Textbook Notes (363,237)
Canada (158,278)
Psychology (4,731)
Psychology 1000 (1,558)
Chapter 1

Psych Chapter 1 Notes

21 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Psychology 1000
Erica Lawson

Reading Notes Chapter 1 9/12/2011 12:11:00 PM  Psychology: scientific study of behaviour and the mind  Behavior: actions and responses we can directly observe  Mind: internal states and processes (ex: feelings, thoughts) that can’t be seen and must be inferred  Clinical psychology: study and treatment of mental disorders  Cognitive psychology: study of mental process from a view that the mind is an information processor  Examine consciousness, attention, memory, decision making and problem solving  Psycholinguistics: psychology of language Psychology Subfields  Biopsychology: how brain processes, genes and hormones influence our behavior  Developmental psychology: examines human physical, psychological and social development cross lifespan  Experimental psychology: basic processes such as learning, sensory systems (ex: vision, hearing), perception and motivational states (ex: sexual motivation, hunger, thirst)  Industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology: people’s behavior in workplace (ex: leadership, teamwork, job satisfaction, performance, etc)  Personality psychology: identify core personality traits and how different traits relate/influence one another  Social psychology: how people influence one another, behave in groups, form impressions and attitude, etc  Empirical evidence: evidence gained through experience and observation Psychology’s Goals 1. To describe how people and other animals behave 2. To explain and understand the causes of these behaviors 3. To predict how people and animals will behave under certain conditions 4. To influence or control behavior through knowledge and control of its causes to enhance human welfare Levels of Analysis Behavior and its causes can be examined at the  Biological level – ex: brain processes, genetic influences, hormones  Psychological level – ex: thoughts, feelings and motives, cognitive perspective, memory  Environmental level – ex: past and current physical/social environments that we’re exposed to, sociocultural perspective, stimuli in the environment  Mind-body Interactions: the relations between mental processes in brain and functioning of other bodily systems  Mind-body dualism: belief that mind is a spiritual entity not subject to psychical laws that govern the body  Monism: mind and body are one, mind is not seperate spiritual entity  Structuralism: analysis of mind in terms of its basic elements  Exposed to stimuli, then asked to describe experiences  Functionalism: study functions of consciousness rather than its structure  Why do we have this? How do they help us adapt to environment?  Psychodynamic perspective: searches for causes of behavior within inner workings of our personality, focusing on role of unconscious processes  Sigmund Freud developed first and most controversial psychodynamic theory  Psychoanalysis: analysis of internal and primarily unconscious psychological forces  Behavioral perspective: focuses on role of external environment in governing our actions  Cognitive behaviorism: learning experiences and environment affect our behavior by giving us information we need to behave  Humanistic perspective: free will, personal growth and attempt to find meaning in one’s life  Cognitive perspective: examines nature of mind and how mental processes influence behavior  Cultural psychology: explores how culture is transmitted to its members and psychological similarities/differences among people from diverse cultures  Biological perspective: examines how brain processes and other bodily functions regulate behavior  Behavioral neuroscience (also called physiological psychology): examines brain processes and other physiological functions that underlie our behavior, sensory experiences, emotions and thoughts o Karl Lashley pioneer of behavioral neuroscience o He trained rats to run mazes, observed how damaging different areas of brain affect rats’ memory and learning  Neurotransmitters: chemicals released by nerve cells that allow them to communicate with another  Behavior genetics: study of how behavioral tendencies are influenced by genetic factors  Natural Selection: an inherited trait gives certain members of a species an advantage over others to survive  These members survive and their traits are passed on to offspring  Charles Darwin: Theory of Evolution  Evolutionary Psychology: seeks to explain how evolution shaped modern human behavior  Sociobiology: complex social behaviors built into human species as product of evolution o Natural selection favors behavior that increases ability to pass on ones genes to next generation ** Pg. 24: Chart that compares Six Major Perspectives on Human Behavior Reading Notes Chapter 2 9/12/2011 12:11:00 PM  scientific attitudes: curiosity, skepticism and open-mindedness are driving forces behind scientific inquiry  diffusion of responsibility: psychological state where each person feels decreased personal responsibility for intervening Steps in the Scientific Process 1. Identify a question of interest 2. Gather information and form a hypothesis - Hypothesis: specific prediction about some phenomenon - If-Then statement: If…, then… 3. Test hypothesis by conducting research 4. Analyze data, draw tentative conclusions and report findings 5. Build a body of knowledge - theory: set of formal statements that explains how and why certain events are related to one another  hindsight (after-the-fact understanding) not a good approach to understanding behavior o relying on hindsight reasoning: past events can be xplained for variety of reasons  Characteristics of a Good Theory o Organizes information in meaningful way o Testable o Predictions made by theory supported by findings of new research o Conforms to Law of Parsimony: if 2 theories can explain and predict same phenomenon, the simpler of the 2 is preferred  Variable: any characteristic or factor that can vary (ex: height, weight, age, etc)  Operational Definition: defines a variable in terms of the specific procedures used to produce or measure it  Social desirability bias: self-reports are distorted by tendency to respond in a socially acceptable manners rather than the truth  Psychological tests: tests to measure various variables (ex: personality test, intelligence tests  Physiological measures: physiological responses to assess what people are experiencing (ex: heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, etc) Methods of Research  Descriptive Research: identify how humans and other animals behave, particularly in natural settings o Case Study: in-depth analysis of an individual, group or event  Enables scientists to study rare phenomenon closely  Can challenge validity of theory/widely held social belief  Source of new ideas/hypotheses that can be examined using more controlled research methods later  Poor method of determining cause-effect relations  Case study findings may not generalize to other people/situations  Observers may not be objective in gathering/interpreting data o Naturalistic Observation: researcher observes behavior as it occurs in a natural setting, and attempts to avoid influencing that behavior  Naturalistic observation doesn’t permit clear causal conclusions o Survey Research: information about a topic is obtained by administering questionnaires or interviews to many people  Ex: political polls  Population: all the individuals about whom were are interested in drawing a conclusion  Sample: subset of individuals drawn from a larger population  Representative sample: one that reflects important characteristics of a population  Random sampling: every member of population has equal chance of being surveyed  Survey data can’t be used to draw conclusions about cause and effect  Surveys rely on participant’s self reports, which can be biased  Unrepresentative samples lead to faulty generalizations  Correlation Research: measuring associations between events o Researcher measures one variable (x) and second variable (y), then determines whether (x) and (y) are related to each other o No manipulating of variables o Naturalistic observation and surveys used o Cannot draw causes from correlation research o Correlation Coefficient: statistic that indicates the direction and strength of the relation between two variables  Positive correlation: higher sores on one variable are associated with higher scores on second variable (+1.00)  Negative correlation: higher scores on one variable associated with lower scores on second variable (-1.00) o Helps establish whether relationships found in laboratory generalize to outside world o Correlational data allows us to make predictions  Experiments: Examining cause and effect o Researcher manipulates one or more variable, then measures whether this manipulation influences other variables o Researcher attempts to control extraneous factors that might influence outcome of experiment  Independent Variable: factor that is manipulated or controlled by the experimenter  Dependent Variable: factor that is measured by the experiment and may be influenced by independent variable  Experimental Group: group that receives treatment, exposed to independent variable  Control Group: not exposed to treatment, zero-level of independent variable Designing an Experiment  Between groups (between subjects) design: each group in experiment composed of different set of participants o Participants must all be equal at start of study  Repeated measures (within subjects) design: each participant exposed to all conditions of independent variable  Validity: how well an experimental procedure actually tests what it is designed to test o Internal Validity: the degree to which an experiment supports clear causal conclusions  Independent variable is what really caused dependent variable to change  high internal validity  Internal validity is weakened by placebo effect and experimenter expectancy effects o External Validity: degree to which results of s study can be generalized to other populations, settings and conditions  Examine external validity by replication of experiments  Confounding of Variables: two variables intertwined n such a way that we cannot determine which one influenced dependent variable  Placebo Effect: people receiving treatment show change in behavior because of their expectations, not because of treatment itself  Experimenter Expectancy Effects: subtle and unintentional ways researchers influence their participants to respond in a manner that supports researcher’s hypothesis  Double-Blind Procedure: both participant and experimenter kept blind as to which experimental condition participant is in o Prevents placebo effect and expectancy effects from biasing research results  Meta-Analysis: statistical procedure for combing results of different studies that examine same topic to test overall significance of findings Ethical Standards in Human Research  Informed Consent: explain all aspects of procedure and ensure process is understood Reading Notes Chapter 3 9/12/2011 12:11:00 PM Neurons: specialized cells; basic building blocks of nervous system  Nerve cells linked together in circuits  Each neuron has three main parts o Cell body (soma): contain biochemical structures needed to keep neuron alive, and its nucleus contains genetic info that determines how cell develops and functions o Dendrites: branchlike fibers; antennas that collect messages from neighboring neurons and send on to cell body o Axon: conducts electrical impulses away form cell body to other neurons, muscles or glands  Branches out at the end to form several axon terminals  neurons vary greatly in size and shape, over 200 different types  neurons supported in their function by glial cells  Glial Cells: surround neutrons and hold them in place  Manufacture nutrient chemicals that neurons need  Form myelin sheath around axons  Absorb toxins/waste materials that can damage neurons  Outnumber neurons 10 to 1  Protect brain from toxins Blood-brain Barrier: prevents many substances (ex: toxins, etc) from entering brain Neurons do 2 important things: 1. Generate electricity that creates nerve impulses 2. Release chemicals that allow them to communicate with other neurons & muscles & glands Nerve Activation (three steps) 1. At rest, neuron has electrical resting potential due to distribution of +ve and –ve charged chemicals (ions) inside & outside neuron 2. When stimulated, flow of ions in & out through cell membraine reverses electrical charge of resting potential; producing action potential (nerve impulse) 3. Original distribution of ions restored, neuron again at rest In salty fluid outside neuron: +ve charged sodium ions (Na+) and –ve charged chloride ions (CI-) Inside neuron: large –ve charged protein molecules (anions or A-) and +ve charged potassium ions (K+) Resting potential: interior of cell –ve compared to outside by difference of 70 millivolts 1. At rest, neuron in state of polarization Action Potential: sudden reversal in neuron’s membrane voltage; membrane voltage momentarily moves rom -70 millivolts (inside) to +40 millivolts Depolarization: shift from negative to positive voltage 2. Sodium channels open up; +ve charged sodium ions flood into axon because attracted by –ve protein ions inside  interior now becomes +ve 3. In reflect action to restore resting potential: sodium channels close, +ve charged potassium ions flow out through their channels,\ and restore resting potential Absolute Refractory Period: a time of recovery during which a cell membrane is not excitable and cannot generate another action potential All-or-None Law: action potentials occur at uniform and maximum intensity o -ve potential inside axon must be changed from -70 millivolts to -50 millivolts (action potential threshold) by influx of sodium ions into ion for action potential to be triggered o graded potentials: changes in –ve resting potential that don’t reach the -50 millivolts action potential threshold  Myelin Sheath: fatty, whitish insulation layer derived from glial cells during development o Interrupted by nodes of Ranvier where myelin sheath is extremely thin or absent o Myelin sheath most commonly found in nervous system of higher animals o Multiple sclerosis: person’s own immune system attacks myelin sheath  Damage to myelin sheath results in nervous, jerky movements and paralysis How Neurons Communicate: Synaptic Transmission  Synapse: functional (but not physical) connection between neuron and its target  Neurons release chemicals; these chemicals carried messages from one neuron to next in the circuit  Synaptic Cleft: tin gap/space between axon terminal of one neuron and dendrite of next neuron  Neurons produce neurotransmitters  Neurotransmitters: chemical substances that carry messages across synapse to excite other neurons or inhibit their firing Process of chemical communication involves 5 steps: 1. Synthesis  Chemical molecules formed inside neuron 2. Storage  Molecules stored in chambers called synaptic vesicles within axon terminals 3. Release  When action potential comes down axon, vesicles move to surface of axon terminal and chemical molecules released into fluid-filled space between axon of sending neuron (presynaptic) and membrane of receiving neuron (postsynaptic) 4. Binding  Molecules cross synaptic space and attach themselves to receptor sites (large protein molecules embedded in receiving cell’s membrane) 5. Reactivation Binding of transmitter molecule to receptor site produces chemical reaction that can have 2 different effects:  Reaction will depolarize (excite) postsynaptic cell membrane o Excitatory transmitters: neurotransmitters that create depolarization  Reaction will hyperpolarize postsynaptic membrane  makes membrane potential even more –ve o Makes it more difficult for excitatory transmitters to depolarize neuron to tis action potential threshold (inhibitory) Balance between excitatory and inhibitory must be maintained for nervous system to function properly When neurotransmitter molecule binds to its receptor, continues to activate/inhibit until shut off (deactivated)  Deactivation 1: Other chemicals in synaptic space break down transmitter molecules  Deactivation 2: reuptake: transmitter molecules are reabsorbed into presynaptic axon terminal  Transmitter molecules can assume many different shapes o Various systems in brain recognize only certain chemical messengers 2 widespread neurotransmitters are simple amino acids  glutamate (or glutamic acid) and gamma-aminobutyric (GABA)  found throughout central nervous system  have some role in mediating all behaviors  Glutamate (excitatory)  involved in learning and memory
More Less

Related notes for Psychology 1000

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.