Psychology 110
Crystal Ehresman
Office: Room 530
Email: [email protected]
Syllabus
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Participation
Assignment
Quizzes
Final Exam
Total =
10%
15% (2 parts @ 7.5% each)
45% (3 @ 15% each)
30%
100%
Psych 110 Flow Chart
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January 13th
January 27th
February 17th
February 24th
March 17th
April 2nd
April 9th
First day of class
Quiz #1
Quiz #2
Assignment Part 1
Quiz #3
Assignment Part 2
Last day of class
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1-5
1-6
University of Saskatchewan
University of Lethbridge
Vancouver Art Therapy Institute
Study Skills
• How to do well in this course (and school in
general)
What Is Psychology?
Chapter 1
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Psychology quiz
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Chapter Outline
• Psychology, Pseudo-science & Popular Opinion
• Thinking Critically and Creatively about Psychology
• Psychology’s Present
• What Psychologists Do
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Psychology
• The discipline concerned with behaviour and mental
processes and how they are affected by an
organism’s physical state, mental state, and external
environment
• Empirical
– Evidence gathered by careful observation,
experimentation, or measurement
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Pop Psychology
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Pop Psychology
left
right
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Pop Psychology
• Playing classical music to your baby will make him/her
smarter
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Pop Psychology
• Playing classical music to your baby will make him/her
smarter
• At any point in time, we only use 10% of our brains
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Pop Psychology
• Playing classical music to your baby will make him/her
smarter
• At any point in time, we only use 10% of our brains
• Full moons cause crimes and craziness
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Pop Psychology
• Playing classical music to your baby will make him/her
smarter
• At any point in time, we only use 10% of our brains
• Full moons cause crimes and craziness
• Human memory works like a video camera
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Psychology, Pseudoscience, &
Psychobabble
• Can you distinguish between psychobabble and
empirical psychology?
– Psychobabble confirms unsupported popular
opinion
– Empirical approach makes use of research
evidence and challenges opinion
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Pseudoscience
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associates itself with true science
relies on and accepts anecdotal evidence
ignores disproof (countering evidence)
a theory is not a good theory if it can never make
specific predictions
• dangerously reduces complexity to simplicity (to a
consumer society)
Review
• Psychology is empirical
• Pop psychology and pseudoscience are not
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Lie Detection
• Pseudoscience and Pop Psychology
• https://www.udemy.com/how-to-be-a-human-liedetector/
• http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/03/21/sci
ence/can-you-spot-the-liar.html?_r=0
• Empirical Psychology
• http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16859438
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Psychology
• Uses research and the scientific method to challenge
popular opinions and things that are considered
common sense.
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Can you Predict the Results?
• In a classroom, tests can be short or long. What is
the effect of test length on student performance?
1) Long tests lead to worse grades
2) Test length is unrelated to grades
3) Long tests lead to better performance
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Can you Predict the Results?
• Scientists have studied the effect of sugar on
children’s behaviours. What seems to be the effect of
sugar on behaviour?
1) Sugar tends to make children hyper
2) Sugar has no effect on children behaviour
3) Sugar tends to make children less hyper
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Can you Predict the Results?
• A woman is often told that if she is trying to
lose weight, she should keep a picture of a
thin model near by. What is the effect of the
picture?
1) Keeping a picture of a thin model nearby
helps with weight loss
2) Keeping a picture of a thin model nearby
has no effect on weight loss
3) Keeping a picture of thin model nearby
leads to weight gain
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The Barnum Effect
• We have a readiness to accept such
general statements as accurate
descriptions of ourselves
• The sentences are broad and fit
everyone
• Beware of all-purpose descriptions
that could apply to anyone
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Examples of Pseudoscience
• Astrology - Belief that humans are affected by
the position of celestial bodies
Examples of Pseudoscience
• Mental Powers – ESP, mind reading, palm
reading, crystal balls, tarot card reading
• Conspiracy theories
Empirical Science
• Peer review
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Thinking Critically & Creatively
• Critical thinking
– The ability and willingness to assess claims and make
objective judgments on the basis of well-supported
reasons and evidence, rather than emotion or anecdote.
– 8 critical thinking guidelines
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Critical Thinking Guidelines
1. Ask Questions: Be Willing to Wonder
- how, why
2. Define Your Terms
- Vague terms lead to incomplete answers
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Critical Thinking Guidelines
3. Examine the Evidence
- Check the facts available
- Identifying bad sources
- CRAP test (see hand-out)
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Critical Thinking Guidelines
4. Analyze Assumptions and Biases
- assumptions are beliefs taken for granted
- biases occur when we ignore the alternatives despite evidence
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau
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Critical Thinking Guidelines
5. Avoid Emotional Reasoning
- Emotional conviction alone cannot settle arguments
6. Don’t Oversimplify
- Argument by anecdote – generalizing to everyone based on
personal experience or a few examples
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Critical Thinking Guidelines
7. Consider Other Interpretations
- Consider many explanations
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7. Consider other interpretations
• People who floss regularly live longer
• Smokers in high school have worse grades than nonsmokers
• People who drink milk were found to be 18 times
more likely to develop cancer than people who did
not drink milk
Junkscience.org
Critical Thinking Guidelines
8. Tolerate Uncertainty
- Realize not everything has an answer…yet
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Critical Thinking
1. Ask questions; be willing to wonder.
2. Define the problem.
3. Examine the evidence.
4. Analyze assumptions and biases.
5. Avoid emotional reasoning
6. Don’t use either/or thinking or overgeneralize
7. Consider other interpretations
8. Tolerate uncertainty.
Critical Thinking
• Example 1
• Since we have never been visited by
aliens, and have recieved no
communication from outer space, so we
can safely assume that intelligent life
exists only on our own planet.
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Critical Thinking
• Example 1
• Oversimplification (6). An example of
either/or thinking. Since you cannot prove
a negative, you must also consider other
interpretations (7) for the absence of
contact with other planets.
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Critical Thinking
• Example 3
• Harjeet bought a bottle of pain reliever
because a TV commercial claimed that
most hospitals use it.
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Critical Thinking
• Example 3
• Analyze assumptions and biases (4). Harjeet
is assuming that the hospital selected the
pain reliever on the basis of its effectiveness.
Perhaps the hospital gets the medication free
of charge or at a greatly reduced cost. Define
the problem (2). Defining the problem as
“pain relief” may be too broad. Perhaps the
condition causing Alice’s pain problems calls
for a different type of medication.
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Critical Thinking
• Example 4
• People tend to become forgetful as they
get older. This is just one of the natural
consequences of aging, and it would be a
waste of time to look for specific causes or
ways to prevent the problem.
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Critical Thinking
• Example 4
• Ask questions; be willing to wonder (1).
Statement shows a lack of willingness to
search for causes and cures.
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Critical Thinking
• Example 5
• You can tell that Tiana is a lot smarter than
her brother. She wears those thick glasses
and has a high forehead.
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Critical Thinking
• Example 5
• Examine the evidence (3).The statement
expresses stereotypes for which there is
little or no support.
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Critical Thinking
• Example 6
• A mother was trying to dissuade her son from
marrying a girl he had met just three weeks
before. The son’s response was “But I know
she’s the one; the first time I saw her I began
to tremble and see spots before my eyes,
and I had flutters in my chest and strange
sensations in my stomach. When I’m with
her, I feel like I could just take off and fly.”
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• Example 6
• Avoid emotional reasoning (5).
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Psychology’s Present
• Major Psychological Perspectives:
1. Biological perspective
2. Learning perspective
3. Cognitive perspective
4. Socio-cultural perspective
5. Psychodynamic perspective
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Biological Perspective
• Approach that emphasizes how bodily events affect
behaviour, feelings, and thoughts
• This perspective involves:
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Hormones
Brain chemistry
Heredity/genetics
Evolutionary psychology
– How past adaptive behaviours are reflected in present
behaviours
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Learning Perspective
• Approach that is concerned with how the
environment and experience affect a person’s (or
animal’s) actions
• This perspective involves:
– Behaviourism: how environmental rewards and
punishments influences behaviour
– Social-cognitive learning theories: combine elements of
behaviourism with thoughts, values, expectations, and
intentions.
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Cognitive Perspective
• Approach that emphasizes mental processes in
perception, memory, language, problem solving, and
reasoning
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Socio-cultural Perspective
• Approach that emphasizes social and cultural influences
on behaviour
• This perspective involves:
– Social psychology – study of rules, roles, groups, and
relationships
– Cultural psychology – study of cultural norms, values, and
expectations
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Psychodynamic Perspective
• Sigmund Freud
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQh9LBIhjyM
• 4 minutes 50 seconds
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Psychodynamic Perspective
• Approach that emphasizes unconscious
dynamics within the individual, such as
inner forces, conflicts, or instinctual
energy
• This perspective involves:
– Unconscious thoughts, desires, conflicts
• Connected to all other areas of
psychology, but distinct in its language,
methods, and standards of evidence
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How do you become a Psychologist?
• Undergraduate Degree – psychology or related
field, with an Honours thesis, art or science
• Master’s Degree – approximately 2 years,
funding available and paid some
• PhD – approximately 4 years, funding available
and paid some (now you are a psychologist!)
• Post-doctoral placements – funding available
and paid
What Psychologists Do
• Three categories of professional activities for
psychologists:
1. Teaching and doing research in colleges and universities
2. Providing health or mental-health services
(psychological practice)
3. Conducting applied research for non- academic settings
(business, sports, government, law, and military)
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Psychological Practice
– Counselling psychologists: help with everyday problems
– School psychologists: work with students, parents &
teachers to enhance performance and resolve emotional
difficulties
– Clinical psychologists: diagnose, treat, & study mental and
emotional problems
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Clinical Psychologists are NOT:
• Psychotherapists
– Anyone who does any kind of psychotherapy
• Psychoanalysts
– Individuals who have trained in and practice
psychoanalysis
• Psychiatrists
– Medical doctors who diagnose and treat mental
disorders
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End of Chapter 1
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