Levels of Analysis: Unit 1
How behaviors develop over a lifespan
Challenges when studying groups of ppl (babies, children,
special needs children).
Watson & Skinner:
Mind = black box (should not be looked into)
Visible behavior = only valid measure of psychology.
Role of environment = strong influence on behavior.
Internal processes (thoughts, learning, attention)
Models = abstract representation of how mind function.
o They simplify complex processes.
Reductionism: all behavior = biology of brain
Branches / Extensions: cognitive and behavioral
Neuroimaging tools = used to examine brain (MRI- structure
focused, functional MRI – change in chemistry focused. )
Looks @ influence of environmental / genetic factors on
Looks across many generations of species.
Looks @ factors that influence the behavior of individual &
How is one’s behavior influence from the group they’re in? UNIT 2: RESEARCH METHODS
How to collect and analyze information
Theory: not specific (ex: energy drinks improve memory)
Hypothesis: specific – what your trying to find out (students
who take energy drinks should show improved test
Research Method: how hypothesis is tested
Collect Date: taking outcomes of test
Analyze Data: understand date, trends, relationships.
Report Findings: publish in scholarly journals
Revise Theories: include new info into understanding – apply
Reliability: same output with same input (step on scale many
times in a day – input = produces # output – not cupcakes)
Construct Validity: ability to test something it’s suppose to
test (not if: step on scale to measure IQ).
Ways To Collect Data:
Single Detailed examination of a particular person
Provides initial facts, doesn’t manipulate (take results given to
Problems: not able to compare to others (or general
population), subjective (looking for certain support).
Correlational Studies (direct observation):
Look @ existing relationships btw pairs of variables (ex: diet
and life expectancy)
Positive, negative, zero correlations – measures one variable
to predict another
Correlation coefficient (1 / -1)
Problems: Cant tell cause & effect, third party variables,
difficult to explain rational of observed behaviors, subjective
Researcher makes something happen (manipulates variables)
Binary Variables: only 2 possibilities (On/off). One option =
Compound Variables: variables not measured yet still could
have an effect (gender, time of day).
Problems: artificial setting (lab) & results may not translate to
real world setting, ethic / moral constraints.
Interview: Adv: one-one-one, behavior info which may not be able to
Problems: level of comfort, un/intentional dishonesty,
Adv: info on behavior which may be difficult to observe,
simple to collect from large numbers, self-report observation
(directed by self)
Problems: cant asses truthfulness, wishful thinking, memory
Hypothesis: using anecdotal evidence (evidence gathered
from others / self experience).
Experiment: tool used to measure variable
o Independent Variable: manipulated by scientist
o Dependent Variable: observed as outcome (changes as
Experiment / control groups
Within-subject design: same subject manipulating
independent variable (have / haven’t taken drink)
o Subject to practice effect: improved performance over
time in experiment.
Between Subject Design: 2 groups (1 control) – more
subjects (similar ppl btw groups – not all same type of
General group = population
Group to test = sample.
Random sample: choose ppl at random (potential bias
towards specific group)
Random Assortment: assigned ppl randomly to control /
experiment group (eliminates any bias btw groups)
Conducting an Experiment:
Placebo affect: person reacts to treatment that has no effects.
Blinding: ppl don’t know if belong to control / experiment
Experimenter Bias: experimenter actions promote the result
they wish to achieve.
Double Blind: experimenter / participants don’t know which
group they belong to.
Scientific Research: Descriptive stats: present info about data at a glance – to
give overall results (mean, median mode)
Histogram: # times values appear in sets
Frequency Distribution: distribution of frequent values
Measures of Central Tendency:
o Mean (very susceptible to outliers)
o Median (not affected by outliers)
Standard Deviation: measure of data points from the mean
o Small base = small standard deviation
o Large base = large standard deviation (higher chance or
variability / to occur by chance)
Stats which allow us to make assumptions about the data.
If hypothesis is correct – data collected from both groups =
drawn from 2 diff distributions
T-Test (probability of chance): considers each data point to
see probability of getting it by chance
P-Value (result of T-Test): if difference is large enough =
more likely by chance
o <0.05 = statistically significant (difference caused from
true difference in group and not by random chance)
Hypothesis tested by: strength / direction of relationship btw
Observational research without manipulations: cancer diff btw
smokers / non smokers (didn’t alter anything)
Measures strength of 2 variables
Stronger when closer to 1 (positive correlation) or -1
o r = 0 no correlation
Correlation doesn’t equal causation
o Ice cream doesn’t cause allergies
Construct: describing a concept in a general way – hard to
measure in practice
Operational Definition: exact definition of vague term / idea
(can be objectively measured)
Levels of Analysis Approach: diff perspectives that give info
about diff aspects of a research question
o Diff questions about same subject diff answers o Multiple levels of answers = best well-rounded answer
Paradigm: set of assumptions about the kind of research
questions that can be asked (not one correct paradigm)
Specific observation (facts) general theory (allows us to
described the observations)
Ex: cats & dogs are warm blooded. Therefore all 4 legged
animals are warm blooded (b/c animals had 4 legs were warm
General theories specific ideas
Test theories by making specific predictions that haven’t been
Ex: all 4 legged animals are warm blooded therefore:
elephants must be warm blooded.
Supports theory – but not proven theory (hasn’t accounted
for all 4 legged animals) CLASSICAL CONDITIONING: UNIT 3
Associates 2 events, conditional upon training
UR – biologically determined reflex (to US) – no prior learning
CR – response only after learning – effect of CS.
CS—US linked if both happen together
CS: Conditional Stimulus US: Unconditional
Paired with US to produce learned the action: naturally
Contingency (previous neutral action response without past
- smell of perfume years later - actual person / date
CR: Conditional Response UR: Unconditional
Response once contingency btw natural response triggered
CS&US are made no training
= arousal = arousal
Process which CS & US are learned – happens in very early
CS then US (little time between)
o Will reach an asymptote CR fastest
Interval too large = less effective
No interval= less effective (no anticipation?)
Ex: placing curved road signs: too late/right before = useless.
too far ahead = might forget
As long as CS continues to be reliable cue for US =
contingency remains Extinction:
Loss of CR when CS no long predicts US.
Repeating CS w/out US many time CR disappears,
Either by being erased (less effective)
Extinction through new learning: learning that CS will no long
predict US .
Extinction: makes new learned response (CS without US – UR
Rest period: CS still elicits a CR
o CS not unlearned, just new contingency learned for
o Reacquisition faster than original conditioning
response extinguished in diff environment than acquired
CR same as environment where actual CR took place.
Generalization & Discrimination:
CS paired with US to create contingency
o Stimuli similar to CS will also produce CR.
o Whistle to warn about bombs – creates fear response
(whistle of similar htz will produce same fear)
Person shocked for a specific tone cerates response of expectation
of being shocked
Presents various tones
Tones most similar to original will produce greatest response
o Less and less fear the greater difference in tones
Bit by a dog:
Dogs most similar to kind that bit you will produce greatest
amount of fear.
Allows verity of CS’s to emit same CR – to some degree
Generalization & Extinction:
Tested tones without shocking
Largest loss in CR response: highest CS (original tone of
shock) – know that tone is the one to specifically shock you –
reaction goes down when realize it wont.
Restricting range that a CS emits a CR Ex: fear of poodles – shown images of other breeds – CR for
the specific CS will also go down BUT NOT ORIGINAL
Ex: fearing 500hz shock: eliminate fear of 600hz (tone
without shock) CR for 600hz will diminish (others remain
CS+ / CS-
CS+ (500hz) US (shock) UR (fear)
o Predicts presence of US (shock)
CS- (600hz) US (nothing) UR (nothing)
o Predicts absence of US (no shock)
o Creates absences in generalization gradient.
Phobias & Therapies:
Phobias can result from parents fear:
o CS: snake US (parents fear)
CR: fear UR: fear
Present CS w/out US CR fading
Problem: ppl wont want to expose self to CS
Confront with fear (CS – snakes) without US (biting)
= LARGE INITIAL EXPOSURE
Problems: potentially traumatic, ppl have to do willingly.
Gradual exposure of CS – start at far end of gradient and
work way to strongest over time.
(stuffed snakes, pictures, garden snakes, bigger snakes,
Problems: ppl have to do it willing to deal with anxiety
Antabuse (drug making u feel sick if intake alcohol)
sickness associated with alcohol (and will avoid it)
Problems: avoidance (not taking meds wont lead to sickness)
Homeostasis and Compensatory Responses:
balance of internal mechanisms
Processes which counteract something – creating balanced
Ex: too much sugar: body produces insulin to regulate it
Role of Conditioning:
Sugar example: CS: intake of sugar US: increase blood sugar = insulin
CR: same flavor cues CR of insulin release UR: ― ―
Diet soda: expected sweet taste (CS) – contingency btw same
taste and + sugar (US) body releases insulin (CR / UR)
o Lower blood sugar hunger = eat more = gain weight
CS: environment that normally take drugs US: drug effect
CR: body counter adaptation (body must maintain
homeostasis – effects to counteract drug effect) – feeling low
After many times: environment cues - auto-trigger body’s
counteractions to drugs (preparing for the possible intake)
Withdrawal & Environment Specificity:
Over exposure: drug effects decrease (tolerance)
o Happens in usual drug environment
Each drug intake: CR grows in strength
Withdrawal syndrome: body produces opposite effect to
counter drug effects – taking drugs will counter-act CR and
return body to homeostasis.
Meaning: drug rehab centers: not exposing ppl to cues paired
with drugs (home environment) Extinction of diff environment
Possibility of death: built up tolerance in specific environment
(keep taking larger amounts). Take larger amount in diff
environment – body not use to it (not ready with counter
responses – NO CR) overdose. INSTDUMENTAL CONDITIONING: UNIT 4
Learned contingency btw behaviors and consequences
Thorndike: cat in box, able to see food – has to pull rope to open
Predicted: after first accidental escape – would do it
Actually: gradually decreased over time (random behavior
that led to nothing – went down)
o Leading to only correct target behavior (pulling string)
o No ―aha‖ moment
Operant Conditioning: behaviors that cause the consequences
– voluntary behavior operate based on environment to
Reinforcers: primary (intrinsic: food water, mate)
o Secondary (learned through previous learning: pieces of
paper / metal learned value assoc. w/ primary
Law of Effect: Positive & negative reinforces
Reinforcers: stimuli presented with a response change in
rate of response
Stamped out: random behavior
Stamped in: correct escape behavior
Followed by: satisfying effect (likely to occur again – good
o Unsatisfying effect (not likely – rotten food)
Types of Instrumental Conditioning:
Reward Training: presentation of positive reinforcer (PP)
Give treats when behavior is done (reward for actions)
Punishment: presentation of Negative reinforcer (PN).
Decreased behavior – punishment after behavior
Skinner: authority figure who inflicts punishment = becomes
signal of pain (classical conditioning) fear of person
Omission Training: removal of positive reinforcer (RP).
Take away privileges (timeouts)
Remove tv, no access to toys (removal or a something
Escape Training: removal of negative reinforce (RN).
Wanting something negative removed
Loud music - want removed so bang on the walls.
Rat pressing on button to escape getting shocked
Best when: consequences immediately follow response Acquisition & Shaping:
Shows when rewarded behavior occurs / rate of responding
Rise then plateau (when reinforcement is given)
Small simple task learned by self
Pigeon pecks button to get food.
Complex behavior broken down to smaller steps, gradually
built up to full response hope to be conditioned
Each separate response through reward training
Skinners ping pong pigeon / water skiing squirrel.
Generalization and Discrimination:
SD response reinforcement (discriminative stimulus –
contingency is ―on‖ / relevant)
S delta response no reinforcement (when contingency
is not valid / doesn’t apply / ―off‖)
Generalization of SD: red key
Red key = highest response. Other lights closer (green,
orange that look the same will potentially produce similar
Ex: child’s politeness: SD = presence of adult response
(politeness) reinforcement (praise)
o May not be as strong without SD around.
Extinction: polite kid
Parents don’t give reward for being polite (every time) stop
Only polite to those who reward him & isn’t polite to those
Difference btw CS & SD:
CS: reflex / automatic response
SD: sets condition for response (voluntary)
Schedules for Reinforcement:
Continuous Reinforcement (CRF): after every correct behavior
Partial (PRF): only some responses – more resistance to extinction.
Ratio schedules: based on # responses
Fixed Ratio (FR): reinforcement after set # times – FR1 =
after each. (pause after each reinforcement) – stairs graph
(high increase, level off) Variable Ratio (VR): set avg of # times (diff each time). High
rates of responding (don’t know when reward – always have
to be ready)
Variable Schedules: based on # times since last reinforcement
Fixed Interval (VR): first correct response after fixed amount
of time (consequence after 4 weeks – exam) OH SHIT study /
scallop graph – peak at end.
Variable Interval (VI): first correct response after diff amounts of time
– random quizzes @ diff times (steady rate) LANGUAGE: UNIT 5
Sets Language Apart from Other Communication
Regular: rules and grammar – able to be reorganized
Arbitrary: sound doesn’t describe the word (cat doesn’t
describe what word is)
Productive: no limit to combining words to describe anything
– limit to sounds and combos of words
Symbolic: diff words mean diff things in diff cultures
Rule governed: each combo has rules which make language
Language influences our thoughts & the way we perceive the
We think to self in native language.
Evidence: cultures only have words for 1, 2 many (many
could be 3-99 which couldn’t be understood) – lacks words to
Counter evidence: one word for older male relative – but can
distinguish between them all (uncle, grandfather)
o Some have one word for each relative (Korean)
Structure of Language:
Morphemes: smallest unit which can convey information
(table)(cloth) = 2
(table)(s) = 2 (s gives indication of multiple)
Breaking down of morphemes
k/v/t – many other languages but not English
Rules that control how sentences are put together (grammer)
Ex: French = gender of each word
Meaning of each words
Could have perfect syntax but not sematic meaning.
12 weeks – cooing 12weeks C
16 weeks – acknowledge noises (turns head) 16weeks A
6 months – imitate sounds 6mths I
1 year – babble 1year B 2.5 years – vocab >850 2.5yrs
1.5 – 6 years = vocab rapid increase
Person speaking new language sounds very fast – not able to
break down speech into word units.
Children who have good speech segmentation (able to pick
out repeated / familiar sounds) = higher vocab.
Implications: potential for infant screening test to predict
later language problems (possible early treatment)
Infant Directed Speech:
Mothers use higher pitch / exaggerated pitch changes – helps
to segment child’s speech
Universal Phonetic Sensitivity:
Phonemes in other languages adults cannot distinguish,
Universal Phoneme sensitivity: can distinguish btw all sounds
Werker’s head turn:
Child’s head turn to discriminate new sound from others
Children = as good with foreign phonemes as ppl from that
o Cant distinguish non-native sounds
Meaning: easier for child to learn new language when young /
recognize new phonemes.
foreign accent syndrome:
Person develops a foreign accent (brain damage / stroke)
Broca’s area (speech production)
Cerebellum (motor coordination – ability to pronounce
Theories of Language Development:
Social Learning Theory:
Imitation: mom says word – so child says back
Operant: reinforcement – parent gets excited when child says
Evidence for: Geenie: without explicit exposure to language -
it will not develop properly.
Evidence Against: too rapid / complex to by imitation /
reward. o Once learned: words are combined into models not
heard before / errors not heard in adult speech
Overextension: applies rule too broadly – to many things that
o Doggy – all 4 legged creatures = doggy
Under extension: apply to only specific object
o Dog = only one specific stuffed dog of hers
Telagraphic Speech phase: short sentences containing most
of the information (where teddy?)
Over regularizations: using grammatical rule too broadly
(runned – ran)
Innate Mechanism Theory:
All born with mechanism which allows to learn language
All languages follow fundamental underlying concepts
Chomsky’s LAD: language acquisition device
o All languages follow certain rules
o b/c innate mechanism: allow to understand / use
Psychological Response: predisposition to exposure self to
sounds / language in the brain.
support: Spontaneous signing by those who haven’t learned it
Critics: monkeys show specific neuro-responses to some
aspects of language – not all.
Combined nurture / nature
Acquire by: testing, evaluating about rules of language.
Influences: maturation of brain, social interaction, cognitive
preparedness. PROBLEM SOLVING / CATEGORIZATION: UNIT 6
Deductive / Inductive Reasoning:
Deductive: idea (it will rain) conclusion (ground will be
Inductive: info (ground is wet) general idea (must have
Arch of knowledge: general theory + deductive reasoning
o Facts + inductive reasoning theories (general ways of
Functional Fixedness: difficult to see alternative uses for
common objects (candle & bulletin board)
Qualities of a Test:
Reliability: measures ability to produce consistent results.
Validity: measures what researchers claims to be measuring.
Stanford –Binet intelligence test: diff amount of reasoning for
diff versions of age group
Charles Spearman & G:
One generalized intelligence behind all others (does well on
one test, will do well on all others)
Gardner’s 8 Intelligence: each type independent from others
Critics: that they were interrelated: person did well on one
would do well on most others as well.
WAIS: Weschler’s Adult Intelligence Scale
WISC: Wschler’s Intelligence Scare for Children.
IQ – standardized test comparing results to large sample.
Genetic & Environment:
Identical twins = higher correlation of intelligence vs.
Mean scale for IQ test steadily increasing (raw score = rising)
= Flynn effect
Piaget & Intelligence Test:
Active learning: incorporating new info from environment with
known info Schema: mental framework of interpreting the world (frown =
Assimilation: incorporating new info into existing world
Accommodation: modifying existing schemas to allow new
4 Stages of Development:
(S) Sensorimotor stage (birth – 2 years): effect change on
environment, act with intention.
Complete stage when: objects continue to exist when not in
(P) Preoperational Stage (2-7):
Egocentrism (only understands own perspective – 3 mountain
Seriation: complete when able to place objects in order of
magnitude (not able to place sticks in order of length)
Reversible relationships: ―I have brother, brother doesn’t
Conservation: cylinders of milk (ABLE TO DO WITH PASSING
(C) Concrete Operational Stage (7-11 yrs)
Ability to think in abstract terms
(F) Formal Operational stage (11+)
Limitations: some kids develop out of order, relies on understanding
language / what is being asked.
Biases and Heuristics:
Seeking out info to support hypothesis
o Dr diagnostic, failing to look for disconfirming evidence
Make decision based on info most easily available.
o Person with British accent must come from UK
o Professor / farming
Info based on average in mind / larger category
Assumes something should match random pattern
Helps decide best course of action for each situation
Functions of Categorization:
Classification: treat objects that appear diff = belonging
Understanding: understand a situation – 2 ppl arguing. Predicting: categorizing current experiences with similar past
experiences predict whats gonna happen
Communication: words refer to category (furniture to describe
Illusions of the Expert:
Things we are good at seem easy
Able to understand abstract concepts – but not able to
Difficult to include / exclude items from membership
Easy to decide whether item belongs though
Avg / best member of category (compare everything else to
internal rep. of category = prototype)
Ex: apple (fruit), robin (bird).
Formed through experience
Categorize new objects by comparing to prototype – takes
more time to process less typical members (penguin is a bird?
Problems: large variability, prototype may change over time
Search through all examples (lifetime) to compare to current
Ex: this animals looks like one other dog in memory – must
be a dog
Support: more effected by most recent experience
o Dr. & skin condition
Inclusion of a single exemplar 2 weeks later:
Prototype theory: doesn’t matter in a single case – blended in
to avg stereotype
o explains categorization of simple objects / situations
Exemplar: any increase to # examples = improve
Children are able to change the nature of machines (toasters
Basic categorization systems = exist in animals ATTENTION & MEMORY: UNIT 7
Automatic selection: attention auto drawn to something
Conscious selection: attention relevant to our goals
Problems of selection: filtering out irrelevant info
Automatic & Controlled Attention:
Automatic processes: involuntary processes (captures
o Salient info: pops out / hard to miss (sirens)
Controlled Processes: voluntary – objects of interest. Operate
o Ex: driving car:
o Difficult to attend to many things (all demanding for
Selection & Spotlight:
Only focus on one part of environment at one time.
Effects: respond faster / greater accuracy
Spatial Cueing Paradigm:
Focus on middle screen – automatic light draws attention to
one side – even when asked to look @ other side
Meaning: target destination is faster with subtle (unnoticed)
o Favors automatic response
o Amplifies attention
Attention is faster than the eye
Filters and Attention:
Spotlight – spotting a single flow in the grass
Filter = ignoring surrounding objects
Broadbent’s Filter Model:
Attention filter selects important info and tunes out other
Experiment: message in 2 ears – have to concentrate / recall
only one (shadowing the other)
Wrights shock experiment: ppl able to recall info heard in the
Limits: remember unattended info o Crowd noise = able to focus on own convo – able to
detect when releveant info breaks through (name) –
Triesman’s Dual Filter Model:
Filter 1: physical: evaluate based on pitch, intensity, to find
most relevant info.
Filter 2: semantic: searches meaning / relevance
o Able to override physical filter b/c of its meaning.
o Info imputed for attention.
Congruent: colour same as word
Incongruent: colour diff from word
Effect: faster when congruent
o Doesn’t require to ignore irrelevant info
Attention: not separated into meaning / not meaningful.
Controlling: actively ignore word dimension for incongruent
(less stroop effect)
o High congruency = more stroop effect
Automatic effects: automatically look even when trying to
ignore the word (and focus on colour).
Controlled effect: actively control & ignore the word
o Filters out word if focusing on colour
Looking for target surrounded by distractors
Set size: # items have to search through (# ppl in crowd)
Set size effect: Larger = more diffacult
Pop-Out effect: rapid visual search to easily pick out target
Conjunction search: search defined by 2 + feature (yellow
shirt, red cap)
Contextual cueing: knowing something about our world to
o Looking for keys: knowing you usually put them on the
table (not in the fridge).
Problems with memory metaphors: assumes stored in original
Types of Memory:
Acquisition: what will be stored?
Retrieved? Importance of Cues:
Lead to trains of memory
Encoding phase: learning
Retrieval: tested on items learnt
Recall & Recognition:
Recall: generating as many as able to remember
Recognition: new / old (presented / not)
Remember initially. Increased rate of memory failure over
Stimuli / input short term memory (+ rehearsal) long term
George Miller: chunking idea
Remember 7 +/- 2 store in short term memory
o Chunked into meaningful packets
Serial Position Curve:
First info = more likely to be remembered b/c most
opportunity to be rehearsed.
Continuous rehearsing multiple times STM LTM
Improving: rehearsal, probability of LTM storage, recalling at
Middle info = least recalled
Newest items replace older (middle) items
Still in STM.
Diminishing recency (making worse): causing distraction
(getting info out of STM).
Distracting right after encoding = decreased in receny effect
Waiting 30seconds: recency effect maintained
Immediately recall = no change
Levels of Processing:
Shallow (physical char.) & deeper (semantic)
Craik & Lockhart Multiple Levels of Processing during encoding:
Physical (moderate) – capital letters (worse able to
remember) Acoustic (moderate) – does word sound like ___ (better to
Semantic (deeper) – does it fit in the sentence ___ (best to
Encode environment as well as all information
Same encoding environment as recalling = better ability to
― ― internal state
Memory Illusions & Fluency:
Loftus & False Memory:
told false memory of self long time ago – 20% believed it
Implications: memory is highly constructive and able to be
effected by time & own perceptions – testimonies?
After 3 days – more believed that it happened to them
False Memory Implications:
Seamon’s experiment: events preformed / imagined: later
recalled doing the events even if they imagined it
Meaning: memory can be mislead into confusing imagined /
Familiarity: thinking seen something before
Those which are familiar = processed more fluently.
Ex: person on a bus – stand out b/c they’re familiar or look
Judgment typing together cause & effect
Creating causes to explain feeling of fluency – rational
Ex: seen them on bus before.
Becoming Famous Overnight:
Seen name before – rated as famous / well known ―fake fame
Names produce feeling of fluency – attributed based by
Problems with memory:
Barlett’s building blocks:
Memory doesn’t exist until present situation requires us to
construct a memory
Building blocks of perception / experience Use them to reconstruct something resembling past experience /
something that didn’t occur PERSONALITY: UNIT 8
Approaches to Personality:
Freud: internal structure of mind / way they react =
determines how we feel / behave
ID: basic instinct
Superego: moral principles (from parents / standards)
o Unconscious, preconscious, some in conscious
Ego: balance between 2
o All 3
Protect conscious ego against anxiety from defense
By keeping id impulses out of conscious
Block id impulses from reaching conscious
Slips through dreams & Freudian slips
Unconscious ego prevents memory of event
Never becomes conscious