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Lecture

Chapter 1-4 Notes .docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
Psychology 1000
Professor
Erica Lawson

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Reading Notes Chapter 1 9/12/2011 12:11:00 PM Psychology: scientific study of behaviour and the mind Behavior: actions and responses we can directly observe Mind: internal states and processes (ex: feelings, thoughts) that cant be seen and must be inferred Clinical psychology: study and treatment of mental disorders Cognitive psychology: study of mental process from a view that the mind is an information processor Examine consciousness, attention, memory, decision making and problem solving Psycholinguistics: psychology of language Psychology Subfields Biopsychology: how brain processes, genes and hormones influence our behavior Developmental psychology: examines human physical, psychological and social development cross lifespan Experimental psychology: basic processes such as learning, sensory systems (ex: vision, hearing), perception and motivational states (ex: sexual motivation, hunger, thirst) Industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology: peoples behavior in workplace (ex: leadership, teamwork, job satisfaction, performance, etc) Personality psychology: identify core personality traits and how different traits relate/influence one another Social psychology: how people influence one another, behave in groups, form impressions and attitude, etc Empirical evidence: evidence gained through experience and observation Psychologys Goals 1. To describe how people and other animals behave 2. To explain and understand the causes of these behaviors 3. To predict how people and animals will behave under certain conditions 4. To influence or control behavior through knowledge and control of its causes to enhance human welfare Levels of Analysis Behavior and its causes can be examined at the Biological level ex: brain processes, genetic influences, hormones Psychological level ex: thoughts, feelings and motives, cognitive perspective, memory Environmental level ex: past and current physical/social environments that were exposed to, sociocultural perspective, stimuli in the environment Mind-body Interactions: the relations between mental processes in brain and functioning of other bodily systems Mind-body dualism: belief that mind is a spiritual entity not subject to psychical laws that govern the body Monism: mind and body are one, mind is not seperate spiritual entity Structuralism: analysis of mind in terms of its basic elements Exposed to stimuli, then asked to describe experiences Functionalism: study functions of consciousness rather than its structure Why do we have this? How do they help us adapt to environment? Psychodynamic perspective: searches for causes of behavior within inner workings of our personality, focusing on role of unconscious processes Sigmund Freud developed first and most controversial psychodynamic theory Psychoanalysis: analysis of internal and primarily unconscious psychological forces Behavioral perspective: focuses on role of external environment in governing our actions Cognitive behaviorism: learning experiences and environment affect our behavior by giving us information we need to behave Humanistic perspective: free will, personal growth and attempt to find meaning in ones life Cognitive perspective: examines nature of mind and how mental processes influence behavior Cultural psychology: explores how culture is transmitted to its members and psychological similarities/differences among people from diverse cultures Biological perspective: examines how brain processes and other bodily functions regulate behavior Behavioral neuroscience (also called physiological psychology): examines brain processes and other physiological functions that underlie our behavior, sensory experiences, emotions and thoughts o Karl Lashley pioneer of behavioral neuroscience o He trained rats to run mazes, observed how damaging different areas of brain affect rats memory and learning Neurotransmitters: chemicals released by nerve cells that allow them to communicate with another Behavior genetics: study of how behavioral tendencies are influenced by genetic factors Natural Selection: an inherited trait gives certain members of a species an advantage over others to survive These members survive and their traits are passed on to offspring Charles Darwin: Theory of Evolution Evolutionary Psychology: seeks to explain how evolution shaped modern human behavior Sociobiology: complex social behaviors built into human species as product of evolution o Natural selection favors behavior that increases ability to pass on ones genes to next generation ** Pg. 24: Chart that compares Six Major Perspectives on Human Behavior Reading Notes Chapter 2 9/12/2011 12:11:00 PM scientific attitudes: curiosity, skepticism and open-mindedness are driving forces behind scientific inquiry diffusion of responsibility: psychological state where each person feels decreased personal responsibility for intervening Steps in the Scientific Process 1. Identify a question of interest 2. Gather information and form a hypothesis - Hypothesis: specific prediction about some phenomenon - If-Then statement: If, then 3. Test hypothesis by conducting research 4. Analyze data, draw tentative conclusions and report findings 5. Build a body of knowledge - theory: set of formal statements that explains how and why certain events are related to one another hindsight (after-the-fact understanding) not a good approach to understanding behavior o relying on hindsight reasoning: past events can be xplained for variety of reasons Characteristics of a Good Theory o Organizes information in meaningful way o Testable o Predictions made by theory supported by findings of new research o Conforms to Law of Parsimony: if 2 theories can explain and predict same phenomenon, the simpler of the 2 is preferred Variable: any characteristic or factor that can vary (ex: height, weight, age, etc) Operational Definition: defines a variable in terms of the specific procedures used to produce or measure it Social desirability bias: self-reports are distorted by tendency to respond in a socially acceptable manners rather than the truth Psychological tests: tests to measure various variables (ex: personality test, intelligence tests Physiological measures: physiological responses to assess what people are experiencing (ex: heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, etc) Methods of Research
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