General psychology

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Overview[edit]

  • Goals of Psychology
  • Schools of psychology:
    • Structuralism:
    • Functionalism:
    • Psychoanalysis:
    • Behaviorism:
    • Cognitive Psychology:
    • Humanistic Psychology:
    • Biology:
    • Sociocultural perspective:

Biology[edit]

  • There are 2 kinds of cells in the nervous system.
    1. Neuron: Functional unit. Communicators of the nervous system. Each neuron contains:
      • Cell Body: Central area of the neuron. Contains nucleus.
      • Dendrite: Receives information from other neurons or sense organs.
      • Axon: Send information to other neurons, muscle cells, or glands.
      • Myelin Sheath: Coating on an axon. Fatty substance produced by glia cells. Nerve impulses travel faster when an axon has a myelin sheath.
      • Neurotransmitters: Chemicals that can cross over to neighboring neurons and activate them. Released by terminal buttons at the end of each axon.
      • Sensory Neuron: A neuron conduction impulses towards the brain or spinal cord.
      • Motor Neuron: A nerve cell that conducts impulses to a muscle or gland.
    2. Glia Cells: Make up the support structure of the nervous system, duties include:
      • Provide structural support to neurons.
      • Insulate neurons.
      • Nourish neurons.
      • Remove waste products.
  • Synapse: A region where nerve impulses are transmitted and received, containing the axon terminal, the axon, and dendrite.
    • Synaptic vesicles: small sacs inside terminal buttons containing neurotransmitters.
    • Reuptake: Neurotransmitter molecules detaching from receptors and returning to the presynaptic cell for reuse.
    • Action Potential: short-lived change in electric charge inside the neuron.
    • All-or-None Principle: Neuron either fires and generates an action potential, or it doesn’t.

Sensation and Perception[edit]

Psychological Development[edit]

  • Stage Theory: Elements in systems move through distinct stages over time and these stages can be described by distinguishing characteristics.
    1. Piaget's Theory:
      1. Sensory Motor: 0-2 yrs.
      2. Preoperations: 2-7 yrs.
      3. Concrete operations: 7-11 yrs.
      4. Formal operations: 11-16 yrs.
    2. Erikson's theory:
    3. Freud's Theory:

Consciousness[edit]

Learning Theory[edit]

  • Classical Conditioning
    • First described by Ivan Pavlov. A subject comes to respond to a neutral stimulus as he would to a non-neutral stimulus by learning to associate the two stimuli.
      • Unconditioned response: A response that occurs naturally. Salvation.
      • Unconditioned Stimulus: Stimulus that naturally evokes salvation. Food.
      • Conditioned Stimulus: Stimulus that dogs learned to associate with food.
      • Conditioned Response: usually the same as, or similar to, the unconditioned response, bell.
    • Extinction: gradual weakening and disappearance of a conditioned response.
    • Stimulus Generalization: The tendency to respond to a new stimulus as if it were the original conditioned stimulus. Little Albert.
    • Higher-Order Conditioning: The process by which a neutral stimulus comes to act as a conditioned stimulus by being paired with another stimulus that already evokes a conditioned response.
  • Operant conditioning: A type of learning in which responses come to be controlled by their consequences.
    • Law of Effect: The law of effect states that any behavior that has good consequences will tend to be repeated, and any behavior that has bad consequences will tend to be avoided.
    • Premack Principle: principle, described by David Premack, in which it is stated that the opportunity to engage in a pleasant activity later can be used to reinforce engagement in a less preferred or non-preferred activity earlier.
    • Shaping: Procedure in which reinforcement is used to guide a response closer and closer to a desired response.
    • Generalization: The tendency to respond to a new stimulus as if it is the original discriminative stimulus.
    • Extinction: Gradual disappearance of a response when it stops being reinforced.
    • Reinforcement: a delivery of consequences that increases the likelihood that a response will occur.
      1. Positive Reinforcement: Presentation of a stimulus after a response so that the response will occur more often.
      2. Negative Reinforcement: Removal of a stimulus after a response so that the response will occur more often.
    • Punishment: Delivery of consequence that decreases the likelihood that a response will occur.
    • Learned Helplessness: A laboratory model of depression in which exposure to a series of unforeseen adverse situation gives rise to a sense of helplessness or an inability to cope with or devise ways to escape such situation, even when escape is possible.
  • Aversive Control
    • Escape Learning: Escape a bad situation as it is happening.
    • Avoidance learning: Taking action in order to avoid a bad situation that could eventually happen.

Psychological Disorders[edit]

  • Defined with the 4 Ds
    • Deviance: Violating cultural standards.
    • Distress: Deviant thoughts, emotions, or behaviors that cause distruption and upset the person.
    • Dysfunction: Distress is so significant that it causes impairment in important activities(school, work).
    • Danger: Person becomes a danger to himself or others(suicide, homicide).
    • Insanity: a legal term (not psychological) referring to the inability to take responsibility for ones actions.
  • Anxiety Disorders: Chronic, high levels of anxiety indicates a disorder.
    • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: experiences persistent and excessive anxiety or worry that lasts at least six months.
    • Phobias: intense anxiety associated with an object or situation. Irrational fears.
    • Panic Disorder: Recurrent, unexpected panic attacks.
    • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Experiencing obsessions or compulsions, or both.
      • Compulsions: Necessary, as seen by the doer, and at times repetitive behaviors that help to prevent or relieve anxiety.
      • Obsessions: Ideas, thoughts, impulses, or images that are persistent and cause anxiety or distress.
    • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Persistently re-experiencing a highly traumatic event. Avoids stimuli associated with the trauma.
  • Mood Disorders: Marked disturbances in emotional state.
    • Depressive Disorder: Unipolar depression. Only one major depressive episode required for diagnosis. Some symptoms are:
      • Low Energy
      • Loss of interest in social activities
      • Changed sleeping or eating patterns
      • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
      • Difficulty concentrating
      • Suicidal
    • Bipolar disorder: Involve at least one distinct period when a person exhibits manic symptoms. Some manic symptoms are:
      • Irritability
      • Feeling high
      • Decreased need for sleep
      • Inflated self-esteem
      • Fast and pressured speech
      • Agitation
      • Increased interest in potentially harmful pleasurable activities
  • Somatoform Disorders: Real physical symptoms that cannot be fully explained by a medical condition.
    • Conversion Disorder: symptoms that effect voluntary motor functioning or sensory functioning.
  • Schizophrenia: Often have delusions or hallucinations, lose contact with reality.
    • Paranoid: Marked delusions or hallucinations and relatively normal emotional functioning.
      • Persecutory Delusions: Belief that one is being oppressed, pursued, or harassed.
      • Grandiose Delusions: Belief that one is very important or famous.
    • Dissociative: Disorganized behavior, disorganized speech, emotional flatness.
    • Catatonic: Unnatural movement patterns such as rigid, unmoving posture or purposeless movements. Unnatural speech patterns. Unresponsive.
  • Dissociative Disorders: Characterized by disturbances in consciousness, memory, identity, and perception.
    • Dissociative Amnesia: Inability to remember important persona information, following emotional trauma.
    • Dissociative Fugue: Suddenly leave their homes and disappear unexpectedly. They do not remember their past and are confused about their identity.
    • Dissociative Identity disorder: Certain aspects of identity, consciousness, and memory are not integrated.
  • Personality Disorders: Patterns of experience and behavior that differ noticeably from patterns that are considered normal in a personals culture.
    • Borderline Personality Disorder: Characterized by impulsive behavior and unstable relationships, emotions, and self-image.
    • Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Exaggerated sense of importance, desire to be admired.
    • Antisocial Personality Disorder: Lack of respect for other peoples rights, feelings, and needs.

Memory[edit]

  • 3 processes are involved in memory:
    1. Encoding: Processing information into memory.
      • Structural: how words appear.
      • Phonemic: how words sound
      • Semantic: what words mean, requires deeper level of processing and usually results in a better memory.
    2. Storage: Information is stored in three memory systems:
      1. Sensory Memory: Ability to retain impressions of sensory information after the original stimulus has ceased.
        • Echoic memory (haptic memory): Auditory memory.(filters out unimportant messages)
        • Iconic memory: Short-term visual memory
      2. Short-term memory: “working memory” once it is interrupted, it is forgotten. 20-30seconds. (what is in your head right now).
        • Magic number: 7 plus or minus 2.
        • Rehearsal: Repeating to keep something remembered indefinitely. Helps with duration of memory. Repeating a phone number over and over to yourself to keep in short-term memory.
        • Chunking: Helps expand the 7+ or -2 capacity of short term memory. Groups items together. 784-4669, 362-28-2000
      3. Long-term memory: Information can be transferred from STM to LTM and from LTM to STM. Unsure of duration, but it is huge (always able to learn more). Lasts maybe forever, without injury or disease. This is everything we remember for longer than 30 seconds.
        • Declarative memory: aspect of human memory that stores facts. Refers to memories that can be consciously discussed, or declared.
          • Semantic memory: Theoretical knowledge, independent of time and place. Facts, figures, remembering a fact.
          • Episodic memory: Factual knowledge of a specific moment in time. Personal experience, episodes of life. Christmas, a kiss, a dance, portion of life.
        • Non-declarative memory: Being able to do something, learned emotional of physical response. Hesitance to touch a door once you’ve been shocked by it.
          • Procedural memory: Learned to do. Riding a bike, playing guitar, musical instrument.
          • Classically condition responses: Cowering from a hand raise, due to previous slaps.
        • Decay theory: If you don’t use it, you might lose it. Long-term memory.
    3. Retrieval: Getting memories back out of the Long-term memory into Short-term memory. We inevitably make unintentional changes when retrieving memories. Therapy asks that clients retrieve unpleasant memories, in order to reattach new emotions to them.
      • Retrieval cues: stimuli that help the process of retrieval.
      • Priming: Recalling ideas becomes easier if another related idea is recalled first.
      • Repression: Motivated forgetting.
      • Indexed memory: Categories, associated memories. NBA teams, types of cars, famous men. Increases speed at which we retrieve memories.
      • Recall method: trying to retrieve a memory, but no retrieval cues. Fill in the blank test questions.
      • Recognition method: Some retrieval cues are present. Multiple choice questions on a test.
      • Relearning method: It’s one of the evidences that memory will stay around forever. Parts always remain. When we learn something, we retain traces. We relearn quicker and easier.
      • Serial learning: Learning letters of alphabet in order, can’t reproduce memories out of order. Lyrics to a song, a learned pattern. We remember things better when they are in order.
      • Serial position effect: Recall accuracy varies as a function of an items position within a study list. We remember things best at the beginning and at the end, often forget the middle.


Research Methods[edit]

  • Psychologists have four main goals when doing research:
    1. Find ways to measure and describe behavior
    2. Predict what behaviors will happen in the future
    3. Understand why, when, and how events occur
    4. Apply this knowledge to solving real-world problems
  • Scientific method: orderly systematic procedures used as we:
    • Figure out what we will research.
    • Collect and analyze data.
    • Draw conclusions on data.
    • Communicate our findings. If we do not communicate the findings, we are not following the scientific method.
      • It isn’t enough to know things even when they are obvious, you must do the research.
    • This is done to see if we can support a hypothesis.
  • Predictive hypothesis: Prediction about a relationship between two variables. Relationship between two things. Relationship between income level and amount of education.
    • Hypothesis: “Educational guess”, guess about what your research will conclude. Goal of research is to support or disprove your hypothesis. “Does two hours of study help grades?”
      • Variables: Subjects with the capability to change. Events, characteristics, behaviors or conditions that researches measure and studied.
  • Descriptive studies: Often used in predicting hypothesis. Describes behaviors and relationships, without cause and effect.
    1. Naturalistic observation: Observing in natural environment, trying not to be noticed. Jane Goodall observing primates.
      • Strengths: Nothing artificial about behaviors, realistic view.
      • Weaknesses: Variables change behavior when observed. Possible interaction between observer and observee. Takes a while to obtain information.
    2. Case Study: Done because something is new or unusual about subject. Done to find out as much information as possible. We don’t know as much about the subject. Often for rare disorders. This is an in depth study of one individual or a small group.
      • Strengths: A lot of data is produced, can find out new information.
      • Weaknesses: Even slower than naturalistic observations. Very small sample size and people, results are often limited to one person or group.
    3. Survey Method: People answer questions. Questionnaires, verbal, telemarketing.)
      • Strengths: A lot of data obtained, fairly cheap. People are more likely to discuss personal information. You can collect data on subjects that are often not easily observed, such as sex.
      • Weaknesses: People lie, don’t take surveys seriously. Can’t verify honesty. Margin of error. People can be mislead by phrasing of questions: “You don’t like Obama, do you?” Also severely limited by demographics, who is taking the survey? Surveys are not always representative of all people.
  • Nondescriptive studies (correlational research methods): (Predictions based on) correlations- Measure of relationship between two variables. Variables must be quantifiable, put into a measurable number. Height, weight, anything that is measureable, age, hair, IQ. “Is there a relationship between height and IQ?” The relationships of correlations can be:
    • Positive correlations: When the amount of one variable increases, the other variable also increases. Positive correlations move in the same direction, both variables increase or both variables decrease. The taller a person, the heavier. The relationship is that when a variable goes up the other does also.
    • Negative correlations: When the amount of one variable increases, the amount of the other variable in the relationship decreases. The more alcohol consumed, the amount of coordination decreases. The amount of hours without sleep, the lower the grades received.
    • Coefficient of correlation: degree of relation. How much do they relate? -1 –– 0 –– +1 The closer to zero, the weaker the relationship. 0=no relationship. +1= a perfect positive correlation between two variables, the strongest you can get, this happens almost never. An example of a perfect positive correlation is the faster you travel, the farther away you go.
      • Strongest relationships lie farthest from zero. Negative or positive is the direction of the relationship.
      • Strength of relationship relies on the distance of a number from zero, not on positive or negative traits.

Consciousness[edit]

A state of awareness. Of our perceptions, thoughts, feeling, sensations, and external environment.

  • States of consciousness
    • Directed consciousness: directed at a single source. Paying attention to a teacher, reading a book, being focused.
    • Flowing consciousness: mind just goes, not concentrating on anything. Most of our waking hours are spend here.
    • Day-dreams: mind flows onto a scenario, fantasy, occurs when bored. Semi-directed.
    • Divided consciousness: 2 or more things at a time, reading and thinking about something else, driving and thinking. Often happens when 1 or more tasks is well rehearsed.
  • Unconscious
    • Knocked out, hit on head
    • Freudian term, below our level of awareness. Part we cant access, but has an influence on us.
  • Preconsciousness
    • .
  • Sleep
    • Delta waves measure sleep
    • Most deep sleep takes place early on in the night
    • Sleep Cycle
      • Lasts 90 minutes.
      • Goes through 4 NREM sleep stages to REM.
        • hypnagogic
          • This is just before you fall asleep
        • NREM
          • Stage 1
            • Light sleep. Very few delta waves and is similar to hypnagogic.
          • Stage 2
          • Stage 3
            • 20% delta waves
          • Stage 4
            • 50% delta waves
            • Beginning of deep sleep
        • REM (rapid eye movement) cycle
          • consolidates and stabilized memories.
          • Neurotransmitters are replenished.
          • this is why babies sleep more, they are consolidating and stabilizing more memories.******REM sleep dreams have story-lines
          • During rem:
            • eyes move
            • senses seem real
            • muscle groups shut down (this is a natural defense so we do not injure ourselves while sleeping).
            • brain waves are similar to when awake
        • hypnapompic
          • This is just before you wake up.
    • Narcolepsy: chronic disorder of sleep characterised by experiencing extreme fatigue and falling asleep at inappropriate times.
    • Sleep apnea: losing breath, triggers us to wake up. Happens many times at nights, gasping choking snorting is possible. Associated with physiological difficulties. Fairly common, rarely fatal. Causes sleep cycle problems so you get a bad night of sleep.
    • Night terrors: wake up screaming, inconsolable, fall asleep soon after. Don’t remember a thing in the morning. Typically, this takes place in deep sleep 4, not in REM. Common in children.
    • Nightmares: dreams with bad or negative components. If child can relay what scares them, it is a nightmare.
    • Sleep walking: not acting out a dream, takes place during 3 or 4, safe to wake up person.
    • Sleep talking: any stage of sleep. Content is erratic, nothing realistic.
  • Dreams
    • our unconscious filter shuts down while we dream
    • we dream in symbols
    • very emotional things are represented
    • Day residue: we tend to dream about stuff going on in our daily life within the last couple of days.
    • Stimulus incorporation: we take current events from reality and place into our dream

Personality[edit]

  • Main theories:
    1. Behaviorism: based on classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Operant is most important. We are who we are because our environment punishes and reinforces us.
    2. Psychoanalysis: unconscious urges, motivations, drives.
      • ID: born with ID, basic animalistic survival instinct: sex and aggression. Liveso n pleasure principle. Potentially troublesome
      • Ego: piece of ID breaks off, becomes ego around age 1. Reality principle, has to deal with IDs wants while responding to reality. Working toget with ID until about 5 years old. Tries to regulate things.
      • Superego: around age 5. We finally get a conscience. Morals, ethics
    3. Cognitive theories: What we think determines who we are
      • Similar to behaviorism except different in 3 key ways:
        1. we have minds of our own,
        2. we are active players in development
          • Modeling: we do what we see being done to others. We tend to copy behaviors.
        3. we can change our environment and our environment can change us.
    4. Humanistic