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PSY 201 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Central Tendency, Scatter Plot, Object Permanence

Course Code
PSY 201
Dasa Zeithamova Demircan
Study Guide

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Psych 201 Midterm Study Guide
Chapter 1 - Introduction
List and explain the seven themes of psychological science.
1. Psychology is an empirical science
The scientific method: objective, systematic procedures used to understand what is
being studied
Understanding how science is conducted makes it possible to tell which studies are
credible and which are not
2. Nature and nurture are inexorably entwined
are psychological characteristics a product of nature or nurture?
biologically innate or acquired through education, experience, and culture
psychologists now widely recognize both as important
3. The brain and mind are inseparable
Rene Descartes’ theory of dualism
maintained the distinction between mind and body
assigned the body many mental functions previously considered the mind’s
Psychological scientists largely reject dualist thinking
mind is what the brain does
Story of Phineas Gage
rod shoved through his head
damaged his brain and completely changed his personality
4. A new biological revolution is energizing research
growth in understanding mental activities’ biological bases
interest in biology permeates psychological science
mice should run away from cats, after damaging parts of the brain of the mice
some of them reacted differently
5. The mind is adaptive
the brain has evolved over millions of years to solve problems related to survival and
mind is adaptive in biological and cultural terms
genetic mutations
evolutionary theory:
determining whether human mechanisms are adaptive
need to be aware of the challenges of our ancestors in order to understand
our current behavior
preference as humans for sweet and fatty foods
mating preferences (attraction)
males look for youthful appearing female in order to pass their
genes in the future. Females, on the other hand, look for
maturity, dominance, affluence and boldness in males.

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Solving adaptive problems
At about 9 months we develop stranger anxiety, we begin walking
Humans may have “cheater detectors”
Visual cliff: Infants won’t crawl over the cliff, even if their mothers are
standing on the other side encouraging them to do so
Adaptive mechanisms enhance our chances of survival
ex: scared of snakes and spiders, don’t like bitter tastes
culture provides adaptive solutions
dependency on group culture
cultural evolution has been much faster than biological evolution
there is evidence that people from different cultures possess different minds
6. Psychological science crosses levels of analysis
four levels of analysis reflect the most common research methods for studying
the physical body contributes to mind and body
neurochemical and genetic processes
difference in personality
mental processes that affect how people perceive the world
group contexts affect people’s ways of interacting and influencing
each other
different cultures shape thoughts, feelings, and actions of the people
in them
W.E.I.R.D. Science
over the history of psychology the majority of studies have used W.E.I.R.D.
cultural psychology is a subfield of psychology that attempts to determine
how culture influences our behaviors, thoughts, motives, perceptions, etc.
7. We are unaware of influences on how we think, feel, and act
people are influenced by subtle factors in their environments, even when they largely
are unaware of those influences
some factors influence our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors at an unconscious level
Distinguish between mind, brain, and behavior.
Mind: mental activity

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Perceptual experiences (sights, smells, tastes, sounds, and touches) we
have while interacting with the world
Responsible for memories, thoughts, and feelings
Brain: biological processes within the brain result in mental activity
Behavior: the totality of observable human actions
Eating, drinking, mating, etc
Identify the differences between nature and nurture.
Whether psychological characteristics are biologically innate (nature) or acquired
through education, experience, and culture (nurture)
Identify the three main developments in the biological revolution.
1. Developments in understanding of brain chemistry
2. the human genome project
3. brain scan methods which allow scientists to watch a working brain
Explain evolutionary theory.
A theory presented by the naturalist Charles Darwin; it views the history of a
species in terms of inherited, adaptive value of physical characteristics, or mental
activity, and behavior
How do the concepts of modern minds and culture relate to adaptations?
Adaptive mechanisms enhance our chances of survival by providing us with
information like visual cliffs (where infants won’t crawl over the cliff, even if their
mothers are standing on the opposite sides). Culture provides adaptive solutions
based on the dependency on group culture in which the cultural evolution has
been much faster than biological evolution. People from different cultures
possess different minds.
Describe how people are intuitive psychologists.
because we develop hypotheses and try to predict others behaviors.
Describe the three main features of the APA code of ethics.
The American Psychological Association published the code of ethics that states:
1. being respectful to all people (privacy): some behaviors may be acceptable to
observe without the subject being aware, however, some behaviors, including private
ones, require an expectation of privacy. Researchers should be aware of the impact of
the questions they ask. Some may be too personal or distressing.
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