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Midterm

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2: The Ways and Means of Psychology The Scientific Method in Psychology Control group: a comparison group used in an experiment, the members of which are exposed to naturally occurring or zero value of the independent variable  then measure the ability of participants in both groups to detect the hidden image and determine whether the outcome in the two groups differed. Provided that are two groups were alike at the start of the experiment, which is usually accomplished by randomly assigning volunteers to the two groups, we could attribute any differences in detection ability to the experimental manipulation of expectations Independent variable: variable that is manipulated in an experiment as a means of determining cause and effect relations Dependant variable: variable measured in the experiment Nominal fallacy: the false belief that one has explained the causes of a phenomenon by identifying and naming it; ex. Believing that one has explained lazy behaviour by attributing it to “laziness” Ex. suppose that we see a man frown and shout at other people without provocation, and generally act unpleasantly toward everyone around him. Someone says, “wow he seems really angry today!” - this does not explain his behaviour it only describes it; we might better say that his behaviour is hostile and aggressive. This statement does not claim to explain why he is acting the way he is. To say that he is angry suggests an internal state is responsible for his behaviour – that anger is causing his behaviour. But all we have observed is his behaviour, not his internal state. What we really need to know is what events made him act the way he did Operation definition: The definition of a variable in terms of the operations researcher performs to measure or manipulate it. Example : pg 35 Validity: the degree to which the operational definition of a variable accurately reflects the variable it is designed to measure or manipulate  let us consider the operational definition of detection: the time it takes for the initial presentation of the sterogram to the pressing of the response button. How can we know that the participant has actually seen the hidden image? Even with the best of intentions, a person in an experiment like this might be reacting to imagination rather than actual visual perception.As one possible check, we could construct our sterograms so that the image appears in one of the four quadrants of the display screen. Then ask participants to pint to the quadrant in which they seen the image. Using only those times that were associated with correct points would increase the validity of our measure. Confounding of variables: inadvertent simultaneous manipulation of more that one variable. The results of an experiment involving confounded variables permit no conclusions about cause and effect. Example: if we used a TV program soundtrack as our manipulation of noise, we could inadvertently cause confounding of variables – introduces the effects of another variable besides noise on reading speed. If a researcher inadvertently introduces one or more extra, unwanted, independent variable, he or she will not be able to determine effects on any one of them on the dependant variable – effects of the variable confounded Counterbalancing: Asystematic variations of condition in an experiment, such as the order of presentation stimuli, so that different participants encounter them in different orders; prevents confounding of independent variables with time-dependant processes such as habituation or fatigue Example: Counterbalancing in the predator experiment. The predator experiment could be improved by changing the order of presentation methods. Not showing the predator to the bird in the same order – because this exhibited less response from the birds even though the model of the predator shown at different times. Habituation is when the stimulus presented repeatedly Reliability: The repeatability of a measurement; the likelihood that if the measurement was made again it would yield the same value Example: suppose that in study on the effects of visual expectations on detection of hidden image, we present the stereo-grams by randomly drawing, from a large collection of digital sterogram images, 20 images to be presented to each participant. Some images poorly scanned, so they are out of focus when projected- factor would affect measure of detection, and would add to the differences we observe among the images and among participants The degree of subjectivity in taking a measurement is another factor in reliability. Subjective – requires judgement and expertise Iterator reliability: the degree to which two or more independent observers agree in their ratings of other organisms behaviour Random assignment: procedure in which each participant has an equally likely chance of being assigned to any of the conditions or groups of an experiment – most common way to avoid confounding. Example: list the names of the available participants and then toss the coin for each one to determine the participant;s assignment to one of the two groups Placebo:An inert substance that cannot be distinguished in appearance from a real medication used as the control substance in a sing-blind or double-blind experiment. --> if the participants know that they have taken stimulant drug it is very likely to be affected by this knowledge as well as by the drug circulating bloodstream- therefore give one group the drug, and the other the an identical pill that contained no actual drugs Single-blind study:An experiment in which the researcher but not the participant knows the value of the independent variable Double-blind study: An experiment in which neither the participant nor the researcher knows the value of the independent variable. Example: suppose we believe that if patients with psychological disorders take a particular drug, they will be more willing to engage in conversation. So we give the real drug to some patients and the placebo to others. We talk with all of the participants afterwards and rate the quality of the conversation. However, “quality of conversation” is a difficult dependent variable to measure, and the rating is therefore likely to be subjective. The fact the researchers know who received the drug and who received the placebo leave open the possibility that we may tend to give higher conversation quality ratings to those who took the drugs Correlation study: The examination of relation between two or more measurements of behaviour or other characteristics of people or other animals. --> correlations do not necessarily indicate cause-and-effect relations --> correlation does not prove causation Example: 1. Daydreaming keeps a person from making many contacts with other people; experiences in fantasies are more successful and gratifying than those in real life --> he does not know how to respond to the company of other people 2. Person has poor social skills; finds contacts with other people uncomfortable --> turns to daydreaming because he receives no gratification from social contacts Matching:Asystematic selection of participants in groups in an experiment or (more often) a correlation study to ensure that the mean values of important participant variables of the groups are similar. Example: want to study the effects of shyness on daydreaming, we might select two groups of participants, one composed of people who score very high on the shyness test and another group composed of people who score very low. Place further restrictions so the effects of other variables are minimized. Mae sure that average age, intelligence, income, and personality characteristics (other than shyness) of people in two groups are the same. If find that the shy group is, on average, younger than the non-shy group, replace some of the people in the shy group with older shy people until the average is the same. After following this matching procedure, we find that shyness is still related to daydreaming, we can be more confident that the relation in one of cause and effect and that the differences between the two variables are not cause by a third value. Replication: Repetition of an experiment or observational study to see whether the previous results will be obtained Sample: Aselection of elements from a larger population. Example: a group of participants selected to participate in an experiment Generalization: The conclusion that the results obtained from a sample apply to also the population from which the sample was taken. Ethics  In everyday lives most people believe that 1. it is wrong to hurt others needlessly 2. it is good to help others 3. it is usually wrong to make others do things contrary to their wishes and best interests 4. it is usually wrong to like to others 5. we should respect others' privacy 6. under most circumstances we should not break our promises to keep others' secrets 7. we should afford special protection to those who are relatively powerless or especially vulnerable to harm  Codes of research ethics tells us 1. we should minimize harm to participants, whether physically or mentally 2. we should maximize benefits of research to participants in particular and society in general 3. participants should be fully informed about the nature and research in which they are invited to participate, including risks and benefits, and their informed consent to participate must be voluntary 4. deception in research is generally unacceptable, although it may be tolerated under limited circumstances 5. we should not intrude into the private lives of participants without their permission 6. with certain expectations, we should guarantee participants that the information they provide will be kept anonymous or confidential unless they agree to make it public 7. volunteer populations (ex. Children, prisoners, seriously ill patients, handicapped) should be treated with proper care Informed consent: Agreement to participate in an experiment after being informed about the nature of the research and any possible risks and benefits Confidentiality: Privacy of participants and non-disclosure of their participation in research project Debriefing: Full disclosure to research participants of the nature and purpose of a research project after its completion Understanding Research Results Descriptive statistics: Mathematical procedure for organizing collections of data such as determining the mean, the median, range, variance, and the correlation coefficient. Using these procedures, we will calculate the measures that summarize the performance of of the participants in each group. Then compare theses measures to see whether the groups of participants behaved differently Measure of central tendency: Astatistical measure used to characterize the value of items in sample of numbers. Example: average weight of an adult male in NorthAmerica is 79 kilograms Mean: Measurement of central tendency; the sum of the group of values divided by their number; the arithmetical average Median:Ameasure of central tendency, the midpoint of a group of values arranged numerically Measure of variability: Astatistical measure used to characterize the dispersion in values of items in a sample of numbers. Astatistic that describes the degree to which scores of a set of numbers differ from each other Range: The difference between the highest score and the lowest score of a sample. (subtract the two together) Standard deviation: Astatistic that expresses the variability of a measurement; square root of the average of the squared deviation from the mean. Scatter plot: Agraph of items that have two values; one value plotted against the horizontal axis and the other against the vertical axis Correlation coefficient: Ameasurement of the degree to which to variables are related, size of the correlation coefficient can vary from (0 no relation) to plus or minus 1.0 (perfect) Inferential statistics: Mathematical procedures for determining whether relations or differences between samples are statistically significant 3: Evolution, Heredity, and Behaviour The development of Evolutionary theory Biological Evolution: Changes that take place in the genetic and physical characteristics of a population or group of organisms over time. Adaptive significance: The effectiveness of behaviour in aiding organisms to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Example: novelty seeking, the tendency to engage in behaviours that lead to new experiences. Individuals who exhibit high scores on psychological tests for novelty seeking are described as “impulsive,” exploratory” or excitable,” while those who show low scores are considered “reflective,” “stoic,” and “slow tempered”. Is it beneficial to be one of the former or latter.? What function does novelty seeking (or converse) serve in helping people adapt to the changing circumstances of life? What events and conditions in the evolution of our species favoured or punished novelty seeks; what functions has novelty seeking served on the history of humankind? Ultimate causes: Evolutionary conditions that have slowly shaped the behaviour of species over generations Proximate causes: Immediate environmental events and conditions that affect behaviour. Ex pg. 59 Culture: The sum of socially transmitted knowledge, customs and behaviour patterns common to particular group of people Artificial selection: Aprocedure in which particular animals are deliberately mated to produce offspring that posses desirable characteristics. Example: if a pigeon fancier wanted to produce a pigeon with colourful plumage, he or she would examine the available stock and permit only the most colourful to reproduce. If this process repeated over many generation of birds, breeder's colony should become more colourful Natural selection: The consequence of the fact, because there are physical and behavioural differences among organisms, they reproduce differentially. Within a given population, some animals- the survivors- will produce more offspring than will the other animals.  Based on two premises: 1. individuals within a population show variability in heritable behavioural and physical characteristics 2. the capacity of the environment to sustain a population of any species is limited, producing competition Example: Wolves that are fleet of foot are better able to capture their prey than are slower pack mates. Fast wolves will therefore tend to outlive and out-reproduce slower wolves. If a wolf's tendency to run fast is a genetically controlled trait, it will be passed on to its offspring. These offspring will be more likely to catch prey and will therefore live longer and have new opportunities to reproduce Reproductive success: The number of viable offspring an individual produces to the number of viable offspring produced by other members of the same species. Example: in humans, good looks, charm, and intelligence play an important role in an individuals ability to provide for a family Variation: The differences found across individuals of any given species in terms of their genetic, biological (strength, physiology), and psychological (intelligence, sociability, behaviour) characteristics. Genotype: Organisms genetic makeup Phenotype: The outward expression of an organism's genotype, an organism's physical characteristics and behaviour  Although evolution occurs over the long run, natural selection can produce important changes in the short run- space of only few years (ex. Cockroaches generations every couple of days.)  Phenotypic variation (ex. Different beak sizes) can produce important selective advantages that affect survival Competition: Astriving or vying with other who share the same ecological niche or food, mates, and territory. Example: Yellow-headed blackbirds and red-winged blackbirds eat the same foods and occupy the same breeding territories; thus they compete for these resources  Natural selection works because the members of any species have different phenotypes. Because these phenotypes are caused by different genotypes, successful individuals will pass on their genes to the next generation Heredity and Genetics Genetics: The study of the genetic makeup of organisms and how it influences their physical and behavioural characteristics Heredity: The sum of the traits and tendencies inherited from a person's parents and other biological ancestors. DNA(deoxyribonucleic acid): The DNAstructures resembles that of a twisted ladder. Strands of sugar and phosphates are connected by rungs made from nucleotide molecules of adenine, thymine, guanine, cytosine Genes: Small units of DNAthat direct synthesis of proteins and enzymes Genome: The total set of the genetic material of an organism. Human genome comprises 24 different DNAmolecules in women and 25 different DNAmolecules in men.Appear to be 30 000 – 40 000 genes in the human genome Enzymes: Proteins (strings of amino acids) that regulate the structure of the bodily cells and the processes occurring within those cells. Chromosomes: Threadlike structures in the nuclei of living cells; contain genes Sex chromosomes: The chromosomes that contain the instructional code for the development of male or female sex characteristics. In females, the two sex chromosomes are labelled as X chromosomes, but in males the two molecules are of different types and labelled as X and Y chromosomes Autosomes: Chromosomes that are not sex chromosomes Meiosis: The form of cell division by which new sperm and ova are formed. The chromosomes within the cell are randomly arranged so that new sperm and ova contain 23 individual chromosomes, or half of those that are found in the bodily cells Alleles: Alternative forms of the same gene Dominant trait: The trait that is exhibited when an individual possesses heterozygous alleles. Recessive trait: Atrait that occurs when it is expressed by homozygous alleles. Example: Consider eye colour. The pigment found in the iris of the eye is produced by a particular gene. If parents contribute the same allele for eye colour to their child, the gene combination is called homozygous (same). However, if the parents contribute different alleles the gene combination is said to be heterozygous (different). The character trait produced by the heterozygous gene combination is the dominant trait. The character of brown eyes is dominant. When a child inherits the allele that codes for brown eye colour from one parent and the allele that code for a different eye colour from the other parent, child will have brown eyes. Blue eye colour, is recessive trait- not present when in an individual is heterozygous. Only if both of a child's alleles for eye colour are the blue type will the child have blue eyes. Inheritance of two alleles for brown eyes will, of course, result in brown eyes. Mutations: Accidental alterations in the DNAcode withing in a single gene. Mutations can be either spontaneous, occurring naturally, or the result of environmental factors such as exposure to high-energy radiation. Example: Hemophilia Chromosomal aberration: The arrangement of genes within chromosomes or a change in the total number of chromosomes. Example: in this case, a partial deletion on chromosome 5 – is the cri-du-chat syndrome. Infants who have this syndrome have gastrointestinal and cardiac problems, have serve problems in mental functioning, and make crying sounds resembling a cats meow. Down Syndrome: Genetic disorder caused by chromosomal aberration resulting in an extra twenty-first chromosome. People having down syndrome show impairments in physical, psycho meter, and cognitive development Huntington's disease: Genetic disorder caused by a dominant lethal gene in which a person experiences slow but progressive mental and physical deterioration. - lethal gene can be passed on to children before the parent even knows that he or she has the gene or not Phenylketonuria (PKU): Genetic disorder caused by a particular pair of homozygous genes and characterized by the inability to break down phenylalanine, an amino acid found in many high-protein foods. The resulting high blood levels of phenylalanine cause mental retardation Heritability: The amount of variability in a given trait in a given population at a given time due to genetic factors. Pertains to a only to the variation of a trait in a specific population Behaviour genetics: The study on genetic influences on behaviour.Attempt to account for the roles that both heredity and the environment play in an individual differences in a wide variety of physical and mental abilities. Mendelian traits: Atrait showing a classical dominant, recessive, or sex-linked pattern of inheritance. Mendelian traits are usually dichotomous and are controlled by single locus. Non-Mendelian traits: Atrait that does not show the inheritance pattern described by Mendel. Non- Mendelian traits are usually polygenic and show continuous variation in phenotype. Example: if parents are intelligent then, in general so are their children. But intelligence, to the extent that is a genetically determined characteristic. Genetic engineering: The new scientific discipline of manipulating genetic sequences to alter an organism's genome Knockout mutation: An artificially constructed genetic sequence inserted into a gene to inactivate it Genetic marker: Aknown DNAsequence that occurs at a particular place in the chromosome Concordance research: Studies the degree of similarity between twins in traits expressed. Twins are said to be concordant for a trait if either both or neither twin expresses its and discordant if only one twin expresses it. Example: when we observe a trait exhibiting high concordance for MZ twins but a low one for DZ twins, we can conclude that trait is strongly affected by genetics. Blood type is heritability of 100%. pg 72. Epigenetic modifications: Changes in cell inheritance that are not due to alterations in the sequence of DNA nucleotides. Example: X chromosome inactivation Para-mutations: Heritable changes in an organism due to the expression of an allele that is no longer present. Example: Concerns a gene knows as KIT that determines that part of the coat colouring of mice. Homozygous mice with two copies of the normal allele show brown coats; that that are heterozygous, possessing one normal and one special mutant allele, show white tails and feet, even if homozygous with normal allele. Even though the mutant allele for white colouring is no loner present in the DNAof the offspring, it still affects their coat colour. Prions: are proteins who geometric structure is altered in such a way that they cause other proteins to adopt altered shape. Example: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease Humans and Evolution Bipedalism: Ability to move about the environment upright on two feet Encephalization: The increase in brain size Cultural evolution: The adaptive changes of cultures in response to environmental changes over time  Our capacity of learning has evolved because 1. it leads to “more flexible and rapid method of achieving reproductive success” 2. allows entire groups of people to “ adjust or take advantage of novel opportunities in a single generation without having to wait for the appearance and spread of genetic mutations.” Sociobiology: Study of genetic basis of social behaviour Reproductive strategies: Different systems of mating and rearing offspring. Include monogamy. Polygyny. Polyandry, and Polygynandry Monogamy: Mating of one female and one male. Common in species whose environments have favoured the contributions of both parents to the survival and reproductive success of their offspring. Example: foxes must provide food, milk, and protection for offspring.Asingle fox attempting to fulfil these responsibilities puts the pups at risk. Both parents hunt and protect cubs. Polygyny: The mating of one male with more than one female. Females make the greater parental investment. Example: in most mammals there can be little doubt that the costs associated with reproduction are higher for females than males. Polyandry: The mating of one female with more than one male. Example: People in Himalayan villages. Polygynandry: The mating of several females with several males Parental investment: The resources, including time, physical effort, and risks to life that a parent spends in procreation and in the feeding, nurturing, and protecting offspring. Example: Chimpanzees – because male in the colonies not sure which offspring are theirs it is in their best interest to help rear and protect all offspring and defend their mothers. Sexual Selection: Selection for traits specific to sex, such as body size or particular patterns of behaviour Altruism: The unselfish concern of one individual for the welfare of another. Example: The honeybee that sacrifices its life on behalf of its have mates by stinging intruder, or the prairie dog that gives alarm call that warns other prairie dogs of the predator but increases its own chances of being captured. Inclusive fitness: The reproductive success of those who share common genes. Kin Selection: Atype of selection that favours altruistic acts aimed at individuals who share so
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