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Module One. Discovering Psychology. What is Psychology?. Psychology the systematic, scientific study of behaviors and mental processes Four Goals of Psychology Describe Explain Predict Control. GOALS OF PSYCHOLOGY. Describe

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Module One

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Module One

Discovering Psychology

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What is Psychology?


  • the systematic, scientific study of behaviors and mental processes

    Four Goals of Psychology

  • Describe

  • Explain

  • Predict

  • Control

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  • first goal of psychology is to describe the different ways that organisms behave


  • second goal of psychology is to explain the cause of behavior


  • third goal of psychology is to predict how organisms will behave in certain situations


  • the fourth goal of psychology is to control an organism’s behavior

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Modern Approaches

Biological Approach

Focus on how genes, hormones and nervous system interact with one’s environment.

Cognitive Approach

Examples how we process, store, and use information and how this information influences what we attend to, perceive, learn, remember, believe, and feel.

Behavioral Approach

How organisms learn new behavior or modify existing ones, depending on whether events in their environment reward or punish those behaviors.

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Modern Approaches

Psychoanalytic Approach

Stresses the influences of unconscious fears, desires and motivations on thoughts, behaviors and development of personality traits and psychological problems later in life.

Humanistic Approach

Emphasizes that each individual has great freedom in directing his or her future, a large capacity for personal growth.

Cross-cultural Approach

Examines the influence of cultural and ethnic similarities and differences on psychological and social functioning of a culture’s member.

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Module Two

Psychology & Science

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Researchers use all three methods

  • survey

  • case study

  • experiment

    Each method provides a different kind of information

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  • way to obtain information by asking many individuals

  • answer a fixed set of questions about particular subjects


  • information can contain errors

  • results can be biased


  • efficient way to obtain much information from a large number of people

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Case study

  • an in-depth analysis of the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, experiences, behaviors, or problems of a single individual


  • detailed information about a particular person may not apply to others


  • detailed information allows greater understanding of a particular person’s life

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  • a method for identifying cause-and-effect relationships by following a set of rules and guidelines that minimize the possibility of error, bias, and chance occurrences.


  • information obtained in one experimental situation or laboratory setting may not apply to other situations


  • has the greatest potential for identifying cause-and-effect relationships with less error and bias than either surveys or case studies

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  • an association or relationship between the occurrence of two or more events

    Correlation coefficient

  • a number that indicates the strength of a relationship between two or more events: the closer the number is to –1.00 or +1.00, the greater is the strength of the relationship

  • Chart on Pg. 32

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  • intervention, such as taking a pill, receiving and injection, or undergoing an operation, that resembles medical therapy but which in fact, has no medical effects

    Placebo effect

  • change in the patient’s illness that is attributable to an imagined treatment rather than to a medical treatment

  • researchers believe that placebos work by reducing tension and distress and by creating powerful self-fulfilling prophecies

  • individuals think and behave as if the drug, actually a placebo, is effective

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Naturalistic setting

  • relatively normal environment in which researchers gather information by observing individuals’ behaviors without attempting to change or control the situation

    Laboratory setting

  • involves studying individuals under systematic and controlled conditions, with many of the real-world influences eliminated

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Rule 1: Ask

  • hypothesis

  • educated guess about some phenomenon stated in precise, concrete language to rule out any confusion or error in the meaning of its terms

    Rule 2: Identify

  • independent variable

    • a treatment or something that the researcher controls or manipulates

  • dependent variable

    • one or more of the subjects’ behaviors that are used to measure the potential effects of the treatment or independent variable

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Rule 3: Choose

  • random selection

    • each participant in a sample population has an equal chance of being selected for the experiment

      Rule 4: Assign

  • experimental group

    • those who receive the treatment

    • control group

      • participants who undergo all the same procedures as the experimental participants except that the control participants do not receive the treatment

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Rule 5: Manipulate

  • double blind procedure

    • neither participants nor researchers know which group is receiving which treatment

      Rule 6: Measure

  • by manipulating the treatment so that the experimental group receives a different treatment than the control group, researchers are able to measure how the independent variable (treatment) affects those behaviors that have been selected as the dependent variables

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Rule 7: Analyze

  • statistical procedures

    • used to determine whether differences observed in dependent variables (behaviors) are due to independent variables (treatment) or to error or chance occurrence

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Are My Rights Protected?


includes explaining the purpose and method of the experiment, asking the participant their feelings about being participants in the experiment, and helping the participants deal with possible doubt or guilt that arise from their behavior in the experiment

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