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PS101 Chapter 1-4 Notes.docx

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Mindi Foster

Claudia Vanderholst Chapter 1—What is Psychology? Psychology: How our physical, mental states and external environment affects our thoughts, feelings and behaviours Brainstorming about Psychologists  Shrink  Psycho analysis  Research  Therapist  Doctor  Mental health  My professor  Operant conditioning  Pavlov’s dog  Marketer  Freud  Brain  Psychopharmacology Brainstorming about Scientists  Bill Nye  Smart  Scientific method  Experiments  Creative  Theories  Factual  Analytical Terms Psychology (Empirical) vs. Pseudoscience (Unsupported popular opinion, Psychobabble aka scientific sounding language) Critical Thinking 1. Ask questions and examine evidence a. Is there a source or citation that supports the evidence thoroughly? b. Is the information relevant? 2. Define your terms a. Example: “Crisis” does it mean buying fancy toys? Or having a psychotic break? 3. Analyze assumptions/biases a. Example: “Rinse and repeat” would you just fall into the marketing trap? 4. Don’t oversimplify a. Science is interested in knowing about groups as a whole, not the individuals Page 1 of 15 Claudia Vanderholst b. Your experience won't necessarily be the truth or generalization c. Experiences aren’t valid, but they don't apply to everyone d. "I know someone who…" does not apply to psychology and its research e. How many people did they test? 5. Avoid emotional reasoning a. Opposition - Emotional intelligence helps you in certain situations (your EQ) b. Make sure you understand both sides, do not ignore valid points/reasoning even if you don’t agree with it c. Avoid preference based opinions over fact based opinions d. Use caution 6. Tolerate uncertainty a. Often, there is evidence to support both sides b. There can’t always be a “right” answer c. Use it to form your own opinions 7. Consider alternative interpretations a. What factors went unnoticed within your own study b. Example: Mid life crisis – is the balding man driving a new Ferrari because of his mid life crisis or because he now has disposable income (because he isn’t supporting his children) History of Psychology Pre-modern (Phrenology): the study of head bumps and how they affected your personality, but it was pseudoscience so it didn’t last long Modern – Evidence-based practice  Structuralism (Introspection): How conscious experience is broken down into its basic elements  Methodology example: Take someone into the lab and ask him or her to be introspective about eating something - train the person to break things down into every sense. What it felt like to open the wrapper? The process of putting it in your mouth? The start of salivating…every detail was important, even the smallest Page 2 of 15 Claudia Vanderholst  Criticism: There were too many various opinions, therefore making it too subjective to be science  Functionalism: Conscious experience is not static, but flows and changes with time and situations  Criticism: There was no methodology or theory behind the science  Psychoanalysis: the affects of behaviour is a function of unconscious desires and conflicts  Criticism: It was not falsifiable, which means that you could never disprove the theory Today’s Psychology Type Topics Focus (Depression) Biological: How our bodies - The nervous system - Too little serotonin can affect behaviour - Hormones lead to depression - Genes Learning: Behaviour is a function of how we learn Behaviourists: learn through - Rewards - Rewarding sadness environmental rewards and - Punishers could lead to punishments depression Socio-cognitive: learn via - Modeled behaviour - They could have seen observation exhibited by their that same behaviour parents from their parents and have learned it Cognitive: Interested in the - Memory - The “depressive higher level thought processes - Language attributional style” - Decision making which leads to - Thought patterns depression - A habit in the way you think - Negative events are your own fault, they can’t change, and they’re global/universal Sociocultural (Social - Culture - How discrimination Psychology): Interested in how - Gender towards minority groups/the environment affects - Religion groups causes our behaviour - Teams depression - Families - Couples Psychodynamic: Studied in - Traumas - Child abuse led to Page 3 of 15 Claudia Vanderholst certain schools and interested - Desires depression in how unconscious motives - Can’t admit you hate affect behaviour your own mother What Psychologists Do? Research Practice Industry ClinicalPsychologist: Psychiatrist:Someone PraticeElsewhere:They Someonewho has their who is a MD and a can be unregulated PHD in Psychologyand specializtion,also the therapistsor have their has trained as a clinician people who can write Master of SocialWork prescriptions (MSW) Doing Psychological Research Theory/hunch: domestication of pets is a good thing for humanity – Hypothesis: derive testable – specifies the relationships between events or variables – characteristic/trait/behaviour that can be measured – pet owners are healthier than non per owners [red words are the variables] – Predictions, with operational definitions: a way of defining variables that specifies the operation or action we use to measure those variables (be more specific: what kind of pet? Number of dogs, Active vs. passive) Pet ownership definition – 1 dog, sterile, 3 year old. Health definition – physical (BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol) vs. mental (happiness, life satisfaction) Types of Descriptive (Classification) Studies Case Studies  Detailed (over time and in depth) description of one person  Compare before and after effects of having a dog Observational Studies  Watch and record behaviour without interfering with participants  Video cameras, visiting the park Tests/Assessment Instruments Page 4 of 15 Claudia Vanderholst  Logistically easier way of collecting data  Standardization: uniform test taking and scoring procedures (BDI Example)  Reliability: scores are consistent o Test – retest: keep on testing to check if you keep getting the same score  Practice effects this o Alternate form: two versions of the same test  Validity: is your test measuring what you think it’s measuring? o Content: adequately reflects your concept o Criterion: does your test reflect behaviours that are related to your concept? Survey  A combination of tests  Biases o Volunteers differ from non volunteers o Self-report data is subject to social desirability bias (we want to appear in a positive light) o Response bias where phrasing affects the results Correlational Studies  A measure oh how strongly and the direction two variable are related  What the statistic correlation actual is  How is pet ownership and health related  Direction: can be positive of negative o (+) When two variables are either increasing or decreasing together o (-) Or inverse relationship when the score go in opposite directions  Strength of correlation (r): -1 _______________________0__________________________+1 o Either perfect negative or positive relationship o For every 1 unit change in one variable, the other variable changes 1 unit as well  Represented by a straight line  Strong: +/- 0.7 – 1.0  Moderate: +/- 0.4 – 0.6  Weak: +/- 0.2 – 0.3  Advantages & disadvantages o Breadth of knowledge (advantage): lots of information, and complex relationships o Illusory correlations (disadvantage): apparent relationships/associations, not empirically supported (ex. Superstitions) o Lack of causation (disadvantage): +r (# appliances and birth control use)  The number of appliances is related to education/income which is related to birth control  The number of appliances does not cause lower/higher use of birth control  There is a potential third variable associated with the other two variables Page 5 of 15 Claudia Vanderholst  Therefore, there is a weaker correlation between the number of appliances and the use of birth control because of the link of education/income Experimental Studies: used when we want to test causation 1. Manipulate something 2. Control for “everything else” a. Control groups b. Random assignment 3. A good control condition is similar to the experimental condition in every possible way except, the IV Hypothesis (pet owners experiance less stress) Independent variable (what the Dependent variable (what is measured as a experiemtner varies/manipulates/causes function of the IV, stress) to happen, pet ownership) Experimental condition Control condition (the presence of the IV) (absence of the IV) Random Assignment: participants have equal chance of being assigned to wither experimental or control condition  But why is this important?  Why does random assignment helps increase control Non-random assignment: does studying lead to good grades? Experimental Control Participant 1 High IQ Participant 5 Low IQ Participant 2 High IQ Participant 6 Low IQ Participant 3 High IQ Participant 7 Low IQ Participant 4 High IQ Participant 8 Low IQ Results A’s F’s  You have therefore not controlled for the alternative explanation of a higher IQ, or the independent variable (IV) Random assignment: does studying lead to good grades? Page 6 of 15 Claudia Vanderholst Experimental Control Participant 1 High IQ Participant 5 Low IQ Participant 2 Low IQ Participant 6 High IQ Participant 3 Low IQ Participant 7 High IQ Participant 4 High IQ Participant 8 Low IQ Results A’s F’s  You have created an equal playing field for the participants of the study  Randomized all other factors (alternative explanations across group/condition  Now they are “equal” on everything except the independent variable (IV)  Therefore studying caused the good grades Advantages/disadvantages of Experiments  Cause & effect (advantage)  Experimenter effect (unintended changes in participants behaviour due to experimenter expectations, disadvantage): expectations influence participant’s behaviours (ex. Teachers expectations of a “late bloomer” led to lower grades o Solution: “double blind study” no one wants which condition they’re in  External validity (disadvantage): will it generalize to the real world? o Therefore, we conduct these studies in the field Evaluating Data with Statistics Visually view the frequency distribution (distribution of scores/how many times each score was indicated)  Histogram (bar graph) Number of Students in Each Program 300 250 200 150 100 Number of Students 50 in Each Program 0  Frequency polygon (line graph) Numerically: measures of central tendency
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