Psychology: Chapter 1

Psychology Outline Chapter 1


  1. Psychology's Roots
    1. Psychology comes from international roots in biology and philosophy.
      1. It targets to describe and reason out the thoughts, feelings and acts of people.
      2. John Locke rejected the theory of inborn ideas. One of the realistic philosophers in the 1600s.
      3. Charles Darwin wrote the book "Origin of Species" in 1859. His theory of "natural selection" suggests that nature selects organisms best fitted to survive and reproduce in a particular environment.
      4. Darwin's evolutionary process explained the diversity of life from the physical structure of animals and their behavior.
      5. Psychology was born in December 1879, in Germany's University of Leipzig, where Professor Wilhelm Wundt sought to measure the fastest and simplest mental processes. Considered the first experiment.
      6. In the 1920s to 1960s, it was redefined by an American psychologist, John watson, "the science of observable behavior."
      7. psychology- the science of behavioral and mental processes. Behavior is any reaction an organism does, that can be observed. Mental processes are inferences from behavior, such as dreams, thoughts and feelings.
  2. Psychology's Perspectives
    1. Psychology uses scientific methods to explore our thoughts and action. There are many differing points of views from the perspectives of neuroscience, evolutionary, behavior genetics, behavioral, cognitive, and social cultural.
  3. Psychology's Big Issues
    1. Stability vs. Change. Do individual traits stay the same as one ages or does one change?
    2. Rationality vs. Irrationality. "Most people would sooner die than think, in fact, they do so."
    3. Nature-Nurture Debate. Whether one knows from birth out of inborn knowledge or does experience from the environment shape one? Nurture works on what nature gave. Humans are capable of learning and adapting.
    4. Depression can be defined as both a thought disorder and a brain disorder.
  4. Psychology's Subfields
    1. Main Purpose: descibing and explaining behavior and the mental processes that underlie it.
    2. Basic Research- builds psychologist's knowledge foundation.
      1. biological psychologists- explore the links between brain and mind
      2. developmental psychologists- study the changing abilities from womb to tomb.
      3. personality psychologists- investigate out inner traits.
    3. applied research- aims to solve practical problems
      1. industrial/ organizational psychologists- study and advise on the behavior in the workplace, to boost morale and increase productivity.
    4. clinical psychologists- study, assess, and treat troubled people on anxiety, marriages, and children.
    5. psychiatrists- provide psychotherapy and are licensed to prescribe drugs and treat physical causes of psychological disorders.
    6. Psychology has grown more in North America with about 200,000 psychologists as compared to other countries.
    7. Psychology helps prevent or erase prejudices over women and children through increase knowledge.
  5. Studying Psychology
    1. PRTR: Preview, Read, Think critically, and Review.
    2. Distribute your study time.
    3. Listen actively in class.
    4. Overlearn- will improve your understanding
    5. Be a smart test-taker- read the essay question first before doing multiple choices, which you try to answer by filling in the blank.

Chapter 1: Thinking Critically With Psychological Science

  1. The Scientific Attitude
    1. The scientific approach consists of curious skepticism and open-minded humility.
    2. Critical Thinking- thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions.
  2. The Limits of Intuition and Common Sense
    1. The Hindsight Bias- the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have forseen it; I knew it all along phenomenon.
      1. Psychologists Paul Slovic and Baruch Fischhoff and Gordon Wood discovered this
      2. "Life is lived forwards, but understood backwards." - Soran Kierkegaard.
      3. Most common sense ideas are incorrect.
    2. Overconfidence- people often with hindsight think that they would have known the answer.
    3. The scientific approach helps us sift reality from illusion.
  3. Research Strategies
    1. Psychologists uses case studies, surveys, and naturalistic observations to describe behavior. They use correlational studies to predict behavior, and use experiments with one or more variable to find cause-effect explanations.
    2. The Scientific Method
      1. Theory- an explanation using an integrated set if principles that organizes and predicts observations, this simplifies matters.
      2. Hypothesis- a testable prediction, often implied by a theory. It provides directions in a research by saying what results confirm the theory or not.
      3. Replication- re-creating the essence of a research study with different subjects and materials in order to see if similar results occur to test the relaibility of the basic finding.
      4. A useful thoery
        1. effectively organizes a range of observations.
        2. implies destinct predictions that can be generally used to derive practical applications.
        3. will lead to a revision.
    3. Description- observing & describing people and forming hunches on ones behavior.
      1. The Case Study- an observation technique on which one person is studied in depth in hope of revealing universal principals.
        1. can suggest hyptheses for further study.
        2. a problem with this method is that the individual is one of a kind and therefore can be unreliable.
        3. harder to discern general truths.
      2. Survey- a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of people, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of them.
      3. The way a question is phrased affect the opinions that the respondents give. Ex: revenue enhancers vs. taxes.
      4. Sampling
        1. False Consensus Effect- the tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors.
        2. Population- the whole group from which samples may be drawn for a study.
        3. Random Sample- a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion, works well on national surveys.
      5. When Considering the Validility of a Survey
        1. consider the sample
        2. the best basis for generalizing is from a representative sample of cases, not from extreme ones.
      6. Naturalistic Observation- watching and recording the behavior of organisms in their natural environment without manipulation or controlling of the situation.
        1. Psychologists Andrew Whiten & Richard Byrne saw baboons use deception.
    4. Correlation- a statistical measure that indicates the extent to which two factors vary together and thus how well either factor predicts the other. A postive correlation (0- 1.00) is a direct relationship, a negative correlation (down till -1.00) is an inverse relationship. Not always perfect predictions.
      1. Illusory Correlations- the perception of a relationship where none exists. Ex: Superstitions
        1. Physician Donald Redelmeier & Psychologist Amos Tversky showed uncorrelation between arthritis pain and the weather.
        2. humans tend to detect patterns, although not always true and not able to test out hyptheses.
        3. random coincidences are confused to be correlated.
      2. Perceiving Order in Random Events
        1. a good hand of cards is not extraordinary odds
        2. repeating numbers occur more often in random sequences
        3. in a coin toss, the outcome of one toss gives no clue to the outcome of the next one
        4. winning the lottery twice, missing two successive foul balls and tossing heads nine times straight are ordinary events and do not have extraordinary odds
      3. Correlation and Causation
        1. correlation betweeb two variables does not mean one causes the other. Correlation does not prove causation.
    5. Experimentation
      1. Experiments- a research method in which the investigation manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) to oberve their effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variable) while controlling other relevant factors by random assignment of subjects.
        1. The point os to determine if a factor has an effect.
      2. Experimental Condition- the condition of an experiment that exposes subjects to the treatment, that is; to one version of the independent variable.
      3. Control Condition- the condition that contrasts with the experimental treatment and used as comparison to see the effect of the treatment.
      4. Random Assignment- assigning subjects to experimental and control conditiond by chance, thus minimizing pre-existing differences between those assigned to the different groups; equating the conditions.
      5. Independent Variable- the experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied independent of the other factors.
      6. Dependent Variable- the experimental factor- in psychology, the behavior or mental process that is being measured; the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable.
      7. Operational Definitions- a statement of the procedures (operations used to define research variables. Enables repetition of the experiment or study.
        1. by answering one question, it has led to asking more
      8. Placebo- Ex: a pill with no drug in it. This is used to see if it manages to trigger the effects believed to characterize the Ex: drug.
      9. Double-Blinded Procedure- an experimental procedure in which both the subject and the research staff and ignorant about whether the subject has recieved the treatment or a placebo (a.k.a> drug-evaluation studies) used to check actual effect of drug.