Psy 100 Text notes
Chap1: Introduction to Psychological Science
What are the themes of psych science?
Psych science is the study of the mind, brain, and behavior
Mind: mental activity
Brain: biological process
Behavior: variety of actions that occur in organisms.
1.) the principles of Psychological science are cumulative
Research on the mind, brain and behavior has accumulated over time to produce the
principles of psych science
2.) a new biological revolution is energizing research
Deeper understanding of the human mind and behavior.
Three developments have set the stage for this bio rev
o Brain chemistry
o The human genome
The links btw genes and behavior
o Watching the working brain
Localization of function
3.) the mind is adaptive
The mind has been shaped by evolution
o Evolutionary theory
Natural selection, adaptations
Solving adaptive problems
o Solutions to adaptive problems are built into the brain and therefore require no
Modern minds in stone age skulls
o Many of the adaptive problems faced by humans no longer exist
o By products of adaptive solutions: surrent behaviors that dont reflect our
Culture provides adaptive soltions
o Biological and cultural evolution
o The culture we live in shapes the way we interact with the world.
Sum: the human mind is adaptive in both bio and cultural terms. We need to focus on
both to understand mind brain and behavior.
4.) psych science crosses levels of analysis (LOAs)
o Cultural, Interpersonal
o Individual differences, Perception and cognition, Behavior
o Brain systems, Nurochemical, Genetic
What are the intellectual origins of psychology?
The nature-nurture debate considers the impact of biology and environment
Tightly interwoven and inseperable
1 The mind-body problem has challenged philosophers and psychologists
Are the mind and body separate and distinct, or is the mind simply the subjective
experience of the brain?
Leonardo divinci, the sensus communis as the home of thought
Descartes: Cartesian dualism: the mind exists separately from the physical body
o Mind and body can effect each other
Evolutionary theory introduces natural selection
Darwin. Natural selection
How did the scientific foundations of psych develop?
Experimental psychology begins with structuralism
o Founder of experimental psychology
o introspection: a systematic examination of subjective mental experiences
o Structuralism: conscious experience can be studied when it is broken down into
its underlying components, or elements
o Problem: experience is subjective
Functionalism addresses the purpose of behavior
o One of the main critics of structuralism
o The principles of psychology
o Stream of consciousness: ones continuous series of thoughts that are ever
o Functionalism: concerns how the mind operates, not what the mind contains.
Ie The mind helps organisms adapt to environmental demands
Gestalt psychology empahasizes patterns and context in learning
Gestalt and functionalism rise in opposition to structuralism
The whole is different from the sum of its parts. The mind perceives the world in an
organized fashion that cant be broken down into its constituent elements
The unconscious influences everyday mental life
Freud. The unconscious.
o Pyschoanalysis a method developed by freud that attempts to bring the contents
of unconscious into conscious awareness so that conflicts can be revealed
o Free assaciation
Most behavior can be modified by reward and punishment
o The role of environmental factors in producing behavior.
How people think affects behaviour.
Miller and the cognitive revolution: how humans perceive situations influence behavior.
Psychological therapy is based on science
How can we apply Psychological science?
Subdisciplines focus on different LOAs
2 Psychological scientists, psychological practitioners.
Ie clinical, social, developmental, cognitive, personality, behavioral, experimental
Psychological knowledge is used in many professions
People are intuitive psychological scientists
Psychological sciences require critical thinking
Chap 2: Research Methodology
Formulate hypothesisdesign studycollect the dataanalyze datadetermine the results
What is scientific inquiry?
Scientific method has 4 goals: description; prediction; causal control; explanation
Scientific questions can be answered objectively
Scientific inquiry, the study of empirical questions, can be answered by observing and
measuring the world around us
The empirical process depends on theories, hypotheses, and research
Theory, hypothesis, research (data collection)
Theories should generate hypothesis
The value of unexpected findings
What are the types of studies in psychological research
What kind of study should test a certain hypothesis: experimental, correlational,
Variable: something that can be measured and varies
Operational definition: the quantification of a variable that allows it to be measured.
o Ie coordination: walking in a straight line
Independent variable: manipulated
Dependent variable: measured
The researcher studies the causal connection btw the two
o A confound: anything affecting a dependent variable that may unintentionally
vary btw the different experimental conditions of a study
Random assignment is used to est equivalent groups
o Selection bias.
2.) correlational designs examine how variables are related.
Correlational study: dealing with how variables naturally occur and the natural
connections between them. cannot show causation,
Third-variable problem: experimenter cannot directly manipulate the ID so cant be
confident that another unmeasured variable isnt the actual cause of differences in the DV
The directionality problem: does reduced stress lead to better sleep or does better sleep
led to reduced stress.
3.) descriptive studies observe and classify behavior
Descriptive/ observational studies: observing and noting behavior to provide a systemic
and objective analysis
Naturalistic v. participant observation
What are the data collection methods in psych
Est the best design for conducting the study, now choose the method to collect the data
5 basic data collection models
1.) observing is an unobtrusive strategy
3 observation techniques: careful and systemic assessment and coding of overt behavior.
the reactivity effect: observation might alter the behavior being observed. (the hawthorn
effect). Observation should be as unobtrusive as possible.
systemic errors in observation that occur due to an observers expectations.
Experimenter expectancy effect: actual change in behaviours of those observed due
to observer bias.
2.) asking takes a more active approach
Open-ended v. close-ended questions
o Socially desirable responding
o Wording in cross-cultural research
Case studies examine individual lives
The interpretation of case studies often very subjective
3.) response performance measures stimulus processing
response performance: quantifies how a perceptual or cognitive process responds to a
Quantified in three ways
o Reaction time, response accuracy, stimulus judgments
4.) body and brain activity can be directly measured
Psychophysiological assessment: how changes in bodily functions are associated with the
behaviour or mental state
o Ie polygraphs
Electrophysiology: measures electric activity in the brain
o ERPs: event related potentials: averaging across the trials
o Not where, but when activity happens
o Measure flow of blood and oxygen. Where something happens in the brain
o PETs: computer aided reconstruction of the brain (through radioactive injection)
o MRIs: magnetic resonance imaging
fMRI: an image of the working brain
5.) research with animals provides important data
at biological loa, ppl directly manipulate genes to examine their effects of behaviour.
Ethical issues to consider
Institutional review boards
Relative risks of participation
Research with animals
How are data analyzed and evaluated?
Good research req