PSY 201 Midterm: Psy 201 Notes Midterm #1 Chapters 1,2,3

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PSY 201
Dasa Zeithamova Demircan

Psy 201 Notes . 3) History of Psychology . a) First psychology: Structure of the mind was studied via introspection . i) Wundt studied mental reaction time using introspection (self observation) . ii) Titchener used introspection to study the structure of conscious 
experience, identifying 50,000+ different sensations 
 . b) Critique of introspection and structuralism . i) Bias – introspections are subjective -> led to Gestalt psychology
(1) Phi phenomenon example (blue dot moving (“apparent motion”) vs. 
the reality that 2 blue dots are blinking on and off) – Wertheimer . (a) The whole is more than the sum of its parts – our mind bundles 
sensory experience into our perceptions in ways that goes beyond 
the simple elements. 
 . (b) Inspired Gestalt psychology – Wolfgang Kohler (What are the 
laws of our ability to have meaningful perceptions in an apparently chaotic world?)
(i) Gestalt Law of Common Fate (e.g., the walking Dalmatian 
(ii) Looking at individual elements can be misleading (The blind 
men and the elephant example) 
 . ii) Structure does not reveal function -> Functionalism 
(1) William James “Principles of Psychology” 1890
(a) Stream of consciousness cannot be frozen to be analyzed
(b) The mind is more complex than its elements
(c) Functionalism – need to examine the functions served by the 
mind; inspired by Darwinism 
(i) This adaptation/evolution framework is still used today 
 . iii) Consciousness is only the tip of the iceberg -> psychoanalysis 
(1) Sigmund Freud – behavior is influenced by mental processes operating outside of awareness (i.e., the unconscious mind > conscious mind in influencing behavior)
(a) Developed psychoanalysis and Freudian dream analysis 
 . iv) Lack of verification -> behaviorism
(1) Lack of public access to introspections; misperceptions can never be 
detected, disagreements cannot be resolved 2 
 . (2) Behaviorism – study of observable environmental effects on behavior - developed in response to this issue
(a) The mind is a black box, the contents of which cannot be observed . (b) Focus on stimulus and response, rather than introspections. 
 . (c) Founder: John Watson 1913 – insisted this was the way to make 
Psychology a truly scientific discipline 
 . (d) Popularized by B.F. Skinner and his “Skinner Box” aka operant 
 . (e) Relied on animal research. 
 . (f) Lasting contribution: rigorous scientific experimentation 
 . (g) Problems: . (i) Insufficient to account for more complex phenomena such as creativity or language 
 . (ii) Narrow scope – limited to study only observable - focused on learning 1. For example, when rats learn to follow a path via reward conditioning, they are nonetheless still able to deduce a shorter path when a shortcut is introduced 
 2. This suggests that the rat possessed a mental map of where the cheese was in the maze 
 (3) Cognitive Science (a) Uses behavior to infer what is going on inside the black box of the mind (b) Mental processing = software of the mind (4) Cognitive Neuroscience (a) Uses behavior to explain what is going on in the brain (b) Uses knowledge of the brain to explain/predict behavior (c) Brain = hardware of the mind 4) The scientific method in psychology . a) Ask a Q state a hypothesis conduct an experiment analyze results 
make a conclusion Ask another Q (refine, revise, or trash the original 
hypothesis) & Repeat! 
 . b) Research is a cyclical process 
 i) Theory: An explanation or model for how something works, which leads to a... ii) Hypothesis
iii) Testing the hypothesis yields data
iv) Data helps you refine, revise, or toss the original hypothesis c) Scientists say that good theories are those theories that (1) generate testable hypotheses, (2) are falsifiable, and (3) are parsimonious (simple) d) Theories cannot be proven right – they can only be proven wrong (that is why instead of saying data “proves” a theory, scientists say that data are “consistent with” a theory 5) How to conduct research? a) 4 goals of psych science: 3 . i) Description of phenomena (e.g., 40 people witnessed a murder in NYC, and nobody tried to help. Nobody called the police. ) 
 . ii) Understand/explain phenomena (“bystander effect” People saw other people witnessing the crime and assumed other people would call.) 
 . iii) Predict phenomena (Hypothesis: People should be less responsive/active when more “bystanders” are involved, for example, in tug of war people pull harder if there are fewer people playing compared to more people tugging.) 
 . iv) Apply theories to control phenomena (Productivity goes up when work groups have fewer members compared to huge groups.) 
 Lecture #3 A theory describes a hypothetical account if how and why a phenomenon occurs No amount of evidence can prove a theory correct 4 goals of psychological science: description: what is it? How frequent? Prediction: when will it happen? What else it relates to? Control: control whether or not it will occur? Explanation: Research methods: Descriptive: record and observe behavior Correlational: detect natural relationships, assess variables Experimental: explore cause and effect Descriptive Studies: case study, survey, naturalistic observation Drawback to case study- may be too narrow for general use…survey-subject bias and response bias…observation- reactivity bias (Hawthorne effect) Correlational studies- examines how variables are related Reliability: results are consistent Validity- results satisfy objectives Experiment: identify cause and effect relationship Random assignment is necessary to confound Lateralization- different parts of the brain have different functions, and that the left and right hemispheres of the brain, in particular, each has its own specializations. In general, the left hemisphere of the brains of most people is dominant for language, and the right hemisphere is dominant for global spatial information. The two hemispheres of the brain are connected by a large fiber of axons called the corpus callosum. By traveling through the corpus callosum, nerve impulses can travel from the left part of the brain to the right, and vice versa. The right hemisphere of the brain interprets information presented in the left visual field, and vice versa. The right hemisphere of the brain controls the left hand, and vice versa. Chapter 1: -Psychological Science is the study, through research, of the mind, brain, and behavior -Most people function as intuitive psychologists, b many of our intuitions and beliefs are wrong Culture- Beliefs, values, rules, and customs that exist w/in a group of people who share a common language and environment Nature/Nurture debate- arguments whether psychological characteristics are biologically innate or acquired through education, experience, and culture. Nature and Nurture depend on each other, influences cannot be separated Mind/Body Problem- are mind and body separate and distinct, or is the mind simply the physical brain’s subjective experience? Introspection is when you think about your emotions, motivations, thoughts, and behaviors. Structuralism-idea that conscious experience can be broken down into its basic underlying components…like periodic table of elements…an understanding of the basic elements of conscious experience would provide scientific basis for understanding the mind Stream of consciousness- mind is ever-changing and in continuous series of thought Functionalism- mind came into existence over the course of human evolution, mind best understood by examining functions and purpose, not structure Evolutionary Theory- species change over time, some of the changes (physical characteristics, skills, and abilities) increase chances of surviving and reproducing. These changes are called adaptations Natural Selection- changes that are adaptive are passed along and those that are not adaptive are not passed. Species that are better adapted to environment will survive Gestalt Theory- The whole personal experience is different from the sum of its elements. Unconscious- mental processes operate below the level of conscious awareness Psychoanalysis- bring contents of unconscious into conscious awareness so that conflicts can be revealed. Unconscious influences behavior Behaviorism- emphasizes role of environmental effects in producing observable behavior(nurture) Cognitive Psychology- study of mental functions such as intelligence, thinking, language, memory, and decision making Cognitive Neuroscience- study of neural mechanisms underlying thought, learning, perception, language, and memory Social Psychology- study of how people influence other people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions Personality Psychology- study of characteristic thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in people and how they vary across social situations. Psychology began with Wilhelm Wundt’s lab in 1879 Science Informs psychological treatments- psych disorders are influenced by both nature (biological factors) and nurture (environmental factors). No universal treatment exists for psychological disorders. Advances in neuroscience have revealed the working brain. Mapping of human genome has furthered role of genetics in analyzing both behavior and disease. (fMRI) is a functional neuroimaging procedure using MRI technology that measures brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow. 3 developments in the biological revolution that helped guide psychological science -developments in the understanding of brain chemistry -the Human Genome Project -brain scan methods which allow scientists to watch a working brain Major Biases in Psychological Reasoning -Ignoring Evidence (confirmation bias): people place great importance on evidence that support their beliefs. Downplay evidence that don’t match their beliefs. -Failing to accurately judge source credibility -Misunderstanding or not using statistics: people generally fail to understand to use stats to interpret events around them -Seeing relationships that don’t exist: misconception that two events that happen at the same time must somehow be related -using relative comparisons: information that comes first has a strong influence on how people answer the question -Accepting after-the-fact explanations: people expect the world to make sense, so they come up with explanations for why events happen -Taking mental shortcuts: follow simple rules to make decisions, can lead to inaccurate judgements -Failing to see own inadequacies (self-serving bias): 90% of people believe they are better than average drivers Chapter 2 4 Primary Goals for Science- description, prediction, control, and explanation. The goals of psychological science are the describe what a phenomenon is, predict when it will occur, control what causes it to occur, and explain why it occurs. Form a Hypothesis-Conduct Literature Review (lit related to theory)-Design a Study-Report the Results (research journals, conferences)-Analyze Data (see whether data supports hypothesis)- Conduct Study (get participants) Hawthorne effect- the alteration of behavior by the subjects of a study due to their awareness of being observed Three Main Types of Research methods: descriptive, correlational, and experimental Variable- something that can vary and that a researcher can manipulate and measure Independent variable- variable that gets manipulated Dependent- gets measured Descriptive Research: observe behavior to describe the behavior objectively ex: Case study- i
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