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Textbook Module Summaries

Course Code
PSYC 1000
Paula Barata

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PSYC 1000- Psychology 10th Edition in Modules Summary Notes
Wundt’s student, Edward Titchener aimed to discover the mind’s structure. He
engaged people in introspection, although it was unreliable. It waned along with
William James considered functions of our thoughts and feelings. He often asked
“why?” He assumed that thinking, like smelling. Was adaptive. James is a
In 1920, two behavioralists, Watson and Skinner dismissed introspection and
defined psychology as “the scientific study of observable behavior.
Another force was Freudian psychology, which emphasized how our unconscious
thought process & emotional responses to childhood experiences affect our
In 1960 Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow (both humanistic psychologists) found
the above too limiting. They drew attention to ways that current environmental
influences can nurture or limit growth potential and having our needs for love and
acceptance satisfied.
Today, we define psychology as: “The science of behavior and mental processes.”
Nature vs. Nurture: Plato assumed that we inherit character and intelligence, and
certain ideas are inborn. Aristotle countered that nothing in the mind does not come
from the external world through the senses.
In the 1600’s, John Locke argued that the mind is a blank slate on which experience
writes. Rene Descartes disagreed, believing that the same ideas are innate. He
gained support from Charles Darwin 2 centuries later.
Darwin explained diversity through the process of natural selection. Evolution has
become an important principle for 21st century psychology.
“Nature works on what nature endows.” Every psychological event is
simultaneously a biological event. Thus, depression can be both a brain and a
though disorder.
The tribe of psychology is united by a common quest: describing and explaining
behavior and the mind underlying it.
Biological psychologists: study the links between brain and mind.
Developmental psychologists: study the changing abilities from womb to tomb.
Cognitive psychologist: experiment with how we perceive, think, and solve problems.
Personality psychologists: investigate our persistent traits.
Social psychologists: explore how we view and affect each other.

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Basic Research: pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base.
Applied Research: scientific study that aims to solve practical problems.
Counseling psychology: a branch of psychology that assists people with problems in
living (ex. School, work, marriage issues)
Clinical Psychology: Studies, assesses, and treats people with psychological
Positive psychology: the scientific study of human functioning.
Community Psychology: studies how people interact with their social environments,
and how institutions affect individuals and groups.
Three phenomena; hindsight bias, judgmental overconfidence, and our tendency to
perceive patterns in random events illustrate why we cannot solely rely on intuition
and common sense.
Hindsight Bias (I knew it all along!)
- This phenomenon makes the history of the world seem like a chain of
inevitable events.
- Errors in our recollections and explanations show why we need
psychological research.
- Good ideas are like good inventions- once created, they seem obvious.
- We tend to think we know more than we actually do. We tend to be more
confident than correct.
Perceiving Order In Random Events
- We are prone to perceive patterns
- Random sequences often don’t look random (Falk et. Al 2009)
The points to remember… those 3 phenomena often lead us to overestimate our intuition.
But scientific evidence inquiry can help us sift reality from illusion.
Theory: an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes
observations and predicts behaviors or events.
Hypothesis: a testable prediction, often implied by a theory.
Operational definition: A statement of the procedures used to define research
Replication: Repeating the essence of a research study, usually with the different
participants in different situations to see whether the basic finding extends to other
participants and principles.
Case Study: An observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the
hope of revealing universal principles.
Naturalistic Observation: Observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring
situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation. Does not explain
behavior- it merely describes it.

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Some naturalistic findings...
Humans laugh 30 times more in social situations than solitary situations.
Life is fastest paced in Japan and Europe and slower in economically less-
developed countries.
Surveys can have hindered results due to wording of the survey, and sampling bias.
Correlation Coefficient: A statistical index of the relationship between two things
(from -1 to +1). A correlation coefficient helps us to see the world more clearly by
revealing the extent to which things relate.
Correlations help us predict. But, association does not prove causation. Correlation
indicates the possibility of a case-effect relationship but does not prove such.
Experiment: a research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more
factors to observe the effects on some behavior or mental process.
Experimental group: The group that is exposed to the treatment: that is, to one
version of the independent variable.
Control group: The group that is not exposed to the treatment. Serves as a
comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment. This group is often given a
Double-blind procedure: A procedure in which both the research participants and
the research staff are ignorant about whether the participants have received the
treatment or a placebo.
Placebo effect: Experimental results caused by expectations alone: any affect on
behavior caused by the administering of an inert substance or condition.
Independent variable: the experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable that
might produce an effect on an experiment.
Dependent variable: The outcome factor; the variable that may change in response
to manipulations of the independent variable.
Cofounding variable: a factor other than the independent variable that might
produce an affect on an experiment.
In the early 1800’s, Franz Gall proposed that phrenology (studying bumps on the
skull) could reveal a person’s mental abilities and character traits.
Phrenology focused attention on the localization of function- the idea that various
brain regions have particular functions:
Within the past century, researchers seeking to understand the biology of the mind
have discovered that:
The body is composed of cells.
Among these are nerve cells that conduct electricity and “talk” to one
another by sending chemical messages across a tiny gap that
separates them.
Specific brain systems serve specific functions (though not the
functions Gall proposed)
We integrate information processed in these different brain systems
to construct our experience of sights and sounds, meanings and
memories, pain and passion.
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