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1. Psych as a science and research methods.docx

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Northeastern University
PSYC 1101

Psych 101 6/29/09 Psychology as a science Psychology- the study of behavior and mental processes 2 types Scientific psychology Basic research Data collection and analysis Applied psychology Industry (organization for business) Law Education (counselors) Child rearing Young field- 125 years Governed by dominant perspectives or models A model defines a field of investigation Problems to be studied or methods of research Asks questions in a systematic way The systematic study of behavior and mental processes Systematic- following the rules of science Psych as a science Rules of science Hypothesis Testable Replicable Others produce similar results Behavior- directly observable Mental and physiological process- not observable History of psych as a science How did we come to study psych as a science? How did the models change over the history of the field? Wilhelm Wundt Founder of scientific psychology First research lab (Germany) Used introspection to understand the nature of consciousness and immediate experience Studied sensation, perception, emotion Elements of consciousness Studied “you are what you’re built from Model: STRUCTURALISM Gestalt Psychology Structuralism too much introspection Consciousness not to be explained by looking at the parts “the sum of the whole is greater than its parts” this was a retort or criticism of STRUCTURALISM not a model! The model was changed in light of this Went from “what are the pieces?” to “why do we need them?” William James Novelist Influenced by Darwin Disagreed with Wundt Interested in the adaptive significance of conciousness Model : FUNCTIONALISM Went from “what are we?” to “why are we?” John B. Watson Disagreed with STRUCTURALISM and FUNCTIONALISM too subjective there was a SYSTEMATIC SHIFT in psych at this point only study observable behavior Model: BEHAVIORISM No reason to ask “why are we” or “how” Contemporary models of psych as a science BEHAVIORISM –model Governed by external events Develop and sustain behavior through reinforcement Schedules of reinforcement determine efficiency of behavior Ideas that have fallen out over the years Biological approach Behavior as neurological or biochemical causes Reductionistic Psychoanalytical approach- Freud Behavior is influenced by unconscious motivation Provided case studies Theory of personality, development, mental illness, and treatment Rival to behaviorism Model: COGNITIVE 2 groups Behavior cannot explain behavior There is something in the middle (response time) Cognitive processes Piaget Developmental changes in mental processes Research Methods A question or belief you want to test Eg. Are facial expressions cross-cultural? Stated as a hypothesis Eg. Facial expressions that communicate happiness and sadness are cross- cultural Model Frame of mind – a way to ask a question Hypothesis Tentative statement about the relationship of two or more variables Based on earlier research Based on a theory or model It is not possible to prove a hypothesis You can either disprove or support a hypothesis To test a hypothesis Pick subjects Represent the population Design experiment Picking subjects The group of subjects picked = sample Should represent the population Population Those the research applies to Random sample Every member has an equal opportunity to be selected Representative sample More realistic Sample with people who represent different subject variables proportionally Problem with sampling Sampling bias Common College students People who are likely to participate Four types of research methodologies Experimental Naturalistic observation Surveys and interviews Case studies 1 most often used- experimental Experimental or controlled experiment Involve control conditions To identify cause and effect relationships Hypothesis: violence on TV causes aggression  Problem: “causes”, never say causes, say “increases the likelihood” How do you define aggression? Lots of things cause aggression Control for these things called variables Two variables in this hypothesis: violence and aggression Seeks to identify causes and effect but cannot do it!!! Variable A measurable event that can change and might affect the behavior being observed Two types of variables Independent – the variable that the experimenter manipulates (violence on tv) Sample watches the violent show Dependent – the variable that you expect to change as a result of your manipulation of the independent variable The violent show affects the dependent variable The behavior that is predicted to change (aggressive behavior) Simple experiment Two groups Experimental group Watches violent tv Control group Watches non-violent tv Independent variable Watching violence or not Dependent variable Aggressive behavior Sometimes results from variables other than the independent variables These are called confounding variables Parenting Life events Genetics 2 main controls for confounding variables Random assignment All subjects equally likely to be assigned to either group A-B-A within s
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