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Michigan State University
PSY 101

Psych: Evolution of a Science 3/13/2013 8:47:00 AM (PSYCH DAY 1 IN DIFFERENT DOCUMENT) Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. Psychologists engage in the study of psychology in order to understand, explain and predict behavior. The Major Philosophical Issues  Free Will- the way that one behaves is completely determined by whatever spirit moves them. We don‟t know what you are going to do because you don‟t know what you are going to do.  Determinism- Your behavior is determined. It is caused by some specific event of experience, or genes. We can explain all behavior if we understood all factors that influence it. Everything happens for a reason, everything has a specific cause.  Clinical psychology- cognitive, behaviorism Methods of Psychology 3/13/2013 8:47:00 AM Cognitive Psychology- study of mental processes Broadbent (1858) only attend to a limited number of stimuli at a time Miller (1956) studied how much information you could hold in your head at any given time. He determined you can hold about 7 items in your memory (telephone numbers) Opened the floodgates for studying mental processes. Psychology Today  Cognitive neuroscience- studies the links between cognitive processes and brain activity. Karl Lashley made major contribution to neuroscience. He destroyed different regions of the brain in a rat and looked for where memory was stored. He did not come up with the area of the brain where memories was stored. Was not a single area of the brain that was solely responsible for memory. Opened the way for behavioral neuroscience.  Evolutionary Psychology- mind and behavior is explained by adaptive value of abilities preserved by natural selection. Ex. jealousy  Cultural psychology- how cultures reflect and shape the psychology processes of their members. How does culture influence how we think. Does it have a major affect? If so that person is viewed as a relativist. If culture has little effect on the way we think you are an absolutist. 47% of doctorates awarded in psychology are clinical psychologists. Scientific Methods of Psychology  Empiricism- accurate knowledge of the world requires observation. Way of evaluating knowledge through observation.  Science from Latin roots: „scientia‟ meaning “knowledge”  Scientific method- accurate measure of some phenomenon. Serious of guidelines for evaluating claims where claims are in fact hypothesis. Provides a set of principles about the relationship between an idea and evidence. Provides evidence that is probable support for an idea or observation. You cannot prove a fact but you can lend increasingly supportive evidence. What is a theory?  A theory is a comprehensive explanation of observable events and conditions.  A good theory makes precise and consistent predictions.  Falsifiability- can you test it and determine if its true or false.  Parsimony- obeys laws of parsimony. Keep it simple. Good theories are simple. The simpler the explanation the better. Based on the fewest number of assumptions. How do we support claims scientifically?  The scientific word for a claim is hypothesis.  A hypothesis testable prediction  We create hypothesis, develop method to test hypothesis, hypothesis is tested, evaluation is made, you either find results that support hypothesis which leads you to be confident or the opposite and you may find results that don‟t support your hypothesis which means confidence in your hypothesis is diminished. Video is she a witch? Conclusion- she is a witch based on her weight Just goes to show- even if you apply logic and hypothesis testing, confirmation does not prove your claim. Why is observing humans so difficult?  Complexity  Variability  Reactivity Operational definition- defines the property to be measured in concrete terms  Detecting  Defining 3 Properties of a good measure  Validity- the measure and the property are related. The property happiness is related to the measure smiling. They are linked to each other.  Reliability- every time you go out to measure you get the same response, it is a reliable response.  Power- detect differences in the measure, when differences exist. Big smile should be dramatic change in emg response. When you are not smiling you should not have the same high emg response. Detecting differences in the measuring of emg response. Population Samples  The small number of individuals or observations is called a sample. Types  Convenience sample- convenient sample, just choosing by hanging around people leaving a store and whoever answers is part of sample. Not chosen for any particular reason.  Random sample- any individual has the same probability of being selected into a specific group as anyone else. Observer Bias- unintentional distortion of procedures/results based on expectations Counteracting Experimenter bias:  Blind observations  Placebo control- treatment that makes if difficult for subjects (single-blind) or subjects and experimenter (double-blind) to know who has received the treatment and who has not. General Principals of Research  Experiment: a study in which the investigator manipulates at least one variable (independent) while measuring at least one other variable.  Independent variable: manipulated variable, e.g. exposure to media violence  Dependent variable: measures variable, e.g. aggression Observational (non-experimental)  Naturalistic Observation- careful monitoring and examination of what subjects do under natural circumstances.  Demand Characteristics Observational Research Design  Case Study- a thorough observation of a single individual.  Survey- study of beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors based on response to specific questions. Correlation Studies  Correlation is a measure of the relationship between two variables.  Correlation coefficient- can range from -1.0 to +1.0 Some problems with interpreting correlation research: correlation is not equal to causation Third variable correlation Descriptions-frequency distribution  Normal or Gaussian distribution  Skewed distribution Measures of variability- range and standard deviation Ethical concerns in research involving human subjects  Use of informed consent  Institutional research board (IRB) approval  Debriefing Criteria for care and use of animals are established by professional organizations APA the Neuroscience society animal care committees at research institutions Neuroscience and Behavior ch. 3 3/13/2013 8:47:00 AM Franz Gall- phrenology Nervous System Cells  Neurons are a unique type of cell that can receive and transmit information electrochemically.  Gila are the support cells. Anatomy of a neuron  Neurons have a variety of shapes.  3 basic parts: dendrites, cell body, axon Neuron types  Sensory  Motor  Interneuron Action Potential  An action potential is an excitation that travels along the axon.  An action potential is an all-or-none process. Resting and Action Potential (diagram in book) Resting potential- difference in voltage between inside and outside cell membrane  During an action potential, sodium (Na+) gates open, Na+ ions enter the axon.  After an action potential, Na+ close, potassium (K+) gates open, and K+ flow out of the axon. Synapse is a specialized junction between two neurons where chemical messages cross from one to the other Neurotransmitters and Behavior  Parkinson‟s disease- linked to a gradual loss of the neurotransmitter dopamine (table 3.1 neurotransmitters and their functions) acetylcholine, dopamine, glutamate, GABA, norepinephrine, serotonin, endorphins  A drug that can act at the synapse on a specific receptor site The Major divisions of the Nervous System  Peripheral, central  Peripheral- autonomic, somatic Central Nervous system- brain, spinal cord Peripheral Nervous System Somatic- controls voluntary muscles and conveys sensory information to the central nervous system Autonomic- controls involuntary muscles  Sympathetic: expends energy  Parasympathetic: conserves energy The Sp
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