Ebbinghaus: Psychology has a short history, but a long past.
Three fields that influenced psychology: Philosophy-writings about sleep, dreams, senses and memory.
Physiology-study of anatomy and brain function.
Medicine-relationship between disease and mental processes.
Two major schools of psychology by early 20th century: 1)Psychodynamic, based on the work of Sigmund Freud.
Psychodynamic theory (continued)Human behavior motivated by unconscious conflictsThe past is critical to development
Second major school of psych:Behaviorism-the study of behavior that can be measured and verified.Rejected the study of mental processes
Modern definition of psychology: The science of behavior and mental processes.
Other major perspectives in psychology:1) Biological: the physical origins of human and animal behavior, the study of the nervous system, the brain.
2)Humanistic: how people grow psychologically the influence of interpersonal relationships, the importance of self-direction in trying to reach one’s potential
3) Positive psychology: focus on positive emotions and psychological states, instead of the traditional focus on problems and disorders.
4) Cognitive: how people develop language, solve problems, and think
5) Cross-cultural: the influence of culture on behavior and mental processes.Some of your “personal” traits might be cultural traits instead!
6) Evolutionary: based on the principle of natural selection (survival of the fittest).Behavior is subject to natural selection.
Dr. Bishop’s definition of critical thinking:Be open to the possibility that what you believe or what someone else believes is CRAP.
Be aware of what you bring to the table, we all have biases and “weak spots”
What conclusions can reasonably be drawn from the evidence?
Is there another explanation that makes more sense for a research finding or some other phenomena?
Steps in the scientific method:1) Start with a testable hypothesis, a tentative statement that describes the relationship between two or more variables.
2) Design the study and collect the dataTwo basic categories of research methods: a) Descriptive methods-observing and describing
Common descriptive methods:SurveysNaturalistic observationCorrelational studies
b) Experimental method: changing one variable causes change in a second variable.Much harder to do, but can prove cause and effect!
3) Analyze the data and draw conclusionsFindings have to be statistically significantSignificant isn’t necessarily meaningful!
4) Report the findings:Other scientists need to be able to replicate the findingsFindings are reported at conferences and professional journals
Experimental MethodWhy is it needed to prove cause and effect?
Hypothesis: Drug X causes memory loss in some people.Independent variable (IV): what gets manipulatedDependent variable (DV): what gets measured
Control group: Subjects who go through the experiment but are not exposed to the actual variable of interest.
Random assignment: you can’t control for everything!All subjects have an equal chance of being in the experimental group or the control group.Helps to even out “outliers”
Without random assignment and a control group, it’s not an experiment!Can’t use the word cause!
Hypothesis: Cigarette smoking causes cancer in humans.Can you do an experiment?
No experiment, can only look at pre- existing smokersNo random assignment!Surveys, hospital records, gov’t records, etc.
Correlational study: very common in psychology We have to study pre-existing groups How strongly two variables are related
Positivecorrelation: two factors increase or decrease together Ex: Anger and heart rate, loneliness and depression Negative correlation: two factors move in opposite directions Ex: alcohol use and grade point avg.