Psych Study Guide
Psychology scientific study of behavior and mental processes.
Behavior: includes all of our outward or overt actions and reactions, such as talking,
facial expressions, and movement.
Mental processes: all internal, convert activity of our minds, such as thinking, feeling,
Four goals that can aim at uncovering the mysteries of human and animal behavior:
description, explanation, prediction, and control.
1.Description: involves observing behavior and noting everything about it: what is
happening, where it happens, and whom it happens, and under what circumstances it
seems to happen.
2.Explanation: finding explanations for behavior is a very important step in the process
of forming theories of behavior. Goal of explanation is to help build theory.
Theory: a general explanation of a set of observations or facts.
3.Predicition: determining what will happen in the future.
4.Control: focus of control, or modification of some behavior, is to change a behavior
from an undesirable one to a desirable one.
History of Psychology
Head Vs Heart
Practices of early Egyptians suggest that the heart was seen more important than the
Trepanation: Early Egyptians drill a hole in your head to find out what diseases
were wrong with you.
Aristotle: wrote about the relationship of the soul to the body, followed the cardiac
hypothesis of reasoning (all thinking is from the heart).
Heart was hotter than brain, temperature correlates to how complex you
can think and brain regulates temperature flow.
Plato: felt soul could exist separately from the body (dualism)
Tripartite theory of reasoning: 3 organs:
1. Brain: important for rational thinking
2. Heart: anger, fear, pry, courage
3. Liver/gut: irrational emotional thinking
Hippocrates: followed a medical model to explain mental illness known as the
Humoral Theory. Involved fluids of the body: blood, flem, bile (yellow
Ex. if someone is depressed, too much black bile.
Takes the side of the brain (believed it was the major control center) Claude de Galen: Surgeon to the gladiators
Stated brain was the central organ of cognition
Ventricular Theory: particular areas in your brain are the seats of
Localization VS Holism (brain functions as a whole or split up into different parts)
Rene Descartes: French philosopher and mathematics teacher agreed with Plato
and believed that the pineal gland (small organ at base of brain) was the
seat of the soul.
Believed in a dualism approach.
Franz Joseph Gall: Phrenologyskull features represent underlying brain
Mapped out 27 different faculties of thought, very poor methodology.
Marie Jean Pierre Flourens: hired by French Government to prove Gall wrong,
conducted experiment on pigeons to support holism (unlike
Gall), and proved him wrong.
Gustav Fritsch and Edward Hitzig: experimentation with motor cortex of dogs (see
what would happen when they stimulated different
parts of the brain.
Paul Broca: published a case of patient “Tan” (language difficulties and suffered left
Presented Tan’s brain to show localization damage, we speak with the left
War of Soups and Sparks: individual cells in nervous system
Luigi Galvani: discovered bioelectricity accidentally using frog legs hung on brass
hooks of an iron railing, and electrical current caused movement in frog
Believed muscles contained “animal electricity”
Giovanni Aldini and Andrew Ure: raising the dead
Otto Loewi: experimented with frogs hearts to demonstrate a chemical interaction
Discovery of first neurotransmitter.
Wilhelm Wundt: a physiologist, attempted to apply scientific principles to the study
of the human mind.
First psychology lab in 1879p ▯ sychology became an official study .
Believed that the mind was made up of thoughts, experiences, emotions,
and other basic elements.
Objective introspectionprocess of objectively examining and measuring
one’s own thoughts and mental activities.
Edward Titchener: one of Wundt’s students Structuralism: the focus of study was the structure of the mind
Believed that every experience could be broken down into its
individual emotions and sensations.
Believed that objective introspection could be used on thoughts as well as
“Tell me what comes to mind when you see this object”
William James: First American Psychologist, began teaching anatomy and
physiology, but then moved onto teaching psychology exclusively.
More interested in the importance of consciousness to everyday life rather
than just the analysis of it.
Conscious ideas are constantly flowing in an everchanging stream, and
once you start thinking about what you were just thinking about, what you
were thinking about is no longer what you were thinking about, it’s what
you are thinking about.
Focused on how mind allows people to function in the real world (how
people play, work, and adapt to their surroundings: functionalism)
Influenced by Darwin.
What is Psychoanalysis?
Sigmund Freud: neurologist in the late 18 century Vienna
Associated with using cocaine (used to treat morphine addiction at the
time), prescribed it to his patients
Psychoanalysis: insight or therapy for fear and anxiety.
See how early experiences effect how we behave, if we could be unaware
of it. Personality was formed in the first 6 years of life.
Unconscious level: not aware of it’s influence, and we push all of our
threatening urges and desires into that place. Repressed urges in trying to
surface created the nervous disorders in patients.
Psychotherapy: process in which a trained psychological
professional helps a person gain insights into and change
his or her behavior.
Behaviorism: behaviorists want nothing to do with the mind, just how you behave.
How to change behavior by manipulating the situation
Reward + Punishment
Ivan Pavlov: Russian physiologist who worked with dogs to show that reflex
(involuntary action) (ex. salivation) could be caused to occur in response
to a totally new and formerly unrelated stimulus.
Conditioning: a learned reflexive response
John B. Watson: challenged the functionalist viewpoint with behaviorism
ignore the whole “consciousness” issue and focus on observable behavior (can be directly seen and measured)
Believed that behavior is learned, no stemmed from unconscious
motives (Freud’s belief)
Wanted to prove that all behavior was a result of a stimulusresponse
relationship such as that described by Pavlov.
B.F Skinner: operant conditioning: theory of how voluntary behavior is learned.
Behavior responses that are followed by pleasurable consequences are
Sociocultural: relationship between social behavior and cultural.
Two areas are related in that they are both about the effect that people
have on one another, either individually or in larger group, such as culture.
Humanistic: people have the freedom to choose their own destiny (positive
Biopsychological: attribute human and animal behavior to biological events (brain)
Hormones, heredity, brain chemicals, tumors, and diseases are some
of the biological causes of behavior and mental events.
Cognitive: aspects of mental processing. Memory, intelligence, perception, problem
Cognitive perspective: focus on memory, intelligence, perception,
thought processes, problem solving, language, and
Executive Function: inhibition of impulse, selective attention,
concept formation, activation of behavior, cognitive
flexibility, planning of goals.
Evolutionary: through the process of natural selection, how certain processes have
developed in aid to survival.
Seeks to explain general mental strategies and traits, such as why we
lie, and how attractiveness influences mate selection, why fear of snakes is
so universal, and why people like music and dancing, among many others.
Psychodynamic perspective: focus on the unconscious mind and its influence over
conscious behavior and on early childhood experiences, but
with less of an emphasis on sex and sexual motivations,
and more emphasis on development of a sense of self and
the discovery of other motivations behind a person’s
Psychology Research Methods
Scientific Method: 5 Steps
1. Perceive (observe): step derived from the goal of description: What is going on here? 2. Hypothesize: form an educated guess
3. Test: test hypothesis
4. Draw Conclusions: after testing hypothesis, find out if your hypothesis was supported
5. Report/Revise/Replicate: write up exactly what you did and how you did it so that
others can learn from what you accomplished or failed to.
Theory: an organized set of principles that will describe, predict, and explain some
Hypothesis: a specific testable prediction often derived from a theory.
Hans Eyseck’s Theory of Personality: 3 Main dimensions to personality
Extroversionintroversion trait varies on optimal
arousal level for performance. (Extro: social Intro:
Specific Hypothesis: “introverts will be more
sensitive to lemon juice than extroverts”
Population: Random representative sample, make it representative of everyone
Sample: randomly selected sample of subjects from a larger population of subjects.
Methods for Describing
Naturalistic Observation: watch people/animals behave in their normal
Advantages: Cheap, real world
Disadvantages: can’t manipulate the situation, only know what
you see, can’t see cause and effect, observer effect
(people act differently when they know someone’s
watching.), observer bias(person doing the
observing has a particular opinion about what
he/she is going to see or expects to see)
Participant Observation: Rosenhan, “being sane in insane places”
Researchers become participants in a group.
Laboratory Observation: Advantages: a lot more control of experiment
Disadvantages: not the actual real world/situation
Case Studies: a type of research that involves making in depth observations of
individual persons (very in depth, gather a lot of info)
Disadvantage: can’t apply to other people (can’t assume that the same
experiences effect people the same visa versa)
Example of Case control: Genie the Wild Child: rescued her because she
was trapped in her house, she was mute, tested whether or not she could
still learn language
Surveys: research method that involves interviewing or giving questionnaires to a
large number of people.
Advantages: easy to get data
Disadvantages: people aren’t always truthful.
Correlation Designs Correlation: a measure of the relationship between 2 variables, represented by “r”
Show patterns, not causes
Variable: anything that can change or vary.
Correlation Coefficient: represents the direction of the relationship and it’s
Positive Correlation: variables related in the same direction
Negative Correlation: variables related in th