Monday, February 11, 2013

Chapter 1 2/11

In chapter 1 of the book, the author introduces psychology as a large spectrum of association to everyday life. The book approaches psychology into five major theoretical perspectives. The perspectives allow different approaches to solidify the claim on human behavior. Biological, learning, cognitive, sociocultural, and psychodynamic perspective are discussed. Biological perspective focuses on how our body affects our behavior. Learning perspective asks how the environment and experience of a person affect their actions. Sociocultural perspective focuses on social and culture influences. Psychodynamic perspective deals with the unconscious and how it affects our behavior. 

Upon further reading, the book discusses the practice of psychology in the world. The book compares psychologists to psychiatrists. Psychiatrists are trained differently than psychologists. Psychiatrists deal with the medical treatment of the psyche, while psychologists study the science of the psyche. The book further provides the different types of areas a psychologist or psychiatrist would work in. From here, the book introduces critical and scientific thinking in psychology. The book explains the different types of studies that are conducted. Case studies are based on a detailed observation of a particular individual. Observational studies records behavior through test subjects placed in an environment in which they are monitored through the tests they are put through. Also tests and surveys can provide information. With the information, psychologists are able to determine if there is a positive, negative, or zero correlation. Positive correlation means that the two variables are associated with high values of each other. Negative correlation means that the variables are associated with low values. Zero correlation means that there is no association.

The book also talks about how experiments are conducted. Experimental variables, control condition, random assignment, and the use of placebo. The different factors that may alter the outcome of a experiment. Single-blind and double-blind studies are discussed. Psychologists furthermore, use statistics to further develop a concrete conclusion. They use arithmetic means, standard deviations, and the use of significance tests. 

-Shao Chien Lin

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