1 Introducing Psychology and Research Methods

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1 - Introducing Psychology and Research Methods
1. List two reasons for studying psychology.

2. Define psychology.

3. Define the term behavior and differentiate overt from covert behavior.

4. Explain the term empirical evidence and give an example of it. Why is it important to gather empirical


5. Explain the term scientific observation.

6. Give two reasons why the study of some topics in psychology is difficult.

7. Write a brief summary of each of the following areas of specialization in psychology:

a. developmental g. social

b. learning h. cultural

c. personality i. cognitive

d. sensation and perception j. gender

e. comparative k. evolutionary

f. biopsychology

8. Explain why animals are used in research and define the term animal model in your discussion.

9. Explain the four goals of psychology.

10. Describe the work of Wilhelm Wundt, the “father of psychology”. How did Wundt use introspection in his


11. Describe the school of psychology known as structuralism, including:

a. where and when it was established

b. who established it in the United States

c. the focus of its study

d. research method (introspection) and its major drawback

e. goal

12. Describe the functionalist school of psychology, including

a. its founder

b. its goal

c. its connection to Charles Darwin

13. Describe behaviorism, including:

a. its founder

b. why its founder could not accept structuralism or functionalism

c. its emphasis

d. the influence of Ivan Pavlov

e. Skinner's contribution and his concept of a "designed culture"

f. the new importance of cognitive behaviorism

14. Describe the Gestalt school of psychology, including:

a. who founded it

b. its goal

c. its slogan

d. topics it has influenced

15. Describe the contribution of women in the early history of psychology and contrast the representation of women in psychology then and now. Name the first woman to receive her doctorate in psychology.

16. Describe the psychodynamic (psychoanalytic) school of psychology, including:

a. who founded it

b. its major emphasis

c. the concept of repression

d. its method of psychotherapy

17. Describe the humanistic school of psychology, including:

a. how its approach differs from psychoanalytic and behavioristic thought

b. who its major representatives are

c. its position on free will (as contrasted with determinism)

d. its focus on psychological needs

e. its stress of subjective factors rather than a scientific approach

f. the concept of self-actualization

18. Describe the eclectic approach.

19. List and briefly describe the 5 major perspectives in modern psychology.

20. Briefly tell why biopsychology and cognitive psychology have become more important in recent years.

21. Describe positive psychology.

22. Explain how understanding human diversity may help us better understand ourselves and the behavior of others. Define the terms cultural relativity and social norms.

23. Characterize the differences in training, emphasis, and/or expertise among psychologists, clinical psychologists, counseling psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, counselors, and psychiatric social workers. Describe the roles of clinical and counseling psychologists, and define the term scientist-practitioner model.

24. Identify the largest areas of specialization among psychologists. Name the major sources of employment for psychologists.

25. Differentiate basic from applied research.

26. Define the scientific method.

27. List the six steps of the scientific method.

28. Define the term hypothesis and be able to identify one.

29. Explain what an operational definition is.

30. Explain the purpose of theory building and the importance of publication.

31. Outline and describe the five components of a research report.

32. Describe the technique of naturalistic observation including both the advantages and limitations of this method (observer effect and observer bias). Explain what the anthropomorphic fallacy is and how it can lead to problems in psychological research.

33. Describe the purpose of correlational studies and how such studies are conducted. Explain what a correlation coefficient is, how to interpret it, and how correlation relates to causation.

34. Describe the three actions that make up every experiment.

35. List and describe the three essential variables of the experimental method.

36. Explain the nature and the purpose of the control group and the experimental group in an experiment.

37. Explain the purpose of random assignment of subjects to either control or experimental groups.

38. Define extraneous variables.

39. Identify the main advantage of the experimental method.

40. Explain what a placebo is, how effective it is, and how it probably works. Why do doctors sometimes prescribe placebos?

41. Describe the placebo effect. How can placebo effects be controlled?

42. Explain what single-blind and double-blind experimental arrangements are.

43. Explain the nature of the experimenter effect and how it is related to the self-fulfilling prophecy.

44. Briefly describe the clinical method of research including advantages and disadvantages. Give an example of a case in which the clinical method would be used.

45. Briefly describe the survey method of investigation including the importance of a representative sample, and an advantage and a disadvantage of the method. Define the term courtesy bias.

46. Define the term critical thinking. Describe each of the four principles which form the foundation of critical thinking.

47. Define the term pseudopsychology.

48. Briefly describe each of the following pseudo-psychologies:

a. palmistry

b. phrenology

c. graphology

d. astrology

49. List and explain the three reasons why pseudo-psychologies continue to thrive even though they have no scientific basis.

50. List seven suggestions that your author gives to help you become a more critical reader of psychological information in the popular press.

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