Exploring psychology (7th Edition) David Myers

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EXPLORING PSYCHOLOGY (7th Edition) David Myers

  • PowerPoint Slides
  • Aneeq Ahmad
  • Henderson State University
  • Worth Publishers, © 2008

Thinking Critically With Psychological Science Chapter 1


  • Decide if the statements are true or false based on your experiences and beliefs
  • Compare your answers to the correct answers based on empirical research
  • What are your conclusions?


  • 1. How comfortable were you doing this activity? Why?
  • 2. Did you ask someone to be in your group or did you wait to be asked? Is this your typical behavior?
  • 3. Which was harder, to evaluate or be evaluated?
  • 4. How accurate were you in your assessments? What did you base your perceptions on?
  • 5. How similar or dissimilar is this to how we form impressions? Explain
  • 6. How easy is it to change first impressions? Why?

Psychology’s Roots

  • Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
  • Aristotle suggested that the soul and body are not separate and that knowledge grows from experience.
  • http://faculty.washington.edu

Psychological Science is Born

  • Wundt and psychology’s first graduate students studied the “atoms of the mind” by conducting 1st psychological experiments at Leipzig, Germany, in 1879. Considered the birth of psychology as we know it today.
  • Used introspection (activity).
  • Wundt (1832-1920)


  • Structuralism was a school of psychology that explored the elemental structures of the human mind.
  • Introspection = self-reflective examination of immediate sensations, images and feelings. Introspection was a technique used by structuralists.

Psychological Science is Born

  • American philosopher William James wrote an important 1890 psychology textbook. Mary Calkins, James’s student, became the APA’s first female president.
  • James (1842-1910)
  • Mary Calkins

William James

  • James rejected structuralism and emphasized functionalism.
  • Functionalism was a school of psychology that focused on how mental and behavioral processes function, in other words how they enable the organism to adapt, survive, and flourish.
  • What function could an addiction serve?

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 (1856-1939)

Psychological Science Develops

  • Behaviorists
  • Watson and later Skinner emphasized the study of overt behavior as the subject matter of scientific psychology. Emphasis is on learned behavior; rewards and punishments.
  • Watson (1878-1958)
  • Skinner (1904-1990)

Psychological Science Develops

  • Humanistic Psychology
  • Maslow and Rogers emphasized current environmental influences on our growth potential and our need for love and acceptance.
  • Maslow (1908-1970)
  • Rogers (1902-1987)
  • http://facultyweb.cortland.edu
  • http://www.carlrogers.dk


  • Complete handout “Schools of Psychology”
  • 1 = strongly agree to 7 = strongly disagree
  • Add your numerical score for questions #3,#4, #8, and 10 = Psychodynamic
  • Add your numerical score for questions #5, #9, #11, and #2 = Behavioral
  • Add your numerical score for questions #1, #6, #7, and #12 = Humanistic


  • Your lowest number equals your school of psychology
  • Your guru is
    • Psychodynamic = Freud
    • Behavioral = Skinner or Watson
    • Humanistic = Maslow or Rogers

Psychology’s Current Perspectives

  • Perspective
  • Focus
  • Sample Questions
  • Neuroscience
  • How the body and brain enables emotions?
  • How are messages transmitted in the body? How is blood chemistry linked with moods and motives?
  • Evolutionary
  • How the natural selection of traits the promotes the perpetuation of one’s genes?
  • How does evolution influence behavior tendencies?
  • Behavior genetics
  • How 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?

Psychology’s Current Perspectives

  • Perspective
  • Focus
  • Sample Questions
  • Psychodynamic
  • How 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?
  • Behavioral
  • How 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?

Psychology’s Current Perspectives

  • Perspective
  • Focus
  • Sample Questions
  • Cognitive
  • How we encode, process, store and retrieve information?
  • How do we use information in remembering? Reasoning? Problem solving?
  • Social-cultural
  • How 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?


    • Andrea Yates case study


  • In a small groups, decide on a social problem to analyze according to the major psychological perspectives
  • Use page 8 in your textbook to complete the graphic organizer
    • Write a few key words to describe the perspective
    • Develop one or two questions that a psychologist practicing this perspective might ask about the problem (You’re trying to get at the WHY of the problem)

Psychology’s Subfields: Research

  • Psychologist
  • What 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.

Psychology’s Subfields: Research

  • Data: APA 1997

Psychology’s Subfields: Applied

  • Psychologist
  • What she does
  • Clinical
  • Studies, assesses, and treats people with psychological disorders
  • Counseling
  • Helps people cope with academic, vocational, and marital challenges.
  • Educational
  • Studies and helps individuals in school and educational settings
  • Industrial/
  • Organizational
  • Studies and advises on behavior in the workplace.

Psychology’s Subfields: Applied

  • Data: APA 1997

Perspectives vs. Subfields

  • Perspectives (approaches)
  • General theory: “lens” through which one views psychology
  • Neuroscience (biological)
  • Evolutionary
  • Behavior Genetics
  • Psychodynamic
  • Behavioral
  • Cognitive
  • Social –Cultural
  • Humanistic
  • (could be different # or name)
  • Subfields
  • Psychologists focus (specialize) on certain behaviors or mental processes
  • Basic research – experiments, collect data to expand knowledge in field
  • Applied research – solving specific, practical problems
  • * Subfields change as new research develops or trends change

Clinical Psychology vs. Psychiatry

  • 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.

Psychology Today

  • We define psychology today as the scientific study of behavior (what we do) and mental processes (inner thoughts and feelings).

Psychological Associations & Societies

  • The American Psychological Association is the largest organization of psychology with 160,000 members world-wide, followed by the British Psychological Society with 34,000 members.

Psychology’s Big Question

  • Nature versus Nurture
  • The controversy over the relative contributions of biology and experience.
  • Nurture works on what nature endows.

Psychology’s Three Main Levels of Analysis


  • An individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting.
  • Each dwarf has a distinct personality.

Psychoanalytic Perspective

  • In his clinical practice, Freud encountered patients suffering from nervous disorders. Their complaints could not be explained in terms of purely physical causes.
  • Sigmund Freud
  • (1856-1939)
  • Culver Pictures

Psychodynamic Perspective

  • Freud’s clinical experience led him to develop the first comprehensive theory of personality, which included the unconscious mind, psychosexual stages, and defense mechanisms.
  • Sigmund Freud
  • (1856-1939)
  • Culver Pictures

Exploring the Unconscious

  • A reservoir (unconscious mind) of mostly unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings, and memories. Freud asked patients to say whatever came to their minds (free association) in order to tap the unconscious.
  • http://www.english.upenn.edu

Dream Analysis

  • Another method to analyze the unconscious mind is through interpreting manifest and latent contents of dreams.
  • The Nightmare, Henry Fuseli (1791)


  • The process of free association (chain of thoughts) leads to painful, embarrassing unconscious memories. Once these memories are retrieved and released (treatment: psychoanalysis) the patient feels better.

Model of Mind

  • The mind is like an iceberg. It is mostly hidden; and below the surface lies the unconscious mind. The preconscious stores temporary memories.

Personality Structure

  • Personality develops as a result of our efforts to resolve conflicts between our aggressive, pleasure seeking biological impulses (id) and social restraints (superego).

Id, Ego and Superego = personality structure

  • The Id unconsciously strives to satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drives, operating on the pleasure principle, demanding immediate gratification.
  • The ego functions as the “executive” and mediates the demands of the id and superego. Operates on the reality principle, gratifying the id’s impulses in a realistic manner.


  • The superego provides standards for judgment (the conscience) and for future aspirations. Operates on the morality principle. Includes the ego ideal striving for perfection , constantly judging and producing pride or guilt.


  • Divide into groups of four or five.
  • Read the hypothetical situation provided.
  • Develop a skit in which you “act out” the scenario described and what other events might occur next
  • Everyone should have a speaking part
  • Be sure the role of the id, ego, and superego are clear to the audience.

Personality Development

  • Freud believed that personality formed during the first few years of life and was divided into psychosexual stages.
  • Adult problems are often rooted in unresolved conflicts from this time.
  • During these stages the id’s pleasure-seeking energies focus on pleasure sensitive body areas called erogenous zones.
  • Children may fixate due to strong conflicts at a particular stage, leading to later problems.

Psychosexual Stages

  • Freud divided the development of personality into five psychosexual stages.


  • What are the consequences of unresolved conflicts at each stage?
    • Oral
    • Anal
    • Phallic
    • Latency
    • Genital


  • Oral: weaning is the conflict; problems: overly sarcastic, eating disorders, smoking, alcoholism, overly dependent
  • Anal: toilet training thus control is the conflict; problems: stingy or overly generous, extremely organized, stubborn, overly neat, detailed or very sloppy, sticking rigidly to the rules or very rebellious


  • Phallic: conflict is relationship with parents;
  • Additional points:
    • Electra complex in girls
    • Superego gains strength
    • Fear of retaliation (castration anxiety) leads to identification
    • Penis envy in girls


  • Phallic problems: difficulties with authority figures, problems in love relationships, socially disapproved sexual behavior, gender role problems, extreme guilt, anxiety, depression


  • Latency: sexual impulses are dormant
  • Genital: seeking relationships; no new conflicts/old conflicts resurface

Oedipus Complex

  • A boy’s sexual desire for his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival father. A girl’s desire for her father is called the Electra complex.
  • http://www.gigglesugar.com/626457


  • Children cope with threatening feelings by repressing them and by identifying with the rival parent. Through this process of identification, their superego gains strength that incorporates their parents’ values.
  • From the K. Vandervelde private collection

Defense Mechanisms

  • The ego’s protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality.
  • 1. Repression banishes anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from consciousness.
  • Regression leads an individual faced with anxiety to retreat to a more infantile psychosexual stage.
  • Defense Mechanisms

Defense Mechanisms

  • 3. Reaction Formation causes the ego to unconsciously switch unacceptable impulses into their opposites. People may express feelings of purity when they may be suffering anxiety from unconscious feelings about sex.
  • 4. Projection leads people to disguise their own threatening impulses by attributing them to others.

Defense Mechanisms

  • 5. Rationalization offers self-justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening, unconscious reasons for one’s actions.
  • Displacement shifts sexual or aggressive impulses toward a more acceptable or less threatening object or person, redirecting anger toward a safer outlet.
  • Sublimation converts unacceptable impulses into socially acceptable actions. Example: aggressive desire may appear as devotion to athletic excellence.


  • Identify the defense mechanism used in each example.
  • Possible defense mechanisms: repression, regression, displacement, rationalization, reaction formation, projection, sublimation

CHOICES: repression, regression, displacement, rationalization, reaction formation, projection, sublimation

  • 1. Three years after being hospitalized for painful back surgery, the person can only remember vague details of the ordeal.
  • 2. Angered by her boss’s hurtful comments, a mother spanks her child for spilling some milk.
  • 3. After being rejected by a prestigious university, a student explains he is glad because he will be happier at a smaller, more personal college.

CHOICES: repression, regression, displacement, rationalization, reaction formation, projection, sublimation

  • 4. A married woman who is romantically attracted to a co-worker, accuses him of flirting with her.
  • 5. Threatened by their awakening romantic attraction to girls, adolescent boys often go out of their way to tease and torment adolescent girls.
  • 6. After her parents’ bitter divorce, a 10 year old girl refuses to sleep alone in her room, crawling into her mother’s bed each night.
  • 7. A young man who has gotten into trouble in school for fighting, goes out for the football team.


  • 1. repression
  • 2. displacement
  • 3. rationalization
  • 4. projection
  • 5. reaction formation
  • 6. regression
  • 7. sublimation


  • An individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting.
  • How did Freud define personality?
  • Note the differences between Freud and Neo-Freudians such as Adler in their explanations for how we develop our personalities.

The Neo-Freudians

  • Like Freud, Adler believed in childhood tensions. However, these tensions were social in nature and not sexual. A child struggles with an inferiority complex during growth and strives for superiority and power.
  • Alfred Adler (1870-1937)


  • Adler theorized that a person’s birth order had an effect on their personality.
  • This concept reflects the Neo-Freudian viewpoint that childhood influences are not just aggressive or sexual, but also include social influence.
  • How has your birth order influenced your life?
  • Do you think these experiences have shaped your personality?


  • First born 2 3 4 4
  • Youngest 4 1 1 3
  • Middle 1 4 2 2
  • Only 3 2 3 1

The Neo-Freudians

  • Like Adler, Horney believed in the social aspects of childhood growth and development. She countered Freud’s assumption that women have weak superegos and suffer from “penis envy.”
  • Karen Horney (1885-1952)
  • The Bettmann Archive/ Corbis

The Neo-Freudians

  • Jung believed in the collective unconscious, which contained a common reservoir of images derived from our species’ past. This is why many cultures share certain myths and images such as the mother being a symbol of nurturance.
  • Carl Jung (1875-1961)
  • Archive of the History of American Psychology/ University of Akron

Evaluating the Psychoanalytic Perspective

  • The scientific merits of Freud’s theory have been criticized. Psychoanalysis is meagerly testable. Most of its concepts arise out of clinical practice, which are the after-the-fact explanation.

Evaluating the Psychoanalytic Perspective

  • Freud's psychoanalytic theory rests on the repression of painful experiences into the unconscious mind.
  • The majority of children, death camp survivors, and battle-scarred veterans are unable to repress painful experiences into their unconscious mind.

Evaluating the Psychoanalytic Perspective

  • Personality develops throughout life and is not fixed in childhood.
  • Freud underemphasized peer influence on the individual, which may be as powerful as parental influence.
  • Gender identity may develop before 5-6 years of age.
  • Modern Research

Evaluating the Psychoanalytic Perspective

  • There may be other reasons for dreams besides wish fulfillment.
  • Verbal slips can be explained on the basis of cognitive processing of verbal choices.
  • Suppressed sexuality leads to psychological disorders. Sexual inhibition has decreased, but psychological disorders have not.
  • Modern Research

Assessing Unconscious Processes

  • Evaluating personality from an unconscious mind’s perspective would require a psychological instrument (projective tests) that would reveal the hidden unconscious mind.


  • Draw a Picture examples
  • Why is this a type of projective test?
  • Pros and cons of this type of test?
  • Can you make up a story about these examples of a TAT?
  • Why are these pictures examples of projective tests?

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

  • Developed by Henry Murray, the TAT is a projective test in which people express their inner feelings and interests through the stories they make up about ambiguous scenes.
  • Lew Merrim/ Photo Researcher, Inc.

Rorschach Inkblot Test

  • The most widely used projective test uses a set of 10 inkblots and was designed by Hermann Rorschach. It seeks to identify people’s inner feelings by analyzing their interpretations of the blots.
  • Lew Merrim/ Photo Researcher, Inc.


  • What do you see in these inkblots?
  • Were the inkblots created to show a specific thing?
  • Why is this an example of a projective test?
  • Are the inkblots more or less ambiguous than the TAT?

Projective Tests: Criticisms

  • Critics argue that projective tests lack both reliability (consistency of results) and validity (predicting what it is supposed to).
  • When evaluating the same patient, even trained raters come up with different interpretations (reliability).
  • 2. Projective tests may misdiagnose a normal individual as pathological (validity).

Assessing Traits

  • Personality inventories are questionnaires (often with true-false or agree-disagree items) designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviors assessing several traits at once.


  • You will be completing an example of an objective personality test today.
  • This is a self-scored test. No one else will see your results.
  • The results do NOT deal with any deep seated personality problems.
  • Go to my web page and click on Psych 6.0 Thinking Critically with Psychological Science link. From today’s date on calendar - follow the link for the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory.


  • Complete the test, determine the 4 letters that indicate your personality type.
  • Read the two type descriptions
  • Read about the career that most closely matches your personality type
  • Answer the questions on the sheet/hand in
  • Hand in chart
  • Shut down your computer
  • Be prepared to discuss:
    • How accurate did you feel the results were?
    • How did the test determine your personality type?
    • What are the pros and cons of using this type of personality assessment?


  • The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is the most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests. It was originally developed to identify emotional disorders.
  • The MMPI was developed by empirically testing a pool of items and then selecting those that discriminated between diagnostic groups.


  • I wake up fresh and rested most mornings.
  • There seems to be a lump in my throat much of the time.
  • I do not always tell the truth.
  • I believe I am being plotted against.
  • Criticism or scolding hurts me terribly.
  • Even when I am with people I feel lonely much of the time.

MMPI Test Profile

The Big Five Factors

  • Today’s trait researchers believe that earlier trait dimensions, such as Eysencks’ personality dimensions, fail to tell the whole story. So, an expanded range (five factors) of traits does a better job of assessment.
  • Conscientiousness
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism
  • Openness
  • Extraversion



  • 1. Progress Test 1, p. 8, #”s 1-11, or
  • Progress Test 2, p. 10 #’s 1-11
  • 2. Thinking Critically, p. 12 #’s 1-9
  • Check Answers beginning on p. 20
  • _______________________________________
  • 1. Progress Test 1, p. 348 #’s 1-4, 6, and 15, or Progress Test 2, p. 350-352, #’s 1-3, 7, 10, 17
  • 2. Thinking Critically, p. 353 #’s 1,2,4,8,9
  • 3. Check Answers beginning on p. 361

Why Do Psychology?

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

Limits of Human Intuition and Overconfidence Activity

  • Math Problem
  • Estimating Murder Rates Activity
  • Overconfidence Activity

Overconfidence Activity

  • I feel 98 percent certain that the area of the U.S. is more than ____ square miles but less than ____ square miles.
  • I feel 98 percent certain that in 2003 the population of Australia was more than ___ but less than ____.
  • I feel 98 percent certain that the number of American battle deaths in the Spanish-American War was more than ___ but less than ___.

Overconfidence Activity

  • I feel 98 percent certain that in 2002 the number of female engineers in the United States was more than ___ but less than ___.
  • I feel 98 percent certain that in 2002 the number of operating nuclear plants in the world was more than ___ but less than ___.


  • Need ten volunteers
  • You will be instructed to lie or tell the truth. Be sure your response is detailed and believable.
  • Determine if the student is lying or telling the truth. Rate your degree of confidence
    • 50% = fifty-fifty chance
    • 100% = absolutely certain

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.

Limits of Intuition

  • Personal interviewers may rely too much on their “gut feelings” when meeting with job applicants.
  • Taxi/ Getty Images

Hindsight Bias

  • 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. We only knew the stock market would plummet after it actually did plummet.
  • Video: Understanding Research


  • Sometimes we think we know more than we actually know.
  • Anagram
  • 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).

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).

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

How Do Psychologists Ask & Answer Questions?

  • Psychologists, like all scientists, use the scientific method to construct theories that organize, summarize and simplify observations.


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


  • 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.

Research Observations

  • 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 Process


  • Operational definitions reduce experimenter bias and allow for replication (repeating results)
  • An operational definition of a variable is observable and measurable. How could self-esteem be observed and measured?
  • Activity: operationally define the underlined term.


  • When will frustrated drivers show aggression.
  • A study skills course will help students study more efficiently.
  • A new form of therapy will make people less depressed.
  • Overall senior girls are prettier than sophomore girls.


  • Remember, you need to be able to observe and measure the variable:
    • Happiness
    • Fear
    • Conscientiousness


  • Case Study
  • A technique in which one person, group, or situation is studied in depth to reveal underlying behavioral principles.
  • Is language uniquely human?
  • Susan Kuklin/ Photo Researchers


  • Often used in clinical work.
  • Can include tests, interviews, analysis of letters, or transcripts.
  • Example: Phineas Gage


  • A technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes, opinions or behaviors of people usually done by questioning a representative, random sample of people.
  • http://www.lynnefeatherstone.org


  • Random Sampling
  • If each member of a population (the larger group the hypothesis applies to) has an equal chance of inclusion into a sample, it is called a random sample (unbiased). It will be representative of the population. 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.


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


  • Women with young children should be able to work outside the home.
    • 8 in 10 Americans agreed


  • Women should stay at home if they have young preschool children.
    • 7 in 10 Americans agreed


  • People may be reluctant to admit undesirable or embarrassing things about themselves
  • Or they may say what they think they should say.
  • Examples?


  • A tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors.
  • Example?

Naturalistic Observation

  • Observing and recording the behavior of animals in the wild and recording self-seating patterns in a multiracial school lunch room constitute naturalistic observation.
  • Courtesy of Gilda Morelli


  • What problems did you encounter while doing the naturalistic observation?
  • What were the advantages of doing this type of research?
  • How would you describe your results?
  • What can we conclude from the data?
  • Can we assume causation from this data? Why or why not?

Descriptive Methods

  • Case studies, surveys, and naturalistic observation describe behaviors. They are correlational types of research rather than experimental.
  • Summary


  • Correlation shows a relationship between variables.
  • It is measured by the correlation coefficient.
  • The extent to which two factors vary together, determines how well either factor predicts the other


  • 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 =
  • 0.37
  • +
  • Correlation Coefficient is a statistical measure of the relationship between two variables.


  • Positive correlation: a direct relationship; two variables increase or decrease together
  • Negative correlation: an inverse relationship; as one thing increases, the other decreases.
  • It would be very rare in Psychology to have a perfect (1.00) correlation

Correlation does not mean causation!!!

  • or

Correlation Practice

  • Which relationship is stronger?
    • +.6 or -.7
  • Complete PsychSim Activity

Illusory Correlation

  • The perception of a relationship where no relationship actually exists. When we believe there is a relationship we are likely to notice and recall instances that confirm our belief. Parents conceive children after adoption.
  • Disconfirming evidence
  • Do not
  • adopt
  • Disconfirming evidence
  • Confirming evidence
  • Adopt
  • Do not conceive
  • Conceive
  • Michael Newman Jr./ Photo Edit

Order in Random Events

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

Order in Random Events

  • Given large numbers of random outcomes, a few are likely to express order.
  • Angelo and Maria Gallina won two California lottery games on the same day.
  • Jerry Telfer/ San Francisco Chronicle


  • Like other sciences, experimentation is the backbone of psychological research. Experiments isolate causes and their effects.
  • Reaction Time Experiment
  • Exploring Cause and Effect

Exploring Cause & Effect

  • 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.

Independent Variable

  • 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.

Dependent Variable

  • 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.


  • What (IV) affects what (DV)?
  • Practice exercises.


  • An experiment has at least two different conditions: control condition experimental condition Random assignment of subjects between conditions equates the conditions (basketball example)


  • Confounding and random variables need to be eliminated when possible. Why?
  • Random assignment is presumed to distribute impact of uncontrolled variables randomly and probably equally across groups.


  • Eliminating confirmation bias
  • Eliminating order effects
  • Matching conditions to eliminate confounding variables
  • Double blind
  • Eliminate experimenter bias
    • Experimenter expectancies (maze bright)
    • Confirmation bias


  • A summary of steps during experimentation.
  • Population
  • Representative Sample (larger the better)
  • Experimental Group
  • Control Group
  • Apply Methods of control
  • Apply methods of control
  • Independent Variable
  • Placebo
  • Measure Dependent Variable
  • Measure Dependent Variable
  • Is the difference statistically significant?
  • Random Assignment
  • Everyone has equal chance.
  • Random Sampling (aka Random Selection)
  • This is the goal!
  • =


  • Population (group you are generalizing your hypothesis to)
  • Random sample from the population
  • Random sample creates a representative sample rather than a biased sample
  • Random assignment of subjects to experimental group or control group


  • Experimental group gets the independent variable
  • Control group gets the placebo
  • Be sure all measures of control are in place so the only thing influencing the results (dependent variable) is the independent variable


  • Measure the dependent variable (you can do this because of operational definitions)
  • Compare the results between the experimental group and the control group using inferential statistics.
  • Is there a statistically significant difference (greater than 1 in 20 = .05)?
  • If so, you have established a causal relationship.


Complete Practice Exams in Study Guide

    • Chapter One, Answers begin p. 20
      • Progress Test One, p. 8 , #’s 1-20
      • Progress Test Two, p. 11, #’s 1 -20
      • Thinking Critically , p. 13 #’s 1-20
    • Chapter Twelve, Answers begin p. 361
    • Progress Test One, p. 348, # 2-6, 15, and Matching Items
    • Progress Test Two, p. 350, # 2, 7, 10 and Matching Items
    • Thinking Critically, p. 353, #’s 1-5, 7-8, 11


  • Established by the American Psychological Association
    • Obtain informed consent of potential participants
    • Protect subjects from harm and discomfort
    • Treat information about subjects confidentially
    • Fully explain the research afterward (debrief)
    • Institutional Review Boards should screen research proposals


  • Below is a comparison of different research methods.


  • 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.


  • Q2. Does behavior depend on one’s culture and gender?
  • Ans: Even when specific attitudes and behaviors vary across cultures, as they often do, the underlying processes are much the same. Biology determines our sex, and culture further bends the genders. However, in many ways woman and man are similarly human.
  • Ami Vitale/ Getty Images


  • Q3. Why do psychologists study animals, and is it ethical to experiment on animals?
  • Ans: Studying animals gives us the understanding of many behaviors that may have common biology across animals and humans. 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.
  • D. Shapiro, © Wildlife Conservation Society


  • Q4. Is it ethical to experiment on people?
  • Ans: Yes. Experiments that do not involve any kind of physical or psychological harm beyond normal levels encountered in daily life may be carried out.


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


  • Q6. Is psychology potentially dangerous?
  • Ans: It can be, but it is not. The purpose of psychology is to help humanity with problems such as war, hunger, prejudice, crime, family dysfunction, etc.

Tips for Studying Psychology

  • Survey: What you are about to read, including chapter outlines and section heads.
  • Question: Ask questions. Make notes.
  • Read: Look for the answer to your questions by reading a manageable amount at a time.
  • Rehearse: Recall what you’ve read in your own words. Test yourself with quizzes.
  • Review: What you learn. Read over notes and quickly review the whole chapter.
  • Psychology can teach you how to ask and answer important questions.
  • Survey, Question, Read, Rehearse and Review (SQ3R)

Tips for Studying Psychology

  • Distribute your time.
  • Learn to think critically.
  • Listen actively in class.
  • Overlearn.
  • Be a smart test-taker.
  • Additional Study Hints


  • Design an experiment to test whether alcohol consumption influences people’s tendency to become socially aggressive. Specify your experimental hypothesis and identify your independent and dependent variables with an operational definition for each. List one experimental procedure that would help to ensure the validity of your research and how it would be implemented.
    • A. Hypothesis
    • B. Independent variable with operational definition
    • C Dependent variable with operational definition
    • D Control procedure and how it would be implemented

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