Chapter 1-8.docx

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Steve Joordens

Chapter 1.1 – The Science of Psychology • Anthropomorphism – the act of treating objects or animals like humans • Psychology – the scientific study of behaviour, thought and experience • Scientific Method – a way of learning about the world through collecting observations  proposing explanations  developing theories  making predictions • Hypothesis – testable prediction about processes that can be observed and measured o You do not need to prove a hypothesis, just confirm or deny • Pseudoscience – refers to ideas that are presented as science but do not utilize basic principles of scientific thinking or procedures • Theory – an explanation for a broad range of observations that also generates new hypotheses and integrates numerous findings into a coherent whole o Built from hypothesis that are repeatedly tested and confirmed o Any scientific theory must be falsifiable: they can be proved false with new evidence • Biopsychosocial model – a means of explaining behaviour as a product of biological, psychological and sociocultural factors o Biological: hormones, genes, brain anatomy, evolution, drugs o Psychological: behaviour, perception, thought, experience o Sociocultural: interpersonal relationships, families, groups, society, ethnicity • Scientific Literacy – the ability to understand, analyze, and apply scientific information Chapter 1.2 – How Psychology became Science • Essentialism – human tendency to ascribe significance to some objects but not to others • Empiricism (John Locke) – philosophical belief that knowledge comes through experience o Based on careful observation, not common sense or speculation • Determinism – belief that all events are governed by lawful, cause-effect relationships • Zeitgeist – general set of beliefs of a particular culture at a specific time in history o Prevented rise of psychology as a science, as people in 1600s were not ready to accept human behaviour as result of predictable physical laws; doing so would imply: • Materialism (James Mill) – belief that humans and other living beings are composed only of physical matter o Humans only complex machines that lack a self-conscious, self-controlling soul o Opposing belief, that there is a mind separate from physical body, called dualism (Renee Descartes) • Luigi Galvani was one of the first to study bioelectricity, when he discovered that the muscles of dead frog legs twitched when struck by a spark (1771) • Psychophysics – the study of relationship between the physical and mental world o Coined by Gustav Fechner who worked on sensation and perception o Found people will identify 10% difference in weight; right hand notices weight more • Charles Darwin said behavior is shaped by natural selection, just as physical traits are • Clinical Psychology – field of psychology that concentrates on the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders o Brain localization – certain parts of the brain control specific mental abilities and personality characteristics • Two competing views on brain localization: phrenology and approach that entailed study of brain injuries and how they affect behavior • Phrenology – brain consisted of 27 “organs”, corresponding to mental traits and dispositions that could be detected by examining the surface of the skill • Broca’s Area – identified by Paul Broca as part of brain where speech production is localized • Wernicke’s Area – identified by Karl Wernicke and involved in the understanding of written and spoken language • Psychosomatic medicine – phenomena where patients were cured by belief in medicine (Fraz Mesmer) • Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies – nature of perception is defined by pathway over which the sensory information is carried; the difference between seeing and hearing not caused by different input but by the different structures these stimuli excite – James Muller • Ablative Studies – destruction of brain tissue to understand the effects caused on physical body – Pierre Flourens • Psychoanalysis – psychological approach that attempts to explain how behaviour and personality are influenced by unconscious processes – developed by Freud • William Wundt established first laboratory dedicated to studying human behaviour; established psychology as a field o Studied sense and perception by way of introspection o Concluded mental activity is not instantaneous, requires a small amount of effort (1/8s) • Structuralism – attempt to analyze conscious experience by breaking it down into basic elements, and understanding how these elements work together • Functionalism – study of the purpose and function of behavior and conscious thought o Our brains and behaviour shaped by the physical and social environments that our ancestors encountered • Behaviourism – approach that studied only observable behavior, with little reference to the influence of mental factors or instincts o Popularized in US by John Watson, continued by B.F. Skinner o Criticized because if behaviour only controlled by external rewards, it means no free will • Humanistic psychology born largely as direct counter-response to Freud’s focusing on the negative aspects of humanity o Focuses on the unique aspects of each individual human and that humans are fundamentally different from animals o Humans strive to develop sense of self and motivated to grow and develop potential • Cognitive Revolution – emphasis for psychology to focus on studying mental processes like thought, perception, memory and learning (cognitive psychology) • Gestalt Psychology – approach emphasizing that psychologists need to focus on the whole of perception and experience rather than its parts (The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts) • Herman von Ebbinghaus – studied memory and discovered forgetting curve and spacing effect Chapter 2.1 – Principles of Scientific Research • Objective Measurement – measure of an entity or behaviour that is consistent across instruments and observers, with small margin of error • Operational definitions – statements that describe the procedures (operations) and specific measures that are used to record observations – How do we know someone is drunk? • Reliability – provides strong and stable results across multiple observations and points in time • Validity – the degree to which an instrument actually measures what it claims to measure • Ecological Validity – the degree to which lab results can be applied to or repeated in natural environment • Hawthorne effect – term used to describe situations in which behaviour changes as a result of being observed • Demand characteristics – inadvertent cues given by experimenter or experimental context that provide information about how participants are supposed to behave • Social desirability – participants respond in ways that increase chances they are viewed favourably • Single-blind study – participants do not know true purpose of study, or do not know which type of treatment they are receiving • Double-blind study – neither participant not researcher knows the exact treatment for any individual • Replication – process of repeating a study and finding a similar outcome each time • Poor evidence comes from: o Anecdotes – an individual’s story or testimony about an observation or event that is used to make a claim as evidence o Appeal to authority – the belief in an “expert’s” claim even when no supporting data or scientific evidence is present o Appeal to common sense – claim that appears to be sound, but lacks scientific evidence Chapter 2.2 – Scientific Research Designs • Correlational studies – measuring the degree of association between two or more variables o Correlations have a direction: positive (both variables occur together) or negative (more of one variable, less of the other) o Correlations have a magnitude: described in terms of correlation coefficient ranging from -1.0 to +1.0. the closer it is to 1.0, the stronger the relationship • Confounding variables – variables outside of researcher’s control that might affect results • Quasi-experimental research – research technique in which groups being compared are selected based on pre-determined characteristics, not random assignment (man vs. women) Chapter 2.3 – Ethics in Psychological Research • Mortality salience is research where participants are made more aware of death Chapter 2.4 – A Statistical Primer • Descriptive Statistics – set of techniques used to organize, summarize and interpret data o Frequency, central tendency, variability • Frequency – the number of observations that fall within a certain category or range • Central tendency – measure of the central point of a distribution using mean, median or mode • Variability – degree to which scores are dispersed in a distribution • Standard deviation – measure of variability around mean • Statistical significance – mean of group are farther apart than you would expect them to be by random chance alone • Hypothesis effect – statistical method of evaluating whether differences among groups are meaningful, or could have arrived at by chance alone Chapter 3.1 – Genetic and Evolutionary Perspectives on Behaviour • Behavioral genetics – study of how genes and environment influence behavior • Monozygotic twins come from single egg (identical twins), Dizygotic twins come from two eggs (fraternal twins) • Heritability – a statistic, expressed as a number between zero and one, that represents the degree to which genetic differences between individuals contribute to individual differences in a behavior or trait found in population o 0 means genes do not contribute to individual differences in a trait o 1 means genes contribute to all individual differences in a trait • Behavioral genomics – study of DNA and the ways in which specific genes are related to behavior Chapter 3.2 – How the Nervous System Works • Neurons – type of cell responsible for sending and receiving messages throughout body o Cell body (soma) – contains nucleus o Dendrites – small branches radiating from cell body that receive and transmit messages from other cells o Axon – transports electrochemical information from neuron to neuron  Neurotransmitters – chemicals that function as messengers allowing communication between neurons  Released across synapses, small spaces that separate individual nerve cells o Myelin – fatty sheath that insulates axons from each other, resulting in increased speed and efficiency  In MS, myelin is not recognized and destroyed  Made from Glial cells that are specialized for mounting immune responses in brain, removing waste and synchronizing neuron activity • Sensory neurons bring information from parts of body to brain (touch, pain, sensations) • Motor neurons carry messages away from brain and spinal cord towards muscle for movement • Resting potential – relatively stable state of neuron which cell is not transmitting messages • Action potential – wave of electrical activity that originates at base of axon and rapidly travels down its length • Synaptic cleft – minute space between terminal button and dendrite • Refractory period – brief period in which neuron cannot fire • All-or-none-principal – individual nerve cells fire at the same strength every time an action potential occurs • Agonists – drugs that enhance or mimic the effect of a neurotransmitter’s action (ex. nicotine) • Antagonists – inhibit neurotransmitter activity by blocking receptors or preventing neurotransmitter synthesis (ex. Botox) • Hypothalamus – brain structure that regulates basic biological needs and motivational systems • Pituitary glands – produces hormones and sends commands about hormone production to other glands of endocrine system • Adrenal glands – pair of endocrine glands located adjacent to the kidneys that release stress hormones Chapter 3.3 – Structure and Organization of Nervous System • Peripheral Nervous System – transmits signals between brain and rest of body. Divided into: o Somatic nervous system – consists of nerves that receive sensory input from the body and control skeletal muscles, responsible for voluntary and reflexive movements o Autonomic nervous system – responsible for regulating activity of organs and glands  Sympathetic nervous system – responsible for fight-or-flight response  Parasympathetic nervous system – helps with homeostasis, brings body back to normal after sympathetic response • Central Nervous System – brain and spinal cord • Brain stem – consists of medulla and pons – breathing, heart rate, sleep and wakefulness • Cerebellum – balance, coordination, timing of movements • Midbrain – relays sensory and motor information, voluntary movement • Forebrain – basal ganglia (movement), amygdala (emotion), hippocampus (memory), hypothalamus (temperature, motivation) • Limbic system – network involved in emotion and memory • Thalamus – involved in relaying sensory information to different regions of brain • Cerebral cortex – thought, language, personality o Corpus callosum – collection of neural fibres connecting two hemispheres o Frontal lobe – planning, regulating, language, voluntary movement o Parietal lobe – bodily awareness, experience of touch o Occipital lobe – visual information processed o Temporal lobe – hearing, language, object and face recognition • EEG measures patterns of brain activity with the use of multiple electrodes attached to scalp Chapter 4.1 – Sensation and Perception at a Glance • Sensation – simple stimulation of a sense organ; basic registration of light, sound, pressure, odor or taste as parts of the body interact with the physical world • Perception – takes place in brain: organization, identification and interpretation of the sensation in order to form a mental representation. • Transduction – sensors convert physical signals into neural ones sent to the CNS. • Sensory adaptation – reduction of activity in sensory receptors with repeated stimulus exposure • Psychophysics – field of study developed by Fechner measuring sensation and perception: methods that measure the strength of a stimulus and the observer’s sensitivity to that stimulus. • Absolute threshold – minimal intensity needed for it to be reliably detected 50% of the time • Difference threshold – smallest detectable difference between two or more stimuli • Signal detection theory: response to a stimulus depends both on a person’s sensitivity to the stimulus in the presence of noise and on a person’s judgement • Top-down processing – when prior knowledge and expectations guide what is perceived • Bottom-up processing – constructing a whole stimulus/concept from bits of raw sensory info • Parallel processing – simultaneous use of both concepts as we perceive Chapter 4.2 – The Visual System • Sclera – white part or eye • Cornea – clear layer covering front portion of eye that contributes to ability of eye to focus • Pupil – regulates amount of light that enters by changing its size • Iris – round muscle that adjusts the size of the pupil and gives it colour • Lens – clear structure that focuses light onto the back of the eye • Retina – lines the inner surface of the eye and consists of specialized receptors that absorb light and sends signals related to the properties of light to the brain o Fovea – central region of retina that contains highest concentration of cones o Cones – photoreceptors sensitive to different colour of lights o Rods – photoreceptors occupying peripheral regions of the retina, highly sensitive under low-light levels • Optic nerve – cluster of neurons that gather sensory information, exit at back of eye, and connect with brain • Photoreceptors  optic nerve  optic chiasm  LGN  visual cortex • Binocular depth cues – distance cues that are based on the different perspectives of both eyes • Convergence – occurs when the eye muscles contract so that both eyes focus on a single object • Retinal disparity – difference in relative position of an object as seen by both eyes, which provides information to brain about depth • Monocular cues – depth cues that we perceive with only one eye • Motion parallax – when in motion, objects closer to you move faster while those farther away, slower • Trichromatic theory – maintains that colour vision is determined by three different cone types that are sensitive to short, medium, and long wavelengths of light • Opponent-process theory – we perceive colour in terms of opposite end of the spectrum: red to green, yellow to blue, and white to black Chapter 4.3 – The Auditory System • Pinna – flexible, outer flap of ear which channels sound waves into ear • Auditory canal – conducts sound waves to eardrum •
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