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PSY 3392- Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 13 pages long!)


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY 3392
Professor
Meredith Grant
Study Guide
Midterm

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UT-Dallas
PSY 3392
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGY
Study of behavior and mental processes
’psyche” (mind) and “logos” (study of)
HOW IS PSYCHOLOGY STUDIED? SCIENTIFIC APPROACH
System for acquiring knowledge, through observation and
experimentation.
A process for interrogating the world that produces facts
WHAT DEFINES SCIENCES
1. Empiricism: claims are based
on evidence derived from direct
observation and experimentation
2. Appropriate skepticism:
skeptical of all types of claims
(anecdotes/experiences)
STUDENTS WILL OFTEN BELIEVE
- Systematic research is unnecessary and inferior to
personal/anecdotal experience for understanding human
behavior
- Studying summaries of research findings is useful but
examining methodology is not
EXPERIMENT: HOW VIEWS OF PSYCHOLOGY CHANGED OVER TIME
Sample size: 201 psychology students
Measures Findings
- Scientist/practitioner interests rated low to high - Overall: practitioner interest > scientist
- View of psychology as a science - Overtime, students’ knowledge about
- Need for cognition (tendency to engage scientific thinking increased but tendency to
- in effortful thinking) view psychology as a science did not
- Scientific literacy (understanding that scientific - Interest in “scientist” tend to view
law doesn’t change) psychology as a science
CHAPTER 1 2 INTRODUCTIONS, PSYCHOLOGY IN CONTEXT, SCIENTIFIC METHOD
THREE MAIN DOMAINS/CONTEXT
1. Historical
2. Sociocultural
3. Moral
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
- Origins: Aristotle and John Locke’s philosophy
- William Wundt first lab to study sensations and perceptions
- John Watson (behaviorism) the mind acts like a computer
- Cognitive Psychology/Neuroscience understanding social
and biological contexts
- Test Q: What is the Historical Timeline?
SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE
- Trends in society/culture influences
o Topics studied
o How public receives findings
- Zeitgeist: the spirit of the times (the
dominant view of time)
WEIRDos
Western, educated, industrialized, rich
and democratic
MORAL PERSPECTIVE
Ethical Standards
1. Fabrication of data
2. Plagiarism
3. Selective reporting of findings
4. Failure to acknowledge contribution
5. Misuse of research funds
6. Unethical treatment of humans/animals
7. Some forms of deception
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THINK LIKE A RESEARCHER
- Beware of intuition
- Beware of biases
- Beware of media claims
- Beware of commercial products
- Beware of pseudoscience
PSEUDOSCIENCE
Claims that have the appearance of
science, but are not based on empirical
evidence
SCIENTIFIC METHOD
To understand the world through empirical evidence rather than
intuition gather by examining how variables are related
GOALS OF SCIENTIFIC METHOD
1. Description: define, classify, catalogue, or categorize events
- What is the phenomena
- What are its primary characteristics
- How do we know when it’s present
- For whom does it occur
- Under what circumstances
2. Prediction
- What is associated with a phenomenon
- Are two things related? Do variables covary? Is there
a correlational relationship?
- Does not explain WHY the relationship exists
3. Explanation
- Why does something occur
- What causes it
4. Application
- Applied Research: conduct research to change lives
for better
- Basic research: to understand behavior and its
processes; seeking knowledge for its own sake
CORRELATION
When two different variables
measuring the same people, events, or
things vary together
This is measured through
1. Direction positive vs. negative
2. Strength how closely related
COVARY
When scores on one variable tend to be
associated with scores on another
variable
I can use one score to predict another because
they correlate
EXPERIMENTAL
RESEARCH
Manipulate/control one or more
factors to observe the effects of
this manipulation on behavior
through
1. Independent Variable:
factor manipulated
2. Dependent Variable:
factor measured to assess
effect
GOALS OF EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN
1. Covariation (variables must be
related)
2. Time-order relationship or
contingency (one variable must
come before other)
3. Elimination of plausible
alternatives (a.k.a. confounding
variables) to establish causality
CONFOUNDING VARIABLE
Other variables that may cause the
effect
STEPS OF THE
SCIENTIFIC METHOD
1. Ask a question
2. Study the literature
3. Develop hypothesis
4. Design the method
5. Collect data
6. Analyze data
7. Interpret data
8. Discriminate results
SCIENTISTS ARE GUIDED BY TWO PRINCIPLES
1. The world is intelligible
2. This process is hard
Our minds are prone to illusions and fallacies and we must correct for our biases
with skepticism and empiricism
VARIABLES
Elements investigated in studies that
are manipulated, compared or
controlled
SODA MAY CAUSE VIOLENCE IN TEENS STUDY
- Study measured numerous variables (Age 14-16, going to
school, smoked, drank soda, acted violently)
- Teens that drank more soda were 9-15% more likely to act
violently
- Correlation DOES NOT EQUAL causation
COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS
Causation occurs when only first
criteria is met
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