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Psychology’s History and Approaches
1) Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. The field of
psychology is diverse and looks at behavior and mental processes in various ways. Explain
how each term below applies to the study of psychology, citing key figures and studies,
where necessary. Next, discuss the differences for each pair of terms
a. Functionalism
b. Structuralism
c. Cognitive Approach
d. Neuroscience Approach
e. Experimental Psychology
f. Clinical Psychology
2) Using your textbook, the internet, and any other reliable academic sources, identify the key
people listed below, citing their psychological significance.
Francis Bacon
Charles Darwin*
René Descartes*
William James*
John Locke*
Abraham Maslow*
Ivan Pavlov*
Jean Piaget*
Carl Rogers*
B.F. Skinner*
E.B. Titchener*
Paul Broca
Phineas Gage
Michael Gazzaniga
Roger Sperry
Karl Wernicke
3) You will be responsible for understanding the following terms. You will also be required to
explain, describe, and give example for these terms.
Hindsight Bias*
Operational Definition*
Case Study*
Random Sample*
Naturalistic Observation*
Correlation Coefficient
Random Assignment
Single-Blind Procedure
Double-Blind Procedure
Placebo Effect*
Experimental Group
Nervous System*
Central Nervous System (CNS)
Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
Somatic Nervous System
Autonomic Nervous System
Sympathetic Nervous System
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Endocrine System
Adrenal Gland
Electroencephalogram (EEG)
CT (Computed Tomography) Scan
PET (Positron Emission) Scan
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
fMRI (Functional MRI)
Split Brain*
DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid)*
Identical Twins
Fraternal Twins
Evolutionary Psychology*
Natural Selection*
4) Assignment:
Create a hypothetical psychological experiment that seeks to answer a question(s) that you may
have. Describe the method of your experiment, and include/identify the following:
1. Question
Independent Variable
Dependent Variable
Experimental Group
Control Group
5. In what way may the researcher and/or participants create a self-fulfilling prophecy?
6. In order to avoid a self-fulfilling prophecy, adapt your experiment into either a singleblind or double-blind experiment. How would you do this?
7. Is there a risk of a placebo effect?
8. Is there a risk of your study being unethical? Why or why not? If so, how could you
adapt your study, for it to meet the ethical standards of the A.P.A. (see textbook pgs. 40
9.Edward is examining the study habits of college freshmen and sophomores living on
campus. Explain how he could employ each of the following descriptive research methods.
For each method, be sure to discuss the advantages and disadvantages that each method
has to offer for this particular area of research.
a. Naturalistic Observation
b. Case Study
c. Survey
d. Longitudinal Study
e. Cross-Sectional Study
Theories of Vision:
Feature Detectors:
o Nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus such as
shape, angle, or movement
Parallel Processing:
o The processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain’s natural
mode of information processing for many functions, including vision (contrasts with
the step-by-step [serial] processing of most computers and conscious problem
Young-Helmholtz Trichromatic (Three-Color) Theory:
The theory that the retina contains three different color receptors – one most
sensitive to red, one to green, one to blue – which, when stimulated in combination,
can produce the perception of any color
Opponent-Process Theory:
o The theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green, yellow-blue, white-black)
enable color vision; for example, some cells are stimulated by green and inhibited
by red, while others are stimulated by red and inhibited by green
10. You may have seen road construction projects taking place during night hours.
Use your knowledge about vision, and particularly about dark adaptation, to make
recommendations to the highway department for the lighting that should be used around these
construction sites.
1. What kind of lighting do you typically see at these road construction sites? Consider different
characteristics of the light, such as intensity and wavelength. Think about the advantages and
disadvantages of this type of lighting.
2. What kind of lighting would be optimal for these construction sites? Consider the goals of
the lighting in terms of maximizing both worker safety and the ability of the workers to
complete the construction.
3. Think about the ability of drivers to see and react to workers. Based on Signal Detection
Theory, analyze the situation in terms of hits, misses, false alarms, and correct rejections.
11. The “Nature-Nurture” issue has a huge question of debate since psychology’s earliest
beginnings as a science. Explain each of the following terms and concepts, discussing
each term’s importance, as it relates to this controversial issue:
a. Behavior Genetics
b. Identical Twins
c. Fraternal Twins
d. Adoption Studies
e. Evolutionary Psychology
f. Natural Selection
g. Mutation
h. Biopsychosocial Approach
12. A musician is walking home alone late one night and is startled when a dog in a yard to
his left barks unexpectedly. Respond to each of the following regarding the musician’s
ability to hear the bark.
a. Trace the path that the sound waves travel as they enter the ear and proceed to the
receptor cells for hearing.
b. Trace the path that the neural impulses, created by the bark, travel from the
receptor cells to the brain.
c. Using two theories of pitch perception, explain how the brain might process the
pitch of the dog’s bark.
d. Explain how the musician would know that the bark originated to his left even
without seeing the dog.
13. Describe the three major categories of drugs. Design an experiment that would
determine whether a drug in one of the categories helps improve sleep. Be sure to
correctly use the following concepts in the natural context of your response.
a. Hypothesis
b. Operational definitions of sleep and improved sleep
c. Independent Variable and Dependent Variable
d. Control Group and Experimental Group
e. Population and Sample
f. Two possible Confounding Variables
14. Using specific examples, explain the role of the following in the alleviation and/or the
development of depression:
Life Experiences
Explanatory Style
Drug Therapy
15. Describe the following types and methods of therapy and discuss two advantages of
Insight Therapies
Client-Centered Therapy
Unconditional Positive Regard
Exposure Therapies
Aversive Conditioning
Family Therapy
16. Define each of the following concepts and explain how each may contribute to the
phenomenon of prejudice:
Fundamental Attribution Error
Cognitive Dissonance Theory
Ingroup Bias
Scapegoat Theory
17. Cognition, Language and Intelligence Review
What is the difference between using algorithms and heuristics to solve problems?
How can the confirmation bias and fixation block our ability to effectively problem solve?
How does the availability heuristic affect our social judgment? Representative Heuristic?
What is the difference between belief bias and belief perseverance? Be sure to explain.
Explain the three beginning stages of language acquisition for humans.
Give two examples of Linguistic determinism using different cultures from the book.
What are the advantages of having students begin their educational careers in bilingual school
h. List five cognitive skills shared by apes and humans.
i. Give an argument for both Skinners theory of language development and Chomsky’s theory of
language development working hand and hand?
j. PRETEND that you are a local business owner and use your knowledge of framing to influence
consumers ways of thinking?
18. Know the difference between the following researchers in intelligence:
19. Be able to explain the role that emotional intelligence can play in success.
20. How can perceptual speed and neurological processing speed effect intelligence.
21. Know the following terms:
Savant Syndrome
Factor analysis
General intelligence
22. Explain the difference between Binet’s measurements of intelligence and Terman’s
measurement of intelligence.
What is the difference between aptitude tests and achievement tests?
Why must tests be standardized, reliable, and valid to get good results?
Explain J. McVicker Hunt’s research into the importance of early environmental intervention.
Explain why the black white test gap increases around high school and rapidly decreases in
27. What do the following terms mean:
 Stereotype threat
Divergent thinking
Self-fulfilling prophecy
Down syndrome
Functional fixedness
28. State our daily cycle of waking and sleeping and identify three disruptions, which
may impact the sleep process. Include an explanation of the terms below in your
Circadian rhythm
Pineal gland
Biological clock
29. Eight year old Armand went to bed one night in 1952. His father was a graduate
student who needed to test an electroencephalograph he had been repairing that
day. Electrodes were placed near Armand’s eyes to record the rolling movements
then believed to occur during sleep. Use the terms below to state in detail the
ordered chain of events and stages you believe were taking place as Armand slept.
Alpha waves
Sleep paralysis
Sleep Spindles
Delta Waves
30. Now playing at an inner theater near you: the premiere showing of a sleeping
person’s vivid dream! This never-before-seen mental movie features captivating
characters wrapped in a plot so original an unlikely, yet so intricate and so seemingly
real, that the viewer (that would be you!) marvels at the its creation. Explain, using
each of the terms below, how theorists explain our dreams:
Manifest content
Latent content
Information processing
31. Imagine you are about to be hypnotized. The hypnotist invites you to sit back, fix
your gaze on the wall, and relax. At the sound of the hypnotist’s voice, you feel your
eyes becoming tired, your eyelids heavy and closing, your breathing deep and
regular, and your muscles totally relaxed. Are you in fact becoming hypnotized or
experiencing hypnosis? Discuss your answer and include each of the terms below in
your response:
Hypnotic induction
Altered state of consciousness
Hypnotic ability
Post-hypnotic suggestion
32. Sigmund Freud developed the idea that people repress difficult experiences from
childhood in the subconscious or unconscious, which must be brought to the
consciousness so they do not interfere with adult life. Hypnosis and dream
interpretation were two ways Freud believed these experiences and memories could
be revealed. Define the terms below and use each to argue whether hypnosis should
be considered an altered state.
Social influence theory
Divided consciousness theory
Selective attention
Conforming to authority
33. Identify each of the concepts listed below and state three common misconceptions
about addiction:
34. The three major categories of psychoactive drugs—depressants, stimulants, and
hallucinogens—all do their work at the brain’s synapses. Explain how depressants
impact neural activity and behavior and incorporate the terms below in your reply.
35. Research has shown that detoxified former methamphetamine (aka “crystal meth”)
users show a loss of some key dopamine transporters, which are crucial to
movement, verbal performance, and memory. The loss is similar to that for patients
with Parkinson’s disease. Discuss the neurological implications for each of the
stimulants listed below:
 Caffeine
36. Describe the physiological and psychological effects of psychedelic drugs and
summarize the effects of LSD and marijuana.
This activity provides a review of Pavlov’s famous experiment on the salivary response in dogs, as well as
the basic processes of classical conditioning: acquisition, generalization, discrimination training, and
extinction. Salivary Response • In Pavlov’s famous experiment, what did he call the
unconditioned stimulus (UCS)? _______________________________
unconditioned response (UCR)? _______________________________
conditioned stimulus (CS)? __________________________________
conditioned response (CR)? __________________________________
A New Salivary Response
Pavlov demonstrated that the dog had formed a conditioned association between two events. What
were those events?
What did the dog actually learn?
What is extinction?
What is spontaneous recovery?
What is generalization?
What is discrimination?
Operant Conditioning
This activity describes a form of learning called operant conditioning—learning from the consequences
that follow our actions.
What is the distinction between classical and operant conditioning?
What effect does reinforcement have on behavior?
Give an example of positive reinforcement.
Give an example of negative reinforcement.
What effect does punishment have on behavior?
Give an example of punishment. Continuous Versus Partial Reinforcement •
If a subject comes to expect a reward after every response, what will happen if the reinforcement stops?
Define the following schedules of reinforcement and give an everyday example of each: Fixed ratio,
Fixed interval , Variable ratio , Variable interval
Which schedule of reinforcement is MOST resistant to extinction? Why do you think this is so?
39. Catherine has a big psychology test coming up tomorrow. She and several of her friends get together
to do some final studying. Discuss how each of the following concepts might help or hinder Catherine
and her friends during their study session and subsequent testing experience:
Short-term memory capacity
Serial position effect (not "curve")
Spacing effect
Misinformation effect
Forgetting curve
Semantic versus visual encoding
Mental set
40. You are to apply the ideas and concepts covered below to the biggest decision facing you at this
moment; what are you going to do next year? For many of you I would assume this means choosing
which college to attend. But if you are considering a different path, such as the military or a gap year,
you can still do this option. These include
Your concept/prototype of ‘college’
Heuristics (Which problem solving method did you/should you employ?)
Obstacles to Problem Solving
Representativeness Heuristic
Availability Heuristic
Confirmation Bias
Belief Bias
Belief Perseverance
41. Motivation and Emotion
a. A
discuss the similarities and differences between instinct theory and drivereduction
. theory.
Abraham Maslow suggested that “A person who is lacking food, love, and self-esteem
would most likely hunger for food more strongly than anything else.” Conversely, the
novelist Dostoyevski wrote, “Without a firm idea of himself and the purpose of his life,
man cannot live even if surrounded with bread.” Give evidence that would lead you to
support both statements.
Although Jan appears to be underweight, she is afraid of becoming fat and consistently
restricts her food intake. Although Gene appears to be overweight, he enjoys eating and
always eats as much as he wants. Explain how their different reactions to food might
result from (a) differences in their inner bodily states and (b) differences in their
reactions to external incentives.
The rate of teenage pregnancy in the United States rose sharply in the twentieth century,
despite the increased availability of contraceptives. Describe several specific reforms
suggested by psychological research policy makers that could be implemented to reduce
teenage pregnancy rates.
Aristotle said “Man [sic] is by nature a social animal.” Discuss at least two
psychological research findings that support this claim that humans have a deep need for
Injecting a person with an excitatory chemical that activates the sympathetic nervous
system is likely to increase his or her subjective experience of intense fear and anxiety.
Use one of the major theories of emotion to account for the effects of this chemical on a
person's emotional state. Which theory of emotion would have the greatest difficulty
explaining these effects? Why?
A newspaper advice columnist suggests that thinking can be controlled and changed but
that emotions are gut-level, biological reactions that can't be controlled or modified. Use
your knowledge of emotion research and theory to either support or refute the
columnist's claim.
A motivational speaker claims “Fear is a learned response! Babies are not born with
fears; they learn fears, which means fear can be unlearned!” Use your knowledge of the
relationships between conditioning and the biology of fear to critique the motivational
speaker's claims.
Andrea is furious because her steady boyfriend spent half an hour talking with his
former girlfriend at last night's school dance. A friend suggests that Andrea ought to get
the anger out of her system by repeatedly pounding her pillow while she imagines that
she is hitting her boyfriend. Explain why this might be an ineffective way for Andrea to
reduce her anger. Suggest better ways.
Jim, a 42-year-old engineer, is unhappy about his yearly salary, although it is the highest
salary he has ever earned. His wife, Carla, suggests that he vividly recall how little he
earned at the age of 32. She also recommends that he watch a TV program about famine
victims in Africa.
Use your understanding of psychological principles to explain why Carla's suggestions
might help to increase Jim's feelings of economic satisfaction.
42. Mike is a 15-year-old high school student who is considering what classes to take in his next year of
high school. Discuss how each of the following aspects of development would impact his decision about
which classes to take:
 Early physical maturation
Emergence of formal operational thought
 Ego-identity status
Emergence of post-conventional morality
 Adolescent egocentrism
 Secure attachment as an infant
43. Psychologists from different perspectives explain the development, function, and assessment of
personality differently. Explain how psychologists from each of the following perspectives explain the
development, function, and assessment of personality:
Psychoanalysis/psychodynamic perspective
 Humanistic perspective
 Behaviorism
 Biological perspective
44. Identify Key People in Social Psychology
b. Leon
c. Stanley
d. Philip
45.Brainstorm Ways You Have Used “Foot in the Door” to get an advantage for yourself?
For example,
Have you ever negotiated a later curfew by asking for a slightly later curfew first instead of
an extremely later curfew?
b. Have you ever asked your parents to buy something inexpensive first before asking for
something expensive?
46. Discussion on conformity
a. Are the majority of our class members conformists or nonconformists? Why?
b. Is there pressure among students at y our school to dress (when out of uniform) a
certain way or like certain types of music? Why or why not?
c. Was there more pressure to conform in middle school as compared to high school?
Why or why not?
d. Where is the line between conformity and nonconformity? That is, is a group of nonconformists conforming to each other or nonconforming against society?
a. Include the following terms in your discussion: chameleon effect, mood linkage,
mood contagion, suggestibility as a subtle form of conformity
i. What is the distinction between “conformity” and compliance to outright
commands as in “obedience?”
47. Group Influence Discussion
1. How is our behavior affected by the presence of others or by being part of a group?
a. Discuss the idea of social facilitation and relate it to the Yerkes-Dodson Law on
arousal as discussed in Unit 8B (see Figure 8B.3 on page 370)
b. What is social loafing and why is the following statement regarded as true,
“Social loafing is especially common among men in individualistic cultures?”
c. Does dressing up or painting one’s face increase or decrease the likelihood of
48. Group Polarization and Group Think
a. Draw a distinction between group polarization and group think
b. Compare group think to central route persuasion
c.Compare group think to peripheral route persuasion