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Chapter 01 - History and Methods, Psychology, by David G. Myers, 6th Edition Textbook

A Brief History-

  • Wilhelm Wundt- founded first research lab in 1879- birth of scientific psychology
  • Structuralism – studied consciousness- introspection, examining one’s mind and what one is thinking and feeling. Edward Titchener
  • Functionalism- look at function not structure, stress adaptation to the environment.
  • William James (Principles of Psychology in 1890) John Dewey
  • Gestalt psychology – focus on the totality of perception, Max Wertheimer
  • Psychoanalysis- Sigmund Freud- focus on role of unconscious conflicts, the process of raising these conflicts to a level of awareness is the goal of psychoanalysis

Current Views of Psychology-

  • Neurobiology- Behavior viewed in terms of biological responses
  • Behaviorism- Behavior viewed as a product of learned responses.
  • Humanism- Behavior viewed as a reflection of internal growth. Free will, self-actualization, Carl Rogers, client-centered therapy
  • Psychodynamic – Behavior viewed as a reflection of unconscious aggressive and sexual impulses
  • Cognitive Behavior viewed as a product of various internal sentences or thoughts.
  • Sociocultural – Behavior viewed as strongly influenced by the rules and expectations of specific social groups or cultures.


Psychology- the scientific study of the behavior of living things
4 goals- describe, understand, predict and control
theory – general framework for scientific study; smaller aspects can be tested
Charles Darwin – theories led to comparative psychology, inspired early functionalists
Wilhelm Wundt- ‘father of psychology’, first scientific lab
Introspection- the process of looking into yourself and describing what is there
Structuralism- the first theoretical school in psychology, stated that all complex substances could be separated and analyzed into component elements
Sigmund Freud- psychodynamic approach, emphasis on the unconscious
William James- wrote ‘Principles of Psychology’, a functionalist, coined the phrase ‘stream of consciousness’
Functionalist – asked what the mind does and why, believed that all behavior and mental processes help organisms to adapt to a changing environment
John. B. Watson- behaviorist, Little Albert
Gestalt psychology –emphasized the organizational processes in behavior, rather than the content of behavior, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts
Eclecticism – the process of making your own system by borrowing from two or more other systems.
Neurobiological approach (medical)- viewing behavior as the result of nervous system functions and biology
Behavioral approach –view behavior as the product of learning and associations
B. F. Skinner- behaviorist, operant conditioning
Humanistic approach- believe that people are basically good and capable of helping themselves.
Carl Rogers- a humanist
Psychoanalysis- a system of viewing the individual as the product of unconscious forces
Cognitive approach- emphasizing how humans use mental processes to handle problems or develop certain personality characteristics
Sociocultural approach – behavior viewed as strongly influenced by the rules and expectations of specific social groups or cultures
Placebo – a ‘medicine’ with no active ingredients
Double-blind study- neither participants or researchers know who is in which group
Hypothesis- a statement of the results that the experimenter expects
Subjects- people or animals in the experiment
Independent variable- factor that the experimenter manipulates in a study
Dependent variable- the factor in a study that changes as a result of changes in the IV
Confounding variable- factors that may cause the DV to change other than the IV
Field experiments- research that takes place outside the laboratory
Experimental group- the group that gets the changes in the IV
Control group- this group is for comparison and doesn’t get the changed IV
Survey- method of research using questions on feelings opinions, or behavior patterns
Sample- a group that represents a larger group
Naturalistic observation- research method that involves studying subjects without their being aware that they are being watched
Interview- a research method that involves studying people face to face and asking questions
Case study method- research that collects lengthy, detailed info. About a person’s background, usually for treatment
Cross-sectional method- looks at different age groups at the same time in order to understand changes that occur during the life span
Longitudinal method- studies the same group of people over a long period of time
Reliability – results of a test or study must be reproducible
Validity – measures what the psychologist wishes to measure
Construct validity – the extent to which a test measures something – a theoretical construct
Criterion-related validity- refers to how effective a test is in predicting an individual’s behavior in other specified situations (ex. SAT)
Informed consent – telling subjects all features of the experiment prior to the study
Inferential statistics – used to measure sampling error, draw conclusions from data, and test hypotheses (ex. T-test, chi-squares, analyses of variance)
Descriptive statistics – answer the question what is the data, include measures of central tendency
Mean- average
Median- middle number
Mode – most frequent number
Variability- how the data spreads across a graph (range, standard deviation, Z-
Correlation – the relationship between two sets of scores, range between +1.00 and –1.00, the closer to 1 the stronger the correlation
Z-score –a way of expressing a score’s distance from the mean in terms of the standard deviation

1. The essence of the experimental method is
A. accurate calculation of correlations
B. obtaining direct reports from subjects about their subjective experiences.
C. careful measurement and record keeping
D. using control to identify cause and effect connections

2. Which of the following is an appropriate use of naturalistic observation?
A. to raise questions and suggest hypotheses
B. to develop formal psychological theory
C. to test hypotheses derived from theory
D. to answer questions about cause and effect relationships

3. You are at a lecture about the history of psychology and the speaker states that Wilhelm Wundt’s theory of structuralism was the first scientific psychological theory. On what historical fact might the speaker be basing her or his argument?
A. Wundt was internationally known at the time, and this led credence to his theory in the scientific community.
B. Wundt studied under Ivan Pavlov for his graduate training, and Pavlov required scientific methods to be used.
C. Structuralism was based on the results of his introspection experiments, so it is, at least in part, empirical.
D. Structuralism was based on careful anecdotes gathered from Wundt’s extensive clinical career.
E. Wundt was the first person to study psychology in an academic setting

4. In order to summarize or organize a series of observations in some meaningful way psychologists may develop
A. hypotheses
B. experiments
C. surveys
D. theories

5. In the simplest experiment, the two groups of subjects are treated exactly alike except for the __ variable.
A. independent
B. dependent
C. extraneous
D. control

6. Sigmund Freud’s theory of the unconscious mind
A. was revolutionary because it was the first comprehensive explanation of human thought and behavior.
B. Resulted from discoveries about the human brain obtained by cadaver dissection.
C. Is outdated and has no relevance for modern psychology.
D. Focused entirely on human males’ sex drive.
E. Depends on the idea that humans can remember events but not be consciously aware of the memory.

7. The conditions that a researcher wishes to prevent from affection the experiment are called
A. constants
B. dependent variables
C. extraneous variables
D. independent variables

8. In what way might a behaviorist disagree with a cognitive psychologist about the cause of aggression?
A. A behaviorist might state that aggression is caused by memories or ways we think about aggressive behavior, while a cognitive psychologist might say aggression is caused by a past repressed experience.
B. A behaviorist might state that aggression is a behavior encouraged by our genetic code, while a cognitive psychologist might state that aggression is caused by memories or ways we think about aggressive behavior.
C. A behaviorist might state that aggression is caused by past rewards for aggressive behavior, while a cognitive psychologist might believe aggression is caused by an expressed desire to fulfill certain life needs.
D. A behaviorist might state that aggression is caused by past rewards for aggressive behavior, while a cognitive psychologist might believe aggression is caused by memories or ways we think about aggressive behavior.
E. A behaviorist would not disagree with a cognitive psychologist about aggression because they both believe that aggressive behavior is caused by the way we cognitively process certain behaviors.

9. A researcher wants to determine the effect of sleep deprivation on human problem solving. Subjects in an appropriate control group for such an experiment would be described as having
A. much more sleep than normal.
B. Much less sleep than normal
C. A normal amoount of sleep
D. The same amount of sleep as the experimental group

10. Which type of variable is measured in both the experimental and control groups of an experiment?
A. the dependent variable
B. the independent variable
C. extraneous variables
D. the reference variable

11. Dr. Marco explains to a client that his feelings. Of hostility toward a coworker are most likely caused by the way the client interprets the coworker’s actions, and the way he thinks that people should behave at work, Dr. Marco is most likely working from what perspective?
A. behavioral
B. cognitive
C. psychoanalytic
D. humanist
E. social-cultural

12. In the traditional learning experiment the effect of practice on performance is investigated. Performance is the ___ variable
A. independent
B. extraneous
C. control
D. dependent

13. One of the limitations of the survey method is
A. observer bias
B. that it sets up an artificial situation
C. that replies may not be accurate
D. the self-fulfilling prophecy

14. Which of the following is not a goal of psychology?
A. description of behavior
B. prediction of behavior
C. depiction of behavior
D. understanding behavior

15. Control is an important goal of psychology. For most psychologists, control means
A. heavy reliance upon rewards rather than punishments
B. manipulation of behavior by government, educators, scientists, or authorities
C. altering conditions that influence behavior in predictable ways

16. Professor Ma wants to design a project studying emotional response to date rape. He advertises for participants in the school newspaper, informs them about the nature of the study, gets their consent, conducts an interview, and debriefs them about the results when the experiment is over. If you were on the IRB, which ethical consideration would you most likely have the most concern about in Professor Ma’s study?
A. Coercion
B. Deception
C. confounding variables
D. anonymity
E. clear scientific purpose

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