Introduction to Psychology Lecture notes for first lecture.
Wed. Sept. 15/10
Introduction to Psychology
Psychology is the study of mental processing’s and behaviours whether human or
Psychologists base conclusions on concrete evidence
Psychology is based on research.
Soldiers with a higher intelligence developed more stress disorders then soldiers
who we less intelligent. They have a greater awareness of dangers and negative
aspects causing them to stress. (What you don’t know can’t hurt you). – Not true.
People with lower intelligence had developed more stress disorders rather than
people who had a higher intelligence.
It is so easy to come up with after the fact explanations, but it does not make it
true which is why psychologists research rather than automatically having a
conclusion on a subject through common sense.
Scientific Method – Based on scientific research.
1. Can confirm theory
2. Provide New Facts
Leading to new theories
Theory: Frustration causes Aggression
Operational Definiton: Define things very specifically so that if other doctors want to replicate your
study they would be able to do it exactly.
Ex. Bunch of 5 year olds in a room in a cabin with windows full of action figures. Says only look at them
don’t play with them. Researcher frustrating them. (Operationalizing by explaining how she is frustrating
the 5 year olds). (What is going to qualify as an aggressive act).
Conduct a study: Provide 1 group of children that can play with the action figures and 1 group that cant.
Hypothesis: I predict that if it is true that frustration causes aggression then the children who are not
allowed to play with action figures will become frustrated and more aggressive.
Has your study proved the theory is true? Would I find the same answer with 10 year olds? Or adults?
Are there any biases in your study? (Ex. Children that have behavioural problems from home or
The study has supported and confirmed the theory and is inline of the theory but doesn’t prove it. You
can never prove a theory.
If you conducted a study and found that there was no type of aggression in no two groups of kids. You
may want to make a modification to your study. Maybe something could happen that you didn’t expect
and want to study that.
If both groups are aggressive it may be that frustration had nothing to do with it and they might just be
having fun and may become naturally aggressive.
The results of 1 single study is just 1 link of a chain, not important until you have 100s of different
studies that links to your other previous studies.
NEVER CHANGE THEORY TO REFLECT YOUR FINDINGS. That doesn’t follow the scientific method.
The theory may evolve or change from results of studies.
Overview of how studies are conducted.