Ap psychology
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AP Psychology. History, Approaches, and research methods Prologue and Unit 1 Pgs. 1-53. Reminder of assignments. Aug. 22- Wiki HW due Aug. 28- Vocabulary quiz Aug. 29- Wik HW due Sept. 3- Unit test. Psychology’s Roots.

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AP Psychology

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Ap psychology

AP Psychology

History, Approaches, and research methods

Prologue and Unit 1

Pgs. 1-53

Reminder of assignments

Reminder of assignments

  • Aug. 22- Wiki HW due

  • Aug. 28- Vocabulary quiz

  • Aug. 29- Wik HW due

  • Sept. 3- Unit test

Psychology s roots

Psychology’s Roots

  • Humans have always wondered who we are, where do our thoughts come from, why do we feel the way we feel, why do we act the way we act, and how can we possibly control or influence the behavior of others

  • Buddha, Confucius, ancient Hebrew scripture, Socrates, and Plato have all tried to explain human behavior *

Psychology s roots1

Psychology’s Roots

  • Aristotle was be the first to use observations to develop his ideas, everyone before him used logic

  • Augustine wrote about how the condition of the body influences the mind, and the mind influences the body

  • Francis Bacon was one of the founders of modern science as he used experiments to develop and test his ideas *

Psychology s roots2

Psychology’s Roots

  • Phrenology was one of the earliest beliefs in psychology

    • It basically stated that each region of the skull controlled different aspects of a person’s behavior and personality and a bump in that region of the skull could tell you something about a person’s personality or behavior *

Psychology s roots3

Psychology’s Roots

  • John Locke believed that we are all born with a blank slate that is written on by experience

  • Locke’s ideas helped form the idea of empiricism

    • Empiricism- the view that knowledge comes from experience via the senses, and science flourishes through observation and experiment

    • What do you think about this idea? *

Psychology is born

Psychology is born

  • Wilhelm Wundt conducted the first psychological experiments in Germany

  • Psychology would quickly gain popularity and organize itself into different branches or approaches

  • Two of the earliest approaches were structuralism and functionalism *



  • Introduced by Edward Titchner

  • Defined as an early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the elemental structure of the human mind

  • Introspection is self reflective and is used to get people to look inside

  • He would ask people to self-report elements of their experience as they looked at a rose or listened to music *



  • Introspection lost popularity quickly because it required smart, verbal people

  • As introspection lost popularity so did structuralism

  • It was unreliable because the findings varied from person to person and experience to experience

  • It also lost popularity because people realized that we often don’t why we feel what we feel and do what we do

  • Structuralism tried to assemble the brain by looking at its elements

    • Its like trying to understand how a car works by examining its disconnected parts *



  • William James thought it was more useful to look our evolved functions of our thoughts and feelings

  • He knew the brain thought and the nose smelled things but he wanted to know why they did this

  • James was heavily influenced by Darwin’s ideas of behaviors developing because they were adaptive and helped in survival *



  • James believed behaviors served a function and wanted to find out those purposes

  • Functionalism- focuses on how mental and behavioral processes function- how they enable the organism to adapt, survive, and flourish

  • James would write the first textbook for psychology based on his findings

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SW6nm69Z_IE *



  • Psychology- the science of behavior and mental process

    • Behavior is anything an organism does that can be observed and recorded

    • Mental processes are the internal subjective experiences we infer from behavior *

Psychology s big issues

Psychology’s big issues

  • Stability vs change- do our individual traits persist as we age or do people change?

  • Rationality vs irrationality- how deserving are we of our name homo sapiens- wise humans?

  • Nature vs nurture- do our human traits develop through experience or do we come equipped with them

    • Nature- influence of genes on behavior

    • Nurture- influence of the environment on our behavior *

Nature vs nurture

Nature vs Nurture

  • Charles Darwin was one of the first to study this debate

  • wrote Origin of Species

  • He believed nature selects those that best enable an organism to survive and reproduce in a particular environment- called natural selection

  • Darwin was one of the first to start this debate and it is still one of the most discusses debates in psychology today

    • Why does it matter? *

Psychology s perspectives

Psychology’s perspectives

  • Neuroscience perspective- studies the brain circuits that produce a certain physical state

  • Evolutionary- analyzes how a behavior influences the survival of a species

  • Behavior genetics- studies how heredity and experience influence our individual differences in our behavior

  • Psychodynamic- views a behavior as an outlet for unconscious hostilities

  • Behavioral- studies observable behaviors that accompany a feeling or try to figure out what external stimuli result in what acts *

Psychology s perspectives1

Psychology’s perspectives

  • Cognitive- studies how our interpretations of a situation affects our feelings and how our feelings effect our thinking

  • Social-cultural- explores which situation produces the strongest feelings, and how expressions of a particular feeling vary across cultural contexts *

Psychology subfields

Psychology subfields

  • Basic research- pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base

    • Studying to gain more information

  • Applied research- scientific study that aims to solve practical problems

    • Taking concepts and developing ways to use those concepts effectively *

Psychology subfields1

Psychology subfields

  • Clinical Psychologists- studies, assesses, and treats people with psychological disorders

    • Usually requires a masters

  • Psychiatry- a branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practiced by physicians who sometimes provide medical treatments as well as psychological therapy

    • Requires medical school

Why do we need psychology

Why do we need psychology?

  • Helps to satisfy our curiosity about people

  • Helps to provide explanations for our behavior and our differences

  • Any other ideas?

  • Psychology is the study of behavior and mental processes

    • Why is it considered a science? *

Hindsight bias

Hindsight Bias

  • Is it easier to hit a bulls eye before or after you shoot an arrow?

  • After seeing the first World Trade Center collapse should the people in the second tower have evacuated immediately?

  • Hindsight Bias- the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it

    • I knew it all along phenomenon *

Hindsight bias1

Hindsight Bias

  • Psychologists have found that separation weakens romantic attraction. Out of sight out of mind.

    • Explain why this is true.

    • Is this idea surprising to you? *

Hindsight bias2

Hindsight Bias

  • How does hindsight bias show why we need psychological research instead of just using common sense?

    • Just asking how and why someone felt or acted as they did can sometimes be misleading because it is after the fact

    • Psychological research looks at trying to predict what might happen and common sense looks at what has happened *

Hindsight vs common sense

Hindsight vs common sense

  • Research findings often go against our common sense

  • Research can inspire and overturn popular ideas *



  • How can being overly confident hinder your thinking?

  • We tend to think we know more than we do

  • We are often more confident about our answers than we are right *



  • How long do you think it would take you to have completed unscrambling these words?






  • Most people say they would have completed the task in 10 seconds, when in reality the average subject spent 3 minutes

  • Unscramble OCHSA

  • Even we are wrong we make excuses for why we were wrong or we think we were still basically right *



  • Using psychological research to develop theories or predictions can help guard against our overconfidence

  • One thing you must remember in psychology is nothing is finite(absolute)

  • Psychology consists of theories- theories are constantly being tested and sometimes they are supported and sometimes they are found to be flawed *

Scientific attitude

Scientific Attitude

  • Curiosity is the fuel of all sciences

  • Humans are naturally curious

  • We like to believe in things that have been tested

  • No matter how crazy a theory sounds, if its been tested and confirmed then the theory will be believed

  • I want you to think outside the box in this class but always back your ideas with research*

Scientific attitude1

Scientific Attitude

  • Why did most people use to believe the world was flat?

  • Why was the idea of the world being round sound so far fetched?

  • How was it proven that the world was in fact round?

  • In psychology you must approach the world with curious skepticism

    • Always ask what do you mean and how do you know *

Scientific attitude2

Scientific Attitude

  • Besides being skeptical, a person must have humility when studying something scientifically

  • Sometimes you must reject your own ideas

  • In science, it does not matter who is right but that our findings are the truth

  • In psychology, it is said that “the rat is always right”

    • What does this mean? *

Scientific attitude3

Scientific Attitude

  • Curiosity, skepticism, and humility make modern science possible

  • Why has religion and science been enemies for much of history?

  • It is ok to have your beliefs but be willing to adapt those beliefs if research does not support your ideas *

Critical thinking

Critical Thinking

  • Critical thinking- thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions

  • It examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions

  • Dating will require a lot of critical thinking

    • Why? *

Critical thinking1

Critical Thinking

  • No matter what you read, always ask questions about it

  • Never take it for fact

  • Why can you not assume it is fact? *

The scientific method

The Scientific Method

  • Psychologists use the scientific method to develop, test, and refine their theories

  • Using the scientific method is what make psychology a science

  • Psychologists use the scientific method to form theories

    • Theory- an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts observations *

The scientific method1

The Scientific Method

  • Theories help to organize and simplify things and ideas

  • No matter the theory, it must be put to the test

  • Theories must imply testable predictions- What does this mean?

  • Hypothesis- a testable prediction, often implied by a theory

    • Educated guess? *

The scientific method2

The Scientific Method

  • Testable predictions gives direction to research

  • When testing our own theory we need to be aware that our subjective observations can be biased

  • To keep their biases in check, psychologists report their research precisely using operational definitions *

The scientific method3

The Scientific Method

  • Operational definitions- a statement of the procedures used to define research variables- example defining what the researcher means by the word intelligence and how they measure intelligence

  • By using operational definitions in their reports, other psychologists can replicate the original study *

The scientific method4

The Scientific Method

  • Replicate- repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances

  • If the study is replicated with different participants and the findings are similar, then our confidence in the finding’s reliability grows *

The scientific method5

The Scientific Method

  • A theory is useful if it does 2 things

    • Effectively organizes a range of self-reports and observations

    • Implies clear predictions that anyone can use to check the theory or to derive practical applications

    • Theories try to help describe, predict, and explain behavior *

Self fulfilling prophecy

Self-fulfilling prophecy

  • The self-fulfilling prophecy is a statement that alters actions and therefore comes true.

  • For example, a person stating “I’m probably going to have a lousy day,” might alter his actions so that such a prediction is fulfilled by his actions.

  • This may be an unconscious gesture. A person may use a self-fulfilling prophecy in a positive way “I’m going to have a great day,” they might act in ways that will actually make this prediction true.



  • The starting point of any science is description

  • How do we use description in our everyday life?

  • Psychologists use description but are more object and systematic in using it *



  • Case study- an observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles

    • Can be misleading if the subject is atypical

    • They are time consuming and expensive

    • Can offer possible ideas for a larger population but require further study *



  • Survey- a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of people, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of them

    • Looks at many cases in less depth

    • Wording effects can impact the answers in surveys pg. 27 *

Ap psychology

  • When was the last time you upgraded your computer and printer?

  • Now that you've seen how you can save time, would you buy our product?

  • Do you approve of the President’s oppressive immigration policy



  • When we wonder how many people hold a particular belief we first think of those that think like we do

    • Why is that?

  • False consensus effect- the tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors

    • Vegetarians will think there are more vegetarians than meat eaters will think there are *



  • To guard against false consensus effect researchers look to gather a representative sample of people

  • Surveys sample a target group- example a study of the average height of American men

  • Because there are too many American men to survey them all you must select a representative sample from the population

    • Population- all the cases in a group, from which samples may be drawn for a study *



  • How do you make a sample representative? You do this by taking a random sample

  • Random sample- a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion

    • How do you gain a random sample?

    • How can your sample positively and negatively impact your study? *



  • Naturalistic Observation- observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation

  • It does not explain behavior but looks to describe behavior



  • Correlate- when it is revealed that one trait or behavior accompanies another

    • Correlation does not equal causation

  • Correlation coefficient- a statistical measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other

    • Looks at how closely two things are related



  • Perfect positive correlation = +1.00

    • One set of scores goes up as the other goes up

  • No relationship = 0.00

  • Perfect negative correlation = -1.00

    • Relate inversely

      • One set of scores goes up as the other goes down

  • All of these rarely occur in the real world

  • These are shown in scatterplots

    • A graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables





  • Scatterplot activity



  • Correlation coefficient does not tell us anything about cause and effect

  • It can help us see the world more clearly by revealing the actual extent to which two things relate

Illusory correlations

Illusory Correlations

  • Sometimes we can see a relationship that is not really there

  • Illusory correlation- the perception of a relationship where none exists

  • When we believe there is a relationship between two things, we are likely to notice and recall instances that confirm our belief

  • Illusory correlations help to explain superstitious beliefs

  • Sometimes random coincidences are just that, random- don’t look at them too closely



  • The most effective way to isolate cause and effect is to experiment

    • Experiment- an investigator manipulates one or more factors to observe the effect on some behavior or mental process

    • No single experiment is conclusive

    • Experiments help to eliminate alternative explanations and supports the



  • When conducting medicine studies the participants are usually blind(uniformed) about what treatment they are receiving if they receive any at all

  • Some participants receive the treatment and some receive a placebo(a pill with no treatment)



  • Sometimes neither the participant nor the research assistant collecting the data know who received what treatment

    • Double-blind procedure

    • Tries to protect against biases from either party

  • Placebo effect- experimental results caused by expectations alone

    • Just thinking you are getting the treatment can boost your thinking



  • Experimental condition(group)- the condition of an experiment that exposes participants to the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable

  • Control Condition(group)- the condition of an experiment that contrasts with the experimental condition and serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment



  • Random assignment- assigning participants to experimental and control conditions by chance, thus minimizing preexisting differences between those assigned to the different groups

    • Equalizes the two groups in age, attitudes, and other characteristics



  • Independent variable- the experimental factor that is manipulated- the variable whose effect is being studied

  • Dependent variable- the experimental factor that is being measured- the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable

  • Extraneous variable- any unintended external variable that could affect your findings- etc. tiredness, hunger, temperature



  • The independent and dependent variables must be given clear operational definitionswhich specify the procedures that manipulate the independent variable or measure the dependent variable

  • Experiments look to manipulate the independent variable and measure the dependent variable

Measures of central tendency

Measures of central tendency

  • after gathering data, it must be organized in some form of a chart

  • The data must be organized using the three measures of central tendency

    • Mode- the most frequently occurring score in a distribution

    • Mean- the arithmetic average of a distribution

    • Median- the middle score in a distribution- half of the scores are above and half or below

Measures of central tendency1

Measures of central tendency

  • Sometimes the data can be lopsided or skewed

Measures of variation

Measures of variation

  • It is also important to know how similar or diverse the scores are

  • Range- the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution

    • The lower the range the higher the confidence the scores will repeat themselves

Measures of variation1

Measures of variation

  • Standard Deviation- a computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean score

    • Gauges whether scores are packed together or dispersed

    • The more similar a population the smaller the standard deviation is

Measures of variation2

Measures of variation

  • When can you generalize from a sample?

    • Representative samples are better than biased samples

    • Less-variable observations are more reliable than those that are more variable

    • More cases are better than fewer

Making inferences

Making inferences

  • When the sample averages are reliable and the difference between them is relatively large, the difference has statistical significance

    • A statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance

    • Indicates the likelihood that a result will happen by chance and not the importance of the result

Ethics of experiments

Ethics of experiments

  • Animal protection organizations protest the use of animals in experiments

  • 7 percent of psychological studies involve animals

  • The experiments are often seen ok if they serve a purpose that will help the larger population

  • There are limited guidelines on the use of animals but they are being looked at because of the amount of protests in today’s society

Ethics of experiments1

Ethics of experiments

  • When studying humans, deception must be limited and only used when necessary

  • Informed consent must be obtained from potential participants

  • Participants must be protected from harm and discomfort

  • Treat information about individual participants confidentially

  • Fully explain the research afterward

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