Psychology - comes from the greek word ‘psyche’ meaning ‘soul’
Aristotle and Plato asked ‘where does knowledge come from’
- certain parts of the body are attached to specific parts of the brain for specific functions
- learned which regions controlled things like heart rate, breathing and procesing of reflexes
- opened the first lab for the study of psychology
- 1881 launched first scientific journal devoted to publishing psychological research
- founded American Psychological Association
LEVELS OF ANALYSIS
- how emotions, memories, and patterns of thinking relate to how Michael is feeling
- structure and function of brain
- effect of NT and hormones
- genetic effects of behavior
- how social, cultural and learning interactions influence behavior
- changing external influences may bring positive change
John B. Watson
- argued that the mind is a black box that takes ‘input’ and makes ‘output’
- understanding environmental influences on behavior
- scientific methods should NOT be used
- mental events are impossible to measure
- everything we want to know can be measured by behavior
- behavior modification: behavior will repeat if there is a positive outcome. and vice versa
- proper scientific methods are necessary to understand behavior
- models: abstract representations of how the mind functions, can be used to make testable
- multiple experiments are required to test models
- provide framework for describing data, useful until somthing better comes along Psych1X03WebModules
- reductionism: all human behavior can be explained by reducing the problem to the biology of
- Francis Crick
- neuroimaging: looking at the brain
❖ Structural MRI - physical makeup of brain
❖ Functional MRI - what the brain is actually doing
- how genetic and environmental factors contribute to changes over a lifespan
- larger periods of time (thousands/millions of years)
- often study infants
- how individuals are influenced by culture and interactions with other people
1. influence of individual on a group
2. group on an individual
3. group on another group
- ie Milgram Experiment
behavioral - what behaviors are associated with depression? how can they be altered?
❖ learned helplessness in animals is similar to humans
Theory:general set of ideas about the way the world works
hypothesis:makes a specific prediction about variables involved in the theory.
ResearchMethods:determine the way in which the hypothesis will be tested.
Collectdata:take measurements of the outcomes of the test
Analyzedata:understand data and discover trends.
ReportFindings:publish articles in scholarly journals.
ReviseTheories:incorporate new info into our understanding of the world.
PARADIGMSHIFT:In 1543, Copernicus challenged the thought that the earth was the
center of the universe
✦dramatic change in our way of thinking
AnecdotalEvidence:evidence gathered from others or self experience
Testing a hypothesis: Psych1X03WebModules
✦single experience might not be representative
✦personal experience might not represent others
✦cannot be sure that result is due to ____ alone
Experiment:scientific tool used to measure the effect of one variable on another
Independantvariable:variable manipulated by the scientist
DependantVariable:variable being observed by the scientist
IV: amount of enzyme present
DV: amount of cell growth
IV: amount of exercise
DV: amount of lean muscle mass
ExperimentalGroup:receives a manipulation of the IV
• ideally experimental group participants and control group participants should be as
similar as possible
• they should differ only in terms of the IV
➡ tests the same subject repeatedly as the IV is manipulated
➡ minimizes the effect of external variables on the dependant measure
➡ practiceeffect:improved performance over the course of an experiment due to more
experience (can reduce control of experiment)
- one group acts as the control group, other as the experimental group
- confoundingvariable:influence the results of the experiment even though they are not
the variable being studied.
➡ results from very specific groups of participants cannot be generalized to other
➡ sample:small group selected representative of the population
➡ Randomsample:reduces chance of bias, yet difficult to achieve
➡ Randomassignment:assigning subjects to either group at random to reduce bias.
*PlaceboEffect: individual exhibits a response to a treatment that has no related
therapeutic effect. form of subject bias which can intentionally or unintentionally
❖can influence even physiological factors such as health Psych1X03WebModules
*Participant Bias: when a participants actions in an experiment influence the results
outside of the manipulations of the experimenter.
controlling the placebo effect....
mocktreatment:giving everyone a drink regardless if they belong to experimental group
or control group
blinding:when participants do not know whether they belong to the experimental or
control group, or which treatment they are receiving.
• if they know the hypothesis they are trying to test, they might influence the results that
they are hoping to get
• actions made by the experimenter intentionally or not to promote the outcome they
hope to receive.
• can be reduced if experimenter does not know whether participants belong to
experimental group or control group.
DoubleBlindStudies:experiments in which neither the experimenter nor the participants
know which group each participant belongs to.
- presents information about data at a glance
- includes mean, median and mode
✦Histogram:type of graph used to report the # of times or frequency that groups of
values appear in a data set
✦FrequencyDistribution:type of graph illustrating how frequently values appear in the
data set. ie the line that connects the bars.
✦NormalDistribution:smooth, symmetrical bell-shaped curve with a peak
✦Mean:add all values, divide by number of values
❖susceptible to influence of outliers: exterme pts, distant from others.
✦Median:the centre value in a data set when the set is arranged numerically
❖advantage: cannot be pulled in one direction by an outlier
✦Mode:most typical response (most frequent value)
Measures of central tendency don’t tell us the values other than the central ones.
➡ second type of descriptive statistic reviews spread and distribution of a data set
➡ StandardDeviation:average distance of each data point from the mean.
❖larger SD: more spread out
❖smaller SD: smaller spread
how big must the difference between groups be before its considered important?...
✦use results from samples to make inferences about overall, underlying populations.
✦t-test: used to compare difference b/w data from experimental and control grup
✦calculates probability that both samples were drawn from a single population.
❖p-value: expresses the probability.
❖not significant: greater than 5% probability of obtaining the data by chance
❖significant: less than 5% probability.
StatisticalSignificance:when the difference between two groups is due to some true
difference between the properties of the 2 groups and notsimply because of random
ie a low p-value!
CASE STUDY - energy drinks
- Eric used Between subject experimental design
- random sample selection
- double blind experiment (to avoid biases)
- all participants did the test first
- used descriptive stats - mean, SD, histogram and inferential statistics (t-test)
- p=0.44 mean his study has no conclusive evidence.
ObservationalStudies:observe effect of variables of interest without performing any
Correlation:measure of the strength of the relationship between 2 variables.
❖correlation coefficient: r
❖r=+1 - perfect positive correlation (diagonal line going up)
❖r=-1 - perfect negative correlation (diagonal line going down)
❖r = 0 - no relation whatsoever b/w two variables
❖closer they get to one, the stronger the relationship is
*** Correlation does not equal CAUSATION
❖cant use a correlation to state that one variable is causing an effect on another
❖confounding variables could also have an effect on the correlation.
We learn not to do or to do things based on the results... ie we only touch a hot stove
ClassicalConditioning:allows us to associate two related events
➡ the learning of a contingency between a particular signal and a later event that are
paired in time and/or space
InstrumentalConditioning:allows us to associate actions and their consequences Psych1X03WebModules
Ivan Pavlov: 1890s/1900s
❖foundation for classical conditioning
❖interested in digestion, discovered dogs would salivate before they even ate
❖ran experiments with signals to dogs -
❖conditionalreflex- dogs were conditioned to respond to things like sounds before
they got food
❖contingent relationship: the presentation of one stimulus reliably leads to the
presentation of another. ie lightning
when a contingent relationship is learned, an individual can respond to the signal before
the event even occurs.
- preparatory salivation
- prepares the body for digestion.
✦learns to flee a variety of cues that may signal an attack from a predator, not just
seeing it. ie sounds, smells and sights
✦critical to the animals survival
✦creates a response without any previous learning
✦no training necessary
✦always triggers a response in the absence of any learning
✦always follows a US
✦occurs naturally prior to any learning
✦ ie eating lemons
✦paired with the unconditioned stimulus to produce a learned contingency.
✦‘preparatory’ signal to help an organism anticipate a biological event
CS typically appears before US.
- previously neutral stimulus that is paired with a US stimulus to create a response on its
- the response that occurs once the contingency between the CS and US has been
the process by which a contingency between a CS and US is learned
✦normally, contingencies are learned slowly
✦most of the learning happens during the early trials
✦negatively accelerated increasing function
➡ special cases where 1 trial is sufficient:
❖rats are constantly searching for food sources, avoid unfamiliar foods
❖only consume new food in small quantities, therefore they can easily pinpoint
what food would cause their illness
❖they learn the contingency b/w food and sickness in a single trial
lasting effects: as long as the conditional stimulus continues to be a reliable
cue for the unconditional stimulus, the contingency will remain.
As soon as the CS is not a reliable cue, the conditional response will
Extinction: presenting the CS alone, repeatedly over many trials, without
the US which it was paired with before.
At first, the CS will elicit a conditional response (CR) but over time it will
is the previously learned contingency unlearned? Or is the old
learned contingency competing with a new inhibitory response that
is learned to the same CS…
IF the contingency is unlearned, we would expect that after extinction,
retraining b/w the CS and US would lead to acquisition of the CR at approx
the same rate as original training.
IF extinction leads to new learning, this suggests that two learned processes
sit side by side:
- original learned response to CS
- new inhibitory learned response to CS
- we would expect that retraining b/w CS and US would occur at a faster
rate compared to original training.
- suggests that extinction involves a new inhibitory learned response.
- Following a rest period, if the CS is presented oonce more it elicits a
- This suggests that original learned association b/w CS and US is NOT
unlearned. Instead extinction seems to promote an inhibitory response
that competes with the original learned contingency
In the real world, the conditional stimulus might not be identical everytime
- WWII the sound of a bomb would be different each time however it stil
produced a CR.
Stimulus Generalization: classical conditioning of learned responses to a
variety of different stimuli.
- stimuli similar to the CS will also produce a response.
- Even if you were bitten by a black dog, the sight of other dogs might
still elicit the same fear response.
Galvanic skin response measure: measures conditional fear response in
- in animals this is measured by freezing behavior.
Fear still occurs in frequencies near 500, but they reduce as you go further
away from the original.
In the case of dogs: the closer to the original breed, the more likely you will
have a CR
You can test how successful the therapy has been by exposing you to several
test subjects along the generalization gradient, if successful the gradient will
become flatter. Psych1X03WebModules
- opposite to generalization. Restricts the range of CS that can elicit a
- You could eliminate the fear of one type of dog along the gradient with
the original dog breed fear remaining intact.
- By alternating trials in which the original CS is paired with the US
eliciting fear, and then the second CS occurs without the same US
causing the fear, their will be specific discrimination of the CR to the
CS+ predicts the presence of an unconditional stimulus
CS- predicts the absence of the unconditional stimulus
- its important for an antelope to know a range of CS- stimuli that
indicate it is safe to look for food.
When a CS+ and CS- are presented at the same time, the CR will occur
somewhere in between the two.
Generalization: provides flexibility and efficiency
Discrimination: refines the learning process.
Phobia: an exaggerated, intense and persistent fear of certain situations,
activities, things or people.
- could be from a tramatic experience - long lasting fear elicited by stimuli
that remind someone of the original event.
- a CS doesn’t need to happen for a CR, just something similar. for
example: a story of a snake, without actually being bitten by one.
- individual is encouraged to confront the CS that evokes their anxiety.
- this way, CS is presented without associated US.
- a germophobe may be asked to sit with their hands in dirt, and accept
that sickness and danger will not follow.
- can be a tramatic type of therapy
- gradual exposure to the feared stimulus
- begin with extinguishing stimuli at the far end of the gradient, gradually
working their way towards the middle.
- this method may be more accessible to most patients
- made more efficient through classical conditioning
Compensatory response: a process which counteracts a challenge to
US - ingestion of sugar, increase in blood sugar
UR - insulin release
CS - sweet taste of drink
CR - insulin release Psych1X03WebModules
**eventually the flavor cues alone will elicit a response of insulin release
coke vs diet coke..
➡ everytime we drink diet coke, we still still experience the sweet taste.
➡ even though the drink might not have sugar, the insulin is still conditioned
➡ the body compensated by being more hungry to make use of the extra
➡ so we actually eat more with the diet drinks...
US - various naturally occurring effects of the drug - decrease in pain
the drug effects are a challenge to homeostasis, the body responds with
compensatory mechanisms that function to counteract the drug effects.
UR - counter-adaptations - increased pain sensitivity.
CS - over time, environmental cues become paired with the drug effects and
a contingency occurs. for example: location of drug taking, things used to
administer the drug.
CR - once a contingency occurs, mere presentation of environmental cues
will trigger a CR, ie compensatory actions - increased pain sensitivity.
drug preparatory response: a morphine addict who is confronted with an
empty syringe may suddenly experience extreme discomfort, pain and
nausea - opposite to the drug effect.
Learning: relatively enduring changes in mechanisms of behavior due to
3 key concepts:
❖mechanisms of behavior
❖learning involves change that is relatively enduring
❖learning is a process based on practice
1.Mechanisms of Behavior
Two reasons to consider more than just behavior - both involve distinction
b/w learning and performance
a)Learning is distinct from merely performance of or changes in behaviors.
Learning is often context specific and goes beyond natural responses to
teach dog tricks with incentive for performing well, yet they don’t
perform when you go to show your friends their skills.
- could be because the dog is tired Psych1X03WebModules
- could be because they aren’t hungry...
- they didn’t ‘unlearn’ the trick their behavior changed because other
b)Latent Learning: acquiring associations that are not immediately
expressed, or else only in certain contexts. highlights importance of
specific mechanisms of learning
one group of mice has food at the end of a maze, next group does not.
group 1 reaches the end quickly, group two wanders around. Group three
don’t have food for the first 10 trials and wander, then once food arrives
they go get it.
- suggests that they learned the route while wandering, but didn’t have
a preference to finish the maze without the food
Learning of a contingency b/w behavior and consequence
ex: if you touch a hot stove you WILL get burned...
- specific behavior leads to specific consequence
CaseStudy:mike wants students to show up on time for tutorial so he offers those on
time a chance to pick from a deck of cards. Every 5 tutorials, the person who can make
the best poker hand gets a $10 gift certificate to the book store.
Early theorists appealed to mental processes (not readily measured)
✦early work was done with animals as subjects
➡ studied cats in a puzzle box
➡ focused on overt behavior and not mental elements
➡ box had a door that would open by doing a certain behavior like pulling on a rope
➡ small box of food was outside the box for motivation
- at first the cat behaves randomly as it tried to escape
- eventually it would pull on the rope by accident
- after that it would escape immediately
- frequency of random behaviors gradually decreased over time.
- over several trials there were a decreasing # of behaviors in relation to the # of
increasing successful behaviors.
- there was never a distinct ‘a-ha!’ moment Psych1X03WebModules
Rope pulling behavior - “stamped in”
random behaviors - “stamped out”
- behaviors with positive consequences are
stamped in and performed more frequently
- behaviors that produce an annoying or
unpleasant effect will be stamped out and
performed LESS frequently
Reinforcer-any stimulus stimulus which when presented after a
response leads to a change in the rate of that response. can
be + or -
- presentation of a postiive reinforcer after a
response to increase behavior
- presentation of a negative reinforcer after a response to decrease behavior
✦punishment can be a ethical conversation
✦should it be used by parents?
✦the parental authority figure could be classically conditioned to become a signal for
pain and distress for the child
- removing a positive reinforcer,
decrease in behavior being reinforcer.
- we would want to avoid this. ie
taking the tv away to reduce teasing
which is enjoyable. desire is for the kid to
- EX: timeout procedure. Psych1X03WebModules
❖child will often stop unwanted response.
➡ punishment and omission training lead to the same result but in very different
- the response is followed by the removal of a negative reinforcer.
- learner is motivated to have this reinforcer be removed.
- by a change in response they are hoping that the negative reinforcer will be
- EX: grumpy landlord with sensitive hearing. landlord bangs on the ceiling with the
broom to turn it off. landlord learns that he can avoid the negative reinforcer (music)
by banging on the roof with the broom
➡ consequence needs to immediately follow the response for effective instrumental
response needs to be followed by the consequence in order for the contingency to be
learned that it comes from that specific behavior or response.
this applies to ALL types of instrumental conditioning
✦the process of acquisition leads to learning the contingency b/w a response and its
✦in studies of ic acquisition, they are interested in measuring the rate of response
to the new behavior.
polygraphmachine:paper flows through machine at constant rate, pen
draws straight line. each response made by the subject makes
the pen move up a notch leading to a pattern of
- we can now use computers to measure the
horizontal line: no response Psych1X03WebModules
pattern of responding depends on subject, complexity of behavior, type of reinforcement
❖indicates when the contingent relationship is notvalid
❖EXAMPLE: grandma’shouseis the S-delta. ie they won’t get dessert for eating
- pigeon pecks keyhole to get food
- above the keyhole is green light and speaker
- when green light is on, relationship is valid - SD
- when clicking sound is on, relationship is null - S-delta
- there’s also a generalizationgradientfor Instrumental.
- the bird will respond with pecking the keyhole to the green light, and lights of a
similar wavelength as well.
-Extinction exists too!
- if the behavior no longer gets a reward for something it used to, the contingency will
- paired with a US, elicits a response by reflex
- response is involuntaryand automatic
- paired with a response-reinforcer outcome, but SD itself does not reflexively elicit
- SD sets the occasionfor a response by signaling when the relationship is valid.
- VOLUNTARY Psych1X03WebModules
- continuous: all the examples we looked at above
- partial: more realistic to life. not all good deeds get rewards, and not all bad ones
PARTIAL:can have reinforcement delivery based on either total responses or time.
✦Ratio: # of responses made by a subject, which determines when reinforcement is
- FR-1schedule, is rewarded for each response
- FR-10which is reward after every 10th pecking response.
➡ there is a limit to how stingy the schedule can be.
➡ Ratio strain - when the schedule is too stingy, and the subject stops responding.
➡ Humanexample: getting paid $30 for every 3 shirts you make
➡ ‘pause and run pattern’: following reinforcement they will pause with
inactivity before next response.
- you might pause before the next round of shirts...
✦Interval:time since last response that was reinforced.
- FI-1minute schedule gets reward for first pecking response after a one minute
- FI-10minute schedule gets reward for the first pecking response after a 10
minute period. could potentially get 6 rewards in one hour.
➡ humanexample:weekly quiz. response ramps up right before the quiz, and pauses
➡ produces a scallop, lull periods followed by pick-up and peak.
➡ subject doesn’t want to miss the reinforcement window, but there’s no
direct reinforcement for responding well beforehand.
contrast to fixed schedules, rewards are given following a variable amount of workor
- VR-10schedule, pigeon must peck average of 10 times to get food reward, but exact
#of pecks that yields a reward changes across trials.
➡ Human Example: slot machine. after a random # of plays on a pre-
set mean, you WIN! this random reward is reinforced by the
➡ supports constantand highresponse rates. (you never know when you
➡ slope reflects the average # of responses required before reinforcement
➡ more frequent reinforcement = higher response rate.
- VI-10schedule, first resposne following an average of 10 minutes will be reinforced,
but exact length of time between rewards changes across trials. on average 10
mins must pass before a pecking response is reinforced.
➡ you could receive reinforcement at anytime, though you have an idea
of how often.
➡ steady response rate, ensuring no missing out.
➡ more frequent reinforcement = higher response.
• Generally, partial reinforcement produces stronger behaviors than continuous.
• this is because on CRF, once reinforcement stops, learner will be aware of abrupt
change and decrease responding.
• on a PRF, once reinforcement stops, its not obvious that a change has happened.
PARTIALISGOOD:Ideally, train ppl on partial, not continuous. a kid who gets candy for
every good behavior is more likely to stop if they dont get no candy that one that gets
candy some of the time. Psych1X03WebModules
PROBLEM SOLVING - WM #5
Intelligence:the cognitive ability of an individual to learn from experience, reason well,
and remember important information and cope with the demands of daily living.
- involves the ability to perform cognitive tasks
- ability to learn from experience and adapt
-concrete conclusion based on a general idea.
- Example: if its going to rain, the ground will soon be wet.
- generate a general idea given some concrete information
- if you come outside and the ground is wet, you could use
inductive reasoning to decide that it rained overnight.
functionalfixedness:difficulty seeing alternative uses for common objects
Reliability:measures the extent to which repeated testing produces consistent results
- a reliable test produces the same result if one person takes it multiple times
✦important for intelligence tests because psychologists believe intelligence is a static
Validity:measures the extent to which a test is actually measuring what the researcher
claims to be measuring
- a valid test measures only the trait it is supposed to be measuring
✦in a university course... do the assessments measure your understanding of course
material or are they testing your ability to memorize information?
FrancisGalton-modern study of intelligence
- recorded how quickly subjects responded to sensory motor tasks. increased
reaction time = higher intelligence. may not have been valid but it was reliable.
AlfredBinet:produced first intelligence scale with everyday tasks.
- he assumed all tasks required reasoning.
CharlesSpearman:believed in a single type of intelligence. he observed that most people
who performed well on classical intelligence tasks performed well on all kinds of other
➡ advocated one generalized intelligence which he named “G”
➡ he believed that only persons with a certain level of G should be able to vote and
other things... remains controversial today
HowardGardner:multiple intelligence theory
➡ verbal - verbal
➡ mathematical - logical
➡ rhythmic - musical
➡ spatial - visual
➡ kinesthetic - bodily
• each trait exists independant of one another
• the debate over single or multiple levels of intelligence continues today
DavidWechsler:most common intelligence test
- Wechsler adult intelligence scale
- Weschler intelligence scale for children
- these scales produce an intelligence quotient
✦Standardized tests produce an intelligence quotient. (IQ)
✦someone who achieves the mean will be assigned a score of 100
✦standard deviation of 15
✦your specific IQ is relative to the performance of the rest of population
Does a persons intelligence result from genes or the environment?
- nature/nurture. no real answer, because both are ESSENTIAL
- we can use correlation studies
- twin studies: strong IQ correlations in identical twins, a bit lower for fraternal.
suggests a geneticcorrelation.
- IQ correlation remains highin twins raised in different environments.
- both genetics AND environments play a role, the influence of each is debated.
- raw IQ scores have been on the rise since 1932.
- the raw score corresponding to the standard 100 has been on the rise
- increased quality of school? increased access to information/technology?
- no one knows whyyyyyyyyyy
- children are active learners. by manipulating and exploring their environment they
add new information to what they know. Psych1X03WebModules
- SCHEMA:a mental framework for interpreting the world around us.
- children do not have fully formed schemas.
- assimilation:manipulating incoming info so it makes sense.
- accomodation:modifying existing schemas to fit incompatible information.
FOUR STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
- piaget claims that although children can pass through stages at different rates they
MUST go through them in this sequential order.
- purposefully engage with the world, recognize that they can affect change on their
- move around, pull a string on a mobile, rattle a toy, cry to get attention
- milestone:object permanence. Realizing that objects can continue to exist even
when they can’t see them anymore - when parents leave the room they still exist.
- challenges to master:
❖egocentricism - difficulty understanding world from another perspective. unable
to see someone else’s point of view.
❖seriation - ability to logically order series of objects. (shortest to longest sticks).
❖reversible relationships - do you have a brother? yep. does your brother have a
❖conservation - difficulty realizing quantities/sizes. ie if you pour two glasses of
milk into different size cups they will pick the one that looks like it has more (the
narrow one) even if they saw the milk originally in the same size glasses
- schemas are still concrete based on their experiences with the world
- unable to think in abstract ways
- all further cognition
- truly understand theoretical world of fantasy games and abstract things
- children sometimes develop skills out of order
- ppl argue that the tasks he asks them to do relies on their language abilities
- theories are still important tho
- tendency to seek out information that directly supports your hypothesis.
- often feels like the ideal strategy, its nice to be confirmed
- however the best way to know that your right is to find evidence saying you were
wrong (look other than positive affirmation) Psych1X03WebModules
- EXAMPLE: doctor making a diagnosis. makes an initial diagnosis after hearing
symptoms. then, she collects more information from the patient after that to confirm
her original hypothesis - victim of confirmation bias!
AvailabilityHeuristic:mental shortcut used to solve a problem quickly and correctly
-rely on quick info that might not be accurate
- large jackpot winners are more publicized so we think that lotto winners always get
a grand prize when really they DONT
✦our tendency to assume that what we are seeing is representative of the larger
category we have in our mind.
-EXAMPLE: a guy in a suit reading listening to classical music
❖farmer or english teacher?
❖statistically, he’s more likely to be a farmer than english teacher based on
❖we think they are an english prof because of how they look and act
❖we rely more on what we might think a prof would look like rather than acting on