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Unformatted text preview: Psychology 7 03/04/2008 14:26:00 4/3/08 So, you say you study psychology? Definition : scientific study of the human mind and mental states, and of human and animal behavior Goes beyond popular image of psychology Psychological Science : A. possession of knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding. B. knowledge attained through systematic study or practice 4 Canons of Science: working assumptions, not debated determinism : universe is orderly; all events have meaningful, systematic causes; things happen for a reason, determined by antecedent conditions; behavior determined by antecedent conds Leon Festinger: develop apparatus that will enable me to reveal these uniformities. How does the presence of others affect behavior and performance? o Rather take test with others vs. alone in cubicle o The beginning of social psychology o Norman Tripletts observation that bicyclists go faster in presence of co-actors o Conducted experiment with children, motor task by themselves or with others; children improved when others were there. Yet, other research finds that people answering difficult questions do worse in front of others Zajoncs elegant reconciliation o the mere presence of others leads to physiological arousal: only consistent effect o increased arousal facilitates the dominant response; easy tasks get easier, (riding bicycle) difficult tasks get harder (hard questions) Zajonc: a good theory must: fit the existing data, make New predictions o Cockroaches: dominant response for cockroach isrunning from a light place to a dark place o Might the mere presence of other cockroaches facilitate this response? Mazes: Easy (straight through) vs. hard task (learn to take right turn) Alone vs. along with other roaches Observations: easier in easy task and harder in hard task when others around Systematic Empiricism: learn about the universe by observing it; need data to back up what we know; Observations/data Galileos legendary experiment: bowling ball/feather dropping first experiment Parsimony: all else being equal, one should prefer simpler explanations over complex ones Occams razor: What can be explained by fewer principles is explained needlessly by more. Cat opening door leading to food/tuna: George Romanes (1882): cats have idea to mechanical properties of a door hand can do it, why not a paw?..due to adaptive reasoning. Lloyd Morgans Canon (1880): we should explain behavior in terms of simple mental activities such as conditioned associations: open door----tuna...
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course COMM 89 taught by Professor Jansma during the Winter '08 term at UCSB.
- Winter '08