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General Psycho


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  • 1. General Psychology Instructor: Dan Benkendorf
  • 2. What is Psychology?
    • The science of behavior and mental processes
    • Psychology answers questions like…
      • What is the relationship between structures and chemicals in the brain and behavior?
      • Why do people’s personalities differ? What are the origins of my personality?
      • Why do people conform to social norms?
      • How do people learn new habits, and why are they so hard to break?
      • What are the causes of mental illness?
      • What traits are characteristic of good leaders?
      • Why do people hold stereotypes about other people?
  • 3. Specialty Areas in Psychology
    • Biological
    • Cognitive
    • Experimental
    • Developmental
    • Social
    • Personality
    • Health
    • Educational
    • Industrial/Organizational
    • Clinical
  • 4. The Scientific Method
    • A set of assumptions, attitudes, and procedures that guide researchers in creating questions to investigate, in generating evidence, and in drawing conclusions.
    • 4 Basic Goals of Psychology
      • Describe
      • Explain
      • Predict
      • Control
  • 5. Knowledge of the Scientific Method Helps You to be a Wiser Consumer of Information
  • 6. Knowledge of Research Methods Enables Us to Make Accurate Predictions
  • 7. The Steps in the Scientific Method
    • Formulate a hypothesis
    • Design the study and collect the data
    • Analyze the data and draw conclusions
    • Report the findings
  • 8. Building Theories: Integrating the Findings
    • What is a theory?
    • What is pseudoscience?
      • Are claims of paranormal phenomena
      • considered pseudoscience?
      • Characteristics of pseudoscientific claims:
        • Many violate the rule of falsifiability
        • Proponents often use anecdotes or testimonials as evidence to support their claims
        • There are alternative explanations (other factors that account for causes or explain the claims)
        • They typically apply scientific principles in ways that are not substantiated by empirical evidence and are actually contradicted by scientific explanation
  • 9. Descriptive Research Methods
    • The descriptive research methods are strategies for observing and describing behavior.
      • Naturalistic observation
      • Case studies
      • Surveys
      • Correlational studies
  • 10. Correlational Studies
    • Examines how strongly two variables are related to, or associated with, each other
    • Can be used to analyze the data gathered by any type of descriptive research method
    • Correlation coefficient
      • Positive correlation
      • Negative correlation
  • 11. Correlations Far left - strong positive correlation; Near left - weak positive correlation Far right - strong negative correlation; Near right - weak negative correlation
  • 12. 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.
      • Independent variable
      • Dependent variable
  • 13. Variations in Experimental Design
    • Placebo control group
      • Can help researchers check for expectancy effects, which are changes that may occur because subjects expect changes to occur—sometimes referred to as placebo effects .
        • Double-blind study –
          • Purpose 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
        • Single-blind study
  • 14. Limitations of Experiments
    • Artificial conditions
    • Ethical limitations
  • 15. Ethics in Psychological Research
    • 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 .
    • Psychologists must:
      • Respect the dignity and welfare of participants
      • Not expose research participants to harmful or dangerous conditions
      • Obtain approval from the ethics panel at the institution where the study is to be conducted
  • 16. Five Key Provisions of the APA Ethical Guidelines
    • Informed consent and voluntary participation
    • Students as research participants
    • The use of deception
    • Confidentiality of records
    • Information about the study and debriefing
  • 17. Questions About the Use of Animals in Psychological Research
    • Research using animal subjects must have an acceptable
    • scientific purpose .
    • There must be a reasonable expectation that the research will
      • Increase knowledge about behavior
      • Increase understanding of the species under study
      • Produce results that benefit the health or welfare of humans or other animals
  • 18. Evaluating Media Reports About Psychology
    • Be especially skeptical of sensationalistic claims or findings
    • Anecdotes are the essence of talk shows, not scientific evidence
    • Remember that the goal of “shock” radio and televisions is ratings
    • Look for the original source of a professional publication
    • Consider how the research was funded
    • Consider the methods and operational definitions used
    • Remember the distinction between correlation and causation
    • Skepticism is the rule, not the exception, in science