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Psychology’s Roots, Big Ideas, and Critical Thinking Tools Psychology’s roots Four big ideas in psychology Why do psychology? How do psychologists ask and answer questions? Frequently asked questions about psychology
Psychology’s Roots Psychological science is born Contemporary psychology
Psychological Science Is Born “Magellans of the mind” (Hunt, 1993) William Wundt Darwin Freud Piaget James Whiton Calkins Washburn
Psychological Science Is Born Early definitions until 1920s Psychology: Science of mental life Watson and Skinner from 1920s into 1960s Psychology: Objective science that studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Freud Psychology: Emphasis on unconscious thought processes and emotional responses to childhood experiences
Psychological Science Is Born Rogers and Maslow Psychology: Humanistic view with emphasis on growth potential of healthy people Cognitive psychologists Psychology: Scientific exploration of how information is perceived, processed, and remembered Cognitive neuroscientists Psychology: Scientific exploration of brain activity underlying mental activity
Psychology Science of behavior and mental processes. Behaviorism View that psychology should be an objective science that studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Humanistic psychology Emphasized the growth potential of healthy people.
Psychological Science Is Born Today Psychology: Science of behavior and mental processes Behavior: Anything a human or nonhuman animal does Mental processes: Internal states inferred from behavior Science: Key word! Psychology students, such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (who majored in psychology and computer science while at Harvard), end up in varied careers. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File
What event defined the start of scientific psychology? How did the cognitive revolution affect the field of psychology?
Psychology’s Current Perspectives
Psychology is both a science and a profession. It can take you down many paths! Basic research Applied research Many interesting careers and perspectives How many of these careers can you identify? PSYCHOLOGY IN COURT Forensic psychologists apply psychology’s principles and methods in the criminal justice system. They may consult on witnesses, or testify about a defendant’s state of mind and future risk. Ted Fitzgerald, Pool/ AP Photo
The ________ perspective in psychology focuses on how behavior and thought differ from situation to situation and from culture to culture. The________ perspective emphasizes how we learn observable responses?
Four Big Ideas in Psychology Critical thinking The biopsychosocial approach The two-track mind Exploring human strengths Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Big Idea 1: Critical Thinking Is Smart Thinking Science supports thinking that examines assumptions, uncovers hidden values, weighs evidence, and tests conclusions. Critical thinkers ask critical questions.
Big Idea 2: Behavior Is a Biopsychosocial Event Human behavior can be viewed from three levels Biological Psychological Social-cultural Each level’s viewpoint provides a valuable insight into a behavior or mental process. Together these provide the most complete picture.
Biopsychosocial Approach: Three Paths to Understanding
Critical thinking Thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, uncovers hidden values, weighs evidence, and assesses conclusions. Biopsychosocial approach Approach that integrates different but complementary views from biological, psychological, and social-cultural viewpoints. Culture Enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, values, and traditions shared by a group of people and handed down from one generation to the next.
A SMILE IS A SMILE THE WORLD AROUND Throughout this course, you will see and hear examples not only of our cultural and gender diversity but also of the similarities that define our shared human nature. People in different cultures vary in when and how often they smile, but a naturally happy smile means the same thing anywhere in the world. Roy Toft/National Geographic/ Getty Images Antonia Brune
Nature versus nurture This is an age-old controversy focuses on the relative influence of genes and experience in the development of psychological traits and behaviors. Today’s psychological science sees traits and behaviors arising from the interaction of nature and nurture. In most cases, nurture works on what nature endows. Psychologists explore this by asking many interesting and important questions. Can you think of any of these?
NATURE-MADE NATURE-NURTURE EXPERIMENT Identical twins (left) have the same genes. This makes them ideal participants in studies designed to shed light on hereditary and environmental influences on personality, intelligence, and other traits. Fraternal twins (right) have different genes but often share the same environment. Twin studies provide a wealth of findings—described in later chapters—showing the importance of both nature and nurture. Big Cheese Photo LLC / AlamyWestend61 / SuperStock
Big Idea 3: We Operate With a Two-Track Mind (Dual Processing) Much of thinking, feeling, sensing, and acting operates outside awareness. The brain works on two tracks through dual processing. Conscious mind Unconscious mind Contemporary psychological science explores this dual-processing capacity.
Dual processing Principle that, at the same time, our mind processes information on separate conscious and unconscious tracks. Positive psychology Scientific study of human functioning, with the goals of discovering and promoting strengths and virtues that help individuals and communities to thrive.
Big Idea 4: Psychology Explores Human Strengths as Well as Challenges Early psychology focused on understanding and treating difficulties. Contemporary psychology continues this tradition and extends research to include human flourishing. Positive psychology uses scientific methods to explore Positive emotions Positive character traits Positive institutions
Positive Psychology MARTIN E. P. SELIGMAN “The main purpose of a positive psychology is to measure, understand, and then build the human strengths and the civic virtues.” Is the scientific study of human functioning Has goals of discovering and promoting strengths and virtues that help individuals and communities to thrives Courtesy Martin Seligman
Exploring Human Strengths Positive psychology uses scientific methods to explore Positive emotions Positive character traits Positive institutions Will psychology have a more positive mission in this century? Can it help us all to flourish?
What advantage do we gain by using the biopsychosocial approach to studying psychological events? What is contemporary psychology’s position on the nature-nurture debate?
Why Do Psychology? The limits of intuition and common sense The scientific attitude: Curious, skeptical, and humble
The Limits of Intuition and Common Sense Research shows that thinking, memory, and attitudes often open automatically without awareness. But…intuitive thinking has three common flaws. Hindsight bias Overconfidence Perceiving patterns in random events
Did we know it all along? Hindsight bias Tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that we could have predicted it. Also known as the I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon. HINDSIGHT BIAS When drilling the Deepwater Horizon oil well in 2010, oil industry employees took some shortcuts and ignored some warning signs, without intending to harm the environment or their companies’ reputations. After the resulting Gulf oil spill, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, the foolishness of those judgments became obvious. REUTERS/ U.S. Coast Guard/ Handout
The Limits of Intuition and Common Sense Overconfidence People tend to think they know more than they do. This occurs in academic and social behavior. WREAT → WATER ETRYN → ENTRY GRABE → BARGE About how many seconds do you think it would take you to unscramble each anagram?
Perceiving order in random events People perceive patterns to make sense of their world. Even in random, unrelated data people often find order, because random sequences often do not look random. People trust their intuition more than they should because intuitive thinking is flawed. Maciej Oleksy /Shutterstock
Perceiving order in random events GIVEN ENOUGH RANDOM EVENTS, SOME WEIRD-SEEMING STREAKS WILL OCCUR: During the 2010 World Cup, a German octopus—Paul, “the oracle of Oberhausen”—was offered two boxes, each with mussels and with a national flag on one side. Paul selected the right box eight out of eight times in predicting the outcome of Germany’s seven matches and Spain’s triumph in the final. Roland Weihrauch/ dpa/ picture-alliance/ Newscom
Why, after friends start dating, do we often feel that we knew they were meant to be together?
The Scientific Attitude: Curious, Skeptical, and Humble Curiosity Includes a passion to explore and understand the world without misleading or being misled Questions to consider What do you mean? How do you know?
The Scientific Attitude: Curious, Skeptical, and Humble Skepticism Supports questions about behavior and mental processes: What do you mean? How do you know? THE AMAZING RANDI: Magician and skeptic James Randi has tested and debunked a variety of psychic phenomena. AP Photo/ Alan Diaz
The Scientific Attitude: Curious, Skeptical, and Humble Humility Involves awareness that mistakes are possible and willingness to be surprised One of psychology’s early mottos: “The rat is always right.”
“For a lot of bad ideas, science is society’s garbage disposal.” Describe what this tells us about the scientific attitude.
How Do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions? The scientific method Description Correlation Experimentation
The Scientific Method
Theory Explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and predicts behaviors or events Hypothesis Testable prediction, often implied by a theory Operational definition Carefully worded statement of the exact procedures (operations) used in a research study Replication Repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances
A Good Theory… Effectively organizes Leads to clear predictions Often stimulates research May be replicated
The Scientific Method Testing hypothesis and refining theories Descriptive methods Correlational methods Experimental methods
What does a good theory do? Why is replication important?
Description Case studies Examines one individual in depth Provides fruitful ideas Cannot be used to generalize Naturalistic observations Records behavior in natural environment Describes but does not explain behavior Can be revealing Surveys and interviews Examines many cases in less depth Wording effect Random sampling Utilizes random sampling of population for best results
Case study Descriptive technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles Naturalistic observation Descriptive technique of observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to change or control the situation Survey Descriptive technique for obtaining the self- reported attitudes or behaviors of a group, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of that group
Population All those in a group being studied, from which samples may be drawn (Note: Except for national studies, this does not refer to a country’s whole population.) Random sample Sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion
We cannot assume that case studies always reveal general principles that apply to all of us. Why not? What are the advantages and disadvantages of naturalistic observation, such as the EARs study? What is an unrepresentative sample, and how do researchers avoid it?
Correlation Positive correlation (between 0 and +1.00) Indicates a direct relationship, meaning that two things increase together or decrease together Negative correlation (between 0 and −1.00) Indicates an inverse relationship: As one thing increases, the other decreases. Correlation coefficient Provides a statistical measure of how closely two things vary together and how well one predicts the other
SCATTERPLOT FOR HEIGHT AND WEIGHT This chart displays data from 20 imagined people, each represented by a data point. The scattered points reveal an upward slope, indicating a positive correlation.
Correlation Measure of the extent to which two events vary together, and thus of how well either one predicts the other. Correlation coefficient Mathematical expression of the relationship, ranging from −1.00 to +1.00, with 0 indicating no relationship. Scatterplot Graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two factors.
Indicate whether each of the following statements describes a positive correlation or a negative correlation. 1. The more children and youth used various media, the less happy they were with their lives (Kaiser, 2010). 2. The more sexual content teens saw on TV, the more likely they were to have sex (Collins et al., 2004). 3. The longer children were breast-fed, the greater their later academic achievement (Horwood & Ferguson, 1998). 4. The more income rose among a sample of poor families, the fewer symptoms of mental illness their children experienced (Costello et al., 2003).
Length of marriage correlates with hair loss in men. Does this mean that marriage causes men to lose their hair (or that balding men make better husbands)? Nancy Brown/Getty Images
THREE POSSIBLE CAUSE-EFFECT RELATIONSHIPS People low in self-esteem are more likely to report depression than are those high in self-esteem. One possible explanation of this negative correlation is that a bad self-image causes depressed feelings. But, as the diagram indicates, other cause-effect relationships are possible.
Experimentation With experiments, researchers can focus on the possible effects of one or more factors in several ways. Manipulating the factors of interest to determine their effects Holding constant (“controlling”) other factors Experimental group Control group
Experimentation Double-blind procedure: Eliminating bias Neither those in the study nor those collecting the data know which group is receiving the treatment. Treatment’s actual effects can be separated from potential placebo effect. Placebo effect Effect involves results caused by expectations alone.
What measures do researchers use to prevent the placebo effect from confusing their results?
Experimentation Variables Independent variable in an experiment Confounding variable in an experiment Dependent variable in an experiment Factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied Factor other than the independent variable that might produce an effect Factor that is measured; the variable that may change when the independent variable is manipulated
Experimentation To study cause-effect, psychologists may randomly assign some participants to an dependent variable (intelligence score in later childhood) will determine the effect of the independent variable (type of milk).
Comparing Research Methods Each of psychology’s research methods has strengths and weaknesses
Match the term on the left with the description on the right. 1. Double-blind procedurea. helps researchers generalize from a small set of survey responses to a large population. 2. Random samplingb. helps minimize preexisting differences between experimental and control groups. 3. Random assignmentc. controls for the placebo effect; neither researchers nor participants know who receives the real treatment.
Why, when testing a new drug to control blood pressure, would we learn more about its effectiveness from giving it to half the participants in a group of 1000 than to all 1000 participants?
Frequently Asked Questions About Psychology How do simplified laboratory conditions help us understand general principles of behavior? (1-10) Purpose of experiment is to test theoretical principles. Resulting principles, not specific findings, help explain everyday behaviors. Psychologists are less interested in particular behaviors than in the general principles that help explain many behaviors.
Frequently Asked Questions About Psychology Why do psychologists study animals, and what ethical guidelines safeguard human and animal research participants? (1-11) Some psychologists study animals to understand about different species. Others study animals to learn about humans in a variety of ways (e.g., insulin; vaccines for polio and rabies; transplants). Use of animals for research is debated among psychologists. APA has an ethical code applying to all research.
Frequently Asked Questions About Psychology How do personal values influence psychologists’ research and application? Does psychology aim to manipulate people? (1-12) Values impacts what is studied, how it is studied, and how results are interpreted. Applied psychology contains hidden values. There is some concern that psychology is becoming too powerful. What do you think?
How are human research participants protected?
Improve Your Retention-and Your Grades How can psychological principles help you learn and remember? (1- 13) Strategies Using self-testing and rehearsal Implementing SQ3R study method Distributing study time Learning to think critically Actively processing class information Overlearning arabianEye /Getty Images
The ________ describes the improved memory that results from repeated retrieval (as in self- testing) rather than from simple rereading of new information. What does SQ3R mean?