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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 1010
Professor
Jennifer Steele
Semester
Fall

Description
Psychology Notes Units 1 Chapter 1: Evolution of Psychology • Philosophy, Physiology, Psychology o Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato considered and debated issues of relevance to psychology  Separation of mind and body and whether knowledge is innate or gained through experience o Impact of philosophy on development of ideas about mind, behaviour, and human nature continued as classic philosophy developed through Renaissance, post Renaissance, and Associationism o Descartes: Dualism of mind and body  Both separate and fundamentally different  Memory, perception, dreaming and emotions were properties of bodies  One of his most important legacies to psychology • Fact that humans are part of nature o William Harvey showed empirical demonstration in 1687  Blood circulation was a function of the heart o More scientists showed important insights can be gained by empirical methods • New science is born: Contribution of Wundt and Hall o Wilhelm Wundt ( German Professor)  Campaigned to make psychology independent discipline rather than a step child of philosophy/ physiology  Intellectual climate around at the time favoured Wundt’s approach • In 1867 he established the first formal lab for psych research at the University of Leipzig o Regarded as the date of birth of psychology • 1881 first journal devoted to publishing research  Known as the founder of psychology  Declared psychology should be modelled after fields such as physics/chemistry  Psychology’s primary focus was consciousness • “awareness of immediate experience” • Scientific study of consciousness experience  Most use scientific methods to investigate the mind o G Stanley Hall  Contributor to rapid growth of psych in USA  Americans first lab at John Hopkins University in 1883  Americans first psychology journal in 1887  He was the driving force to establishment of American Psychology Association, and was the first president of it • The battle of Schools: Structuralism vs. Functionalism o Structuralism emerged through leadership of Edward Titchener  Based on notion that task of psychology is to analyze consciousness into its basic elements and investigate how these elements are related  Wanted to identify/examine the fundamental components of consciousness experience ( sensations, feelings, images)  Most work concerned sensation and perception in vision, hearing, and touch  Depend on methods of introspection careful, systematic self-observation of one’s own conscious experience • Required training to make the subject (person being studied) more objective and more aware • Once trained, subjects were typically exposed to auditory tones, optical illusions, and visual stimuli o Asked to analyze what they experience  Limitations associated with the use of introspection were a factor that contributed to the demise of structuralism o Functionalism  Based on belief that psychology should investigate the function/purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure  William James (American Scholar) • Emergence of functionalism • Wrote “Principles of Psychology” • He was impressed by Charles Darwin’s concept of natural selection o “typical characteristics of a species must serve some purpose” • Noted consciousness important characteristics of our species • Consciousness  continuous flow of thoughts o Structuralism looked at a static point of flow, James wanted to understand the flow  “stream of consciousness”  Structuralists gravitated to the laboratory  Functionalists more interested in how people adapt their behaviour to the demands of the real world • Introduce new subjects into psychology o Mental testing, developmental patterns in children, effectiveness of educational practices, behavioural differences b/w the senses o Attracted the first women into psychology o Who won the fight? Most say functionalism, both however faded away, but functionalism developed behaviourism and applied psychology • Watsons Alters Psychology Course As Behaviourism Makes Its Debut o Early 1900’s  John Watson  Behaviourism: theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behaviour  Proposing psychology should abandon study of consciousness altogether • Redefining what scientific psychology is all about  Believed scientific method rested on verifiability by people willing to make proper observations • Depends on things that can be studied objectively  For him mental processes were not a proper subject for a scientific study because they are ultimately private events • “can’t see/touch other’s thoughts” • Therefore if psych were to be a science it had to give up consciousness, take up science of behaviour  only observable response/activity by an organism  Believed in nurture, not nature  Behaviourists view psych’s mission to relate behaviour ( response) to observable environment (stimuli)  Behaviourism’s stimulus-response (S-R) contributed to animal research in psychology • No longer need for human subjects • Researchers can better control the subjects  In Germany, opposition came from Gestalt\s psychology • Study conscious experience rather than behaviour  In Austria, Sigmund Freud • Contemplating mysteries of unconscious mental processes • Freud brings the unconscious into the picture o Treated people with psychology problems with innovative processes he called psychoanalysis o Believed unconscious contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below surface of conscious awareness but they still exert great influence on behaviour o Psychological disturbances are largely caused by personal conflict existing at an unconscious level  Psychoanalysis theory attempts explaining personality, motivation, mental disorders by focusing on unconscious determinants of behaviour o Resistance of theory in psych  Conflicted with the spirit of the time in psychology • If consciousness inaccessible to scientific observation how would unconsciousness be  Eventually psychoanalytic ideas did gain notoriety • Skinner Questions Free Will as Behaviourism Flourishes o He was influenced by Watson’s methodological behaviourism and by Pavlov’s work on conditional reflexes o Developed radical behaviourism  Did not deny existence of internal/mental events o Environmental factors mould behaviour o Organisms tend to repeat responses that lead to positive outcomes and vice versa  Can make animals perform unnatural behaviours, and can apply this to complex human behaviour • Humanist’s Revolt o 1950’s behaviourism and psychoanalytic most influential schools of thought in psych  Many psychologists found them unappealing • They were dehumanizing o Psychoanalytic attack  behaviours dominated by primitive sexual urges o Behaviourism  study of simple animal behaviour o Diverse opposition to them led to new theory called humanism  Theoretical orientation that emphasizes uniqueness of humans (freedom and potential for personal growth)  Had optimistic views of human nature o Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow are big contributors o To fully understand people’s behaviour psychologists must take into account human drive towards personal growth  Innovative treatments for psychological problems • Psychology in Canada o James Mark Baldwin created first experimental lab in British Empire at University of Toronto • Psychology Comes of Age as a Profession o Many psychologists provide service to public  Applied psychology  concerned with practical problems o First was clinical psychology  Diagnosis/treatment of psychological disorders  Rose due to the need of clinicians in world war 2 • Soldiers having too much trauma o Today there are many Areas of Psychology • Psychology Returns to its Roots: Renewed Interest in Cognition and Physiology o Today psychologists renewing interest in consciousness  Now called cognition  Mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge o Jean Piaget  focus is study of children’s cognitive development o Noam Chomsky  new interest in psychological underpinnings of language o Cognitive theorists argue psychology must study integral mental events to fully understand behaviour o Cognitive Perspective: Peoples manipulation of mental image surely influences how they behave  Focusing on overt behaviour doesn’t fully explain why individuals behave as they do  Some say cognitive perspective has become dominant perspective in contemporary psychology o Donald Hebb  important figure  Importance of physiological and neuropsychological perspectives • Argued locus of behaviour should be sought in the brain  Introduced concept of cell assembly • Repeated stimulation leads to development of cell assemblies o Resemble cognitive units that together on in concert with other cell assemblies facilitate behaviour • His ideas suggested how neural networks might work/ be organized • Now there is a high interest in neuroscience approach to psychology • Now there is a concern for how we use information concerning our brain/connections to behaviour o Called neuroethics • Psychology Broadens its Horizons: Increased Interest in Cultural Diversity o Psychology largely a western enterprise  Mainly middle/upper class white males  1) cross cultural research costly, difficult, and time consuming  2)Some psychologists worry cultural comparisons may inadvertently foster stereotypes of various cultural groups  3) Ethnocentrism (view ones group as superior to others) o However, neglect of cultural variables has diminished value of some works o Civil rights movement, women’s movement, gay rights movement  All raised doubts whether psychology had dealt adequately with human diversity o Also the world is more connected now than it used to be o Canada is more diverse o Today, more western psychologists are broadening their horizons and incorporating cultural factors into their theories  Study underrepresented groups  “how culture transmits through socialization practices”  “how culture colours ones view of the world”  How people cope with cultural change  How cultural groups are affected by prejudices, discrimination, and racism • Psychology Adapts: The emergence of evolutionary psychology o Behavioural processes in terms of their adaptive value for members of a species over the course of many generations o Able to explain gender differences in human behaviour based on need to meet adaptive pressures faced by our ancestors • Psychology Moves in a Positive Direction: The positive Psychology Movement o Martin Seligmen :psychology needlessly negative  New approach  positive psychology movement psych devoted attraction to pathology, weakness, damage, and ways to heal suffering • Neglect of forces that make life worth living  Positive Psychology: better understanding of the positive, adaptive, creative, and fulfilling aspects of human existence  1) Study positive subjective experiences • (happiness, love, gratitude, contentment hope)  2) Positive individual traits ( personal strengths and virtues) • Origin of traits  courage, perseverance, tolerance, creativity, integrity, kindness  3) Positive Institutions and Communities • How societies can foster civil discourses, strong families, healthy work environments, and supportive neighbourhood communities Chapter 2: The Research Enterprise in Psychology • Goals of the Scientific Enterprise: o 3 Sets of interrelated goals  1) Measurement and Description • Observation requires investigator to figure out how to measure phenomenon understudy • Make it possible to describe behaviour clearly and precisely  2) Understanding and Prediction • Make/test a hypothesis to evaluate their understandings • Relationship between 2/more variables o Any measureable conditions/ events/ characteristics observed in a study  3) Application and Control • Scientists hope for some practical use of their knowledge o Can control a phenomenon once you understand it o Construct theory to build a better understanding of behaviour  System of interrelated ideas used to explain a set of observations  Leap from description of behaviour to an understanding of behaviour  Must be testable (empirical)  Usually test 1 or 2 hypotheses derived from a thesis • If their observations supports hypothesis the theory grows stronger • Steps In a Scientific Investigation o 1) Formulate a testable hypothesis  Expressed as predictions  Must be formulated precisely  Variables clearly defined • Providing operational definitions of relevant variables • Operational definitions  describes actions/operations that will be used to measure/control variables o 2) Select the research methods of design study  Depends on nature of questions under study  Each method has advantages/disadvantages • Experiments, case studies, surveys, naturalistic observation, etc.  Have to select the right participants • Persons/animals whose behavior systematically observed in a study o 3) Collect Data  Researchers use various data collection techniques • Procedures for making empirical observations and measurements o 4) Analyze Data and Draw Conclusions  Observations converted to numbers • Raw data of study  Use statistics to analyze their data • Has hypothesis been supported? o 5) Report Findings  Scientific progress only if researchers share their findings  Write concise summary of study and its findings  Report delivered at scientific meetings and submitted to a journal for publications • Periodical that publishes technical/scholarly material  Allows other experts to evaluate/criticize new research findings • And find flaws in a study  Results can be discarded  Weeds out erroneous findings • Advantages of the Scientific Approach o 1) provides clarity and precision  Requires people specify exactly what they are talking about when they formulate hypothesis  Enhances communication about important ideas o 2) relative intolerance of error  Scientists are skeptical • Subject ideas to empirical tests • Scrutinize one another’s findings • 2 studies can’t conflict o Scientific approach tends to yield more accurate and dependable info o Research methods consists of various approaches to observation, measurement, manipulation, and control of variables in an empirical study  2 Basic types • 1) Experimental Research Method • 2) Descriptive/ Correlational Research Methods • Experimental Research Methods o Investigator manipulates one variable under controlled conditions, observes whether changes occur in a second variable o Independent and Dependent Variables  Purpose to find out if one variable has an effect on other  “how x affects y” • X=independent o Condition/event experimenter varies to see impact on another variable • Y=dependent o Thought to be affected by manipulation of the independent variable o Experimental and Control Groups  2 groups treated differently with regard to independent variables • Experimental Group o Receives special treatment in regard to independent variables • Control Group o Doesn’t receive special treatment  Control and experimental groups must be alike • Except for their variations which are due to independent variables o Extraneous Variables  Impossible to ensure that two groups 100% alike • Have to only be alike on dimensions relevant to the dependent variable • Experimenters try to ensure the two groups alike on a limited number of variables that could have bearing results on studies o Called extraneous variables o “any other variable that the independent variable that seems likely to influence the dependent variable in a specific study” • Confounding variables occur when two variables linked together in a way that makes it difficult to sort out their specific effects o If extraneous variables is confounded with independent variable, researcher cannot tell which is having what effect on the dependant variables • To control for extraneous variables, subjects are assigned to experimental and control groups randomly o This is so that all subjects have an equal chance of being assigned to any group/condition o Variations in Designing Experiments  Some experiments conducted with simple design • One independent variable and one dependent variable • Many variations possible in conducting experiments • 1) sometimes advantageous to use only one group of subjects who serve as their own control group o Expose group to 2 different conditions o Experimental conditions and control conditions o Called a within subject design (comparisons made within same group of participants) o Requires fewer people o Ensures both groups are equivalent • 2)Possible to manipulate more than one independent variable in a single experiment o Researchers often manipulate 2 or 3 independent variables o Advantage  permits experimenter to see whether 2 variables interact effects of one variable depends on effect of another • 3)Possible to use more than one dependent variable in a single study o To get more complete picture of how experimental manipulations affects subjects behaviour Advantages Disadvantages • Permits conclusions about • Experiments often artificial, require cause/effect relationships between great precise control  researchers variables  no other method can do make simple situations to test their this hypothesis • Field experiments like real life, • This creates doubts (can be fixed by researcher can sacrifice control over field experiments) extraneous variables for greater • Can’t be used to explore research generalizability questions • Some think field experiments prove better results than artificial, others • Example  psychologists interested in don’t effects of facts that can’t be manipulated as independent variables • Best to actually use both artificial and due to ethical/practical reasons field experiments • Descriptive/ Correlational Research o Include naturalistic observation, case studies, and surveys  Cannot manipulate variables under study  Therefore these methods can’t be used to demonstrate cause/effect relationships between variables  Can only describe patterns of behaviour and discover links/associations between variables o Naturalistic Observations:  Researcher engages in careful observation of behaviour with intervening directly with research subjects/ participants  Behaviour unfolds naturally in natural environment  Allows researchers to study behaviour in less artificial conditions  Good starting point when little is known about the study  Problem  trouble making observations unobtrusively so they don’t affect their subjects behaviour • Reactivity occurs when a subjects behaviour is altered by presence of an observer  Often difficult to translate naturalistic observations into numerical data o Case Studies  In depth investigations of an individual subject • Psychological autopsies = victims of suicide  Info gained variously • Interviewing subjects • Interviewing people close to subject • Observing subject • Examining record • Psychological testing  Clinical psychologists routinely do case studies  Case study research= analysis of past case studies to look for pattern that permit conclusions  Good for investigation certain phenomena ( psychological disorders)  Provide real life illustrations • Lead to hypothesis/ theory  Bad because they are highly subjective o Surveys  Questionnaires/interviews to gather information about specific aspects of participants behaviour  Used to gather information of an important social issue • On aspects of behaviour that are difficult to observe directly  Relatively easy to collect data on attitudes / opinions  Bad because they depend on self-report data • Can be distorted by intentional deception, wishful thinking  Also bad due to possible sampling bias Advantages/ Disadvantages of Descriptive/Correlational Research Advantages Disadvantages  Way to explore questions that can’t be  Can’t isolate cause and effect examined with experimental procedures  Can’t demonstrate conclusions that 2 variables are casually related  They broaden scope of phenomena that psychologists are able to study  Looking For Conclusions: Statistics and Research: o Statistics  use of math to organize, summarize, and interpret numerical data o Essential to understand and draw conclusions from research o Descriptive Statistics:  Used to organize and summarize data  Include measure of central tendency, measure of variability, and coefficient of correlation • 1) Central tendency o Median, mode, mean o Lack of agreement occurs when a few extreme scores pull mean away from centre of distribution o Frequency polygon  line figure used to present data from frequency distribution orderly arrangement of scores indicating the frequency of each score/ group of scores o Skewed distribution  Negative if scores pile up at high end  Positive if scores pile up at low end  These occur when few extreme scores pull the mean away from the mode • 2) Variability o Refers to how much scores in a data set vary from each other and from mean o Several Measures  Simplest is the range ( highest score minus lowest score) • Limited in its usefulness  Standard Deviation • Index of amount of variability in a set of data • When variability is low, SD = Low, and vice versa • Useful in understanding normal distribution o Symmetrical bell shaped curve that represents the pattern in which many characteristics are dispersed in the population o Most scores fill near centre o Percentile scores  Indicates % of people who score at or below a particular score • 3) Correlation o Exists when two variables related to each other o Correlation coefficient=numerical index of degree of relationship between 2 variables  Indicates 1) direction of relationship ( + or - ) and 2) how strong the two variables are related • + Correlation = one goes up as the other goes up, or if one goes down as the other goes down • - correlation = one goes up as the other goes down o If correlation is negative then there must be a “-“ in front of the coefficient o Strength of the Correlation  Size of the coefficient = Strength • Coefficient can be from 0 +1.00 and 0- 1.00 • If it’s close to 0 there is little relationship, if it is lose to +1/-1 there is a stronger relationship o Correlation does not tell us cause and effect relationship o Inferential Statistics:  Used to interpret data and draw conclusions • Can the data be used to support hypothesis  When statistics show results probably not due to chance, results are statistically significant • Exists when probability that observed data is due to chance is very low o Very low if there is 5% chance  Looking For Flaws: Evaluating Research: o Published research not always free of errors o Important to see if key findings will stand test of replication  Repetition of a study to see whether the earlier results can be duplicated • Identify/ purge erroneous findings o Meta-Analysis:  Combo of statistical results of many studies of same questions, yielding an estimate of the size/consistency of a variables effects o Sampling Bias  Sample = collection of subjects selected for observation in an empirical study  Population = larger collection of animals/ people that researcher wants to generalize about  Sampling bias = when sample not representative of population o Placebo Effects  Placebo = substance resembling drug but has no pharmacological effects  Placebo effect occurs wh
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