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Chapter One Outline Ben Jones PSY-150-FJT03 9/17/11 Dreama Witt

1. Psychology is a scientific study. It is the study of the behavioral and mental processes of not just humans, but animals as well. Behavior is all of our overt, or outward, actions. It includes talking, body language, and facial expressions. Mental processes are the covert, or hidden, functions of our minds, like thinking, feeling, and remembering. Psychology is scientific because psychologists utilize the scientific method in their experiments and studies in order to be sure that what they are observing is based on fact, and not their personal biases. Psychology has four primary goals. These goals are description, explanation, prediction, and control. Description is the first step in understanding any behavior. You have to be able to observe the behavior and note things about it before you can study it further. You have to see where it happens, who it happens to, and under what circumstances it happens. The second step is explanation. This is where the psychologist begins trying to describe why the behavior happens and doing experiments to see if they were correct in their initial observations of the behavior. Next is prediction, or determining when or where it will happen again. The final goal is control or determining how and if the behavior can be modified. It must be noted, however, that not all psychological studies will include all four of these goals. 2. Structuralism focuses its study on the structure of the mind. Edward Tichener was the founder of this viewpoint. He said that all experiences could be broken down into their basic emotions and sensations. Another important person in the field of structuralism was Margaret F. Washburn. She was a student of Ticheners and was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in psychology. She published a book on animal behavior called The Animal Mind. Structuralism was dominant in the early days of psychology but did not last long. It died out in the early 1900s due to infighting among its proponents as to which factors were the most important to the structure of the mind.

Another important early method of psychology was functionalism. It was originated by William James. Functionalism differed from structuralism in that it was more interested in how the structure of consciousness related to everyday life, rather than just analyzing it. It focused on how the mind allows people to function in the real world. He was influenced by Darwins ideas of natural selection, and said that if physical traits could help populations survive, then why couldnt behavioral traits do the same? 3. Gestalt psychology focused on sensation and perception as a whole, rather than in individual parts like the structuralists. It is a German word which means an organized whole or configuration. Max Wertheimer was one of the first psychologists to advocate this approach. Gestalt ideas can now be found in the modern field of cognitive psychology, and is also influential in psychological therapy. Sigmund Freud was a neurologist who came up with psychoanalysis. He said that neurological disorders stemmed from traumatic experiences in a persons childhood that become repressed. He said that the way to cure these disorders was to analyze and discover what the persons repressed memories were so that they could deal with them. Freudian ideas are still in use today, albeit in a modified form, in the field of psychotherapy. Behaviorism was the opposite view of psychoanalysis. It said that behaviors were learned from outside stimuli, not from the subconscious like Freud said. The first behaviorist was John Watson. He focused only on observable, measurable behaviors. 4. The seven modern perspectives of psychology are the psychodynamic perspective, behavioral perspective, humanistic perspective, cognitive perspective, sociocultural perspective, biopsychological perspective, and evolutionary perspective. The psychodynamic perspective is the modern version of Freuds psychoanalysis. There is still a focus on repressed memories and

the subconscious mind, but less emphasis is placed on sex and sexual motivations than Freud. Instead the emphasis is on a development of a sense of self, social relationships, and the discovery of other motivations behind a persons actions. The behavioral perspective stems from behaviorism. After its founder John Watson moved into the field of advertising, B.F. Skinner became the leader of the field. He developed a theory called operant conditioning, to explain how voluntary behaviors were learned. In his theory, behavioral responses that are followed by rewards are reinforced. The humanistic perspective was a reaction to the early views of psychoanalytic theory and behaviorism in the early 1900s. Because of this, it was often called the third force in psychology. Instead of focusing on sexual development as in psychoanalysis or external forces guiding personality development as in behaviorism, humanists focused peoples ability to direct their own lives. They stressed that people have free will, and have the freedom to direct their own destiny. The cognitive perspective focuses on how people think, remember, and use information. It developed out of the ideas of Gestalt psychology. The sociocultural perspective combines two areas of study- social psychology, or the study of groups, and cultural psychology, or the study of cultural norms, values, and expectations. They both focus on the effect that people have on one another. The biopsychological perspective focuses on biological functions and how they relate to behavioral and mental processes. In this perspective, human and animal behavior is viewed as a direct result of things in the body such as hormones, heredity, brain chemicals, etc. The evolutionary perspective focuses on biological bases for mental traits that all people share. This perspective is based on Darwins theory of natural selection. 5. A psychologist is different from a psychiatrist in that a psychiatrist is a medical doctor while a psychologist only undergoes academic training. They do things like researching,

teaching, designing equipment, and counseling people. A psychiatrist has a medical degree and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders, and can give prescriptions for said disorders. A psychiatric social worker is trained in social work and focus more on environmental factors of mental disorders, like poverty, overcrowding, stress, and drug abuse. 6. Psychology is considered a science because they are interested in what is there, not what there biases might lead them to believe. They do this by utilizing the scientific method, which is a system for reducing bias and error in measuring data. 7. Naturalistic observation is when psychologists study people in their natural habitat. This can be useful because people dont always behave the same way when they know they are being viewed, so this way you get a more accurate depiction of behavior. The disadvantages of this method are observer biases, where you have a tendency to only focus on behaviors that support your original theory, and the fact that each naturalistic setting is unique and what might apply to one setting might not apply to another. Laboratory observation is when psychologists study people in a controlled setting. This is useful when you have lots of factors you want to control, or when you need to use equipment that would not be practical to set up and use in a natural setting. The main disadvantage of this method is the observer effect, or the tendency of people to behave differently when they know they are being observed. 8. A case study is a detailed study of an individual. It is useful in the fact that it provides an extreme amount of detail. The disadvantage is that the information gathered really only applies to that one individual. A survey is when psychologists ask questions of a large group of people in order to gain information about things that you wouldnt be able to observe in a naturalistic setting, like sexual behavior, or mental processes. The main disadvantage of this

method is that people have a tendency to lie on surveys, especially about sensitive information like drug use, sexual behavior, etc. 9. A correlation is a way of measuring relationships between two or more variables. It tells the researchers if there is a relationship between the two variables, how strong the relationship is, and if the influence of one variable causes the second to go up or down in intensity or strength. The disadvantage of this is that you cant always be sure that the one variable is the cause of the other going up or down. Correlation does not always equal causation. 10. An operational definition is an explanation of the steps or procedures that the experimenter is going to use to control or measure the variables in an experiment. An independent variable is the variable that is manipulated by the experimenter and is not affected by the participants of the study. For example, in a study to determine if violent television causes aggressive behavior in children, the show that the experimenters put on for the children to watch before observing their behavior would be the independent variable. The dependent variable is the response of the participants to the independent variable. An experimental group is the group in the experiment that receives the independent variable. The other group that gets either no independent variable or a variable that should cause no effect is the control group. It is called the control group because it is used to control for the possibility that it is not the independent variable that is causing the reactions, but another external factor. People are randomly assigned to each group to reduce interfering factors or biases that might mess with the experiment. 11. The placebo effect is when a persons expectations of their participation in a study can influence their behavior. For example, in tests done on new pharmaceutical drugs, some of the people being tested are given the drug, and some of them are given a sugar pill. Neither

group knows if they have been given the real drug or not, and so side effects experienced by the group taking the sugar pill can be chalked up to the placebo effect. The experimenter effect is when an experimenters expectation of the results of a study unintentionally affects the results of the study. 13. There are many ethical guidelines that experimenters must keep in mind when performing studies. Some common guidelines are- the rights and well-being of participants must be weighed against the studys scientific value, participants must be able to make an informed decision about if they wish to participate, any deception in the experiment must be justified, participants must be able to withdraw from the study at any time, they must be protected from or warned of potential risks, they must be debriefed after the study and told the true nature and expectations of the study, data must remain confidential, and if the study results in undesirable consequences for the participants, the researcher is responsible for correcting these consequences. 14. Critical thinking is useful for everyday life because it allows you to base what you think about what you are being told off of common sense and reasoned judgments, rather than blindly believing everything you are told. Some common critical thinking guidelines to keep in mind are- There are very few truths that do not need to be tested, all evidence is not equal in quality, authority figures do not have the final say on everything, and always keep an open mind.