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AP Psychology

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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  1. AP Psychology History, Approaches, and research methods Prologue and Unit 1 Pgs. 1-53

  2. Reminder of assignments • Aug. 22- Wiki HW due • Aug. 28- Vocabulary quiz • Aug. 29- Wik HW due • Sept. 3- Unit test

  3. 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 *

  4. 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 *

  5. 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 *

  6. 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? *

  7. 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 *

  8. Structuralism • 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 *

  9. Structuralism • 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 *

  10. Functionalism • 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 *

  11. Functionalism • 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 *

  12. Psychology • 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 *

  13. 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 *

  14. 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? *

  15. 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 *

  16. 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 *

  17. 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 *

  18. 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

  19. 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? *

  20. 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 *

  21. 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? *

  22. 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 *

  23. Hindsight vs common sense • Research findings often go against our common sense • Research can inspire and overturn popular ideas *

  24. Confidence • 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 *

  25. Confidence • How long do you think it would take you to have completed unscrambling these words? • WREAT WATER • ETRYN ENTRY • GRABE BARGE *

  26. Confidence • 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 *

  27. Confidence • 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 *

  28. 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*

  29. 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 *

  30. 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? *

  31. 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 *

  32. 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? *

  33. 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? *

  34. 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 *

  35. 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? *

  36. 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 *

  37. 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 *

  38. 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 *

  39. 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 *

  40. 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.

  41. Description • 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 *

  42. Description • 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 *

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