PS101 Lecture Notes - Edward B. Titchener, Sound Localization, Vestibular System

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2 Feb 2013
History of Psychology
-started earliest pages of recorded history, and when people wondered about human nature and human behavior
Psychology = Philosophy, no unique domain of psychology
-philosophers were the ones arguing about what it was to be “human” and to “experience things”
Founder of psychology 1879 Wilhelm Wundt from Leipzig, Germany
-conducted experiments, but not like today
(Questioned experience, belief that all “experience” could be reduced to basic elements)
Goal: define/explain the structure of conscious experience
What kind of experiments did they do? Reaction times, attention span, perception of visual stimuli touch and
Structuralism 101
-belief that all experience could be reduced to basic elements, could identify the structures (like building blocks, or
elements in a chemistry reaction)
-used introspection
PROBLEM Lots of criticism not objective because stimulus stays the same but reported experience could
change changes within and across people.
Functionalism 101
-focus not on structure of consciousness but with how mental processes function
-how do we use mental processes to adapt/survive?
PURPOSE of why we do what we do, and whether it helps us stay alive
-scope of psychology increases included behaviours (as well as mental processes) and includes children, animals,
intellectually challenged.
Why was it preferred? These groups excluded because couldn’t be trained to do introspection
-babies holding onto finger help with survival of baby because parents connect with children
-influenced by Darwin (origin of species by natural selection) and Galton (genetic inheritance on mental abilities)
William James advocated for functionalism wrote a book Principles of Psychology
Mental processes are fluid (not rigid like structuralism)
Structuralism versus Functionalism
Behaviourism what you can see is what is measurable (brought us “time out” when you are bad)
-don’t care how you feel or what you care about
Science or Common Sense
A science is a science NOT because of the nature of its discipline, or because of the subject matter but because of
the approach it uses, it’s the use of the scientific method that makes psychology a science.
Homework: read chapter two, go on PREP and start doing shtrufff !
What is Déjà vu?
-Epilepsy research (temporal lobes) decreased activity in Para hippocampal region of brain
-Perception split second timing different in neural pathways for what versus where info is.
Cognitive memory retrieval cues
What are the 4 goals?
Describe usually the first step in understanding behaviour or mental processes
-answers “what” questions
-observe, record, generate data
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-naturalistic observation and laboratory observation, case study
*describing picture of curious George, he is holding a bucket, his hand is under water, there is a
fish (not making any assumptions)
Explain researchers try to understand the causes of the behaviour/mental processes
-answers “why” something occurs
-requires testing, re-testing, confirmation
Predict when researchers can specify conditions which will likely cause the behaviour or
cognitive process to occur
-answers the “when” question
-Cause and effect experiment/quasi-experiment
Control/influence when researchers can change a condition or manipulate something to bring about
desired outcomes
-prevent some behaviors; increase others
-experiment/quasi experiment
Methods to achieve the goals:
Naturalistic and laboratory observations playground versus big brother
Case studies special samples
Surveys big samples/self-report
-a prediction, a cause-effect relationship, manipulation
-example: type of studying and test performance
Independent variables the one you manipulate
Dependent variables the one that you measure/record
Experimental groups gets the manipulation
Control groups equivalent BUT does not get the manipulation/treatment, eliminates extraneous variables
(extraneous anything in environment that you couldn’t anticipate that could affect outcome)
wood73067 course ID
PET408 course ID to register for Pearson simulation results
September 20th, 2012
Answers to Assignment #1
The experimenters were testing whether sematic memory questions to outperform structural or kinetic.
Independent variable?
whether you remember the most of the sematic words, or the rhyming and capital ones
Dependent variable?
how many words you remembered that were each kind of word
Experimental group?
We were the experimental group
Control Group?
We were the control group
Pros and Cons of experimental methods
Pros (can establish cause and effect)
Limitations to overcome (selection bias)
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*cannot cherry pick your audience to get the outcome you want
(testing if studying will increase your mark, can’t select Einstein, Stephan hawking, homer, and Bullwinkle)
The cure for selection bias?
Random selection (every fifth person gets tested), random assignment (randomly assign woman, then randomly
assign men, too make sure you have the same amount of each gender, but different woman and men go in
different groups randomly)
Cons of experimental methods:
-experimenter bias (when researchers preconceived ideas cause them of find what they expect to find, can
influence the participant or the researcher)
E.g. can be subtle head nod, smile. (E.g. what’s the magic word? if you don’t come up with it the parent will head
nod and edge you along)
Placebo effect (response to the manipulation is due to expectations not the manipulation)
E.g. given sugar pill instead of pain medication, but psychologically think that the pain is actually less
The cure for experimenter bias and placebo effects:
Blind and double blind techniques (participants don’t know what the experiment is, whether they are getting
the sugar pill or the medication, and the experimenter is removed from the setting so they can’t hint at people
which one they have; the watch from a removed room)
Hire RA’s and remove experimenter (RA’s don’t know what the pills are for, just hand them out)
Summary of Biases:
Design concerns?
-selection bias (cure: random sampling/random assignment)
-experimenter bias (cure: blind/double blind)
-placebo (cure: exposure control group)
Outcomes of Experiments
-review scores in your group-group beside you
-measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode… )
Not everyone gets the same score
-expect a distribution (normal distribution (bell shapes)) a few at each side, most people in middle
-measure variability (gives how much variability a score has from the mean)
Little variability all bunched up close to the mean
Lots of variability wide curve
Standard deviation is an index score based on the distribution
-tells where in relation to the general plot of scores, the score falls
Inferential Statistics:
-used to test hypotheses
-lots of different tests selected on the basis of the characteristics of the study
E.g. t-test (tests difference between mean scores) or analysis of variance (the number of people within the
“mean”… if 69% of group get average between 71.8 and 72.2 and you get a 74 you are superb, while if the 10% is
71-72, even though average is 71.5, the spread is grand and you are not that significantly high, the difference isn’t
statistically exciting)
-try to determine if the results are due to chance or not
Statistical significance reliable no “important”
-compare the mean score of the sematic, rhyming, and phonemic words (based on groups not individuals)
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