Psychology 101

Topics: Psychology, Nervous system, Neuron Pages: 8 (1525 words) Published: September 16, 2013

What is Psychology?
Psychology is the science of behavior and mental processes

Thinking critically with Psychology

Hindsight bias- Common Sense describes what has happened after the fact more easily than it predicts what will happen before the fact Common sense is a poor guide

The Scientific Method
Theory- an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations Hypothesis- a testable prediction implied by a theory
Simple Observation- simply observing world around you, and asking questions why people think and behave as they do

Darley and Latane thought that they more the bystanders, the less likely to give someone aid, and it was true

Confederate- playing the part of someone in distress, but they are just playing a roll Personal Experience- psychologists want to know their own weakness and tendencies Replication- basic findings can be observed with different participants with different circumstances Operational Definition- specific statement used to define research variables, so it can be repeated by others

To choose a research design:
Pick between 3 methods- descriptive, correlational, experiment Pick between 2 settings- lab or field

Descriptive Methods
The Case Study- deep investigation of a single subject
The Survey- investigation of many people
Naturalistic Observation- behavior in its natural environment and describing in detail

Jane Goodall- studied chimpanzees and showed observations in natural habit are more complex than previously supposed Another Ex: they used it for interaction on peoples behavior

What is a representative sample? One that accurately shows the population of interest

Experimental Methods
Manipulate one or more factors, while holding other factors constant

Variable- anything that can fluctuate or change states
Independent Variable- vary independently of other variables whose effect is being studied Dependent Variable- variable that may change in response for manipulations of independent variable Random Assignment- assigning by chance, everyone has an equal chance, minimize pre-existing differences between groups Confounding Variable- complicates the interpretation of the results of the experiment

Example: Does breast feeding have an impact on their intelligence later in life Independent- Breast milk (experimental) or Formula (control) Dependent- Intelligence score at age 8

Cannot conduct experiment if unethical or if not possible

Correlational Methods
Purpose is to observe naturally occurring relationships between variables

Correlation and Causation

Directionality Problem- When we have a correlation between 2 variables, for example A and B, it could be variable A causes variable B, or it could easily be variable B causes variable A. Either way could work

Third Variable Problem- There could be another reason causing it to be both variable A or B. For example- Distressing events could lead to low self esteem and depression, when low self esteem use to be variable A and depression was variable B

Spurious Correlation- correlation that occurs simply because each of the variables occur


Correlation Research Methods

Descriptive - to observe and record behavior.
You do case studies, surveys, or naturalistic observations Nothing manipulated
Weakness- no control of variable, single cases may be misleading

Research Ethics
Is it Ethical to experiment on humans?

The Milgram Experiments- You either play a role of a teacher, or a student. You are randomly assigned to the position. Then there is another person that is connected to the teacher is hooked up with a shock. If the learner gets one wrong, the other person tells the teacher to give a shock to the learner and it keeps increasing. Milgram is interested in how far will people go? The trick to this is the learner is not actually being...
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