A Beginners Cheat Sheet to Psychology


  • The scientific study of mind and behavior
  • Social/Behavioral sciences
  • Principles are based on research
  • Psychology has its foundations in philosophy and biology
  • For tips on how to study and other information about the field of psychology, visit
  • Psychology is a behavioral science
  • Because it is a science, all of the principles of psychology are supported by someone’s (or several people’s) research.

Psychology as Science is Born

Started in Germany in the mid 1800’s

Wilhelm Wundt: the father of Psychology

Early Psychologyconcerned with thinking about how the mind is structured (structuralism) and how it functions (functionalism

Goals of Psychology

  1. Describe
  2. Explain
  3. Predict
  4. Control

These four goals apply to all science.  Because we are such a young science, we are often best at describing concepts and not nearly as good at explaining, predicting or controlling them.  As we learn more, we will improve in these areas. The symbol is the symbol of psychology.  It is often used as an abbreviation for psychology

The Big Issues

  • Stability versus change – do people change over time?
  • Rationality versus irrationality – how error prone are we?
  • Nature-Nurture – what are the relative contributions of biology and environment to behavior?

Psychology’s Sub-fields

Applied (often licensed) psychologists provide service for a fee

  • Clinical psychologists provide therapy
  • Most popular area

    <li>School psychologists test school children and provide classroom consultation</li>
    <li>Forensic psychology relates psychological principles to the law</li>

    Often give expert testimony or work in prisons

    Visit the APA’s home site for more information about graduate study in psychology.

    Non-applied (research) psychologists often work at universities

  • Personality – study how the personality develops
  • Developmental – study how people change as they age
  • Social – study the behavior of individuals in groups
  • What We Do

    Revisit the APA and APS for more information about careers in psychology. You can also check out the Careers in Psychology page. The purple area of the graph above indicates just how popular clinical psychology is.

    Chapter One

    Psychological Science


    Psychological research started in earnest in the 1900’s

    Research separates Psychology from common sense

    Psychology is a very dynamic field

  • Many questions remain unanswered
  • Still a chance for you to become famous
  • Most of the research in the field was done in this century and most of that in the latter part of this century. This is the main reason why we are better at describing concepts. We simply have not had much time to figure things out.

    Scientific Attitude

    Psychology is not based on common sense – it is based on research

  • This is why you will have to support what you say in the discussion group with research evidence
  • Common sense limitations

  • Hindsight bias – we knew it all along
  • It is easy to think you could predict the outcome after the results are available to you

    <li>Overconfidence in our predictions</li>

    One with a scientific attitude is skeptical

  • When presented with info, one asks How do you know that?
  • Humility is also required because as new research is available, we may be required to change our thinking

  • In my career there have been three major shifts in belief
  • Freudian psychology dominated when I started

    That shifted to behavioral and then to cognitive

    Now biological and evolutionary psychology are major areas

    Critical thinking is also part of the scientific attitude

  • Critical thinkers ask questions
  • How do they know that?

    Do they have an agenda?

    What are their credentials?

    What is the evidence for what they say?

    Are their alternative explanations?

    Scientific Method

    Psychologists use research to support their beliefs

    Theory – explains through a set of principles that organize and predict observable behavior

  • Must imply testable predictions called hypotheses
  • Psychologists use operational definitions so others know what is being discussed – defining a concept in measurable/observable terms

    Psychologists report their results so they can be reviewed and replicated by others

  • A check and balance system to deter falsifying results and to make sure that the results obtained are not just an accident
  • Research Methods

    Surveys, case studies and observations describe behavior

    Correlations help in predicting behavior

    Experiments explain behavior

    Refer back to the goals of science

    Discussion of methods to inform and to make you a better consumer of data


    Most popular method — two types

    The pencil and paper test is used most because a lot of information can be gathered in a short period of time

    Interviews are face to face surveys

    Surveys are often used to gather data about public opinion – see Roper

    Here’s more info about surveys

    Problems with Surveys

    People lie

    People don’t remember

    People may not understand questions

    Results can only be used as a guideline

  • They describe behavior only
  • Most of you have probably participated in a survey. We are often quoted results form surveys as though they are facts.

    Naturalistic Observation

    Observing subject in its natural environment

    Observation affected by the presence of the observer

    When I was in practice, I was often asked by classroom teachers to visit their classrooms in order to observe someone who I was seeing in therapy. If I went, I was doing naturalistic observation.

    Laboratory Observation

    Observe subject in lab or office

    Setting is artificial

    Observation affected by the presence of the observer

    Results from observations can only be used as guidelines

  • They too are descriptive
  • All psychologists who treat patients use laboratory observation — their office is the laboratory.  They have to be careful to consider that what they see in the office may not be the same behavior the patient exhibits outside of the office.

    Case Study

    Detailed history taken from a person with a problem

    Usually done by clinical psychologist

    Psychologist gets idea of what might have caused problem

    Cannot draw conclusions from this method

    Data used as guideline only

    Sometimes a psychologist might find something in the person’s history that sounds like it caused their problem but they have to resist the temptation to say more than “this might be a cause of your problem.”


    Statistical procedure used to determine a relationship between two variables

    Positive Correlation (0 – 1.0):  Both variables change in same direction  (increase or decrease)

  • Example: Hours of study & GPA
  • Negative Correlation (-1.0 – 0): Variables change in opposite directions

  • Example:  Body fat and exercise
  • Here is another explanation

    Sometimes a visual picture of a correlation is used called a scatter plot

    The results from a correlation can be used to predict

    If you know the correlation (positive or negative) and the change in one of the two correlated variables, you can predict the change in the other

  • If you know grades and study time are positively correlated and you know study time is increasing, then you can predict grades will also increase
  • Notice this is a prediction not an absolute statement – it doesn’t work all the time
  • Problems with Correlation

    Data are sometimes interpreted to mean one variable caused the change in the other

    You cannot draw a conclusion like this from correlational data

    Data can only be used as a guideline to predict behavior

    Illusory correlations —  perceiving a relationship when none exists

  • Getting wet and catching a cold
  • Perceiving order in random events

  • After 100 straight tails it is still 50/50 chance of flipping another tail on the next try
  • Note

    The previous four methods are used for generation of hypotheses

  • (Educated guesses)
  • No conclusions can be drawn from the results of the studies

    You can only describe or predict the results but you cannot explain the results

    Experimental Method

    Only method that allows us to draw a conclusion about causes (explain the results)

    Controlled comparison between groups

  • Experimental group receives the independent variable
  • Control group does not receive the independent variable
  • Although it describes the physical sciences this website has a good description of the process


  • Independent variable is the variable expected to cause change (in the dependent variable)
  • Dependent variable is the variable that actually changes as a result of the independent variable
  • The dependent variable changes as a result of manipulating the independent variable
  • Important that both groups be equal except for the independent variable

  • Subjects must be assigned to each group without bias
  • To do this we use a process called Random Assignment where any subject has an equal chance of being in any group
  • We must also control for the effects of placebo

    Placebo effect happens when people get better because they are taking a pill that they think will make them better

  • People will get better just because a doctor tells them they will.
  • Do so by adding an extra control group, one for each effect

    In a blind study subjects don’t know which group they are in

    In a double blind study neither subjects nor experimenters know who is in which group

    Any time you are running a study that involves testing a pill against a placebo (fake pill), you must run the study as a double blind study so that you can accurately test for the effects of placebo. Even if the researchers know who is getting the real pill, they might unintentionally influence one group or the other. This will ruin your study. Only one person knows who is in which group and s/he has no contact with the subjects.

    Sample Study

    This study has been run many times. We start with a hypothesis that Ritalin will treat hyperactivity. We then find a group of hyperactive children and randomly assign them to one of the four groups. We run the study for several months and retest for hyperactivity. When we do this we get the results described on the previous slide. We can then conclude that Ritalin is an effective treatment for hyperactivity. The independent variable is Ritalin and the dependent variable is hyperactivity.

    Statistical Reasoning

    Measures of central tendency

    Mean is the arithmetic average

    Most likely to be affected by a few very high or low scores

    Median divides the scores in half

    Mode is the most frequently occurring score

    Measures of variation

  • Range is the range of scores from highest to lowest
  • Standard deviation – measure of how much scores vary around the mean
  • Statistical significance – a statistical computation allowing you to say the differences between groups in an experiment probably didn’t occur by chance

  • Here is an explanation connected to cancer
  • Research

    Early research done with animals

    Animal to human comparison possible because of evolution

    Psychology sometimes called the “science of the white rat”

    Although rats are still used in psychological research, they are not used nearly as much as in the past. Much of the research today uses human subjects. Many of these subjects come from introductory psychology classes just like this one.

    Why use Animals?


    Ability to control all aspects of environment

    Enables the Researcher to perform controversial procedures

    Cautions in Animal Use

    People are more complex

    Anthropomorphization (the big word of the class): attributing human qualities to animals

    Concerns about abuse of animals

    Visit the websites of the Psychologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or the Doris Day Animal League for more information about cruelty to animals. Visit this site for the APA’s position.

    Chapter 2


    Nervous System


    Two parts of the nervous system

    Central nervous system (CNS) is composed of the brain and spinal cord

    Peripheral nervous system (PNS) is all nervous system connections outside the central nervous system

  • From the spinal cord to the body’s muscles and organs.
  • Made up of cells called neurons

  • Neurons transmit information
  • Neuron – Definitions to Follow

    Before you start on the definitions, try a tutorial on neural processes

    Cell body (soma) is where cell metabolism takes place & where nucleus resides

    Dendrites receive information from other neurons

    Axon transmits information

  • Myelin sheath insulates the axon
  • Axon terminal is the end of an axon

    Resting potential is polarization of neurons at rest

  • More negative ions inside the neuron and more positive outside
  • Firing is the beginning of transmission of information to next neuron

  • The neuron begins to depolarize
  • All or nothing principle means neurons either fire or they don’t

    Action potential is the name for charge as it passes down the axon

  • Here’s another explanation
  • Does this through a process of depolarization
  • When the neuron fires, gates at the beginning of the axon open allowing positive ions to flow in

    This causes the second set of gates to open allowing positive ions into this section of the axon

    Similar to a domino effect the action potential moves down the axon

    <li>Refractory period – neuron pumps positive ions back out</li>

    Cannot fire again during this period

    When the action potential reaches the axon terminal, the synaptic vesicle is stimulated releasing neurotransmitters to the synaptic cleft which are then absorbed by next dendrite

    Synaptic vesicles are storage places for neurotransmitters in the axon terminal

    Neurotransmitters are the chemicals that transmits information across the synaptic cleft

  • Dopamine – linked to schizophrenic behavior
  • Serotonin –  linked to depression
  • Excitatory – promote the firing of a neuron
  • Inhibitory – inhibit the firing
  • If enough excitatory neurotransmitters to reach its threshold are received by the neuron, it fires
  • Reuptake – sending neuron reabsorbs excess neurotransmitters
  • Lock & key hypothesis – dendrite of next neuron has a hole to match the chemical shape of its neurotransmitter

  • The lock and key hypothesis explains how a dendrite knows which neurotransmitter to absorb
  • Agonists similar enough in chemical structure to mimic the action of a neurotransmitter
  • Antagonists similar enough to fill the hole but not mimic the action thus blocking the action of a neurotransmitter
  • The method of transmission for neurons is electrochemical

  • Electrical within the neuron
  • Chemical in between neurons
  • Lock and Key Hypothesis

    Peripheral Nervous System

    Somatic nervous system controls voluntary functions

    Autonomic nervous system controls involuntary functions

    Autonomic Nervous System

    Sympathetic nervous system activates body and prepares body to deal with danger.

    Parasympathetic nervous system returns body to normal

    Central Nervous System

    Brain and spinal cord

  • Spinal cord consists of bundles of neurons called nerves
  • Channels info to brain from the muscles and organs
  • Spinal cord is responsible for spinal cord reflexes
  • Information inputs from the senses along sensory neurons

    Interneurons activate motor neurons which cause you to perform an action

    They also signal the brain informing it of what action you just made

    Neural networks are clusters of neurons that work together to produce certain results

  • Like a workgroup
  • Are interconnected with other neural networks
  • Learning strengthens the connections within a network as does practice
  • This increases the speed and efficient with which the network does its job

    <li>New information becomes a part of the network</li>

    The Brain

    The brain is the body’s control center

    Everything about you is controlled by your brain

    Your brain is the essence of who you are

    The brain is responsible for all your emotions including love.  It has nothing to do with your heart.  Why do you think people once thought it did?  Now that you know the truth, the next time you look longingly into your lover’s eyes, you must say “Sweetie (or whatever pet name you use), I love you with all my brains.”

  • And on that February holiday…
  • Brain Compared to a Computer


  • Slow
  • Electrochemical
  • Process, store, retrieve info
  • Unlimited capacity
  • Controls body
  • Computer

  • Fast
  • Electrical
  • Process, store, retrieve info
  • Limited capacity
  • Does not have body yet
  • Methods of Studying the Brain

    Autopsy is the study of dead brains

    Accident victims – study lost functions and assumed to be controlled by damaged part of brain

  • Read about Phineas Gage’s accident and learn what it contributed to our knowledge of frontal lobe functions (there are several stories on this page)
  • EEG

  • Measure of electrical activity in the brain
  • Used to diagnose epilepsy
  • Designate sleep states
  • Electrical stimulation

  • Implant electrodes in an animal’s brain and turn on and turn off body functions, etc.
  • Map the brain for neurosurgery in humans
  • Brain scans are computerized scans that create a picture of the brain

  • CAT scans                                   all brain scans
  • PET scans                                    produce computer
  • MRI scans                                   enhanced pictures
  • This website provides information about the MRI

    Brain Scans

    The Brain

    Medulla controls heart and breathing rate

  • Essential for life
  • Reticular formation

  • Directs cortex to pay attention to incoming info
  • Involved in sleep
  • Helps to screen out irrelevant information such as background noise
  • Cerebellum helps to control motor movements and balance

    Thalamus is a relay station/traffic director

    The limbic system is involved with emotions

  • Hypothalamus regulates thirst, wake-sleep cycle, menstrual cycle, sexuality, body rhythms, body temperature
  • Amygdala influences aggression and fear
  • Hippocampus is the gateway to long term memory
  • Cortex is a thin convoluted layer over the cerebral hemispheres involved with  thought, decision, logical thinking

  • Sometimes called the cerebral cortex
  • Our cortex makes us uniquely human

    The Lobes


    Cortex can be divided into areas called lobes

    Frontal lobe – emotion, sequencing of events, attention, goal directed behavior

    Parietal lobes – sensory information from the body

    Occipital lobes – vision

    Temporal lobes – language and hearing

    Motor cortex controls the movement of various body parts

    Sensory cortex receives input from the skin senses and the movement of body parts

    Association areas integrate information and are involved in higher mental functions like thinking and learning

    Speech Centers

    Found in the left hemisphere of brain

    Broca’s area controls speech production

    Wernicke’s area regulates understanding speech

    Because these areas are in different parts of your brain, you can damage one and not the other


    Neural plasticity is the brain’s capacity for modification

  • Reorganization following an accident
  • Brain is not as hard-wired as once thought
  • In very young children the brain can reintegrate itself after the loss of an entire hemisphere


    Divided into hemispheres

  • Functions not as independent as once thought
  • Right hemisphere

  • Visual-spatial tasks, picture recognition, left side of body
  • Left hemisphere

  • Language, decision making, logical thinking, right side of body
  • Corpus callosum interfaces left and right hemispheres

    Split Brain Research

    Done when the corpus callosum is cut

    May prevent communication between  hemispheres

    If left side of body is doing something and person cannot see it, they cannot tell you what the left side of body is doing

    Endocrine System

    Controls the body by releasing hormones into the blood stream through a series of glands

    System controlled by the hypothalamus

    Pituitary gland

  • Releases hormones to tell other glands in the system to release their hormones
  • Releases growth hormones
  • Thyroid gland is located in the neck

  • Hormone that controls metabolism
  • Adrenal glands is located upper abdomen

  • Release adrenaline and Noradrenalin
  • Gonads are your sex glands

  • Different for women and men
  • Gonads

    Ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone

  • Feminize body, controls fertility cycle
  • Contains ova, all present at birth. They  mature one a month starting with puberty
  • Testicles produce androgens one of which is testosterone

  • Masculinize body, controls sex drive and sperm production
  • Sex Drive

    Notice that there is no mention of what hormone controls sex drive in women.  Currently, it is believed that testosterone controls sex drive in both men and women.


    Chapter 3

    The Nature and Nurture of Behavior

    The Argument

    Nature – Nurture is a long standing debate in psychology

  • The question is whether you are the way you are because of your biological make-up (nature) or your environment (nurture)
  • In the early days it was either/or
  • Today we realize that both have an effect on you
  • The question now is how much of each for a given characteristic


    Each cell in your body has 46 chromosomes – 23 come from your mother and 23 from your father

  • Sex cells (sperm and ovum) are an exception to this – each has only 23
  • Composed of DNA
  • Composed of genes in pairs

    Genes defined by nucleotides designated by the letters A, T, C, and G
    Combinations of these letters in your genes determine what and who you are

    Human Genome project is at work mapping the human genetic code

  • Read more about it here
  • More than 98% of our genes match those of chimpanzees and 99.9% match other humans
  • It doesn’t take much variation to make people different
  • Or we are far more alike than most people think
  • Most human characteristics are probably influenced by combinations of genes called gene complexes

    Evolutionary Psychology

    The branch of psychology that tries to explain the evolution of behavior and the mind using the principles of natural selection

    Natural selection says that traits that give an advantage for survival will be passed onto successive generations

  • Through mutation and mating combinations, those traits that enhanced survival were passed on
  • Human genetics are not as restrictive as other animals because we have the capacity to learn

  • This adaptive ability increased our ancestors’ ability to survive
  • Focuses on differences as well as similarities

    Sometimes our evolutionary behavior causes us problems

  • We are programmed to like high calorie high fat foods because at one time food was scarce and it was a good thing to build fat – now that food is plentiful for most Americans, it causes problems with obesity
  • Psychologists are using evolutionary principles to try to explain commonly observed behavior

  • A recent event in the field
  • Gender Differences in Sexuality

    Males more likely to initiate sexual behavior cross-culturally

    Males more likely to frequent adult video stores

    Males have a more accepting attitude towards casual sex

    Males are more likely to perceive a warm friendly interaction with a woman to have sexual overtones

    Others in the text

    Evolutionary Explanation

    For male’s recreational approach to sex

  • Goal of sex for all of us is to pass on our genes to the next generation
  • Best way for men is to have sex with as many women as possible because sperm is cheap (lots are produced constantly)
  • Only one ovum is produced per month (roughly) and therefore they are relatively expensive and women were occupied with pregnancy and childcare
  • Therefore the best way to successfully pass on their genes was to carefully breed with a man who would take care of her and her baby and who would be likely to contribute to a healthy baby

    Both sexes tend to engage in behaviors that advertise the qualities that will attract a mate

  • Women looks and youth
  • Men status and boldness/daring
  • Leads to many feats of daring that cause injury and death

    Another example of us being out of step with evolution

    Our ancestors need to be bold and daring to survive – we don’t

    Also explains other breeding practices

  • Men tend to be attracted to young healthy women because they have the best chance of producing healthy offspring
  • Women to healthy men who are likely to be able to protect and support her and the baby
  • Men who seem mature and affluent

    Reason why men seek wealth and power
    <li>These are what worked for our ancestors</li>

    As times change, our capacity for learning and adapting allows us to override our biological urges


    Starts with behavior and then generates an evolutionary explanation for it (hindsight explanation)

    Reinforces male-female stereotypes

    Mate preferences change over time

  • Voluptuous women in the mid 20th century and very thin women now
  • Socialization may be a factor

    Gender inequality may be a factor

    Evolutionary Psychologists Respond

    Their science is like reverse engineering

    They offer testable hypotheses

    They agree humans have the capacity to learn

    They say that knowledge of why we act the way we do doesn’t mean we have to act that way

    Behavior Genetics

    The field that studies the genetics-heredity issue as it relates to behavior

  • More info here Use two main types of studies
  • Twin studies compare members of a twin pair on a particular characteristic
  • Fraternal twins – two separate ova and therefore no more alike than siblings

    Identical twins – one ovum and therefore almost identical

    Identical twins should be more behaviorally similar than fraternal twins if there is a genetic component to behavior

    Most research shows they are although not 100% alike
    <li>Twins separated at birth are also studied</li>

    The few who have been show remarkable similarity

    <li>There are some critics</li>

    Twins do share the prenatal environment

    They also share an appearance which would precipitate a similar reaction from people

    Adoption studies

  • Children adopted at birth and compared to their adoptive and biological families
  • Adoption studies….

  • They are more similar to their biological than adoptive parents
  • Children raised in the same home are not more likely to share the same traits
  • Parenting does have some influence – perhaps on attitudes like religious and political beliefs
  • They also influence other characteristics as well

    Temperament studies

  • Temperament is inborn excitability
  • Present in infants and endures through life
  • They help form our personality
  • Heritability of a characteristic is the percentage of the differences found among people which are due to genetics

    Genetics are better at explaining individual differences than differences among groups

    Gene-environment interaction

  • Genes and experience are both important
  • Who you are influences how people react to you and how people react to you influences who you are
  • Molecular Genetics

    The attempt to identify which genes influence a particular behavior

    Since most traits of interest to psychologists are determined by more than one gene, the attempt is to ID at least some as a result of easier and better genetic analysis

  • Will allow us to predict who is at risk for a disorder
  • Risk of self-fulfilling prophecy
  • If we learn that our child is at risk for a disorder, we may treat them is such a way as to facilitate the disorder

    Creates ethical issues

  • Should we be allowed to choose the sex of our baby, its traits, not have it if it is at risk for a serious psychological disorder?
  • Environmental Influence

    Parents are an influence

  • Shared environmental influences (same family environment) account for about 10% of personality differences
  • Parents are not as influential as once thought

    Prenatal is another

  • Exposure to toxins
  • Nourishment
  • Experience is a third

  • Early learning prepares the brain for later development
  • Experience….

  • In young childhood, we have massive neural connections
  • Those used through experience develop while those unused disappear at puberty

    <li>Some skills are easily learned during childhood (language) and learned with much more difficulty as adults</li>

    If no language is learned by adulthood, one will never be learned

    <li>Experience changes the wiring of our brains</li>

    As you practice something, the neurons that control that function become more efficient

    Peer influence

  • Peers are powerful socializers
  • Children are often more likely to do things they see their peers doing

    <li>We seek peers like us</li>
    <li>Influence is likely the result of biological programming since much of our adult life is spent with others and getting along with them is very important to our survival</li>

    Chapter 7

    States of Consciousness


    Consciousness is our state of psychological awareness

    We have two levels of information processing

  • Conscious and subconscious
  • Much of what we do goes on at the subconscious level

    Levels of Information Processing

    Conscious processing

  • Everything you are aware of both internally and externally
  • What your are paying attention to around you

    Your internal states such as hunger as long as you are aware of them

    What you are thinking about

    <li>Awareness allows us to voluntarily control our activities</li>

    You have to think about it to do it

    For example trying to solve a new math problem

    You think about each step as you do it

    Subconscious processing

  • Occurs in many parallel tracks at the same time
  • While you’re reading this, your conscious processing is aware of the words while at the subconscious level, you’re also processing the letters, color and style of the type (print vs. cursive), position on the page, etc.

    There is no awareness of this unless something/someone brings it to our attention

    Allows you to automatically take care of events you do routinely such as walking or driving a car

    Also allows your conscious attention to be devoted to other things

    For example, when driving a car, you can consciously focus on the road and potential obstacles while your subconscious processing takes care of the mechanics of driving

    Ways to Alter Consciousness




    We are going to review the information on sleep

    Although the information on drugs and hypnosis will not be covered on the test, explore alcoholism, and drug abuse and read more information about hypnosis

    The text has excellent discussions on the other two but you will not be responsible for that information

    Biological Rhythms

    Circadian rhythms are twenty-four hour repeating body cycles

  • Wake/sleep cycle regulated by light
  • Jet lag and shift work disrupt circadian rhythms
  • Take the circadian rhythm test
  • There are other rhythms such as annual

  • The change in the amount of light associated with the winter months can produce SAD
  • Learn more about SAD
  • Stages of Sleep



    Awake /alert

    State of deep relaxation

  • Transition to sleep
  • Stage 1

  • First stage of sleep
  • Light sleep
  • Easily awakened
  • Hypnologic sensations – falling, floating
  • EEG Pattern


    Random, fast (beta waves)

    Alpha waves


    Irregular waves



    Stage 2

  • Deeper sleep
  • Harder to awaken
  • Large portion of night
  • Stage 3

  • Transition between stage 2 and stage 4
  • EEG Pattern


    Sleep spindles

  • Beginning delta waves


    Stage 4

  • Very deep sleep
  • Very difficult to awaken
  • If awakened, often dazed and confused
  • Large portion of night
  • EEG Pattern

    Delta waves



  • Rapid Eye Movement (REM)
  • Dream stage
  • Deep sleep
  • Difficult to awaken
  • If so, often dazed and confused
  • Vivid and detailed dreams
  • EEG Pattern

    Active pattern similar to awake


    REM often called paradoxical sleep

  • Deeply asleep but EEG pattern similar to awake
  • It is the stage during which you dream
  • For more information on dreaming, go to


    Sleep Cycles

    Sleep occurs in 90 minute cycles

    First cycle begins with stage 1 and proceeds through stages to stage 4

    Then in reverse order, person returns to stage 2

    Person then has first dream state (REM)

  • Cycles continue until person awakens
  • First three 90 minute cycles generally contain all four stages

    Remainder of cycles generally do not go below stage 3 for most adults

  • Usually alternate between REM
  • And stage 2
  • Most of your stage 4 sleep occurs early in your sleep cycle

    Most of your dream states occur late in your sleep cycle

    Dream Facts

    Everyone dreams on average about two hours every night

    People are not likely to move or talk during their dreams

    Most dreams are accompanied by sexual arousal regardless of content of dream

    Both males and females have sex dreams with orgasm

    Outside material  can be incorporated into dreams

  • Music playing or someone talking
  • Most dreams are similar to what happens to us when we are awake

    Most dreams last as long as the actual event

    Some people are capable of lucid dreams

  • Influencing the outcome of their dream
  • Aware that they are dreaming
  • Common Dreams

    Falling dream

    Chase dream

    Repetitive dream

    Virtually everyone has had at least one of the three

    Theories of Sleep

    We sleep on average about one third of our lives

  • How much per night varies by one’s age
  • Sleep deprivation causes us problems

  • Increased rate of accidents
  • Limited ability to concentrate
  • Overall performance suffers as does our sense of well being
  • May suppress the immune system
  • Restorative theory of sleep – we sleep to restore our bodies and minds

  • Sleep deprivation causes negative effects
  • Sleep as adaptive inactivity (evolutionary theory)

  • Protected us from danger at night
  • Limited food, poor vision, night predators

    <li>Allowed for survival of species</li>

    Those  who developed sleep survived to pass on their genes

    Sleep may play a role in the growth process

    Sleep Disorders

    Sleep talking

  • Talker unlikely to remember
  • More common among children
  • Likely to happen in stage 4
  • Sleep walking

  • Happens in stage 4
  • More common in children
  • Walker not likely to remember
  • Not dangerous in and of itself
  • If found, direct back to bed
  • Night terrors

  • “Dream like” experience accompanied by a high state of arousal
  • Often including screaming and behavior designed to protect one’s self from danger
  • Memory of event unlikely and unlikely to awaken
  • More common in children
  • If observed, protect person from danger
  • Narcolepsy

  • Suddenly falling asleep without warning
  • Usually following an/any emotional event
  • Sleep apnea

  • Person stops breathing while asleep
  • Awakens enough to start breathing again and then returns to sleep
  • Happens several times during the night
  • Associated with heavy snorers and obesity
  • Insomnia

  • Failure to go to sleep
  • Failure to stay asleep
  • Frequent awakenings
  • People who have the disorder experience the problem virtually every night
  • Most common adult problem
  • Take one or all of the sleep disorders tests

    The same site has many links to information about sleep disorders

    Why We Dream

    <li>We know for sure that we need REM sleep, we experience REM rebound (an increase in REM) if we don't</li>

    Freud’s theory

  • Manifest content is the actual content of dream
  • Not representative of dreams “true” meaning

    <li>Latent content is the meaning of the dream</li>

    Expression of unconscious wishes

    <li>"Royal road to the unconscious"</li>

    Reason why dreams are not remembered

    Meaning must be inferred from manifest content

    Physiological Hypotheses

    Dreams allow us to reprocess material gathered during the day

  • Dreams strengthen memory
  • Spend more time in REM if you have studied difficult material
  • Better able to remember information if you sleep right after studying
  • Implications for this class
  • Activation-synthesis – Brain tries to make sense (synthesis) of random brain activity (activation) occurring

    Stimulation for a sleeping brain

    Chapter 8

    Learning Theory


    Learning is any relatively permanent change in behavior based on experience

    Stimulus (S) is anything that is a cue for a behavior

    Response (R) is the behavior itself

    S – R is the cue for a behavior and the behavior it cues

  • Lecture notes – note taking behavior
  • S                           R

    S – R designates a bond between a cue and the behavior it cues

    Strength of the S – R  bond – how likely R is to occur in the presence of S

    Strong S – R bond – very likely

  • Red traffic light – stop
  • S                       R
  • Weak S – R bond – not very likely

  • Speed limit sign – driving speed limit
  • S                         R
  • Classical Conditioning

    First learning theory proposed by Ivan Pavlov

    Read more about Ivan Pavlov

    Theory describes how to teach an organism to respond to a stimulus

    Done by pairing the stimulus you want to train with another stimulus that already cues a response

    I will explain the theory by describing one of Pavlov’s early experiments.

    Pavlov was collecting dog saliva to study dog digestive juices

  • Put dogs in harness to collect saliva
  • Gave dog food to produce saliva
  • After several days of putting dog in harness, giving it food and collecting its saliva, he found the dogs began salivating when they were put in the harness and before they were given food
  • Began studying it to find out why
  • What he found

    Dogs are salivating to two different stimuli (food and harness)

    We have two S – R pairs

  • Food – salivate
  • Harness – salivate
  • One pair had to be learned by the dogs (trained) and the other did not
  • To train the dogs to salivate to the sight of the harness, Pavlov paired the harness with a stimulus that already produced salivation (food) several times

  • After several pairings, he presented the harness by itself and the dog salivated
  • The two S – R pairs (one trained and one not) are

  • Food – salivate
  • Harness – salivate
  • No way to tell them apart without knowing the story (they are both S – R pairs)
  • Pavlov gave them names so you could tell them apart without knowing the story
  • The trained pair is called CS – CR

    The untrained pair is called US – UR

    In symbols, what Pavlov did with the dogs looks like this

  • CS (harness)  +  US (food) – UR (salivate)
  • Do this several times

    <li>After several times,  CS (harness) – CR (salivate)</li>

    All Classical Conditioning experiments, have two stimuli and one response – in the experiment we just described they are

  • Harness (S)
  • Food (S)
  • Salivate (R)
  • Three step process to identify CS – CR and US – UR

    First, identify the two Ss and one R

    Next, pair each S with the R

  • Food – salivate
  • Harness – salivate
  • Third, identify which pair had to be trained

  • This is the CS – SR
  • The other is by default the US – UR
  • Try Some

    Pavlov rang a bell, gave a dog food and it salivated.  After several times doing this, he rang the bell and the dog salivated.  What is the CR?

    Every time Albert was shown a whit rat, a loud noise was sounded which made him cry.  After doing this several times, Albert cried at the sight of the rat.  What is the US?

    You will find another example with sound by following the Learning Examples link on the Course Menu

    Answers at the end of the presentation

    Constraints on Learning

    Conditioning is affected by thought and biological predispositions

  • The learner anticipates the US when the CS is presented
  • If the learner does not anticipate the US the a connection between CS and CR will not occur

    The dog learned to anticipate food at the sight of the harness
    <li>Biological predispositions determine what will be learned</li>

    We are programmed to learn behaviors that will enhance our survival

    Operant Conditioning

    Second major learning theory

  • Based on the Law of Effect – “rewarded behavior is more likely to recur”
  • Skinner generally given most credit for it

    Read more about B. F. Skinner Learning occurs because of its consequences (four kinds in two categories)

  • Consequences occur after the Response
  • S     —       R             Consequences
  • Textbook – Read/Study     A on test
  • Shaping

    Procedure used to train a behavior that the person has never performed

    Also called successive approximations

    Begin by reinforcing behavior they do that is similar to the one you want the person to perform

    Then require the behavior to be increasingly closer to the desired behavior before reinforcement is given

    Cat lovers should enjoy this site

  • See if you can figure out the principles at work here
  • Reinforcement

    Reinforcement (rf) is anything that increases the probability of a response occurring again

    Read about reinforcement in action at Sea World®

    Positive reinforcement is giving someone something they like based on their behavior

  • Money, favorite food
  • (S) car – (R) wash it     get money (positive reinforcement)
  • Reinforcement….

    Negative reinforcement is taking away something you don’t like (an unpleasant stimulus) based on behavior

  • The unpleasant stimulus is the cue for the behavior
  • Your behavior makes it go away
  • Behavior has been negatively reinforced because the next time you are confronted by the unpleasant stimulus you will perform the same behavior to make it go away
  • Headache (S and unpleasant) – take a pain killer (R)    headache goes away (negative reinforcement)
  • It is negative because your behavior removed an unpleasant stimulus (headache)

    Types of Reinforcers

    Primary reinforcers are those that are reinforcing in and of themselves

  • Directly satisfy a biological need
  • Food, water, and sex

    Secondary or conditioned reinforcers are reinforcers that are learned by their connection with primary reinforcers

  • Money, credit cards
  • It is difficult if not impossible to use operant conditioning to change a behavior that is directly opposed to a biologically predisposed behavior

  • Biologically predisposed behaviors are adaptive for the survival of the organism and therefore are difficult to change
  • Types…..

    Immediate versus delayed reinforcement

  • Immediate works better
  • You may be more likely to attend the party on Friday night (immediate) versus studying for your test on Monday (the grade on the test is delayed)
  • Schedules of Reinforcement

    Continuous reinforcement is when reinforcement is given every time the desired behavior is exhibited

  • Used to train a new behavior
  • Partial reinforcement is when reinforcement is not given every time the desired behavior is exhibited

  • Used to maintain the behavior
  • Four different types of partial reinforcement schedules
  • Interval Schedules

    Interval schedules – reinforcement is given after the passage of time

    Fixed interval – reinforcement given after a fixed amount of time passes

  • Salary checks  (FI 2 weeks)
  • Variable interval – reinforcement given after a changing amount of time passes

  • Unannounced quizzes (VI 3 days)
  • Three is determined by the average time between reinforcements

    Ratio Schedules

    Ratio schedules – reinforcement is given after a specific number of responses are performed

    Fixed ratio – reinforcement given after a fixed number of responses occur

  • Piece work in a factory (FI 5 pieces)
  • Reinforcement is given for work completed in bocks of five

    Ratio Schedules….

    Variable ratio – reinforcement given after a changing number of responses occur

  • Gambling (VR 6 bets)
  • Six is determined by the average number of responses between reinforcements

    Variable ratio schedules produce the highest rate of responding that is the most difficult to extinguish


    If you want to train a new behavior and then keep that behavior occurring at a high rate, begin with continuous reinforcement until the behavior is learned and switch to variable ratio to maintain it at a high rate


    Punishment is anything the decreases the probability of a behavior occurring again

    Positive punishment is giving a person something she does not like based on behavior

  • Steal from your parents and get a spanking
  • Cursing and getting your mouth washed out with soap
  • Punishment….

    Negative punishment is taking away something a person likes based on behavior

  • You speed and get a speeding ticket
  • Speeding ticket is a fine which takes away money

    <li>You are fighting with your sister and your father puts you in a time out</li>

    Time out takes away your freedom

    Positive and Negative

    Positive is associated with the act of Giving

  • Giving something a person likes is a reinforcer
  • Giving something a person doesn’t like is a punisher
  • Negative is associated with the act of Taking Away

  • Take away something a person likes is a punisher
  • Take away something a person doesn’t like is a reinforcer
  • Practice Examples

    The link for additional practice identifying the components of operant and classical conditioning is on the Course Menu (Learning Examples)

  • May I strongly suggest that you try all of these examples – the only way you will become comfortable with these concepts is through practice
  • Argument for Keeping Punishment to a Minimum

    Punishment produces negative side effects

  • Fear and anger directed at the punisher
  • If punisher is not around to punish, behavior returns

    Punishment only tells you what you did wrong

    After punishment, sometimes a worse behavior takes the place of the original


    Punishment is often used as an excuse for revenge (criminals)

    Conclusion – punishment is to be used sparingly

  • Whenever you have a choice, use reinforcement
  • Rules for the use of punishment

  • Consistently
  • Early in the sequence of behavior
  • Use the minimum amount necessary to produce behavior change
  • Argument Against Spanking

    Demonstrates the use of violence as a solution to a problem (observational learning – see later in chapter)

    Demonstrates the use of violence on a much smaller and weaker person (same)

    Spanking is not an expression of love

  • No where else is society do we accept hitting another as an expression of love
  • Same behavior one adult to another is called assault (criminal law)


    Spanking is likely to make aggressive people more aggressive (spanking research)

  • Spanked people are more likely to spank their own children (survey data)
  • Saying do not spank is not the same as do not discipline

  • There are many ways to punish without spanking and punishment is only one form of discipline
  • Parents are obligated to discipline their children


    Read more about the argument against spanking

  • And here
  • And here
  • Here is a page of links representing the other side of the argument

    You can also try for more

    Alternative to Spanking

    Environmental control involves changing the environment to prevent the offending behavior form occurring

    Use reinforcement whenever possible

  • Pay your children for completed chores instead of punishing them for incomplete chores
  • Time out is the removal from opportunity to receive reinforcement

    Loss of privileges

    For more information about alternatives, go here

    Cognitive Aspects of Learning

    Latent learning is learning that is not immediately reflected in a behavior change

  • Person has learned the behavior but has not had an opportunity to perform it
  • You are learning information about psychology even though you have not taken a test
  • Cognitive Map is a literal map directing your travels

  • Allows you to get around without thinking about it because the map is stored in your head
  • You can move from place to place on the campus without thinking much about how you’re going to get where you need to be once you learn your way around
  • Cognitive….

    Overjustification occurs when someone offers a reward for a task that is already rewarding to us

  • This overjustifies the task and creates less desire to do it because we are making an intrinsically (within ourselves) rewarding task extrinsically (by someone else)rewarding
  • Intrinsic is always better
  • Extinction

    Classical conditioning – repeated presentations of the CS without the US

  • Repeated presentations of the harness  with no food will cause salivating to stop to stop
  • Operant conditioning – removal of reinforcement

  • Your child may stop whining if you ignore him
  • Another alternative to punishment
  • Spontaneous Recovery

    Classical conditioning – after extinction and the passage of time, presentation of the CS will cause the CR to reappear

  • Presentation of the harness several days after extinction will cause salivating to reappear
  • Spontaneous Recovery

    Operant conditioning – several days after reinforcement is removed presentation of the stimulus will cause the behavior to return

  • Several days later, your child may begin whining again to see if you will pay attention to him
  • Stimulus Generalization

    If a stimulus is similar enough to the to the one being trained, it will cue the same behavior

  • Classical conditioning – different kinds of harnesses will still cue salivating
  • Operant conditioning – you will take notes when other professors are giving lectures
  • Stimulus Discrimination

    If a stimulus is different enough from the one being trained , it will not cue the same response

  • Classical conditioning – a red light will not produce salivation
  • Operant conditioning – you will not take notes when a comedian is speaking
  • Observational Learning

    Also called Social Learning Theory and Modeling

    We learn behavior by watching others

    Psychologists believe most of our behavior is learned this way

    This theory was proposed by Albert Bandura

  • Read more about him and his theory here
  • Observational Learning….

    Model is a person who demonstrates the behavior

    Observer is the person who observes the behavior

    Two kinds of consequences

  • Those that happen directly to the model
  • The observer’s understanding of what happens to the model (vicarious consequences)
  • Observational Learning….

    Imitation – if the model is reinforced, the observer will imitate

    If the model is not reinforced or punished, the observer will not imitate

    Scuba instruction as an example

  • All scuba skills are first demonstrated by the instructor before students are asked to perform them
  • The instructor makes them look easy and does them successfully
  • Successful demonstration of the skill is reinforcing therefore students will imitate
  • Read about another application of the theory

    First Answer

    <li>Food (S)</li>
    <li>Bell (S)</li>
    <li>Salivation (R)</li>
    <li> S         R</li>
    <li>Food – Salivation</li>
    <li>Bell – Salivation</li>
    <li>Food – Salivation  (US – UR)</li>
    <li>Bell – Salivation  (CS – CR)</li>

    Second Answer

    <li>Rat (S)</li>
    <li>Noise (S)</li>
    <li>Cry (R)</li>
    <li> S       R</li>
    <li> Rat – Cry</li>
    <li> Noise – Cry</li>
    <li> Rat – Cry  (CS – CR)</li>
    <li> Noise – Cry  (US – UR)</li>

    Chapter 9


    Information Processing

    Memory – the persistence of learning over time

  • Explore the topic here memory/Flashbulb memory – remembering an event in great detail long after it has happened
  • Things that happen to us such as a birth of a child, graduation, or an event not related to us such as the events of 9/11
  • Memory can be modified by additional details of the event and are not always accurate
  • Here are the results of a recent study on the topic

    Information Processing….

    Three processes to remember any event

  • Encoding – getting info into our brain
  • Storage – keeping it there for future use
  • Retrieval – getting it out
  • Analogous to a computer; however, the brain is slower and memory is more fragile but can parallel process (do several things at the same time)
  • Automatic processing occurs without effort – you are not trying to remember what gets stored

  • The page on which the information lives
  • The picture on the page
  • The time of day you studied the info
  • Some is learned
  • Encoding

    Effortful processing occurs when you are consciously trying to learn the info

  • Studying for my tests
  • Rehearsal is one type and there are two kinds
  • Rote – repeating only

    Elaborative – making the info meaningful to you

    <li>Amount remembered depends on time spent learning</li>
    <li>Spacing effect – info is better remembered if the practice is spaced over time – cramming doesn't work very well</li>


    Also affected by the serial position effect

  • Items at the beginning and end of the list will be better recalled than items in the middle
  • Another argument for spaced practice – the middle items will change with each new list – if you cram the items in the middle of the list will not be remembered very well
  • You should vary the position of items in your lists so that the same items are not always in the middle
  • Encoding….

    Semantic encoding is the encoding of meaning

    Acoustic encoding is of sound

    Visual is of images

    We remember best when we use  semantic encoding

  • This is a type of elaborative rehearsal
  • If you can relate material to yourself and/or something you already know, you will remember it better
  • Encoding….

    Visual encoding is also helpful

  • If you can make a picture of what you are trying to remember, you will remember it better
  • Mnemonics – memory aids which are often based on visual imagery
  • Rhymes, using first letters of lists to make words

    Go here for more information and here for several examples

    Sensory Registers

    Sensory registers – information enters the senses

  • Iconic – visual images
  • Echoic – sounds
  • Unlimited capacity
  • Info remains for a very short time
  • Is quickly replaced by new info

    Auditory (echoic) info lasts longer that visual

    Initial processing

  • Pay attention to info for further processing
  • Filter out that which is unimportant
  • This is how information passes to the next part of your memory
  • Short Term Memory (STM)

    Short term memory (STM) – where info goes after we pay attention to it

  • Sometimes called working memory
  • Work to understand incoming info
  • To make sense of new info, we use the info from the sensory registers and from permanent storage
  • Capacity is limited – five to nine item limit or about 1.5 to two seconds of material
  • Capacity can be increased by chunking
  • Combining small bits of info into larger bits e.g., letters into words

    Long Term Memory (LTM)

    Relatively permanent storage

    Long term potentiation (LTP) – repeated synaptic stimulation causing the neurons to fire more vigorously and with less stimulation

  • Go here for a very technical explanation of the process
  • Stress hormones enhance memory

  • This is why we are more likely to remember an event that has triggered strong emotions
  • Long Term Memory (LTM)….

    Explicit memory

  • Semantic memory – our knowledge of facts
  • Episodic memory – our memory of events relating to us – story like
  • Rarely word for word storage – usually the gist of things
  • Implicit (procedural) memory – our memory of how to do things like ride a bike

    Hippocampus appears to be involved in the storage of explicit memories and they appear to be stored in many different place in the brain

  • This website gives recent info
  • The cerebellum with implicit memories


    Recall is the ability to get info not in consciousness as in an essay test

    Recognition is the ability to recognize the correct answer as in a multiple choice

  • All things being equal, recognition is easier than recall
  • Relearning (how long it takes to learn something again) is a measure of how well you have learned something the first time

  • It will take less time for well learned material
  • Priming the memory by subconsciously associating a current event with stored events

  • Thinking about the Space Needle primes the memory for all the associations you have with the needle such as the view from the top, the restaurant, the elevator, etc.
  • Retrieval….

    Memory is context dependent – you will remember things better if you retrieve them in the same place you learned them

  • Think about studying for this class – where you study should be as much like the testing room as you can make it
  • May be responsible for feeling of déjà vu
  • It is also state dependent – we retrieve better if we are in the same mood as when we learned the info

  • You are probably not anxious when you study but may be when you are taking a test
  • Retrieval….

    Mood also colors how we remember things

  • If we are sad we tend to concentrate on the negative aspects of the situation
  • If we’re in a good mood, we are likely to interpret another’s behavior as friendly – in a bad mood the same behavior can be interpreted as hostile
  • Forgetting

    Forgetting happens for a number of reasons

  • We may not have encoding the info correctly or not at all
  • Perhaps due to absent-mindedness

    I have searched for my keys many times because I wasn’t paying attention when I put them down

    <li>It may have decayed over time because of disuse</li>

    I was a math major but I haven’t used differential equations in years.  Even though I once knew how to solve those problems, I don’t know because of disuse

    <li>It may be a problem of retrieval – it's in there but you can't find it</li>

    The name of the artist of the song you’re listening to – you know you know it but you just can’t remember


    Retroactive interference – when new material being learned interferes with previously learned material

  • New material gets mixed up with old material interfering with your ability to recall the old info
  • Proactive interference – previously learned info interferes with learning new material

  • Old material gets mixed up with new material making it more difficult to recall the new info
  • This page has some examples you can try


    This may help you remember

  • In either type of interference, you are trying to learn two different tasks such as psych and math and then trying to retrieve one
  • There are two possibilities
  • Learn psych – learn math – retrieve math

    Learn psych – learn math – retrieve psych

    In the first one psych will interfere with math and since you study psych first it is proactive

    In the second one math will interfere with psych and since you learn it second it is retroactive

    A mnemonic that helps me is if the two bolded words are the same it’s proactive and different it’s retroactive

    Memory Construction

    Misinformation effect – incorporating misleading info into your memory of an event

  • Other people may influence what you recall by adding details
  • It may be too painful to recall it as it actually happened
  • You may respond to leading questions e.g., how fast was the car going when it slammed into my client’s car? vs. bumped?
  • When slammed is used, people estimate speed higher

    <li>This is why eyewitness testimony is often not very reliable</li>
    <li>Here is more info <a href=""></a></li>
    <li>These pages <a href=""></a> cover false memory syndrome <a href=""></a></li>

    Improving Memory

    Develop a motivation to learn

    Practice memory skills by learning new things

    Have confidence in your ability to remember

    Minimize distractions when studying

    Stay focused on the task at hand

    Make conscious connections between new material and material already stored in your memory

    Improving Memory….

    Learn and use mnemonics – memory aids

  • Rhymes, using first letters of lists to make words
  • Use mental imagery – form a mental picture of what you are trying to remember

    Use retrieval cues – the more you have, the better you will remember

  • Make lists, establish routines, buy a handheld computer, etc.
  • Here is another viewpoint

    Chapter 11


    Intelligence Definitions

    Overall intelligence is a combination of verbal ability, problem solving ability, and practical intelligence

    One form of intelligence can be defined as what an intelligence test measures

  • Concept of intelligence is closely tied in with intelligence testing
  • Intelligence Definitions….

    The second definition on the previous slide tells us little about intelligence.  It is what we call a circular definition — each half defines the other half.  However, it does connect the concept of intelligence with Intelligence tests.  There are several intelligence tests that you can take on the web.  One is the Mensa test and another is a general test of intelligence.  For a more light hearted look at intelligence testing, try here  Keep in mind that the reliability/validity of any test given over the web is questionable at best.

    Intelligence Tests

    First individual intelligence test composed in France about 1905 by Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon

  • Made to identify slow learners (MR) in school (predict performance in school) by measuring mental age
  • Had two categories – slow learners and regular learners
  • Called the Binet-Simon
  • A group of researchers in this country led by Louis Terman created an American version


    Called the Stanford-Binet

    Introduced the concept of intelligence quotient (IQ)

    Formula for IQ:  MA/CA X 100

  • MA is mental age or score on the test
  • CA in chronological age (actual age)
  • Example:  MA = 12.5, CA = 10

  • 12.5/10 x 100 = 1.25 x100 = 125
  • Theories of Intelligence

    The following researchers used factor analysis to compose their theories

    Charles spearman said intelligence is composed of a factor he called “g” for general intelligence

  • Intelligent people are often smart at many things
  • L. L. Thurstone believed that intelligence was composed of the eight primary mental abilities

  • All verbal skills
  • Gardner’s Theory

    Current theories take a broader approach

    Gardner’s theory is called a theory of Multiple Intelligences

  • Stresses that you can be intelligent in areas other than those measured by traditional intelligence tests (academic ability)
  • Multiple abilities contribute to life success
  • Gardner originally proposed seven and now proposes eight
  • Linguistic Intelligence – traditional verbal ability

  • Writers and authors
  • Logical-Mathematical Intelligence – math skills and the ability to use logic

  • Scientists and mathematicians
  • Gardner….

    Spatial intelligence – ability to perceive and arrange objects from your environment in your mind

  • Architects, carpenters, and artists
  • Musical intelligence – ability to read compose and understand music

  • Composers
  • Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence – athletic ability

  • Athletes and dancers
  • Gardner….

    Interpersonal intelligence – social skills

    Intrapersonal intelligence – how well you know yourself

    Naturalist intelligence – how well you interface with nature and your environment

    The first three are similar to prior theories; The last five are a major departure from tradition

    This site contains a description of all eight

    Robert Sternberg

    Robert Sternberg called his theory  a Triarchic Theory – intelligence is composed of three different categories of skills

  • Skills are generic skills that can be applied to any task
  • This is a trend in Psychology

    <li>Read more about Sternberg's theory <a href=""></a></li>

    Robert Sternberg….

    Componential (analytical) intelligence is the ability to learn new things and carry out tasks effectively

  • Emphasized in most theories
  • Experiential (creative) intelligence is the ability to adjust to new tasks, adapt creatively in new situations, and use insight

    Contextual (practical) intelligence is the ability to capitalize on strengths and weaknesses and change your environment in order to better adjust

  • Sometimes called “street smarts
  • Emotional Intelligence

    Emotional intelligence (EI) measures the ability to perceive, express, understand and regulate emotions

  • Emotionally smart people who are likely to be successful in life when working with other people in relationships is involved
  • A controversial concept
  • Perhaps carries the concept of intelligence too far

    <li>Read more about EI here <a href=""></a></li>

    Assessing Intelligence

    Aptitude tests predict ability to learn new skills and achievement tests assess what you’ve learned

    David Wechsler created the first test to be used exclusively for adults

  • Called the Wechsler-Bellevue
  • Currently in the third edition and called WAIS-R (for ages 16 and up)
  • Most widely used individually administered adult intelligence test
  • Then created a test for young children
  • Called the WISC
  • In the third edition and called the WISC-III (6-16)
  • Wechsler….

    And finally created a third test for young children

  • Called the WPPSI
  • In the second edition called the WPPSI-R
  • Changed IQ calculation from IQ formula to deviation score

    Deviation Score compares a person’s score with the mean score for people their age


    Average IQ is 100

  • If you score above average compared to your peers, IQ is above 100
  • Wechsler categorized IQ as follows

  • 130 and up    Very Superior       (A)
  • 120-129        Superior               (A, B)
  • 110-119        Above Avg.          (B, C, A)
  • 90-109 Average               (B, C)
  • 80-89            Below Avg.           (C, D)
  • 70-79            Borderline             (D, F)
  • Below 70       MR                      (F)
  • Mild, Moderate, Severe, and Profound


    The letter grades in the column to the right are the approximate predictions for the school grades corresponding to the various IQ categories.  Based on these predictions and your school grades, can you guess your IQ?


    Compares your score with the scores of a pre-tested group called the standard sample with a mean of 100

  • It is how we assign meaning to your score
  • If you could test everyone and plot their scores, it would look like the normal bell shaped curve (normal distribution)

    Tests need to be periodically restandardized


    Reliability – repeated administrations of the same or similar tests will yield the same score

  • Split-half – even numbered items are compared with odd numbered items
  • Test-retest – repeated administrations of the same test will yield the same score
  • Validity

    Validity – the test measures what is supposed to measure

    Content (face) validity – the test items look like they are measuring what they are supposed to measure

    Criterion related (predictive) – the score compares favorable to some other measure of the same thing and predicts that other thing

  • For IQ, it is school grades
  • IQ tests are both reliable and valid

    Biology or Environment

    Appears to be a combination of both

  • Biology sets limits and environment determines actual number within the limits
  • Evidence for this hypothesis

  • IQ runs in families
  • Children adopted at birth are more similar to their biological parents than adoptive
  • Identical twins are more similar than fraternal twins
  • Appears to be true for all types of intelligences

    Group Tests

    Group tests are tests that are administered to a group of people all at the same time and by one examiner

  • Scores are not as good as an individually administered test
  • Examiner is not aware of possible interfering factors
  • One kind is an aptitude test administered by school systems
  • SAT and GRE are also examples although they are a combination of intelligence and achievement (measures prior learning) test
  • Visit this site for more information about the GRE

    Criticisms of Intelligence Tests

    Tests are racially and culturally biased

    Test score is affected by mood and level of cooperation

    Knowledge of your IQ score can create a self-fulfilling prophecy

    Chapter 14

    Stress and Health


    Behavioral medicine is a multidisciplinary field that studies the effects of behavior on people’s health

    Health psychology is the branch of psychology

    Stressors are stressful events

    Stress is our reaction to these events


    Our reaction to it depends on the way we appraise the situation

  • As a threat causes us to panic and have difficulty reacting
  • If it is prolonged it can affect our health

    <li>As a challenge causes us to marshal our forces and conquer the challenge</li>

    This can have very beneficial effects on our self-esteem

    Stress Response

    Cannon first to confirm that both the mind and body respond to stress

  • Stress triggers the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine
  • Sympathetic nervous system reacts as described in Chapter 2
  • Prepares the body for fight or flight
  • There is a second response system

  • The adrenal gland secrets the stress hormone cortisol
  • Stress Response….

    Selye described the general adaptation syndrome – reaction occurs in three stages

  • Alarm
  • Resistance
  • Exhaustion
  • Selye….

  • Reaching the stage of exhaustion can cause illness and maybe even death
  • Causes of Stress

    Stressful life events

  • Catastrophes such as war or earthquakes or World Trade Center destruction
  • Significant life changes

  • Leaving home, new job, significant health problems
  • Daily hassles

  • Rush hour traffic, long lines, misplacing things
  • Burnout from job stress
  • These are likely to be more impactful because we face them many times every day
  • Causes of Stress….

    Events over which we perceive we have little control

  • Terrorist activity as an example
  • Poverty and wage discrepancy


  • Pessimism likely to make people more subject to negative effects of stress
  • Heart Disease

    Friedman and Rosenman and Type A and Type B personality

  • Type As appear to be more heart attack prone
  • Because of bad health habits

    More physiologically reactive

    Negative emotions like anger, pessimism and depression

    Led to the development of a Type D (distressed) personality who are at high risk for heart disease

    Disease Susceptibility

    Psychophisioligical illness is physical symptoms caused by psychological issues

  • Used to be called psychosomatic
  • Doesn’t mean the person isn’t really ill
  • The immune system

  • Made up of white blood cells called lymphocytes
  • B lymphocytes fight bacterial infections

    T lymphocytes fight cancer, viruses and foreign bodies

    Macrophages identify, pursue, and ingest invaders

    <li>Can overreact causing immune system disorders or under-react allowing diseases like cancer to continue</li>

    Disease Susceptibility….

    Stress causes the immune system to become less reactive

  • Diverts energy from disease fighting
  • Stress exacerbates AIDS

    Stress and negative emotions affect one’s reaction and susceptibility to cancer

    Promoting Health

    Aerobic exercise alleviates the effects of stress and negative emotions

  • Also makes us more healthy
  • Training in biofeedback to control heart rate, blood pressure, etc.

    Teaching people the relaxation response

    Laughter – partly the reason for (sometimes) unpleasant jokes following a disaster

    Social support from friends and family promotes happiness and health

    Promoting Health….

    Social support – why?

  • Family members promote better health behavior
  • Provide the opportunity to confide painful experiences
  • Suppressed traumas are dangerous to our health

    Promoting Health….

    Religiously active people tend to live longer

  • Are motivated to healthier lifestyles – less smoking and drinking
  • Social support of the religion and its members
  • Encourages marriage which is a predictor of longevity
  • Sense of hope for the future that religion gives
  • Modifying Health Threatening Behavior

    Promoting health can save money

    Stop smoking – benefit greater than any other health related change

  • Associated with many serious illnesses
  • Also with higher rates of depression
  • Why do people start smoking?

  • Done in early adolescence and more common among people with other social problems
  • Modifying Behavior….

    Why smoke…..

  • Social cognitive theory helps to explain
  • Teenage smokes are perceived as tough, precocious, risk-takers, and sociable

    Teens often start smoking to be like others who do

    Cigarette adds have included models whom tees would like to imitate

    Teens whose friends and parents smoke are more likely to do it themselves

    Modifying Behavior….

    Why not stop?

  • Nicotine is very addictive
  • Quitting causes withdrawal symptoms
  • Nicotine fix is powerfully reinforcing
  • Both negative and positive

    <li>Genes tend to make people more likely to become addicted</li>

    Modifying Behavior….

    All of the stop smoking programs are effective

  • The relapse rate is high
  • Societal attitude has changed

  • Smoking among many is not cool
  • Educated adults show a decline
  • Restrictions on advertising

    Increase in teen smoking in the last decade and in third world countries

    Modifying Behavior….

    Preventing smoking

  • Inoculate younger people against the peer pressure to smoke
  • Provide information about effects of smoking

    Information about the effects of peer, parents and media

    Training in refusal skills

    <li>May require booster sessions</li>
    <li>Make it immediately costly by raising taxes</li>

    Modifying Behavior….


  • Serotonin is synthesized from tryptophan
  • High carbohydrate foods increase level of tryptophan reaching brain and thereby the level of serotonin
  • Explains why depressed people often consume high carbohydrate foods

    <li>Sugar does not make children more active but a diet high in causes several other problems</li>

    Modifying Behavior….


  • High intake of salt and lower calcium in people with high blood pressure
  • Skipping breakfast is harmful
  • Omega-3 may reduce depression
  • Obesity

  • Overeating and storing fat was very adaptive for our ancestors and for people today who do not have enough food
  • Modifying Behavior….


  • Cultures without a thin ideal for women are ones without eating disorders
  • Adaptive tendency to store fat is maladaptive where food is plentiful
  • A little overweight is not a problem
  • Good fitness is more important

    <li>Significant obesity increases risk of many diseases</li>

    Modifying Behavior….


  • Shortens life
  • Effects how others treat you and how you feel about yourself
  • Ridicule and job discrimination

    Less likely to be married

    Weight discrimination is greater than race or sex

    Prevalent throughout the employment cycle

    Modifying Behavior….

    Physiology of obesity

  • People get fat by eating more calories than they burn
  • Fat cells in obese increase in size and split to create more
  • Once this happens, new ones do not go away so once we become fat our bodies maintain fat

    Fat takes less food to maintain than muscle

    Once we become fat we need less to maintain than to originally gain it

    Modifying Behavior….


  • Set points cause the body to maintain a certain weight
  • When weight drops below, hunger increases and metabolism slows (the body is preparing for famine)

    Because of this when the diet ends and you return to normal eating you will gain

    Metabolic rate varies among individuals

    Modifying Behavior….


  • There is a genetic influence on weight
  • The protein leptin appears to be related

    <li>Lack of exercise and a high fat, high calorie diet is a factor</li>
    <li>Genes are likely to determine why some people are fat</li>
    <li>Environment is likely to determine why there are more people with weight problems today</li>

    Modifying Behavior….

    Obesity – losing weight

  • Diets are generally unsuccessful
  • Must make a permanent change in eating and exercise habits
  • Lifelong struggle to maintain

    <li>Some people choose to accept their weight</li>

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