Lectures 2&3, April 1 & 6
1. Organizing psychology
biology(micro)--neurons, hormones, versus
Biopsychology at one end; social psychology at
the other (environmental psychology, cross-cultural)
ABC triad: Affect, behavior, cognition
or FAT [feel, act, think].
NOTE: Much of psychology is concerned with
understanding the processes involved in ABC
and how the different processes are related.
Connecting the processes to biology at the
micro-level and environment/situation/culture at
the macro-level delimit the boundaries of
psychology, which can be defined as the
scientific study of the mind and behavior.
Perspectives: 4 perspectives can be
distinguished in part by whether they emphasize
internal processes or the individuals interaction
with the external environment.
Internal focus: Psychodynamic, Cognitive
External focus: Behaviorist, Evolutionary
Psychodynamic--more focus on affect &
Cognitive--more focus on cognition
More rational/logical approach lends itself well to experiments:
Better at explaining emotional, irrational aspects
of human behavior: Psychodynamic, Evolutionary
Strongest emphasis on observables: Behaviorist
Strongest emphasis on unobservables:
2. Variables & Hypotheses
Variables: Categorical (Nominal) or Continuous
Variables vary in Value or Level:
Sex has two main values: Male and Female
Sexual orientation has three main values: Homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual
Hypothesis is a statement about the expected
relationship between two or more variables.
"Homosexuality is more common among men
than among women"
Variables in a study may be independent,
dependent, or interdependent
Independent and dependent variables in
Values of independent variables are
manipulated by the experimenter
Values of dependent variables are thought to DEPEND, in part, on the values of the independent variable. They are measured.
Exercise (identify variables from the following--see handout):
Figure 10.2 (Kin recognition in crickets), p. 370
Table 10.1 (Race, sex, weight), p. 383
p. 382. People present and eating.
P. 393, sexual orientation & cross-gender behavior
Figure 10.13 (ability and achievement related goals)
Movement toward, movement away
Response to internal states (conscious &
Response to external cues and consequences
Four Perspectives on Motivation:
[Selection by External demands result in
Instincts, survival & reproductive success, inclusive fitness
Inclusive fitness: Reproductive success of self and of others who share genes. Helps explain altruism and caring for children
Question: How does adoption fit in?
Cross-cultural evidence: Love & Power motives seem to be universal (370)
Drives: sex, self-preservation, & aggression
(Freud) [Note how this connects to evolutionary
Modern view: Wishes (pull) and fears (push)
Distinguish between unconscious (implicit) and conscious (explicit) motivation.
Challenges in studying motivation from this
perspective: Unconscious is difficult to
measure! Also, wishes and fears may be highly
Motivated by rewards and punishments--the
expected consequences of behavior.
These consequences can be experienced
personally; however, people can also learn
about behavior-reward contingencies by
observing what happens to others [for example,
how a professor responds to a student's
However, what is rewarding depends on one's
internal state: Drive-reduction theory
Drives are primary (innate, biological) or secondary (learned through conditioning or modeling)
[Internal processing, expected external rewards]
Expectancy-value theory, Goal-setting
Expectency-value: Motivation depends on our
calculations about possible outcomes and the
probability of those outcomes (which will
depend in part on what we believe we can do to
ensure that one outcome versus another will
Effective goal-setting for performance (p. 375)
1. Discrepancy between current & desired state
2. Feedback about progress
3. Self-efficacy(belief in own ability)
4. Challenging but achievable goal
5. Commitment to goal
Commitment stems from perception that
authority values goal, peer influence, public
goal, contingent rewards and punishments.
Note: Cognitive theory isn't very good at explaining WHAT people want; it is better at explaining why people may behave in certain ways or make decisions GIVEN they want to satisfy some needs or desires.