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Chapter 1

chapter 1,23,4,5 textbook notes

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Ashley Waggoner Denton

Chapter 1 brain imaging shows which parts of the brain are involved in behaviours, mental activities ie/ racial att. fMRI- functional magnetic resonance imaging amygdala- structure in the brain involved in detecting threat 1. Empirical science: Uses scientific method to understand people, intelligent consumer of research 2. nature and nurture are inextricably entwined: biologically innate or acquired (edu., exp., and culture) 3. brain and mind are inseparable: are separate and distinct or mind is subjective experience of brain 4. Biological revolution is energizing research: psychological disorders i) brain chemistry: works through actions of neuro transmitters (chemicals that communicate messages between nerve cells ii) the human genome: genetic process influence on life techniques for discovering links between genes and behaviour iii) watching the working brain: neuroscience brain regions, types of memory are similar, sonscience exp. Involves changes in brain act. 5. The mind is adaptive: Evolutionary theory: emphasizes the inherited, adaptive value of behaviour and mental activity throughout the history of a space. Natural Selection: those who inherit characteristics that help them adapt to their environment have a selective advantage i) Solving adaptive problems: built through evolution -behaviours and attitudes can also be considered adaptive solutions. Humans have ‘cheater detectors’, ‘visual cliff’ ii) be aware of challenges whether adaptive or maladaptive ie/ today abundance of food- fat and sugar is now maladaptive iii)Culture provides adaptive solutions: globalization has increased, diff. cultures different minds ie/ int., Europe vs N. America 6.Phych Sci: cross levels of Analysis- how biological, individual, social and cultural factors influence our specific behaviours Biological: how body contributes to mind and behaviour as in genetic process Individual: diff. in personality and in mental process Cultural: thoughts, feelings and actions are similar or different 7. We are often unaware of the multiple influences on how we think, feel and act- happen at an unconscious level ‘automaticity of everyday life, environmental factors influence History: defined as the science of the elementary laws of the mind way of thinking: ‘school of thought’ -Willhelm Wundt is given the homor of formally founding experimental psych. introspection Introspection: A systematic examination of subjective mental experiences that requires people to inspect and report on the content of their thoughts Edward Titchener: was a student of Wundt’s who alsopsychologists should study consciousness (the “sum total of mental experience at any given moment”), but unlike Wundt, he was more interested in describing conscious experience than explaining it  Structuralism: an approach to psychology based on the idea that conscious experience can be broken down into its basic underlying components or elements.-Edward Titchener  Functionalism: (William James) An approach to psychology concerned with the adaptive purpose or function of mind and behaviour. Wanted to understand the function of the mind rather provide a static description of its contents. -Accepted both mental processes and behaviour as legitimate subject matter psych. -Stream of consciousness vs. static elements: believed consciousness was personal, continuous, constantly changing, functional and could not be ‘divided up for analysis’ -functional perspective still alive and well in modern psychology. ‘mind is adaptive’  Behaviourism: : An approach that emphasizes the role of environmental forces in producing behaviour -(Watson, Pavlov, Skinner) Some functionalists were impressed by how much could be learned without the use of introspection -Watson believed the goal of psychology should be the prediction and control of behavior. This influence is still seen today -Like Watson, Skinner denied the existence of a separate realm of conscious events, and believed that what we call mental events are simply verbal labels given to bodily processes. Token economies.  -Gestalt school founded by Max Wertheimer and expanded by wolfgang  Gestalt theory: the whole of personal experience is not simply the sum of its constituent elements, or in other words the whole is diff from the sum of its parts, has influenced the study of vision & personality  -phenomenological approach-unstructured reporting of experience, reffering to the totality of subjective conscious experience.  Psychoanalysis: a method developed by Sigmund Freud that attempts to bring the contents of the unconscious into conscious awareness so that conflicts can be revealed. Free association will allow the reveal of the unconscious conflict  The Cognitive Revolution: (George Miller) -Trouble for behaviourists, mental functions important for understanding behaviour  Cognitive psych: study of how people think, learn and remember  Cognitive neursci: neural mechanisms that underlie thought, learning and memory Four ways of knowing about the world: intuition, logic, authority, observation Chapter 2: Research Methodology  Four canons of science: 1. Determinism: The universe is orderly – all events have meaningful, systematic causes -Statements about the causal relation between two or more variables -A characteristic or condition that changes or has different values for different individuals 2. Empiricism: The best way of figuring out these orderly principles is by collecting data or making observations 3. Parsimony: When facing two competing theories that do an equally good job of explaining a set of empirical observations, we should prefer the simpler (the more parsimonious) of the two “Occam’s razor” 4. Testability: Scientific theories should be testable (confirmable or disconfirmable) using currently available research techniques -Falsifiability: It must be possible, in principle, to make an observation that would show the the hypothesis/theory to be false ie. All swans are white can be proven false -Operational definitions: Definitions of theoretical constructs that are stated in term of concrete, observable procedures. Variables can be well-defined and easily measured -Some variable are not well-defined and can be directly observed Constructs: Internal attributes or characteristics that cannot be directly observed but are useful for describing and explaining behavior ie/ anxiety, intelligence (attributes) Ie/ Intoxication of a person- physiological measure ( blood alcohol), behavioural measure (walk in a line), self-reported ( questionnaire in a study) The Scientific Method: Theory: Explanation based on observations, Hypothesis: Prediction based on theory Research: Test of the hypoth: yields data which either.. Supports the theory: which you then refine with new hypth. and research or Refute or fail to support the theory. Which you either discard or revise (and then test your revised theory) Study Designs: 1. Descripitive: involves observing and classifying behavior, first step or part of large research • E.g., Cultural anthropologist Shirley Brice Heath in the 1970s • E.g., Festinger et al., 1956, Marian Keech & the Seekers  Naturalistic Observation: Passive observation. Observers do not change or alter ongoing behavior.  Participant observation: Active observation. The researcher is actively involved in the situation. 2. Correlational study: A study that examines how variables are naturally related in the real world, without any attempt by the researcher to manipulate them. i. E.g., Depression and cell phone/computer use among teenagers ii. E.g., Academic success and self-esteem Stations with billboards: 12 instances, on average, of people shoving to get on the train Stations with no billboards: 27 instances, on average, of people shoving to get on the train Third variable problem, Directionality Problem • The third-variable problem: Is specific to correlational research, because it arises when researchers cannot manipulate the variable they believe is causing changes in another variable – E.g., pre-school and reading skills • Confound: Anything that may unintentionally vary along with the independent variable E.g., We are intentionally varying the ads shown the participants. We don’t want to accidentally vary anything else between the two conditions. Confounds limit our ability to make causal claims – “third variables”, but arise in the context of experimental studies  as anything apart from the independent variable that varies between the different conditions in a study • Correlational studies tell us about relationships between variables -There is a relationship between the presence of People for Good billboards and amount of shoving at train stations” The relationship in this case, is negative. As the number of billboards increases, the amount of shoving decreases o Correlational studies do not tell us whether one variable causes changes in another variable. We cannot say that the presence of the billboards causes, or leads to, decreases in shoving o Sometime researchers have no choice but to rely on correlational studies: when it is unethical, or impossible, to manipulate or use random assignment 3. Experiments: Involve manipulating the variable(s) of interest, while keeping everything else consistent (control!) between the different conditions  Independent: Variable being manipulated, in order to see its impact on the dependent variable  dependent Variable being measured, in order to see how it is affected by the independent variable Example:  Participants in the experimental (or treatment) group view a series of advertisements, including 5 of the “People for Good” ads  Participants in the control (or comparison) group view the same series of advertisements, but with the People for Good ads replaced with other ads  Dependent variable: How many pens does the participant pick up for the experimenter after she drops them?  Random sample: Each member of the population you are interested in (e.g., Torontonians) has an equal chance of being chosen to participate. Not a necessary component of an experiment. Researchers often use convenience samples (e.g., U of T students)  Random assignment: Each participant has an equal chance of being assigned to each experimental condition. Necessary component of an experiment, because this ensures that your different groups are equivalent on average. Ensures groups are equivalent, on average, on variables you might be concerned with (e.g., IQ), as well as those variables you haven’t even thought of Experiment Example: Summary  Theory: The People for Good campaign leads to more prosocial behaviour  Hypothesis: Compared to those viewing other ads, those viewing the People for Good ads will be more willing to help the experimenter  Operationalization: Helpfulness  number of pens they pick up for the experimenter  Independent variable: Type of ads shown to participants o Experimental group: People for Good ads (mixed in with other ads) o Control group: No People for Good ads  Dependent variable (measure): How many pens do they pick up?  Evaluate: Do those in the experimental group pick up significantly more pens than those in the control group?  Replicate/Revise/Report  Data collection Methods o Different research questions demand different methods of data collection o Observational technique: Careful and systematic assessment and coding of overt behavior o Can also code behaviour in the lab  Reactivity  The Hawthorne effect  Self-report methods: People are asked to provide information about themselves o Open-ended versus closed-ended questions  Self-report bias o Socially desirable responding o Better-than-average effect  Response performance: Response performance measures involve quantifying perceptual or cognitive processes in response to a specific stimulus o Reaction time o Response accuracy o Stimulus judgments  Say we hypothesize that the People for Good ads lead to more positive behavior by priming the concept ‘friendly’ o Priming: The activation of a concept to increase its accessibility, and thus the likelihood that it will be used  Reaction time: If the concept of friendly is more accessible after seeing the People for Good ads, then people exposed to the ads should be quicker to recognize friendly words than those who have not been exposed to the ads Exmaple: Dependent variable: How quickly are friendly-related words processed? Press “a” if a word Stroop Effect: Slower when there’s a mismatch, because there is interference between the word you are reading and the colour of the ink. Happens because we automatically read the words  Psychophysiological Assessment: Involve examining how bodily functions (physiology) change in association with behaviours or mental states (psychology). EEG, fMRI, PET  Crossing levels of analysis: Cultural, Social, Individual, Bilogical  Research Ethics o Beginning of ethical regulations: The Nuremburg Code (1947)  First legal standard for the conduct of research  Encompassed basic ethical principles such as voluntary consent, freedom from coercion, & comprehension of risks and benefits o Declaration of Helsinki (1964)  Research with humans should be based on the results from laboratory and animal experimentation  Research should be conducted by medically/scientifically qualified individuals  Risks should not exceed benefits  Research protocols should be reviewed by an independent committee prior to initiation  Ethical Issues Post Data Collection: Fabrication (lord of the data), falsification, Plagiarism  If non one was harmed, does it matter? Absolutly. Corruption of the scientific corpus. Destruction of public trust in scientific information  Good research requires data that is accurate, valid, reliable 1. Accuracy o Accuracy refers to the extent to which an experimental measure is free from error o Two types of error: Random error vs. Systematic error o E.g., Measuring reaction times on the Stroop task 2. Valid- Validity refers to the extent to which the collected data address the research hypothesis in the way intended- Are you measuring what you mean to measure? • E.g., Does processing speed increase as people age? o Hypothesis: University students will have faster reaction times on the Stroop test than elementary school students o Our collected data (reaction times from the Stroop task) would be a valid way to address our question • However, if our question was “do people enjoy completing the Stroop test more as they age?”, then our reaction time data would not be valid data to answer this question  Validity of our operational definitions o Constructs: Internal attributes or characteristics that cannot be directly observed but are useful for describing and explaining behavior o Construct validity  The degree to which the independent and dependent variables in a study truly represent the abstract, hypothetical variables (i.e., constructs) in which the research is interested.  I.e., How valid are your operational definitions?  E.g., Mood manipulations  Internal and External Validity o Internal validity  The extent to which your findings provide compelling evidence of causality  Laboratory experiments tend to be high in internal validity because they eliminate confounds o External validity  The extent to which your findings accurately describe what happens in the real world  Generalizability with respect to people, as well as situations 3. Reliable: Reliability refers to the extent to which a measure is stable and consistent over time • Inter-observer agreement (or inter-rater reliability)  The degree to which different judges independently agree upon their observations or judgments • E.g., In a descriptive study, the extent to which different observers would code behaviour in the same way • Internal consistency  The degree to which all the specific items or observations in a multi-item measure behave the same way • Temporal consistency (or test-retest reliability)  The degree to which scores of individual participants remain stable over time • E.g., Whether Haruki and Machiko would receive the same extroversion scores if they took the measure again a month later • descriptive statistics: Provide an overall summary of our data  Include ways in which we can organize, summarize, and meaningfully describe our data to others  Involves measures of central tendency and variability • Central Tendency: A measure that represents the typical behavior of the group as a whole o Goal: Find the single most representative score of your data, mean, median, mode  Mean: E.g., Summarizing results of the Stroop test by reporting the mean reaction time for trials where the colour matches the word (identical) and the mean reaction time for trials where the colour does not match the word (not identical)  Median: If there is no “middle score”, we find the average of the middle two scores  Mode: Note that unlike the median and mean, the mode MUST correspond to an actual score in the data  Although the mean is the most frequently used measure, each measure of central tendency has been developed to work best in certain situations • Variability: In a set of numbers, how widely dispersed the values are from each other and from the mean o If all scores were exactly the same, there would be no variability (and all of our scores would be equal to the mean score) o Easiest way to determine how spread out the scores are is to use the range: distance between the maximum score and minimum score  E.g., Fastest RT = 30ms, Slowest RT = 100ms, Range = 100 – 30 = 70ms o However, this completely ignores every other score in your data (what if every other score fell between 30-40ms? Or 80-90ms?) • Standard deviation: Measures how far, on average, each score is from the mean o Smaller standard deviation  scores are clustered closer together o Larger standard deviation  scores are spread further apart o E.g., test scores, mean = 75% • Correlations: • Scatter plot: Graphs that illustrate the relationship between two variables (e.g., beer sales and temperature) • Correlations can have values from -1.0 to +1.0 o 0 indicates no correlation (no relationship between the two variables) o Positive numbers indicate that as one variable increases in the value, the other variable also increases in value o Negative numbers indicate that as one variable increases in value, the other variable decreases in value • Evaluating Our data o Inferential statistics: A set of procedures used to make judgments about whether differences actually exist between sets of numbers  Are the observed differences between our experimental groups due to chance variation, or do they reflect true differences in the populations being compared?  E.g., Stroop Test, we would want to know whether the observed difference between the two types of trials is statistically significant or just due to chance  Identical trials: Mean = .79 / Not identical trials: Mean = .70 • Replication: May be an exact replication (run the exact same study again to see whether you get the same results) or a conceptual replication (operationalize your variables in a different way) • E.g., Mood manipulation • Revise: If your hypothesis was not supported by your data, think about what this means • What are the implications for the theory you are testing? • Report: Write up or present your results to others Chapter 3: Biological Foundations • Genetics: Nature and nurture are inextricably entwined! o Nature (genes) and nurture (social context) interact to affect human behavior • -genome is the master blueprint that provides instructions within every cell • -within each cell is a chromosome-structures made of genes. Genes are components of DNA • -gene, a segment of DNA, involved in producing a protein, unit of heredity that determines a particular characteristic in an organism. The Nervous System • The nervous system is the body’s electrochemical communication circuitry • Central nervous system (CNS) • Peripheral nervous system (PNS) o Somatic nervous system o Autonomic nervous system  Sympathetic nervous system Parasympathetic nervous system Neurons • Are the basic unit of the nervous system • Operate through electrical impulses • Communicate with other neurons through chemical signals Three types of neurons: • Sensory neurons (afferent neurons) • Motor neurons (efferent neurons) • Interneurons When do neurons fire? • Excitatory signals  increase the likelihood that the neuron will fire • Inhibitory signals  decrease the likelihood that the neuron will fire • They do this by affecting the polarization of the cell • Neurons fire (generate an action potential) if the excitatory input reaches a certain threshold • All-or-none principle: A neuron fires with the same potency each time (it either fires or does not fire); but how frequently the neuron fires can vary • Action potential: The neural impulse that passes along the axon and subsequently causes the release of chemicals from the terminal buttons • Neuronal communication Neurotransmitters • Are chemical substances that carry signals from one neuron to another • Are stored in vesicles (small packages) inside the terminal buttons • Action potentials cause the vesicles to fuse to the presynaptic membrane (membrane of the neuron that is sending the signal) and release their contents into the synapse, where they are received by postsynaptic receptors on the postsynaptic membrane (membrane of the neuron that is receiving the signal) • Common: Acetylcholine, Epinephrine, Norepinephrine, Serotonin, Dopamine, GABA  How do Drugs work? o Agonists  Enhance neurotransmitters’ actions by  Increasing the release of neurotransmitters  Blocking the re-uptake of neurotransmitters  Mimicking a neurotransmitter (& activating a postsynaptic receptor) o Ie/ cocaine, methamphetamine
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