Take out a blank sheet of paper
 Number one side of the page from 1 to 10
from top to bottom. Do NOT put your
name on it.
 As words appear on the screen, write
down the first thought that comes into your
mind in the order they appear from 1 to 10.
 Time
 Death
 Love
 Mother
 Red
 Water
 Home
 Friend
 Fear
 Balloon
 Fold the page in half and put it in the box
as I come around.
 As you read the person’s responses, what
are some assumptions you can make
about them, write these assumptions on
the right side of the page and explain them.
Psychology – the scientific
study of behaviour and mental
 Comes from the Greek –
“psyche” – soul and
“logos” – to know
 It means literally “to
know the soul”
The goals of psychology:
 To describe behaviour
by gathering
 Explain why people
behave as they do
 Predict what humans
will think, feel, or do
based on acquired
 Influence behaviour in
a helpful manner.
History is an important part of
psychology because all aspects
of psychological functioning
involve some form of history:
 Physiology – genes give you billions of years of stored
history of successful mutation
Perception – perception is never instantaneous
Memory – recall of the past
Cognition – thinking, judging, decisions about the future
Learning – past learning guides present behaviour
Social/Cultural – knowledge passed down through
institutions, cultures, families.
 Therefore the history of perceptions
creates ambiguity or uncertainty that
leads to unpredictable and often harmful
 By studying the processes of these types
of history, we gain knowledge of our
perceptions and a better, more clear
picture of reality. With this we can make
better decisions.
The basis of knowing is how we
learn about the world
 The problem is that the world is NOT self-
explanatory – the reason for the being and
becoming of things, events, and people are not
made known to us be simple observation of our
universe nor by thinking about them.
 Basically, the causes of events/objects/changes
are not easy to discover
The Poker Paradox
 How can one person be good at poker and
another, who understands the rules as
well, be bad?
 Because the good player understands
Imagine this table…
 Raymer
 Helmuth
 Ferguson
 Dealer
 Lederer
 You
What are some things you can
OBSERVE to help you reach
your decision?
Actions of your opponents (“tells”):
•Showing emotion
What are some things that you
CAN’T observe that help you
make your decision?
•The situation of the game –
•Your own hand!
•The history of the hand, the history of each
player, the history of your last few games
•What cards are still out there, what odds
do you have for an out.
Psychology is based on the same
set of problems and assumptions
as poker.
 From the observable information, we
attempt to discern the unobservable.
 2 main outputs for “players” to study:
 Behaviour – overt and public, can be
observed and measured with high accuracy
 Cognition/Emotion – internal events that
can only be self-reported (introspection).
Can be unreliable.
Psychology uses scientific
method to achieve accuracy.
 Identify a problem
 Develop a hypothesis
(and a null)
 Gather data
 Analyze results
 Conclusion
Varieties of inquiries
 There are various types of inquiries, each
appropriate for a different type of hypothesis or
Case Studies
Sample Surveys
All good scientific research has…
 Reliability – the extent to which an
experiment yields the same result on
repeated trials.
 Validity – the extent to which an
experiment is accurately targeted to test
the hypothesis stated.
 The doctor gathered the notes from her
observations and added them to the test results
she had obtained
The patient walked into the doctor’s office and
complained of fever and lack of energy.
The doctor concluded that the patient had the
The doctor thought that the patient might have
the flu that was going around.
The doctor prescribed rest, aspirin, and plenty of
The doctor inspected the patient’s eyes, nose,
and throat and ordered some tests.
2 types of observation
 Naturalistic observation – the observer is
seen by the subjects and is located in the
 Controlled observation – the observer is
unseen by the participants and the
experiment takes place in a lab.
Case study
 Observation of an individual or group over
a long period of time.
 the purpose of an experiment. A single
statement that the rest of the experiment
seeks to prove or disprove.
Dependant Variable
 The factor of the experiment that will be
affected by a change in the independent
Independent Variable
 the factor to be manipulated in an
Control Group
 a group of subjects that is monitored for
comparison. The independent variable is
not altered for this group. Usually the
observer will not know which group is
which – Double blind experiment
Random sample
 selection of subjects at random from a
population. The guarantee of randomness
increases the generalizability of the
Sample size (why is it important ?)
 greater the sample size, the more reliable
the result
Unstructured Observation
 studying a group with no predetermined
idea of what to look for.
Structured Observation
 studying a group with a specific target
behaviour to be recorded.
Participant Observation
 the observer is seen by the subjects and
is located in the environment.
Experimental design
 The demands of each set of variables, the
nature of the hypothesis being tested, and
the constraints of ethics and logistics will
all determine which is the best type of
experiment method to follow