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Welcome to General Psychology! Please use these slides as a supplementary guide to your course textbook. You must also read the text (do not simply rely.

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome to General Psychology! Please use these slides as a supplementary guide to your course textbook. You must also read the text (do not simply rely."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome to General Psychology! Please use these slides as a supplementary guide to your course textbook. You must also read the text (do not simply rely on these slides).

2 Psychology’s Roots, Big Ideas, and Critical Thinking Tools Chapter 1

3 Psychology’s Roots  Psychological Science Is Born  Contemporary Psychology

4 Four Big Ideas in Psychology  Big Idea 1: Critical Thinking is Smart Thinking  Big Idea 2: Behavior is a Biopsychosocial Event  Big Idea 3: We Operate With a Two-Track Mind (Dual Processing)  Big Idea 4: Psychology Explores Human Strengths as Well as Challenges

5 Why Do Psychology?  The Limits of Intuition and Common Sense  The Scientific Attitude

6 How Do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions?  The Scientific Method  Description  Correlation  Experimentation

7 Psychology’s Roots Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.) One of the first thinkers to ask serious questions about learning and memory, motivation and emotion, perception and personality.

8 Psychological Science is Born The first psychology experiments Leipzig, Germany1879 Wilhelm Wundt and his students attempt to study the “atoms of the mind” Experiment: How long for subjects to press a button after a ball drops.

9 Psychology’s early pioneers came from many disciplines Wilhelm Wundt – German philosopher & physiologist Charles Darwin – English naturalist Ivan Pavlov – Russian physiologist Sigmund Freud – Austrian physician Jean Piaget – Swiss biologist William James – American philosopher

10 William James William James was an American philosopher, and wrote the highly influential Principles of Psychology in 1890

11 A Man’s World? William James’ student, Mary Calkins, became the first female president of the APA Animal behaviorist Margaret Floyd Washburn was the first female psychology PhD (from Cornell) and the second female APA president

12 The Definition of “Psychology” For early pioneers, psychology was defined as “the science of mental life” This has evolved over the years as new perspectives were developed Behaviorism Freudian Psychology “Science of mental life” Humanistic Psychology Cognitive Revolution! Cognitive Neuroscience time

13 Behaviorism Behaviorism: The view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behavior without references to mental processes. You can observe behaviors, but not thoughts or feelings Today, most research psychologists agree with (1) but not (2) John B. Watson B. F. Skinner

14 Behaviorist Experiment: Little Albert John B. Watson and Rosalie Rayner showed fear could be learned, in experiments with the baby known as “Little Albert”

15 Freudian Psychology Sigmund Freud was an Austrian physician Emphasized the importance of unconscious sexual conflicts and the mind’s defenses against its own wishes and impulses

16 Humanistic Psychology Humanistic Psychology emphasized the growth potential of healthy people and the individual’s potential for personal growth. Humanistic psychologists (like Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers) found Freudian and behaviorist psychology limiting. Drew attention to the ways that a loving, accepting environment can enhance personal growth.

17 The Cognitive Revolution In the 1960’s, a group of psychologists led the field back on the study of mental processes: how the mind perceives, processes, and remembers information –They sought to make this renewed study into a scientific discipline. Cognitive Neuroscience: the interdisciplinary study of brain activity linked with mental activity (including perception, thinking, memory, and language).

18 Psychology Today Today, we define psychology as the science of behavior and mental processes Behavior: the study of an animal’s observable actions” Mental processes: Internal states and events such as thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Note: Even mental processes are related to behavior: we infer feelings and thoughts from what someone says and does.

19 Contemporary Psychology What are psychology’s current perspectives? Perspectives range from biological to socio- cultural Settings range from laboratory to clinic Common goal: to describe and explain behavior and the mind underlying it


21 Psychology’s Subfields PsychologistWhat they do Biological Explore the links between brain and mind. Developmental Study changing abilities from womb to tomb. Cognitive Study how we perceive, think, and solve problems. Personality Investigate our persistent traits. Industrial- Organizational Study and advise on behavior in the workplace.

22 Psychology’s Subfields (cont’d) PsychologistWhat they do Counseling Help people cope personal and career challenges by recognizing their strengths and resources. Clinical Assess and treat mental, emotional, and behavior disorders Social Explore how we view and affect one another

23 Four Big Ideas in Psychology 1.Critical Thinking is Smart Thinking 2.Behavior is a Biopsychosocial Event 3. We Operate with a Two-Track Mind (Dual Processing) 4. Psychology Explores Human Strengths as Well as Challenges

24 Critical Thinking is Smart Thinking Critical Thinking: Thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, uncovers hidden values, weighs evidence, and assesses conclusions.

25 Behavior is a Biopsychosocial Event Biopsychosocial approach: An integrated apprach that incorporates different but complementary views from biological, psychological, and social-cultural perspectives Culture: The enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next

26 Behavior is a Biopsychosocial Event

27 Behavior is a Biopsychosocial Event: Nature v. Nurture Nature-nurture issue: The longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors. Today, we see traits and behaviors arising from the interaction of nature and nurture Question: How are differences in intelligence, personality and psychological disorders influenced by heredity and by environment?

28 We Operate with a Two-Track Mind (Dual Processing) Dual Processing: the principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks. Example: Visual Processing –Visual perception track enables us to recognize things and plan future actions –Visual action track guides our moment-to-moment actions

29 Psychology Explores Human Strengths as Well as Challenges Positive Psychology: the scientific study of human functioning, with the goals of discovering and promoting strengths and virtues that help individuals and communities to thrive

30 Why Do Psychology?  The Limits of Intuition and Common Sense  The Scientific Attitude

31 The Limitations of Intuition and Common Sense Intuitions and hunches are a good place to start, but must be followed up by critical thinking “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.” – Richard Feynman

32 Hindsight Bias or the “I-knew-it-all-along” phenomenon. The tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that we could have predicted it. Hindsight Bias

33 Overconfidence Sometimes we think we know more than we actually know. Anagram BARGEGRABE ENTRYETYRN WATERWREAT How long do you think it would take to unscramble these anagrams? People said it would take about 10 seconds, yet on average solvers took about 3 minutes (Goranson, 1978).

34 The Scientific Attitude The scientific attitude is composed of curiosity (passion for exploration), skepticism (doubting and questioning) and humility (ability to accept responsibility when wrong).

35 The Scientific Attitude: Curiosity, Humility, and Skepticism Randi: Do you see an aura around my head? Aura-seer: Yes, indeed. Randi: Can you still see the aura if I put this magazine in front of my face? Aura-seer: Of course. Randi: Then if I were to step behind a wall barely taller than I am, you could determine my location from the aura visible above my head, right? The Amazing Randi

36 How Do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions?  The Scientific Method  Description  Correlation  Experimentation

37 How Do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions? Psychologists, like all scientists, use the scientific method to construct theories that organize, summarize and simplify observations.

38 A theory is an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts behavior or events. For example, “low self-esteem contributes to depression.” Theory

39 A hypothesis is a testable prediction, often prompted by a theory. It enables us to accept, reject or revise the theory. “People with low self-esteem will score higher on a depression test.” Hypothesis

40 We then test our hypothesis in a controlled setting. Have participants take two tests: one that tests self-esteem (e.g., “agree or disagree: ‘I am fun to be with.’”) and one that test for symptoms of depression. If the hypothesis is correct, people with low scores of self-esteem will have high levels of depression. Research and Observations

41 Reporting and Replicating Results Psychologists often use an operational definition, a statement of the procedures used to define research variables. –E.g., depression may be operationally defined as scoring above a threshold on a depression test. Exact descriptions allow others to replicate the research, repeating the essence of the study to see whether the basic findings extends to other participants and cirumstances.

42 The Scientific Method

43 Description As we seek to understand people and refine our theories, we can gather descriptive information in one of three systematic ways: –The Case Study –Surveys –Naturalistic Observation

44 Case Study Case study: a descriptive technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles. Caveat: Just because something is true of one of us, that does not mean it will be true in all of us. E.g., just because you have an uncle who smokes 3 packs a day and lived to be 100, doesn’t mean smoking doesn’t have adverse health effects.

45 Survey A survey is a descriptive technique for obtaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of people, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of them. Important to remember: –Wording effects –Random Sampling

46 Wording Effects Wording can change the results of a survey. Should cigarette ads and pornography be allowed on television? vs. Should cigarette ads and pornography be forbidden from being on television?

47 Random Sampling Random sample: a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion

48 Surveys Think critically before accepting survey findings Consider the wording and the sample The best basis for generalizing is from a representative sample of cases

49 Naturalistic Observation A descriptive technique of observing and recording behavior in naturally occuring situations without trying to change or control the situation. Like case studies and surveys, it describes behavior, rather than explaining it. [Insert pic of Frans de Waal from p. 27]

50 Correlation Correlation: a measure of the extent to which two events vary together, and thus how well either predicts the other. The correlation coefficient expresses the relationship mathematically, ranging from -1 to +1 Positive correlation, noted as a number from zero (no correlation) to 1, means that variables increase and decrease together, like shoe size and height. Negative correlation, a number from 0 to -1, means that one variable going up predicts the other one going down, like self-esteem and depression scores

51 Correlation coefficient When we have information of people with different heights and temperament scores, we can plot them on a graph. This graph, a scatterplot, shows a positive correlation (upward slope) but the correlation is low (the dots are not close to forming a line).

52 Correlation and Causation Correlation does not equal causation!

53 Illusory Correlation The perception of a relationship where no relationship actually exists. For example, we may notice the times that odd behavior happens with a full moon, and develop the illusion that the two events generally tend to go together.

54 Order in Random Events Given large numbers of randomly generated outcomes, a few sequences of events are going to appear to be signs of order or meaning. Angelo and Maria Gallina won two California lottery games on the same day.

55 Experimentation As in other sciences, experimentation is the backbone of psychological research. Experiments isolate causes and their effects. Exploring Cause and Effect

56 Many factors influence behavior. Experiments (1) manipulate factors that interest us, while other factors are kept under (2) control. When we see an effect from manipulating only one variable at a time, we have isolated and discovered a cause-effect relationship. Exploring Cause & Effect

57 Experiments Many factors may influence a phenomenon In an experiment, researchers vary one or more factors (independent variables) to observe the effect on some behavior or mental process (dependent variable)

58 Experiments If possible, participants should be randomly assigned to control and experimental groups Experimental group: exposed to the treatment (one version of the IV) Control group: contrasts the experimental group, serves as comparison to assess the effects of the treatment

59 Effects of mother’s milk (Lucas et al., 1992) 424 hospital preterm infants randomly assigned to either formula feedings (control) or breast-milk (experimental) Tested at age 8, the breast-milk group scored higher on intelligence tests Random assignment make sure no other difference between the group (mother’s age, intelligence, etc) explains the difference in intelligence scores

60 Experimentation

61 Summary: Value of Experiments Correlational studies uncover naturally occurring relationships –Unclear about causality Experiments manipulate factors to determine their effects

62 Tools for Controlling Bias Placebo effect: Expectations about treatment effects can translate to real effects Control groups may be given a placebo – an inactive substance in place of the experimental treatment Many studies are double-blind – neither participants nor research staff knows which participants are in the experimental or control groups.

63 Comparing Research Methods

64 Frequently Asked Questions About Psychology Q1. How do simplified lab experiments help us understand general principles of behavior? Ans: Experiments study simplified versions of human behavior under controlled conditions. The goal is to isolate variables and discover general principles underlying human behavior.

65 FAQ Q2. Why do psychologists study animals? What ethical guidelines safeguard human and animal research participants? Ans: Psychologists may study animals to learn about different species. Studying animals also helps us to understand people – we are animals, after all. From animal studies, we have gained insights to devastating and fatal diseases. All researchers who deal with animal research are required to follow ethical guidelines in caring for these animals. There are also ethical guidelines researchers must follow for experimenting with human subects.

66 FAQ Q3. How do personal values influence psychologists’ research and application? Does psychology aim to manipulate people? Ans: Values affect what we study, how we study it, and how we interpret results. And although psychology has the power to deceive, its purpose is to enlighten.

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