the scientific study of behavior
and mental processes.
draw conclusions based on evidence,
Goal of psychology should be to
identify the functions
of behaviors and mental processes, particularly as they relate to survival. Based on Darwin’s principle of natural
Originated (in mid-1800s) with
Sigmund Freud, a Viennese physician who originated Western psychotherapy
Argued that various psychological
forces pushed and pulled humans in different directions (hence the term
Emphasized the importance of
unconscious, and often irrational, motives in both normal and disturbed human
in early 1900s as a reaction against the psychodynamic and structuralist
schools. Key figures were Pavlov,
Watson, and Skinner.
that overt behavior and its environmental causes, not mental processes, should
be the main focus of study because they are directly observable.
more recent version of behaviorism that emphasizes the importance of learning
through observing others (social learning).
Emerged in mid-20th century in reaction to behaviorism
and the psychodynamic perspective, which humanists argued underemphasized the
qualities that made human beings unique.
According to humanists, those
qualities included: 1) a drive toward self-actualization (self-development) and 2) behavior
governed by conscious, rational choice (not irrational, unconscious impulses).
in 1950s as psychologists began to compare the mind to computers, and also
became dissatisfied with behaviorism.
the study of cognitive (mental) processes, such as attention, memory,
problem-solving, etc. and how they lead to behavior.
Has become the dominant perspective
in psychology today. Even behaviorists
Focuses on the biological basis of
behavior, including the functioning of genes, the nervous system, and the
Like functionalism, the
evolutionary perspective emphasizes studying how behavior and mental processes
have been influenced by the pressures of natural selection (survival of the fittest).
The sociocultural perspective
emphasizes the influence of social circumstances in shaping behavior and mental
One of these circumstances is our culture.
The other is the immediate social
situation we are in (e.g., being in a crowd vs. being alone). A key principle of social
psychology is the power
of the situation.
organized set of statements designed to explain, predict, and describe some
phenomenon or set of phenomena
specific prediction derived from a theory
aspect of a person or group of people, or of the physical or social
environment, that can vary
evidence or information collected through research
relationship between two variables
relationship between two variables in which not only are they positively or
negatively correlated, but one of them influences the other.
participants in a research project through a random procedure. This makes it likely that the participants
will be representative of the group from which they are selected
assigning participants in an experiment to different groups. This makes it likely that the groups of
people will be similar.
the same or similar research again with another group of people, and finding
similar results. This increases
confidence that the original result was not an accident.
Single individuals (“cases”) are
examined in great detail.
Main strength: Much information is
gathered about the individual(s) studied.
Weakness: Unrepresentative sample,
so conclusions cannot be generalized.
behavior without attempting to change it.
Unlike in surveys, actual behavior is observed.
If done unobtrusively in a natural setting (naturalistic observation), a
good idea of how participants behave naturally (in “real life”) can be
weaknesses: Some aspects of behavior cannot (or should not) be observed. It is also time-consuming. Therefore, it is
difficult to observe a representative sample of people.
Participants are asked and answer
questions in oral (interview) or written (questionnaire) form.
Strengths: can gather information
quickly from a large group of people. If
random sampling is used (as it should be!), a representative sample is
likely. And many topics off-limits to
observational research can be studied.
Major weakness: Respondents aren’t
necessarily honest or accurate.
A variable that is manipulated in
variable whose level is expected to depend on the level of an independent
Participants are randomly divided
into groups that are each exposed to only one level of the independent
Each participant is exposed to all
levels of the independent variable.
change their behavior in the absence of any treatment because of the
individual’s belief that they have received a treatment.
that occur when a researcher or observer subtly communicates to the
participants the kind of behavior he or she expects, therefore creating the expected
reaction and/or outcome
and procedures are kept the same for all participants, except for the
the experimenter nor the participants are aware of who is receiving which
Behavior identified through a
Overt actions and reactions that
are observed and recorded
Degree to which a measure produces
similar scores each time it is used
Extent to which a measurement
instrument measures what it was intended to measure
Total of scores divided by total number of scores
Most frequently occuring score
Strength of experiments:
- Because of
- the carefully controlled situation in which only the independent variable is
- allowed to affect the dependent variable, cause/effect relationships can be
Weakness of experiments
- Such carefully controlled
- situations are often different from “real-world” situations researchers are
- trying to understand. There are also
- situations that cannot practically or ethically be studied in experiments.
Conditioned taste aversion
- of a nausea or aversive response to a particular taste because that taste was
- followed by a nausea reaction, occurring after only one association.
Reason for conditioned taste aversion