Essay on Psych Study Guide

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General Overview of Psychology Nature (genetic inheritance) versus Nurture (experiences)
• “nature is all that a man brings with him in onto the world; nurture is every influence that affects him after his birth”.
• Longstanding controversy that genes and experiences make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors. Today’s science sees traits and behaviors arising from the interaction of nature and nurture. What is Psychology?
• The science of behavior and mental processes
Psychological Science How our thinking fails us (Hindsight Bias, Overconfidence Error, Perceiving order in random events)
• Occurs when natural thinking style fails. Hindsight “I knew it all along”- overconfidence error(performance/ accuracy) “I am sure I am correct”- the coincidence error or perceiving order in random events “dice must be fixed you rolled three sixes in a row” The Scientific Method
• Process of testing our ideas about the world by setting up situations that test our ideas, making careful organized observations, and analyzing whether the data fits with our ideas.
• Set of principles built on observations and other verifiable facts, that explains some
• Is a testable prediction consistent with the theory
Operational Definitions
• A statement of the procedures used to define research variables.
• I.e hunger may be defined as hours without eating

• Means of research trying it again using the same operational definitions of the concepts and procedures. And To see if the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances

• Observe and describe people and draw conclusions about why they act as they do through case studies (observing and gathering info to compile an in-depth study of one individual), naturalistic observations (gathering data about behavior, watching but not interviewing), surveys and interviews (having other people report on their own attitudes and behavior).
• Systematic and objective observation of people. Goal is to provide a clear, accurate picture of peoples behaviors, thoughts and attributes.

• Measure of the extent to which two factors vary together and how well either factor predicts the other. Prediction


• Types of research in which the researcher carefully manipulates a limited number of factors (IV) and measures the impact on other factors (DV) In psych were looking at the effect of the experimental change (IV) on a behavior or mental process (DV). Random sampling
• How you get a pool of research participants that represent the population your trying to learn about
Random assignment
• Assigning participants to experimental and control groups by chance, minimizing preexisting differences between those assigned to the different groups Placebo Effect
• Experimental effects that are caused by expectations about the intervention.
Measures of Central Tendency
• Mean (arithmetic average) the sum of the scores, divided by the number of scores
• Median- the middle score in a distribution, half scores above it and half below it
• Mode the most frequently occurring scores in a distribution

Biological Psychology
The Nervous System: parts and function

• Junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. Meeting point between neurons
Mirror neurons
• Specialized neurons that fire not only when a person enacts a particular behavior, but when a person simply observes another individual carrying out the same behavior.
• Important for learning, imitation, and language acquisition Neurotransmitters
• Chemicals used to send a signal across the synaptic gap. Influences whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse

Central nervous system
• Brain and spinal cord. Makes decisions for the body
• Brain is a web of neural networks. Spinal cord is full of interneurons that have a