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Chapter 1

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PSYC 100
James Mac Dougall

Psychological Science Chapter OnePsychological phenomenaemotion memory visual perception decision making social interaction cultural differences prejudice group behaviour mental traumaPsychologists interested in studying emotional states and their effects on decision making the accuracy of peoples accounts of a situation group behaviour media prejudiceoEG 1999 NYC killing of Amadou Diallo by NYPD Street Crimes Unit while looking for a rape suspectWestern African immigrant who a did not know the meaning of freeze or b was showing ID 4 officers shot 41 times 19 times hitting Diallo Officers acquitted o2007Robert Driekanski Polish Construction worker was at Vancouver International Airport with his mother with no English Caught in Customs for 10 hours he was agitated while looking for his mother and threw a computer on the floor Four RCMP officers tasered him after he picked up a stapler and he died when his heart did not restart Prejudiceinfluences beliefs and behaviours causing negative psychological effects on the targets of prejudice Methods to understand human mind and behaviour involve observing brainbrain imagingoIE cognitive neuroscientist Elizabeth Phelps and social psychologist Mahzarin Banaji used brain imaging to study racial attitudes White college students pictures were shown unfamiliar black and white faces and functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI scanned the brains in the amygdala detects threatsNot all students responded in fear to the unfamiliar black peopleonly those who scores on the Implicit Association Test IAT showed negative attitudes towards blacks IATcomputer test measuring reaction times to assess indirectly if people associate negative or positive words with certain groups of peopleAnother studywhite kids shown pictures of famous black peopleamygdala not activatedIncreasing familiarity decreases fear responsePrejudiceone example of how psychologists explain human behaviours in reallife contextsPeoples social interactions figuring out people understanding their motives thoughts desires intentions moods actions if theyre friends or foes leaders or followers etc cause us to use impressions of others to categorize them and make predictions about their intentions and actions oWhy some people remember certain details and forget others oWhy they engage in self destructive behavioursPsychological Sciencestudy of mind brain and behaviourMindmental activityoPerceptual experiences of a person while interacting with the worldsight smell taste hearing touch memories thoughts feelingsoA result of biological processesnerve cellsneurons and their chemical reactions in the brainoTHE PHYSICAL BRAIN ENABLES THE MINDBehaviourused to describe a wide variety of actions from subtle to complexoBefore used to be studied now mental states in the brain are studied to understand behaviourSEVEN THEMES OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE1 Psychology is an empirical scienceoUses scientific method to understand how people think feel actoObjective systematic procedures to lead to an accurate understanding of what is being studiedoCareful observations of the natural worldoMost people non scientists consume research regularlygood sciencewellconducted research while bad scienceflawed researchoUnderstanding how science is conducted can help distinguishoMust learn how psychologists work and how you can distinguish good from bad2 Nature and nurture are inextricably entwinedoAre psychological characteristics biologically innate or acquired through education experience and cultureoCulturebeliefs values rules norms customs existing within a group of people who share a common language and environmentoNaturenurture debatearguments concerning whether psychological characteristics are biologically innate or acquired through education experience and cultureoBoth nature and nurture are importantoHow both influence each other in shaping brain mind and behaviour studiedoHow thoughts feelings and behaviours are influenced by genescultureoExample 1Schizophreniamental disorder causing a person to have unusual thoughts believing heshe is God or experiencing unusual sensations like hearing voicesoExample 2Bipolar Disordercauses a person to have dramatic mood swings ie sad and depressed to euphoric or maniac oIn pastbelieved that these were result of bad parenting and other environmental circumstances completely nurture oIn 1950s1960s drugs discovered to alleviate symptoms of disordersoNowshown that disorders are heritableoNow believed that mental disorders result equally from brains wiring nature and how people are rearedtreated within particular cultures nurtureoRapid advancements in the ability to understand biologicalenvironmental bases of mental disorders is allowing for more effective treatments that
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