Psychology *1010 Midterm Preparation
Chapter 11: Story of Psychology
• Wilhem Wundt’s experiment (1879, Germany) defined the start of scientific
o Dealt with lag between people hearing a ball hit the floor and pressing the
o Added 2 key elements:
1. Careful mesasured observations
• Two early stages:
o Structuralism: used introspection to define minds makeup- exposed the
subject to stimuli and asked to report sensations (Titchener)
o Functionalism: focused on how mental process helps us to adapt
• Introspection (looking inward)- reporting elements of their experiences as they
o Unreliable since it required smart, verbal people and results would vary
William James: Asked why does something function
• He developed functionalism, in part as a response to Titchener’s structuralism
• James studied human thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and questions such as
what function may they serve?
12: Development of Psychological Science
• Early Pyschology defined as: “the science of mental life” – until 1920’s
• B.F. Skinner and John. B. Watson dismissed introspection and redefined as “the
scientific study of observable behavior”
• Freudian psychology of 1960’s changed the definition again and examined
unconscious thought process.
• Cognitive revolution: focus on how our mind processes and retains info.
o new ways to understand ourselves and treat disorders/depression
• Todays definition due to Cognitive Revolution : “science of beavior and mental
• Behavior: anything an organism does (smiles)
• Mental Processes internal (thoughts) 13 Psychology’s Biggest Question: Nature vs. Nurture
• Plato theorized we inherit character/intelligence and certain ideas are inborn
• Aristotle theorized nothing in the mind doesn’t come from external observations
o John Locke ▯Team Plato
o René Descartes & Darwin ▯Team Aristotle
• Darwin’s Natural Selection: nature selects traits that best enable and organism to
survive and reproduce in natural environment.
Contemporary science believes psychological events often stem from the
interaction rather than separation of naturenurture
14 Psychology’s 3 Main Levels of Analysis
Biological Approach – brain mechanisms
Psychological Approach – learned fears
SocioCultural – presence of others
Combining these 3 approaches we get ‘BioPyschoSocial’ approach and a more complete
idea than any one pespective can cover.
Module 2 The Need for Psychological Science
Freudian Theory – the mind works on 2 levels:
Reasons why we can’t rely on intuition/common sense • Hindsight bias (‘’ I knew it all along”)
o When 2 opposite findings both seem like common sense there’s a problem
o Common sense better describes what has happened over what will
o People cant forsee upcoming results
o Tendency to think more than we do
o Perceiving social behavior based on what we think we know over what we
• Perceiving Order in Random Events
o Examining patterns and creating theories
o Sequences often don’t look random, resulting in over interpretation
o the outcome of one result gives no clue of the outcome of the next
These 3 problems often lead us to overestimate our intuition
What are the steps of the scientific method?
• “Students who are anxious about statistics are those who typically procrastinate on their
• Testable predictions derived from observations and/or implied by a theory
• Question that can be found true or false
• E.g., Do students who report being anxious about statistics procrastinate more on
• Operational definition: Definition of how a variable
is conceptualized and shows how it was measured
• For example:
• How can we measure statistics anxiety?
• How we measure procrastination?
• Reflects psychology’s focus on (obsession with) the quantification of mental processes
• Data collection and analyses • Research method
• If our statistical analyses lead us to conclude that the data supports our hypothesis,
then our theory is confirmed
• If we conclude that the data do not support our hypothesis, our theory is
• Revise hypotheses or reject them • Theory: an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations
and predicts behaviours or events.
• Support is not proof!
• Results from this study prove that anxiety about statistics is associated with increased
procrastination on assignments.
• Last step is replication
• Replicating research means trying it again using the same operational
Module 4: Neural & Hormonal Systems
• Basic building