General Psychology Instructor: Dan Benkendorf
What is Psychology? <ul><li>The science of behavior and mental processes </li></ul><ul><li>Psychology answers questions li...
Specialty Areas in Psychology <ul><li>Biological </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive </li></ul><ul><li>Experimental </li></ul><ul>...
The Scientific Method <ul><li>A set of assumptions, attitudes, and procedures that guide researchers in creating questions...
Knowledge of the Scientific Method Helps You to be a Wiser Consumer of Information
Knowledge of Research Methods Enables Us to Make  Accurate  Predictions
The Steps in the Scientific Method <ul><li>Formulate a hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>Design the study and collect the data ...
Building Theories: Integrating the Findings <ul><li>What is a theory? </li></ul><ul><li>What is pseudoscience? </li></ul><...
Descriptive Research Methods <ul><li>The descriptive research methods are strategies for observing and describing behavior...
Correlational Studies <ul><li>Examines how strongly two variables are related to, or associated with, each other </li></ul...
Correlations Far left  - strong positive correlation;  Near left  - weak positive correlation  Far right  - strong negativ...
The Experimental Method <ul><li>The experimental method is a research method used to demonstrate a cause-and-effect relati...
Variations in Experimental Design <ul><li>Placebo control group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can help researchers check for expec...
Limitations of Experiments <ul><li>Artificial conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical limitations </li></ul>
Ethics in Psychological Research <ul><li>The American Psychological Association (APA) has developed a strict code of ethic...
Five Key Provisions of the APA Ethical Guidelines <ul><li>Informed consent and voluntary participation </li></ul><ul><li>S...
Questions About the Use of Animals in Psychological Research <ul><li>Research using animal subjects must have an acceptabl...
Evaluating Media Reports About Psychology <ul><li>Be especially skeptical of sensationalistic claims or findings </li></ul...
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General Psycho

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General Psycho

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

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