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Western University
Psychology 1000

PSYCH CH. 1: THE SCIENCE OF BEHAVIOUR Psychology: the study of the behavior and actions of the mind. The branch of knowledge relating to the soul, spirit, and self. Goal is to describe, understand, predict, and control. Basic Research Applied Research -the quest for knowledge for its own sake -solves practical problems -describe how people behave -uses principals from basic research -identify factors that cause specific behaviour Goals of Psychology: -describe how people and animals behave -explain and understand the causes of these behaviours -predict how people and animals will behave under certain circumstances -to influence and control behavior 6 Perspectives Biological: examines how brain processes and other bodily functions regulate behavior behavioural neuroscience examines how the brain displays our behavior, sensory, emotions, and thoughts) behavior genetics studies how behavior is influenced by genetic factors evolutionary psychology is how the brain has adapted to social situations over time. Evolutionary pressures have caused the brain to learn, think, reason and socialize more effectively-began with Darwin and natural selection sociobiology complex social behaviours are products of evolution- ones genetic survival is more important than physical survival. Cognitive: study of mental processes and views the mind as an information processor. Deals with topics like consciousness, memory, attention, decision making, and problem solving. Functionalism is the function of the mind like language and perception rather than structure- William James (influenced by Darwin) Structuralism examines the structure and basics of the mind, analyzed the mind in terms of its basic elements- Wundt and Tichener- opened a lab in 1879 where he used introspection- describe an experience through stimulus Gestalt how we see the integrated world and organize elements Modern cognitive neuroscience uses sophisticated electrical recording and brain-imaging techniques to examine brain activity while people engage in cognitive tasks. Psychodynamic: causes of behavior within our personalities- emphasizes the unconscious Freud emphasized early childhood development. Humans are born with sexual aggressive drives that are repressed in childhood and later come out in adulthood. Humans use repression as a defense mechanism. Modern Psychodynamics downplays sexual aggression. Focuses on how relationships as a child with family shape views people have of themselves and others. Aspects of information processing occur outside of our consciousness. Behavioural: how the external environment shapes our behavior Watson thought that the same basic laws of learning applied to all organisms- tested on animals Originated with John Locke Skinner thought that the causes of behavior came from the outer world Behavior modification you can decrease negative behaviours by manipulating environmental factors Humanistic: free will, personal growth, and ones attempt to find meaning in existence. Maslow had the self actualization model (reaching your potential) and misery comes when you cant reach it. Belongingness is our social need for acceptance Positive psychological movement studies human strengths, fulfillment, and optimal living Socioculture: how culture is transmitted and how it impacts behavior Cultural psychology is how culture is transmitted to its members and explores similarities and differences in cultures. Collectivism is promoted in Asia, Africa, and South America in which goals associated with family and social groups are most important Individualism is promoted in Europe and North America and emphasizes personal goals and self- identity Nature and Nurture: combine to shape our behavior and influence each other. Our biological endowment helps to determine the kinds of experiences we can have and biological processes are in turn influenced by our experience Depression: can be explained through all 6 perspectives Subfields of Psychology Biopsychology: how brain processes, genes, hormones influence actions. How evolution has shaped behavior Developmental: examines humans over their lifetime Experimental: focuses on basic processes and involves laboratory experiments Industrial Organizational: examines peoples behavior in the workplace Personality: seeks to identify core personality traits and how they relate to one another Social: how people react and think in the world PSYCH CH 2: STUDYING BEHAVIOUR SCIENTIFICALLY Scientific Attitudes - curiosity - skepticism - open-mindedness hypothesis: tentative explanation/prediction theory: frameworks for explaining events- formal statements that explain how and why events are related and are more of a broad conceptualization than a hypothesis Steps in the Scientific Process 1. Identify a question of interest. 2. Gather information and form a hypothesis. 3. Test hypothesis- conduct research 4. Analyze data, if necessary do further research to build a theory Hindsight: after the fact understanding, can provide valuable insights but it is also hard to explain past events. Law of Parsimony: If 2 theories can explain and predict the same thing equally well, the simpler one is preferred. Variable: a factor that can vary. Psychologists study abstract variables such as stress, self-esteem, and intelligence Operational Definition: allows psychologists to observe and measure abstract variables like stress and intelligence Social Desirability Bias: tendency to respond in a socially acceptable manner. Delroy Palhus minimized this by wording questions so that social desirability isnt relevant or remains anonymous. Descriptive Research: identifies how animals and humans behave in natural settings. Seeks cause and effect relationships. Methods of Research: Case Study: in depth analysis of individual, group, or event. Advantages Disadvantages -can study news findings more closely -cant determine cause and effect - challenges scientific beliefs -dont generalize to the situation - new idea that can be examined using controlled research methods Naturalistic Observation: observes behavior in a natural setting Habituation: when people and animals adapt to and ignore the presence of an observer Survey Research: info gained from questionnaires or research Population: all of the individuals involved in a conclusion Sample: a selection of people drawn from the population of interest- must be representative or reflect the important characteristics of a population Random sampling: every member of the population has an equal chance of being chosen Stratified random sampling: based on percentages and subgroups -surveys dont show cause and effect, can be unrepresentative, or biased Correlational Research: research variables x and y independently and see if they are related. It measures rather than manipulates variables. Advantages Disadvantages -they show lab demonstrated variables in real life -doesnt show causation -some cant be studied with research but can be -can cause bidirectionality problem (ex- do social correlationally relationships cause happiness or vice versa) -allows us to make predictions - can be spunious(artificial) - can have third variable problem where variable is z is responsible for relation between x and y Correlaion coefficient: indicates the strength of the relationship between 2 variables (is a value between -1 and 1.) Experiment: researcher manipulates 1 or more variables, measures if the manipulation altered another variable, attempts to control outside factors that could disrupt the experiment. Independent Variable: manipulates or controls- must have 2 levels Dependent Variable: factor that is measured or depends on independent Experimental Group: group that receives the treatment Control Group: not exposed to treatment and represents standard behavior Internal Validity: degree that an experiment shows clear causal conclusions. If it is well designed it shows high internal validity(no other variables could have been the cause) Mozart Effect: one group listened to Mozart, the other sad music. Enhanced performance was due to happy mood rather than Mozarts music. Confounding of Variables: 2 variables and cannot determine which one influenced the dependent variable. Placebo: substance that has no pharmacological effect -one group gets the actual drug, the other gets the placebo Placebo Effect: people show change in behavior because of expectations and not treatment Experimenter Expectancy Effects: subtle ways researchers cause participants to respond in a way that proves the hypothesis Double blind procedure: neither the experimenter or participant know the hypothesis which minimizes placebo and experimenter expectancy effects External validity: degree in which a study can be generalized to other populations, settings, and conditions. Ethical Standards in Research: - Promote welfare of participants - Avoid harm - Probable benefit must be greater than the risk - Provide informed consent
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