PSYCH Midterm Review
(Module 1) Introducing Psych and Research Methods
How do we get from Theory to Hypothesis?
Theories are built from hypotheses that are repeatedly tested and confirmed
Theories are used by scientists to generate hypothesis
How do we evaluate evidence and how should this affect subsequent theories and hypotheses?
Evidence can be used to support a theory or falsifies a theory; it can also update a
current theory with new evidence to help ensure science is self-correcting
What makes a good theory?
A good theory becomes an accepted explanations of behavior or other natural
phenomena and when it can be backed-up with strong evidence about it
How does the Biopsychosocial model fit into Psychology? Why is this a useful model?
Psych is the study of behavior, thought and experience, the biopsychosocial mode is
explaining how behavior is the result of biological, psychological, and sociocultural
It’s an important model because…
o Biological (Structures/Chemicals/Hormones) influences on our behavior
o Psychological (How family, peers, and social situation determine how we think,
feel, and behave)
o Sociocultural (Incorporate influences of ethnicity and gender in discussion of
What does it mean to be scientifically literate?
To be scientifically literate is to have the ability to understand, analyze, and apply
o Application: Why is this relevant?
o Knowledge Gathering: What do we know about this?
o Scientific Explanation: How can science explain this?
o Critical Thinking: Can we critically evaluate the evidence?
Explain the differences between Empiricism, Determinism, and Materialism?
Empiricism: Knowledge comes through experience (Knowledge about the world is based
on careful observation, not common sense or theory)
Determinism: Belief that all events are seen by lawful, cause-and-effect relationships
Materialism: Belief that humans and other living beings are composed of only physical
Why is psychophysics so important?
Important for the study of relationship between physical world and mental
representation of that world (How people detect changes in physical stimuli) What are the influences of Medicine and Evolutionary theory?
Evolutionary Theory: Behavior is shaped by natural selection like physical traits; survival
and reproduction are related to an individual’s ability to recognize some expressions as
threats and others as submission; emotional expressions and other behaviors were
influenced by natural selection
Medicine Theory: Brain localization (certain parts of brain control specific mental
abilities and personality characteristics); diagnosis and providing treatment to
What are the differences between structuralism and functionalism?
Structuralism: Attempt to analyze conscious experience by breaking it down into basic
elements and to understand how these elements work together (Different sensations
can form and create complex compounds)
Functionalism: Study of the purpose and function of behavior and conscious experience
(Our brains and behaviors have been shaped by physical and social environment that
our ancestors faced)
What are the differences between Behaviorism and Humanism?
Behaviorism: Singular focus on studying only observable behavior with little/no
reference to mental events/instincts as possible influences on behavior
Humanism: Unique aspects of each individual human, their freedom to act, his/her
rational thought and belief that humans are different from other animals
Humanism difference from behaviorism in saying that humans have the freedom to act
and a rational mind to choose how they behave
What inspired the cognitive revolution?
Work of European psychologists to form the idea of studying mental processes
Study of memory
“Forgetting Curves” – Individual learns something but forgets it quickly but then slows
to a crawl
Careers in Psych
1. Applied Psych: Using psych to address problems across different settings and
professions (Law, Education, Clinical Psych, Business Organization, Management)
2. Forensic Psych: Work in the criminal justice system (Interactions with legal system and
3. Health Psych: Study of how individual, biological, and environmental factors affect
physical health (Behavioral medicine)
4. Industrial & Organization (I/O) Psych: Branch of applied psych where psychologists
work for business and organizations to improve employee productivity and
organizational structure of company/business
5. Psychiatry: Branch of medicine concerned with treatment of mental and behavioral
disorders 6. School Psych: Involves working with students with special needs (Emotional, Social,
*Know concept from slides*
What do Kant’s faculties of mind translate into for Hilgard’s?
Kant’s Faculty of Mind Hilgard’s Trilogy of Mind
Knowledge -> Cognition
Feeling -> Emotion
Desire -> Motivation
What is the Doctrine of Mentalism?
Actions caused by mental states
Mental States Action = Cause Effect
Psych assumes what we do/how we act is determined by what we think/feel/behave at
the time action takes place
How do we think about the different levels of explanation from different disciplines?
Sociocultural Psychological Biophysical
Each level is different, no level better than the other
How does Psychology fit into the Social Sciences? Biological Sciences? Physical Sciences?
1. Social Interaction: Cooperation/Competition; how do people relate to each
other in everyday living
2. Social Influence: Individuals/Groups; how do others act as individual and in a
group affect the individual’s thoughts and actions
3. Social Cognition: Reasoning; how we perceive others; how we remember actions
done to others
4. Personality: Individual differences; intelligence; expression to others
Neuro-anatomy: Looking at structure and organization of the nervous
Neuro-physiology: Looking at neural processes of how it operates;
communication with each other
2. Bodily Systems:
Immune: Protection from diseases
3. Molecular and cellular biology
5. Evolutionary biology 6. Ecology: Group of species and how they interact with each other and their
Physical Sciences…Mental life is the result of activity of the brain (Brain =
1. Psychophysics: How people perceive small/large objects
2. Brain Imaging: PET/MRI/EEG/NIRS
What is reductionism? Do we see it as a positive idea in this course?
Idea that principle of psych might be REDUCED to principle of science
“Ernest Rutherfod”: There is only one science, and it is physics; all the rest is stamp
Mental Talk = Folk Psych
We see it as a (+) idea because knowing physical science of person’s brain can allow us
to predict their feelings and thoughts
What is the scope of Psychology?
Basic Processes: How mind works
Development: Origins of mind; how species have changed over course of development
(Dogs/Chimpanzee have minds?)
Individual Differences: Personal organizations of mental life
Pathology: Disorders of mental life/trilogy of mind
Applications of Basic Knowledge: How is psych used in education/therapy/work
What are the three basic aspects of quality scientific research?
1. Quality measurement
3. Reduce bias
Know the terms associated with measurement: operational definitions, reliability, validity
Operational Definitions: Statements that describe the procedures or specific measures
used to record observations
Reliability: When a measure provides consistent answer over time across multiple ways
Validity: Degree of which the procedures measures what it actually claims to measure
Know how to improve generalizability
Study large group of people = Result would be most likely generalizable
Increase sample size
Get a general sense of how people in the population behave
Know how to reduce Bias
Inform Participants: Tell them how data is used; reduces stress
Single-Blind Study: Participants unknown reason behind study; might be led to believe
study is about something else
Double-Blind Study: Neither participant or experimenter know about study What is the difference between exploratory research and theory testing?
Exploratory Research: To explore some phenomenon with no actual predefined theory
when it first begins; researchers interested in topic but no theory beforehand
Theory Testing: To test theory’s cause and effect relationships about a number of
What is empirical research?
Must have potential to falsify theory
Established only if theory is consistent with observation that researcher makes
Generate hypothesis about results of particular study
o Research Hyp: Hypotheses expecting theory to be true
o Null Hyp: Result expected if theory is NOT true
What is the difference between correlational and experimental research? What are the
benefits/pitfalls of each?
Correlational Research…To establish whether one variable is PREDICTED by one/more
o Researcher only measuring characteristics participants already have
o Confound: Person not assigned to certain conditions; 3 /4 variable could come
into play and affect research
o Big Caveat: Can never draw conclusion about cause and effect because it’s not
manipulating one variable
o Can’t infer causation
Experimental Research…To establish whether one variable is CAUSED by one/more
o Independent Variable: Random assignment to different levels; hypothesized
cause; manipulated by experimenter
o Dependent Variable: Variable of interest; hypothesized effect
o Can infer causation
Minimal stress to participants for both research
What were the biggest take-home messages from the “Death of a subject” video? What was
the Milgram video about?
It's basically a social psychology test to show how susceptible and influenced people are
by authority. In the test, there is a "teacher" and a "learner". The teacher is the research
participant that has been randomly chosen by the researcher, and he is told that there is
a learner in the other room that has also been randomly chosen (this is actually not
true; the learner is a fellow researcher). The teacher is told by the researcher to deliver
an electric shock to the learner every time every time the learner gets something wrong.
What they found out is that, even when the teacher realized that the learner was in
extreme distress, they still kept delivering shocks to them just because the researcher
was telling them to. (Module 10) Developmental Psychology
From the text:
What are the two most common ways of measuring developmental data?
Cross-Sectional Study: Used to measure and compare samples of people at DIFFERENT
AGES at a single point in time
Longitudinal Study: Follows development of SAME SET OF INDIVIDUALS over multiple
points in time
What are the positives/negatives of each approach?
CS Study: (+) More time and cost efficient; (-) Cohort Effect (consequences of
being born in a certain year or narrow range of years)
L Study: (+) Avoid cohort effects; (-) Costly and time-consuming; issue of attrition
(when participants stop returning mail/calls, ineligible, quit)
What is a sensitive period?
Window of time during which exposure to specific type of environmental stimulation is
needed for normal development of specific ability
Ex. Language for infants
Know the stages of prenatal development and have a general idea of what happens in each
Germinal (0-2 Weeks)
o Migration of blastocyst from fallopian tubes and implantation in uterus
o Cellular divisions take place -> Multiple organ, nervous system, skin tissues
Embryonic (2-8 Weeks)
o Basic cell layers come separated
o Head, heart, limbs, hands, feet emerge
o Embryo attaches to placenta, structure allows for exchange of oxygen, nutrients
and removal of wastes
Fetal (8 weeks – Birth)
o Brain development progresses as distinct regions take form