AP Psych - Unit 2 (copy)

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129 Terms


scientific method

the process of systematic observation, measurement, and experiment to form + test hypotheses

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a coherent explanation or interpretation of facts + observations that have been identified in past studies (falsifiable); leads to hypothesis

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a specific, testable prediction of the expected outcome of a study; based on theory (good one)


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confirmation biases

tendency to search for (or favor) information that supports our preconceptions and to ignore, distort, or discredit contradictory evidence

can be intentional OR unintentional

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hindsight bias

tendency to percieve past events as more predictable or obvious as they actually were before they occurred.

“I knew it all along”

“Hindsight is 20/20”

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tendency for individual to have more confidence in their judgements or capabilities than is objectively justified based on their actual skills, knowledge, or past performance

involves an inflated assessment of one’s owns abilities, knowledge, or past performance

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beliefs, practices, theories, or claims within the realm of psychology that lack empirical evidence, scientific validity, and adherence to the scientific method

EX) ESP, astrology, telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance, psychokenesis

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3 Importances of maintaining a scientific attitude

  1. curiosity

  2. skepticism

  3. humility

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Scientific Attitude: Curiosity

wanting to explore/learn

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Scientific Attitude: Skepticism

doubting + questioning

don’t want to be too gullible!

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Scientific Attitude: Humility

being humble enough to gracefully accept when we are wrong

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critical thinking

involves examining assumptions, appraising sources, looking for hidden biases, evaluating evidence, and assessing solutions

open to the possibility that one could be wrong!

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contemporary psych consists of numerous specialized of these

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basic research

builds upon previous knowledge

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applied research

applies existing knowledge in the real world

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biological careers in psych

  • aka behavioral neuroscience

  • focus on the biology of behavior - the nervous system (brain functs, hormones, etc)

  • genetics

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developmental careers in psych

  • study new people change + develop over their lifespan

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cognitive careers in psych

  • focus on the internal, mental processes (memory, perception, learning, language development)

  • how people solve problems + make decisions

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personality careers in psych

  • the study of individuals’ characteristic patterns of thinking, feelings, and acting

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pscyhometric careers in psych

  • focus on methods for acquiring + analyzing psychological data

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industrial/organizational careers in psych

  • apply psychological principles and methods to the workplace to help organizations + companies select + train employees, boost morale, increase productivity, design products, environments, etc

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positive careers in psych

  • focus on what makes life worth living; concerned w/ both individual + societal well being

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sports careers in psych

  • help professional + amateur athletes overcome problems, enhance their performance, and achieve their goals

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counseling careers in psych

  • help people adapt to change or make changes in their lifestyle; work w/ people who are going through a difficult time in their lives to develop coping strategies so they can be productive

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clinical careers in psych

  • study, evaluate, assess, and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders; work w/ individuals who may be suffering from both psychological disorders

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  • psychiatry is a branch of medicine dealing w/ psychological disorders

  • medical doctors

    • can prescribe + monitor medications (dif. between above)

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the brain + mind are separate entities

ideas are innate (inborn)

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the mind + body cannot be separate

ideas result from experience - scientific method

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Plato (424-348 BC)

proposed anamesis - we possess innate knowledge that is recollected rather than earned anew

tripartite model of the soul - study of human motivation, emotion, and personality


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Aristotle (348-322 BC)

believe who we are and what we know are derived from our experiences

the way to understand the essence of something is to study specific examples of it in nature (observation + data collection + scientific method)


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Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

“cogito, ergo sum” → “I think, therefore, I am”

the mind is what makes human beings distinct from other creatures/living things

studied reflexes (automatic/involuntary responses) → behavioral psych


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John Locke (1632-1704)

all individuals are born as a blank slate (“tabula rasa”) : experience in the world shapes a person a person → is learned knowledge comes from observation + experience


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empiricism (monism)

Locket + Aristotle (etc) believed in this

the idea that knowledge comes from experience + that observation and experimentation enable scientific knowledge

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Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920)

“Father of Psychology”

  • Founded the 1st psychology lab in 1879 in Leipzip, Germany

    • Believed it should be a science + independent disciplinary

worked w/ Edward Titchener (his student who brought his teachings to the U.S.)

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William James (1842-1910)

Father of American Psych

author of principles of psychology → opened eyes to new field

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focused on the components of the mind; studied the conscience experience by breaking it down into it’s most basic elements (sensations, feelings, + images) → breaking down the seeing color

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main research method

examining + reporting one’s thoughts, feelings, + experiences → not used today bc it is inconsistent

not reliable

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what is the purpose + function of thinking

  • how do behaviors + mental processes enable an organism to adapt, survive, + flourish

  • William James believed this

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stream of unconsciousness

William James used river stream as a metaphor for our minds intuition, etc

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Max Wertheimer (1880-1943)

contributed to gestalt psych → meaning “shape” or “form” in German

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Gestalt Psychology

believed that people naturally organize their perceptions according to certain patterns, our brains have a tendency to try to integrate pieces of info into meaningful wholes

“the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”


Max Wertheimer

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advocates for humane treatment

early beliefs regarding mental health; inability to understand the suffering and abused those ill (devil)

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Dorothea Dix (1802-1887)

Tirelessly advocated

Creating more humane treatment facilities, 1st mental hospital in the U.S, and created a public awareness and understanding of mental illness

paved the way for proper mental health treatment in U.S

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The American Psychological Association (APA)

scientific + professional organization of psychologists

founded in 1892 @ Clark University

created a code of ethics in 1953

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G. Stanley Hall

  • 1st American to earn PhD in psych

  • helped found the APA

  • founded first psych journal + lab

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Mary Whiton Calkins

  • 1st women admitted to William James’ seminar (his student)

  • 1st female president of APA

  • denied PhD requirements despite her work

  • Paved the way for women in psych

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Margaret Floy Washburn

  • 1st women to complete + receive degree(PH.D) in psych

  • studied animals + wrote The Animal Mind

  • second female president of APA

  • Paved the way for women in psych

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Psychodynamic Perspective

  • focuses on how the interplay of early childhood experiences + unconscious drives influences human behavior

  • unconscious mind: many mental processes, motivations, + conflicts operate outside of our conscious awareness but still influence our behavior

  • defense mechanism: used to cope w/anxiety + discomfort that arise from unresolved conflicts

  • childhood experiences: especially relationships + interactions w/ caregivers, particularly concerned w/ traumatic experiences

  • Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

    • neo-Freudians

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behavioral perspective

  • emphasizes the role of learning + conditioning in shaping behavior

  • concerned w/ environment influences (observational learning), rewards + punishments

  • likely to happen again when rewarded

  • Edward Thornlike

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cognitive perspective

  • focuses on internal processes of the mind + how they influence behavior

    • how we take in info

    • how our perceptions influence actions

    • thinking, rationalization, interpretation,

    • most widely applied perspective

    • Jean Piaget

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humanistic perspective

  • our actions/behaviors are motivated by our desire to reach our fullest potential

    • human capacity for choice + growth emphasized the importance of having our needs for love + acceptance satisfied

    • self-concept, free will, self-esteem, self-actualization

    • Abraham Maslow

    • Carl Rogers

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sociocultural perspective

  • focuses on the role of society + culture in shaping our thoughts + behaviors

    • take into account social + cultural context

    • demographics, socioeconomics, race, culture, etc

    • Erik Erikson

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biological perspective

  • AKA neurobiological/neuroscience/physiological

  • the influence of genetics + brain chemistry on our behavior

    • understanding how the brain + body physically create thoughts, emotions, memories, etc

    • hormones, neurotransmitters, + parts of the brain

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evolutionary perspective

  • mental processes + behaviors exist because they aid in survival + reproduction

    • reproductive success; gene pool

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naturalistic observation

observing + recording of behavior in naturally occurring situations + settings w/o trying to manipulate and/or control the situation

i.e Jane Goodall

KEY - participants behave naturally, no artificial conditions

WEAK - subject to experimenter bias

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case study

one individual (or a small group of individuals) is examined in depth; used for practical or ethical reasons

KEY - a collection of in-depth, detailed info.; opportunity to investigate unique illnesses or situations

WEAK - cannot be generalized to the population (i.e Phineas Gage)

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a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes OR behaviors of a particular group, usually by questioning a random, representative sample of the group

KEY - efficient + inexpensive way to collect data

WEAK - distorted results can occur due to sampling errors, poorly phrased questions, and response bias

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look very similar to actual experiment; conclusions are not as firm as those from the true experiments, but they allow research to be conducted on topics + in settings that would otherwise be impossible

  • allow us to observe what is already happening

  • ex: if a pregnant woman uses drugs during her developing pregnancy, drugs will cause abnormalties in baby

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longitudinal studies

examines a person or group of people over an extended period of time

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longitudinal studies pros and cons

PROS - provides in-depth info ; eliminates the cohort effect

CONS - time-consuming, expensive + typically use smaller sample sizes

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cross sectional studies

compares individuals of various ages @one point in time

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cross sectional studies pros and cons

PROS - shorter duration; measures age diff. in larger sample of subjects

CONS - results can be influenced by the fact that the diff. age groups (cohorts) grew up in distinctive historical periods, so it is difficult to separate age effects from cohort effects

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correlational studies

examine relation between 2 variables; these help us to predict, NOT imply cause + effect

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positive correlation

variables move in the SAME direction

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number of gallons of gas you pump is ________ correlated with the amount of money you spend on gas


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negative correlation

variables move OPPOSITE directions

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number of miles you drive is ___________ correlated w/ the amount of gas left in your tank


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type of graph that is used to represent correlations

  • slope of points

  • amount of scatter

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slope of points

direction of the relationship between the 2 variables

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amount of scatter

the strength of correlation

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correlation coefficient ( r )

numerical value that measures the degree of relationship between 2 variables

  • tells us the strength + directions of the relationship

  • always fall between -1.00 and +1.00

    • # → strength of relationship

    • (±) → direction of the relationship

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illusory correlations

an expected or suspected relationship that does not empirically exist

i.e. random evidence

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carefully regulated procedure in which the researcher manipulates variables that are believed to influence some other variable

KEY - it’s the only research method that can establish cause + effect relationships

WEAK - can be expensive + time-consuming

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experiments are the only search method that can…….

establish cause + effect relationships between variables

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independent variable (IV)

the variable the experimenter manipulates in order to determine its effects

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dependent variable (DV)

the variable that may change as a result of manipulations of the independent variable

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operational definitions

explain how variables will be measured so that the experiment can be replicated

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confounding variable OR 3rd variable

extraneous factors that may interfere with the results

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all of the individuals in a group to which the study applies

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subset of the population that participates in the study

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random sample

every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected

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representative sample

a sample that accurately represents the population being studied.

if the sample is not representative, we can’t generalize our finding to the larger population

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stratified sample

subgroups in a population are equally represented + members of those population subgroups have an equal chance of becoming members of the sample

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experimental groups

the group that receives the treatment

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control group

the group that does not receive the treatment

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random assignment

process that ensures that all members of the sample have an equal chance of being placed into either the control or the experimental group

  • assigning the people chosen

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research participant bias

occurs when the behavior of research participants during the experiment is influenced by how they think they are supposed to act or by their experience/expectations of what is happening to them

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the placebo effect

a physical or psychological treatment given to the control group, but that contains NO active ingredients; think that they are receiving the treatment

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single blind study

an experimental design in which participants don’t know whether they are in the experimental group or the control group

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experimenter bias

occurs when the researcher’s expectations influence the outcome of the research

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double blind study

an experimental design in which neither the researcher nor the participants are aware of which participants are in the experimental group + which are in the control group until the data has been collected

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Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

public + private institutions have IRBs that must approve all research conducted within their institution

the APA created a code of ethics in 1953

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informed consent

  • researchers must inform participants about every aspect of the study that might influence their choice to participate

  • want to make sure participating is voluntary

  • must fill out consent form

  • no cohersion

  • minors can’t sign, so they obtain ascent from child during interview

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limited deception

  • some require that researchers mislead participant about the true nature of the study

  • if we tell beforehand, might alter behavior

  • can’t deceive about risk factors + can’t falsify results

  • participants must be told about deception during debriefing after the experiment

    • control group, placebos

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protection from harm + discomfort

  • researchers must take measures the minimize any discomfort or risk involved in the study and must act to prevent participants from suffering any long term consequences

  • participants must leave in the same condition they arrived in

    • leaving sober

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  • researchers are responsible for keeping all data they gather on individuals completely confidential + when possible, anonymous

  • typically, participants are not identified by name

  • also done during experiment to prevent experimenter bias

  • even after experiment is over, still required to protect confidentiality

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  • if deception is used, researchers must reveal that during debriefing by explaining falsification

  • reveal all relevant info + true intention + results

  • correct any misimpressions + the nature of the conclusion

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guidlines for research involving Animal Subjects

  • Institutional Animal Care + Use Committee (IACUC)

  • APA’s Committee on Animal Research + Ethics (CARE)

    • Researchers must ensure the comfort + health of animals and make an effort to minimize pain, illness, and infection

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Measures of Central Tendency (MoCT)

single number that represents the overall characteristics of a data set

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  • useful when data sets don’t have outliers

  • best measure of tendency when the data is NOT skewed/normally distributed


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