General Psychology – Chapter 1

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psychology
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the scientific study of behavior and mental processes
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nature
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inherited biological factors that shape behaviors, personality, and other characteristics
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nurture
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environmental factors that shape behaviors, personality, and other characteristics
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psychologists
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scientists who study behavior and mental processes
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goals of psychology
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1) describe – describe/report what is observed 2) explain – make sense of whats been observed 3) predict – predict outcomes or behaviors 4) control – apply findings to benefit behaviors
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introspection
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the examination of one’s own conscious activities
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behaviorism
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study of behaviors that could be seen/measured
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behavioral perspective
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suggests that behaviors and personality are primarily determined by learning.
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humanistic psychology
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an approach suggesting that human nature is by and large positive, and the human direction is toward growth.
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cognitive perspective
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examines mental activities that direct behavior, focusing on processes such as thinking, memory, and language.
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evolutionary perspective
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an approach that uses knowledge about evolutionary forces such as natural selection to understand behavior
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biological perspective
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– uses knowledge about underlying physiology to explain behavior and mental processes. – explore how biological factors such as hormones, genes, brain activities are involved in behavior and cognition.
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sociocultural perspective
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emphasizes the importance of social interactions and culture, including the roles we play
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biopsychosocial perspective
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examine biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors influencing behavior.
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critical thinking
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process of weighing various pieces of evidence, putting them together, and determining how each contributes to the bigger picture.
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pseudo-psychology
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appears to be psychology but is not supported by objective evidence
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scientific method
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– goal is to provide empirical evidence (5 steps) 1) develop a question 2)develop a hypothesis 3)design study and collect data 4) analyze the data 5) publish the findings
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hypothesis
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statement that can be used to test a prediction
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operational definition
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the precise manner in which a variable of interest is defined and measured
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variables
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measurable characteristics that vary or change over time or across people.
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random sample
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a subset of the population where all members have an equal chance of being selected
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representative sample
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a subgroup of a population selected so that its members have characteristics similar to those of the population of interest
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descriptive research
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– primarily concerned with describing -useful for studying new topics when researchers might not have specific expectations about outcomes -provides clues about causes – there are 4 descriptive research methods (naturalistic, survey, correlational, case study)
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naturalistic observation
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– studying participants in their natural environments without disturbance – problems: unwanted variables, can’t alter variables, hard to control variables,
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observer bias
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errors in the recording of observations, the result of observer’s values, expectations, and attitudes
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survey method
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– one of the fastest wats to collect descriptive data – questionnaires or interviews – problems: honesty and bias, skims the surface of peoples beliefs or attitudes
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correlational method
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-examining the relationships among variables -link between variables
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case study
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– closely examining an individual or small group – in depth interviews problems: cases studies are isolated examples, so be wary of them to make generalizations.
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correlation coefficient
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-symbol r – measure that indicates the strength and direction of the relationship between two variables -range from -1 to +1 – the closer r is to -1 or +1 the stronger the relationship
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experimental method
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-a type of research that manipulates a variable of interest to tell about cause and effect –
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random assignment
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the process of appointing study participants to the experimental or control group , making sure everyone has an equal chance of being in either group
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experimental group
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members exposed to treatment
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control group
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members not exposed to treatment
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independent variable
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– what the researcher is manipulating
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dependent variable
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– what is being measured as a result of the manipulation
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extraneous variable
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something that could unexpectedly influence the outcome of a study
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confounding variable
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a type of extraneous variable that changes in sync with the independent variable
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double-blind study
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type of study in which neither the researchers nor the participants know the type of treatment given
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informed consent
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acknowledgement from study participants that they understand what their participation will entail.
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debriefing
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sharing info with participants after their involvement, including the purpose of the research and any deception used

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