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Midterm 1 - Notes.doc

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University of Guelph
PSYC 1000
Ingrid L.Stefanovic

PSYCH MIDTERM 1 NOTES Midterm: Thursday, October 13 2011 Intro to psychology (Chap 1) What is psychology? • Diverse field • Learning about ourselves • Science that requires critical thinking • Science of behaviour and factors Goals of psychologists 1. Describe 2. Explain (causes…) 3. Predict (when it will happen…) 4. Apply to the real world The nature of psychology • What is behaviour? o Observable things o Mental – thinking, motives… • Casual factors o Biological (brain, genetics) o Individual (thoughts, feelings…) o Environmental • Scientific approach o Gather and evaluate evidence o Empirical evidence (experience & observation) • Why use a scientific approach? o Minimise biases o Solve practical problems • Thinking critically about behaviour o Active role (claim?, credible?, evidence?, explanations?...) • Basic and applied research o Basic = knowledge for its’ own sake o Applied = solutions to practical problems o (Ex. Basic: seatbelts save lives, Applied: how to increase seatbelt use) Perspectives on behaviour -Different vantage points for analysing behaviour and causes of behaviour -Six major perspectives: • Biological o Psychological is first physiological o Influenced my discoveries of brain-behaviour relations o Darwin: natural selection o Behaviour genetics: selective breeding studies, twin studies • Cognitive o Mental processes’ influence on motives, emotions and behaviour 1 o Origins: structuralism (introspection: report in objective manor what you are experiencing), functionalism, gestate psychology o Influences: Jean Piaget (studied cognitive development, identified stages of child development) o *Modern cognitive science: artificial intelligence (computer models & expert systems, cognitive neuroscience (electrical researching & brain imaging) • Psychodynamic o Sigmund Freud: psychological problems are the result of unconscious motives & unresolved past conflicts o Current influences of Freud: psychotherapy, Biological (brain mechanisms which produce emotional reactions we are unaware of), Cognitive (aspects of information processing outside awareness) • Behaviourism o Environmental controls of behaviour through learning o Theorists: John B. Watson, B.F. Skinner • Cognitive Behaviourism o Albert Bandura: Learn new behaviours by watching others, bidirectional relation between person and environment (influence of environment) • Humanistic o Emphasizes: conscious motives, freedom, choice, self-actualization (reaching full potential), stimulating environment • Sociocultural o Role of culture in behaviour o Manner in which culture is transmitted o Similarities and differences between people in different cultures Example: Aggressive behaviour in children -Biological: competition, genes, chemical imbalance -Cognitive: thought patterns, right/wrong, insufficient problem solving skills, misinterpreting information -Psychodynamic: unconscious urges, subconscious point of view, abuse in the past, inability to process sexual thoughts -Behavioural: video games, abusive household, aggressive behaviour rewarded -Humanistic: didn’t reach full potential in household -Sociocultural: manners are different, media influences, class differences Branches in psychology -Branches: different specialty fields in psychology, 2 main branches • Experimental: Psychologists who seek to understand behaviour by conducting research o Physiological o Comparative (behaviour) o Developmental (different areas in psychology/how they change) o Social (influences of other people) o Sensation & perception (senses and neurosignals) o Learning (past experiences’ influence) o Neuropsychologist (links between brain & behaviour) o Cognitive psychologist (higher mental processes, ex. Language) o Personality psychologist (ways we react, similarities/differences) 2 o Psychometrics (design tests ex. Intelligence, personality) • Applied: psychologists who use the knowledge accumulated from the experimental psychologists to help people o Clinical (diagnose & treat psychological problems) o Clinical neuropsychologist (diagnose/treat brain disorder, ex. From accident) o Counselling (problems less severe) o Health psychologist (promote exercise/nutrition) o Educational (improve educational system, ex. Teaching techniques) o Community (change social systems, ex. Homelessness) o Consumer (marketing departments/best ways to advertise) o Engineering (design products better, ex. Stove knobs) o Industrial & organizational (job satisfaction, employee moral/motivation) Psychology as a science: Experiments (Chap 2) The scientific method -7 step system that guides how scientists should collect and analyse data -System designed so scientific system is accurate and precise 1. Review existing theories • Set of ideas that explain phenomenon of interest • Must be testable • Ex. 2 friends good at music, theory: music training influences math skills 2. Hypothesis • Sentence, prediction about how variables are associated • Operational definitions (specific explanation of a behaviour to measure skill) 3. How to test hypothesis • 1 factor ONLY differs the 2 groups • How to execute study (how many participants?, groups?, how to measure skill?) 4. Data collection • Empirically, without biases • Operational definitions help ensure that you’re measuring what you think you’re measuring 5. Analyse data using stats • Hypothesis not supported (change hypothesis or methods) • Hypothesis supported (inspect data and research methods and possible mistakes, consider other explanations) 6. Report findings • Written publication in journal/conference • Allows work to be reviewed, criticized & scrutinized by other experts 7. Revise original theory • Ensures knowledge accumulates incrementally • Existing theories are challenged -Advantages: researchers are clear and precise, train’s researchers to be sceptical and critical of their own & others’ work Experimental research in psychology 3 • Researcher manipulates variable • Comparing performance across different groups o Independent variable: manipulated o Dependent variable: measured o Experimental group: group that receives manipulation o Controlled group: used in comparison • By treating 2 groups exactly alike, except for the independent variable, you control for any other factors that may influence the result Treating both groups alike • Equal number of males and females • Same age distribution in each group • Everyone tested at the same time in the same room • Everyone is given instructions, ex. Set of words to study and amount of time to study, shown same distracter film Extraneous variable -Any variable other than the independent variable that can have an effect on the dependent variable -How to control: • Groups are made up of the same type of participants • Match participants: match P’s in experimental group with P’s in controlled group based on relevant factors • Random sampling: each person in larger population has an equal chance of being included in the study • Random assignment: each person in your study has an equal chance of going into either one of the groups Experimental variations -Test a single group of P’s repeatedly over time • Do opposite • Advantage: experimental group is equal to controlled group • Disadvantage: P’s may do better on subsequent testing due to prior experience with the testing situation -Manipulate more than the independent variable -Use more than one variable Advantage: the only research method that allows to make cause-effect conclusions Disadvantage: artificial and too simple, may have ethical/practical issues Psychology as a science: Correlations (Chap 2) Correlational research in psychology • Measuring at least 2 variables to find out how these variables are related to each other • Nothing is manipulated • Advantages: useful for studying topics that cannot be studied using experimental methods • Disadvantages: does not allow cause-effect conclusions 4 • 3 types : o Naturalistic observation: observes behaviour without influencing, by observing from periphery, remaining still, observing for a long time, use of cameras, look for other indicators of behaviour  A: natural conditions, conjunction with lab experiment  D: hard not to influence behaviour, takes time & patience, cannot determine cause of behaviour o Case studies: in-depth investigation of P’s using different data collecting techniques  A: real-world support for theories about the causes of behaviour  D: susceptible to biases, may not generalize to population, cannot determine cause o Questionnaires: pre asked a series of questions about certain aspects of their behaviour  A: study behaviours that cannot be directly observed, collect data from numerous P’s in short period of time, helpful in predicting behaviour  D: results depend on what P’s say, cannot determine cause of behaviour Evaluating research -Error from experimenter: • Biases (experimenter’s expectations, theoretical slant, wish fulfillment, accidental…) o Control: double-blind procedure, neither experimenter nor P’s know who’s in experimental or controlled group -Error from participants: • Sampling biases (sample is made up of people that are fundamentally different from the population) o Control: random sampling & random assignment • Placebo effect (P’s expectations of treatment force them to behave differently) o Control: double-blind procedure • Distortions in self-report data (P’s answer questions in a way that has nothing to do with the question asked) o Control: include definite true or false questions, have some questions worded differently • Social desirability biases (P’s answer questions in a way that makes them look good rather than the truth) o Control: ask same questions in different ways, collaborative evidence, word questions carefully Ethics -Researchers are expected to adhere to a certain set of ethical codes that involve respecting the dignity and welfare of all participants • Detailed proposal for ethics review: o Why study is necessary o What you expect to find o How you will get data (participants: how to find them, how to treat them, consent they must provide) • Ethics review procedure: o Researcher  University  Federal level 5 o Benefits: how knowledge gained helps mankind o Risks: potential harm to participants • Elements of ethical code of conduct: o Informed consent: P’s have the right to know all the aspects of the study (not always possible due to deception, animal subjects, vulnerable populations ex. Children, mentally challenged…) o Debriefing: after participation, P’s are informed of purpose of study o Confidentiality: keep information about P’s in strict confidence 6 Descriptive statistics -Used to organize your raw data into meaningful descriptions -Frequency distribution: a plot of how often each value of the dependent variable occurs Basic Statistics: Inferential (Appendix) Inferential statistics -Used to determine if your findings are likely to be found in the population as a whole, genuine and not due to chance -Allows researcher to make inferences about their data set, and conclude that their findings are genuine and not due to chance Statistical significance • When there’s a low probability that what you find is due to chance o P = 0.5 level of significance (5% chance) *P = probability Appropriate inferential test ↓ Translate result into P value / \ P < 0.5 (statistically significant) P > 0.5 (non significant) Statistical Lingo -Statistically significant: there is less than a 5% chance the results are due to chance -If P > 0.5: the results are non-significant -Is it possible to prove the hypothesis? NO Inferential tests • T-test: comparing 2 groupd of participants • F-test (ANOVA): comparing more than 2 groups of participants • R-test: measures relations between variables from inferential tests (value -1.0 to +1.0), the strength of the relationship depends on how close the value is to 1.0 7 Development (Chap 12) Development -Refers to the continuities and changes that occur within the individual between conception and death -Two processes lead to developmental change: • Maturation: o The biologically-timed unfolding of changes within the individual according to that individual’s genetic plan • Learning: o The experiences that we go through that lead to enduring changes in our thoughts, behaviors, and feelings Interactionist perspective -The view that developmental change is the product of what happens when maturation and learning interact with each other • How does maturation affect learning? • How does learning affect maturation???? -Four ways to learn about what is going on in infant’s mind: • Habituation procedure: – Repeatedly present the infant with the same stimulus – Measure certain physiological response – At first, infant will show some changes in physiological response – After a while, won’t see a response anymore 8 • This is habituation – Change the stimulus – If the infant detects the change in the stimulus, then they should show a change in response • This is dishabituation • Evoked potentials: – Measure an infant’s brain waves through electrodes while you present a stimulus – If the infant can detect the stimulus, then you will see a change in the pattern of brain waves • High-amplitude sucking method: – Infant is given special pacifier that responds to sucking rate – If they suck at a certain rate, they get access to a certain stimulus – Useful for determining infant’s preferences • Preference method: – Infant is placed in a “looking chamber” and is shown two stimuli at once – Researcher can measure where the infant is looking to determine preferences – Useful for measuring infant’s likes and dislikes – Problem: Impossible to draw conclusions if the infant doesn’t show a preference • No preference? • Couldn’t detect the diff
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