Normal distribution (hypothetical):
Is important in Psychology for 2 reasons:
1. Most psych variables are normally distributed when a large sample is used: EX. if you
were to measure the intelligence of an entire population, you would find they follow
normal distribution; most scores would be average, very few would have extremely
low/high (genius) level scores.
2. It provides a precise way of determining how people compare to one another
Provide us with a way of determining how much confidence we can have in results obtained from
samples by telling us how likely it is that our results are due only to chance. EX. Doing a study on effect
of alcohol on memory. The larger the sample is the better representation of the proximity of the
population. You’re assuming the results that you find with this study, this will also hold true for the
IQ 125 122
Could these apparent differences be due to chance? All the smart ones may have by chance ended in
the braino group (fluke). You don’t know if your results are REAL.
Real: you would find this result in the population. = your results are statistically significant.
Probability level (P):
If P is equal or less that 0.05 then results are significant
If P is greater than 0.05 then results are just due to chance
If P = 0.05=5%=5/100 (95% sure your results are real)
BIOPSYCOSOCIAL approach to Psych:
Biology plus environment.. are part of psychology’s three “bio psychosocial” level of analysis.
-The deep level, Biology: genes, brain, neuro-transmitters, survival, reflexes sensation.
-In the middle, Psychology: thoughts, emotions, moods, choices, behaviours, traits, motivations,
knowledge, and perception
-The outer level, Environment: social influences, culture, education, relationships Friday, September-28-12
Psychoanalytic Perspective (Freud) : a general approach of explaining behaviour. We are governed or
controlled by unconscious forces. Why is someone behaving the way they are? Because of something
going on in their unconscious they are not aware of.
Psychodynamic : was derived from Freud’s psychoanalytic perspective.
Instincts: base building block.
a) Life instincts: engage in behaviours to sustain life. Libido: sexual instincts
b) Death instincts: aggressive and destructive behaviour. He believed depression is self-destructive
Structures of personality: he believed these 3 structures interacted at an unconscious level and
impacted our personality.
1. ID: contains the instincts, only structure present at birth.
- Unconscious and has no contact with reality.
- Irrational and amoral: it doesn’t make sense, you can’t satisfy the urges.
- When tension builds, the id seeks