Psychology Midterm- Chapter 1
Psychobabble- gives people a sense of control and predictability in a
Confirms our existing beliefs and prejudices, where scientific psychology
Ability and willingness to assess claims and make judgments on the basis
of well supported reasoning and evidence rather than emotion and
Look for flaws and resist claims that have no support
Without it, people can not formulate rational arguments or see through
misleading ads that play with their emotions
Your opinion, if it ignored reality, is not equal to any other
Using this will help to distinguish between psychobabble and serious
Ask Questions, Be willing to Wonder
o Ask why? Or how?
o Look for what hasnt been answered, or what hasnt been
Define Your Terms
o Poorly defined terms lead to misleading answers
o If you want to know if something makes someone happy,
what is happy?
Examine the Evidence
o Did it come from a reliable source?
o Is there a bias?
o I know someone who
o dont stereotype or jump to conclusions
Avoid Emotional Reasoning
o Dont let them stop you from seeing other viewpoints Tolerate Uncertainty
o There is no right or wrong answer
o There is evidence on both sides
Consider Other Interpretations
o Think of other ways of thinking about it before you decide on
one concrete idea
PSYCHOLOGYS PAST (PRE MODERN)
Like todays psychologists, they wants to describe, predict, understand
and modify behavior.
Did not rely on empirical evidence
Greek physician- founder of modern medicine.
Observed people with head injuries and said the brain must be the
ultimate source of pleasures, joys, laughter as well as pain, griefs
People do not become angry or sad or anxious because of actual
events, but because of their explanations of those events
Phrenology- result of not having empirical methods- said bumps on the
skull were responsible for personality, and character traits. It was a
First psychological lab was created by Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920). His
results were the first to be published in a scholarly journal. Leipzig
Laboratory concentrated on sensation, perception, reaction times,
imagery and attention. It avoided learning, personality and abnormal
Analyzed sensations, images and feelings into basic elements.
PROBLEM: everyone has a different experience (subjective method)
Asked what happened
Didnt believe experience/consciousness/brain/mind is concrete.
Believed it was constantly changing and varies.
Asked how and why something happened
PROBLEM: no set methodology/ theory
Unconscious motives and behaviors (Id, Ego, Superego,
Traumatic childhood experiences
PROBLEM: cocaine addict, not science, not falsifiable
Examine human behavior through many lenses: biological, learning,
cognitive, sociocultural and psychodynamic
Nerves, chemical balances, hormones, genes
How bodily events affect behavior, feelings and thoughts
o How mind and body interact in illness and health
o Evolutionary psychology- functionalism- focuses on how
genetically influenced behavior during evolution may reflect
our present behaviors, mental processes and traits.
o We cannot really know ourselves before we know our bodies
o Nervous system, hormones, brain chemistry, heredity,
Environment observations, learning behavior
o How environment and experience affects a persons actions.
o Behaviorists do not invoke the mind or mental states to
explain behavior, they observe acts and events.
o Behaviorism- dominant school of psychology in North
o Social-cognitive learning theorists combine behaviorism
with research on thoughts, values, intentions and
o People learn only by adapting their behavior to the
environment, imitating others and thinking about the events
happening around them.
o What goes on in peoples heads