Quiz 1 review:
Empirical: Relying on or derived from observations, experimentation,
Psychology: The Discipline concerned with behaviors and mental
processes and how they are affected by an organisms physical state,
mental state, and external environment. The term is often
represented by the Greek letter psi.
Psychobabble: Pseudoscience and quackery covered by a veneer of
psychological and scientific-sounding language. (IE. Astrology, past-
lives channeler, Psychic)
Occam’s Razor: The principle of choosing the solution that accounts
for the most evidence while making the fewest unverified assumptions.
Hippocrates: (460 bc – 377 bc) Believed the brain is the ultimate
source of our joys, sorrows, pains, laughter, etc.
John Locke: Believed the mind worked by associating idea’s from
Phrenology: The now discredited theory that different brain areas
account for specific character and personality traits, which can be
“read” from bumps on the skull.
First Psychological laboratory: Established in 1879 in Leipzig,
Germany by Wilhelm Wundt.
Willhelm Wundt: (1832 - 1920) Trained in medicine and
philosophy and wrote many volumes on psychology, physiology,
natural history, ethics, and finally logic. He was the first person to
announce that psychology was a science. His laboratory was the first
to publish its findings in a scientific journal. He created structuralism.
Structuralism: An early psychological approach that emphasized the
analysis of immediate experience into basic elements.
Functionalism: An early psychological approach that emphasized the
function or purpose of behaviors and conscious. One of functionalism’s
founders was William James. Structuralisms asks what happens when
an organism does something, functionalists ask how and why.
Psychoanalysis: A theory of personality and a method of
psychotherapy, originally formulated by Sigmund Freud, which
emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts.
Mind Cure Movement: Mind cures were efforts to correct the “false
ideas” that were said to make people anxious, depressed, and
unhappy. This movement led to modern cognitive therapies.
Sigmund Freund: (1856-1939) argued that conscious awareness
is merely the tip of the mental iceberg. Beneath the “visible tip”, he
said, lies the unconscious part of the mind, contained unrevealed
wishes, passions, guilty secrets, unspeakable yearnings, and conflicts
between desire and duty. He believes many of these thoughts are
sexual or violent in general. He believes we may not be aware of them, but our desires make themselves known through jokes,
apparent accident, dreams, etc.
Evolutionary Psychology: A field of psychology emphasizing
evolutionary mechanisms that may help explain human commonalities
in cognition, development, emotion, social practices, and other areas
Behaviorism: An approach to psychology that emphasizes the study
of observable behavior and the role of the environment as a
determinant of behavior.
The Major Psychological Perspectives:
The Biological perspective: A psychological approach that
emphasizes bodily events and changes associated with actions,
feelings, and thoughts.
The Learning perspective: A psychological approach that
emphasizes how the environment and experience affect a persons or
animals action, it includes behaviorism and social cognitive learning
The Cognitive perspective: A psychological approach that
emphasizes mental processes in perception, memory, language,
problem solving, and other areas of behavior.
The Sociocultural perspective: A psychological approach that
emphasizes social and cultural influences on behavior.
The Psychodynamic perspective: A psychological approach that
emphasizes unconscious dynamics within the individual, such as inner
forces, conflicts, or the movement of instinctual energy.
Humanist psychology: A psychological approach that emphasizes
personal growth and the achievements of human potential, rather than
the scientific understanding and assessment of behavior.
Feminist psychology: an approach that analyzes the influence of
social inequalities on gender relations and on the behavior of the two
Psychological practice: Providing health or mental health services.
Psychotherapist: Unregulated person who does any kind of
Psychoanalyst: A person who practices psychoanalysis, and who has
obtained specialized training at a psychoanalytic institute and
undergone extensive psychoanalysis personally.
Psychiatrist: A medical doctor who has completed a three year
residency in psychiatry to learn how to diagnose and treat mental
disorders under the supervision of more experienced physicians.
Basic Research: Involves seeking new knowledge, exploring, and
advancing general scientific understanding. Applied Research: Is conducted specifically for the purpose of
solving practical problems and improving people’s quality of life.
Theory: An organized system of assumptions and principles that
purports to explain a specified set of phenomena and their
Hypothesis: A statement that attempts to predict or to account for a
set of phenomena; scientific hypotheses specify relations among
events or variables and are empirically tested.
Operational definition: A precise definition of a term in a
hypothesis, which specifies the operations for observing and
measuring the process or phenomenon being defined.
Principle of falsifiability: The principle that a scientific theory must
make predictions that are specific enough to expose the theory to the
possibility of disconfirmation; that is, the theory must predict not only
what will happen but also what will not happen.
Confirmation Bias: The tendency to look for or pay attention only to
information that confirms one’s owns belief.
Representative Sample: A group of individuals, selected from a
population for study, which matches the population on important
characteristics such as age and sex.
Descriptive Methods: Methods that yield descriptions of behavior
but not necessarily casual explanations.
Case Study: A detailed description of a particular individual being
studied or treated.
Observational Studies: A study in which the researcher carefully
and systematically observes and records behaviors without interfering
with the behavior; it may involve either naturalistic or laboratory
Naturalistic Observation: The primary purpose of naturalistic
observation is to find out how people or animals act in their normal
Psychological tests: Procedures used to measure and evaluate
personality traits, emotional states, aptitudes, interests, abilities, and
Standardize: In test construction, to develop uniform procedures for
giving and scoring a test.
Norms: In test construction, establish standards of performance.
Reliability: In test construction, the consistency of scores derived
from a test, from one time and place to another.
Validity: The ability of a test to measure what is was designed to
Surveys: Questionnaires and interviews that ask people directly
about their experiences, attitudes, or opinions. Volunteer Bias: A shortcoming of findings derived from a sample of
volunteers instead of their representative sample; the volunteers may
differ from those who did not volunteer.
Correlational Study: A descriptive study that looks for a consistent
relation between two phenomena.
Correlation: A measure of how strongly two variables are related to
Variables: Characteristics of behavior or experience that can be
measured or described by numeric scale.
Positive Correlation: An association between increases in one
variable increases in another – or between decreases in one and in
Negative Correlation: An association between increases in one
variable and decreases in another.
Coefficient of correlation: A measure of correlation that ranges in
value from -1.00 to +1.00.
Experiment: A controlled test of a hypothesis in which the researcher
manipulates one variable to discover its effect on another.
Independent Variable: A variable that an experimenter
Dependent Variable: A variable that an experimenter predicts will
be affected by manipulations of the independent variable.
Control Condition: In an experiment, a comparison condition in
which participants are not exposed to the same treatment as in the
Random Assignment: A procedure for assigning people to
experimental and control groups in which each individual has the same
probability as any other of being assigned to a given group.
Placebo: An inactive substance or fake treatment used as a control in
an experiment or given by a medical practitioner to a patient.
Single-Blind Study: An experiment in which participants do not
know whether they are in an experimental or a control group.
Experimenter Effects: Unintended changes in study participants’
behavior due to cues inadvertently given by the experimenter.
Double-Blind Study: An experiment in which neither the people
being studied nor the individual running the study know who is in the
control group and who is in the experimental group until after results
Field Research: Descriptive or experimental research conducted in a
natural setting outside the laboratory.
Method: Advantages: Disadvantages:
Case Study Good Source of Vital info may be Hypothesis missing
In-depth info on Person’s memories
individuals may be selective or
Some cases can inaccurate.
discover situations or Individual may not be
problems that are representative.
Naturalistic Good descriptions for Researchers have
behavior in the little control
natural environment Observations may be
Useful in the first biased
stages of research Does not allow firm
Laboratory Allows more control Limited control over
then naturalistic situation
Allows the use of Observations may be
equipment Does not allow firm
cause and effect
Behavior may differ
from the natural
Test Yields info on Difficult to construct
personality traits, test that are reliable
emotional states, and valid
Survey Provides a large If sample is non
amount of information representative or
on large amounts of biased, it is
people. impossible to
generalize on results
Responses could be
Correlational Study Shows whether two or Usually does not
more variables are permit identification of
related cause and effect
Experiment Allows researchers to Situation is artificial
control the situation. Results may not
Permits researchers to generalize well with identify cause and the real world
effect Sometimes difficult to
Allows researchers to avoid experimenter
distinguish between effects
Cross Cultural Research:
Methods and Sampling: Researchers must worry, and understand
different languages and cultures. One effect could be cultural, and
there could be many miss understandings.
Stereotyping: When describing differences across societies, because
they could be so different, researchers are generally tempted to
oversimplify, and create a stereotype.
Reification: Cultural psychologists must work to identify not only the
average differences in traits and behavior’s, but they also must
identify the reasons those behaviors are caused.
Descriptive Statistics: Statistical procedures that organize and
summarize research data.
Arithmetic Mean: An average that is calculated by adding up a set of
quantities and dividing the sum by the total number of quantities in
Standard Deviation: A commonly used measure of variability that
indicates the average difference between scores in a distribution and
Inferential Statistics: Statistical procedures that allow researchers
to draw inferences about how statistically meaningful a study’s results
Significance Tests: Statistical tests that show how likely it is that a
study’s results occurred merely by chance.
Cross-Sectional: A study in which people (or animals) of different
ages are compared at a given time.
Longitudinal study: A study in which people (or animals) are
followed and periodically recessed over a period of time.
Effect size: The amount of variance among scores in a study
accounted for by the independent variable.
Meta-analysis: A procedure for combining and analyzing data from
many studies; it determines how much of the variance in scores across
all studies can be explained by a particular variable.
Informed Consent: The doctrine that anyone who participates in
human research must do so voluntarily and must know enough about
the study to make an intelligent decision about whether to take part. N = Total number of observations or scores in a set.
X = an observation or score.
Σ = The sum of.
√ = The square root of.
Frequency Distribution: Shows how often each possible score
actually occurred. To construct one, you first order all the possible
scores from highest to lowest. Then you tally how often each score
was actually obtained.
E.X: You make a group of people watch a film degrading aboriginals
with mutilation, at the same time, you make them make jokes and
calculate their mood disturbance score. 7 for “high”, and 1 for “not at
Mood Disturbance Score
Mood Disturbance Score
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
This Chart is an example of a Histogram/bar graph.
Measure of Central Tendency: Measures of central tendency
characterize an entire set of data in terms of a single representative
The Mean: The most popular measure of central tendency is the
arithmetic mean, usually called simply the mean. It is often expressed
by the symbol M. To compute the mean, you simply add up a set of
scores and divide the total by the number of scores in a set.
M = ΣX/N The Median: Despite the mean’s usefulness, is can be misleading.
One extreme high number could dramatically change the mean. When
extreme scores occur, a more representative measure of central
tendency is the Median, or midpoint in a set of scores or observations
ordered from highest to lowest.
E.X: 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, , 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6
The Mode: A third measure of central tendency is the mode, the
score that occurs most often. In the example before, it would be 4.
Measure of Variability: A measure of central tendency may or may
not be highly representative of other scores in a distribution. To
understand our results, we also need a measure of variability that will
tell us whether our scores are clustered closely around the mean or
The Range: The simplest measure of variability is the range, which is
found by subtracting the lowest score from the highest score. For our
hypothetical set of mood disturbance scores, the range in the
experimental group is 4 and in the control group, it is 3.
Unfortunately, simplicity is not always a virtue. The range gives us
some information about variability but ignores all scores other than the
highest and lowest.
The Standard Deviation: A more sophisticated measure of
variability is the standard deviation. This statistic takes every score in
the distribution into account. It is complicated to explain so here is
the formula and page number(pg.664, A-4 Appendix): SD = √(Σ(X-M)
Percentile Scores: One common transformation converts each raw
score to a percentile score(also called centile rank). A percentile score
gives the percentage of people who scored at or below a given raw
Z-Scores: tells you how far a given raw score is above or below the
mean, using the standard deviation as the unit of measurement.
z = X-M/SD Subtract the mean of the distribution from the raw score
and divide by standard deviation.
Normal Distribution: A perfect normal distribution is theoretical
construct and is not actually found in nature. Plotted in a frequency
polygon, a normal distribution has a symmetrical, bell-shaped form
known as a normal curve. Normal Curve: The right side if the exact mirror image of the left.
The mean, medium, and mode have the same values and are at the
exact center of the curve, at the top of the bell.
Null Hypothesis: In an experiment, the scientist must assess the
possibility that his or her experimental manipulation will have no effect
on the subjects behavior. The statement expressing this possibility is
called the null hypothesis.
Alternative Hypothesis: In contrast states that on average, the
experimental group will have lower mood disturbance scores than the
Statistically Significant: That is only chance were operating, our
result would be highly improbable, so we are fairly safe in concluding
that more than chance was operating, namely, the influence of our
Central Nervous System: The portion of the nervous system consisting of the
brain and spinal cord.
It receives processes, interprets, and stores incoming sensory information.
Information about tastes, sounds, smells, colour, pressure on the skin, the state of
internal organs, etc. It also sends out messages to muscles, glands, and internal
Spinal Cord: A collection of neurons and supportive tissue running down from the
base of the brain down the center of the back, protected by a column of bones.
The spinal cord also produces its own processes. These are known as spinal
reflexes. These reflexes are automatic, for example touching something hot will
make your hand pull back immediately without your brain knowing.
Peripheral Nervous System: All portions of the nervous system outside the brain
and spinal cord; it includes sensory and motor nerves.
Without the peripheral nervous system, the brain would not know what was going
on. Imagine a radio without a receiver.
Somatic Nervous System: The subdivision of the peripheral nervous system that
connects to sensory receptors and to skeletal muscles; sometimes called the skeletal
It is nerves that are connected to sensory receptors. When you feel a bug on your
arm, when you turn off a light or even write your name, your somatic system is
Autonomic Nervous System: The subdivision of the peripheral nervous system
that regulates the internal organs and glands.
This system is divided into two parts: The sympathetic nervous system and the
parasympathetic. These two parts work together, but in opposing ways, to adjust
the body to changing circumstances. The sympathetic system acts like an accelerator of a car, mobilizing the body for
action and output of energy. It makes you blush, sweat, breathe more deeply, and if
pushes up your heart rate and blood pressure.
The parasympathetic system is like a break. It slows things down and keep them
running smoothly. It enables the body to store energy.
If you are about to get hit by something, your sympathetic system will give you the
energy to get out of the way, and then the parasympathetic system will slow your
heart rate to normal again.
Neurons: A cell that conducts electrochemical signals; the basic unit of the nervous
system; also called a nerve cell.
Glia: Cells that support, nurture, and insulate neurons, remove debris when
neurons die, enhance the formation of neural connections, and modify neural
Types of Neruons:
Afferent neurons (sensory): Relay information from the senses to the brain and
Efferent neurons (motor): Send information from the central nervous system to
the glands and muscles, enabling the body to move.
Interneurons: Carry information between neurons in the Central Nervous System.
Anatomy of a Neuron:
- Cell Body: The metabolic center of the neuron endowed by the semipermeable
- Dendrites: The branches extending from the cell body, which receive most of the
signals from other neurons.
- Axons: The slender extension that projects from the cell body and transmits
signals to other neurons.
- Myelin Sheath: The fats coating on some axons that acts as insolent.
Nerve: A bundle of nerve fibers (axons and sometimes dendrites) in the peripheral
Neurogenesis: The production of new neurons from immature stem cells.
Stem Cells: Immature cells that renew themselves and have the potential to
develop into mature cells; given encouraging environments, stem cells from early
embryos can develop into any cell type.
Synapse: The site where transmission of a nerve impulse from one nerve cell to
another occurs; it includes the axon terminal, the synaptic cleft, and the receptor
sites in the membrane of the receiving cell.
Action Potential: A brief change in electrical voltage that occurs between the
inside and the outside of an axon when a neuron is stimulated, it serves to produce
an electrical impulse.
Neurotransmitter: A chemical substance that is released by a transmitting neuron
at the synapse and that alters the activity of a receiving neuron. Plasticity: The brain’s ability to change and adapt in response to experience – for
example, by recognizing or growing new neural connections.
Endorphins: Chemical substances in the nervous system that are similar in
structure and action to opiates; they are involved in pain reduction, pleasure, and
memory and are known technically as endogenous opioid peptides.
Hormones: Chemical substances, secreted by organs called glands, that affect the
functioning of other organs.
Endocrine Glands: Internal organs that produce hormones and release them into
the blood stream.
Melatonin: A hormone, secreted by the pineal gland, that is involved in the
regulation of daily biological rhythms.
Oxytocin: A hormone, secreted by the pituitary gland, that stimulates uterine
contractions during childbirth, facilitates the ejection of milk during nursing, and
seems to promote, in both sexes, attachment and trust in relationships.
Adrenal Hormones: Hormones that are produced by the adrenal glands and that
are involved in emotion and stress.
Sex Hormones: Hormones that regulate the developments and functioning of
reproductive organs and that stimulated the developments of male and female
sexual characteristics; they include androgens, estrogens, and progesterone.
Electroencephalogram: A recording of neural activity detected by electrodes.
Trans-cranial Magnetic Stimulation: A method of stimulating brain cells, using a
powerful magnetic field produced by a wire coil placed on a person’s head; it can be
used by researchers to temporarily inactivate neural circuits and is also being used
PET Scan(positive-emission tomography): A method for analyzing biochemical
activity in the brain, using injections for a glucose-like substance containing a
MRI(Magnetic Resonance Imaging): A method for studying body and brain tissue,
using magnetic field and special radio receivers; functional MRI(fMRI) is a faster
form often used in psychological research.
Localization of Function: Specialization of particular brain areas for particular
Parts of the Brain:
Brain Stem: The part of the brain at the top of the spinal cord, consisting of the
medulla and the pons.
Pons: A structure in the brain stem involved in, among other things, sleeping,
walking, and dreaming.
Medulla: A structure in the brain stem responsible for certain automatic functions,
such as breathing and heart rate.
Reticular Activating System(RAS): A dense network of neurons found in the core
of the brain stem; it arouses the cortex and screen incoming information.
Cerebellum: A brain structure that regulates movement and balance and is
involved in the learning of certain kinds of simple responses. Thalamus: A brain structure that relays sensory messages to the cerebral cortex.
Hypothalamus: A brain structure involved in emotions and drives th