intro to psych 1

Defining Psychology
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A. Psychology is defined as the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.
B. As a "science" psychology uses the scientific method to observe human behavior and draw conclusions based on those observations.
C. Behavior is everything that a person does that can be directly observed.
D. Mental processes are the internal thoughts, feelings, and motives that cannot be directly observed.
E. The Psychological Frame of Mind
was first studied by Wundt and his collaborators. They focused on the basic elements or structures of mental processes. Introspection was the method used to study these mental structures and relies entirely on the person's conscious reflection. Individuals were asked to think about what was occurring mentally as events were taking place. These studies focused mainly on sensation and perception because they were the aspects that could be broken down into component parts.
meshed well with another intellectual development, Charles Darwin's principle of natural selection, which considers how organisms adapt to their environment, survive, and produce offspring. Genes associated with survival are most likely passed down from one generation to the next. And, species change through random genetic mutation, which explains why members of a species are different from other members.
emphasizes the study of the body, especially the brain and nervous system. Neuroscience is the scientific study of the structure, function, development, genetics, and biochemistry of the nervous system. It emphasizes that the brain and nervous system are central to understanding behavior, thought, and emotion and has spread to many other research areas including developmental neuroscience, social neuroscience and behavioral neuroscience as examples.
emphasizes unconscious thought, the conflict between biological instincts and society's demands, and early family experiences. Sigmund Freud was the founder of the psychodynamic approach. He believed that a person's early interactions with the parents were the major factor that shaped an individual's personality.
emphasizes the mental processes involved in knowing: how we direct our attention, how we perceive, how we remember, and how we think and solve problems. Often scientists who adopt this approach focus on information processing, the way the human mind interprets information, stores it, and applies it to decision making.
sociocultural approachemphasizes the ways in which the social and cultural environments influence behavior. With the rise of cultural diversity in the United States, research on the influence of culture on behavior has led to important findings in the role that culture plays in our sense of self.Physiological Psychology and Behavioral NeurosciencePhysiological psychology focuses on the physical processes that underlie mental processes. Behavioral neuroscience focuses also on biological processes, specifically how the brain affects behavior.Sensation and PerceptionSensation and perception researchers focus on both the physical systems and the psychological processes that allow individuals to experience the world.LearningLearning is the complex process by which behavior changes in response to changing circumstances.Cognitive Psychology:Cognitive psychology is a broad field that includes examples such as attention, consciousness, information processing, and memory. Researchers in this area are often called experimental psychologists.Developmental Psychology:Developmental psychology studies how individuals change, both as a result of biology and environment from birth through death. Developmental psychologists' inquiries range across the biological, cognitive, and social domains of life.Motivation and Emotion:Motivation focuses on how individuals attain goals and how rewards affect the experience of motivation. Emotion centers on the physiological and brain processes that underlie emotional experiences, the emotional expression of health, and the possibility that emotions are universal.Psychology of Women and Gender:Psychology of women and gender studies psychological, social, and cultural influences on women's development and behavior while also addressing interests in the broader topic of gender and the ways our biological sex influences our ideas of ourselves as men and women.Personality PsychologyPersonality psychology focuses on the relatively enduring characteristics of individuals (traits, goals, motives, genetics, personality development, well-being, etc.).Social Psychology:Social psychology deals with people's social interactions, relationships, social perceptions, social cognitions and attitudes. Researchers are interested in how groups or individuals influence the behavior of others.industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology:Industrial/organizational psychology focuses on the workplace, both the workers themselves and the organization that employs them. The main areas of industrial psychology focus on personnel matters and human resource management, while the main area of organizational psychology focuses on the social influence in the organizationClinical and Counseling Psychology:Clinical and counseling psychologists diagnose and treat people with psychological problems. Clinical psychologists are interested in psychotherapy, which is the scientific study of psychological disorders, the treatment of these disorders, and the development of diagnostic categories of mental health.Health PsychologyHealth psychology emphasizes psychological factors, lifestyle, and the nature of the health care delivery system.Community Psychology:Community psychology focuses on accessible care for people with psychological problems. Community psychologists may work in community-based mental health centers and provide outreach programs to people in and Educational PsychologySchool and educational psychology centrally concerns children's learning and adjustment in school.Environmental PsychologyEnvironmental psychology is the study of the interactions between people and the physical environment.Forensic Psychology:Forensic psychology applies psychological concepts to the legal system. Forensic psychologists are often hired by legal teams to provide input about aspects of trials such as jury selection and to testify as expects in such trials.Sport PsychologySport psychology applies psychology's principles to improving sport performance and enjoying participation.Cross-Cultural PsychologyCross-cultural psychology focuses on a culture's role in understanding behavior, thought, and emotion.Scientific MethodObserving, Formulating Hypotheses and Prediction, Testing Through Empirical Research, Drawing Conclusions, Evaluating the TheoryTypes of Psychological ResearchThree main types of psychological research are: descriptive research, correlational research, and experimental research.Descriptive ResearchObservation Surveys and Interviews Case Studies The Value of Descriptive ResearchCorrelational ResearchCorrelation Is Not Causation The Value of Correlational Research Longitudinal DesignsExperimental ResearchIndependent and Dependent Variables Experimental and Control Groups Quasi-Experimental Designs Some Cautions About Experimental ResearchThe Nervous SystemThe nervous system is the body's electrochemical communication system. Neuroscience is the field of study of the nervous system. The researchers that conduct research on the nervous system are called neuroscientists.ComplexityThe brain is composed of billions of nerve cells, and the orchestration of these nerve cells allows a person to carry out a variety of activities. b. The human brain and nervous system are incredibly complex and awe inspiring.Integrationa. The brain integrates information from the environment so that people can function in the world. b. Each nerve cell in the brain communicates with 10,000 other nerve cells, which allows your nervous system to process a multitude of experiences at various levels simultaneously.Adaptabilitya. As the world is constantly changing, the brain and nervous system allow persons to adapt to those changes. b. Plasticity refers to the brain's special physical capacity for change. c. Because the brain has plasticity, it can change in response to experience.Electrochemical TransmissionElectrical impulses and chemical messenger systems allow the brain and nervous system to work as an information-processing system.Pathways in the Nervous SystemAs a person interacts with and adapts to the world around them, the brain and nervous system receive and transmit incoming sensory information. They integrate this information and direct the body's motor activities. 2. Afferent nerves carry information to the brain and are considered sensory nerves. These nerves communicate information about the external environment and internal conditions from the sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord. 3. Efferent nerves carry information from the brain to the body and are considered motor nerves which facilitate communication from the brain and spinal cord to other areas of the body.Divisions of the Nervous SystemThe central nervous system (CNS) is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. 2. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is comprised of the nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body. The function of the peripheral nervous system is to bring information to and from the brain and spinal cord. It also carries out the commands of the CNS.NeuronsNeurons are the nerve cells that control the information-processing function. Glial cells provide the support and nutrition in the nervous system.Specialized Cell Structures1. Not all neurons are alike, but they all do have a cell body, dendrites, and an axon. 2. The cell body contains the nucleus, which manufactures what the neuron needs for growth and maintenance. 3. Dendrites receive information and send that information on to the cell body. 4. The axon carries information away from the cell body and to other cells. 5. A myelin sheath covers the axon and is semipermeable, meaning that only certain substances can pass into and out of the axon. It is responsible for the insulation of axons and the speed of transmission of nerve impulses. 6. Multiple sclerosis is a nerve disorder that occurs when there is a breakdown of the myelin sheath.The Neural Impulse1. In order for a neuron to send information to another neuron, the source neuron sends an electrical charge. 2. Positive and negative ions are floating inside and outside of the axon. The positive ions are sodium and potassium. The negative ions are chlorine. 3. Inside the membrane of the axon are gated channels known as ion channels. The ion channels open and close allowing the positive and negative ions to cross into and out of the axon. When the neuron is at rest and not transmitting information, the ion channels are closed and there is a negative charge on the inside of the axon and a positive charge on the outside of the axon. 4. When a neuron is inactive, it is said to be at resting potential. 5. When an electrical impulse flows down the axon it becomes depolarized. The channels open and the positive ions move into the axon and negative ions move outside the axon. The potassium channels open and the positive ions move back out and return the axon to its normal charge. 6. An action potential is the term given to the electrical impulses flowing down the axon. 7. The all-or-none principle refers to the process during which when an electrical impulse reaches a certain level of intensity it fires and moves all the way down the axon without losing any of its intensity. It can be compared to a firecracker. Once the fuse is lit, the spark will travel to the end with the same intensity with which it started.Synapsesa. Synapses are the junctions between neurons: the space between one neuron and the dendrites of another neuron is called the synaptic gap. b. At the end of the axon there are fibers that end in what are called terminal buttons. Neurotransmitters are stored in the terminal buttons. The neurotransmitters carry the electrical information across the synaptic gap. c. After the neurotransmitter crosses over the synaptic gap, it gets picked up by a receiving neuron. Most neurons pick up and secrete only one type of neurotransmitter. d. Neurotransmitters are like puzzle pieces; they fit into a specific receptor site in order to continue sending the message. e. After the neurotransmitter has delivered it message, some of the chemical is reabsorbed. This is known as reuptake.Neural NetworksNeural networks are interconnected pathways of nerve cells that integrate sensory input and motor output . Neural networks can be altered through changes in synaptic connections . The strength of connected neurons determines how well a person remembers information.Structures of the Brain and Their FunctionsNeuron networks are not visible to the human eye; however, technology has helped neuroscientists form pictures of the structures of the neurons and the brain.Brain Lesioninga. Brain lesions can be a result of injury or disease .b. Neuroscientists also make lesions in the brains of animals to see the effect on the animal's behavior. c. Brain lesions can be made by removing brain tissue, destroying tissue with a laser, or eliminating tissue by injection with a drug.Electrical RecordingThe electroencephalograph (EEG) records the electrical activity in the brain. When electrodes are placed on a person's scalp they detect brain-wave activity, and this is recorded on a chart.Brain ImagingA computerized axial tomography or CAT scan (also called CT scan) produces a three-dimensional image that is obtained through x-rays of the head.hindbrainThe hindbrain is the lowest portion of the brain. the medulla helps in controlling breathing and regulates reflexes. c. The cerebellum controls leg and arm movements.MidbrainThe midbrain is located between the hindbrain and the forebrain. The midbrain communicates information between the brain and the eyes and ears.ForebrainThe forebrain is the highest level of the brain.Limbic SystemThe limbic system is important in both memory and emotion.ThalamusAn important function of the thalamus is to sort through information and send it to the appropriate place in the forebrain.Basal GangliaThe basal ganglia works with the cerebellum and the cerebral cortex in coordinating voluntary movements.HypothalamusThe hypothalamus monitors eating, drinking, sexual behavior, emotion, stress, and reward.The Cerebral CortexThe cerebral cortex controls some of the highest mental functions such as thinking and planning.LobesThe lobes are divided into two hemispheres and each hemisphere is divided into four lobes: the frontal lobe, the parietal lobe, the temporal lobe, and the occipital lobe.The Endocrine SystemThe endocrine system consists of glands that regulate certain organs by releasing their chemical products into the bloodstream.Chromosomes, Genes, and DNAThe nucleus of each cell contains 46 chromosomes, which are essentially 23 pairs with one of each pair coming from each parent.Molecular GeneticsMolecular genetics involves the manipulation of genes through technology to determine their effect on behavior.genome-Wide Association MethodThe completion of the Human Genome Project has led to the use of genome-wide association method to identify genetic variations linked to a particular disease.Behavior GeneticsBehavior genetics is the study of the degree and nature of heredity's influence on behavior.Sensationoccurs when a person receives stimulus energy from the external environment.transduction.The process of transferring physical energy into electrochemical energyPerceptionoccurs when a person organizes and interprets sensory information in order to give it meaning.Bottom-up processingoccurs when the information from the external environment is registered and sent up to the brain for interpretation. Bottom-up processing occurs with first-time information, meaning information that a person is not familiar processingoccurs with higher levels of cognitive processing, starting with the cognitive processes in the brain. Top-down processing occurs with information that a person is already familiar with.Sensory receptorsare cells that detect and transmit information to sensory nerves in the brain.Psychophysicsis the study of linking the physical properties of stimuli with a person's experience of them.absolute thresholdis the minimum amount of energy needed for a person to detect something. If a stimulus falls below the threshold, then a person does not experience it.Difference Thresholdrefers to the difference that must exist between two stimuli before the difference is detected.Subliminal Perceptionis when people are affected by information that is presented below their level of awareness.Signal detection theoryfocuses on decision making about stimuli while in the presence of uncertainty. It depends on the individual and contextual variations such as fatigue, expectancy, and the urgency of the moment.Information acquisitionrefers to the information that is produced in a brain scan.Criterionis the basis for making a decision about the available information.Perceiving Sensory StimuliAttention, Perceptual SetPerceptual Setset is the predisposition to perceive something in a particular way.Sensory adaptationoccurs when there is a change in the responsiveness of the sensory system based on the average level of surrounding stimulation.Lightis a form of electromagnetic energy. Light travels through space in waves.wavelengthlight is the distance from the peak of one wave to the peak of the next.Amplitudeis the height of the wave and it is associated with the brightness of a visual stimulus.Purityis the mixture of wavelengths in light.sclerais the white outer part of the eye that gives the eye its shape and protects the eye from injury.irisis the colored part of the eye.pupilwhich appears black, is the opening in the center of the iris. The iris contains muscles that allow the pupil to get larger or smaller depending on how much light is being let into the eye.corneais the clear membrane on the outer part of the eye. The curved surface on the cornea bends light on the surface of the eye in order to focus it to the back of the eye.lensis transparent and somewhat flexible. When a person is looking at an object far away, the lens has a relatively flat shape. However, when a person is looking at an object that is closer, more bending of the light is needed.retinais the light-sensitive surface that records what a person sees and then converts it to a neural impulse for processing in the brain.Rodsare sensitive to light and allow a person to see at night.Conesare used for color perception and are not very helpful at night.foveais in the center of the retina. It contains only cones and is important to many visual tasks.optic nerveleaves the eye and carries information about light to the brain.optic chiasmis where the nerve fibers divide and visual information crosses over to the opposite side of the brain.visual cortexis located in the occipital lobe of the brain. It functions in vision.Feature detectorsare neurons or groups of neurons in the brain's visual system, and they respond to particular features of a stimulus.Parallel Processingis a simultaneous distribution of information across different neural pathways. It helps information move rapidly through the brain.Bindingis when the different pathways and cells bring together and integrate information.Depth Perceptionis the ability to see objects in three dimensions.Binocular cuesare depth cues that depend on the combination of the images in the left and right eyes and on the way the two eyes work together. For example, if a person holds their hand over one eye and focuses on an object and then switches to cover their other eye, the switching back and forth between the eyes will cause the object to jump back and forth.Monocular cuesare depth cues that are available from the image in one eye, either the left or the right eye. Some examples of monocular cues are: familiar size, height in the field of view, linear perspective, overlap, shading, and texture gradient.Motion PerceptionIn some animals, motion perception is a means of survival.Perceptual Constancyrefers to the recognition of objects as remaining stationary and unchanging even though sensory input about them is changing. There are three types of perceptual constancy: size constancy, shape constancy, and brightness constancy.