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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 (September 13th, 2012).pdf

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY100H1
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Winter

Description
Lecture 2 (September 13 , 2012) th Morad Moazami Research  Methods  in  Psychology:     A  Brief  History  of  Psychology:     Highlights  from  the  History  of  Psychology:     A  German  named  Wilhelm  Wundt  from  the  1870s  has  been  formally  given  the  title  of  the  first   psychologist.  He  believed  in  explaining  basic  mental  processes  using  the  scientific  method.  He   had  a  pendulum  that  swung  along  a  metered  scale,  and  it  would  ring  a  bell  at  positions  “a”  or   “b”  and  when  he  heard  the  bell  ring,  it  was  never  exactly  at  “a”  or  “b”  but  somewhere  away   from  it,  so  he  concluded  that  you  could  only  have  one  thought  at  a  time,  and  you  had  the   choice  to  choose  what  you  chose  to  think.  And  he  calculated  the  time  frame  that  would   happen.     He  used  a  method  called  “introspection”  and  that  means  he  would  ask  people  what  they  were   perceiving.  He’d  show  them  something  and  ask  them  to  explain  what  they  see  or  feel.     Edward  Titchener  was  a  student  of  Wundt’s  who  believed  psychologists  should  study   consciousness  (the  “sum  total  of  mental  experience  at  any  given  moment),  but  unlike  Wundt,   he  was  more  interested  in  describing  conscious  experience  that  explaining  it.  He  had  a  very   complicated  relationship  with  women  –  especially  in  psychology,  where  no  women  were   allowed  to  join  “The  Experimentalists”  (a  psychology  group).  Titchener  focused  on   consciousness  and  he  was  interested  in  how  we  describe  consciousness,  and  what  he  believed   was  that  we  could  understand  consciousness  by  breaking  it  down  to  its  parts,  and  describing   these  all  in  order  to  make  up  consciousness.     Darwin’s  theory  of  natural  selection  played  a  significant  role  in  the  development  of  both   functionalism  and  behaviorism.     William  James  was  against  structuralism;  rather  he  believed  in  stream  of  consciousness,  that   the  mind  was  constantly  changing.  What  James  believed  was  that  he  was  the  first   functionalism.  Functionalism  believes  that  the  mind  can  be  adaptive.  Those  who  are  better   adapted  to  the  environment  can  pass  their  best  genetic  material  to  their  off-­‐spring.  He  believed   that  the  mind  is  adaptive,  that  helps  people  survive.     This  functional  perspective  is  alive  and  well  and  seen  throughout  psychology,  unlike   structuralism  which  died  out  due  to  rejection  of  its  findings.     Behaviorism  came  along  in  the  1950s  with  Watson,  Pavlov  and  Skinner.  These  people  thought   that  they  don’t  need  introspection  at  all.  They  should  be  focused  on  those  things  that  they   could  directly  observe  and  measure.  They  wanted  to  focus  on  people’s  overt  behavior.       Watson  was  a  radical  environmentalist.  The  behaviorist  stood  on  the  “nurture”  side  of   everything  in  the  “nature  vs.  nurture”  debate.  It  was  all  nurture  and  environment  that  made   you  who  you  are  with  Watson.     Skinner  is  known  for  token  economies.  That  is  a  practice  done  in  school  systems,  prisons,  where   you  reward  good  behavior  to  get  people  to  do  what  you  want.  You  give  them  a  reward  and  it   encourages  them  to  do  well.     The  problem  for  behaviorists  was  the  fact  that  there  was  this  work  being  done  that  people   were  not  learning  things  through  token  rewards  (like  the  chimp  who  spat  water  to  get  to  the   nut),  but  they  were  learning  through  insight,  and  this  was  a  problem  for  behaviorists,  because   they  realized  that  there  may  be  actual  mental  processes  that  were  going  on.     So  the  Cognitive  Revolution  took  place  in  psychology  in  the  1970s.     Observation  is  the  heart  of  science.     What  Is  Science?       Science  isnt  defined  by  what  is  being  studied,  but  how  its  being  studied.     Four  Canons  of  Science:     There  are  four  canons  of  science.     The  first  is  the  idea  of  Determinism.  It  is  the  idea  that  the  universe  isn't  random,  things  can  be   predicted.  That  there  are  systematic  causes  of  things,  because  without  it  theories  wouldn’t   work.  We  need  things  to  be  orderly  for  anything  to  have  any  purpose.   • Theories:  Statements  about  the  causal  relation  between  two  or  more  variables.   • Variables:  A  characteristic  or  condition  that  changes  or  has  different  values  for   different  individuals.     The  second  is  Empiricism:  That  the  best  way  of  figuring  out  these  orderly  principles  is  by   collecting  data  or  making  observations.       The  third  is  Parsimony.  It  is  also  known  as  the  “Occam’s  razor.”  This  means  that  when  we  have   two  competing  theories  that  do  an  equally  good  job  of  explaining  a  set  of  empirical   observations,  we  should  prefer  the  simpler  of  the  two.     Finally,  there  is  Testability.  This  is  the  idea  that  a  scientific  theory  has  to  be  testable,  and  has  to   be  confirmed  or  supported  or  disconfirmed,  using  currently  available  research  techniques.   • Falsifiability:  It  must  be  possible,  in  principle,  to  make  an  observation  that  would   show  the  hypothesis/theory  to  be  false.   o An  unfalsifiable  theory  would  be  something  that  no  one  could  ever  prove  as   false.     • Operational  definitions:  We  need  to  be  able  to  measure  these  variables  that  we  are   interested  in.  There  must  be  definitions  of  theoretical  constructs  that  are  stated  in   term  of  concrete,  observable  procedures.     Operational  Definitions:     Sometimes  variables  are  well-­‐defined  and  easily  measured,  but  a  lot  of  the  things  that   psychologists  are  interested  in  are  variables  that  are  not  well  defined  and  cannot  be  directly   observed.     Constructs  are  internal  attributes  or  characteristics  that  cannot  be  directly  observed  but  are   useful  for  describing  and  explaining  behavior.     For  example,  there  are  a  number  of  different  ways  we  could  see  how  intoxicated  how   somebody  is.  We  could  use  a  physiological  measure  (blood  alcohol  content),  behavioral   measure  (walking  a  straight  line),  or  we  may  have  a  self-­‐reported  measure  (most  people  are   able  to  tell  you  if  they  are  intoxicated  or  not,  for  example).       Science  and  psychologists  use  the  scientific  method.  First  you  hypothesize  which  is  a  prediction   based  on  the  theory.  Then  you  operationalize  it,  and  then  you  measure  it,  and  then  you  have  to   evaluate  what  you  found.  Then  based  on  that  you  are  going  to  go  and  see  if  you  are  going  to   replicate  it,  revise  it,  report  it,  etc.     HOMER:  Hypothesize,  Operationalize,  Measure,  Evaluate,  Replicate/revise/report.     A  single  study  –  even  a  brilliant  single  study  –  on  its  own,  does  not  tell  you  much.  You  need  lots   of  studies  before  a  theory  is  fully  established  in  the  field.     Study  Designs:     There  are  three  types  of  study  designs,  different  in  the  control  they  give  to  the  experimenters   and  researchers.  These  are:  Descriptive  (least  control),  Correlational  (some  control),   Experimental  (most  control).     Descriptive  Studies:     Naturalistic  observation:  You  are  going  out  in  the  world  and  you  are  passively  observing   everything  that  is  going  on  in  real  life.  Observers  do  not  change  or  alter  ongoing  behavior.  You   observe  how  people  act  towards  one  another  on  the  bus,  for  example.       Participant  observation:  An  observational  technique  when  you're  actively  involved  in  a   situation.  The  researcher  goes  out  and  lives  with  a  tribe  for  a  year,  for  example.  This  is  active   observation.       Descriptive  studies  are  used  to  come  up  with  predictions  and  specific  hypotheses  to  go  out  and   test.     Correlational  Studies:     A  correlational  study  does  not  involve  any  manipulation.  You  are  not  manipulating  any  variable   in  your  study.  You  look  at  two  variable  and  see  if  there  is  any  relationship  between  the  two   variables.       We  cannot  conclude  based  on  correlational  studies  that  correlation  is  causation.  There  are   three  reasons  we  cant  make  that  conclusion.  The  first  is  the  Third  Variable  Problem.  The  second   is  the  Directionality  Problem  –  we  cant  say  that  A  is  causing  B.  The  Third  Variable  Problem   refers  to  the  fact  that  there  might  be  some  third  variable  that  we  haven't  considered  that  may   be  causing  our  changes  in  A  and  B.       Correlational  studies  tell  us  about  relationships  between  variables.  That  some  of  relationship   exists  between  our  two  variables.  And  in  the  case  of  a  relationship  between  the  presence  of   People  for  Good  billboards  and  the  amount  of  shoving  at  train  stations,  the  relationship  is   negative,  because  the  more  billboards  there  are,  the  less  shoving  happens.     A  confounding  variable  means  that  there  is  a  kind  of  variable  that  is  varying  systematically  with   our  to  correlations.       Sometimes  researchers  have  no  choice  but  to  rely  on  correlational  studies.  When  it  is  unethical,   or  impossible,  to  manipulate  variables  or  use  random  assignments.     We  have  to  sometimes  rely  on  correlations  because  its  simply  all  we  have.     Experiments:     Experiments  are  the  cornerstones  of  psychology.  They  involve  manipulateing  the  variables  of   interest,  while  keeping  everything  else  consistent  between  the  different  conditions
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