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PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

PSYC 1010 NOTES Module 1 – The Story of Psychology - Suggestion that we can inherit personality traits of our parents - Psychology studies how and why we think, feel, and act as we do - Birth of psychology on December 1879 - Introspection – looking inward, report elements of life experience, what are their immediate sensations, and feelings? o Required smart, verbal people - Until the 1920s, psychology was defined as “the science of mental life” - 1920s – 1960s; John B Watson defined psychology as “the scientific study of observable behaviour” - Behaviorism – psychology should be o 1) an objective science that o 2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists agree with 1) but not 2) - Humanistic psychology – historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth potential of healthy people and the individual’s potential for personal growth - Cognitive neuroscience – the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition (including perception, thinking, memory, and language) Psychology Definition – science of behavior and mental process - Behavior is anything an organism does – any action we can observe and record (ie. Yelling, smiling, blinking, sweating, talking and questionnaire - Mental processes are the internal, subjective experiences we infer from behavior – sensations, perceptions dreams, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings Nature-Nurture Issue – controversy over relative contributions of biology and experience - Do our human traits develop through experience, or are we born with them? - Plato (inherit)assumed that character & intelligence are largely inherited and certain ideas are inborn - Aristotle (external) countered that there is nothing in the mind that doesn’t first come in from the external world through the senses - John Locke (tabula rasa) rejected the notion of inborn ideas, saying the mind is a blank sheet on which experience writes (tabula rasa – blank slate) - Rene Descartes (dualism) believes some ideas are innate Natural Selection (Darwinism) - Nature selects the traits that best enable an organism to survive and reproduce in a particular environment - Evolution sprung from this Biological Influences - Natural selection of adaptive traits - Genetic predispositions responding to environment - Brain mechanisms - Hormonal influences Psychological influences: - Learned fears and other learned expectations - Emotional responses - Cognitive processing and perceptual interpretations Social-cultural influences: - Presence of others - Cultural, societal, and family expectations - Peer and other group influences - Compelling models (ie. Media) MODULE 2 – THINKING CRITICALLY WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE Intuition – trusting your gut instincts - We are the easiest person to fool (fooling ourselves) Hindsight bias – tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have been able to foresee it (AKA I knew it all along) Empirical approach – letting facts speak for themselves Humility – an awareness of our own vulnerability to error and openness to surprises and new perspectives - Modern science is possible from humility, skeptism, and curiosity - Ex. Copernicus and Newton Critical thinking - Examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assess conclusions - Doesn’t blindly accept arguments and conclusions Theory – explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and predicts behaviors or events Hypothesis – an educated guess, testable, implied by a theory Replication – repeating a research study, with different participants in different situations to see different end results or similar end results The scientific method – self-correcting process for asking questions and observing natures answers Good theories explain by 1. Organizing and linking observed facts 2. Implying hypotheses that offer testable predictions and practical applications Case study – an observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles Survey – ascertaining self-reported attitudes or behaviors of a group, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of group Wording effects – changes in order or wording of questions - Wording is delicate, critical thinkers reflect on how the phrasing of a question might affect people’s expressed opinions Correlation - Measure of the extent to which 2 factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other - Positive & negative correlations, and enable prediction but not cause-effect explanation o Indicates POSSIBLE cause and effect relationship but doesn’t prove CAUSATION Illusory Correlations (ILLUSION) o A perceived but nonexistent correlation o When we believe there is a relationship between 2 things, we are likely to notice and recall instances that confirm our belief o We are prone to perceiving patterns, whether they’re there or not o When we notice random coincidences, we may forget that they’re random and instead see them as correlated Random assignment - Assigning participants to experimental and control groups by chance, minimizing pre-existing differences between those assigned to different groups Random Sampling - A sample that FAIRLY represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion - Choose a random sample, every person in group has an equal chance of participating Naturalistic Observation - Observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation - Doesn’t explain behavior; describes it - Illuminate human behavior Double-blind procedure - Experimental procedure in which both research participants and the research staff are ignorant (blind) about whether the research participants have received the treatment or placebo - Commonly used in drug-evaluation studies Placebo (Latin: I shall please) - Experimental results caused by expectations alone; any effect on behavior caused by administration of an Inert substance or condition, which the recipient assumes is an active agent Independent variable - Experimental factor that’s manipulated; variable whose effect is being studied Dependent variable - Outcome factor; variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable Skewed Distribution - 3 measures of central tendency – mean median and mode - When a few high incomes makes the mean – the fulcrum point that balances all other scores above and below – deceptively high Normal curve (normal distribution) - Symmetrical, bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many types of data Statistical significance – a statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance When Is an observed difference reliable? 1. Representative samples are better than biased samples. Basis for generalizing is not from the exceptional and memorable cases one finds at the extremes but from a representative sample of cases a. Research never randomly samples the whole human population, thus it pays to keep in mind what population a study has sampled 2. Less-variable observations are more reliable than those that are more variable. 3. More cases are better than fewer PERSONALITY - A person’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting - An individual’s unique variation on the general evolutionary design for human nature o Gets expressed in one’s traits and cultural situation o What makes us UNIQUE? 2 theories for personality 1. Sigmund Freud’s PSYCHOANALYTIC theory proposed that childhood sexuality and unconscious motivations influence personality 2. HUMANISTIC approach focused on our inner capacities for growth and self-fulfillment - Today, scientists study basic dimensions of personality, biological roots and interactions between human and environment o Also study self-esteem , self-serving bias, and cultural influences on one’s self of self o Study unconscious mind Freud Free association – in psychoanalysis, a method of exploring the unconscious in which the person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing - Assumed the dominoes of the past fell into present - Retrace that line from the past leading into the patient’s unconscious, where painful unconscious memories often from childhood could be found Psychoanalysis – Freud’s theory of personality that attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts; techniques used in treating psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret unconscious tensions Unconsciousness - Beneath our awareness is the unconscious mind with its thoughts, wishes, feelings and memories - Some thoughts we store temporarily in a preconscious area, which we can retrieve them into conscious awareness - We repress or block from our consciousness because they would be too overwhelming to acknowledge - Even if were not aware, it troubles us, influences us and is disguised from us - Viewed jokes as expressions of repressed sexual and aggressive tendencies and dreams as the “royal road to the unconscious” o He believed it was a censored expression of the dreamer’s unconscious wishes The Id, the Ego, and the Superego Id - Unconscious psychic energy tries to survive, reproduce and aggress - Operates on the pleasure principle o Seeks immediate gratification o Id-dominated person – newborn infant crying out for satisfaction, caring nothing for the outside world’s conditions and demands Ego - Young child responds to real world - Operates on reality principle o Gratifies id’s impulses in realistic ways that will bring long-term pleasure - Contain our partly conscious perceptions, thoughts, judgments, and memories - Age 4-5, child’s ego recognizes the demands of the SUPEREGO - Personality “executive” mediating impulsive demands of id, the restraining demands of superego, and real life demands of the external world Superego - Voice of our moral compass (conscience) that forces the ego to consider not only the real, but the ideal - How we ought to behave - Strives for perfection, judging actions and producing positive feelings of pride or negative feelings of guilt - Strong superego may be virtuous yet guild-ridden - Another with a weak superego may want only self-indulgent and remorseless - Superego’s demands oppose the ids – ego struggles to reconcile the 2 Psychosexual stages - Id’s pleasure-seeking energies focus on distinct pleasure-sensitive areas of the body called erogenous zones - Phallic stage: boys seek genital stimulation, develop both unconscious sexual desires for their mother and jealousy and hatred for their father, whom they consider a rival o Boys experience guilt and lurking fear of punishment, perhaps by castration, from their father (Oedipus complex) - Girls experience a parallel (Electra complex) - Children cope with it by repressing them and by identifying with the rival parent (if you cant beat em join em) Identification process - Children’s superegos gain strength as they incorporate many of their parents’ values - Gender identity – our sense of being male or female (influenced by our parents) - Conflicts unresolved during earlier psychosexual stages could surface as maladaptive behavior in adult years - Any point in oral, anal, or phallic stages, strong conflict could lock or fixate person’s pleasure seeking energies o Person who had been orally overindulged or deprived might fixte t oral stage o Exhibit passive independence Defense Mechanisms – ego’s protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality - Anxiety is a price we pay for civilization - We have to control our sexual and aggressive impulses, not act them out Repression - Repression underlies all the other defense mechanisms, each disguises threatening impulses and keeps them from our consciousness o Why we don’t remember our childhood lust for our parent of the other sex o Represses urges seeping out in dream symbols and slips of the tongue Regression - Retreat to an earlier, more infantile stage of development - Facing anxious first days of school, child may regress to oral comfort of thumb sucking - Homesick new college students may
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