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A-State PSY 2013 - Definition of Psychology

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PSY 2013 1st Edition Lecture 2 Outline of Current Lecture I. What is Psychology?A. “The Big Debate”B. Definition of PsychologyII. Research in PsychologyA. Scientific MethodB. Observation MethodsC. ExperimentCurrent LectureI. What is Psychology?- Wilheim Wundt – father of psychology, created first psychology lab- Edward Titchner – student of Wundt- Together, the two created structuralism, or the idea of breaking things downExample: In class, Dr. Peters held up a pen and asked a student what she saw. Of course, she said, “a pen.” He responded, “No, what do you really see?” She replied, “Plastic and metal?” They continued, but the point was that in Wundt and Titchner’s eyes, she wouldnever be specific enough. An acceptable answer might have been, “A cylindrical tube about 5 inches long, presumably made of plastic, that is approximately 2/3 white in colorand 1/3 red with white writing. The tube has a shiny silver cone on one end with the very tip cut off so that you can see it is hollow with the exception of…” You get the idea. This is structuralism.A. “The Big Debate” – Nature v. Nurture. (Where do our behaviors come from?)- Nature: Biological, genetics- Nurture: Experiences, how we are raised- Biopsychosocial approach – Who we are is an interaction between mind, body, and environment (aka Neuropsychosocial)B. Definition of Psychology- Psychology – study of behavior and mental processeso Behavior: observable, quantifiableo Mental processes: unobservable, emotions, thinking, (studied through behaviors)- It IS a science—a social science.II. Research in Psychology These notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor’s lecture. GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes, not as a substitute.A.Scientific Method-Theory – relationships between variablesoTranslates easily into a questionoQuestion implies empirical testing-Operational definition – says exactly what you are studyingExample: Instead of saying, “I am studying depression,” you would say, “I am studying the relationship between sleep deprivation and depression in college students.” This would be your operational definition.-Dependent and Independent variablesoThe independent variable is what you are manipulating in the experiment. Ex.: amount of sleepoThe dependent variable is what you are observing. (It depends on the independent variable for change.) Ex.: level of depression B.Observation methods (How to do the research?)-Naturalistic observation – no manipulation, watching people in a public place-Hawthorne Effect – behavior changes due to observationExample: Industrial-organizational psychology (studying behaviors in the workplace). In class, Dr. Peters gave the example of an I-O psychologist doing anexperiment in a factory. The goal of the experiment was to figure out how to increase productivity, and all the workers were aware the experiment was taking place. The first variable manipulated was the lights. They made them brighter, and productivity increased. Then, they made them dimmer to strengthen their hypothesis. Instead of productivity decreasing as they expected, it still increased. They repeated this with other variables and found that no matter what, productivity increased. The workers were working harder simply because they were being observed.-To avoid this source of error, an experimenter might opt to be a Participant Observer.Example: Jane Goodall studying gorillas. In order to find out their true behaviors, she became one of them. Whatever they did, so did she; this eliminated the Hawthorne effect because then they did not realize they were being observed.-Surreptitious observing, or observing in secret/looking at after effectsExample: If you wanted to study the alcohol intake of a fraternity, you could nottell them or they would consume less (or hide the evidence) in fear of being reprimanded by Nationals. A way to get a more representative data set would be to look through their dumpsters on Sunday morning. -Survey/InterviewoSelf-reporting – a downfall of surveying; subconscious sugar coating. Participants answer what they wish to be true about themselves asopposed to what they truly believe. (They are not intentionally trying tomake themselves look better)C.Experiment-Confound – may or may not have an effect-Control – nothing is manipulated-Placebo – the best way to explain is by example. If you are testing a drug,you give half the participants a sugar pill to see if they report the drug was


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