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PSYB21H3 (25)
Lisa Dack (11)

Full Semester Lecture Notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Lisa Dack

1/19/2012 4:31:00 PM Understanding Research Teachers do research: o to understand what is high quality research o learn how to collect efficient research for their own ideas o help students conduct research o sometimes it goes against common sense, so it is good to be informed on current research Some definitions: o Research design o Research Question o Hypothesis o Variable o Independent Variable o Dependent Variable Case Study An in-depth investigation of one person or a small group. Used when there just arent many people to study May learn a lot about the small group, but its hard to generalize because they could be weird cases. Vulnerable to observer bias. Cant make conclusions about them Experimental Studies Used to determine cause and effect. Participants are randomly selected and randomly assigned to either a control or experimental group 3 essential characteristics: o researcher manipulates one variable o researcher measures whether this variable produces changes in another variable o researcher attempts to control for other factors that might influence results Correlational Study Tell us what factors are associated in a positive or negative way. Used because they are easier to do, and for ethical reasons. Advantages: Show relationships that are already established. Disadvantages: Show an associated not a cause. The variables can have a positive or negative correlation. Positive correlation: X and Y variables are going up Negative correlation: X is increasing, Y is decreasing. 3 Types of correlation o A causes B o B causes A o C causes A and B Action Research Carried out by teachers, administrators, etc. to improve the educational environments Goal is to understand a problem or to improve teaching practices Encourages teachers to problem solve and to think critically about their own teaching practices. Image on page 37 Judging Study Quality Generalizability Reliability Replication Physical Development 19/01/2012 4:31:00 PM Prenatal Development Period From conception to birth Follows a universal sequence that is mainly directed by genetic influences. But the environment can influence this development to a great extent. Teratogens: any environmental substance or disease that causes abnormal development of the fetus. They are most harmful early on in the pregnancy, when the body parts and major organs are being formed. o Examples: Alcohol, nicotine, prescription drugs, radiation, etc. High-Risk Infants Most babies are born between 38 and 42 weeks and usually weigh between 5 and 10 pounds. Risk factors increase as the period of gestation and weight decreases. Babies born with a low birth weight are higher risk Most common causes of low birth weight are prematurity, poor nutrition, and poor prenatal care. Also maternal age, her health, time since last pregnancy, etc. Implications of Being Low-Birth-Weight Children born with a low birth weight are more likely to have mild learning disabilities, attention and concentration problems, asthma, and language delays Brain Development Neural Plasticity o The ability of our brains to change in structure and function o Our brains are experience-expectant. They are programmed to do certain things, but the environment affects how this plays out. o Neurons that receive stimulation from the environment connections and develop others die out. This process is called pruning. The ones we use develop and flourish, ones we dont use just disappear. Critical Period o This is an issue of debate o We know that our brains have less plasticity as we get older, but we also know that we can gain new abilities with practice and can recover function after injury. Recovery After Injury o Sometimes after injury certain functions are never regained, but sometimes other areas of the brain will compensate. o The earlier the damage is sustained, the more likely they are to recover o However, sometimes adults can often recover from an injury Surviving neurons may modify their structure or function New cells may develop Left Brain Right Brain o 2 hemispheres of the brain that are connected to each other through the corpus callosum o the left side controls the right side of the body. Right side of the brain controls the left side of the body. o Some functions are localized to one hemisphere Left: verbal, math, logical. More active when experiencing positive emotions Right: Spatial relations, melodies. More active when experiencing negative emotions. o Though often thought true. There is no strong scientific evidence to categorize individual differences in learning styles according to left and right brain hemisphere specialization. o Both sides of the brain influence cognitive functioning than was previously thought. Perceptual Development Childrens ability to process sensory information Visual Perception o Vision at birth Newborns can look at objects an follow it to keep them in view They cant see more than 7 or 8 inches in front of them Adult like vision by 12 months
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