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Psychology 1000 Lecture Notes - Operational Definition, Sleep Deprivation, Lesion

Course Code
PSYCH 1000
Nick Skinner

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David Molnar October 4, 2011
Psychology 1000 - Lecture 3 - The Science of
1. Definition of
2. Methods in
3. Descriptive
4. Experimental
a. characteristics
b. variables
c. drawbacks
Descriptive methods employ systematic observation
Explanatory methods employ systematic _________
Most experiments take place in laboratories. Can also be done outside of the lab in field
Experimental method is a matter of logic NOT location.
Experimental method has two main characteristics
-Primary characteristic is Control over the conditions/factors that rise to the behaviors
of interest. (Rats raised in dark vs. in visually enriched environment to learn visual
-Rat is placed on platform that can fling rat onto next platform with two blocks,
one with triangle picture on left and circle picture on right, the pit contains
cats.The picture with circle contains rat food behind it. Can the rat differentiate
between two visual discriminations if raised in darkness or if raised in a visually
enriched environment?
-Hypothesis: Rat raised in dark would have more difficulty distinguishing which
cube contains rat food. Therefore hypothesis would be rats raised in visually
enriched environment would have less difficulty distinguishing between both
-Have they learned a visual discrimination or have the simply learned a position
preference? To correct this: Change the positions of the pictures so that the
circle is on the left and triangle is now on the right.
-External motivator: Would the rats learn to run the maze faster if the amount of food at
the end was larger?
-Internal motivator: Start with homogeneous rats of different groups, one group of rats
has not eaten in two hours and the others have not eaten in two days, two weeks, two
months. would the hungrier rats run the maze faster than the ones that has eaten
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