- Functionalism: how mental processes allow us to adapt & survive
- Behaviourism: psychology should be an objective science that studies
behaviour without reference to mental processes.
- Humanistic psychologists: emphasized growth potential of healthy people
(importance of love and acceptance needs).
- Cognitive neuroscience: study brain activity linked with cognition (perception,
memory, thinking, language) percieving & processing information.
- Nature vs. Nurture: TODAY nuture adds to nature.
- Biopsychosocial approach: integrated approach considers biological,
psychological & social-cultural aspects.
- Levels of analysis offer complimentary outlooks for analyzing any given
- Neuroscience: how the body & brain enable emotions, memories & sensory
- Evolutionary: natural selection & genes
- Behaviour genetics: how our genes & environment infuence our differences
- Psychodynamic: how behviour is caused by unconcious drives & conflicts
- Behavioural: how we learn observable behaviour
- Cognitive: how we encode, process & retreive information
- Social-cultural: how behaviour & thinking vary in situations/cultures
- Hindsight bias: the tendancy to believe, after learning an outcome, that you
would have forseen it.
- Overconfidence: humans tend to think we know more than we do, which is why
you cannot rely soley on intuition.
- People are prone to seeing patterns in random events.
Random sequences often don’t look random.
- INTUITION vs. SCIENCE: intuition is not enough to understand & predict
behaviour, although many people claim “psychology is just common sense”.
ex. Intuition says unique faces are attractive, science proves average
faces are attractive.
- Critical thinking: does not blindly accept arguments & conclusions, INSTEAD it
examines assumptions, uncovers hidden values, evaluates evidence & assesses
- OBSERVE BEHAVIOUR - Case studies: one person studied in depth (often not enough on its own).
- Naturalistic observation: observation in a naturally occuring situation (describes
behaviour, does not explain).
- Survey: looks at cases less in depth; self-reported.
Strive for random sample (representative of entire population)
Wording effects can completely change the question
- DETECT RELATIONSHIP
- Correlation is a measure of the extent to which 2 factos vary together.
(how well one predicts the other).
- Perfect positive correlation: +1.00
- Perfect negative correlation: -1.00
- Association does not prove causation (A could cause B, B could cause A, or C
could cause A & B).
- EXPLORE CAUSE & EFFECT
- An experiment is a research method in which one or more factors are
manipulated (independent variables) to observe the effect on some behaviour or
mental process (dependent variable).
- Random assignment: assigning participants to control & experimental groups by
- Double-blind procedure: both the participants & research staff are unaware of
who recieves the placebo & who recieves the treatment.
- Control group: not exposed to treatment (serves as comparison).
- As the myelin sheath is laid, neural efficiency, judgement & self-control grow.
- Neurons transmit messages when stimulated by signals are triggered by other
In response, it fires an impulse called the action potential.
- Neurons generate electricity from chemical events.
- Exterior of neuron: positively charged electrons
- Interior of neuron: negatively charged electrons
THIS IS RESTING POTENTIAL.
- The axon’s membrane is selectively permeable.
When a neuron fires, gates open to allow Na to flood in the membrane.
If strong enough, this creates depolarization & an action potential,
causing more channels to open & more Na to rush in.
During the refractory period (brief pause), the neuron pumps the Na
back out so that it may fire again.
- Higher levels of stimulation do not increase intensity of the impulse
- Intensity is detected by multiple neurons or more frequent neural impulses (eg.
Shooting a gun). 1. Action potential travels down axon & reaches the synapse.
2. This stimulates the release of neurotransmitters, which cross the synaptic
gap & bind to receptors of the receiving cell, allowing electrically charged
atoms to enter the neuron & excite or inhibit.
3. Sending neuron reabsorbs excess neurotransmitters (reuptake).
- Neurotransmitter systems interact; effects depend upon receptors.
- Agonists: bind to receptors & mimic effects of neurotransmitter
- Antagonists: bind to receptors & block neurotransmitter functioning
- Peripheral Nervous System: sensory & motor neurons
- Nerves: bundles of axons that connect CNS to muscles, glands & sense
Somatic: voluntary control of skeletal muscles
Autonomic: glands & internal organ muscles
Sympathetic: arouses & expends energy
Parasympathetic: conserves energy & calms
- To experience bodily pleasure or pain, the brain must be involved.
- Neurons cluster into neural networks when related for easy communication.
- Hormones: chemical messengers; travel through bloodstream & affect other
- Adrenal cortex: above kidneys, secretes epinephrine & norepinephrine.
- Pituitary gland: regulates growth & controls other glands.
WAYS TO DISCOVER WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT THE MIND WHEN THE
BRAIN ISN’T WORKING PROPERLLY:
- Case studies of accidents
- Case studies of split-brain patients
- Lesioning brain parts of animals to see what happens
- Chemically numbing, magnetically deactivating or electrically stimulating parts
of the brain.
Electroencephalogram (EEG): records waves of electrical activity,
measured by electrodes
Positron emission tomography (PET): detects path of radioactive
glucose while performing a given task.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): makes images after magnets align
atomic spin (shows brain anatomy).
fMRI: successive MRI images to show movement/change in anatomy.
OLDER BRAIN PARTS (functions all occur without concious effort)
- Brainstem: oldest part & central core of the brain (automatic survival functions).
- Medulla: base of the brainstem (controls heartbeat & breathing).
- Pons: above medulla (coordinates movement). - Thalamus: switchboard (information passes through here on its way to various
destinations) All senses except smell.
- Reticular formation: enables arousal (filters incoming stimuli & sends important
information to various areas of the brain).
- Cerebellum: “Little brain” Nonverbal learning & memory, time judgement,
emotional regulation, sound/texture discrimination & movement coordination.
LIMBIC SYSTEM (emotions; connects thought to body)
- Amygdala: 2 neural clusters linked to emotion (aggression & fear).
- Hypothalamus: directs several maintenance activities, governs endocrine
system, & is linked to emotion & reward.
- Hippocampus: processes memory.
- Frontal: speaking, muscles, judgement, planning
- Parietal: sensory cortex
- Occipital: visual processing
- Temporal: auditory processing
- The sensory cortex registers & processes body touch & movement sensations
- The motor cortex controls coluntary movement (output movement)
- Association areas: areas that are not involved in primary motor or sensory
functions, rather they are involved in higher mental functions.
- Plasticity: the brain’s ability to change, especially during childhood, by
reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experiences.
- Constraint-induced therapy aims to improve dexterity of brain-damaged person.
- Some neural tissue can be reorganized.
- Plasticity may account for why deaf people have enhanced peripheral vision
- Neurogenesis: formation of new neurons.
- Split brain: a condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brain’s 2
hemispheres by cutting the fibres connecting them (mainly the corpus callosum).
- Lateralization: “going to one side”
- The two hemispheres do not work together without the corpus callosum
- Only left half has the ability to express its thoughts out loud
- Left side perceives the view of the right side & vise versa
- EX. he | art flashed on screen. Person says they see ART (right side) but
points to the word HE (left side).
- Drive-reduction theory: a physoiological need creates an aroused tension state
(drive) that motivates an organism to satisfy the need.
Arises from homeostasis: maintenance of a steady internal state.
Also influenced by incentive: positive or negative environmental
stimulus that motivates behaviour. Control centre Response system Internal state Sensor
- Mechanical sensors: stomach & intestinal distension
- Chemical sensors: nutrients, peptide hormones/neurotransmitters
When blood glucose levels decrease:
- liver converts stored nutrients to glucose
- hypothalamus triggers hunger
When blood glucose levels increase:
- pancreas secretes insulin to convert & store glucose as fat
- GHRELIN: secreted in the stomach (hunger increases)
- PYY: intesines (hunger decreases short-term)
- LEPTIN: secreted by fat cells (hunger decreases long-term)
- OREXIN: released by hypothalamus to other brain parts (hunger increases)
- Homeostasis of energy regulation: ENERGY IN = ENERGY OUT
PSYCHLOGICAL INFLUENCES ON OVEREATING
- Sight & smell of food
- Variety of available food
- Memory of time elapsed since last meal
- Stress & mood
- Food unit size
- A previously overweight person must eat fewer calories to maintain their weight
because their metabolism is much lower.
- Genetics (overweight parents often mean overweight children)
- Lack of sleep = overweight
- Friends have similar weights
- Animals & humans are evolved to eat when food is available (evolution).
- Sight/smell alone triggers drop in glucose hunger/eating
- REWARD SYSTEM: eating is pleasurable
Can override homeostatic energy regulation.
- Cognitive neuroscience: study of brain activity linked with perception, thinking,
memory & language.
fMRI evidence for awareness in vegetative patients.
blindsight: patients who conciously cannot see anything, but can respond to a
- Dual processing: information is often simutaneously processed on separate
conscious & unconscious tracks (organizing & interpreting at the same time). - Inattentional blindness: failure to see visible objects when our attention is
- Change blindness: blind to changes at scene cuts, during distractions, or during
failure of short term memory
evolutionary: why store something that is right in front of us?
- Choice blindness: don’t notice a switch after we make a decision (ex. jam test)
once we’ve committed; come too far to back pedal
- Absolute threshold: minimum stimulation required to detect a stimulus 50% of
- Signal detection theory: how & when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus.
Assumes not single absolute threshold; detection is based upon experiences,
expectations, motivation & alertness.
- Top-down: construct percepti