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psych 1100 textbook notes for 2nd midterm (2).docx

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PSYC 1000
Hank Davis

Chapter One Psychology: The Science of Behaviour The Nature of Psychology Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour. The term behaviour refers to actions and responses that can be observed and measured directly as well as mental processes such as thoughts and feelings that must be inferred from directly observable responses. Basic research is the quest for knowledge for its own sake, where as applied research involves the application of knowledge derived from basic research to solve practical problems. The primary goals of psychological science are to describe, explain, predict, and influence behaviour and to apply psychological knowledge to enhance human welfare. Perspectives on Behaviour: Guides to Understanding and Discovery Several perspectives have shaped psychology’s scientific growth. Each perspective views human nature differently and focuses on different causes of behaviour. With roots in physiology, medicine, and Darwin’s theory of evolution, the biological perspective examines how bodily functions regulate behaviour. Physiological psychologists study brain processes and other physiological functions that underlie our behaviour, sensory experiences, emotions, and thoughts. Behaviour geneticists study how behaviour is influenced by our genetic inheritance. Evolutionary psychologists examine behaviour in terms of its adaptive functions and seek to explain how evolution has biologically predisposed modern humans toward certain ways of behaving Psychology’s intellectual roots lie in philosophy, biology, and medicine. In the late 1800s, Wundt and James helped found psychology. Structuralism, which examined the basic components of consciousness, and functionalism, which focused on the purposes of consciousness, were psychology’s two earliest schools of thought The cognitive perspective views humans as information processors who think, judge, and solve problems. Its roots lie in the early schools of structuralism, functionalism, and Gestalt psychology. Piaget’s work on cognitive development, the study of linguistics, and the advent of computers sparked new interest in mental processes. Research in artificial intelligence develops computer models of human thought, whereas cognitive neuroscience studies brain processes that underlie mental activity. Social constructivism maintains that much of what we call reality is a creation of our own mental processes. The psychodynamic perspective calls attention to unconscious motives, conflicts, and defence mechanisms that influence our personality and behaviour. Freud’s psychoanalytic theory emphasized unconscious sexual and aggressive impulses and early childhood experiences that shape personality. th With roots in 18 -century British empiricism, the behavioural perspective emphasizes how the external environment and learning shape behaviour. Behaviourists such as Watson and Skinner believed that psychology should only study observable stimuli and responses, not unobservable mental processes. They argued that to change behaviour, the key is to modify the environment. Behaviourists discovered basic laws of learning through controlled research with laboratory animals and successfully applied these principles to enhance human welfare. Humanists reject the notion that people are controlled by unconscious forces or merely react to environmental stimuli. Instead, the humanistic perspective emphasizes personal freedom and choice, psychological growth, and self-actualization. The sociocultural perspective examines how the social environment and cultural learning influence our behaviour and thoughts. Cultural psychologists study how culture is transmitted to its members and examine similarities and differences among people from various cultures. An orientation toward individualism versus collectivism represents one of many ways in which cultures vary. Integrating the Perspectives: Three Levels of Analysis Factors that influence behaviour can be organized into three broad levels of analysis. The biological level of analysis focuses on brain processes, hormonal and genetic influences, and evolutionary adaptations that underlie behaviour. The psychological level of analysis examines mental processes and psychological motives, and how they influence behaviour. The environmental level of analysis calls attention to physical and social stimuli, including cultural factors, that shape our behaviour and thoughts. To understand behaviour, we often move back and forth between these levels of analysis. For example, when as children we are first exposed to cultural norms, those norms reflect a characteristic of our environment. However, once we adopt norms as our own, they become a part of our worldview and now represent the psychological level of analysis. Biological, psychological, and environmental factors contribute to the development of depression. These factors can also interact to influence a given behaviour. It may take only a mild setback to trigger depression in a person who has a strong biological predisposition toward depression whereas a person who does not have such a biological predisposition may become depressed only after suffering a severe setback Fields within Psychology Psychologists specialize in numerous subfields and work in many settings. Their professional activities include teaching, research, clinical work, and application of psychological principles to solve personal and social problems. Psychologists today conduct research and provide services around the globe. You can use principles derived from psychological science to enhance your learning and increase your likelihood of performing well on tests. These include time management principles, strategies for studying more effectively, test-preparation strategies and techniques for taking tests. Key Terms Applied Research: research involving the application of scientific knowledge to solve practical problems Artificial Intelligence: the field within cognitive science that attempts to develop computer simulations of human mental processes Basic Research: research designed to obtain knowledge for its own sake Behaviour Genetics: the scientific study of the role of genetic inheritance in behaviour Behaviour Modification: therapeutic procedures based on operant conditioning principles, such as positive reinforcement, operant extinction, and punishment Behavioural Perspective: a view that emphasizes the manner in which the environment and the learning experiences it provides shape and control behaviour Behaviourism: school of psychology that emphasizes the role of learning and environmental control over behaviour, and maintains that the proper subject matter of psychology is observable behaviour; Watson and Skinner were major figures in behaviourism Biological Perspective: perspective that focuses on the role of biological factors in behaviour, including biochemical and brain processes as well as genetic and evolutionary factors British Empiricism: philosophical perspective, all the contents of the mind are gained experientially through the senses Cognitive Behaviourism: behavioural approach that incorporates cognitive concepts, suggesting that the environment influences our behaviour by affecting our thoughts and fiving us information; these cognitive processes allow us to control our behaviour and the environment Cognitive Perspective: psychological perspective that views humans as rational information processors and problem solvers, and focuses on the mental processes that influence behaviour Collectivism: a cultural factor that emphasizes the achievement of the group rather than individual goals and in which personal identity is largely defined by ties to the larger social group (see individualism) Culture: the enduring values, beliefs, behaviours, and traditions that are shared by a large group of people and passed from one generation to the next Evolutionary Psychology: a field of study that focuses on the role of evolutionary processes (especially natural selection) in the development of adaptive psychological mechanisms and social behaviour in humans Functionalism: an early school of American psychology that focused on the functions of consciousness and behaviour in helping organisms adapt to their environment and satisfy their needs Gestalt Psychology: a German school of psychology that emphasized the natural organization of perceptual elements into whiles, or patters, as well as the role of insight in problem solving Humanistic Perspective: a psychological perspective that emphasizes personal freedom, choice, and self- actualization Hysteria: a psychological disorder studied and treated by Freud in which physical symptoms appear without any apparent underlying organic cause Individualism: a cultural characteristic that favours the achievement of the individual over group goals and which is characteristic of many Western nations; self-identity is based primarily on one’s own attributes and achievements (see collectivism) Insight: in Gestalt psychology, the sudden perception of a useful relationship or solution to a problem; in psychoanalysis, the conscious awareness of unconscious dynamics that underlie psychological problems Interaction: in analyzing causal factors, the influence that the presence or strength of one factor can have on other causal factors Introspection: the method of “looking within” and verbally reporting on immediate experience; used by the structuralists to study the contents of the mind Jigsaw Program: an applied research program in which knowledge gained from basic research on factors that increase and decrease intergroup hostility was translated into a cooperative learning program designed to reduce interracial hostility in racially integrated schools Levels of Analysis: an approach to analysing behavioural phenomena and their causal factors in terms of biological, psychological, and environmental factors Mind-Body Dualism: the philosophical position that the mind is a non-physical entity that is not subject to physical laws and cannot be reduced to physical processes; body and mind are separate entities Monism: the philosophical position that mental events are reducible to physical events in the brain, so that “mind” and body are one and the same Natural Selection: the evolutionary process through which characteristics that increase the likelihood of survival are preserved in the gene pool and thereby become more common in a species over time Norms: test scores derived from a relevant sample used to evaluate individual’s scores; behavioural “rules” Perspective: a theoretical vantage point from which to analyze behaviour and its causes Psychodynamic Perspective: a psychological perspective that focuses on inner personality dynamics, including the role of unconscious impulses and defences, in understanding behaviour Psychology: the scientific study of behaviour and its causes Repression: the basic defence mechanism that actively keeps anxiety-arousing materiel in the unconscious Self-Actualization: in humanistic theories, an inborn tendency to strive toward the realization of one’s full potential Social Constructivism: the position that people construct their reality and beliefs through their cognition Sociobiology: an evolutionary theory of social behaviour that emphasizes the role of adaptive behaviour in maintaining one’s genes in the species’ gene pool Sociocultural Perspective: a perspective that emphasizes the role of culture and the social environment in understanding commonalties and differences in human behaviour Structuralism: an early German school of psychology established by Wilhelm Wundt that attempted to study the structure of the mind by breaking it down into its basic components, thought to be sensations Terror Management Theory: a theory that focuses on the ways people defend against the fear of death Chapter Two Studying Behaviour Scientifically Scientific Principles in Psychology Curiosity, scepticism, and open-mindedness are key scientific attitudes. The scientific process proceeds through several steps: (1) asking questions based on some type of observation; (2) formulating a tentative explanation and a testable hypothesis; (3) conducting research to test the hypothesis; (4) analyzing the data and drawing a tentative conclusion; (5) building a theory; and (6) using the theory to generate new hypotheses, which are tested by more research. In everyday life we typically use hindsight (after-the-fact understanding) to explain behaviour. This approach is flawed because there may be countless possible explanations and now way to ascertain which is correct. Psychologists prefer to test their understanding through prediction, control, and building theories about the causes of behaviour. A good theory organizes known facts, fives rise to additional hypotheses that are testable, is supported by the findings of new research, and is parsimonious. An operational definition defines a concept or variable in terms of the specific procedures used to produce or measure it. Psychologists assess behaviour by obtaining participants’ self-reports, gathering reports from others who know the participants, directly observing behaviour, and measuring physiological responses. Methods of Research The goal of descriptive research is to identify how organisms behave, particularly in natural settings. Case studies involve the detailed study of a person, group, or event. Case studies often suggest important ideas for further research, but they are a poor method for establishing cause-effect relations. Naturalistic observation gathers information about behaviour in real-life settings. It often yields rich descriptions of behaviour and allows the examination of relations between variables. Researchers must be careful to avoid influencing the participants being observed and to interpret their observations objectively. Surveys involve administering questionnaires or interviews to many people. Most surveys study a subset of people (a sample) that is randomly drawn from the larger population of people the researcher is interested in. A major advantage of surveys is that representative samples allow for reasonable accurate estimates of the opinions or behaviours of the entire population. Unrepresentative samples, however, can lead to inaccurate estimates. Survey results also can be distorted by interviewer bias or biases in the way participants report about themselves. Correlational Research: Measuring Associations between Events Correlational research measures the association between naturally occurring variables. A positive correlation means that higher scores on one variable are associated with higher scores on a second variable. A negative correlation occurs when higher scores on one variable are associated with lower scores on a second variable Causal conclusions cannot be drawn from correlational data. Variable X may cause Y, Y may cause X, or some third variable (Z) may be the true cause of both X and Y. Nevertheless, if two variables are correlated, then knowing the scores of one variable will help predict the scores of the other. Experiments: Examining Cause and Effect A well-designed experiment is the best way to examine cause-effect relations. Experiments have three essential characteristics: (1) one or more variables are manipulated; (2) their effects on other variables are measured; and (3) extraneous factors are eliminated or reduced so that cause-effect conclusions can be drawn. Each variable manipulated by the experimenter is an independent variable. Variables that are measured are dependent variables. The independent variable is viewed as the cause, the dependent variable as the effect. The experimental group receives a treatment or an active level of the independent variable, whereas the control group does not. The behaviour of the control group sets a standard against which the behaviour of the experimental group can be compared. In some experiments different participants are randomly assigned to each condition, creating experimental and control groups that are equivalent at the start of the study. In other experiments the same participants are exposed to all the conditions, but the order in which the conditions are presented is counterbalanced. Researchers often examine several causal factors within a single experiment by simultaneously manipulating two or more independent variables. They examine the separate influence of each variable on behaviour and determine whether particular combinations of variables produce distinct effects. Threats to the Validity of Research An experiment has high internal validity when it is designed well and permits clear causal conclusions. Confounding occurs when the independent variable becomes mixed up with an uncontrolled variable. This ruins internal validity because we can no longer tell which variable caused the changes in the dependent variable. Internal validity is weakened by (1) demand characteristics, which are cues that tip off participants as to how they should behave; (2) placebo effects, in which the mere expectation of receiving a treatment produces a change in behaviour; and (3) experimenter expectancy effects, which are the subtle ways a researcher’s behaviour influence participants to behave in a manner consistent with the hypothesis being tested. The double-blind procedure prevents placebo effects and experimenter expectancy effects from biasing research results. External validity is the degree to which the findings of a study can be generalized to the other people, settings, and conditions. By replicating (repeating) a study under both similar and dissimilar circumstances, researchers can examine its external validity. Ethical Principles in Human and Animal Research Psychological research follows extensive ethical guidelines. In human research, key issues are the use of informed consent, the participants’ right to privacy, the degree of risk, and the use of deception. Ethical guidelines require that animals be treated humanely and that the risks to which they are exposed be justified by the potential importance of the research. As in human research, before animal research can be conducted it must be reviewed and approved, often by ethics review boards that include non-scientists. Critical Thinking in Science and Everyday Life Critical thinking is an important life skill. However, we should also be open-minded to ideas that are supported by solid evidence, even when they conflict with our preconceptions. There is no generally accepted, replicable scientific evidence to support the existence of paranormal phenomena. Even the ganzfeld procedure, initially supported by several highly controlled experiments, is controversial because it has often failed to replicate. Key Terms Archival Measures: using previously documented results in an experiment or theory. Case Study: an in-depth analysis of an individual group or event Confounding of Variables: in an experiment, the intertwining of the independent variable with another, uncontrolled variable; thus, we cannot tell which variable is responsible for changes in the behaviour of interest (i.e., the dependent variable) Control Group: in an experiment, the group that is not exposed to the treatment, or which receives a zero level of the independent variable Correlation Coefficient: a statistic that indicates the direction and strength of a relation between two variables Correlational Methods: research methods that involve measuring the strength of an association between two or more events Correlational Research: research that measures two or more naturally occurring variables, and examines why they are statistically related Demand Characteristics: cues used by research participants to guess the purpose or hypothesis of a study, thereby causing them to alter their behaviour Dependant Variable: in an experiment, the factor that is measured by the researcher and which presumably is influenced by the independent variable Descriptive Method: research method that involves recording observations or surveys Descriptive Research: research in which the main goal is to carefully describe how organisms behave, particularly in natural settings Double-Blind Procedure: a procedure in which both the participant and the experimenter are kept unaware of the research condition to which the participant has been assigned Experiment: a research method in which the researcher manipulates an independent variable under controlled conditions and measures whether this produces changes in a dependent variable Experimental Group: in an experiment, the group that receives a treatment or is exposed to an active level of the independent variable Experimental Methods: research methods that involve manipulations to establish cause and effect relationships between two or more events Experimenter Expectancy Effects: subtle and unintentional ways in which an experimenter influences participants to behave in a way that will confirm the experimenter’s hypothesis External Validity: the degree to which the results of a study can be generalized to other people, settings, and conditions Hypothesis: a tentative explanation or prediction about some phenomenon Independant Variable: in an experiment, the factor that is manipulated by the researcher Informed Consent: the principle that, prior to agreeing to participate in research, a person should be fully informed about the procedures, risks involved, and the right to withdraw at any time without penalty Internal Validity: the degree to which an experiment produces clear causal conclusions; internal validity is high when there is no confounding of variables Naturalistic Observation: a method in which the researcher observes behaviour in a natural setting and tries to avoid influencing the participants being observed Negative Correlation: as scores on one variable change, scores on a second variable change in the opposite direction Operational Definition: defining a concept or variable in terms of the specific procedures used to produce or measure it Placebo: an inactive or inert substance that has no medicinal value but it is believed by a patient to be helpful Placebo Effect: a change in behaviour that occurs because of the expectation or belief that one is receiving a treatment Population: in a survey, the entire set of individuals about whom we wish to draw a conclusion Positive Correlation: as scores on one variable change, scores on a second variable change in the same direction Random Sampling: a method of choosing a sample in which each member of the population has an equal opportunity to be included in the sample Replication: the process of repeating a study to determine whether the original findings can be duplicated Representative Sample: a sample that accurately reflects the important characteristics of the population Sample: in a survey, a subset of individuals drawn from the population Scatterplot: a graph commonly used to examine correlational data; each pair of scores on variable X and variable Y is plotted as a single point Survey Research: a method in which questionnaires or interviews are used to obtain information about many people Theory: a set of formal statements that explain how and why certain events of phenomena are related to one another Validity: the extent to which a test measures what it is supposed to; the degree to which a diagnostic system’s categories contain the core features of the behaviour disorders and permit differentiation among the disorders Variable: any characteristic of an organism or situation that can differ Chapter Seven Learning and Adaptation: The Role of Experience Adapting to the Environment Learning is a process by which experience produces a relatively enduring change in an organism’s behaviour or capabilities. Learning is measured by changes in performance. Learning involves adapting to the environment. Historically, behaviourists focused on the processes by which organisms learn, and ethologists focused on the adaptive significance of learning. Today these two perspectives have crossed paths, and more attention is paid also to how mental processes and cultural environments influence learning. Habituation is a decrease in the strength of a response to a repeated stimulus. It may be the simplest form of learning Habituation allows organisms to attend to other stimuli that are more important. Classical Conditioning: Associating One Stimulus with Another Classical conditioning involves pairing a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) that elicits an unconditioned response (UCR). Through repeated paring, the neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus (CS) that evokes a conditioned response (CR) similar to the original UCR. The acquisition phase involves pairing the CS with the UCS. Extinction, is the disappearance of the CR, occurs when the CS is presented repeatedly in the absence of the UCS. Sometimes, spontaneous recovery occurs after a rest period and the CS temporarily will evoke a response even after extinction has taken place. Stimulus generalization occurs when a CR is evoked by a stimulus similar to the original CS. Discrimination occurs when a CR occurs to one stimulus but not another. Once a stimulus (e.g., a tone) becomes a CS, it can now be used in place of the original UCS (food) to condition other neutral stimuli. This is called higher-order conditioning. A wide range of bodily and psychological responses can be classically conditioned, including fears, sexual attraction, and positive and negative attitudes. Techniques based on classical conditioning are highly successful in treating fears and phobias. Cancer patients may develop anticipatory nausea or vomiting (ANV) to stimuli that are paired with their chemotherapy. ANV is a classically conditioned response. Classical conditioning also can increase or decrease immune system responses. Operant Conditioning: Learning Through Consequences Thorndike’s law of effect states that responses followed by satisfying consequences will be strengthened, whereas those followed by unsatisfying consequences will be weakened. B.F. Skinner analyzed operant conditioning in terms of relations between antecedents, behaviours, and consequences. Antecedents that signal the likely consequences of particular behaviours in a given situation are called discriminative stimuli. Operant behaviours are emitted (under voluntary control), whereas classically conditioned responses are elicited (reflexive). Classically conditioned responses are influenced by what happens before the behaviour (i.e., by the CS-UCS pairing), whereas operant behaviours are influenced by consequences that occur after the behaviour. Reinforcement occurs when response is strengthened by an outcome (a reinforcer) that follows it. With positive reinforcement, a response is followed by the presentation of a positive stimulus, so the response is followed by the presentation of a positive stimulus, so the response becomes stronger. With negative reinforcement, a response is followed by the removal of an aversive stimulus, so again, the response becomes stronger. Operant extinction is the weakening and eventual disappearance of a response because it no longer is reinforced. Punishment occurs when a response is weakened by an outcome (a punisher) that follows it. With positive punishment, a behaviour is followed by the presentation of an aversive stimulus, and the behaviour becomes weaker. With negative punishment, a behaviour is followed by the removal of a positive stimulus, and the behaviour becomes weaker. Shaping, which uses the method of successive approximations, involves the reinforcement of behaviours that increasingly resemble the final desired behaviour. When behaviour changes in one situation due to reinforcement or punishment, and then this new response carries over to similar situation, this is called operant generalization. In contrast, when an operant response is made to one discriminative stimulus but not to another, this is called operant discrimination. On a continuous reinforcement schedule every response is reinforced. Partial reinforcement may occur on a ratio schedule, in which a certain percentage of responses are reinforced, or on an interval schedule, in which a certain amount of time must pass before a response gets reinforced. In general, ratio schedules produce higher rates of performance than interval schedules. On fixed ratio and interval schedules, reinforcement always occurs after a fixed number of correct responses or a fixed time i
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