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U of M PSY 3031 - Psychology Notes

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1.1: Introduction to Interactive Psychology: People is Perspective Psychology The scientific study of mind and behavior  Can be applied to everyday1.2: Thinking Like a Psychological Scientist Psychology is an exacting science Uses rigorous scientific methods to develop insights into mind and behavior Study of psychology = study of psychological science Psychologists combine Curiosity/sense of wonder about people Healthy skepticism Psychologists evaluate info and are ready to reject false idea through evidence Psychology is continuously evolving Psychology is summative “It rests on a body of knowledge that is continuously growing”  One study/experiment rarely proves anything beyond a doubt Any given behavior has multiple causes  Common misperceptions can make difficult to accurately observe behavior Overconfidence effect Tendency to be overly sure of what we know Unreasonably confident that own intuitions are correct  Confirmation bias Tendency to seek out/pay attention to/believe evidence that supports what we already are confident we know  Counter this by seeking out news analysis from different media sources Research shows learning more about scientific evidence can help overcome biases1.3: A Brief History of Psychology Born in Western Europe Scientific branch  took root in Universities- Intellectual endeavors- Scientific experimentation Psychology = experimental studies of perception/thought/behavior Wilhelm Wundt in 1879s Germany William James in 1880s America Clinical branch took root in Medical examination rooms- Therapeutic interventions Treat psychological disorders Psychology = psychotherapy/psychiatry/clinical practice Sigmund Freud at turn of 20th century Austria, then England Branches have merged  Psychological profession use scientifically supported treatments  Research sometimes focus on psychology and medicine simultaneously Early psychology was theoretical and often based on false assumptions Some early research was highly unethical  Today, psychological scientist adhere to ethical guidelines and embrace open science Transparency of research so findings can be shared and tested 1.4: Psychological Science: Research and Evidence Early psychological and medical studies Rely on Intuition Simple observations Theories Attempt to explain causes and effects At times led to bizarre conclusions Animal magnetism- Property of the animal body that makes it susceptible to the influence of celestial bodiesand reciprocal action of those around it- Franz Mesmer Pseudoscience Makes claims that are supposedly based on rigorous science and fact Not supported by reliable scientific evidence- Evidence: Available body of facts and info indicating whether a belief or proposition is true/valid Some is well intentioned and contains grain of truth- Cite valid research but incorrect conclusion Empirical evidence Best evidence Based on astute observation and accurate measurement  Cutting edge technology Questionnaires- Simplicity hides that they are based on voluminous amounts of research  Ensures reliability and validity 1.5: Popular Psychology and Critical Thinking Popular (pop) psychology Social media, websites, magazines, TV shows, some self-help books, and clickbait Public often accepts as truth Often based on Invalid research Unproven propositions Misinterpreted data or observations Oversimplified Most is completely harmless False/faked/unethical science = possible serious consequences Many assume that psychological truth = common sense Sometimes studies reveal that our intuitions are wrong Homeopathy Treatment of diseases (asthma, cancer, dementia) by tiny doses of natural substances that in a healthy person would produce symptoms of disease Not an effective treatment for any health condition Rebirthing therapy Treat certain psychological disorder by simulating the birthing process  Misunderstandings emphasize need for psychological literacy  Critical thinking Purposeful, reasoned, and goal directed thinking that seeks to examine evidence, evaluate conclusions, solve problems, make decisions, and formulate reasonable and accurate conclusions 3 key critical-thinking questions to better evaluate claims- What scientific evidence supports this claim?- Has this topic been studied empirically?- Am I listening to (or reading) someone’s opinion, or is the information based on facts that are accepted by unbiased experts?1.6: Psychology: People in Perspective Teams of psychological scientists look into different aspects of the extremely complex human behavior Psychologists use different perspectives Develop a fuller understanding of a phenomenon  Reveal a set of themes that unify psychology Nature and nurture interact to predict behavior Psychology seeks to identify which aspect so behavior are universal to all people and which vary across cultures Behavior is shaped by conscious understanding and unconscious processes We gain insights by understanding normal functioning and dysfunctions Applying psychology can change our lives in positive ways Combining psychological perspectives helps us understand the mind and behavior more deeply Psychological Perspectives and unifying themes  Explaining broader patterns of behavior Evolutionary perspective- Identifies aspects of behavior that are the result of evolutionary adaptions Cultural perspective- Investigates how cultural context affects people’s thoughts and preferences Understanding current thoughts and feelings Cognitive perspective- Studies mental processes that underlie perception, thought, learning, memory, language, and creativity Emotional perspective- Examines how the human capacity to feel/express/perceive emotions plays important role in decision making/behavior/social relationships Identifying the roles of the body and brain Biological-neuroscience perspective- Studies the biological underpinning of how we think, act, and behave Acknowledging both stability and change in behavior across time and situation Developmental perspective - Examines how people change physically/cognitively/socially/emotionally as they age Personality perspective- Seeks to understand aspects of behavior that are relatively stable over time and


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