1 Chapter 1 Outline I. Introduction: The Origins of Psychology Psychology is defined as the science of behavior and mental processes. A. The Influence of Philosophy and Physiology 1. The origins of psychology can be traced back to the writings of great philosophers such as Aristotle, a Greek philosopher who wrote about topics such as sleep, dreams, the senses, and memory. 2. René Descartes ( ), a French philosopher, promoted a doctrine called interactive dualism the idea that the mind and body are separate entities. Today, psychologists continue to debate the relationship between mental activity and the brain. 3. Early philosophers also laid the groundwork for the nature nurture issue, which continues to be central to psychology. Today, the debate is often framed in terms of heredity (nature) versus environment (nurture). 4. Physiology is a branch of biology that studies the functions and parts of living organisms. Physiologists early scientific discoveries led to the idea that scientific methods could be applied to issues of human behavior and thinking. B. Wilhelm Wundt: The Founder of Psychology 1. German physiologist Wilhelm Wundt ( ) published his landmark text, Principles of Physiological Psychology, in In 1879, he opened the first psychology research laboratory at the University of Leipzig. 2. Wundt defined psychology as the study of consciousness and emphasized the use of experimental methods to study and measure consciousness. C. Edward B. Titchener: Structuralism 1. Edward B. Titchener ( ) formally established structuralism, the first major school of thought in psychology; it held that complex conscious experiences could be broken down into elemental structures, or component parts, of sensations and feelings. 2. To identify these structures of conscious thought, Titchener trained subjects in a procedure called introspection. 3. The limitations of introspection, the most important being that it was unreliable, led to the demise of structuralism at Titchener s death in D. William James: Functionalism 1. William James ( ) was an American physiologist and psychologist whose dynamic views had an enormous impact on the development of psychology in the United States; his ideas became the basis for a new school of psychology called functionalism. 2. Functionalism stressed the importance of how behavior functions to
2 allow people and animals to adapt to their environments. Functionalists examined how psychology could be applied to areas such as education, child rearing, and the work environment. Like Charles Darwin, James stressed the importance of adaptation to environmental challenges. 3. An outstanding teacher, James wrote Principles of Psychology, published in 1890 in two volumes. 4. William James and his students a. In 1878, G. Stanley Hall ( ) received the first Ph.D. in psychology awarded in the United States. He established the first psychology research laboratory in the United States at Johns Hopkins University in He began publishing the American Journal of Psychology. In 1892, Hall founded and was elected the first president of the American Psychological Association (APA). b. Mary Whiton Calkins ( ) was an American psychologist who conducted research on memory, personality, and dreams; established a psychological laboratory at Wellesley College in 1891; wrote a well-received textbook titled Introduction to Psychology; and was the first woman to be elected president of the APA (1905). Although she completed all the requirements for a Ph.D. in psychology at Harvard, Harvard refused to grant her the degree because she was a woman. c. Margaret Floy Washburn ( ) was the first American woman to officially earn a Ph.D. in psychology. In 1908, she published an influential text titled The Animal Mind; in 1921, she became the second woman elected president of the APA. d. Francis C. Sumner ( ) was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in psychology. Sumner published on a wide variety of topics and chaired the psychology department at Howard University, which produced more black psychologists than all other American colleges and universities combined. One of his students, Kenneth Bancroft Clark, played an instrumental role in the U.S. Supreme Court s 1954 decision to end segregated schools. Clark became the first black president of the American Psychological Association in 1970, E. Sigmund Freud: Psychoanalysis 1. Sigmund Freud ( ) was an Austrian physician and the founder of psychoanalysis, which emphasized a. human behavior as motivated by unconscious conflicts, which are almost always sexual or aggressive in nature. b. past experiences, especially childhood experiences, as critical to the formation of adult personality and behavior. 2. Freud s psychoanalytic theory of personality also provided the basis
3 for a distinct form of psychotherapy. F. John B. Watson: Behaviorism 1. In the early 1900s, the school of psychology called behaviorism emerged as a dominating force. It emphasized the study of overt behavior observable behaviors that could be objectively measured and verified. 2. Ivan Pavlov ( ) was the Russian physiologist whose pioneering research on learning contributed to the development of behaviorism; he discovered a basic learning process that involves the association of stimuli. 3. John B. Watson ( ) was an American psychologist who championed behaviorism, emphasizing the study of observable behavior and rejecting the study of mental processes. The goal of behaviorists was to discover the fundamental principles of learning. 4. B. F. Skinner ( ) was an American psychologist and, like Watson, a strong proponent of behaviorism. 5. Between Watson and Skinner, behaviorism dominated American psychology for almost half a century. G. Carl Rogers: Humanistic Psychology 1. In the 1950s, a new school of thought called humanistic psychology emerged. It was so distinctly different from both psychoanalysis and behaviorism that it was sometimes referred to as the third force in American psychology. 2. Carl Rogers ( ) was the American psychologist who founded the school of humanistic psychology, which emphasized a. conscious experiences, including each person s unique potential for psychological growth and self-direction. b. self-determination, free will, and the importance of choice in human behavior. 3. Abraham Maslow ( ) was the American humanistic psychologist who developed a theory of motivation that emphasized psychological growth. II. Contemporary Psychology A. Major Perspectives in Psychology 1. The biological perspective emphasizes studying the physical bases of human and animal behavior, including the nervous system, endocrine system, immune system, and genetics. 2. The psychodynamic perspective emphasizes the importance of unconscious influences, early life experiences, and interpersonal relationships. 3. The behavioral perspective emphasizes how behavior is acquired or modified by environmental causes. 4. The humanistic perspective focuses on the motivation of people to grow psychologically, the influence of interpersonal relationships on
4 a person s self-concept, and the importance of choice and self direction in striving to reach one s potential. 5. The positive psychology perspective focuses on the study of positive emotions and psychological states, positive individual traits, and the social institutions that foster those qualities in individuals and communities. Positive psychology seeks to counterbalance psychology s emphasis on psychological problems and disorders. Topics that fall under the umbrella of positive psychology include a. personal happiness b. optimism c. creativity d. resilience e. character strength f. wisdom Positive psychology is also focused on developing therapeutic techniques that increase personal well-being rather than just alleviating the symptoms of mental illness. 6. The cognitive perspective focuses on the important role of mental processes in how people process and remember information, develop language, solve problems, and think. 7. (text and Culture and Human Behavior) The cross-cultural perspective (embodied in cross-cultural psychology) studies the differences among cultures and the influences of culture on behavior and mental processes. Cross-cultural psychology emphasizes that common behaviors are not always universal. a. Culture refers to the attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors shared by a group of people and communicated from one generation to another. b. The tendency to use your own culture as the standard for judging other cultures is called ethnocentrism. c. Individualistic cultures emphasize the needs and goals of the individual over the needs and goals of the group. d. Collectivistic cultures emphasize the needs and goals of the group over the needs and goals of the individual. 8. Evolutionary psychology refers to the application of the principles of evolution to explain psychological processes and phenomena. This perspective has grown out of a renewed interest in Charles Darwin s theory of evolution, which is based on the principle of natural selection. Psychologists who take the evolutionary perspective assume that psychological processes also are subject to the principle of natural selection. B. Specialty Areas in Psychology 1. Contemporary psychology enjoys enormous diversity. Important specialty areas include the following:
5 a. Biological psychology, which involves the study of the physiological aspects of behavior and mental processes. b. Clinical psychology, which involves extensive training in evaluating and diagnosing psychological disorders, psychotherapy techniques, and psychological testing. c. Cognitive psychology, which involves the investigation of mental processes, including reasoning and thinking, problem solving, memory, perception, mental imagery, and language. d. Counseling psychology, which involves helping people of all ages adjust, adapt, and cope with personal and interpersonal problems in such areas as relationships, work, education, marriage, child rearing, and aging. e. Educational psychology, which involves the study of how people of all ages learn. Educational psychologists help develop the instructional methods and materials used to train people in both educational and work settings. f. Experimental psychology, which is the term traditionally used to describe research involving such basic topics as sensory and perceptual processes, principles of learning, emotion, and motivation. g. Developmental psychology, which involves the study of the physical, social, and psychological changes that occur at different ages and stages of the lifespan. h. Forensic psychology, which involves the application of psychological principles and techniques to legal issues. i. Health psychology, which involves a focus on the role of psychological factors in the development, prevention, and treatment of illness. j. Industrial/organizational psychology, which is concerned with the relationship between people and work. k. Personality psychology, which involves the study of the nature of human personality, including individual differences, the characteristics that make each person unique, and how those characteristics originated and developed. l. Rehabilitation psychology, which involves the application of psychological knowledge to helping people with chronic and disabling health conditions. m. Social psychology, which involves the exploration of how people are affected by their social environments, including how people think about and influence others. n. Sports psychology, which involves using psychological theory and knowledge to enhance athletic motivation, performance, and consistency, o. School psychology, which involves providing a variety of psychological
6 services to children, adolescents, and families in public and private schools. p. Military psychology, which involves providing psychological services to military personnel both at home and in war zones. 2. Mental health professionals a. Clinical psychologists typically have a doctorate in psychology and extensive training in treating psychological disorders. Clinical psychologists in New Mexico and Louisiana have been granted legislative permission to prescribe medications for symptoms of psychological disorders. Similar legislation is now pending in 18 other states. b. Psychiatrists have a medical degree and can prescribe drugs and other biomedical procedures. III. The Scientific Method The four basic goals of psychology are to (1) describe, (2) explain, (3) predict, and (4) control or influence behavior and mental processes. To achieve these goals, psychologists rely on the scientific method, which is a set of assumptions, attitudes, and procedures that guide researchers in creating questions to investigate, in generating evidence, and in drawing conclusions. 1. Psychologists are guided by these basic scientific assumptions: a. Events are lawful that is, behavior and mental processes follow consistent patterns. b. Events are explainable that is, behavior and mental processes have a cause or causes that can be understood through careful, systematic study. c. Psychologists are open-minded but they have a healthy sense of scientific skepticism that is, they critically evaluate the evidence and are cautious in the claims they make. 2. In analyzing evidence from psychological research, students should think critically that is, they should actively question statements rather than blindly accepting them. 3. Critical Thinking: What is Critical Thinking? a. Critical thinking is the active process of (1) minimizing the influence of preconceptions and biases while evaluating evidence. (2) determining the conclusions that can reasonably be drawn from the evidence. (3) considering alternative explanations for research findings or other phenomena. b. What are the key attitudes and mental skills that characterize critical thinking? (1) The critical thinker is flexible yet maintains an attitude of healthy skepticism. (2) The critical thinker scrutinizes the evidence before drawing
7 conclusions. (3) The critical thinker can assume other perspectives. (4) The critical thinker is aware of biases and assumptions. (5) The critical thinker engages in reflective thinking. Critical thinking is not a single skill but rather a set of attitudes and thinking skills. A. The Steps in the Scientific Method: Seeking Answers Psychology is based on empirical evidence evidence that is the result of objective observation, measurement, and experimentation. 1. Step 1. Formulate a hypothesis that can be tested empirically a. A hypothesis is a tentative statement that describes the relationship between two or more variables. b. Variables are factors that can vary, or change, in ways that can be observed, measured, and verified. c. An operational definition defines the variable in terms of how the factor is to be measured, manipulated, or changed. 2. Step 2. Design the study and collect the data There are two basic categories of research methods descriptive and experimental. a. Descriptive methods are research strategies for observing and describing behavior. Commonly used descriptive methods include naturalistic observation, surveys, case studies, and correlational studies. b. The experimental method is used to show that changing one variable causes change in a second variable. 3. Step 3. Analyze the data and draw conclusions a. Statistics are mathematical methods used to summarize, analyze, and draw conclusions about the data researchers collect. b. Research findings that are statistically significant are not very likely to have occurred by chance. c. Statistically significant differences may or may not have practical significance or importance. d. A statistical technique called meta-analysis involves pooling the results of many research studies into a single analysis. 4. Step 4. Report the findings a. Describing the precise details of the study makes it possible for other investigators to replicate, or repeat, the study in order to increase scientific confidence in the accuracy of the original findings. b. Psychologists report their research findings at professional conferences and in psychology journals. B. Building Theories: Integrating the Findings 1. A theory, or model, is a tentative explanation that tries to integrate and account for diverse findings on the same topic.
8 2. Theories are tools for explaining behavior and mental processes; they evolve and change as new evidence emerges, reflecting the selfcorrecting nature of the scientific enterprise. 3. Science Versus Pseudoscience: What Is a Pseudoscience? A pseudoscience is a theory, method, or practice that promotes claims in a way that appears to be scientific and plausible even though supporting empirical evidence is lacking or nonexistent. a. Survey research indicates that pseudoscientific beliefs are common among the general public. b. Magnetic therapy: an example of psuedoscience at work (1) Magnetic therapy is the practice of applying magnets to the body in order to supposedly treat various conditions and ailments. (2) The Internet provides a bonanza of magnetic therapy claims of healing benefits for everything from pain to Alzheimer s disease and schizophrenia, but there is no scientific evidence that magnets can relieve pain and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the marketing of magnets with any claims of health benefits. (3) Proponents of magnetic therapy (and others who make pseudoscientific claims) use the following effective strategies to create the illusion of scientifically validated products or procedures. Each of the following ploys should serve to warn us that critical and scientific thinking skills should be engaged immediately. i. Strategy 1: Testimonials rather than scientific evidence. ii. Strategy 2: Scientific jargon with scientific substance. iii. Strategy 3: Combining established scientific knowledge with unfounded claims. iv. Strategy 4: Irrefutable or nonfalsifiable claims.. v. Strategy 5: Confirmation bias. vi Strategy 6: Shifting the burden of proof. Many pseudosciences shift the burden of proof from the person making the claim to the skeptic. vii Strategy 7: Multiple outs. When pseudosciences fail to deliver on their promised benefits, multiple excuses are offered. Magnets act differently on different body parts. The magnet was placed in the wrong spot. Everyone s body will respond differently to magnet therapy. The magnets were the wrong type, size, shape, etc. The magnets weren t strong enough. The magnets weren t worn long enough. The healing effect may not occur until after you stop
9 using the magnets. IV. Descriptive Research Methods The descriptive research methods are strategies for observing and escribing behavior. A. Naturalistic Observation: The Science of People- and Animal-Watching 1. Naturalistic observation is the systematic observation and recording of behaviors as they occur in their natural settings. 2. An advantage of this method is that it allows researchers to study human behaviors that cannot ethically be manipulated in an experiment. 3. As a research tool, this method can be used wherever patterns of behavior can be openly observed. B. Case Studies: Details, Details, Details 1. A case study is an intensive, in-depth investigation of an individual or a small group of individuals. 2. Case studies can be used to investigate rare, unusual, or extreme conditions. Yet, they can provide information that can be used to help understand normal behavior. C. Surveys: (A) Always (B) Sometimes (C) You ve Got to Be Kidding! 1. A survey is a questionnaire or interview designed to investigate the behaviors, attitudes, and opinions of a particular group. Surveys allow researchers to gather information from a much larger group of people than is possible with other research methods. a. Surveys involve carefully designed questionnaires in paper-andpencil format; they may also be computer- or Internet-based. They are also often conducted over the telephone or in person. Interviewers ask a structured set of questions in a predetermined order. b. A sample is a selected segment of the larger group or population being studied. c. A representative sample very closely parallels the larger group on relevant characteristics, such as age, sex, race, marital status, and educational level. 2. To help ensure that researchers select a representative sample, researchers commonly use random selection, which means that every member of the larger group has an equal chance of being selected for inclusion in the sample. 3. One potential problem with surveys is that people do not always answer honestly; participants may misrepresent their personal characteristics or lie in their responses. D. Correlational Studies: Looking at Relationships and Making Predictions A correlational study examines how strongly two variables are related to, or associated with, each other. Correlations can be used to analyze
10 the data gathered by any type of descriptive research method. 1. A correlation coefficient is a numerical indicator of the strength of the relationship between two factors. It can range from 1.00 to a. The number in a correlation coefficient indicates the strength of the relationship. b. The sign indicates the direction of the relationship between the two variables. 2. A positive correlation is one in which two factors vary in the same direction that is, the two factors increase or decrease together. 3. A negative correlation is one in which two factors move in opposite directions that is, as one factor decreases, the other increases. 4. A critical point is that correlation does not necessarily indicate causality. 5. Correlational research is valuable for two reasons: a. Correlational research can be used to rule out some factors and identify others that merit more intensive study. b. The results of correlational research can sometimes allow you to make meaningful predictions. V. The Experimental Method The experimental method is a research method used to demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship between changes in one variable and the effect that is produced on another variable. An experiment involves deliberately varying one factor, the independent variable, then measuring the changes this produces in a second factor, the dependent variable. A. The Ginkgo Biloba Experiment: Testing for Effectiveness Paul Solomon and his colleagues (2002) used a placebo control group to test whether the herb, ginkgo biloba, improves memory, concentration, and mental focus in older adults. 1. The hypothesis, participants, and random assignment a. The hypothesis predicted that participants taking the manufacturer s recommended daily dosage of ginkgo biloba for six weeks would have higher test scores on measures of memory and mental focus than participants in the placebo control group. b. The participants were 230 adults, age 60 and over. c. The researchers used random assignment to assign participants to the different experimental groups. 2. The experimental and control groups a. The experimental group, or experimental condition, consisted of 115 participants who were exposed to the independent variable. In this study, the independent variable was the recommended daily dosage of ginkgo biloba for six weeks. b. The control group, or control condition, consists of participants who go through all the experimental phases but are not
11 exposed to the independent variable (the daily dosage of ginkgo biloba). The control group serves as a baseline against which changes in the experimental group can be compared. In this study, the 115 participants assigned to the placebo control group received an identical dosage of placebo capsules (fake substance) for six weeks. 3. The dependent variable: scores on memory and other standard cognitive ability tests 4. The experimental procedure a. The participants were told that the researchers were investigating the effects of ginkgo biloba on memory and other cognitive abilities and that they had a chance of receiving the actual versus the placebo treatment. b. During the first laboratory session, memory and other cognitive functions were assessed in all participants. c. Participants were given either the ginkgo biloba dosage or the placebo dosage for six weeks. d. At the end of the six-week experimental period, each participant was tested again on memory and other cognitive functions. e. Following the second testing session, each participant received a debriefing statement that explained the study s hypothesis and procedures. 5. The results and discussion a. At the end of the six-week study, the test scores of both groups rose. However, there was no significant difference between the improvement in the ginkgo biloba and placebo groups. Ginkgo biloba was no more effective than a placebo in improving memory, mental alertness, or concentration. b. The rise in test scores for both groups were interpreted as being due to practice effects. The participants experience with the test the practice they got by simply taking the mental ability tests twice was the most likely reason that test scores improved in both groups. 6. Reporting the findings Paul Solomon s study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. 7. Experimental Design controls used in the Solomon study to control for extraneous or confounding variables. a. Placebo control group (1) A placebo control group is a control group in which participants are exposed to a placebo, an inert substance or a treatment that has no known effects. In one study using a placebo control group, experimenters concluded that test scores improved simply because of a practice effect. (2) A placebo control group can help researchers check for
12 expectancy effects, which are changes that may occur because subjects expect changes to occur; sometimes referred to as placebo effects. Only after effects such as these are accounted for can you determine the main effect, the change that can be attributed to the treatment variable. b. With the double-blind technique, neither the participants nor the researcher who interacts with them is aware of the condition to which the participants have been assigned. i. In a single-blind study, the researcher, but not the participants, is aware of critical information about the condition to which the participants have been assigned. ii. The purpose of the double-blind technique is to guard against the possibility that the researcher will inadvertently display demand characteristics subtle cues or signals that communicate what is expected of certain subjects. B. The Hotel Experiment: Can Perceiving Work as Exercise Produce Health Benefits? 1. Key theme: A person s beliefs and expectations can exert a significant influence on health and well-being. 2. The hypothesis, participants, and random assignment a. Crum and Langer s (2007) hypothesis predicted that changing a person s beliefs and expectations about the exercise benefits of a particular activity would result in actual health benefits. b. Participants were 84 women in the housekeeping staff at 7 matched hotels. Each woman in the study cleaned an average of 15 hotel rooms per day, spending about minutes on each room. c. All participants at a given hotel were assigned to the same group and each hotel was randomly assigned to either the experimental or the control condition. 3. The experimental or control conditions a. The experimental group consisted of 44 participants and were exposed to the independent variable. The independent variable was being informed that housekeeping work was good exercise. These participants were labeled the informed group. b. The control group consisted of 40 participants and served as a baseline against which changes in the experimental group could be compared. The control group participants were not exposed to the independent variable. Consequently, in Crum and Langer s experiment, the control group consisted of women who were not informed that their housekeeping work was beneficial healthy exercise. 4. The dependent variable(s) a. Self-report exercise questionnaire
13 b. Measures of physical health (weight, percentage of body fat, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and blood pressure). 5. The experimental procedure a. The informed group participants received a write-up discussing the benefits of exercise. It was explained that their daily housekeeping chores satisfied, and even exceeded, government recommendations for healthy daily exercise to burn at least 200 calories. The average calories expended for different housekeeping activities were also detailed. b. Control group participants weren t given any information on the health benefits of their work. c. During the month-long study, all other conditions were held constant. At the end of four weeks, the questionnaire and measures of physical health were administered again. 6. Results and Discussion a. Participants in both groups reported no changes in exercise outside of work, or in their eating, drinking, or other personal habits. b. The informed group reported higher levels of perceived exercise even though their actual exercise activity levels at work and outside of work did not change. c. The informed group also changed their perception of their work related activities. The physical activities they engaged in at work were now perceived as exercise. In contrast, the work-related perceptions of the control group did not change. d. The informed group participants showed significant improvements over the course of the study in all physical health measures except diastolic blood pressure e. In contrast, none of the health measures for the control group participants showed significant changes. f. Crum and Langer (2007) noted that the informed group s change in belief and expectations was accompanied by health improvements: After 4 weeks of knowing that their work was good exercise, the subjects in the informed group lost an average of 2 pounds, lowered their systolic blood pressure by 10 points, and were significantly healthier as measured by body-fat percentage, body mass index (BMI), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). These results support the hypothesis that increasing perceived exercise independently of actual exercise results in subsequent physiological improvements. 7. Reporting the findings. The Crum and Langer study was published in Psychological Science. 8. Researchers sometimes have an opportunity to study the impact of a naturally occurring event in a natural experiment.
14 9. Focus on Neuroscience: Psychological Research Using Brain Imaging a. Three commonly used brain-imaging techniques (1) Positron emission tomography (PET scan) generates images of the brain s activity by tracking the brain s use of radioactively tagged compounds that have been injected into the bloodstream. (2) Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses electrical signals generated by the brain in response to magnetic fields to produce highly detailed images of the brain s structure. (3) Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fmri) uses magnetic fields to track changes in blood flow and oxygen levels in the brain. It provides a picture of brain activity averaged over seconds rather than the several minutes required by PET scans. b. Functional MRI has several advantages over PET scan technology. Because fmri is a non-invasive procedure and the magnetic waves are harmless, research participants can safely undergo repeated fmri scans. fmri produces a much sharper image than PET scans and can detail much smaller brain structures. c. How psychologists use brain-imaging technology (1) Descriptive Research. A descriptive study utilizing brain scans might compare the brain structure or functioning of one carefully defined group of people with another. (2) Experimental Research. In a typical experiment, brain scans of research participants exposed to the experimental treatment or task are compared to scans taken of control group participants. The differences between the two sets of scans are assumed to be due to the experimental treatment or condition. d. Limitations of Brain-Imaging Studies (1) Brain-imaging studies usually involve only a few subjects. (2) Brain-imaging studies tend to focus on simple aspects of behavior. (3) Brain imaging may add little to explanations of a psychological process. (4) Brain imaging is not necessarily a more scientific explanation. e. Looking at brain-scan images What should you notice when you look at the brain-scan images in this text? (1) Read the text description so you understand the task or condition being measured. (2) Read the brain-scan caption for specific details or areas to notice. (3) Carefully compare the treatment scan with the control scan
15 if both are shown. (4) Keep the limitations of brain-scan technology in mind. VI. Ethics in Psychological Research 1. The American Psychological Association (APA) has developed a strict code of ethics for conducting research with both human and animal subjects, the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. 2. Psychologists must respect the dignity and welfare of participants; must not expose research participants to dangerous or harmful conditions that might cause either physical or emotional harm; and must obtain approval from the ethics panel at the institution where the study is to be conducted. 3. Five key provisions of the APA ethical guidelines regulate psychologists research with humans. These cover a. informed consent and voluntary participation. b. students as research participants. c. the use of deception. d. confidentiality of records. e. information about the study and debriefing. 4. In Focus: Questions About the Use of Animals in Psychological Research a. Research using animal subjects must have an acceptable scientific purpose. b. There must be a reasonable expectation that the research will (1) increase knowledge about behavior, (2) increase understanding of the species under study, or (3) produce results that benefit the health or welfare of humans or other animals. c. Animal subjects are sometimes used for research that could not feasibly be conducted on humans. d. Comparative psychology is the study of the behavior of nonhuman animals. More specific research is done on animal cognition, the study of animal learning, memory, thinking, and language. e. Psychological research with animals has made essential contributions to virtually every area of psychology. Significant gains have also been made in helping animals, including the preservation of endangered species, improvements in the care of zoo animals, and the prevention of animal diseases. VII. Application: Psychology in the Media: Becoming an Informed Consumer The following guidelines can help you evaluate psychological research and topics in the media: 1. Anecdotes are the essence of talk shows, not scientific evidence. 2. Dramatic or sensational headlines are hooks. Be especially skeptical
16 of sensationalistic claims or findings. 3. Read the actual summary of the study. 4. Evaluate the study s design. 5. Distinguish between correlation and causality. 6. Embrace an attitude of healthy skepticism.