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[COMPLETE] PSY 301 Lecture Notes 4.0 GPA Student

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University of Texas at Austin
PSY 301

PSY301 Psychology: The scientific study of the mind and behavior, with the goal of understanding why people think and feel as they do. Psychology developed from philosophy Original questions were philosophical No way to really answer such questions Everyone has personal theories of psychology When you’re trying to understand human motivation (i.e. why did that person do/say/feel something?), you’re being your own psychology Differences in thinking and cognition between men and women Research shows that men and women think differently The question is WHY do things happen. There’s a kind of disorder, dissociative identity disorder, where a person develops a second type of personality. When they feel distressed, their primary personality gets shut away and the second personality comes through. It’s reorganizing the function of the brain in a significant way Why do people think and feel as they do? Psychology is applied to people in daily lives. There’s a theory that people are born with genetically made personalities Need methods of science to address problems that are, in principle, solvable Potentially solvable problem: asks a question which could be answered through observable data Forms of scientific study: Natural Observation: observe the world and try to deduce regularities. Kinds of it: Watching behaviors as it occurs Surveys & interviews Case studies All forms of natural observation produce only correlational data Correlation: when two things co-vary (change together); changes in one variable are accompanied by changes in the other variable Ex: positive correlation between hours of studying and grades/GPAs Problem with correlations: YOU CAN NEVER DEDUCE CAUSATION FROM CORRELATION***** 1. Directionality: You never know whether changes in variable1 produces changes in variable2 or if changes in v2 produces changes in v1 Third Factor: You can never be sure that changes in both v1 and v2 are not being cased by some third unknown factor Ex: Smoking and cancer – family doctors found a correlation Experimental Research Designed to produce casual data, so that you know that changes in one factor (the independent variable) produce changes in the other factor (the dependent variable) Independent Variable: the variable being manipulated by the experimenter. This is the variable whose effect is being tested. ONLY THIS VARIABLE IS CHANGING Dependent Variable: The variable that measures the participant’s response. Any changes in the dependent variable can be said to be caused by changes in the independent variable, because only the independent variable is changing. **ALL variables except the independent variable must be held CONSTANT. Social Psychology Ex: the minimum number of M&Ms to put in a cookie before the taste starts going down Psychology covers a huge amount of material Social psychology… Examines the influence of social processes on the way in which people think, feel and behave. The scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another Social Cognition: process by which people make sense of themselves, others, social interactions, and friendships Why did she do this? Why does he feel this? First impressions: the initial perceptions of someone, which affect future beliefs about that person Develop initial schemas, which then effect all subsequent perception and memory You don’t see it objectively anymore, you see it with bias Ex: Strangers’ perceptions of Sally Sally likes to volunteer at her church. People had good perceptions of this and good feedback, thinking she is a good person Sally likes to party. Some people disapproves of her and even thinks that she drinks, does drugs, and even had an abortion. Attributions: processes of inferring the causes of one’s own and others’ mental states and behaviors This is often done not consciously (judgement) Ex: roommate has new gf Having coffee with someone who’s never met the gf and they ask what you think of the gf so you base what you think off of unintentional observations Basic decision in making an attribution: Is the behavior due to internal or external causes? Internal (dispositional) attribution: attributes of the person caused the behavior Includes character, motives, and abilities of the actor Ex: friend not leaving a tip Could have not tipped because the friend didn’t realize how expensive the food would be More common in individualistic cultures (US, France) External (situational) attribution: situational factors caused the behavior Ex: friend not leaving a tip Could have not tipped because the service was bad More common in collectivist cultures (China, Japan) Choosing between an internal and external attribution involves 3 factors: 1. Consistency Do they do this in a lot of situations? 2. Distinctiveness In other areas of their lives, do they show this type of behavior? 3. Consensus Do other people show this type of behavior? 2 Results: Situational and Dispositional Attributes Making an attribution is a 3-step process: 1. Categorize the behavior (internal or external) 2. Categorize the personality 3. Adjust for the situation Confirmation bias: giving more weight to ideas that we believe in than ideas that we do not believe in Ex: study of bipolar disorder vs. borderline personality disorder Ex: Republican and Democrat watching the Presidential debates together Discounting: ignoring behaviors that have several possible causes 2 explanation for a behavior that is contradictory and no way to see which one is right Augmentation: internal factors are weighted more heavily when the situation makes the behavior unlikely Unexpected behaviors are usually given more weight Attributional bias: a cognitive shortcut for making an attribution that generally occurs outside of awareness Fundamental Attribution Error (correspondence bias) Not thinking about ourselves, ONLY thinking about other people Involves overemphasizing internal exposition factors and underemphasize external exposition factors about the behavior of others We do this because people are the most important thing in other people’s lives Actor-Observer Bias Underestimating internal factors and overestimating external factors in making attributions about one’s own behavior Ex: mechanic who’s gf was in the hospital Self-serving Bias Attributing one’s own failures to external causes and one’s own successes to internal causes Ex: Tests If we pass a test: we did sooo well If we fail a test: The test was unfair Ex: First date If he calls right away: we are so charming If he never calls: he’s a jerk In collectivist societies makes a group assessment of the end result Ex: Football game If the team loses, there will be a lot of explanations for why the team lost If one person does not make a field goal, no explanation Just World Attribution Assumes people get what they deserve When bad things happen to someone, the did something to make it happen (karma) People justify by saying “This bad thing happened to this person because they did something bad. I would never do that bad thing so it would never happen to me.” Makes us feel safer about the world Cognitive Dissonance: the discomfort caused by a perceived conflict between an attitude and a behavior, between an attitude and a new piece of information, or between two attitudes Ex: Alcohol Growing up in a community very against alcohol vs. Coming to UT where alcohol is very pervasive in the culture People are more willing to change things when dissonance is very uncomfortable Dissonance motivates a return to consistency by changing the attitude, behavior, or perception of conflict Generally we change the attitude Ex: deciding that drinking alcohol is not wrong as opposed to going through a process of remorse You are highly motivated to change where you are no longer uncomfortable Resolving dissonance 1. In attitude-behavior conflict, the attitude is more likely to change 2. When a decision is made between conflicting attitudes, factors are re-weighted in favor of the chosen attitude Ex: Domjan’s son eating food at college against their Jewish beliefs because there was nothing else to eat Ex: when you have to decide where you go to college (Harvard vs. UT) Have assumption of pros and cons of each Change the way we look at things Decide to go to UT (putting more cons to Harvard and more cons for UT) – no dissonance 3. Less dissonance if the person has a credible explanation for the conflict 4. If the person has little choice in the conflicting action, little dissonance or attitude change Social Influence Groups: people function within groups, but it is hard to define a group 1. Common qualities regular interaction among members if you never meet and never get together, you’re not really a group Ex: big lectures are not groups, but smaller classes can function as a group because there is lots of interaction some type of emotional connection a common frame of reference some type of interdependence Ex: study groups feelings, thoughts, and behaviors may be motivated by the group perspective 2. Groups have norms: shared beliefs that are enforced through a group’s use of penalties can endure over time even as group members change can also change over time what matters is the perception of norms Ex: new members in jobs Is there a rhythm in socializing working Spend the first few weeks observing everyone 3. Groups have assigned roles: behaviors that a member in a given position in a group is expected to perform delineate responsibility within and to the group status hierarchy defines the position of roles within a group reflects the power relationship indicated by cues (often nonverbal) Conformity: a voluntary change of beliefs or actions in order to follow a group’s norms Conformity  Compliance  Obedience More social influence applied with the direction of arrow 1. Asch study Shown one line in exhibit 1 and asked which line they saw in exhibit 2 Deception study The real participant is the last person to answer while all the other participants are confederates Well over 75% of the time, the real participant gives the wrong answer when the confederates purposely gives the wrong answer Gives the same answer that everyone else gives because starts to doubt oneself 2. Social influences leading to conformity: a. informational social influence: conform because we want to be right Most likely: in ambiguous situations with more difficult tasks when there is a crisis when others are experts (credibility) b. normative social influence: we conform because we want to be liked or thought of positively 1. Conformity goes up: in more cohesive groups with people more strongly identified with the group norms in less powerful group members 2. Conformity goes down with social support for not conforming This undermines conformity Ex (above): if 1 of the confederates give the right answer, the participant will be more likely to answer correctly Feels more liberated to not conform ***People in collectivist culture conform more to their families, classmates and close friends, and fellow workers but less to people with whom they do not share close interpersonal bonds than people in individualistic cultures Ex: People from China or India will be less likely to conform with strangers even when a lot of the other strangers do the same thing than People from America Compliance: a change in behavior produced by a direct request rather than social norms More likely if: based on friendship/liking Commitment/consistency Foot-in-the-door technique: beginning with an insignificant request, which is then followed by a larger request Makes it more likely for the other to consent Ex: Obama campaign Start by giving $3  $5 Begin committing to the campaign Low ball technique: getting someone to make an agreement and then increasing the cost Door-in-the-face technique: start with a very large request, which is denied (as expected) making compliance with a second smaller request (the desired one) more likely Conditions Scarcity More likely to do if you know there are not a lot of alternatives Reciprocity More likely to do if someone else have done something for you Social validation If someone with lots of credibility asks you to do a task and you think you are being validated Authority Less likely to say no to an authority figure Obedience: when someone gives you an order and you do it Under what conditions are people to obey an order and vice versa? The Milgrim Study Thinks: ordinary college students would not follow orders that would cause harm to others Study: effects of pain Participant is teacher and confederate is learner, if the learner answers a question wrong, the teacher would give the increase a level of shock Prediction: 2% will go to max shock Result: 65% will go to max shock (both genders, all ages, cross-culturally) It wasn’t easy for them Consequence: lead to the creation of ethics committees Controversy: lots of the participants needed real life psychological help because they thought they were actually capable of hurting someone (behaved in ways they didn’t think they could) Decreased obedience: 1. Teacher sees learner 2. Teacher gives shock personally (30% still) 3. Dissenting confederate Biggest decrease in obedience If the confederate says “I’m not gonna do this anymore” and leaves, then the participant will almost always leave as well Explains what happened during Holocaust Increased conformity: 1. Following orders feels like they have no autonomy in this Ex: Nazis 2. Decreased individuality Wearing uniforms 3. Dehumanizing the victim Ex: justifying thought for killing during war Obedience: personality factors Authoritarian personality: people who have this are most likely to be highly obedient 1. Submissive to those more powerful and harsh to those less powerful 2. Associated with prejudice against minority groups Ex: Stanford experiment Prison experiment that had undergrad students act as prisoners and guards Showed off the dynamics of human nature and how it escalated quickly into mistreatment & horror The guards quickly began to command and control, dehumanize the prisoners Motivated social cognition: thinking about the social world in ways that serve an emotional need, such as when people hold beliefs that help them feel less anxious Decision making 1. In a group that is not initially unanimous a. usually majority-wins rule b. but can be truth-wins rule: minority opinion prevails because it is more valid the person who presents the minority view sways groups opinion with a compelling and valid idea 2. Group polarization: the tendency of group members’ opinions to become more extreme after group discussion a. intensification of initial views b. impairs group decision making c. can outlast the initial discussion and decision d. mechanisms impact of extreme arguments desire to increase social standing by being at the lead of a position *Very hard to function and make decision 3. Groupthink: tendency of people trying to solve problems to accept each other’s information and ideas uncritically (opposite of group polarization) a. group most concerned with agreement b. more likely in close groups c. more in groups that have a norm of agreement Ex: NASA launch that blew up The scientists and engineers knew this was a possibility but NASA administrators wanted to follow through with it Led to a bad outcome when they all agreed 4. Heterogeneous groups have more trouble making decisions (diverse membership) a. less effective communication b. splintering subgroups and alienation c. can also increase innovation and flexibility Pro: the decisions thy come to tend to be very successful Con: Very hard for different people to communication effectively, so they have to try harder Strongly inclined to think OUR group is BEST and that each member in it is more unique and different Relationships Attraction 1. Proximity How close – sheer familiarity makes something more attractive How often – we tend to like things we are familiar with and see a lot 2. Interpersonal rewards Things and attributes that you can take and give 3. Similarity Similarity of tastes, value, and attitudes Complementarity of personality, needs, and resources Complement rather than mirror 4. Physical attractiveness Halo effect Beautiful kids are received very well with parents and so grow up being very well-off socially and persists throughout life We think beautiful people are smarter, funnier, nicer, etc. Main determinant of initial attraction Wind up with people at own level Love and liking 1. Liking: affection, respect, and approval (cognitive) Close trusting and sharing 2. Love: attachment, intimacy, and mutual concern (emotional) Well being of others affects us Men fall in love faster and leave suddenly and have more pain Steinberg’s Triangular Model of Love 1. Love is made up of intimacy, passion, and commitment a. intimacy: affection, sharing, communication, and support b. passion: physiological arousal c. commitment: a decision to love the other person and to remain with them “in-love” feeling lasts 6-18 months habituation: always go through this so the intensity goes down *All three sides are equal 2. Different combinations yield 7 types of love When there’s only 1 factor a. passion: infatuation just like them but nothing too serious b. intimacy: liking no intense attraction not the relationship that has faded away close to them, trust them, share with them qualities exist in different degrees c. commitment: empty love no passion with person not close, don’t trust left over of a relationship (fading marriage) committed to relationship even though there’s not much there d. passion & intimacy: romantic love Passionate love Companionate love e. passion & commitment: fatuous love kind of bad because attraction makes it a relationship may not trust or love Ex: a man and woman married and divorced 3 times, have intense attraction f. intimacy & commitment: companion love g. passion, intimacy & commitment: consummate love perfect relationship Ex: 90 year old couple still buying lingerie 3. Development of relationships a. unilateral mutual awareness (getting to know someone) use surface clues to draw conclusions about what the person is like stage b. surface contact lots of initial contact self-disclosure is critical here some people can’t always do this telling the other person about private, personal things someone is going to have to take a risk  to find out how the other will respond assessment of similarity asses possibility of deeper relationship the want to go deeper in relationships talking makes it all better level of trust is high Mutuality Moving from you and I to we Deep self-disclosure produces greater feelings of intimacy and interdependency 4. Qualities of good marriages and other long term relationships a. most critical: reciprocal high levels of self-disclosure (most critical) keep talking to each other over time people forget to do a lot of things, and one thing is talking b. perception that the relationship is equitable A lot of couples get into the negatives because they’re not doing a lot on the positive end Equity is important c. complementary personal styles in terms of personality the way in which people characteristically express love Love Languages, Chapman When two people do love in different ways, it’s easy to not feel love May not understand what is going on with each other d. genuine mutual liking e. handling of anger popular misconception: venting is good it actually makes you angrier don’t deal with it by letting go best way to handle it is to be honest with the anger and talk honestly about why you’re angry couples do well actually deal with the issue f. good sex life Biopsychology Everything comes through the brain – emotions, feelings, etc. Biopsychology: looking directly at biological processes involved in behavior Brain and behavior: the brain determines what we experience Perceptions are interpretive Brain receives, interprets, and acts on information from the world Basic element of brain is the neuron (nerve cell) The nervous system is network of connections linking neurons to each other A person has almost 100 billion neurons: 1. Far more at birth than will survive 2. New connections all through life 3. Plasticity 4. Myelination of 50% neurons after birth At birth: unmyelinated Later in life: myelin sheath (glial cells) = faster travel of info Things can be dangerous for myelination process, can be fragmented and incomplete = environmental retardation Impulse jumps from myelin to myelin Kinds of neurons: 1. Sensory neurons: take in info from receptor cells to the central nervous system (CNS) Afferent neurons: carry signals to the brain 2. Motor neurons: commands from CNS to muscles, glands, and organs (involuntary) Efferent neurons: carry signals from the brain 3. Projection neurons 4. Interneurons Humans have greatest number of interneurons Only talk to each other; how we think, imagine, solve things unipolar interneuron Why do human babies need so much care and help? Other animals do not need as much help. It’s because baby brains continue to grow until adulthood Babies have to be born through birth canal, so brain must be small Mirror neurons are found in the frontal and parietal lobes and have been identified in other species in addition to humans Activated when an organism engages in a behavior or observes another engage in that behavior They are also more highly activated when observing action within a context Recognizing another person’s goals or intentions Ability to mimic actions Ex: monkey afraid of snake introduced to group who aren’t and then when a snake is introduced and every monkey will empathize with the scared monkey Structure of a neuron: Cell body (soma): provides life support for the neuron Dendrites: branching extensions at the cell body. Receives messages from other neurons Receptors of impulses Like inbox Axons: long single extension of a neuron. Transmits messages to other neurons Like outbox Function of the neuron: info transmittal (sending or receiving) Nerve cell (neuron) has many different parts Path of transmission (firing of a neuron) 1. When it is not being stimulated, a neuron is in its resting state 2. An impulse (a molecule of neurotransmitter or neuromodulator) from a sending neuron (the presynaptic neuron) is absorbed by a receptor on the dendrites or the soma of a receiving neuron *Synapse = point where 2 neurons meet 3. Produces an electro-chemical impulse, which will have one of two effects on the receiving neuron (the postsynaptic neuron), depending upon the nature of the receptor excitatory: makes the receiving (postsynaptic) neuron more likely to generate an impulse (the action potential) down the axon More likely for impulse to happen Inhibitory: makes the receiving (postsynaptic) neuron less likely to generate an impulse (the action potential) down the axon Less likely for cell to fire 4. The impulse travels along the cell membrane until it reaches the axon hillock at the top of the axon Each neuron receives excitatory and inhibitory signals from many other neurons At the axon hillock these impulses are summated (added together) When the intensity of the excitatory signals minus the inhibitory signals exceed a threshold intensity, the neuron will fire an action potential 5. The action potential travels down the axon (never stops) all action potentials have equal intensity; stimulus intensity is coded by firing rate (bright light and loud sounds) Doesn’t change, it’s just the number of impulses Refractory period: dead period Impulse cannot go back Unmyelinated axons: the action potential moves smoothly down the axon Myelinated axons Axons are enclosed in a segmented tube of glial cells The action potential jumps between segments of the myelin sheath, creating faster transmission 6. When the action potential reaches the end of the exon, the message must be transmitted to the nest (postsynaptic) neuron across the synaptic cleft Synaptic cleft: fluid filled space between the axons of the firing Neuron and the dendrites/soma of the receiving neuron Synapse: the entire junction between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons Electrical impulses (action potentials) travel from one neuron to another across a tiny junction known as synapse 7. At the end, an axon branches into several axon terminals each axon terminal contains many vesicles, each filled with molecules of neurotransmitter when the action potential reaches the terminals, it causes the vesicles to move to the presynaptic membrane at the tip of each branch the molecules of neurotransmitter are then spilled into the synaptic cleft 8. The molecules of neurotransmitter travel across the synaptic cleft to contact the post synaptic membrane of the receiving neuron, which contains specialized receptors that bind with the molecules of neurotransmitter, generating a new impulse in the postsynaptic neuron 9. Molecules of different neurotransmitters fit into different types of receptors each receptor can bind with only one kind of neurotransmitter the receptor determines whether the impulse will be excitatory or inhibitory the same neurotransmitter can be excitatory or it can be inhibitory depending upon properties of the receptor 10. All excess neurotransmitter must be removed from the synaptic cleft: enzymes deactivation: “cleanup” enzymes released by the postsynaptic neuron break molecules of neurotransmitter into their chemical components, with different enzymes breaking down different kinds of NT Reuptake: molecules of neurotransmitter are ejected from the receptors, vacuumed back through molecular pumps into the presynaptic neuron axon terminals and repackaged into new synaptic vesic
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