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Introduction To Psychology


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Title: Introduction To Psychology

Introduction To Psychology
  • Chapter 1

Book authors Samuel Wood Ellen G. Wood Denise
Web link
I. Psychology
  • Psychology
  • The scientific study of behavior and mental
  • Scientific method
  • The orderly, systematic procedures researchers
    follow as they
  • Identify a research problem,
  • Design a study to investigate the problem,
  • Collect and analyze data,
  • Draw conclusions, and
  • Communicate their findings

I. Psychology
  • Theory
  • A general principle or set of principles proposed
    to explain how a number of separate facts are
  • Replication
  • The process of repeating a study with different
    participants and, preferably, a different
    investigator to verify research findings

I. Psychology
  • Goals of Psychology
  • Describe behavior and mental processes
  • Explain behavior and mental processes
  • Predict behavior and mental processes
  • Influence behavior and mental processes

I. Psychology
  • Goals of Psychology (continued)
  • Description
  • First step in understanding most behaviors or
    mental processes
  • Describes the behavior or mental process of
    interest as accurately and completely as possible
  • Tells what occurred

I. Psychology
  • Goals of Psychology (continued)
  • Explanation
  • Requires an understanding of the conditions under
    which a given behavior or mental process occurs
  • Enables researchers to state the causes of the
    behavior or mental process they are studying
  • Tells why a given event or behavior occurred

I. Psychology
  • Goals of Psychology (continued)
  • Prediction
  • When researchers can specify the conditions under
    which a behavior or event is likely to occur
  • Influence
  • When researchers know how to apply a principle or
    change a condition to prevent unwanted
    occurrences or to bring about desired outcomes

I. Psychology
  • Two types of research that help psychologists
    accomplish these 4 goals
  • Basic research
  • Research conducted to advance knowledge rather
    than for its practical application
  • Example studying the nature of memory
  • Applied research
  • Research conducted to solve practical problems
  • Example exploring methods to improve memory

I. Psychology
  • Critical thinking
  • The process of objectively evaluating claims,
    propositions, or conclusions to determine whether
    they follow logically from the evidence presented
  • The foundation of the scientific method

II. Descriptive Research Methods
  • Descriptive research methods
  • Research methods that yield descriptions of
    behavior rather than causal explanations
  • Naturalistic observation
  • Laboratory observation
  • Case studies
  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Questionnaires

II. Descriptive Research Methods
  • Naturalistic observation
  • The researcher observes and records behavior in
    its natural setting, without attempting to
    influence or control it
  • Advantage
  • Gives the opportunity to study behavior in normal
  • Disadvantages
  • Must wait for events to occur
  • Cannot establish cause-and-effect relationships
  • Observer bias A distortion in researchers

II. Descriptive Research Methods
  • Laboratory observation
  • A research method in which behavior is studied in
    a laboratory setting, where researchers can exert
    more control and take more precise measurements
  • Advantage
  • Control established by laboratory setting
  • Disadvantage
  • Artificial environment for observations

II. Descriptive Research Methods
  • Case study
  • An in-depth study of one or a few individuals
    consisting of information gathered through
    observation, interview, and perhaps psychological
  • Advantage
  • In-depth analysis for theoretical investigation
  • Disadvantages
  • Cannot establish the cause of behaviors observed
  • Observer bias
  • Researchers do not know how applicable their
    findings may be to larger groups or to different

II. Descriptive Research Methods
  • Survey
  • A method in which researchers use interviews
    and/or questionnaires to gather information about
    the attitudes, beliefs, experiences, or behaviors
    of a group of people
  • Good luck is provided when you break the wishbone
    and get
  • The longer piece
  • The shorter piece
  • Pieces of equal length
  • What is a wishbone?

II. Descriptive Research Methods
  • Interviews
  • Survey results can be affected by the questions
    wording and context
  • The truthfulness of the responses can be affected
    by characteristics of the interviewers
  • Questionnaires
  • Completed more quickly and less expensively than

II. Descriptive Research Methods
  • Population
  • The entire group that is of interest to
    researchers and to which they wish to generalize
    their findings the group from which a sample is
  • Sample
  • The portion of any population that is selected
    for study and from which generalizations are made
    about the larger population

II. Descriptive Research Methods
  • Representative sample
  • A sample of participants selected from the larger
    population in such a way that important subgroups
    within the population are included in the sample
    in the same proportions as they are found in the
    larger population
  • Biased sample
  • A sample that does not adequately reflect the
    larger population
  • Random sample
  • A sample selected where everyone in the
    population has an equal chance of being included
    in the sample

III. Experimental Method
  • Experimental Method - The research method in
    which researchers
  • Randomly assign participants to a control group
    or an experimental group
  • Control all conditions other than one or more
    independent variables, which are then manipulated
  • Determine their effect on some behavioral
    measure, the dependent variable in the experiment

III. Experimental Method
  • Hypothesis
  • A prediction about the relationship between two
    or more variables
  • Variable
  • Any condition or factor that can be manipulated,
    controlled, or measured

III. Experimental Method
  • Independent variable
  • In an experiment, the factor or condition that
    the researcher manipulates in order to determine
    its effect on another behavior or condition known
    as the dependent variable
  • Sometimes referred to as the treatment
  • Dependent variable
  • The variable that is measured at the end of an
    experiment and is presumed to vary as a result of
    manipulations of the independent variable

III. Experimental Method
  • Experimental group
  • In an experiment, the group that is exposed to
    the independent variable, or the treatment
  • Control group
  • In an experiment, a group that is similar to the
    experimental group and is exposed to the same
    experimental environment but is not exposed to
    the independent variable used for purposes of

III. Experimental Method
  • Confounding variables
  • Any factors or conditions other than the
    independent variable that could cause observed
    changes in the dependent variable

III. Experimental Method
  • Selection bias
  • The assignment of participants to experimental or
    control groups in such a way that systematic
    differences among the groups are present at the
    beginning of the experiment
  • Random assignment
  • Assignment of participants to experimental and
    control groups by using a chance procedure, which
    guarantees that each has an equal probability of
    being placed in any of the groups

III. Experimental Method
  • The placebo effect
  • The phenomenon that occurs when a persons
    response to a treatment or response on the
    dependent variable in an experiment is due to
    expectations regarding the treatment rather than
    to the treatment itself
  • Placebo
  • Some inert substance, such as a sugar pill or an
    injection of saline solution, given to the
    control group in an experiment as a control for
    the placebo effect

III. Experimental Method
  • Experimenter bias
  • A phenomenon that occurs when the researchers
    preconceived notions in some way influence the
    participants behavior and/or the interpretation
    of experimental results
  • A researchers expectations can be communicated
    to participants, perhaps unintentionally, through
    tone of voice, gestures, or facial expression
  • Double-blind technique
  • An experimental procedure in which neither the
    participants nor the experimenter knows who is in
    the experimental or control groups until after
    the results have been gathered

III. Experimental Method
  • Limitations of the experimental method
  • The more control a researcher exercises over the
    setting, the more unnatural and contrived the
    research setting becomes
  • Unethical or not possible in many areas of
  • For instance, researchers could not addict humans
    to tobacco to establish that smoking tobacco
    causes cancer
  • Scientists could not testify that smoking tobacco
    causes cancer only that smoking tobacco is
    highly correlated with cancer

Design an Experiment
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
  • You cant teach an old dog new tricks.
  • Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man health,
    wealthy, and wise.
  • Find a penny, pick it up all the day, youll
    have good luck.
  • Fuzzy caterpillars black, brown, black amount
    of brown determines severity of winter.
  • Same pencil to study, luck on test.

IV. Correlational Method
  • Correlational method
  • A research method used to establish the degree of
    relationship (correlation) between two
    characteristics, events, or behaviors
  • For use when it is impossible to manipulate
    variables of interest
  • There are many variables of interest to
    psychologists that cannot be manipulated
  • Can be done more quickly and cheaply than

IV. Correlational Method
  • Correlational coefficient
  • A numerical value that indicates the strength and
    direction of the relationship between two
  • Coefficients range from 1.00 (a perfect positive
    correlation) to 1.00 (a perfect negative
  • The further the correlation coefficient is from
    zero, the stronger the coefficient
  • The sign determines the direction of the
  • () Positive as one variable increases, the
    other must also increase
  • (-) Negative as one variable increases, the
    other must decrease

IV. Correlational Method
  • Classroom Correlation
  • Procedure
  • Select two variables (heights and shoe sizes).
  • Collect the data and plot the data on a graph.
  • Speculate on the relationship between height and
    shoe size.

V. Participants in Psychological Research
  • Participant-related bias
  • Gender bias
  • Over-generalizing findings of a study
  • Ageism

V. Participants in Psychological Research
  • Protecting research participants rights
  • The main provisions of the code
  • Legality
  • Institutional approval
  • Informed consent
  • Deception
  • Debriefing
  • Clients, patients, students, and subordinates
  • Publication

V. Participants in Psychological Research
  • Important guidelines for using animals in
    psychological research
  • Legality
  • Must comply with all relevant federal, state, and
    local laws
  • Supervision by experienced personnel
  • Must be supervised by people who are trained in
    the animals care
  • Minimization of discomfort
  • Researchers are ethically bound to minimize any
    discomfort to research animals

VI. Exploring Psychologys Roots
  • Founders of psychology
  • Historians acknowledge that three German
    scientists, Ernst Weber, Gustav Fechner, and
    Hermann von Helmholtz, were the first to
    systematically study behavior and mental
  • Wilhelm Wundt is thought of as the father of

VI. Exploring Psychologys Roots
  • Wilhelm Wundt
  • Established a psychological laboratory at the
    University of Leipzig in Germany in 1879
    (considered the birth of psychology as a formal
    academic discipline)
  • Used introspection
  • A research method that involves looking inward to
    examine ones own conscious experience and then
    reporting that experience
  • Believed that consciousness could be reduced to
    its basic elements
  • Believed these elements to be pure sensations,
    such as sweetness, coldness, or redness

VI. Exploring Psychologys Roots
  • Edward Bradford Titchener
  • Gave his first school of thought in psychology
    the name structuralism
  • Aimed at analyzing the basic elements of
    conscious mental experience
  • Believed that consciousness could be reduced to
    its basic elements

VI. Exploring Psychologys Roots
  • Functionalism
  • An early school of psychology that was concerned
    with how mental processes help humans and animals
    adapt to their environments
  • Broadened the scope of psychology to include the
    study of behavior, as well as mental processes
  • Allowed the study of children, animals, and the
    mentally impaired
  • Charles Darwin
  • His idea about evolution and the continuity of
    species was largely responsible for an increased
    use of animals in psychological experiments

VI. Exploring Psychologys Roots
  • William James
  • Advocate of functionalism
  • Wrote Principles of Psychology
  • Taught stream of consciousness
  • Functioned to help humans adapt to their

VI. Exploring Psychologys Roots
  • Christine Ladd-Franklin
  • Mary Whiton Calkins
  • Margaret Floy Washburn
  • Francis Cecil Sumner
  • Albert Sidney Beckham
  • Kenneth Clark
  • Jorge Sanchez

VII. Schools of Thought in Psychology
  • John B. Watson
  • Wrote the article Psychology as the Behaviorist
    Views It
  • This proposed Watsons new approach to
    psychology, one that rejected the subjectivity of
    both structuralism and functionalism
  • Science of behavior termed behaviorism by Watson

VII. Schools of Thought in Psychology
  • Behaviorism
  • The school of psychology founded by John B.
    Watson that views observable, measurable behavior
    as the appropriate subject matter for psychology
    and emphasizes the key role of environment as a
    determinant of behavior
  • Most influential school of thought in American
    psychology until the 1960s

VII. Schools of Thought in Psychology
  • B. F. Skinner
  • Agreed with Watson that concepts such as mind,
    consciousness, and feelings were neither
    objective nor measurable
  • Argued that behavior can be explained by
    analyzing conditions that were present before a
    behavior occurred and by analyzing the
    consequences that follow the behavior
  • Provided research on operant conditioning that
    emphasized the importance of reinforcement in
    learning and in shaping and maintaining behavior

VII. Schools of Thought in Psychology
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Developed a theory of human behavior based
    largely on case studies of his patients
  • Psychoanalysis
  • The term Freud used for both his theory of
    personality and his therapy for the treatment of
    psychological disorders the unconscious is the
    primary focus of psychoanalytic theory

VII. Schools of Thought in Psychology
  • Humanistic psychology
  • The school of psychology that focuses on the
    uniqueness of human beings and their capacity for
    choice, growth, and psychological health
  • Rejects the behaviorist view that behavior is
    determined by factors in the environment
  • Rejects the pessimistic view of the
    psychoanalytic approach that human behavior is
    determined primarily by unconscious forces

VII. Schools of Thought in Psychology
  • Cognitive psychology
  • A specialty that studies mental processes such as
    memory, problem solving, decision making,
    perception, language, and other forms of
    cognition often uses the information-processing

VII. Schools of Thought in Psychology
  • Gestalt psychology
  • The school of psychology that emphasizes that
    individuals perceive objects and patterns as
    whole units and that the perceived whole is more
    than the sum of its parts
  • Lead by Max Wertheimer
  • Phi phenomenon experiment

VII. Schools of Thought in Psychology
  • Information-processing theory
  • An approach to the study of memory and problem
    solving that uses the computer as a model for
    human thinking
  • The brain interprets information rather than just
    responding to it

VIII. Current Trends in Psychology
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • The school of psychology that studies how humans
    genetically inherited tendencies and dispositions
    influence a wide range of behaviors
  • Has been called a combination of evolutionary
    biology and cognitive psychology

VIII. Current Trends in Psychology
  • Differences in evolutionary psychology and
    biological psychology
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Provides explanations of how certain biologically
    based behaviors came to be common in an entire
  • Focuses on traits that exist in every member of a

VIII. Current Trends in Psychology
  • Differences in evolutionary psychology and
    biological psychology (continued)
  • Biological psychology
  • Looks for links between specific behaviors and
    equally specific biological processes that often
    help explain individual differences
  • Studies the structures of the brain and central
    nervous system, the functioning of neurons, the
    delicate balance of neurotransmitters and
    hormones, and heredity to look for links between
    these biological factors and behaviors

VIII. Current Trends in Psychology
  • Neuroscience
  • A field that combines the work of psychologists,
    biologists, biochemists, medical researchers, and
    others in the study of the structure and function
    of the nervous system
  • Discovered that defects in nerve cell membranes
    interfere with the cells ability to make use of
    brain chemicals that help us control body movement

VIII. Current Trends in Psychology
  • Background and cultural experiences affecting
  • Sociocultural explanations and research studies
    emphasize social and cultural influences on human
    behavior and stress the importance of
    understanding those influences when interpreting
    the behavior of others

VIII. Current Trends in Psychology
  • Psychological perspectives
  • General points of view used for explaining
    peoples behavior and thinking, whether normal or
  • Psychologists occasionally have an eclectic
  • Choosing a combination of approaches to explain a
    particular behavior

VIII. Current Trends in Psychology
  • Major perspectives in psychology, and the kinds
    of variables each emphasizes in explanations of
  • Behavioral perspective environmental factors
  • Psychoanalytic perspective emotions, unconscious
    motivations, early childhood experiences
  • Humanistic perspective subjective experiences,
    intrinsic motivation to achieve
  • Cognitive perspective mental processes

VIII. Current Trends in Psychology
  • Major perspectives in psychology, and the kinds
    of variables each emphasizes in explanations of
    behavior (continued)
  • Evolutionary perspective inherited traits that
    enhance adaptability
  • Biological perspective biological structures,
    processes, heredity
  • Sociocultural perspective social and cultural

IX. Psychologists at Work
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of
    mental and behavioral disorders
  • Counseling psychologists
  • Help people who have adjustment problems that are
    less severe than those generally handled by
    clinical psychologists
  • Physiological psychologists
  • Also called neuropsychologists
  • Study the relationship between physiological
    processes and behavior

IX. Psychologists at Work
  • Experimental psychologists
  • Specialize in the use of experimental research
  • Conduct experiments in most fields of
    specialization in psychology
  • Developmental psychologists
  • Study how people grow, develop, and change
    throughout the life span
  • Educational psychologists
  • Specialize in the study of teaching and learning

IX. Psychologists at Work
  • Social psychologists
  • Investigate how the individual feels, thinks, and
    behaves in a social settingin the presence of
  • Industrial/organizational psychologists
  • Study the relationships between people and their
    work environments
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