What is Psychology? chapter 1

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1 What is Psychology? chapter 1

2 Overview! The science of psychology! What psychologists do! Critical and scientific thinking! Correlational studies! The experiment! Evaluating findings

3 What is psychology? The discipline concerned with behavior and mental processes and how they are affected by an organism s physical state, mental state, and external environment. Symbolized with a Y Empirical Relying on evidence gathered by careful observation, experimentation, or measurement

4 Psychology, pseudoscience, and common sense! Psychobabble and psychology! Not just common sense

5 Psychology s past Two early psychologies Functionalism Psychoanalysis

6 Functionalism Early approach that emphasized the function or purpose of behavior and consciousness Interested in how and why something happens Functionalists broadened field of psychology to include the study of children, animals, religious experiences, and stream of consciousness

7 Psychoanalysis A theory of personality and a method of psychotherapy, originally formulated by Sigmund Freud Emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts

8 Your turn The first field of psychology to ask why people have consciousness was: 1. Behaviorism 2. Phrenology 3. Psychoanalysis 4. Functionalism

9 Your turn The first field of psychology to ask why people have consciousness was: 1. Behaviorism 2. Phrenology 3. Psychoanalysis 4. Functionalism

10 Major Psychological perspectives! Biological perspective! Learning perspective! Cognitive perspective! Sociocultural perspective! Psychodynamic perspective

11 The biological perspective Psychological approach that focuses on how bodily events affect behavior, feelings, and thoughts This perspective involves Hormones Brain chemistry Heredity Evolutionary influences

12 The cognitive perspective Psychological approach that emphasizes what goes on in people s heads This perspective involves Behaviorism Social-cognitive learning theories

13 The sociocultural perspective Psychological approach that emphasizes social and cultural forces outside the individual This perspective involves Social psychology or the study of rules, roles, groups, and relationships Cultural psychology or the study of cultural norms, values, and expectations

14 The psychodynamic perspective Psychological approach that emphasizes unconscious dynamics within the individual, such as inner forces, conflicts, or the movement of instinctual energy This perspective involves Unconscious thoughts, desires, conflicts

15 Humanist psychology Psychological approach that emphasizes personal growth and the achievement of human potential, rather than the scientific understanding of behavior This approach Rejected behaviorism and psychoanalysis Emphasized creativity and achieving potential

16 Your turn The psychological perspective that emphasizes the deep, psychological causes of people s behavior is: 1. Biological perspective 2. Learning perspective 3. Cognitive perspective 4. Psychodynamic perspective 5. Sociocultural perspective

17 Your turn The psychological perspective that emphasizes the deep, psychological causes of people s behavior is: 1. Biological perspective 2. Learning perspective 3. Cognitive perspective 4. Psychodynamic perspective 5. Sociocultural perspective

18 Psychological research Research in areas of basic or applied psychology Examples: Experimental psychologists Educational psychologists Developmental psychologists Industrial/organizational psychologists Psychometric psychologists

19 Psychological practice Counseling psychologists help people deal with problems associated with everyday life. School psychologists work with parents, teachers, and students to enhance student performance. Clinical psychologists diagnose, treat, and study mental or emotional problems.

20 Psychologists in other settings Sports Consumer issues Advertising Organizational problems Environmental issues Public policy Opinion polls Military training Animal behavior Legal issues

21 Critical thinking guidelines Ask questions Define your terms Examine the evidence Analyze assumptions and biases Avoid emotional reasoning Don t oversimplify Consider other interpretations Tolerate uncertainty

22 Descriptive methods Methods that yield descriptions of behavior, but not necessarily causal explanations Include Case studies Observational studies Psychological tests Surveys

23 Case studies A detailed description of a particular individual being studied or treated, which may be used to formulate broader research hypotheses Most commonly used by clinicians; occasionally used by researchers

24 Observational studies Researchers carefully and systematically observe and record behavior without interfering with behavior Naturalistic observation Purpose is to observe how people or animals behave in their natural environments. Laboratory observation Purpose is to observe how people or animals behave in a more controlled setting.

25 Psychological tests Procedures used to measure and evaluate personality traits, emotional states, aptitudes, interests, abilities, and values Psychological tests can be objective or projective. Characteristics of a good test include Standardization Reliability Validity

26 Standardization The test is constructed to include uniform procedures for giving and scoring the test. In order to score tests in a standardized way, an individual s outcome or score is compared to norms. To establish norms, the test is given to a large group of people who are similar to those for whom the test is intended. By having norms or established standards of performance, we know who scores low, average, or high.

27 Reliability When constructing a test, the scores achieved on the test at one time and place should be consistent with the scores achieved at another time and place.

28 Validity The ability of a test to measure what it was designed to measure Content validity The test broadly represents the trait in question. Criterion validity The test predicts other measures of the trait in question.

29 Surveys Questionnaires and interviews that ask people about experiences, attitudes, or opinions Requires a representative sample Group of subjects, selected from the population for study, which matches the population on important characteristics such as age and sex Popular polls and surveys rely on volunteers

30 Correlational study A descriptive study that looks for a consistent relationship between two phenomena Correlation A statistical measure of how strongly two variables are related to one another. Correlational coefficients can range from

31 Direction of correlations Positive correlations An association between increases in one variable and increases in another, or decreases in one variable and decreases in the other. Negative correlations An association between increases in one variable and decreases in another.

32 Your turn What kind of correlation is this? 1. Positive 2. Negative 3. No correlation

33 Scatterplots Correlations can be represented by scatterplots.

34 Your turn What kind of correlation is this? 1. Positive 2. Negative 3. No correlation

35 Explaining correlations Start with three variables (X, Y, Z) X might cause Y Y might cause X X might be correlated with Y, which alone causes Z Correlations show patterns, not causes.

36 An experiment A controlled test of a hypothesis in which the researcher manipulates one variable to discover its effect on another. An experiment includes variables of interest, control conditions, and random assignment.

37

38 Variables of interest Independent variables Variables the experimenter manipulates Dependent variables Variables the experimenter predicts will be affected by manipulations of the independent variable(s)

39 Your turn An experimenter wants to study the effects of music on studying. He has some students study while listening to music and others study in silence, and then compares their test scores. What is the independent variable in this experiment? 1. The students 2. The presence of music while studying 3. The kind of music 4. The test scores

40 Your turn An experimenter wants to study the effects of music on studying. He has some students study while listening to music and others study in silence, and then compares their test scores. What is the independent variable in this experiment? 1. The students 2. The presence of music while studying 3. The kind of music 4. The test scores

41 Control conditions In an experiment, a comparison condition in which subjects are not exposed to the same treatment as in the experimental condition. In some experiments, the control group is given a placebo, an inactive substance or fake treatment.

42 Random assignment For experiments to have experimental and control groups composed of similar subjects, random assignment should be used. Each individual participating in the study has the same probability as any other of being assigned to a given group.

43 Experimenter effects Unintended changes in subjects behavior due to cues inadvertently given by the experimenter. Strategies for preventing experimenter effects include single- and double-blind studies.

44 Descriptive statistics Statistical procedures that organize and summarize research data Examples Arithmetic mean Standard deviation

45 Inferential statistics Statistical procedures that allow researchers to draw inferences about how statistically meaningful a study s results are. The most commonly used inferential statistics are significance tests. Statistical tests that show how likely it is that a study s results occurred merely by chance

46 Choosing the best explanation Interpretation of results may depend on how the research was conducted. Cross-sectional studies Subjects of different ages are compared at a single time. Longitudinal studies Subjects are periodically assessed over a period of time.

47 Judging the results importance Statistical techniques can help determine if results are really important. Meta-analysis is a procedure for combining and analyzing data from many studies. It determines how much of the variance in scores across all studies can be explained by a particular variable.

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