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Review - Mid Term 1

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Kenneth Campbell

Nature of Psychology - Psychology: logos (study) & psyche (the mind) - “Mental events”: attention-consciousness, information processing, thought-language, memory & decision making (vague/abstract) o Cannot observe mental events - Psychology  the study of mental events and behaviour - Began in Physics (Psychophysics): what/why of consciousness Divisions of Psychology - Experimental Psychology (late 1879): Wilhem Wundt (how psychology began) o Structuralism (Wundt’s student) = Edward Titchener  Basic structure of the mind  chemistry analogy  Retina in eye has receptors for 3 colors: red, green, blue. Not conscious of red/green receptors that activate areas of visual pathway to see the color yellow. o Introspection: looking inward & reflecting one own conscious experience o Pragmatism (Functionalism): William James (1rst major textbook – psychology), philosophy of material/immaterial nature. - Clinical Psychology o Psychotherapy, Sigmund Freud (psychoanalyst), founder (1940) - Applied Psychology o Social, developmental, educational, industrial psychology Schools of Psychology th - Cognitive: (19 century, revived 1950) o William James o Study of higher “mental functions” (memory, decision making...) o Experiment pictures processed auto. even if told to ignore. Words no. o Psychologist cannot directly observe mental processes  Uses measures s/a performance/reaction time to infer about hypo. o Cognitive functions are inferred on the basis of variance in performance o Neural/Cognitive Modelling: use of comp. To mimic cognitive/info processing - Biological: o Manipulate psychological state or brain - Behavioural: o 1920: J. Watson (began), behaviouralism  B.F. Skinner o Study of cognition unscientific acc. to behaviouralists, only behaviour is observable o Caused by acts (behaviour) in the past, reward = repeat, reinforce = repeat o Deterministic – all behaviour is determined by consequential events, is learned - Social: 1 o Study of social environment & effects, animal beh. (ethology) o Most of human beh. can be explained through evolutionary/genetic principles - Psychoanalytical: o Freud o Role of the unconscious in determining behaviour (dictates personality/beh) o Deterministic – behaviour determined by “unconscious drives” Difference between psychoanalysis/psychiatry/clin. psy/exp. psy - Psychoanalyst: may/may not be psychiatrist, Freud (*) - Psychiatrist: M.D., “mental illness » caused by chemical imbalance - Clinical Psy: research degree, PhD, “abnormal behaviour” - Experimental Psychologist: researcher, PhD Phenomenological/Humanistic (Clinical Psychology)  Humanistic theories – emphasis unique human quality of beh.  Concern  phenomenology: individuals unique personal experiences  Theories of inner life Scientific Methods Epistemology: (Methods of obtaining knowledge) - Divine (non-physical) insight: communication with “higher” being - Pure logic & thought: reasoning = knowledge - Scientific manipulation: observing to seek effects (know b/c of cause) Materialism vs. Idealism Materialism Idealism All exists, has material form No physical reality of our existence Material law of physical universe Believes in “dream-like” experiences Atheist (*) Scientific Process: - Observation of the universe - Define a problem - Search the literature (has anyone asked that Q) - Development of theory: summary based on existing studies - Form a hypothesis - Test the hypothesis: design the study - Data collection: run the study - Analyses of the data - Interpretation of results (Hypothesis Y/N?) 2 Theories/Hypothesis  Theory – predicts behaviour or events, based on existing fact.  Theory vs. speculation – formed after an objective review and synthesis of already published research.  All hypothesis must be testable  A GOOD theory is one that potentially can be proven wrong.  If we repeat the experiment, results should be the same Hypothesis Testing  Different theories explain a fact, both theories cannot be correct – controversy o State a hypothesis (that can be proven wrong), define variables – operational definition (performance vs alcohol), quantify your variables of interest, assume all hypotheses are false unless proven otherwise (null hypothesis). True Experimental Studies  The variable is manipulated – independent variable o Ex. alcohol affecting the reaction time. o Everything must stay constant except the independent variable  Scientific progress – know something that wasn’t known before  Ignorance – scientists do not know why certain variables vary (most mysteries of the world)  Dependant variable varies because (1) effects of the independent variable and (2) individual differences (one we can explain) Experimental Designs  Control and experimental conditions  “Placebo effect” – reductions in the symptoms might have happened even if there is no drug treatment (double blind design) Quasi Experiments: It is not possible to manipulate the independent variable Natural Observation  Humans participants may act differently in a lab situation than they would in their natural environment Surveys  Wording of the questions can be crucial  Are often quasi-experiments or used as true experiments 3 Neurosciences: Neuronal and synaptic transmission Structure of Neuron  Dendrites: bushy branching extension that receives messages/conducts impulses towards cell body  Cell Body (soma): nucleus/basic survival elements  Axon: tube – carries information from cell body to synaptic terminals o Surrounded by myelin sheath (lipid material – fat) o Protects/Insulates axon and Speeds up transmission  Terminal ending: end of the axon Different Types of Neurons  Sensory neurons: (afferents), transmit impulses received by sensory receptors to CNS  Motor nerves: (efferents), carry outgoing signal from CNS to muscles  Interneuron: communicates between each other (memory, learning, complex behaviour) Resting Potential  Neuron carries an electric charge, it can change. (-70mV)  The charge is called the resting potential when it is inactive Excitation of the Neuron (Depolarization)  Inside surplus of ions (-), outside ions (+): when dendrite is stimulated, the cell membrane “channels” open, allowing positively charged ions to flow in. (less – and more + now) Action Potential  Electrode stimulates nerve cell (depolarized), when reaches “threshold of excitation”, the neuron fires. 4  Failed initiations: if level of excitation is not enough, the electric charge of neuron returns to resting potential  All or None law: when propagated the entire length of the axon, the electric potential will always be + 40mV Propagation of Action Potential  Long axons are mylineated (fat), the charge c
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