Coon Psychology Chapter 1

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Chapter 1 : 

Chapter 1 Introduction to Psychology and Research Methods Table of Contents Exit

What is Psychology? : 

What is Psychology? Psychology Psyche: Mind Logos: Knowledge or study Definition: The scientific study of behavior and mental processes Behavior: Overt, i.e. can be directly observed (crying) Mental Processes: Covert, i.e. cannot be directly observed (remembering) Table of Contents Exit

Empiricism: The Goals : 

Empiricism: The Goals To measure and describe behaviors To gather empirical evidence: Information gained from direct observation and measurement To gather data: Observed facts Table of Contents Exit

Scientific Observation : 

Scientific Observation Definition: Designed and structured to answer questions about the world Research Method: A systematic procedure for answering scientific questions Table of Contents Exit

Critical Thinking: Key Principles : 

Critical Thinking: Key Principles Few truths transcend the need for empirical testing Evidence varies in quality Authority or claimed expertise does not automatically make an idea true Critical thinking requires an open mind Table of Contents Exit

Critical Thinking : 

Critical Thinking Ability to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information What would you expect to see if the claim were true? Gather evidence relevant to the claim Evaluate the evidence Draw a conclusion Oftentimes used in research Table of Contents Exit

What Might a Psychologist Research? : 

What Might a Psychologist Research? Development: Course of human growth and development Learning: How and why it occurs in humans and animals Personality: Traits, motivations, and individual differences Sensation and Perception: How we come to know the world through our five senses Table of Contents Exit

What Might a Psychologist Research? (cont.) : 

What Might a Psychologist Research? (cont.) Comparative: Study and compare behavior of different species, especially animals Biopsychology: How behavior is related to biological processes, especially activities in the nervous system Gender: Study differences between males and females and how they develop Social: Human and social behavior Table of Contents Exit

What Might a Psychologist Research? (cont.) : 

What Might a Psychologist Research? (cont.) Cultural: How culture affects behavior Evolutionary: How our behavior is guided by patterns that evolved during our history Table of Contents Exit

What Are the Goals of Psychology? : 

What Are the Goals of Psychology? Description of Behaviors: Naming and classifying various observable, measurable behaviors Understanding: The causes of behavior(s), and being able to state the cause(s) Prediction: Predicting behavior accurately Control: Altering conditions that influence behaviors in predictable ways Positive Use: To control unwanted behaviors, (e.g., smoking, tantrums, etc.) Negative Use: To control peoples’ behaviors without their knowledge Table of Contents Exit

Slide 11: 

Fig. 1.1 Results of an empirical study. The graph shows that horn honking by frustrated motorists becomes more likely as air temperature increases. This suggests that physical discomfort is associated with interpersonal hostility. Riots and assaults also increase during hot weather. Here we see a steady rise in aggression as temperatures go higher. However, research done by other psychologists has shown that hostile actions that require physical exertion, such as a fist fight, may become less likely at very high temperatures. (Data from Kenrick & MacFarlane, 1986.) Table of Contents Exit

History of Psychology (Brief!): Beginnings : 

History of Psychology (Brief!): Beginnings Wilhelm Wundt: “Father” of Psychology 1879: Set up first lab to study conscious experience Introspection: Looking inward (i.e., examining and reporting your thoughts, feelings, etc.) Experimental Self-Observation: Incorporates both introspection and objective measurement; Wundt’s approach Table of Contents Exit

History of Psychology: Structuralism : 

History of Psychology: Structuralism Wundt’s ideas brought to the U.S. by Tichener and renamed Structuralism Structuralists often disagreed, and no way to prove who was correct! Structuralists: Introspection was a poor way to answer many questions Table of Contents Exit

History of Psychology: Functionalism : 

History of Psychology: Functionalism William James (American) and Functionalism How the mind functions to help us adapt and survive Functionalists admired Darwin and his Theory of Natural Selection: Animals keep features through evolution that help them adapt to environments Educational Psychology: Study of learning, teaching, classroom dynamics, and related topics Table of Contents Exit

History of Psychology: Behaviorism and Cognitive Behaviorism : 

History of Psychology: Behaviorism and Cognitive Behaviorism Behaviorism: Watson and Skinner Psychology must study observable behavior objectively Watson studied Little Albert with Rosalie Raynor; Skinner studied animals almost exclusively Cognitive Behaviorism: Ellis and Bandura Our thoughts influence our behaviors; used often in treatment of depression Table of Contents Exit

History of Psychology: Gestalt : 

History of Psychology: Gestalt Gestalt Psychology: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Studied thinking, learning, and perception in whole units, not by analyzing experiences into parts Key names: Wertheimer, Perls Table of Contents Exit

Slide 17: 

Fig. 1.2 The design you see here is entirely made up of broken circles. However, as the Gestalt psychologists discovered, our perceptions have a powerful tendency to form meaningful patterns. Because of this tendency, you will probably see a triangle in this design, even though it is only an illusion. Your whole perceptual experience exceeds the sum of its parts. Table of Contents Exit

History of Psychology: Freud : 

History of Psychology: Freud Psychoanalytic: Freud Our behavior is largely influenced by our unconscious wishes, thoughts, and desires, especially sex and aggression Freud performed dream analysis and was an interactionist (combination of our biology and environment makes us who we are) Repression: When threatening thoughts are unconsciously held out of awareness Recent research has hypothesized that our unconscious mind is partially responsible for our behaviors Table of Contents Exit

History of Psychology: Neo-Freudians : 

History of Psychology: Neo-Freudians New or recent; some of Freud’s students who broke away to promote their own theories Key names: Adler, Anna Freud, Horney, Jung, Rank, Erikson Table of Contents Exit

History of Psychology: Humanism : 

History of Psychology: Humanism Humanism: Rogers and Maslow Goal of psychology is to understand subjective human experience Each person has innate goodness and is able to make free choices (contrast with Skinner and Freud) Determinism: Behavior is determined by forces beyond our control Table of Contents Exit

Humanism: Some Concepts : 

Humanism: Some Concepts Self-image: Your perception of your own body, personality, and capabilities Self-evaluation: Positive and negative feelings you have about yourself Frame of Reference: Mental or emotional perspective used for evaluating events Self-actualization (Maslow): Fully developing one’s potentials and becoming the best person possible Table of Contents Exit

Psychology Today : 

Psychology Today Biopsychology: Our behavior can be explained through physiological processes Uses brain scans to gather data (MRI, PET) Looks at neurotransmitters Cognitive: Study thoughts, memory, expectations, perceptions, and other mental processes Positive: Study of human strengths, virtues, and optimal behavior Table of Contents Exit

Fig. 1.4 Operational definitions are used to link concepts with concrete observations. Do you think the examples given are reasonable operational definitions of frustration and aggression? Operational definitions vary in how well they represent concepts. For this reason, many different experiments may be necessary to draw clear conclusions about hypothesized relationships in psychology. : 

Fig. 1.4 Operational definitions are used to link concepts with concrete observations. Do you think the examples given are reasonable operational definitions of frustration and aggression? Operational definitions vary in how well they represent concepts. For this reason, many different experiments may be necessary to draw clear conclusions about hypothesized relationships in psychology. Table of Contents Exit

Fig. 1.5 Psychologists use the logic of science to answer questions about behavior. Specific hypotheses can be tested in a variety of ways, including naturalistic observation, correlational studies, controlled experiments, clinical studies, and the survey method. Psychologists revise their theories to reflect the evidence they gather. New or revised theories then lead to new observations, problems, and hypotheses. : 

Fig. 1.5 Psychologists use the logic of science to answer questions about behavior. Specific hypotheses can be tested in a variety of ways, including naturalistic observation, correlational studies, controlled experiments, clinical studies, and the survey method. Psychologists revise their theories to reflect the evidence they gather. New or revised theories then lead to new observations, problems, and hypotheses. Table of Contents Exit

Cultural Awareness : 

Cultural Awareness Many thoughts and behaviors are influenced by our culture Psychologists need to be aware of the impact cultural diversity may have on our behaviors What is acceptable in one culture might be unacceptable in another Cultural Relativity: Behavior must be judged relative to the values of the culture in which it occurs Norms: Rules that define acceptable and expected behavior for members of various groups Table of Contents Exit

Many Flavors of Psychologists : 

Many Flavors of Psychologists Psychologists: Usually have masters or doctorate; Trained in methods, knowledge, and theories of psychology Clinical Psychologists: Treat more severe psychological problems Counseling Psychologists: Treat milder problems, such as adjustment disorders Not all psychologists perform therapy! Table of Contents Exit

Other Mental Health Professionals : 

Other Mental Health Professionals Psychiatrists: MD; usually use medications to treat problems; Generally do not have extensive training in providing “talk” therapy Psychoanalysts: Receive post-PhD. or M.D. training in Freudian psychoanalysis at an institute Counselor: Adviser who helps solve marriage, career, work, or school problems Psychiatric Social Workers: Many have masters degrees and perform psychotherapy Presently a very popular profession Table of Contents Exit

The Scientific Method : 

The Scientific Method Six Basic Elements Observation Defining a problem Proposing a hypothesis (an educated guess that can be tested) Gathering evidence/testing the hypothesis Publishing results Building a theory Table of Contents Exit

Scientific Theory : 

Scientific Theory A system of ideas that interrelates facts and concepts, summarizes existing data, and predicts future observations A good theory must be falsifiable; i.e., operationally defined so that it can be disconfirmed Table of Contents Exit

Naturalistic Observation : 

Naturalistic Observation Observing a person or an animal in the environment in which they/it live(s) Problems Observer Effect: Changes in behavior caused by an awareness of a person or animal being observed Observer Bias: Occurs when observers see what they expect to see or record only selected details Anthropomorphic Fallacy: Attributing human thoughts, feelings, or motives to animals, especially as a way of explaining their behavior (e.g., “Anya, my cat, is acting like that because she’s feeling depressed today.”) Table of Contents Exit

Fig. 1.11 Elements of a simple psychological experiment to assess the effects of music during study on test scores. : 

Fig. 1.11 Elements of a simple psychological experiment to assess the effects of music during study on test scores. Table of Contents Exit

Correlations and Relationships : 

Correlations and Relationships Correlational Studies: Find existence of a consistent, systematic relationship between two events, measures, or variables Correlation Coefficient: Statistic ranging from –1.00 to +1.00; the sign indicates the direction of the relationship Closer the statistic is to –1.00 or to +1.00, the stronger the relationship Correlation of 0.00 demonstrates no relationship between the variables Table of Contents Exit

Correlations and Relationships (cont.) : 

Correlations and Relationships (cont.) Positive Correlation: Increases in one variable are matched by increases in the other variable Negative Correlation: Increases in one variable are matched by decreases in the other variable Correlation does not demonstrate causation: Just because two variables are related does NOT mean that one variable causes the other to occur Table of Contents Exit

Experiments : 

Experiments To identify cause-and-effect relationships, we conduct experiments Directly vary a condition you might think affects behavior Create two or more groups of subjects, alike in all ways except the condition you are varying Record whether varying the condition has any effect on behavior Table of Contents Exit

Variables : 

Variables Definition: Any condition that can change, and might affect, experiment's outcome Independent Variable: Condition(s) altered by the experimenter; experimenter sets their size, amount, or value; these are suspected causes for behavioral differences Dependent Variable: Demonstrates effects that independent variables have on behavior Extraneous Variables: Conditions that a researcher wants to prevent from affecting the outcomes of the experiment (e.g., number of hours slept before the experiment) Table of Contents Exit

Groups : 

Groups Experimental Group: The group of subjects that gets the independent variable Control Group: The group of subjects that gets all conditions EXCEPT the independent variable Random Assignment: Subject has an equal chance of being in either the experimental or control group Table of Contents Exit

Fig. 1.8 Effects of interference on memory. A graph of the approximate relationship between percentage recalled and number of different word lists memorized. : 

Fig. 1.8 Effects of interference on memory. A graph of the approximate relationship between percentage recalled and number of different word lists memorized. Table of Contents Exit

Evaluating Experiments’ Results : 

Evaluating Experiments’ Results Statistically Significant: Results gained would occur very rarely by chance alone Meta-analysis: Study of results of other studies Table of Contents Exit

Fig. 1.7 The correlation coefficient tells how strongly two measures are related. These graphs show a range of relationships between two measures, A and B. If a correlation is negative, increases in one measure are associated with decreases in the other. (As B gets larger, A gets smaller.) In a positive correlation, increases in one measure are associated with increases in the other. (As B gets larger, A gets larger.) The center-left graph (“medium negative relationship”) might result from comparing anxiety level (B) with test scores (A): Higher anxiety is associated with lower scores. The center graph (“no relationship”) would result from plotting a person’s shoe size (B) and his or her IQ (A). The center-right graph (“medium positive relationship”) could be a plot of grades in high school (B) and grades in college (A) for a group of students: Higher grades in high school are associated with higher grades in college. : 

Fig. 1.7 The correlation coefficient tells how strongly two measures are related. These graphs show a range of relationships between two measures, A and B. If a correlation is negative, increases in one measure are associated with decreases in the other. (As B gets larger, A gets smaller.) In a positive correlation, increases in one measure are associated with increases in the other. (As B gets larger, A gets larger.) The center-left graph (“medium negative relationship”) might result from comparing anxiety level (B) with test scores (A): Higher anxiety is associated with lower scores. The center graph (“no relationship”) would result from plotting a person’s shoe size (B) and his or her IQ (A). The center-right graph (“medium positive relationship”) could be a plot of grades in high school (B) and grades in college (A) for a group of students: Higher grades in high school are associated with higher grades in college. Table of Contents Exit

Fig. 1.9 The relationship between years of college completed and personal income (hypothetical data). : 

Fig. 1.9 The relationship between years of college completed and personal income (hypothetical data). Table of Contents Exit

Placebo Effects : 

Placebo Effects Placebo: A fake pill (sugar) or injection (saline) Placebo Effect: Changes in behavior that result from belief that one has ingested a drug Placebos alter our expectations about our own emotional and physical reactions These expectancies then influence bodily activities Relieve pain by getting pituitary to release endorphins Also gain some effect through learning Table of Contents Exit

Controlling Placebo Effects : 

Controlling Placebo Effects Single Blind Experiment: Only the subjects have no idea whether they get real treatment or placebo Double Blind Experiment: The subjects AND the experimenters have no idea whether the subjects get real treatment or placebo Best type of experiment if properly set up Herbal remedies may be based on placebo effect Table of Contents Exit

Experimenter Effects : 

Experimenter Effects Definition: Changes in behavior caused by the unintended influence of the experimenter Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: A prediction that leads people to act in ways to make the prediction come true Table of Contents Exit

The Clinical Method : 

The Clinical Method Case Study: In-depth focus on all aspects of a single case Natural Clinical Tests: Natural events, such as accidents, that provide psychological data Survey Method: Using public polling techniques to answer psychological questions Table of Contents Exit

Table 1.5 – Comparison of Psychological Research Methods : 

Table 1.5 – Comparison of Psychological Research Methods Table of Contents Exit

Sampling : 

Sampling Representative Sample: Small group that accurately reflects a larger population Population: Entire group of animals or people belonging to a particular category (e.g., all married women) Internet Surveys: Web based research; low cost and can reach many people Courtesy Bias: Problem in research; a tendency to give “polite” or socially desirable answers Samples are not representative Table of Contents Exit

Pseudo-Psychologies : 

Pseudo-Psychologies Pseudo means “false.” Any unfounded “system” that resembles psychology and is NOT based on scientific testing Palmistry: Lines on your hands (palms) predict future and reveal personality Phrenology: Personality traits revealed by shape of skull and bumps on your head Table of Contents Exit

Pseudo Psychologies (cont.) : 

Pseudo Psychologies (cont.) Graphology: Personality revealed by your handwriting Astrology: The positions of the stars and planets at birth determine your personality and affect your behavior Extremely popular today (“What’s your sign?”) Table of Contents Exit

Pseudo Psychologies (cont.) : 

Pseudo Psychologies (cont.) Barnum Effect: Always have a little something for everyone; Make sure all palm readings, horoscopes, etc. are so general that something in them will always apply to any one person! (e.g., “Crossing Over with John Edward”; Miss Cleo) Uncritical Acceptance: Tendency to believe positive or flattering descriptions of yourself Fallacy of Positive Instances: When we remember or notice things that confirm our expectations and forget the rest Table of Contents Exit

Separating Fact from Fiction (Are the Stories in the “National Enquirer” True?) : 

Separating Fact from Fiction (Are the Stories in the “National Enquirer” True?) Be skeptical Consider the source of information Ask yourself, “Was there a control group?” Look for errors in distinguishing between correlation and causation (are claims based on correlational results yet passed off as causations?) Table of Contents Exit

Separating Fact from Fiction (Are the Stories in the “National Enquirer” True?) (cont.) : 

Separating Fact from Fiction (Are the Stories in the “National Enquirer” True?) (cont.) Be sure to distinguish between observation and inference (e.g., Robert is crying, but do we know why he is crying?) Beware of oversimplifications, especially those motivated by monetary reasons Single examples are not proof! Table of Contents Exit

Ethical Guidelines for Psychological Research : 

Ethical Guidelines for Psychological Research Do no harm Accurately describe risk to potential subjects Ensure that participation is voluntary Minimize any discomfort to participants Maintain confidentiality Table of Contents Exit

Ethical Guidelines for Psychological Research (cont.) : 

Ethical Guidelines for Psychological Research (cont.) Do not unnecessarily invade privacy Use deception only when absolutely necessary Remove any misconceptions caused by deception (debrief) Provide results and interpretation to participants Treat participants with dignity and respect Table of Contents Exit