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PSYA02 Midterm Lecture Notes 2014

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Alexandra Pohlod

PSYA02 Midterm Lecture Notes 2014 #2.Measuring Intelligence ->studying individual differences->most psychological research aims to understand average human being->sometimes called nomothetic research ->but some areas of research try to understand why/how some humans differ from others; this type focuses on individual differences Intelligence->most societies believe it’s in interest of population to financially support education of citizen’s b/c educated ppl. lead to better country, more innovation, stronger economy & power -> ability to measure intelligence might benefit in these ways: 1. Allows ppl. to assess whether certain educational approaches lead to higher levels of success 2. May let an individual tailor child’s education to current abilities A brief history->Francis Galton (cousin of Charles Darwin) was interested in measuring humans in every way possible including measuring ability to make sensory discriminations which he assumed linked to intelligence->link to normal distributions->he thought too much about genetic superiority, noticed normal distribution, bell curve ->perhaps some ppl. are better in terms of neural wiring, Galton believed this impacted speed at which info was processed ->the measure of intelligence really took off with work of Alfred Binet->he thought that intelligence wasn’t reflected in abilities to make sensory discriminations->instead reflected by performance on variety of paper-pencil tests targeting things like imagery, attention, comprehension, imagination, visual spatial layout, memory…etc… ->Binet-Simon test, then till now…used to be called Stanford-Binet Scale, IQ of someone represented their mental age divided by chrono. age, then multiplied by 100 ->test measurement changed, setup in way that avg. score is 100, standard deviation 16, now person’s IQ is simply score on test ->originally Binet test for children, compute age at which they’re preforming on test compared to actual age Current version-intelligence separated into 4 types of reasoning: ->verbal-vocab/comprehension, best way to build this in children is to read to them ->quantitative-number, sense ->abstract visual-creativity, innovation, paper folding ->short-term working memory-how many things can be stored in brain at once Interpreting testing scores-to make sense of any individ.’s score, it’s crucial to first give test to lots of ppl. in order to find mean & standard deviation of test (for humans in general)->this is establishing norms for the test ->often it’s required to obtain such norms separately for different age groups so that person’s score can be compared to set of peers of same age ->an important issue is that when such comparisons are made, it’s important that the person is from same cultural group as norms were gathered from Binet-Simon->Idiot-IQ below 20, imbecile- 20-49, moron 50-69, borderline deficiency 70-79, dull 80-89, average 90-109, superior 110-119, very superior 120-139, genius 140+, vast majority of population is average Verbal vs. nonverbal *rmb. validity-segregation in American, white & black, Binet-Simon test given to black kids in Harlem, scored lower on average than white kids ->note however Binet-Simon test was worded in “white” terms, study redone, wording of questions changed to “African-American” terms, black kids scored higher ->t/f questions may not be measuring intellectual ability, may also be measuring person’s ability to understand question asked Raven’s Progressive Matrices-free of cultural/language bias, yet still challenging #3. Where does Intelligence Come From ->are some things not meant to be studied scientitfically? Intelligence as Evidence of Intelligence Design-humans can’t be intelligent unless an intelligent being designed them Is Intelligence Even a Single Thing?->the term intelligence is often used as if talking about a single characteristic a person possesses, typically discuss of someone being intelligent or not ->but consider characteristic of athletic capability, ask someone to perform # of tasks & based on their performance, come up with measure of athletic ability Thurstone Seven-Cattell Two->some studies using factor analytic approach ended up finding many different factors related to intelligence, Thurstone found 7 factors: verbal comprehension verbal fluency,#, spatial visualization, memory, reasoning & perceptual speed ->but when factor analysis was performed on Thurstone’s factors, Cattell found 2 factors underlying the 7 factors->fluid intelligence (gf) & crystal intelligence (gc) ->Einstein had natural ability to critically think despite failing school ->people who need crystallized intelligence require formal schooling whereas fluid does not The Role of Genetics vs. The Role of Environment-rat experiments, rats intellectually stimulated vs. rats in impoverished conditions Genetics & Environment-rats figure out maze well (maze-bright), not so smart mart (maze-dull), pair dull & bright males/females to breed offspring, along with manipulation of environment ->personality is combo of genetic influence & environment in which person is raised ->enrichment of some sort matters! So What About Racial Differences?->genetics also matter-African-American schools->more appropriate environment perhaps? #4. Development: The Early Years What’s Interesting?->the uniqueness of the human infant is that no other animal is born so helpless & dependent on its parents ->a lot of physical development occurs before birth & it continues to adulthood ->*physical dependence sets the stage for social development, which continues throughout lifespan Some Methods and Terminology->Cross-Sectional vs. Longitudinal Approaches Stages: ->Prenatal: 38 weeks of pregnancy->zygote (first 2 weeks), embryonic (2-8 weeks), fetal stage (last 7 months) ->Infant/Toddler (birth to 2 years) ->Adolescence (harder to define), cognitively unable to recognize consequences of actions ->Adulthood & old age Prenatal Development ->zygote stage, initial stage begins cell dividing/differentiating, forming 200 diff. kind of cells (blood, nerve, muscle…etc…) all with the same DNA ->embryonic stage-heart begins to beat, critical stage with respect to avoidance of teratogens (cocaine, tobacco, alcohol, enviro. toxins), also where sexual differentiation occurs (importance of androgens & testosterone) about weeks 5-8 ->fetal stage-bones start forming, baby starts to grow Teratogens ->abnormalities can start to occur at week 3 and onwards of prenatal development, cognitive problems can happen…external genitalia can be affected during weeks 6-7 Infancy – Motor Development-there are behaviours infant is born with, evidence shows infant is most comfortable with mother, b/c of hearing mother’s voice in womb ->for first years of life, infant seems to be exploring control of its body->first priority, eventually learns how to sit, stand, walk but there’s variability, if infant is a more enriched enviro., it develops faster, plus genetics… Infancy – Perceptual Development-infants figuring out senses, how to interact with world, language takes off at about age 4, child doesn’t get basic sense of self till around 3-5, early stage is more about exploration of body, more reflexive #5. Development: Cognitive Development The Development of Thought-human thoughts about world & people within it are complements, these things are thought of in relatively automatic way ->thought matters, babies discover responsive world, crying controls mother, she helps child Jean Piaget-interested into education, notions of maturation, stage of cognitive maturation, importance of operations, schemata’s (diagrams) & processes of assimilation vs. accommodation ->Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Stages: Sensorimotor (birth-2 yrs. old), Preoperational (2-7), Concrete Operational (7-11), Formal Operational (adolescence- adulthood) Piaget’s Stages of Development -Sensorimotor Period-cognition at this stage is closely tied to external stimulation & understanding characteristics of objects, classic ex.: object permanence ->when someone leaves room, child believes that person doesn’t exist -Preoperational Period-child begins learning how to think logically, how to use symbols, esp. language; child has egocentric bias (what they see is ONLY what they see, assume everyone sees the way they see it), classic ex.: learning notion of conservation-magnitude judgements, overwhelming abstract counting ability with greater distance/length ->proto language: babbling, multiple languages; learn which language should be used according to person speaking, word (set of squiggles & lines) corresponds to something -Period of Concrete Operations-Increases ability to perform logical operations (when concrete) & emergence of empathy-ability to see something from someone else’s perspective -Period of Formal Operations-children begin to learn how to perform abstract logical operations, how to take operations (changes in world) & forming them into abstract sense Post Piaget-more recent evidence suggests Piaget may have sometimes underestimated child’s abilities, but his contributions are still respected, beliefs that lab results don’t necessarily map real world abilities -Lev Vygotsky->slightly diff. perspective, inner speech & link b/t language & thought, notion of developmental level & role of good mentor to raise one’s potential Theory of Mind-humans come to know themselves until they meet other ppl., manipulation to understand things #6. Social Development and Parenting Real Life Social Networking -humans are intensely social animals, wanting relationships, feeling loved in order to gain power through connections ->the desire for social relations is present at birth & is bi-directional, represented by both maternal instincts & by specific behaviours emitted by infant, mechanisms child has to build social connection: -sucking->needs food early on -cuddling->skin to skin contact & sharing of warmth -looking->blurry shades of gray at first & eye to eye contact to keep social connection going -smiling->around 5 weeks, rewarding feeling! -crying->teaching/training parents through –ve reinforcement, control… Harlow! -interested in how strong attachment formed, cuddling, monkey experiment->goes to wire mother for food but cloth mother for comfort, physical contact forms basis for mother-infant bonding Cloth mother starves monkey->monkey clings to cloth, goes to wire briefly for food Compressed air blown through charger to blow monkey off cloth mother->monkey clings tighter to cloth Cloth mother fitted with lever to throw monkey across cage->monkey clings tightly until thrown, waits till bucking ends, returns to cloth Cloth mother fitted with brass spikes, becomes porcupine, stabs monkey with retractable spikes- >monkey clings until pain is unbearable, returns when spikes retract Social Interactions in Infants -humans acquire a great deal of social info from nonverbal cues provided by others ->human face is major source of non-verbal cues & babies attend preferentially to faces almost from birth ->still face experiments show how important these cues are The Nature and Quality of Attachment -Mary Ainsworth conducted studies of attachment, leaving infant with stranger ->stranger anxiety-“anxious &/or fearful responses” (crying, clinging) in presence of strangers ->separation anxiety“ ” that occur when caregiver leaves infant Attachment terminology: child terms: secure/autonomous, anxious-resistant (more anger, annoyed), anxious-avoidant, disorganized/can’t classify, adult terms: secure/autonomous, preoccupied (busy), dismissing, unresolved fearful /can’t classify ->baby likely to cry in guy’s hands, stiff! ->Anxiety increases when parents leave The Process Avoidant attachment-child isn’t upset when mother leaves, doesn’t seek contact upon return, disorganized attachment Disorganized attachment-inconsistent behaviour when mom leaves/returns, child might freeze, become confused A Few Words on Parenting Authoritarian parent-anxious, insecure, perfectionist, resentful, high demanding, detached/uninvolved Authoritative parent-clear guidelines, negotiation, warm & involved, high demanding Permissive-negligent parent-wounded, vulnerable, angry, unrestrained, low expectations & involvement, don’t care, unloving Permissive parent-self-centered, disobedient, immature, wants to be best friend, let’s child do what they want, rebellious, disrespectful, involved but low discipline #7. Emotion The Relevance of Emotion -emotions clearly influence us in powerful psychological ways (to a large extent , this influence is underrepresented in text) ->to some extent, emotion is another enemy of rational thoughts & they’re ability to guide behaviour ->what motivates humans also tend to “move ppl.” emotionally, some sort of association b/t motivation & emotion (exact nature of this association though isn’t completely understood) ->motivation=movement=pushing ppl. to do things in life ->3 aspects of emotion: behaviour, autonomic, hormonal ->emotions worn on bodies, shoulders tend to be back for +ve feelings, tend to sink for –ve feeling, perhaps pensive… ->physical & cognitive (behaviour) Conditioned Emotional Responses -John B. Watson, Little Albert->conditioned emotional response of rabbit associated with sharp noise ->Watson didn’t believe ppl. are genetically manipulated, ppl. can be heavily influenced by enviro., showed how emotional response were built up & transferred ->recall *amygdala (early warning part of brain, causes sympathetic nervous system to become active->deal with info now!) & hippocampus (critical to memory) ->amygdala also initiates & takes info of scary event, leads to person wanting to avoid it, sights & sounds from previous event kick in The Control of Emotional Responding -role of serotonin with respect to moderating aggression & perhaps emotional control in general, role of ventral prefrontal cortex with respect to emotional regulation->allows ppl. to hide/control outward expression of emotion -Phineas Gage-railroad, tamping (pack full of clay to concentrate on explosion), explosion drove iron rod through his head, destroying his ventral prefrontal cortex, used to be polite before injury, after he became a jerk, swore, annoyed, lost his ability to make himself fit in with others Emotional Reactions & Moral Judgment -humans have higher levels of social desire in comparison to basic needs ->inappropriate behaviour=bad person st ->thought ex.: 1 case: choice of switch that can divert train to kill 4 ppl, sparing one life or vice versa or do nothing…or 2 case: push fat guy in front of train, what brain region nd st is active in 2 case than 1 case Expressions of Emotion -Paul Ekman was psychologist who studied facial expressions, highlights face changes, asked actors to portray expressions, tried to figure out what muscles were involved depending on emotion (anger-narrowing lips, sadness-lips relaxed) ->became an expert on reading expressions from faces & learned how to portray emotions ->body doesn’t just depict emotion, person also feels it; found that putting on happy face (smile) makes person happy! Culture, and Species? ->study: isolated tribes, ppl. asked to “wear” emotional states, conclusions: emotions are not adopted, much more built in/hard-wired, universal Cognition & Emotion -James-Lange theory of emotion, physiological reaction (arousal for example) happens before an emotional experience (such as fear) vs. Cannon-Bard theory-emotions occur simultaneously with physiological components ->ex. car accident, how did body become so alert, ready to act!...emotion turns into cognitive fear, t/f emotions boil down to activation of sympathetic nervous system, that activation is appraised, emotion lags & then plays out ->psychologists working on how to make people feel appraisal Emotional Regulation -ex. skydiving: brain tells person that he/she is
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