Origins of Psychology and Research Methods
Worksheet
PSY/103 – Introduction to Psychology
Origins of Psychology and Research Methods - Worksheet
Part I: Origins of Psychology
Within psychology, there are several perspectives used to describe, predict, and explain human behavior.
The seven major perspectives in modern psychology are psychoanalytic, behaviorist, humanist, cognitive,
neuroscientific/biopsychological, evolutionary, and sociocultural.
Describe the perspectives, using two to three sentences each.
Select one major figure associated with one of the perspectives
Describe his or her work in two to three sentences. (Type your response in the space below).
Defining the Seven Major Perspectives in Modern Psychology
Psychoanalytic - The psychoanalytic theory is a perspective in modern psychology that
concentrates on the notion that the unconscious, alongside early childhood experiences, equally
play a significant role in affecting one’s conscious behavior, as well as the rest of one’s life. In
fact, Sigmund Freud asserted that paramount to finding a successful remedy for the patient’s
issues, required obtaining access to the unconscious mind. (OpenStax, 2016, p. 10).
Behaviorist - Behaviorism focuses on observing and controlling behavior through objective
analysis of the mind. Therefore, behaviorists study the interaction of learned behavior with the
organism’s inborn qualities. Whereas the psychoanalytic perspective’s objective is studying the
mind, the behaviorist theory shifts the focus to studying behaviors. (OpenStax, 2016, p. 11).
Humanist - A theoretical perspective within psychology that is based on the emphasis that,
innate in all human beings, is the potential for goodness. Moreover, humanists believe that
personal control, intentionality, and, “… a true disposition for “good”” are vital components for our
behavior, as well as our self-concept. (OpenStax, 2016, p. 13).
Cognitive - According to the Boundless Learning website (2016), cognitive is defined as, “The
part of mental functioning that deals with logic and memories, as opposed to affective
functioning, which deals with emotions.” (para. 1). Moreover, the cognitive theory states
that solutions to problems are inclusive of aglorithms, heuristics, or insights, as this
perspective value the scientific method, as opposed to relying on introspection such as
in Freudian Psychology. Albeit, (unlike Behaviorists), the cognitive perspective still
acknowledge the existence of the internal mental state. (Boundless, 2016, para. 1).
Neuroscientific / Biopsychological - Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary approach consisting of
researchers from various backgrounds including, biologists, medical professionals, psychologists,
and chemists. Biopsychology is a component of neuroscience aimed at focusing on the
immediate causes of behavior based in the physiology of humans or other animals. (OpenStax,
2016, pp. 18, 30).
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Origins of Psychology and Research Methods
Worksheet
PSY/103 – Introduction to Psychology
Evolutionary - Evolutionary psychology seeks to study the ultimate biological causes of
behavior, which centers on the idea that a behavior is impacted by genetics, and that a behavior
(like any anatomical characteristic of a human or animal) will demonstrate adaption to its
surroundings. Furthermore, inclusive of these surroundings are, the physical environment, and,
(since interactions between organisms can be important to survival and reproduction), the social
environment. Not surprisingly, evolutionary psychology has its origins with Charles Darwin (the
co-discoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection). (OpenStax, 2016, p. 18).
Sociocultural - According to OpenStax CNX (2016), “The sociocultural perspective looks at you,
your behaviors, and your symptoms in the context of your culture and background.” (p. 633).
Additionally, sociocultural therapy consists of individual, group, family, and couples treatment
modalities, and clinicians using this approach integrate cultural and religious beliefs into this
particular therapeutic process. And, research has shown that some barriers to treatment include
lack of insurance, transportation, and time; cultural views that mental illness is a stigma; fears
about treatment; and language barriers, mostly among ethnic minorities. (OpenStax, 2016, p.
640).
Description of One of the Famous Psychologists Associated with One of the Major
Perspectives
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), was one of the most famous, and, influential figures in the history of
psychology. Freud is best known for his theory that the majority of his patients’ problem stemmed from
the unconscious mind, and he believed that the unconscious mind could be accessed via analyzing
dreams, by examining the first words that came to a subject’s mind, as well as, through slips of the
tongue that appeared to be seemingly innocent. While not invented by Freud, the method of
psychoanalysis (which involves the patient talking about their experiences and selves, and is still used
today), was definitely made popular by Sigmund Freud. (OpenStax, 2016, p. 10).
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Origins of Psychology and Research Methods
Worksheet
PSY/103 – Introduction to Psychology
Part II: Research Methods
Describe research methods used in psychology by completing the following table.
Method
Case Study
Naturalistic
Observation
Purpose
“A method of
obtaining in-depth
information on a
person, group, or
phenomenon, to
provide
descriptions of
specific or rare
cases.”
(Boundless, 2016,
para. 1).
Defined as
observing behavior
in its natural
environment.
Naturalistic
observation is
considered as one
of the best
methods of gaining
information for the
purpose of
understanding how
behavior occurs.
(OpenStax, 2016,
p. 43-44).
Strengths
Weaknesses
Example
Allow for the
development of
novel
hypotheses for
later testing;
Provide
detailed
descriptions of
rare events;
Enables the
ability for
exploring the
intricacies of
existing
theories of
causation.
(Boundless,
2016, para. 1).
Case studies
cannot
directly
indicate
cause and
effect
relationships;
Incapability
of testing
hypotheses;
Findings
from case
studies
cannot be
generalized
to a wider
population.
(Boundless,
2016, para.
1).
EXAMPLE:
Allows for the
collection of
valid, true-tolife information
from realistic
situations.
(OpenStax,
2016, p. 66).
Does not
allow for
much control;
Often
requires
quite a bit of
time and
money to
perform.
(OpenStax,
2016, p. 66).
EXAMPLE:
Studying the
progresses of a
course of treatment
involving individual
counseling, group
therapy, and
medication, with a
patient in a mental
health facility.
(Boundless, 2016,
para. 4).
FAMOUS CASE
STUDY:
Phineas Gage (Helped
researchers
understand the
relationship
between brain
areas and
personality).
(Boundless, 2016,
para. 1).
Seeking out facts
about hand
washing by
inconspicuously
placing a
researcher inside a
restroom,
pretending to be
putting contacts in
while people utilize
the facilities.
(OpenStax, 2016,
p. 43-44).
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Origins of Psychology and Research Methods
Worksheet
PSY/103 – Introduction to Psychology
Surveys
Longitudinal
A survey is a “…list
of questions to be
answered by
research
participants—given
as paper-andpencil
questionnaires,
administered
electronically, or
conducted
verbally—allowing
researchers to
collect data from a
large number of
people.”
(OpenStax, 2016,
p. 66). Is the most
common of the four
major methods of
research.
(Boundless, 2016,
para. 1).
Low-cost;
Large sample
size;
Efficiency.
(Boundless,
2016, para. 1).
“Studies in which
the same group of
individuals is
surveyed or
measured
repeatedly over an
extended period of
time” in order to
gather data so as
to improve on or to
gain a better
overall knowledge
about a particular
subject matter.
(OpenStax, 2016,
p. 65).
Serves as an
essential, and
a potentially
very
informative
method of
conducting
research;
Since the same
individuals are
involved in the
research
project over
time, this is a
powerful
approach
because the
researchers
are not
required to be
too concerned
with differences
among cohorts
affecting the
results of their
study.
(OpenStax,
2016, p. 47).
Accuracy;
Bias.
(Because
surveys depend
on subjects'
motivation,
honesty,
memory, and
ability to respond,
the survey
research method
is significantly
susceptible to
bias).
(Boundless,
2016, para. 1).
These types
of studies
require huge
investments
of time by the
researcher
and research
participants;
Results will
not be known
for a
considerable
length of
time;
Require a
substantial
financial
investment;
Participants
must also be
willing to
continue their
participation
for an
extended
period of
time.
(OpenStax,
2016, p. 48).
EXAMPLE:
Conducting a short
survey amongst
consumers about
their news
consumption
habits, so as to
gather opinions and
feedback so that
improvements can
be made to be
more commonly
suitable to the
general public of
consumers.
(OpenStax, 2016,
p. 46).
EXAMPLE:
Surveying a group
of
individuals about
their dietary habits
at age 20,;
Retest them a
decade later at age
30;
And then again at
age
40. (OpenStax,
2016, p. 47).
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Origins of Psychology and Research Methods
Worksheet
PSY/103 – Introduction to Psychology
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------Select two of the research methods, and compare and contrast them. (Your response must be
at least 75 words).
Comparing and Contrasting Naturalistic Observation and Surveys
The naturalistic observation research method is carried out in a manner that is more
undercover (such as a loss prevention employee posing as a regular shopper to discreetly observe
and discover shoplifters). In other words, the researcher attempts to blend in so as to be
inconspicuous to better observe subjects naturally.
Whereas, surveys gravitate towards a more forthright method that is not concerned with
covertly gathering data since it is focused on directly seeking answers to research inquiries aimed at
the particular subject matter for the survey being conducted).
Although, one factor both of these types of research methods hold in common with one
another, is that the participants include a wide range of various and random participants, as opposed
to the longitudinal method of research.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------Describe one ethical issue related to research.
As research involving animal subjects is not immune to ethical concerns that may arise, the
humane and ethical treatment of animal research subjects is a crucial aspect of this type of research.
Furthermore, it is mandatory that researchers must construct their experiments in ways that serve to
minimize any pain or distress experienced by animals serving as research subjects.
Additionally, animal experimental proposals are reviewed by an Institutional Animal Care and
Use Committee (IACUC) which consists of institutional administrators, scientists, veterinarians, and
community members. Further exemplifying, this committee's responsibility is ensuring that all
experimental proposals demonstrate the humane treatment of animal research subjects. Moreover,
no animal research project is allowed to legally and ethically proceed without the committee’s
approval. (OpenStax, 2016, pp. 62-63).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Why is informed consent necessary for ethical research?
Each participant must sign an informed consent form (which is a requirement for conducting
ethical research) before they can participate in the experiment. Further elaborating, the purpose of
this form is to provide the following:
A written description of what participants can expect during the experiment, including
potential risks and implications of the research;
Also informs participants that their involvement is completely voluntary and for
reassurance that participation can be discontinued at any time, without fear of penalty;
Guarantees that any data collected in the experiment will remain completely confidential.
(OpenStax, 2016, p. 61).
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Origins of Psychology and Research Methods
Worksheet
PSY/103 – Introduction to Psychology
Part III: The Brain
Studying the functions and elements of the brain is essential to understanding human behavior.
1. Why do psychologists study twins? Why do psychologists study children who have been
adopted? What can be learned from these types of studies?
Psychologists, such as behavioral geneticists, study twins to learn how individual differences
arise, through the interaction of genes and the environment, therefore, often employing twin and
adoption studies to research questions of interest, when studying human behavior.
For instance:
Twin studies compare the rates between a parameter of behavioral traits are shared
among identical and fraternal twins;
Adoption studies compare those rates among biologically related relatives, alongside,
adopted relatives.
Both approaches provide some insight into the relative importance of genes and environment
for the expression of a given trait. (OpenStax, 2016, p. 76).
2. What are the functions of neurotransmitters and hormones? How do they influence the brain
and behavior?
Neurotransmitters are the chemical messenger of the nervous system. Furthermore,
neurotransmitters bind with corresponding receptors on the dendrite of an adjacent neuron.
Additionally, there are a variety of different types of neurotransmitters, released by different neurons,
and each neurotransmitter has their own unique functions to carry out. Depicted below (Table 1.1),
are the particular functions associated with each type of neurotransmitter:
Table 1.1 Major Neurotransmitters and How They Affect Behavior
Neurotransmitter
Involved In
Potential Effect on Behavior
Acetylcholine
Muscle action, memory
Increased arousal, enhanced cognition
Beta-endorphin
Pain, pleasure
Decreased anxiety, decreased tension
Dopamine
Mood, sleep, learning
Increased pleasure, suppressed
appetite
Gamma-aminobutyric acid
(GABA)
Brain function, sleep
Decreased anxiety, decreased tension
Glutamate
Memory, learning
Increased learning, enhanced memory
Norepinephrine
Heart, intestines,
alertness
Increased arousal, suppressed
appetite
Serotonin
Mood, sleep
Modulated mood, suppressed appetite
(OpenStax, 2016, p. 85).
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Origins of Psychology and Research Methods
Worksheet
PSY/103 – Introduction to Psychology
References
Boundless.com. (2016). Boundless Psychology. Retrieved from
https://www.boundless.com/psychology/textbooks/boundless-psychology-textbook/.
OpenStax CNX. (2016). Psychology: Introduction to Psychology. Retrieved from
http:[email protected]
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PSY103 - Origins of Psychology and Research Methods - Worksheet

Intro to Psychology