About the Minds Structure - Wundts student Edward Bradford Titchener introduced structuralism. Structuralism: an early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the elementary structure of the human mind. - Titchener did this by self-reflective introspection (looking inward), however this waned due to subjectivity and inconsistency Thinking About the Minds Functions - Functionalism: a school of psychology that focuses on how mental and behavioural processes function how they unable the organism to adapt, survive, and flourish. - William James was a functionalist who, influenced by Darwin, assumed thinking like smelling was adaptive and consciousness serves as a function. He encouraged exploration of down-to-earth emotions, memories, etc. Wrote the book, Principle of Psychology. - Mary Calkins was the first to earn a psychology PhD but was refused. The first to actually receive a psychology PhD was Margaret Floy Washburn who synthesized animal behaviour research in The Animal Mind Psychological Science Develops - Psychology was first described as the science of mental life. (until the 1920s) - Watson most of all dealt with psychology as the scientific study of observable behaviour. Skinner wanted to eliminate the implication of mental processes in analysis - John B Watson and B F Skinner redefined psychology instead of introspection as the scientific study of observable behaviour (behaviourists) - Humanistic psychology: historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth potential of healthy people, used personalized methods to study personality in hopes of fostering personal growth (ex. Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow) Contemporary Psychology Psychologys Big Debate - Nature-nurture issue: the long-lasting controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experiences make to the development of psychological traits and behaviours *see next reading* Psychologys Three Main Levels of Analysis - Levels of analysis: the differing complementary views, from biological to psychological to social-cultural, for analyzing given phenomenon. - The three levels are: biological influences (genes, mutations, genes responding to environment, natural selection), psychological influences (learned fears, emotional responses, cognitive processing, etc), and social-cultural influences (presence of others, culture, peers, media) - All come together for the biopsychosocial approach. Biopsychosocial approach: an integrated perspective that incorporates biological, psychological and social-cultural levels of analysis Psychologys current perspectives: - Neuroscience: how the body and brain enable emotions, memories and sensory experiences - Evolutionary: how the natural selection of traits promotes the perpetuation of ones genes - Behaviour genetics: how much our genes and our environment influence our individual differences - Psychodynamic: how behaviour springs from unconscious drives and conflicts - Behavioural: how we learn observable processes - Cognitive: how we encode, process, store and retrieve info - Social-cultural: how behaviour and thinking vary across situations and cultures Psychologys Subfields - Basic research: pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base - Applied research: scientific study that aims to solve practical problems - industrial/organizational psychology : behaviour in the workplace - Counseling psychology: a branch of psychology that assists people with problems in living and in achieving greater well-being - Clinical psychology: a branch of psychology that studies, assesses, and treats people with psychological disorders - Psychiatry: a branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practiced by physicians who sometimes provide medical treatments as well as psychological therapy CHAPTER 1: THINKING CRITICALLY WITH PSYCHOLOGICALSCIENCE THE NEED FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Did We Know It All Along? Hindsight Bias - hindsight bias: the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it (also called the I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon). Overconfidence - we tend to think we know more than we do - asked how sure we are of our answers to factual questions, we tend to be more confident than correct. - in a survey done by Robert Vallone about the future, on average students felt 84% confident in making self- predictions, though only 71% were correct - hindsight bias and overconfidence often lead us to overestimate our intuition, but science can help us sift reality from illusion The Scientific Attitude - curiosity: a passion to explore and understand without misleading or being misled - empirical approach: letting the facts speak for themselves - humility: an awareness of our own vulnerability to error and an openness to surprises and new perspectives Critical Thinking - critical thinking: thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence and assesses conclusions HOW DO PSYCHOLOGISTS ASK AND ANSWER QUESTIONS? - the scientific method is a self-correcting process for asking questions and observing natures answers - theory: an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and predicts behaviours of events - hypothesis: a testable prediction, often implied by a theory - operational definition: a statement of the procedures (operations) used to define research variables. For example, human intelligence may be operationally defined as what an intelligence test measures - replication: repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances. Description The Case Study - case study: an observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles The Survey - survey: a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviours of a particular group, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of the group Wording Effects - subtle changes in order or wording of questions can have major effects - Ex. people prefer not allowed over forbidden or censoring. Random Sampling - population: all the cases in a group being studied, from which samples may be drawn (note: except for national studies, this does not refer to a countrys whole population) - random sample: a sample that fairly represents a population because each membrane has an equal chance of inclusion Natural Observation - natural observation: observing and recording behaviour in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation Correlation - correlation: a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factors predicts the other - correlation coefficient: a statistical index of the relationship between two things (from -1 to +1) - scatterplots: a graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables. The slope of the points suggests the direction of the relationship between the two variables. The amount of scatter suggests the strength of the correlation (little scatter indicates high correlation) - POSITIVE correlation as something increases, something else increases - NEGATIVE correlation as something increases, something else decreases - correlation indicates the possibi
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