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The History and Science of Psychology


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Title: The History and Science of Psychology

Unit 1
  • The History and Science of Psychology

Defining Psychology
  • Role of philosophy
  • Influence of biology
  • Importance of outward behavior
  • Psychology is defined as the scientific study of
    behavior and mental processes.

The Birthand Afterbirth of Psychology
  • Classical origins
  • Wilhelm Wundt
  • First psychology lab, 1879 at the University of
  • Examined introspection, or the analysis of ones
    conscious experiences

Schools of Thought Old Skool
  • Structuralism
  • E.B. Titchener
  • Introspection
  • Break down immediate sensation, past memories,
  • Functionalism
  • William James
  • Darwins influence
  • Conscious experience is adaptive
  • Stream of consciousness

Break it down!
No, Beotch! Why is it ADAPTIVE?
Schools of Thought Classics
I torture babies!
  • Behaviorist School
  • John Watson, Ivan Pavlov, B.F. Skinner
  • Observable, measurable behavior
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Role of the unconscious
  • Sex and aggression
  • Early childhood events
  • Evolved into psychodynamic school

Und zen zie child becomes neurotic!
Sigmund Freud
Behaviorist John B. Watson
Schools of Thought Classics
  • Gestalt
  • Max Wertheimer, Fritz Perls
  • Human tendency to perceive patterns
  • the whole is greater than the sum of its parts
  • Useful in understanding process of perception

Black spots, or a dalmatian?
Schools of Thought Classics
  • Humanistic School
  • Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow
  • Human potential for growth
  • Free will
  • Here and now
  • Need for acceptance and love
  • Cognitive School
  • Jean Piaget, Albert Ellis, Aaron Beck
  • Importance of thoughts and thought processes
  • Perception, thinking, memory, language

Cognitive psychologist Jean Piaget
Schools of Thought Biological and Evolutionary
  • Biological
  • Looks to the body and its processes to explain
    human behavior
  • Genes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and organ
  • Includes neuroscience which specifically examines
    the role of the brain and its chemicals in
    regulating behavior
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Examines human behavior through processes of
    adaptability, survival value and reproductive
  • How has human behavior changed to ensure

Schools of Thought The Biopsychosocial Approach
  • Regardless of the particular school of thought,
    contemporary psychology has come to embrace the
    biopsychosocial approach
  • Biological influences
  • Psychological influences
  • Social-Cultural influences

Schools of Thought The Biopsychosocial Approach
  • Each particular school of thought may emphasize
    one area more than another
  • Which area/s do you think each school would

Schools of Thought Womens Contributions?
  • Women overcame limitations on access to
    education, restrictions on awarding advanced
    degrees, and exclusion from psychological
  • Mary Whiton Calkins
  • Margaret Floy Washburn
  • Mary Cover Jones
  • Rosalie Rayner
  • Today, women earn the majority of Ph.D.s in
    psychology and hold nearly half of the leadership
    roles in psychological societies

Enduring Issues in Psychology
  • Psychologists representing all schools of thought
    debate what shapes behavior
  • Some on-going debates include the following
  • Nature vs. Nurture
  • Person vs. Situation
  • Mind vs. Body
  • Stability vs. Change
  • Diversity vs. Universality
  • The failure to resolve the debates suggests both
    sides are valid and shed light on behavior
  • An eclectic approach may be most appropriate

Psychology Careers Education
  • The Degrees
  • BA 4 year study
  • MA 2-3 Years beyond BA
  • Ph.D./Psy.D./Ed.D. 6-7 years beyond BA
  • M.D. Psychiatrists (prescribe medication)
    medical school
  • Increased career opportunities for advanced
  • Admission is competitive!
  • Strong GPA and GRE scores
  • Related work or volunteer experience
  • Close relationships with professors
  • Publish if possible!

Psychology Careers Fields of Study
  • Research vs. Applied Psychology?
  • The majority of psychology professionals work as
    therapists in some capacity
  • Clinical Psychologists
  • Counselors
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologys Diverse Subfields
  • Biological
  • Cognitive
  • Community
  • Developmental
  • Educational
  • Experimental
  • Human Factors
  • Industrial/Organizational
  • Personality
  • Psychometric
  • School
  • Social

Conducting Research
  • Goals of Psychology
  • Describe
  • Explain
  • Predict
  • Control
  • Pitfalls of intuition and common sense
  • Hindsight bias
  • Overconfidence
  • Remember psychologys definition The scientific
    study of behavior and mental processes

Conducting Research
  • The Scientific Attitude Rely on Empiricism!
  • Curiosity passion to explore and understand
  • Skepticism questioning results retesting
  • Humility understanding humans limitations and
    the possibility for error
  • Ultimately, psychologists must be critical
  • Do not accept truths without first testing them
  • Look at evidence, question assumptions, filter
    out bias

The Scientific Method
  • Generate a question
  • Formulate a theory
  • Develop a hypothesis (if-then)
  • Test hypothesis
  • Operational definitions
  • Clear and concise
  • Replication of results

Descriptive Research Methods
  • Case Study
  • In-depth Research
  • Can we generalize?
  • Survey
  • Lots of information FAST!
  • Population
  • Random sample
  • Stratified Sample
  • Wording
  • Naturalistic Observation
  • Hawthorne Effect minimized
  • Observer bias
  • Interobserver reliability
  • Control?

Correlational Methods
  • What is the relationship between two factors?
  • Allows prediction, but NOT cause and effect!
  • Correlation vs. causation
  • A positive or negative relationship does not
    establish cause and effect
  • It does not PROVE the if-then (association does
    not prove causation)
  • Measuring the Strength of Relationship
  • Correlation Coefficient
  • Indicates strength and direction of a
    relationship between two factors
  • Between -1 and 1
  • Stronger relationships are closer to -1 or to 1,
    closeness to 0 indicates weak or no relationship
  • Positive correlation vs. negative correlation
  • Scatterplots

Reading Scatter Plots Match the Correlation
Coefficient with the Graph!
A. .86 B. -1.0 C. 0 D. .99
Correlational Studies Pitfalls
  • Illusory Correlations
  • We can be influenced to see correlations when we
    believe they exist
  • Fueled by confirmation bias, the tendency to only
    remember examples that support what we already
    believe is true, or a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • E.g. Old people are cheap!

Experimental Method
  • Researcher deliberately manipulates selected
    variables and then measures the effects of these
  • Because the researcher has this level of control,
    the experiment can establish causation
  • However, the level of control can be somewhat
    artificial, and results may not generalize to the
    real world outside the lab
  • Also, it may be unethical to manipulate certain

The Experiment An Example
  • Situation New insomnia drug called DROW-Zsdoes
    it work?
  • Want to establish a cause and effect relationship
    or if-then, SO we must do an

Personnel - Who is involved?
  • Experimenter
  • Runs and/or designs the experiment
  • Subjects/Participants
  • Those being tested
  • Sample - group that represents the larger group
    we are generalizing about (i.e. insomniacs)
  • Random Selection - everyone has an equal chance
    of being chosen!
  • Confederates
  • People who help the experimented administer the
  • E.g. Milgram experiment the learner was a

Variables - What is happening?
  • Independent Variable
  • The variable being TESTED
  • Experimenter can manipulate it
  • E.g. exposure to DROW-Zs
  • Dependent Variable
  • The RESULT
  • What happens as a result of exposure to the
    independent variable
  • E.g. do subjects on DROW-Zs SLEEP better?
  • Confounding Variable
  • Throws off results
  • Unwanted!

Experimental vs. Control Groups
  • Experimental Group
  • The group exposed to manipulation of the
    independent variable
  • E.g. receives the DROW-Zs
  • Control Group
  • Group NOT exposed to manipulation of the
    independent variable used for COMPARISON
  • E.g. does NOT receive DROW-Zs
  • May instead receive a PLACEBO
  • Random assignment to groups
  • All subjects have an equal chance of being in
    either the control group or experimental group!

Operational Definitions, Etc.
  • Operational Definitions
  • What are we measuring and how?
  • How are we defining VARIABLES (IV/DV)?
  • Allows experiment to be replicated by others
  • E.g. what is a better nights sleep?
  • Sample Size the bigger the better!
  • What is the difference between groups?
  • Replication?

Avoiding Pitfalls
  • Double- and Single-blind procedures
  • Single - subject doesnt know who is in control
    group and who is in experimental group
  • Double - subject and confederate administering
    experiment dont know who is in which group
  • Placebo
  • Reduces confounding variable
  • Reduces demand characteristics (subject bias)

Analyzing Results Statistical Analysis
  • Statistics Defined
  • A branch of mathematics used to organize and
    analyze data
  • Necessary to use statistics to understand what
    results actually MEAN if they mean anything at
  • Be skeptical of sweeping generalizations
  • E.g. Males are better at math and science than
  • How was this measured?
  • Descriptive vs. Inferential Statistics?
  • Descriptive helps us to make sense of a data set
    (e.g. mean, median, range, skew, standard
  • Inferential allows us to make generalizations
    about a population based on a sample.
    Significance is a measurement that would be of
    importance here.

Statistical Analysis Scales of Measurement
  • Nominal Scale
  • Set of categories for classifying
  • E.g. types of cars in the student lot
  • Ordinal Scale
  • Scale that indicates relative position ranks
  • E.g. class rank
  • Interval Scale
  • Scale with equal distance between values, but
    without a true zero
  • E.g. temperature
  • Ratio Scale
  • Scale with equal distance between values, but
    WITH a true zero
  • E.g. Inches of rain

Statistical Analysis Descriptive Statistics
  • Frequency Distribution
  • A count of the number of scores that fall within
    each series of intervals
  • Frequency histogram and Frequency Polygraph

Descriptive Statistics Measures of Central
  • This is a single score that represents a set of
  • Mode
  • Most frequently occurring score
  • Mean
  • Average
  • Median
  • The midpoint half the scores fall below, and
    half are above
  • Sample Data Set
  • 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5
  • Mode ?
  • Mean ?
  • Median ?
  • This is a NORMAL (BELL) CURVE, where all measures
    3 of central tendency are equal!

Descriptive Statistics The Skewed Distribution
  • Frequency distribution is asymmetrical
  • Mean, median and mode are different values
  • Negative (left) just a few very low scores
  • Positive (right) just a few very high scores
  • How can a few atypical scores distort data?

Descriptive Statistics The Bimodal Distribution
  • As the name implies, a bimodal distribution has
    TWO modes

Descriptive Statistics Measures of Variation
  • Range the difference between the highest and
    lowest score in a distribution
  • What does it tell you?
  • What DOESNT it tell you?
  • Standard Deviation how much do scores vary from
    the mean in a distribution? (see table 1.4 in
    text p. 36)
  • Calculate mean
  • Calculate each scores deviates from the mean
  • Square that difference
  • Add the sum of the squares
  • Divide by the number of scores in the
  • Take square root of this
  • The number is equal to the value of ONE standard

Descriptive Statistics Measures of Variation
  • So what?
  • In a normal curve, this number reveals the
    percentage of scores that falls within a
    particular range
  • 68 fall within one standard deviation from the
  • 96 fall within two standard deviations from the
  • 99 fall within three standard deviations from
    the mean

What must the standard deviation be for this
distribution of IQ scores?
Inferential Statistics Statistical Significance
  • Significant Difference
  • What is the difference between the experiences of
    the control and the experimental groups?
  • What is the chance that the difference happened
    due to chance?
  • .05 P-Value generally accepted (1 in 20 due to
  • If it IS a significant difference, how important
    is that difference (e.g. difference between IQ
    scores of first- and later-born children is
    significant, but due to its very small value, it
    is not important.
  • WITHIN vs. BETWEEN group variation?
  • Statistical significance vs. significant

Inferential Statistics Reliability
  • When can we generalize about a population based
    on the results from our sample?
  • Sample is a representative sample
  • The less variation in the data, the more reliable
    (if variability is high in a distribution, the
    mean becomes less meaningful)
  • The more examples the better! (ask 2 friends how
    they like the class vs. asking 25)

Research and Ethics
  • Setting Standards
  • APA (American Psychological Association)
  • Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and
    Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
  • How did Milgram, Landis, Watson, and Zimbardo
    challenge ethical standards?
  • Human and animal subjects specific standards?