PSY 110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Central Nervous System, Caffeine, Efferent Nerve Fiber

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8 Feb 2017

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I. Studying Human Behavior (cont’d)
A. Experimental Method
1. Manipulate one variable and study the effects on another variable
a) Independent Variable (IV)
(1) Variable that is manipulated
(2) Its effect on another variable is being studied
(3) e.g., caffeine intake
b) Dependent Variable (DV)
(1) Variable is not directly manipulated
(2) Expected to change in response to the IV manipulation
(3) e.g., exam grades
2. Sets of participants treated differently:
a) Experimental group - exposed to some manipulation of the IV
b) Control group - receives no treatment; a comparison group
c) May want to have a Placebo group
(1) Placebo = inactive condition
(2) Used to rule out expectancy effects
3. Participants must be assigned to groups randomly
a) Ensures groups are alike in all respects except the IV
b) Differences between groups on the DV are then assumed to be a
result of the IV manipulation
4. CAN show causation if carried out properly
5. But, how much can we generalize to real life?
I. The Nervous System
A. Neurons connect to make pathways throughout the body
B. Central Nervous System
1. Brain
2. Spinal Cord
a) Connects brain with rest of nervous system
b) Two kinds of pathways:
(1) Afferent
(a) Sensory neurons
(b) Carry information to the brain
(2) Efferent
(a) Motor (movement) neurons
(b) Carry information away from the brain
c) Afferent and efferent pathways work together
(1) Afferent neurons communicate stimuli to brain
(2) Neurons in brain “decide” what to do with it
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