notes Modules 1 & 2 - Modules 1 2 Introduction to...

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Modules 1 & 2 - Introduction to Psychology, Scientific Method and History See the boldface -- Can you explain these terms? (See the table at the end for terms and definitions ) 1. The Science of Psychology 1. Psychology attempts to describe, predict, and explain behavior and mental process by using the methods of science to answer questions. 1. Science relies on evidence, not just coincidental information or memory. Often our memory of the few times that things went well stick with us and influence our beliefs while we selectively forget the times when things did not so work out so well. 2. Common sense is not enough. It lacks the evidence to support our beliefs 3. Pseudoscience is that belief in outcomes assumed to be facts but without evidence and replication to prove their existence. Remember, once we thought the earth was the center of the universe and later that it was flat! And no, the shape of your skull does not foretell your personality (Gall's Phrenology) 2. Definition of Psychology 1. "The study of behavior and mental processes" 2. Psyche = "the mind" and Logos = "the study of" 3. Key points 1. Science, the study of behavior and mental processes, done via the scientific method. 2. Although today psychology is considered a behavioral science this is only a recent historical effort. 4. It includes our physical, emotional, cognitive and creative aspects of the mental process. 5. Our behavior is considered the sum of all of these: our observable and measurable human actions. 3. The Scientific Method 1. Start with a problem - do you have a question? 2. Form a theory about this problem, sometimes preceded by an observation. 3. Generate your hypothesis - a statement about the relationship of variables or the cause of your observation or problem. 4. Observation - carefully look for these relationships or those factors that cause the behavior or support your hypothesis. 5. Replicate the process again and one should have the same results.
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4. Research Methods - Research designs to answer questions about our hypotheses 1. Naturalistic Observation 1. Listen, watch, record, where and when happens. For example, a playground is a good example of a natural laboratory to study children's play behaviors. 2. Laboratory Observation 1. More controlled but not actually an experimental design. Done in a controlled environment. 3. Case Study 1. Intensive investigation of a single subject 2. Often seen in medical cases because of the predictive course of diseases. 4. Survey 1. Ask your subjects directly about themselves or perceptions. 5. Experiment 1. Only method to control variables and to explain cause and effect. 5. Correlations 1. The above methods of observation, case study and survey, are correlational methods. 2. They look at the relationship between variables and measure how they change together or "co-relate." 3. This relationship can be measured and or plotted to visually show this relationship, remember our class scatterplot?
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