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

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Presentation on theme: "How Do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions?  The Scientific Method  Description  Correlation  Experimentation."— Presentation transcript:

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

2 Psychology’s Roots Aristotle ( B.C.) Aristotle, a naturalist and philosopher, theorized about psychology’s concepts. He suggested that the soul and body are not separate and that knowledge grows from experience.

3 Psychological Science is Born Wundt and psychology’s first graduate students studied the “atoms of the mind” by conducting experiments at Leipzig, Germany, in This work is considered the birth of psychology as we know it today. Structuralism- used introspection Wundt ( )

4 Functionalism William James- Father of “modern psychology” Early approach that emphasized the function or purpose of behavior and consciousness Interested in how and why something happens- predecessor to behaviorism Functionalists broadened field of psychology to include the study of children, animals, religious experiences, and stream of consciousness chapter 1

5 Psychological Science is Born Sigmund Freud, an Austrian physician, and his followers emphasized the importance of the unconscious mind and its effects on human behavior. Freud ( )

6 Psychoanalysis A theory of personality and a method of psychotherapy, originally formulated by Sigmund Freud Emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts chapter 1

7 The biological perspective Psychological approach that focuses on how bodily events affect behavior, feelings, and thoughts This perspective involves Hormones Brain chemistry Heredity Evolutionary influences chapter 1

8 Psychological Science Develops Behaviorists Watson and later Skinner emphasized the study of overt- observable- behavior as the subject matter of scientific psychology. Watson ( ) Skinner ( )

9 The cognitive perspective Psychological approach that emphasizes what goes on in people’s heads This perspective involves Behaviorism Social-cognitive learning theories chapter 1

10 Psychological Science Develops Humanistic Psychology Maslow and Rogers emphasized current environmental influences on our growth potential and our need for love and acceptance. Maslow ( ) Rogers ( )

11 Humanist psychology Psychological approach that emphasizes personal growth and the achievement of human potential, rather than the scientific understanding of behavior This approach Rejected behaviorism and psychoanalysis Emphasized creativity and achieving potential chapter 1

12 The sociocultural perspective Psychological approach that emphasizes social and cultural forces outside the individual This perspective involves Social psychology or the study of rules, roles, groups, and relationships Cultural psychology or the study of cultural norms, values, and expectations chapter 1

13 Psychology Today We define psychology today as the scientific study of behavior (what we do) and mental processes (inner thoughts and feelings). The best of psychology takes a combined approach to looking at any given phenomenon- The biopsychosocial approach

14 Psychology’s Three Main Levels of Analysis

15 Psychology’s Current Perspectives PerspectiveFocusSample Questions NeuroscienceHow the body and brain enables emotions? How are messages transmitted in the body? How is blood chemistry linked with moods and motives? EvolutionaryHow the natural selection of traits the promotes the perpetuation of one’s genes? How does evolution influence behavior tendencies? Behavior geneticsHow much our genes and our environments influence our individual differences? To what extent are psychological traits such as intelligence, personality, sexual orientation, and vulnerability to depression attributable to our genes? To our environment?

16 Psychology’s Current Perspectives PerspectiveFocusSample Questions PsychodynamicHow behavior springs from unconscious drives and conflicts? How can someone’s personality traits and disorders be explained in terms of sexual and aggressive drives or as disguised effects of unfulfilled wishes and childhood traumas? BehavioralHow we learn observable responses? How do we learn to fear particular objects or situations? What is the most effective way to alter our behavior, say to lose weight or quit smoking?

17 Psychology’s Current Perspectives PerspectiveFocusSample Questions CognitiveHow we encode, process, store and retrieve information? How do we use information in remembering? Reasoning? Problem solving? Social-culturalHow behavior and thinking vary across situations and cultures? How are we — as Africans, Asians, Australians or North Americans – alike as members of human family? As products of different environmental contexts, how do we differ?

18 Psychology’s Subfields: Research PsychologistWhat she does 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. Social Explore how we view and affect one another.

19 A clinical psychologist (Ph.D.) studies, assesses, and treats troubled people with psychotherapy. Psychiatrists on the other hand are medical professionals (M.D.) who use treatments like drugs and psychotherapy to treat psychologically diseased patients. Clinical Psychology vs. Psychiatry

20 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

21 Why Do Psychology? 1.How can we differentiate between uniformed opinions and examined conclusions? 2.The science of psychology helps make these examined conclusions, which leads to our understanding of how people feel, think, and act as they do!

22 What About Intuition & Common Sense? Many people believe that intuition and common sense are enough to bring forth answers regarding human nature. Intuition and common sense may aid queries, but they are not free of error. Example: Personal interviewers may rely too much on their “gut feelings” when meeting with job applicants.

23 Hindsight Bias is the “I-knew-it-all-along” phenomenon. After learning the outcome of an event, many people believe they could have predicted that very outcome. Example: We only knew the dot.com stocks (housing market) would plummet after they actually did plummet. Hindsight Bias

24 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 they took about 3 minutes (Goranson, 1978).

25 Critical Thinking Critical thinking does not accept arguments and conclusions blindly. It examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence and assesses conclusions. The Amazing Randi Courtesy of the James Randi Education Foundation

26 Critical thinking guidelines Ask questions Define your terms Examine the evidence Analyze assumptions and biases Avoid emotional reasoning Don’t oversimplify Consider other interpretations Tolerate uncertainty chapter 1

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

28 A theory is an explanation that integrates principles and organizes and predicts behavior or events. For example, low self-esteem contributes to depression. Theory

29 A hypothesis is a testable prediction, often prompted by a theory, to enable us to accept, reject or revise the theory. People with low self-esteem are apt to feel more depressed. Hypothesis

30 Research would require us to administer tests of self-esteem and depression. Individuals who score low on a self-esteem test and high on a depression test would confirm our hypothesis. Research Observations

31 Research Process

32 Description Case Study A technique in which one person is studied in depth to reveal underlying behavioral principles. Is language uniquely human? Susan Kuklin/ Photo Researchers

33 Descriptive methods Methods that yield descriptions of behavior, but not necessarily causal explanations Include Case studies Observational studies Psychological tests Surveys chapter 1

34 Case studies A detailed description of a particular individual being studied or treated, which may be used to formulate broader research hypotheses Most commonly used by clinicians; occasionally used by researchers chapter 1

35 Observational studies Researchers carefully and systematically observe and record behavior without interfering with behavior Naturalistic observation Purpose is to observe how people or animals behave in their natural environments. Laboratory observation Purpose is to observe how people or animals behave in a more controlled setting.

36 Surveys Questionnaires and interviews that ask people about experiences, attitudes, or opinions Requires a representative sample Group of subjects, selected from the population for study, which matches the population on important characteristics such as age and sex Popular polls and surveys rely on volunteers

37 Survey Wording can change the results of a survey. Q: Should cigarette ads and pornography be allowed on television? (not allowed vs. forbid) Wording Effects

38 Survey Random Sampling If each member of a population has an equal chance of inclusion into a sample, it is called a random sample (unbiased). If the survey sample is biased, its results are not valid. The fastest way to know about the marble color ratio is to blindly transfer a few into a smaller jar and count them.

39 Descriptive Methods Case studies, surveys, and naturalistic observation describe behaviors. They are difficult to replicate therefore cannot be used as evidence to prove a psychological theory Summary

40 Correlational study A descriptive study that looks for a consistent relationship between two phenomena Correlation A statistical measure of how strongly two variables are related to one another. Correlational coefficients can range from 0.0 – 1.0.

41 Correlation When one trait or behavior accompanies another, we say the two correlate. Correlation coefficient Indicates direction of relationship (positive or negative) Indicates strength of relationship (0.00 to 1.00) r = Correlation Coefficient is a statistical measure of the relationship between two variables.

42 Direction of correlations Positive correlations An association between increases in one variable and increases in another, or decreases in one variable and decreases in the other. Negative correlations An association between increases in one variable and decreases in another.

43 or Correlation and Causation Correlation does not mean causation!

44 Explaining correlations Start with three variables (X, Y, Z) X might cause Y Y might cause X X might be correlated with Y, which alone causes Z Correlations show patterns, not causes. Illusory Correlation The perception of a relationship where no relationship actually exists. Examples… chapter 1

45 Given random data, we look for order and meaningful patterns. Order in Random Events Your chances of being dealt either of these hands is precisely the same: 1 in 2,598,960.

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

47 Many factors influence our behavior. Experiments (1) manipulate factors that interest us, while other factors are kept under (2) control. Effects generated by manipulated factors isolate cause and effect relationships. Exploring Cause & Effect

48 In evaluating drug therapies, patients and experimenter’s assistants should remain unaware of which patients had the real treatment and which patients had the placebo treatment. Evaluating Therapies Double-blind Procedure

49 Assigning participants to experimental (breast- fed) and control (formula-fed) conditions by random assignment minimizes pre-existing differences between the two groups. Evaluating Therapies Random Assignment

50 Variables of interest Independent variables Variables the experimenter manipulates Dependent variables Variables the experimenter predicts will be affected by manipulations of the independent variable(s) chapter 1

51 An independent variable is a factor manipulated by the experimenter. The effect of the independent variable is the focus of the study. For example, when examining the effects of breast feeding upon intelligence, breast feeding is the independent variable. Independent Variable

52 A dependent variable is a factor that may change in response to an independent variable. In psychology, it is usually a behavior or a mental process. For example, in our study on the effect of breast feeding upon intelligence, intelligence is the dependent variable. Dependent Variable

53 An experiment A controlled test of a hypothesis in which the researcher manipulates one variable to discover its effect on another. An experiment includes variables of interest, control conditions, and random assignment. chapter 1

54 Experimentation A summary of steps during experimentation.

55 Your turn An experimenter wants to study the effects of music on studying. He has some students study while listening to music and others study in silence, and then compares their test scores. What is the independent variable in this experiment? 1. The students 2. The presence of music while studying 3. The kind of music 4. The test scores chapter 1

56 Comparison Below is a comparison of different research methods.

57 Control conditions In an experiment, a comparison condition in which subjects are not exposed to the same treatment as in the experimental condition. In some experiments, the control group is given a placebo, an inactive substance or fake treatment. chapter 1

58 Random assignment For experiments to have experimental and control groups composed of similar subjects, random assignment should be used. Each individual participating in the study has the same probability as any other of being assigned to a given group. chapter 1

59 Experimenter effects Unintended changes in subjects’ behavior due to cues inadvertently given by the experimenter. Strategies for preventing experimenter effects include single- and double-blind studies. chapter 1

60 Descriptive statistics Statistical procedures that organize and summarize research data Examples Arithmetic mean Standard deviation chapter 1

61 Inferential statistics Statistical procedures that allow researchers to draw inferences about how statistically meaningful a study’s results are. The most commonly used inferential statistics are significance tests. Statistical tests that show how likely it is that a study’s results occurred merely by chance chapter 1

62 Choosing the best explanation Interpretation of results may depend on how the research was conducted. Cross-sectional studies Subjects of different ages are compared at a single time. Longitudinal studies Subjects are periodically assessed over a period of time. chapter 1

63 Frequently Asked Questions About Psychology Q1. Can laboratory experiments illuminate everyday life? Ans: Artificial laboratory conditions are created to study behavior in simplistic terms. The goal is to find underlying principles that govern behavior.

64 FAQ Q5. Is psychology free of value judgments? Ans: No. Psychology emerges from people who subscribe to a set of values and judgments. © Roger Shepard


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