The science of processes and behaviors
What are the values of Psychology?
1. empirical evidence
2. critical thinking
3. systematic research methods
What are the goals of Psychology?
4. facilitating changes (therapy)
Lived from 384 to 322. Believed that knowledge was acquired through experience
Nature Vs. Nurture
Are a persons characteristics mostly inborn or learned?
Four Laws of Association
1. Law of Similarity
2. Law of Contrast
3. Law of Contiguity
4. Law of Frequency
French Philosopher (1596-1650)
Believed that behavior was controlled by the mind or will; we freely choose our actions
Ernst Heinrich Weber
- Psychologist at Leipzig.
- Introduced Just Noticeable Differences as the unit of measure (ratio of weight)
(1801-1887) Formalized and developed Weber's Law; showed that it implied a relationship between stimulus intensity and the intensity of sensation.
- Inspired by Fechner to discover quantitative order in higher mental processes.
- Great innovator
- Influence has lasted over 100 years
- Developer of the Learning Curve (as time passes we remember less)
- Wrote "The Principles of Psychology" published in 1890
- Believed the mind was a stream of consciousness
- Studied various groups, not just individuals
- Trained as an MD
- Taught Psychology and Philosophy at Howard
- Established a teaching lab in 1875
Psychology becomes a science, first psychology lab in Leipzig, Germany.
- First true Psychologist
- Research assistant for Hermann Helmholtz
- Wrote "Contributions Towards a Theory of Science Perception" in 1862
- Saw Psychology as falling between the physical sciences and social sciences
Looking inside oneself
Edward Bradford Titchener
- Popularized Wundt's Psychology and brought it to the United States
- Used introspection to uncover components of thought
- Offered an account for transmutation: Natural Selection to explain the adaptivity of traits
- One of the first women in the field of Psychology
- Never received the PhD she earned from Harvard
Focuses on the relationship between sensory stimuli and perceptual experience
Focuses on objective and measurable behaviors
Emphasizes the inner-self and the importance of subjective feelings
Focuses on mental functioning and reasoning
Views behavior as reflecting brain processes
Certain behavioral characteristics are subject to natural selection
Examines the influence of culture and ethnic practices on people's behavior
Assess and evaluates individuals problems through the use of case history, interview, and observation, and provide individual or group counseling services.
Study and research the emotional, mental, physical, and social growth and development of individuals from birth to death, to increase understanding of human behavior and processes of human growth and development
All propositions be subjects to an empirical test.
Practice based on experiment and observation
Goals of Behavioral Science
1. Description of behavior
2. Prediction of behavior
3. Finding causes of behavior
4. Explanation of behavior
Addresses the fundamental questions about the nature of behavior. Often tests theories
Addresses the issue in which there are practical problems and potential solutions. Often guided by basic theory and research psychology as a science
A statement that makes an assertion about what is true in a particular situation; often a statement asserting that two or more variables are related to one another
A statement that makes an assertion concerning what will occur in a particular research investigation.
A set of explanatory statements about behavior that can be tested through empirical research
Parts of a Research Article: Introduction
- General overview of literature
- Specific research questions and expectations
Parts of a Research Article: Method
- Research Design
Parts of a Research Article: Results
-Findings of the study describe in:
o Tables and figures
o Statistical analysis
Parts of a Research Article: Discussion
- Summary of findings
- Relate results to past research and theory
- Future research
Levels of Ethical Research
- No Risk Research
- Minimal Risk Research
- Full Review Research
No Risk Research
- Exempt from review by an IRB (Institutional Review Board)
- Research studying normal educational practices
- Use of educational tests- cognitive tests such as aptitude and achievement measures
- Surveys and observation of public behavior, except in cases in which subjects might be identified and or/sensitive behavior is being studied
- Archival research using existing data
Minimal Risk Research
- Standard psychological measures and voice recordings that do not involve any danger to subjects
- Studies of cognition and perception that do not involve stress
- Full informed consent is generally not necessary, but debriefing and other ethical concerns are important.
Full Review Research
- Research that may involve:
o Physical stress
o Psychological stress
o Invasion of privacy
o Measures of sensitive information in which subjects might be identified
- Requires full review by an IRB; special ethical procedures may be imposed.
- Increases in the values of one variable are associated with increases in the second variable
- Increasing study time is associates with higher grades
- Increases in the values of one variable are associated with decreases in the second variable
- Increasing hours of work are associated with lower grades.
- Increases in the values of one variable are associated with both increases and decreases of the second variable
- Anxiety can help increase performance until it gets to high- then it decreases performance.
Two ways of studying relationships
1. Non-Experimental Method
2. Experimental Method
- Behavior is observed as it naturally occurs
- Variables are measured from a distance without the participants knowledge
- Example: Study how gangs organize and function as families
- Addresses the problems of inferring cause and effect relationships
- Manipulate the first variable and observe the effect on the second variable
- Control for all other variables
- "Cause" variable
- Manipulated first
- "Effect" variable
- Measures as a response to the IV
The degree to which a measurement device appears to accurately measure a variable
- Do scores o the measure relate to other measures in expected ways?
- Example: do people with high self-efficacy predict that they will perform better on a task?
When the measure of the variable is NOT related
- The degree to which a measurement device accurately predicts behavior on a criterion measure
- A paper and pencil measure of leadership ability predicts actual leadership behavior in a group.
Scales of measurement
- Variables have two or more categories
- No numeric scales
- Groups such as:
o Male female
o Study in quiet room- loud room
- Rank order points on a scale
- Numeric values are limited
o 2, 3, or 4 star restaurants
o Ranking TV shows by popularity
- Intervals between items are not known, and are not equal.
- Numeric properties are taken seriously
- Values such as 1,2,3... are use in calculations
- Example: a score on a personality test
- Assume equal amounts between the numbers on the scale- equal intervals
- No true "zero" amount
- True zero point- absence of the variable
- Zero on weight means no weight
- Can form ratios: 10 pounds is twice as heavy as 5 pounds
- Use more sophisticated statistical tests for ratio and interval scales
simplest indicator, the most frequent score
arithmetic average dividing the sum by the number of scores
the middle score in a distribution, very useful if scores are skewed in one direction
Refers to relationship between two variables
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Slows activities down
Sympathetic Nervous System
Speeds activities in the body up. Accelerates body reactions
Four Parts of the Spinal Cord
- Top Portion: Cervical Nerves; 8 Pairs (C1, C2, ect)
- Center Portion: Thoracic Nerves; 12 Pairs (T1, T2, ect)
- Lower Portion: Lumbar Nerves; 5 Pairs (L1, L2 ect.)
- Bottom Portion: Sacral Nerves; 5 Pairs (S1, S2, ect.)
- Specializes in such verbal functions as reading, writing, comprehension, speech and verbal thinking.
- Considered dominant in analytical, sequential processing of verbal information.
o Doesn't develop fully until age 20 or 21
- Dominant in spatial and nonverbal perception
- Efficient in tasks that require spatial orientation and perception of shape, death, and texture.
- Dominant in the expression and identification of emotions
- A cluster of axons, mostly myelinated, that connects the two brain hemispheres.
- As the largest inter-hemispheric connection, or commissure, in the brain, the corpus callosum allows the two hemispheres to exchange neural information
- A surgical procedure used to treat severe cases of epilepsy, the surgeon cuts the corpus callosum, separating the two hemispheres
three membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, consisting of the dura mater, pia mater, and arachnoid mater
(Hard Mother) forms a leathery, inelastic bag around the brain and spinal cord.
Forms a web of fibrous connective tissue
(Pious Mother) is a gentle, or thin membrane that adheres to the surface of the brain.
A series of interconnected chambers, filled with CSF (cerebral spinal fluid). 4 in total
- A special tissue within each Ventricle that produces CSF
- It is produced from blood and is similar in composition to blood plasma
Blood Brain Barrier
- A Series of neuro-networks that tries to catch things that are harmful to the brain
o Drugs are fat soluble and enter the system very easily
Three Divisions of the Brain
Responsible for motor coordination and non-thoughtful body movement and smooth movement
Responsible for maintenance functions, e.g., heart beat, breathing
Reticular Activating System
Located in the brain stem; regulates paying attention to new stimuli, walking, sleeping, and daydreaming
- (emotional brain) Controls emotions
- The largest single division of the brain. It is divided into two hemispheres, each of which is divided into four different lobes
• Intimately involved in out motives and emotions
• Instructs the pituitary gland (master gland) to release hormones, hunger, stress, sex, temp., biotransformation, thirst, hunger, body osmolarity, fight/flight pathways and other functions as well.
• Anger and Fear
• Circadian Rhythms
• Coordinate with endocrine system
- Primarily a switching station for incoming and outgoing neural messages
- Comprises two lobes, one in each hemisphere, connected by a bridge of gray matter (the massa intermedia)
- The lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) receives visual information from the eye and projects it to the primary visual cortex
- The medial geniculate nucleus (MGN) receives auditory information from the inner ear and projects it to the primary auditory cortex.
- The ventrolateral nuculeus (VN) receives info. From the cerebellum and projects it to prim motor cortex.
- Is involved in memory formation
- Located on both sides of the lower part of the third ventricle, below the thalamus
- Regulates the hormonal system
- A short "stalk" (the infundibulum) connects to the pituitary gland, allowing this to control the release of hormones from the pituitary gland
Controls cognition, motivation, and action
- The outermost layer of gray matter making up the superficial aspect of the cerebrum.
- Controls sensory, cognitive, and motor functions
- Much of neural activity of the cerebrum occurs here
- Contains 10% of all neurons in brain
• Activities fall into three categories: motor, sensory, and associative
Hemispheres of the Cerebral Cortex
• Right and left hemispheres
• Hemisphere connects by corpus callosum
• Some hemispheric functions are shared
- A group of large subcortical nuclei that surround the thalamus (with connections to cortex and midbrain)
- Parkinson's disease is caused by degeneration of certain dopaminergic neurons that originate in the midbrain and extend to the basal ganglia
- Control skeletal muscle movement and eye movements
Elevated ridges "winding" around the brain
Small grooves dividing the gyri
Divides the front lobes from the parietal lobes
Deep grooves, generally dividing large regions/lobes of the brain
Divide the two cerebral Hemispheres
Separates the Cerebrum from the Cerebellum
Divides the temporal lobe from the frontal and parietal lobe
Four Lobes of the Brain
- Located deep to the Frontal Bone of the skull.
- Plays and integral role in the following functions/actions
o Memory Formation
o Decision making and reasoning
o Planning and organization
Primary Motor Cortex
Cortical site involved with controlling movements of the body
Controls facial neurons, speech, and language comprehensions. Located on Left Frontal Lobe
Results in the ability to comprehend speech, but the decreased motor ability (or inability) to speak and form words
Cranial Never 1, Responsible for sensation of Smell
- Located deep to the Parietal Bone of the skull
- It plays a major role in the following functions/actions:
o Senses and integrates sensation(s)
o Spatial awareness and perception- (Proprioception- Awareness of body/body parts in space and in relation to each other)
Primary Somatosensory Cortex
(Postcentral Gyrus)- Site involved with processing of tactile and proprioceptive information
Somtosensory Association Cortex
Assists with the integration and interpretation of sensations relative to body position and orientation in space. May assist with visuo- motor coordination
Primary Gustatory Cortex
Primary site involved with the interpretation of the sensation taste.
- Located deep to the Occipital Bone of the Skull
- Its primary function is the processing, integration, interpretation, etc. of VISION and visual stimuli.
Primary Visual Cortex
This is the primary area of the brain responsible for sight- recognition for size, color, light, motion, dimension, etc.
Visual Association Area
Interprets information acquired through the primary visual cortex
- Located on the sides of the brain, deep to the Temporal Bones of the Skull
- They play an integral role in the following functions
o Organization /Comprehension of language
o Information retrieval (memory and memory formation)
Primary Auditory Cortex
Responsible for hearing
Primary Olfactory Cortex
Interprets the sense of smell once it reaches the cortex via the olfactory bulbs.
Language comprehension located on the Left Temporal Lobe
Language comprehension is inhibited. Words and sentences are not clearly understood, and the sentence formation may be inhibited or nonsensical.
A white matter tract that connects Broca's area and Wernicke's area through the Temporal, Parietal, and Frontal Lobes. Allows for coordinated comprehensible speech.
Where auditory comprehension and speech articulation are preserved, but people find it very difficult to repeat something that have heard.
- Are the basic units of the human nervous system
- Four Main Parts:
• Cell Body or "soma"
• Axon terminal
One axon attached to soma. The axon divides with one branch receiving sensory information
- One axon and one dendrite
o Found in visual and hearing sensory neurons
One axon and many dendrites
o Found mostly around dendrites and boutons
o Intense metabolic activity
o Production of ATP
o Gene transcription
o Chemical synthesis and transport
Rich in sodium
Two main forces influence ion movement across the membrane
o Electrical Force (determined by the voltage difference across the membrane) and
o Diffusion Force (determined by the concentration difference of ions across the membrane)
- If at a given moment the depolarization at the axon hillock exceeds the excitation threshold (i.e., EPSP) an action potential is generated and travels along the axon to the terminal boutons of the target cell
- A rapid barrage of impulses produces a larger excitatory post-synaptic potential than a single impulse does.
Small EPSP's add together to bring the membrane potential closer to threshold, while IPSPs subtract from the depolarizing effect, keeping the membrane potential below the threshold.
Are intercellular junctions.
Narrow space separating two cells.
Carry impulses from sensory receptors to the central nervous system (CNS)
Carry impulses from the CNS to effectors
Help provide more complex reflexes an higher associative learning.
Somatic Motor Neurons
Stimulate skeletal muscles' contraction
Autonomic Motor Neurons
Regulate activity of smooth muscles, cardiac muscles, and gland
Resting Membrane Potential
- Potential difference exists across every cell's plasma membrane
o Cytoplasm side (inside) is negative pole, and extracellular fluid side (outside) is positive pole
Once a particular level of depolarization is reached, a nerve impulse is produced
There are hundreds of neurotransmitters; a single neuron may secrete several neurotransmitters, which makes human behavior more interesting