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23 Cards in this Set

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what is psychology?
psychology is the scientific study of behavior
what are the goals of psychology?
the goals ar eto describe, understand, predict, and control behavior
how did psychology emerge as a field of knowledge?
psychology has its roots in philosophy. The first school of thought in psychology was structuralism, followed by functionalism, behaviorism, and Gestalt psychology
What are the major trends and specialties in psychology?
the five main shools of thought in psychology include behaviorism, humanism, the psychodynamic approach, biopsychology, and cognitive psychology. It is common for modern psychologists to blend many viewpoints in psychology into an eclectic whole.
What are three areas of ethical concern in psychological research?
The three areas of ethical concern in psychological research are the use of deception, invasion of privacy, and the risk of doing lasting harm to the subjects of the research.
What are the basic ethical guidelines adapted by the American Psychological Association for psychological researchers?
Do no harm, accurately describe risks to potential subjects, ensure that participation is voluntary, minimize any discomfort to participants, maintain confidentiality, do not unnecessarily invade privacy, use deception only when absolutely necessary, remove any misconceptions cause by deceptions (debrief), provide results and interpretations to participants, treat participants with dignity and respect
Why is the scientific method important to psychologists?
prevents misinformation and conjecture
How do psychologists collect information?
naturalistic observations, but this has a number of disadvantages. other studies use correlational relationships to investigate behavior, but cause and effect relationships can only be determined by the use of controoled experiments
how is an experiment performed?
usually there are two or more groups of subjects that vary in regard to the independent variable. Researchers then measure an aspect of behavior between the groups and compare their levels.
What other research methods do psychologists use?
case studies, while the survey method is common across areas of speciality
How dependable is psychological information found in the press?
It is important to critically reand and analyze information published in the popular press, as there can be a number of errors or misinterpretations of data. This may occur due to the pressures of selling copies, lack of information and lack of understanding of the scientific materials.
why do we use statistics in psychology
psychologists use statistics to help them summarize the information that they gather and aslo so that they can draw conclusions about whether or not there are important differences between groups. Obviously groups will differ somewhat simply due to chance. But statistics help psychologists determine how much variability is due to chance and how much of the variability is because of the manipulation of the independent variable
what is the difference between descriptive and inferential statistics
the former allows scholars to summarixe many disparate facts of data, and the latter allows people to draw conclusions that go beyond the gathered data
what is statistical significance
staistical significance is the degree to which an event (such as the results of an experiment) is unlikely to have occured by chance alone
how do we measure central tendency and variability
central tendency is a measure of a typical score, and we usually measure it using the mean, median or mode. variability measures how spread the subjects scores are from each other. we typically use the range or the standard deviation to measure variability
what is the normal curve
a bell shaped curve with many scores in the middle and just a few scores at the extremes. it turns out that many characteristics in psychology follow a normal curve
how does the nerve impulse (action potential) occur and how is it an all-or-nothing event
neurons pass information o ne another through synapses. while the firing of an action potential is basically elecctrical, the communication between neurons is chemical. these chemicals cross over the synapse from one neuron and cause th other neuron to be excited or inhibited by altering the electrical activity in that neuron. however the receiving neuron will only fire a nerve impulse if it is reaching the threshold for firing. if not, it will not pass the message along to the next neuron and this is called the all-or-nothing event
describe the effect of myelin on the speed of the nerve impulse
small gaps in the myelin help nerve impulses move faster. instead of passing down the entire length of the axon the can skip over the gaps
explain how and why our brains are "split"
our brains are made up of two hemispheres, the right and left. there is an association between which hemisphere is dominant and whether you are right or left handed. most people are right handed and their left hemisphere dominates over their hemisphere. however, left handed individuals tend to be less lateralized. in other words they are more likely to have both hemispheres involved in motor skills and language
what are the subparts of the human nervous system
the nervous system can be divided into the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (somatic and autonomic nervous systems) the autonomic can be divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches
describe the actions of hormones on the body
endocrine system uses hormones in the bloodstream to chemically communicate with therest of the body. the endocrine glands can influence moods, behavior, and even personality. many of the endocrine glands are themselves influeced by the pituitary gland ("master gland") which is in turn influenced by the hypothalamus in the brain
why are the association areas of the brain particularly important
it combines and processes information from the senses. it contributes to higher nemtal abilities.
what are the major specialties of psychology
developmental, comparative, biopsychology, gender, social, cultural, and evolutionary psychology