Test Answers on Psychology Chapter 1
– The biopsychosocial approach
– The two-track mind
– Exploring human strengths
– nurture works on what nature provides
When ideas compete, skeptical testing can reveal which ones best match the facts. Do parental behaviors determine children’s sexual orientation? Can astrologers predict your future based on the position of the planets at your birth? As you will see in later chapters, putting these two claims to the test has led most psychologists to doubt them.
“For a lot of bad ideas, science serves as society’s garbage disposal.” Describe what this tells us about the scientific attitude.
-leads to clear predictions that anyone can use to check the theory.
-often stimulates research that leads to a revised theory which better organizes and predicts what we know. Or, our research may be replicated and supported by similar findings. (This has been the case for sleep and memory studies, as you will see in Chapter 2.)
1. Descriptive methods:
1. Case studies:
-Studies of only a few chimpanzees jarred our beliefs about what other species can understand and communicate.
Looks at many cases in less depth, asking people to report their behavior or opinions. Questions about everything from sexual practices to political opinions are put to the public.
Ex: Should violence be allowed to appear in children’s television programs? People are much more likely to approve “not allowing” such things than “forbidding” or “censoring” them.
-Critical thinkers will reflect on how a question’s phrasing might affect the opinions people express.
Displaying data in a scatterplot (Figure 1.3) can help us see correlations.
1. The more children and youth used various media, the less happy they were with their lives (Kaiser, 2010).
2. The more sexual content teens saw on TV, the more likely they were to have sex (Collins et al., 2004).
3. The longer children were breast-fed, the greater their later academic achievement (Horwood & Ferguson, 1998).
4. The more income rose among a sample of poor families, the fewer symptoms of mental illness their children experienced (Costello et al., 2003).
Length of marriage correlates with hair loss in men. Does this mean that marriage causes men to lose their hair (or that balding men make better husbands)?
Knowing that two events are associated does not tell us anything about which causes the other. Remember this principle and you will be wiser as you read and hear news of scientific studies.
-holding constant (“controlling”) other factors.
Random assignment (by flipping a coin, for example) minimizes any preexisting differences between the experimental group and the control group.
Neither those in the study nor those collecting the data know which group is receiving the treatment.
In such studies, researchers can check a treatment’s actual effects apart from the participants’ belief in its healing powers and the staff’s enthusiasm for its potential.
An experiment’s purpose is not to re-create the exact behaviors of everyday life but to test theoretical principles. It is the resulting principles—not the specific findings—that help explain everyday behaviors. Many investigations have shown that principles derived in the laboratory do typically generalize to the everyday world.
-protect them from harm and discomfort.
-keep information about individual participants confidential.
-fully debrief participants (explain the research afterward).
Knowledge, like all power, can be used for good or evil. Although psychology does indeed have the power to deceive, its purpose is to enlighten
Distribute your study time.
Spacing your study sessions requires discipline and knowing how to manage your time. (Richard O. Straub explains time management in a helpful preface at the beginning of this text.)
1-1 How has psychology’s focus changed over time?
Early researchers defined psychology as “the science of mental life.”
This definition was revised under the influence of the behaviorists in the 1920s to the “scientific study of observable behavior.”
In the 1960s, the humanistic psychologists and the cognitive psychologists revived interest in the study of mental processes.
Psychology is now defined as “the science of behavior and mental processes.”
Psychology’s subfields include biological, developmental, cognitive, personality, social, counseling, health, clinical, and industrial-organizational.
Psychologists may conduct basic research to increase the field’s knowledge base or applied research to solve practical problems.
Behavior is a biopsychosocial event. The biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis each offer valuable insight into behavior and mental processes.
We operate with a two-track mind (dual processing). Our brains process a surprising amount without our awareness, which affects our perception, thinking, memory, and attitudes.
Psychology explores human strengths (positive psychology) as well as challenges (clinical psychology).
Overconfidence is the human tendency to be more confident than correct.
We perceive order in random events due to our natural eagerness to make sense of our world.
These tendencies lead us to overestimate our intuition and common sense, and then come to the wrong conclusion.
Skepticism encourages attention to the facts.
Humility helps us discard predictions that can’t be verified by research.
The scientific attitude carries into life as critical thinking, which puts ideas to the test by examining assumptions, uncovering hidden values, weighing evidence, and assessing conclusions.
Theories generate hypotheses—predictions that can be tested using descriptive, correlational, or experimental methods.
Research results may validate the theory, or lead to its rejection or revision.
The precise language used in operational definitions allows replication by others. If others achieve similar results, confidence in the conclusion will be greater.
Naturalistic observation studies examine behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to change or control the situation.
Surveys study many people in less depth, using random sampling to fairly represent the population being studied.
In a negative correlation, one item increases as the other decreases.
Correlations tell us how well one event predicts another (using a measure called a correlation coefficient), but not whether one event caused the other, or whether some third factor influenced both events.
Psychologists manipulate one factor (the independent variable) while controlling others.
The researchers can then measure changes in other factors (dependent variables).
Experiments minimize confounding variables, such preexisting differences between groups (through random assignment).
Experiments allow researchers to compare experimental group results with control group results.
Experiments may use a double-blind procedure to control for the placebo effect.
Animal experimentation advances our understanding of ourselves and may help solve human problems.
Professional ethical standards and other legal guidelines, enforced by ethics committees, protect participants.
The APA ethics code outlines standards for safeguarding human participants’ well-being, including obtaining their informed consent and debriefing them later.
Psychology’s principles could be used for good or evil, but have been used mainly to enlighten and to achieve positive ends.
The SQ3R study method—survey, question, read, retrieve, and review—applies principles derived from memory research and can help you learn and remember material.
Four additional study tips are
(1) distribute your study time;
(2) learn to think critically;
(3) process class information actively; and
John B. Watson
personality is to intelligence.
biology is to experience.
intelligence is to biology.
psychological traits are to behaviors.
a. approach research with a negative cynicism.
b. assume that an article published in a leading scientific journal must be true.
c. believe that every important human question can be studied scientifically.
d. put competing ideas to the test and collect evidence.
A case study
A phone survey
a basis for prediction.
an explanation of why the events are related.
proof that as one increases, the other also increases.
an indication that an underlying third factor is at work.
a. Alcohol use is associated with violence. (One interpretation: Drinking causes, or triggers, aggressive behavior.)
b. Educated people live longer, on average, than less-educated people. (One interpretation: Education lengthens life and improves health.)
c. Teens engaged in team sports are less likely to use drugs, smoke, have sex, carry weapons, and eat junk food than are teens who do not engage in team sports. (One interpretation: Team sports encourage healthy living.)
d. Adolescents who frequently see smoking in movies are more likely to smoke. (One interpretation: Movie stars’ behavior influences teens.)
a. only the participants know whether they are in the control group or the experimental group.
b. experimental and control group members will be carefully matched for age, sex, income, and education level.
c. neither the participants nor the researchers know who is in the experimental group or control group.
d. someone separate from the researcher will ask people to volunteer for the experimental group or the control group.
a.exactly re-create the events of everyday life.
b.re-create psychological forces under controlled conditions.
c. provide a safe place.
d. reduce the number of animals and humans used in psychological research.
a. animals’ biology and behavior can tell us much about our own.
b. advancing the well-being of humans justifies using animals in research.
c. animal experiments sometimes help animals as well as humans.
d. all of these statements are correct.