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Psych. chp. 1


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The Brain and the Behavior it produces.
1) How the brain takes in Information (Both Physical and Social) 2) How the brain Processes that information 3) What Behavior results from this process.
2 kinds of Psychologists.
Academics & Clinicians
Teach and/or conduct Research
Companies (Profit & Non-profit) - Government Training: Masters or Doctorate*
Help individuals Cope Serve as counselors to help people deal with a multitude of personal challenges.
Basic Research
focuses on understanding behavior.
Applied Research
focuses on finding ways to either discourage bad behavior or promote good behavior.
What is needed for applied research to exist?
Basic research
Dr. Bugental
found that⬦Mothers who feel powerless are more likely to abuse their children.
“operationally define
providing a precise very specific description of what you mean.
Control Group:
“At-risk” Mother’s who did not go through a training program
Training Group:
“At-risk” Mother’s who were involved in a program meant to train them not to blame themselves or their children.
Four Basic Goals of Psychology
1. Describe 2. Explain 3. Predict 4. Control or Influence
Did the training work?
Explain: (hypothesis)
Why is this happening? A full explanation occurs in a step-wise progression across all 3 levels.
If X occurs Then Y will follow. Predictions take the form of “if: then” contingencies.
Applying what you know to change human behavior. If you want to change behavior, where do you need to “first” make changes? To change behavior you need to change either (a) the information coming into the brain OR (b) the way the brain processes that information.
Academics are the ones who
who spend their time scientifically investigating this pathway.
Step 2:
Make a Hypothesis (Make an Educated Guess)
predictions and take the form of “if:then” statements.
5 Step Version studying Brain and Behavior
Step 1: Form a Research Question. Step 2: Make a Hypothesis. Step 3: Test their hypothesis Step 4: Analyze the data Step 5: Report their findings
Form a Research Question
-The three Cs - Care about something. - Curious about it’s cause. - Critical of those who came before.
Is your Hypothesis testable?
1) Are all your concepts measurable? If yes, then you can test your hypothesis. If no, then you need a new hypothesis.
Step 3: Test your hypothesis
Design a Study and Collect Data 2 kinds of Research Methods 1) Descriptive (variables vary naturally) 2) Experimental (variables are experimentally manipulated)
Variables (noun)
-Naturally varies on it’s own. -Are capable of being changed experimentally.*
Step 4: Analyze Your Data
Do the Numbers tell us Anything
A True Effect is..
one that is unlikely due to random chance.
statistically significant
there is a less than 5 percent chance that it is due to random causes
Step 5: Report your Data
The Least Fun Part of Research Your “Methods” and “Results” need to be very precise. - Who were your participants? -What were your operational definitions? - How did you analyze the data? -What do you think the results mean?
Data Collection:
2 Types of Research Methods 1) Descriptive: Variables vary naturally 2) Experimental: Variables are experimentally manipulated
Naturalistic Observations:
Observing in a Natural Setting. People watching or Animal Watching
Case Studies:
Studying 1 person or a small set of people
Using questionnaires/interviews
Correlation Studies:
Do behaviors relate to each other?
Observer Effect:
Individuals act differently when observed Solutions – “Blending In” & Habituation
Observer Bias:
Seeing what you want to See.
Standard Deviation
The square root of the ((Average deviation from the mean)2 / Number of scores)
Mean (M); Standard Deviation (SD); Correlation Coefficient (r).
T-test (t); F-test (F), Statistical Significance
Informed Consent:
They must know what they are signing up for.
Guidelines Enforced by the IRB
1) You can not Harm participants (physically or psychologically) 2) Participation must be VOLUNTARY 3) Avoid Deception (if possible) 4) Insure Confidentiality and Anonymity 5) Debrief – You Must Come Clean
Free of Coercion:
Participants can’t be “forced” to participate. Participants can stop whenever they want.
Come clean about any deceptions • Make sure that the participants don’t have any questions or are confused.

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