体质人类学 朱泓:心理学与生活(英文版)

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Instructor’s Manual
for Gerrig and Zimbardo Psychology and Life
Sixteenth Edition prepared by John N. Boyd Allyn and Bacon
Boston London Toronto Sydney Tokyo Singapore

Copyright . 2002 by Allyn & Bacon
A Pearson Education Company
75 Arlington Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116 Internet: www.ablongman.com All rights reserved. The contents, or parts thereof, may be reproduced for use
with Psychology and Life, Sixteenth Edition, by Richard Gerrig and Philip
Zimbardo, provided such reproductions bear copyright notice, but may not be
reproduced in any form for any other purpose without written permission from
the copyright owner. ISBN 0-205-34454-2 Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 05 04 03 02
Instructor’s Manual Please note that the transcription to PDF can result in unintended reformatting. Page numbers in the table of contents
may not correspond to the book's interior. The publisher regrets any inconvenience caused by this error.) TABLE OF CONTENTS PREFACE
Open-Book Testing i
Teaching the Introductory Course ii
Why Read This Instructor’s Manual? xxv CHAPTERS
Chapter 1: The Science of Psychology in Your Life 1
Chapter 2: Research Methods in Psychology 19
Chapter 3: The Biological Bases of Behavior 33
Chapter 4: Sensation 51
Chapter 5: Perception 71
Chapter 6: Mind, Consciousness, and Alternate States 85 Chapter 7: Learning and Behavior Analysis 105
Chapter 8: Memory 125
Chapter 9: Cognitive Processes 143
Chapter 10: Intelligence and Intelligence Assessment 163
Chapter 11: Human Development across the Life Span 181
Chapter 12: Motivation 217 Chapter 13: Emotion, Stress, and Health 239
Chapter 14: Understanding Human Personality 261
Chapter 15: Psychological Disorders 289
Chapter 16: Therapies for Personal Change 315
Chapter 17: Social Processes and Relationships 335
Chapter 18: Social Psychology, Society, and Culture 357
Experiments and Demonstrations (By Philip Zimbardo)
By Kay Burke, Ph.D. WHY IT MAKES SENSE Educators who allow students to take open-book tests are not teaching for the test; they
are teaching for understanding. Most students agree that open-book tests are more
challenging than traditional objective tests because they require high-order thinking
skills rather than recall skills. The greatest benefit from open-book testing may be that it encourages the type of
thinking that will benefit students in the real world. . Open-book tests focus on students learning important concepts rather than
memorizing facts.
. They encourage students to utilize the lifelong learning skill of “accessing
information” rather than memorizing data. In most jobs, people do not have to
memorize formulas or discrete bits of data; they have to know how to find the
important information they need in order to solve problems and complete projects.
. Open-book tests encourage students to highlight the text and organize their notes so
they can find the information they need.
. Open-book tests encourage students to apply the information they have learned and
transfer it to new situations, rather than just repeat the facts.
SOURCES: Burke, K. B. The Mindful School: How to Assess Authentic Learning. Arlington Heights, IL.
Skylight Professional Development Stiggins, R. J. (1985, October). Improving Assessment where it Means the Most: In the
Classroom. Educational Leadership, pp. 69-74. Wiggins, G. (1989, April). Creating tests worth taking. Educational Leadership, pp. 121-127 Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (1989). Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA:
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development i
ORGANIZED COURSE Most of us have experienced at least one truly exciting, memorable course with smoothly flowing lectures
neatly tied together by threads of conceptual continuity, audiovisual presentations that began on time and
kept every student alert even though the lights were out, reserve readings that were actually available in the
library, and demonstrations that brought a thrill of discovery into the classroom. Such superb educational
experiences do not erupt spontaneously from mystical qualities found in a few gifted teachers. To make
them possible, certain basic ingredients must be assembled and organized well before the first class meets. We present here a systematic planning guide to preparing for the introductory course. The methods could
be applied to just about any other course as well. For starters, a list of suggested administrative tasks and
teaching aids should help make course preparation efficient and even pleasant. As you organize your
course, an essential notion to bear in mind is that small things done at just the right time can be crucial both
in preventing major difficulties and in creating the conditions that turn an adequate course into a rich
encounter with a new world of ideas and information. The time sequencing suggested here should not be
taken lightly. It is intended to maximize your access to first-choice resources and allow a comfortable
margin for creative responses to unexpected contingencies. GOALS OF AN INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY
COURSE Introductory psychology is designed to present a broad view of the discipline and is generally a prerequisite
for all subsequent courses in the curriculum. The first step is to determine your goals for this course. What
do you intend to accomplish? In what ways would you like this course to contribute to your students’
education? Walker and McKeachie (1967) offer these goals for introductory psychology: . Communicate elementary concepts
. Communicate facts in support of concepts
. Introduce the student to the full range of subject matter
. Integrate course material
. Communicate basic attitudes of the discipline
. Communicate the intrinsic interest of the subject matter
. Present the newest developments in the field
. Provide individual guidance and monitoring
. Develop selected intellectual skills
. Provide a suitable identification model for the students
MEETING DRAFT A WORKING SYLLABUS DETAILING THE FOLLOWING: . The sequence of topics to be covered, with approximate time blocks allocated to each
. Readings to be assigned for each topic
. New lectures you plan to prepare, with a brief summary of major points to be included in each
. Old lectures you want to improve
. Demonstrations and discussions you expect to conduct
. Guest speakers you hope to schedule, with alternates in case your first choices are unavailable
. Films and other audiovisual aids, with their intended use (e.g., films will be scheduled for class
time, while some audio and video tapes may be put on reserve in the library and recommended
in conjunction with appropriate topics)
FINALIZE COURSE PLANS Finalize the syllabus except for specific dates for guest lecturers not yet committed and other details yet
unknown. It is OK to note that plans for some class periods are “in preparation.” ONE TO TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE FIRST CLASS . Confirm that texts have been received by the bookstore and that reserve readings will be
available. Check for yourself.
. Review all class materials and be sure that they are in fact duplicated, satisfactory, and located
where they can be found when needed.
. If any uncertainty remains about audiovisual materials or items needed for demonstrations,
send out final orders and adapt your plans accordingly.
. Finalize the syllabus and have it duplicated on three-hole paper in a quantity about 25 percent
larger than your anticipated need (students often take more than one). Also, distribute copies to
your colleagues. They need to know what you are doing in the basic course if it is a prerequisite
for their courses, and they may well have comments and suggestions you will find valuable.
THE FIRST CLASS DON’T TALK ABOUT PSYCHOLOGY: SHOW ME Introductory psychology differs from other classes because the students will be able to relate to much of the
material on a personal level. As you explain to the students that this psychology course speaks to
contemporary personal and social issues, you are on the spot to show them rather than just proclaim it. Starting the class with a demonstration can be a first-day relief to both you and your students. If you start
the class with a brief “Candid Camera” film or a demonstration of the kind outlined in the Experiments
and Demonstrations section of this manual, you are not talking the whole time, and you and your class together are relating to the same material. For the students, a demonstration will be a welcome relief from all
of their other first-day-of-the-term courses, which typically are “very talky” and full of logistics. To avoid the
latter, come early and follow these guidelines: . Post on the blackboard your course title, the course number, and your name. Also note on the
board: “Please look over the syllabus; we will discuss it at the end of the class hour.”
. Arrange to have the syllabus distributed at the entrance to the classroom, with extra copies
available at the front and rear of the room.
. Do not begin the course with a proclamation of the usual details about course organization.
These details are in the syllabus.
. Avoid the “Psychology Is a Science” routine, so typical in many first classes. It makes you
defensive, often antagonizes some “hard science” majors, and is unnecessary. Students should
discover the scientific foundations of psychology through their reading and your general
For a demonstration to be especially suitable for the first class, it should be intrinsically intriguing, require no advance knowledge by students, and be a take-off point for introducing some of the basic questions of
psychology. Several of the demonstrations suggested in the Experiments and Demonstrations section of
this manual fit these criteria. iii
KEEP ANTICIPATING YOUR NEEDS GUEST LECTURERS Contact a guest seven to ten days before his or her presentation date. Send written confirmation of the date,
time, topic, and directions to the classroom if needed. Speak to the guest personally: Ask about equipment
needs and for comments for your introduction. Provide the guest with a copy of the syllabus, an idea of
what you have covered related to the topic, the level of sophistication of the class, and any special
classroom procedures you follow. Announcements of visitors expected to be of general interest should be
posted for your colleagues’ information as well. DEMONSTRATIONS The major virtue of a demonstration or class experiment lies in making one point, or a few points, in a vivid,
memorable form. Other virtues are generating greater class interest with a more varied format, seeing
psychology in action, and building up a reserve of “can’t miss” demonstrations you can rely on term after
term. Nevertheless, the first time out, demonstrations take lots of planning and time. All demonstrations
should be tried at least once before you attempt them in class; if possible, they should be practiced several
times. This is the only way to accurately gauge the time you need, anticipate operational difficulties, and get
the feel of introducing the demonstration, making transitions, and concluding it. For demonstrations that
are time-consuming or demanding, videotape them so next time you are set to go through with the show if
something goes amiss in the live act. LECTURES Lectures should be drafted in final form several days before they are to be delivered so that you can revise
them as the ideas revolve in your mind. Lectures read verbatim are almost inevitably deadly boring. Never
read a lecture, unless you can read like Dylan Thomas. OUTLINES Draw up an outline on the evening or morning before the lecture date and speak from that outline, carrying
the full notes in your briefcase for reference and a sense of security. If duplicating facilities are adequate, it is
helpful to distribute copies of your outline to the students as they enter the room. Otherwise, you may want
to write the outline on the board or display it by overhead projection. Teachers who use an overhead
projector regularly during their lectures may keep their outline visible throughout, projecting it via a second
overhead projector on one side of the screen. Speaking from your outline encourages spontaneity of
expression and natural nonverbal interaction with your students, while making the outline available to
students in advance allows them to attend to the content of your presentation without simultaneously
attempting to tease out its structure. It is also a helpful gift to students who must miss a class or leave early
and so is appreciated by all. Writing the outline in advance also forces you to be organized and to avoid
last-minute rushes. When you cannot prepare an outline in advance, distribute one the next session. AUDIT OTHER PSYCHOLOGY COURSES If there is an introductory psychology course in progress in the term before yours, sit in on it periodically.
See how the teacher launches the course, handles testing and evaluation, and deals with disturbances.
What might you do to get the same positive results but avoid any negative ones you observe? Try to get a
sense of the time involved in routine events such as distributing and collecting papers, especially if the class
is about the size you expect your own to be. Sit in the back of the room while a class is in session in the room
you will be using to find out how the acoustics are and to see how large your writing on the chalkboard
must be in order to be clearly legible to those in the last row. Review student course evaluations to learn
what teaching qualities are viewed as desirable by administrators and students. Talk to other introductory iv
psychology teachers about their experiences. Your interest will be highly rewarding to your colleagues, and
the advice you receive may be invaluable to you. Find out from students or colleagues who are the “star”
teachers in your department. Visit some of their classes to perform your own analysis of what they are doing
that works so well. Consider what you might adopt or adapt from their general style or specific performance
components. STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESSFUL TEACHING There is no single ideal teaching style; many styles can lead to the same positive educational outcomes. The
best style for you in a given teaching situation is not necessarily the one you feel most comfortable using at
first. The style must allow you to achieve your teaching objectives, considering the course you are teaching
and the kind of students in your class. A shy, introspective manner may work well in a small seminar of
advanced students; it will not get far in a large lecture hall filled with lower-level students. TEACHING METHODS The key to effective delivery of your message is variation. Although lecturing continues to be the most
common teaching method, it is most effective in small doses, particularly if you are not an outstanding
performer. Other methods include discussion, demonstration, films and other audiovisual resources, group
projects, experiments, and written or oral exercises. Keep in mind that any of these approaches can be
combined. For example, team teaching certain lectures with a colleague from your department or another
department, or giving a mini-lecture in a discussion section. TRADITIONAL LECTURE SYSTEM You give two or three lectures per week with an occasional film, demonstration, group activity, or guest
speaker. Examinations are taken in class and cover both lecture and text content. You provide some new
information, extend text materials, and serve as a model of enthusiasm for the subject matter. If you cannot
at least role-play being enthusiastic about psychology in general, do not lecture in the traditional form. This
format also demands an effective “acting-delivery” style; you must be on your “power spot” when up on the
stage, or else do not choose to be a traditional lecturer. In a large class, teachers are often bothered by the
impersonality of the setting. This is especially the case if the teacher lectures from a stage that creates both a
physical and a psychological separation between the lecturer-as-performer and the students-as-audience. TEAM TEACHING Pair up with a colleague whose interests and strengths complement yours and teach the course in tandem.
This is especially advisable for new teachers because the day-to-day workload is shared, it can be exciting
to brainstorm about teaching, and you can arrange for feedback. DISCUSSION SECTIONS In lecture settings, the lecturer takes control and usually runs with the ball most of the period. In small
discussion sections (from 10 to 30 students), the instructor willingly surrenders much of the control. The
discussion section is a means of providing information, usually in an informal manner, with ample time
allowed for questions, answers, demonstrations, and role-playing. The discussion leader involves the
students in decisions about the direction of the course and how they can help to implement course
objectives. Discussion sections can be valuable sources of intellectual, effective stimulation for both teacher
and student when they are well designed. One variation is to combine the lecture format with a once-weekly
class session devoted to student-led discussion about the current topic. v
UNIT MASTERY SYSTEM In the unit mastery system, lectures may be optional or given as special features, with the grade dependent
solely on completion of all quizzes at or beyond the mastery level. The major features of this system are: . Students progress through course assignments at their own pace.
. Instead of mass testing at prefixed lecture times, each student comes to a testing center
whenever he or she is ready to take a particular exam.
. The testing center is run by student proctors, staff personnel, or the instructor.
. Tests failed may be repeated without penalty on parallel forms after a suitable time for restudy.
Feedback on test performance is immediate, private, and personalized from proctor to student
. Testing and grading are physically and psychologically separated from the lecturer and lecture
setting, with the advantage of more positive attitudes toward the teacher. A unit mastery system
takes considerable effort to set up, but once you have done so you are freed from all chores
related to testing and evaluation. Since each student progresses at an individual rate in taking
the chapter quizzes, you are also liberated from having to teach a specified amount of material
before each preestablished examination date, as occurs with traditional evaluation systems.
References: Hobbs, S. H. (1987). PSI: Use, misuse, and abuse. Teaching of psychology, 14, 106-107. Keller, Fred A., & Sherman, J. Gilmour. (1974). The Keller plan handbook: Essays on a personalized system of instruction. Menlo Park, CA: W. A. Benjamin. SOME BASIC MECHANICS OF TEACHING Your decisions about teaching methods and your experiences will shape your unique style of teaching.
Regardless of what that style is now or may become, some elements are common to all effective teaching
styles. Here are several of those elements: . At the beginning of class, review briefly what you talked about the last time the class met. Ask if
there are any questions about previous material. Next, let the students know what your goals
are for today. What you want them to get from today’s lecture? Outline the major points of the
lecture on the board or on an overhead transparency.
. Correct and pass back quizzes, exams, and papers as soon as possible. Nobody likes to be left
in the lurch when it comes to feedback. Getting materials back quickly to students shows that
you are being considerate of them.
. Pass back exams and deal with administrative matters after your lecture. On days that you will
be passing out test results, plan to cut your lecture short to leave room to answer questions.
This ensures that there is time for your lecture. Passing back quizzes or exams at the beginning
of class is generally a bad idea because students who are disappointed with their exam grade
may tune you out for the remainder of the class period.
. Create an opportunity for students to review their exams with you, if only to ask questions
about examination material. Allow students to defend their interpretation of an exam question
in writing. If a student challenges a question in an unkind manner, suggest that the two of you
get together after class to consider the matter. If, because of further discussion with the student,
you decide that the exam question was a bad one and you will give students credit for it,
announce the change to the class.
. Learn the names of your students. This can generally be quickly accomplished in a class of 25
to 50 students, but will be tough in sections of several hundred students. Learning students’
names shows that you are interested in your students and it may help them to become more
interested in your class—they know that you know who they are and that their contributions to
class have personal implications.
. Encourage student questions. Even in large sections, a good way to start discussion—a nice
break from straight lecturing—is to allow time for questions. When it comes to students’
questions, keep in mind three points. First, repeat the question for the benefit of students sitting
in the back of the room who may not have been able to hear the question. Second, show genuine
interest in the question either by considerately answering it yourself, or by throwing it out to the
class for their response. Third, let the student who asked the question know that you appreciate
his or her participation.
. If you do not know the answer to a question, say so. If the question is an interesting one, tell
your students that you will find the answer for them.
. Pace your lectures. Make time in your lectures to explain your points in their entirety. If you
have prepared too much material for the class period, DO NOT rush to get through it. Slow
down, develop your points carefully and thoughtfully. One sure way to ruin an otherwise good
course is to force students to cram. Let them have the time to think about the material you are
presenting to them. You will be able to tell when you are lecturing too fast, confusing, or boring
your students. The puzzled look on a student’s face is a sure sign that he or she is not following
you. Respond by saying, “Would anybody like me to repeat that?” or “Let me say that another
HOW TO PREPARE A COURSE SYLLABUS A comprehensive syllabus can go a long way toward smoothing the operation of the course and facilitating
a comfortable relationship between you and your class. It saves class time by answering most of the
questions students have at the outset of the course in a form that they can keep for reference. Since the
course is just one of many demanding activities for students as well as for you, the syllabus helps keep all of
you aware of where you’ve been, where you should be on any given day, and where you intend to go. Here
are suggestions for the content of a syllabus for the introductory psychology course, divided into
“essentials” and “options.” The sample syllabus contains mostly essentials. SYLLABUS ESSENTIALS . General information. The name and number of the course including section number, the time
and location, the academic term, your name, your office location and phone number, office
hours, names of Teaching Assistants (TA’s), their office locations and hours.
. The name of the text and student resource manual, as well as any other supplies required for
the course, such as answer sheets.
. Goals or objectives.
. Course requirements explaining the format of and points for exams, quizzes, and papers.
. Class calendar. Reading assignments, dates of tests, due dates for papers and/or activities.
. Testing format and procedures.
. Class policies. Attendance, missed tests, grading, extra credit work.
SYLLABUS OPTIONS . Expanded class calendar, including lecture topics, films, and activities.
. Detailed description of testing procedure.
. Autobiographical information about yourself.
. Where to get help, including the student health center, the learning resources center, and/or the
counseling office.
. Effective study habits and efficient use of study time.
. Guidelines and topics for papers.
. Learning objectives for each chapter.
. Essay questions for each chapter or exam.
. Discussion of section meetings and activities.
. Research participation requirements.
. Extra credit options.

[Sample Syllabus] Psychology 101: Introduction to Psychology Fall Semester, 2002 MWF: 11:00—12:00 Social Sciences Building Instructor: Jennifer Gomez
Telephone: 867-5309
Office: Room 21, Kurt Lewin Hall
Office Hours: M 1:00—3:00, Th 10:00—12:00, and by appointment TEXTS Psychology and Life, Sixteenth Edition, by Richard Gerrig and Philip Zimbardo.
The Student Study Guide is strongly recommended. COURSE OBJECTIVES The primary objective of all introductory psychology courses is to explore the subject matter of the field and
to become familiar with the vocabulary and concepts of the field and with some of the research findings
upon which our knowledge of human thought and behavior is based. A goal of this class is to emphasize development of critical thinking skills and to prepare you to be a
cautious and analytical consumer of information that is proclaimed scientific or based on research. I also hope that you will derive personal benefits from the class; that at the end of the term you will have
increased your understanding and acceptance of yourself and others; and that you will gain something
from this class that will enrich your personal relationships and add to your success in your chosen
occupation. COURSE REQUIREMENTS There are four regularly scheduled tests and a comprehensive final examination. Students are also expected
to write four short papers during the term. TESTS There will be 50 multiple-choice items on each of the four midterms and 100 multiple-choice items on the
comprehensive final examination. The test items will be taken primarily from the reading assignments, but
you can expect some test questions based on lectures, films, or any class activity. If you feel that the answer you chose for a test question is better than the answer keyed as correct, submit
your case in writing to the instructor. PAPERS Four short (three-page) papers are to be written and submitted during the term. Guidelines and topics for
the papers are discussed in a handout that will be distributed at the second class meeting. Generally, the ix topics for the papers require you to think critically about some issue in psychology or to apply
psychological knowledge to practical situations. EXTRA CREDIT WORK Studying the text and writing the assigned papers are assumed sufficient work for this class and grades
will be assigned solely based on tests, papers, and activities that occur during class. GRADING Grades will be assigned based on the number of points accumulated during the semester. The maximum
number of points for each midterm is 100. From the four midterms, your three highest grades will be used in
calculating your final grade. If you miss a midterm, your scores on the other three will be used. If you miss
more than one midterm, you may want to drop the course because midterms cannot be made up. The
maximum total points for midterms is 300. The final examination will have 100 questions and contribute a
maximum of 200 points toward your final grade. The maximum number of points for papers is 100, 25 points per paper. If you get a low score on a paper, you
may rewrite it—see the handout on papers for more information on this. A maximum of 50 points will be given for participation in class activities. The maximum number of points is 650, and grades will be assigned as follows: If you get 600 to 650 points,
you will earn an A. If you get 540 to 599 points, you will earn a B. If you get 460 to 539 points, you will earn
a C. If you get 400 to 459 points, you will earn a D. If you get less than 400 points, you will earn an F. CLASS CALENDAR Reading assignment. September 3 to September 24 Ch. 1 The Science of Psychology in Your Life
Ch. 2 Research Methods in Psychology
Ch. 3 The Biological Bases of Behavior
Chs. 4, 5 Sensation & Perception
Test 1 September 24
Paper 1 due September 26 Reading assignment. September 26 to October 15 Ch. 6 Mind, Consciousness, and Alternate States
Chs. 7, 8 Learning and Behavior Analysis & Memory
Ch. 9 Cognitive Processes
Test 2 October 15
Paper 2 due October 17 Reading assignment. October 17 to November 5 Ch. 10 Intelligence and Intelligence Assessment
Ch. 11 Human Development across the Life Span
Chs. 12, 13 Motivation & Emotion, Stress, and Health
Test 3 November 5Paper 3 due November 7 Reading assignment. November 7 to November 28 Ch. 14 Understanding Human Personality
Ch. 15 Psychological Disorders
Ch. 16 Therapies for Personal Change
Test 4 November 28 Paper 4 due November 30 Reading assignment. November 30 to December 14 Ch. 17 Social Processes and Relationships
Ch. 18 Social Psychology, Society, and Culture Final Examination. December 17 xi HOW TO PREPARE A LECTURE Clarity is the most important quality in lectures. Clarity can only be assessed by the audience. Your students
are likely to vary in abilities, needs, interests, and reasons for taking the course. Some take introductory
psychology because they are interested in psychology and plan to major in it; some take the course because
they hope to achieve insight into personal problems; others take it because it fulfills a requirement, or
because the class meets at a time that is convenient for them. You cannot “please all the people all of the
time,” but your success in teaching will depend on the degree to which you deal with the wide range of
individual differences your students bring to your class. Be aware of the intellectual level of your students, of special aspects of their backgrounds, their
sophistication as well as areas of na.veté. Answer for yourself these basic questions: . Who am I talking to?
. What two or three points do I want them to remember?
. What other points would it be nice—but not essential—for them to recall?
Students come to class with their own agendas—areas of genuine interest as well as topics they expect to be
covered in an introductory psychology class. Asking your students to submit questions periodically is one
way to assess their interests. Zanich and Grover (1989) surveyed student interest in 80 specific topics
typically included in introductory texts and lectures. Each topic was rated on a 5-point scale from very
interesting to not very interesting. According to the students, the five most interesting topics were (1) the
possible function of dreams, (2) why people are attracted to each other, (3) hypnosis, (4) how to improve
your memory, and (5) sexual motivation and variations in sexual behavior. In general, students had the
least interest in natural science aspects of psychology. The five least interesting topics were (76) how the
auditory system works, (77) learning and nonsense syllables, (78) historical roots of modem psychology, (79) theories of color vision, and (80) the endocrine system. However, it must be noted that for all students,
psychology majors and non-majors, mean topic ratings reflected slightly greater than average interest for all
topics, with psychology majors giving slightly higher interest ratings than non-psychology majors.
BASIC MECHANICS OF LECTURES The quality of instruction overrides content in determining student reactions to specific topics. Teachers are
more than information dispensers. They put information into perspective, give contexts so ideas may be
better appreciated, offer emphasis and clarification. The task of preparing a lecture is not so much one of
loading as many ideas as possible into the firing chamber as one of carefully packaging a few delicate
thoughts for the difficult trip from mind to mind. You should therefore attend very seriously to
“transportation and delivery” issues when you are preparing your lecture, not only to the load. Sass (1989)
found that students repeatedly cite eight instructor characteristics as responsible for high motivation to
master the material: enthusiasm, relevance, organization, appropriate difficulty level, active involvement,
variety, rapport, and use of appropriate examples. Within the lecture, use examples—lots of examples—to illustrate the many unfamiliar concepts introduced
in the course. To maintain students’ attention, vary the pitch and loudness of your voice, use gestures and
facial expression, and move. Review your lecture notes thoroughly before class so you will not be glued to
the lectern. Periodically review your delivery method and voice tone by listening to a tape recording of your
lecture—an invaluable and humbling experience! Use the lecture to amplify and enrich the material in the text, to illustrate difficult concepts, to relate
psychology to personal experience, or to motivate and stimulate students. Avoid duplicating the text. Too
much factual information in a lecture is likely to overwhelm students and result in little or no retention. Lectures should usually begin with an attention-getting device such as a quick demonstration, personal
remark, question, anecdote, or a clear statement of a theme, problem, or paradox. The balance of the lecture
should have a structure that is apparent to the students as well as to you. For example, begin with a xii
preview, in which the central points of the lecture are briefly indicated and reference is made to important
issues or types of evidence related to each; move into main points, each of which is stated and explored by
giving relevant evidence and explaining current controversies; conclude with a summary in which the
central points are again stated and supporting information briefly reviewed. In effect, as a friend of ours is
fond of saying, “You tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em, you tell ’em, and then you tell ’em what you told
’em.” START WITH AN ATTENTION GETTER As a guide to lively lecture starters, we offer these suggestions: . Statement of thesis to be argued: “Today I would like to try to convince you that the greatest feat of
human intelligence occurs when a two-year-old child learns its native language.”
. Question: “Research in the area of attitude change shows that a credible communicator has
more persuasive impact than a noncredible one. Can you think of any conditions when a
disliked communicator can be more effective than a liked one in changing your attitudes?”
. Paradox: “You see me as an upright, stationary three-dimensional figure, yet my image on your
retina is upside down, jiggling around, with only two flat dimensions. How do you see the real
me, given your deceiving retina?”
. Personal anecdote: “Have you ever known someone who suddenly and without any warning lost
his or her memory [became a different person]? Several years ago a cousin of mine. . .”
. Argument: “Freud has done more than any other person to promote the psychological study and
treatment of mental illness by replacing the demons of exorcism with the respectability of
medical science and the reasoned analysis of psychoanalysis. Nevertheless, as far as I am
concerned, his contribution is now backfiring. The long-term consequences of the medical
model and of using unconscious dynamic explanations to explain a basically ordinary process
of maladaptive learning are nothing less than fraud.”
. Relevant media: Start your lecture by reading all or part of an article in the school or local
newspaper that highlights a major point to be made in the lecture.
. Relevant student material: “A student from my other class came to ask me yesterday whether I
might refer him to a psychiatrist. After a long discussion, it seemed evident that his problem
was loneliness, and I do not know a therapist who treats that. How unusual and bizarre a
problem is loneliness? Are any of you afflicted by it? Let us discuss that topic today.”
. Concrete instances (people rather than abstract variables): “It’s hard to imagine that we would ever
be blindly obedient to authority as participants in Milgram’s experiments were. ‘Not me, I’m
different,’ you say. ‘I’d be independent.’ What do you think the people in Nixon’s presidential
cabinet said before the Watergate scandal? Moreover, what about the 900 people who took part
in the mass suicide pact in Guyana? Were they being loyal to their leader, the Reverend Jim
Jones? Dedicated to their cause? Faithful to their religious beliefs? Alternatively, were they
blindly obedient fanatics who were brainwashed by a dictator? Who is absolutely certain they
would not have drunk the poison at Jonestown if they had been members of the People’s
. Shared experiences: “We all know people who. . .” or “I’m sure that you, like me, have been in
love and maybe we have even experienced similar emotions when that union was at its height
and [pause] when the relationship somehow went wrong, failed, died. Let’s examine the nature
of emotions . . .”
. Challenge: “My daughter asked me if blind people ever dream in colors. Who has an answer I
can give her?”
. Turn of phrase: “What’s the difference between a psychologist who studies animal learning and
a magician who uses animals in his act? The psychologist pulls habits out of his rats.”
. Individualize prior student input: “You recall that in our last lecture a student challenged the
view that pain is a sensation comparable to other senses. Ms. Jones’ pain-as-unique sensation
theory, in fact, fits some new evidence.”
WITHIN THE LECTURE The material within the lecture should follow a logical order. Among the organizational schemes you can
use are: CAUSE AND EFFECT Cite and explain events by referring to their origins. For example, you can discuss how the criticisms of
existing theories led to the development of new perspectives. TIME SEQUENTIAL Arrange lecture ideas chronologically. For example, you can explain how information moves from one
memory system to another through a series of steps. Information is encoded into sensory memory, the
important information moves on to short-term memory (where it is rehearsed or lost), and so on. TOPICAL Focus on parallel elements of different discussion topics. For example, when teaching the major
psychological disorders, you can discuss their similarities. PROBLEM—SOLUTION Follow the statement of a problem with alternative solutions. For example, you might pose the problem:
What are the consequences of frustration? You could then go on to discuss the responses, such as,
frustration may lead to aggression. PRO—CON Present a two-sided discussion of a value-laden topic. When using this method, be certain to give each side
equal weight. Let the students decide for themselves which side they want to take. For example, the topic of
deinstitutionalization has an inherent adversarial challenge. On the one hand, research shows that many
institutionalized patients can exist and improve in a “least restrictive environment.” Letting them out of
institutions, moreover, is economically beneficial to the various state and local governments and thus to the
taxpayer. On the other hand, if the patients are deinstitutionalized in communities lacking sufficient
services, the former patients will be forced out onto the streets to fend for themselves. Such a situation can be
dangerous both to them and to the communities in which they reside. ASCENDING—DESCENDING Arrange lecture topics according to their importance, familiarity, or complexity. For example, arrange the
major psychological disorders from most debilitating to least debilitating, or from hardest to easiest to
diagnose. TO KEEP THEIR ATTENTION FROM WANDERING During the standard 50-minute hour, your students’ attention will frequently wander in response to
external distractions (attractive fellow students, campus newspapers, outside noises) and internal
distractions (hunger, fatigue from late-night parties or athletic practice, distress over an exam failed during xiv
the preceding class period, sexual daydreams whose fantasy is much more stimulating than any lecture).
This fierce competition means that at any given time many students are unaware of the important things
you have said. (Try collecting a sample of your students’ notes from time to time to see how much of your
output was never received or was grossly distorted.) Audience distractions may be minimized in several ways: . Timing: Hold your main points to about 5 minutes each (never more than 10 minutes) and
insert a bit of humor, an anecdote, or an opportunity for a few questions into the transition
period preceding the next main point. An outline on the board or a mimeographed outline is
beneficial in keeping the students–and yourself–on track.
. Variety: Use catchy stylistic devices (stories, clever brief demonstrations) and change your
expressive style (volume, pacing, pregnant pauses) to add variety to the rather narrow band of
stimuli involved in straight talk. Although you have written out your lecture, do not read it!
. Mini-climaxes: Draw your information together at several points throughout the lecture,
reemphasizing relevant ideas and conceptual ties and providing those students who may have
“zoned out” earlier with the means to reenter the flow of information.
. Value the ending: The conclusion of the lecture is vital to its total impact; often, due to the recency
effect, the conclusion will be remembered best. Use it well. Never rush in the last quarter of the
class to say quickly all of the essential points. It is better to reserve the time needed to effectively
summarize, even if students are left to expand a few of the main points on their own.
IN ADDITION TO LECTURE DISCUSSIONS Discussions have limited value in introductory courses for several reasons. Classes are frequently too large
for their effective use; extroverts in the front rows may carry on a lively dialogue while their peers at the rear
call up their favorite daydreams. In addition, discussions can be a “pooling of ignorance” because students
may not have read the assigned material in the text and may lack the background necessary to contribute to
a meaningful discussion. Despite these considerations, students benefit from, and enjoy, sharing their ideas
and experiences. The goal is to make that sharing educationally beneficial. Here are some suggestions: . Make your intention clear to the students by saying “Let’s talk about how you feel when you’ve
been punished—when your parents criticize you or you get a ticket for a traffic violation,” or
“What do you think influences our self-esteem? How do we form our opinions about
. Plan topics for discussion around experiences students have had, a film that has been shown,
or a situation that you have described.
. Pause after introducing the topic or asking the question to give students time to consider a
. Tactfully summarize or repeat the point made by a student if the student has expressed himself
or herself poorly or did not speak loudly enough to be heard by class members.
. Be receptive to students’ contributions to the discussion and reinforce them for participating.
Reward them with verbal commendations for comments and questions, and if the point they
have made is particularly relevant or insightful, let the class know. When students’ comments
are erroneous or irrelevant, or when students have difficulty expressing themselves, still
respond in a positive tone, and try to salvage some part of their comments to move the
discussion along.
. Try breaking the class into small groups for discussion. Prepare explicit directions for the
groups, and require each group to make a report to you or to the class.
DEMONSTRATIONS Preparation is the key to the successful use of demonstrations. If equipment or props are required, they
should be assembled and set up before class. If something goes wrong, it is better to abandon or postpone
the demonstration than to fiddle with the equipment or send a student for a missing ingredient. Remember
that competent people are more lovable if they make an occasional blunder, particularly if they can handle
the situation with humor. Relate demonstrations to everyday experiences. For example, if you demonstrate how additive mixtures of
blue and green produce yellow, suggest that students look at their color-television screen with a magnifying
glass. Although students enjoy evaluation of their personality traits, copies of standardized tests are not included
in this manual because of copyright laws. However, most psychology departments have a test file you could
examine for appropriate tests. If you do use a test or tests, you should carefully explain to students that
these tests have limited validity and reliability, and that any single test is a small element in the evaluation
of an individual’s personality. FILMS AND VIDEOS Audiovisual materials are an effective and enjoyable way of communicating psychological concepts to
students. A review of specific recommended films is included within the Chapter-by-Chapter section. Films and videos available on your own campus have the advantage of being readily available both for
previewing and for use in class. Remember to reserve them for the date you want to show them in class.
Always preview a film or video before showing it in class. If it is of poor quality or inappropriate, you can
avoid wasting class time. SLIDES, TRANSPARENCIES, AND LASERDISCS Slides, transparencies, and images from the laserdisc add color and visual appeal to lectures. A large image
of an eyeball, an illusion, the brain, or a Rorschach inkblot is worth many words. In some ways, transparencies are the easiest to work with because they can be used in a lighted room. In
addition, it is easy to make your own transparencies. You can write directly on the masters or you can
photocopy an illustration and transfer it to a transparency master using a photocopying machine. COMPUTER-ASSISTED INSTRUCTION Technological innovations rarely have universal appeal when they first appear on the market. However,
over time, the innovative often becomes the commonplace. The once-daring use of slides, transparencies,
and films is now expected in introductory psychology classes. An increasing number of elementary and
high school students are learning to use the computer and enter college with a degree of computer literacy
unknown to past generations. As hardware prices fall, computers become more attractive as cost-effective
tools for classroom use. The use of computers in the classroom for instruction and in learning resource
centers for tutorial review is still new, but holds great promise. HOW TO EVALUATE STUDENTS DECISIONS ABOUT ASSIGNMENTS Will I make reading assignments from publications other than the text? Some instructors prefer to select a
limited number of chapters from the text and to assign other readings related to the chosen chapters.
Although this provides more in-depth coverage of some areas, it neglects other areas of psychology. As the xvi
areas covered in the course are reduced, the course becomes less and less the broad survey it is intended to
be. At the introductory level, most professors assign all or most of the chapters in the text and little or no
outside reading. Because of their familiarity with the material covered in the introductory course, instructors
can underestimate the difficulty of the text for students. Students who do well in the introductory course
study, rather than just read, the text. If you do want to assign some additional readings, be sure that your
campus library can supply enough copies of the assigned material. Will I make writing assignments? Your decision concerning writing assignments is likely to be influenced by the size of your class and the
amount of assistance you can expect for reading papers. Writing experience is an important element in
education and if you have the time and resources, you should include some written work in your
requirements. A good option is to assign several short papers rather than a traditional term paper. DECISIONS ABOUT TESTING How many tests will I give? Due to the scope of material, it is best to test frequently in an introductory course. Tests do take class time,
and if you think of tests as purely a means of evaluation, you may feel that frequent testing takes too much
class time. However, tests are powerful pedagogical tools because they inspire students to study and they
provide feedback on the effectiveness of students’ efforts. Marvels of modern technology, like the test bank
accompanying this text, have made testing relatively easy for the instructor. You choose the items from the
test bank and the computer program will print them, number them, scramble them, and provide you with an
answer key, or keys if you use more than one order of items. You can also edit test questions and add your
own. What kind of tests will I give? Multiple-choice tests are the standard evaluative method in introductory psychology. Many of the multiple-
choice questions in the test bank that accompanies this text involve application, interpretation, or
conceptualization so you need not feel that you are just assessing rote learning. If you prefer to give essay
tests or combine essay questions with objective items, you will also find a supply of essay questions in the
test bank. What will my tests cover? Tests in introductory classes primarily cover the text; you can select and/or edit items from the
professionally written Test Bank to cover the text material. You may also prefer to let students know in the
syllabus that tests will include outside-class assignments as well as anything that occurs in class, such as
lectures, films, demonstrations, and experiments. Of course, you will have to write your own questions to
cover these other aspects of the course. How long should my tests be? Most students can read and answer a multiple-choice question in less than a minute, so if your class lasts
50 minutes, the test should have no more than 45 items to allow a few minutes for test distribution. If your
class period is longer than 50 minutes, give a longer test since reliability increases with test length. It is best
to make the test the only activity of the class day. xvii
No matter how much time is allowed for a test, some students will not be ready to hand in their paper when
the allotted time is up. Tell them you are leaving, and that if they want to receive credit for the test, they must
hand in their papers immediately. What will I do about students who miss tests? There is no ideal solution to this problem. One “must” is that you have a policy you can easily enforce and
that you inform students of this policy in the syllabus. Ideally, do whatever you can to discourage students
from missing tests. One way to do this is to require verification of illness or other legitimate reasons for
absence on test days. Still another helpful hint—inform students in the syllabus that you advise them to
drop the course if they miss more than one test. The option of allowing students to take the missed test later is not advised. If you do not have another test
on the material, the class will have to wait until all of the makeups are done before they get feedback. Even if
you do have another test you can use, you may find yourself proctoring individual students at times that are
convenient for them rather than for you. Here are two options for dealing with the inevitable situation of missed tests: . Assign a score for the missing test based on the student’s performance on the other tests.
Substituting the lowest test score for the missing score discourages students from missing tests,
but it penalizes students who miss a test for legitimate reasons. Using the average of the other
test scores seems fair, but students who are good strategists will figure out that it is better to be
“sick” than to take a test unprepared.
. Students drop their lowest quiz score. This is an attractive option because students who miss a
test can use the missed test as their lowest score. However, this option is advised only if you
give several tests during the term and only if the tests are roughly equivalent in terms of type
and difficulty. One caution in this situation is that the last test score should not be dropped. If
you let students drop the score on the last test, those who are satisfied with their scores on
earlier tests may consider the class finished for them several weeks before the end of the term,
and therefore fail to study material that will be included on the final.
How can I prevent cheating on tests? This is something we do not like to think or talk about, but cheating in the classroom is a reality, and you
should do what you can to prevent it. Students who do not cheat become justifiably upset if they perceive
that you are not doing your best to prevent cheating. Here are some methods of cheating and some
preventive measures: . Copying from an unsuspecting neighbor. Use the computerized Test Bank to construct two or
more forms of your test. Each form should be in a different scrambled order.
. Collaborating with a friend by exchanging papers. Use vigilant proctoring, watching for
students to exchange papers by passing them under the seats.
. Getting a copy of the test before it is given. Keep tests in a securely locked cabinet or file drawer.
Be sure stencils or discarded pages are not left in a wastebasket that is accessible to students.
. Failure to hand in the test and answer sheet and claiming absence on the day of the test. Have
students sign an attendance sheet as they enter the classroom.
. Getting someone else to take the test. Most campuses that have classes large enough for this to
be a problem issue identification cards with pictures. Have students bring their cards to class
and show them as they hand in their tests.
. Surreptitious use of notes. Have students put all books and papers under their seats and leave
them there until they are ready to hand in their papers and leave. Another solution is to make
the notes legitimate—allow students to bring to an exam one page of notebook paper with
anything they want written on it. This legitimate pony has value in that preparing it is a type of
active study and because clutching their pony tends to reduce anxiety for students who panic
on test day. How will I provide feedback to students after tests? On the day of the test, let students know when feedback will be provided. The longer students have to wait
for correct answers, the less interested they become in checking their work. Provide immediate feedback if
you can. Here are two suggestions for accomplishing this: . Students record their answers on both the test and the answer sheet. They hand in the answer
sheet and keep the test, scoring it themselves from a key or keys you post immediately after the
test. The computerized test bank makes it possible for you to provide feedback that includes
both correct answers and page references from the text.
. Create an exam that can be completed in 30 minutes (25–30 multiple-choice questions) and
devote the rest of a 50-minute class to feedback. Ask students to jot down their answers on their
own paper after they complete the test. Then collect the students’ answer sheets, while students
retain their notes of their answers and the test. Review the test items, allowing students to ask
questions about perceived ambiguous items. At the end of the class, collect the tests and the
students’ notes. With this procedure, you only have to return the graded answer sheets in order
for students to receive maximum feedback.
How can I avoid hassles about test items? First, select and write items carefully, being sure that you agree that the keyed answer is the best answer.
Then make your key carefully. Examine the printout of scores before posting it, and check any item for
ambiguity or incorrect keying if half or more of the students miss it. If you make a mistake in your choice of
items or on the key, correct it graciously. Do not spend class time arguing about test items. Have students submit their case in writing if they feel that
their choice for an item is better than the keyed answer. DECISIONS ABOUT EVALUATION Should I use numbers or letters to grade students’ work? Any activity that is to contribute to students’ grades should be assigned a numerical score so an
unambiguous point system can be used for determining final grades. Some students have difficulty
understanding that an A on a minor assignment is not weighted as heavily as a D on the final exam. If you use large numbers, particularly for a large class, the range of final totals for students is larger and the
cutoff between letter grades appears reasonable. How will I assign final grades? There are two traditional methods for assigning grades, the criterion-based system and the normative-based
or on-the-curve system. In criterion-based grading, criteria are published in the syllabus. For example, if a student gets 92 percent to
100 percent of the maximum number of points, the student can be assured of an A. This method is preferred
by the majority of instructors because it is easy for students to understand and accommodates variability in
the performance of different classes. xix
In normative-based grading it is predetermined that you will, for example, give an A to the top 10 percent of
students, a B to students in the next 20 percent, and so forth. This method has the advantage of not
requiring you to commit yourself to absolute criteria, but it has the disadvantage of causing some students
to be uncertain about where they stand during the term. Also, normative-based grading assumes that your
class is a random sample of students who take introductory courses at your school and does not take into
account that some classes as a whole are better than others. Identical student performance could earn an A
in one class and a B in another when the normative-based system is used. Should I use standard scores? Most students have difficulty understanding standard scores. (How can a score of zero be a C? Does a
negative score mean that I know less than nothing does?) Standard scores also have the disadvantage of
having a small range. One situation in which standard scores should be considered is when the test means
for the term are unequal and you are dropping students’ lowest test scores. DECISIONS ABOUT EXTRA CREDIT WORK Should I provide an opportunity for students to get course credit for work that is not a class requirement? If
you fail to state a firm policy on extra credit work in the syllabus, you will be visited by failing students
during the closing weeks of the term. They would like to write papers, or do something to raise their grades.
A no-extra credit policy is advised, with the rationale that students who are failing the required work would
be better off spending their time on the text rather than writing a paper that is likely to be poorly written or
plagiarized. If there are to be opportunities for extra credit, they should be available to all students, not just those who
come to your office with sad stories. For your best students, extra credit work is likely to be perceived as
required, and you may find that they are more likely to take advantage of opportunities to earn points than
students who need them more. Extra credit work will increase your workload. The bookkeeping for volunteer work or research
participation can be a headache, and rewritten or replaced papers means more papers to read and grade.
However, this should not deter you if you can provide extra credit work that is truly a beneficial experience
for students. What kind of extra credit opportunities could I provide? One extra credit option that is a learning experience for students and a service to the community is
volunteer work in places such as sheltered workshops, child care centers, nursing homes, and shelters for
the homeless. If you can arrange this type of activity, be sure to set a limit on the amount of credit that can be
earned. Introductory students are frequently an important source of human subjects for research. If research
participation is not a requirement at your school, you might consider using it as an extra credit option. If you assign several short papers during the term, you could allow students to rewrite or replace a paper
that has received a low score. Rewriting a poor paper based on your comments and corrections can be
especially beneficial for students who need help with writing skills. WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS IN THE INTRODUCTORY
COURSE As student’s writing skills have deteriorated, educators have become increasingly reluctant to include
writing assignments as a course requirement. If this deterioration is to be reversed, it seems apparent that x
instructors in disciplines other than English must assume some of the responsibility for providing writing
experiences for students. DESIGNING WRITING ASSIGNMENTS The assignments should be related to the objectives of the course. They should increase insight into
psychological concepts, develop critical thinking skills, or stimulate personal growth. The form of the
assignments can be: . A take-home paper in which students answer a specific question.
. A psychological diary. In writing the diary, students describe everyday experiences related to
what they are learning in class. For example, a student hears a commercial for a cold remedy on
TV, and wonders about the basis of the claim that the product is twice as effective as remedy X;
or a student notes that her father trots out all his dissonance-reducing strategies whenever
something goes wrong with the lemon he bought.
. In-class papers. Students write a paragraph in class expressing their opinion on an issue,
evaluating a film, or describing an experience. It is probably best not to grade these mini-
papers, but it may encourage attendance if students are rewarded with a few points for
The assignment should be clearly worded and specific. Instruction about the form of the paper should give
detailed instructions on how the paper is to be prepared. The topics of papers should be described in such a
way that the possibility of misinterpretation is minimized. You may need to give a systematic plan for a
paper or to enumerate the points you expect to be covered. You can select questions from those provided in
the test bank or create your own. Here is a list of verbs you may find useful as you create effective essay
questions: advise compare contrast apply illustrate evaluate criticize summarize relate design analyze predict trace justify take sides on the controversy between explore the implications of Specify a specific purpose or audience for the paper. The instructor is the traditional audience for student
papers, and since you know so much, students tend to expect that you will not need important information
or explanation. An example of a specific purpose would be “to encourage a friend to see a behavior
therapist about a particular phobia.” The targeted audience could be students who have not taken introductory psychology, the readers of Parents’ magazine, or a person who has written to Dear Abby about
a psychological problem. Inform students about how their papers will be evaluated. This information, as well as other details, can be
specified in a handout, “All you need to know about writing assignments.” This can be part of the syllabus
or distributed separately. Suggestions for the handout are outlined below. . General discussion of written assignments: In this section inform students how many papers are
required, how long they are to be, how topics are to be selected, and whether papers that receive
a low score can be rewritten. Students should not be allowed to write more than one paper
related to a chapter. Assign specific due dates for the papers throughout the term to prevent
students from handing in all their papers on the last day of the term. . Specific guidelines for preparation of papers: In this section tell students such things as: use 8. by
11 paper; write on one side only; put the title, assignment number and your name at the top of
the first page; type using double-spacing and one-inch margins; don’t use plastic covers or
binders. It is a good idea to discuss plagiarism in this section and to indicate how students
should handle quoted material.
. Evaluation criteria: The three traditional criteria for evaluation of papers are content or ideas,
organization, and mechanics. You may want to assign weights to each of these criteria. For
example, if the maximum number of points for a paper is 25, you might assign 12 for content, 8
for organization, and 5 for mechanics.
. Topics: Provide a chapter-by-chapter list of the topics from which students can choose. Having
this list at the beginning of the term gives students a chance to make tentative choices of topics
that interest them.
EVALUATING STUDENT WRITING There are two extremes to be avoided in evaluating papers. One is over grading or providing excessive
feedback and the other is putting a grade on the paper with no marks or comments to justify your
evaluation. To avoid both extremes, it is best to devise an evaluation plan that is relatively easy to use and to
communicate to students. One author suggested drawing a straight line under ideas or other aspects of a
paper that you particularly like and drawing a wavy line under passages that are poorly written or
confusing. This system can be extended by developing a code to indicate the reason for a wavy line; for example, G for poor grammar, U for unsupported generalization, I for irrelevance, and E for erroneous
information or conclusion. Critical thinking is an aspect of student writing that you may want to emphasize in evaluating papers. Here
is one set of guidelines for evaluating critical thinking: . Ask questions; be willing to wonder.
. Define the problem.
. Examine the evidence.
. Analyze assumptions and biases.
. Avoid emotional reasoning: “If I feel this way, it must be true.”
. Do not oversimplify.
. Consider other interpretations.
. Tolerate uncertainty.
There may be nothing you can do for your students that will benefit them as much as writing assignments.
Many students find writing distasteful but are aware of their deficiency in written communication and
apprehensive about the implications of the problem for future employment. WHAT TO DO WHEN THE EARTHQUAKE COMES Even the best-laid plans of effective teachers occasionally go awry. If you are not uptight and excessively
formal about what should and ought to happen in your class, these events can often be turned to your
advantage, to reveal your human side or to capitalize on the attention and emotional involvement they
generate to bring some academic points home more forcefully than you could normally. Here are some
suggestions to help you go with the flow: xxii
YOU HAVE MADE A MISTAKE Admit it, laugh at it, correct it, consider why you made it, and thank the person who discovered it. If you are
unsure of what is wrong, ask some specific person in the audience to tell you why the students are reacting
as they are. RULE VIOLATION When the class is disrupted by deliberate rebellion—individual or collective—or when someone is violating
some implicit rule of yours, handle the problem directly and immediately. Do not ignore it. Do not try to
continue with planned material. Determine first what the nature of the disruption is, how representative it
is of the whole class, and whether the apparent explanation is a valid one (e.g., students who are leaving
early are on their way to some required athletic activity or students are inattentive due to a hearing
difficulty). Assume it is a valid protest until proved otherwise. If, for example, you are distressed by a
student reading the newspaper right in front of you, stop and say so. Say it is upsetting, ask the student to
put it away, or alternately, ask the student to leave and read it outside. It is not necessary to embarrass the
student, but you can set a firm but gentle example of the classroom decorum you expect. It is always
advisable to speak personally to any such disrupting student afterward to explain your action in a
nonthreatening manner. Many potential sources of trouble are won over with such demonstrations of
personal attention and caring. CHALLENGES TO YOUR AUTHORITY You will encounter a variety of “problem” students. Do not use your position as an authority to beat them
down in class. Such students often respond positively to a personal meeting after class to discuss the nature
of the problem. This open recognition may be all that is necessary; the student may be calling for help, may
want to be given some limits, or may be able to tell you where you are going wrong and losing student
interest. The best way to establish your intellectual authority is through establishing an open,
democratically run class, not an authoritarian one. SUMMARY: TEN TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL
TEACHING For most students, the introductory psychology course will be the only psychology course they will ever
take. While a good text and helpful ancillaries certainly contribute to a successful introductory course, the
teacher often makes the difference between a bad and a good class or between a good class and an
outstanding one. Personal variables–such as the respect you show for the subject matter, the concern you
show for students’ understanding of psychology, and the care with which you prepare your class
presentations–are critical factors that will influence your students’ impressions of psychology throughout
the term and beyond. Your classroom behavior also has important practical implications, because it
determines whether some of your students enroll in other psychology classes or become psychology majors.
In sum, you are a representative of psychology as both a science and career, and as such, your actions reflect
the field’s professional values and standards. Below are ten tips for teaching introductory psychology. BE PREPARED There is simply no substitute for knowing your subject matter. Contrary to popular opinion, introductory
students are very perceptive. A teacher who is ill prepared to discuss the subject material or to field
students’ questions will soon be discovered, resulting in large-scale student apathy. Beyond knowledge of
the subject matter, it is also important to schedule enough time for adequate preparation. A teacher
cramming for a presentation is likely to meet with the same result as a student cramming for an xxiii
examination—failure. If you plan to use audiovisual aids, get to class a few minutes early to ensure the
equipment is working properly, the slides are right side up, the microphone is working properly, etc.
Students resent your taking class time for such preparation; their time is as valuable as yours—make sure it
is used for teaching purposes and not your last-minute preparation. Similarly, it is unwise to use class time
for a bull session because you are not adequately prepared to lecture. Your presentations should always be
substantive and informative. KNOW YOUR STUDENTS Most students appreciate and, indeed, welcome personal contact with their instructors. You may wish to
arrive a few minutes early to class each day and visit with the students present. You will become more
familiar and comfortable with them, and they will become more familiar and comfortable with you. The
more comfortable students feel with you, the more likely they will be to make valuable contributions to class
discussions. Beyond knowing some (hopefully most) of your students personally, be aware of campus and
local issues that concern students. This allows you to incorporate those examples in classroom
presentations in a meaningful way. Other than the students themselves, the best sources of information on
these matters are the campus and local newspapers. BE HONEST Students appreciate instructors who keep their word with respect to course policies and class assignments.
If your office hours are from 10 to 12 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, be there. If an emergency arises, leave a
note to that effect on the door. Follow through on your promises to bring in outside material. Your credibility
as a teacher will be enhanced. ACCEPT CRITICISM Each time a new teaching term begins, you acquire a new set of critics. Students may evaluate your style of
dress, your manner of speaking, your sense of humor, and a variety of other elements that may or may not
relate to your ability to convey information about introductory psychology. If only one or two students make
similar criticisms, you may or may not want to take the criticism seriously. If, however, several students
have similar criticisms, you should heed their advice and address their criticisms. BE RESPECTFUL Students like everyone else appreciate being treated with common courtesy and respect. Say “hello” when
you pass students in the hall, and respond to in-class questions with openness and respect. Disrespect is a
sure way to put cool distance between you and your students. KEEP YOUR CLASSROOM PRESENTATION SIMPLE In addition to having a sound understanding of the subject matter, it is important to know your audience.
Your presentations should be geared to their level. Build your lecture around four or five major points and
use plenty of thoughtful and representative examples. BE ENTHUSIASTIC Your level of enthusiasm for the subject matter will be obvious on the first day of class and will determine
the tone for the entire term. More important, your attitude will have a strong influence on your students’
attitudes about the course. Your enthusiasm for psychology can make even the driest topic palatable. xxiv
ESTABLISH COURSE OBJECTIVES What is it that you wish to accomplish in your class? What kinds of knowledge should your students
possess at the end of the term? How do you plan to achieve your goals? These are essential questions to
ask while organizing your syllabus. Once you have provided answers to these questions, put them on the
first page of your syllabus. Filling students in on the class objectives and your plans for meeting them
allows the students to prepare better for your class presentations, discussions, and examinations. BE PATIENT As teachers, we have neither the time nor the energy to do everything for our students. We must place the
responsibility for their understanding of introductory psychology squarely on their shoulders–after we
have done our part to expose them to the knowledge we possess. Some students will catch on quickly,
others more slowly, and still others, perhaps never. In any case, patience is a virtue; students must be given
the opportunity to succeed or fail on their own. BE CORDIAL Students appreciate an instructor who is approachable. Let your students know that you are genuinely
interested in seeing them succeed and that you welcome their questions and comments. However, be
forewarned: Becoming too “chummy” with your students may create special problems (e.g., students may
develop inaccurate expectations of the difficulty of the course or the quality of their course performance). Some students may bring personal or family problems to you and expect your help. If the situation warrants
more than a friendly ear, refer the student to an appropriate clinician or counselor. xxv
Instructor’s Manual WHY READ THIS INSTRUCTOR’S MANUAL? Why should you read and ultimately make use of this Instructor’s Manual? There are two simple reasons.
First, this manual will make you a better, more passionate teacher. No matter how long you have been
teaching, your students will learn more, will have more fun, and will leave your class inspired about psychology by your teaching. Teaching more effectively will also inspire you, and will undoubtedly be
reflected in exceptional teaching evaluations. Second, this manual will make your life easier. This manual
presents a treasure trove of instructional material, compiled from outstanding teachers worldwide, in as
accessible format as possible. We have done the grunt work for you, freeing you so that you have the time to
add and modify material, as you deem appropriate. Because the foundation of a superior course is
contained in this manual, you will have the time to make the course truly your own. One of the strengths of Psychology and Life, 16th Edition is that we have had years to refine and develop an
instructor’s manual that is comprehensive in scope and complementary in nature. When used in
conjunction with Psychology and Life, 16th Edition, we believe that your classroom experience will be an
immensely rewarding one for both you and your students. THIS INSTRUCTOR’S MANUAL INCLUDES THREE
The previous section addresses pragmatic topics, such as instructional techniques, methods of
evaluating students, administrative issues, and preparing lectures, handouts, and syllabi.
This section provides specific instructional material for each chapter of Psychology and Life, 16th
Edition. Within each chapter, material is further broken down into specific types of material. These
include: Learning Objectives: Provides clear, consistent goals and guides for both teaching and learning. Chapter Outline: Arranges material in a concise, organized format that can be used “out of the box” as
lectures or that can serve as the basis for the development of more personalized lectures. Discussion Questions: Suggests provocative questions to pose to your students, which can be used as
the basis of classroom discussion, written assignments, and essay questions. Supplemental Lecture Material: Contains additional material designed to add depth and richness to
lectures. Biographical Profiles: Provides biographical sketches of prominent psychologists, briefly tracing their
life and contributions to the field. xxvi
Timeline: Presents a chronological overview of important events and people from the history of
psychology and related historical events. Suggestions for Further Readings: Suggests references for both you and your students for finding more
information on each chapter topic. Discovering Psychology: Lists volumes of a video telecourse, Discovering Psychology, keyed to chapter
content. Philip Zimbardo designed, wrote, and narrated the 26 programs in this PBS TV series. Films and Videos: Lists current media appropriate for the chapter. Case Study Lecture Launcher: Includes vignettes that originally appeared in an earlier edition of
Psychology and Life. We continue to include them this Instructor’s Manual due to their demonstrated
appeal to both students and instructors. The current edition of Psychology and Life employs new,
provocative first-person quotes to introduce each chapter. III. EXPERIMENTS AND DEMONSTRATIONS
This section describes a set of projects and demonstrations that can be used in class or in separate
sections to illustrate relevant psychological principles. The student’s portions of these exercises are
included in the Student Study Guide that accompanies Psychology and Life, l6th Edition. Additional
copies of the student handouts can be made from the copies in this manual. IV. ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES
TEST BANK Psychology and Life, 16th Edition is accompanied by an extensive test bank. Expertly authored,
completely revised, and reviewed by Richard Gerrig and Philip Zimbardo, this bank contains more
than 2,000 multiple-choice and essay items. These questions are page referenced, are of balanced but
varied difficulty, and are identified by chapter, question type (factual, applied, or conceptual), question
topic, and skill level. OVERHEAD TRANSPARENCIES This completely revised set of color transparencies includes the best illustrations from the publisher’s
current introductory psychology textbooks, designed to be accurate, brilliant, and interesting
projections. xxvii
Chapter 1 At-a-Glance The Science of Psychology in Your Life DETAILED
What Makes Psychology
Unique? (p. 3)
The Goals of Psychology
Teaching the Introductory
Laying the Foundation
for a Well Organized
Learning Objectives:
Why the study of
psychology is important
Discussion Questions:
What do students hope to
get from your class?
Class Exercise:
Psychology’s Goals
Applied to Matchmaking
Test Bank:
Questions 1.11.150
Practice Tests:
Chapter 1
Study Guide:
Chapter 1
Intro 01
Intro 02
Discovering Psychology
Program 1: Past,
Present, and Promise
Mind Matters:
Unit 1: History and
Digital Media Archive
The Evolution of Modern
Psychology (p. 8)
Psychology’s Historical
Current Psychological
Discussion Questions:
Determinism, free-will,
and scientific psychology
Intro 03
Mind Matters:
Unit 1: Psychology’s
Unit 1: Recent Trends
in Psychology
Digital Media Archive
Topic 1: Methods
What Psychologists Do
(p. 14)
Supplemental Lecture
Clinical Psychology vs.
Experiments &
Impression Management
and Formation
Intro 04
Video: Career Encounters
in Psychology
Mind Matters:
Unit 1: The Science of
Additional Resources Biographical Profiles:
Wilhelm Wundt
Sigmund Freud
William James
Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
gerrig 1
Chapter 2 At-a-Glance Research Methods in Psychology DETAILED
The Context of Discovery (p.
Learning Objectives:
Describe the theory
behind and the benefits of
the scientific method
Test Bank:
Practice Tests:
Chapter 2
Study Guide:
Chapter 2
Res 01
Discovering Psychology
Program 2:
The Context of Justification:
Safeguards for Objectivity
(p. 21)
Observer Biases and
Operational Definitions
Experimental Methods:
Alternative Explanations
and the Need for Controls
Correlational Methods
Subliminal Influence?
Discussion Questions:
Determinism vs. Freewill?
Res 02
Res 03
Res 04
Video: The Human Quest:
The Way of Science
Video: Flatland
Psychological Measurement
(p. 30)
Achieving Reliability and
Self-Report Measures
Behavioral Measures and
Supplemental Lecture
Experimental Design
Res 05
Mind Matters:
Unit 1: History and
Digital Media Archive
Topic 1: Methods
Ethical Issues in Human and
Animal Research (p. 32)
Informed Consent
Risk/Gain Assessment
Intentional Deception
Issues in Animal Research:
Science, Ethics, and
Supplemental Lecture
The Ethics of Animal
Study Guide:
Chapter 2
Mind Matters:
Unit 1: History and
Digital Media Archive
Topic 1: Methods
Becoming a Wiser
Research Consumer (p. 34)
Experiments &
Reaction Times Can Be
Study Guide:
Chapter 2
Mind Matters:
Unit 1: History and
Additional Resources Biological Profiles:
Sir Francis Galton
Edward Titchener
Stat 01
Stat 02
Stat 03
Stat 04
Stat 05
Stat 06
Stat 07
Stat 08
Stat 09
Stat 10
Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
gerrig 19
Chapter 3 At-a-Glance The Biological Bases of Behavior DETAILED
Heredity and Behavior (p.
Evolution and Natural
Variation in the Human
Learning Objectives:
Appreciate the complex
interplay among the
brain, mind, behavior,
and environment that
creates the experience of
being human
Supplemental Lecture
Charles Darwin and
Natural Selection: A
Taproot of Contemporary
Discussion Questions:
Do Humans Continue to
Test Bank:
Questions 3.13.163
Practice Tests:
Chapter 3
Study Guide:
Chapter 3
Bio 01
Discovering Psychology
Program 3: The
Behaving Brain
Program 4: The
Responsive Brain
The Mind Video Series:
The Brain and the Mind
Unraveling the
Mysteries of the Mind
Biology and Behavior (p. 55)
Eavesdropping on the
The Nervous System
Brain Structures and Their
The Endocrine System
Supplemental Lecture
Protecting the Brain
Bio 06
Bio 07
Bio 08
Bio 09
Bio 10
Bio 11
Bio 12
Bio 13
Bio 14
Bio 15
Bio 16
The Human Brain Video
Anatomy of the
Human Brain
The Human Brain in
Pathology Example in
the Human Brain
Journey to the Center of
the Brain Video Series
The Nervous System in
Action (p. 71)
The Neuron
Action Potentials
Synaptic Transmission
Neurotransmitters and
Their Functions
Supplemental Lecture
Neuroglial Cells: The
Glue of Life
Bio 02
Bio 03
Bio 04
Bio 05
The Brain: Foundations
Video Series:
Organization and
Evaluation of Brain
The Effects Hormones
and the Environment
on the Brain
Additional Resources Biological Profiles:
Rene Descartes
Paul Broca
Franz Gall
Gregor Mendel
Roger Sperry
Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
Mind Matters:
Unit 2 Biopsychology
Digital Media Archive
Topic 2: Biology 33
Chapter 4 At-a-Glance Sensation DETAILED
Sensory Knowledge of the
World (p. 84)
From Physical Events to
Mental Events
Learning Objectives:
Understand the basic
processes through which
sensory stimuli are
converted into neural
Supplemental Lecture
Sensation and Perception
Test Bank:
Practice Tests:
Chapter 4
Study Guide:
Chapter 4
Discovering Psychology
Program 7: Sensation
and Perception
Mind Matters:
Unit 3: Sensation
Digital Media Archive
Topic 3: Sensation and
The Visual System (p. 89)
The Human Eye
The Pupil and the Lens
The Retina
Pathways to the Brain
Seeing Color
Complex Visual Analysis
Experiments &
Coping with Being
Temporarily Blind
S&P 01
S&P 02
S&P 03
S&P 04
S&P 05
S&P 06
S&P 07
The Brain: Vision and
Movement Videos:
Visual Information
Processing; Elementary
Sensory Motor
Hearing (p. 100)
The Physics of Sound
Psychological Dimensions
of Sound
The Physiology of Hearing
Supplemental Lecture
Auditory Localization
S&P 08
S&P 09
S&P 10
Mind Matters:
Unit 3: Sensation
Digital Media Archive
Topic 3: Sensation and
Your Other Senses (p. 106)
Touch and the Skin Senses
The Vestibular and
Kinesthetic Senses
Discussion Questions:
What senses might other
animals possess that
humans lack?
S&P 11
S&P 12
S&P 13
The Mind Video:
Pain and Healing
Video: Pain Management
Video: The Psychology of
Additional Resources Biographical Profiles:
Hermann Von Helmholtz
Ernst Weber
Ronald Melzack
Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
gerrig 51
Chapter 5 At-a-Glance Perception DETAILED
Sensing, Organizing,
Identifying, and
Recognizing (p. 117)
The Proximal and Distal
Reality, Ambiguity, and
Approaches to the Study
of Perception
Learning Objectives:
Understand the
relationship between
sensation and perception
Discussion Questions:
Why are there separate
chapters on sensation and
perception? What are the
differences between the
Test Bank:
Questions 5.15.160
Practice Tests:
Chapter 5
Study Guide:
Chapter 5
S&P 14
S&P 15
S&P 16
Discovering Psychology
Program 3: The
Behaving Brain
Program 7: Sensation
and Perception
Attentional Processes
(p. 126)
Selective Attention
Attention and Objects in
the Environment
Supplemental Lecture
Eyes and Camera Lens
Experiments &
Coping with Being
Temporarily Blind
Study Guide:
Chapter 5
Video: A Touch of
Organizational Processes in
Perception (p. 131)
Figure, Ground, and
Principles of Perceptual
Spatial and Temporal
Motion Perception
Depth Perception
Perceptual Constancies
Supplemental Lecture
A Brief History of Gestalt
S&P 15
S&P 16
Video: Brain Power
Identification and
Recognition Processes
(p. 144)
Bottom-Up and Top-Down
Object Recognition
The Influence of Contexts
and Expectations
Final Lessons
Supplemental Lecture
Everyday Examples of
Gestalt Principles
Study Guide:
Chapter 5
Video: Human Perception:
A Collection of
Demonstrations and Effects
Additional Resources Biographical Profiles:
Eleanor Gibson
William Rutherford
Max Wertheimer
Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
Mind Matters:
Unit 4: Perception
Digital Media Archive
Topic 3: Sensation and
Perception 71
Chapter 6 At-a-Glance Mind, Consciousness, and Alternate States DETAILED
The Contents of
Consciousness (p. 154)
Awareness and
Accessibility to
Studying the Contents of
Learning Objectives:
Explain the philosophical
and theoretical
differences between
dualism and monism
Test Bank:
Questions 6.16.156
Practice Tests:
Chapter 6
Study Guide:
Chapter 6
Discovering Psychology
Program 14: The Mind
Hidden and Divided
The Functions of
Consciousness (p. 157)
The Uses of
Studying the Functions of
Supplemental Lecture
Unattended Information
and the “Cocktail Party
Consc 03
Sleep and Dreams (p. 161)
Circadian Rhythms
The Sleep Cycle
Why Sleep?
Sleep Disorders
Dreams: Theatre of the
Discussion Questions:
How much sleep do your
students need?
Supplemental Lecture
Circadian Rhythms
The Stuff of which
Dreams are Made
The Paradoxical Nature
of REM
Consc 01
Consc 02
Discovering Psychology
Program 13: The Mind
Awake and Asleep
Video: Understanding the
Dream World: Moving
Beyond Freud
Video: Wake up, America:
A Sleep Alert
Altered States of
Consciousness (p. 168)
Lucid Dreaming
Religious Ecstasy
Mind-Altering Drugs
Supplemental Lecture
Have students ever had a
lucid dream?
Consc 04
Consc 05
Consc 06
The Mind: Addiction
Additional Resources Timeline Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
gerrig 85
Chapter 7 At-a-Glance Learning and Behavior Analysis DETAILED
The Study Of Learning (p.
What is Learning?
Behaviorism and Behavior
Learning Objectives:
Describe the process of
classical conditioning
Test Bank:
Questions 7.17.159
Practice Tests:
Chapter 7
Study Guide:
Chapter 7
Learn 13
Discovering Psychology
Program 8: Learning
And Conditioning
Classical Conditioning:
Learning Predictable
Signals (p. 183)
Pavlov’s Surprising
Processes of Conditioning
Focus on Acquisition
Applications of
Classical Conditioning
Supplemental Lecture
A Summary of Some
Interesting Aspects of
Classical Conditioning
Experiments &
Salivating for Pavlov
Learn 01
Learn 02
Learn 03
Learn 04
Learn 05
Learn 06
Mind Matters:
Unit 5: Learning and
Digital Media Archive
Topic 4: Learning
Operant Conditioning:
Learning about
Consequences (p. 194)
The Law of Effect
Experimental Analysis of
Properties of Reinforcers
Schedules of
Discussion Questions:
Discuss how radical
behaviorism might be
used to explain cognitive
Supplemental Lecture
The Effects of Corporal
Operant Conditioning the
Easy Way
Learn 07
Learn 08
Learn 09
Learn 10
Learn 11
Learn 12
Video: Self-Defeating
Behavior: How to Stop It
Biology and Learning
p. 205)
Instinctual Drift
Taste-Aversion Learning
Supplemental Lecture
Behavioral Control of a
Behavior Problem
Learn 06
Mind Matters:
Unit 5: Learning and
Digital Media Archive
Topic 4: Learning
Additional Resources Biographical Profiles:
Albert Bandura
Konrad Lorenz
Ivan Pavlov
B. F. Skinner
Edward Thorndike
Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
gerrig 105
Chapter 8 At-a-Glance Memory DETAILED
What is Memory? (p. 217)
Ebbinghaus Quantifies
Types of Memory
An Overview of Memory
Discussion Questions:
What would be like if
humans did not have
Test Bank:
Questions 8.18.161
Practice Tests:
Chapter 8
Study Guide:
Chapter 8
Mem 03
Discovering Psychology
Program 9:
Remembering and
Sensory Memory (p. 221)
Iconic Memory
Echoic Memory
Supplemental Lecture
Reasons For Memory
Loss With Age
Study Guide:
Chapter 8
Digital Media Archive
Topic 5: Memory
Short-Term Memory And
Working Memory (p. 223)
The capacity Limitations of
Accommodating to STM
Working Memory
Experiments &
Strategies for Enhancing
Mem 01
Mem 05
Mind Matters:
Unit 5: Learning and
Digital Media Archive
Topic 5: Memory
Long-Term Memory:
Encoding And Retrieval
(p. 228)
Context and Encoding
Retrieval Cues
The Processes of Encoding
And Retrieval
Improving Memory for
Unstructured Information
Supplemental Lecture
The Zeigarnik Effect
Mem 02
Mem 04
Mem 05
Mem 06
Mind Matters:
Unit 5: Learning and
Digital Media Archive
Topic 5: Memory
Structures In Long-Term
Memory (p. 239)
Memory Structures
Using Memory Structures
Remembering as a
Reconstructive Process
Supplemental Lecture
The Lost Memories of
Early Childhood
Mem 07
Video: Memory: Fabric of
the Mind
Biological Aspects of
Memory (p. 247)
Searching for the Engram
Brain Imaging
Learning Objectives:
Describe the nature and
functions of long-term
Mem 08
Mem 09
Video: Memory
Additional Resources Biographical Profiles:
Hermann Ebbinghaus
Endel Tulving
Elizabeth Loftus
Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
gerrig 125
Chapter 9 At-a-Glance Cognitive Processes DETAILED
Studying Cognition (p. 254)
Discovering the Processes
of Mind
Mental Processes and
Mental Resources
Learning Objectives:
Describe the differences
and similarities between
automatic and controlled
Test Bank:
Questions 9.19.159
Practice Tests:
Chapter 9
Study Guide:
Chapter 9
Discovering Psychology
Program 10: Cognitive
Program 25: Cognitive
Language Use (p. 258)
Language Production
Language Understanding
Language, Thought, And
Supplemental Lecture
Fallacies in the Use of
The Structure, Hierarchy,
and Criterion of
Language and the
Human Child
Lang 01
Lang 02
Digital Media Archive
Topic 15: Cognition
Visual Cognition (p. 267)
Using Visual Representations
Combing Verbal and Visual
Supplemental Lecture
Functional Fixedness
Cog 01
Digital Media Archive
Topic 15: Cognition
Problem Solving And
Reasoning (p. 271)
Problem Solving
Deductive Reasoning
Inductive Reasoning
Discussion Questions:
What is the “Turing
Cog 02
Cog 03
Digital Media Archive
Topic 15: Cognition
Judging And Deciding (p. 280)
Heuristics and Judgment
The Psychology of Decision
Experiments &
Detecting Guilt and
Cog 04
Cog 05
Digital Media Archive
Topic 15: Cognition
Additional Resources Biographical Profiles:
Wolfgang K.hler
Herbert Simon
Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
gerrig 143
Chapter 10 At-a-Glance Intelligence and Intelligence Assessment DETAILED
What Is Assessment?
(p. 290)
History of Assessment
Basic Features of Formal
Learning Objectives:
Describe both the original
purposes of psychological
assessment and the
purposes for which it is
commonly used today
Test Bank:
Questions 10.110.149
Practice Tests:
Chapter 10
Study Guide:
Chapter 10
Discovering Psychology
Program 16: Testing
and Intelligence
Intelligence Assessment
(p. 295)
The origins of Intelligence
IQ Tests
Supplemental Lecture
Aspects of Intelligence
Intell 02
Intell 03
Intell 08
Digital Media Archive
Topic 14: Intelligence
Theories of Intelligence
(p. 299)
Psychometric Theories of
Sternberg’s Triarchic
Theory of Intelligence
Gardner’s Multiple
Intelligences and
Emotional Intelligence
Discussion Questions:
Discuss Gardner’s
Multiple Intelligences
Intell 01
Digital Media Archive
Topic 14: Intelligence
The Politics of Intelligence
(p. 304)
The History of Group
Heredity and IQ
Environments and IQ
Culture and the Validity of
IQ tests
Supplemental Lecture
What Color Is an IQ?
Mental Retardation: The
Long Childhood
Intell 04
Intell 05
Intell 06
Digital Media Archive
Topic 14: Intelligence
Creativity (p. 311)
Assessing Creativity And
the Link to Intelligence
Exceptional Creativity
And Madness
Discussion Questions:
Creativity versus
Intell 07
Digital Media Archive
Topic 14: Intelligence
Assessment And Society
(p. 314)
Experiments &
Detecting Guilt and
Digital Media Archive
Topic 14: Intelligence
Additional Resources Biographical Profiles:
Alfred Binet
Lewis Terman
Sir Francis Galton
Intell 06
Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
gerrig 163
Chapter 11 At-a-Glance Human Development across the Life Span DETAILED
Studying And Explaining
Development (p. 319)
Explaining Development
Supplemental Lecture
Critical Periods: The
Story of Genie
Test Bank:
Questions 11.111.177
Practice Tests:
Chapter 11
Devel 02
Devel 04
Discovering Psychology
Program 4: The
Responsive brain
Program 5: The
Developing Child
Program 6: Language
Program 18: Maturing
And Aging
Physical Development
Across The Life Span
(p. 321)
Piaget’s Insights into
Mental Development
Perspectives on Early
Cognitive Development
Cognitive Development In
Learning Objectives:
Describe Piaget’s stages
of cognitive development
and discuss their
Devel 05
Devel 06
Devel 07
Devel 08
Devel 09
Devel 10
Video: The Mind:
Digital Media Archive
Topic 6: Development
Acquiring Language (p. 336)
Perceiving Speech and
Perceiving Words
Learning Word Meanings
Acquire Grammar
Supplemental Lecture
Stage Theory: What is a
“Stage Theory?”
Study Guide:
Chapter 11
Digital Media Archive
Topic 6: Development
Social Development Across
The Life Span (p. 340)
Erikson’s Psychological
Social Development in
Supplemental Lecture
The Effect of Divorce on
Identity and The Tasks of
Devel 11
Devel 12
Devel 13
Video: Coping with
Serious Illness
Gender Development
(p. 354)
Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral
Gender and Cultural
Perspectives on Moral
Supplemental Lecture
An Aging Society
Study Guide:
Chapter 11
Digital Media Archive
Topic 6: Development
Learning To Age
Successfully (p. 360)
Supplemental Lecture
Devel 14
Video: The Mind: Aging
Video: Living Fully Until
Additional Resources Biographical Profiles:
Alfred Binet
Jean Piaget
Harry Harlow
Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
gerrig 181
Chapter 12 At-a-Glance Motivation DETAILED
Understanding Motivation
Functions of Motivational
Sources of Motivation
Discussion Questions:
What is significant
about the difference in
perspectives of William
James and Sigmund
Freud regarding human
Experiments &
Detecting Guilt and
Test Bank:
Questions 12.112.167
Practice Tests:
Chapter 12
Study Guide:
Chapter 12
Mot 01
Mot 04
Mot 05
Discovering Psychology
Program 12:
Motivation and
Eating (p. 369)
The Physiology of Eating
The Psychology of Eating
Supplemental Lecture
Psychological Factors and
Mot 06
Mot 07
Video: When Food is the
Enemy: Eating Disorders
Sexual Behaviors (p. 375)
Nonhuman Sexual
Human Sexual Arousal
and Response
The Evolution of Sexual
Sexual Norms
Supplemental Lecture
The Biological Approach
to Motivation
Mot 08
Digital Media Archive
Topic 7: Motivation
Motivation For Personal
Achievement (p. 383)
Need for Achievement
Attributions for Success
and Failure
Work and Organizational
Supplemental Lecture
Basis of Motivation and
Its Theoretical
The Nominal Fallacy
Cognitive Theories
Mot 04
Digital Media Archive
Topic 7: Motivation
A Hierarchy Of Needs
(p. 388)
Learning Objectives:
Explain Maslow’s
Hierarchy of Needs
Mot 02
Digital Media Archive
Topic 7: Motivation
Additional Resources Biographical Profiles:
Clark Hull
David McClelland
Abraham Maslow
Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
gerrig 217
Chapter 13 At-a-Glance Emotion, Stress, and Health DETAILED
Emotions (p. 394)
Basic Emotions and
Theories of Emotion
Functions of Emotion
Supplemental Lecture
Theories of Emotion
The James-Lange Theory
The Cannon-Bard Theory
The Survival Value of
Gender Differences in
Expressed Emotion
Learning Objective:
Define emotion in term of
its psychological,
physiological, and
cultural constraints
Discussion Questions:
What seems to be the
primary difference
between the concepts of
motivation and emotion,
and why it is significant?
Test Bank:
Questions 13.113.164
Practice Tests:
Chapter 13
Study Guide:
Chapter 13
Em 01
Em 02
Em 03
Em 04
Em 05
Em 06
Em 07
Em 08
Discovering Psychology
Program 12:
Motivation and
Program 23: Health,
Mind, and Behavior
Video: Emotional
Intelligence: The Key to
Social Skills
Stress of Living (p. 405)
Physiological Stress
Psychological Stress
Coping with Stress
Supplemental Lecture
Stress, Causes and
Stress 01
Stress 02
Stress 03
Stress 04
Stress 05
Stress 06
Stress 07
Stress 08
Video: Stress, Trauma and
the Brain
Video: Wired for Speed:
Technology and the
Accelerating Pace of Life
Health Psychology (p. 419)
The Biopsychosocial
Model of Health
Health Promotion
Job Burnout and the
Health-Care system
A Toast to your Health
Discussion Questions:
Discuss coping styles in
terms of Type A, B, & C
Study Guide:
Chapter 13
Digital Media Archive
Topic 9: Health, Stress,
and Coping
Additional Resources Biographical Profiles:
Hans Hugo Selye
Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
gerrig 239
Chapter 14 At-a-Glance Understanding Human Personality DETAILED
Type and Trait Personality
Theories (p. 432)
Categorizing by Types
Describing with Traits
Traits and Heritability
Do Traits Predict
Evaluation of Type and
Trait Theories
Learning Objectives:
Describe the major
theories of personality,
and identify important
differences between them
Discussion Questions:
Describe the five-factor
model of personality
Test Bank:
Questions 14.114.177
Practice Tests:
Chapter 14
Study Guide:
Chapter 14
Discovering Psychology
Program 15: The Self
Psychodynamic Theories
(p. 440)
Freudian Psychoanalysis
Evaluation of Freudian
Post-Freudian Theories
Supplemental Lecture
Nature Versus Nurture
Per 01
Per 02
Per 03
Per 04
Digital Media Archive
Topic 10: Personality
Humanistic Theories (p. 446)
Features of Humanistic
Evaluation of Humanistic
Supplemental Lecture
Nature Versus Nurture
Per 05
Per 06
Digital Media Archive
Topic 10: Personality
Social-Learning and
Cognitive Theories (p. 448)
Mischel’s Cognitive-
Personality Theory
Bandura’s Cognitive
Evaluation of Social-
Learning and Cognitive
Supplemental Lecture
Harry Stack Sullivan and
the Interpersonal
Relations Theory of
Per 07
Per 08
Digital Media Archive
Topic 10: Personality
Self Theories (p.453)
Dynamic Aspects of Self-
Self-Esteem and Self-
The Cultural Construction
of Self
Evaluation of Self Theories
Discussion Questions:
Discuss Judith Rich
Harris’s book, The
Nurture Assumption: Why
Children Turn Out the Way
They Do; Parents Matter
Less than You Think and
Peers Matter More
Video: The Multiple
Personality Puzzle
Comparing Personality
Theories (p. 459)
Supplemental Lecture
Personality: Add Women
and Stir!
Per 10
Assessing Personality
(p. 460)
Objective Tests
Projective Tests
Supplemental Lecture
Nature Versus Nurture
Per 11
Video: Bitter Potion:
Psychological Profiling
Additional Resources Biographical Profiles:
Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
gerrig 261
Chapter 15 At-a-Glance Psychological Disorders DETAILED
The Nature of Psychological
Disorders (p. 467)
Deciding What Is
The Problem of Objectivity
Historical Perspectives
The Etiology of
Learning Objectives:
Identify distinguishing
differences between
normal and abnormal
Discussion Questions:
What if a well-controlled
study showed that
“crazy” people were
more creative, happier,
and lived much longer
than “normal” or ”sane”
Test Bank:
Questions 15.115.164
Practice Tests:
Chapter 15
Study Guide:
Chapter 15
Dis 02
Dis 03
Discovering Psychology
Program 21:
Program 22:
Video: The World of
Abnormal Psychology
Classifying Psychological
Disorders (p. 474)
Goals of Classification
Supplemental Lecture
DSM-IV-TR: What is it?
Dis 01
Digital Media Archive
Topic 11: Abnormal
Major Types of
Psychological Disorders
(p. 477)
Anxiety Disorders: Types
Anxiety Disorders: Causes
Mood Disorders: Types
Mood Disorders: Causes
Gender Differences in
Personality Disorders
Dissociative Disorders
Supplemental Lecture
Narcissistic Personality
Dis 04
Dis 05
Dis 06
Dis 07
Dis 08
Dis 09
Dis 10
Dis 11
Video: The Mind
Schizophrenic Disorders
(p. 493)
Major Types of
Causes of Schizophrenia
Supplemental Lecture
Digging for the Roots of
Dis 12
Dis 13
Dis 14
Video: The Psychopathic
Video: Schizophrenia: New
Definitions, New Therapies
The Stigma of Mental
Illness (p. 498)
Experiments &
Suicide: Intentions and
Supplemental Lecture
Is Mental Illness a Myth?
Study Guide:
Chapter 15
Digital Media Archive
Topic 11: Abnormal
Additional Resources Timeline Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
gerrig 289
Chapter 16 At-a-Glance Therapies for Personal Change DETAILED
The Therapeutic Context
(p. 503)
Goals and Major Therapies
Therapists and
Therapeutic Settings
Historical and Cultural
Supplemental Lecture
Prefrontal Lobotomies
Test Bank:
Questions 16.116.168
Practice Tests:
Chapter 16
Study Guide:
Chapter 16
Discovering Psychology
Program 22:
Psychodynamic Therapies
(p. 508)
Freudian Psychoanalysis
Neo-Freudian Therapies
Experiments &
Clinical Interventions
Ther 01
Digital Media Archive
Topic 12: Therapy
Behavior Therapies (p. 512)
Contingency Management
Social-Learning Therapy
Generalization Techniques
Discussion Questions:
Is aversion therapy worth
the “price,” in terms of
the physical and
emotional stress that it
may cause?
Ther 04
Digital Media Archive
Topic 12: Therapy
Cognitive Therapies (p. 517)
Cognitive Behavior
Changing False Beliefs
Supplemental Lecture
The Role of Critical
Thinking in Emotional
Ther 03
Digital Media Archive
Topic 12: Therapy
Therapies (p. 520)
Client-Centered Therapy
Gestalt Therapy
Experiments &
Clinical Interventions
Ther 02
Digital Media Archive
Topic 12: Therapy
Group Therapies (p. 523)
Marital and Family
Community Support
Experiments &
Clinical Interventions
Study Guide:
Chapter 16
Digital Media Archive
Topic 12: Therapy
Biomedical Therapies
(p. 525)
Psychosurgery and
Electroconvulsive Therapy
Drug Therapy
Supplemental Lecture
Should Psychologists
Prescribe Medication?
Study Guide:
Chapter 16
Digital Media Archive
Topic 12: Therapy
Does Therapy Work?
(p. 529)
Evaluating Therapeutic
Treatment Evaluations
Prevention Strategies
Supplemental Lecture
Why does Therapy
Sometimes Fail?
Ther 05
Video: Suicide: A Guide
for Prevention
Additional Resources Biographical Profiles:
Albert Ellis
Frederick “Fritz” Perls
Joseph Wolpe
Study Guide:
Chapter 16
Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
gerrig 315
Chapter 17 At-a-Glance Social Processes and Relationships DETAILED
The Power of the Situation
(p. 536)
Roles and Rules
Social Norms
Situational Power
Learning Objectives:
Explain how
environment and social
factors help determine
how individuals think,
feel, and behave
Discussion Questions:
If all the social norms in a
society exerted social
influence in the same
direction, would there
ever be any dissenters?
Test Bank:
Questions 17.117.154
Practice Tests:
Chapter 17
Study Guide:
Chapter 17
Soc 07
Soc 08
Discovering Psychology
Program 17: Sex and
Program 19: The Power
of the Situation
Video: Conformity and
Constructing Social Reality
(p. 544)
The Origins of Attribution
The Fundamental
Attribution Error
Self-Serving Biases
Expectations and Self-
Fulfilling Prophecies
Behaviors that Confirm
Supplemental Lecture
Cognitive Dissonance
Establishing Trust
You Only Get One
Chance to Make a First
Soc 05
Discovering Psychology
Program 20:
Constructing Social
Attitudes, Attitude Change,
and Action (p. 550)
Attitudes and Behaviors
Processes of Persuasion
Persuasion by Your Own
Supplemental Lecture
Cognitive Dissonance
Soc 01
Soc 02
Soc 03
Soc 04
Soc 06
Digital Media Archive
Topic 13: Social
Social Relationships (p. 558)
Supplemental Lecture
Establishing Trust
You Only Get One
Chance to Make a First
Soc 13
Digital Media Archive
Topic 13: Social
Additional Resources Biological Profiles:
Solomon Asch
Kurt Lewin
Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
gerrig 335
Chapter 18 At-a-Glance Social Psychology, Society, and Culture DETAILED
Altruism and Prosocial
Behavior (p. 566)
The Roots of Altruism
Motives for Prosocial
The Effects of the Situation
on Prosocial Behavior
Supplemental Lecture
In-Groups, Out-Groups,
and Group-Think
Test Bank:
Questions 18.118.154
Practice Tests:
Chapter 18
Study Guide:
Chapter 18
Soc 11
Soc 12
Discovering Psychology
Program 26: Cultural
Digital Media Archive
Topic 13: Social
Aggression (p. 571)
Evolutionary Perspectives
Individual Differences
Situational Influences
Cultural Constraints
Supplemental Lecture
Video: Insights into
Prejudice (p. 578)
Origins of Prejudice
Effects of Stereotypes
Reversing Prejudice
Supplemental Lecture
Suggestions for Reducing
Overt Racism
Covert Racism
Digital Media Archive
Topic 13: Social
The Psychology of Conflict
and Peace (p. 583)
Obedience to Authority
The Psychology of
Genocide and War
Peace Psychology
Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate knowledge
of the tenets of
Discussion Questions:
Discuss the promise that
social psychology and
psychology in general
hold for improving our
Soc 09
Soc 10
Additional Resources Biological Profiles
Solomon Asch
Stanley Milgram
Muzafer Sherif
Interactive Web Site and
Companion Web Site at:
gerrig 357
The Science of Psychology in Your Life LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Explain why the study of psychology is important
2. Define what Psychology is and identify what topics psychologists address
3. Define Behavior and the methods psychologists use to study it
4. Explain psychology’s relationship to sociology and social, biological, cognitive, and health
5. Identify the goals of psychology (To Describe, Explain, Predict, and Control behavior. And, for the
applied psychologist, to use this knowledge to improve the quality of human life)
6. Briefly explicate the historical development of modern psychology
7. Define structuralism and functionalism, and the conflict between these competing views
8. Describe the conceptual approaches that dominate contemporary psychology (Biological,
Psychodynamic, Behavioristic, Humanistic, Cognitive, Evolutionary, and Cultural)
9. Understand how social and technological changes influence the questions asked and research
methods used by psychologists
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. The Main Purposes of Psychology and Life, 16th Edition
A. To guide you on an empirically rigorous journey through the intricacies of your human experience;
to give you greater control over the forces that shape your life
II.What Makes Psychology Unique?
A. Basic Definitions
1. Psychology: The scientific study of the behavior of individuals and their mental
2. The Scientific Method: The scientific method consists of a set of orderly steps
used to analyze and solve problems
3. Behavior: The means and actions by which organisms, including both animals
and humans, adjust to their environment
4. Mental Processes: The private, internal workings of the human mind
B. The Goals of Psychology
1. The goals of the psychologist conducting basic research are to Describe,
Explain, Predict, and Control behavior. Applied psychologists have a fifth
goal, to improve the quality of human life.
CHAPTER 1: THE SCIENCE OF PSYCHOLOGY IN YOUR LIFE 2. Describing Behavior: The first task of the psychologist is to make accurate
observations about behavior
a) In collecting behavioral data, which are reports of observations about
the behavior of organisms and the conditions under which the
behavior occurs, psychologists must ensure objectivity and choose an
appropriate level of analysis b) Level of analysis refers to whether the observations concern broad,
general and global aspects or whether the observations concern
minute details of the object under study c) Objectivity refers to a desire to collect facts as they really exist, not as
we hope them to exist. Objectivity helps ensure that subjective personal
biases, prejudices, and expectations do not distort data collected. C. Explaining Behavior requires that explanations deliberately go beyond what can be observed.
Psychological explanations for behavior often recognize that organismic, dispositional, and
situational (or environmental) variables each play a role in determining behavior.
1. Organismic variables operate within the individual, such as genetic makeup,
motivation, intelligence, and self-esteem
2. Dispositional variables are organismic variables that exist within humans
3. Situational (or environmental) variables are external events that influence
D. Predicting Behavior involves statements about the likelihood that a certain behavior will occur or
that a given relationship will be found
1. Scientific prediction is based on an understanding of the ways events relate to
one another, and suggests what mechanisms link those events to certain
2. Causal prediction specifies conditions under which behaviors will change
E. Controlling behavior is the central, most powerful goal of many psychologists. Controlling
behavior means causing a behavior to happen or not to happen and influencing the nature of the
behavior as it is being performed.
F. Improving the Quality of Life is the result of the first four goals of psychology. All therapeutic
programs and interventions, such as those designed to help individuals stop smoking, stop doing
drugs, or lose weight, are attempts to use psychological principles to control behavior. Psychological
principles can be used not only to help individuals live more successfully, but also to improve the
functioning of groups of people and societies.
III. The Evolution of Modern Psychology
A. At the core of this historical review is one simple principle: Ideas Matter. Ideas influence the
manner in which people think, feel, and behave, and, ultimately, the manner in which they lead their
B. Psychology’s Historical Foundations
1. In 1879, in Leipiz, Germany, Wilhelm Wundt founded the first formal
laboratory devoted to experimental psychology
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 2. In 1883, the first experimental psychology laboratory in the United States was
founded at Johns Hopkins University by G. Stanley Hall
3. Edward Titchener, a student of Wundt, became an influential early
psychologist with his laboratory at Cornell University
4. In 1890, William James, brother of novelist Henry James, wrote the two-volume
work, The Principles of Psychology, which many experts consider the most
important psychology text ever written
5. In 1892, G. Stanley Hall founded the American Psychological Association
6. With the emergence of the field of experimental psychology, debate began over
the proper methods and subject matter of the new field. Two important
opposing ideas were structuralism and functionalism.
C. Structuralism: The Contents of the Mind
1. Edward Titchener used a method for examining the elements of conscious
mental life called introspection to understand the “what” of mental contents,
rather than the “why” or “how” of thinking. Titchener’s approach came to be
known as structuralism, the study of the structure of mind and behavior.
2. Structuralism was based on the assumption that all human mental experience
could be understood as the combination of simple events or elements
3. The goal of structuralism was to reveal the underlying structure of the human
mind by analyzing the basic elements of sensation and other experiences that
form mental life. Titchener hoped to create a periodic table of mental elements,
similar to the periodic table of physical elements used by chemists and
4. Structuralism was attacked primarily on three grounds:
a) It was reductionistic because it reduced all complex human experience
to simple sensations b) It was elemental because it sought to combine parts into a whole
rather than study the variety of behaviors directly c) It was mentalistic because it studied only verbal reports of human
conscious awareness, ignoring the study of individuals who could not
describe their introspections, including animals, children, and the
mentally disturbed 5. One alternative to structuralism, pioneered by the German psychologist Max
Wertheimer, focused on the way in which the mind understands experiences
as gestalts—organized wholes—rather than the sums of simple parts. Gestalt
psychology will be discussed in Chapter 5.
6. A second major opposition to structuralism was functionalism
D. Functionalism: Minds with a Purpose
1. William James disagreed that mental life was composed of simple events or
elements that, when added together, formed mental life. Instead, he viewed
mental life as a stream of consciousness, a system in continual interaction with
the environment.
2. Functionalism focused on learned habits that enable organisms to adapt to
their environment and to function effectively. The essential question for
CHAPTER 1: THE SCIENCE OF PSYCHOLOGY IN YOUR LIFE functionalists was “What is the function or purpose of a behavior?” 3. John Dewey, an American philosopher, founded the school of functionalism,
which led to many advances in education.
4. The Legacy of Structuralism and Functionalism: Both live on. Today
psychologists employ a variety of methods to study both the structure and the
function of mental life and behavior.
E. Current Psychological Perspectives
1. Contemporary psychology is dominated by seven perspectives or conceptual
approaches: Biological, Psychodynamic, Behavioristic, Humanistic, Cognitive,
Evolutionary, and Cultural. Each of these approaches espouses points of view
and sets of assumptions that influence both what will be studied and how it
will be investigated. Most psychologists blend and borrow from several of
these perspectives. At the end of the description of each perspectives is an
analysis of that approach to understanding the causes of aggression.
2. Biological Perspective: The biological perspective attempts to explain behavior
in terms of the influence of genes, the brain, the nervous system, and the
endocrine system by examining underlying physical structures and processes
a) From the biological perspective, even the most complex behavior can
be understood by decomposing the behavior into smaller units, such
as the firing of neurons in the brain b) A unifying theme for biological researchers is that, although the
environment and experience can modify behavior by altering
underlying biological structures and processes, behavior originates
from biological forces c) How biological psychologists study aggression: By examining the
genetic and biochemical bases of aggressive behavior in both normal
individuals and abnormal individuals prone to aggression 3. Psychodynamic Perspective: The psychodynamic perspective holds that
behavior is determined by powerful inner forces, such as instincts and
biological drives, and by attempts to resolve conflicts between personal needs
and society’s demands. The purpose of behavior, according to this view, is to
reduce tension.
a) Psychodynamic principles of motivation originated with Sigmund
Freud, a Viennese physician, and his work with mentally disturbed
patients. Freud’s ideas have had a greater influence on more areas of
psychology than any other person has. b) Freud emphasized the primacy of early childhood in mental
development, but more recent psychodynamic psychologists have
broadened Freud’s theory to include social influences and interactions
that occur over the individual’s lifetime c) How psychodynamic psychologists study aggression: By examining
the unconscious drives and conflicts that are expressed in aggressive
behavior and attempting to understand how aggression reduces
psychological tension 5
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 4. Behaviorist Perspective: Behaviorists seek to understand how environmental
contingencies and stimuli control behavior in terms of three essential aspects:
Antecedent, behavioral response, and consequence
a) Antecedent environmental conditions refer to the state of the
environment before a behavior is performed b) Behavioral response, the main object of study, refers to the action to be
understood, predicted, and controlled c) Consequence refers to what results from the behavioral response d) Behaviorists are interested in observable behavior and often use
nonhuman animals so that they can control the conditions of
experimentation more completely than they can with human
participants e) Behaviorists argue that principles derived from research with
nonhuman animals apply to humans as well f) Behaviorist principles have yielded more humane approaches to the
education of children and to the treatment of behavior disorders g) How behaviorists study aggression: By examining the stimulus
causes and consequences of aggressive behavior. Specifically, they ask
how the behavior has been reinforced in the past. 5. Humanistic Perspective: Humanistic psychology, a more optimistic
alternative to the psychodynamic and behaviorist models, suggests that
humans are innately good and that the main task of humans is to strive for
growth and development of their potential.
a) Humanists are phenomenologists in that they study the individual
actor’s personal view of events, focusing on the subjective world
experienced by the person, not an objective reality b) Unlike behaviorism, humanistic psychology examines the human as a
whole (holistic approach) and does not attempt to reduce mental life to
elemental parts c) How humanists study aggression: By examining maladaptive values,
social conditions, and goals that hinder growth and self-actualization 6. Cognitive Perspective: In contrast to behaviorism, which focused primarily on
observable behavior, cognitive psychologists are most interested in human
thought and all the processes of knowing, such as attending, thinking,
remembering, and understanding
a) Cognitive psychologists view behavior as partly determined by past
experiences but also influenced by an individual’s inner world of
thought and imagination about the ways that the world could be. To
cognitive psychologists, an individual’s subjective reality is more
important than the objective reality that behaviorists strive to capture. b) Cognitive psychologists often use the computer as a metaphor for the
human mind and study higher mental processes such as perception,
memory, language use, problem solving, and decision making c) How cognitive psychologists study aggression: By examining
thoughts associated with aggressive behavior and the influence of 6
CHAPTER 1: THE SCIENCE OF PSYCHOLOGY IN YOUR LIFE viewing violence on television and video on attitudes toward aggression 7. Evolutionary Perspective: The evolutionary perspective extends the idea of
natural selection to explain how mental abilities evolved over millions of
years, just as physical abilities did
a) Evolutionary psychologists identify adaptive problems that early
humans may have encountered such as avoiding predators, finding
food, reproducing, and raising children, and then generate inferences
about the mental processes that might have evolved in response to
these problems b) Evolutionary psychology is different from other perspectives in that it
has a much longer temporal focus (millions of years) than other
perspectives c) How evolutionary psychologists study aggression: By examining the
possible evolutionary advantage that could have been derived from
aggressive behavior in the past 8. Cultural Perspective: Cultural psychologists investigate cross-cultural
differences in the causes and consequences of behavior. Partly in response to
American psychology’s reliance on white, middle-class college students as the
subject matter of psychology, cultural psychologists cross national boundaries
in an attempt to understand how cultural groups differ on standard measures
of mental processes and to understand what new measures and concepts
might more accurately capture and describe the mental life of various cultural
a) Important concepts investigated by cultural psychologists include
perceptions, human development, emotions, social norms, and the
notion of “the self”. b) Cultural psychologists point out that psychological principles derived
from one cultural group cannot be automatically applied to other
cultural groups. A famous example of this is the application of
psychodynamic principles, based on the traditional western roles of
mothers and fathers, to the Trobriand Islanders of New Guinea, for
whom parenting roles are much different and the mother is the main
authority figure. c) How cultural psychologists study aggression: By examining how
aggression differs across cultures. Questions cultural psychologists
might ask include: Are the same types of aggressive behaviors
performed with the same frequency in each culture? How is
aggression dealt with culturally? What types of aggression are
culturally sanctioned? What does aggressive behavior mean in
different cultures? IV. What Psychologists Do
A. Surveys suggest that there are over 500,000 psychologists worldwide. Approximately 62,000 to
82,000 work as researchers. Psychologists often specialize in subfields, such as clinical, cognitive,
personality, developmental, social, industrial, educational, sports, health, and cultural psychology.
When most people think of a psychologist, however, they think of a clinical psychologist who works
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE with clients with psychological problems and with problems of living. Clinical psychologists, in
turn, are often confused with psychiatrists, who are medical doctors that have specialized in the
treatment of mental illness. B. Early in its history, research and practice in psychology was dominated by men. In the last decade,
however, women have received the majority of Ph.D.’s awarded in psychology.
C. Even when women were few in number, they still made substantial contributions to the field of
1. Margaret Washburn graduated from Cornell University in 1894 to become the
first woman to receive a Ph.D. in psychology.
2. Mary Calkins completed all the requirements for a Harvard Ph.D., but Harvard
refused to grant her a Ph.D. because she was a woman. She later became the
first woman president of the American Psychological Association.
3. Anna Freud, the daughter of Sigmund Freud, developed important advances in
the practice of psychoanalysis.
V.Psychology in the 21st Century: The Future Is Now
A. Technological innovations influence both the questions that psychologists wish to answer and the
manner in which researchers are able to answer those questions. Innovations in content and practice
of psychology continue to shape the field.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. What do students hope to get from your class? “Why are you here, today, in this course?” This is a
great way to start class, because it gets students involved in issues and ideas that interest them.
2. What role does the scientific method play in contemporary psychology? What are the limitations of
the scientific method, and are there any better alternatives available? Students are often skeptical of
the scientific method and are eager to point out its flaws, such as the slow incremental progress it
generates, its reliance on measurable phenomena, its susceptibility to experimenter biases, and its
sterile methodology. Students often fail to realize, however, that, although flawed, the scientific
method is the best tool we have to generate valid, reliable knowledge and that it has provided us
with a wealth of discoveries.
3. Is the importance of psychological knowledge likely to increase or decrease in our postmodern
world? Experimental psychology is still a baby, only a little over 100 years old. As such, there is
incredible room for psychology to grow in terms of both sophistication and diversification. As the
speed at which the world changes continues to increase, humans will be forced to respond to these
changes not through slow evolutionary changes, but through rapid psychological adjustments.
Evolution via natural selection may no longer operate fast enough to allow us to adapt to the
rapidly changing world that we have created. Within this context, psychology, and psychological
adaptation, is certain to play a more prominent role.
4. What psychological principles have become part of the larger culture, have penetrated our thinking
and language? Psychological principles permeate advertising, marketing, television, movies, sales,
self-help books, fashion, politics, and folk wisdom, to name a few, but students are often unaware of
this influence. Pointing out this influence is a good way to keep your students’ interest. For
example, the concept of “psychological stress,” so prevalent in our cultural landscape, was rarely
mentioned 50 years ago.
5. Ask your students how many of them believe in determinism. Then ask them how many of them
believe in free will. Insist that they cannot have it both ways. You will be surprised to find that
CHAPTER 1: THE SCIENCE OF PSYCHOLOGY IN YOUR LIFE many, if not most, students believe in free will. This is a terrific discussion starter, because it
conflicts with one of the fundamental assumptions of science and psychology, determinism. You
might ask your students what science can hope to reveal if the world is not determined. You might
also suggest that what feels like free will to us may be thinly disguised determinism. This simple
discussion is often enough to change the manner in which students view themselves and the
manner in which they view those around them. SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL Clinical Psychology versus Psychiatry Because clinical psychology, a subfield of psychology, and psychiatry are both professions that deal with
matters of mind and behavior, the public often confuses them. The major distinction is in the type of
advanced training received in each profession. Psychiatry is a medical specialty requiring an M.D. and
additional study, while clinical psychology is considered part of an academic discipline that requires a
Ph.D. from an accredited graduate program. Although medical training is not required, clinical psychology
graduate programs are one of the, if not the, most difficult graduate programs to be accepted into, including
law, business, and medical school. Psychiatrists’ medical training allows them to prescribe drugs and tends
to lead them to more biologically based explanations for abnormal behavior than those to which
psychologists often adhere. Most states do not allow psychologists to prescribe medication, although some
are pushing for a change. In general, psychiatrists are professional therapists who treat patients with
mental and emotional problems in either a hospital or private practice setting. With few exceptions,
psychiatrists are more likely to be practitioners than researchers. The basic model of training for psychiatrists is the medical model, which focuses on underlying
physiological problems, such as imbalances in neurotransmitters, brain lesions that can be treated
medically, or “mental disease” that can be cured in much the same way that an infection can be cured.
Clinical psychologists receive training in human behavior; they are taught to look at the chain of events
leading to specific behaviors and the resultant behaviors and outcomes, relative to the impact of those
behaviors on the individual client and on the client’s social environment. Training in clinical psychology can prepare the student for a career as a researcher and scholar (often
combined with teaching at a university), or in any number of areas of applied psychology. Clinical
psychologists, like psychiatrists, are usually therapists, treating clients in either hospitals or private
practice. Assessment of psychological disturbance by means of various standardized tests is one task of the
clinical psychologist. A psychoanalyst may be a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or other college graduate that
has received specialized training at a psychoanalytic institute where the ideas and therapeutic methods of
Freud and his followers are taught. It requires that the prospective therapist undergo personal
psychoanalysis as well. 9
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Class Exercise: Psychology’s Goals Applied to Matchmaking (This class exercise was adapted from an Experience Break originally included in Psychology and Life, 15th
Edition, by Philip Zimbardo and Richard Gerrig.) Based only on the descriptions provided below, ask your class to guess which pairs of the people listed
below belong together. There are no right or wrong answers—tell them to go with their instincts. David
Age: 21
Job: Car mechanic
Enjoys: Gourmet food
Age: 23
Job: Advertising executive
Enjoys: Movies
Age: 29
Job: Dog groomer
Enjoys: Gardening
Age: 35
Job: Lawyer
Enjoys: Roller coasters
Age: 54
Job: Flight attendant
Enjoys: Hang gliding
Age: 18
Job: Sales clerk
Enjoys: Art museums
Age: 20
Job: Secretary
Enjoys: Football
Age: 56
Job: Pediatrician
Enjoys: Opera
Age: 37
Job: College professor
Enjoys: Comic books
Age: 22
Job: Store manager
Enjoys: Scuba diving Now lead your class in a discussion of their matchmaking decisions with respect to the goals of
psychology: . How would they describe the behaviors they engaged in while trying to settle on appropriate
Did they read all the descriptions before they began? Did they find the decisions easy to make? Did they
change their mind several times? . How would they explain their behavior?
What rules do they believe they used to match up the couples? Were they most concerned about
age? About occupations? About leisure activities? Did they use some combination of all three
descriptions? What inferences did they make in their decisions, such as perceived gender? What
does the factor(s) that they used most say about them personally and their selection of a partner? . How might their explanation allow them to predict which real-world relationships would succeed?
Suppose that based on their day-to-day observations of relationships, they focused on occupations 10
CHAPTER 1: THE SCIENCE OF PSYCHOLOGY IN YOUR LIFE while doing their matchmaking. Are they willing to generalize from the predictions they made on
this task to predictions in the real world? Can they begin to imagine the types of research they
might carry out to test those predictions? . Does their explanation allow them to control or improve their own relationship-seeking behavior or
to give better advice to others?
Have they learned from this exercise what matters most to them in a relationship? What more
would they like to learn from research? . Could they learn something that would allow them to improve the quality of their own or other
people’s lives?
If their research reveals the factors that help determine which relationships, in general, will endure,
they should be able to improve the quality of people’s lives. BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES Wilhelm Wundt (1832–1920) Born in Neckarau, Germany, Wilhelm Wundt was the fourth child of a Lutheran minister. Despite coming
from a family that boasted numerous scholars, scientists, and physicians, Wundt initially was not a good
student. After he dropped out of one high school, a teacher suggested that a reasonable goal for Wundt
would be a career in the postal service. Wundt’s scholastic abilities improved, however, and in 1855 he
graduated at the top of his class in medical school. Wundt then went to Berlin to study physiology with
Johannes Müller, and he subsequently decided to become an experimental physiologist himself. Wundt
then returned to the University of Heidelberg, where he worked as an assistant for Herman von Helmholtz.
It was at Heidelberg that Wundt taught his first course in psychology. The year was 1862. In 1879, at the University of Leipzig, where he held a chair in philosophy, Wundt established the Institute
for Experimental Psychology, the first laboratory whose formal purpose was the scientific investigation of
the human mind. Wundt is one of the most prolific contributors to the field of psychology ever. It is
estimated that between the years of 1853 and 1920, Wundt wrote 53,735 pages of text. Wundt was not only a
voracious writer; he was also responsible for training numerous researchers, some of whom, such as
Edward Titchener, brought versions of Wundt’s psychology to America. Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) Sigmund Freud was born in Pribor, Czechoslovakia, in 1856. Although Freud was a gifted student, it took
him eight years to finish his medical degree at the University of Vienna, partly because he was interested in
so many topics. Freud first pursued a career as a neurologist, but financial concerns forced him into general
medical practice. In cooperation with his friend Joseph Breuer, Freud began to treat hysterical women. This
is unusual, because at the time there was no known cure for hysteria, which is now known as a conversion
disorder. Through trial and error and feedback from his clients, Breuer and Freud developed the technique
known as psychoanalysis. Its fundamental rule is honesty; clients must relay all thoughts and feelings
uncensored to the analyst. Clients then follow their stream of thought wherever it may lead, a process
known as free association. In the course of free association, clients often uncover traumatic events in the
past, and, upon reliving these events, often experience relief from their symptoms. Freud’s first major work, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) detailed the process of dream interpretation, which he felt was the “royal
road to the unconscious.” Although it took six years to sell the first 600 copies printed, this work was
reprinted eight time during Freud’s lifetime. Although the technique of psychoanalysis is perhaps Freud’s most important legacy, he made many other 11
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE substantial contributions to psychology. These include the recognition of the importance of sexuality and
unconscious processes, a fully developed system of personality, and an appreciation for the conflict
between individual desires and the constraints of society. His work has influenced so many aspects of our
thinking that he is often not given full credit for the development of his ideas. Freud’s many detractors are
quick to point out that his theories are not based on empirical research. While this is true, just because they
lack empirical evidence does not mean that they are wrong, only that they are less likely to be right. Because
of the breadth of his intellectual contributions, he remains the most cited psychologist in Psychology and Life, 16th Edition, and most comparable texts. William James (1842–1910) William James, often considered the father of American psychology, was born in New York City, but spent
much of his childhood traveling between the United States and Europe, where he attended several private
schools. James’ interest in such varied fields as philosophy, religion, and science were cultivated at home in
an enriched environment shared with his brother Henry James, the famous author. William James struggled
to find a vocation that mated his various interests, trying his hand at art (his paintings have appeared on the cover of recent editions of the American Psychologist), chemistry, and, finally, medicine. He received his M.D. from Harvard in 1868.
In 1872, James began teaching physiology at Harvard, but was preoccupied by his ongoing and deep interest in such philosophical issues as free will and determinism. Though James considered himself a
temporary dabbler in the discipline of psychology, his two-volume textbook, Principles of Psychology (1890),
stood as the field’s definitive textbook through the first half of this century. It is still considered one of the
best-written texts on psychology and a source of many original ideas. James’ contributions to psychology
include the notion of a stream of consciousness, the importance of habit and instinct, a complex theory of
the self, theory of emotion, and opening the boundaries of psychology to include topics such as religious
beliefs. 12
1781 Immanuel Kant published Critique of Pure Reason.
1811 Charles Bell and Francois Magendie discovered that there are two types of nerves: sensory and
motor nerves.
1827 Ludwig von Beethoven died.
1838 Johannes Müller articulated his “Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies.”
1846 Ernst Weber derived the quantitative relationships between subjective experience and physical
stimulation, known as Weber’s Law.
1848 Marx and Engels published the Communist Manifesto.
1859 Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection, a culmination of his
research and thinking about evolution via natural selection.
1860 Gustav Fechner published Elements of Psychophysics, which outlined the experimental study of the
relationship between subjective experience and physical stimulation.
1861 Paul Broca discovered that damage to a specific area of the left hemisphere of the brain impairs
language abilities.
The American Civil War was fought.
1872 Claude Monet painted Impression—Sunrise, Le Havre, the painting that lent its name to the
Impressionist movement.
1879 Wilhelm Wundt established the first psychology laboratory at the University of Leipzig, Germany.
1883 The first psychology laboratory in the United States was established at Johns Hopkins University
by G. Stanley Hall.
1885 Hermann Ebbinghaus published his empirical research on memory.
1890 William James published the Principles of Psychology, a two-volume text that became the standard
reference for psychology students.
1892 The American Psychological Association was founded by G. Stanley Hall, who subsequently
became its first president.
1896 Thomas Edison invented the motion picture.
1898 Edward Thorndike conducted the first systematic experiments on animal learning.
1905 Alfred Binèt and Theodore Simon developed the first useful intelligence test.
1906 Charles Sherrington published Integrative Actions of the Nervous System, which set forth the basic
principles and terminology used today, to describe the structure and function of the nervous
1913 John Watson published “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It,” sometimes referred to as the
Behaviorist Manifesto, an influential paper asserting that psychology should restrict its subject 13
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE matter to observable behavior.
World War I was fought.
1917 Wolfgang K.hler published The Mentality of Apes, a report of his research on the problem-solving
abilities of non-human primates.
1928 Ivan Pavlov published Lectures on Conditioned Reflexes, a survey of his research on classical
1938 B. F. Skinner published Behavior of Organism. An Experimental Analysis, which outlined the basic
principles of operant conditioning.
World War II was fought.
1946 The American Psychological Association was reorganized to include practitioner psychologists as
well as research psychologists.
1950 William Estes published “Toward a Statistical Theory of Learning,” a classic paper outlining a
mathematical approach to learning.
1957 Noam Chomsky published Syntactic Structures, inaugurating an era of productive collaboration
between psychologists and linguists. Psycholinguistics soon became a flourishing field of
1957 Herbert Simon published Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in
Administrative Organizations, detailing the dynamics of decision-making under conditions of
1962 David Hubel and Thorston Weisel published their research on how specific features of visual
stimuli excite specific neurons in the visual cortex.
1963 John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.
1981 Roger Sperry received the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work on the split-brain phenomenon. 14
CHAPTER 1: THE SCIENCE OF PSYCHOLOGY IN YOUR LIFE SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READINGS American Psychologist, 47 (2), Special Edition: The History of American Psychology. American Psychological
Association, February 1992. This entire volume is dedicated to the history of the discipline, with articles
on James, Wundt, Lewin, Skinner, and the establishment of the discipline in the United States. Bordens, K. S., & Abbott, B. B. (1988). Research Design and Methods: A Process Approach. Mountain View, CA:
Mayfield. Applies the research process to both theoretical and practical problems. Evans, R. I. (1980). The Making of Social Psychology. New York: Gardner Press. Interviews with some of the
more influential figures in social psychology, including Philip Zimbardo, Albert Bandura, Stanley
Milgram, and Gordon Allport. Hergenhahn, B. R. (1997). An Introduction to the History of Psychology, 3rd Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth
Publishing. A very thorough undergraduate text on the history of psychology, including its roots in
classical thought and philosophy. Psychological Review, 101 (2), Special Issue: The Centennial Issue of the Psychological Review. American
Psychological Association, 1994. Contains reprints of the most influential articles ever to appear in
Psychological Review. It is an invaluable archival document for all psychologists. Scarborough, E., & Forumoto, L. (1987). Untold Lives: The First Generation of Women Psychologists. New York:
Columbia University Press. A compelling portrayal of the lives and contributions of early women
psychologists. Schwartz, S. (1986). Classic Studies in Psychology. Palo Alto, CA: Mayfield. Presentation of fifteen of the most
significant studies in psychology in condensed but clear summaries. Van Doren, C. (1991). A History of Knowledge. The Pivotal Events, People, and Achievements of World History.
New York: Ballantine Books. An excellent review of the important ideas, events, and people throughout
history, written by an ex-editor of Encyclopedia Britannica. DISCOVERING PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM 1: PAST, PRESENT, AND PROMISE
Overview An introduction to and an overview of psychology, touching on a range of issues from the origins of
psychology as a science to psychopathology; from the biochemistry of the brain to applied research. Key Issues Public versus private behavior, the nature of prejudice, the P300 brain wave, the biology of racism,
molecular versus molar levels of analysis, and the origins of psychology. Archival Demonstrations Demonstration of a client with Multiple Personality Disorder.
Candid Camera clip demonstrating the difference between public and private behavior.
Archival Interviews Emanuel Donchin examines the relationship between P300 brain waves and surprise.
Robert Rosenthal discusses body language.
New Interviews 15
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Christine Ijima Hall considers the nature of prejudice. FILMS AND VIDEOS Career Encounters in Psychology (1991). American Psychological Association, 30 minutes Several psychologists from diverse subfields discuss their work and careers. Landmarks in Psychology Highlights the contributions of Freud, Jung, Adler, Pavlov, Sullivan, Homey, Maslow, Watson, and Skinner. Using historical narrative and case study dramatizations, the interpersonal, behavioral, humanistic, and existential approaches to psychology are explored. CASE STUDY LECTURE LAUNCHER Case Study Lecture Enhancers originally appeared in Psychology and Life, 13th Edition as openings for
each chapter. They were subsequently omitted from the 14th edition to save space. The best of them are
included here, because both instructors and students expressed an interest in using them again. This
material is ideal for starting a lecture or for use as a major transition within a lecture. As the runners lined up to start the 1986 NCAA 10,000-meter championship, Kathy O. was the odds-on
favorite. She had broken high school track records in three distances and recently set a new American
collegiate record for the 10,000-meter race. Her parents, who were always supportive fans, watched from the
sidelines. Kathy got off to a slow start, but was only a few paces behind the leaders. Her fans knew she
could soon catch up. However, this time Kathy did not bolt to the lead as she had done before. Instead, she
veered away from the other runners. Without breaking her stride, she ran off the track, scaled a 7-foot fence,
raced down a side street, and jumped off a 50-foot bridge. Ten minutes later, her coach found her on the
concrete flood plain of the White River. She had two broken ribs, a punctured lung, and was paralyzed from
the waist down. Not only would she never run again, she might never walk again. What happened to Kathy? Why did she quit the race and nearly self-destruct? As a star athlete and
premedical student on the Dean’s list, she had everything going for her. She had been valedictorian of her
high school class. Teachers and coaches described her as sweet, sensible, diligent, courteous, and religious.
Nobody understood her behavior. It did not make sense. Kathy’s father thought the tragedy “had something
to do with the pressure that is put on young people to succeed.” Teammates felt the pressure may have come
from within Kathy herself “She was a perfectionist,” said one of them. Determined to excel at everything,
Kathy had studied relentlessly, even during team workouts. How did Kathy explain her actions? She told an interviewer that she was overcome by the terrifying fear of
failure as she began falling behind in the race. “All of a sudden ... I just felt like something snapped inside of
me.” She felt angry and persecuted. These negative reactions were new to Kathy, and made her feel as if she
were someone else. “I just wanted to run away,” she recalled. “I don’t see how I climbed that fence.... I just
don’t feel like that person was me. I know that sounds strange, but I was just out of control.... I was
watching everything that was happening and I couldn’t stop” (UPI, 12/22/86). The case of Kathy O. raises fascinating questions for psychology. Personality, social, and developmental
psychologists might ask how athletic ability, intelligence, parental support, competition, motivation to
achieve, and personality traits combined to make Kathy a superstar in the first place. Clinical psychologists
would want to know why something snapped in Kathy at this race, why feelings of anger were so foreign to
her, and why she felt persecuted. Those who study the nature of consciousness would try to understand
Kathy’s perception that she was outside of herself, unable to stop her flight toward death. Health
psychologists and those who work in the area of sports psychology might try to identify signs of stress and
clues in earlier behaviors that could have signaled an impending breakdown. Psychologists who
emphasize the biological basis of behavior might consider the role of brain and hormonal factors in her 16
CHAPTER 1: THE SCIENCE OF PSYCHOLOGY IN YOUR LIFE sudden, abnormal reaction. Are there any circumstances under which you might quit as Kathy O. did? We may never completely understand what motivated Kathy’s behavior, but psychology provides the
tools—research methods—and the scaffolding—theories about the causes of behavior—for exploring basic
questions about who we are and why we think, feel, and act as we do. Psychologists are challenged to make
sense of cases such as this one that violate ordinary conceptions about human nature. Their motivation is
not only intellectual curiosity, but also a desire to discover how to help people in ways that might prevent
such tragedies in the future. 17
Research Methods in Psychology LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Explain why the empirical study of psychology is important
2. Describe the theory behind and the benefits of the scientific method
3. Understand the importance of the scientific method to psychology
4. Elaborate on the role of control and bias in psychological research
5. Understand the importance of determinism to psychology in particular and science in general
6. Explain how psychologists attempt to eliminate alternative explanations through the use of control
7. Understand the concept of correlation and its use in psychology
8. Explain why correlation does not imply causation
9. Appreciate how the approach taken by psychologists can be applied to aspects of students’ lives
outside the classroom
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. The Context of Discovery
A. The goal of this chapter is to improve students’ critical thinking skills by teaching them how to ask
the right questions and how to evaluate answers about causes, consequences, and correlates of
psychological phenomena. Ultimately, this chapter should make your students wiser, more skeptical
consumers of psychological information specifically and all information generally.
1. The initial phase of research is observation, during which beliefs, information,
and general knowledge suggest a new way of thinking about a phenomenon
2. Some research questions originate from direct observation, while others stem
from “great unanswered questions” that have been passed down through
3. A theory is an organized set of concepts that explains a phenomenon or set of
4. Determinism rests at the core of psychology. Determinism is the belief that all
events, whether physical, mental, or behavioral, are the result of, or determined
by, specific causal factors. Because of determinism, all behavior and mental
processes must follow lawful patterns. Psychologists attempt to reveal these
lawful patterns in psychological principles.
5. A hypothesis is a tentative, testable prediction about the relationship between
causes and consequences, or about how two or more variables are related.
Research psychologists test hypotheses.
CHAPTER 2: RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY 6. The scientific method demands that psychological researchers have an open,
critical, skeptical mind. This open-mindedness makes conclusions
provisional, subject to modifications by subsequent findings, and makes
researchers open to new and controversial ideas.
7. Within experimental psychology, when evidence collected through quality
research conflicts with the opinions or ideas of experts, the evidence, or data,
8. Public verifiability is fundamental to psychology. Secrecy is forbidden, and
psychologists must have the opportunity to inspect, criticize, replicate, or
disprove the data and methods of other researchers.
II.The Context of Justification: Safeguards for Objectivity
A. The scientific method is a set of procedures for gathering and interpreting evidence in ways that
help ensure that psychological research generates valid, reliable conclusions by minimizing sources
of error
B. Psychology is considered a science to the extent that it follows the scientific method
C. Observer bias is an error due to the personal motives and expectations of the viewer. Personal
biases of observers act as filters through which some things are noticed as relevant and significant,
while others are ignored as irrelevant and unimportant.
D. The Remedy for Observer Bias: Standardization
1. Standardization means using uniform procedures in all phases of the research
process. All participants should experience exactly the same procedure, and
other researchers should be able to replicate the procedure exactly.
2. An operational definition standardizes the meaning of an event or procedure
within an experiment. It is a specific definition of what is meant by a concept
such as “self-esteem.” An operational definition may state that participants
that score above a certain number on a self-esteem measure are considered
“high,” while those that score below that number are considered “low.” All
variables in an experiment must be given an operational definition.
3. A variable is any factor that varies in amount or kind. Self-esteem is an example
of a variable. Participants’ scores can vary from high to low. There are two
types of variables.
a) A variable that is free to vary and is manipulated by the experimenter
is known as an independent variable. It is also the predictor variable in
nonexperimental (e.g. correlational) research. b) A variable whose values are the result of changes in independent
variables is known as a dependent variable. It is also the variable that is
predicted in nonexperimental research. c) The experimental method—used to overcome causal ambiguity—
manipulates an independent variable and then looks for an effect on a
dependent variable. 4. Alternative Explanations are simply other ways of explaining the results of an
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE experiment. The more alternative explanations that exist without refutation,
the less confident a researcher can be that his or her predicted explanation or
hypothesis is the correct one. a) Confounding variables are extraneous influences not intended by the
research to be a part of an experiment, but that may unwittingly affect
experimental results. Because confounding variables are not
accounted or controlled for, researchers cannot be certain whether
their experimental manipulation or a confounding variable is
responsible for experimental results. Two types of confounds apply to almost all experiments: Expectancy and Placebo Effects. (i) Expectancy effects occur when a researcher subtly
communicates to the participants the results that he or she
expects to find. Participants may then behave in the desired
(ii) Placebo effects occur when participants’ beliefs about the
efficacy of a procedure lead to improvement in the participant.
Participants can be given chemically inert pills, and, if they
believe that the pills will make them improve, participants
often do improve, due simply to the placebo effect. A
component of the placebo effect is the belief that a
manipulation will lead to improvement. This belief does not
need to be grounded in reality. In many studies, about a third
of participants are found to be positive placebo responders. E. Experimental Methods in Psychology
1. Control procedures are methods that attempt to hold constant all variables and
conditions other than those related to the hypothesis under investigation
a) A double-blind control refers to a procedure in which both the
participant and the experimental assistant administering a treatment
are blind to, or unaware of, the experimental condition to which the
participant is assigned b) A placebo control is an experimental condition in which participants
believe that they are receiving a treatment that may be effective, but in
which they are actually receiving a treatment that is known not to be
effective. By comparing the placebo control group with the group of
participants that received the actual treatment, researchers can
determine how much change in the participants is due to their beliefs
(placebo effect) and how much is due to the treatment itself. 2. Research designs: Properly designed experiments are another way of ensuring
that alternative explanations are kept to a minimum. By determining which
alternative explanations are likely to be serious competitors to the explanation
directly under investigation, researchers can incorporate conditions that test
these alternative explanations in their research.
3. Random assignment is one of the most important aspects of research design. It
helps ensure that the participants in each condition are as similar to each
other as possible, because each participant has the same chance of being in
each condition.
4. Because researchers would like to be able to generalize their findings from
their sample, the participants in their study, to the larger population from
CHAPTER 2: RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY which the sample was drawn, the sample should be representative of the
population, or a representative sample 5. In between-subjects designs, participants are randomly assigned to one
experimental condition or one control condition. There may be more than one
experimental condition, in which participants are exposed to different
treatments, and there may be more than one control condition, in which
participants are not exposed to those treatments. This allows researchers to
account for alternative explanations. However, each participant is only in one
6. In within-subjects designs, each participant serves as his or her own control, as
they are assigned to at least two conditions, a control condition and an
experimental condition. In a within-subjects experiment, a participant may be
given a placebo, such as an inert sugar pill, and then given a treatment that is
hypothesized to be effective. By comparing each participant’s change between
the control (placebo) condition and the treatment condition, researchers can
determine the efficacy of the treatment much more accurately.
7. A third type of research design is known as the A-B-A design. In the A-B-A
design, each participant is assessed in a baseline condition, then given an
experimental treatment, and then reassessed in the baseline condition. The AB-
A design is a with-in subjects design.
F. Correlational methods are used to determine to what extent two variables, traits, or attitudes are
1. The standard measure of correlation is a statistic called a correlation coefficient
represented by “r”. r can vary between -1.0 and +1.0, where -1.0 represents a
perfect negative correlation, and +1.0 represents a perfect positive correlation.
A correlation of 0 indicates that there is no relationship between the variables.
In much research on personality traits, r’s are modest–between .10 and .30. 2. A positive correlation means that as one set of two scores increases, so does the
other set. For example, as height increases, weight also tends to increase.
3. A negative correlation means that as one set of scores increases, the other set
decreases. For example, as physical exercise increases, weight tends to
4. A critical caveat to the correlational method is that correlation does not imply
causation. Simply because a researcher finds that two variables are related
does not mean that one variable necessarily causes the change in the other
variable. This warning is important because it is difficult, if not impossible, to
know which variable is causing the change in the other, and there is always
the possibility that a third, unknown, variable is causing the change in both or
is the key mediating variable between them.
a) Psychological researchers have used the experimental method to
demonstrate that subliminal self-help tapes offer nothing more than
placebo effects. 23
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE III. Psychological Measurement
A. Two main challenges to psychological measurement: Achieving Reliability and achieving Validity
1. Reliability refers to the consistency or dependability of results from research. If
we consider throwing darts at a dartboard, reliability would be measured by
how closely the darts group together. If the darts reliably hit the same spot,
even if it is not the bull’s-eye, the throws are reliable.
2. Validity refers to how accurately the research actually measures the
psychological variable under study. For instance, does the self-esteem scale
used in research accurately measure self-esteem, or does it measure something
closer to self-presentation style? If we again consider throwing darts, validity
would be measured by how closely the darts came to the spot that the thrower
wanted to hit. If you wanted all of your darts to hit the bull’s-eye and they did,
your throws would have been both valid (they hit the intended mark) and
reliable (all of them hit the same mark).
B. Self-Report Measures
1. Self-report measures are written or spoken responses to questions posed by the
a) A questionnaire is a self-report measure on which a respondent replies
to a written list of questions b) Questions on self-report measures may be open-ended, which allow
respondents to answer freely in their own words, or forced choice,
which provide respondents with a number of alternatives, such as
“yes,” “no,” and “undecided,” from which to choose. c) An interview is an interactive dialogue between a researcher and an
individual for obtaining detailed information. Good interviewers
establish positive rapport with interviewees, which facilitates self-
disclosure and responses that are more honest. C. Behavioral Measures and Observations
1. Behavioral measures and observations are ways to study overt actions and
observable, recordable reactions
CHAPTER 2: RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY a) Planned, controlled, systematic observation is an important source of
behavioral data b) Direct observation involves observation of behavior that is clearly
visible and easily recorded c) Naturalistic observation occurs in a natural setting, such as the
playground or in the wild, rather than in an artificial, highly contrived
laboratory setting 2. Case study research focuses on a single individual rather than on large
numbers of participants.
IV. Ethical Issues in Human and Animal Research
A. At the core of the ethical treatment of both humans and animals is the question of whether the
potential gains from the proposed research outweigh the expected or potential costs. Colleges have
established review boards to help researchers make this decision, and the American Psychological
Association (APA) has established guidelines to ensure that research is conducted ethically. For
humans, these guidelines include the following:
B. Informed Consent
1. Whenever possible, participants must be informed about the nature of the
experiment in which they may participate and, after being informed, must
consent to participate. They are also informed that their consent is conditional
and that they can withdraw it at any time without penalty.
C. Risk / Gain Assessment
1. Not only do researchers have a responsibility to weigh potential risks of an
experiment against its potential benefits, they also have a responsibility to do
everything in their power to minimize risk to participants, whether they are
human or nonhuman, and to optimize the possible benefits to the participants
and to society
D. Intentional Deception: APA guidelines make it clear that intentional deception is justified only if:
1. The study has sufficient scientific and educational importance to warrant
2. There is no equally effective alternative to deception
3. Participants are not deceived concerning aspects of the experiment that would
affect their willingness to participate
4. The deception, and the reasons for it, is fully explained to the participants at
the conclusion of the research
E. Debriefing
1. At the conclusion of participation in an experiment, each participant must be
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE told the rationale for the experiment. This debriefing gives the participant an
opportunity to learn about psychology and themselves, and allows them to
appreciate more fully their experience in the experiment. F. Issues in Animal Research: Science, Ethics, Politics
1. The benefits of animal research include: development and assessment of drugs
that treat anxiety, mental illness, and Parkinson’s disease; knowledge about
drug addition and neuromuscular disorders, and possible treatments and
cures for AIDS. Animal research not only benefits humans, but has led to many
important vaccines for animals as well.
2. Despite these accomplishments, some believe that it is immoral and
inappropriate to use animals in research.
a) Animals cannot be informed about the nature of the experiment and
thus cannot give their informed consent, as the APA requires with
humans. b) Because of the sensitive nature of the debate and the fact that animals
cannot give informed consent, reasoned proponents of animal rights
create a moral context in which individual researchers must judge
their research under the highest level of compassion and scrutiny c) Just as it has for human participants, the APA has set strict guidelines
for the treatment of nonhuman participants. These guidelines state
that: (i) Facilities for nonhuman participants must be adequate in
size, be well maintained, and have qualified staff
(ii) The health of the animals and their general well-being must
be monitored
(iii) Every effort must be made to minimize pain and discomfort
for the animals
(iv) Alternative, less stressful procedures, such as computer
modeling, must be used whenever possible
V.Becoming a Wiser Research Consumer
A. One goal of Psychology and Life, 16th Edition is to help your students become more critical
thinkers. Critical thinking goes beyond the information given and delves beneath slick appearances,
with the goal of understanding substance without being seduced by style. Some general rules to keep
in mind to be a more critical thinker include:
1. Avoid the assumption that correlation equals causation. It does not.
2. Be sure that critical terms and concepts are operationally defined so that you
can be sure of their meaning
3. Before seeking confirming evidence for a theory, look for disconfirming
evidence. Confirming evidence is easy to find when you are looking for it.
CHAPTER 2: RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY 4. Always seek alternative explanations that explain results more simply or
completely, especially when researchers have a stake in the proposed
explanation. Occam’s Razor is a rule of thumb that proposes that
parsimonious, simple explanations are preferable to complex ones.
5. Be alert for signs that personal biases may have distorted the research process
and findings
6. Be suspicious of simple answers to complex problems
7. When confronted with claims that something is more effective, better, or
superior, be sure that you understand to what it is being compared
8. Maintain an open mind and a healthy skepticism. All conclusions are subject
to revision, and some truly novel, bizarre ideas will be correct.
9. Challenge authority that is unjust, values opinion over evidence, and is not
open to constructive criticism
10. Of course, all of these suggestions should be applied to your reading of
Psychology and Life! 27
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. What role does the scientific method play in contemporary psychology? What are the limitations of
the scientific method, and are there any better alternatives available? Students are often skeptical of
the scientific method and are eager to point out its flaws, such as the slow incremental progress it
generates, its reliance on measurable phenomena, its susceptibility to experimenter biases, and its
sterile methodology. Students often fail to realize, however, that, although it may be flawed, the
scientific method is the best tool we have to generate valid, reliable knowledge and that it has
provided us with a wealth of discoveries.
2. What psychological principles have become part of the larger culture, have penetrated our thinking
and language? Psychological principles permeate advertising, marketing, television, movies, sales,
self-help books, fashion, politics, and folk wisdom, to name a few, but students are often unaware of
this influence. Pointing out this influence is a good way to keep your students’ interest. For
example, the concept of “psychological stress,” so prevalent in our cultural landscape, was rarely
mentioned 50 years ago.
3. Ask your students how many of them believe in determinism. Then ask them many of them believe
in free will. Insist that they cannot have it both ways. You will be surprised to find that many, if not
most, students believe in free will. This is a terrific discussion starter, because it conflicts with one
of the fundamental assumptions of science and psychology–determinism. You might ask your
students what science can hope to reveal if the world is not determined. You might also suggest
that what feels like free will to us may be thinly disguised determinism. This simple discussion is
often enough to change the manner in which students view themselves and the manner in which
they view those around them.
SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL The Ethics of Animal Research The use of animals in research is a controversial topic, and one certain to generate animated class
discussion. One reason that it is controversial is that it touches on fundamental values, attitudes, and
ethical and moral issues. Psychologists are interested in these issues from both a scientific and a human
perspective. As scientists, psychologists may ask why others are so emotionally captivated by the issue,
why some individuals seem more concerned with protecting animals than with protecting humans, why a
secure life in a cage is worse than an uncertain life in the wild, and what scientific justification there is to
preclude research on animals. As humans, psychologists may be moved by compassion for caged animals,
feel empathy at the animals lack of understanding of what is happening to them, and be morally convinced
that researchers have no more right to force an animal to participate in research than they do in forcing
humans to participate. Of course, there are no easy answers to these questions, but there is an interesting way to view animal
research that many people have not considered. Animal research benefits humans to the extent that
findings from research with them are generalizable to humans. Because of this problem of transfer of results
from animals to humans, the most beneficial research is often done on animals that are most closely related
to humans, such as chimpanzees. For example, much research on FHV and ADDS is done on monkeys,
because their immune systems function much like humans and because they are susceptible to a virus, SIV,
that is closely related to FHV. These monkeys, however, share 99 percent of their genetic material with
humans. If the reason that we do not use humans in some types of research is because it is unethical, it
would seem that the more closely an animal was related to humans, the less ethical it would be to use them
in similar research. An argument can be made that the more closely an animal is related to humans, the
more like a human it should be treated. According to this reasoning, chimpanzees should be treated like
human participants. Thus, there is a quandary between how generalizable animal research is to humans 28
CHAPTER 2: RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY and how much like humans animals should be treated. What do your students think about this line of
reasoning? Experimental Design The overarching goals of the following exercise are to demonstrate how psychology and the scientific
method can be used to address issues that interest your students, to teach them how them how the concepts
they are learning influence experimental design, and to impress on them an appreciation for the challenges
faced by experimental psychologists. Lead your class through the process of designing an experiment. Start
with a hypothesis generated through brainstorming by the class. Allowing your students to provide the
hypothesis ensures that it will interest them and that they will stay engaged. Students may start with topics
such as alien abduction, crop circles, and the Loch Ness monster. Welcome this, as it gives you a terrific
opportunity to talk about alternative explanations, existence proofs, and the fact that some topics, such as
the proof of the existence of God, remain firmly outside the boundaries of science. The scientific method is
not a panacea; it is a highly structured method for testing measurable factors and relationships. After your
class has agreed on an issue to test, lead them toward a consensus, testable hypothesis about the issue.
Once your class has clearly defined a hypothesis, lead them through a discussion of possible alternative
explanations. Challenge their hypothesis and their beliefs. Are there other possible explanations that are
more simple and more likely? What assumptions and possible biases underlie their hypothesis? How
would the hypothesis (and their assumptions and biases) generated by your class be different than
explanations put forward by people from different cultures and different times? You might want to mention
that spirit possession was a widely held explanation for mental illness until relatively recently. After listing
a number of possible alternative explanations, allow your class to suggest a very basic methodology for
testing the hypothesis and eliminating the alternative explanations. You might want to give them a head
start by suggesting the kind of data that they would need to collect to measure the variables of interest.
Depending on the hypothesis chosen and the sophistication of your class, outlining a reasonable
experiment may be a difficult process. If the class begins to show signs of overload, you can quickly switch
gears and use the exercise to demonstrate the difficulty in designing and executing well-controlled
experiments. 29
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES Sir Francis Galton (1822–1911) Few psychologists are credited with more firsts than Galton, the cousin of Charles Darwin. A child prodigy,
Galton could read by 2. years old and by six was reading Shakespeare for pleasure. He graduated from
Cambridge University in 1843, but never obtained a graduate degree. Because he was independently
wealthy, as were many early psychologists, Galton was free to follow his passion, and his passion led him
to measurement, first of geography and then of humans. Galton first gained fame as a cartographer for the
Royal Geographical Society on a trip to Africa. On his return to England, Galton took his cousin’s notion of
the importance of individual differences to evolution, and set about measuring these differences in humans.
Galton was the first to use questionnaires, the first to study the nature–nurture controversy, the first to use a
word-association test, the first to study twins, and the first to study intelligence testing seriously. Galton’s work also spawned the creation of the ubiquitous correlation coefficient, r, by his student Charles
Spearman. Edward Titchener (1867–1927) Edward Titchener attended Oxford from 1885 to 1890, where he became interested in experimental
psychology and translated Wundt’s Principles of Physiological Psychology into English. After graduating
from Oxford, Titchener spent two years studying with Wundt in Leipzig. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1892,
Titchener took a job at Cornell University, where he remained for his entire career. While at Cornell,
Titchener developed a thriving department and became the leading exponent of structuralism in America.
Titchener adopted Wundt’s technique of introspection to the study of observable conscious events and
sought to describe the contents of mental life. Although not successful in his goal of creating a periodic table
of mental events, much like the periodic table of physical elements, Titchener exerted a profound influence
over the development of psychology in America, through both his ideas and the ambitious research
program that he led at Cornell. 30
1811 Charles Bell and Francois Magendie discovered that there are two types of nerves: sensory and
motor nerves.
1827 Ludwig von Beethoven died.
1838 Johannes Müller articulated his “Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies.”
1846 Ernst Weber derived the quantitative relationships between subjective experience and physical
stimulation, known as Weber’s Law.
1848 Marx and Engels published the Communist Manifesto.
1859 Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection, a culmination of his
research and thinking about evolution via natural selection.
1860 Gustav Fechner published Elements of Psychophysics, which outlined the experimental study of
the relationship between subjective experience and physical stimulation.
The American Civil War was fought.
1872 Claude Monet painted Impression—Sunrise, Le Havre, the painting that lent its name to the
Impressionist movement.
1885 Hermann Ebbinghaus published his empirical research on memory.
1890 William James published the Principles of Psychology, a two-volume text that became the
standard reference for psychology students.
1896 Thomas Edison invented the motion picture.
1898 Edward Thorndike conducted the first systematic experiments on animal learning.
1905 Alfred Binèt and Theodore Simon developed the first useful intelligence test.
1906 Charles Sherrington published Integrative Actions of the Nervous System, which set forth the basic
principles and terminology used today to describe the structure and function of the nervous
1913 John Watson published “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It,” sometimes referred to as the
Behaviorist Manifesto, an influential paper asserting that psychology should restrict its subject
matter to observable behavior.
World War I was fought.
1928 Ivan Pavlov published Lectures on Conditioned Reflexes, a survey of his research on classical
1938 B. F. Skinner published Behavior of Organism: An Experimental Analysis, which outlined the basic
principles of operant conditioning.
World War II was fought.
1946 The American Psychological Association was reorganized to include practitioner psychologists, 31
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE as well as research psychologists.
1950 William Estes published “Toward a Statistical Theory of Learning,” a classic paper outlining a
mathematical approach to learning.
1957 Noam Chomsky published Syntactic Structures, inaugurating an era of productive collaboration
between psychologists and linguists. Psycholinguistics soon became a flourishing field of
1957 Herbert Simon published Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in
Administrative Organizations, detailing the dynamics of decision making under conditions of
1962 David Hubel and Thorston Weisel published their research on how specific features of visual
stimuli excite specific neurons in the visual cortex.
1981 Roger Sperry received the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work on the split-brain phenomenon. SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READINGS Bordens, K. S., & Abbott, B. B. (1991). Research Design and Methods: A Process Approach, 2nd Edition. Mountain
View, CA: Mayfield. Applies the research process to both theoretical and practical problems. Graziano, A. M., & Raulin, M. L. (1989). Research Methods: A Process of Inquiry. New York: Harper Collins
Publishers. Keppel, G. (1991). Design and Analysis: A Researcher’s Handbook, 3rd Edition. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey:
Prentice Hall. Stanovich, K. E. (1996). How to Think Straight about Psychology, 4th Edition. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman. A
scholarly yet entertaining account of the necessity of using the scientific method in psychology and of its
application to everyday life, filled with great examples to use in lectures. DISCOVERING PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM 2: UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH
Overview An examination of the scientific method and the ways in which data are collected and applied– in the lab and in the field –
with an emphasis on sharpening critical thinking regarding research findings. Key Issues The power of belief, the placebo effect, the double blind procedure, the scientific method and
psychology, and lie detection.
New Interviews Christina Maslach takes an in-depth look at applied research. 32
CHAPTER 2: RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY FILMS AND VIDEOS Flatland (1965). Contemporary Films, 12 minutes When a “square” from the two-dimensional world of Flatland tries to convince others of the existence of
a third dimension, he is harshly persecuted. This animated film illustrates beautifully the scientific
ideals of objectivity and openness to change. 33
The Biological Bases of Behavior LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Understand how biology contributes to the creation of unique individuals
2. Appreciate the complex interplay among the brain, mind, behavior, and environment that creates
the unique experience of being human
3. Understand the nature versus nurture and the heredity versus environment controversies
4. Explain Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection and its relevance and importance to the field of
5. Offer examples when given the statement, “Genes do not code for destinies; they code for potential”
6. Describe the various methods for exploring the functions of the nervous system
7. Identify the structures and functions of the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system,
and the autonomic nervous system
8. Describe the major structures of the brain, and identify their function
9. Explicate the basic functions of the glands in the endocrine system, and explain the role of
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. Heredity and Behavior
A. End points of Causal Explanation
1. Nature versus Nurture
2. Heredity versus Environment
B. Evolution and Natural Selection
1. Natural Selection: Fundamental assumption of psychology
a) Charles Darwin published The Origin of the Species in 1859
b) Survival of the fittest: Only those organisms most adapted to the
environment survive 2. Genotypes: A specific genetic structure
3. Phenotypes: Outward appearance and repertory of behaviors
4. Genotype and the environment interact to yield a particular phenotype
C. Human Evolution
1. Human evolution favored two adaptations: Bipedalism and Encephalization
CHAPTER3: THE BIOLOGICAL BASES OF BEHAVIOR a) Bipedalism: the ability to walk upright
b) Encephalization: increases in brain size 2. Language: A third critical evolutionary milestone for humans
a) Language is the basis of cultural evolution–the ability of cultures to
respond adaptively, through learning, to environmental change. Works
much more quickly than genetic evolution. D. Variation in the Human Genotype
1. Basic Genetics
a) Genes: Organized packets of DNA that contain the instructions for the
production of proteins b) Genes are found on rod like structures known as chromosomes. Humans
contain 46 chromosomes, 23 from the mother and 23 from the father. c) Estimates of the number of genes in the human genome range from 30,000
to 150,000 d) The X and Y sex chromosomes determine sex. One X comes from the
mother, and either an X or a Y comes from the father. XX = female. XY =
male. 2. Genes and Behavior: the interaction of psychology and genetics
a) Biology (genes) is (are) not destiny
b) Genes only determine the range of effects that the environment can have in
shaping phenotype and behavior
c) The person that you become is jointly determined by genes and the
environment, by nature and nurture 3. Sociobiology focuses on evolutionary explanations for social behavior and social
systems of humans and other animal species
II.Biology and Behavior
A. Early Explanations of Behavior
1. Rene Descartes argued that human physiology could be studied empirically, that
humans are just an animal machine, and that human action is a mechanical
response to the environment
2. Sir Charles Sherrington provided evidence for Descartes’ ideas and suggested that
the human nervous system involves both excitatory and inhibitory processes
3. Santiago Ramón y Cajal detected the physical gaps between adjacent neurons
4. Donald Hebb proposed that the brain is not merely a mass of tissue but a highly
integrated series of structures, or cell assemblies, that perform specific functions
5. Neuroscience is one of the most rapidly growing areas of research today
B. Eavesdropping on the Brain
1. Broca’s Area: The region of the brain that translates thoughts into speech
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 2. Producing brain lesions
a) Not done on humans for obvious ethical reasons b) Helpful in treating some neurological disorders such as epilepsy 3. Electrical stimulation
a) Walter Hess found that sleep, sexual arousal, anxiety, and terror could be
turned on and off by electrically stimulating specific areas of the brain 4. Recording and imaging brain activity
a) Electroencephalogram (EEG) records large, integrated patterns of brain
electrical activity b) Positron-Emission Tomography (PET) scans construct a dynamic portrait
of the brain by detecting how radioactive (but safe) substances are
processed in the brain during different cognitive and behavioral activities c) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses pulses of energy to cause atoms
to align with a magnetic field. Special radio receivers then monitor the rate
at which atoms decay from alignment once the energy pulse is complete.
Computers analyze this information to create dynamic models of brain
activity. C. The Nervous System
1. Comprised of two major divisions
a) The central nervous system (CNS), comprised of all the neurons in the
brain and spinal cord b) The peripheral nervous system (PNS), comprised of all the neurons
forming the nerve fibers that connect the CNS to the body 2. The Central Nervous System (CNS)
a) Integrates and coordinates all bodily functions, processes all incoming
neural messages, and sends commands to different parts of the body b) Relies on PNS for information from sensory receptors 3. The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
a) Provides the CNS with sensory information and relays commands from
the brain to the body’s organs and muscles b) Composed of two subdivisions (1) The Somatic Nervous System (SNS), which regulates the actions
of skeletal muscles
(2) The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), which sustains basic life
processes, further divided into two subdivisions:
(i) The Sympathetic Division governs response to
(ii) The Parasympathetic Division governs routine operation
of internal bodily functions
D. Brain Structures and Their Functions
1. The brain is the most important component of the CNS and is composed of three
layers: the brain stem, the limbic system, and the cerebrum
a) The Medulla, located at the top of the spinal cord, controls breathing, blood
pressure, and the heart b) The Pons, located directly above the Medulla, provides inputs to other
structures of the brain stem and to the cerebellum c) The Reticular Formation, located between the Medulla and Pons, arouses
the cerebral cortex to new stimulation and keeps the brain alert even
during sleep d) The Thalamus, located above the Pons, receives input from the reticular
formation and channels incoming sensory information to the appropriate
area of the cerebral cortex e) The Cerebellum, located attached to the brain stem at the base of the skull,
coordinates bodily movements and plays a role in some types of learning 3. The Limbic System mediates motivated behaviors, emotional states, and memory
processes and is composed of three structures:
a) The Hippocampus plays an important role in the acquisition of explicit
memories–memories that you are aware of retrieving b) The Amygdala plays a role in emotional control and the formation of
emotional memories, especially those related to threat and danger c) The Hypothalamus plays a role in maintaining homeostasis such as body
weight, temperature, and the endocrine system 4. The Cerebrum regulates higher emotional and cognitive functions
a) The Cerebral Cortex is the thin outer layer of the cerebrum b) The cerebrum is also divided into two symmetrical halves, the cerebral
hemispheres c) The two cerebral hemispheres are connected by a thick mass of nerve fibers
called the corpus callosum, which relays messages between hemispheres d) Grooves in the cerebrum, called the Central Sulcus and the Lateral Fissure,
help divide each cerebral hemisphere into four lobes e) The Frontal lobe is located at the front of the cerebrum and is involved in
motor control and cognitive activities such as planning, decision making,
and goal setting f) The Parietal lobe is located at the top of the cerebrum and is responsible for
the sensations of touch, pain, and temperature g) The Occipital lobe is located at the back of the cerebrum and is responsible
for visual processing h) The Temporal lobe is located at the side of the cerebrum and is responsible
for auditory processing i) The hemispheres and lobes of the brain do not function independently,
rather they work as an integrated unit similar to an orchestra 37
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE j) The Motor Cortex, located in front of the central sulcus, controls movement
of the body’s voluntary muscles k) The Somatosensory Cortex, located behind the central sulcus in the parietal
lobes, processes information about temperature, touch, body position, and
pain l) The Auditory Cortex, located in the temporal lobes, processes auditory
information m) The Visual Cortex, located in the occipital lobes, processes visual
information n) The Association Cortex, which includes all of the cortex that is unlabeled,
works to interpret and integrate information from many parts of the brain 5. Hemispheric Lateralization
a) Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga devised situations that could allow
visual information to be presented separately to each hemisphere. b) Information from the right visual field goes to the left hemisphere, and
information from the left visual field goes to the right hemisphere c) Speech may be the most highly lateralized of all brain functions. For most
people, speech is a left hemisphere function. d) The left hemisphere tends to be more analytical, processing information bit
by bit e) The right hemisphere tends to be more holistic, processing information in
global patterns f) There may be gender differences in lateralization. When making
judgments, the left hemispheres of males showed more activity, while both
hemispheres of females showed activity E. The Endocrine System
1. A highly complex communication system comprised of a network of glands that
supplements the work of the nervous system
a) Hormones–“the messengers of life”–are chemicals secreted by the glands of
the endocrine system. They influence sexual development, physical
growth, moods, arousal level, immune functioning, and metabolism rate. 2. The Hypothalamus serves as an intermediary between the endocrine system and the
nervous system. Messages from the brain cause the hypothalamus to release
hormones to the pituitary gland.
3. The Pituitary Gland, the “master gland,” secretes about ten different types of
hormones, which influence the functioning of all other endocrine system glands, and
influences growth
a) In males, the pituitary gland activates secretion of testosterone, which leads
to sperm production b) In females, the pituitary gland activates secretion of estrogen, which is
essential to the release of eggs from the ovaries 38
A. The Neuron
1. The neuron is a cell specialized to receive, process, and transmit information to other
cells. There are at least 200 different types of neurons, which are typically comprised
of dendrites, soma, axon, and terminal buttons. a) Dendrites are branched fibers that extend outward from the body of the
neuron and that receive messages from other neurons b) The Soma, or cell body, integrates information received by the dendrites
and passes it along to the axon c) The Axon is a single extended fiber that conducts information to terminal
buttons d) Terminal buttons are bulblike structures that secrete neurotransmitters
which influence other neurons 2. There are three major classes of neurons: sensory neurons, motor neurons, and
a) Sensory neurons carry messages from sense receptors toward the CNS
b) Motor neurons carry messages from the CNS to the muscles and glands
c) Interneurons carry messages between different neurons 3. Glia cells, derived from the Greek word for “glue,” outnumber neurons in the brain by
about five or ten to one and perform three primary functions: housekeeping,
insulation, and protection of the brain
a) Development: Glia cells help guide newborn neurons to appropriate
locations in the brain b) Housekeeping: Glia cells clean up after neurons die and absorb excess
neurotransmitters c) Insulation: Glia cells form a myelin sheath around the axon of some types
of neurons, greatly increasing the conduction speed of the axon d) Protection: Glia cells form a blood-brain barrier that prevents toxins from
reaching the brain B. Action Potentials
1. Neurons send messages in an all-or-none fashion through action potentials traveling
down the axon, and they receive messages in the form of graded potentials through
the dendrites
a) Excitatory input increases the likelihood that a neuron will fire b) Inhibitory input decreases the likelihood that a neuron will fire c) Graded Potentials are generated by excitatory inputs and vary in size
according to the magnitude of the stimulation. One graded potential is
often not enough to cause a neuron to fire 39
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE d) Temporal Summation involves several excitatory or inhibitory inputs from
the same source over time e) Spatial Summation involves several excitatory or inhibitory inputs from
different sources at the same time 2. The Biochemical Basis of Action Potentials
a) An Action Potential begins when excitatory inputs are strong enough to
overcome inhibitory inputs and involves depolarization of the neuron by
sodium ions rushing into the cell b) Resting Potential is the slightly negative voltage of a neuron in a resting
state c) Ion Channels in neuron membranes respond to changes in excitatory and
inhibitory input. Excitatory input causes the ion channels to allow sodium
ions into the neuron, allowing the neuron to fire. Inhibitory input causes
the ion channels to keep the neuron negatively charged, preventing the
neuron from firing. d) The action potential then travels down the axon as adjacent areas of the
axon successively depolarize e) When the fluid inside the neuron becomes positive, the sodium ion
channels close and potassium ion channels open, allowing potassium
ions to exit the cell, restoring negative charge of the neuron. f) Action potentials obey the All-or-None Law. The size of the action potential
is not influenced by the intensity of stimulation beyond the threshold level. g) After firing, neurons enter a Refractory Period, a period during which they
cannot fire or will only fire with more intense stimulation dm normal C. Synaptic Transmission
1. Transmission of neural impulses between neurons involves the movement of
neurotransmitters across the synaptic cleft
a) A Synapse is a small physical gap between neurons b) Once an action potential reaches an axon terminal button, vesicles release
neurotransmitters into the synaptic gap chemical substances that
stimulate other neurons. The neurotransmitters then traverse across the
synaptic gap and attach to receptor molecules embedded in the
postsynaptic neuron membrane. D. Neurotransmitters and Their Functions
1. At least 60 substances are suspected to function as neurotransmitters in the brain
2. Acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter found in both the central and peripheral nervous
systems, is implicated in memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease and in
some types of respiratory failure
3. Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid (GABA) is thought to be related to anxiety, as depressants
bind to receptor molecules sensitive to GABA and cause sedation
4. Catecholamines such as dopamine and norepinephrine play prominent roles in mood
disturbances and schizophrenia
CHAPTER3: THE BIOLOGICAL BASES OF BEHAVIOR a) Decreased levels of norepinephrine have been related to depression b) Increased levels of dopamine have been related to schizophrenia 5. Serotonin is involved in autonomic processes, arousal, and depression
6. Endorphins are neuromodulators that modify the activities of postsynaptic neurons
and may play an important role in emotional behaviors
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. A fundamental, yet often overlooked, assumption of this chapter is that Darwin’s Theory of Natural
Selection accurately explains how humans reached our current stage of development. Indeed, it has
become so well accepted that few students will stop to wonder how this chapter would be different
if it were incorrect. But what if it was wrong? What other possible explanations could be put
forward to explain how we are and how we got this way? Such questions lie at the heart of
religion, psychology, and what it means to be human. Just over 100 years ago, Lamark’s theory of
acquired characteristics was relatively well accepted. Five hundred years ago asking such
questions was blasphemous. How may we look at human evolution, creation, or development
differently 100 years in the future?
2. A second important question relating to natural selection is whether humans continue to evolve.
Fewer and fewer genes are being removed from the gene pool as environmental threats are
identified and eliminated. Because fewer individuals succumb to environmental threats, most
humans are able to survive to reproductive maturity and perpetuate their genes. What does this
successful elimination of environmental threats portend for the long-term survivability of our
3. A third related question is what comes after natural selection after environmental threats are
eliminated and everyone reproduces? What forces will shape the development of humans in the
absence of environmental threats? Social Darwinism? Cultural evolution? Technological forces?
4. To what extent can individuals be held accountable for their biology? Should an individual with a
tumor that causes extraordinarily high levels of testosterone to be released receive the same
sentence for a violent crime as someone without such a tumor? What if the tumor caused a mental
disorder such as schizophrenia? Could the insanity defense be used?
5. Parents want what is best for their children. They often go to such lengths as choosing homes near
good schools and sending their children to all sorts of musical, athletic, and academic lessons.
What if the need for all of these expensive lessons would be eliminated if the parents chose their
children’s genes wisely before the children were born? What if your parents had selected your
genes so that you were better looking, smarter, more athletic, or more artistically inclined? Would
such decisions be ethical? Would you want to make them for your children? Would you have
wanted your parents to make them for you? Why or why not?
6. With the advent of modern brain imaging and scanning technologies, the way in which “death” is
often determined has also changed. Where as years ago death was determined by the cessation of
breathing and the lack of a pulse, now it is additionally determined by the lack of brain activity.
This has made the determination of when someone has actually died much more complicated in
many cases. Cases are commonly reported of people who have drowned or have been frozen, who
have not breathed for dozens of minutes and who have had no heartbeat when found, who were
revived, and sometimes have made complete recoveries. On the other hand there are also tragic
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE cases of people who have been injured in accidents who are breathing and have a pulse, but are
labeled “brain dead.” You might discuss what “brain death” means and explore both the medical
and moral issues related to these situations. 7. Have students pick at least one task that they would normally do with their dominant hand, and
have them do it with the other hand. Writing a short in-class assignment can be fun. But you can
brainstorm and see what ideas they come up with. Ask students to discuss what problems they
encountered while trying to do things with the opposite hand.
SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL Protecting the Brain Although the bony skull usually does a good protective job, many brains are still injured in auto and
motorcycle accidents, sports, and even at the hands of parents. Failure to wear seat belts, motorcycle or
bicycle helmets, or the right protective sports equipment can result in permanent damage to some of the
brain’s functioning. “Many slow-learning and clumsy children with IQs in the 90s,” says pediatrician John Caffey, might have
been intelligent and normally mobile children with IQs of 120, had they not been habitually shaken and
whiplashed during infancy.” Overenthusiastic bouncing of a baby before its neck muscles are strong
enough to support the head may result in broken vessels that deprive the brain of blood and thus retard the
growth of parts of the brain. Angry slaps on the head and neck can have similar negative consequences,
even for older children. Drugs that alter brain functions can have permanent effects if taken in excess. Some drugs, like the
chemicals in glue, when inhaled can lead to death or a lifetime of mental retardation. Brains, especially
young ones, need lots of oxygen and good nutrition. They are adversely affected by pollutants in the
environment, especially when children chew on flakes of paint that contain lead. Although children sustain head trauma in various ways, the most common source is from blows to the head
by an adult, followed by falls from bicycles. Sadly, in a fall from a bicycle or motorcycle, the area of the brain
most likely to be traumatized is the frontal lobe, the area of the brain responsible for planning, organization,
and decision-making. Aphasias: Frontal and Temporal Lobe Injuries An aphasia, by definition, is difficulty in producing or comprehending speech when that difficulty is not
produced by deafness or a simple motor deficit, but caused by brain damage. Paul Broca first identified this
deficit in his observations of patients who had been injured in the area of the brain known today as the left
frontal lobe. Although Broca was unable to conduct ablations on his patients, at the autopsies following
their deaths, he repeatedly found an injury to the same area of the brain in those patients who had
manifested difficulty in the production of speech. His work was eventually connected to that of Karl
Wernicke, who found a similar area in the left temporal lobe and observed that trauma to this area resulted
in poor comprehension of speech. Taken together, we now refer to the areas pinpointed by Broca and
Wernicke as the “language center” of the brain. Individually, we refer to these areas as Broca’s area and
Wernicke’s area. Neuroglial Cells: The Glue of Life The term glia is derived from the Greek word for glue and is an appropriate name for the cells that surround 42
CHAPTER3: THE BIOLOGICAL BASES OF BEHAVIOR all neurons, sealing them together. Glial cells outnumber neurons ten to one, and, though tiny in size, make
up half of the bulk of the brain. Unlike neurons, glia do not possess excitable membranes and so cannot
transmit information. Glia can take up, manufacture, and release chemical transmitters, and in so doing
may help to maintain or regulate synaptic transmission. Another hypothesis is that glia can manufacture
and possibly transmit other kinds of molecules, such as proteins. The anatomy of some glial cells is striking
in this regard, for they seem to form a conduit between blood vessels and neurons, and may bring
nourishment to the neurons. It is thought that these cells may have important functions during prenatal
development and recovery from brain injury. One role of glia is known definitely: Certain kinds of glia,
called by the tongue-twisting name of oligodendroglia, form the myelin sheath that insulates axons and
speeds conduction of the nerve impulse. A counterpart called a schwann cell performs the same role for the
peripheral nerves. The study of glia is difficult because these tiny cells are inextricably entwined with neurons. As the most
numerous type of cell in the brain, their potential importance is vast, and investigation of their function
seems likely to yield exciting results in the near future. Charles Darwin and Natural Selection: A Taproot of Contemporary
Psychology Charles Darwin, and his theory of natural selection, had a greater impact on the development of modern
psychology than anyone else, and continues to have a profound effect on all of the natural sciences. Natural
selection is the one assumption with which most natural scientists agree, although its exact mechanisms may be disputed. Darwin, a naturalist, published his theory of evolution in a book entitled On the Origin of
the Species by Natural Selection in 1859, about 20 years before the birth of experimental psychology. Darwin’s ideas have shaped contemporary psychology in the following ways: 1. Continuity between Animals and Humans. This idea was difficult for society to accept, because
humans assumed that they were the crowning glory of creation and not subject to the natural laws
as were members of the animal kingdom. Even those scientists who applauded Darwin’s theory
had some difficulty in accepting the idea that evolution applied to humankind.
2. Individual Differences. The various members of a given species may have many characteristics in
common, but there are also differences among those members—individuals—that can determine
whether the “fitness” of their offspring will enable them to compete successfully in the battle for
3. The Importance of Adaptability. Survival depends on the ability of an organism to adapt to the
environment and to changes in that environment. Failure to adapt means extinction. Ninety-nine
percent of all organisms that have even lived on earth are already extinct.
4. The Importance of the Environment. The surrounding environment changes, over time, and
“fitness” means making the various physical and behavioral changes that are appropriate for
5. Emphasis on Change. Before evolutionary theory, the commonly held view was that the earth and its
inhabitants were immutable and static. Darwin’s portrayal of nature is dynamic, mutable, and
Darwin’s ideas influenced many psychologists, including Freud, Watson, Skinner, and James. The most
apparent legacy from Darwin to Freud’s theory was the idea of the continuity of animals and humans.
Freud thought humans were driven by the same instincts that motivate other animals—instincts to survive 43
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE and reproduce. According to Freud, people have no inherently higher nature than do animals, and
whatever in humans may be higher (sympathy, altruism, unselfishness) is a product of the processes of
repression and reasoning. In Freud’s perspective, the dominant force in the structure of personality is the id
(the representation of the instincts for survival and reproduction), but humans develop other aspects of
personality to control these instincts in order to adapt to communal lifestyles. Communal living is
important in terms of adaptive behavior for humans because humans are rather weak creatures compared to
the large predators. The idea of continuity between animals and humans also influenced the behaviorist theories of Watson and
Skinner. Watson began his career as an animal psychologist believing, as later did Skinner, that the basic
principles of behavior can be discovered by studying the behavior of animals. Though behaviorists do not
deny individual differences in genetic endowment, they do tend to place greater emphasis on
environmental determinants of behavior. Skinner emphasized learning rather than innate factors as being
the antecedent of behavior, believing that through a process of trial and error, organisms learn which
behaviors lead to reinforcement-things that ensure survival and reproduction-and which behaviors are
futile, and are followed by loss or punishment. Thus, according to behaviorists, learning is our primary tool
for adaptation, and it is the environment that shapes behavior, rather than “mind” or “consciousness”
within the organism. Behaviorism also emphasizes change. Both Watson and Skinner suggested that a utopian society could be
built by imposing proper control on environmental conditions. Emphasis on change is one of the hallmarks
of our society; we are convinced that we can be better, thinner, smarter, richer, and happier. Psychologists
have been in the forefront in convincing us that change is possible, though not necessarily easy. The idea of adaptation to the environment was the central Darwinian theme in the functionalism of William
James and the originators of the functionalist approach. Human behavior (James used the term “habits”)
was considered in terms of how it served the goal of adaptation. Like the behaviorists, the functionalists
saw learning as the primary mechanism for human adaptation and survival. A precursor of functionalism was the British intellectual giant, Sir Francis Galton. Using Darwin’s theory,
Galton developed a keen interest in individual differences and strived to devise ways to measure these
differences. American psychologists eagerly adopted his ideas, with their emphasis on individualism.
Psychological testing developed from this facet of functionalism and continues to be an active area in
American psychology. We have developed psychological tests to measure almost any trait you can imagine. Ironically, the founder of psychology as a science, Wilhelm Wundt, was not significantly influenced by
Darwin’s theory, and when Wundt’s branch of psychology, structuralism, migrated to America, it was
unable to adapt and survive. BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES Rene Descartes (1596—1650) Born of wealthy parents in La Haye, France, Descartes was one of the most influential thinkers of the
Renaissance. He contributed to mathematics, philosophy, psychology, and physiology. Descartes, a very
private man, enjoyed solitude and was iconoclastic. While enrolled at a Jesuit school, he convinced the
school authorities to allow him to sleep until 11 A.M., because he did his best thinking while in bed. Perhaps because of this individualistic nature, Descartes began to doubt all that he had learned in school.
This skepticism soon spread to all areas of his life. Descartes doubted everything. Of one thing, however,
Descartes had no doubt: that he was doubting. This led to his famous conclusion, “Cogito, ergo sum.” “I
think, therefore I am”, which suggests that all that is certain concerning the human condition is that each of
us exists. Descartes also made significant contributions to physiology. He believed that what distinguished
living from nonliving material was “animal spirits”. Animal spirits, according to Descartes, gave humans 44
CHAPTER3: THE BIOLOGICAL BASES OF BEHAVIOR their ability to move and worked mechanically, like hydraulics. Although his notion of animal spirits has
been shown incorrect, his study of both animals and humans paved the way for future discoveries.
Descartes also addressed the mind—body problem. He thought that there was a physical body that could be
studied scientifically and that there was a mind that was not physical and that could not be studied
scientifically. He felt that the mind and body interacted in the pineal gland, which sits at the center of the
base of the brain. His position was thus dualistic and interactionist. Because of interference by the Catholic Church and increased demands on his time because of his growing
fame, Descartes moved to Sweden in 1650 to tutor Queen Christina. Unfortunately for humanity, Queen
Christina insisted on being tutored at 5 A.M., well before Descartes’ 11 A.M. wake-up time. Within six
months of his arrival in Sweden, Descartes contracted pneumonia and died. Paul Broca (1824—1880) Born in Sainte-Foy-la-Grand, France, Broca was the only son of a physician, and followed his father’s lead,
becoming professor of surgery and anthropology in Paris in 1861. During an autopsy on a patient who had
suffered from severe speech deficits, Broca discovered a lesion in the left frontal lobe. This discovery was the
first evidence supporting Franz Gall’s notion of localization of brain function, a concept that is generally
viewed as accurate by current standards. Broca was also responsible for developing the early science of craniometry, the measurement of the skull,
and the anthropological study of the prehistoric practice of trephining, in which small holes were made in
the skull of presumably mentally ill individuals in an attempt to allow demons to escape. He was elected to
the French Senate in 1879 and his radical political views included the recommendation that public high
schools open their doors to females. Franz Gall (1758—1828) Gall was born in Baden, Germany, but settled in Vienna as a physician. He was a distinguished anatomist,
responsible for much of our early understanding of the nervous system, particularly the distinction between
the function of the white (myelinated) and gray (nonmyelinated) matter of the brain. Along with his student,
Johann Spurzheim, Gall promoted the science of phrenology, in which a person’s character, and emotional
and intellectual dispositions could be inferred from an assessment of the various bumps and contours of the
head. Although long since discredited as legitimate science, phrenology was extremely popular in its day.
(Darwin was nearly kept off the HMS Beagle because of the shape of his nose.) Nearly 30 phrenological
societies were in existence in England in 1832, and a number of professional periodicals concerning
phrenology flourished curing the mid-1800s. Gregor Mendel (1822—1884) Born in Heizendorf, Austria, Mendel’s father was a peasant, his mother a gardener. After studying
philosophy at the University of Olmutz, Mendel entered the Augustinian monastery, where many of his
teachers also taught science and philosophy at the Gymnasium or Philosophical Institute. Mendel was put
in charge of the experimental garden, where he began the studies that would come to be identified as the
founding of the science of genetics. Conducting impressively systematic and thorough experiments of
hybridization of peas, Mendel accumulated evidence contradicting the current theory that inheritance was
a “blending” or combining process. Mendel’s research was first presented at a scientific meeting in 1865 and in published form in 1866, but
went unnoticed. In 1900, however, three separate scientists reported similar findings, despite having been
ignorant of Mendel’s work. 45
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Roger Sperry (1913—1994) Sperry obtained his M.A. in psychology at Oberlin College, followed by a Ph.D. in zoology from the
University of Chicago in 1941. He conducted postdoctoral research under Karl Lashley at Harvard and at
the Yerkes Primate Center. His early research challenged the traditional notion that nerves from sense
organs attach to brain areas in nonspecific ways. Later, he and his students advanced the psychological
study of split-brain patients by developing laboratory tasks that allowed for precise assessment of the
frequently subtle impairments experienced by recipients of the radical operation. In 1981, he was awarded
the Nobel Prize in physiology, primarily for his pioneering work during the 1960s on split-brain
phenomena. Sperry wrote later about the mind-body relationship and the ethical implications of modern
research on brain physiology and behavior. 46
1662 Rene Descartes, a French philosopher—mathematician, published Trait de L’homme, introducing
the idea of reflexive behavior.
1687 Isaac Newton published Principia.
1739 David Hume published Treatise on Human Nature.
1831 Charles Darwin set sail on the five-year voyage of the HMS Beagle
The American Civil War was fought.
1865 Gergor Mendel reported his findings on genetic transmission of traits in garden peas.
1870 Gustav Fritsch and Eduard Hitzig used electrical stimulation to study the cerebral cortex.
1875 Walther Flemming, Strasburger, and others discovered chromosomes.
1884 Oscar Hertwig suggested that nucleic acid was the material responsible for the transmission of
hereditary traits.
World War I was fought.
1929 Karl Lashley published Brain Mechanisms and Intelligence, a monograph outlining his ideas on the
relation between the brain mechanisms and learning.
1933 Ramón y Cajal published Neuron Theory or Reticular Theory?: Objective Evidence for the Anatomical
Unity of Nerve Cells, arguing that the nervous system is comprised of neurons. Twenty-one years
later, scientists using the electron microscope show Ramón y Cajal’s arguments are correct.
1944 Oswald Avery, Colin Macleod, and Maelyn McCarty discovered that DNA (Deoxyribonucleic
Acid) was the material of which genes are made.
1953 James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the double helix structure of DNA.
1957 The Russian satellite Sputnik was launched.
The Leakeys, Louis and Mary, and their sons Richard, Jonathon, and Philip discovered the
fossilized remains of prehumans and the earliest humans near Lake Turkana in Kenya.
1978 Louise Brown, the world’s first “test-tube baby” is born in England. SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READINGS Adelman, G. (Ed.). (1987). Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. (Vols. 1 & 2). Boston: Birkauser. Provides brief essays on a
wide range of topics by leading neuroscientists. Bloom, F. F., & Lazerson, A. (1988). Brain, Mind, and Behavior. (2nd ed.). New York: Freeman. Built around the PBS
eight-part television series, “The Brain.” Includes excellent color illustrations. Carlson, N. R. (1998). Physiology of Behavior (6th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 47
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Damasio, A. R. (1994). Descartes’ Error. Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain. New York: Putnam. Edwards, A. J. (1994). When Memory Fails: Helping the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patient. New York: Plenum Press.
Offers an excellent overview of the disease processes involved in these illnesses and of how to care for both the
patient and the caregiver in easily comprehensible terms. Gazzaniga, M. S. (1998). The Mind’s Past. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Helfer, M. E., & Kempe, R. S. (1997). The Battered Child. (5th ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Plomin, R., & McClearn, G. E. (Eds.). (1993). Nature—Nurture and Psychology. Hyattsville, MD: APA Press. Leading
environmentalists and geneticists explore the gap between nature and nurture and contend that the concept may
indeed be linked. Sacks, O. W. (1985). The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales. New York: Harper & Row.
Offers fascinating accounts of work with individuals with various neurological and neuropsychological
problems. Sacks, O. W. (1995). An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales. New York: Knopf Sapolsky, R. M. (1994). Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: A Guide to Stress, Stress Related Diseases, and Coping. New
York: Freeman. Sapolsky, R. M. (1997). The Trouble with Testosterone: And Other Essays on the Biology of the Human Predicament.
Overview The structure and composition of the brain: how neurons function, how information is collected and transmitted,
and how chemical reactions determine every thought, feeling, and action. Key Issues The biology of the brain, how the brain processes information, the electroencephalogram (EEG), neurometric
evaluation, the effects of drugs on the functions of the brain, the brain’s own manufactured chemicals, and
neurotransplantation. Demonstrations Multiple brain wave recording to reveal various types of brain malfunction. Effects of chemicals on learning and memory in rats. New Interviews John Gabrieli illustrates how the brain stores and retrieves information. PROGRAM 4: THE RESPONSIVE BRAIN
Overview How the brain controls behavior and, conversely, how behavior and environment influence the brain’s structure
and functioning. 48
CHAPTER3: THE BIOLOGICAL BASES OF BEHAVIOR Key Issues The effect of human touch on the growth of premature babies, the effect of the mother’s touch on the growth of
rats, psychosocial dwarfism, the effect of stress on memory and learning in rats, how behavior modifies the
physiology of the African Cichlid fish, and the effects of social status on the health of baboons Archival Demonstrations Effects of change in social status on sexual reactions and growth of fish.
Effects of social status on hormones and behavior in wild baboons.
Demonstrations Effects of physical stimulation on growth of brain, body and health of rats.
Relationship between early stimulation and adult resistance to stress-induced decline in memory of
Interviews Tiffany Field explains the benefits of touch on the cognitive and motor development of premature babies.
Saul Shanberg underscores the importance of contact by the mother in the process of growth and development
in rats.
Michael Meaney examines the effects of stress on memory and learning in rats.
R. Fernald examines the effects of behavior on the physiology of the brain and the effects of the brain on
behavior in African Cichlid fish.
Robert Salopsky discusses the direct effects of social status on the health of wild baboons.
FILMS AND VIDEOS The Brain (1993). Encyclopedia Britannica Educational Co., 50 minutes This program describes the structure and function of the brain. Using a variety of video techniques, the
viewer is shown the major anatomical structures of the brain, and the function of each of these is discussed. The Brain, Mind, and Behavior Series (1984). IU (FI), 60 minutes A PBS series that examines the mysteries and intricacies of the human brain. Because the role of the brain is
the focus of each program, any of these can be a helpful supplement to your coverage of brain structure and
function. An excellent series. Program 1: The Enlightened Machine A general introduction to the brain’s functions. Uses models, graphics, animation, and real-life action. Examines
the mysteries of consciousness. Program 2: Vision and Movement Explains how people perceive the world and how the brain coordinates vision and movement. Includes
appearances by champion diver Greg Louganis and Nobel Prize winners Hubel and Weisel.
Program 3: Rhythms and Drives Uses examples from both the animal world and human society to explain instinctive, unconscious rhythms and
drives, and the working of the primitive portion of the human brain. Shows the behavioral changes that result
from injury to the hypothalamus and shows the effects of seasonal and circadian rhythms on some people. Program 4: Stress and Emotion Explains the interrelationship of pain, anxiety, behavior, and the brain. Uses two case studies, one about a man
who suffered an accidental frontal lobotomy, the other about a stress-ridden professional, to tell the story. 49
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Program 5: Learning and Memory Discusses how humans remember, and why they forget. Focuses on brain organization, activity at the synapse, and workings of the hippocampus to explain memory. Program 6: The Two Brains Explores the cortical hemispheres, the relation of thought and language, and sex differences of the human brain. Illustrates lateral specialization through the research conducted with split-brain patients. Program 7: Madness Explores the lives of schizophrenics and their families to explain how much brain researchers know and what they
have yet to accomplish to understand schizophrenia fully. Program 8: States of Mind Surveys the current state of our knowledge about the brain and what lies in the future. Examines how this knowledge will be applied in the coming years to the fields of medicine and artificial intelligence. Decision (1985). IU (FFHS), 27 minutes Demonstrates how the brain organizes input and output to make simple but life-saving decisions. Explains
how the cortex assesses incoming information, sends outgoing messages to the muscles, and stores maps of
the world and the body. Shows how circuits of nerve cells operate in the brain and how individual nerve
cells function. Odyssey: Lucy and the First Family (1980). PBS, 59 minutes The study of 3.5 million-year-old Lucy, one of the most complete human skeletons that has been discovered,
has led to a controversy regarding evolution. This videotape provided a link between the field of
anthropology and the social sciences. Our Talented Brain (1985). IU (FFHS), 27 minutes Explores the physiological brain capacity of human beings, their use of memory, and their use of symbols.
Explains how these capacities relate to the neural structure of the brain. The Infinite Voyage: Fires of the Mind (1988). WQED and the National Academy of Sciences, 58 minutes Covers the development of human intelligence, and how cells, electric signals, and chemicals make up the
creative mind of man. Features a study of the cells of Einstein’s brain. The Nervous System: Nerves at Work (1982). Salubris Productions (PBS), 26 minutes The electrochemical nature of neural transmission and neural action in reflexive behaviors is examined in
this film. CASE STUDY LECTURE LAUNCHER Five-and-a-half weeks before her twins were due, Christine felt the first sharp pains of labor. Her husband
drove her to the hospital where, for 16 hours, the two of them followed the breathing instructions given to
them during their natural childbirth class. Then a fetal monitor showed that the heartbeat of one of the
babies was weakening. Doctors quickly performed a Cesarean section. Within minutes, 4-pound Nicole and
3-pound 14-ounce Alexis entered the world. Immediately after birth, Nicole and Alexis joined half a dozen other babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care
Unit. For two-and-a-half weeks, electronic devices monitored their vital signs. Experienced nurses tended to
their physical needs and held them frequently. Christine spent a good part of each day with her babies,
holding and rocking them and feeding them her breast milk from bottles, awaiting the day when she could 50
CHAPTER3: THE BIOLOGICAL BASES OF BEHAVIOR actually breast feed them. Wearing diapers barely the size of cocktail napkins, the twins looked fragile and
unfinished. With no layers of baby fat, every little rib showed. Had Nicole and Alexis been born 20 years earlier, their first few weeks of life would have been quite
different. Until the late 1970s, premature infants were touched as little as possible. Parents and medical
personnel feared that any unnecessary contact with the outside world might harm the babies. Fortunately
for Nicole and Alexis, we now know better. Research with infant rats and humans has led scientists to conclude that brain functioning can be altered
by touch, and that, for newborns, touch is essential for normal growth and development. Biologist Saul
Schanberg found that when rat pups were removed from their mothers, the levels of an enzyme important
for growth decreased dramatically. The longer they were deprived of maternal contact, the less responsive
the pups became. The effects of maternal deprivation could be reversed in only two ways: by returning them
to their mother, who immediately started to lick them, or by having a researcher vigorously stroke them with
a small paintbrush. Shanberg concluded that, “the need for a mother’s touch is really brain based. It is not
just nice to have it. It’s a requirement for the normal development and growth of the baby.” Psychologist Tiffany Field, who had collaborated with Schanberg, conducted similar stimulation studies of
premature human infants. Her research team randomly selected 20 preemies to receive periodic massages
throughout the day, while 20 others received normal hospital treatment in the intensive care unit, treatment
that did not include massage. According to Field, “The premature babies who were massaged for 45
minutes a day for ten days before they were discharged gained 47 percent more weight than the babies who
did not get massaged. They were more active. They were more alert.” Eight months later, the massaged
babies had maintained their weight advantage and were more advanced in motor, cognitive, and emotional
development. This research is being extended and replicated in larger samples of preemies in order to
establish the power of human touch on biological and psychological health. In the United States, more than 0.25 million infants are born prematurely each year. Those who are touched
and cuddled leave the hospital several days sooner than usual, reducing care costs by about $3,000 per
child. Unfortunately, not all hospitals apply what scientists have learned about the positive effects of early
touch on development. If they did, the lives of thousands of children would be improved, saving billions of
dollars each year—both practical benefits of this basic research. When Nicole and Alexis left the hospital, they were still small, but were developing so well that doctors felt
confident they would be all right. At home, the babies shared a crib in the living room, where relatives and
friends who remarked on their tiny size were encouraged to pick up the babies gently and cuddle them.
Christine and her husband were acutely aware of the important role played by human touch in the optimal
development of the brain and the mental and psychical processes that it controls. 51
Sensation LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Understand the basic processes through which sensory stimuli are converted into neural
2. Describe Müller’s doctrine of specific nerve energies
3. Relate the differences in thresholds (absolute and difference) and know why these concepts
are relevant
4. Discuss the concepts of response bias and signal detection theory
5. Identify the parts and functions of the human visual system
6. Understand the basic processes involved in color vision, and the theories supporting those
7. Describe the physiological components of the auditory system
8. Explain the two theories of pitch perception
9. Define pheromones and describe their role in olfaction
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. Sensory Knowledge of the World
A. Sensation is the process by which stimulation of sensory receptors produces neural
impulses that represent experiences inside or outside the body
B. This chapter deals with sensory processes, with the sense organs and peripheral aspects of
the nervous system that put you in contact with the world around you
C. Your senses have two basic functions
1. Survival
2. Sensuality
D. While some animals specialize in one sensory medium, such as the sight of hawks, humans
are equipped with a variety of sensory mechanisms
E. Psychophysics
1. The study of the relationship between physical stimuli and the
behavior or mental experiences the stimuli evoke. The oldest field in
2. Gustav Fechner (1801–1887)
a) The most significant figure in psychophysics
CHAPTER 4: SENSATION b) Coined the term “psychophysics” and developed procedures to
relate the intensity of physical stimulus to the magnitude of the
sensory experience. 3. Absolute Thresholds and Sensory Adaptation
a) The absolute threshold for stimulation is the smallest, weakest
stimulus energy that the organism can detect b) Operationally defined as the stimulus level at which a sensory
input is detected half of the time c) Sensory Adaptation is the diminishing responsiveness of sensory
systems to prolonged stimulus input. Sensory systems are more
sensitive to change in stimulus input than to steady input. 4. Response Bias
a) The systematic tendency for an observer to favor responding in a
particular way that is unrelated to the qualities of the sensory
stimulus. For instance, tending to say “yes” or “no” all of the time.
There are at least three sources of response bias.
i) Desire
ii) Expectation
iii) Habit 5. Signal Detection Theory
a) A systematic approach to the problem of response bias b) Focuses on the process of making a judgment about the presence
or absence of a stimulus c) Unlike classical psychophysics which conceptualized a single
absolute threshold, Signal Detection Theory identifies two distinct
processes in sensory detection: Sensory Processes and Decision
Processes i) Sensory Processes reflect an observer’s sensitivity to the
stimulus ii) Decision Processes reflect an observer’s response bias to
the stimulus 6. Difference Thresholds
a) The difference threshold for stimulation is the smallest physical
difference between two stimuli that can still be recognized as a
difference b) Operationally defined as the point at which the stimuli are
recognized as different half of the time c) The difference threshold value is known as the Just Noticeable
Difference (JND) 7. Weber’s Law
a) The JND between stimuli is a constant fraction of the intensity of
the standard stimulus 53
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE F. From Physical Events to Mental Events
1. Sensory Physiology
a) The study of the way biological mechanisms convert physical
events into neural events b) Transduction is the conversion of one form of energy, such as
light, into another form, such as nerve impulses 2. The Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies
a) Proposed by Johannes Müller in 1826 b) Different sensory experiences, such as sight and smell, do not
produce different types of nerve activity. Rather they produce the
same type of nerve activity, but in different regions of the brain. c) All sensory systems share the same basic flow of information.
Environmental events are detected by specialized sensory receptor
neurons, called stimulus detector units, which convert the
physical energy received from the environment into neural signals
that can be processed by the central nervous system. II. The Visual System
A. The Importance of Vision
1. The most complex, highly developed, and important sense for humans
and most other mobile creatures
2. Provides a tremendous evolutionary advantage
B. The Human Eye
1. Light enters the eye through the cornea, a transparent bulge on the front
of the eye
2. Light then passes through the anterior chamber, which is filled with a
clear liquid called aqueous humor
3. Then through the pupil, an opening in the opaque iris
4. Then through the lens, which focuses the incoming light
5. Then through the vitreous humor, another clear liquid
6. And then finally strikes the retina, a thin sheet of neuron that lines the
rear wall of the eyeball
C. The Pupil and the Lens
1. The iris makes the pupil dilate to control the amount of light entering the
eye. The lens focuses the light on the retina, reversing and inverting the
light as it does so. The lens is responsible for focusing to account for the
distance to the object.
2. Accommodation is the change in the thickness of the lens. Problems with
accommodation are responsible for many vision problems, such as near-
and far-sightedness.
D. The Retina
CHAPTER 4: SENSATION 1. The retina is composed of specialized photoreceptor cells called rods and
cones that convert light energy into nerve energy
a) Rods function best in low light b) Cones function best in bright light 2. Dark adaptation is the gradual improvement of the eyes’ sensitivity after
a shift in illumination from light to near darkness
3. The area of sharpest vision is called the fovea, a small area near the
center of the retina that contains only densely packed cones
4. Bipolar cells are nerve cells that combine information from many receptor
cells and send the results to ganglion cells
5. Ganglion cells then integrate the information from bipolar cells into a
single firing rate
6. The axons of the ganglion cells comprise the optic nerve, which carries
visual information to the brain
7. Horizontal and Amacrine cells do not send information to the brain but
rather integrate information across the retina
a) Horizontal cells connect receptors to each other b) Amacrine cells connect bipolar cells to bipolar cells and ganglion
cells to ganglion cells 8. The optic disk or blind spot is the area where the optic nerve exits the
retina. It contains no receptor cells. Blindness is not experienced at this
spot because the blind spots for each eye are different areas of the visual
field and because the brain automatically fills in the blind spot.
E. Pathways to the Brain
1. After processing by other brain regions, the ultimate destination of much
visual information is the part of the occipital lobe known as the visual
2. The axons of the millions of ganglion cells that form the optic nerve
come together at the optic chiasma, where they are divided into two
bundles called optic tracts 3. Half of the nerve fibers from each retina stay on the side from which they
originated. The other half cross over to the other side of the brain.
4. Much visual information then flows to the primary visual cortex, where
roughly 30 anatomical subdivisions of the primary visual cortex process
information concerning form, color, position, and depth
F. Seeing Color
1. Visible light (wave length of 400–700 manometers) is just a small portion
of the electromagnetic spectrum, which includes X rays, microwaves, and
radio waves 55
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 2. Wavelength refers to the distance between crests of two consecutive
waves. Wavelength determines the color perceived.
3. All experiences of color can be described in terms of hue, saturation, and
a) Hue captures the qualitative experience of color of the light
stimulus b) Saturation captures the purity and vividness of color sensations c) Brightness captures the intensity of the light 4. Humans can discriminate about 7 million different colors
5. The combination of all wavelengths of light yields white light
6. Wavelengths of light that appear directly across from each other on the
color wheel are called complementary, and create the sensation of white
light when mixed
7. Color Blindness is the inability to distinguish colors. More males than
females are color blind, and most color blindness involves the inability
to distinguish red from green.
8. There are two primary theories of color vision: The Young-Helmholtz
Trichromatic Theory and the Opponent-Process Theory
a) The Trichromatic Theory of color perception, proposed by Sir
Thomas Young and Hermann von Helmholtz, suggests that all
colors perceived are produced by just three types of color receptors
in the eye: red, green, and blue. All other colors are combinations
of these. This theory adequately explains color blindness and
people’s color sensations, but did not explain afterimages and
certain types of color blindness. b) The Opponent-Process Theory of color perception, proposed by
Ewald Hering, suggests that color results from three systems, each
of which includes two opponent elements: red versus green, blue
versus yellow, or black versus white. Hering argued that
afterimages were produced when one element of a system became
fatigued, due to over stimulation, and thus led to the over
contribution of its opponent element. This theory also better
explained why color blindness is usually found in pairs. 9. After debating the relative merits of these two theories, scientists came to
agree that they are not in conflict, but rather describe different stages in
color perception
10. A modern version of the Opponent-Process Theory, proposed by
Hurvich and Jameson, suggests that the two members of each color pair
work in opposition by means of neural inhibition. Some ganglion cells
are excited by light that appears red and inhibited by light that appears
green. Other cells are excited by green light and inhibited by red light.
G. Complex Visual Analysis
1. David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel won a Nobel Prize for their work on
receptive fields in the visual cortex in 1981
CHAPTER 4: SENSATION 2. Hubel and Wiesel found there are several types of receptive cells
a) Simple cells respond most strongly to bars of light in their
“favorite” orientation b) Complex cells respond most strongly to moving bars of light in
their “favorite” orientation c) Hypercomplex cells respond most strongly to moving bars of light of
a particular length or angle III. Hearing
A. Hearing is the Principle Sensory Modality for Human Communication
B. The Physics of Sound
1. Sound travels as a vibrational sine wave through a medium, usually air,
at a rate of about 1100 feet per second
2. Sine waves have two basic properties: frequency and amplitude
a) Frequency measures the number of cycles the wave completes in a
given amount of time and is usually measured in Hertz (Hz), or
cycles per second b) Amplitude measures strength of the wave in peak to valley height C. Psychological Dimensions of Sound
1. Pitch is the highness or lowness of a sound as determined by a wave’s
frequency. High frequencies produce high pitch, while low frequencies
produce low pitch.
2. Loudness is the physical intensity of a sound as determined by a wave’s
amplitude. Small amplitude waves are experienced as quiet sound and
large amplitude waves are experienced as loud sound.
3. Timbre reflects the complex components of a sound wave. A pure tone
has only one frequency and one amplitude. Most sounds, however, are
not pure tones, which is reflected in timbre.
D. The Physiology of Hearing
1. In order for hearing to occur, four basic energy transformations must
take place
a) First, airborne sound waves must be translated into fluid waves
within the cochlea of the ear. Sound waves travel into the ear until
they reach the end of the canal. There they encounter the tympanic
membrane or eardrum. The sound waves move the eardrum, and
the eardrum transmits the vibrations from the outer ear to the
middle ear, which contains the hammer, the anvil, and the stirrup.
These tiny bones transmit the vibrations from the eardrum to the
primary organ of hearing, the cochlea in the inner ear. b) Second, the fluid waves must stimulate mechanical vibrations of 57
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE the basilar membrane. Vibration of fluid in the cochlea causes a
coiled tube membrane in the cochlea, the basilar membrane, to
move in a wavelike fashion. c) Third, these vibrations must be converted into electrical impulses.
The wavelike motion of the basilar membrane bends tiny hair cells
connected to the membrane. As the hair cells bend, they stimulate
nerve endings, transforming the wave motion into neural activity. d) Fourth, the impulses must travel to the auditory cortex from the
cochlea via the auditory nerve. Information from one ear goes to
both sides of the brain. 2. There are two types of hearing impairment, each caused by a defect in
one or more components of the auditory system: conduction deafness
and nerve deafness
a) Conduction deafness is the less serious of the two and involves a-
problem in the conduction of air vibrations to the cochlea. It can
often be corrected by the insertion of artificial anvils or stirrups. b) Nerve deafness is more serious and involves a defect in the neural
mechanisms that create nerve impulses or that relay them to the
auditory cortex E. Theories of Pitch Perception
1. Two major theories have been posited to explain sensations of pitch:
place theory and frequency theory
a) Place theory, proposed first by Helmholtz and later modified by
Bekesy, suggests that different portions of the basilar membrane
move depending on the frequency of the sound wave. High-
frequency tones produce greatest motion at the base of the cochlea,
while low-frequency tones produce the greatest motion at the
opposite end. b) Frequency theory suggests that the rate of vibration of the tone is
reflected in the rate of vibration of the basilar membrane. If a tone
vibrates at 100 Hz, the basilar membrane will also vibrate at 100
Hz and will cause neurons to fire at 100 Hz. For high-pitched
sounds, however, this is impossible, because they cannot fire more
than 1,000 times per second. The volley principle may overcome
this limitation. 2. The Volley Principle suggests that several neurons could work together
and could fire in a volley to match higher cycles per second
3. Frequency and Place Theories are not mutually exclusive. Place theory
accounts well for pitch perception of frequencies above 1,000 Hz, while
frequency theory accounts well for pitch perception of frequencies below
5,000 Hz.
F. Sound Localization
1. Some animals, such as bats, use echolocation instead of vision to
determine distances, locations, sizes, textures, and movements of objects.
Humans lack this ability, but do use sound to determine location
CHAPTER 4: SENSATION through two primary mechanisms, assessment of relative timing and
relative intensity. 2. Relative timing involves the comparison of the relative times at which
incoming sound reaches the ear. For example, a sound to your right
reaches your right ear before it reaches your left ear.
3. Relative intensity involves the comparison of the relative intensity at
which incoming sound reaches the ear. The head casts a sound shadow
over the ear farthest from the sound that weakens the sound.
IV. Your Other Senses
A. Smell
1. Odors first interact with receptor proteins on the membranes of tiny
hairs (olfactory cilia) in your nose
2. As few as eight molecules of a substance can initiate a nerve impulse,
but at least 40 nerve endings must be stimulated before a substance can
be smelled.
3. Once initiated, nerve impulses convey odor information to the olfactory
bulb, located just above the receptors and just below the frontal lobes of
the cerebrum
4. Olfactory neurons, unlike most neurons, are constantly dying and being
5. Although it is thought that smell developed primarily as a means of
detecting food, it can also be used for active communication by the
secretion of pheromones
6. Pheromones are chemical substances used by a specific species to signal
sexual arousal, danger, territorial boundaries, and food sources
B. Taste
1. Many tastes are really smells, as the two work closely together when we
2. The surface of the tongue is covered with papillae
3. Many papillae contain clusters of taste receptor cells called taste buds
4. Taste buds respond best to one of four primary taste qualities: sweet,
sour, bitter, and saline
5. Taste buds may be damaged by alcohol, smoke, and acids, but the taste
system is the most resistant to damage of all sensory systems, as taste
receptors are replaced every few days, even more often than smell
C. Touch and Skin Senses
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 1. Cutaneous senses are sensations produced by the skin, such as pressure,
cold, and warmth. Because the skin responds to so many types of
stimuli, many different types of receptors are located near the surface of
the skin.
2. Meissner corpuscles respond best when something rubs against the skin
3. Merkel disks are most active when a small object exerts steady pressure
on the skin
4. The skin has separate receptors for hot and cold
5. Erogenous zones are areas of the skin that give rise to erotic, sexual
D. The Vestibular and Kinesthetic Senses
1. Vestibular sense tells how the body is oriented in the world with respect to
gravity through tiny hairs in fluid-filled sacs and canals in the inner ear
a) The saccule and utricle detect acceleration and deceleration b) The semicircular canals are at right angles to each other and can
thus detect movement in any direction c) Motion sickness occurs when information from the visual system
conflicts with information from the vestibular system 2. The kinesthetic sense provides constant sensory feedback about what the
body is doing during motor activities. There are two sources of
kinesthetic information: receptors in the joints and receptors in muscles
and tendons
a) Receptors in the joints respond to pressures that accompany
different positions of the limbs and to pressure changes that
accompany movements b) Receptors in the muscles and tendons respond to changes in
tension that accompany muscle shortening and lengthening E. Pain
1. Pain is the body’s response to noxious stimuli that are intense enough to
cause damage or threaten to do so. Pain is critical to survival. People
with insensitivity to pain often become scarred and their limbs deformed
from injuries that could have been prevented had they been sensitive to
2. Pain mechanisms
a) Nociceptive pain is the negative feeling induced by a noxious
external stimulus, such as a hot stove b) Neuropathic pain is caused by the abnormal functioning or over
activity of nerves 60
CHAPTER 4: SENSATION c) The network of pain receptors is a fine mesh that covers the entire
body. Some receptors respond only to temperature, while others
respond to chemical or mechanical stimuli. d) Peripheral nerve fibers transmit signals to the central nervous
system in two ways: i) Fast-conducting, myelinated nerves ii) Slower, smaller, nonmyelinated nerves e) Pain impulses start at the spinal cord, are relayed to the thalamus,
and then to the cerebral cortex 3. The Psychology of Pain
a) Emotional responses, context factors, and subjective interpretation
can be as important as actual physical stimuli in determining how
much pain is experienced b) Phantom limb phenomenon is the experience of sensation or pain
in a limb that is no longer there. It occurs in up to 10 percent of
amputees. c) Pain is partly a psychological response and, thus, can be
influenced by psychological processes, such as hypnosis, deep
relaxation, and thought distraction. The Lamaze preparation for
childbirth is an excellent example of the psychological control of
pain. d) The Gate-Control Theory of pain, proposed by Ronald Melzack,
suggests that cells in the spinal cord act as neurological gates,
interrupting and blocking some pain signals and letting others
through to the brain. The brain and receptors in the skin send
messages to the spinal cord to open or close the gates. e) In recent years Melzack proposed an updated neuromatrix theory
of pain which incorporates the reality that people often experience
pain with little or no physical cause. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. What other senses might there be that humans lack? How would we know that they
existed? How might humans develop devices, such as binoculars, night-vision scopes, and
hearing aids, which allow us to experience these senses?
2. How similar are sensory experiences between people? Do all individuals experience the
color “blue” the same? How would we know if we did not, and would it matter?
3. Have the class think of real-life examples of dichotic listening. Is this a phenomenon with
which they are familiar and of which they have a basic understanding?
4. Discuss attention from the perspectives of its being goal-directed or stimulus-driven
perception. Generally speaking, do more students seem to be goal-directed attendees or
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE stimulus-driven perceivers? What might contribute to this phenomenon? 5. Discuss the premises of Gestalt psychology with the class. Point out that Kurt Lewin’s
Field Theory was a result of the Gestalt movement. What other theoretical constructions
might have a relationship to the Gestalt movement?
6. Discuss the wide variance that exists among people in their sensitivity to pain. The
sensation of pain is a complex process involving multiple nerve pathways. But to some
degree, responses to pain might be learned. In the 19th century, writers often noted that
Native Americans were remarkably stoic in the face of what Whites considered
overwhelming pain. Other researchers have also noted cultural differences in pain
threshold. While individual differences can easily be chalked up to differences in biological
makeup, cultural differences are more difficult to pass off as exclusively biological in
7. Could it be that to some degree we learn how to respond to pain messages based on factors
such as how much attention we receive for crying in response to pain when we are infants?
Many parents of young children have remarked about incidents where their child has
fallen, and then looked up at the parents as if asking “How should I react?” If the parents
start to make a big fuss over the fall, the child immediately starts to cry. If the parents smile
and stay calm, the child ignores the fall and returns to playing. If a parent constantly
overreacts to small falls, and lavishes attention on a child every time he or she cries, could
they be reinforcing a tendency to react negatively to any pain and use overblown reactions
to pain as a means of getting attention? Could this influence those children to be more
sensitive to any painful stimuli in that they learn to attend more to pain messages and
subsequently notice them more? Ask students these questions to see what they think.
8. Many people believe the myth that when people lose one of their physical senses, their
other senses become more sensitive to compensate for the missing sense. The idea that
blind people have hearing that is more acute than others has been around for ages. Ask
students if they have heard this and if they believe it. This myth is technically wrong in that
there is no actual increase in physical ability to detect sound when someone goes blind. But
blind people may learn to pay more attention to subtle differences in sound than do sighted
people, therefore making it seem as if their hearing has increased in its sensitivity.
Similarly, losing one’s hearing does not increase one’s visual acuity, but deaf people often
pay more attention to certain visual cues than do those who can hear, allowing them to
learn more from those cues.
9. Usually these myths focus around hearing and sight. If the myths were true, what sense
might become more acute if the sense of taste is lost? Smell? Taste?
10. What sense would become more acute if the sense of touch was lost? Again, people can
sometimes compensate for the loss of a sense in a variety of ways, but there is no
compensatory increase in physical ability in the remaining senses.
SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL Sensation and Perception Why do we study sensation and perception? Primarily because it is through the sensory systems
that we make and maintain our contact with the environment. What are some of the reasons that
figure into this contact with the environment? There are many reasons, but some of the more
pertinent follow. 62
CHAPTER 4: SENSATION 1. For purposes of communication to and from the brain, between our internal and external
2. For organizational and functional principles that are applicable across the various sensory
and perceptual systems.
3. For comprehension of anatomical structure at a physiological level.
4. For assistance with deficits in the various systems, such as abnormalities, deficiencies,
prosthetics, and so on. This is especially important in vision and audition, in that
“normal” individuals get 80 percent of their sensory input through vision and 15—18
percent through audition. The remaining 2—5 percent is distributed across the other
various systems.
5. Finally, for philosophical reasons, to what extent is our world experience predicated on
sensation and perception? On what else could it be predicated?
Other principles and properties that are characteristic of all sensory systems include the following: 1. Limited Receptivity. Human senses are structurally designed to respond to a certain type of
energy, and, within that type of energy, to a limited range of output. All senses respond to
some form of energy. Human vision responds to electromagnetic radiation (light), from just
above the ultraviolet to just below the infrared portions of the spectrum. This is known as
the visible range of light. Audition responds to pressure, from about 50 Hz to about 15,000
Hz in humans. The range for dogs is much higher, up to about 100,000 Hz. The individual
ranges for all types of receptivity are species-specific.
2. Specific Irritability. Within a given system, there are subsystems with specialized functions.
In the visual system, rods are more sensitive to shorter wavelengths of light; cones are more
sensitive to longer wavelengths. Gustation, the sense of taste, relies on chemical energy.
The tongue has four basic types of taste receptors: sweet, salty, bitter, sour. Each of these
subsystems is sensitive to different chemicals.
3. Adaptation. Sensory systems are designed such that they will not respond to steady,
repetitive, nonchanging stimuli, which carry no further information. This permits our
senses to respond over a wide range of energy potential, such as from dark to bright light.
Adaptation permits resetting of the system threshold, over a vast range of energy and
intensity, as needed.
4. Contrast. Sensory systems are designed to respond to change relative to a mean level.
5. Threshold, Saturation, and Dynamic Range. The threshold is the minimum amount of energy
required for the system to respond. Once above a threshold level, as intensity increases, so
does the subjective sensation of that intensity, across the specific range to which the system
responds. Beyond a certain level, further increase in physical intensity no longer produces
a subjective change in intensity, because the system is saturated.
6. Response Latency. Every system is a transducer, in that it converts energy from one medium
to another so that it can be processed. This transduction process takes about 20—30
milliseconds, and about 200—500 milliseconds following the stimulus, you become aware
of the sensation. Thus, we live 200 milliseconds in the past.
The Sensory System In learning about sensation, it is important for your class to be aware that we have three different
types of sensory systems, each of which performs different functions. 63
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 1. Exteroceptors. These sensory receptors take data from the external world. Types of
exteroceptors include distal and proximal receptors. Distal receptors include those
associated with vision. Objects rarely make direct contact with the eye, rather they are
discerned at a distance, with no need for contact in order to experience the sensation.
Proximal receptors are associated with touch, taste, and possibly olfaction. Thermal
radiation does not always require proximity; you can tell that the sun is warm via your
distal receptors–you do not have to touch it. In most instances, proximal systems require
direct contact with the stimulus.
2. Interoceptors. These are internal system monitors; they work to keep you aware of the
internal working of your body, such as letting you know when you are hungry, thirsty, in
pain, nauseated, fatigued, and so on.
3. Proprioceptors. These receptors monitor the position of the body or limbs relative to some
reference point. They let you know where you are physically located in space.
Proprioceptors are found in the vestibular system, where they permit maintenance of your
physical position, in the pressure receptors of the skin, in the muscle stretch receptors of
your muscles, and in the joint movement receptors of your limbs.
Auditory Localization We use our ears to point our eyes in the direction of sound-producing events. For this to happen,
the auditory system must be able to perceive the direction from which a sound is originating, and
the system’s perception of space must be integrated with the visual system’s perception of space.
Unlike the eye, the ear has no direct coding of spatial direction. Information about the sound’s
direction is perceived by comparing the stimulation in one ear with that in the other. In this respect,
sound localization is much like the visual-depth cue of binocular disparity. There are two basic sources of information about sound coming from the left or right; the sound
entering one ear differs from that entering the other in both intensity and time. When a sound comes
from directly in front of your head, its intensity is equal at your two ears. In the case of high-
frequency sounds coming from the side, your head creates a sound shadow, making the sound less
intense at the ear farthest away from the sound than at the ear closest to the sound. It is only for
high frequencies that there is information about how far to one side or another a sound is located. The other major source of information about the horizontal direction of a sound is the time at which
it arrives at your two ears. When a sound comes from directly in front of your head, the arrival times
are the same because your two ears are the same distance away from the sound. However, when the
sound comes from the side, the sound wave must travel farther to reach the ear on the far side. Even
though this extra distance takes only a little extra time—less than one-thousandth of a second—it is
enough to tell us which side sound is coming from. The direction of sounds from left to right, or right to left, is probably the most important part of
spatial hearing, but it is not the only part. You can also tell whether a sound is coming from above
or below—the sound of a jet streaking overhead or of an object dropped at your feet. You are not
able to perceive vertical direction from simple arrival times or intensities, however. It is the shape of
the external ear that allows you to perceive the vertical dimension of space. Notice that your ear is
asymmetrical. There are many complex, sound-reflecting folds in the pinna above the ear canal, and
few below it. These differences in the shape of the external ear make subtle changes in the sound
wave that enters your ears, depending on the vertical direction of the sound source. Somewhere in
the auditory centers of the brain, these differences are detected and decoded, allowing you to
perceive upward and downward directions of environmental sounds. We are left with the problem of perceiving the third dimension of depth—how far away the source
of a sound is from us. A sound that is near is louder than one that is far away, so you might think 64
CHAPTER 4: SENSATION that intensity would provide all the information you need about the distance (or depth) of the
source of a sound. Unfortunately, it is not that easy. A low-intensity sound at the ear might have
come from either a loud sound far away or a soft one nearby. This situation is analogous to the
relations among retinal size, object distance, and object size in visual perception. If the sound is one
whose usual intensity you know, such as someone speaking in a normal voice or the sound of an
average car engine, you can perceive its approximate distance by sound using intensity
information. If the sound is one whose usual intensity you do not know, you cannot tell how far
away it is by hearing it; you have to look. Because you can locate the direction that the sound is
coming from using your ears, you can use them to point your eyes in the correct direction, which
can then do the job of judging distance. 65
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES Hermann von Helmholtz (1821–1894) Hermann Von Helmholtz obtained his M.D. in Berlin and served subsequently as an Army surgeon
for seven years. Following his military service, he studied math and physics and held academic
appointments over the next 30 years at Bonn, Heidelberg, and Berlin, initially as a physiologist,
later as a physicist. Helmholtz, whose versatility and intellectual brilliance manifested itself in
various disciplines, is considered one of the true giants in the history of science. Helmholtz’s prominence in physiology came chiefly from his discovery of the rate of neural
conduction, a finding that surprised many of his contemporaries who had assumed that nerve
impulses must travel at or near the speed of light. In addition, he invented the opthalmoscope while
researching vision, and was involved in the development of theories of color vision and pitch
perception that remain influential today. His published works include the three-volume series Physiological Optics (1856—1866). Ernst Heinrich Weber (1795—1879) Ernst Weber taught anatomy and physiology at the University of Leipzig, Germany, from 1820 until
the end of his career. He is remembered in psychology for his studies of psychophysical relations,
especially for the sensations of temperature and touch. Weber was the first to investigate the two-
point threshold for touch, observing that sensitivity to touch varied across different parts of the
body and demonstrating that regions of the body are differentially sensitive to tactile stimulation.
Weber’s analysis of difference thresholds led to the finding that the size of the difference threshold
remains a constant fraction of the stimulus intensity, an orderly relationship referred to as Weber’s
Law. Ronald Melzack (b. 1929) Ronald Melzack was raised and educated in Montreal, Canada, obtaining his Ph.D. from McGill
University in 1958. He conducted research in pain sensation at the University of Oregon Medical
School from 1954 to 1957. Following this, he was a visiting lecturer at University College, London,
and spent a year conducting physiological research in Italy at the University of Pisa. He was
appointed to the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1959, but returned to
McGill University in 1963. Melzack’s doctoral research on pain in experimental animals resulted in his collaboration with
Patrick Wall. Out of this effort emerged the gate-control theory of pain, which remains today the
most widely accepted theory of pain sensation and regulation. Its implications have influenced not
only basic research on pain but also the clinical practice of pain management. Melzack continues to
refine and modify this successful theory. 66
1838 Johannes Müller formulated his doctrine of specific nerve energies, which states that
sensory experience depends not on the stimulus, but on the part of the nervous system
that is activated.
1839 M. E. Chevreul published On the Law of simultaneous Contrast of Colors.
1843 S.ren Kierkegaard published Either/Or.
1846 Ernst Weber postulated that the difference threshold is a constant proportion of the initial
stimulus intensity, a notion later formalized as Weber’s Law.
1855 Walt Whitman published Leaves of Grass.
1857 Based on the earlier work of Thomas Young, Hermann von Helmholtz proposed that color
vision is due to three different types of color receptors (cones), each of which is sensitive to
a specific range of wavelengths of light.
1860 Gustav Fechner published Elemente der Psychophysik, marking the founding of
psychophysics, the study of the relationship between subjective experience and physical
1898 The Spanish-American War was fought.
1929 The Great Depression began with the stock market crash.
1938 H. Keffer Hartline discovered that optic nerve fibers respond to stimulation from different
receptive fields.
The Korean War was fought.
1954 Tanner and Swets proposed the application of signal detection theory to the study of
1954 The first hydrogen bomb was exploded.
1957 S. S. Stevens demonstrated that changes in one’s subjective impression of stimulus
magnitude are a power function of the actual stimulus magnitude.
1957 Leo Hurvich and Dorothea Jameson, building on the work of Ewald Hering, postulated
the theory that color vision is based on opposing neural processes, the opponent-process
theory of color vision.
1959 David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel discovered that cells in the visual cortex of cats (and, in
1968, of monkeys) respond differentially to form and movement. 67
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READINGS Kosslyn, S. M. (1995). Visual Cognition: An Invitation To Cognitive Science, Vol. 2 (2nd ed.). Cambridge:
MIT Press. Explores the mental aspects of visual processing. Discusses the important research,
discoveries, and insights in various areas of research on visual cognition and attempts to
integrate work from related fields. Kosslyn, S., & Koenig, O. (1992). Wet Mind: The New Cognitive Neuroscience. New York: Free Press. A
comprehensive, integrated, and accessible overview of recent insights into how the brain gives
rise to mental activity. Examines a large number of syndromes that occur following brain
damage, and accounts for them according to an analysis of the operation of a normal brain. The
authors also present an interesting theory of consciousness. Link, S. (1994). Rediscovering the Past: Gustav Fechner and Signal Detection Theory. Psychological
Science, 5(6), 335-340. Suggests that the origins of experimental psychology are found in the
theoretical works of Gustav Fechner and that Fechner is not given the credit that he is due for
his contributions. Argues that his works spawned many new ideas and theories, including the
response bias found in signal detection theory. Matlin, M. W., & Foley, H. J. (1992). Sensation and Perception. (3rd edition). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
A well-written introduction to the fields of sensation and perception. Sekuler, R. (1995). Motion Perception as a Partnership: Exogenous and Endogenous Contributions. Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 4(2), 43–47. Describes the process of motion detection as a
result of the interaction of exogenous and endogenous influences. DISCOVERING PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM 7: SENSATION AND PERCEPTION
Overview Explores how we make contact with the world outside our brain and body. See how biological,
cognitive, social, and environmental influences shape our personal sense of reality, and gain an
understanding of how psychologists use perceptual errors to study how the constructive process of
perception works. Key Issues Visual illusions, the biology of perception, the visual pathway, how the brain processes information during perception, sensory feedback in visual perception, and perceptual constancy. Demonstrations Sensory feedback in visual perception. A Stanford student demonstrates the problems that football
quarterbacks face in the adjustment to special kinesthetic cues with distortion goggles that displace
feedback from the perceived visual field. Perceptual constancy. Philip Zimbardo demonstrates visual misperception in the Ames distorted room in the Exploratorium in San Francisco. 68
CHAPTER 4: SENSATION Interviews Nobel Prize winner David Hubel (Harvard University) explains the mapping of the reaction of receptor cells along the visual pathway of primates. Hubel’s award-winning experiment of the response of neurons to electrical activity in the visual cortex of a cat illustrates his point. Misha Pavel uses computer graphics to demonstrate how the visual system of the brain breaks down and recombines visual stimulation into recognizable, coherent images. FILMS AND VIDEOS A Touch of Sensitivity (1981). BBC, 50 minutes This NOVA presentation discusses the importance of touch and the effects of touch deprivation.
This film examines the importance of touch for development at various ages. Many interesting areas
of research are cited. The Mind: Pain and Healing (1988). HARR, 24 minutes Reviews the influence of the mind on people’s ability to control pain, and on their ability to promote
physical healing. An excellent film. Traces the progress of a woman through a three-week clinic
program to reduce chronic pain. The changes in her movement and affect are dramatic.
Demonstrates the placebo effect, and shows how cues, such as a doctor’s white coat, can trigger the
release of endorphins to reduce pain. In the final segment, a cancer patient discusses how the
interaction of cognitive therapy and physical therapy increased her life expectancy and quality. The Senses: Eyes and Ears (1985). FFHS, 26 minutes Visual and auditory distance receptors are discussed. Demonstrations of how each processes
information are also shown. The Senses: Skin Deep (1985). FFHS, 26 minutes The sense receptors that depend on immediate contact with the world–taste buds, olfactory cells,
and touch sensors–are examined. CASE STUDY LECTURE LAUNCHER Five months before her second birthday, Helen Keller was stricken with a mysterious illness that
deprived her of both sight and hearing. Helen’s other senses became highly developed—a
phenomenon experienced by many people who suffer long-term sensory deprivation—and her
sensory experiences were eloquently documented: “I cannot recall what happened during the first
months after my illness. I only know that I sat in my mother’s lap or clung to her dress as she went
about her household duties. My hands felt every object and observed every motion, and in this way,
I learned to know many things. . . . Sometimes I stood between two persons who were conversing
and touched their lips. I could not understand, and was vexed” (Keller, 1902, pp. 26—27). In her seventh year, Helen Keller became the pupil of Annie Sullivan, a young woman whose vision
was partially impaired. In letters to a matron at the Perkins School in Boston where Annie had been
educated, she wrote of the pleasure Helen derived from her remaining senses: “On entering a
greenhouse her countenance becomes radiant, and she will tell the names of the flowers with which
she is familiar, by the sense of smell alone. . . . She enjoys in anticipation the scent of a rose or a
violet; and if she is promised a bouquet of these flowers, a peculiarly happy expression lights her
face” (Sullivan, 1954, p. 294). Helen herself wrote about the way that her sense of smell gave her advance warning of storms. “I
notice first a throb of expectancy, a slight quiver, a concentration in my nostrils. As the storm draws 69
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE near my nostrils dilate, the better to receive the flood of earth odors, which seem to multiply and
extend, until I feel the splash of rain against my cheek. As the tempest departs, receding farther and
farther, the odors fade, become fainter and fainter and die away beyond the bar of space.” (Keller,
Ackerman, 1990, p. 44). Annie Sullivan reported that Helen’s “whole body is so finely organized that she seems to use it as
a medium for bringing herself into closer relations with her fellow creatures.” Annie was puzzled
at first by Helen’s “inexplicable mental faculty” for picking up emotions and physical sensations.
She soon realized, though, that Helen had developed an exquisite sensitivity to the muscular
variations of those around her. “One day, while she was out walking with her mother, . . . a boy
threw a torpedo, which startled Mrs. Keller. Helen felt the change in her mother’s movements
instantly, and asked, ‘What are we afraid of?”’ (Sullivan, 1908, p. 295). During a hearing test, Helen
astonished a roomful of people when “she would turn her head, smile, and act as though she had
heard what was said.” However, when Annie let go of Helen’s hand and moved to the opposite
side of the room, Helen remained motionless for the rest of the test. Although she could neither see
nor hear, Helen Keller extracted a great deal of sensory information from the world. She did not
perceive color, light, and sound through ordinary channels. Instead, she “heard” symphonies by
placing her hands on a radio to feel the vibrations, and she “saw” where a person had been by
picking up the scent of his or her clothes. Her ability to compensate for her sensory disabilities hints
at the intricate coordination within human sensory systems and the interaction of sensory and
brain processes. It also makes us aware of the extent to which our senses work in unison to weave
experience of the world around us into the fabric of our very being. 70
LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Understand the relationship between sensation and perception
2. Explain the perceptual concepts of reality, ambiguity, and illusion
3. Describe the roles(s) played by attention in the processes of perception
4. Define the concepts of preattentive processing and guided search
5. Explicate the Gestalt principles of figure, ground, and closure, and be able to give examples
of each
6. Describe the principles of perceptual grouping
7. Define the concepts of motion and depth perception
8. Explain the importance of perceptual constancy in perceptual processes
9. Describe the significance of identification and recognition in the overall process of
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. Sensing, Organizing, Identifying, and Recognizing
A. The Proximal and Distal Stimulus
1. Perception is the set of processes that organize information in the
sensory image and interpret that information as having been
produced by objects or events in the external world
2. Perceptual organization refers to the internal representation of an
3. A distal stimulus is a physical object in the world
4. A proximal stimulus is the optical image of a distal stimulus that
appear on the retina
B. Reality, Ambiguity, and Illusions
1. Ambiguity means that a single image at the sensory level can result in
multiple interpretations at the perceptual and identification levels
2. When your perceptual systems deceive you into experiencing a
stimulus pattern in a manner that is demonstrably incorrect, you are
experiencing an illusion
C. Approaches to the Study of Perception
1. Helmholtz argued for the importance of experience, or nurture, in
CHAPTER 5: PERCEPTION 2. Gestalt psychology put greater emphasis on the role of innate
structures, or nature, in perceptual experience
3. The Gibsons suggested that perception could be better understood
through an analysis of the immediately surrounding environment
a) Gibson’s theory of ecological optics focused attention on
properties of external stimuli rather than on the mechanisms
by which you perceive the stimuli II.Attentional Processes
A. Selective Attention
1. In 1958 Donald Broadbent proposed that the mind functions as a
communications channel, like a telephone line or computer modem,
that has a limited capacity to process information
2. The brain’s limited processing capacity makes it impossible to attend
to everything and makes the filtering of information to the brain
3. Broadbent’s Filter Theory of Attention asserted that this filtering
occurs early in the process, before the input’s meaning is assessed
4. Dichotic listening tasks were used to test filter theory, and it was
found that not all information is filtered
5. The cocktail party phenomenon occurs when an individual hears
their own name mentioned across a noisy room although the
individual is participating in an unrelated conversation. Thus, even
information to which an individual is not attending is processed to
some extent.
6. As a general rule, information that is not attended to will not make its
presence known, unless it is very distinct or personally relevant
B. Attention and Objects in the Environment
1. One of the main functions of attention is to help you find particular
objects in a noisy visual environment
2. Complex processing occurs without attention or awareness
3. Preattentive processing operates on sensory inputs before you attend to
them, as they first enter the brain from sensory receptors
a) Is skilled at finding objects that can be defined by a single
feature b) Allows parallel search of the environment for a single
prominent feature (i) Parallel search allows the consideration of many
objects at once
(ii) Serial search allows the consideration of only one
object at a time
c) Allows guided search of the environment and provides
relatively sophisticated assistance in finding objects in the 73
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE environment III. Organizational Processes in Perception
A. Perceptual Organization refers to the processes that put sensory information together to
give you the perception of coherence. What a person experiences as a result of these
processes is called a percept.
B. Figure, Ground, and Closure
1. A figure is an object in the foreground of the visual field
2. The ground is the background against which the object is seen
3. There is a strong tendency to perceive a figure as being in front of a
4. Illusory contours are divisions or regions that do not exist in the distal
stimulus, but do exist in the proximal experience of the stimulus
5. Closure is a powerful organizing process that fills in missing areas
and makes incomplete figures or patterns appear complete
C. Principles of Perceptual Grouping
1. The Law of Proximity states that all else being equal, the nearest
elements are grouped together
2. The Law of Similarity states that all else being equal, the most similar
elements are grouped together
3. The Law of Common Fate states that all else being equal, elements
moving in the same direction and at the same rate of speed are
grouped together
4. The Law of Pragnanz is a general law that states that individuals
perceive the simplest organization that fits the stimulus pattern
D. Spatial and Temporal Integration
1. Individuals are often unable to detect when a whole object has
changed from one fixation to another
2. A fixation is one glance or brief glimpse
E. Motion Perception
1. Motion perception requires comparison across different fixations of
the world and is dependent on reference frame
2. Induced motion occurs when a stationary object appears to be moving
because a reference frame to which it is being compared is moving.
There is a tendency for the visual system to take a larger, surrounding
figure as the reference frame for a smaller figure inside it.
3. The simplest form of apparent motion is the phi phenomenon, which
occurs when two stationary spots of light are turned on and off
alternately very quickly. It appears that a single light is moving back
and forth between the two spots of light.
F. Depth Perception
CHAPTER 5: PERCEPTION 1. Depth perception requires that the visual system extract three-
dimensional representations from two-dimensional information
2. Vision relies on depth cues that allow the interpretation of sensory
G. Binocular and Motion Cues
1. Binocular disparity is the displacement between the horizontal
positions of corresponding images in the two eyes
2. Convergence is the turning in of the eyes when they fixate on a single
object. The eyes must converge more for objects that are near than for
objects that are distant.
3. Relative motion parallax provides information about depth as an
individual moves because objects that are close appear to move more
than objects that are farther away
H. Perceptual Constancies
1. Perceptual constancy refers to the tendency to see the world as invariant,
constant, and stable, despite changes in the stimulation of sensory
2. Size and shape constancy
a) Size constancy refers to the ability to perceive the true size of an
object despite variations in the size of its retinal image b) Shape constancy refers to the ability to perceive correctly an
object’s actual shape, even when the object is slanted away
from the viewer, making the shape of the retinal image
substantially different from that of the object itself c) Orientation constancy refers to the ability to recognize the true
orientation of the figure in the real world, even though its
orientation in the retinal image is changed d) Lightness constancy is your tendency to perceive the whiteness,
grayness, or blackness of objects as constant across changing
levels of illumination IV. Identification and Recognition Processes
A. Bottom-Up and Top-Down Processes
1. Bottom-up processing is taking sensory data into the system and
sending it upward for extraction and analysis of relevant information.
It is anchored in empirical reality and deals with bits of information
and the transformation of concrete, physical features of stimuli into
abstract representations. Also called data-driven processing.
2. Top-down processing is when past experiences, knowledge,
motivations, cultural background, and expectations affect perception,
as higher mental functioning influences how objects and events are
understood. Also called hypothesis-driven processing.
3. Phonemic restoration occurs when there are gaps in physical signals
and perception replaces part of a word that was obscured by noise in
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE a very loud environment B. Object Recognition
1. Irving Biederman has proposed that all objects can be assembled from
a set of geometrical ions, or geons. From a set of 36 geons, Biederman
believes that perception can make a strong guess at the nature of an
C. The Influence of Contexts and Expectations
1. Expectations can influence hypotheses about what is out there in the
world and can influence what is actually perceived
2. It takes longer to recognize an object when it is seen in the wrong
context, not in a familiar place
3. Object identification is a constructive, interpretive process
4. Set is a temporary readiness to perceive or react to a stimulus in a
particular way. There are three types of sets: motor, mental, and
a) A motor set is a readiness to make a quick, prepared response b) A mental set is a readiness to deal with a situation, such as a
problem-solving task or game, in a way determined by learned
rules, instructions, expectations, or habitual tendencies.
Mental sets can actually prevent problem-solving when old
rules do not fit new situations. c) A perceptual set is a readiness to detect a particular stimulus
in a given context D. Creatively Playful Perception
1. Perceptual creativity involves experiencing the world in ways that are
imaginative, personally enriching, and fun
E. Final Lessons
1. A perceptual experience in response to a stimulus event is determined
not only by the stimulus but also by the person experiencing it. In
addition to sensation, final perception depends on past experience,
expectations, wants, goals, values, and imagination.
2. A proper balance of top-down and bottom-up processing achieves the
basic goal of perception: to experience what is out there in a way that
maximally serves your needs as a biological and social being, moving
about and adapting to your physical and social environment.
CHAPTER 5: PERCEPTION DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. Why are there separate chapters on sensation and perception? What are the differences
between the two?
2. Which is more susceptible to cultural or contextual influence, sensation or perception?
3. How are individuals able to tell when their perceptions have been influenced by cultural or
contextual factors? Is there a way to eliminate these biases from perception? These factors
probably always influence perception, but knowing that they do gives the perceiver
knowledge that may help minimize its negative impact.
4. Are the differences in perception among humans likely to be larger or smaller than the
differences in perception among ants? Assuming that human cultures are more diverse
than ant cultures, the differences in perception should be greater for humans. Larger
cultural differences would produce larger variations in perception.
5. You might ask students if they believe that advertisers put hidden messages in their
advertisements. Follow up by asking if they believe those messages work. You can use this
to lead into a discussion of subliminal perception and its supposed effects. Stories of
subliminal visual messages go back to claims of their inclusion in movies in the 1950s.
Subliminal verbal messages have been discussed at least since the controversy about the
Beatles supposedly putting hidden messages in their albums in the late 1960s. However,
the evidence that these messages have any real effect on behavior is currently lacking.
Stories about subliminal messages continue to regularly appear in the media, and it is
surprising how many people believe that the messages work.
6. As an example of motion parallax, you might ask students if they have ever traveled with
young children on a clear night with the moon near the horizon to one side of the road on
which you are traveling. Whereas the trees, houses, and hills seem to move steadily by, the
moon appears to be traveling along with you. Many times young children will exclaim that
the “moon is following us.” There have even been UFO reports generated by this
phenomenon on cloudy nights when adults have mistaken the moonlight for a flying object
darting in and out of the clouds and following them along the horizon.
7. To illustrate the fact that the brain interprets messages from the skin’s hot and cold
receptors relative to previous and surrounding stimuli, set up three small basins in the
front of the class. Fill one with hot water (but not so hot that it will burn someone’s skin),
one with cold water, and one with luke-warm water. Have students put one hand in the
basin of hot water and the other hand in the basin of cold water. Then have them place
both hands in the basin of warm water. They should notice that in the warm water, one
hand (the one that was in the cold water) will sense it as being hot, while the other hand
(the one that was in the hot water) will sense it as being cold.
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL Eyes and Camera Lens For many years, it was believed that the eye worked like a camera, and there are some similarities.
For instance, both the pupil of the eye and the aperture of a camera contract and expand in
response to a respective increase or decrease in the amount of light entering the apparatus.
Nevertheless, in comparing the human eye to a camera, some of the differences between these two
are striking. Perhaps the strangest difference between the human eye and a camera lens is the position of the
retina and the analogous film. For a camera to be like the human eye, we would have to load our
film into the camera backward. That is, the photoreceptors actually pick the light up off the back of
the surface of the eyeball. A camera must be held relatively still to capture a clear image, but when
the eyeball is held still, the picture disappears. Both the camera and the eye have a lens that focuses
an image on a surface, but the two have different methods of focusing. The lens in a camera moves
closer to or farther from the film in order to focus the image on the film; the lens in the eye changes
shape to focus the image on the retina. This process is called accommodation. An upside-down mirror image is focused on both the film and the retina; however, the film and the
retina differ in that the film records the image exactly as it is projected. The photoreceptors in the
retina receive information from visual stimuli; those stimuli are analyzed and reconstructed as they
move through the visual system from the retina to the cortex. What we perceive is a picture that is
not identical to the item we are looking at. Photographs in which people have their feet extended
closer to the camera in front of them are comical because we take relative distances into account and
perceive the feet as being a constant size. Everyday Examples of Gestalt Principles Bring in everyday examples of the Gestalt principles of perception from magazines or artworks. Transparencies of the examples can be made on a copy machine, and then used on overhead
projectors. For example, in Escher’s Mosaic II, one sees a group of black creatures on either a white
background or a group of white creatures on a black background. H. A. Broos explains how Escher’s prints have been used in geology, chemistry, and psychology in The World of M. C. Escher.
This book also contains a chronological survey of Escher’s work and includes a number of useful
examples, such as illustrations of figure and ground in the woodcuts “Sky and Water I” and “Sky
and Water II.” A Brief History of Gestalt Psychology The Gestalt movement in psychology was established in Germany in the early 1900s, and was
based on the Gestaltist’s opposition to the structuralist movement. In essence, the structuralist
movement proposed that all phenomena could be broken down into their most primitive perceptual
elements. The Gestaltists took exception to that philosophy, arguing that psychological phenomena
could be understood only if they were studied as organized, structured “wholes,” thus maintaining
the “unitary essence” of the phenomena. The Gestaltists extended this philosophy to learning, in viewing it as a restructuring or
reorganization of an entire situation, and a process that often included insight as a critical aspect of
that process. Brain physiology was perceived in the same context, in that Gestaltists saw the brain
as isomorphic, as having a relationship between the excitatory fields in the cortex and the
conscious experience of the individual. Gestalt psychology, as a distinct discipline, is rarely found today, although many of the insights it 78
CHAPTER 5: PERCEPTION fostered and discoveries have been incorporated into contemporary psychology. 79
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES Eleanor Gibson (b. 1910) Eleanor Gibson graduated from Smith College in 1931 and obtained her Ph.D. at Yale in 1938.
Gibson was instrumental in studying perceptual development in children, inventing the visual cliff
as a means of studying depth perception. Her interests in experimental psychology were influenced
by her husband, J. J. Gibson, whose research and theory on perception have challenged the more
popular Gestalt and information-processing accounts that hold that a stimulus undergoes
considerable interpretation via cognitive processes. Gibson received the American Psychological
Association Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award for her research on depth perception. William Rutherford (1839–1899) William Rutherford was born in Ancrum, Scotland, and received his M.D. at the University of
Edinburgh. His first academic appointment was at King’s College, London, but he eventually
returned to Edinburgh as a professor of physiology in 1878. He is well known for his research on
the influence of the vagus nerve on circulation and on drug effects on the secretion of bile, as well as
for his physiological textbook published in 1880. He is best known in psychology for his
“Telephone Theory” of pitch perception, which argues that the Organ of Corti vibrates in a manner
that duplicates the frequency of vibrations of the tympanic membrane and ossicles. This frequency
theory of pitch perception, a major competitor to Helmholtz’s place theory, seems to account well
for our perception of low- and middle-frequency sounds. Max Wertheimer (1880–1943) Wertheimer was born in Prague, Austria-Hungary. His father directed a private business college
and his mother was an accomplished amateur violinist. Wertheimer studied law, philosophy, and
psychology at Charles University in Prague. He later studied philosophy and psychology at the
University of Berlin under Carl Stumpf, then moved to the University of Surzburg in 1904, obtaining
his Ph.D. under Oswald Kulpe. Wertheimer first discovered the phenomenon of apparent motion
during a train trip, and later conducted studies on the phi illusion at Frankfurt, where Wolfgang
K.hler and Kurt Koffka, his cofounders of the Gestalt school of psychology, participated as his
research participants. In 1933, Wertheimer fled Germany due to Hitler’s rise to power, coming to the
United States. He taught at the New School for Social Research in New York City until his death in
1943. 80
1815 Napoleon was defeated at the battle of Waterloo and banished to St. Helena.
1838 Johannes Müller formulated his doctrine of specific nerve energies, which states
that sensory experience depends not on the stimulus, but on the part of the
nervous system that is activated.
1846 Ernst Weber postulated that the difference threshold is a constant proportion of
the initial stimulus intensity, a notion later formalized as Weber’s Law.
1857 Based on the earlier work of Thomas Young, Hermann von Helmholtz proposed
that color vision is due to three different types of color receptors (cones), each of
which is sensitive to a specific range of wavelengths of light.
1860 Gustav Fechner published Elemente der Psychophysik, marking the founding of
psychophysics, the study of the relationship between subjective experience and
physical stimulation.
The American Civil War was fought.
1881 Pasteur and Koch discovered the germ theory of disease.
1917 The Bolshevik Revolution was fought in Russia.
1938 H. Keffer Hartline discovered that optic nerve fibers respond to stimulation from
different receptive fields.
1948 Israel became an independent nation.
1953 The genetic code was broken.
1954 Tanner and Swets proposed the application of signal detection theory to the study
of thresholds.
1957 S. S. Stevens demonstrated that changes in one’s subjective impression of stimulus
magnitude are a power function of the actual stimulus magnitude.
1957 Leo Hurvich and Dorothea Jameson, building on the earlier work of Ewald
Hering, postulated the theory that color vision is based on opposing neural
processes, the opponent-process theory of color vision.
1959 David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel discovered that cells in the visual cortex of cats
(and, in 1968, of monkeys) respond differentially to form and movement. 81
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING Goldstone, R. L. (1995). Effects of Categorization on Color Perception. Psychological Science, 6(5), 298— 304. Suggests that category learning influences the perceptual discrimination of color attributes.
Provides empirical evidence that cognition influences perception by examining the influence of
learned categorization on color perception.
Kosslyn, S. M. (1995). Visual Cognition: An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Vol. 2 (2nd ed.). Cambridge:
MIT Press. Explores the mental aspects of visual processing. Discusses the important research,
discoveries, and insights in various areas of research on visual cognition and attempts to
integrate work from related fields. Kosslyn, S. M., & Koenig, O. (1992). Wet Mind: The New Cognitive Neuroscience. An excellent volume
that introduces the field of cognitive neuroscience to the uninitiated. This volume covers a range
of cognitive and neurological issues, to include sensation and perception. Well written and easy
for even the lay person to understand. Link, S. (1994). Rediscovering the Past: Gustav Fechner and Signal Detection Theory. Psychological Science,
5(6), 335–340. Suggests that the origins of experimental psychology are found in the theoretical
works of Gustav Fechner and that Fechner is not given the credit that he is due for his
contributions. Argues that his works spawned many new ideas and theories, including the
response bias found in signal detection theory. Matlin, M. W., & Foley, H. J. (1992). Sensation and Perception (3rd edition). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
A well-written introduction to the fields of sensation and perception. Meyering, T. (1989). Historical Roots of Cognitive Science: The Rise of a Cognitive Theory of Perception
from Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Begins with the
Aristotelian theory of perception and then works its way to nineteenth century theories of
perception. A very thorough review of the history of perceptual theories. Sabourin, M., Craik, F., & Robert, M. (1998). Advances in Psychological Science, Vol. 2: Biological and
Cognitive Aspects. Hove: Psychology Press/Eribaum (UK) Taylor & Francis. Covers a wide range
of topics in human and animal experimental psychobiology. Provides an excellent review of
current research in many areas of psychology including perception. Sekuler, R. (1995). Motion Perception as a Partnership: Exogenous and Endogenous Contributions. Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 4(2), 43—47. Describes the process of motion detection as a
result of the interaction of exogenous and endogenous influences. 82
Overview The structure and composition of the brain: how neurons function, how information is collected and
transmitted, and how chemical reactions determine every thought, feeling, and action. Key Issues The biology of the brain, how the brain processes information, the electroencephalogram (EEG),
neurometric evaluation, the effects of drugs on the functions of the brain, the brain’s own manufactured
chemicals, and neurotransplantation. Demonstrations Multiple brain wave recording to reveal various types of brain malfunction.
Effects of chemicals on learning and memory in rats.
New Interviews John Gabrieli illustrates how the brain stores and retrieves information. PROGRAM 7: SENSATION AND PERCEPTION
Overview Explores how we make contact with the world outside our brain and body. See how biological,
cognitive, social, and environmental influences shape our personal sense of reality, and gain
an understanding of how psychologists use perceptual errors to study how the constructive
process of perception works. Key Issues
Visual illusions, the biology of perception, the visual pathway, how the brain processes
information during perception, sensory feedback in visual perception, and perceptual
constancy. Demonstrations
Sensory feedback in visual perception. A Stanford student demonstrates the problems football
quarterbacks face in the adjustment to special kinesthetic cues with distortion goggles that
displace feedback from the perceived visual field. Perceptual constancy. Philip Zimbardo demonstrates visual misperception in the Ames
distorted room in the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Interviews Nobel Prize winner David Hubel explains the mapping of the reaction of receptor cells along
the visual pathway of primates. Hubel’s award-winning experiment of the response of neurons
to electrical activity in the visual cortex of a cat illustrates his point. Misha Pavel uses computer graphics to demonstrate how the visual system of the brain breaks
down and recombines visual stimulation into recognizable, coherent images. FILMS AND VIDEOS A Touch of Sensibility (1981). BBC, 50 minutes 83
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE This NOVA presentation discusses the importance of touch and the effects of touch deprivation.
This film examines the importance of touch for development at various age levels. Many interesting
areas of research are cited. Brain Power (1983). IU (LCA), 11 minutes Discusses three principles of perception that affect how a person receives information: recognition,
interpretation, and expectation. Throughout the film, visual cues, puzzles, and optical illusions
remind the viewer that one’s perceptions can be easily fooled. A brief, clever film that stimulates
students’ interest in sensation and perception. Human Perception: A Collection of Demonstrations and Effects (1986). Hanover, N.H.: Dartmouth College, Office of Instructional Services and Educational Research. Contains real-time
segments, single frames, picture and chapter stops. The Mind: Pain and Healing (1988). HARR, 24 minutes Reviews the influence of the mind on people’s ability to control pain and on their ability to promote
physical healing. An excellent film. Traces the progress of a woman through a three-week clinic
program to reduce chronic, long-term pain. The changes in her movement and affect are dramatic.
Demonstrates the placebo effect, and shows how cues, such as a doctor’s white coat, can trigger the
release of endorphins to reduce pain. In the final segment, a cancer patient discusses how the
interaction of cognitive therapy with physical therapy has increased her life expectancy and her life
quality. The Senses: Eyes and Ears (1985). FFHS, 26 minutes Visual and auditory distance receptors are discussed. Demonstrations of how each processes
information are also shown. The Senses: Skin Deep (1985). FFHS, 26 minutes The sense receptors that depend on immediate contact with the world—taste buds, olfactory cells,
and touch sensors—are examined. CASE STUDY LECTURE LAUNCHER One night in 1965, a United Airlines Boeing 727 started a steady descent to Chicago’s O’Hare
Airport from an altitude of 22,000 feet. Nineteen miles off the shore of Lake Michigan, the plane
plunged into the lake. One month later, also at night, an American Airlines Boeing 727, preparing
to land at Kentucky’s Boone County Airport, followed the thread of the Ohio River toward the
runway which began at the river’s steep south bank. The plane failed to make the runway, and
crashed into the bank, 12 feet below the runway. One night in early 1966, an Al Nippon Airlines
Boeing 727 headed toward Tokyo Bay. The pilot could see the lights of Tokyo and Yokohama
clearly. He requested and received permission to approach using visual cues rather than relying
exclusively on the instruments of the plane. The pilot had not even let down the wheels or extended
the flaps when, six and a half miles from the runway, the plane dove into Tokyo Bay at 240 knots. Preliminary analyses of these and other similar cases showed that all of the accidents occurred at
night, under clear weather conditions, with the planes flying over a dark area of water or land. In
every case, irregular patterns of light (as opposed to grids of neatly intersecting lines of streetlights)
in the distance had been visible to the pilots. In a way, the new Boeing 727 design was partly responsible for the accidents, because it was so
well engineered. In earlier, less stable models, feedback from vibrations, sounds and kinesthetic
sensations would have warned pilots that they were descending too rapidly. However, it was more
than an improved design that had caused the accidents. Using a flight simulator, engineering psychologist Conrad Kraft found that an error in the pilot’s
visual perception was responsible for each of the accidents. Pilots making a visually guided
approach over a dark terrain relied on the relatively constant visual angle between their planes and 84
CHAPTER 5: PERCEPTION the distant light patterns in determining their altitudes. If they were approaching flat terrain, their
altitude estimates were generally correct, but if the terrain sloped upward, with the farthest lights
higher than the closer ones, even the most experienced pilots descended to dangerously low
altitudes. With no visual information from the “black hole” below them, the pilots overestimated
their distance from the ground and inappropriately adjusted their descent angles. Why didn’t the pilots also use their altimeters, which indicated altitude accurately? When landing
an airplane, a pilot must monitor several functions at once–such as air speed, engine settings,
altitude, glide slope, angle of attack, and heading–while also responding to air traffic controller
directions and watching for other aircraft. With all of these responsibilities, especially when
visibility is good, pilots may fail to check their altimeters and instead rely on visual cues from the
cockpit. After Dr. Kraft solved the mystery of the accidents, commercial airlines around the world
informed pilots of the conditions under which they might misjudge altitude on approach to
landing. Psychologists such as Dr. Kraft study perception in order to learn how the major sensory
systems of the body help (and sometimes trick) us in gathering information about the environments
in which we live, work, and play. 85
Mind, Consciousness, and Alternate States LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Identify and provide examples of the three levels of consciousness
2. Describe the origins of the mind—body problem, and Descartes’ mechanistic approach to it
via his theory of the animal machine
Explain the philosophical and theoretical differences between dualism and monism 4. Define the concepts of the personal construction of reality, the cultural construction of
reality, and the significance of consensual validation of both
5. Define and give examples of circadian rhythms
6. Identify the five stages of sleep, as well as the functions of REM sleep
7. Explain the four major types of sleep disorders
8. Describe both the basic premises of Freudian dream analysis and the activation synthesis
hypothesis of dreaming
9. Explain extended states of consciousness, such as hypnosis, meditation, and hallucination
10. Describe the effects of psychoactive substances
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. The Contents of Consciousness
A. This chapter discusses ordinary states of consciousness and the mind–body problem, as
well as the more unusual experiences that are part of the human potential, such as
hallucinations, hypnosis, and dreams
B. Awareness and Consciousness
C. Consciousness is an ambiguous term that can refer to a general state of mind or to its
specific contents
1. The contents of consciousness refers to the information at the
intersection of these two types of consciousness
D. Consciousness has long been a topic of psychological inquiry. In the late 1800s, Wundt and
Titchener used introspection to explore the contents of the conscious mind and James made
observations of his own “stream of consciousness.”
E. Ordinary waking consciousness includes perceptions, thoughts, feelings, images, and
desires at a given moment, but consciousness can be formally defined as consisting of three
1. Basic level consciousness is an awareness of the inner and outer world–
CHAPTER 6: MIND, CONSCIOUSNESS, AND ALTERED STATES awareness that one is perceiving and reacting to perceptual
information 2. Second level consciousness is the reflection on that of which one is aware
and includes the manipulation of symbolic knowledge free from the
constraints of real objects and present events
3. Top level consciousness is self-awareness–awareness that one is
conscious and capable of reflection
F. Accessibility to Consciousness
1. Non-conscious processes are bodily activities that rarely impinge on
consciousness, such as digestion, regulation of blood pressure, and
2. Preconscious memories are memories that become accessible to
consciousness only after something has called attention to them
3. Unattended information refers to environmental stimuli that are not the
focus of attention, but that may be processed unconsciously. If these
stimuli become relevant, such as when you hear your name at a
cocktail party, it may become the subject of consciousness.
4. The Unconscious, most fully elaborated by Freud, refers to mental
processes that are not and cannot be conscious. Freud believed that
the unconscious was filled with forbidden, traumatic thoughts, while
contemporary researchers examine the more benign aspects of the
G. Studying the Contents of Consciousness
1. Two primary methods are used to study consciousness:
a) Think-aloud protocols ask individual to report their thoughts
aloud as they perform an experimental task b) Experience-sampling methods ask individuals to report their
thoughts and feelings when signaled to do so, often by
electronic pagers II.The Functions of Consciousness
A. The Uses of Consciousness
1. To understand the functions of consciousness, the forces that control
behavior must be understood
2. Early human ancestors believed in animistic explanations of behavior,
that spiritual forces guided all forms of life
3. Contemporary researchers have replaced the role of spirits with the
concepts of consciousness and mind
B. Aiding Survival
1. Consciousness probably evolved because it helped individuals make
sense of and navigate in the environment. Consciousness aids
adaptation to the environment in three ways:
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE a) Consciousness performs a restrictive function and tunes out
much information that is irrelevant to immediate goals b) Consciousness performs a selective storage function for those
special stimuli that are to be analyzed, interpreted, and acted
on c) Consciousness performs a planning or executive control
function that enables the suppression of strong desires when
they conflict with moral, ethical, or practical concerns C. Personal and Cultural Constructions of Reality
1. A personal construction of reality is an individual’s unique
interpretation of a current situation based on knowledge, memories,
needs, values, beliefs, and goals
a) When a personal construction of reality remains stable over
time, a sense of self or consciousness of self has continuity
over time 2. Cultural constructions of reality are ways of thinking about the world
that are shared by most members of a particular group of people
3. Consensual validation is the mutual affirmation of conscious
constructions of reality
D. Studying the Functions of Consciousness
1. Researchers use the SLIP (Spoonerisms of Laboratory Induced
Predisposition) technique to study the way in which unconscious
forces affect speech errors III. Sleep and Dreams
A. Circadian rhythms–the human time cycle–influence arousal levels, metabolism, heart
rate, body temperature, hormonal activity, and other bodily processes. Circadian rhythms
are close to 24 hours.
1. Mismatches between circadian rhythms and environmental clocks can
affect how individuals feel, as it does in jet lag
2. About a third of each circadian rhythm is devoted to sleep
B. The Sleep Cycle
1. The electroencephalogram (EEG), which records electrical brain wave
activity, provided a methodological breakthrough in sleep research.
2. As an individual prepares for bed, brain wave activity averages about
14 cycles per second (cps)
3. Stage 1 sleep is characterized by brain waves of about 3 to 7 cps
4. Stage 2 sleep is characterized by sleep spindles, minute bursts of
electrical activity of 12 to 16 cps
5. Stage 3 sleep is characterized by deep relaxation and brain wave
activity of about 1 to 2 cps
CHAPTER 6: MIND, CONSCIOUSNESS, AND ALTERED STATES 6. Stage 4 sleep is characterized by even deeper relaxation and very slow
brain wave activity
7. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is characterized by a return to brain
wave activity similar to that found in stages 1 and 2, by the rapid eye
movements for which this stage is named, and by the presence of
8. The first four stages of sleep require about 90 minutes. REM sleep
about 10 minutes. During the course of a night, this 100-minute cycle
is repeated four to six times.
C. Why Sleep?
1. The two most general functions of NREM sleep are conservation and
a) Sleep helps conserve energy because it often occurs when
foraging for food, searching for mates, or moving about is
unnecessary or dangerous b) Sleep serves a restorative function because neurotransmitters
and neuromodulators may be synthesized and their balance
restored during sleep 2. The function of REM sleep appears to be related to the maintenance of
mood and emotion, storing memories, and fitting recent experiences
into existing memories. REM sleep may also restore the balance of the
brain after NREM sleep.
D. Sleep Disorders
1. Insomnia is the inability to get a satisfactory amount or quality of sleep
and is characterized by an inability to fall asleep, frequent arousal, or
early morning awakening
2. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by a periodic compulsion
to sleep during the daytime
3. Sleep Apnea is an upper respiratory sleep disorder in which the person
stops breathing while asleep, which causes the sufferer to awake
immediately and begin breathing again
4. Excessive Daytime Sleepiness is the major complaint of individuals
evaluated at sleep disorder centers. About one-third of adults report
excessive sleepiness during the daytime.
E. Dreams: Theater of the Mind
1. Most dreams take place during REM sleep. Dreams that take place
during NREM sleep tend to be full of specific thoughts but devoid of
dramatic content or vivid sensory imagery.
2. NREM dreams are recalled less often than REM dreams, but NREM
dreaming is enhanced during the very late morning hours.
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 3. Most cultures instill the belief that dreams have meaning, but they do
so in diverse ways
a) The most prominent Western theory of dreams was proposed
by Sigmund Freud b) Freud believed dreams to be “the royal road to the
unconscious” c) In The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud made dreams a
cornerstone of psychoanalysis. Dreams, to Freud, were “wish
fulfillment” of powerful, unconscious desires that were
disguised in dream form. d) The latent content of a dream referred to the hidden wish or
meaning of the dream e) This latent content is transformed into a disguised form, or
manifest content, through the process of dream work f) Dream work takes forbidden wishes and transforms them into
often bizarre but acceptable forms that are experienced as
dreams g) The interpretation of dreams requires working backward from
the manifest content to the latent content, to revealing the
unconscious wishes expressed in the dream h) Freud’s theory of dream interpretation relates dream symbols,
which may have both universal and personal meanings, to
his explicit theory of psychology 4. Non-Western Approaches to Dream Interpretation
a) In many non-Western cultures, dream interpretation is part of
the fabric of the culture b) In the Mayan culture, shamans function as dream interpreters
and play a central role in Mayan interpersonal relations and
in tying the Mayan culture to their ancestral roots c) In other cultures, such as the people of the Ingessana Hills
(bordering Ethiopia and Sudan) and the Kapolo Indians of
Brazil, dreams represent visions of the future F. Physiological Theories of Dream Content
1. Represent the greatest challenge to the Freudian Theory of Dreams
2. The Activation–Synthesis Model of Dreams suggests that dreams are
the brain’s attempt to make sense of essentially random neural firings
that occur during sleep. In an inexorable quest for meaning, the brain
weaves random neural activity into a strange but comprehensible
narrative based on memories, beliefs, values, goals, and expectations.
G. Nightmares
1. Nightmares are dreams that make the dreamer feel helpless or out of
CHAPTER 6: MIND, CONSCIOUSNESS, AND ALTERED STATES 2. Nightmares are often triggered by stress, especially fear of harm and
desertion, and usually only occur a few times each year
3. Traumatic events may make individuals more likely to have
nightmares that force them to relive some aspect of the traumatic event
IV. Alerted States of Consciousness
A. Lucid Dreaming
1. Lucid dreaming involves conscious awareness while an individual is
dreaming, that they are dreaming
2. Research suggests that the ability to lucid dream can be taught
3. Some researchers, such as LaBerge, argue that lucid dreaming
enhances self-esteem and generates positive experiences by giving
individuals control over the often uncontrollable events of dreams and
4. Others argue that lucid dreaming interferes with and distorts the
natural process of dreaming
B. Hypnosis
1. Hypnosis is an alternative state of awareness characterized by the
special ability some people have of responding to suggestion with
changes in perception, memory, motivation, and sense of self-control
a) Some researchers believe that hypnotized individuals enter a
trance, although research suggests that this is not the case b) Some believe that hypnosis is a kind of placebo response,
although some research suggests an added benefit beyond
that derived from a placebo 2. Hypnotic Induction and Hypnotizability
a) A hypnotic induction is a preliminary set of activities that
minimizes external distractions and encourages the
participant to enter a hypnotic state b) Hypnotizability refers to the degree to which an individual is
responsive to standardized suggestions to experience
hypnotic reactions c) Hypnotizability varies widely from person to person, is
relatively stable over time, and may have some genetic
determinants, although it is not correlated with any
personality trait 3. Effects of Hypnosis
a) One undisputed value of hypnosis is pain reduction (hypnotic
analgesia). Hypnotic analgesia has proved especially
valuable to surgery patients that are allergic to anesthesia, to
mothers in natural childbirth, and to cancer patients learning
to endure chronic pain associated with their disease. b) Self-hypnosis is the best approach to controlling pain because 91
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE individuals can essentially self-medicate whenever pain arises c) Research on hypnotic pain reduction suggests that hypnosis
segregates consciousness into two levels. One level is a full, but hypnotic, consciousness. The second level is a Hidden
Observer, a concealed nonconscious awareness that monitors
the hypnotized consciousness. d) People cannot be made to do anything that they do not wish
to do under hypnosis C. Meditation
1. Meditation is a form of consciousness change designed to enhance self-
knowledge and well-being by reducing self-awareness
a) Critics argue that there is little difference between a normal
resting state with the eyes closed and the state entered
through meditation b) Advocates argue that meditation reduces stress, can improve
IQ, and can even lead to enlightenment D. Hallucinations
1. Hallucinations are false perceptions that occur in the absence of
objective stimulation and can be caused by the following:
a) Heightened arousal b) States of intense need c) Inability to suppress threatening thoughts d) Abnormal brain functioning caused by fevers, seizures, and
migraine headaches e) Psychoactive drugs, such as LSD and peyote, can also
produce hallucinations by acting directly on the brain 2. In some cultural and religious settings, hallucinations play an
important mystical or spiritual role
E. Religious Ecstasy
1. Religious ecstasy is a unique psychological state characterized by a
sense of oneness and connectedness often brought on by meditation,
prayer, fasting, and spiritual communication
2. During religious ecstasy, some individuals can do remarkable things
that they ordinarily may not be able to do, such as handling deadly
snakes, drinking poison, and handling fire
F. Mind-Altering Drugs
1. Although mind-altering drugs have been used for centuries during
religious ceremonies, today they are associated more often with
CHAPTER 6: MIND, CONSCIOUSNESS, AND ALTERED STATES recreational usage 2. Dependence and Addition
a) Psychoactive drugs are chemicals that affect mental processes,
such as perception, memory, mood, and behavior by
temporarily changing conscious awareness b) Tolerance may be developed to psychoactive drugs in which
more and more of the drug is needed to produce the same
change in consciousness c) Physiological dependence is a process in which the body
becomes accustomed to the presence of a drug and begins to
depend on its presence to function properly 3. Varieties of Psychoactive Drugs
a) Hallucinogenic or psychedelic drugs, including LSD, mescaline,
psilocybin, and PCP, can produce profound alterations of both
perception and inner awareness. They often lead to a loss of
boundary between self and non-self and to confusion. b) Cannabis, including both marijuana and hashish, can create
mild, pleasurable highs, distortions of space and time,
euphoria, and, occasionally, hallucination. Possible negative
effects include fear, anxiety, paranoia, confusion, and
retardation of motor function. c) Opiates, such as heroin and morphine, suppress physical
sensation and stimulation and produce a rush of euphoria.
Because of this rush, any use is likely to lead to serious
addiction. d) Depressants, such as barbiturates and alcohol, tend to depress
the mental and physical activity of the body by inhibiting the
transmission of nerve impulses in the central nervous system (i) Barbiturates, such as Valium and Xanax, are
particularly dangerous, accounting for half of drug
(ii) Although often socially accepted, alcohol is a major
health and social problem. Alcohol use can lead to
alcoholism, which can disrupt social and
professional relations, and to serious health
e) Stimulants, such as amphetamines, cocaine, and crack (a purified
form of cocaine), induce a sense of euphoria, self-confidence,
and hyperalertness. Possible negative effects include
paranoid delusions, cycles of euphoric highs and painful
lows, and social isolation. 93
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE (i) Caffeine and nicotine are often unrecognized
stimulants that act on the brain much like other
stimulants. Nicotine is a dangerous drug that has a
greater impact on health than that of all other
psychoactive drugs combined.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. The class should now be familiar with dualism and monism, through both the text and
lectures. Ask them which of these they think best describes the relationship between the
brain and the mind. Why? Can anyone think of personal experiences or observations to
support their beliefs? What about empirical data that might support a given hypothesis?
2. Zimbardo and Gerrig propose that sleep may have evolved because it gave animals an
opportunity to conserve energy at those times when they did not need to be searching for
food or a mate. Given that we as humans no longer engage in these activities under the
same constraints as animals, ask the class if they think it possible that we may eventually
evolve out of the need for sleep.
3. According to Zimbardo and Gerrig, there appears to be a developmental timetable for
dreams that parallels our cognitive developmental pathway, with children being the
example given. If this premise is valid, what sort of dreams might we expect to see at the
opposite end of the spectrum, during old age?
4. Ask your students if they have ever had a lucid dream. Have students share their lucid
experiences. Students find this subject fascinating, and the topic often leads to lively
discussion concerning the nature of consciousness and the nature of reality. How would
students use the extra time of consciousness while they are lucid in their dreams? Would
they use it differently than they would normal consciousness? Why or why not?
5. Most sleep researchers argue that people need an average of 8 hours of sleep per day to be
fully rested and alert. First, you might ask students why they think this is, as most people
today do not physically exert themselves enough to require 8 hours of sleep to physically
recharge themselves. Second, you might ask students how much sleep they are getting each
night. My guess is most of them are not getting the recommended 8 hours per night. But
many of them are probably not feeling overtired or sleep deprived. While the average
amount of required sleep is 8 hours, many people function quite well on 6 or 7 hours per
night, while others need 9 or 10 hours per night. I had a professor in graduate school who
functioned quite effectively for years on only 3 or 4 hours per night! The important thing for
CHAPTER 6: MIND, CONSCIOUSNESS, AND ALTERED STATES students to know is that not everyone needs the average, but knowing how much sleep
your body needs and adjusting your schedule so that you are getting what you need is
crucial to feeling rested. 6. Many people sleep somewhat more when they are mildly depressed or experience mild to
moderate stress. Some students who are juggling school, work, and family/social life find
that they are nodding off every time they sit down or relax, but are still consistently
exhausted. If they add up all the hours they are “napping,” it can add up to 11 or 12 hours
a day. Of course, it is not good quality sleep, which means it doesn’t help them feel
“recharged” or well rested. When I was a psychology intern at a university counseling
center, it was such a common phenomenon we began calling it “student sleep syndrome.”
Often, students feel even worse when this occurs because they begin to wonder what’s
wrong with them, which compounds their stress. Most students are relieved to know that
this condition is common and often disappears when stress levels are reduced. Usually,
when a student takes a term off or cuts back on his or her schedule, the condition
disappears. However, as with any dramatic or prolonged change in energy level or
physical condition, students should get a complete physical examination from their
physician before assuming it is just a symptom of stress.
7. Ask students to describe what they do to fall asleep and how long it usually takes them.
You will usually find that those students who get a reasonable amount of physical exercise
during the day, allow themselves at least an hour of “winding down time” before they go to
bed, and go to bed at similar times each night will tend to go to sleep faster than those who
do not exercise, have erratic schedules, and too many presleep activities. Often, insomnia
can be managed just by changing their daily schedules and presleep routines.
8. Ask students what they do when they have bouts of insomnia. I've heard everything from
counting sheep to having sex. Clearly there is no one technique that works for everyone.
But there are many techniques that work well for at least some people. You can discuss
how many techniques, such as progressive relaxation, deep breathing, and fantasy, can be
used to induce a relaxed state compatible with sleep induction. Some insomnia is caused
because people, go to bed hungry or “wired” from drinking beverages loaded with caffeine.
Eating a snack so that you are not experiencing hunger pains, and making sure what you
eat is not loaded with caffeine and sugar, can also induce drowsiness and relaxation.
While sleeping pills are an option, as the text suggests, they are usually not an ideal option
because of side effects and people’s tendency to become dependent on them.
SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL Unattended Information and the “Cocktail Party Phenomenon” It has happened to all of us. You are at an office party, a Christmas party, or a gathering of friends
at the home of a neighbor and you are engaged in conversation with a friend about the merits of
Golden Retrievers compared to German Shepherds. More people are talking behind you, but you
are not paying attention to their conversation. Suddenly, you hear your name mentioned by one of
the individuals engaged in the conversation behind you. You become unable to concentrate on the
puppy discussion, because you are too busy trying to hear what the other people are saying about 95
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE you. You know you were not deliberately eavesdropping on this conversation, but you know that
you heard your name. Is it possible that you were unconsciously eavesdropping? You have just experienced what Broadbent and Cherry referred to as the “Cocktail Party
Phenomenon”. Part of consciousness is attention. We must attend to incoming stimuli in order to
process it and act on it in an appropriate manner. Does that imply that in the case presented above,
the listener was attending to the conversation behind her? Possibly, although the attention being
paid to that conversation was not intentional. The listener in this conversation was engaged in
what is known as dichotic listening, which refers to hearing two channels of sound, one in each
ear, at the same time. In dichotic listening, we listen, or shadow, the message to which we are
attending, and tune out the second, unattended message. Nonetheless, some characteristics of that
unshadowed message still get through. The individual above was shadowing the message in
which she was engaged and, until hearing her name, could not have told us the content or
characteristics of the unshadowed (unattended) message of conversation. How then, did she
manage to hear her name, if she was not attending to the message? Triesman offers as an explanation the fact that in dichotic listening, attention acts as an attenuator,
in that it turns down the volume on unattended channels, but does not completely block them out.
Moray took this notion a bit further, observing that it is very difficult to ignore the sounds of our
own names, even if that sound comes in on an unattended channel. Deutsch and Deutsch, followed
by Norman, proposed that all channels that reach the system get some degree of attention and
analysis. Specifically, the channels get attended to enough to be represented in long-term memory.
While none of these models completely explains the attentional aspect of consciousness, they do at
least give us some insights as to why we suddenly find ourselves “eavesdropping” on the
conversations of others, once we have heard them mention our names. Circadian Rhythms There is a daily cycle in addition to sleep cycles that helps regulate our functioning. People and
other mammals have a biological clock that controls their daily rhythm, known as the circadian
rhythm. Bodily temperatures, endocrine secretions, metabolism, and other bodily functions follow
similar circadian rhythms. Both internal controls, from the hypothalamus in the brain, and external
controls such as clocks, meal times, light and dark, and the seasonal changes direct us to 24-hour
circadian rhythms. If individuals live in caves with artificial light, but no clock, eating and sleeping
whenever they want, circadian rhythms tend to occur in 25-hour cycles. People usually fall into a rhythm between 24 and 28 hours long, although sleep—wake cycles of up
to 50 hours have been observed. Excessively long circadian rhythms can play havoc with one’s life,
causing one to be unable to sleep at an appropriate hour or to feel sleepy part of the normal working
day. The results can be job loss and interpersonal conflict. Such afflictions can be interpreted as
sleep-onset insomnia and/or excessive sleepiness. Treatment of such sleep disorders centers on
enforcing wakefulness at certain times. Along with “autonomic” storms of REM sleep that are most intense in the morning hours, changes
in circadian rhythms result in a lowering of body temperature. One medical consequence of this
“vulnerable” state is the reported high incidence of cardiac failures and heart attacks in early
morning hours. “Jet lag” is also an effect of biological circadian rhythms falling out of synchrony
with local time as we travel east or west across time zones. The traveler develops a double circadian
rhythm, the new one added to the old. This leads to double peaks and valleys of energy. Over a few
days, the new circadian rhythm takes over as the body and brain reset their biological clock to local
time. 96
CHAPTER 6: MIND, CONSCIOUSNESS, AND ALTERED STATES The Stuff of Which Dreams Are Made Throughout history, and probably prehistory as well, humans have thought that dreams have
special significance, that they have a divine source, predict future events, or prescribe a course of
action. A primary duty of wise elders in many cultures was to interpret dreams. One wonders how
preliterate tribes react to their dreams, to these images that invade their sleep. Perhaps they think
that some alien being has taken over their body or that they are receiving a message from the spirits
of the earth or the demons of the forest. The idea that dreams have personal meaning was introduced in modern times by Freud when he
published The Interpretation of Dreams in 1900. Although it took six years to sell the first printing of
600 copies, it has become a classic. Freud argued that “dreams are impartial, spontaneous products
of the unconscious psyche, they show us the unvarnished truth.” Freud thought that the vigilance
of the ego relaxed during sleep, allowing primitive and forbidden sexual and aggressive urges to
escape from the unconscious. This material was so threatening to our waking state of
consciousness that the disgusting desires of the unconscious were disguised in dreams. It is
interesting to note that Freud, like Biblical characters and people of the past, thought that only a
wise man or woman (or psychoanalyst) could interpret dreams correctly. Freud thought that there was a universal set of symbols used by the unconscious to disguise the
hidden content of dreams. For example, dreams of flying signify the desire for sexual adventure;
elongated objects such as trees and pencils symbolize the penis; containers, such as closets, rooms,
ovens, and automobiles represent the vagina; and sexual intercourse is disguised as riding a horse
or shooting a gun. Carl Jung was a member of Freud’s inner circle, and later broke away from Freud because of
theoretical disagreements. He believed that the “general function of dreams is to restore
psychological balance,” and that important messages in dreams could only be interpreted from a
series of dreams that occurred over time. Jung estimated that he analyzed at least 80,000 dreams
during his professional career. Anecdotal evidence to support Freud and Jung’s ideas about dreams exists, but their theories
cannot be experimentally supported or rejected because of problems in doing the necessary
research. Research on dreaming was stimulated in the early 1950s when two investigators,
Aserinsky and Kleitman at the University of Chicago, established the relationship between REM
sleep and dreaming, but their research does not answer the questions posed by the theories of Freud
and Jung. Some of the more frequently asked questions about dreams and dreaming follow. DOES EVERYONE DREAM? Some people claim that they never dream, but research tells us that everyone dreams. People who
claim that they do not dream simply do not remember their dreams. Dreams are usually not stored
in long-term memory, and they are lost unless they are reviewed or recorded immediately on
waking, before other material replaces them in the short-term memory. ARE WE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE GOOD DREAMS OR BAD DREAMS? Investigators who have collected and studied dreams have found that bad dreams are more
commonly recalled than good dreams. Dreams are more likely to involve failure, misfortune, and
frustration than success and pleasant emotions. WHAT DO PEOPLE DREAM ABOUT? Falling or being chased are among the most common dream themes reported. The appearance of
celebrities in dreams is also common. Many dreams involve frustration: trying repeatedly but 97
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE unsuccessfully to do something, finding yourself nude in public places, arriving late to catch a
plane or to take an exam, and losing important papers or treasured objects. Sex is not among the
more common dream themes. The occurrence of penile and clitoral erections during dreams is a
concomitant of the REM state, and is apparently unrelated to the content of the dream. CAN PEOPLE CONTROL THE CONTENTS OF THEIR DREAMS? Research shows that people do have some control over their dreams, and that this ability to have “lucid dreams” can be taught. Stephen LaBerge, the leading researcher on lucid dreams, relates the
experience of lucid dreaming to the “Holodeck” on Star Trek the New Generation. Once a person is
lucid in a dream, they can take control of it and direct its content and conclusion. LaBerge also
suggests that lucid dreaming may have more pragmatic uses than just entertainment. The
additional time of consciousness while dreaming can be used to work through personal problems,
planning, and reviewing past events. Such lucid reflection while in a relaxed sleep state may in the
future be shown to enhance psychological health. It has been reported that the Senoi people of
Malaysia teach children to control their dreams from an early age. Have you ever had a “lucid”
dream? One simple technique used to teach lucid dreaming is to become more “mindful” of your state of
consciousness by repeatedly asking yourself, “Am I dreaming?” during the day. Once in the habit
of asking yourself this simple question while awake, you may ask the same question while
dreaming. Answering the question “yes” may lead to the onset of a lucid dream. WHY DO PEOPLE DREAM? Several explanations for dreaming have been offered. Freud thought dreams preserved our sanity
by allowing us to gratify forbidden or unrealistic wishes. Information-processing theorists suggest
that the function of dreams is to assimilate new data into memory and to jettison mental garbage.
The activation-synthesis theory says that dreams result when the brain tries to make sense of
random neural firing that occurs during sleep. DO PEOPLE NEED TO DREAM? A number of studies have been done on dream deprivation. Participants are awakened as soon as
rapid eye movements begin to occur. The results show that as dream deprivation continues, REM
periods occur more and more frequently, and participants become harder to arouse. In addition,
participants who have been dream deprived dream more than usual when they are allowed to sleep
normally. Although some participants have become irritable after a night or two of dream
deprivation, most seem to adjust to it. We do not know what effect it would have on a person if
dream deprivation were continued over an extended period. WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU WANT TO REMEMBER YOUR DREAMS? Dreams are fragile, so if you want to remember them you will need to be able to record them with a
minimum of effort. If remembering your dreams is important to you, try the following tips: 1. Keep writing material or a tape recorder next to your bed, and be sure that you can turn on
a light to write by without getting out of bed.
2. Before going to bed, tell yourself that you are going to wake up after a dream. If you are
unable to obey your command, try setting a gentle alarm for two hours after retirement and
every two hours thereafter.
3. When you wake up, keep your eyes closed, and review the dream before you record it.
CHAPTER 6: MIND, CONSCIOUSNESS, AND ALTERED STATES 4. Make a questionnaire or checklist to remind you of the information you want to record.
This might include such things as the setting, actors, activities, outcomes, and, perhaps
most important, the emotional tone of the dream.
THE PARADOXICAL NATURE OF REM REM sleep has been referred to as paradoxical sleep, meaning that during REM sleep, the activity of
the brain closely approximates that of waking state activity. We know that we dream during REM,
and that we have rapid eye movements for which this state is named, but what other things are
happening that make this state “approximately” that of the waking state? Several manifestations of
this sleep state insofar as we are able to determine, are unique to REM. These things apparently
happen during REM and at no other time during the sleep cycle. What are they? ATONIA During REM sleep, we experience atonia—we lose muscle tone, our muscles become flaccid, and we
are virtually paralyzed. This manifestation disappears within a fraction of a second following
waking, but can be a bit scary if we try to get out of bed immediately on waking, only to find that we
cannot do so, at least instantaneously. The reason for atonia is that neural messages from the brain
stem going to the major muscle groups are inhibited during REM. These messages originate in the
pons, a structure that sits just at the top of the brain stem, and the inhibition of these neural
impulses has probably kept many of us from injuring ourselves if we were to wander around in a
not quite conscious state. SEXUAL AROUSAL Both males and females experience sexual arousal—evinced by tumescence in males and
lubrication and engorgement of genital tissues in females—during REM sleep. OTHER PHYSIOLOGICAL CHANGES Increases in both blood pressure and heart rate occur during REM. These functions increase from
the low levels seen during Stage 4 sleep to levels that closely approximate those of a waking state of
consciousness. MEMORY PROCESSES Thought and memory organization also occur during REM, as housekeeping type of functions.
Most of us have awakened to discover that a problem that was vexing us the night before suddenly
seems to have “solved itself” over the course of the night, and we wonder why we did not see the
solution yesterday. Perhaps this aspect of REM explains why our mothers told us not to worry
because “everything will be better in the morning.” INCORPORATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL STIMULUS Environmental sounds are frequently incorporated into dreams. The sound of a car backfiring in
the street outside may be incorporated into one’s dreams as a gunshot, or a slamming of a door,
while the thunderclap in a thunderstorm may be incorporated into the dreams of combat veterans
as incoming artillery fire. As you can see, far from being a truly “sleeping” state, REM sleep is very
susceptible to impact by the outside environment. 99
1637 Rene Descartes published Discourse on Method.
1815 Napoleon was defeated at the battle of Waterloo and banished to St. Helena.
The American Civil War was fought.
1881 Pasteur and Koch discovered the germ theory of disease.
1902 William James published The Varieties of Religious Experience.
1917 The Bolshevik Revolution was fought in Russia.
1932 Carl Jung published Modern Man in Search of a Soul.
1938 d-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-25 (LSD) was discovered by Dr. Albert Hoffman.
1948 Israel became an independent nation.
1953 The genetic code was broken.
1954 Aldous Huxley published The Doors of Perception.
1985 Stephen LaBerge published Lucid Dreaming. 100
CHAPTER 6: MIND, CONSCIOUSNESS, AND ALTERED STATES SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READINGS Baars, B., & Wright I. (1997). In the Theater of Consciousness: The Workspace of the Mind. New York:
Oxford University Press. Reviews research on consciousness and introduces the global
workspace theory, in which consciousness occupies a workspace much like the stage in a
theater. Donald, M. (1991). Origins of the Modern Mind: Three Stages in the Evolution of Culture and Cognition.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. A fascinating perspective on modern man,
incorporating data from the field of cultural anthropology, linguistics, comparative anatomy,
comparative neuroanatomy, and cognition to offer an explanation of how we got “here” from
“there.” Gazzaniga, M. S. (1988). Mind Matters: How Mind and Brain Interact to Create Our Conscious Lives.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Discusses mental disorders, psychopathology, and the role of
neuropsychology in these issues. Gazzaniga, M. S. (1992). Nature’s Mind: The Biological Roots of Thinking, Emotions, Sexuality,
Language, and Intelligence. New York: Basic Books. Shows how natural selection influences
everything from depression, to language development, to substance abuse. Presents the nature
versus nurture controversy in a new light. An excellent book by an eminent scientist. Goleman, D., Wilber, K., Tart, C., & Walsh, R. (1993). The Riddle of Consciousness. Los Angeles:
Perigee Books. Provides four different views on consciousness by four leading thinkers in the
field. Herzog, P. S. (1991). Conscious and Unconscious: Freud’s Dynamic Distinction Reconsidered. Madison,
CT: International Universities Press. A new perspective on consciousness and unconsciousness,
from the psychoanalytic position. Horowitz, M. J. (ed.). (1988). Psychodynamics and Cognition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Based on papers presented at a workshop held at the Center for Advanced Study in the
Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, and sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T.
MacArthur Foundation. Huxley, A. (1954). The Doors of Perception. New York: Harper. A classic text on the experience of
psychedelic drugs. The rock band “The Doors” was named after this book. LaBerge, S. (1985). Lucid Dreaming. New York: St. Martin’s Press. The seminal work on lucid
dreaming. Introduces the phenomenon of lucid dreaming and presents the original research on
the topic. A classic in the field. Palfai, T. (1997). Drugs and Human Behavior. (2nd ed.). Dubuque: Brown & Benchmark Publishers.
An interesting introduction to drugs and their influence on human behavior. Reviews the
history of drug use, surveys recent research, and describes the effects of drugs on normal and
abnormal functioning. Penfield, W. (1992). The Mind and the Brain. Boston: Birkhaeuser. Describes the conclusions derived
by a leading researcher on neuropsychology from observations of thousands of patients. An
interesting book written by one of the founders of the discipline. Penrose, R. (1994). Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness. New York:
Oxford University Press. An examination of consciousness by a leading cognitive scientist. He 101
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE maintains that some aspects of the human mind go beyond computation. Ward, C. A. (ed.). (1989). Altered States of Consciousness and Mental Health: A Cross-Cultural Perspective.
Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. Cross-cultural research and methodology series, vol. 12. 102
Overview The nature of sleeping, dreaming, and altered states of consciousness, and how consciousness
empowers us to interpret, analyze, and direct our behavior in adaptive, flexible ways. Key Issues Biological rhythms, how attention works, daydreams, the restorative functions of sleep,
procedures for the study of sleep and dreams, the physiological origins of dreams, and lucid
dreaming. Demonstrations The activation–synthesis explanation of dreams.
Lucid dreaming.
Interviews Ernest Harman examines the restorative functions of sleep and the procedures for the study of
sleep and dreams.
Robert McCarley examines the physiological origins of dreaming.
Steven LaBerge examines the ability of some dreamers to take conscious control of their dreams.
Overview How the events and experiences that take place below the level of consciousness alter our
moods, bias our actions, and affect our health, as demonstrated in multiple personality
(dissociative identity disorder), hypnosis, and split-brain patients. Key Issues The effects of subconscious knowledge on emotional states, consciousness altering drugs,
multiple personality disorder (dissociative identity disorder), Freud’s concept of repression,
hypnotic control of pain and perception, split brain research, and testing. Archival Demonstrations Demonstration of a client with dissociative identity disorder. Candid Camera clip demonstrating the difference between public and private behavior. Interviews F. W. Putnam discusses the common experiences of people with dissociative identity disorder.
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE FILMS AND VIDEOS Addiction Caused by Mixing Medicines (1992). FFHS, 19 minutes Addresses the problem of addiction resulting from mixing nonaddictive prescription drugs. An Easy to Swallow Pill (1980). CRK, 28 minutes Explores prescription drug abuse through interviews with doctors and patients. Shows that we
have turned our common social and emotional problems into diseases, and abandoned self-help in
favor of drugs. An excellent film as background for a discussion of the medical model. Pills are
immediately reinforcing because they reduce symptoms, but they do not necessarily fix an
underlying problem. Cocaine Abuse: The End of the Line (1984). AIMS, 25 minutes Actor Richard Dryfuss discusses the dangers of cocaine abuse as dramatized by five former
abusers. Shows some of the severe physical and psychological effects of extensive cocaine
involvement. An excellent, compelling film. Dreams: Theater of the Night (1988). FFHS, 28 minutes Examines theories of dreams from Freud to today’s neuroscience and dream laboratory findings. A
lively film. Selected for preview at the APA convention, 1989. Dream Voyage (1998). IU (FFHS), 26 minutes Explains what happens to the body during sleep. Looks at the mystery of REM sleep, shows a
computer display of the waves that sweep across the brain during sleep, and presents footage of a
cat acting out its dreams. Illustrates graphically, using an analogy of sleep to a ship on automatic
pilot, how some functions continue while the conscious brain is asleep. Hypnosis: Four BBC Documentaries (1982). FI, 49 to 55 minutes Hypnosis and Healing In this film, physicians and patients describe their successes with hypnosis. Hypnosis: Can Your Mind Control Pain? This film includes many examples and examines whether hypnosis can work for you. Hypnosis: Can Your Mind Control Your Body? This film examines various physical functions that may be influenced by hypnotic suggestion. Hypnosis on Trial In this film, witnesses are hypnotized to recall details of crimes. The Mind: Addiction (1998). HARR, 25 minutes Parallels research on the pleasure centers of the brain with addicts’ desire to be high. Presents
recent findings on the action of various drugs on the “pleasure centers” of the human brain.
Depicts the molecular similarities between the morphine-like neurotransmitters of the brain and the
opiates. Describes the biological causes of withdrawal symptoms. Reviews an innovative program
to reduce drug use by suppressing physiological responses to behavioral habits associated with the
addiction. Trance Forming Yourself (1986). TFU, 40 minutes Visual and audio illustrations of self-hypnosis techniques, including deep relaxation, pendulum
techniques, and daydreaming are illustrated in this informative film. Walking Through the Fear: Women and Substance Abuse (1992). FFHS, 28 minutes 104
CHAPTER 6: MIND, CONSCIOUSNESS, AND ALTERED STATES Drug and alcohol abuses continue to increase among women, and women often do not seek
appropriate help. This program addresses the many reasons why. What Time Is Your Body? (1981). TFL, 50 minutes Features circadian rhythms, the regular bodily cycles that occur on a roughly 24-hour cycle. Our
body temperature rises as morning approaches, peaks during the day, and descends before sleep.
The film suggests that our internal biological clock is as important as external stimuli to our
experiences and behavior. The film includes footage on isolation experiments conducted to assess
specific circadian rhythms. In a cave with no clock, one man unwittingly made his day longer than
24 hours and consistently stuck to it for a month. A young woman isolated in a room of perpetual
daylight later discovered that she was living a day slightly shorter than 24 hours. Although this
film is old, the topic discussed has not changed. 105
Learning and Behavior Analysis LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Describe the process of classical conditioning
2. Explain the significance of temporal contiguity to the processes of conditioning and
3. Detail the phenomena associated with conditioning, including extinction, stimulus
generalization, discrimination, and spontaneous recovery
4. Describe the process of operant conditioning
5. Identify the significance of reinforcement contingency to behavioral response and the
resulting environmental changes
6. Understand the distinction between the concepts of reinforcement and punishment
7. Explain the differences in primary reinforcers and conditional reinforcers
8. Describe the importance of reinforcement schedules, including characteristics of available
9. Communicate significance of shaping and chaining to the process of operant conditioning
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. The Study of Learning
A. What Is Learning?
1. Learning is a process based on experience that results in a relatively
consistent change in behavior or behavior potential
a) A Change in Behavior or Behavior Potential (i) Learning is often apparent from improvements in
(ii) But what has been learned is not always evident in
performance, which leads to the learning-performance
distinction–the difference between what has been learned
and what is expressed or performed in overt behavior
b) A Relatively Consistent Change (i) To qualify as learned, behavior must be performed
consistently over time. For instance, if you have learned to
ride a bike, you are unlikely to forget how to ride a bike.
c) A Process Based on Experience (i) Learning only happens through experience, through
interacting with the environment
CHAPTER 7: LEARNING AND BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS B. Behaviorism and Behavior Analysis
1. A recurring question of this chapter is how much of behavior is
learned, and how much of it is innate?
2. One possible answer to this question is Radical Behaviorism, which
suggests that all behavior can be understood in terms of an organism’s
inherited characteristics and simple learned behavior
a) John Watson and B. F. Skinner argued that feelings, imagining do not cause behavior, but rather are caused by environmental
stimuli. They are the two most influential proponents of
behaviorism, which maintains that psychology should focus
on observable behavior. b) Behaviorism, which will be covered more fully later, led to the
development of behavior analysis, the area of psychology that
focuses on environmental determinants of behavior c) Behaviorists and behavior analysts often assume that
learning is conserved across species, that learning is similar in
all animal species. Because of this assumption, animals are
often used in behaviorist research. II.Classical Conditioning: Learning Predictable Signals
A. Pavlov’s Surprising Observation
1. First described by Ivan Pavlov, classical conditioning is a basic form of
learning in which one stimulus predicts the occurrence of another
event. Organisms learn to associate one stimulus with the other. a) Reflexes, unlearned responses such as salivation, pupil
contraction, knee jerks, or eye blinks, are at the core of
classical conditioning b) An Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS) is any stimulus that
naturally elicits a reflexive behavior, such as salivating c) An Unconditioned Response (UCR) is the behavior, such as
salivating, that is elicited by the UCS d) A Neutral Stimulus is a stimulus that has no intrinsic meaning to the organism. When associated with the UCS, the Neutral
Stimulus can become a Conditioned Stimulus (CS)–a previously
neutral stimulus that comes to elicit a conditioned response. e) A Conditioned Stimulus, after being paired with the UCS,
acquires the power to elicit the UCR. When the UCR is elicited
by the CS, however, it is called the Conditioned Response
(CR). f) A Conditioned Response is produced by the presentation of the
CS 107
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE g) In summary, nature provides the association between the
Unconditioned Stimulus and the Unconditioned Response. By
repeatedly pairing the Conditioned Stimulus with the
Unconditioned Stimulus, the Conditioned Stimulus begins to elicit
a Conditioned Response. B. Processes of Conditioning
1. Acquisition is the process by which the CR is first elicited by the CS and
by which elicitation gradually increases in frequency over repeated
2. Timing is critical in classical conditioning. The UCS and the CS must
be presented close enough together so that they are perceived to be
associated. Four types of temporal patterns are used in research. They
a) Delayed Conditioning, in which the CS comes prior to and
stays on at least until the UCS is presented. Usually the most
effective conditioning paradigm. The optimal time interval
between the UCS and the CS varies depending on the nature
of the CS and the CR. b) Trace Conditioning, in which the CS is turned off before the
UCS is presented. c) Simultaneous Conditioning, in which the CS and the UCS are
presented at the same time. Conditioning is generally poor
with this paradigm. d) Backward Conditioning, in which the CS is presented after the
UCS. Conditioning is generally very poor with this paradigm. 3. Extinction is said to have occurred when the CR no longer appears in
the presence of the CS
4. Spontaneous Recovery, reappearance of a weak CR when the CS is
presented again after extinction, without renewed pairing with the
5. If the UCS and the CS are again paired after extinction, the UCS and
the CS association will be learned more quickly. The difference in the
time taken to learn the association initially and to relearn the
association after extinction is called Savings. 6. Stimulus Generalization is the extension of elicitation of the CR to
stimuli similar to the CS. If the CS is a tone, a similar tone may produce
the CR.
7. Stimulus Discrimination is the process by which an organism learns to
respond differently to stimuli that are distinct from but similar to the
C. Focus on Acquisition
1. Robert Rescorla’s work demonstrated that contingency, not just
contiguity, is necessary for classical conditioning to occur
2. In addition to contingency, the CS must reliably predict the UCS
CHAPTER 7: LEARNING AND BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS 3. The informativeness of the CS is also crucial to classical conditioning
4. Blocking is the ability of the first CS to reduce the informativeness of
the second CS because of the organism’s previous experience
5. A Neutral Stimulus will only become a Conditioned Stimulus if it is
both appropriately contingent and informative
D. Applications of Classical Conditioning
1. Classical conditioning does not involve conscious thought, but does
involve emotions and preferences
2. Fear conditioning involves the pairing of a neutral stimulus with a fear-
provoking object. Fear conditioning is a powerful form of classical
conditioning, is resistant to extinction, and can occur after only one
pairing of the CS and the UCS.
3. Learning to Be a Drug Addict
a) If a drug addict does drugs in the same ritualistic manner in
the same environment consistently, the ritualistic manner and
the environment themselves may become CS. They come to
predict the occurrence of the UCS, the drug, and they warn the
body that the drug is about to be done. The body can then
prepare a compensatory response that allows the body, in an
effort to maintain homeostasis, to counteract partially the
impact of the drug. b) Because of this compensatory response, if the drug is taken in
the same manner and in the same environment consistently,
greater doses of the drug are needed to maintain the same
high. If, after doing drugs in the same environment repeatedly,
the drug user does drugs in a new environment, the CS (the
environment) will not be present, and the body will not
produce the compensatory response. Because the body is not
prepared for ingestion of the drug, the drug user is much more
likely to overdose. 4. Harnessing Classical Conditioning
a) Psychoneuroimmunology has emerged to explore the interaction
of psychology, the nervous system, and the immune system.
One goal of psychoneuroimmunology is to allow conditioning
to replace high doses of medications that have serious side
effects. As with drug users for which the environment
becomes a CS, the environment can be associated with
beneficial drugs so that the environment elicits a positive
conditioned response. III. Operant Conditioning: Learning About Consequences
A. The Law of Effect
1. The Law of Effect, developed by Edward Thorndike, simply states that
behaviors that are followed by pleasant, positive consequences are
likely to increase in frequency
2. For Thorndike, learning involved an association between a stimulus
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE and a response, a stimulus–response connection 3. These stimulus–response connections are learned gradually and
mechanistically through blind trial and error
B. Experimental Analysis of Behavior
1. B. F. Skinner outlined a research program called the experimental
analysis of behavior, whose purpose was to discover the ways that
environmental conditions affect the likelihood that a given response
will occur
2. Operant Conditioning procedures were developed by Skinner to allow
the experimental analysis of behavior and modify the probability of
different types of operant behavior as a function of the environmental
consequences they produce
3. An Operant is any behavior that is emitted by an organism and can be
characterized in terms of the observable effects it has on the
C. Reinforcement Contingencies
1. A reinforcement contingency is a consistent relationship between a
response and the changes in the environment that it produces
2. A reinforcer is any stimulus that, when made contingent on a response,
increases the probability of that response
a) A Positive Reinforcer is any stimulus that—when made
contingent on a behavior—increases the probability of that
behavior over time b) A Negative Reinforcer is any stimulus that, when removed,
reduced, or prevented, increases the probability of a given
response over time 3. Operant Extinction occurs as reinforcement is withheld
4. A Punisher is any stimulus that—when it is made contingent on a
response—decreases the probability of that response over time.
a) A Positive Punisher is when a behavior is followed by the
delivery of an aversive stimulus b) A Negative Punisher is when a behavior is followed by the
removal of an appetitive, or positive, stimulus 5. Punishment always reduces the probability of a response occurring
6. Reinforcement always increases the probability of a response occurring
7. Discriminative Stimuli, through their associations with reinforcement
or punishment, come to set the context for that behavior
8. The Three-Term Contingency is the sequence of discriminative stimulus–
behavior–consequence that Skinner believed could explain most human
behavior 9. Behavior analysts assume that behaviors, even apparently self-
destructive and irrational behaviors, persist because they are being
CHAPTER 7: LEARNING AND BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS reinforced 10. Secondary gains are subtle reinforcers, such as attention, sympathy, or
release from responsibility, that reinforce behaviors that may have
obvious associated negative consequences
D. Properties of Reinforcers
1. Primary reinforcers, such as food and water, are reinforcers that are
biologically determined
2. Conditioned reinforcers are otherwise neutral stimuli that have, over
time, become associated with primary reinforcers. Money, grades,
smiles of approval, and gold stars can all act as conditioned
a) Teachers and researchers often find conditioned reinforcers
more effective and easier to use than primary reinforcers
because: (i) Few primary reinforcers are available in the classroom
(ii) Conditioned reinforcers can be dispensed rapidly
(iii) Conditioned reinforcers are portable
(iv) The reinforcing effect of conditioned reinforcers may be
more immediate
b) Token economies are contexts, such as psychiatric hospitals
and prisons, in which desired behaviors are explicitly defined
and in which tokens are given by staff for performance of
these behaviors. The tokens can later be redeemed for
privileges or goods. c) The Premack Principle suggests that a more probable activity
can be used to reinforce a less probable one. According to the
Premack Principle, a reinforcer may be any event or activity
that is valued by the organism. E. Schedules of Reinforcement
1. Reinforcers can be delivered according to either ratio or interval
schedules. Each of these schedules can be used with a fixed or variable
pattern of reinforcement. 2. The Partial Reinforcement Effect states that responses acquired under
schedules of partial reinforcement are more resistant to extinction than
those acquired with continuous reinforcement
3. In a Fixed-Ratio Schedule (FR), reinforcement comes after the organism
has emitted a fixed number of responses. FR schedules produce high
response rates because there is a direct correlation between
responding and reinforcement.
4. In a Variable-Ratio Schedule (VR), the average number of responses
between reinforcements remains constant, but the actual number of
responses between reinforcements varies around this average. VR
schedules produce the highest response rates and the greatest
resistance to extinction.
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 5. In a Fixed-Interval Schedule (FI), reinforcement is delivered for the first
response made after a fixed period of time has elapsed. Response rates
under a FI schedule show a scalloped pattern. Immediately after
reinforcement, response rates are low, but, as the time interval nears
expiration, response rates increase.
6. In a Variable-Interval Schedule (VI), the average time interval between
reinforcements is predetermined. This schedule generates a moderate
but stable response rate.
F. Shaping
1. Shaping is a method of behavior modification in which successive
approximations to the desired behavior are reinforced. For shaping to
be effective, what constitutes progress toward the target behavior must
be defined, and differential reinforcement schedules must be used to
refine behavior.
2. Chaining is a technique used to teach sequences of actions. In
chaining, the last response of the sequence is reinforced first.
3. Each link in the behavior chain serves as a discriminative stimulus for
the next response line and as a conditioned reinforcer for the response
that immediately precedes it
IV. Biology and Learning
A. Biological constraints on learning are limitations on learning imposed by a species’ genetic
B. Instinctual Drift is the process by which learned behavior drifts toward instinctual
behavior. Instinctual Drift is understandable considering the species-specific tendencies
imposed by an inherited genotype.
C. Taste-Aversion Learning is a powerful type of teaming that is learned through only one
pairing of a CS (the flavor) and its consequences (the illness). Although the flavor did not
cause the illness, the flavor is associated with the UCS, perhaps a virus, which did cause
the illness.
1. Once taste-aversion learning has occurred, the organism will never
consume the flavor again
2. The time between the presentation of the CS and when the organism
becomes ill can be very long, 12 hours or more
3. Certain types of animals are biologically predisposed to learn certain
4. Taste-aversion learning has practical aspects. For example, coyotes
can be taught through taste-aversion learning to despise sheep meat.
V.Cognitive Influences on Learning
A. Cognition is any mental activity involved in the representation and processing of
knowledge, such as thinking, remembering, perceiving, and talking
B. Animal Cognition
CHAPTER 7: LEARNING AND BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS 1. Researchers have demonstrated that it is not only classical and
operant conditioning that generalizes across species. Cognition, to
some extent, does as well.
2. Cognitive maps are internal representations of the physical
characteristics of the external environment. For rats, cognitive maps
may indicate where food is located in a maze. Spatial cognitive maps
can be used to:
a) Recognize and identify features in the environment b) Find important goal objects in the environment c) Plan an efficient route through the environment 3. Conceptual Behavior, the cognitive ability to make conceptual
distinctions and to generalize about new concepts and categories, is
found is some animals as well as in humans
C. Observational Learning
1. Observational, or social, learning refers to learning done vicariously. In
observational learning, an organism simply watches another perform
a behavior, notes the consequences, and modifies its own behavior
a) Vicarious reinforcement and vicarious punishment play a
large role in observational learning b) Observational learning is not unique to humans c) Research has well documented children’s tendency to imitate
adult models d) A model’s observed behavior is most influential when: (i) The behavior is seen as having reinforcing consequences
(ii) The model is liked, respected, and perceived positively
(iii) There are perceived similarities between the model and
the observer
(iv) The observer is rewarded for paying attention to the
model’s behavior
(v) The model’s behavior is visible and salient
(vi) It is within the observer’s range of competence to imitate
the behavior
e) Because of the violent nature of many television shows,
individuals may learn antisocial behavior simply by
observing it on television. Research suggests that there are
two major effects of filmed violence. (i) Psychic numbing involves a reduction in both emotional
arousal and in distress at viewing violence
(ii) An increase in the likelihood of engaging in aggressive
f) Pro-social, as well as antisocial lessons, can be learned from 113
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE television viewing. 114
CHAPTER 7: LEARNING AND BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. Discuss how radical behaviorism, as proposed by Skinner, might be used to explain
cognitive development, because cognition is not an observable process and behaviorists
only studied observable processes.
2. What if a child’s behavior was followed by random events, instead of predictable
consequences? What behavioral outcomes might we expect to see with children in such a
3. Given that “little Albert” was removed from Watson’s experiment before his having been
desensitized, how might his conditioned fear manifest itself in “big Albert”?
4. Discuss with the class instances in which secondary gains can provide reinforcement for
behaviors that may be irrational and self-defeating.
5. Discuss examples of the principle of observational learning in the animal kingdom.
SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL A Summary of Some Interesting Aspects of Classical
Conditioning 1. Any stimulus we can perceive has the potential to become a conditioned stimulus.
2. Perception of the CS can take place below the level of conscious awareness.
3. Any response we make naturally can come to be elicited by a learned signal.
4. These responses can be highly specific and simple (such as a muscle twitch or part of a
brain wave pattern) or general and complex (such as sexual arousal or fear).
5. The conditioned response can be a response of our skeletal muscles or visceral organs or
even a “private” response (such as thoughts and feelings).
6. With a powerful original UCS, conditioning may take place in only one trial in which the
UCS is paired with a CS.
7. Stimuli quite different from the original CS can control the appearance of the conditioned
response through higher-order conditioning.
8. Depending on the strength of the CR and the nature of the conditioning process, some
learned responses resist extinction and may endure for a lifetime.
Taken together, these principles reveal the remarkable adaptability of organisms to learned
conditioned associations, but they also are somewhat disturbing. It is obvious that inappropriate
conditioning that is not in our best interest also takes place. Examples of such inappropriate
conditioning include the learning of persistent irrational behaviors, superstitions, and conditioned
addictions. The Effects of Corporal Punishment The use of punishment in the control of human behavior is not merely a matter of deciding whether
it works; aside from the psychological questions involved in punishing people for “undesirable
behavior,” there are moral and legal issues to be considered. Corporal punishment is defined in
educational terms as the inflicting of pain by a teacher or school official on the body of a student as 115
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE a penalty for doing something that is disapproved of by the punisher. This includes confinement in
an uncomfortable space, forced eating of noxious substances, and standing for long periods. The
four most common justifications for using corporal punishment are the following: 1. It is a proven and effective method for changing undesirable behavior
2. It develops a sense of personal responsibility
3. It teaches self-discipline
4. It instills moral character
Punishment, however, does not accomplish any of these goals. Target behaviors are suppressed
only when the punishment is severe and repeated, and only then in the presence of the person that
delivers the punishment. Further, the “side effects” of aversive control include such issues as the
development of a generally negative attitude toward school or learning, avoidance of the teacher,
truancy, blind obedience to authority, vandalism, and learning to use violence against younger or
weaker students. In addition, punishment may be counterproductive. In a study of the spontaneous use of
punishment by teachers, two children from each of five classes were observed for a four-month
period. These children had a high frequency of classroom behavior for which their teachers
reprimanded them loudly in the presence of the class. The reprimands were not effective in
reducing the frequency of the disruptive behavior. During phase 2 of the study, teachers were asked
to switch to “soft” reprimands, audible only to the child being reprimanded. In almost all cases,
disruptive behavior decreased when soft reprimands were used. In phase 3 of the above study, when loud reprimands were reinstated, there was an increase in
frequency of disruptive behavior. In phase 4, to demonstrate convincingly the counter productivity
of loud, public reprimands and the effectiveness of soft ones, soft personal ones were again used by
the teachers. Disruptive behavior declined in virtually all cases where the teacher used a soft,
personal reprimand intended only for the ears of the relevant student, rather than a public
pronouncement to the student’s peers (O’Leary, Kaufman, Kass, & Drabran, 1970). There are many alternatives to the use of physical punishment in the classroom. “Time-out rooms”
and denial of class privileges can be effective aversive control tactics. Private conferences with
“disruptive” students can also be used effectively. Class discussion of acceptable and unacceptable
behaviors and shared responsibility for discipline help create a democratic class atmosphere. In
addition, more interesting curricula and better preparation for teachers in managing children with
the use of positive incentives and reinforcements can be used to reduce the need for punishment. Operant Conditioning the Easy Way Many students have difficulty in understanding the difference between punishment and
reinforcement, as defined by operant conditioning. Students often believe that the term “negative”
must be unpleasant, whether concerning negative reinforcement or negative punishment. To understand operant conditioning, students must first understand the “Law of Effect”, which
states that those behaviors followed by a positive outcome are more likely to be repeated and that
behaviors followed by a negative outcome are less likely to be repeated. Specifically, the Law states
that the consequences of a behavior change the likelihood of engaging in that behavior in the future.
This idea emphasizes the pragmatic adaptability of behavior. 1. Positive Reinforcement, cell (1), means giving or presenting of something favorable,
something that the organism perceives as pleasant. This stimulus can be food, water,
access to sexual partners, etc.
CHAPTER 7: LEARNING AND BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS 2. Negative Punishment, cell (2), refers to weakening of a response by the omission, or removal
of a favorable stimulus, such as removal of something the organism perceives as favorable,
in order to decrease probability of response. This can be removing food if the organism does
not give the desired response when stimulated. This does not do anything to the organism
directly, it just takes away something it happens to like. Students can think of this as
passive punishment, if that makes the concept clearer.
3. Positive Punishment, cell (3), is the opposite of positive reinforcement, in that this is
presentation of a stimulus event that the organism perceives as unpleasant, and this
presentation decreases the probability that a behavior will be repeated. Examples of
positive punishment include such stimulus events as giving the organism electric shock if
it engages in a behavior that the experimenter considers undesirable.
4. Negative Reinforcement, cell (4), consists of removing a stimulus event that the organism
perceives as unpleasant. This condition permits the organism to escape from an
unfavorable event.
Operant Conditioning Matrix
Pleasant Stimulus Unpleasant Stimulus
Presented (1) Positive Reinforcement–serves to
increase response frequency
(3) Positive Punishment–serves to
decrease response frequency
Removed (2) Negative Punishment–serves to
decrease response frequency
(4) Negative Reinforcement–serves to
increase response frequency Skinner used the Law of Effect to derive the cornerstone of Behaviorism, which states that any
behavior can result in reinforcement or punishment. Behavior resulting in reinforcement is more
likely to recur; behavior resulting in punishment is less likely to recur. Skinner’s methods are a
specialized case of operant conditioning and his method is simpler than that used by Thorndike.
Additionally, Skinner made a distinction between classical conditioning and operant conditioning
that clarifies the difference between the two for many students. Skinner said that classical
conditioning dealt with behavior which was elicited by an external stimulus, and that the elicited
behavior was an involuntary response (e.g., salivation). He defined operant conditioning as
behavior emitted from within the participant, in response to external stimulus, but with the criteria
that the response was voluntary (cat pressing lever to get food). Skinner also developed a process
known as shaping, which he defined as the establishment of a new response by rewarding
successive approximations to the desired response. He went on to define chaining, which is part of
the process of shaping, as being the reinforcement of each response by giving the animal an
opportunity to make the next response. Skinner also defined what is known as the ABC’s of
Behavior, as follows: ABC’s of Behavior A = Antecedent (the stimulus event)
B = Behavior (the behavioral response to the stimulus)
C = Consequence (the reinforcement that follows the behavior)
The consequence of a given behavior served as the determinant of the likelihood of that behavior 117
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE being repeated in the future. Given this model, operant conditioning is as easy as your A-B-C’s! Behavioral Control of a Behavior Problem Timmy B. was a five-year-old child of average intelligence who was a “behavior problem.” He
screamed, fought, disobeyed, and bossed others both at home and school, despite his young age.
His parents were concerned over his obviously undesirable behavior, which they expected to get
even worse as he grew older. “He continually told other children what to do and how to play, and
enforced his demands with punches, kicks, and slaps,” they reported. A behavioral psychologist’s observations of Timmy’s mother’s interaction with her son revealed
three things: 1. She reinforced his undesirable behavior with attention
2. She did not enforce consequences in a consistent fashion
3. She did not make the relationship between behavior and consequence clear, because she
often used lengthy explanations before applying discipline
The behavioral psychologists who consulted with Timmy’s mother taught her to arrange three
types of contingencies for Timmy’s behaviors: punishment, extinction, and positive reinforcement. Punishment: As soon as Timmy acted aggressively or disobediently, Mrs. B. took him to a
time-out room that contained no items of interest to the child. He was told only that he
could not stay with the others if he fought or disobeyed. He was put in the time-out room,
without conversation or further explanation, for a two-minute period (or two minutes from
the end of his last cry or tantrum). This punishment involved the negative stimulus of loss
of opportunity for stimulation. It could be removed by behaving in socially acceptable
ways. When the time was up, Timmy was taken back to his regular activities without
comment on the previous episode. Extinction: Less serious forms of undesirable behavior were ignored so that they would
have no reinforcing consequences. Positive Reinforcement: Desirable behaviors such as cooperative play and following
instructions were directly praised, and at the end of some periods of desirable play Timmy
got a special treat. To demonstrate the effectiveness of mother as behavior therapist, the psychologists first observed
Timmy’s behavior for a baseline period, and then instructed Mrs. B. to carry out her behavioral
contingency management program. This sequence was then repeated. Timmy’s aggressive and
disobedient behaviors were dramatically changed by manipulating their consequences. His parents
and neighbors commented that Timmy behaved like a “different child.” During the first baseline
period Timmy followed only about 30 percent of instructions given to him, but a week later he was
following three-fourths of them. On some days, Timmy never misbehaved, even not striking back
when another child hit him. As Timmy’s problem behavior declined, his mother commented more
favorably about him; she felt she was a more effective mother and showed more affection for her
son. WALDEN TWO In Walden Two, B. F. Skinner presented a hypothetical community based on behavioral principles.
Given what we know today about behaviorism, and cognitive theory, is such a community feasible?
You might discuss with students some of the ideas presented in Walden Two and ask for their
opinions about these ideas. Are they outdated? Are they workable? Have recent gains in knowledge
in cognitive theory and information processing made some of Skinner’s ideas obsolete? Do students 118
CHAPTER 7: LEARNING AND BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS even believe that such a community is possible? If so, how might they organize it differently than
Skinner’s community? (From Koss) CRIME AND PUNISHMENT Punishment and the Criminal Justice System. Skinner and his followers identified several
conditions that must be met for punishment to be effective. Your text discusses three of them: it must
be immediate, it must be consistent, and it must be sufficiently aversive but not overly aversive.
Some other conditions that make punishment more effective are that: it should be directly related to
the problem behavior so that it is clearly seen as a consequence of the behavior; it should be part of
a larger process in which the reason for the punishment is clearly explained and the desirable
behavior is clearly explained; the person should be rewarded for engaging in more desirable
behaviors. In examining today’s criminal justice system in the United States, how many of these
conditions does it consistently meet? In most cases, students agree that it does not meet many of
them, if any of them. Perhaps this is contributes to the high recidivism rate we have in our justice
system. What ideas do students have to utilize skinner’s conditions and perhaps improve the
effectiveness of the current system? MORE ON BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION Have students identify a behavior they would like to change. Discuss behavior modification
principles with them and have them fill out Student Activity 5.4 (behavior modification) as part of
developing a plan to modify the behavior they identified. It is important to review the qualities of a
good goal (i.e. it is specific, it is behavioral, it is quantifiable, it is reasonably attainable). And since
choosing an effective reward is crucial to making a plan such as this work, review the qualities of a
good reward (i.e. it should be something they really want, but can live without, in case they fail to
achieve their sub goals, it should be something they have complete control over). This can be a
useful demonstration of behavior modification as well as an activity that can really improve the
quality of some students’ lives. BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES Albert Bandura (b. 1925) When Daddy spanks Johnny for misbehaving, he may inadvertently be providing Johnny with a
model of aggressive behavior that Johnny will incorporate into his own pattern of behavior. This
discovery is only one of the important observations that Albert Bandura has brought to the
attention of psychologists and sociologists in recent years. Graduating from the University of British Columbia in 1949 at the age of 24, Bandura went on to
earn his doctorate in clinical psychology at the State University of Iowa in 1952. There, under the
guidance of Kenneth Spence, who also served as mentor to Neal Miller and John Dollard, Bandura
realized the need for more careful examination of the behavior modification process as it unfolds
during psychotherapy. He drew from Hullian learning theory, Skinnerian behaviorism, and the
current theories of modeling and imitation to formulate his own groundbreaking social learning
theory—behavior modification broadened to a socially oriented context. Bandura began his studies of aggression with children as participants. In the course of his
experiments, he discovered that the kinds of behavior exhibited by parents and the attitudes they
expressed toward aggression were vital in determining their children’s behavior. The implications
of his results were enormous, evoking concern among psychologists and the public over the impact
that excessive violence on television and other media was having on impressionable young minds. 119
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Bandura synthesized these and other research results in Principles of Behavior Modification,
published in 1969. An important and precisely written book, it challenged Skinner’s contention
that mental processes should not be considered in a science of behavior. Bandura’s work won him
a Guggenheim Fellowship and election as president of the American Psychological Association in 1974. A significant product of his fellowship was his classic text, Aggression: A Social Learning
Analysis. One of those individuals who is truly happy only when engaged in a number of projects
simultaneously, Bandura is currently conducting research at several different levels. On a broad
theoretical level, he is studying the development of self-efficacy and the relationship between
people’s moral codes and principles and conduct. On a more practical level, he is developing the
use of modeling as an essential ingredient of psychotherapy. Bandura published a compendium of his research and thinking, Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory, in
1986. Konrad Lorenz (b. 1903) Lorenz obtained his M.D. in 1928 and Ph.D. in 1933 from the Anatomical Institute of the University
of Vienna. Lorenz is widely regarded as the father of ethology, the study of animal behavior as
observed in the natural habitat. His major contributions include research on imprinting and
aggressive behavior, for which he received the Nobel Prize. Lorenz espoused a hydraulic model to
account for aggression, arguing that all stored energy, including aggressive energy, must eventually be discharged. His most influential work is On Aggression (1966). Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849—1936) It is ironic that Ivan Pavlov, whose pioneering work laid the foundations for the behaviorist school
of thought in psychology, believed that psychology was “completely hopeless” as an independent
science. Pavlov rather saw his work on conditioning as a problem of physiology, a way in which to
discover the physical properties of the brain. Born in 1849, the son of a village priest, Pavlov received his early education in a seminary school,
fully intending to follow his father into the priesthood. Nevertheless, after reading several books on
physiology, he changed his mind and decided on a career in the natural sciences. Though he
encountered resistance at home, he entered the University of St. Petersburg and obtained his basic
degree in physiology in 1875. Pavlov’s research for the next 20 years was concerned primarily with the study of digestive
processes, and it was for his work in this area that he won the Nobel Prize in 1904. It was in the
course of directing a number of experiments on the digestive glands that he first became aware of
the significance of the conditioned response. He had been working with dogs as experimental
animals in an effort to establish the precise function of saliva in the digestive process, when he
noticed that many of the dogs secreted saliva even before meat was administered to them. He
quickly determined that this “psychic response” occurred whenever the dogs either had a
preliminary glimpse of the food or heard the approaching footsteps of the lab assistant who fed
them. This was so unexpected a phenomenon that he decided to pursue the process as a physiological
problem, receiving generous funding for the enterprise when the Soviet government came to power.
The new regime was anxious to push forward biological and behavioral research, and there was in
Pavlov, Nobel laureate and brilliant experimentalist, a man who could bring the Soviet Union into
the vanguard of scientific research. A large number of colleagues and assistants joined Pavlov in
his work, thus establishing the longest-lived research project in the history of psychology. The
Pavlovian paradigm is still used as the major approach to the study of psychology in the Soviet
Union. 120
CHAPTER 7: LEARNING AND BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS Burrhus Frederic Skinner (1904—1990) B. F. Skinner was born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, the son of a lawyer. He attended Hamilton
College where he majored in English, hoping to become a writer. During his last year at Hamilton,
Skinner sent some short stories he had written to the poet Robert Frost, hoping for some helpful
criticism. Much to Skinner’s surprise, Frost replied enthusiastically, encouraging the young author
to pursue a writing career. Skinner took the advice seriously and set aside a block of time following
graduation in which to apply himself to his chosen discipline. In looking back on that year, Skinner
wryly commented that while he did indeed write well, he also discovered that he had nothing
important to say.
To remedy that situation, he returned to academia as a graduate student in psychology. He had
done much reading during his year away from school, and in the course of it, had discovered the
works of John B. Watson. The story of Watson’s pioneering efforts excited Skinner’s interest and
thus determined his decision to study psychology. Skinner was accepted at Harvard and earned
his Ph.D. in experimental psychology in 1931. He continued with postdoctoral work until 1936,
when he accepted a teaching position at the University of Minnesota. Throughout this period,
Skinner had been formulating and testing his theories on conditioning. So impressive were the
results he achieved in controlling the behavior of laboratory animals, the U.S. government
employed him in a top-secret project during World War II. Skinner was given funding to condition
pigeons to guide missiles directly down the smokestacks of warships. After the war, Skinner did not hesitate to apply the techniques he had developed to human
participants. On moving to Indiana University as chairman of its new psychology department, he
constructed his famous “air crib”, a sound-proofed, germ-free “box” enclosed in clear plastic and
intended as an environment in which infants could spend much of their time. In 1948, Skinner
returned to Harvard University as a member of the faculty. There he developed the Skinner Box, a
chamber in which animal behavior (particularly that of rats and pigeons) could be precisely
recorded and prepared for statistical analysis. The apparatus had an immediate impact on
experimental laboratories in universities across the country. Skinner became convinced that the learning techniques he had hit on with his methodology could
be translated to the environment of the classroom, and so spent most of the 1950s perfecting his
programmed teaching modules for schoolchildren. With these, children could acquire information
and skills while being led through a series of questions, each of their correct responses eliciting a
reinforcing confirmation. Throughout his career, Skinner published prolifically, and the American Psychological Association
honored him for his immense contribution with their Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award
in 1958. Though he retired as the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard, Skinner did not become idle. In the decade before his death, he published his autobiography, Particulars of My Life, a
book on aging, in 1983, and continued to be active, writing, and espousing the controversial brand
of behaviorism for which he became famous. Edward Lee Thorndike (1874—1949) Edward Thorndike was born in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, the son of a lawyer. He graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut in 1875, but showed no interest in psychology until he
read William James’ Principles of Psychology, after which he decided to study under James at
Harvard. Thorndike’s initial experiments were conducted in the basement of James’ home. When
James lost interest in experimental work, Thorndike left Harvard and obtained his Ph.D. at
Columbia University. There he conducted his famous experiments on cats in puzzle boxes. 121
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Thorndike was among psychology’s most prolific and versatile scientists, publishing more than
500 monographs, books, and articles during his career. He applied his considerable intellect to a
wide range of topics, including individual differences, attitudes, vocabulary, intelligence, learning, and memory. His many writings include the influential book, Animal Intelligence. TIMELINE Yea Event
1898 Edward L. Thorndike proposed that learning was controlled by its consequences,
an idea that he termed the ”Law of Effect.”
1904 Ivan P. Pavlov, a Russian physiologist, discovered classical conditioning.
1905 Albert Einstein developed his theory of relativity.
1909 Henry Ford began the mass production of the Model T, and auto travel became a
democratic experience.
1913 John B. Watson published Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It, establishing his
brand of behaviorism as an approach to studying learning and behavior.
World War I was fought.
1927 Wolfgang K.hler coined the term “insight” to describe a kind of learning in which
the organism suddenly arrived at a solution to a problem.
1932 Edward C. Tolman published Purposive Behavior in Animals and Men, a book
outlining one of the earlier cognitive theories of learning.
1938 B. F. Skinner published The Behavior of Organisms, a book describing the basic
principles of operant conditioning.
1943 Penicillin was discovered.
1953 B. F . Skinner published Science and Human Behavior, a book that applied the basic
principles of operant conditioning to understanding human learning and
1959 David Premack discovered that preferred activities can be used to reinforce less
preferred activities, an idea soon to become known as the Premack Principle.
1961 Richard J. Herrnstein proposed the matching law, the notion that behavior in a
choice situation matches the frequency of reinforcement associated with each of
the choice alternatives.
1962 Albert Bandura proposed his model of social learning theory, a cognitive account
of how imitation and modeling influence learning.
1966 John Garcia and Robert A. Koelling discovered that animals learn to associate
some stimuli with the consequences of their behavior more quickly than other
stimuli, reflecting natural biases in how animals adapt to their environment.
1969 The first man landed on the moon.
1972 Robert Rescorla and Allan Wagner proposed that in classical conditioning, 122
CHAPTER 7: LEARNING AND BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS organisms learn the correlation between conditioned stimuli and reinforcement.
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READINGS Anderson, J. R. (1993). Problem Solving and Learning. American Psychologist, 48(l), 35–44. Describes
Anderson’s ACT* theory, as an elaboration of Newell and Simons’ work, and suggests that it can
account for the acquisition of problem-solving skills. Anderson, J. R. (1995). Learning and Memory: An Integrated Approach. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
An excellent text on learning and memory. Includes a through review of both historical and
contemporary research. Emphasizes two themes, the neural basis of learning and memory and
the adaptive nature of learning and memory, throughout. Bower, G. H. (1994). In Appreciation of E. A. Hilgard’s Writings on Learning Theories. Psychological
Science, 5(4), 181–182. Review of Hilgard’s Conditioning and Learning and Theories of Learning, with
a view toward ecological validity in research. Carey, S., & Gelman, R. (eds.) (1991). The Epigenisis of Mind: Essays on Biology and Cognition.
Hillsdale, NJ: L. Eribaum & Associates. The Jean Piaget Symposium series. Consists of papers
presented at the symposium. Klein, S. B. (1987). Learning: Principles and Applications. New York: McGraw-Hill. A well-written text
that presents material on both animal and human learning and memory processes. Rescorla, R. (1966). Predictability and Number of Pairings in Pavlovian Fear Conditioning. Psychonomic
Science, 4(11), 383–384. Describes Rescorla’s classic experiment on the importance of contingency
to classical conditioning. Smith, R. M., et al. (1990). Learning to Learn across the Life Span. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Compilation of papers from conferences held at Northern Illinois University. Tighe, T. J. (1982). Modern Learning Theory: Foundations and Fundamental Issues. Includes many
examples of shaping, including a baby’s first words, a child’s first attempts to print letters, and
the attempts of a person to remain upright while learning to skate. Wilkie, D. M. (1995). Time–Place Learning. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 4(3), 85–89. An
overview of time–place learning in animals and its relevance to their natural foraging habits, as
well as offering insights into a new framework for studying animals’ memory. DISCOVERING PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM 8: LEARNING AND CONDITIONING Overview Learning is the process that enables humans and other animals to profit from experience,
anticipate events, and adapt to changing conditions. Explains the basic learning principles
and the methods psychologists use to study and modify behavior. Also demonstrates how
cognitive processes such as insight and observation influence learning. Key Issues Pavlov’s discovery of classical conditioning, how classical conditioning can suppress the
immune system of rats, an instrumental and classical conditioning experiment by John Watson, 124
CHAPTER 7: LEARNING AND BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS operant behavior and conditioning by B. F. Skinner, and conditioned therapy for agoraphobia. Archival Demonstrations Nobel Prize winner Ivan Pavlov discovers the concept of classical conditioning in an experiment originally intended to study digestion and the action of the salivary glands. Dr. Robert Ader and colleague Nicholas Cohen condition rats to suppress their immune systems in an experiment involving an artificial sweetener. In the controversial experiment on classical and instrumental conditioning, John Watson conditions a “little Albert” to fear a rat that he had once liked. Psychologist B. F. Skinner examines the effects of positive and negative reinforcement on the behavior of people and animals. New Interview Howard Rachlin looks at what developments have occurred in the field of operant condition since the time of B. F. Skinner FILMS AND VIDEOS Animal Behavior: The Mechanism of Imprinting (1977). IU (CORT), 14 minutes From the first hours of life, ducklings recognize their mother and follow her everywhere. Do they
know her instinctively? Are they born to accept only adult ducks as parents? Scientists once
thought so until certain contrary observations led them to the concept of imprinting, a link between
instinct and learning. A good depiction of Lorenz’ theory. Biofeedback: Medical Applications of Psycho-physiologic Self-Regulation (1987). Insight Media,
54 minutes This program reviews treatment procedures from both the patient’s and the therapist’s
perspectives. It describes the rationale for the self-regulation process, presenting cases involving
self-regulation training for hypertension, migraine, chronic back pain, anxiety, and post-traumatic
rehabilitation. Child Management (1986). Insight Media, 20 minutes Offers ideas on managing children’s behavior using learning theory principles of reinforcement.
Clarifies the difference between punishment and discipline and explains when each is appropriate.
Presentation is done with humor and sensitivity. A good reinforcer for lectures on operant
conditioning. A Conversation with B. F. Skinner (1972). (CRM) MCGH, 23 minutes An interview conducted by Elizabeth Hall of Psychology Today. Skinner traces the origin and basic
principles of behaviorism, including his views on control, punishment, and freedom. He focuses on
the value of a culture designed by behaviorists, but also answers the typical criticisms, “Who will
keep the controllers honest?” and “What will happen to creativity in a culture controlled by
operant conditioning?” Skinner also discusses some of the problems of implementing behavior
modification systems. Skinner’s fascination (his for his science and ours for him) is timeless. Learning (1990). Insight Media, 30 minutes 125
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Explains the fundamental processes of classical and operant conditioning and includes
information on taste aversion. Includes an interview with B. F. Skinner and a segment on the use of
behavior modification with hyperactive children. Observational Learning (1987). HARR, 23 minutes Explores modeling and social learning theory and includes a demonstration of the Bandura and
Walters “Bobo Doll” experiment. Effects of TV violence on aggression in children are discussed. An
excellent film. Pavlov’s Experiment: The Conditioned Reflex (1976). CORT, 9 minutes This film explains the difference between conditioned and unconditioned reflexes, and outlines
Pavlov’s contribution to the study of the physiology of higher nerve activity in the brain. Pavlov’s
famous experiment is realistically re-created to illustrate classical conditioning. The preciseness
and repetition of a scientific experiment with a living organism are graphically apparent. A quick
and excellent introduction to classical conditioning. The Power of Positive Reinforcement (1978). ITJ (CRM), 28 minutes Illustrates how behavior-modification programs that emphasize positive reinforcement have
increased organizations’ productivity, savings, and employee satisfaction. Shows implementation
of such programs in a division of 3M Company, Valley Fair Amusement Park, and the Minnesota
Vikings football team. This film is useful because it shows real-world applications of operant
conditioning principles. A Question of Learning (1982). FI, 60 minutes Mingles dramatization of renowned experiments in behavioral studies with location footage to
examine how naturalists and scientists have uncovered the secrets of animal behavior. Recreates
Pavlov’s discovery of the conditioned reflex, Thorndike’s experiments with chicks, and Skinner’s
famed work at Harvard during the 1930s. Skinner and Behavior Change: Research, Practice and Promise (1979). REPR, 45 minutes The development of modern behaviorism is examined. Skinner is interviewed on theory, uses, and
ethical issues. Examples of the uses of behavior modification are shown. A World of Difference: B. F. Skinner and the Good Life, Parts 1 and 2 (1979). TLF, 53 minutes Traces the development of behaviorism and B. F. Skinner’s application of the theory in raising his
infant daughter in an environmentally controlled box, as well as his early experiments with
pigeons. Includes a visit by Skinner and his family to Twin Oaks, the rural Virginia commune that attempts to live according to the principles in Walden Two. Commune members describe their
successes, failures, and modifications of Skinner’s model, emphasizing their difficulties with sex
and economic roles. Produced for the NOVA series. Keynote Address: B. F. Skinner’s Lifetime Scientific Contribution Remarks (1990). American
Psychological Association, 19 minutes Skinner reviews the path psychology has taken from early introspective methods to modern day
methods including natural selection and operant conditioning. 126
Memory LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Identify and describe the different types of memory, such as implicit, explicit, declarative,
and procedural
2. Understand the sensory memory systems
3. Describe the nature and functions of short-term and working memory
4. Describe the nature and functions of long-term memory
5. Demonstrate knowledge of interference theory
6. Explain the significance of encoding specificity to the retrieval process
7. Describe the nature and implications of the serial position curve
8. Demonstrate an understanding of levels of processing theory
9. Define the nature and function of metamemory
10. Identify the importance of reconstructive processes to memory
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. What is Memory?
A. The goal of the chapter is to explain how you usually remember so much, and why you
forget some of what you have known
1. Memory, a type of information processing, is the capacity to store,
encode, and retrieve information
B. Ebbinghaus Quantifies Memory
1. Ebbinghaus made a cogent argument for empirical investigation of
memory and developed a brilliant methodology to study it
a) Ebbinghaus used nonsense syllables and rote learning to study
what he thought was pure memory b) Non-sense syllables are meaningless three-letter combinations
consisting of a consonant, followed by a vowel, followed by a
consonant. Ebbinghaus felt that these meaningless
combinations were not contaminated by previous learning. c) Rote learning is memorizing by mechanical repetition, as when
memorizing a list of words 126
CHAPTER 8: MEMORY d) In his methodology, Ebbinghaus learned lists of nonsense syllable to a criterion performance level, in his case perfect
memory. He would then distract himself for an interval by
studying other lists, and then relearn the original list. Ebbinghaus called the difference between the time to learn the
list originally and the time to relearn the list as savings. e) Ebbinghaus, and many psychologists that followed him,
assumed that there was only one type of memory. This
assumption turned out to be incorrect. C. Types of Memory
1. Implicit and Explicit Memory
a) Implicit memory is that which becomes available without
conscious effort b) Explicit memory is that in which the individual makes a
conscious effort to recover information 2. Declarative and Procedural Memory
a) Declarative memory involves the recollection of facts and events b) Procedural memory involves the recollection of how to do
things c) Knowledge compilation is the ability to carry out sequences of
activity without conscious intervention. Knowledge
compilation makes it difficult to share procedural knowledge. D. An Overview of Memory Processes
1. All memory requires the operation of three mental processes:
a) Encoding, the initial processing of information that leads to
representation in memory
b) Storage, the retention over time of encoded information
c) Retrieval, the recovery of the stored information at a later time 2. Mental traces are the mental representations of individual memories
II.Sensory Memory
A. Sensory Memory refers to the initial memory processes involved in the momentary
preservation of fleeting impressions of sensory stimuli. Each of your sensory modalities has
a sensory memory or sensory register that extends the availability of information acquired
from the environment
B. Iconic Memory
1. Iconic memory is sensory memory in the visual domain
2. A visual memory, or icon, lasts about half a second
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 3. Iconic memory is not the same as eidetic imagery, or photographic memory,
which holds images in memory much longer than iconic memory.
Eidetic imagery is rarely found in adults
C. Echoic Memory
1. Echoic memory is sensory memory for sounds
2. Echoic memories are easily displaced by new information that is similar
to the sensory experience that gave rise to the memory
3. The suffix effect, where a similar sound impedes memory by replacing
a sensory memory in the final digit in echoic memory, is an example of
the displacement of echoic memories
4. Categorization influences echoic memory because what organisms
believe that they are hearing determines the relevance and importance
of the memory
III. Short-Term Memory and Working Memory
A. Definitions
1. Short-term memory is a built-in mechanism for focusing cognitive
resources on a small set of mental representations
2. Working memory is a broader concept of the types of memory processes
that provide a foundation for the moment-by-moment fluidity of
thought and action
B. The Capacity Limitations of Short-Term Memory
1. The limited capacity of short-term memory enforces a sharp focus of
2. George Miller proposed that seven, plus or minus two, was the “magic
number” that characterized the limits of short-term memory
C. Accommodating to Short-Term Memory Capacity
1. Despite the severe limitations of short-term memory, individuals are
able to enhance the functioning of short-term memory in several ways:
a) Rehearsal involves the rapid repetition of information that is
designed to keep it in short-term memory b) Chunking involves the grouping of information into
meaningful units that can then occupy a single digit of short-
term memory c) The high speed of the retrieval process from short-term
memory 2. Rehearsal and chunking both relate to the way in which you encode
information to enhance the probability that it will remain or fit in
short-term memory
D. Working Memory
CHAPTER 8: MEMORY 1. Working memory, which subsumes classic short-term memory and
also allows retrieval of existing memories, is comprised of three
a) A phonological loop, which holds and manipulates speech-
based information b) A visuospatial sketchpad, which performs the same types of
functions as the phonological loop for visual and spatial
information c) A central executive, which is responsible for controlling
attention and coordinating information from other
subsystems 2. Incorporating short-term memory under working memory helps
reinforce the idea that short-term memory is a process, not a place
3. Working memory span is a measure of the capacity of working memory
4. Working memory helps maintain your psychological present
IV. Long-term Memory: Encoding and Retrieval
A. Definitions
1. Long-term memory is the storehouse of all the experiences, events,
information, emotions, skills, words, categories, rules, and judgments
that have been acquired from sensory and short-term memories
2. Long-term memory is best when there is a good match between
encoding and retrieval conditions
B. Context and Encoding
1. Encoding specificity suggests that memories emerge most efficiently
when the context of retrieval matches the context of encoding
2. The Serial Position Effect suggests that the first and last items in a series
will be remembered better than items in the middle and is comprised
of two separate effects:
a) The Primacy Effect suggests that the first items learned in a
series will be remembered better than others b) The Recency Effect suggests that the last items learned in a
series will be remembered better than others c) Contextual Distinctiveness suggests that the distinctiveness of
an item in a series may explain both the primacy and the
recency effects C. Retrieval Cues
1. Recall involves the reproduction of information to which you were
previously exposed
2. Recognition refers to the realization that a certain stimulus event is one
you have seen or heard before
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 3. Retrieval cues are the stimuli available as you search for a particular
a) Retrieval cues can be provided externally by the environment,
or generated internally by associations and physical states b) Retrieval cues are more straightforward and more useful for
recognition dm for recall 4. Episodic and Semantic memory are two types of declarative memory
a) Episodic memories preserve, individually, the specific events
that you have personally experienced (i) All memories begin as episodic memories
b) Semantic memories are generic, categorical memories, such as
the meanings of words and concepts 5. Interference occurs when retrieval cues do not point effectively to one
specific memory
a) Proactive interference occurs when information acquired in the
past makes it more difficult to acquire new information b) Retroactive interference occurs when the acquisition of new
information makes it harder to remember older information D. The Processes of Encoding and Retrieval
1. Memory functions best when encoding and retrieval processes match
2. Levels-of-Processing theory suggests that the deeper the level at which
information is processed, the more likely it is to be committed to
a) A difficulty with levels-of-processing theory is that it is not
always possible to specify exactly what makes certain
processes “shallow” or “deep” 3. Processes and Implicit Memory
a) Transfer-appropriate processing suggests that memory is best
when the type of processing carried out at encoding transfers
to the processes required at retrieval (i) Implicit memory is assessed using one of four tasks:
(a) Word fragment completion
(b) Word stem completion
(c) Word identification
(d) Anagrams
b) Priming is a process in which the first experience of the word
primes memory for later experiences, and is used to assess the
degree of implicit memory c) These four implicit memory tests rely on a physical match 130
CHAPTER 8: MEMORY between the original stimulus and the information given at test d) Category association relies on meaning or concept rather than
physical match 4. Research suggests that if a specific type of processing is used to
encode information, that information will be retrieved most efficiently
when the retrieval method uses the same type of analysis
E. Improving Memory for Unstructured Information
1. Information that is not meaningful is difficult to remember
2. Strategies for improving encoding include elaborative rehearsal and
a) Elaborative rehearsal refers to elaboration on the material to
enrich encoding, such as inventing a relationship that makes
an association less arbitrary b) Mnemonics are devices that encode a long series of facts by
associating them with familiar and previously encoded
information (i) Method of loci associates objects with some sequence
of places with which the individual is familiar
(ii) Acrostic-like mnemonics use the first letter of each word
to cue a response
(iii) Acronym mnemonics are instances in which the letter of
a word stands for a name or other piece of
3. The key to learning arbitrary information is to encode information in a
way that provides yourself with efficient retrieval cues
F. Metamemory
1. Metamemory refers to implicit or explicit knowledge about memory
abilities and effective memory strategies
2. Feelings-of-knowing are subjective sensations that the information is
stored somewhere in memory
a) The cue familiarity hypothesis suggests that people base their
feelings of knowing on their familiarity with the retrieval cue b) The Accessibility Hypothesis suggests that people base their
judgments on accessibility of partial information from
memory V. Structures in Long-Term Memory
A. Memory Structures
1. An essential function of memory is to draw together similar
experiences to enable you to discover patterns in your interaction with
the environment. This ability to categorize experience is one of the
most basic abilities of thinking organisms.
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 2. Concepts are mental representations of the categories formed by the
individual. Concepts may represent objects, activities, properties,
abstract ideas, and relations.
3. Prototypes are averages across the pool of exemplars, shifting slightly
each time a new exemplar is encountered
a) People respond more quickly to typical members of a category
than to more unusual ones b) People find the average member of a category, even when it is
an average face, most pleasant 4. Concepts do not exist in isolation
a) Basic level refers to a hierarchical level at which people best
categorize and think about objects b) Schemas are conceptual frameworks or clusters of knowledge
regarding objects, people, and situations. (i) These knowledge packages encode complex
generalizations about the individual’s experience of
the structure of the environment.
(ii) Schemas represent the individual’s average
experience of situations in the environment, and shift
with changing life events
B. Remembering as a Reconstructive Process
1. Information that cannot be remembered directly may be reconstructed,
based on more general types of stored knowledge
2. Reconstructive Memory is not 100 percent accurate. The reconstructed
memory is often different from the real occurrence.
3. Distortions in reconstructive memory involve three kinds of
reconstructive processes:
a) Leveling, or simplifying the story b) Sharpening, or highlighting and overemphasizing certain
details c) Assimilating, or changing of details to better fit the
individual’s own background or knowledge 4. Eyewitness Memory is quite vulnerable to distortion from post event
a) Individuals may be unable to discriminate between original
sources of memory traces b) Research reinforces the belief that memories are often collages,
reconstructed from different elements of the individual’s past
experiences c) Post event information can impair eyewitness memories even
when the witnesses are made explicitly aware that the
experimenter has attempted to mislead them 132
CHAPTER 8: MEMORY d) When people are repeatedly exposed to the misleading
postevent information, they become even more likely to report
false memories as real VI. Biological Aspects of Memory
A. Searching for the Engram
1. Lashley concluded that the elusive engram–a physical memory
representation in the brain –did not exist in any localized regions but
that it was widely distributed throughout the entire brain
2. Four major brain structures are involved in memory:
a) Cerebellum, essential for procedural memory, memories
acquired through repetition, and classically conditioned
responses b) Striatum, a complex of structures in the forebrain; the likely
basis for habit formation and stimulus-response connections c) Cerebral cortex, responsible for sensory memories and
associations between sensations d) Amygdala and hippocampus, largely responsible for declarative
memory of facts, dates, names, and emotionally significant
memories B. Amnesia
1. Amnesia is the failure of memory over a prolonged period
2. Selective impairment of memory suggests that different regions of the
brain are specialized for two types of knowledge, with hippocampal
damage most often impairing explicit memories
C. Brain Imaging
1. Research shows disproportionately high brain activity in the left
prefrontal cortex for encoding of episodic information and in the right
prefrontal cortex for retrieval of episodic information
2. Functional MRI scans reveal that the more strongly areas in the
prefrontal cortex and parahippocampal cortex light up during scans,
the better participants are later able to recognize scenes or words
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. Ask the class to assume that they have short-term memory that lasts only a minute. What
would a day in their life be like? Why might they become paranoid in their suspicions
about other people? Now have students think about what it would be like if they had only
long-term memory? Have students consider this latter problem in terms of Alzheimer’s
2. Have students consider that only half of what they learned could be stored in long-term
memory. What general classes of information would various individuals select? Are there
some basic categories of knowledge that are selected to ensure minimal disruption of
ongoing daily behavior? How did students determine these particular classes of
3. In The Mind of a Mnemonist, Russian psychologist A. R. Luria described the feats of a
newspaper reporter who could recall incredible amounts of information following a brief
and seemingly effortless examination of the to-be-remembered material. The reporter relied
heavily on images, primarily visual, but also cutaneous, olfactory, and gustatory
sensations. He apparently had what we call a photographic or eidetic memory. Would it be
helpful to remember everything?
. Doing well on tests might seem like no problem, because the answers could be looked
up mentally. However, because of the vastness of the information stored, this might
take too much time.
. Material stored eidetically is difficult to break down and reassemble in new patterns.
Essay questions might be difficult because of the necessity to take information from a
number of sources and integrate it.
. Difficulty in combining ideas from various sources would put a severe limitation on
. Abstract ideas would be difficult to understand because they often do not lend
themselves to imagining.
. We generally condense and take important information from what we read and hear,
and we associate new information with what we already know. This would be difficult
if we remembered all we see or hear.
4. Consider giving your class a demonstration of the reconstructive qualities of memory.
Enlist the aid of a colleague and stage a memorable but unstressful event. Tell the class that
what they witnessed was an experiment in memory, then have them write down what they
“saw,” as they can best recall. You will probably have as many explanations of the
scenario as you have students in the class. If class members do not object, read some of the
more interesting responses aloud to demonstrate the fallibility of memory.
5. Have students think about their earliest memory. Then, either have them volunteer to
discuss their memories in class, and the class can try to arrive at some interpretation of
their meaning, or have students turn them into you, and you can pick out some of the more
interesting ones to be presented to the class anonymously for class discussion.
An interesting point of discussion here can be trying to find out if these are real memories
of an event, or “memories” that are based on hearing constant retellings of the event by
parents or siblings. Additionally, today you have the first generation of college students
who may also have “memories” of early childhood events that are really the product of
watching themselves on home video recordings. 134
CHAPTER 8: MEMORY SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL The Lost Memories of Early Childhood You may want to begin a lecture by asking students to write a brief answer to the question “What is
your earliest memory from childhood?” People cannot recall autobiographical memories before
their third or fourth year, yet children have remarkable memories in other ways. A two-year-old can
remember where grandmother keeps the cookies even if she has not been to grandmother’s house
for a month. The ability of children to acquire language before the age of three also indicates
considerable memory capacity. Children also store and remember motor skills. If a child learns to
ride a tricycle before he is three, he will probably still be able to do it at 70. So why do we not
remember autobiographical information? Why does not enduring episodic memory begin until the
age of three or four? Theory 1: Repression Freud thought that forgetting is essential to getting safely through the Oedipal years with their
violent and incestuous impulses. In Freud’s theory, childhood amnesia results from repression of
these impulses, and he thought memories from these years can be retrieved in psychoanalysis by
the use of methods such as free association and dream analysis. There is some evidence that people
tend to have a cluster of childhood memories from about the time Freud thought the Oedipus
complex is resolved. However, like many aspects of Freud’s Theory, his ideas about childhood
amnesia cannot be confirmed or rejected by research. Theory 2: Brain Immaturity Another theory points to the immaturity of brain structures. Animal studies have shown that
animals that have mature brains at birth, such as guinea pigs, are able to store permanent memories
early in life, and that animals, such as rats, that are born with immature brains cannot. The brains
of children are immature at birth. They do not have the synaptic connections of a mature brain. A
problem with this theory is, again, why does amnesia affect only autobiographical or episodic
memory? Theory 3: Limited “M-Space” One theory that uses the idea of immaturity of brain structures was proposed by a French
psychiatrist, Juan Pascual-Leone, who worked with Piaget and suggested that childhood amnesia
occurs because of limited M-space capacity. M-space is described as “attentional capacity” and
seems to be similar to the concept of short-term memory. Whereas adults can retain approximately
seven chunks in the M-space, small children can retain only one. For this reason, they are unable to
store retrieval cues. They cannot use what they already know to establish retrieval cues because
there is no room in M-space to bring material from long-term memory. Research shows that the
capacity of short-term memory is small in early childhood and increases to adult capacity by
puberty. However, this theory does not account for children’s ability to comprehend and produce
speech. For example, if a child’s attentional capacity is so small, how can the child comprehend a
sentence of seven or eight words? Theory 4: Schema Differences Explanations also emphasize the difference between the schemas of small children and those of
adults. Children’s schemas tend to be idiosyncratic. For example, a small child’s “daddy” schema
may include all adult males, football games on TV, daddy’s favorite chair, and the lawn mower. 135
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Processes like Piaget’s assimilation and accommodation proceed to alter these schemas as the
child’s organization of reality comes to be more like that of the adults of his or her society. Memories
of early childhood may be altered and revised until they are adult memories rather than actually
early childhood memories. The early memories are altered to “fit” into schemas that the child
develops with age. This theory is similar to interference in that as the child matures, new memories
interfere with or replace older memories. This theory seems reasonably credible because it can be
applied to both episodic and semantic memories. Children do not remember the
overgeneralizations they made of words or the restricted context in which they used early
vocabulary. They also do not remember the grammatical structures they used as they began to
combine words into sentences. Theory 5: Schema Differences, Too Yet another explanation that emphasizes schemas also points to the difference between the
schemas of early childhood and those of later years. Early memories would have to be represented
by actions, images, and feelings, rather than by symbols, primarily words. Even after children begin
to use words, some psychologists claim that language is used for expressive purpose and
communication, but not as a tool for thought. A child might be four or five years old before
memories begin to be symbolically stored with language. As language takes over as the primary
vehicle for the organization of reality, the ability to retrieve autobiographical memories stored as
emotions, actions, or images is lost because there are not retrieval cues. Aspects of this theory have
appeal, particularly because it specifically considers the child’s lack of language. The three primary theories of adult forgetting are motivated forgetting or repression, interference,
and cue-dependent memory. Versions of these same theories can be used to explain childhood
amnesia, along with theories that emphasize immaturity of brain structures. The bottom line is that
childhood amnesia remains a mystery. At present, we can only speculate why it occurs. The Zeigarnik Effect At about the same time that Freud was talking about motives to repress negative information, Kurt
Lewin and his students were looking at the effects of task motives on memory. Legend has it that
they were puzzled by an occurrence in a Berlin beer garden. In Germany, it is the custom for waiters
to write down what customers ordered after they have eaten and immediately before paying their
bill. Once, however, after the meal had been served and the party had been given their bill, someone
asked the waiter a simple question about their order. It turned out that the waiter could remember
very little of it once he had completed his task. The result of this observation was a classic experiment that demonstrated greater recall of tasks
before completion than of comparable tasks after completion. This effect of enhanced recall for
uncompleted tasks was named the Zeigarnik Effect after Bluma Zeigarnik, the researcher who
carried out the study. In the experiment, the participants performed simple tasks that they would be able to accomplish if
given enough time, such as writing down a favorite quotation from memory, solving a riddle, and
doing mental arithmetic problems. In some of the tasks, the participants were interrupted before
they had a chance to carry out the instructions in full. In others, they were allowed to finish. Despite
the fact that the participants spent more time on the completed tasks than on the interrupted ones,
they tended to recall the unfinished tasks better than the finished ones when they were questioned
a few hours later. This superiority of recall for the uncompleted tasks disappeared, however, within
24 hours. Apparently, it was attributable to short-term motivational factors that affected the
rehearsal process. It might appear that the Zeigarnik effect is inconsistent with the notion of repression, since one 136
CHAPTER 8: MEMORY might expect that people would repress their memory of things left unfinished, particularly if the
lack of completion was viewed as a failure. Later research has suggested a resolution of this
inconsistency by showing that the Zeigamik effect only holds for tasks performed under
nonstressful conditions. When noncompletion is ego involving and threatens the individual’s self-
esteem, there is a tendency for the Zeigamik effect to be reversed, for completed tasks to be
remembered better than uncompleted ones. Remembering and Forgetting Why do we forget? Forgetting is a nuisance, but it happens to all of us—why? There is a
phenomenon in human memory known as decay. Jenkins and Dallenbach believed the decay of
memory strength was a function of time. Their research concerned what happened during the time
span and how it could influence how much you forgot—or did not forget. They had their
participants memorize nonsense syllables and then tested their recall at 1, 2, 4, or 8 hours later.
According to Jenkins and Dallenbach, decay theory proposes that busy or not, if time between
memorization and recall is equivalent across participant groups, then the amount of forgetting will
be equivalent. WRONG! Participants who remained awake and working after memorizing the
syllables recalled less than those who were able to sleep and then were retested on awakening did. This effect is a phenomenon called interference. The amount that you forget depends on how much
other “stuff’ you had to absorb and deal with in the interim and what you learned earlier is going to
compete with material learned later. This is called Interference Theory. There are two types of interference: Proactive interference (a.k.a. inhibition) deals with forward (pro) acting interference, the detrimental impact that having learned List A has on your ability to remember a subsequently learned List B. An experimental group tested on List B, the second list, after a retention interval, did worse on recall of List B than did a control group who did not learn List A. (What else might explain this? Serial position curves and the primacy effect). Retroactive interference refers to the detrimental impact that learning List B has on previously learned List A. This is backward-acting interference and occurs when something that you have learned recently interferes with something that you learned in the past. For example, when an experimental group learns List A, then List B, followed by a retention period and is asked to recall List A ten minutes later, performance is poor. Learning List B interferes with memory for List A. Example of Proactive Interference/Inhibition Experiment Protocol Experimental Learn List A Learn List B Retention Period Memory test
Group for List B
Control Group Learn List B Retention Period Memory test
for List B The Control Group in this experiment usually performs better on the test of List B because they did
not have List A to interfere with what they learned later. Example of Retroactive Interference/Inhibition Experiment Protocol Experimental Learn List A Learn List B Retention Period Memory test 137
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Group for List A Control Group Learn List B Retention Period Memory test
for List A The Control Group in this experiment usually performs better on the test of List A because they did
not have List B to interfere with what they had learned previously. Reasons for Memory Loss with Age As people get older, their ability to remember tends to decrease. It takes longer for older people to
retrieve information, and sometimes they are unable to retrieve information that they are confident
is “in there somewhere.” Here are some of the factors that contribute to memory loss in older people. . Proactive interference occurs when something we learned in the past interferes with something learned
more recently. This type of interference may be more of a problem for older people because they have
been exposed to more information than younger people have, and there is potentially more previously
learned material to interfere with what was learned later.
. State-dependent memory tells us that being in the same physiological state at the time of storage and
retrieval facilitates remembering. We change physiologically with age and physiological states
experienced at 65 may be much different from those experienced at younger ages.
. Environmental cues for memory also decrease as people grow older. Houses and other structures they
remember have been replaced, family and friends have died or moved away, streets and roads have
been replaced by expressways, and fields and forests have been replaced by buildings.
. Memory failures in older people may have a physiological cause. Neurons involved in a memory or in
the associations that would lead to a memory may have degenerated, or the supply of an important
neurotransmitter like acetylcholine may have decreased.
. Depression in the elderly may be a cause of memory loss. As a function of such factors as living alone,
being widowed, living far from one’s children, watching one’s friends and acquaintances become ill and
die, and their own deteriorating physical health are all more than adequate reasons for depression.
Depression brings limited attention. If the attention span of an elderly individual is impaired as a
concomitant of depression, memory impairment may follow.
BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850—1909) Born in Barmen, Germany, Ebbinghaus was instrumental in the development of the new
science of experimental psychology at the turn of the century. A professor at both Breslau and
Halle, he was the first experimentalist to conduct vigorous laboratory investigations of human
learning and memory. Using himself as a participant, Ebbinghaus memorized long lists of
nonsense syllables that he believed had no prior meaning or associative value. His research
resulted in several discoveries, including the finding that as the quantity of material to be
learned increases, the amount of time needed to learn it increases disproportionately, known as
Ebbinghaus’ Law, and the serial position curve. 138
CHAPTER 8: MEMORY Endel Tulving (b. 1927) Born in Estonia, Endel Tulving was educated at the University of Heidelberg and the
University of Toronto before obtaining his Ph.D. at Harvard in 1951. He taught at the
University of Toronto for most of his professional career. His major contributions include both
experimental and theoretical work on human memory. In particular, Tulving has introduced
many of the concepts that are today considered indispensable to understanding human
cognition and memory, including subjective organization, retrieval cues, and the distinction
between episodic and semantic memory. Elizabeth F. Loftus (b. 1944) Born in Los Angeles, Loftus earned her B.A. in psychology at UCLA in 1966 and her Ph.D. at
Stanford in 1970. She has been a professor of psychology at the University of Washington since
1975. Professor Loftus’ area of specialty is human memory. Her expertise is in the area of
eyewitness testimony, and she is often referred to as “the expert who puts memory on trial.”
Loftus has made a career of exploring the frailties and flaws of human memory, particularly
with respect to the validity of memories encoded under duress, such as when witnessing a
crime or being a victim of a crime. She is sought after as the expert witness who can explain to
juries the fallibility of human memory, and help them to understand that what the eyewitness
says he or she saw may, in reality, be due to post-event information that has been encoded and
incorporated into the original memory. TIMELINE Year Event
1859 Charles Darwin published On the Origin of the Species.
1885 Ebbinghaus published the first psychological study of memory.
World War I was fought.
1932 Frederic Bartlett published his findings on reconstructive memory, demonstrating
that memory is influenced by multiple subjective factors such as emotions and the
consistency of information.
World War II was fought.
1956 George Miller published “The Magic Number Seven Plus Or Minus Two: Some
Limits On Our Capacity For Processing Information,” outlining his work on short-
term memory.
1959 Donald Broadbent published Perception and Communication, outlining a new and 139
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE important theory of attention.
1963 John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
1966 S. Sternberg published High Speed Scanning in Human Memory, providing the first
evidence that processing of searching information in short-term memory takes
place serially.
1968 Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin introduced the “three-system” model of
1969 The first moon landing occurred.
1972 F. Craik and R. Lockhart published their levels of processing model of memory,
the most successful competitor to the three-system model.
1972 J. Bransford and J. Franks published the results of an experiment showing that
people use schemas in recalling information.
1974 The Vietnam War ended. SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READINGS Berkerian, D. A. (1993). In Search of the Typical Eyewitness. American Psychologist, 48(5), 574–576.
Poses the question as to whether results of research in eyewitness testimony generalize to the
actual eyewitness. Bruce, D. (1994). Lashley and the Problem of Serial Order. American Psychologist, 49(2), 93–103. An
overview of Lashley’s classic 1951 paper on serial order, with its foreshadowing of the coming
changes in linguistic and cognitive approaches to learning, memory, perception, and action. Egeth, H. E. (1993). What Do We Not Know about Eyewitness Identification? American Psychologist,
48(5), 577–580. Can the psychologists logically explain the research on eyewitness testimony to a
jury? Loftus, E., & Ketcham, K. (1991). Witness for the Defense: The Accused, the Eyewitness, and the Expert
Who Puts Memory on Trial. New York: St Martin’s Press. A collection of true stories based on Dr.
Loftus’ experience as an expert witness. Real-life courtroom dramas are used to illustrate
principles of memory and general psychology. Loftus, E. (1993). Psychologists in the Eyewitness World. American Psychologist, 48(5), 550–552.
Discussion of accurate identification of perpetrators and efforts to minimize false identifications. Neath, I. (1998). Human Memory: An Introduction to Research, Data, and Theory. Pacific Grove:
Brooks/Cole Publishing Co. An introduction to the field of human memory. Strikes a balance
among history, theory, and current empirical research. Imparts an appreciation for experimental
design. Pressley, M. (1997). Introduction to Memory: Development During Childhood and Adolescence. Mahwah:
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Summarizes theory and research on memory development in
children and adolescents from a broad perspective. Includes European, Soviet, and American
contributions. 140
CHAPTER 8: MEMORY DISCOVERING PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM 9: REMEMBERING AND FORGETTING Overview A look at the complex process called memory: how images, ideas, language, physical actions,
sounds, and smells are translated into codes, represented in the memory, and retrieved when
needed. Key Issues Long-term versus short-term memory, the chunking process, the peg-word mnemonic, painting
from memory, memory engrams, and organic amnesia. Demonstrations Gordon Bower demonstrates the peg-word mnemonic, a memory enhancing technique. San Francisco artist Franco Magnani’s painting from childhood memories of Italy illustrates
the artist’s remarkable memory and his significant boyhood distortions. Interviews Gordon Bower explains mnemonic techniques. Richard Thompson discovers one memory engram in his investigation of the neural circuits
involved in the memory of rabbits. New Interview Diana Woodruff-Pak experiments with “eyeblink classical conditioning.” FILMS AND VIDEOS The Brain: Learning and Memory (1984). PBS, 60 minutes This program uses theories about brain organization, synaptic activity, and the hippocampus to
explain learning and forgetting. Human Memory (1978). HARBJ, 25 minutes Graphic demonstrations conducted by Gordon Bower of the processes of memory, memory aids,
and the cognitive distortions created while reconstructing memories. Shows what it is like to have
no memory at all, how real learning involves the transfer of information from short-term to long-
term memory, and how the use of retrieval cues can improve one’s ability to remember. Memory (1990). Insight Media, 30 minutes Biological and cognitive research findings related to how we store, encode, and retrieve memories
are discussed by leading memory researchers. The program shows what memory disturbances are
and how certain problems can results from accidents or disease. Memory of dramatic events is
analyzed and the practical application of memory research to witness recall in criminal trials is 141
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE discussed. Memory: Fabric of the Mind (1998). FFHS, 28 minutes Examines information storage and retrieval in human memory. A good review of memory research
and theory. Selected for preview at the APA convention in 1989. The Life of the Mind: Cognitive Processes and Memory (1991). The Teaching Company, in
collaboration with the Smithsonian. One of eight lectures with Richard Gerrig from an award-winning teacher series. This volume
explores cognitive processes and memory. 142
Cognitive Processes LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Describe the differences and similarities between automatic and controlled processes
2. Define Grice’s maxims for language production
3. Describe the various forms of ambiguity in language comprehension
4. Explain the significance of inference in the cognitive processing of language
5. Demonstrate understanding of the significance of Paivio’s dual-coding theory
6. Define “problem space,” and its relationship to problemsolving
7. Suggests techniques to improve problem solving skills
8. Elaborate on the difference between deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning
9. Understand the heuristics and biases involved in judgments and decision making
10. Articulate the significance of framing and reference points relative to decision making
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. Studying Cognition
A. Definitions
1. Cognition is a general term for all forms of knowing
2. The contents of cognition are what you know—concepts, facts,
propositions, rules, and memories
3. Cognitive processes are how you manipulate these mental contents
4. Cognitive psychology is the study of cognition
B. Discovering the Processes of Mind
1. Donders devised the subtraction method, one of the fundamental
methodologies for studying mental processes
2. He proposed that extra mental steps will often result in more time
required to perform a given task
3. Response selection requires more time than stimulus categorization,
because response selection includes stimulus categorization
4. Reaction time has replaced the subtraction method as a method of
testing specific accounts of how a given cognitive process is carried
C. Mental Processes and Mental Resources
1. Demands on mental resources may help determine if a process is
CHAPTER 9: COGNITIVE PROCESSES serial or parallel a) Serial processes require separate examination of each
individual element in an array, one after another b) Parallel processes entail the simultaneous examination of all
elements in an array 2. Reaction time is often used to try to determine if a specific mental
process is carried out in parallel or serially
3. A key assumption is that limited processing resources must be spread
over different mental tasks
4. Attentional processes are responsible for distributing these resources
5. Some processes place higher demands on mental resources dm do
6. Controlled processes require attention and thus greater allocation of
mental resources
7. Automatic processes generally do not require attention and can often be
performed along with other tasks without interference
D. The goal of much cognitive psychological research is to invent experiments that confirm
each of the components of models that combine serial and parallel, and controlled and
automatic processes
II.Language Use
A. Language Production
1. Language production concerns what people say, as well as the
processes they go through to produce the message
a) Includes both signing and writing, as well as speaking b) Refers to language producers as speakers and to language
understanders as listeners 2. Audience design requires that, on producing an utterance, one must
have in mind the audience to which that utterance is directed and
what knowledge you share with members of that audience
a) The Cooperative Principle is instructs to speakers to produce
utterances appropriate to the setting and meaning of the
ongoing conversation. There are four maxims that cooperative
speakers should live by: (i) Quantity: Make your contribution as informative as is
required, but do not make it more informative than
(ii) Quality: Try to make your contribution one that is true
(iii) Relation: Be relevant
(iv) Manner: Be perspicacious, avoid obscurity of
expression, avoid ambiguity, be brief, be orderly
b) A presumption of the listener knowing all that you know is
referred to as common ground. Judgments of common ground
are based on three sources of evidence: 145
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE (i) Community membership: Assumptions made by
language producers about what is likely to be
mutually known, based on shared membership in
communities of various sizes
(ii) Linguistic copresence: Assumptions made by language
producers that information contained in earlier parts
of a conversation, or in past conversations, are
common ground
(iii) Physical copresence: Exists when a speaker and a
listener are directly in the physical presence of objects
or situations
3. Speech Execution and Speech Errors
a) Speech errors give researchers insight into the planning
needed to produce utterances (i) Speakers must choose content words that best fit their
(ii) Speakers must place the chosen words in the right
place in the utterance
(iii) Speakers must fill in the sounds that make up the
words they wish to utter
b) Spoonerisms–one type of speech error–consist of an exchange
of the initial sounds of two or more words in a phrase or
sentence. Spoonerisms are more likely to occur when the error
will still result in real words c) Spontaneous and laboratory induced errors provide evidence
about processes and representations in speech execution B. Language Understanding
1. Resolving ambiguity involves detangling two types of ambiguity
a) Structural ambiguity involves determining which of two (or
more) meanings the structure of a sentence implies, and is
dependent largely on prior context for resolution b) Lexical ambiguity involves determining which of the various
meanings of a word may be appropriate in this context. To
eliminate this ambiguity is referred to as “disambiguating”
the word. Two models are proposed for disambiguation. (i) The constant order model states that, regardless of the
context preceding the use of a word, its meanings are
always tested in constant order, from most to least
(ii) The reordering by context model states that the
context that precedes a word can change the order in
which one tests its multiple definitions
(iii) Context actively affects listener’s consideration of the
meanings of ambiguous words
2. Products of Understanding
CHAPTER 9: COGNITIVE PROCESSES a) Research suggests that meaning representations that follow understanding of utterances or texts begin with basic units
called propositions. Propositions are the main ideas of
utterances. b) Listeners often fill gaps in information with inferences.
Inferences are logical assumptions made possible by
information in memory. C. Language, Thought, and Culture
1. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis suggests that differences in language create
differences in thought. The hypothesis contains two tenets:
a) Linguistic Relativity suggests that structural differences
between languages will generally be paralleled by
nonlinguistic cognitive differences in the native speakers of
the two languages b) Linguistic Determinism suggests that the structure of a
language strongly influences or fully determines the way its
native speakers perceive and reason about the world 2. Research does not support the strong claim of linguistic determinism
that language is destiny, although it does support the weaker claim
that language differences yield parallel cognitive differences
III. Visual Cognition
A. Using Visual Representations
1. Reaction time required for mental manipulation of rotated visual
images was in direct proportion to the degree that the image had been
2. Consistency of reaction time suggested that the process of mental
rotation was very similar to the process of physical rotation of objects
3. People scan visual images as if they were scanning real objects
B. Combining Verbal and Visual Representations
1. Spatial mental models are often formed to capture properties of real and
imagined spatial experiences
2. In reading descriptive passages, people often form a spatial mental
model to keep track of the whereabouts of characters
3. When people think about the world around them, they almost always
combine visual and verbal representations of information
IV. Problem Solving and Reasoning
A. Both require combination of current information with information stored in memory to
work toward a particular goal, a conclusion or a solution
B. Problem solving
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 1. The formal definition of a problem space, of how a problem is defined in
real life, captures three elements:
a) An initial state—the incomplete information or unsatisfactory
conditions with which you start b) A goal state—the set of information or state of the world you
hope to achieve c) A set of operations—the steps you may take to move from the
initial state to the goal state 2. Well-defined problems have the initial state, the goal state, and the
operations all clearly specified
3. An ill-defined problem exists when the initial state, the goal state,
and/or the operations may be unclear and vaguely specified
4. Algorithms are step-by-step procedures that always provide the right
answer to a particular type of problem
5. Heuristics are strategies or “rules of thumb” that problem solvers often
use when algorithms are not available
6. Think-aloud protocols ask participants to verbalize their ongoing
7. Problem solving can be improved by planning the series of operations
that it will take to solve the problem. This assures that the small steps
needed to solve the problem do not overwhelm processing resources.
a) Finding a way to represent a problem so that each operation is
possible, given processing resources b) Practicing each of the components of the solution so that, over
time, those components require fewer resources 8. Functional Fixedness is a mental block that adversely affects problem
solving by inhibiting the perception of a new function for an object
C. Deductive Reasoning
1. Deductive reasoning is a form of thinking in which one draws a logical
conclusion from two or more statements or premises
2. Requires reformulation of an interchange to fit the structure of a
syllogism, thus defining the logical relationships between statements
that will lead to valid conclusions
3. Involves the correct application of logical rules, and is impacted by
both the specific knowledge possessed about the world and the
representational sources that can be brought to bear on a reasoning
a) What is invalid in logic, however, is not necessarily untrue in
real life, and information that is accepted as true can result in
biased beliefs: b) In the belief-bias effect, people tend to judge as valid those
conclusions for which they can construct a reasonable real-
world model and as invalid those for which they cannot 148
CHAPTER 9: COGNITIVE PROCESSES c) Experience improves the individual’s reasoning ability, such
that when a posed problem is familiar in real life, you can use
a pragmatic reasoning schema d) Mental models may be used when pragmatic reasoning
schemas are not available. Mental models reproduce the
details of a situation as accurately as possible, given the
limitations of working memory. Mental models work best
when a unique model of the world can be created D. Inductive Reasoning
1. Inductive reasoning is a form of reasoning that uses available evidence
to generate likely, but not certain, conclusions
2. Allows access to tried-and-true methods that speed current problem
a) Analogical problem solving permits establishment of an analogy
between features of the current situation and those of previous
situations b) Past experience permits generalization of a solution from an
earlier problem to a new problem c) Caution must be employed with inductive reasoning, in that
the belief that a solution has worked previously may impair
problem solving in the current situation d) Mental sets are preexisting states of mind, habit, or attitude
that can enhance the quality and speed of perceiving and
problem solving, under some but not all conditions V. Judging and Deciding
A. Definitions
1. Bounded rationality suggests that decisions and judgment might not be
as good, as rational, as they always could be, but that they result from
applying limited “rational” resources to situations that require
immediate action
2. Judgment is the process by which you form opinions, reach
conclusions, and make critical evaluations of events and people.
Judgments are often made spontaneously, without prompting
3. Decision making is the process of choosing between alternatives,
selecting and rejecting available options
4. Judgment and decision making are interrelated processes
B. Heuristics and Judgment
1. Heuristics are informal rules of thumb that provide shortcuts,
reducing the complexity of making judgments; they generally increase
the efficiency of thought processes
a) The availability heuristic suggests that people often make
decisions based on information that is readily available in
memory. The availability heuristic may lead to faulty 149
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE decisions when: (i) Memory processes give rise to a biased sample or
(ii) Information stored in memory is inaccurate
b) The representativeness heuristic is captures the idea that people
use past information to make judgments about similar
circumstances in the present. The representativeness heuristic
may lead to faulty decisions when: (i) It causes you to ignore other types of relevant
(ii) You fail to be guided by representativeness
c) The anchoring heuristic suggests that people often do not adjust
sufficiently up or down from an original starting value when
judging the probable value of some outcome. The anchoring
heuristic may lead to faulty decisions when: (i) The anchoring information has no validity
C. The Psychology of Decision Making
1. Framing of gains and losses
a) A frame is a particular description of a choice, most often
perceived in terms of gains or losses (i) Framing a decision in terms of gains or in terms of
losses can influence the decision that is made
(ii) Knowledge of framing effects can help you
understand how people come to radically different
decisions, when faced with the same evidence
2. Decision aversion is a situation in which the individual will try hard to
avoid making any decision at all
a) Decision aversion is most often seen in the tendency to avoid
making difficult decisions b) Psychological forces at work in this process include: (i) People do not like making decisions that will result in
some people having more of some desired good and
others less
(ii) People are able to anticipate the regret they will feel if
the option chosen turns out worse than the rejected
(iii) People do not like being accountable for decisions
that lead to bad outcomes
(iv) People do not like to make decisions for other people
3. In some situations, people are decision seeking. People are generally
happier to make decisions for themselves than to let others make
decisions for them
CHAPTER 9: COGNITIVE PROCESSES DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. The “Turing Test” is used to determine whether a computer possesses artificial intelligence.
In the test, a participant sits at a computer in one room and has a conversation with a
computer set up in another room. If the participant cannot tell whether he or she is having
a conversation with a real person or with a computer, then the computer passes the test.
The participant can ask anything that he or she wants; there are no restrictions on
questions. Have the class discuss what questions they would ask if they were participating
in a Turing test. What responses would lead them to believe that they were having a
conversation with a computer or with a human?
2. Almost everyone has experienced a “flash of insight” when the solution to a problem
seemed to appear suddenly in one’s mind. Using personal experience as “data,” have the
class indicate how they would characterize the nature of insight? What sort of process
seems to occur? What triggers it?
3. What is the motivation for engaging in reasoning for its own sake, as in solving crossword
4. Have the class make simple judgments about the length of two lines drawn on the
chalkboard or the weight of typical classroom objects. After the students make their
decision, ask them how they arrived at it. Simple, straightforward decisions are often made
without conscious reflection or deliberation. People simply “know” the correct answer.
What does this say about cognitive processes?
5. Have the class consider the cognitive processes involved in reasoning. What sort of
differences might you expect to see in these processes between a child of 4 and a child of
16? What about those between a child of 16 and an adult of 45? What about those between
an adult of 60 and an adult of 85?
6. An interesting offshoot of this topic is the question of where is this taking us. While for
now, AI is typically used in game and simulation programs and to help operate simple
logic functions of some mechanical devices, as it gets more sophisticated its applications
will continue to expand. This raises the question of whether we will ever develop an AI
program as sophisticated as the human brain. Some researchers believe this is just a matter
of time, others are not so sure. But should we ever succeed at this, it raises some interesting
moral and spiritual questions. Would such a machine be “conscious” and self-aware?
Would such a “self-aware” machine have “personality” or a “soul?” If we succeeded in
creating a machine with full self-awareness, would it be entitled to legal rights? What
ethical considerations would come into play in regard to reprogramming this machine or
shutting it down? While right now this is a question that lies in the realm of science fiction,
it may someday become science reality. How do students feel about this? Do they believe
that we should even be trying to create such a machine? What pros and cons do they see to
these efforts?
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL Fallacies in the Use of Language We often have lapses in critical thinking as we speak and write. A fallacy is a plausible argument
that rests on invalid or false inferences. Fallacies are often used unintentionally, but they may be
used intentionally when an effort is being made to influence the listener or reader. . “If you know about BMW, you either own one or you want one.”
Is there anything wrong with this statement? If so, what is wrong with it? It is an example of the
false alternative fallacy. It is also called dualistic or black-and-white thinking, or bifurcation. This
fallacy occurs when it is presumed that a classification is exclusive or exhaustive. It often takes the
form of overlooking alternatives that exist between two polar opposites. One example of false
alternatives was written by an educator, suggesting that children should begin public school at the
age of four and that high school should end after the eleventh year. “Twelfth grade has become a
bore for able students and a holding tank for the rest.” Given your own abilities for critical thinking,
what are your thoughts on that statement? . “I asked my doctor why my mouth was so dry, and he told me that it was because my
saliva glands are not producing enough saliva.”
What do you think of the doctor’s diagnosis? This is an example of the fallacy of begging the question,
or circularity. This fallacy occurs when the solution to a problem is a restatement of the problem, or
when the argument for a proposition is equivalent to the proposition. Diagnosis of mental disorders
is sometimes considered to beg the question. Consider the following exchange. Question: Why is he so nervous and agitated? Answer: He has Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Question: What does that mean? Answer: It means that he is constantly nervous and agitated. As the questioner, you have no more knowledge at the end of the exchange than you did at the
beginning. You have just been given a label for what you already know. Some examples of this
fallacy seem ridiculous, but they occur frequently and are often generally accepted. Consider
gravity. We all know what it is, but does it really explain why objects are attracted to each other?
No, it simply labels the fact that they are. · “He is an innocent man. He was tried before a jury of his peers and the prosecution was
unable to prove him guilty.”
Is the assumption of innocence justified? This is an example of the fallacy called appeal to ignorance.
This fallacy occurs when it is argued that because we cannot prove a proposition true, it must be
false; or if we cannot prove a proposition false, it must be true. As an example, think about this
statement: “There has never been any scandal about this candidate for President. Therefore, he
must be an honest, moral person.” Is that really true? · “If you don’t pick up your clothes before you go to bed at night, pretty soon you’ll be knee
deep in dirty clothes.”
Is that the way it is? This is an example of the slippery slope fallacy; certain applications of it have 152
CHAPTER 9: COGNITIVE PROCESSES been called the domino theory. The argument is that if the first in a possible series of steps or events
occurs, the other steps or events are inevitable. Here is an example from a letter to the editor of a
metropolitan newspaper, in which the writer was responding to an article discussing the morality
of euthanasia in the case of a person with advanced multiple sclerosis. “If we allow this to happen,
where do we stop? Who would decide at what point someone should die? Do we give them poison
the moment they know they have multiple sclerosis or cancer, before they have any suffering?” . “TV can’t be harmful for children because it occupies their attention for hours and keeps
them off the streets.”
Is this argument against the idea that TV can be harmful for children convincing? It is an example
of the fallacy called irrelevant reason. This fallacy occurs when the argument given to support a
proposition has little or no relevance to the original proposition. Let us look at one more example.
“Conservationists have suggested that we could conserve fuel by increasing the tax on gasoline.
But more taxes, whether they’re paid by the oil companies or passed on to the consumer at the
pump, will not produce one more barrel of oil.” · “I don’t see how he can get elected. No one I know is going to vote for him.”
What’s wrong with this argument? This is the hasty generalization fallacy. It occurs when an
isolated or exceptional case is used as the basis for making a general conclusion. In statistical
terms, it is making a conclusion about a population based on information obtained from a sample
that is biased or too small to be representative. It is an error of inductive reasoning, going from the
particular to the general when it is not justified by the evidence. . “If socialized medicine will result in better and lower-cost health care, shouldn’t the same
logic be applied to automobiles? Wouldn’t nationalization of the auto industry produce
better and lower-cost cars? And if we nationalize auto mechanics, wouldn’t we get better
and less expensive repairs?”
These words were spoken in rebuttal after Senator Kennedy had called for national health insurance in a speech at a meeting of the United Auto Workers. Does the speaker’s argument make
sense? It represents the questionable-analogy fallacy. In a questionable analogy, an attempt is made to
make two situations seem more similar than they actually are. A state senator, using the Crucifixion
as a rationale for capital punishment, gives another example, “Where would Christianity be if Jesus
got 8 to 15 years, with time off for good behavior?” The underlying issue in the fallacies detailed above is the need for critical thinking on the part of
the listener. Think about what was said. This is one of the most important lessons of this course.
Does it make sense, or does it just sound impressive? What motivation could the speaker or writer
have? What would the writer or speaker like you to do based on their message? Fallacies are not
necessarily bad, but they require far greater scrutiny than they generally receive. Again, think
critically and use your abilities for processing information. The Structure, Hierarchy, and Criterion of Language Criterion 1: Phonemes Phonemes are the perceptual units of which speech events are composed. These basic sounds are
used to create words. There are few of them, about 100 altogether, and they form the basis of all
human spoken language. No single language uses all 100 phonemes. For instance, English uses
about 40. We combine these units of sounds to make units of meaning. 153
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Criterion 2: Morphemes Morphemes are the smallest units of language that have meaning. Morphemes consist of what we
recognize as root words, stem words, prefixes, and suffixes. Words that we recognize as meaningful
are made up of combinations of morphemes. We use rules to combine groupings of morphemes into
coherent sentences. Criterion 3: Syntax Syntax is a system of rules that specify how we combine words into phrases and sentences. Looking back at the basics of spoken language, what inferences might we be able to make about the
controversy of whether the higher primates are capable of speech? They seem able to meet the first
two criteria of language, the symbolic and generative requisites, but do they follow the structure of
language, according to the rules of syntax? Not yet, at least so far as we have been able to
determine. Language and the Human Child Developmental Milestones People learn to speak and use language in highly predictable ways. Certain skills are required for
learning to speak, such as babies crying before coherent vocalization can occur. Following crying,
babies babble at age 4 to 6 months, begin using phonemes at 7 to 11 months, and usually speak
their first real word at about 1 year of age. Nouns such as “banana” or “bar” or “mom” get used a
lot at first to indicate the child’s wants. Between 2 and 2. years, sentences begin to appear and increase in complexity up to about age 5, at
which time the child has good syntactical capability and can even tell short stories (like the cat
drew the picture on my bedroom wall). One interesting aspect of language acquisition is that the
phonemes used during the first year by babies are cross-cultural. The early sounds of all babies are
the same, regardless of the language spoken around the child or the language(s) he or she will
eventually learn to speak. Why? Because the first few sounds are easy to make, there are words and
sounds that are common in a cross-cultural sense, such as “mama” and “pappa.” However, what
is the process once babies do begin to speak? Overextensions When learning to speak formally, children are limited by vocabulary size, so they generalize one
concept to include many others. For example, if a child had learned to say “banana”, she may refer
to all fruit, generically, as “banana”, at least for a short time. “Ball” is another frequently
generalized word, and is often applied to anything that is round. This process exemplifies the
child’s use of one concept to include others beyond its original meaning. Holophrases Holophrases are single-word utterances that represent the meanings of several words. This is due
to the child’s lack of ability to form more complex word patterns at an early age. “Car” is an
example of a holophrase. Many children simply say, “car” to indicate that they want to ride in a car
or to tell a parent to look at a car. Before syntax, children express themselves by naming the most
critical aspects of a thought process. 154
CHAPTER 9: COGNITIVE PROCESSES Telegraphic Speech Telegraphic Speech uses content words and leaves out prepositions, articles, and anything else that
is not critical to expression of the thought. At this time, you get comments such as, “car fast.” As the
child’s vocabulary expands, sentences increase in length and their specific meaning becomes easier
to discern. Metalinguistic Awareness Metalinguistic Awareness is the ability to think about using language. Sentences get longer, more
complex, and you see the emergence of puns and jokes, such as play-on-word games, begin to
appear in the vocabulary of the school-aged child. Language Acquisition Theories For most of its history, psychology has expressed little interest in language. Once it did express
interest in language, however, a number of theories followed in quick succession. Learning Theories B. F. Skinner proposed that children learn language by imitation and reinforcement. This idea
would hold that children learn to speak by imitating older children and adults. Specifically,
Skinner proposed that children learn by association of words within sentences, with each word
being a stimulus for the one following it.
Nativist Theories
This perspective was proposed by Noam Chomsky in the 1950s and 60s as a rebuttal to Skinner’s
theory, a theory Chomsky regarded as flawed. Chomsky felt that the flaw was in the association of
ideas, stating that if that was a valid premise, the same stimulus word would always lead to the
same response. He proposed that humans are born with a “native” ability to learn language, that
we have a built-in or hardwired capability for language acquisition. Part of Chomsky’s logic for his
theory is that the language acquisition process is the same, cross-culturally. No matter where you
are or what language you learn to speak, the process is the same. He felt that as children learn to
speak, they mastered two basic sets of rules about language and its use. These are: . Phrase–structure rules that tell us how to combine words and phrases into sentences
. Transformational rules that tell us how to make questions, negations, and other sentences
from declarative statements.
Cognitive Theories posit that language and thought are intermixed, throughout the cognitive
developmental process, and that language is reflective of the changing thought of the child, as he or
she matures. This implies that in order to understand a child’s progress through the process of
language development, you must first understand the course of a child’s cognitive developmental
process. This construct was advocated by Piaget, in his position that language development is
dependent on cognitive development. Central to the cognitive theories of language acquisition are
the premises that: . Humans are born with limited capacity for information processing
. Language acquisition places high demand on that capacity
. Children learn and acquire language by listening, associating, attending, and remembering
word orders and meanings of words in conversations
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE FUNCTIONAL FIXEDNESS An example you might use is the “two-strings” problem. In this problem, a person is placed in a
room. There are two strings hanging from the ceiling. The strings are far enough apart that you
cannot hold onto one string and reach the other one while it is hanging straight down. Even if you
grab one string and pull it toward the other string as far as you can, the other string is just barely
out of reach. In the corner of the room is a table with a screwdriver on it. Your task is to hold onto
both strings at the same time. To solve the problem, you must recognize that the screwdriver can be
tied to the bottom of the other string and used as a pendulum weight. Then you can swing that
string back and forth. While it is swinging, you can now grab the other string, pull it toward the
swinging string and grab it when it swings toward you. Functional fixedness often prevents people
from seeing how to properly use the screwdriver. (Note: Some problems are much easier to solve if you can visually represent the problem. This is one of those problems. Students tend to have a much
easier time of it if they can see the situations represented in a drawing or photograph.) BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES Wolfgang K.hler (1887–1967) K.hler was born in Estonia, grew up in northern Germany, and received his formal education at the
University of Berlin, obtaining his doctorate in 1909. K.hler trained under both Carl Stumpf and the
eminent physicist, Max Planck. While a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Frankfurt,
K.hler served as a research participant for Max Wertheimer in studies of the phi illusion. This
experience stimulated K.hler’s interest in such perceptual phenomena. With Werthiemer and
another Frankfurt colleague, Kurt Koffka, he sparked the Gestalt movement in psychology. While
stationed on Tenerife Island in the Canaries during World War I, K.hler conducted a classic program of research on insight learning in apes. In 1925, The Mentality of Apes was published and
became a monumental contribution to Gestalt literature. In response to growing Nazism in Europe,
K.hler immigrated to the United States, assuming a position at Swarthmore College in 1935. During
his American tenure, K.hler received many awards and citations from scientific associations,
including presidency of the American Psychological Association in 1959. Herbert Simon (b. 1916) Herbert Simon is a modern Renaissance man. He is a creative and influential economist,
psychologist, political scientist, sociologist, computer scientist, and philosopher. Simon is best
known as the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1978. Simon departed from then classic
economic theory by describing how modern businesses, in an increasingly complex world that
contains more relevant information than they can use, reach decisions that do not maximize profits
but merely seek to reach satisfactory goals. Simon has been a member of Carnegie-Mellon University’s psychology department since 1949. He
is the author or co-author of more than a dozen books on problem solving, models of thought,
discovery, organizations, public administration, and automation. Simon’s father, an electrical
engineer, and mother, an accomplished pianist, taught him that curiosity is the beginning of all
science and is to be encouraged in all areas. If there was a question or phenomenon the Simons
failed to understand, they immediately set out to find the answers and reasons. Simon applied the same rigorous methodology to his college major, political science, and to other
social science pursuits employed in the “hard” sciences. As a result, his insight was demonstrated
to a variety of college participants, and led to his receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago
in 1943 despite his being involved in numerous academic and work projects. 156
CHAPTER 9: COGNITIVE PROCESSES His major professional life divides into two periods. In the first, from 1947 to 1958, he focused on
decisions, particularly in organizations. This is Simon’s work that is best known in economics,
political science, and sociology. Since 1958, Simon’s major interest shifted to human problem
solving and artificial intelligence. Much of his work, done in collaboration with Allen Newell, is
best known in psychology and computer science. Simon demonstrated how psychological
phenomena such as intelligent decision making could be simulated by modem high-speed
computers. These mechanical information processors could be programmed to play a winning
game of chess or to produce their own programs to solve a problem. One of the programs he developed, now known as the General Problem Solver (GPS), involves a
strategy that many expert human problem solvers use. Called subgoal analysis, this strategy
involves two processes that follow each other in repeated cycles. The first is to determine
appropriate subgoals and select a promising one for further exploration. An example of a subgoal
in this course is to earn a desirable midterm grade. The second GPS process is to identify any
difference between a subgoal and the current situation and then eliminate or reduce this difference.
If you are not currently headed toward the grade you want, your computer—mental or
mechanical—runs through strategies for changing conditions to achieve that subgoal. If the initial
subgoal cannot be achieved, the cycle continues with different, perhaps initially smaller, subgoals.
Setting subgoals and reducing discrepancies is the heuristic by which GPS approximates the
systematic progress of efficient human problem solving. 157
1925 Wolfgang K.hler published The Mentality of Apes, documenting his studies of
insight learning principles.
World War II was fought.
1945 Karl Duncker published On Problem Solving, a summary of his research and
thinking on problem solving and impediments to effective problem solving.
The Korean War was fought.
1956 Allen Newell and Herbert Simon published The Logic Theory Machine: A Complex
Information, Processing System.
1959 Donald Broadbent published Perception and Communication, outlining a new and
important theory of attention.
1963 John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
1972 J. Bransford and J. Franks published the results of an experiment showing that
people use schemas in recalling information.
1972 Allen Newell and Herbert Simon published Human Problem Solving, summarizing
the cognitive model of problem solving in humans.
1973 Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman published “On the Psychology of
Prediction”, a paper outlining the means by which people make decisions and
describing some of the notable errors in decision making.
1973 W. Chase and Herbert Simon published The Mind’s Eye in Chess, stimulating
interest in understanding expert systems.
1974 The Vietnam War ended.
1976 U. Neisser published Cognition and Reality, one of the earlier texts to set forth
clearly the principles of cognitive psychology.
1978 E. Rosch published Principles of Categorization, a summary of her work on concept
formation showing that people base some forms of psychological inferences on
naturally occurring concepts.
1980 Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States of America.
1982 R. Shepherd and L. Cooper published Mental Images and Their Transformations, a
summary of the kinds of mental manipulations involved in imagining. 158
CHAPTER 9: COGNITIVE PROCESSES SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READINGS Clark, H. (1996). Using Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Suggests that language is
a joint action carried out by two or more people acting in concert with each other. Clark sets
language in a social context and argues that language is more than just the sum of a speaker and
a separate listener. Gabrieti, J. D. E. (1998). Cognitive Neuroscience of Human Memory. Annual Review of Psychology, 49,
87–115. Summarizes current knowledge on long-term memory processes and discusses memory
in terms of neural networks that support specific mnemonic processes. Research from
neurophysiological studies is used to explain the memory functioning in normal individuals
and in individuals with several forms of memory impairment. Gazzaniga, M. (1995). The Cognitive Neurosciences. Cambridge: MIT Press. An important work that
helps define the rapidly emerging field of cognitive neuroscience. Contains the views and ideas
of many leaders in the field. Kosslyn, S. M., & Koenig, O. (1992). Chapter 2: Computation in the Brain. In Wet Mind: The New
Cognitive Neuroscience, pp. 17–51. A wonderful volume that marries the fields of cognitive and
neuropsychology in a concise and readable format. McLeod, P., Plunkett, K., & Rolls, E. (1998). Introduction to Connectionist Modeling of Cognitive
Processes. New York: Oxford University Press. Introduces students to the connectionist model of
cognitive processes. Provides custom software, “Learn,” that allows students to create their own
models. (“Learn” runs on both PC and Mac systems.) McNeil, D. (1987). Psycholinguistics: A New Approach. New York: Harper & Row. A short but
complete look at the relationship between linguistics and psychology. Extended coverage of
linguistic relativity as well as gesture and sign language. Posner, M. (1989). Foundations of Cognitive Science. Cambridge: MIT Press. A thorough reference on
the field of cognitive science, with contributions from leading researchers. Premack, D. (1986). Gavagai! The Future History of the Ape Language Controversy. Cambridge: MIT
Press. A personal look by one of the leading figures in primate communication into the major
issues surrounding the ape language controversy. Reed, S. (1997). Cognition: Theory and Applications (4th ed.). Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole Publishing.
Provides an overview of the major theories and experimental findings in the field of cognitive
psychology. 159
CHAPTER 9: COGNITIVE PROCESSES DISCOVERING PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM 10: COGNITIVE PROCESSES Overview An exploration into the higher mental processes—reasoning, planning, and problem solving—
and why the cognitive revolution is attracting such diverse investigators, from philosophers to
computer scientists. Key Issues The impact of the computer on the study of cognitive psychology, computers that think like
human beings, the parts of the brain used in reading, how human beings organize and
categorize concepts, and how the human mind and computers think alike. Demonstration Analysis of cerebral blood flow during cognitive tasks. Interviews Leading cognitive psychologist Howard Gardner discusses the impact of the computer on the
study of cognitive psychology. Nobel Prize winner Herbert Simon discusses his work on producing a computer that thinks
and solves problems like a human. Michael Posner uses brain-imaging techniques to explore what parts of the brain are used
during reading. Robert Glaser examines why some individuals have not developed basic skills in various types
of learning while others have developed high levels of comprehension. PROGRAM 11: JUDGMENT AND DECISION MAKING Overview A look at the process of making judgments and decisions, how and why people make good and
bad judgments, and the psychology of risk taking. Key Issues The relationship between judgment and decision making, groupthink exhibited in The Bay of
Pigs cabinet meetings, Cognitive Dissonance theory and experiments, and good versus poor
negotiating techniques Archival Demonstrations Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman use “person in the street” respondents to illustrate
fallacies of human intuition. Training program to improve decision making. 161
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Classic early dissonance experiment by Festinger and Carlsmith. Interviews Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman examine the relationship between decision making and the principles of availability, reasoning by similarity, anchoring effect, and risk aversion. Psychologist Irving Janis discusses his study on the impact of groupthink on the Kennedy administration’s decision to implement The Bay of Pigs operation. Max Bazerman examines good and bad negotiating techniques. Psychologist Leon Festinger examines how people come to love the things for which they suffer. FILMS AND VIDEOS Age of Intelligent Machines (1987). IU (AIMS), 29 minutes Examines the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and expert systems. Looks at how a new
generation of machines can perform functions once thought impossible, such as diagnose illnesses,
create original art, and navigate jets. Explains that one of the major goals of AI research is to learn
how the human brain works and to duplicate the human ability to use judgment. Features
contributions by many leading researchers. Can We Talk to the Animals? (1987). IU (CORT), 30 minutes Examines research on human–animal communication that indicates chimpanzees and dolphins
are capable of understanding words rather than just exhibiting learned responses. Communication: The Nonverbal Agenda (1988). CRM, 30 minutes Provides an overview of the field of nonverbal communication. Examines how a variety of
behaviors, such as tone of voice, posture, facial expressions, use of space, eye contact, and body
movement may either reinforce or contradict verbal messages. The Mind: Thinking (1988). CRM, 24 minutes Thinking is defined as the ability to manipulate a model of the world and to plan a course of
appropriate action. Discusses two “failures” in psychology created by our misunderstanding of
thinking: the Prefrontal Lobotomies and the use of IQ Tests to measure thinking. CASE STUDY LECTURE LAUNCHER At the age of 16, Edith Eva Eger’s world turned upside down. She and her family were suddenly
arrested and interned in Auschwitz, a Nazi concentration camp in Poland. Shortly after they
arrived at Auschwitz, her mother was sent to the gas chamber. Before she was taken away, she
urged Edith and her sister to live their lives fully. “Remember,” she said, “what you put inside your
brain, no one can take away.” (Eger, 1990, p. 6). In the horror-filled existence of concentration camp life, Edith found that the basic logic of the world
was reversed. The notions of good behavior she had learned growing up “were replaced by a kind
of animal quiver, which instantly smelled out danger and acted to deflect it.” Matters of life and
death were decided as casually as flipping a coin. You could be sent to the “showers of death” for
having a loosely tied shoelace. After years of being brutalized, the camp inmates longed for freedom, yet, paradoxically, also
dreaded it. When their liberators arrived, some prisoners “rushed forward but most retreated and
even returned to their barracks.” 162
CHAPTER 9: COGNITIVE PROCESSES Edith was a fortunate survivor. She later married, immigrated to the United States, and became a
clinical psychologist. Recently, at the age of 61, Dr. Eger’s need to understand the twisted reality of
the camps motivated her to return to Auschwitz. “I came to mourn the dead and celebrate the living,
I also needed to formally put an end to the denial that I had been a victim and to assign guilt to the
oppressor.” For many years, she had denied the horrible truths of her camp experiences, but
eventually denial was unacceptable to her. By reliving the events of her incarceration and forcing
herself to think about the meaning of that horror, Dr. Eger believes she has become better able to
help others understand events that seem inexplicable in the context of their everyday lives. The fundamental human desire to comprehend the nature of one’s existence that motivated Dr. Eger
was eloquently described by another survivor of Auschwitz, Italian writer Primo Levi. He reports,
“It might be surprising that in the camps one of the most frequent states of mind was curiosity. And
yet, besides being frightened, humiliated, and desperate, we were curious: hungry for bread and
also to understand. The world around us was upside down and somebody must have turned it
upside down . . . to twist that which was straight, to befoul that which was clean” (Levi, 1985, p.
99). Edith took her mother’s last words to heart. No one can take away what she has put in her brain.
No one can take away what you have put in your brain. By becoming a psychotherapist, Dr. Eger
chose a career in which she helps others cope with personal realities that defy rational explanation.
Noting that today’s college students have little knowledge of the Holocaust, she hopes “that some
day, when they are ready, my grandchildren will have the curiosity to ask their grandmother
questions about the time when the world was turned upside down. So that if it starts tilting again,
they and million of others can redress it before it is too late” (p. 9). 163
Intelligence and Intelligence Assessment LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Describe both the original purposes of psychological assessment and the purposes for
which it is commonly used today
2. Identify the methods used to assess individual differences in practice
3. Define reliability and validity
4. Compare and contrast the major theories of individual differences
5. Define the construct of intelligence
6. Describe Binet’s approach to intelligence testing
7. Communicate what is meant by the “politics of intelligence”
8. Identify objective and projective intelligence tests
9. Explain the differences between intelligence tests that are theory based and those that are
empirically based
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. What Is Assessment?
A. Psychological Assessment is the use of specified testing procedures to evaluate the abilities,
behaviors, and personal qualities of people
B. History of Assessment
1. Methods used in China in the 1800s were observed by missionaries
and later brought to England
2. Sir Francis Galton was a central figure in the development Western
intelligence testing
a) Tried to apply Darwinian evolutionary theory to the study of
human abilities b) Postulated four ideas regarding intelligence assessment (i) Differences in intelligence were quantifiable
(ii) Differences between individuals formed a normal
(iii) Intelligence could be measured objectively
(iv) The extent to which two sets of test scores were
related could be statistically determined by a
procedure he called co-relation, later to become
CHAPTER 10: INTELLIGENCE AND INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENT correlation c) Galton began the eugenics movement, advocation of improving
humankind by selective inbreeding while discouraging
reproduction among the biologically inferior C. Basic Features of Formal Assessment
1. Formal assessment procedures should meet three requirements:
a) Reliability: Instruments must be trusted to give consistent
scores b) Validity: Instruments must measure what the assessor intends
it to measure c) Standardization: Instruments must be administered to all
persons in the same way under the same conditions 2. Methods of obtaining reliability, validity, and standardization:
a) Reliability
(i) Test-retest reliability
(ii) Parallel forms
(iii) Internal consistency
Split-half reliability
b) Validity (i) Face validity
(ii) Criterion validity, or predictive validity
(iii) Construct validity
3. Norms and Standardization
a) Norms are typical scores or statistics
b) Standardization is the administration of a testing device to all
II.Intelligence Assessment
A. Intelligence is a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the
ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn
quickly, and learn from experience
B. Origins of Intelligence Testing
1. Alfred Binet developed an objective test that could classify and
separate developmentally disabled children from normal
a) Designed age-appropriate test items b) Computed average scores for normal children at different ages
expressed in mental age and chronological age 2. Features of Binet’s approach
a) Scores interpreted as an estimate of current performance, not
as a measure of innate intelligence 165
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE b) Wanted scores to identify children needing special help, not
to stigmatize them c) Emphasized training and opportunity d) Constructed his test on empirical, rather than theoretical, data C. IQ Tests
1. The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
a) Adapted for American schoolchildren by Lewis Terman of
Stanford University. b) Provided a base for the concept of intelligence quotient (IQ),
with “IQ being the ratio of mental age (MA) to chronological
age (CA), multiplied by 100” (in order to eliminate decimals) c) IQ = MA . CA ′ 100 d) Revised in 1937, 1960, 1972, and 1986 2. The Wechsler Intelligence Scales
a) Wechsler—Bellevue Intelligence Scale developed by David
Wechsler and first published in 1939 b) Renamed the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) in
1955 and revised and re-released in 1981 (WAIS-R) c) WAIS-R is designed for individuals 18 years of age and older,
and has six verbal and five performance subtests: (i) Verbal
(a) Information
(b) Vocabulary
(e) Comprehension
(d) Arithmetic
(e) Similarities
(f) Digit span
(ii) Performance
(a) Block design
(b) Digit symbol
(c) Picture arrangement
(d) Picture completion
(e) Object assembly
d) Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 3rd Ed. (WISC-III) (1991)
designed for children ages 6 to 17 years e) Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, Revised
(WPPSI-R) (1989) designed for children ages 4 to 6.5 years III. Theories of Intelligence
A. Psychometric Theories of Intelligence
1. The most commonly used statistical technique is factor analysis
2. The goal of factor analysis is to identify the basic psychological
CHAPTER 10: INTELLIGENCE AND INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENT dimensions of the concept being investigated 3. Individual contributors
a) Charles Spearman concluded presence of “g,” a general
intelligence underlying all intelligent performance b) Raymond Cattell determined general intelligence could be
broken into two relatively independent components (i) Crystallized intelligence, the knowledge the
individual has already acquired and the ability to
access that knowledge
(ii) Fluid intelligence, the ability to see complex
relationships and solve problems
c) J. P. Guilford developed the structure of intellect model
specifying three features of intellectual tasks: (i) Content, or type of information
(ii) Product, or form in which information is presented
(iii) Operation, or type of mental activity performed
B. Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory of Intelligence
1. Stresses importance of cognitive processes in problem solving
2. Three types of intelligence represent different ways of characterizing
effective performance
a) Componential intelligence is defined by the component or
mental processes that underlie thinking and problem solving b) Experiential intelligence captures people’s ability to deal with
two extremes: novel vs. very routine problems c) Contextual intelligence is reflected in the practical management
of day-to-day affairs C. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and Emotional Intelligence
1. Theory expands the definition of intelligence beyond skills covered on
an IQ test
2. Gardner identifies numerous intelligences, covering a range of human
a) Linguistic intelligence
b) Logical-mathematical ability
c) Naturalist
d) Spatial ability
e) Musical ability
f) Bodily Kinesthetic ability
g) Interpersonal ability
h) Intrapersonal ability 3. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is related to Gardner’s interpersonal and
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE intrapersonal intelligences. EQ has four parts:
a) The ability to perceive, appraise, and express emotions accurately and appropriately
b) The ability to use emotions to facilitate thinking
c) The ability to understand and analyze emotions and to use emotional knowledge effectively
d) The ability to regulate one’s emotions to promote both
emotional and intellectual growth IV. The Politics of Intelligence
A. History of Group Comparisons
1. Henry Goddard (early 1900s) advocated testing of immigrants and
selectively excluding those found to be “mentally defective”
2. “Evidence” for exclusion derived from case studies of two families, the
Juke and the Kallikak families, that allegedly had produced defective
human offspring for generations
B. Heredity and IQ
1. Heritability is based on an estimate within a given group, but cannot
be used to interpret between group differences
2. A heritability estimate of a particular trait, such as intelligence, is based
on the proportion of the variability in test scores on that trait that can
be traced to genetic factors
3. For human characteristics in general, differences between gene pools
of different racial groups are minute, as compared to genetic
differences among individual members of the same group
C. Environments and IQ
1. Research has most often focused on global measures of environment,
such as the influence of socioeconomic status on IQ
2. “Head Start” taught us that:
a) IQ can easily be affected by the environment
b) An enriched environment must be sustained if the results are
to last D. Culture and the Validity of IQ Tests
1. Systematic bias makes some tests invalid and unfair for minorities
2. Ongoing concern exists as to whether it is possible to devise an IQ test
that is “culture-fair”
3. Stereotype Threat–the threat of being at risk for confirming a negative
stereotype of one’s group–can bring about the poor performance
encoded in the stereotype
CHAPTER 10: INTELLIGENCE AND INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENT A. Creativity is the individual’s ability to generate ideas of products that are both novel and
appropriate to the circumstances in which they were generated
B. Assessing Creativity
1. Many approaches to rating individuals as creative or uncreative focus
on divergent thinking, the ability to generate a variety of unusual but
appropriate solutions to a problem. 2. Exceptional Creativity and Madness
a) The exemplary creator who emerges from assessments of
creativity as almost off the scale b) Gardner alludes to a common stereotype of the exemplary
creator—their life experiences border on or include the
experience of madness VI. Assessment and Society
A. The primary goal of psychological assessment is to make accurate assessments of people
that are as free as possible of errors of assessors’ judgments
B. Three ethical concerns are central to the controversy of psychological assessment
1. The fairness of test-based decisions
2. The utility of tests for evaluating education
3. The implications of using test scores as labels to categorize
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. Western culture places high value on intelligence, so much so that we begin intelligence
testing of our children as soon as they enter the public school system. Children are
routinely tested, using a variety of assessment instruments. Testing is followed by school
counselors meeting parents to provide feedback regarding the child’s performance.
Inevitably, the child’s scores become “cocktail party conversation,” with parents
comparing their children’s scores, even though their children may not have been assessed
using the same instruments, or under the same circumstances. Discuss with the class the
range of potential problems that can result from such activities.
2. Given the current three-part definition of intelligence as proposed by Sternberg, ask if
members of the class feel that any one aspect of intelligence is more important than the
others? If so, have them defend their perspectives.
3. Discuss Gardner’s multiple intelligences. How does the class perceive these multiple areas
of intelligence interacting with each other? In which area do various class members feel
they are most intelligent?
4. What is meant by “the politicization of intelligence”? What is the significance of this
activity, and what is the impact of it on us as individuals?
5. Suppose intelligence and creativity were negatively correlated, and you could be trained to
increase one of them. Which would you choose? Ask the class their opinions and discuss
choices with them. Why did they select the one that they did?
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 6. Does the class perceive “street smarts” as a special kind of intelligence? Why or why not?
CHAPTER 10: INTELLIGENCE AND INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENT SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL Aspects of Intelligence Psychometric psychology represents the quantitative approach to the measurement of intelligence,
specifically, to the measurement of mental functioning. Unlike Piaget, whose approach was
qualitative in nature, psychometricians are more concerned with what people know and how they
perform, compared to others, than how they came to know something. What is intelligence? For starters, it is an elusive concept and, as the term is used today, usually
refers to thinking and acting in ways that are goal-directed and adaptive (Siegler, 1991, p. 200). In
practice, we usually think of intelligence as involving three main sets of ideas: Practical problem-solving ability: The ability to get to the heart of a problem, accurately
interpreting relevant information, seeing all aspects of the problem, and reasoning through the
problem in a logical manner. Verbal ability: Speaking and writing clearly and articulately, having detailed knowledge about
a specific field, reading widely and with good comprehension, having a good vocabulary, and
dealing effectively with other people. Social competence: Skills include displaying curiosity, being sensitive to the needs and desires
of others, being on time, having a “social conscience,” and making carefully considered fair
judgments. How do we study intelligence? There are multiple ways: The Psychometric approach: Posits that intelligence can be described in terms of mental factors
and that tests can be constructed to reveal individual differences in those factors that underlie
mental performance. These factors include: . Verbal factors: Includes vocabulary, reading comprehension, story completion, and verbal
. Spatial factors: Such as 3-dimensional rotation abilities, maze learning, and form-board
We use standardized intelligence quotient (IQ) tests to measure intelligence, so IQ tests are the
instruments that ultimately provide the data for theory construction. Developed around 1900 by
Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon, the first IQ tests were used to assess school-related abilities and
to differentiate among children who could benefit from standard school instruction and those
requiring “special” education. Information processing approaches to intelligence testing look at individual differences in how
information is encoded, the speed of processing that information, ease of categorization, and
metacognition (which coordinates the first three). Although the differences measured between and
within individuals change across the life span, there is nothing “inherently developmental” about
the information-processing approach. Information processing is part of cognitive psychology, some
aspects of which are applicable to developmental psychology. Piagetian approaches look at individual differences in the rate of development. This approach is
developmental in nature. Children progress through the various developmental tasks at different
rates and ages, from sensorimotor on through the various tasks of formal operations. Now, let us
discuss some of the actual instruments utilized to measure intelligence, and what they tell us or fail
to tell us. 171
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Some of the instruments commonly used to assess intelligence quotient (IQ) in children are the
following: · Stanford-Binet
· The WAIS and WISC
· The Bayley Scales of Infant Development
The Stanford-Binet for children consists of “games” and identification problems. The WAIS is
primarily pen and paper, and the WISC is both pen and paper and practical ability. The Bayley
consists of trying to get the child to play the same game that you are playing. “IQ Tests” are one of the more commonly used and abused psychological instruments ever devised.
Always be aware that IQ tests measure one and only one type of intelligence: that which is required
to succeed in formal educational institutions. Realistically speaking, the IQ score is the best single
predictor we have of academic achievement ability, but IQ tests are objective rather than projective
measures. Examples of IQ tests with which you, as students, are most familiar are the SAT or ACT.
If you go past a baccalaureate degree in your educational process, you will have the traumatizing
experience of becoming acquainted with the GRE, LSAT, MCAT, DCAT, or whatever applies to your
area of graduate interest. IQ scores can only be interpreted in a relative sense. Your score is based on standardized norms
and indicates how well you, as an individual, performed on a given test instrument relative to other
individuals of the same age and background, when tested under the same constraints. The normal
curve, or normal distribution, is used to define the distribution of IQ scores. Once more, relativity is the essential concept. Whether or not your child is “gifted” in a positive or
negative manner is relative to where he/she scored in comparison to other children who took the
same instrument, at the same time, under the same conditions. When looking at IQ scores and
interpreting them, you will frequently hear the following terms. They are key to understanding
relativity and IQ measurement. Stability refers to the individual’s relative standing over time. Change refers to the change in a given individual’s absolute scores over time. In summing up, IQ scores are useful to us in determining the individual’s potential for success in
an academic environment but beyond that function their applicability fades rapidly. As students
and as future parents, you need to be aware of the applications in which the IQ test is relevant, and
in which it is not. What Color Is an IQ? Critics of intelligence tests claim that one reason that African Americans and other minorities score
lower is that the tests are written in a “foreign” language. The test instructions and questions,
written in “standard” English and testing “standard” concepts, may not make sense to children
who use a different (but not inferior) language to deal with “nonstandard” concepts. To illustrate the gap between standard English and “black” English, sociologist Adrian Dove
developed the Dove Counterbalance General Intelligence Test (1968), a set of 30 multiple-choice
questions. This test, also known as the “chitling test,” uses “Black English” to test knowledge of
black cultural concepts. For example, could you respond to the following? Questions: 172
. “Bird or yardbird” was the jacket jazz lovers from coast to coast hung on _____?
. Do you know the difference between a “gray” and a “spook”?
Answers: . A “blood” refers to someone of African American descent.
. Charlie Parker, who spent time in prison, was nicknamed “Bird.”
. “Grays” are pale-faced whites and “spooks” are African Americans.
Based on just this minimal information, it would seem that American “whites” and American
“blacks” are people separated by a common language! Psychologist Robert L. Williams feels that
the differences in language can be much subtler than the Black English used on test items on the
chitling test. He and L. Wendell Rivers designed a study to measure the actual effect of this
language gap on IQ scores (1972). They enlisted the aid of African American teachers and graduate
students to translate the instructions of an IQ test into nonstandard English. The test they used was
the Boehm Test of Basic Concepts (BTBC), an IQ test that asks children to mark the picture that
matches a concept of time, space, or quantity. Their participants were 890 African American
children attending either kindergarten or first or second grade. The children were divided into two
groups, and the psychologists controlled for the variables of the scores received on other IQ tests,
age, sex, and grade level. One half was given the standard version of the Boehm and one half was
given the nonstandard version. Results were stated as follows. “The children who took the nonstandard version scored significantly higher than those who took the test with the standard instructions. What is surprising is that the nonstandard instructions seem to differ little from the standard version. For example, the instructions on the standard version read “behind the sofa,” while the nonstandard version asked the child to mark a picture of something that was “in back of the couch.” The Black Intelligence Test of Cultural Homogeneity (the BITCH test) was Williams’ next
experiment in designing a culture-specific test for African Americans. Williams administered 100
vocabulary items, selected from a slang dictionary and his personal experiences, to a group of 200
sixteen- to eighteen-year-old participants, half of whom were African American and half of whom
were white. On this IQ test, the whites got lower scores, an average score of 51, compared to an
average of 87 for the African Americans. As Williams demonstrated, psychologists can develop a test that favors a particular group rather
easily. However, the problem that has confronted the designers of tests is how to design a test that
will apply to all groups fairly. Moreover, after the test is designed, how do we best use the data it
provides? Williams (1974) stresses that we must remember that: . An IQ is only a score on a test that measures specific skills.
. An IQ should not be used to label children (as it often is).
. Illiteracy, or a different type of literacy, should not be confused with intellectual ability. An
IQ score should be used to measure an individual’s ability to adapt to and function
effectively in society.
Should IQ tests have color and culture? Is separate but equal the best alternative when it comes to
IQ tests, or should we just be more careful in using IQ scores? What do you think? Think carefully,
because you could be the next group to use a “nonstandard” form of language. 173
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Mental Retardation: The Long Childhood Concern and care for the developmentally delayed, or retarded, individual is a recent phenomenon.
Throughout most of history, no special attention has been given to the mildly developmentally
delayed or disabled person. These people lived a life of manual labor and poverty, sometimes
rejected by family and community. In ancient and medieval times, the more severely
developmentally disabled were frequently abandoned and left to die of exposure or starvation, or to
be killed by animals. Into the 16th and 17th centuries, severely disabled children were often thought
to be divine punishment of the parents, or possessed by Satan. As society became somewhat more humane, institutions for the “feeble-minded” were established,
though the lifestyle of these individuals did not necessarily improve as a result of such institutions.
These individuals lived out their short lives in drab and often punitive surroundings. Many were
victims of genocide. Hitler’s goal to purify the Aryan race serves as a chilling exemplar of this issue.
It is estimated that 300,000 developmentally delayed or disabled individuals were killed under
Hitler’s leadership. Until recent years, developmentally delayed or disabled individuals were classified as morons,
imbeciles, or idiots, depending on the extent of disability. The genetic disorder we now call Down
syndrome was called Mongolian idiocy. The genetic disorder known currently as Tay-Sachs
disease was called amaurotic family idiocy. The situation for the developmentally delayed/disabled individual began improving in the 1960s.
President Kennedy spoke out for these individuals, and was instrumental in making funds
available for research in this area and education for the developmentally delayed or disabled. The
zeitgeist of the 60s emphasized environmental factors in intelligence and challenged the view that
low intelligence is genetically programmed. Developmental delay or disability is difficult to define and, at one point in time, the diagnosis was
made entirely based on IQ scores. Today, the child’s adaptive capacities are also considered in
assessing the intellectual capabilities of the child. Consideration is given to the fact that the
individual’s self-help skills, socialization, language, and motor skills are significantly less well-
developed than those of normal children of the same age. There remains a fuzzy boundary, between
the “almost developmentally delayed or disabled” and the “just barely delayed or disabled.” It is
estimated that about 3 percent of children are diagnosed as being developmentally delayed or
disabled. A diagnosis of developmental delay or disability is not made after age 18. Mild Mental Retardation. Mildly developmentally delayed or disabled children have an IQ of
between approximately 50 and 75, and these account for approximately 80 percent of all the
developmentally delayed individuals. Mildly delayed/disabled children can learn to read and
write and to do simple arithmetic. They learn slowly and have great difficulty with abstract
concepts. Their disability is most noticeable in school. As adults, they hold jobs and live
independently, often overcoming the stigma of retardation. Moderate Mental Retardation. Moderately delayed/disabled children have an IQ between 35 and 55. About 12 percent of developmentally delayed/disabled children fall into this category; many of
them are Down syndrome children. Whereas the mildly the delayed/disabled individual is
described, as “educable,” the moderately delayed/disabled child is described as “trainable.” These
children use language and can learn self-help skills, and their training involves teaching of skills
that will enable them to have a degree of independence in the community. Many of them learn to tell
time, to count money, and to find their way around in the environment.
Severe Mental Retardation. Severely delayed/disabled children have an IQ of 20 to 35. They can
learn some language and self-help skills. Most of these children are institutionalized. About 8
percent of people with an IQ below 70 are severely delayed/disabled. 174
CHAPTER 10: INTELLIGENCE AND INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENT Profound Mental Retardation. These children have an IQ of less than 20, and require supervision
and nursing care all their lives. About 1 percent of delayed/disabled children are profoundly
retarded. It is probably more meaningful to classify the developmentally delayed or disabled individual
according to the cause of their retardation. Genetic causes. Down syndrome is the result of a genetic aberration (it is not a hereditary problem)
that results in three chromosomes at the 21st position rather than two. It is the most common
genetic cause of retardation, and occurs in approximately one of every 1,000 live births. The
incidence of this disorder has decreased as a function of the ability to detect it through
amniocentesis and chorionic villi sampling. The next most common genetic cause of retardation is
phenylketonuria (PKU), a metabolic disease carried by a recessive gene. It can be detected shortly
after birth and controlled. There are a number of other relatively rare genetic causes of mental
retardation, including Tay-Sachs disease, Klinefelter’s syndrome, and Niemann-Pick disease. Intrauterine infection or trauma. Infections contracted by the mother can cause mental retardation.
These causes include encephalitis, rubella, and syphilis. Brain damage to the fetus can also result
from malnutrition and dietary deficiencies, poisoning by lead or carbon monoxide, or drug use by
the mother, especially alcohol, during the mother’s pregnancy. Recent evidence supports a
correlation between use of crack cocaine and fetal injury. The birth process. Premature children sometimes have an immature nervous system, and anoxia
(oxygen deprivation) or head injury during birth can damage the brain and cause mental
retardation. All of these causes together probably account for no more than 30 percent of all cases of
developmental delay/disability, and all have identifiable physical causes. In many cases, these
children have physical deficiencies and deformities in addition to their retardation. It is striking to
note how many of such cases could be prevented or avoided, given appropriate prenatal care of the
mother, and the mother’s knowledge and acceptance of her responsibility to protect her unborn
child. Cultural—familial causes. The majority of cases of retardation fall into this category. Children in
this category are usually mildly delayed or disabled. Usually, they do not have other physical
handicaps and generally do not look any different from normal children. Cultural—familial retardation is most likely to occur among the children of the poor, often in
families that have struggled against poverty for several generations. There are often several
developmentally delayed or disabled individuals among the relatives, and sometimes one or both of
the parents is or are delayed or disabled. In cultural—familial retardation, it is difficult to separate
the effects of heredity and environment, because neither is favorable. Many psychologists currently
think that heredity sets an upper limit, and that environment determines how closely an individual
will approach his or her maximum intellectual capacity. For example, in the case of a child with
cultural-familial retardation, the genes may set a limit of 80 or 90, or higher, but because of lack of
language and cognitive stimulation, his or her test score could be 60 or 65. The study of the Hollow Children is highly instructive. There was a group of people of English and
Scots-Irish descent who settled and lived as a little subculture near the Atlantic coast in Virginia for
many years. The land they lived on was subsequently granted to German immigrants and the Scots-
Irish were forced to move into hollows in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They formed a number of small
communities that varied in degree of isolation from civilization. In 1932, an investigator named
Sherman studied these people, reasoning that the citizens of the various Hollows communities had
a common gene pool, and he was interested in whether isolation from civilization had affected the
intellectual ability of the children. Isolation meant things like no road in and out, no post office, no
newspapers or magazines, and, of course, since the study was done in the early 1930s, there was no
radio or TV. In Colvin Hollow, the most isolated of the communities, school had been in session for 175
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE a total of 16 months during the years between 1918 and 1930, and there were only three literate
adults in the community. To test the children’s intelligence, Sherman used the Stanford-Binet and
other tests that are not so language dependent. The results showed that the more isolated the community, the lower the IQ scores of the children.
The average of the test scores in the least isolated community was close to the population mean,
while the average of the scores of the children in the most isolated communities was below 70.
Sherman tested children from 6 to 16 years of age, and one of his notable findings was that IQ
scores declined with age. In the more isolated communities, the IQs of the 6- to 8-year-olds averaged
about 80. The scores of the 14- to 16-year-olds averaged about 50. There are a number of other studies that confirm the negative effect an impoverished environment
can have on intellectual development. It is a challenge to a society to dedicate resources for the
prevention of cultural—familial retardation. Because of President Johnson’s “war on poverty,”
funds for Operation Head Start were made available in the mid-1960s. A problem arose because
although money was available, the educators lacked the background research to develop a clear
idea concerning how one goes about giving a child a “head start.” Some years later, the program
was pronounced a failure and used as a rationale for reducing funds for early childhood education.
In reality, the program was not an unqualified failure. In some places, it was quite successful, and
provided a wealth of data concerning methods and techniques. If we made another concentrated
effort, maybe it would be very successful. We are often very shortsighted, unwilling to spend a
dollar today to save hundreds of dollars in the future. Perhaps we would serve ourselves and our
children better, if we realized that no amount of money saved in the future can obviate the fact that
our children are our future. Single versus Multiple Intelligence Is intelligence a single, inborn ability that is relatively unaffected by the environment, as suggested
by Spearman’s “g-factor?” Or is intelligence really a combination of several different abilities, as
suggested by Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Or does it involve a combination of some
inborn factor that accounts for some intellectual abilities and a variety of specific intellectual skills
that operate independently of each other? This is a great discussion topic that students usually
have strong opinions about. You might add, that part of the problem, even among the “experts” in
this field, is there is no single, universally accepted definition of intelligence from which to focus
the argument. How you feel about intelligence can vary greatly depending upon how you define it.
The average student or person on the street tends to view intelligence differently than the average
teacher or professor. And both of them tend to view intelligence differently than the average
scientific researcher studying intelligence. With this type of disagreement, is it possible to know
how many different types of intelligence there are? IQ Tests and Labeling One of the dangers in assigning people IQ scores in grade school is the danger of labeling the
student based on an IQ score, and then having that label become a self-fulfilling prophecy. While IQ
can be useful for identifying children who are either gifted or retarded, how useful is it to assign
numbers and labels to those falling within the middle ranges? If one assumes that IQ is measuring
primarily a set of school skills, rather than one’s ability to learn across the board, is it fair to label
someone as “smart” or “stupid” based on an IQ score? While, no one officially uses such terms as
“stupid” to label someone based on IQ, it informally happens all the time, and children can be
vicious in their use of such labels on each other. Since people tend to have stereotypes about what
“smart” and “stupid” mean, how does such a label positively or negatively affect a child? Can it
change the way parents and teachers interact with such children? Could such labels cause a child
to lose self-confidence, leading to even worse future performance, thus fulfilling the label? Many 176
CHAPTER 10: INTELLIGENCE AND INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENT people believe that labeling can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968)
study, discussed in the text, found evidence of a positive self-fulfilling prophecy when teachers
were led to believe that certain students were “smart.” A reverse negative self-fulfilling prophecy
seems just as possible when students are labeled “stupid” or “not smart.” The text also discusses
this issue in regard to the larger effect of stereotypes and the poorer performance of African
Americans on tests when they believe the tests measure intelligence than when they are just lab
experiments. The results of the Steele and Aronson (1995) study indicate that just being a member of
a group that has been stereotyped as not being smart can lower individual performance. How much
more does believing that you, as an individual, are not smart, affect performance? Given how many
areas of practical intelligence that IQ does not seem to measure or predict, we need to be very careful
about negatively labeling children on the basis of IQ alone. This means doing a better job of
educating people on the limitations of what intelligence tests tell us about children’s abilities. BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES Alfred Binet (1857—1911) Born in Nice, France, Binet received his law degree from Lycee St. Louis in 1878, and his Ph.D. in
science from the University of Paris in 1894. Binet was perhaps the most respected French
psychologist near the turn of the century and was responsible, with colleague Henri Beaunis, for
founding the first French psychological laboratory. Binet was fascinated by the concepts of
hypnotism and suggestibility, and became known for his studies of these phenomena before 1900. Binet’s reputation in psychology, however, stems most from his and colleague Theodore Simon’s
first test of intelligence, for which Binet was commissioned by the French minister of public
instruction. The test would later be brought to America, becoming the Stanford-Binet Intelligence
Scale, the most popular and most researched of the intelligence scales. Lewis Madison Terman (1877—1956) Terman received his Ph.D. from Clark University in 1905, having studied under G. Stanley Hall.
Terman’s first teaching position was at the Los Angeles Normal School, but the rest of his academic
career would be spent at Stanford University, where he was department head from 1922 to 1942. Terman was responsible for revising the Binet-Simon intelligence scale in 1916, leading to
subsequent development of the U.S. Army tests used during World War I. Additionally, Terman
carried out an extensive longitudinal study of intellectually gifted children, published in five
volumes from 1925 to 1959, the final volume appearing posthumously, He was president of the
American Psychological Association in 1923. Sir Francis Galton (1822—1911) Francis Galton, the intellectually curious cousin of Charles Darwin, reportedly read Shakespeare
for pleasure at age seven and, by modern estimates, would have received an IQ score of
approximately 200 on a standard intelligence test. Galton’s genius knew few boundaries. He wrote
an unequalled guide for explorers of wild lands, studied boredom at scientific meetings, and
mapped out the locales in Great Britain boasting the most beautiful women. 177
1859 Charles Darwin published On the Origin of the Species by a Means of Natural
1869 Sir Francis Galton published Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into its Laws and
Consequences, in which he attempted to show that intelligence is an inherited
1904 Charles Spearman published General Intelligence Objectively Determined and
Measured, offering his view on general intelligence, or “g”.
1905 Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon developed the first useful intelligence test.
1917 The Bolshevik revolution occurred in Russia.
World War I was fought.
1916 Lewis Terman, though not the first to do so, published an English translation of
Binet’s test; Terman’s translation had the advantage of using the concept of the
intelligence quotient (IQ).
1929 The Great Depression began in America.
1938 Louis Thurstone published his monograph on the seven primary mental abilities.
1939 David Wechsler published The Measurement of Adult Intelligence, introducing his
family of intelligence tests. Unlike the Stanford-Binet, Wechsler’s tests
emphasized both verbal intelligence and performance.
World War II was fought.
1969 Arthur Jensen published How Much Can We Boost IQ and Scholastic Achievement?,
which argued that racial differences were inherited. The article soon met with a
barrage of criticisms charging that Jensen was a racist.
1973 Richard Herrnstein published IQ in the Meritocracy, a controversial book stressing
the societal consequences of differences in intelligence.
1983 Howard Gardner published Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences,
outlining a new theory of intelligence that emphasized athletic, musical, and
interpersonal skills, as well as mental skills, in defining intelligence.
1984 Robert Sternberg published Toward a Triarchic Theory of Intelligence, outlining a
new theory of intelligence that stressed the multi-faceted nature of intelligence. 178
CHAPTER 10: INTELLIGENCE AND INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENT SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READINGS Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple Intelligences: The Theory In Practice. New York: Basicbooks. An excellent
overview of Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Hallahan, D. P., & Kauffman, J. M. (1982). Exceptional Children: Introduction to Special Education, (2nd Ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Among topics covered are definitions and classifications of mental retardation, causes of retardation, methods of measurement, and educational considerations. Herrnstein, R., & Murray, C. (1994). The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. New York: Free Press. A controversial text that suggests that differences in cognitive ability are polarizing America into a cognitive elite and a cognitive underclass. Suggests that differences in IQ score among ethnic groups are partially genetic. Neisser, U., Boodoo, G., Bouchard, T., Boykin, A., Brody, N., Ceci, S., Halpern, D., Loehlin, J., Perloff, R., Sternberg, R., & Urbina, S. (1996). Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns. American Psychologist, 51(2), 77–101. An excellent resource on the concept of intelligence. Presents findings of a task force established by the American Psychological Association to report on the issues of what is known and unknown about intelligence. Significant conceptualizations of intelligence are reviewed, including the psychometric approach, theories of multiple forms of intelligence, cultural variations, theories of developmental progressions, and biological approaches. Plomin, R., & Rende, R. (1991). Human Behavioral Genetics. Annual Review of Psychology, 42, 161–190.
An excellent review and introduction to the field of human behavioral genetics. Rose, S. A., & Feldman, J. F. (1995). Prediction of IQ and Specific Cognitive Abilities at 11 Years from Infancy Measures. Developmental Psychology, 31(4), 685–696. Assessments at seven months and 1 year may predict some cognitive abilities at ages 7 and 11. Rowe, D. C., Vazsonyi, A. T., & Flannery, D. J. (1995). Ethnic and Racial Similarity in Development Process: A Study of Academic Achievement. Psychological Science, 6(1), 33–38. Interesting research on the impact of family environment on results of academic achievement measures. Rushton, J. P. (1997). Race, IQ, and the APA Report on the Bell Curve. American Psychologist, 52(l), 69– 70. Comments on the APA Task Force findings about what is known and unknown about
intelligence. The author argues that the findings on the issue of race were in error. The origins of
racial differences in IQ need to be considered as fairly from the hereditarian perspective as from
the environmentalist perspective. Areas of omitted evidence are discussed, which, had they been
added, would have bolstered the consistency of the East Asian-European-African IQ gradient.
Sternberg, R. J. (1994). 468 Factor-Analyzed Data Sets: What They Tell Us and Don’t Tell Us About Human Intelligence. Psychological Science, 5(2), 63–65. Presents a meta-analysis of 468 data sets, which had used a variety of analytic models and assessment instruments. Sternberg, R., & Wagner, R. (1989). Individual Differences in Practical Knowledge and Its Acquisitions. In Learning and Individual Differences: Advances in Theory and Research. New York: W. H. Freeman & Co, Publishers, 255–278. Examines the distinctions between academic knowledge and practical knowledge, and discusses the nature and acquisition of practical knowledge, which is defined as knowledge, and demonstrates the importance of such knowledge for both academic and everyday life situations. 179
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE DISCOVERING PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM 16: TESTING AND INTELLIGENCE Overview The field of psychological assessment and the efforts of psychologists and other professionals to assign values to different abilities, behaviors, and personalities. Key Issues Psychometrics, racial and cultural bias, intelligence and aptitude tests, the problems with IQ testing, seven kinds of intelligence, and limitations in testing practical intelligence. Demonstrations Racial bias in intelligence and aptitude tests. Philip Zimbardo examines new tests that propose multiple factors and aspects of intelligence. Archival Interview Psychologist William Curtis Banks examines the misuse of intelligence and aptitude testing. FILMS AND VIDEOS Eye of the Storm (1971). Xerox Film, 29 minutes A now classic demonstration of minimal cue differences in creating discrimination by Jane Elliott, a
grade-school teacher in Riceville, Iowa. Arbitrarily designating “blue” and later “brown” eyes as
superior generated remarkable effects on her students. A classic study, well presented. Generation Upon Generation (1974). TLF, 52 minutes Examines the complex code of human inheritance—from the experiments of pioneer geneticist
Gregor Mendel to the discoveries of today’s sophisticated laboratories. From The Ascent of Man
series. Good science, but somewhat tedious. Intelligence (1990). Insight Media, 30 minutes Graphically demonstrates the differences between the intellectually gifted and the developmentally
delayed individual. Discusses the difficulty in defining intelligence and explains what intelligence
tests are designed to measure. Describes the origins of IQ tests and presents the argument as to
whether the tests measure aptitude or achievement. Addresses the question of whether intelligence
is changeable or fixed. IQ Testing and the School (1991). Insight Media, 60 minutes Examines the different tests devised to measure intelligence and achievement, focusing on the
WISC-R, and the issues of reliability and validity. Also explores other factors affecting school
achievement, such as teacher expectations, teaching styles, and class structure. Shows how
students at all levels of ability benefit from a cooperative learning environment. Discusses the needs
of gifted and developmentally delayed children. Nature/Nurture (1986). NCAU (FFHS), 52 minutes Looks at different influences on human behavior and how some characteristics are inherited and
others are acquired. Examines a study of identical twins separated at birth to answer questions 180
CHAPTER 10: INTELLIGENCE AND INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENT about nature versus nurture. Illustrates that knowing what is genetic, chemical, or voluntary in
behavior helps people adapt the environment to themselves and themselves to the environment.
From the Human Animal series, hosted by Phil Donahue. Race, Intelligence, and Education (1974). TLF, 53 minutes Introduces Dr. H. J. Eysenck, advocate of the theory that heredity influences intelligence more than
environment does. Presents six other scientists who discuss their controversial ideas as well as the
theories of other American psychologists and sociologists. Great for stimulating classroom
discussion They Call Me Names (1972). EMC UC, 20 minutes This film examines how the “inferior” stereotype of the mentally or developmentally delayed
individual affects their lives. The film also provides a glimpse of the techniques used in providing
suitable living environments for the mentally impaired, going beyond custodial care. CASE STUDY LECTURE LAUNCHER At the age of 37, Esquire columnist Bob Greene started to suspect that he was dumber than he had
been in high school. At 17, he had been able to add, subtract, and multiply without using a
calculator. Twenty years later, those skills seemed to have disappeared. To see if he could still make
the grade, Greene decided to retake the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the three-hour examination
of verbal and mathematical abilities that many colleges use to select students for admission. Greene
sent in his $11, and on the designated Saturday morning, he showed up at his local high school
with six sharpened no. 2 pencils in his pocket. After one hour, “all of us looked dazed, unhappy,
and disoriented, although I believe that I was the only student to go to the water fountain and take
an Inderal for his blood pressure” (Greene, 1985). The SAT was designed as a standardized measure of high school students’ academic performance.
Admissions officers had difficulty interpreting grade-point averages from thousands of high
schools with different standards and grading policies. Although the tests were designed as
objective evaluations, they have been accused of bias, and, despite many revisions over the years, it
has been difficult to quell those accusations. Across all ethnic groups, average SAT scores increase
as family income goes up. Whites and Asian Americans consistently outperform Mexican
Americans, Puerto Ricans, and African Americans (Hacker, 1986). Men, on the average, score
higher than women do (Gordon, 1990). However, the SAT is changing. Consider the question of calculators. When the SAT was introduced
in 1941, pocket calculators did not exist. When Greene took the test for the second time, the proctor
instructed that “Calculators or calculator watches may not be used.” When Greene’s test results finally arrived in the mail, his hands were shaking. He felt ridiculous.
After all, he already had a college degree and a successful career. Nevertheless, he nervously ripped
open the envelope. Not surprisingly for a writer, Greene’s verbal score had gone up 56 points. In
math, over the two decades, his score had nose-dived by 200 points. Just as it is difficult to know
why some groups perform better than others on the SAT, it is impossible to know for sure why Bob
Greene’s math score plummeted. Wasn’t the test supposed to measure his basic aptitude for math—
what he understood and not just what he had learned? Had his math aptitude decreased because
in his work he does not often use the math skills that he once practiced regularly in high school?
Would he have improved his score if he had signed up for a course that prepared him in advance
for the test? Had he just been watching too much TV? 181
Human Development across the Life Span LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Describe the significance and characteristics of the pubescent growth spurt
2. Explain the physical and psychological changes that occur during the adult years
3. Describe Piaget’s stages of cognitive development and discuss their significance
4. Define the concept of critical periods and explain its significance to development
5. Describe Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development
6. Comment on the importance and influence of culture to development
7. Identify Kohlberg’s stages of moral reasoning
8. Describe the importance of attachment styles and the problems experienced by those
without secure attachments
9. Describe the influence of gender roles and gender identity on development
10. Describe the developmental tasks and challenges of adulthood
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. Studying and Explaining Development
A. Developmental psychology is the area of psychology that is concerned with changes in
physical and psychological functioning that occur from conception across the entire life
B. Documenting Development
1. Documenting development requires learning to differentiate between
research that documents age changes and research that documents
age differences
a) Age change documents the ways in which individuals change
as they grow older b) Age differences document the ways in which individuals of
different ages differ from one another 2. Normative investigations seek to describe characteristics of a specific
age or stage of development, providing norms based on observations
of many individuals, such research efforts permit distinctions to be
made between:
a) Chronological age: The number of months or years since birth b) Developmental age: The chronological age at which most 182
CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN individuals display the particular level of physical and mental development demonstrated by that individual 3. Norms permit a standardized basis (such as the Bayley Scales in the
text) for comparisons between individuals and between groups
4. Research designs
a) Longitudinal designs make repeated observations of the same
individuals, over an extended period of time b) Cross-sectional designs (includes most developmental research)
observe and compare groups of individuals of different
chronological ages, at the same time c) Sequential designs combine the best features of both
longitudinal and cross-sectional designs, by studying, over
time, individuals from different birth cohorts C. Explaining Development
1. Explaining shared aspects of development requires consideration of
both universal aspects of change and the unique aspects of change
that characterize each individual
2. The nature—nurture contrast is most often applied to the childhood
aspects of change by asking such questions as:
a) To what extent is development determined by heredity
(nature)? b) To what extent is development a product of learned
experiences (nurture)? 3. John Locke proposed empiricism, a nurture perspective that credits
human development to experience
4. Jean-Jacques Rousseau proposed a nativist view, that the evolutionary
legacy each individual brings into the world is the mold that shapes
5. Locke’s and Rousseau’s respective positions fail to do justice to
human behavior, because complex actions are shaped by both
heredity and experience
a) Heredity provides potential b) Experience determines the manner in which potential is (or is
not) fulfilled II.Physical Development across the Life Span
A. Physical Development refers to an organism’s changes, maturation, and growth from
conception and continuing across the life span
B. Prenatal and Childhood Development
1. Physical Development in the Womb
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE a) A zygote is formed when a male’s sperm cell fertilizes a
female’s egg b) Earliest behavior, the heartbeat, appears during prenatal
period, about 3 weeks after conception c) Spontaneous movements observed by week 8 d) After week 8, the developing embryo is referred to as a fetus e) Mother feels fetal movements at about week 16 f) Prenatal brain growth generates 250,000 neurons per minute (i) Proliferation and migration of neurons in humans
and many other mammals occur prenatally
(ii) Development of branching processes of axons and
dendrites occurs largely after birth
2. Babies Prewired for Survival
a) Hearing functions before birth, as evidenced by neonates
preference for its mother’s voice b) Vision is less well developed at birth than are other senses,
and though “legally blind,” neonates’ eyes turn in the
direction of a voice (i) Infants perceive best large objects displaying high
(ii) By 4 months of age, infants prefer looking at
contoured objects rather than plain ones, complex
objects to simple ones, and whole faces to those with
disarrayed features
3. Growth and Maturation in Childhood
a) Disproportionate early growth takes place within the head (i) Total mass of axons and neurons rapidly increases
the total mass of brain cells
(ii) Infant boys’ weight doubles in the first 6 months of
life, and triples by age 1
(iii) At age 2, the child’s trunk is about half its adult
(iv) Genital tissue growth is unremarkable until
b) Much of early growth occurs in concentrated bursts c) In most children, physical growth is accompanied by
maturation of motor ability d) Maturation refers to the process of growth typical of all
members of a species who are reared in the species usual
habitat, and describes systematic changes occurring, over
time, in bodily functioning and behavior e) Maturation is influenced by genetic factors, pre- and postnatal
chemical environments, and sensory factors that are constant
for all members of the species 184
CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN f) By ages 6 to 7, most basic motor skills are in place 4. Physical Development in Adolescence
a) First concrete indication of childhood’s end is the pubescent
growth spurt, about age 10 for girls and about 12 for boys, with
flow of hormones into bloodstream b) Puberty, sexual maturity, is reached 2 to 3 years following the
onset of the growth spurt (i) For females, puberty begins with menarche
(ii) For males, puberty begins with production of live
(iii) Physical changes often bring an awareness of sexual
c) Physical changes of adolescence may exaggerate the
adolescent’s concern with their body image, their subjective
view of their appearance (i) Females seem to have less average confidence in their
physical attractiveness dm do males
(ii) When exaggerated, females preoccupation with body
image and aspects of the social self can lead to self-
destructive behavior, such as eating disorders
(a) Anorexia, involves self-imposed starvation
(b) Bulimia, involves binging and purging
C. Physical Changes In Adulthood
1. Some senses may become less acute
2. Changes occur gradually
3. Many physical changes occur as a result of disuse, rather than aging
4. Some changes are largely unavoidable
a) Visual function diminishes for most people over age 65 (i) Lenses of eyes become yellowed and less flexible
(ii) Lens rigidity impacts adaptation to dark
b) Hearing loss is common past age 60 (i) Older adults may have difficulty hearing high-
frequency sounds, with males experiencing more
difficulty than females
(ii) Changes in hearing are gradual and may not be
realized until they are extreme
c) Reproductive and sexual functioning changes (i) Females experience menopause around age 50
(ii) Quantity of sperm in males decreases after age 40,
and seminal fluid volume declines past age 60
(iii) Increasing age and physical change do not
necessarily impair other aspects of sexual experience
III. Cognitive Development across the Life Span
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE A. Cognitive development is the study of the processes and products of the mind, as they
emerge and change over time
B. Piaget’s Insights into Mental Development
1. Piaget saw the mind as an active biological system, seeking, selecting,
interpreting, and reorganizing environmental information to fit with
or adjust to its own existing mental structures
2. Piaget’s interest was not in the amount of information children
possessed, but in the ways children’s thinking and inner
representations of outer physical reality changed at different stages in
their development
3. Schemes are the mental structures enabling the individual to interpret
the world
a) Schemes are the building blocks of development change b) Piaget characterized infants’ initial schemes as sensorimotor
intelligence (i) First dependent on physical presence of objects that
could be sucked, watched, or grasped
(ii) Later, mental structures increasingly incorporate
symbolic representations of outer reality
4. Piaget saw cognitive development as the result of the interweaving of
assimilation and accommodation. These two processes work in tandem
to achieve cognitive growth a) Assimilation modifies new environmental information to fit
into what is already known b) Accommodation restructures or modifies the child’s existing
schemes so that new information is accounted for more
completely c) Discrepancies between already held ideas and new
experiences force development of more adaptive inner
structures and processes that permit creative and appropriate
actions to meet future challenges 5. Stages in Cognitive Development
a) Sensorimotor stage: infancy, roughly from birth to age 2 (i) Child is tied to the immediate environment and
motor-action themes
(ii) Most important cognitive acquisition of infancy is
attainment of object permanence, the ability to form
mental representations of absent objects
b) Preoperational stage: roughly 2 to 7 years of age (i) Main cognitive advance is improved ability to
mentally represent objects not physically present
CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN (ii) Piaget characterized this stage in terms of what the
child cannot do, other than the development of
representational thought
(iii) Child’s thoughts at this stage are characterized by
egocentrism, an inability to take the perspective of
another, or to imagine a scene from any perspective
other than one’s own, as demonstrated by Piaget’s
three-mountain task (iv) Children at this stage have difficulty distinguishing
the mental from the physical world, as demonstrated
by animistic thought
(v) Centration is the tendency to be captivated (centrated)
by the more perceptually striking features of objects
c) Concrete operational stage: roughly ages 7 to 11 years of age (i) Child is capable of mental operations
(ii) Mastery of conservation is a hallmark of this stage
(iii) Children at this stage generally do not ask abstract
questions, but remain with specifics
d) Formal operational stage: roughly from age 11 on (i) Represent the final stage of cognitive growth, in
which thinking becomes abstract
(ii) Adolescents realize their reality is only one of several
that are imaginable, and begin pondering deeper
questions of truth, justice, and existence
(iii) Individual begins to impose his/her own structures
on tasks, beginning with broad categories, then
formulating and testing hypotheses in light of the
individual’s knowledge of categories and
C. Contemporary Perspectives on Early Cognitive Development
1. Contemporary research posits a greater degree of order, organization,
and coherence in the perceptual and cognitive experience of the infant
and young child than that proposed by Piaget
2. Recent research shows that differences in conceptual understanding
between preoperational and concrete operational children may be a
difference in immediate memory
a) The sensorimotor child revisited: 3-month-old neonates may
have already developed the concept of object permanence, as
well as being able to integrate information across sensory
domains b) The preoperational child revisited (i) Egocentrism may not be ongoing, as recent research
indicates the child to have the ability to take the
perspective of the other if the task is simple
(ii) Children at this stage also have the ability to
differentiate mental and physical worlds, if they are
asked the correct questions
(iii) Recent research indicates the preoperational child is
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE not exclusively centrated 3. Children’s Foundational Theories
a) Recent research explores the notion that changes occur
separately, in several domains, as the child develops
foundational theories, or frameworks for initial
understanding, to explain experiences of the world b) Children accumulate experiences into a theory of mind,
through performing the functions of psychologists c) Children must be young practitioners of disciplines such as
physics and biology in order to perfect their understanding of
various aspects of the world 4. Social and Cultural Influences on Cognitive Development
a) Late in his life, Piaget began to question the cross-cultural
validity of his findings. Research has since shown that there
are cross-cultural differences in cognitive development. b) Vygotsky argued that children developed through a process of
internalization, that they absorb knowledge from their social
context. c) The concept of internalization helps to explain the effect
culture has on cognitive development. D. Cognitive Development in Adulthood
1. Intelligence
a) Only about 5 percent of the healthy elderly experience a major
loss in cognitive functioning b) Age-related decline in functioning is usually limited to only
some abilities, such as (i) Difficulty in forming new associations
(ii) Slower acquisition of new information
c) As compared to crystallized intelligence, only fluid
intelligence shows a slight decline with increasing age d) Wisdom, experience in the fundamental pragmatics of life, may
experience age-related gains 2. Elderly individuals who pursue high levels of environmental
stimulation tend to maintain high levels of cognitive functioning
a) Disuse, rather than decay, may be responsible for isolated
deficits in cognitive functioning b) Successful aging may be linked to a strategy of selective
optimization with compensation (i) Selective means scaling down the number and extent
of goals
(ii) Optimization refers to exercising or training oneself in
areas of individual highest priority
CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN (iii) Compensation means using alternative methods of
dealing with losses, such as choosing age-friendly
3. Memory
a) Not all memory systems show age-related deficits; general
knowledge store and personal information does not appear to
diminish b) Older adults do experience difficulty in acquisition of new
information c) Elderly individuals’ memory performance may be impaired by
their belief that their memory will be poor d) Certain age-related neurobiological changes may result in
impaired memory: (i) Loss or decay of cells in the brain
(ii) Deficiencies in neurotransmitters
(iii) Patients with Alzheimer’s disease experience gradual
loss of memory, as well as deterioration of
personality, which
(a) Affects ±5% of individuals past age 65 and
±20% of individuals past age 80
(b) Deceptively mild onset
(c) Steady deterioration, including
(d) Gradual personality changes
(e) Inattentiveness and mutism
(f) Lack of ability to care for oneself
(g) Loss of memory for who they are
(h) Eventual death
IV. Acquiring Language
A. Most researchers agree that the ability to learn language is biologically based–that it is an
innate capacity
1. Perceiving Speech and Perceiving Words: A child’s first step in acquiring
language is noting sound contrasts that are used meaningfully in that
a) When using signed languages, the child must attend to
contrasts in such things as positions of the hands b) Minimal meaningful units in speech are phonemes c) Children habituate to phonemes, learning to distinguish
between different sounds B. Learning Word Meanings
1. Naming explosion occurs at about 18 months
2. Average 6-year-old understands about 14,000 words
3. Children develop hypotheses about meanings of words, which may
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE result in a) Overextensions: incorrect use of words to cover a wide range of
subjects, such as using “doggie” for any four-legged animal b) Underextensions: such as thinking “doggie” refers only to the
family pet c) Hypotheses may be constrained by mutual exclusivity, in
which the child may act as if each object must have only one
label 4. Bootstrapping occurs when children make use of what they already
know to acquire new meanings
C. Acquiring Grammar
1. Grammar is the rules by which units of meaning are combined into
larger units
2. Chomsky argued that children are born with mental structures that
facilitate the comprehension and production of language, thus
removing some parental pressures to teach grammar explicitly
a) Referential children’s vocabularies consist largely of nouns b) Expressive children’s vocabularies consist largely of
formulaic expressions c) Referential and expressive children appear to believe, at an
early age, in different functions for language, and follow
different paths to acquisition of grammar D. Language-Making Capacity
1. Aspects of acquisition are believed to be biologically predetermined
2. Children bring innate guidelines to the task of learning a particular
3. Slobin defined a set of operating principles that constitute the child’s
language-making capacity
a) Operating principles take the form of directives to the child b) Principles are encoded as part of the human genome.
Examples include: (i) Telegraphic speech: use of two-word phrases which
lack functions
(ii) Extensions: the child’s attempts to try (in all cases) and
use the same unit of meaning (morpheme) to mark the
same concept, often resulting in over regularization V.Social Development Across the Life Span
A. Social development concerns how individuals’ social interactions and expectations
change across the life span
1. Erikson proposed that there are eight stages of psychosocial
development across the life span
2. Each stage presents a conflict for resolution. Conflicts at each stage
must be successfully resolved in order to cope successfully with
subsequent stages
3. Stages, crises, and approximate age range for each:
a) Trust vs. mistrust: child’s sense of safety vs. insecurity; birth to 1.5 years
b) Autonomy vs. self-doubt: sense of self-efficacy vs. feelings of
inadequacy, 1.5 to 3 years c) Initiative vs. guilt: confidence in self as an initiator vs. feelings
of lack of self-worth, 3 to 6 years d) Competence vs. inferiority: adequacy in basic social and
intellectual skills vs. feelings of failure and lack of self-
confidence; 6 years to puberty e) Identity vs. role confusion: comfortable sense of self vs.
fragmented, unclear sense of self; adolescent years f) Intimacy vs. isolation: capacity for commitment to another vs.
feelings of separation, aloneness; early adulthood g) Generativity vs. stagnation: concerns go beyond the self, to
society vs. self-indulgence and lack of future orientation;
middle adulthood h) Ego-integrity vs. despair: sense of satisfaction with life vs.
feelings of futility and disappointment with life; later
adulthood C. Social Development in Childhood
1. Socialization is the lifelong process through which an individual’s
behavior patterns, values, standards, skills, attitudes, and motives are
shaped to conform to those regarded as desirable in a particular
a) Most important socializing agent is the family b) Parental socialization goals for children range from
behavioral compliance with specific social rules to
internalizing of general social values 2. Attachment
a) Attachment–the beginning of the process of social
development–is the establishment of a close emotional
relationship between a child and a mother, father, or other
regular caregiver 191
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE b) Earliest function of attachment is ensuring of the infant’s
survival c) In some nonhuman species, biology elicits attachment, such
as imprinting, in which the infant automatically fixes on the
first moving object it sees or hears d) Human infants rely on complex proximity-promoting signals
to solidify adult—child bonding e) Bowlby posits that infants will form attachments to
individuals who consistently and appropriately respond to
their signals 3. Assessing the Quality and Consequences of Attachment
a) Secure attachment has powerful, lasting, beneficial effects,
which include enabling the child to: (i) Learn various prosocial behaviors
(ii) Take risks
(iii) Enter into novel situations
(iv) Seek and accept intimacy in personal relationships
b) Ainsworth’s Strange Situation Test is widely used for assessing
attachment with infant response patterns falling into three
categories (i) Securely attached children show some distress when
parent leaves, seek proximity, comfort, and contact at
reunion, then gradually return to play
(ii) Insecurely attached-avoidant children seem aloof and
may actively avoid and ignore the parent on return
(iii) Insecurely attached-ambivalent/resistant children become
quite upset and anxious at parent’s departure, cannot
be comforted at reunion, showing both anger and
resistance to the parent but simultaneously
expressing desire for contact
c) Categorizations based on the Strange Situation have proved to
be highly predictive of a child’s subsequent behavior in a
variety of settings 4. Parenting Styles and Parenting Practices
a) Researchers feel the most beneficial parenting style is at the
intersection of the dimensions of demandingness and
responsiveness (i) Demandingness refers to parent’s willingness to act as
a socializing agent
(ii) Responsiveness refers to the parent’s recognition of the
child’s individuality
b) Parenting styles
(i) Authoritative parents make appropriate demands on
the child, but are responsive, keeping channels of
CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN communication open. This style of parenting is most
likely to produce an effective parent-child bond (ii) Authoritarian parents apply discipline with little
attention to the child’s autonomy
(iii) Indulgent parents fail to help children learn about the
structure of social rules in which they must live
c) Parents with the same overall style of parenting may place
different priorities on the various socialization goals they
consider important for their children d) Parenting practices are a response to particular goals, with both
parents’ general attitudes and specific behaviors being
important for charting the life course of the child e) A 35-year longitudinal study of parenting style revealed that
mothers’ treatment of their 5-year-old children was
significantly associated with social adjustment in the child
more than 30 years later 5. Contact Comfort and Social Experience
a) (i) Cupboard theory proposed that infants become attached to
parents because parents provide them with food, their most
basic physical need b) (ii) Harlow proposed that infants attach to those who
provide them with contact comfort and tested his theory with
infant macaque monkeys (i) Separated infants from mothers at birth and placed
them in cages with access to one of two artificial
“mothers,” one made of wire and one of terry cloth
(ii) Wire mother provided food source, but babies spent
more time with terry cloth mother
(iii) Babies used terry cloth mother as comfort source
when frightened and “base of operations” when
exploring new stimuli
(iv) Harlow also found that the bond of the infant
monkeys to the mother substitute was insufficient for
healthy social development. Females deprived of
interaction opportunities with other monkeys had
difficulty forming social and sexual relationships in
c) Suomi found that placing emotionally vulnerable infant
monkeys in the “foster care” of supportive mothers provided
the infants with coping skills and information essential for
recruiting support from other monkeys, as well as for
maintaining high social status within the group D. Social Development in Adolescence
1. The Experience of Adolescence: The Myth of Adolescent “Storm and
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE a) “Storm and stress” disputed by cultural anthropologists
Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict as being nonapplicable to
many non-Western cultures b) Data indicate that the few adolescents who do experience
serious maladjustment are likely to continue to do so as
adults, with a strong link between adolescent conduct
problems and adult criminality c) Erikson considered the discovery of one’s true identity to be
the essential task of adolescence 2. Social relationships
a) Peers (i)Peers now compete with parents in shaping of attitudes
and behaviors (ii) Social skills and roles are refined with peers
(iii) Peers become an increasingly important source of
social support, with an increase in anxiety being
associated with peer rejection
(iv) Peer pressure to conform to peer values and behaviors
peaks around ages 12 to 13
b) Autonomy is the transition from parental authority to
reasonable independence on the part of the adolescent (i) Transition may be difficult for parents
(ii) Parent-child relationships may have more built-in
potential for conflict than do peer relationships
3. Future Goals
a) Setting goals for the future involves current appraisal of one’s
abilities and interests b) Selection of future occupation involves tasks central to
identity formation, including awareness of alternatives, and
making and following through on choices E. Social Development in Adulthood
1. Intimacy
a) Intimacy refers to the capacity to make a full commitment to
another person, sexually, emotionally, and morally b) Intimacy occurs in friendships as well as romantic
relationships, and requires openness, courage, ethical
strength, and usually some compromise of one’s personal
preferences c) Research confirms Erikson’s supposition that social intimacy
is a prerequisite for psychological well-being across the adult
life stages d) Young adulthood is the time in which many people enter into
marriages or other stable relationships, often deciding to
include children in their lives (i) Males and females make the transition to parenthood
CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN in different ways (ii) Arrival of children may push parents into more
traditional sex-role behaviors
(iii) For some couples, marital satisfaction erodes due to
conflicts as children pass through their own
adolescent years
(iv) Parents may enjoy their children most when the
children no longer live at home
e) Research indicates that approximately two out of three
couples now married will divorce, but consequences of
remaining in an unsatisfying marriage are more unfortunate
for females than males (i) Marital dissatisfaction for women often results in
impairment of both physical and mental health
(ii) Men almost always benefit from marriage, even a bad
marriage, while women suffer in bad marriages
(iii) Women are more likely to care for an unhealthy,
elderly husband—and go on to a period of mourning
his death and of financial insecurity
f) In later life, the balance of social interactions shifts somewhat,
from family to friends (i) The elderly interact with fewer people, but the nature
of the interactions change in order for intimacy needs
to be met
(ii) Selective social interaction theory proposes that as we
age, we become more selective in choosing social
partners who satisfy our emotional needs
2. Generativity
a) Generativity refers to commitment beyond oneself to family,
work, society, or future generations b) Erikson’s last crisis of adulthood is the conflict between ego-
integrity and despair c) Most adults review their lives with a sense of wholeness and
satisfaction 3. The Cultural Construction of Late Adulthood: addresses cultural
beliefs and expectations about later life, the stereotypical depictions of
the elderly
a) Overall stereotype is negative b) Stereotype may serve to change the lifestyle experience of
older adults for the worse c) Negative expectations of their performance by the elderly may
lead to impaired performance d) Caretakers may artificially bring about patterns of increased
dependence via the dependency-support script e) Ageism is prejudice against older people that leads to 195
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE discrimination that limits their opportunities, isolates them, and fosters negative self-images VI. Gender Development
A. Early human differences perceived by children are entirely social—they sense sex
differences before acquiring anatomical knowledge
B. Sex and Gender
1. Sex differences are biologically based characteristics that distinguish
males from females
a) Include different reproductive functions and differences in
anatomy and hormones b) Differences are universal, biologically determined, and
unchanged by social influence c) Over time, sex differences have led to development of
traditional social roles for males and females 2. Gender is a psychological phenomenon, referring to learned, sex-
related behaviors and attitudes
3. Gender identity is the individual’s sense of maleness or femaleness,
and includes awareness and acceptance of one’s own sex
a) Develops at an early age
b) Is important to child’s psychological well-being C. The Acquisition of Gender Roles
1. Gender roles are patterns of behavior regarded as appropriate for males
and females within a given society
a) Provide basic definitions of masculinity and femininity b) Much of what is considered masculine or feminine is
culturally determined c) Gender-role socialization begins at birth, with parental
responses to the infant being based on gender-role stereotypes VII. Moral Development
A. Morality is a system of beliefs, values, and underlying judgments about the rightness or
wrongness of human acts
B. Kolhberg’s Stages of Moral Reasoning
1. Kohlberg founded his study of moral development on the study of
moral reasoning, the judgments people make about what courses of
action are correct or incorrect in particular situations 2. Kohlberg’s theory predicated on Piagetian cognitive-development
theory (i.e., as the child progresses through the stages of cognitive
growth, he/she assigns differing relative weights to the consequences
CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN of an act and to the actor’s intentions) 3. Each of Kohlberg’s levels and stages is characterized by a different
basis for making moral judgments; he was interested in the course of
action involved in making a moral decision, not the decision itself
a) Level 1: Preconventional Morality (i) Stage 1: Pleasure–pain orientation, reasons for
behaviors is to avoid pain or not get caught
(ii) Stage 2: Cost–benefit orientation; reciprocity, reasons
for behaviors are to obtain rewards
b) Level II: Conventional Morality (i) Stage 3: Good child orientation, behavior is enacted to
gain acceptance and avoid disapproval
(ii) Stage 4: Law and order orientation, behavior is
enacted to follow the rules, and avoid censure by
c) Level III: Principled Morality (i) Stage 5: Social contract orientation, to promote social
(ii) Stage 6: Ethical principle orientation, to achieve
justice and avoid self-condemnation
(iii) Stage 7: Cosmic orientation; to be true to universal
principles, feeling oneself part of a cosmic direction
that transcends social norms
4. Four Principles Govern Kohlberg’s Stage Model:
a) An individual can be at only one of the indicated stages at a
given time b) Everyone goes through the stages in a fixed order c) Each stage is more comprehensive and complex than the
preceding one d) The same stages occur in every culture 5. Stages 1 through 3 appear to parallel the course of cognitive
development, with most children reaching stage 3 by age 13, with
much of the controversy with Kohlberg’s theory aimed at stages 4
through 7
6. Moral Reasoning in Adolescents and Adults
a) Kohlberg’s view was that moral development would continue
in steady progression, beyond level 3; however, not all
individuals attain stages 4 through 7 b) Many adults never reach stage 5, and few go beyond it c) Stages 4 through 7 are not found in all cultures and seem
more associated with advanced education and increased
verbal ability in Western cultures, features that should not be
prerequisites for moral achievement C. Gender and Cultural Perspectives on Moral Reasoning
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 1. Content of latter stages appears subjective
2. Understanding each successive latter stage as “more comprehensive
and sophisticated than the preceding” is difficult
3. Latter stages have been criticized because they do not recognize that
adult moral judgments may reflect different but equally moral
a) Gilligan argued Kohlberg’s work was biased in that his
original sample was all male b) Kohlberg’s research overlooked potential differences between
habitual moral judgments of males and females c) Gilligan proposed female’s moral development was based on
a standard of caring for others, and progressing to a stage of
self-realization, whereas males base their reasoning on a
standard of justice 4. Though Gilligan’s contribution is valued, later research suggests she
is incorrect to identify unique styles of moral reasoning for males and
a) Researchers dispute whether gender differences in moral
reasoning exist b) Alleged gender differences may be consequences of the
difference in social situations that arise in the lives of males
and females c) Studies of gender differences in moral behaviors have found
no consistent differences 5. Adult moral reasoning may best be characterized as a mix between
considerations of justice and considerations of caring, with the mix
remaining in place over most of the life span
a) Moral judgments are affected by general changes in adult
cognition. b) A relevant change in late adulthood is the individual’s
shifting the basis for judgments away from the details of
specific situations, and toward the use of general principles 198
CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. In several well-publicized cases, judges have returned custody of children to the biological
parents, removing the child from his or her adoptive parents or foster parents. This would
seem to indicate that there is still a sense of ownership of children in the eyes of the law.
What do such decisions indicate about the status of the rights of the individual child in
such cases? Whose “best interests” and rights are the courts protecting?
2. Does the class consider adolescence a concept created by developmental psychologists and
socioeconomic conditions, rather than an actual stage of development? What overall
societal impact might we see if children today went to work at age 10 or 12, rather than
remaining in school until they reach 17 or 18 years of age? What was the societal impact of
work rather than education in years past? What other developmental categories could be
reframed today, or may need to be reframed in the future?
3. Many elderly individuals develop paranoid beliefs. Some lay persons as well as
professionals assume this to be a function of the physical deterioration of the brain due to
encroaching senility. What alternative psychological explanation could explain why some
elderly individuals develop beliefs that others are keeping them ignorant of the actual
condition of their health, plotting against them, etc.? What myths or fallacies appear
prevalent in your classes?
4. Psychologists and sociologists have observed that certain homeless children have the
ability to “survive” their homeless experience in better psychological health than do some
others. Have the class speculate what conditions might predispose a given child to
survive,” to suffer minimal negative impact from the experience of homelessness. What
makes some children resilient, and not others?
5. What perceptions does the class have regarding day care? Is day care seen as an option for
child care, or a necessity? What about employer-sponsored day care centers. What
considerations are important to your students regarding this issue?
6. Discuss with the class the impact an individual’s gender identity might have on his or her
sexual orientation. Have them consider how gender role behaviors and gender role
stereotypes fit into this discussion.
7. Discuss rites of passage, nebulous though they may be, in our Western culture. What
occasions mark our transition from one developmental stage of life to the next? How does
our culture accommodate and acknowledge these transitions? What impact do various
rites have on us as individuals? Do students feel our culture should have more concrete
rites of passage, remain as is, or have less?
8. What does the class think about “peer pressure”? Is it a viable phenomenon, or a catchall
invented by parents and behavioral scientists in their attempts to “explain” the sometimes-
annoying behaviors displayed by adolescents? When during development do individuals
feel it, and when during development does it cease to influence thoughts, feelings, and
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL The Effect of Divorce on Children Divorce is troubling, difficult, and painful for children. Discuss with your class about the negative
effects a divorce might have on a child between the ages of 2 and 12 who lives with the mother and
visits with the father on alternate weekends. After mentioning the issues raised below, ask the class
how the concerns may be eliminated. . The child may feel that he or she caused the divorce.
. The child may feel that the father wouldn’t have left if the father really loved him or her.
. The child may feel insecure. If one parent leaves, the other may leave, too. If the father is
unable to keep a weekend visit with the child, the child may feel that he doesn’t want to see
her or him.
. The child misses the things he or she did with the father, and becomes lonely when
thinking about games they played together.
. The child may have a conflict about loyalty to the parents.
. The parents may involve the child in their disputes, or use the child as a pawn to
manipulate one another.
. Financial considerations may make it necessary for the mother to move, and for the child to
change schools and make new friends.
. The mother may have less time for the child after the separation or divorce because of a job
outside of the home, in addition to her usual responsibilities.
. The mother’s own emotional turmoil over the divorce may make it difficult for her to
minister adequately to the child’s needs.
. Although the child visits with the father on a bi-weekly basis, the child may not have
constant access to a male role model.
. The child may perceive female friends of the father and male friends of the mother as
threats to his or her relationship with the parent.
Alzheimer’s Disease A man in his late 60’s enters a hardware store, and, for a moment, becomes disoriented. He then
remembers that yesterday he was looking for the car keys that he already had in his hand. A
dreadful thought comes to mind: “Could I have Alzheimer’s disease?” Alzheimer’s disease is named after the German psychiatrist, Alois Alzheimer, who first described it
in 1907. The characteristic signs of Alzheimer’s are abnormalities in and loss of neurons in the
areas of the brain known as the hippocampus and the cortex. As the disease advances,
abnormalities of the brain can be identified with imaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI), but a definite diagnosis cannot be made until the brain tissue is examined after
death. A book on dementias (dementia is Latin for madness) published in 1945, claimed that to date only 150
cases of Alzheimer’s disease had been reported and that the disease was considered to be very rare.
At the time, Alzheimer’s was classified as pre-senile dementia because the onset was thought to
occur before the age of 65. For people over 65, virtually the same pattern of signs and symptoms was
diagnosed as senile dementia. The cause of Alzheimer’s was unknown, but senile dementia was
attributed to age. As a result of the similarity of most cases of senile dementia to Alzheimer’s, it
came to be known as senile dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. In recent years, the distinction based
on age of onset has gradually been dropped. Presently, dementia is medically defined as a loss of
mental competence with significant decline from the person’s former mental capability. 200
CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN Approximately 5% of people over 65 develop Alzheimer’s, with the incidence rising to about 20% in
those past the age of 80. It is a degenerative disorder, progressive in its destruction of functional
abilities, is irreversible, and terminal. At the present, there is no known cure, although some
medication has been approved for its treatment. Diminution and loss of short-term memory is
generally the first indication of Alzheimer’s. A set of questions designed to test the reality
orientation of the individual includes such questions as “Where do you live?” and “What day of
the week is it?” The individual’s responses are one aspect of making tentative diagnosis in the early
stages of the disorder. Arriving at a tentative diagnosis of Alzheimer’s also involves a process of
elimination. Organic brain disorders such as schizophrenia, tumors, and strokes must be ruled out
as potential causes of the symptoms being displayed by the patient before hazarding a tentative
diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Following the initial loss of memory, deterioration of cognitive functioning is noted and, as the
disease progresses, the individual gradually loses the ability to walk, to feed him- or herself, and to
control the bladder and bowels. In the terminal stage of the disease, the individual is reduced to a
vegetative state, unaware of the presence of friends and family, the surrounding environment, and
even his or her own identity. Death usually occurs four to five years after onset, but the range is two
to ten years. The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not known. The disease, or some form of it, may be genetically
transmitted. There are similarities between Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome. Down
syndrome is sometimes called Trisomy 21 to indicate the presence of three, rather than two,
chromosomes at the 21st position. A gene on the same chromosome has been tentatively linked to
Alzheimer’s. Other hypotheses about the causal agent for Alzheimer’s include a slow-acting virus
and toxic substances such as aluminum. Whatever the primary causal agent, its presence is
believed to result in biochemical changes in the brain. These changes have been posited to include
reduction in the availability of one or more of the following substances: acetylcholine, a
neurotransmitter; corticotropin-releasing factor, a hormone; and ribonucleic acid (RNA). Another
change noted in brain tissue is the appearance of fibers in the cytoplasm of neurons. Dr. Alois
Alzheimer called these fibers neurofibrillary tangles. He also observed that some neurons appeared
to have shriveled, with their dendrites deteriorating to the degree that the cell could no longer
function, causing the neurons to collapse. Alzheimer referred to sections of the brain where clusters
of the collapsed neurons were found as neuritic plaques. In spite of scientific advances in knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease, for the patient and the
patient’s family, the disease remains irreversible, incurable, and virtually untreatable. Custodial
care by a family member at home or in an institution is generally required as the disorder
progresses, in order to prevent the patient from hurting him- or herself or wandering off and getting
lost. The nature of the disease is best described as regressive in that a once-competent adult loses
the ability to think rationally, language deteriorates, temper tantrums like those of early childhood
may occur, motor skills are lost, and finally, with loss of the ability to feed oneself and to control the
bladder and bowels, the regression to an infant-like state is complete. Critical Periods: The Story of Genie In 1970, a 13-year-old girl was discovered in Los Angeles. Her name was Genie, and the conditions
in which she was found were appalling. Genie had been treated like an animal since the age of 20
months. She was confined to a small, curtained room and spent most of her days strapped to a
potty-chair, unable to move except for her hands and feet. At night, Genie was confined in a cage-
like crib, and restrained in a straightjacket-type garment. She had no bowel or bladder control,
could not stand in an erect posture, was severely malnourished, and was unable to chew solid
food. Genie was also mute; she could not speak and could not understand language. The only
sounds she had ever heard were those made by her father on the occasions he beat her for crying or
making noises. Genie had been held prisoner by her father, a man who never spoke to her, and 201
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE would not allow anyone else to do so. Genie was removed from her father’s custody, and taken to Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, where
she was nursed back to physical health. She underwent psychological evaluation to determine her
mental status and level of cognitive functioning, including her ability to produce and comprehend
language. Following all necessary assessments, psychologists embarked on the task of teaching
Genie language. Because Genie was attempting to acquire language at age 13, her psychologists
were presented with a unique opportunity to study the critical period theory relative to learning
language, the notion that there is a time early in a child’s life when language learning must begin, if
language is to be learned at all. Genie was far past that proposed critical period. Further, she knew
no grammar and had virtually no language ability. The researchers working with Genie approached the task of teaching her language in much the
same manner they would teach a younger child, by direct exposure to spoken language as a
function of engagement in daily activities. Initially, Genie would speak only one or two words at a
time, but she did progress, up to a point. Though she eventually progressed to the degree of
combining two and three words into phrases, she never progressed beyond the level of a 3- or 4year-
old child in her language abilities, and never made the progression from simple words into
grammatically correct sentences. The fact that Genie actually did acquire some facility for language denied support for the
hypothesis that there is a critical period for language acquisition, and that this period falls
somewhere between age 2 and puberty. However, Genie’s failure to attain fluency and grammar did
point to the potential for an optimal period for language acquisition, a period that, if missed, would
result in failure ever to attain complete facility for language. Unfortunately, no more specific
information could be gained from Genie’s experiences, because her lack of facility for language
could be attributable to her severely malnourished state, the emotional and physical abuse suffered
at the hands of her father, and her social isolation, as much as to a potential optimal period for
language acquisition. By age 24, Genie had received 11 years of special education and rehabilitation to include foster care,
yet her language capability remained short of that expected in a 5-year-old child. Did Genie miss
her critical period for language acquisition? We do not know. Her plight has offered many insights
to developmental psychologists, but many final answers remain elusive. Craig, G. J., & Kermis, M. D. (1995). Children Today. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Stage Theory: What Is a “Stage Theory?” As instructors, we are familiar with “stage” theories, as we spend a great deal of time studying
them. Freud’s stages of psychosexual development, Erikson’s eight stages of man, Kohlberg’s stages
of moral development, and Piaget’s stages of cognitive development are part of our world, but what
is implied to our students when we refer to a given theory as a “stage theory”? Reber (1985) defines stage theory as “a label applicable to any theory of development that
characterizes growth, be it physical, sensory-motor, cognitive, moral, etc., as a progression through
a sequence of stages” (p. 724). He further states that stage theories tend to be either maturational or
interactional in nature, that they are biologically determined or result from interactions between
biological and experiential factors. Actually, even if we didn’t use the word “stage” in referring to many of our psychological theories,
we would still be able to easily discern which theories are stage theories and which are not, because
there are four properties that define stage theories. Without any one of these properties, you do not
have a stage theory. These properties are: · A stage theory must predict qualitative differences in behavior, over both time and
CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN experience . A stage theory must assume invariance of the sequence of stages
. A stage theory assumes structural cohesiveness of a stage; the behaviors within a stage
must share a common conceptual base
. There must be a hierarchical integration of structures from stage to stage, so that later
stages incorporate and expand on the structures from earlier stages
Now, back to our question, what does the term stage theory imply and subsequently mean to our
students? First, it means that a stage theory is presumed to be universal—which is what “over both
time and experience means. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development offers an easy example. Piaget
proposed that children, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, or sociocultural background, all
experience their intellectual development in the same way. The same sequence of events unfolds,
regardless of where the child lives and under what conditions. Further, Piaget proposed that the
changes were not only predictable and universal, but that the changes were qualitatively different
as the child moved from one stage to the next. For example, a 7-year-old child can conserve liquid,
but a 4-year-old cannot. That is a qualitative difference in the thought process, and it is a function of
the developmental process. Second, stage theories and stage theorists believe that there can be no latitude in the progression of
the stages of development. In Eriksonian terms, a child must resolve the trust/mistrust conflict and
learn to trust before he or she can move onto the stage of autonomy versus self-doubt, because
unless the trust/mistrust conflict has been resolved, the child has no possibility of resolving the
autonomy issue. Stage 1 must precede stages 2, 3, 4, and so on. Third, cohesiveness of a stage and a common conceptual base indicate that the stage itself must fit
within the overall theoretical construct, as implied by the underlying conceptual basis of the
theoretical position. Finally, stage theories represent a series of building blocks, in that one builds
on the other in a hierarchical fashion. Each stage must progress logically from the one preceding it,
and lead logically to the one following. If a given theory satisfies these four requirements, we can
properly refer to it as a stage theory. Identity and the Tasks of Adolescence Sometimes a concept from academic research or theory catches the attention of the public and
becomes integrated into the framework of society’s “general knowledge.” Perhaps this occurs
because the concept is relevant at the time, or because it provides a framework for a generally
recognized problem or issue. The “identity crisis” proposed by Erik Erikson is such a concept, and
was eagerly adopted by American society in the 1960s. At that time, the baby-boom cohort was
reaching adolescence. The Vietnam War loomed as a threat to youth. Civil rights activists
challenged the thoughtless discrimination of older generations, and the women’s liberation
movement contested traditional ideas of female identity. Also, by the 1960s, adolescence had
become established as a life stage created by technological society, giving status to a span of years
between childhood and full adult status during which the young person prepared to live and work
in an increasingly complex society. Erikson saw adolescence as a pivotal stage of development in which earlier psychosocial conflicts
return in a new form, and in which the foundations are laid for the intimacy, generativity, and
wisdom that are the favorable outcomes of later stages. Developmental psychologists sometimes
organize discussion of life stage around the developmental tasks of the stage, those things we must
do to be ready to move on to the next stage. The elements of the identity crisis can be considered
“tasks of adolescence.” Acquiring Temporal Perspective 203
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE One aspect of temporal perspective is to have a clear conception of past and future, and to have the
confidence to plan. Another aspect of temporal perspective is the ability to regulate one’s own time.
Freshman entering the university environment and who are living away from home for the first time
often have difficulty regulating their own time. With no parent present to say “go to bed,” they will
solve the world’s problems all night and be unable to get up for class the next morning. There are
people in middle age who lose jobs, miss airplanes, and alienate friends because of their lack of
ability to regulate their time. Acquiring Self-Certainty Self-certainty is equivalent to what is also referred to as self-confidence or self-esteem. Erikson
thought that efforts to begin to “sever the apron strings” and to become an autonomous or
independent person begin early in life, about the time we begin to walk. If the child sees herself
being able to do for herself and accomplish little things independently, then she has the basis to
develop confidence in herself. In adolescence, there are new threats to self-confidence, such as the
prospect of having to be financially independent and to find a desirable partner. Another aspect of
self-certainty is that it must be accompanied by a self-image that is compatible with reality. Self-
esteem that is unrealistic is a defense, a fantasy that prevents self-fulfillment. Role Experimentation During childhood, we usually look to parents or teacher for role models. In adolescence, young
people are likely to reject earlier models and to go through a series of “trying on” different roles. The
movies and television provide a smorgasbord of roles and role models. Role models can be real
people, characters from fiction, historical personages, or creations of our own imagination. Erikson
thought that role experimentation is a healthy manifestation of the search for identity, but at some
time we have to take the pieces we like from our role experimentation and put them together into a
consistent identity. The opposite of role experimentation is role fixation. Sometimes one encounters
a young person who has had an identity laid on him so heavily by parents that attempts at role
experimentation produce too much guilt to be pursued. Apprenticeship Theorists are often reluctant to talk about anything as mundane as a getting a job and earning a
living, but Erikson recognized that the prospect of having to be self-supporting is a real concern of
adolescents. This does not mean that an adolescent has to choose his or her life’s work in junior
high school, but it does mean making general preparation for independence. The university student
may not have chosen a career or even have decided on a major, but the fact that he or she is in a
college class suggests that the individual does not suffer from what Erikson called “work
paralysis.” Sexual Polarization The obvious meaning of this aspect of identity is that adolescents must come to grips with whether
they are heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual. It must be difficult for the young person who has a
homosexual orientation to establish a positive identity during adolescence. There are great
pressures for denial and for conformity to sexual roles that parents and most peers consider
“normal.” Erikson wrote about the aspect of sexual polarization that can be described as “comfort
and confidence in the role of male or female.” In early adolescence, young people often feel sexually
inadequate because their bodies are less than perfect, or because they feel inferior to peers who tell
tall tales of sexual adventures and prowess. Sexual roles are not as clearly delineated as they
formerly were, particularly in the case of the female role, and young females may feel less than
feminine if they have ambitious career aspirations and inadequate as humans if they don’t. 204
CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN Questions of Authority: Being a Leader and a Follower Resentment of authority is so common among American adolescents that it is tempting to think of it
as normal. Differentiating between legitimate authority and arbitrary authority is a task of identity
establishment. Identity formation includes being able to take the role of leader or follower in the
appropriate circumstances. Ideological Commitment As the identity is formed, young people must select a basic philosophy, a set of values, and an
orientation toward religion and politics. Excessive zeal for a cause, dramatic religious conversion,
and allegiance to a cult are some of the extreme symptoms of young people searching for something
to believe in. The task the adolescent faces is to adopt an ideology that is internally consistent and
compatible with the self and the self-image. It may seem as though identity formation requires that one lay down plans for the remainder of
one’s life and adopt beliefs that will guide one’s behavior for all time. Of course, this is not the
situation. Identity formation is bringing together various aspects of the self into a coherent whole
and establishing a psychic “core” that defines the self. It is probably not a coincidence that
Erikson’s identity crisis begins concurrently with Piaget’s stage of formal operations. Some of the
cognitive skills of the mature intellect represented by this stage of cognitive development are
instrumental in bringing together the threads of the self. Myths about Aging Aging is one of the mysteries of human life that has been a focus of science for a number of years.
Researchers divide aging into two categories: primary aging and secondary aging. Secondary aging
is change that occurs as a result of disease, stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, or exposure to toxic
substances-any factor that contributes to aging that is actually or potentially preventable. What is
left is primary aging. If genes were programmed to effect changes with age, that would be primary
aging. As research progresses, many of the myths, misconceptions, and stereotypes associated with aging
are being shattered; more of what was thought to be primary aging is, in fact, secondary aging. For
example, research done in the 1950s and 1960s by highly regarded psychologists showed that IQ
scores reach a peak in the twenties, remain stable until 40, decrease slowly from 40 to 60, and
decline very rapidly after the age of 60. The idea of deterioration of cognitive functions with age
seemed to be established, but more recent research using longitudinal data has challenged the
earlier studies. Recent research has shown that significant changes in cognitive functions do not
begin until the mid-70s, and even then intellectual capacities remain intact for people who continue
to exercise them and remain in good health. In studies with rats, Marian Diamond has shown that
rats who live in an enriched environment continue to show thickening of the cortex when they are
beyond the normal life span of rats. One of the myths of aging is that people undergo personality changes as they grow older.
Longitudinal data have been collected on a large group of volunteers for 30 years by the
Gerontological Research Center for the National Institute on Aging. The data show stability of
personality from young adulthood through old age. The director of the research noted that a person
who is warm, sociable, and outgoing at 20 is likely to be warm, sociable, and outgoing at 80. He 205
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE also observed that if you are likely to complain about physical symptoms when you are 80, you
were probably a complainer when you were 20. Based on research in the 1950s, it was concluded that there is an age-related decrease in cardiac
output, the amount of blood the heart pumps per unit of time. Thirty years later, using the same
treadmill test, the results were different. Many of the older participants showed no decrease in
cardiac output, and among those who showed a decrease, the problem was associated with lack of
exercise. During the 30 years, a great deal was learned about heart disease. Many of the
participants in the earlier study were not the healthy-hearted specimens they were believed to be.
The conclusions from the recent research are that decrease in cardiac output is probably secondary
aging, and not an inevitable consequence of growing older. Growing old is something we do not like to think about. When you consider the alternative,
growing old is not bad. Many young people do not like to face the fact that habits and lifestyles they
adopt today are likely to have a profound effect at the other end of life. Some young people say they
don’t want to live that long, but there is never a good day to die, and most young people of today
are likely to grow old, to live to be at least 75 or 80. When you get there, you may not consider
yourself old, like the 83-years-old woman that refused to shop in a certain store because she
considered the clothes they carried only appropriate for old ladies. An Aging Society With the emphasis on “saving social security” that everyone saw in the 2000 presidential election,
we have just begun to see the coming impact of the aging of American society. As the population
continues to age, and there are relatively fewer young people to physically and economically care
for older people, there will clearly have to be some major changes in many social programs and
how some elements in our society function. For example, social security will have to be changed to
keep it from becoming insolvent when the “baby boom” generation reaches its peak retirement
years. Programs like Medicare will also have to be revamped. Retirement ages may be moved farther
back, so that the standard retirement age in the not-too-distant future may be 70 instead of 65. While
today’s elderly are generally healthier than the elderly of previous generations, as they reach their
80s and 90s (and even 100s) many will need extensive health care and nursing home care. This will
require record numbers of health-care workers to help care for the elderly. In what other ways might
an aging population impact society? This can be a thought-provoking discussion for students. Euthanasia One of the more controversial issues related to aging and the health problems that often accompany
it is the issue of euthanasia. Dr. Jack Kervorkian’s active euthanasia efforts eventually resulted in
his being jailed, but brought a lot of controversy, and publicity to this issue. You might ask students
how they feel about this issue. Is active euthanasia ever justified? If so, under what circumstances?
What moral issues does active euthanasia raise? What potential abuses could result from legalized
active euthanasia? What about the “slippery slope” argument that once we begin allowing active
euthanasia in some cases, it becomes easier to begin allowing it for less severe cases, and eventually
becomes just an easy way of getting rid of “inconvenient” elderly people who are a “nuisance”
because of their ill health and discomfort? While most Americans oppose active euthanasia, because of these potential abuses, the picture is
not as clear when it comes to the issue of passive euthanasia, in which no active steps are taken to
shorten the person’s life, but no efforts are made to keep them alive when the person could be kept
alive with outside help. Some researchers claim that well over 50% of physicians have occasionally
engaged in passive euthanasia. How do students feel about this? How do their feelings about
passive euthanasia differ from their feelings about active euthanasia? 206
CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES Alfred Binet (1857–1911) Born in Nice, France, Alfred Binet was the only child of a physician father and artist mother.
Following the separation of his parents when he was young, Binet lived with his mother, moving to
Paris when he was 15, and entering law school in 1872. Following receipt of his license to practice
law in 1878, he did not enter into practice and was seemingly not enamored with the profession,
commenting, “As for the law, that is the career of men who have not yet chosen a vocation.” Binet
subsequently began reading psychology at the Bibliotheque Nationale, though he never acquired a
graduate degree in the discipline. Following several years of “studying” psychology in the library, in 1883 Binet began working at
Charcot’s laboratory at the Salpetriere, one of Paris’s well-known hospitals, only to sever his
relationship with Charcot and his colleagues, following a disagreement in 1890. He joined the staff
at the Laboratory of Physiological Psychology at the Sorbonne, became its Director three years later,
and remained in that position until his death. During the 1890s, Binet turned his interests to the goal of understanding and measuring the
individual differences noted in intelligence, studying the relevant works of Galton, Spearman, and
Cattell. In 1907, following the development of a test that would measure individual differences in
cognitive functioning, Binet wrote, “It was under these circumstances that our devoted collaborator,
Dr. Simon, and I formulated a plan for measuring intelligence which we called “a metric scale of
intelligence” (Binet & Simon, 1909/1975). The scale that Binet and Simon developed had a great deal in common with one of its latter-day
versions, the Stanford-Binet Scale, in that the prototype included tests of “digit span, vocabulary,
reproduction of block designs, paper folding, comprehension, and similarities.” Binet and Simon
revised their scale in 1908 and 1911, expanding the size of the scale and including items making it
more socioeconomically and intellectually diverse. Binet went on to establish an experimental
laboratory school, apparently the first of its kind in Europe, in which he discovered that 5 percent of
children experienced problems in school simply because they could not see the blackboard. As a man, Binet was described as energetic and inclined to spend most of his time working. His
collaborator, Simon, wrote of him that, “to examine patients with him was always an extreme
pleasure, for he brought to the situation so much imagination.” That seems a fitting tribute for a
man who contributed so much to the assessment and measurement of intelligence. Jean Piaget (1896–1980) Until his death in 1980 at the age of 84, Jean Piaget retreated to his cabin in the Alps each summer,
where he spent most of his days analyzing the mass of research data generated over the past year at
his Center of Genetic Epistemology. During long walks along the mountain trails, he mulled over
the latest experimental results and, in the crisp evenings, he formulated his conclusions. With the
approach of fall, he descended from the mountain with the manuscript for a book and several
journal articles in his hand. This time-honored procedure of careful observation followed by
seclusion for thought and synthesis enabled him to become one of the more prolific if not the most
famous psychologist of the century. Piaget has been widely known in this country only since the translation of his works in the 1960s,
but in Europe he was recognized as an expert in the field of cognitive development in the 1930s. As
a 10-year-old child in 1906, he published his notes on the habits of the albino sparrow he observed
near his home in Switzerland. At the age of 16, he was recommended for a curator’s position at the 207
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE natural history museum in Geneva, but declined in favor of continuing his education. He studied
natural science at the University of Neuchatel, obtaining his doctorate at the age of 21. His readings
in philosophy stimulated an intense interest in epistemology, the study of how humans acquire
knowledge. Convinced that cognitive development had a genetic basis, Piaget decided that the best
approach to studying it would be through its behavioral and biological components. Psychology
appeared, to Piaget, to be the discipline that best incorporated this approach. Piaget sought training in several distinguished European psychology laboratories and universities,
gaining his first major breakthrough into the understanding of chronological stages of growth
while working at Alfred Binet’s laboratory school in Paris. While designing and administering
intelligence tests to French children, he became intrigued with the characteristic wrong answers
that many of the children gave to his questions. In pursuing these wrong answers, he came to the
realization that the children were employing a process of thought and interpretation that was
decidedly different in nature from that employed by adults. Mindful of the concept of evolution
from his training as a biologist, Piaget proposed that mental development also evolves and that the
intellect passes through several stages of growth. The theory of cognitive development Piaget was formulating centered on the stages of growth in
early childhood, thus it seemed natural to him to observe his own three children, as they grew from
infancy to preadolescence. His careful experiments and conclusions based on these observations,
published in journal articles and then in book form, brought him immediate recognition in Europe.
While Piaget then expanded his experiments to encompass a much larger group of subjects, his
approach to research was not altered. He observed, asked questions, uncovered new and sometimes
puzzling facts, and attempted to integrate his findings with what was presently known.
Eventually, he formed a theory from the whole enterprise of explaining his observations. Piaget has
been criticized for disregarding the traditional methods of scientific inquiry. He almost never
designed experiments to support preliminary hypotheses, and did not rely heavily on hard
statistical data for the conclusions he reached. To his credit, Piaget responded with good humor to
scholarly attacks on his work, claiming that if he were to begin with a rigid plan and hypothesis, he
would be forced to ignore the fascinating phenomena falling outside of such narrow constraints.
He insisted on his freedom to look for the new and the unexpected. Even in his eighties, he
continued to ask questions, to probe, and to integrate. The disciplines of both cognitive and
developmental psychology benefited enormously from Piaget’s curiosity about how the child comes
to understand the world and his or her place in it. Harry Harlow (1905–1981) Harry Harlow received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1930. He subsequently joined the
faculty at the University of Wisconsin, where he remained until 1974, when he left to become a
research professor at the University of Arizona. While at Wisconsin, Harlow established the highly
regarded Primate Laboratory, where he conducted much of his celebrated research on learning,
affective, and social development in monkeys. He is best known for his research on social isolation
and the importance of the mother–infant relationship in the development of healthy, psychosocial
behavior. He was elected President of the American Psychological Association in 1958. 208
1883 G. Stanley Hall published The Contents of Children’s Minds, one of the earlier
American studies on child development.
1893 Hall founded the National Association for the Study of Childhood, one year after
founding the American Psychological Association.
1895 James Baldwin, whose views influenced those of Piaget, published Mental
Development in the Child and the Race.
World War I was fought.
1920 James Watson and Rosilie Raynor published the results of their “Little Albert”
1921 Lewis Terman initiated the first large-scale longitudinal study of child
development, focusing on the gifted child.
1925 Arnold Gesell began publishing his studies on normal growth in preschool
children. A few years later, Gesell began using motion pictures to analyze child
1929 The Great Depression began in America.
1950 Erik Erikson published Childhood and Society, highlighting the importance of
cultural considerations in child rearing.
1950 Jean Piaget published The Psychology of Intelligence, one of his many books on
cognitive development of children.
The Korean War was fought.
1957 Sidney Bijou published the first research concerning the application of behavioral
1958 Harry Harlow published his first research on social attachment in infant rhesus
1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
1969 Lawrence Kohlberg published Stages in the Development of Moral Thought and
Action, outlining his theory of moral development.
1969 Humans first landed on the moon.
1969 K. Warner Scliaie, among others, organized the first major American conference
on life span developmental psychology. Nine years later in 1978, the first journal
of the topic, Lifespan Development and Behavior, was published. 209
CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READINGS Baumrind, D. (1978). Parental Disciplinary Patterns and Social Competence in Children. Youth and
Society, 9, 239–276. Contains a description of each of the three patterns of parenting styles:
authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. Somewhat dated in that new parenting styles are
evolving, but still highly relevant in parenting research. Bee, H. (1994). Lifespan Development. New York: Harper Collins. Presents a comprehensive overview
of research and theory on development across the life span. Bigner, J. J. (1994). Individual and Family Development: A Lifespan Interdisciplinary Perspective.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. A comprehensive womb-to-tomb text that details physical,
emotional, and cognitive developmental issues across the life span. Carstensen, L., & Turk-Charles, S. (1994). The Salience of Emotion across the Adult Life Span. Psychology
& Aging, 9(2), 259–264. Presents research that shows emotionality does not diminish as one ages,
and, in fact, may increase as we grow older. Cox, M. V. (1991). The Child’s Point of View, 2nd Edition. New York: Narvester Heartsheaf. An
investigation of development of awareness in children, challenging notions that they are
“inferior adults,” and demonstrating their sophisticated level of awareness of others’ beliefs and
feelings. Csikszentimihalyi, M., & Larson, R. (1984). Being Adolescent: Conflict and Growth in the Teenage Years.
New York: Basic Books. Although an older text, this volume provides an excellent report of day
to day adolescent life, complete with research that records adolescent thoughts and activities at
all hours of the day and night. Cutler, N., Gottfries, C., & Siegfried, K. (Eds.). (1995). Alzheimer’s Disease: Clinical and Treatment
Perspectives. New York: J. Wiley & Sons. Flavell, J. (1963). The Developmental Psychology of Jean Piaget. Princeton, N.J.: Van Nostrand. Includes
a presentation of Piaget’s theoretical systems, such as the concepts of assimilation and
accommodation, grouping, equilibrium and their various roles within Ws schema of
developmental stages. Offers a critical evaluation, both methodologically and in the light of
related research by others, of Piaget’s system and work. Flavell, J. (1996). Piaget’s Legacy. Psychological Science, 7(4), 200–203. Presents 11 contributions by
Piaget to the field of cognitive development to explain what is known and thought about
concerning his theories of cognitive development. Flavell, J., Miller, P., & Miller, S. (1993). Cognitive Development (3rd ed). Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey:
Prentice-Hall, Inc. An interesting introduction to human cognitive development. Appeals to
individuals from diverse backgrounds, and, in keeping with trends in the field, devotes much
attention to current theories and research. Fried, S. B. (1988). Learning Activities for Understanding Aging. Teaching of Psychology, 15, 160–162.
Detailed instructions on 5 activities usable in conjunction with lectures on aging. Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple Intelligences: The Theory In Practice. New York: Basic Books. Provides an
excellent overview of Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Brings together work on the
subject in one convenient book. Gilligan, C. (1982). In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development. Cambridge:
Harvard University Press. A classic exploring the differences in the way that men and women
think. An alternative to Kohlberg and seminal in its own right as the first true criticism of 211
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Kohlberg’s theory of moral development. Ginsburg, H., & Opper, S. (1998). Piaget’s Theory of Intellectual Development. 3rd Edition. Englewood
Cliffs: Prentice-Hall. Provides examples of Piagetian cognitive tasks that are easily adapted to
lectures on cognitive development. Hanin, I., Mitsuo, Y., & Fisher, A. (Eds.). (1995). Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases: Recent
Developments. New York: Plenum Press. Henry, C., & Ulijaszek, S. (Eds.). (1996). Long-Term Consequences of Early Environment: Growth,
Development, and the Lifespan Developmental Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press. Lawton, M., & Salthouse, T. (Eds.). (1998). Essential Papers on the Psychology of Aging. New York:
New York University Press. Lerner, R., & Galambos, N. (1998). Adolescent Development. Challenges and Opportunities for Research,
Programs, and Policies. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 413–446. Discusses the basic challenges
and opportunities facing both adolescents and the psychologists who study them. Levine, M., & Levine, A. (1992). Helping Children: A Social History. New York: Oxford University
Press. A narrative of how our American society addresses children’s issues, from the formation
of the foster care system to the Gary Schools Project and Ben Lindsey’s formation of the juvenile
courts system. An excellent resource for the history of children’s issues. Muuss, R. E. (1990). Adolescent Behavior and Society: A Book of Readings. New York: McGraw-Hill. A
collection of essays addressing the various cognitive, behavioral, and sexual aspects of
adolescent development. Parke, R., Ornstein, P., Rieser, J., & Zahn-Waxier, C. (1994). A Century of Developmental Psychology.
Washington: American Psychological Association. Highlights the contributions of the most
important developmental psychologists in the field. Traces the theoretical and empirical changes
in developmental psychology over the past 100 years. Pinker, S. (1989). Learnability and Cognition: The Acquisition of Argument Structure. Cambridge: MIT
Press. Sternberg, R. J. (1990). Metaphors of Mind: Conceptions of the Nature of Intelligence. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press. An overview of human intelligence from the combined, rather than
individualistic, perspectives of psychology, anthropology, and sociology. Turner, J., & Helms, D. (1995). Lifespan Development (5th ed.). Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College
Publishers. An introduction to life span development that focuses on seven essential themes.
These themes are the interrelatedness of aging processes, theoretical perspectives on life span
development, the interaction of heredity and environment, epigenetics, continuity and
discontinuity, active and reactive models of development, and gender issues. Van Hasselt, V., & Hersen, M. (1992). Handbook of Social Development. A Lifespan Perspective. New
York, Plenum Press. Investigates the process of social development from a life span perspective.
Covers all stages of life from the crib to old age. An excellent reference. Vygotsky, L. (1986). Thought and Language. Revised and edited by A. Kozulin. Cambridge: MIT
Press. A 1986 revision of the original volume, this text helps balance the various trends of
thought on the connections between psychology and language. 212
CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN DISCOVERING PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM 4: THE RESPONSIVE BRAIN Overview How the brain controls behavior and, conversely, how behavior and environment influence the
brain’s structure and functioning. Key Issues The effect of human touch on the growth of premature babies, the effect of the mother’s touch on
the growth of rats, psychosocial Dwarfism, the effect of stress on memory and learning in rats,
how behavior modifies the physiology of the African Cichlid fish, and the effects of social
status on the health of baboons Interviews Tiffany Field explains the benefits of touch on the cognitive and motor development of
premature babies.
Saul Shanberg underscores the importance of contact by the mother in the process of growth
and development in rats. Michael Meaney examines the effects of stress on memory and learning in rats. Russ Fernald examines the effects of behavior on the physiology of the brain and the effects of
the brain on behavior in African Cichlid fish. Robert Salopsky discusses the direct effects of social status on the health of wild baboons. Archival Demonstrations Effects of change in social status on sexual reactions and growth of fish. (18:09) Effects of social status on hormones and behavior in wild baboons. (21:56) Demonstrations Effects of physical stimulation on growth of brain, body, and health of rats. (6:27) Relationship between early stimulation and adult resistance to stress-induced decline in
memory of rats. (12:52) PROGRAM 5: THE DEVELOPING CHILD Overview The nature versus nurture debate, and how developmental psychologists study the
contributions of both heredity and environment to the development of children.
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Key Issues Nature versus nurture debate, volume perception in children, infant’s understanding of object
permanence, symbol understanding of young children, depth perception in babies on the
“visual cliff,” inherited behavioral differences among preschool children, and genetically shy
monkeys. Demonstrations Steve Suomi examines how overly nurturing foster mothers may alter the introverted behavior
of individual monkeys. Archival Demonstrations Richard Walk and Eleanor Gibson developed the visual cliff in 1960 to study the development
of depth perception and the emotion of fear in children. Interviews Dr. Baillargeon observes the infant’s understanding of physical and spatial qualities, such as
object permanence. Dr. Judy DeLoache studies how children understand symbols. Steven Suomi studies the upbringing and behavior of genetically shy monkeys. Psychologist Jean Piaget asks children of varying ages to assess the volume of liquid in a short,
wide glass after it is poured into a taller, thinner glass. Responses vary with the age of the
child. Psychologist Jerome Kagan observes inherited behavioral differences between timid and bold
children. (21:37). Experimental Re-Creation Development of the principle of object permanence at a very young age. PROGRAM 6: LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT Overview The development of language and how psychologists hope to discover truths about the human
mind, society, and culture by studying how children use language in social communication. Key Issues Biological basis of language acquisition and development, the role of social interaction in
language development, universal adaptability in language development, grammar acquisition,
and the rules of conversation. Demonstrations The role of parent–child interaction in language development. 214
CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN Unique patterns of speech sounds made by mothers to their infants. Interviews Psychologist Jean Berko-Gleason explains the role of social interaction in language
Anne Fernald examines how pre-verbal children interpret the melodies, intonations, and tones
of mothers of various languages. Psychologist Dan Slobin discusses how children invent their own system of grammar and
syntax regardless of the adult grammatical patterns that they hear around them. Linguist Noam Chomsky examines how a child acquires the ability to produce sophisticated
sentence structures. PROGRAM 18: MATURING AND AGING Overview What really happens, physically and psychologically, as we age, and how society reacts to the
last stages of life. Key Issues Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development, societal treatment of the elderly, mid-life
crisis, modifying biological and psychological effects of aging, the elderly and sexuality, the
effects of media on the perception of the elderly, and the elderly’s ability to learn. Demonstrations Similarities among aged rabbits and human beings in the classic conditioning of the eyelid
response. Archival Demonstrations Journalist Pat Moore dresses as an elderly woman and walks the streets to demonstrate
prejudice against the aged. Interviews Dr. Daniel Levinson examines the life cycle as divided into four eras of development:
childhood, early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood.
Diane Woodruf-Pak examines parallels between aged rabbits and aged human beings in their
underlying brain circuits. Sherry Willis examines new educational training methods that help the elderly function more
effectively. B. F. Skinner discusses how he has remained active and able in his field.
Werner Schaie examines the physical and psychological qualities the aged share. 215
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Erik Erikson examines the identity crisis he experienced as a newcomer to the United States.
Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development are examined. 216
CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN FILMS AND VIDEOS Baby Talk (1984). IU (MG), 49 minutes Examines modern research into child language development. Explores fetal and infant responses to
speech, the innateness of language ability in humans, the relationship between cognition and
language, the overgeneralization of syntactic rules by young children, and the processes by which
infants and young children interpret adult speech to build a grammar. Contains interviews with
Jerome Bruner, Noam Chomsky, Dan Slobin, Peter Eimns, Catherine Snow, Jean Berko-Gleason,
Andrew Malzoff, and Eve Clark. The interviews make this film worthwhile. Child Language: Learning without Teaching (1981). IU (DAVSN), 20 minutes Follows the development of children’s language acquisition from infancy through early childhood.
Introduces one of the most involved learning processes a child encounters: mastering the complex
system of meanings, grammatical rules, and sounds called language. Shows many of the problems
children face while learning to communicate. Gives examples of misunderstandings that can occur
between a child and an adult because of differing interpretations of words and sentences. The Mind: Development (1988). HARR, 24 minutes Traces the development of neurons and glial cells in fetal brain development. Portrays experiments
designed to track the beginning of memory and children’s ability to categorize. Discusses the
maturational milestones of developing a sense of self and moral development. Piaget’s Developmental Theory: Classification (1975). POLY, 20 minutes Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, with emphasis on adapting to parenthood. Shows how
the expectations for the arrival of the first baby may differ from the reality of sleepless nights, crying
infants, etc. The adaptation required is still on point for new parents. Coping with Serious Illness (1980). TLF, 25 to 33 minutes A series that documents the last years of Joan Robinson, a woman dying of cancer. Episode 1: Facing Death Deals with the issue of terminal illness and facing death. The Robinsons are shown going
through the painful process of realizing that Joan is going to die. Psychiatrists, doctors, and
others experienced in dealing with the dying discuss the current knowledge of facing death
and the various choices the ill and their families need to make: whether to die at home, in a
hospital, or in a hospice for the terminally ill. Episode 2: Finance Examines ways of coping with the financial aspects of being seriously ill. Lawyers and
consumer advocates discuss patients’ rights and legal issues.
Episode 3: Pain Shows approaches to coping with both pain and the fear of pain. Explains the effects of
suffering on the personality, the differences between types of pain, and methods available for
treating pain. Episode 4: Relationships and Stress The Robinson family and friends address the changing relationships with family, friends, and
medical personnel. Discusses how serious illness materially changes relationships, and coping
with the emotions and strain, following diagnosis of a serious illness. Episode 5: Sexuality 217
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Deals with the difficult issue of sexuality and the need for loving at critical times as well as during times of little stress. Interviews with the Robinsons and testimony from other men and women illustrate the difficulties married couples face dealing with this issue. Experts discuss ways of showing and receiving physical expressions of love while coping with illness. Euthanasia: Murder or Mercy (1985). CHUK, 30 minutes A look at a current social problem: the control of dying and a patient’s right to die. With the advent
of Jack Kevorkian’s position, this film may be more relevant than ever. The Mind: Aging (1988). HARR, 24 minutes Attributes the differential effects of aging on cognitive processes to an interaction between genetic
and environmental factors. Depicts experiments conducted to pinpoint the areas of the brain
involved in cognitive deficits. Contradicts the myth that memory deficits are an inevitable part of
aging. Emphasizes that an active, purposeful old age depends on staying physically and mentally
active. Shows research on the biological mechanisms that cause Alzheimer’s disease, and discusses
one possible solution for decreasing the debilitating effects of this disease. On Death and Dying (1974). FI, 40 minutes Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross discusses her experiences in helping the terminally ill face death without
fear. She stresses the importance of communicating with them in a way that recognizes their
feelings. Somewhat dated, but the basic issues remain constant. Vygotsky’s Developmental Theory (1994). Davidson Films Presents Lev Vygotsky’s early childhood learning theories and demonstrates them in classrooms.
Development, according to Vygotsky, cannot be separated from its social context: it is misleading to
evaluate children only on what they accomplish independently. The Infant Mind (1992). Insight Media, 30 minutes Jean Piaget’s stage theories of object permanence and sensory-motor development are explained
and challenged. Research with newborns has revealed that infants possess a basic perception of
cause and effect, number, and object permanence and that memory skills and the capacity to form
concepts are present much earlier than formerly believed. The Seven Ages of the Brain (1995). Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 58 minutes Focuses on how a brain grows from a fertilized egg and how our brains change, even after birth,
right up to old age. The establishment of connections between brain cells occurs not only in the
womb, but also after birth. These connections can be modified, or even abolished, in accordance
with certain changes in the environment. Part of the British Royal Institute Lecture series. Aging Successfully: Psychological Aspects of Growing Old (1998). Davidson Films, 30 minutes Discusses the concepts developed by the Baltes for assessing the means by which some people cope
better psychologically with old age. Selection, optimization, and compensation are three important
coping strategies to deal with the decline in physical and some mental functions, while developing
wisdom. Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter (1995). Women Make Movies, 44 minutes Shows interactions between an Alzheimer’s patient and her daughter. The daughter discusses the
various stages of the disease, how she dealt with each and how she arrived at a positive resolution. 218
Motivation LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Describe the five functions of motivational concepts
2. Explain the various sources of motivation, including instinctual, emotional, and cognitive
3. Communicate the difference between William James’ and Sigmund Freud’s conception on
instinctual behaviors
4. Describe social learning theory and its relationship to internal and external sources of
5. Identify the two major eating disorders
6. Explain the different reproductive strategies that may be employed by males and females
7. Describe the four phases of human sexual response for males and females
8. Show an understanding of the concept of need for achievement and discuss how it relates
to motivation
9. Describe the concept of locus of control and its relationship to motivation
10. Explain Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. Understanding Motivation
A. Motivation is the general term for all the processes involved in starting, directing, and
maintaining physical and psychological activities
B. Functions of Motivational Concepts
1. To relate biology to behavior
2. To account for behavioral variability
3. To infer private states from public acts
4. To assign responsibility for actions
5. To explain perseverance despite adversity
C. Sources of Motivation
1. Drives and Incentives
a) Drive is defined in biological terms as energy released from an
organism’s store, the fuel of action
b) Drive Theory was fully developed by Hull, who believed 218
CHAPTER 12: MOTIVATION Motivation was necessary for learning to occur (i) Learning is essential for successful adaptation to the
(ii) Tension reduction is reinforcing, but is not sufficient to
explain all types of motivated behavior
(iii) Organisms seek to maintain homeostasis, a state of
c) Behavior can also be motivated by incentives, external stimuli
or rewards that do not relate directly to biological needs 2. Reversal Theory
a) Apter’s reversal theory hypothesizes four pairs of
metamotivational states, states that give rise to distinct
patterns of motivation (i) Telic–Paratelic: serious vs. playful
(ii) Conformist–Negativistic: compliant vs. rebellious
(iii) Mastery–Sympathy: power-oriented vs. care-oriented
(iv) Autic–Alloic: concern for self vs. concern for others
b) Seeks to explain motivation in terms of reversals from one
state to another 3. Instinctual Behaviors and Learning
a) Instincts are preprogrammed tendencies that are essential for
the survival of their species b) To what degree is human behavior instinctual? (i) James (1890) proposed humans are more reliant on
instinct than other animals, stating both human and
animal behaviors are purposive, serving important
purposes in the organism’s adaptation to its
(ii) Freud (1915) proposed that humans experience drive
states arise from life and death instincts, calling the
drive state psychic energy
(iii) Behaviorist data indicating behaviors and emotions
are learned rather than instinctive in nature helped to
found instinct theory as an explanation for motivated
4. Expectations and Cognitive Approaches to Motivation
a) An expectation is an idea about the future likelihood of getting
something that is wanted b) Significant human motivation derives from the individual’s
subjective interpretation of reality c) Social-learning theory developed the importance of
expectations in motivating behavior. The probability of
engaging in a given behavior is determined by: (i) Expectation of attaining a goal that follows the
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE activity (ii) Personal value of that goal to the individual
(iii) A discrepancy between expectations and reality can
motivate the individual to perform corrective
d) Heider posited that behavioral outcome can be attributed to: (i) Dispositional forces, such as lack of effort or low
(ii) Situational forces, such as a biased exam or instructor
(iii) Attributions influencing the way the individual will
A. The Physiology of Eating
1. Regulation of effective food intake requires organisms to be equipped
with mechanisms that accomplish four tasks
a) Detect internal food need b) Initiate and organize eating behavior c) Monitor quantity and quality of food eaten d) Detect when sufficient food has been eaten and stop eating 2. Peripheral Responses
a) Cannon (1934) proposed gastric activity in an empty stomach
was the sole basis for hunger, an unsupported position on
discovery that stomach contractions are not a necessary
condition for hunger b) Research shows gastric distension caused by ingestion of
food causes the individual to stop eating 3. Central Responses
a) Early theories about brain centers for initiation and cessation
of eating were built around observations of the lateral
hypothalamus and the ventromedial hypothalunus, leading
to the dual-center model of response b) Dual-center model discredited after learning that the two
basic signals that initiate eating come from receptors
monitoring levels of sugar and fat in the blood B. The Psychology of Eating
1. Psychological focus is on circumstances in which people try to
exercise control over the consequences of eating
2. Obesity and Dieting
a) Resting metabolic rate is the rate at which an individual’s
body bums calories that maintain basic functions b) Biological predisposition may or may not “cause” an 220
CHAPTER 12: MOTIVATION individual to become obese c) Key is how individual thinks about food and eating behaviors d) Herman and Polivy propose the dimension underlying the
psychology of eating behaviors to be restrained vs.
unrestrained eating (i) Restrained eaters put constant limits on amount of
food they will let themselves consume
(ii) Restrained eaters gain weight even when dieting,
because they become periodically disinhibited and
indulge in high-calorie bingeing
(iii) Psychological consequences of constant dieting can
create circumstances more likely to lead to weight
gain than to weight loss
3. Eating Disorders and Body Image
a) Anorexia nervosa: Individual weighs less than 85% of expected
weight, but continues to express fear of becoming fat. These
individuals may also be bulimic b) Bulimia nervosa: Characterized by periods of intense, out-ofcontrol
eating, or bingeing, followed by efforts to purge the
body of excess calories through: (i) Self-induced vomiting
(ii) Misuse of laxatives
(iii) Fasting
c) Both disorders result in systematic starvation of the body that
may have serious medical consequences d) Prevalence of anorexia nervosa in late-adolescent and young
adult females is about 0.5 to 1.0 percent e) Prevalence of bulimia nervosa during late-adolescent and
young adult females is about 1.0 to 3.0 percent f) Females suffer eating disorders at approximately 10 times the
rate of males III. Sexual Behaviors
A. Nonhuman Sexual Behaviors
1. Nonhuman sexual behaviors have reproduction as their primary
2. Sexual arousal is primarily physiologically determined by
a) Secretion of hormones b) Stereotypical sexual behaviors for all members of a given
species c) Arousal may be initiated by environmental stimuli (e.g.,
ritualized behavior by potential partners may be a necessary
condition for sexual response) 221
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE d) Chemical signals, pheromones, are secreted by some species to
attract suitors B. Human Sexual Arousal and Response
1. Hormonal activity has no known effect on sexual receptivity or
gratification in most men and women
2. Sexual Arousal is the motivational state of excitement and tension
brought about by physiological and cognitive reactions to erotic
a) Erotic stimuli, which may be physiological or psychological,
give rise to sexual excitement or feelings of passion 3. Research by Masters and Johnson provided four basic conclusions
regarding human sexuality
a) Men and women have similar patterns of sexual response b) Although the sequence of phases of the sexual response cycle
is similar in the two sexes, women are more variable, tending
to respond more slowly but often remaining aroused longer c) Many women can have multiple orgasms, while men rarely
do so in a comparable time period d) Penis size is generally unrelated to any aspect of sexual
performance (other than the attitude of the male regarding
having a large penis) 4. Phases of the sexual response cycle, according to Masters and
a) Excitement: Vascular changes in pelvic region, including
erection of penis and clitoral swelling; sexual flush appears b) Plateau: Maximum level of arousal is reached, with increased
heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure; vaginal
lubrications increase and breasts swell c) Orgasm: Intense, pleasurable release from sexual tension; very
high respiration rate and blood pressure, and heart rate may
double d) Resolution: Body returns gradually to normal, pre-excitement
state. Most males enter a refractory period during which no
further orgasm is possible. With sustained arousal, females
are capable of multiple orgasms in rapid succession C. The Evolution of Sexual Behaviors
1. Evolution may have led men and women to different strategies that
underlie their sexual behavior
a) Male role tends toward short-term mating, giving signs of
loyalty and commitment followed by leaving the female b) Female role is more inclined to long-term mating, attraction of a
loyal male who will remain with her, helping to raise her 222
CHAPTER 12: MOTIVATION children D. Sexual Norms
1. Sexual norms are culturally acquired behaviors that are considered to
be appropriate for expression of sexual impulses
2. Sexual scripts are socially learned programs of sexual responsiveness
that include prescriptions (usually unspoken) of
a) What to do b) When, where, and how to do it c) With whom or with what to do it d) Why it should be done 3. Sexual scripts include not only expectations of appropriate behavior
for ourselves, but also expectations of appropriate behavior for our
4. Date Rape
a) Research with college students indicates date rape is an area
of devastating conflict between sexual scripts of males and
females (i) Research indicates that for both genders, unwanted
sex was related to perceiving male-female
relationships as adversarial
(ii) Specific correlation was the male script that females
will offer token resistance to avoid appearing
E. Homosexuality
1. Homosexuality should not be considered a deviation from
heterosexuality but like all sexual behavior, involves a combination of
both internal and external motivational forces, including the
excitement and tension brought about by physiological and cognitive
reactions to erotic stimuli
2. Homosexuality is set apart from heterosexuality by the continuing
hostility toward homosexual behaviors from many areas of society
3. Many gay men and lesbians suffer internalized homophobia or
internalized homo-negativity as a result of societal hostility
4. Much anxiety attached to homosexuality is a function of the
individual’s need to reveal or conceal his/her homosexuality from
family, friends, and co-workers, rather than being a function of
actually being homosexual
5. Data suggest much of the stress associated with homosexuality is not
from the sexual motivation itself, but from the ways in which people
respond to the revelation of that sexual motivation
IV. Motivation for Personal Achievement
A. Need for Achievement
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 1. Murray postulated a need for achievement (n Ach) as a variable that
fluctuated in strength in different people, and influenced their
tendency to approach success and evaluate their own performances
2. McClelland used the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) to measure
strength of n Ach
3. n Ach reflected individual differences in the importance of planning
and working toward attainment of one’s goals
a) High scores on n Ach reflected upward mobility b) High n Ach individuals typified by a need for efficiency c) Level of n Ach may derive from parenting practices B. Atttibutions for Success and Failure
1. Attributions are judgments about the causes of outcomes that can
impact level of motivation
2. Attributions can vary along three dimensions: locus of control,
stability versus instability, and global versus specific
a) Locus of control orientation is a belief that outcomes of our
actions are contingent on: (i) What we do (internal control orientation)
(ii) Environmental factors that are outside our personal
control (external control orientation)
b) The dimension of stability versus instability can be assessed by
asking to what extent is a causal factor likely to be stable and
consistent over time? c) The global versus specific dimension can be assessed by asking
to what extent is a causal factor highly specific and limited to
a particular task or situation? 3. Attribution made will impact both emotions and subsequent
motivation settings, regardless of the true reason for success or failure;
thus beliefs are important because they lead to:
a) Different interpretations of past performance and general
worth b) Different emotions, goals, and effort in the present situation c) Different motivation in the future 4. Seligman posits explanatory style, the individual’s level of optimism or
pessimism, as affecting activity and passivity, persisting and giving
up, taking risks and playing it safe
a) Pessimistic attributional style focuses on causes of failure as
being internally generated, with situation and one’s role in
causing it as stable and global b) Optimistic attributional style attributes failure to external causes
and to events that are unstable or modifiable and specific c) Causal explanations reverse when outcome is a success 224
CHAPTER 12: MOTIVATION C. Work and Organizational Psychology
1. Organizational psychologists study various aspects of
a) Human relations b) Overall quality of life at work 2. Apply theories of management, decision making, and development to
work settings
a) Equity theory proposes that workers are motivated to maintain
fair or equitable relationships with other relevant persons (i) Workers note their own inputs and outcomes, and
compare them with inputs and outcomes of other
(ii) Satisfaction occurs for Worker A when (Outcome A ÷
Input A = Outcome B ÷ Input B)
(iii) Dissatisfaction for Worker A occurs when (Outcome
A ÷ Input A 1 Outcome B ÷ Input B)
b) Expectancy theory proposes that workers are motivated when
they expect their efforts and performance on the job will result
in desired outcomes. The theory emphasizes three
components: (i) Expectancy: the perceived likelihood that a worker’s
efforts will result in successful performance
(ii) Valence: the perceived attractiveness of particular
(iii) Instrumentality: the perception that performance will
be rewarded
V.A Hierarchy of Needs
A. Maslow posited that the individual’s basic motives formed A Hierarchy Of Needs, with
needs at each level requiring satisfaction before achieving the next level
1. Biological: Bottom level needs such as hunger and thirst require
satisfaction before other needs can begin operation.
2. Safety: Requirement to attend to protection from danger, need for
security, comfort, and freedom from fear.
3. Attachment: Needs to belong, to affiliate with others, to love and to be
4. Esteem: Needs to like oneself, to see oneself as competent and effective,
and to do what is necessary to earn the esteem of others.
5. Cognitive: Humans demand stimulation of thought, need to know our
past, to comprehend puzzles of current existence, and to predict the
6. Esthetic: Need for creativity, and the human desire for beauty and
7. Self-actualization: Individual has moved beyond basic needs in the
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE quest for fullest development of his/her potential. Individual is self-
aware, self-accepting, socially responsive, creative, spontaneous, open
to novelty and challenge 8. Transcendence: a step beyond fulfillment of individual potential, may
lead some individuals to higher states of consciousness and a cosmic
vision of one’s part in the universe
B. Maslow’s hierarchy presents an upbeat view of human motivation, with the core of the
theory being the need for each individual to grow and actualize his/her highest potential
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. William James proposed that humans rely on instinctual behaviors even more than other
animals. Twenty-five years later, Sigmund Freud posited that humans experience drive
states that arise from life instincts and death instincts. What is significant about the
difference in these two perspectives?
2. How could the educational system be changed so that children have greater feelings of
choice, responsibility, and hope? What effect might such changes have on learning and
3. Suppose that public displays of eating were considered socially inappropriate and that one
could eat only at home with one’s family or alone. How would the following behaviors be
. Typical topics of conversation
. Popularity of magazines
. Priorities of morality
In contrast, what would happen if society deemed it appropriate to engage in sex, a basic
biological drive, whenever and wherever one wished? 4. How can we make a tedious job more enjoyable, satisfying, or rewarding? Ask students to
apply the principles of learning and motivation to transform their most dreaded task into a
more rewarding one.
5 . Ask students for personal examples of momentary actualization or peak experiences.
Include times when they felt they found the truth, were filled with energy, or volunteered to
work for a cause. What was it that motivated them?
SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL Motivation in the Marketplace The goal of advertising is to motivate the consumer to buy products. There are three basic
components to the advertising strategies used to get you to part with your money. They are: The Audience 226
CHAPTER 12: MOTIVATION In marketing the audience is called the “target market.” These people are the actual or potential
buyers of the product. They can be either the decision makers or people who influence the person
who makes the actual buying decision. For example, parents purchase goods for their children, but
children often have a significant influence on the products their parents buy. Sometimes
advertising is aimed at trying to change or enlarge the market, such as the makers of a certain
automobile finding that most of their buyers are older. Because of that finding, the manufacturers
may change their advertising strategy to target a younger population. The “baby boom” generation
is currently between the ages of about 40 to 50 years old, and provides a very lucrative market
because of its large numbers and relative affluence. The Message There are two components of any motivational message. There is the verbal (or written) message
and the nonverbal message. The nonverbal message is subtler, not directly stated, but nonetheless
implied by the contents of the message. The nonverbal message may be transmitted by the
background against which the product is displayed, such as the American flag, the shelves of
impressive books, the beautiful home, the spacious office, or the cozy bar. All of these project a
desirable image. The nonverbal message can also include clothes, facial expressions, and body
language of the actors or models involved in producing the message. In the U.S., this might include
the presence of the “family dog.” The Communicator The communicator is the person who delivers the message or who is the central figure in print
advertising. One characteristic of persuasive communicators is their credibility—the reputation of
the individual as believable, as an expert or authority in his or her field. Attractiveness is another
characteristic that advertisers exploit. This may mean that the person is admired as an actor,
athlete, or musician, or as a person who has been outstandingly successful in whatever he or she is
known for. Sometimes the communicator is an individual that potential buyers can identify with,
“a person just like me!” Recognizing these three components of advertisements can help us better understand why
individual advertisements are constructed the way that they are and help us be more critical of, and
less susceptible to, their message. Now let us look at a few specific examples. Automobiles The Audience Every car has its own intended market. How many 70-year-olds do you see driving Corvettes? Who
is the market for a Cadillac? For BMWs? For pickup trucks? Car makers are sophisticated in
targeting sexes, ages, and income groups in their advertisements. The Message The verbal message may involve such issues as value, gas mileage, dependability, safety,
performance, and prestige. The nonverbal messages may be far more potent and persuasive,
exploiting such motives as sex appeal, social status, power, envy, success, and confidence.
Backdrops of polo matches and mansions imply wealth; steelyards and factories imply durability;
and bright lights and tall buildings imply success. For Americans, especially males, the automobile
is almost an extension of one’s self. Cars convey an image of ourselves, as we would like others to
perceive us. 227
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE The Communicator Individuals in automobile advertisements are usually very attractive, modeling the sort of person
the buyer would want to be. Occasionally, the communicator is someone expected to know a lot
about cars, such as a famous racecar driver or greasy mechanic. Beer The Audience The audience for beer is middle- and working-class males, “good ol’ boys” who like to get together
to go fishing, watch football games, or play pool. Females appear in beer commercials, but often
only as props. Beer is a man’s drink, and women are often targeted with other beverages such as
wine coolers. The Message Beer is associated with good times. Young, attractive, healthy people are often seen running around
beaches, attending terrific parties, and engaging in thrill-seeking sports. People who drink beer can
also be portrayed as “down to earth” folk, just like you. These “normal” people are more likely to sit
in the kitchen or the backyard than in a formal setting, and they eat hamburgers and apple pie. The
motivation for drinking beer is to have good friends and to have good times with them, to reward
yourself at the end of the day with a beer or two while watching ball games. The Communicator Most often, a male without a necktie, or at least a loosened tie, possibly in a flannel work shirt, touts
the beer. He is a good “All-American” man’s man. He knows how to hunt and fish, is a skilled
athlete, can fix cars, and is not afraid of an honest day’s work. You might have your class discuss other products such as pain relievers, colas, and clothes. Have
your class use their critical thinking skills to figure out the advertiser’s motivation the next time that
they see an advertisement. They might want to ask themselves: . Am I a member of the target audience?
. Is the product really special and different, or just trying to be?
. What claims does the advertisement make of the product? How are the claims
. If statistics are used, are they used fairly?
. If the product is compared to another, is it compared to a relevant product in a reasonable
. What are the nonverbal messages that the advertisement tries to impart?
. How were the communicators chosen to maximize impact and believability?
. What need does the product fill? Is the need real, or created by the advertisement?
Finally, advertising is not all bad. If it was, it might not be allowed. Ask your class why
advertisements are legal, although their only purpose is to influence people to do things that they
might not do without advertisements. One positive aspect of advertisements is their informational
value. They alert consumers to the presence of new products, and to legitimate differences among 228
CHAPTER 12: MOTIVATION exiting products. Are there others? In closing, remember what the Romans said, “Caveat emptor!”
(Let the buyer beware). Psychological Factors and Obesity While genetic and metabolic factors clearly influence many cases of obesity, personal, social,
cultural, and environmental factors also play a distinct role. As the text states, the number of people
you are with can affect how much you eat. Also, we may eat more in certain social situations where
eating is expected. Low self-esteem, having been sexually abused, and high levels of depressive
anxiety are correlated with obesity. Family and cultural norms may also play a part. Some cultures
perceive what we consider obesity to be attractive. In our culture, we idolize health and thinness,
but we have slipped into lifestyles in which so many Americans have access to fat-rich foods and
are physically inactive, that large numbers of Americans are obese and dieting has become the
norm for a majority of American women. Many younger women also develop eating disorders such
as bulimia and anorexia, largely in response to trying to achieve unrealistic standards of thinness.
This can be a useful topic to discuss with the class, because many college students are in the
highest-risk group for developing these disorders. They are also at an age where they are beginning
to develop lifestyle norms that can have long-term implications for their risk for obesity. Extrinsic Rewards May Spoil Pleasure The following tale is useful as a lead-in to a discussion of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards: An Italian shoemaker in New York became the target of epithets shouted gleefully by boys in
the neighborhood. “Dirty wop!” “Greaseball, go back to Sicily!” And other obscenities not fit
for print. The boys were a general nuisance and disrupted business. The shoemaker ignored the
boys in vain. He tried to reason with them, and he tried to chase them away, all to no avail. One
day when he saw them approaching, the shoemaker tried a new approach. “Don’t ask me
why,” said the shoemaker to the boys, “but I will give each one of you 50 cents if you will shout,
“Dirty wop! No greaseballs in our neighborhood!” as loud as you can.” The boys were
delighted and enthusiastically shouted the phrases at the top of their lungs. The next day, right after school, the boys reappeared, expecting more of the same. The
shoemaker met them with a smile and said, “You did such a wonderful job yesterday, I will
gladly pay 50 cents to each of you that shouts the same things that you did yesterday, and
makes up one new one.” Again, the boys complied, screaming at the top of their lungs until
they were hoarse. The boys appeared the third day, and again the shoemaker met them with a smile.
Nevertheless, today he was apologetic. “I am sorry,” he said, “but business has been slow. You
put on a marvelous show yesterday, but all that I can afford today is a nickel.” The boys obliged
by shouting the epithets with somewhat less enthusiasm than they had the day before. On the fourth day, the boys appeared right on schedule. Again, the shoemaker met them
apologetically. “The show that you put on yesterday was indeed worth it, but business is so
bad that I can not afford to pay you today.” At this point, so the story goes, the boys grumbled
that they had better things to do than entertain a dumb Italian, and wandered off, never to be
seen again. Why did this approach at changing the boys’ behavior work when none other had?
It worked because it changed what had been an intrinsically rewarding activity into an activity
that was done for an extrinsic monetary reward. Then, when the extrinsic reward was removed,
the boys no longer had intrinsic or extrinsic motivation to engage in the problem behavior. In
simple terms, the fun was taken out of it. Psychologist Mark Lepper offers the following conclusions about the research and theory on the 229
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE effects of reward on subsequent motivation: . Punishment is usually thought to create compliant behavior change without
internalization of the underlying attitudes, values, morality, or principles. Reward has
been assumed to enhance likelihood that the desired behavior change will be internalized.
. Festinger’s dissonance theory clearly distinguishes between public compliance and private
acceptance in terms of the person’s perception of the external versus internal locus of
pressure to behave in the given way. Private acceptance (internalized behavior change)
involves the actor believing he or she had sufficient freedom of decision to refuse to do a
behavior and that the decision was not overdetermined by threats, incentives, or someone
else’s justification.
. When extrinsic rewards are imposed on an activity that was formerly freely chosen because
of its intrinsic value to the child, subsequent motivation to engage in that activity is
reduced. This is true for task-contingent rewards.
. Performance-contingent rewards do not necessarily undermine intrinsic motivation as
task-contingent rewards do.
. The greatest loss of intrinsic motivation comes when the pupil perceives his or her task
behavior to be under surveillance and extrinsically rewarded.
Basis of Motivation and Its Theoretical Perspectives Motivation is defined as the concept we use when describing the forces acting on or within an
organism to initiate and direct behavior. We also use the concept to explain differences in intensity
of behavior and to indicate the direction of behavior. Increased intensity of behaviors is thought to
result from increased levels of motivation. For example, when we are hungry, we direct our energies
to obtaining food. We study motivation because both casual and scientific observation tell us that behavior is often
triggered by something. Something motivates us to behave in a certain way. Motivation includes
certain characteristics, such as activation, persistence, and vigor: Activation Although motivation is often viewed as being behaviorally activating, the resulting behavior
activated may not always be overt and observable. For example, a rabbit freezes when a hawk flies
overhead. The rabbit’s motivation for survival results in an “activity” of immobilization, although
the rabbit’s heart rate is high because of the activation of its peripheral nervous system. Therefore,
motivation is not necessarily overt, physically observable activation. It may be, but it also may not
be. Persistence Persistence appears to be one of several possible indices of motivation. That is, the level of
persistence appears to be an indicator of the level of motivation. If your cat is just a little hungry, or
maybe just bored, it may follow you to the kitchen and meow around its bowl in a half-hearted
attempt to be fed. If your cat is starving, however, it may meow vociferously while pacing back and
forth near the kitchen door. It may try to get your attention by sinking its claws deep into your leg or
by licking your face. If you still refuse to feed it, your cat may rummage for food on its own,
knocking jars over, opening cabinets, and eating through wrappers. Vigor The intensity of the response may be associated with motivation level, but it may also be a learned
factor. For example, if a rat learned that it had to really bang on a lever to get the food pellet to fall 230
CHAPTER 12: MOTIVATION because the lever had a stiff spring, the rat will bang the stuffing out of any other response level that
you put in its path. If you are a casual observer, you might assume the rat is highly motivated due to
the vigor with which it bangs the lever when, in fact, that is the only way he knows how to press a
lever. It is what it has learned to do. As with most issues in psychology, there are various approaches to studying motivation, three of
which are the biological, the drive or learning, and the cognitive. Let us look at each of them. The Biological Approach The biological approach espouses naturally occurring behavior and evolution. Part of this
perspective is instinct theory. Instinct theory, as an explanation for motivated behavior, reached its
peak in the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s. As the popularity of this theory grew, it
tried to “explain” all behaviors as “instinctive”, which led to the nominal fallacy. For example, if you saw me playing with a three-year-old, you might explain my playfulness, my
behavior, in terms of a “paternal instinct.” However, by labeling my behavior as “paternal”, you
have done nothing but name it. You have explained nothing. Simply naming something as an
instinct does not explain it. In order to explain behavior, you cannot just label it; you must
understand the conditions that led to the behavior and the consequences that result from it.
Explanation presumes a cause-and-effect relationship and labeling a behavior provides no causal
explanation. Early instinct approaches emphasized the continuity of human and animal behavior and were
important because they provided a foundation on which later ethological theories, motivated
behavior theories, could build. Ethological theories were based on Darwin’s theory of evolution and
were concerned with the evolution, development, and function of behavior. Drive Theories The concept of drive assumed that the motivation of behavior depends on a physiological need,
such as hunger, thirst, or sex. This perspective posits that the organism becomes motivated to
reduce the need or drive in any way that it can. As a motivational construct, drive is usually
associated with maintenance of homeostasis, a process in which bodily mechanisms attempt to
keep the body’s systems functioning at their optimal levels. One significant theory in this grouping was proposed by Clark Hull (1943). Hull’s theory was
motivated by both learning theory and motivational thought, and his model for behavior was one of
survival. Hull assumed that motivation developed to meet the organic needs of the organism,
because such a system gives the animal an advantage in the struggle to survive. This is based on
the various theories of evolution. Hull proposed that behavior resulted from three factors: . What has been learned
. The current level of drive
. The characteristics of the goal
Cognitive Theories This group of theories involves an expectancy-value construct. Edward Tolman (1934) proposed
that theories of behavior should be studied as a whole, proposing that behavior is molar, rather
than studying it as a function of its component parts (as in a reductionist model). Tolman posited
three defining properties for molar behavior. 1. Behavior is always directed toward or away from some specific goal; behavior that is
directed toward a goal is persistent.
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 2. Behaviors leading toward a goal form a consistent pattern of responses. Behavior is not
random, but represents the way in which the organism attempts to reach the goal.
3. There is selectivity to molar behavior. The shortest or easiest path to the goal will be taken.
These three characteristics imply that the organism has some understanding of the goal toward
which its behavior is leading. In a word, Tolman saw behavior as being “purposive.” Further, he
posited cognitive expectancy, suggesting that organisms learn that particular behaviors lead to
particular goals. Organisms develop an expectancy that a specific set of behaviors will lead to a
specific goal. Achievement and Motivation What is achievement? A passable working definition is the development of motives, capabilities,
interests, and behaviors that have to do with performance in evaluative situations. How does that
pertain to the average child or adolescent in a realistic format? Achievement is an important
concept for all of us relative to issues such as: . Grades during our school years
. Scores on college entrance exams
. Ability to pass a football or hit a softball
. Engaging in appropriate social behavior (to be popular)
These are all examples of achievements, but where or how does achievement become relevant to us?
First, it is important for all of us in terms of the need for achievement (n Ach), the degree to which
the individual strives for success. The Need for Achievement is based on expectancy theory.
McClelland explained achievement motivation as the need to perform the difficult as well and as
quickly as possible. In 1983, Spence and Helmreich identified three factors as contributing to
achievement tendencies: work, mastery, and competition. Spence and Helmreich found that females
scored higher on work and males scored higher on both mastery and competition. Have your class
try to determine why. One reason is that they were well socialized into traditional gender roles. Do males and females have any tendency to adhere to specific patterns of motivation? Research by
Dweck (1986) found the girls’ pattern of motivation differed from that of boys and that very bright
females showed greater debilitation after failure; that is, they displayed greater decrements in
motivation and performance than did other females or any males. Conversely, the brightest males
showed facilitation following failure. Dweck posits that lower math achievement for females may
be at least partially attributable to this difference in motivational patterns because sex/gender
differences in both math and motivation are greatest among the brightest students. Dweck also
found that females show a lower preference for novel or challenging tasks than do males and that
females are more likely to attribute their failure to lack of ability than are males. In addition to the determinants of achievement behavior already mentioned, let us look at the
cognitive determinants of this construct. Two factors that strongly impact what an individual is
likely to achieve are the: . Value placed on achievement of the goal. An individual’s willingness to set high standards
and work to attain them will fluctuate in accordance with how valuable the achievement is
to them personally. Obviously, value then becomes a significant predictor of achievement
CHAPTER 12: MOTIVATION behavior. · Expectation of achieving the goal. When dealing with children and adolescents, those who
expect to succeed usually do and those who do not expect to succeed usually do not.
Attributional Theories of Achievement Rotter’s (1954) locus-of-control model was expanded by Virginia Crandall (1967) as follows.
Individuals with an internal locus of control (internalizers) assume that they are personally
responsible for their success or failures. Individuals with external locus of control (externalizers) believe their success-to-failure rates depend on luck or fate, rather than on their own effort or ability.
Crandall feels that an internal locus of control is conducive to achievement. Individuals must
believe that their efforts will lead to positive outcomes if they are to work for success and become
high achievers. Work by Findley and Cooper supported Crandall’s hypothesis, in finding that
internalizers do earn higher grades and typically outperform externalizers on standard tests of
academic performance. Once we have taken a test or made a decision, to what do we attribute our success or failure? What
sorts of causal attributions do we make? Weiner (1974, 1986) added a dimension of stability to Crandall’s theory. This dimension states that if you find one specific type of problem to be
exceedingly difficult for you, there is good reason to expect problems of a similar nature also to be
difficult for you. If they are, it is a stable cause. Combine this dimension with ability, effort, luck, and task difficulty, and we get the following matrix: Locus of Causality Internal Cause External Cause
Stable Cause Ability Task Difficulty
Unstable Cause Effort Luck A final issue we need to address regarding motivation is learned helplessness. Learned
helplessness deals with patterns of attributions displayed by the individual during explanations of
achievement outcomes, and the effects of these attributional styles on later achievement. Dweck et
al. found reliable individual differences in the way children react to achievement outcomes,
especially failure. Some kids are mastery oriented. They attribute failures to unstable causes, such as insufficient effort,
and will increase their effort on the next occasion. Conversely, those children who perceive failure
as deriving from stable causes often show little expenditure of effort and subsequent deterioration
of performance on future tasks. These children seem to give up when they fail and often will not
attempt a task that they mastered earlier. Dweck felt this to be a variation of learned helplessness. If
failure is attributed to a cause over which the child exercises little control, they see little reason to
keep trying. They give up before they even begin. So convinced that they will fail yet again, they
save themselves the effort and do not even begin to try. They learn to be helpless. Dweck also noted
these helpless children were often at the top of their class in earlier achievement. So what
happened? Sadly, the culprit is often the evaluations of the child’s work by a teacher. If a teacher
praises luck or other unstable factors on success and emphasizes lack of ability on failure, children
will attribute success to luck and failure to a lack of ability. This is the pattern seen in learned
helplessness. If, however, teachers praise ability on success and emphasize unstable factors on
failure, children will learn mastery orientation. 233
CHAPTER 12: MOTIVATION BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES Clark Hull (1884–1952) Clark Hull was born in Akron, New York, the son of an unschooled farmer. Hull missed much
school himself as a child when duties on the farm assumed greater importance than “book learning.” He attended Alma College, intending to be an engineer, but having read James’ Principles
of Psychology, he settled on the study of philosophy and psychology. In 1918, Hull completed the
requirements of the Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, where he taught until 1929, when he
moved to Yale, where he remained until his death. Hull is perhaps the most significant contributor to the grand era of learning theory in America
during the 1930s and 1940s. His particular theory involved a sophisticated mathematical system
that took full advantage of the hypothetico-deductive method, generating more empirical research
during the 1940s and 50s than all competing theories of learning combined. Hull’s theoretical system is presented in both Principles of Behavior (1943) and A Behavior System (1952). He was
president of the American Psychological Association in 1936. David McClelland (b. 1917) David McClelland attended Wesleyan University and the University of Missouri before earning his
Ph.D. at Yale in 1941. He returned to teach at Wesleyan, then Bryn Mawr, Harvard, and Boston
University. McClelland’s research and theoretical work on human motivation, particularly
regarding achievement and power, has influenced an entire generation of research psychologists.
Additionally, his research, and that of his colleagues, has been applied to many social contexts,
including industry and the study of problem drinking. McClelland has authored a number of books, including The Achievement Motive (1953). Abraham Maslow (1908–1970) Maslow received his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in 1934, having studied under Harry
Harlow. He taught at Wisconsin for a year, followed by appointments at Teacher’s College of
Columbia University, Brooklyn College, and, finally, Brandeis University, where he spent most of
his academic career. Maslow moved to Menlo Park, California, in 1969 as a resident fellow of the
Laughlin Foundation. Maslow is considered one of the foremost spokespeople of humanistic psychology, and was founder of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology. He is best known for his theory of motivation, and
the concept of a hierarchy of needs, ranging from basic survival needs to the need for self-
actualization. His influential works include Toward a Psychology of Being (1962) and Religion,
Values, and Peak Experiences (1964). He served in 1968 as president of the American Psychological Association. 235
World War I was fought.
1929 The Great Depression in America began.
1938 Henry Murray postulated that many human behaviors are motivated by
the “need to achieve,” an internal tendency to strive for success.
World War II was fought.
1943 Clark Hull, a psychologist at Yale, proposed that behavior is motivated
primarily through drive reduction, through reinforcement that decreases
biological tension within an organism.
The Korean War was fought.
1953 David McClelland developed the first research methods for studying
achievement motivation.
1955 Physiologist Donald Hebb proposed that motivation to obtain or
maintain an optimal level of arousal is the force that directs and
organizes behavior.
1969 The first human moon landing occurred.
1970 Abraham Maslow proposed that all people are motivated by deficiency
and growth needs to achieve their innate potential as human beings.
1974 Richard Solomon and J. D. Corbit published their opponent-process
model of motivation, the notion that a strong emotional state stimulates
organisms to seek the opposite emotional state. 236
CHAPTER 12: MOTIVATION SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READINGS Buck, R. (1988). Human Motivation and Emotion (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. A broad
introduction to the literature on motivation and emotion, with an emphasis on human studies
and on animal studies with direct application to human beings. Festinger, L. (1957). A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. Evanston, IL: Row, Peterson. A classic text in
motivation and social psychology. Demonstrates how thoughts, specifically inconsistent
thoughts, can motivate changes in belief and behavior. Geen, R. (1995). Human Motivation: A Social Psychological Approach. Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole. An
introduction to motivation that approaches the topic from a social perspective and relates it to
everyday life. Lepper, M., Sethi, S., Dialdin, D., & Drake, M. (1997). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation: A
Developmental Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press. Explores the influence of both
intrinsic and extrinsic rewards on motivation and behavior. Discusses the situations in which
extrinsic reward can decrease intrinsic motivation. Maslow, A. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review, 50, 370–396. Details
Maslow’s theory of motivation, including his hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow, humans
are, “a perpetually wanting animal.” A classic paper. McClelland, D. (1998). Human Motivation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. A well-written
introduction to the field of human motivation. Weiner, B. (1989). Human Motivation. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Provides an
extensive review of four theories of motivation: drive, field, achievement, and attribution. Weiner, B. (1998). Discovering General Laws of Social Motivation. Hove, Psychology Press/Erlbaum
(UK) Taylor & Francis. Advances in Psychological Science, Vol 1: Social, Personal, and Cultural
Aspects, 93–109. Proposes a general theory of motivation based on attribution theory. Zimbardo, P. (1966). The Cognitive Control of Motivation. Transactions of the New York Academy of
Sciences, 28(7), 902–921. Series of studies shows that both biological drives and emotional
behavior are controlled by cognitive, psychological, and social variables. These data accord with
predictions from cognitive dissonance theory. The experiments involve both behavioral and
physiological responses to shock, cognitive control of conditioned eye blink, hypnosis, and
thirst. DISCOVERING PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM 12: MOTIVATION AND EMOTION Overview A review of what researchers are discovering about why we act and feel as we do, from the
exhilaration of love to the agony of failure. Key Issues Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, biological motivation for sexual behavior, reproductive behavior 237
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE of rats and the physiological effects, physiological and psychological motivation for romantic love, the universality of emotions, and the effects of optimism and pessimism on physiology. Demonstrations Rat sexual behavior. Interviews Psychologist Norman Adler studies reproductive behavior and its physiological consequence in rats. Martin Seligman studies the effects of optimism and pessimism on physiology and behavior. Abraham Maslow examines the effects of the interplay between human nature and society on motivation. FILMS AND VIDEOS Fear of Fat (1987). CHUH, 26 minutes Five young women describe their eating disorders and how they overcame them. For centuries,
plumpness was considered pretty, but in recent years society has focused on being thin. So much so
that for some a simple diet may develop into an erratic, life-threatening pattern of behavior. An
excellent, timely film, it accomplishes four goals: 1. Explains how societal pressures encourage eating disorders
2. Explains three eating disorders
3. Lists behaviors that aid in overcoming eating disorders
4. Explains the different body types.
Motivation (1990). Insight Media, 30 minutes Provides examples of motivation, explaining thoughts, actions, and choices. Explores factors that
influence motivation and demonstrates some behavioral extremes such as thrill seeking. Also
includes Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. CASE STUDY LECTURE LAUNCHER “Mike, Let’s Do El Capitan!” Many climbers dream of scaling the majestic domed cliff that rises 3200 feet from California’s
Yosemite Valley, but few succeed. Mark Wellman had more than the normal number of obstacles to
overcome and number of reasons for not trying. In 1982, a fall from another Yosemite peak had
paralyzed both his legs. However, seven years later, Mark announced that he would climb El
Capitan. For six months, 29-year old Mark strengthened the muscles of his upper body with daily weight
training and many practice climbs, climbing only with his arms. Finally, he was ready to do what
most others thought impossible. In July 1989, Mark looked up the sheer rock face at its handholds
on the arduous ascent. Mark grabbed the first rope and pulled himself up, six inches at a time. He
grasped the next rope, another six inches closer to his goal. For a week, Mike placed ropes and 238
CHAPTER 12: MOTIVATION Mark did pull-ups, hundreds a day, six inches at a time. On some afternoons, the temperature topped 100°F. The heat, however, was never as bad as the
wind, which gusted fiercely between 11 A.M. and 8 P.M. everyday. At times, the wind pushed them
out from the cliff face, but they persevered. On the eighth night of their adventure, Mark and Mike
tied themselves into their sleeping bags and bivouacked on a narrow ledge. The next morning they
would begin their final ascent: 300 feet for Mike, 600 pull-ups for Mark. After a total of more then
7,000 pull-ups, Mark’s body ached. Nevertheless, the next day pain gave way to euphoria as Mark
pulled himself up the last six inches to the top of El Capitan. He had achieved what some thought
impossible. What motivates someone to try what others deem impossible? Having already become paralyzed
from one fall, why did he choose to risk another? What distinguishes him from those of us who,
with all limbs functioning, can barely roll out of bed in the morning to hit the snooze button on the
alarm clock? What about Mark’s friend, Mike? What made him take on the major responsibility of
helping Mark? Centuries ago, the gallant Sir Walter Raleigh, in the company of Queen Elizabeth,
wrote on a fogged windowpane, “Fain would I climb, yet fear I to fall.” The Queen responded, “If
thy heart fails thee, climb not at all.” 239
Emotion, Stress, and Health LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Define emotion in term of its psychological, physiological, and cultural constraints
2. Explain Darwin’s perspective of the adaptive function of emotional response
3. Discuss the universality of emotional response relative to cultural constraints
4. Discuss the physiological aspects of emotion
5. Explain the impact of emotion on cognitive functioning
6. Describe the physiological responses to both acute and chronic stress
7. Define and describe the field of psychoneuroimmunology
8. Describe the biopsychosocial model of health and the field of health psychology
9. Identify relationships between personality type and health
A. Basic Emotions and Culture
1. Are Some Emotional Responses Innate?
a) Tompkins observed that infants respond with immediate, unlearned
affective reactions to certain stimuli, such as loud sounds
b) Research confirms that some emotional responses are universal
c) Emotional responses are less well differentiated in infants than in older individuals 2. Are Emotional Expressions Universal?
a) Ekman posits that all people share an overlap in facial language
b) Seven facial expressions are recognized and produced cross-culturally
in response to the emotions of happiness, surprise, anger, disgust, fear,
sadness, and contempt
c) Ekman used a neuro-cultural position to reflect the joint contributions
of the brain and culture in emotional expression 3. How does Culture Constrain Emotional Expression?
a) Different cultures have varying standards for management of emotion
b) Cultures establish social rules or norms regarding when and where
certain emotions should be displayed 240
1. Theories of emotion attempt to explain the relationship between physiological
and psychological aspects of the experience of emotion
2. The physiology of emotion refers to those responses that are designed to
mobilize the body for action to deal with the source of the emotion
a) The autonomic nervous system (ANS) prepares the body for emotional
responses through action of the sympathetic and parasympathetic
nervous systems (i) The sympathetic nervous system is more active when stimuli
are mild and unpleasant
(ii) The parasympathetic nervous system is more active when
stimuli are mild and pleasant
b) Strong emotions such as fear or anger activate the body’s emergency
reaction system, which prepares the body for potential danger c) Integration of hormonal and neural aspects of arousal is controlled by
the hypothalamus and the limbic system (i) The amygdala (part of the limbic system) serves as a gateway
for emotion and a filter for memory
(ii) The hypothalamus, located in the cortex, is involved as
switching station, with its connections to other parts of the
3. James-Lange Theory of Body Reaction
a) Holds that emotion stems from bodily feedback, in which the
perception of stimulus causes autonomic arousal and other bodily
actions that lead to the experience of an emotion b) Considered a peripheralist theory, it assigns the most prominent role
in the chain of emotional response to visceral reactions of the ANS 4. Cannon-Bard Theory of Central Neural Processes
a) Takes a centralist focus on the actions of the central nervous system
(CNS) b) Four objections to James-Lange Theory: (i) Visceral activity is irrelevant for emotional experience
(ii) Visceral responses are similar across different arousal
situations, e.g., love making and fear
(iii) Many emotions are not distinguishable from others simply by
their physiological components
(iv) ANS responses are too slow to be the source of emotions
elicited in a split-second
c) Cannon-Bard proposed that emotion requires the brain to intercede
between input of stimulus and output of response d) Proposed that emotion-arousing stimuli have simultaneous effects,
causing both bodily arousal and the subjective experience of emotion
(via the cortex) 241
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 5. Cognitive Appraisal Theories of Emotion
a) Schachter proposed emotion to be the joint effect of physiological
arousal and cognitive appraisal, with both necessary for emotion to
occur b) Lazarus maintains that “emotional experience cannot be understood
solely in terms of what happens in the person or in the brain, but
grows out of ongoing transactions with the environment that are
evaluated.” c) Challenges to Lazarus-Schachter (i) Awareness of physiological arousal is not a necessary
(ii) Experiencing strong arousal without obvious cause does not
lead to a neutral, undifferentiated state
(iii) Zajonc demonstrates possibility of having preferences
without inferences, and to feel without knowing why—the
mere exposure effect d) Safest conclusion is that cognitive appraisal is an important, but not
the only, aspect of emotional experience C. Functions of Emotion
1. Motivation and Arousal
a) Emotions serve a motivational function by arousing the individual to
take action with regard to an experienced or imagined event b) Emotions direct and sustain behaviors toward specific goals c) Emotions provide feedback by amplifying or intensifying selected life
experiences, by signaling that a response is significant or has self-
relevance d) Emotions give an awareness of inner conflicts e) Yerkes-Dodson law: Performance of difficult tasks decreases, as
arousal increases, whereas performance of easy tasks increases as
arousal increases (i) Relationship between arousal and performance has a U-
shaped function, predicting that too little or too much arousal
impairs performance
(ii) Explores possibility that optimal arousal level produces peak
(iii) Key to level of arousal is task difficulty
2. Social Functions of Emotion
a) Emotions serve the function of regulating social interactions (i) Stimulation of prosocial behaviors
(ii) Aid in social communication
3. Emotional Effects on Cognitive Functioning
a) Mood-congruent processing: Material congruent with one’s prevailing
mood is more likely to be attended to, noticed, and processed at a
deeper level than noncongruent material 242
CHAPTER 13: EMOTION, STRESS, AND HEALTH b) Mood-dependent memory refers to recall of a previous emotional event
that occurs when the individual is in the same mood as during the
previous event II.Stress of Living
A. Definitions
1. Stress is the pattern of responses an organism makes to stimulus events that
disturb its equilibrium and tax or exceed its ability to cope
2. Stressor refers to a stimulus event that places a demand on an organism for
some kind of adaptive response
B. Physiological Stress Reactions
1. Acute stress refers to transient states of arousal, with typically clear onset and
offset patterns
2. Chronic stress refers to a state of enduring arousal, continuing over time, in
which demands placed on the organism are perceived by the organism as
being greater than the inner and outer resources available for dealing with
3. Emergency Reactions to Acute Threats
a) Cannon first described the fight-or-flight response, a sequence of
internal activity that prepare the body to either defend itself or to run
away when faced with danger b) Physiology of the stress response: (i) Hypothalamus referred to as the stress center due to its dual
functions in emergencies:
(a) Control of autonomic nervous system
(b) Activation of the pituitary gland
(ii) ANS regulates activities of organs
(a) The adrenal medulla to release epinephrine and
(b) The pituitary to secrete thyrotrophic hormone (TTH)
(stimulating the thyroid) and adrenocorticotrophic
hormone (ACTH) (stimulating the adrenal cortex)
4. The General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) and Chronic Stress
a) Selye described the GAS as including three stages: (i) Alarm reaction
(ii) Stage of resistance
(iii) Stage of exhaustion
b) Process is successful at restoration of body’s balance only when
stressor is short-lived or acute c) Chronic stress compromises integrity of the immune system d) Application of GAS has been valuable in explaining psychosomatic
disorders 243
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE C. Psychological Stress Reactions
1. Major Life Events
a) Major changes in the life situation are the root cause of stress for many
individuals (i) The Social Readjustment Rating scale (SRRS) rates degree of
adjustment required by life changes, both pleasant and
unpleasant, is measured in total number of life-change units
(ii) The life experience survey (LES) measures effects of life events
in a different manner than the SRRS
(a) Provides scores for both increases and decreases
(b) Scores reflect individual appraisals of events
(iii) Considerations for interpreting measurements of stressful life
events include:
(a) Tendency for studies to be retrospective, thus dependent on
(b) Prospective studies finding significant correlations
between development of medical problems and earlier
accumulation of life stress units
2. Catastrophic and Traumatic Events
a) Catastrophic events are particularly stressful due to uncontrollability,
unpredictability, and ambiguity b) Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (i) Delayed reaction to stress, that occurs repeatedly
(a) Emotional numbing to daily events
(b) Feelings of alienation from others
(c) Emotional pain
(d) Sleep disorders
(e) Survivor guilt
(f) Concentration problems
(g) Exaggerated startle response
(ii) Clinical manifestations of PTSD are described as conditioned
responses, learned in the context of a life-threatening stimulus
(iii) Responses can persist, becoming a chronic syndrome known
as the residual stress pattern
3. Chronic Stressors
a) Chronic stressors endure over time. Such as: (i) Overpopulation and crime
(ii) Health crisis such as cancer and AIDS
(iii) Threat of nuclear war
b) Some population groups experience chronic stress as a function of
their SES or racial/ethnic identity 244
a) Daily hassles are recurring day-to-day stressors that confront most
people much of the time b) Relationship between hassles and health problems indicates that the
more frequent and intense the hassles, the poorer the health of the
individual, both physically and mentally c) Stressors that occur on a daily basis may have a negative impact on
cognitive functioning, including memory impairment D. Coping with Stress
1. Coping is the process of dealing with internal or external demands that are
perceived as straining or exceeding an individual’s resources
2. Coping may consist of behavioral, emotional, or motivational responses and
3. Appraisal of stress
a) Cognitive appraisal plays a central role in defining the situation, refers
to the cognitive interpretation and evaluation of a stressor b) Lazarus distinguished two phases in cognitive appraisal (i) Primary appraisal is used for initial evaluation of the
seriousness of a demand
(ii) Secondary appraisal begins the process of deciding that
something must be done
c) Stress moderator variables are those variables that change the impact of
a stressor on a given type of stress reaction 4. Types of Coping Responses
a) Anticipatory coping precedes a potentially stressful event b) Two main methods of coping (i) Problem-directed coping, attempts to change the stressor or
one’s relationship to it through direct actions and/or
problem-solving activities; most often used for controllable
(ii) Emotion-focused coping, changing the self through activities
that make one feel better, but do not change the stressor; most
often used for uncontrollable stressors
5. Modifying cognitive strategies are adaptive methods of changing one’s
evaluations of stressors and self-defeating cognitions about addressing them;
two methods of mentally coping with stress are:
a) Reappraisal of the nature of the stressors b) Restructuring of one’s cognitions about one’s stress reactions c) Meichenbaum proposed a three-phase process that allows for stress
inoculation (i) Phase 1: Individuals work to develop greater awareness of
their actual behavior—what instigates it and what the results
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE (ii) Phase 2: Identification of new behaviors that negate the
maladaptive, self-defeating behaviors of the past
(iii) Phase 3: Once engaged in adaptive behaviors, appraisal of
consequences of new behaviors from a positive perspective
d) Perceived control is a main theme of coping, the feeling that one has the
ability to make a difference in the outcome of an event or experience 6. Social Support as a Coping Resource
a) Social support refers to the resources others provide, giving the
message that one is loved, cared for, esteemed, and connected to others
in a network of communication and mutual obligation b) Other forms of support include: (i) Tangible support: money, transportation, housing
(ii) Informational support: advice, personal feedback, and
c) Positive effects of social support can improve recovery from diagnosed
illness and reduce risk of death from disease III. Health Psychology
A. Definitions
1. Health psychology is the branch of psychology devoted to understanding the
way people stay healthy, the reasons they become ill, and the way they
respond when they do become ill.
2. Health refers to the general condition of the body and mind in terms of
soundness and vigor.
B. The Biopsychosocial Model of Health
1. Traditional health practices employ practices that enhance the quality of life
a) Hozho, a Navajo concept, sees illness as the outcome of disharmony,
with traditional healing ceremonies that seek to banish illness and
restore health through efforts of the shaman and the combined efforts
of the family members, working with the ill person to reachieve a state
of harmony b) Among the Nyukusa peoples of Africa, any sign of disharmony or
deviation from expected norms generates swift communal intervention
to rectify the situation c) Western view of medicine typically involves solely a biological or
pharmacological intervention 2. Toward a Biopsychosocial Model
a) In contrast to non-Western cultures, which often assumed a link
between body and mind, the traditional Western biomedical model is
dualistic, medically treating the body separately from the psyche b) The biopsychosocial model links physical health to state of mind and
environment. It has three components: (i) Bio acknowledges the reality of biological illness
CHAPTER 13: EMOTION, STRESS, AND HEALTH (ii) Psycho and social acknowledge the psychological and social
components of health
c) Concept of wellness incorporates physical, intellectual, emotional
spiritual, social, and environmental aspects of your life d) Health behavior refers to the undertaking of an activity for purposes of
preventing disease or detecting it while still asymptomatic C. Health Promotion
1. Health promotion means development of general strategies and specific tactics
to eliminate or reduce the risk of getting sick
2. Smoking
a) Smoking may be initiated as a sensation-seeking mode b) Readiness to quit smoking entails five stages: (i) Precontemplation, not yet thinking about quitting
(ii) Contemplation, thinking about quitting but no behavioral
(iii) Preparation, getting ready to quit
(iv) Action, taking of action by establishing behavior goals
(v) Maintenance, now a nonsmoker, individual tries to remain so
3. AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
a) The causal agent is HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) (i) Infectious agent is not airborne
(ii) Requires direct access to the bloodstream to produce infection
b) The virus is passed from one person to another in one of two ways:
(i) The exchange of semen or blood during sexual contact
(ii) The sharing of intravenous needles and syringes used for
injection of intravenous drugs
c) Who is at risk for AIDS? (i) Everyone!
(ii) According to Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention,
35,000 individuals—1 in every 500 college students—are HIV
d) Coates’ multidisciplinary team approach uses psychological
principles to prevent spread of AIDS e) Successful interventions require three components (i) Information: Provide knowledge about transmission and how
to prevent transmission
(ii) Motivation: People must be motivated to practice prevention
(iii) Behavioral skills: People must be taught how to put knowledge
to effective use
D. Treatment
1. Treatment focuses on helping individuals adjust to illnesses and recover from
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 2. Three aspects of treatment
a) Patient Adherence (i) Treatment regimens are often not followed, a serious problem
in health care
(ii) Health-care professionals can improve patient adherence to
treatment regimen through:
(a) Improving trust in efficacy of treatment as outweighing
treatment costs
(b) Communicating clearly, being courteous, and conveying a
sense of caring and support
(c) Health practitioners must recognize the role of cultural and
social norms in treatment, involving family and friends
when appropriate
b) Harnessing the mind to heal the body (i) Psychological strategies can improve physical well-being
(ii) Relaxation response decreases muscle tension, cortical activity,
heart rate, and respiration rate
(iii) Biofeedback is a self-regulatory technique used for control of
blood pressure, relaxation of forehead muscles, and (even!)
extreme blushing
c) Psychological Impact on Health Outcomes (i) Psychological factors influence serious illness
(ii) Social support and emotional disclosure can positively
influence the course of diseases such as cancer
E. Job Burnout and the Health-Care System
1. Job burnout is a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and
reduced personal accomplishment
a) Often experienced by workers in the health care system b) Increasing today due to corporate downsizing F. A Toast to Your Health
1. Set goals and restructure life so as to forge a healthy foundation
2. Nine steps to better health:
a) Give yourself and others only constructive criticism b) Compare your reactions, thoughts, and feelings to those of other
individuals in your life who are in a comparable situation c) Share feelings, joys, and worries with social support network d) Develop a sense of balanced time perspective e) Take credit for your successes and happiness f) When feeling you are losing control over emotions, distance yourself
from situation to gain perspective g) Learn from your failures h) If you are unable to help either yourself or another individual in
distress, seek the counsel of a trained specialist 248
CHAPTER 13: EMOTION, STRESS, AND HEALTH i) Cultivate healthy pleasures and past times 249
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. Motivation and emotion are constructs that have much in common, though each has significant
aspects that distinguish it from the other. Discuss with the class what seems to be the primary
difference between the two concepts? Why is it significant?
2. Have the class think of times when they felt strongly motivated but not “emotional.” Is it also
possible to feel strong emotion, without simultaneously feeling motivated to act in some way on
those feelings? If either case is possible, is something “missing” when motivation lacks emotion?
What is missing, and does it matter?
3. Think about emotion in an evolutionary sense. What functions does it serve? What functions has it
served in the past? Is emotion still a necessary phenomenon for us, living as we do, in our locked
homes and automobiles?
4. Living with stress on a long-term basis is a part of the lives of many people, and that stress can be
acute (Honey, I just wrecked the car!) or chronic (if one more fool cuts in front of me on the freeway
... ). Consider the physiological and psychological impacts of having severe, chronic respiratory
allergies; what issues would this bring to mind in terms of coping and attempting to live an
unencumbered lifestyle?
5. Discuss coping styles in terms of Type A, Type B, and Type C personalities. Which personality type
is most likely to use which coping style? Have students determine why a particular personality
type responds with a given coping style.
6. Discuss learned helplessness from the perspective of controllable versus uncontrollable stressors.
7. Can students give any examples of how one person’s eustress might be another person’s distress?
(What about the obvious examples of watching horror movies, riding on roller coasters, being in
certain occupations, or even studying for a final exam?)
8. Have the class name some ways in which they could reduce the stress in their lives. As they listen
to others name their stress-reducing strategies, do they (or do you) hear any that could reduce
yours? Do you also hear some ideas that would only make your stress worse?
CHAPTER 13: EMOTION, STRESS, AND HEALTH SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL Theories of Emotion Emotion, as a concept, seems to imply that a person is “changed” or “moved” from one state to another, as
from happy to sad or angry. Emotion consists of several components. They are: 1. The affective component is observed in the reaction of the body. Reactions may take the form of
sweating, trembling, and turning white. This component is a function of the activity of the
autonomic nervous system, preparing your body for action, if action becomes necessary.
2. The cognitive component consists of the thoughts and beliefs that accompany any given emotion.
This component provides a label for what your body is expressing.
3. The facial expression is the look on your face.
4. The reactions to the emotion, such as running from a menacing bear.
These varied components imply that emotion is a multifaceted construct. There are three dominant
traditions or perspectives from which to study emotion. They are, in order of historical appearance:
biological, learning, and cognitive. Biological/Psychophysical Tradition This approach is based on Darwin’s theory of evolution, and proposes that the ways in which organisms
express emotion have had survival value in the past. This would imply that dogs snarl when they feel
threatened because snarling itself has been interpreted by other dogs and animals as threatening behavior.
Snarling helped drive off threats and avoid fights. As Darwin proposed, this form of emotional response
has (or had) survival value. Learning Tradition This approach is a drive theory perspective. Kenneth Spence divided the study of emotion into motivational
events, and proposed two categories of events. They are: . Appetitive states, such as hunger and thirst, involve situations that lead to approach behavior
. Aversive states involve situations that lead the organism to withdraw or flee the situation. Pain is the
most well known aversive stimuli, and the most frequently studied.
Spence argued that the drive that activates aversive states was a result of the development of an internal,
emotional response in the organism, that the organism’s emotionality was aroused by an aversive stimulus
(pain, fear, and electric shock). Spence’s basic premise was that organisms learn from experience which
situations have aversive potential, and then strive to avoid those situations. Cognitive Tradition This approach stresses the importance of cognitive appraisal of a situation. Richard Lazarus felt that bodily
(affective) changes were not sufficient for the experience of a true emotional feeling, that we must assess a
situation as emotion producing before we can experience emotion. The first model to posit this idea was that
proposed by the Lazarus–Schachter theory of appraisal. We now have a foundation for the study of emotion, so let us discuss theories that have been popular at
different times throughout the years. 251
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE The James–Lange Theory James and Lange proposed that feelings of emotion did not occur immediately after the perception of an
event in the environment, but because of our bodily responses to the event or object. In a diagram form, the
chain of events looks like this: PERCEPTION T BODILY CHANGES T EMOTION T BEHAVIOR As an example of how this might look in real life, imagine meeting an angry bear in the woods: SNARLING BEAR T INCREASED HEART RATE, T FEAR! T FIGHT OR
BP & RESPIRATION FLIGHT! James and Lange felt that the perception of a stimulus, such as a snarling bear, led to changes in the body.
These changes are then fed back to the brain, indicating a “changed state” and prompting a change in the
subjective experience of emotion. James and Lange felt that the perception of changes in bodily sensations
led to emotional experience. James and Lange would argue that you do not run because you are afraid of the
bear, but rather you are afraid because you run. The Cannon–Bard Theory The James–Lange model of emotional response was popular for quite some time, until W. B. Cannon came
along about 1930 and criticized the James–Lange model on different grounds: 1. Cannon felt that bodily changes that were supposed to provide feedback to the brain and thus
provide “emotional quality” to experiences could be eliminated without disturbing the emotions.
He proceeded to denervate cats so that no bodily change could occur. The cats still displayed
“normal” emotion (fear) in the presence of a barking dog.
2. Cannon noted that bodily changes that occur during varied emotional states are nearly the same,
regardless of the emotion felt. For example, in both fear and anger, heart rate and blood pressure
increase, eyes dilate, and hair stands erect. Similar changes are observed in response to extreme
heat or cold.
3. Cannon felt that changes occurring in the body, changes in the autonomic nervous system, were too
slow to provide the experience of emotion.
4. Cannon felt that if the James–Lange theory were correct, then exercise, which increases heart rate
and leads to other bodily changes, should produce an emotional response.
Cannon believed emotion to be associated with activation of the sympathetic nervous system, which, among
other functions, prepares an organism for fight or flight by increasing heart rate, blood pressure, and other
bodily functions. Cannon argued that control of emotion was based in the thalamus, which receives
information from various senses and that emotional response patterns were activated by the thalamus
when external sensory information was received, via activation of the sympathetic nervous system. He felt emotion occurred at the same time as activation of the body. His model looks like this: PERCEPTION T BODILY CHANGES & EMOTION T BEHAVIOR As an example of how this might look in real life, imagine meeting an angry bear in the woods: SNARLING BEAR T INCREASE HEART RATE & FEAR T FIGHT OR FLIGHT! The Schachter—Singer Theory The Cognitive–Physiological Theory of Emotion, proposed by Schachter and Singer, suggests that emotional
experience involves both cognitive attributions and physiological arousal. This theory assumes that both 252
CHAPTER 13: EMOTION, STRESS, AND HEALTH physiological arousal and a cognitive label are necessary for the full experience of emotion. If either
component is missing, the subjective state experienced would be incomplete. In some ways, this model
combines and modifies the James–Lange and Cannon–Bard theories. Like James and Lange, this theory
proposed that bodily changes are a part of the emotional experience, and, like Cannon and Bard, it posits
that interpretation of the event is important for full experience. However, this model goes beyond previous
theories in the position that both physiological and cognitive labeling are required for the full experience of
emotion. This theory has been quite popular since its introduction in 1963. Support for the theory, however,
has been modest; it has been criticized on both methodological and empirical grounds. Attempts to replicate
Schachter’s work have been unsuccessful. In diagram form, this theory would look like this: PERCEPTION T BODILY CHANGES & T EMOTION T BEHAVIOR
COGNITIVE LABEL As an example of how this might look in real life, imagine meeting an angry bear in the woods: SNARLING BEAR T INCREASED HEART RATE, T FEAR! T FIGHT OR FLIGHT!
ETC. & COGNITIVE APPRAISAL Since this model first appeared, some psychologists have suggested that the cognitive component alone may
be both a necessary and sufficient component for the generation of emotion. The Survival Value of Emotions Plutchik, a psychologist who has done a great deal of research on emotion, says, “The organic tradition
reminds people of their biological connection to each other, and the survival value of emotions such as guilt,
shame, pity, remorse, gratitude, and empathy.” One could claim the emotions have survival value because
they have survived in the evolutionary process. However, social, political, and economic changes among
humans occur much more rapidly than evolutionary changes, and characteristics that were once adaptive
may cease to be adaptive as the environment changes. The emotions that Plutchik mentions are related to altruism and cooperation. An individual with these
emotions may be at a disadvantage in competition with an individual who does not have these emotions
and is selfish and without conscience, as ordinary people are often the victims of people with antisocial
personalities. However, if all the members of a group or species were lacking in altruistic emotions, they
would find it difficult to form a cooperative society and might destroy each other. Stress: Causes and Coping Stress refers to the reaction of an individual to disturbing events in their environment. Our reaction to stress
is fundamentally physiological, with any or all of the following manifestations: · A heightened state of awareness
· A dry mouth
· Increased heart rate
· Shaky hands
· Increased perspiration
One thing that makes stress difficult to define, explain, diagnose, and treat is that stress is a subjective state.
What stresses you may not stress other people. Negative or unpleasant events are more likely to be
perceived as stressful than positive events, although positive events such as childbirth can also be stressful.
Negative events cause more psychological distress and produce more physiological symptoms than do
positive events. Uncontrollable or unpredictable events are more stressful than those that are controllable or
predictable. Unpredictable events may be more stressful, because there is no opportunity to prepare for
coping with them. Ambiguous events are more stressful than are clear-cut events, whether the events are
good or bad. Ambiguous events can leave you stuck in a problem-solving stage in which you attempt to
understand what caused the event and its meaning. 253
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Stress is a potential causal factor in illness, in that it can open the door for both physical and psychological
problems. Some of the earlier work in this area looked at the role played in illness by Major Stressful Life
Events (MSLE). This research showed the impact of MSLEs using a questionnaire entitled the Social
Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS). Each item on the scale has been given a certain number of points, with
higher numbers corresponding to more stressful events. Once a respondent has completed the scale, the
points for each item are totaled. The higher the score on the scale, the higher the stress level. In addition to large stressful events, psychologists have recently come to believe that daily hassles may have
a larger detrimental impact on us than previously thought. Research suggests that these chronic stressors
are more predictive of physical and psychological illness than are the more acute stressors found on the
SRRS. COPING WITH STRESSFUL EVENTS According to Lazarus, coping is the process of attempting to manage demands that are viewed as taxing or
exceeding one’s resources. It is the process of trying to manage and master stressful events. Researchers
distinguish between two types of coping that can occur simultaneously: . Problem-Solving Efforts, which are attempts to do something constructive to change the stressful
. Emotion-Focused coping, which involves efforts to regulate the emotional reactions to stressful events.
What constitutes successful coping? Researchers in this area differ in the criteria by which they measure
successful coping. However, we can say that coping efforts are deemed successful if they: . Reduce physiological arousal and its indicators such as heart rate
. Permit a quick return to previous life patterns
. Reduce psychological distress, such as anxiety and depression
COPING STYLES Coping style is an internal coping resource, consisting of a general tendency for a person to deal with a
stressful event in a particular way. Examples of coping styles include: Avoidance versus Confrontation Some people meet events head-on, tackling problems directly. Others attempt to minimize the
significance or withdraw from such events, often through alcohol and drugs. Avoiders may not be able
to deal with the possibility of future threats and may fail in their attempts at making efforts to anticipate
and manage subsequent problems. On the other hand, confronters may deal effectively with long-term
threats, although in the short-run they may be more anxious as they deal directly with the stressor. Type A Behavior There are coping styles that successfully deal with stress, but that also have an adverse impact on
health. One of them, Type A Behavior, has been associated with heart disease for several years. The
Type A individual was first identified in 1978 and is characterized by aggression, competition,
achievement, time urgency, and hostility. Type A individuals lead fast-track lives. Many of your
students are probably junior Type A’s. They work long hours, are impatient with what they perceive as
slow behavior in others, and often finish other people’s sentences for them. The Type A behavior
syndrome is important because it has been reliably related to the development of coronary artery
disease, as a function of excessive physiological arousal in response to stressful events. Recently,
researchers have identified the hostility component of Type A behavior as more damaging than time
urgency or competitiveness to the circulatory system. 254
CHAPTER 13: EMOTION, STRESS, AND HEALTH SOCIAL SUPPORT FOR STRESS Socially supportive relationships may mitigate the effects of stress by helping people cope with and resolve
problems. Social relationships promote health. Social support is an interpersonal exchange in which one
person gives help to another. It may be provided in numerous ways, including: . Emotional concern, as expressed through liking, love, sympathy, and empathy
. Instrumental aid through the provision of goods or services during someone’s time of need
. Providing information about a stressful situation, perhaps a similar one experienced by them
. Reassurance by others that you are acting in a reasonable, responsible manner
We have a great deal of data to indicate that social support during times of stress can effectively reduce
psychological distress. People who had families who stayed in the Middle East with them during the Gulf
War did much better psychologically than those who had no family there and those whose families
returned to their native country. Social support also seems both to decrease the likelihood of physical illness
and to speed recovery. Research has been attempting to identify precisely how social support mitigates
stress and has arrived at two hypotheses: . The Direct Effects Hypothesis suggests that social support is always beneficial, during both stressful
and nonstressful times.
. The Buffering Hypothesis suggests that the physical and mental health benefits of social support occur
mainly during periods of high stress and not during periods of low stress.
Extensive research suggests that both hypotheses are at least partially correct. STRESS MANAGEMENT Some of us have a tough time managing and coping with stress on our own. In such cases, stress
management programs are helpful. As an example, college can be an appallingly stressful experience for
students. Being away from home, living with strangers, sharing living space, taking demanding courses,
and increased competition for grades can be very stressful. Many colleges offer programs to help students
adjust to and cope with the stresses of university life by teaching them stress management techniques. One
important lesson of these courses is that stress is subjective and self-reinforcing. The more stressful you
perceive an event to be, the more stressful it will become. These programs also teach students to recognize
and record things that stress them out and to write down their reactions to these events. Sharing
experiences and learning relaxation techniques are also useful components of many courses. The goal of
these courses is not to eliminate stress, but rather to recognize its causes, to cope with them effectively, and
to keep stress to a manageable level. Gender Differences in Expressed Emotion You might discuss with your class gender differences in the expression of emotion. In our culture, men have
traditionally been taught to “bottle-up” their emotions and “tough things out.” To be seen as “strong” for
males often has meant not allowing themselves to cry or show any sign of emotional “weakness.” Even
today, many males are embarrassed to cry in public, no matter how justified they may be in expressing
sadness. On the other hand, the one emotion that males in our culture have been allowed to express is
anger. In certain situations, expressions of anger and aggression are seen as “macho” whereas passive
failure to express anger or be aggressive is seen as a sign of weakness. What impact do these social norms
and expectations have on young boys growing up? Does this contribute to the higher rates of violent crime
among males? Does it contribute to males’ higher rates of heart disease and certain types of stress-related
illnesses? What could be done to make it easier for males to express emotions of sadness and not feel
pressured to be aggressive, and still feel like healthy males? On the other hand, females are often socialized to express a wide range of emotions, including sadness, and
are not usually chastised for crying in public. We have traditionally encouraged females to “get in touch
with” their feelings and express them. But females have much higher rates of reported depression than 255
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE males. How much of that may be due to excess rumination about feelings of sadness based on “getting in
touch” with those feelings? Also, females have historically been chastised for openly expressing anger in
public, as it was not considered “ladylike.” But society put females in a somewhat impossible situation, by
encouraging them to cry and express sadness, but not show anger, and then labeling them as “weak” when
they did. Other than increased risk of depression (mentioned above), in what ways have these social norms
and expectations affected females? BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES Hans Hugo Selye (1907–1982) Hans Selye was known as “Dr. Stress” by press and colleagues alike, a name he rightly earned after more
than 42 years of conducting research on the effects of stress on humans. Born in Vienna in 1907, Selye was
first exposed to medical science through his father, a military surgeon in the Austro-Hungarian army. He
received his early formal education from the Benedictines and later attended medical school at the German
University of Prague, where he specialized in endocrinology. Even in his early years in medical school, he
was struck by the fact that the patients he encountered in the hospital exhibited an overall syndrome of
“just being sick” that was more than the mere sum of the specific symptoms of their disease. This
observation led him in later years to study the body’s reaction to environmental stimuli, a process he called
stress, and to which he attributed aging and, in many cases, illness. Selye joined the faculty of the Institute of Experimental Medicine and Surgery at the University of Montreal
in 1932 and later founded the International Institute of Stress there. He wrote more than 30 books but is best
known for Stress Without Distress, which has been printed in over a dozen languages. Selye’s general prescription for the individual living in modern society is that “the secret is not to avoid
stress but to ‘do your own thing.’ Do what you like and what you were made to do at your own rate.... Earn
thy neighbor’s love. Be a hoarder of good will to make your environment less stressful.” If this advice
sounds like a combination of biblical saying and medical advice, it is nevertheless typical of Selye’s highly
personal and humanistic style. His own philosophy is what he termed “altruistic selfishness.” He claimed
that in acting in a helpful manner toward others that one is really helping him- or herself by creating a less
stressful environment. 256
World War I was fought.
1920 Physiologist Walter Cannon confirmed that the stress response is part of a unified mind–
body system.
1929 The Great Depression began in America.
World War II was fought.
1956 Hans Selye published his theory of chronic stress, known today as the General
Adaptation Syndrome.
1960’s Neal Miller found that rats can modify their heart rates if given pleasure through brain
stimulation when their heart rate increases or decreases.
1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
1967 Holmes and Rahe published the Social Readjustment Rating Scale.
1968 Kenneth Cooper extolled the virtues of aerobic exercising, spawning the fitness movement.
1969 The first human moon landing occurred.
1974 Friedman, Meyer, and Rosenhan published Type A Behavior and Your Heart.
1975 Herbert Benson popularized the notion of the relaxation response and its role in dealing
successfully with stress.
1979 Albert Ellis and Robert Harper published A New Guide to Rational Living, emphasizing the
role of self talk in stress.
1980 Ronald Reagan was elected President.
1980’s Psychoneuroimmunology emerged as a discipline as researchers explored the relationship
between psychological processes, the nervous system, endocrine system, and the immune
system. 257
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READINGS Atkinson, L., Chisholm, V., Dickens, S., Scott, B., Blackwell, J., & Tam, F. (1995). Cognitive Coping, Affective
Disorders, and Maternal Sensitivity: Mothers of Children with Down Syndrome. Developmental Psychology, 31(4), 668–676. An applied perspective of stress and coping in “real-life” mothers with “real-life”
Gross, J. (1998). The Emerging Field of Emotion Regulation: An Integrative Review. Special Issue: New Directions in
Research on Emotion. Review of General Psychology, 2(3), 271–299. A comprehensive review of the field of
emotional regulation, an up-and-coming area of emotional research. Kaniasty, K. & Norris, F. H. (1995). Mobilization and Deterioration of Social Support Following Natural Disasters.
Current Directions in Psychological Science, 4(3), 94–98. Discusses responses to natural disasters, in terms of
individual coping resources, and the mobilization of social support within communities. Most
interesting in view of the recent natural disasters visited on the United States. Lazarus, R. (1993). From Psychological Stress to the Emotions: A History of Changing Outlooks. Annual Review of
Psychology, 44, 1–21. A review of changes in theory of stress and emotion over the last several hundred
years. Also presents a cognitive-motivational-relational theory of emotion. Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, Appraisal, and Coping. New York: Springer. Presents an overview
of Lazarus’ cognitive approach to the study of stress and emotion. Includes coverage of how to assess
stress. Maier, S. F., Watkins, L. R., & Fleshner, M. (1994). Psychoneuroimmunology: The Interface between Behavior,
Brain, and Immunity. American Psychologist, 49(12), 1004–1017. An overview of this emergent field for the
general psychologist, with implications that behavioral-psychological processes may be capable of
altering immune functioning. Pennebaker, J. (1997). Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions (Rev. Ed.). New York: The
Guilford Press. Investigates the influence of emotional expression on the course of disease within the
body. Emotional expression is found to be positively related to physical health. Sapolsky, R. (1996). Why Stress Is Bad for Your Brain. Science, 273(5276), 749–750. Reviews research that
suggests that stress can cause areas of the brain to shrink. Also looks at other negative influences of
stress on physiological and psychological functioning. Taylor, S. E. (1991). Health Psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill. Taylor is a pioneer in the migration of
psychologists to the field of health and stress, and her text reflects a broad familiarity with all aspects of
this rapidly growing area. Taylor, S., Repetti, R., & Seeman, T. (1997). Health Psychology: What Is an Unhealthy Environment and How Does
It Get Under the Skin? Annual Review of Psychology, 48, 411–447. Examines the role of environments in
creating chronic and acute health disorders. An excellent introduction and review of the field of health
psychology. Zajonc, R. (1998). Emotions: The Handbook Of Social Psychology, Vol. 2 (4th Ed.), 591–632. A very through
review of the research and theory of emotions from antiquity to the present by a leading researcher in the
field. 258
CHAPTER 13: EMOTION, STRESS, AND HEALTH DISCOVERING PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM 12: MOTIVATION AND EMOTION Overview A review of what researchers are discovering about why we act and feel as we do, from the exhilaration
of love to the agony of failure. Key Issues Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, biological motivation for sexual behavior, reproductive behavior of rats
and the physiological effects, physiological and psychological motivation for romantic love, the
universality of emotions, and the effects of optimism and pessimism on physiology. Demonstrations Rat sexual behavior. Interviews Psychologist Norman Adler studies reproductive behavior and its physiological consequence in rats. Martin Seligman studies the effects of optimism and pessimism on physiology and behavior. Abraham Maslow examines the effects of the interplay between human nature and society on
PROGRAM 23: HEALTH, MIND, AND BEHAVIOR Overview How research is forcing a profound rethinking of the relationship between mind and body. A new
biopsychosocial model is replacing the traditional biomedical model. Key Issues How psychological factors affect the physical health and immune systems of the aged, how
psychological factors affect the outcome of in-vitro fertilization, the psychology of biofeedback, the
sources and consequences of stress, behavioral modification and AIDS, and the General Adaptation
Syndrome. Demonstrations Philip Zimbardo demonstrates the process of biofeedback by consciously lowering his pulse rate
through relaxation and concentration. The three stages of Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome theory. Anti-drinking Public Service Announcement. Interviews 259
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Judith Rodin explains how an increased sense of control and empowerment can have positive effects on
the physiology of the aged. Rodin also discusses how the stress of in-vitro fertilization procedure may
account for its 80% failure rate. Neal Miller discusses how individuals can change the functioning of their own internal organs
through biofeedback. Thomas Coates discusses how the combination of medical and psychological research can improve the
understanding of the AIDS virus. Canadian physician Hans Selye studies how stress can affect physical functioning. FILMS AND VIDEOS City Spaces, Human Places (1985). PBS (WBGH), 58 minutes If you are planning a lecture on environmental psychology, this videotape provides a humorous view of the
urban environment and how people make use of a city. A NOVA presentation. Health, Stress, and Coping (1990). Insight Media, 30 minutes Explores a variety of stressors including daily stress, loss of a love relationship, and posttraumatic stress
disorder. Includes information on Norman Cousins and the work of Hans Selye. Learning to Live with Stress: Programming the Body for Health (1976). DOCA, 20 minutes Doctors Hans Selye and Herbert Benson discuss the study of stress and its effects on the human brain and
body. Describes how stress contributes to psychosomatic illnesses, such as heart problems, hypertension,
high blood pressure, and ulcers. 260
Understanding Human Personality LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Describe the constructs of personality and self
2. Identify the various sources of data on personality
3. Differentiate between type and trait theories of personality
4. Define traits, as operationalized by Allport
5. Explain the five-factor model of personality
6. Understand the significance of the consistency paradox
7. Describe the major theories of personality and identify important differences between them
8. Explain the criticism of each theory of personality
9. Explain the significance of the reciprocal relationship between self-esteem and self-
A. Personality is the complex set of unique psychological qualities that influence an
individual’s characteristic patterns of behavior, across different situations and over time.
B. Core aspect of the self is the subjective, private aspect of personality that gives coherence
and order to behavior.
II.Type and Trait Personality Theories
A. Categorizing by Types. Some personality theories group people into distinct
nonoverlapping categories that are called personality types
1. One early type theory proposed by Hippocrates, positing humors
associated with particular temperaments
a) Blood: Sanguine temperament, cheerful and active
b) Phlegm: Phlegmatic temperament, apathetic and sluggish
c) Black bile: Melancholy temperament, sad and brooding
d) Yellow bile: Choleric temperament, irritable and excitable 2. Sheldon related physique to temperament, assigning people to one of
three categories, based on body build
a) Endomorphic: Fat, soft, round
b) Mesomorphic: Muscular, rectangular, strong 262
CHAPTER 14: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN PERSONALITY c) Ectomorphic: Thin, long, fragile 3. Sulloway proposed a theory of personality based on birth order
a) Each child fills a niche within the family b) Firstborn children fill the most convenient niche; they identify
with their parents c) Laterborn children must find different niches, and, thus, are
usually more open to experience and deviance B. Describing with Traits
1. Traits are enduring qualities or attributes that predispose individuals
to behave consistently across situations
2. Allport’s trait approach
a) Allport posited that each individual has a unique
combination of traits, the building blocks of personality. Three
kinds of traits have been identified: (i) Cardinal traits are those around which the individual
organizes his or her life
(ii) Central traits represent major characteristics of the
(iii) Secondary traits are specific, personal features that
help predict the individual’s behavior, but are less
useful for understanding personality
b) Allport’s interest was in discovery of the unique combinations
of these traits that made each individual a singular entity. He
viewed personality structures rather than environmental
conditions to be the critical determinants of individual
behavior 3. Identifying Universal Trait Dimensions
a) Cattell proposed that 16 factors provide the underlying source
of the surface behaviors that we think of as personality b) Eysenck derived three broad personality dimensions: (i) Extroversion: internal vs. external orientation
(ii) Neuroticism: emotionally stable vs. emotionally
(iii) Psychoticism: kind and considerate vs. aggressive and
c) Eysenck proposed that personality differences on these
dimensions were caused by genetic and biological differences 4. Five-Factor Model: Recent research indicates that five factors overlap
Eysenck’s original three, best characterize personality structure
a) The five-factor model (the Big Five) brings categories having a
common theme together in the following dimensions: 263
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE (i) Extroversion: Talkative, energetic, and assertive vs.
quiet, reserved, and shy
(ii) Agreeableness: Sympathetic, kind, and affectionate vs.
cold, quarrelsome, and cruel
(iii) Conscientiousness: Organized, responsible, and
cautious vs. careless, frivolous, and irresponsible
(iv) Neuroticism (emotional stability): Stable, calm, and
contented vs. anxious, unstable, and temperamental
(v) Openness to experience: Creative, intellectual, and open
minded vs. simple, shallow, and unintelligent
b) Factors are not intended as replacement for specific trait
terms, rather they outline a taxonomy that better describes
individuals in capturing the dimensions on which they differ C. Traits and Heritability
1. Behavioral genetics: The study of the degree to which personality traits
and behavior patterns are inherited
2. Heritability studies show that almost all personality traits are
influenced by genetic factors
D. Do Traits Predict Behaviors?
1. The consistency paradox refers to the observation that personality
ratings across time and different observers are consistent, while
behavior ratings of a person across situations are not consistent
2. Paradox refers to levels of analysis, the use of specific vs. summary
types of data, rather than to actual consistency
3. Different situations are more or less likely to “allow” expression of
traits, with those situations most likely to influence behavior occurring
a) Situations are novel b) Situations are ill-defined, offering multiple alternatives but
without guidelines on propriety c) Situations are stressful or challenging 4. Forced definition of traits in a more precise manner resulted in the
observation that personality is not about behavioral consistency,
rather it is a matter of patterns of behavioral coherence
E. Evaluation of Type and Trait Theories
1. Criticism based on fact that these theories do not generally explain
how behavior is generated, or how personality develops; they only
identify and describe characteristics correlated with behavior
2. Trait theories typically portray a static (or at least stabilized) view of
personality structure, as it currently exists
III. Psychodynamic Theories
A. Common to all psychodynamic personality theories is the assumption that powerful inner
forces shape personality and motivate behavior
1. Freud’s theory attempts to explain:
a) Origins and course of personality development b) Nature of mind c) Aspects of abnormal personality d) Ways personality can be changed by therapy 2. Presumes the core of personality to be the events within a person’s
mind (intrapsychic events) that motivate behavior
3. Freud presumed all behavior was motivated, that so-called chance or
accidents did not cause behavior, but were determined by motives
4. Drives and Psychosexual Development
a) Postulating a common biological basis for behavioral patterns
observed in his patients, Freud ascribed motivational source
to psychic energy within each individual b) Individuals presumed to have inborn instincts or drives that
were tension systems c) Freud originally postulated two basic drives: (i) Self-preservation, associated with the ego
(ii) Eros is related to sexual urges and preservation of the
species, and is used with the term libido to identify
source of energy for sexual urges
d) After World War I, Freud added Thanatos, the concept of the
death instinct e) Eros operates from birth, and is evident in infants’ pleasure in
stimulation of erogenous zones, leading Freud to posit that
the physical source of sexual pleasures changed in an orderly
progression (i.e., five stages of psychosexual development) 5. Psychic determinism: Assumption that all mental and behavioral
reactions are determined by earlier experiences, leading to belief in
unconscious processes a) Freud believed behavior has both manifest and latent content (i) Manifest content of behavior refers to what one says,
does, and perceives (indicating awareness)
(ii) Latent content includes neurotic symptoms, dreams,
slips of the pens and slips of the tongue at the
unconscious level of and information-processing
6. The Structure of Personality
a) Id: Storehouse of fundamental drives, operating irrationally
and on impulse, pushing for expression and immediate
gratification; governed by the pleasure principle b) Superego: Storehouse of individual’s values, including moral
values; corresponds roughly to the notion of conscience (i) The inner voice of “oughts” and “should nots”
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE (ii) Includes ego ideal, the individual’s view of the kind
of person he/she should strive to become
(iii) Often in conflict with the id
c) Ego: Reality-based aspect of the self, arbitrating conflict
between id’s impulses and superego’s demands and choosing
actions that gratify id without undesirable consequences (i) Governed by the reality principle
(ii) When id and superego conflict, ego arranges a
compromise both can live with
7. Repression and Ego Defense
a) Repression is the psychological process that protects the
individual from experiencing extreme anxiety or guilt about
impulses, ideas, or memories that are unacceptable and / or
dangerous to express. Ego’s most basic defense against being
overwhelmed by id and superego b) Ego defense mechanisms are mental strategies used by the ego to
defend itself in the daily conflict between id impulses that
seek expression, and the superego’s demand to deny them c) Anxiety is an intense emotional response, triggered when
repressed conflict is about to emerge into consciousness.
Signals that repression is not working, and a second line-ofdefense
to relieve anxiety is required C. Evaluation of Freudian Theory
1. Bases for criticism
a) Conceptually vague and not operationally defined, making
scientific evaluation of the theory difficult b) Freudian psychoanalytic theory is “good history, but bad
science” (i) Unreliable predictive power
(ii) Is applied retrospectively
(iii) Typically involves historical reconstruction, rather
than scientific construction of probable actions and
predictable outcomes
(iv) Directs focus away from current stimuli that may be
inducing and maintaining the behavior
c) Psychoanalytic theory is a developmental theory, but never
included studies of children d) Minimizes traumatic experiences by reinterpreting memories
of them as fantasies e) Male-as-norm model makes theory androcentric 2. Modifications and improvements
a) Ongoing research reveals much of daily experience is shaped
by processes outside of awareness b) Freud’s theory is the most complex, compelling, and 266
CHAPTER 14: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN PERSONALITY comprehensive view of both normal and abnormal
personality functioning, even when its predictions are wrong 3. Like any theory, Freud’s theory must be treated as unconfirmed until it
can be confirmed, element by element
D. Post-Freudian Theories
1. Intellectual descendants of Freud made several changes in the
psychoanalytic view of personality
a) More emphasis on ego functions
b) Social variables viewed as playing a more significant role in
shaping of personality
c) Less emphasis on importance of libidinal energy
d) Extension of personality development beyond childhood,
including the entire life span 2. Alfred Adler
a) Alfred Adler rejected the significance of Eros and the pleasure
principle b) Adler believed personality structured around striving to
overcome feelings of inferiority 3. Karen Horney
a) Challenged Freud’s phallo-centric emphasis
b) Placed greater emphasis on cultural factors
c) Focused on present character structure rather than on
infantile sexuality 4. Carl Jung expanded the conception of the unconscious to include the:
a) Collective unconscious: the fundamental psychological truths
shared by the entire human race b) Archetype: a primitive, symbolic representation of a particular
experience or object, associated with the instinctive tendency
to feel, think about, or experience the object in a special way. (i) Animus, the male archetype
(ii) Anima, the female archetype
(iii) Mandala, the archetype of the self
c) Jung’s view of personality as a constellation of compensating
internal forces, in dynamic balance, resulted in analytic
psychology IV. Humanistic Theories
A. Humanistic approaches to personality are characterized by concern for integrity of the
individual’s personal and conscious experience and growth potential
B. Features of Humanistic Theories Include:
1. Some humanists believed motivation for behavior derived from the
individual’s unique tendencies, both innate and learned, to develop
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE and change in a positive direction 2. Self-actualization, a constant striving to realize one’s inherent potential,
to develop one’s own capacities and talents
a) Drive for self-actualization sometimes conflicts with need for
approval from the self and others, especially when the
individual feels certain obligations or conditions must be met
to gain approval, as in: b) Rogers’ mandate of unconditional positive regard in child-
rearing c) Horney’s idea that people have a “real self” that requires
favorable environment to be actualized 3. Humanistic theories have also been described as holistic,
dispositional, phenomenological, and existential
a) Holistic: explain individuals’ separate acts in terms of their
entire personalities b) Dispositional: focus on innate qualities within the individual
that exert a major influence over the direction behavior will
take c) Phenomenological: emphasize the individual’s frame of
reference and subjective view of reality, rather than the frame
of an observer or a therapist d) Existentialist: focus on higher mental processes C. Evaluation of Humanistic Theories
1. Criticisms
a) Concepts are fuzzy, and difficult to explore empirically b) Traditionally, did not focus on particular characteristics of the
individual c) Theories were more about human nature and qualities shared
by all people, than about individual personality or the basis of
difference among individuals d) Emphasis of the role of the self as source of experience and
action neglects environmental variables that also influence
behavior 2. Contemporary research emphasizes psychobiography, “the systematic
use of psychological theory to transform a life into a coherent and
illuminating story”
V.Social-Learning and Cognitive Theories
A. Introduction
1. Learning theory orientation looks to environmental circumstances that
control behavior
2. Personality is viewed as the sum of overt and covert responses that are
reliably elicited by the individual’s reinforcement history
CHAPTER 14: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN PERSONALITY 3. Learning by social imitation is by observation of others’ behavior,
without actual performance of the response
4. Contemporary theories emphasize importance of both cognitive and
behavioral processes
B. Mischel’s Cognitive-Affective Personality Theory
1. Posits that response to a specific environmental input depends on a
a) Encoding strategies, the way incoming information is
processed: (i) Selective attending
(ii) Categorization
(iii) Making associations
b) Expectancies and beliefs: anticipation of likely outcomes for
given actions in particular situations c) Affects: your feelings and emotions, including physiological
responses d) Goals and values: outcomes and affective states valued by the
individual e) Competencies and self-regulatory plans, rules developed by the
individual for guiding performance, setting goals, and
evaluating effectiveness 2. Nature of variables for a given individual result from history of
observations and interactions with others and with inanimate aspects
of the physical environment
3. Beliefs about others’ personalities comes from tracking the way
different situations bring out different behaviors
C. Bandura’s Cognitive Social-Learning Theory
1. Combines principles of learning with an emphasis on human
interactions in social settings
2. Stresses the cognitive processes involved in acquiring and
maintaining patterns of behavior and, thus, personality
3. Critical constructs
a) Reciprocal determinism: the examining of all components if one
wishes to understand human behavior, personality, and
social ecology completely b) Observational learning: the process by which the individual
changes his or her behavior, based on observations of another
individual’s behavior c) Self-efficacy: the belief that one can perform adequately in a
particular situation. Self-efficacy judgments include: (i) Vicarious experience
(ii) Persuasion
(iii) Monitoring of emotional arousal when thinking
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE about a task 4. Self-efficacy acknowledges the importance of the environment,
including perceptions of supportiveness or unsupportiveness of that
D. Cantor’s Social Intelligence Theory
1. Social intelligence refers to the expertise the individual brings to his or
her experience of life tasks
2. Three types of individual differences are defined:
a) Choice of life goals
b) Knowledge relevant to social interactions
c) Strategies for implementing goals
3. Social intelligence offers a new perspective on how personality
predicts consistency
E. Evaluation of Social-Learning and Cognitive Theories
1. One set of criticisms points out that theories generally overlook
emotion as an important component of personality
a) Emphasize rational, information-processing variables b) Emotions are perceived as by-products of thoughts and
behavior, instead of being assigned specific, independent
importance c) Theories do not fully recognize the impact of unconscious
motivation on both behavior and affect 2. A second set of criticisms focuses on vague explanations relative to
creation of personal constructs and competencies
a) Cognitive theories focus on the individual’s perception of
current behavior setting serves to obscure the individual’s
history b) Kelly’s theory is more a conceptual system than a theory, as it
focuses on structure and processes, saying little about content
of personal constructs VI. Self Theories
A. William James was the earliest advocate of theories addressing how each individual
manages his or her sense of self. James identified three components of the self-experience:
1. Material me: the bodily self, along with surrounding physical objects
2. Social me: the individual’s awareness of how others view him or her
3. Spiritual me: the self that monitors private thoughts and feelings
B. Dynamic Aspects of Self-Concepts
1. Self-concept is a dynamic mental structure that motivates, interprets,
organizes, mediates, and regulates intrapersonal and interpersonal
behaviors and processes
CHAPTER 14: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN PERSONALITY 2. Components of self-concept include
a) Memories about one’s self
b) Beliefs about one’s traits, motives, values, and abilities
c) Ideal self: the self that one would most like to become
d) Possible selves that one contemplates enacting
e) Positive or negative evaluations of one’s self (self-esteem)
f) Beliefs about what others think of one’s self
3. Self-concept includes schemas about the self, self-schemas, that allow
one to organize information about one’s self and influence the way
one processes information about others
4. Possible selves are “the ideal selves that we would very much like to
become,” and are also “the selves we could become and the selves we
are afraid of becoming”
C. Self-Esteem and Self-Presentation
1. Self-esteem is a generalized evaluation of the self, influencing thoughts,
moods, and behavior
a) Low self-esteem may be characterized (in part) by less
certainty about the self and may include the feeling that one
does not know much about one’s self b) Doubt in one’s ability to perform a task may see engagement
in self-handicapping behavior, in which one deliberately
sabotages one’s own performance, for purposes of (i) Having a ready-made excuse for failure that does not
imply lack of ability
(ii) Failure can be blamed on low effort, without finding
out if one really had the ability to make it
2. Self-presentation is an aspect of self-esteem, explaining behavioral
differences between individuals with high and low self-esteem
a) Individuals with high self-esteem present themselves to the
world as ambitious, aggressive risk takers b) Individuals with low self-esteem present themselves as
cautious and prudent c) Both of these presentations are for public consumption d) Self-monitoring, a personality trait related to the individual’s
habitual style of self-presentation, is the tendency to regulate
behavior to meet social demands or to create a desired social
impression D. The Cultural Construction of Self
1. Individualistic cultures encourage independent construals of self
2. Collectivist cultures encourage interdependent construals of self
E. Evaluation of Self-Theories
1. Self theories succeed at capturing the individual’s concept of their
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE own personality and how they wish to be perceived by others 2. Critics of self theory approach to personality argue against its limitless
boundaries. Because many issues are relevant to the self and to the
self-concept, it is not always clear which factors are most important for
predicting behavior
3. Emphasis on the self as a social construct is not entirely consistent
with evidence that some facets of personality may be heritable
VII. Comparing Personality Theories
A. The Five Most Important Differences in Assumptions about Personality
1. Heredity versus Environment
a) Trait theories are split on this issue
b) Freudian theory depends heavily on heredity
c) Humanistic, social-learning, cognitive, and self theories
emphasize either (i) Environment as a determinant of behavior
(ii) Interaction with environment as a source of
personality development and differences
2. Learning Processes versus Innate Laws of Behavior
a) Trait theories are (still) divided
b) Freudian theory favors inner determinant view
c) Humanists posit change as a result of experience
d) Social-learning, cognitive, and self theories posit that behavior
and personality change as a result of learned experiences 3. Emphasis on Past, Present, or Future
a) Trait theories emphasize past causes
b) Freudian theory stresses past events of early childhood
c) Social-learning theories focuses on past reinforcements and
present contingencies
d) Humanistic theories emphasize present phenomenal reality
or future goals
e) Cognitive and self theories emphasize past and present (and
future, in the instance of goal-setting) 4. Consciousness versus Unconsciousness
a) Trait theories pay little attention to this distinction
b) Freudian theory emphasizes unconscious processes
c) Humanistic, social-learning, and cognitive theories
emphasize conscious processes
d) Self theories are unclear 5. Inner Disposition versus Outer Situation
CHAPTER 14: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN PERSONALITY a) Trait theories emphasize dispositional factors
b) Social-learning theories emphasize situational factors
c) All others allow interaction between person-based and situation-based variables B. Theoretical Contributions to Understanding of Human Personality
1. Trait theories provide a catalog, describing parts and structures
2. Psychodynamic theories add a powerful engine and fuel to get the
vehicle moving
3. Humanistic theories put the person in the driver’s seat
4. Social-learning theories supply the steering wheel, directional signals,
and other regulation equipment
5. Cognitive theories add reminders that the way the trip is planned,
organized, and remembered will be affected by the mental map the
driver selects for the journey
6. Self theories remind the driver to consider the image his or her driving
ability projects to back-seat drivers and pedestrians
VIII. Assessing Personality
A. Objective Tests
1. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), developed
using empirical strategy, is most frequently used personality inventory
a) Items included on scales only if they clearly differentiated
between two groups b) Each item demonstrates its validity by being answered
similarly by members within each group, but differently
between groups c) Ten clinical scales, each differentiating a different clinical
group d) Validity scales detect suspicious response patterns e) Major revision over the last ten years, resulting in the MMPI-2,
added fifteen new content scales 2. The NEO-Personality Inventory (NEO-PI)
a) Measures the five-factor model of personality. The five
dimensions are: (i) Neuroticism
(ii) Extraversion
(iii) Openness
(iv) Agreeableness
(v) Conscientiousness
b) A new inventory based on the five-factor model, The Big Five
Questionnaire (BFQ), is designed to have validity across
cultures 273
1. Basics
a) Projective tests have no predetermined range of responses, but
use ambiguous stimuli b) Among the assessment devices most commonly used by
psychological practitioners c) Used more frequently outside the U.S. than are objective tests
because they are less sensitive to language variation 2. Specifics
a) The Rorschach test, developed by Hermann Rorschach, uses
ambiguous stimuli that are symmetrical inkblots, with
responses scored on three major features: (i) Location or part of the card mentioned in the
response—does respondent refer to the whole
stimulus or only part of it?
(ii) Content of the response, nature of the object and
activities seen
(iii) Determinants, those aspects of the card that prompted
(iv) Correctly utilized, test is both reliable and permits
valid assessments about the underlying personality
b) The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), developed by Henry
Murray (i) Respondents shown pictures of ambiguous scenes
and asked to generate stories about them, describing
what people are thinking and doing, what led up to
each event, and how each situation will end
(ii) Individual administering test evaluates structure and
content of stories, as well as behavior of individual
telling them, attempting to discover respondent’s
major concerns motivations, and personality
CHAPTER 14: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN PERSONALITY DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. Have the class suppose that there was no continuity in behavior or personality and that we
faced each situation anew, without reference to prior experiences and reactions. Discuss
with the class the changes this scenario might evoke in one’s self-concept.
2. What might be the advantage or disadvantage to describing the personality of a
developmentally delayed child using the trait orientation? What about use of the type
orientation? Ask the class for a show of hands indicating how many prefer each
perspective. Have individual class members indicate why they prefer one perspective to the
3. In what sense does our personality limit our freedom to act? In what sense does our
personality give us greater freedom to act than a cat or dog enjoys?
4. Discuss the five-factor model of personality. Aside from the obvious applications in the
mental health industry, ask the class what other applications they see for this model. Have
students expand on their perspective.
5. Of the various approaches to personality detailed in this chapter, which do students find to
be most satisfying in a personal sense? Is this an emotional or an intellectual choice?
Discuss the implications.
6. We all assume somewhat different roles and personalities in different social situations. If
you could be only one of these “people,” which would you choose? How would other
people’s reactions to you be changed in those situations where you now displayed a new
set of characteristics?
7. A surprisingly large percentage of college students (about 50 percent) describe themselves
as “shy.” Can such a self-imposed label be changed by the time one reaches college age? If
so, how? How does someone come to be “shy”? What is the difference between being a
“shy person” and being “situationally shy”?
8. You might want to discuss Judith Rich Harris’s book, The Nurture Assumption: Why Children
Turn Out the Way They Do; Parents Matter Less than You Think and Peers Matter More, in which
she argues that peers, not parents, play the most important role in shaping a child’s
personality. As the text explains, there is abundant research that consistently indicates that
parents play a large, if not critical, role in shaping a child’s personality. As the text
suggests, if parents had little or no impact, then there would be no observable birth order
effects. Additionally, Harris ignores the fact that since children tend to grow up in
neighborhoods where many families have similar values and behavior standards, they are
surrounded by other children with fairly similar values to their own. Children may also
self-select friends based on how similar their attitudes and interests are to their own. While
peers clearly have some effect, especially during the middle school and high school years,
there is no evidence that the effects of peer influence override parental influences in the
long run to the degree argued by Harris. How do students feel about this? Do their own
experiences confirm or deny Harris’s theories? Why or why not? 275
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL Harry Stack Sullivan and the Interpersonal Relations Theory of
Personality The founder of this position, Harry Stack Sullivan, was an interesting individual, and his areas of
concentration were: . The dynamics of personality
. The dynamics and treatment of schizophrenia (he coined the term and concept of the
“schizophrenic mother”)
Sullivan posited his theory of personality within the context of developmental psychology, feeling
that to be the only viable avenue for his perspective. Sullivan felt that it was “completely
preposterous’ to assume that human behavior was determined solely by instinct, feeling instead
that human nature was so pliable and adaptable that even “the most fantastic social rules and
regulations [could] be lived up to, if they were properly inculcated in the young.” Sullivan
concluded that personality was shaped primarily by social forces, with the lengthy period of
dependence in childhood making the child particularly susceptible to the influence of others. He
proposed an incredibly powerful need for interpersonal relationships, to the extent that he believed
individuals who were deprived of interpersonal contact for extended periods would undergo
deterioration in their basic personality structure. Consider Sullivan’s definition of personality for a moment (the relatively enduring pattern of
recurrent interpersonal situations which characterize a human life). The significant aspect of this
definition is that Sullivan intended it to include those interpersonal relationships that are illusory
as well as those which are real. So, in Sullivan’s theory, even the recluse and the psychotic have a
“personality.” Many other theories seem to apply only to the normally functioning psyche. Sullivan and Freud shared a belief that human beings strive toward a reduction of inner tension,
that the ideal human state is one of euphoria—a condition of total equilibrium. Sullivan saw
tension as the opposite of euphoria, reciprocally related to it, and as a state similar to a state of
terror. Of course, both extremes can only be approached and neither exists in nature; we exist
somewhere on the continuum between the two. He posited seven specific epochs or stages through
which personality may develop, each epoch representing an optimal time for certain innate
capacities to reach fruition. Since he posits “epochs,” you can see that Sullivan was a stage theorist. Epoch 1: Infancy. Infancy begins at birth and continues until the appearance of articulate speech.
This time is highlighted by the influence of maternal tenderness and anxiety. The oral zone is
important here, as it brings food and sustenance, as well as breathing, crying, and thumb-sucking. Nursing provides the infant with its first prototaxic mode or experience in interpersonal
relationships. This is a primitive mode of experiencing internal and external stimuli, is prominent
in early infancy, consists of successive momentary discrete states, and cannot be communicated to
others or formulated into symbols (i.e., language). Around 12 to 18 months of life, trial-and-error language begins to appear, with early sounds being
imitations of those in the environment This represents the parataxic mode, and it ushers in the
second stage of personality development. The parataxic mode is a way of experiencing internal and
external stimuli that is characterized by use of private symbols and a lack of the conventional
concepts of cause and effect. Past infancy and moving into childhood, we see the development of the self-system, the organized 276
CHAPTER 14: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN PERSONALITY perception of one’s self. The self-system includes the desirable “good-me” and the undesirable
“bad-me.” The system is a result of experiences with one’s own body and the reflected opinions of
significant others, and has anxiety reduction as its primary goal. Epoch 2: Childhood. Children now begin to develop use of language and to acquire responses for
averting anxiety and parental punishment. These responses include deception, rationalization,
behaving in the way parents expect in order to please them, and increasing the use of sublimation.
Of course, some punishment does inevitably occur, and this results in growth of the “bad-me” part
of the self-system. As long as parents continue to reinforce the “good-me” part of the child’s self-
system, the child will adjust normally. Epoch 3: The Juvenile Era. This epoch begins with the emergence of the need for playmates, which
is about the time the child enters school. The syntaxic mode becomes prominent now, and is the most
highly developed mode of experiencing internal and external stimuli. This mode is characterized by
use of socially understood symbols (i.e., words and numbers), and by the understanding of
conventional ideas of cause and effect. According to Sullivan, the ability to live with and among
other people will have developed by the end of this epoch. Epoch 4: Preadolescence. This stage begins with the emergence of the need for a more intimate
relationship with a specific member of the same sex; Sullivan called this individual the chum. The
need for the chum appears around ages 8 to 10 years, and Sullivan considered this relationship
critical to the child’s future ability to form intimate relationships of both a sexual and nonsexual
nature during the adult years. Sullivan felt that an effective chumship could be instrumental in
altering excessive egocentricity (such as tendencies to pout when things go wrong), over
dependence and irresponsibility, and the misguided belief that we should be liked by everyone. He
saw the chum as a sort of reality check between childhood and adolescence. In addition, during
this period, we see the formation of the first structured social groups, such as scout troops. Epoch 5: Early Adolescence. This epoch begins with puberty and the appearance of the lust
dynamism that leads to the desire for a close relationship with a member of the opposite sex.
Sullivan felt this period to be a great one for maladjustment, due to the societal restrictions on the
adolescent’s ability to satisfy the lust dynamism. He also noted that the adolescent’s early attempts
at heterosexual relationships can (and often do) lead to embarrassing outcomes, such as impotence,
frigidity, premature ejaculation, any and all of which can lead to serious damage to one’s self-
esteem. He felt that parental support during this time was critical to the successful transition of this
period. If the attempts at heterosexual relationships are successful, and they usually are, then the
child has taken another positive step up the ladder of interpersonal relations. Epoch 6: Late Adolescence. Late adolescence originates with the achievement of satisfying sexual
activity. Of course, the adolescent is now functioning (at least part of the time) in the realm of
reality, such as working and paying taxes, and having increased social responsibilities (helping
care for an elderly grandparent or a younger sibling, moving away from home and accepting the
concurrent adult life-roles). Sullivan feels that those adolescents having the experience of attending
college have an advantage. They have an extra few years to make this transition beyond their high-
school graduation. Epoch 7: Adulthood. Harry Stack Sullivan did not say a great deal about adulthood, except that it
represented the completion of personality development. The reason Sullivan did not say much
about adulthood is that he was a psychiatrist, and psychiatrists do not get many opportunities to
observe normally functioning adults. Sullivan was smart enough to know that what he observed in
the pathological adult population was not applicable to the rest of the nonpathological population. Nature versus Nurture An issue that has dominated developmental psychology for years is the nature—nurture 277
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE controversy. This issue is directly related to any discussion of personality as well. You might ask
students how much of personality they believe is genetically inherited (nature) and how much is
learned from the environment (nurture). While generally, researchers argue that both appear to play
a role in personality, you might point out that how much of a role each plays may depend on what
part of personality you are discussing. For example, genetics clearly plays an important role in
nervous system development, which can affect traits such as introversion. On the other hand, the
environment (nurture) plays an important role in emotional maturation, as evidenced by Harlow
and Spitz’s studies on the effects of early isolation. Ultimately, one of the best ways to sum up the
research on this controversy is to say that nature sets a potential range of development, and nurture
determines where, within that range, a person will end up. With some aspects of personality,
nature sets a wide range of development, giving the environment plenty of room to have an impact.
With other aspects of personality, nature sets a narrow range of development, leaving the
environment room for only a minor impact. With most aspects of personality, nature appears to set
a moderate range of potential development. Personality: Add Women and Stir! The topic of personality serves as an excellent base for discussing the feminist perspective within
the field of psychology. Torrey (1987) has incorporated a five-phase sequence of sex-integration,
proposed by McIntosh, into the psychology of personality. Phase 1: Womenless Psychology. Torrey provides several interesting examples of womenless
psychology, for example, only four of the 707 pages of Hall and Lindzey’s text on personality
are devoted to a woman’s theory of personality (Karen Horney’s). Sullivan, Murray,
McClelland, and Kohlberg based their work on studies of men, although the theories usually
are described as universal. Phase 2: Adding Women to Psychology. In this phase, women’s work is included in the field of
psychology, but usually within the overall male-oriented paradigm. Karen Horney’s
contributions within the psychoanalytic field would represent this phase. Phase 3: Women as Inherently Different and Deviant. Viewing men as the norm and women
as special exceptions occurs in Phase 3. Freud’s view of mature female sexuality is used to
illustrate the point. Although aware of the sexual role of the clitoris, Freud insisted that mature
sexuality is located in the vagina. Regarding research, Torrey notes that when differences did
appear, psychologists have usually interpreted them as showing female inferiority. Witkin, for
example, described the holistic style of perception he found in his female participants as a
liability to thinking analytically, rather than as a capacity for global synthesis (Torrey, 1987, p.
157). Phase 4: Taking the Psychology of Women Seriously. This phase involves the feminist study
of women, their development and social rules. Gilligan’s challenge to Kohlberg’s theory
represents this stage, as does Homer’s extension of achievement motivation (McClelland). Phase 5: All the Human Experience, Psychology Redefined. A paradigmatic shift would be
necessary within psychology to describe the human experience as a discipline. Until extensive
work concerning women is accomplished, it will be difficult to envision the changes within the
field. Do different theories represent different phases? Are men and women really so different?
If so, what are the social, political, and economic implications of personality differences? Since
women are becoming the majority in the field of psychology, what impact do you think this will
have on the psychology of the 21st century? 278
CHAPTER 14: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN PERSONALITY BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE Gordon Willard Allport (1897–1967) As a student, Gordon Allport was deeply influenced by the writings of William James, whom he
resembles in his style of investigation and his uncompromising interest in the individual as self.
Allport was born in Montezuma, Indiana, in 1897, one of four children. His father, a physician, ran
his clinic in the Allport home. He indulged his strong belief in the imposition of discipline and
responsibility at an early age by assigning each of his sons a task to carry out in the clinic. Mrs.
Allport, a former schoolteacher, introduced the children to philosophy, providing them with the
foundations of the classics and encouraging their independent inquiry into the nature of things.
She was a religious woman and stressed the importance of faith. Allport himself has described his
upbringing as one of “plain Protestant piety and hard work.” On completion of high school, Allport followed his brother Floyd to Harvard. His education was
interrupted briefly when he served a short time in the armed forces during World War I. He
eventually earned his B.A. in 1919. Gordon did not immediately pursue a graduate degree,
choosing instead to teach in Istanbul, Turkey, but returned to Harvard a year later to earn his
doctorate in psychology at the age of 24. He did not remain in the United States for long, again
feeling the need to travel and study abroad. This time Allport spent two years at large universities
in England and Germany. When he returned, he secured a permanent academic position at
Harvard. Allport’s most significant book, Personality: A Psychological Interpretation, was published in 1937 and enjoyed a great reception. (The book was thoroughly revised 24 years later under the title
Pattern and Growth in Personality.) His approach to understanding human personality as a growing,
changing system of traits, attitudes, and habits became well known. Allport is responsible for
emphasizing the importance of both the concept of attitudes in social psychology and the concept
of personality traits. From 1939 to 1949, he was the Harvard University editor of the Journal of Abnormal and Social
Psychology and was elected president of the American Psychological Association in 1939. He cofounded
the Department of Social Relations at Harvard in 1946 and, thereafter, was closely
identified with the “third force” in psychology, the humanistic psychologists. Allport received the
Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award in 1964 and continued to pursue his research and
writing until his death in 1967. Hans Jargon Eysenck (b. 1916) Hans Eysenck, the grandson of a medical doctor and an only child, was born in Berlin, Germany. In
order to gain admission to the University of Berlin, Eysenck was required to join the Nazi party as a
member of the SS. He tolerated these circumstances for only a short time, leaving eventually for
France and, finally, England. Eysenck studied psychology at the University of London, obtaining
his Ph.D. in 1940. He became director of the psychology department at Maudsley Hospital in
London after World War II, and has traveled often to the United States as a visiting professor. Eysenck’s contributions to psychology have been varied. He is regarded most for his empirical and
theoretical work on personality and his contributions to behavior therapy. He is particularly well
known for his personality test battery, the Eysenck Personality Inventory, and for his critical review,
in 1952, of the value and effectiveness of psychotherapy, especially psychoanalysis, in the treatment of psychological disorders. Eysenck founded the journal Behavior Research and Therapy in
1962, and is the author of more than 350 books and articles, including the Biological Basis of
Personality (1964) and Personality, Structure and Measurement (1969). 279
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) Sigmund Freud was born in Pribor, Czechoslovakia, in 1856. Although Freud was a gifted student,
it took him eight years to finish his medical degree at the University of Vienna, partly because he
was interested in so many topics. Freud first pursued a career as a neurologist, but financial
concerns forced him into general medical practice. In cooperation with his friend Joseph Breuer,
Freud began to treat hysterical women. This is unusual, because at the time there was no known
cure for hysteria, which is now known as a conversion disorder. Through trial and error and
feedback from clients, Breuer and Freud developed the technique known as psychoanalysis. The fundamental rule of psychoanalysis is honesty; clients must relay all thoughts and feelings
uncensored to the analyst. Clients then follow their stream of thought wherever it may lead, a
process known as free association. In the course of free association, clients often uncover traumatic
events in the past, and, upon reliving these events, often experience relief from their symptoms. Freud’s first major work, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), detailed the process of dream
interpretation, which he felt was the “royal road to the unconscious.” Although it took six years to
sell the first 600 copies printed, this work would go through eight additional printings during
Freud’s lifetime. Although the technique of psychoanalysis is perhaps Freud’s most important legacy, he made
many other substantial contributions to psychology. These include the recognition of the
importance of sexuality and unconscious processes, a fully developed system of personality, and
an appreciation for the conflict between individual desires and the constraints of society. His work
has influenced so many aspects of our thinking that he is often not given full credit for the
development of his ideas. Freud’s many detractors are quick to point out that his theories are not
based on empirical research. While this is certainly true, just because they lack empirical evidence
does not mean that they are wrong. It just means that they are less likely to be right. Because of the breadth of his intellectual contributions, he remains the most cited psychologist in Psychology and
Life and most comparable texts. Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) Carl Jung was born in Kesswil, Switzerland, the son of a pastor. From childhood, Jung was fascinated by the problems of religion and spiritualism. He received his M.D. from the University of
Basel in 1901, with an emphasis in psychiatry. Having read Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams, he
sought the master out and soon became Freud’s most famous disciple. An eventual split between
Freud and Jung occurred, prompted by Jung’s belief that the psychosexual theory of development
was too restrictive. Jung advanced his own brand of psychology, known as analytic psychology, introducing the
concepts of the collective unconscious and archetypes. Like Freud, Jung developed a large
following of loyal adherents. In his later writings, Jung returned often to an analysis of religion and
mysticism, addressing themes that had fascinated him from his youth. Neal Miller (b. 1909) Neal Miller has been in the vanguard of American psychology for more than 30 years. He sees
himself as a “builder of bridges between disciplines” and, indeed, his contributions run the gamut
from social-learning theory and frustration-aggression hypotheses, to physiological research into
brain stimulation and control of autonomic responses through biofeedback. Miller received his undergraduate training at the University of Washington and his master’s degree
at Stanford University. In 1935, he earned his doctorate at Yale, the school with which he would be
associated for the next 30 years. In light of the strongly behavioristic approach his research has
taken, it is interesting to note that he received considerable formal training in psychoanalytic theory 280
CHAPTER 14: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN PERSONALITY and practice. Perhaps his participation at the Institute of Human Relations at Yale, where he was in
contact with anthropologists and sociologists primarily concerned with the influence of the social
milieu on the individual, impressed him with the limitations of analysis. With the publication of two landmark books, Social Learning and Imitation in 1941 and Personality
and Psychotherapy in 1950, he and his colleague, John Dollard, created a sensation. These works
demonstrated that social learning, psychoanalytic treatment, and the origins of neurosis could be
understood in terms of classical learning theory. The intelligent, innovative nature of Miller’s
accomplishment brought him a Newcomb-Cleveland Prize in 1951 and a Warren Medal in 1954. In the same year that Personality and Psychotherapy was published, Miller applied his theories of
behavior modification to victims of combat neurosis with a high degree of success, essentially
abandoning the psychoanalytic approach to therapy. True to his self-portrait as a “bridge-builder,”
he translated the implications of his research and therapeutic techniques to a more physiologically
based line of inquiry, investigation into the physiology of learned responses. He used electrical
stimulation of parts of the brains of animal participants to elicit motivational sensations such as
fear, pain, and pleasure, and demonstrated that an electrical or chemical stimulation of the brain
may bring about sensations of hunger. Following the example of Pavlov, he continues to explore a
wide range of learned visceral responses. In accord with what he has already discovered about
learned visceral responses, he designed a lightweight electromechanical instrument that alerts
children with scoliosis whenever they lapse into incorrect posture. The results of this treatment
have been encouraging. Although he is now an emeritus professor, Miller remains active in his research and conceptual
contributions to the field of behavioral medicine. Miller served as president of the American
Psychological Association in 1961, was awarded the National Medal of Science, and has been
elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Carl Rogers (1902–1987) Carl Rogers, the founder of client-centered therapy and one of the best-known figures in humanistic
psychology, is often described by friends as the “man who gave people permission to be
themselves.” A firm believer in the basic goodness of human beings, Rogers based his approach to
therapy and education on the assumption that individuals, when given the proper opportunity and
encouragement, can decide for themselves the best course to follow. This doctrine placed the mild-
mannered Rogers squarely in the face of controversy throughout his career, as he attempted to go
beyond the mere formulation of pleasant-sounding philosophies, to implement his notions in the
context of social institutions. A student of agriculture, Rogers made an abrupt change of plans after traveling to China with a
student religious group. He began to see that he would only truly satisfy his needs and interests in
a milieu that encouraged communication and offered him an opportunity to help others. He
enrolled in a theological seminary, but soon found the emphasis on dogma and hierarchy to be
contradictory to his highly personal approach. He switched to the study of psychology, a discipline
in which he felt he would be better able to develop and act on his ideas. He received his bachelor’s
degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1924. After graduating from Columbia Teachers College,
he became director of the Rochester Child Guidance Clinic in New York and there began to
construct the techniques that would eventually evolve into Rogerian, or client-centered, therapy. Rogers finally joined forces with a group of like-minded psychologists at the Western Institute for
Behavioral Sciences in California. This nonprofit center is involved in several projects, including a
tremendously popular two-week summer course of encounter groups. An even more ambitious
project is designed to put physicians in closer touch with the “human” and ethical aspects of
medical practice. Throughout his career, Rogers continued to believe that the purpose of therapy was to assist the 281
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE client in realizing his or her potential, and he conducted some of the first empirical studies of the
process and effectiveness of psychotherapy. He was instrumental in elevating humanistic
psychology to its stature as a “Third Force” in psychology, and was elected president of the
American Psychological Association in 1947. In spite of all his successes, Rogers continued to be criticized from many sides. Even friends and
colleagues described his views as overly optimistic—particularly his faith that tense situations
such as racial confrontations can be resolved by person-centered therapy techniques. Nevertheless,
Rogers, if anything, grew more optimistic. During the last few years of his life, in response to the
growing popularity of his client-centered therapy, he trained facilitators (therapists) in Germany, Japan, and Brazil. His notable works include Client-Centered Therapy (1951) and On Becoming a
Person (1961). TIMELINE Yea Event
1900 Freud published what many believe was his greatest work, The Interpretation of
1913 Carl Jung broke ranks with Freud and soon became a major figure in the
development of an alternative psychoanalytic theory, analytic psychology.
World War I was fought.
1920 Alfred Adler published the Practice and Theory of Individual Psychology, outlining
his views on the social ramifications of psychoanalysis.
1921 Hermann Rorschach developed his famous projective test, composed of a series of
symmetrical inkblots.
1929 The Great Depression began in America.
1937 Gordon Allport published Personality: A Psychological Interpretation, outlining his
trait theory of personality.
1937 Karen Horney published The Neurotic Personality of Our Time, describing her
theory of personality.
1938 Henry Murray published Explorations in Personality and developed a projective
test called the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), a series of black-and-white
drawings of a person or persons in ambiguous situations.
World War II was fought.
1940s Carl Rogers developed his ideas on the humanistic view of personality
1943 Starke Hathaway and J. C. McKinley published the first edition of the MMPI,
which soon became the most widely used personality test ever.
1950 Raymond Cattell developed the 16 PF, which later became a widely used
personality inventory. 282
CHAPTER 14: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN PERSONALITY 1951 Carl Rogers published Client-Centered Therapy, explaining how his ideas could be
applied to therapy.
1954 Abraham Maslow published Motivation and Personality, explaining the
relationship of his hierarchy of needs to both motivation and personality
1957 Sputnik, the first satellite, was launched.
1963 Albert Bandura, with R. H. Walters, published Social Learning Personality and
Development, explaining the influences of social learning on personality growth.
1973 Walter Mischel challenged the basic idea that personality traits have cross-
situational consistency, and proposed a cognitive-social learning theory of
1980 Ronald Reagan was elected President.
1986 Albert Bandura published Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social
Cognitive Theory, presenting his influential self-efficacy theory.
1989 The University of Minnesota published the second edition of the MMPI, which
was standardized on a larger, more heterogeneous group of people than the first
edition. SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READINGS Bandura, A. (1986). Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory. Englewood
Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. The leading proponent for understanding personality from a social-
cognitive orientation presents his influential self-efficacy theory. Cantor, N. & Harlow, R. E. (1994). Personality, Strategic Behavior, and Daily-Life Problem Solving.
Current Directions in Psychological Science, 3 (6), 169–172. A look at the problem-solving efforts
used by individuals as they work toward solving the “life tasks” in their daily lives. Carlson, J. F. (1989). Psychosexual Pursuit. Enhancing Learning of Theoretical Psychoanalytic Constructs.
Teaching of Psychology, 16, 82–84. Carlson developed a game that can accommodate as many as
50 players. This article reproduces a game board on which players must move through the
stages of psychosexual development and eventually become adults. Play money represents
psychic energy; the goal is to retain as much psychic energy as possible for adult life tasks.
Defense mechanisms and fixation are incorporated into the game rules. Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (1992). Perspectives on Personality, 2nd Ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Presents very readable and current coverage of personality psychology by two of the better-
known researchers in the area; includes much of their own research. Costa, P., & McCrae, R. (1998). Trait Theories of Personality. New York: Plenum Press. The fathers of
the Big Five personality theory make an argument for their system of personality. Evans, R. (1981). Dialogue with C. G. Jung. New York: Praeger Special Studies/Praeger Scientific. Dr.
Richard Evans conducts a one-on-one interview with Carl Jung, exploring Jung’s relationship
with Freud, and his reactions to various psychological issues and concepts. Ewen, R. (1998). An Introduction to Theories of Personality (5th Ed.). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum
Associates. An excellent introduction to the field of personality. Presents the theories of eleven
major figures in personality psychology. Eysenck, H. (1998). Dimensions of Personality. New Brunswick, Transaction Publishers. The 283
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE accumulation of Eysenck’s 50 years of research on personality. Intended for students of
psychology, psychiatry and sociology. 284
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Freud, S. (1961). The Ego and the Id. New York: Norton. Original work published in 1923. Translated
by James Strachey. Freud, S. (1963). An Outline of Psychoanalysis. New York: W. W. Norton. Original work published
1940. Translated by James Strachey. Gay, P. (1988). Freud: A Life for Our Time. New York: W.W. Norton. The definitive biography on
Freud. Provides rich details about his life, and presents his ideas in easily accessible form. Hall, C., & Lindzey, G. (1978). Theories of Personality, (3rd Ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. A
classic text on personality theory. Hogan, R. (1986). What Every Student Should Know About Personality. In V. P. Makosky (Ed.), The G.
Stanley Hall Lectures Vol. 6. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. A brief,
entertaining summary of some of the most important research and theoretical issues in
personality psychology. As with Hall’s other works, this is worth the read. Holzman, P. S. (1994). Retrospective Feature Review: Hilgard on Psychoanalysis as Science. Psychological
Science, 5, (4), 190–191. An interesting look at Hilgard’s perspective on Psychoanalysis, in
which he criticizes Freud for failing to appropriately “define the field of inquiry.” Jung, C. (1990). The Basic Writings of C. G. Jung. Princeton, Princeton University Press. Translated by
Richard Carrington. Presents Jung’s most important writings on the nature of human
personality. Rogers, C. (1961). On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy. An older work, but
certainly worth the time. It provides the foundation for understanding Rogers’ client-centered
therapy. DISCOVERING PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM 15: THE SELF Overview How psychologists systematically study the origins of self-identity and self-esteem, social
determinants of self-conceptions, and the emotional and motivational consequences of beliefs
about oneself Key Issues The process of individualization in children, Freud’s Ego, Id, and Superego, the theory of self-
efficacy, the relationship between nonverbal communication and status, the effects of self-
presentation on the reaction of others, and the effects of reward and competition on creativity. Demonstrations Status differences in nonverbal behavior on communication. New Interviews Hazel Markus looks at the relationship between the self and culture and examines the mutual
constitution of the two. 286
CHAPTER 14: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN PERSONALITY FILMS AND VIDEOS First Feelings (1992). RMI Media Productions, 30 minutes From the Coast Telecourse, this program addresses the question of how much of an infant’s
personality can be attributed to the relationship with caregivers and how much can be explained by
the baby’s inborn temperament. Freud: The Hidden Nature of Man (1970). IU(LCA), 29 minutes Analyzes Freud’s revolutionary theories of the power of the unconscious; the Oedipus complex;
dream analysis; and the ego, superego, and id. Points out the impact of his ideas on man’s attitude
toward himself, particularly Victorian man’s approach to sexuality. Uses the technique of dramatic
reenactment of his ideas, with actors playing Freud and his patients. Freud Under Analysis (1987). IC(CORT), 58 minutes Profiles Freud’s life and contributions to the development of psychoanalytic theory, which
established the study of the mind as a science. Discusses his major ideas, including the function of
sexual repression in the development of the personality, the role of the unconscious, the importance
of childhood experiences to adult development, and the therapeutic techniques of psychoanalysis
in controlling neurotic behaviors. Produced for the NOVA series. Neurotic Behavior: A Psychodynamic View (1973). CRM, 19 minutes Illustrates several varieties of neurotic behavior and classical defense mechanisms in a vignette
about the life of Peter, a college student. A psychodynamic approach to behavior is used to analyze
Peter’s life as he experiences anxiety, then repression, rationalization, displacement, and finally
phobias and obsessive-compulsive neurosis in reaction to the psychological trauma induced by his
mother during early training. This film illustrates the unconscious and unintentional nature of
defense mechanisms. Personality (1971). (CRM)MCGH, 30 minutes Focuses on an articulate, self-aware college senior. It begins with his self-report, which is contrasted
with the opinions of his parents, his girlfriend, and his roommate. Thematic Apperception Tests are
shown. Good, as the TAT is an instrument many students will never have the opportunity to see,
other than in this venue. Ratman (1974). TLF, 53 minutes A dramatization of one of Freud’s most famous cases. Freud’s analysis of the obsessive behavior of
this patient is reviewed. 67,000 Dreams (1972). TLF, 30 minutes An interview with Carl Jung in which he talks about the development of his theory, including the
concept of the collective unconscious. 287
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE CASE STUDY LECTURE LAUNCHER In 1923, personal tragedy transformed the life of an 18-year-old Texan named Howard. This
overprotected college freshman had never made a major decision for himself. When a heart attack
killed his father, only two years after the death of his mother, Howard suddenly inherited three-
fourths of the interest in the family’s lucrative tool company. His uncle and grandparents, who
owned the rest of the business, urged Howard to return to school. Despite his reputation as a shy
and obedient boy, Howard refused. Within four months, he bought out his relatives’ share in the
company. By the time Howard was 19, a judge had granted him adult status, giving him full legal
control of the million-dollar company (Barlett & Steele, 1979). However, he had no interest in
running the family business. Instead, he wanted to become the world’s top aviator and most
famous motion picture producer. “Then,” he told his accountant, “I want you to make me the
richest man in the world” (Dietrich & Thomas, 1972, p. 73). By the time he was 38, Howard Hughes was an American legend. He founded the Hughes Aircraft
Company, manufacturer of the first spacecraft to land on the moon. He transformed Trans World
Airlines into a $500 million empire. He designed and built airplanes for racing, military, and
commercial uses. As a pilot, he broke many aviation records, capping his triumphs with a 1938
round-the-world flight. Ticker-tape parades in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Houston
honored his achievement (Drosnin, 1985). However, long before that, when he was only 20 years
old, he had already reaped national honors producing several films, among them an Academy
Award winner. As head of the RKO film studio, Hughes used his power to fuel the 1950s
anticommunist purge in Hollywood. Eventually, Hughes realized his ambition; he became the
world’s richest man. Despite his incredible public success, Howard Hughes was a deeply disturbed individual. As his
empire expanded, he became increasingly disorganized. He began to focus so excessively on trivial
details that he accomplished less and less. He became a recluse, sometimes vanishing for months at
a time. Hughes’s mishaps as a pilot and driver caused three deaths. On several occasions Hughes suffered
serious head, face, and, perhaps, brain injuries; one near-fatal plane crash resulted in what became
a lifetime addiction to codeine (Fowler, 1986). His risk taking extended to the world of finance as
well, where he lost over $100 million of taxpayers’, stockholders’, and his own money (Dietrich &
Thomas, 1972). As he grew older, Hughes became obsessed with germs. On hearing a rumor that an actress he once
dated had a venereal disease, he burned all his clothes, towels, and rugs. Eventually, the only
people allowed to see him were members of his “Mormon guard,” an elite cadre of men who never
questioned his often bizarre orders. Those orders included instructions to “wash four distinct and
separate times, using lots of lather each time from individual bars of soap” (Drosnin, 1985, p. 167).
Anything their employer might touch they wrapped in 50-tissue swaths of Kleenex; each box
opened with a clean, unused knife. Paradoxically, Hughes lived in squalor. He rarely wore clothes or washed, never brushed his teeth,
and used an unsterilized needle to inject himself with large doses of codeine. He stayed in bed for
days at a time. The richest man in the world slowly starved his 6-foot, 4-inch frame to an emaciated
120 pounds. Looking to Hughes’s childhood for clues to the paradox of his personality reveals many possible
links between his early experiences and their later transformation. Similar to his father, Hughes
loved mechanical gadgets. At age 3, he started taking pictures with a box camera. He tinkered in his
father’s workshop, creating objects out of bits of wire and metal. He was allowed to play in the
workshop—as long as he kept it spotless. Hughes’s parents fussed excessively about his health. His quiet, dignified mother devoted herself 288
CHAPTER 14: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN PERSONALITY full-time to him, taking him to the doctor at the slightest provocation. At 14, his parents sent him to
a boarding school in Massachusetts. A developing hearing loss isolated him from friendships. The
highlight of his stay in the East was a ride with his father in a seaplane that “fired his fascination
with airplanes and marked the beginning of a lifelong love affair with aviation, his most enduring
passion.” Later, when he went to a California school, Hughes spent much of his time alone, riding his horse
in the hills and visiting his Hollywood screenwriter uncle. At his uncle’s Sunday brunches,
Hughes met many stars and movie moguls, as did his father, who had an eye for beautiful women.
Hughes began to perceive people as objects to be avoided or collected. He would bring teenaged
aspiring starlets to Hollywood, put them up in apartments, and, as they waited for stardom, forget
all about them (Fowler, 1986). A few years before Hughes’s death, his former barber reflected on the eccentric billionaire’s
personality, “I know he has his problems: don’t we all? He just operates a little different from the
rest of us. Who’s to say who’s wrong?” (Keats, 1966). 289
Psychological Disorders LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Define “normal” and “abnormal”
2. Identify distinguishing differences between normal and abnormal behavior
3. Explain current methods of studying and assessing abnormal behavior
4. Describe the goals of psychological assessment and classification of disorders
5. Explain the use of each axis of DSM-IV-TR
6. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the major types of psychological disorders
7. Explain the theoretical positions from which abnormal behavior is studied
8. Describe the evidence that some abnormal behaviors have a genetic component
9. Name and discuss the types of schizophrenic disorders
10. Suggest some factors that may play causal roles in the development of mental illness
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. The Nature of Psychological Disorders
A. Definitions
1. Psychopathological functioning involves disruptions in emotional,
behavioral, or thought processes that lead to personal distress or that
block one’s ability to achieve important goals
2. Abnormal psychology is the area of psychological investigation most
directly concerned with understanding the nature of individual
pathologies of mind, mood, and behavior
B. Deciding What Is Abnormal
1. DSM-IV-TR provides seven criteria for determining behavior as
a) Distress or disability: An individual experiences personal
distress of disabled functioning, producing risk of physical
and/or psychological deterioration or loss of freedom of
action b) Maladaptiveness: An individual behaves in a fashion that
hinders goal attainment, does not contribute to personal
well-being, or often interferes significantly with the goals of
others and needs of society c) Irrationality: An individual acts or speaks in ways that are 290
CHAPTER 15: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS irrational or incomprehensible to others d) Unpredictability: An individual behaviors unpredictably from
situation to situation, as though experiencing loss of control e) Unconventionality and statistical rarity: An individual violates
norms of socially acceptable behavior in a manner that is
statistically rare f) Observer discomfort: An individual behaviors such that it
makes others uncomfortable by feeling threatened or
distressed g) Violation of moral and ideal standards: An individual violates
expectations for how one ought to behave, according to
societal norms 2. No single DSM-IV-TR criteria is, by itself, a sufficient condition to
distinguish all instances of abnormal behavior from normal
variations in behavior
3. Mental disorder is a continuum, that ranges from mental health at
one extreme and mental illness at the other
C. The Problem of Objectivity
1. The decision to declare an individual as psychologically disordered
or abnormal is a judgment about behavior. The goal is to make these
judgments as objective as possible, without bias.
2. Following assignment of the label “abnormal,” others tend to
interpret the individual so designated in a manner that confirms the
judgment as demonstrated by Rosenhan’s “sane in an insane place”
3. Laing posits that labeling as “mad” suppresses the creative, unique
probing of reality by individuals who are questioning their social
4. Some psychologists advocate a contextual or ecological model of
5. Ecological models view abnormality not as the result of a disease
within the person, but as a product of interaction between
individuals and society
6. Abnormality is viewed as a mismatch between the individual’s
abilities and the needs and norms of society
D. Historical Perspectives
1. Historically, people have feared psychological disorders, often
associating them with evil, and imprisoning and subjecting those
affected to radical treatment
a) Hysteria was originally thought to affect only women and to
be caused by a wandering uterus under the devil’s control 2. Emergence of the medical model occurred in the late 1700s, when society
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE began perceiving those with psychological disorders as suffering
from illness, rather than as possessed or immoral a) Pinel was an early developer of a classification system for
psychological difficulties, based on the premise that
disorders of thought, mood, and behavior were somewhat
similar to physical, organic illnesses b) The first comprehensive classification system of
psychological disorders was created by Kraepelin in 1896 3. Emergence of psychological models, an alternative to the medical model,
focusing on the psychological causes and treatment of abnormal
behavior, emerged from the late 1700s through the 1800s
a) Mesmer proposed that some disorders were due to
disruptions in the flow of a force he called animal magnetism,
and pioneered new techniques eventually to become known
as hypnotism b) Mesmer’s techniques were adopted by Jean Charcot, who
passed that knowledge to his student, Sigmund Freud E. The Etiology of Psychopathology
1. Etiology refers to the causal or contributory factors in the
development of psychological and medical problems
2. Two general categories of causal factors:
a) Biological approaches assume that psychological disturbances
are directly attributable to underlying biological factors such
as structural abnormalities in the brain b) Psychological approaches focus on the causal role of
psychological or social factors as contributing to the
development of psychopathology. Three models
predominate. (i) Psychodynamic. This model, as developed by Freud,
posited the causes of psychopathology as located
inside the person, holding those factors to be
psychological, rather than physiological
(a) Symptoms are rooted in unconscious conflict,
much of which derives from conflict between id
and superego
(b) Defense mechanisms (repression, denial) can be
effected to avoid pain resulting from conflicting
motives and anxieties
(ii) Behavioral theorists posit abnormal behaviors as
being acquired in the same manner as normal
behaviors-through learning and reinforcement
(a) Focus is on current behavior and current
conditions that may be reinforcing the behavior
(b) Both classical and operant conditioning models
are used to understand the processes that can
CHAPTER 15: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS result in maladaptive behavior (iii) Cognitive perspectives may be used to supplement
behavioristic views
(a) How the individual perceives and thinks about
him- or herself, and his/her relations with others
in the environment are important issues
(b) This approach suggests problems are the result of
distortions in perceptions of the reality of a
(iv) The sociocultural perspective emphasizes the role
culture plays in both the diagnosis and etiology of
abnormal behavior
c) Most recently, the interactionist perspective is becoming
increasingly popular, and is viewed as a product of the
complex interactions between a number of biological and
psychological factors II.Classifying Psychological Disorders
A. Psychological Diagnosis: The label given to an abnormality by classifying and
categorizing the observed behavior pattern into an approved diagnostic system
B. Goals of Classification
1. A useful diagnostic system provides the following three benefits:
a) Common shorthand language: A common set of agreed-upon
meanings, given that it is imperative that researchers
studying different aspects of psychopathology, or evaluating
treatment programs, can agree on the disorder they are
observing b) Understanding etiology: Under ideal circumstances, a
diagnosis of a specific disorder should make clear the
cause(s) of the symptoms; this is not always possible with
psychological disorders c) Treatment plan: Diagnosis should suggest types of treatment
to consider for particular disorders C. DSM-IV-TR
1. The 4th revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders (DSM) classifies, defines, and describes more than 200
mental disorders
2. DSM-IV-TR emphasizes the description of patterns of symptoms and
courses of disorders, rather than etiological theories or treatment
3. DSM-IV-TR uses dimensions or axes that portray information about
the psychological, social, and physical factors that may be associated
with a psychological disorder
4. Current DSM-IV-TR categories or axes are:
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE a) Axis I: Clinical Disorders (i) These disorders present symptoms of patterns of
behavioral or psychological problems that typically
are painful or impair an area of functioning.
Included are disorders that emerge in infancy,
childhood, or adolescence
b) Axis II. Personality Disorders & Mental Retardation (ii) Details mental retardation and personality
disorders, i.e., dysfunctional patterns of perceiving
and responding to the world
c) Axis III. General Medical Conditions (iii) Codes physical problems that are relevant to
understanding or treating an individual’s
psychological disorders, as detailed on Axes I and II
d) Axis IV. Psychosocial and Environmental Problems (iv) Codes psychosocial and environmental stressors
that may impact diagnosis and treatment of an
individual’s disorder and his or her likelihood of
e) Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning (v) Codes the individual’s overall level of current
functioning in the psychological, social, and
occupational domains
5. Full diagnosis, in accordance with the DSM system, involves
consideration of each axis
6. Methods used to organize and present categories have shifted with
each revision of the DSM. DSM-III-R felt neurotic disorders and
psychotic disorders had become too generalized in meaning to
remain useful as diagnostic categories.
7. In addition to the diagnoses on the five traditional axes, DSM-IV-TR
provides an appendix that describes about 25 culture-bound
syndromes–recurrent, locality-specific patterns of aberrant behavior
and troubling experience that may or may not be likened to a
particular DSM-IV-TR diagnostic category. Such syndromes include:
a) Boufée delirante: A sudden outburst of agitated and
aggressive behavior, marked confusion, and psychomotor
excitement (West Africa and Haiti) b) Koro: An episode of sudden and intense anxiety that the
penis will recede into the body and possibly cause death
(South and East Asia) c) Taijin kyofusho: An individual’s intense fear that his or her 294
CHAPTER 15: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS body, its parts or its functions, displease, embarrass, or are
offensive to other people (Japan) III. Major Types of Psychological Disorders
A. Important Disorders not Covered in Psychology and Life.
1. Substance-use disorders include both dependence on and abuse of
alcohol and drugs
2. Somatoform disorders involve physical symptoms that arise without a
physical cause
3. Sexual disorders involve problems with sexual inhibition or
dysfunction, and deviant sexual practices
4. Disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or adolescence
include mental retardation, communication disorders (such as
stuttering), and autism
5. Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia.
6. Some individuals experience more than one disorder at some point
in their life span; this is known as comorbidity, the co-occurrence of
B. Anxiety Disorders: Types
1. Involve the experiencing of fear or anxiety in certain life situations
when that anxiety is problematic enough to interfere with the ability
to function or to enjoy life
2. Generalized Anxiety Disorder: manifests itself as feeling anxious or
worried most of the time, when not faced with any specific danger.
Presenting symptoms must include at least three of the following:
a) Muscle tension b) Fatigue c) Restlessness d) Poor concentration e) Irritability f) Sleep difficulties 3. Panic Disorder manifests in unexpected, severe panic attacks that
begin with a feeling of intense apprehension, fear, or terror. Attacks
are unexpected, in the sense that they are not evoked by something
concrete in the situation. One manifestation of panic disorder is
agoraphobia, an extreme fear of being in public places or open spaces
from which escape may be difficult or embarrassing.
4. Phobias are diagnosed when the individual suffers from a persistent
and irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation, when
that fear is excessive and unreasonable, given the reality of the
threat. Phobias interfere with adjustment, cause significant distress,
and inhibit necessary action toward goals. DSM-IV-TR defines two
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE categories of phobias. a) Social phobia is a persistent, irrational fear, arising in
anticipation of a public situation in which an individual can
be observed by others b) Specific phobias occur in response to several different types of
objects or situations 5. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder in which the
individual becomes locked into specific patterns of thought and
behavior. It may best be defined in terms of its component parts
a) Obsessions are thoughts, images, or impulses that recur or
persist despite the individual’s efforts to suppress them.
They are experienced as an unwanted invasion of
consciousness, seem to be senseless or repugnant, and are
unacceptable to the individual experiencing them. b) Compulsions are repetitive, purposeful acts performed
according to certain rules, in a ritualized manner, and in
response to an obsession. The behavior is performed to
reduce or prevent the discomfort associated with some
dreaded situation, but it is either unreasonable or clearly
excessive. 6. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder, is
characterized by the persistent reexperiencing of traumatic events
through distressing recollections, dreams, hallucinations, or
C. Anxiety Disorders: Causes
1. Biological: This view posits a predisposition to fear whatever is
related to sources of serious danger in the evolutionary past, thus the
preparedness hypothesis suggests that we carry an evolutionary
tendency to respond quickly and “thoughtlessly” to once-feared
stimuli. Some evidence is available linking this disorder to
abnormalities in the basal ganglia and frontal lobe of the brain.
2. Psychodynamic: This model begins with the assumption that
symptoms of anxiety disorders derive from underlying psychic
conflicts or fears, with the symptoms being attempts to protect the
individual from psychological pain
3. Behavioral explanations of anxiety focus on the way symptoms of
anxiety disorders are reinforced or conditioned
4. Cognitive perspectives concentrate on the perceptual processes or
attitudes that may distort a person’s estimate of the danger he or she
is facing. Individuals suffering from anxiety disorders may interpret
their own distress as a sign of imminent danger
D. Mood Disorders: Types
CHAPTER 15: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS 1. A mood disorder is an emotional disturbance, such as a severe
depression or depression alternating with manic states
2. Major Depressive Disorder occurs so frequently that it has been called
the “common cold” of psychopathology; virtually everyone has
experienced elements of this disorder at some time during their
3. Bipolar depression is characterized by periods of severe depression,
alternating with manic episodes
E. Mood Disorders: Causes
1. Biological: Growing evidence suggests that the incidence of mood
disorder is influenced by genetic factors
2. Psychodynamic: This approach purports the causal mechanism(s) to
be unconscious conflicts and hostile feelings originating in
childhood. Freud believed the source of depression to be displaced
anger, originally directed at someone else, and now turned inward
against the self
3. Behavioral: This approach focuses on the impact and effects of the
amount of positive reinforcement and punishments the individual
receives. Lacking a sufficient level of reinforcement, the individual
feels sad and withdraws from others.
4. Two Cognitive Theories:
a) Beck argued that depressed people have negative cognitive
sets, which promote a pattern of negative thought that
clouds all experiences and produces the other characteristic
signs of depression. Negative thought patterns include
negative views of (1) themselves; (2) ongoing experiences;
and (3) the future. b) Seligman’s learned helplessness paradigm, the “explanatory
style view of depression, in which individuals believe
(correctly or not) that they have no control of future
outcomes of importance to them. Learned helplessness is
marked by deficits in three areas: (1) motivational; (2)
emotional; and (3) cognitive. F. Gender Differences in Depression
1. Women suffer from depression twice as often as men
2. Research suggests differences in response style may originate in
a) When women experience sadness, they tend to think about
causes and implications of their feelings, a ruminative
response style with an obsessive focus on problems, thus
increasing depression. b) Men attempt actively to distract themselves from negative 297
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE feelings through physical exercise or by focusing on
something else. Other research has also revealed a
maladaptive tendency for men to distract themselves
through use of alcohol, drugs, or violent behaviors. G. Suicide
1. Patterns of suicide
a) The 8th leading cause of death in the U. S., 3rd among the
young, and 2nd among college students b) Five million living Americans have attempted suicide c) For each completed suicide, there are 8 to 20 attempts d) Suicide usually affects at least 6 other individuals 2. Every 9 minutes, a teenager attempts suicide; every 90 minutes one
3. Suicide rates for African American youths, of both sexes, are roughly
half that for white youths. These racial differences persist across the
life span.
4. Gay and lesbian youth are at higher risk than are other adolescents
5. Youth suicide is not an impulsive act. It typically occurs as the final
stage of a period of inner turmoil and outer distress.
H. Personality Disorders
1. A personality disorder is a chronic, inflexible, maladaptive pattern of
perceiving, thinking, or behaving that can seriously impair the
individual’s ability to function and can cause significant distress.
Examples include:
a) Paranoid personality disorders: Show a consistent pattern of
distrust and suspiciousness about the motives of people with
whom they interact. These individuals believe others are
trying to harm or deceive them they may find unpleasant
meanings in harmless situations, and expect their friends,
spouses, or partners to be disloyal. b) Histrionic personality disorder: Characterized by patterns of
excessive emotionality and attention seeking. Sufferers offer
strong opinions, with great drama, but with little evidence to
back their claims. They react to minor occasions with
overblown emotional responses. c) Narcissistic personality disorders: Manifests grandiose sense of
self-importance, preoccupation with fantasies of success or
power, and need for constant admiration. These individuals
often have problems in interpersonal relationships, tending
to feel entitled to special favors without reciprocal
obligation. They exploit others for their own purposes and
experience difficulty in realizing and experiencing how
others feel. 298
CHAPTER 15: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS d) Antisocial personality disorder: Manifested by a long-standing
pattern of irresponsible or unlawful behavior that violates
established social norms. These individuals often do not feel
shame or remorse for their hurtful behaviors. A violation of
social norms begins early in life; the actions are marked by
indifference to the rights of others. I. Dissociative Disorders
1. Consist of a disturbance in the integration of identity, memory, or
consciousness. Psychologists believe that in dissociative disorders
the individual escapes from his or her conflicts by giving up
consistency and continuity of the self
2. Dissociative amnesia refers to the forgetting of important personal
experiences, caused by psychological factors in the absence of any
organic dysfunction
3. Dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality
disorder, is a dissociative mental disorder in which two or more
distinct personalities exist within the same individual. May involve
chronic, severe abuse during childhood.
IV. Schizophrenic Disorders
A. Schizophrenic Disorders are a severe form of psychopathology in which personality
seems to disintegrate, thought and perception are distorted, and emotions are blunted
1. Hallucinations occur often, and are assumed real
2. Delusions, false or irrational beliefs maintained regardless of
evidence to the contrary, are common
3. Other manifestations
a) Incoherent language, word salad b) Flattened or inappropriate emotions c) Disorganized psychomotor behavior 4. Categories of symptoms
a) Positive symptoms: hallucinations, delusions, incoherence,
and disorganized behavior are prominent during the acute
or active phases. b) Negative symptoms: social withdrawal and flattened
emotions become more apparent during the chronic phase. B. Major Types of Schizophrenia
1. Disorganized type: Individual displays inappropriate behavior and
emotions, incoherent language.
a) Incoherent thought patterns and grossly bizarre and
disorganized behavior b) Emotions are flattened or situationally inappropriate, 299
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE language may be incoherent, communications with others break down c) If present, hallucinations and delusions lack organization
around a central theme 2. Catatonic type: Individual displays frozen, rigid, or excitable motor
a) Major feature is disruption in motor activity b) Also characterized by extreme negativism and resistance to
all instructions 3. Paranoid type: Individuals suffer complex and systematized
delusions, focused around a specific theme, often delusions of
grandeur or persecution. Symptom onset is usually later in life than
in other types of schizophrenia. Manifestations include:
a) Delusions of persecution, in which the individual believes
he/she is being constantly spied upon, plotted against, or is
in mortal danger b) Delusions of grandeur, in which the individual believes
he/she is an important or exalted being, such as Jesus Christ c) Delusional jealousy, in which the individual becomes
convinced (without due cause) that his or her mate is
unfaithful 4. Undifferentiated type: The schizophrenic “grab-bag,” describing the
individual who exhibits
a) Prominent delusions, hallucinations, incoherent speech, or
grossly disorganized behavior that fit criteria of more than
one type, or of no clear type b) Hodgepodge of symptoms fails to differentiate clearly
among the schizophrenic reactions. 5. Residual type: Individuals have typically experienced a major episode
within the past, but are currently free of major positive symptoms.
a) Ongoing presence of the disorder is signaled by minor
positive symptoms or negative symptoms, such as flattened
affect b) Diagnosis of residual type may indicate the individual’s
disorder is entering a stage of remission, becoming dormant C. Causes of Schizophrenia
1. Genetic Approaches
a) Disorder tends to run in families, with increased risk if both
parents have the disorder 300
CHAPTER 15: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS b) Probability of identical twins both having the disorder is
approximately 3 times greater than is the probability for
fraternal twins c) Diathesis-stress hypothesis suggests genetic factors place the
individual at risk, but environmental stressors must impinge
for the potential risk to be manifested 2. Brain Function and Biological Markers
a) Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to show
brain structures (i.e., ventricles) that are enlarged by up to
50% in individuals with schizophrenia b) Imaging also reveals that individuals with schizophrenia
may have differing patterns of brain activity than those
found in normal controls c) The dopamine hypothesis posits an association with an excess
of the neurotransmitter dopamine, at specific receptor sites
in the central nervous system (CNS). d) A biological marker is a “measurable indicator of disease that
may or may not be causal”; that is, it may correlate with the
disorder. No known marker perfectly predicts, or brings
about, schizophrenia. 3. Family Interaction and Communication
a) Hope remains for identification of an environmental
circumstance that increases the likelihood of schizophrenia b) Research does offer evidence for theoretical position that
emphasizes the influence of deviations in parental
communications on the subsequent development of
schizophrenia c) Research indicates family factors do play a role in
influencing functioning after the symptoms appear V.The Stigma of Mental Illness
A. The Problem of Stigma
1. Individuals with psychological disorders are frequently labeled as
deviant, though this label is not true to prevailing realities
2. Stigma is a mark or brand of disgrace; in the context of psychology, it
is a set of negative attitudes about a person that sets him or her apart
as unacceptable”
3. Negative attitudes toward the psychologically disturbed, which
come from many sources, bias perceptions of and actions toward
these individuals
4. Mental illness can become one of life’s self-fulfilling prophecies
5. Research suggests that people who have contact with individuals
with mental illness hold attitudes less affected by stigma
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. What if a well-controlled study showed that “crazy” people were more creative, happier,
and lived longer than “normal” or “sane” people? Ask the class how this knowledge
might change their individual therapies of abnormal or pathological behavior.
2. What if someone were to give each member of your class a psychiatric diagnostic label
and offer each of them $100,000 if they would go into a mental hospital ward and live up
to their label for a month without being discharged as either cured or normal? How well
do class members think they would do? What specific acts would they engage in? Have
a student randomly select a diagnostic label from the chapter and then have the class list
the specific actions they would perform to demonstrate the accuracy of the diagnosis.
What does “abnormal” actually mean? Ask the class to give you an operating definition.
Does it mean “crazy”? “Different”? “Nuts”? See how many “definitions” of the term
you can get and be ready for responses you would never have imagined! 4. Because of the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill that occurred in the 1960s and the
ensuing lack of community health support for that population, we are confronted with
the probability that many of the “homeless” may actually be schizophrenics who are no
longer on medication. Does this seem to be a plausible explanation for the increase in
homeless individuals?
5. Should the mentally ill be forced to take medication if medication exists that will
ameliorate their symptoms? Schizophrenics often consider the voices that they hear gifts
from God. Should we deprive them of this gift? Should they be “locked up” in an
institution where they could receive sound nutrition and protection from the elements?
Are they “better off’ on the streets? What are the ethical issues involved in each of the
above situations?
6. How valid does the class think the “preparedness hypothesis” is as an explanation for
phobic disorders? If we “carry around” an evolutionary tendency to jump when startled
(i.e., “to respond quickly and ‘thoughtlessly’ to once-feared stimuli”), how did that
tendency actually get to us? Think about phobias in terms of the collective unconscious,
as espoused by Carl Jung. What sort of justification might we offer for applying Jung’s
hypothesis to the preparedness hypothesis?
CHAPTER 15: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL DSM-IV-TR: What Is It? DSM-IV-TR is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Text Revision Edition. DSMIV-
TR is a diagnostic manual, published by the American Psychiatric Association and is used by
mental health professionals in an attempt at concordance in evaluation and diagnosis of the
various mental illnesses. If you have medical insurance that covers mental health care, your
carrier probably predicates its decision to pay for your care on the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria,
as reported by your therapist. DSM-IV-TR proposes five categories, each called an axis (plural = axes), according to which an
assessment of the disturbance is made. Psychological and psychiatric disorders are classified
according to their “fit” on these various axes. This is a multiaxial classification system. In order,
these axes are: AXIS I: CLINICAL DISORDERS Clinical syndromes include the major affective disorders, psychoactive substance-induced mental
disorders, eating disorders, organic mental disorders (e.g., senility, Alzheimer’s), the
schizophrenias, adjustment disorders, and depressive disorders. Axis I and Axis II diagnoses are
often indicated at the same time. AXIS II: PERSONALITY DISORDERS AND MENTAL RETARDATION Disorders included in this category are mental retardation, pervasive developmental disorders
(e.g., autism), and specific developmental disorders (e.g., academic skills disorders such as
developmental writing disorder, developmental arithmetic disorder, and developmental reading
disorder). Specific personality traits or habitual use of particular defense mechanisms are also
indicated here, e.g., antisocial personality disorder. These disorders all have the common
denominator of having their onset in childhood and/or adolescence. For example, a diagnosis of
antisocial personality disorder in adulthood requires a prior diagnosis of conduct disorder in
childhood. This conduct disorder usually persists in a stable form (without period of remission or
exacerbation) into adult life, at which time it may be “upgraded” to antisocial personality
disorder. Although you will not always have an Axis I and Axis II disorder at the same time, you often
will. When you do, you see the diagnoses indicated as follows: Axis I: Alcohol Dependence Axis II: Antisocial Personality Disorder (Principal Diagnosis) When an individual does have both Axis I and II disorders, the “principal diagnosis’ is assumed
to be the Axis I disorder unless the Axis II disorder is followed by the qualifying statement
“Principal Diagnosis” indicated in parentheses. AXIS III: GENERAL MEDICAL CONDITIONS This axis permits the clinician to indicate any current physical disorder or condition that is
relevant to the understanding or management of the case. Sometimes these conditions have
clinical significance concerning the mental disorder. For example, a neurological disorder may be 303
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE strongly related to a patient’s manifestations of Senile Dementia. AXIS IV: PSYCHOSOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS This axis provides a scale, the “Severity of Psychosocial Stressors Scale,” that enables the clinician
to code the overall severity of psychosocial stressors that have occurred in the client’s life during
the preceding year and to evaluate their contribution to any of the following: . development of a new mental disorder
. recurrence of a prior mental disorder
. exacerbation of an already existing mental disorder
Stressors often play a precipitating role in the appearance of a disorder, but they may also be a
consequence of the person’s psychopathology. A common situation is to have the Alcohol
Dependence of one partner in a marriage lead to marital discord and eventually divorce. The sum
of the separation and subsequent divorce (with all its attendant traumas) may progress to the
point of a Major Depressive Episode. Types of psychosocial stressors considered for rating on this
axis include: . Conjugal (marital and nonmarital): engagement, marriage, discord, separation, divorce,
death of a spouse
. Parenting: becoming a parent, friction with a child, illness of a child
. Other Interpersonal: problems with one’s friends, neighbors, associates, nonconjugal
family members, illness of best friend, discordant relationship with one’s boss
. Occupational: work, school, homemaking, unemployment, retirement
. Living Circumstances: change in residence, threat to personal safety, immigration
. Financial: inadequate finances, change in financial status
. Legal: arrest, imprisonment, lawsuit, trial
. Developmental: phases of the life cycle, puberty, transition to adult status, menopause,
“becoming 30/40/50”
. Physical Illness/Injury: illness, accident, surgery, abortion
NOTE: A physical disorder is listed on Axis III whenever it is related to the development
or management of an Axis I or II disorder. A physical disorder can also be a psychosocial
stressor if its impact is due to its meaning (importance) to the individual. In that case, it will be listed on both Axis III and IV. . Other Psychosocial Stressors: natural or manmade disaster, persecution, unwanted
pregnancy, out-of-wedlock birth of a child, rape
. Family Factors (children and adolescents): in addition to the above, for children and
adolescents, the following stressors may be considered: cold, hostile, intrusive, abusive,
conflictual, or confusingly inconsistent relationships between parents or toward child;
physical or mental illness of a family member; lack of parental guidance or excessively
harsh or inconsistent parental control; insufficient, excessive, or confusing social cognitive stimulation; anomalous family situation, complex or inconsistent parental
custody and visitation arrangements; foster family; institutional rearing; loss of nuclear
family members. 304
CHAPTER 15: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS AXIS V: GLOBAL ASSESSMENT OF FUNCTIONING This axis allows the clinician to indicate his/her overall judgment of the individual’s
psychological, social, and occupational functioning on a scale (the Global Assessment of
Functioning Scale (GAF) that assesses mental health or illness. Ratings on the GAF are made for
two periods: · Current: level of functioning at time of evaluation
· Past Year: highest level of functioning for a least at few months during the past year
For children and adolescents, this should include at least one month during the school year. The
ratings of current level of functioning generally reflect the current need for treatment or care.
Ratings of highest level of functioning within the past year are frequently prognostic, because the
individual may be able to return to his or her prior level of functioning, following recovery from
an illness episode. Eve White and Eve Black The most extreme form of dissociation is dissociative identity disorder (DID), formerly known as
multiple personality disorder. Until fairly recently, this disorder was thought to be rare.
However, within the past few years, we have reason to believe this disorder to be more pervasive
than originally thought. Ralph Allison, a therapist with extensive experience in treating this DID,
has long believed the actual incidence of this disorder to be much higher, with many cases going
undiagnosed (1977). DID is frequently confused with schizophrenia. The term, schizophrenia, literally means, “splitting
in the mind” (Reber, 1985). DID is actually a severe form of neurosis; the personality “in
command” at any given moment remains in contact with reality. Schizophrenia is a psychotic
disorder, in which the individual’s functioning is “split off” from external reality. Dissociative
identity disorder is one of the major dissociative disorders in which the individual develops two
or more distinct personalities that alternate in consciousness, each taking over conscious control
of the person for varying periods of time. Both dissociative identity disorder and the
schizophrenias are Axis I clinical syndromes. Classic cases of dissociative identity disorder manifest at least two fully developed personalities,
and more than two are common. Of cases reported in recent years, about 50% had 10 or fewer
personalities and approximately 50 percent had more than 10. Each personality has its own
unique memories, behavioral patterns, and social relationships. Change from one personality to
another is usually sudden, with the change being accomplished in a matter of seconds to
minutes. The change is usually sudden, often triggered by psychosocial stress. The original personality, the one from which all the others diverge, is usually unaware of the
existence of the others. However, the first personality to “split” from the original usually knows
about the original, and any additional personalities that may surface subsequently. This first
personality to split from the original is the active controller of which personality is “out,” when it
is out, why it is out, and for how long. This personality is referred to as the dominant personality,
and is often diametrically opposed to the original personality (e.g., Eve White and Eve Black). It
is not unusual for one or more of the “new” personalities to have a different gender than the
original personality, as well as a different sexual orientation. At any given moment, there is only one personality interacting with the environment. 305
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Interestingly, the personality that presents for treatment often has little-if any-knowledge of the
multiples-they just are aware that something is a little unusual. Onset of dissociative identity disorder is usually during childhood, but may not be diagnosed
until adulthood. The disorder is chronic, and the degree of impairment varies from mild to
severe. In nearly all cases, the disorder is preceded by abuse, often sexual in nature, or from some
other form of severe emotional trauma during the childhood years. The disorder is seen three to
nine times more frequently in females than in males. There is some indication that the incidence in first-degree biological relatives of dissociative
identity disorder is higher than that in the general population. Interestingly, a child is often the
first to notice the presence of multiples (e.g., “I have 2 mommies, but it’s okay because they both
love me.”) This dramatic form of reaction is well illustrated by the widely publicized case of Eve White. Eve,
25 years old and separated from her husband, had sought therapy because of severe, blinding
headaches, frequently followed by “blackouts.” During one of her early therapy sessions, Eve
was greatly agitated. She reported that she had recently been hearing voices. Suddenly she put
both hands to her temples, then looked up at the doctor with a provocative smile and introduced
herself as “Eve Black.” It was obvious from the voice, gestures, and mannerisms of this second Eve that she was a
separate personality. She was fully aware of Eve White’s doings, but Eve White was unaware of
Eve Black’s existence. Eve White’s “blackouts” were actually the periods when Eve Black was in
control, and the “voices” marked unsuccessful attempts of Eve Black to “come out.” With
extended therapy, it became evident that Eve Black had existed since Eve White’s early
childhood, when she occasionally took over and indulged in forbidden pleasures, leaving the
other Eve to face the consequences. This habit had persisted, and Eve White frequently suffered
Eve Black’s hangovers. After about eight months of therapy, a third personality appeared. This
one, Jane, was more mature, capable, and forceful than the retiring Eve White. She gradually
came to be in control most of the time. As the therapist probed the memories of the two Eves, he felt sure that some shocking event must
have hastened the development of these distinct alternate personalities in the disturbed child. In
a dramatic moment, the climax of therapy, the missing incident became known. Jane suddenly
stiffened and in a terrified voice began to scream, “Mother … Don’t make me … I can’t do it! I
can’t!” When the screams subsided, a new personality took over. She was able to recall the
shocking event that lay at the bottom of the personality dissociation. At the age of six, Eve White
had been led by her mother to her grandmother’s coffin and been forced to place a goodbye kiss
on the dead face (Thigpen & Cleckley, 1954, 1957; Thigpen, 1961). “Eve” has since revealed herself to be Chris Sizemore, a Fairfax, Virginia, homemaker. She has
manifested twenty-one different personalities over the past two decades. As new personalities
manifested, they did so in sets of three, each very different. Eve’s/Chris’s last split selves “died”
in 1974, leaving Chris ready to make it on her own (Sizemore & Pitillo, 1977). The appearance of additional personalities after the “cure” of re-experiencing the event that
supposedly hastened the neurosis calls into question the claim of a cure. Some clinicians believe
that all cases of dissociative personality reflect the efforts of highly suggestible patients to please
their therapists. To develop a dissociative personality requires imaginative involvement with
fantasy, and such imagination is a good predictor of hypnotic suggestibility. These patients are
invariably responsive to hypnotherapy. The concern is that they may also be so suggestible as to
reconstruct their scripts to fit what they believe the therapist would like to hear. 306
CHAPTER 15: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS Digging for the Roots of Schizophrenia It is estimated that one person out of 100 either has chronic schizophrenia, or has had one or
more acute episodes of schizophrenia. This rate of incidence seems to be fairly constant from
society to society and, it is believed by some, to have persisted over centuries. Some types of schizophrenia provide the stereotype that people associate with “insanity,”
“madness,” or “lunacy.” Untreated schizophrenics can be unrestrained in their behavior,
discarding clothing, attacking others for no apparent reason, urinating and defecating in
inappropriate places, and masturbating in the presence of others. They may hear voices and have
delusions of grandeur and persecution. They may maintain a bizarre posture for hours or days.
They may speak in a language that cannot be understood (clang associations or “word-salad”), or
withdraw so completely that they go for long periods without speaking. Their emotional
responses can be grossly inappropriate: laughing at death and tragedy, and crying when good
fortune occurs. The cause of schizophrenia is not known. Scientists may be getting closer to an answer, but if the
lesson of history is heeded, they will be cautious before claiming that the culprit has been
identified. Others have thought they had the answer to the riddle of schizophrenia only to have
their explanations disproved. The first evidence of efforts to treat mental illness, probably schizophrenia, was actually an
archaeological find. Archaeologists found skulls with holes bored into them; an ancient “remedy”
for a variety if problems, called trephining, had been performed on these individuals. We do not
know what effect this treatment was supposed to have; some have speculated that it was to
relieve pressure or to allow the brain to cool off. During the era of Greek dominance of the ancient world, physicians looked toward biological
causes of mental disorders. Hippocrates suggested that disorders resulted from an imbalance of
body fluids, and prescribed rest in tranquil surroundings and good food. This was an
enlightened view, inasmuch as the world at the time generally favored the idea of demonic
possession. After the fall of the Roman Empire and the onset of the Dark Ages, the idea of
demonic possession prevailed as the explanation for schizophrenia and other severe mental
disorders. Treatment was aimed at making the schizophrenic’s body a very uncomfortable place
for the demon to live. The patient was fed dreadful concoctions, chilled, and physically abused to
encourage the demon to depart the premises. In the late Middle Ages and into the 17th century, the demonic possession explanation evolved
into witchcraft theory. An important difference between these views is that in demonic
possession the demon was believed to move in uninvited. In witchcraft, however, the demons
were supposedly invited in. Thousands of mentally ill people, probably primarily schizophrenics,
were tortured and killed in the 16th and 17th centuries. The idea that mental disorders
represented punishment by God or deliberate association with evil persists with some to this day. We finally experienced a breakthrough in the treatment of schizophrenia in the late 1950s. It was
noted that a drug given to French soldiers in the Indochina War had a side effect of calming
severely wounded soldiers. The physician who noted this was instrumental in having the drug
tested to treat schizophrenia. It worked, dramatically reducing the symptoms of schizophrenia in
the majority of, but not all, schizophrenics. The search for the cause of schizophrenia now focused on what the drug does to reduce
schizophrenic symptoms. In 1963, a Danish scientist linked antipsychotic drugs with the 307
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE neurotransmitter dopamine. The original form of the dopamine hypothesis was that
schizophrenia, or at least one form of it, was the result of excessive dopamine activity in the
brain. It was soon realized that this hypothesis is an oversimplification, and as other
neurotransmitters became involved, the hypotheses became more complex. Other explanations have been suggested. In 1977, hemodialysis was reported to lead to dramatic
improvement in a significant number of schizophrenics. Studies sponsored by the National
Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) failed to support the idea that schizophrenia is related to
contaminated blood. It has also been suggested that viral infection plays a role in schizophrenia.
Perhaps the cause is a slow-acting virus that takes years to flare into an active infection that
produces schizophrenic symptoms. Fetal brain damage during the first trimester of pregnancy has been suggested as a factor that
predisposes people to schizophrenia. A study of 50 male schizophrenics showed that they were
much more likely than non-schizophrenics to have minor physical abnormalities that presumably
resulted from the same interruption of fetal development Additionally, there is a great deal of
evidence from family and twin studies to support the idea of a genetic component in
schizophrenia, although a genetic marker has not been identified. Research on psychosocial causes also continues. Many mental health professionals take an
interactionist view, the position that schizophrenia results when biological vulnerability is
combined with adverse environmental circumstances. Some psychologists have pointed to
intrafamily problems, and some parents have been labeled “schizophrenogenic” because they
presumably increase the probability of schizophrenia in their children. Stress has also been
suggested as a causal factor in schizophrenia. Research has led scientists to the conclusion that
schizophrenia is probably not a single, unitary disorder, but that there are schizophrenias, which
have several or many causes. Alien Abductions and Out-of-Body Experiences In recent years, much publicity has been given to people who claim that they were abducted by
aliens while lying in their beds, sleeping. Most scientists are skeptical of such claims, and many
believe that these experiences may reflect some type of REM sleep dissociative experience. Two
other well publicized types of dissociation are the so-called "out of body" and "near death"
experiences. Most people claiming to have had these experiences appear to be otherwise rational
individuals who would make believable witnesses in any courtroom (if they were discussing
almost any other topic but this one), and they appear to be truthful in their belief that what they
experienced was real. While clearly something has happened to them, what might it be?
Although it is remotely possible that they were abducted or have somehow left their body, the
lack of any substantial confirming evidence has left scientists doubtful of such claims. If they
were not really abducted or did not really leave their body, what else might have happened to
them? You might discuss with students alternative explanations for these experiences. Since
some researchers have been able to recreate out-of-body sensations in the laboratory by
stimulating areas of the temporal lobes, might this explain some of these experiences? While
scientists believe so, many of those who have had these experiences do not. Since no one really
knows the answer yet, there is plenty of room for speculation on this topic and it makes for an
interesting discussion, because it is a topic about which many students are quite curious. Narcissistic Personality Some people have argued in recent years that narcissistic personality disorder has become the
characteristic disorder of our time. They have argued that the “baby boom” generation, in 308
CHAPTER 15: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS particular is the most self-centered and “spoiled” generation in American history. Some have
even used this idea of generational narcissism to explain some of Bill Clinton’s problems with his
sexual behavior. Do students agree with this idea? Why or why not? What influences have
fostered this belief? At what point does normal self-interest become narcissistic and self-
defeating? How does intrusive press coverage into the personal lives of public figures and
constant hyping of celebrities, athletes, and even criminals by the media contribute to this? 309
CHAPTER 15: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS Is Mental Illness a Myth? Dr. Thomas Szasz has forcefully argued for years that mental illness is a myth. His position is
that mental illnesses are labels we attach to social nonconformists as a way of punishing,
discrediting, and stigmatizing them for their nonconformity. You might discuss this with
students to see if they agree with this somewhat radical notion. While it is true that historically,
political regimes have sometimes labeled their opponents as being mentally ill as an excuse to
imprison them, there is little evidence that all people with mental illness are just being labeled for
being a threat to the social order. What evidence is there that mental illness is more than just a
method of labeling those whose behaviors makes us uncomfortable? What Is a Nervous Breakdown? When discussing mental illness, many students will mention knowing someone who has had a
“nervous breakdown,” and will ask what it is. You might discuss the fact that the term "nervous
breakdown" is not a valid clinical term; technically, there is no such thing, However, it has been
informally used by the general public to describe a variety of mental health problems. Sometimes
it has been used to describe an individual who has experienced a psychotic episode. Other times
it has been used to describe an individual who has had a major depressive episode. You might
discuss with students the types of symptoms shown by someone they have heard has suffered a
nervous breakdown. Perhaps they can find a more clinically accurate diagnosis of what the
person has actually experienced. TIMELINE Year Event
1793 Philippe Pinel was appointed head of the Asylum of Bicetre, France. He
immediately sought to improve living conditions and treatment of patients.
1796 William Turk opened the York Retreat in England, a country asylum without
bars or manacles.
1824 Eli Todd founded the Hartford Retreat in the U.S., an institution that sought
to provide proper medical, as well as psychological, treatment for patients.
1841 Dorothea Dix began her campaign for proper care and housing of the
mentally ill.
1859 Charles Darwin published On the Origin of the Species by a Means of Natural
1896 Sigmund Freud eschewed use of hypnosis as a therapeutic tool.
1900 Sigmund Freud wrote what many considered to be his best book, The
Interpretation of Dreams.
1908 Clifford Beers, a former mental patient, founded the National Committee for
Mental Hygiene in Connecticut. Among the Committee’s charter members
was William James. The committee later became known as the National
Association for Mental Health.
1911 Eugene Bleuler coined the term “schizophrenia.” 311
World War I was fought.
1929 The Great Depression began in America.
1935 Portuguese psychiatrist Egas Moniz performed the first lobotomy.
1940s David Shakow was influential in establishing clinical training programs in
American universities.
1940s Electroconvulsive shock therapy (ECT) gained popularity as a therapeutic
World War II was fought.
1942 Carl Rogers published Counseling and Psychotherapy, introducing the client-
centered approach to therapy.
1950s Both psychosurgery and drug therapy were introduced in the U.S. Problems
with psychosurgery were eventually realized, and drug therapy proved
highly successful in controlling many types of psychological disorders.
1952 The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association was
1952 Hans Eysenck attacked the value of psychotherapy as a means of improving
mental health.
The Korean War was fought.
1958 Joseph Wolpe developed a therapeutic technique known as systematic
1961 Thomas Szasz published The Myth of Mental Illness, suggesting that
psychological disorders have been conceptualized incorrectly.
1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
1967 Neal Miller and colleagues performed experimental research leading to the
development of biofeedback.
1977 Albert Bandura published Social Learning Theory, suggesting modeling as a
therapeutic tool
1984 Researchers linked the neurotransmitter dopamine to schizophrenia.
1987 DSM-III-R was published.
1994 DSM-IV was published.
2000 DSM-IV-TR was published. 312
CHAPTER 15: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American
Psychiatric Association, 4th Ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. Although
not totally turning the diagnostic system on its ear, there are sufficient changes to warrant
reading this latest edition-how else would one know that “multiple personality disorder” is
now “dissociative identity disorder”? Bayh, B. (1983). Myths and Realities: A Report of the National Commission on the Insanity Defense.
Arlington, VA: National Mental Health Association. This commission was established by the
National Mental Health Association, a consumer advocacy organization, in order to make
recommendations regarding the insanity plea. Their report is available for purchase from
1800 N. Kent Street, Arlington, VA 22209. Definitely worth reading. Beck, A. (1997). The Past and Future of Cognitive Therapy. Journal of Psychotherapy Practice and
Research, 6(4), 276-284. Beck describes the development of cognitive-behavioral therapy from
its earliest beginnings to its most recent manifestations. Beck, A. T. (1985). Anxiety Disorders and Phobias. New York: Basic Books. This book explains
anxiety disorders and phobias as disturbances in cognition that cause disturbances in feeling
and behavior. Ellis, A. (1997). The Practice of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, 2nd Ed. New York: Springer
Publishing. A complete update of Ellis’ earlier work. Contains many new references and new
research. Goffman, E. (1963). Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity. Though an older
publication, Goffman’s insights into the daily problems of individuals “stigmatized” by the
vagaries of fate or society are excellent; well worth reading. Maxmen, J. S., & Ward, N. G. (I 995). Essential Psychopathology and Its Treatment, 2nd Ed. New
York: W. W. Norton & Co. May be considered as a “companion” volume to DSM-IV, in that it
explains DSM-IV, presents its diagnostic categories and illuminates them, as well as
providing treatment guidelines and case vignettes. Robinson, D. (1996). Wild Beasts & Idle Humours: The Insanity Defense from Antiquity to the Present.
Cambridge, Harvard University Press. Documents the uses and abuses of the insanity
defense from antiquity to the present. Rosenhan, D. I. (1973). On Being Sane in Insane Places. Science, 179, 250-258. This article details
Rosenhan’s classic study of the danger of labeling people as “mentally ill,” and mental health
professionals’ over reliance on stereotypic symptoms. Rosenhan, D., & Seligman, M. (1995). Abnormal Psychology, 3rd Ed. New York: W. W. Norton. The
definitions, history, and major schools of thought and treatment of abnormality are presented
first. Then, each of the major disorders—their description, their causes, and their
treatments—is laid out in light of the competing schools of thought. An excellent
introductory text. Seligman, M. (1995). The Effectiveness of Psychotherapy: The Consumer Reports Study. American
Psychologist, 50(12), 965-974. Reports on a large-scale survey that suggests that psychotherapy
produces significant positive change. Spitzer, R. L., Skodoe, A. E., Gibbon, M., & Williams, J. B. W. (1981). DSM-III Casebook: A Learning
Companion to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, 3rd Ed Washington, D 313
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE C: American Psychological Association. Contains a series of descriptive vignettes, based on
actual patients, followed by a rationale for the diagnostic category used for that person. This
book is a treasure of good examples for lecture.
Szasz, T. (1974). The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct, (Rev Ed).
New York: Harper & Row. Posits that what is termed “mental illness” is, in fact, behavior
disapproved of by the speaker-a stigmatizing moral judgment, not a medical diagnosis. A
classic text that articulates a fascinating alternative to the dominant view of mental illness. DISCOVERING PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM 21: PSYCHOPATHOLOGY Overview The major types of mental illness, including schizophrenia, anxiety, and affective and bipolar
disorders, and the major factors that influence them, both biological and psychological. Key Issues Mistreatment of mentally ill patients in psychiatric hospitals, biological versus psychological
study of schizophrenia, the role of genetics in mental disorders, genetic study of
schizophrenic and healthy twins, SPECT analysis, and cultural factors in psychopathology. Interviews David Rosenhan details his dehumanizing treatment at a psychiatric hospital after he was admitted as a patient during an experiment on the perception of mental illness. Fuller Torrey compares schizophrenia to other biological diseases. Psychologist Hans Strupp examines the role of early childhood behavior in the development
of schizophrenia. Irving Gottesman and Torrey Fuller examine the biological and genetic basis of schizophrenia though NM and SPECT analysis. Native American psychologist Teresa LaFramboise examines the psychological consequences
of the clash between Native American and generic American cultures. PROGRAM 22: PSYCHOTHERAPY Overview The relationship among theory, research, and practice, and how treatment of psychological
disorders has been influenced by historical, cultural, and social forces. Key Issues Psychosurgery, electroconvulsive therapy, drug therapy, genetic counseling, psychodynamic
therapy, rational emotive therapy, behavioral modification therapy, humanistic therapy. 314
CHAPTER 15: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS Archival Demonstrations A therapist uses fear reduction strategy to help a young boy overcome his fear of dentists. Another therapist trains a young girl to control her epileptic seizures. Actual therapy session with a girl who fears dating. Interviews Hans Strupp explains the kinds of patients most suited for psychodynamic therapy. (10:30) Enrico Jones explains his problems in selecting the most effective therapy for various people and their various disorders. Cognitive therapist Albert Ellis explains how to treat patients’ irrational attributes, false beliefs, and expectations of failure through rational emotive therapy. Humanistic therapist Rollo May discusses therapy for “normal” people seeking greater fulfillment. FILMS AND VIDEOS Depression: The Dark Side of the Blues (1986). BARR, 25 minutes Offers an illuminating perspective of the nation’s number one mental health problem. Clinical
depression is a life-threatening disease that affects persons from all occupations. People who are
seriously depressed are profiled, and commentary reveals probable causes and available
treatments. Symptoms and effects of depression are detailed and hope, through early recognition
treatment, is offered. Dreams So Real: Three Men’s Stories (1981). IFMIJ, 28 minutes Combines the words and animated films made by three outpatients from a community mental
health center. Struggling to make a transition back into the community, these men are striking in
their nonconformity to the stereotypes expected of mental health patients. A great film for
sensitizing students to the needs and pain of mental health patients. The Mind Depression (1988). NCAIARR, 24 minutes Profiles people with bipolar disorders, showing the grandiose delusions that often accompany
the manic phase. Contrasts the normal cycle of emotions with the unpredictable swings of bipolar
disorders. Interviews one family in which the grandmother, father, and several children all suffer
from depression, speculates that their depression is biologically caused, and depicts the
suspected genetic basis of bipolar disorders. Focuses on people who perform well with the help
of antidepressant drugs, including one young M.D. Describes the benefits of talking therapy in
conjunction with drug therapy. The Mind of a Serial Killer (1993). FFHS, 60 minutes This program goes behind the scenes to give the real story behind the FBI unit popularized in The
Silence of the Lambs. Using a detailed psychological profile, the unit helps the Rochester, New
York, police department catch a notorious serial killer that targeted prostitutes. This NOVA
program is part of the WGBH collection. Neurotic Behavior: A Psychodynamic View (1973). CRW, 19 minutes Illustrates the neurotic behavior and classical defense mechanisms of Peter, a college student. A
psychodynamic approach to behavior is used to analyze Peter’s life as he experiences anxiety, 315
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE repression, rationalization, displacement, and finally phobias and obsessive-compulsive neurosis
in reaction to the psychological trauma induced by his mother during early training. Although
the use of the term “neurosis” is outdated according to the DSM-IV, the film provides clear
examples of phobic and obsessive-compulsive disorders. One Man’s Madness (1974). IUTFF, 32 minutes Documentary of a writer who became a bipolar depressive (bipolar depression was previously
referred to as manic-depression). Swinging in mood from ecstasy to severe depression, his
symptoms of alienation and withdrawal are shown both at home and in the hospital setting. The Scandal of Psychiatric Hospitals: When the Goal Is Insurance Reimbursement (1993).
FFHS, 52 minutes At the same time that mentally ill patients are being discharged into the streets because their
insurance benefits have expired, healthy Americans are being locked up in mental hospitals
while the hospital draws their insurance. This shocking program reveals some of these abuses. It
shows how one group of hospitals herded up patients and, in a cynical and sadistic way, held
healthy Americans hostage; it also shows how bona fide psychiatrists are tempted or duped, and
how outnumbered and outgunned law enforcement agencies are trying to restore psychiatry to
its role as a healing profession, not a get-rich-quick business. Teenage Suicide: The Ultimate Dropout (1980). PBS, 29 minutes A 14-year-old girl who attempted suicide discusses her feelings of frustration and helplessness.
Advice is given for families with problems involving suicide. The World of Abnormal Psychology (1991). Intellimation, 60 minutes A series built around documentary views of people experiencing a variety of behavioral
disorders. Case histories are accompanied by commentaries from educators, clinicians, and
researchers who highlight and help interpret what students see. Programs include: 1. Looking at abnormal behavior
2. The nature of stress
3. The anxiety disorders
4. Psychological factors and physical illness
5. Personality disorders
6. Substance abuse disorders
7. Sexual disorders
8. Mood disorders
9. The schizophrenias
10. Organic mental disorders
11. Behavior disorders of children
12. Psychotherapies
13. An ounce of prevention
Therapies for Personal Change LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Identify the overall goals of therapeutic interventions
2. Explain how modern forms of therapy developed
3. Discuss the differences in types of therapists
4. Describe the historical and cultural aspects of treatment of the mentally ill
5. Discuss the differences in the major theoretical models of mental illness
6. Explain what happens when an individual receives therapy
7. Describe the differences and advantages in drug and psychotherapy treatments
8. Comment on the general effectiveness of the different types of treatment for mental
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. The Therapeutic Context
A. Goals and Major Therapies
1. The Therapeutic Process Involves Four Primary Goals:
a) Reaching a diagnosis and classifying the disorder
b) Proposing a probable etiology
c) Making a prognosis
d) Prescribing and carrying out some mode of treatment
2. Major Therapeutic Models
a) Biomedical therapies attempt alteration of brain functioning
through chemical or physical interventions b) Psychotherapy focuses on changing learned, maladaptive
behaviors. There are four major types of psychotherapy (i) Psychodynamic approach views neurotic suffering as
the outer symptom of inner, unresolved trauma and
(ii) Behavior therapy treats the behaviors themselves as
disturbances that must be modified
(iii) Cognitive therapy attempts restructuring of the
individual’s thoughts away from distorted self-
CHAPTER 16: THERAPIES FOR PERSONAL CHANGE (iv) Existential-humanistic therapies emphasize
patient/client values, directing energies toward self-
B. Therapists and Therapeutic Settings
1. Counseling psychologists provide guidance in areas such as vocation
selection, school problems, drug abuse, and marital conflict
2. Clinical social workers are mental health professionals who consider
the social contexts of people’s problems
3. Pastoral counselors are members of a religious order, specializing in
the treatment of psychological disorders
4. Clinical psychologists have a Ph.D. and concentrated their graduate
training in the assessment and treatment of psychological problems,
followed by a supervised internship in a clinical setting
5. Psychiatrists have completed medical school, earned an M.D., and
completed postdoctoral training in mental and emotional disorders;
their training is slanted toward the biomedical basis of psychological
problems, and they are the only therapists who can prescribe
medical or drug-based interventions
6. Psychoanalysts have either an M.D. or Ph.D. and have completed
specialized postgraduate training in the Freudian approach to
understanding and treating mental disorders
C. Historical and Cultural Contexts
1. History of Western Treatment
a) 1403: London’s St. Mary of Bethlehem Hospital admitted its
first patient with psychological problems, For the next 300
years the hospital’s mental patients were chained, tortured,
and exhibited to an admission-paying public. Through
mispronunciation of Bethlehem, the hospital became known
as Bedlam, or chaos, due to the confusion that reigned and
the dehumanized treatment of its patients. b) Late 1700s: French physician Philippe Pinel described
psychological problems as mental illness c) Mid-1800s: Psychology was gaining credence as a field of
study in the U.S., and a “cult of curability” emerged d) 1900s: Clifford Beers spurred on the mental hygiene
movement, with confinement of the mentally ill taking on a
rehabilitative goal, and the asylum became a fixture of the
emerging sociopolitical movement 2. Cultural Symbols and Rituals of Curing
a) Western views and practices emphasize the individual’s
uniqueness, independence, and personal responsibility for
success and failure, consistent with both the disease model
and demonology. Mental disorder is viewed as the failure of
the individual. 317
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE b) Cultural anthropology analyzes explanations and treatments
for psychological disorders across various cultures (i) Shamanism personalizes the forces of fate or chance
that intervene in one’s life, creating problems.
Personalization permits action to be taken against
presumed evildoers and directs help to be sought
from assumed divine healers.
(ii) Ritual healing ceremonies infuse emotional intensity
and meaning into the process of healing.
II.Psychodynamic Therapies
A. Freudian Psychoanalysis
1. Psychoanalytic therapy is an intensive, prolonged technique for
exploration of the neurotic and anxiety-ridden individual’s
unconscious motivations and conflicts
2. The goal is establishment of intrapsychic harmony and
understanding of the patient’s use of repression to handle conflicts
3. Psychodynamic therapy is often called insight therapy
4. The “talking cure” began with Joseph Breuer in 1880, as treatment for
hysterical conversion resulting from psychogenic causes
5. Free Association and Catharsis
a) Free association involves allowing the mind to wander and
giving a running account of thoughts, wishes, while relaxing
comfortably (i) Freud maintained free associations were
predetermined, not random
(ii) Encouraged expression of strong feelings, repressed
through fear of punishment or retaliation, an
emotional release termed catharsis
6. Resistance is an inability or an unwillingness to discuss certain ideas,
desires, or experiences
7. Dream analysis is a therapeutic technique that examines content of
dreams to discover underlying or disguised motivations and
symbolic meanings of significant life experiences and desires
8. Transference and Countertransference
a) Transference is the development by the patient of emotional
feelings toward the therapist b) Countertransference occurs when the therapist comes to like
or dislike a patient because the patient is perceived as
similar to significant people in the therapist’s life B. Neo-Freudian Therapies
1. Freud’s followers placed more emphasis than did Freud on:
a) Patient’s current social environment, less focus on past b) Patient’s continuing life experiences 318
CHAPTER 16: THERAPIES FOR PERSONAL CHANGE c) The role of social motivation and interpersonal relations of
love d) The significance of ego functioning and development of self-
concept 2. Harry Stack Sullivan felt Freudian therapy failed to recognize the
importance of social relationships
a) Posited building of a self-system to keep anxiety at a
tolerable level, with the system deriving from the child’s
interpersonal experiences. 3. Karen Horney stressed importance of environmental and cultural
contexts in which neurotic behavior is expressed, rejecting Freudian
phallocentrism in favor of gynocentrism
4. Heinz Kohut emphasized the self, and founded the object relations
school of psychodynamics
III. Behavior Therapies
A. Behavior therapy and behavior modification both refer to the systematic use of principles
of learning to increase the frequency of desired behaviors and/or decrease that of problem
B. Counterconditioning
1. A new response is conditioned to replace or “counter” a maladaptive
2. Systematic Desensitization and Other Exposure Therapies
a) Joseph Wolpe’s theory of reciprocal inhibition states that the
nervous system cannot be relaxed and agitated
simultaneously. b) Systematic desensitization: A behavioral therapy technique in
which a client is taught to prevent the arousal of anxiety by
confronting the feared stimulus while relaxed.
Desensitization therapy involves three major steps: (i) Identification of anxiety-provoking stimuli, and
arranging them hierarchically, from weakest to
(ii) Training in progressive deep-muscle relaxation
(iii) Actual process of desensitization, the progressive
imagining of stimuli, from weakest to strongest
c) Implosion therapy: the opposite of desensitization. Client is
exposed immediately to the most frightening stimuli at the
top of his or her anxiety hierarchy, but in a safe setting d) Flooding: similar to implosion, but involves clients being
placed in the phobic situation 3. Aversion therapy uses counterconditioning to pair stimuli with strong
noxious stimuli
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE C. Contingency Management
1. Relies on operant conditioning principles pioneered by B. F. Skinner
2. Refers to the general treatment strategy of changing behavior by
modifying its consequences. Major techniques are:
a) Positive reinforcement strategies (i) Token economies
(ii) Shaping
(iii) Behavioral contracts
b) Extinction strategies are useful when dysfunctional
behaviors have been maintained by unrecognized
reinforcing circumstances D. Social-Learning Therapy
1. Social-learning therapy is designed to modify problematic behavior
patterns by arranging conditions in which the client will observe
models being reinforced for a desirable form of responding.
2. Two aspects of this approach include imitation of models and social
skills training
a) Imitation of models: Individuals acquire responses through
observation of others (models) b) Social-skills training: Training individuals with inadequate
social skills to be more effective using behavioral rehearsal E. Generalization Techniques
1. Do clients use new behavior patterns generated in the therapeutic
setting in everyday situations?
2. Generalization techniques attempt to increase similarity of target
behaviors, reinforcers, models, and stimulus demands between
therapy and real-life settings
IV. Cognitive Therapies
A. Cognitive Therapies attempt to change problem feelings and behaviors by changing the
way the client thinks about significant life experiences
B. Cognitive Behavior Modification
1. Approach combines cognitive emphasis on the role of thoughts and
attitudes influencing motivations and response with behaviorist
focus on changing performance through reinforcement contingencies
2. Unacceptable behavior patterns are modified by cognitive
3. Critical aspect is discovery by therapist and client of how the client
thinks about and expresses the problem for which therapy is sought
1. Some cognitive therapists argue that many psychological problems
arise as a function of how people think about themselves relative to
other people and the events they face. Faulty thinking can be based
a) Unreasonable attitudes b) False premises c) Rigid rules that put behavior on “autopilot” 2. Cognitive Therapy for Depression
a) The therapist helps the client to identify his or her irrational
ways of thinking and to learn more realistic ways to
formulate personal experiences b) Four tactics used to change the cognitive foundation that
supports the depression: (i) Challenging basic assumptions about his or her
(ii) Evaluating evidence the client has for and against
accuracy of automatic thoughts
(iii) Reattributing blame to situational factors rather than
client’s incompetence
(iv) Discussing alternative solutions to complex tasks
that could otherwise lead to experiences of failure
3. Rational-Emotive Therapy (RET): A comprehensive system of
personality change based on transformation of irrational beliefs that
cause undesirable emotional reactions
a) RET teaches clients to recognize “shoulds,” “oughts,” and
“musts” that are controlling their actions and preventing
them from choosing the lives they want b) RET’s goal is to increase sense of self-worth and potential for
self-actualization V.Existential-Humanistic Therapies
A. Background
1. Existential crises include problems in everyday living, lack of
meaningful human relationships, and absence of goals or purpose
2. Existential-humanistic philosophy gave rise to the human-potential
movement, which encompassed practices and methods enhancing the
potential of the average human being toward greater levels of
performance and greater richness of experience
B. Client-Centered Therapy
1. Primary goal is to promote healthy psychological growth of the
2. Assumption: All people share the tendency to self-actualize, to reach
their potential
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 3. Incongruence: a conflict between naturally positive self-image and
negative external criticism. Creates anxiety, unhappiness, and low
4. Therapeutic strategy: To recognize, accept, and clarify client’s feelings
in an atmosphere of unconditional positive regard, nonjudgmental
acceptance and respect for the client.
C. Gestalt Therapy
1. Focus on uniting of mind and body to make the person whole
2. Goal of self-awareness by helping clients express pent-up feelings
and unfinished business from past conflicts
VI. Group Therapies:
A. Marital and Family Therapy
1. Couples counseling seeks clarity in communication between partners,
and works to improve the quality of interaction. It is more effective
in resolution of marital problems than individual therapy for only
one partner
2. Family therapy client is the entire nuclear family, with each member
treated as a member of a system of relationships
a) Focus is on altering psychological space between people b) The interpersonal dynamics of people acting as a unit c) Most family therapists assume problems brought to therapy
to represent situational difficulties, rather than dispositional
aspects of individuals d) Job of family therapist is understanding the structure of the
family and the forces acting on it B. Community Support Groups
1. Self-help groups help many people obtain psychological support in
the community setting
2. Address four basic problem areas:
a) Addictive behavior
b) Physical and mental disorders
c) Life transition or other crises
d) Trauma of family and friends of those with specific
problems VII. Biomedical Therapies
A. Psychosurgery and Electroconvulsive Therapy
1. Psychosurgery is the general term for surgical procedures performed
on brain tissue to alleviate psychological disorders, with the
prefrontal lobotomy being best known
CHAPTER 16: THERAPIES FOR PERSONAL CHANGE 2. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is the use of electroconvulsive shock
to treat psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, mania, and,
most often, severe depression
a) ECT is successful in treatment of severe depression. It works
quickly. b) Potentially negative effects of ECT include temporary
disorientation and memory deficits B. Drug Therapy
1. Psychopharmacology: the branch of psychology investigating the
effects of drugs on behavior
2. The three major categories of drugs used today are:
a) Antipsychotics alter symptoms of schizophrenia. Examples
include Thorazine, Haldol, and Clozaril. b) Antidepressants increase the activity of the neurotransmitters
norepinephrine and serotonin. Examples include Tofranil,
Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft c) Antianxiety agents (anxiolytics) adjust levels of
neurotransmitter activity in the brain. Examples include
Valium and Xanax. 3. Prescriptions for Psychoactive Drugs
a) The rate at which drugs are prescribed changes over time b) From 1985 to 1994, prescription of antianxiety tranquilizers
decreased from 52 to 33 percent of all mental health doctors
visits, while prescriptions for antidepressants increased from
30 to 45 percent 4. When Is Drug Therapy Necessary?
a) Although drugs can produce tremendous improvements in
psychological functioning, research suggests that some
forms of therapy may have the same effect on the brain as a
course of drug treatment VIII. Does Therapy Work?
A. Evaluating Therapeutic Effectiveness
1. Spontaneous-remission effect is one baseline criterion of naturally
occurring change against which effectiveness of therapies must be
2. Placebo therapy: A neutral therapy that creates expectations of heating
3. Meta-analysis: A statistical technique that evaluates general
conclusions from data across many different experiments or
evaluation studies
B. Treatment Evaluations:
1. A study by the National Institutes of Mental Health compared
treatments for depression
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE a) Therapies evaluated were cognitive behavioral therapy,
interpersonal psychotherapy, and drug therapy b) Evidence suggests that cognitive behavioral and
interpersonal therapies had an intermediate level of
effectiveness, and drug therapy had the greatest effect c) Research indicates that virtually all therapies will bring
some relief C. Prevention Strategies
1. Preventing a problem is the best solution.
2. Goal of prevention can be realized at different levels
a) Primary prevention tries to prevent a condition from ever
beginning b) Secondary prevention attempts to limit duration and severity
of a disorder, once it has begun c) Tertiary prevention limits the long-term impact of a
psychological disorder by seeking to prevent a relapse 3. Implementation of these three types of prevention focuses on
paradigm shifts in mental health care, with most important being:
a) Supplementing treatment with prevention b) Going beyond a medical disease model to a public health
model c) Focusing on situations and ecologies that put people at risk
and away from “at-risk” individuals d) Looking for precipitating factors in life settings, rather than
predisposing factors in people 4. Clinical ecology expands the boundaries of biomedical therapies by
relating disorder to environmental irritants
5. Ultimate goal of prevention programs is to safeguard the mental
health of all members of society
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. Does your university have a psychological counseling center for students? The years one
spends in college are often some of the more trying years of one’s entire life. If your
school is one that does provide counseling services for its students, check it out, in terms
of cost, usual duration of therapeutic intervention, treatment modality, and any
underlying philosophies. You may wish to prepare a summary of this information for the
2. Ask the class what would be most frightening to them if it was learned that tomorrow all
the mental hospitals were to close, and all patients were to be released without
supervision, medications, or treatment. Elaborate on and discuss your class’s concerns.
CHAPTER 16: THERAPIES FOR PERSONAL CHANGE 3. Have the class propose situations of transference and countertransference in the
therapeutic environment and in their own personal relationships outside of the
therapeutic milieu. Help them to understand the dynamics of these manifestations.
4. Phobias are a part of life for many of us, and many of us feel foolish in discussing them.
Ask students if they know someone who is phobic in some area (this lets them off the
hook, relative to self-identification) and ascertain what, if any, coping mechanisms may
be employed. Is the individual in therapy? Are they “toughing it out”? Do they avoid
situations that might trigger the phobia? How do various individuals deal with their
5. Is aversion therapy worth the “price”, in terms of the physical and emotional stress that it
may cause? How effective does the class believe it to be? Ask if any of the class would
engage in aversion therapy for a problem such as smoking or weight loss? Why or why
not? Have them be specific.
6. Discuss with the class situations in which social-skills training might be beneficial. What
about situations in which it may be less than effective? Are social skills really something
that can be “learned” by an adult, or are we hopeless if we fail to learn these skills in
childhood? Outline a treatment program for a shy friend.
7. Ask the class if they think cognitive behavior modification might be more successful with
one segment of the population than with another? Have them discuss the potential for
success with a 38-year-old attorney, as compared to a 75-year-old widower. What might
be the motivations involved in accepting therapy, as displayed by these very different
individuals? Why is this relevant?
8. What is the class’s “take” on electroconvulsive (shock) therapy? Many people have little
if any understanding of what the procedure entails. Help the class develop an
understanding of this treatment modality, and the reasons for its success in certain
disorders, as well as why it is feared by some individuals.
9. People with personality disorders do not respond well to most attempts at psychological
therapy. Success rates in treating males with antisocial personality disorder have been
estimated to be as low as 2 to 5 percent. Success rates with other types of personality
disorders vary, but are often not significantly higher. Additionally, persons with
personality disorders rarely come in for treatment on their own. Often, their only reason
for attempting therapy is external pressure, such as a court order or a demand by a
spouse who threatens to leave them. Is it ethically justifiable to subject someone to an
intensive, expensive effort to alter his or her style of life, especially when that person
doesn't want to be there and the chances of success are often minimal? One might argue
that if the person is not harming anyone else, such efforts are not ethically justifiable. On
the other hand, people with certain types of personality disorders, such as antisocial,
narcissistic, and paranoid personality disorder, can represent a real danger to others in
some cases. The duty to protect others might then justify “forced” therapy in these cases.
One might also argue, however, that since success rates in treatment are often so low, the
best way to protect others is to imprison people with these disorders when their behavior
harms others in an illegal manner. What do students think about these issues?
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL The Role of Critical Thinking in Emotional Problems Cognitive therapists feel that certain emotional disorders, like anxiety and depression, can be
traced to irrational and illogical ways of thinking. Let us look at some of the fallacies that
cognitive psychologists have noted in the thought processes of some people with emotional
disorders. Faulty generalization. This is the tendency to use a particular event or item of information as
the basis for a general conclusion. The man whose wife leaves him concludes that no one
could ever love him. The student who fails a test concludes that she is a failure. The woman
who gets an occasional headache concludes that she is an unhealthy person. Polarized thinking. This is the tendency to classify people, events, behavior, and thoughts
rigidly as polar opposites: right or wrong, good or bad. This is also called dualistic thinking,
black-and-white thinking, and bifurcation. This tendency is often described as an effort to
oversimplify reality. A woman feels that if a person does not give clear evidence of liking her,
then the person must dislike her. An adolescent feels that thinking about anything related to
sex is bad and tries unsuccessfully to have only pure thoughts. Incorrect assumptions about what is safe and what is threatening. The maladjusted person may feel
that it is threatening to express his views or to show her anger. Taking the initiative to talk
with a person of the opposite sex may be perceived as threatening. The person could just
walk away, or could say something hurtful. Maladaptive attitudes toward pleasure and pain. These are the attitudes that say if an activity is
pleasant, it must be sinful, and if it is unpleasant, it means you have done the right thing.
This is analogous to thinking that a medicine is no good unless it is painful to apply or tastes
bad. This type of thinking may result from selectively remembering pleasurable behaviors
that were punished and unpleasant activities that were rewarded. Erikson, who was a
psychodynamic psychologist, suggested that while the superego, or conscience, can be very
powerful, it also has a tendency to be juvenile, simply because it was established in
childhood. He thought that some people could suffer terrible guilt because of this juvenile
superego’s conviction that pleasurable things are “bad.” Tyranny of “shoulds.” This is the tendency to dedicate one’s life to self-imposed obligations
and responsibilities, and to feel anxious, depressed, or guilty if a “should” is left undone. “I
should go to that meeting,” “I should write to Aunt Hattie,” “I should change the sheets on
my bed.” It is conceivable that a person could have more “shoulds” than there are hours in
the day to execute them. Psychodynamic psychologists would attribute this situation to a
domineering superego. Biased attributions. Attributions are an attempt to understand events by proposing a cause for
them. In the case of the maladjusted person, the primary problem is the causes proposed to
explain personal behavior or events that involve the self. The bias may be in the direction of
protecting the self, in which case the maladjusted person attributes successes and positive
events to other people or environmental circumstances, and failures and negative events to
his or her own efforts or abilities. A psychodynamic psychologist might describe this as
overuse of defense mechanisms, like rationalization and projection. What does a well-
adjusted individual do? He or she internalizes, or takes credit for success, and externalizes
experiences of failure. Maladjusted individuals must do the opposite; he or she may go to the
opposite extreme, attributing successes and positive events to others or environmental factors 326
CHAPTER 16: THERAPIES FOR PERSONAL CHANGE and failure and negative events to his or her own lack of initiative or ability. In one case, the maladjusted person is protecting a fragile self-esteem, and in the other, the person is confirming low self-esteem. Personalization of events. This is a mild form of delusions of reference, a condition in which there is a tendency to see personal significance in the behavior of others. A person goes to a party at which the host serves Mexican food. The person does not like Mexican food and thinks that the host served it to spite him or her. The professor scolds the class for poor performance on a test. A student feels that the message is intended for him or her personally. You may have noticed that the types of faulty thinking described by cognitive psychologists as
roots of emotional disorders are similar to uncritical, rigid thinking in general. Faulty thinking
can distort our interpretation of events, and it can cause us to make unfortunate decisions. Why Does Therapy Sometimes Fail? Putting the blame on science. We do not know the causal agent for most mental disorders because mental disorders, unlike
most physical illnesses, have no easily identifiable germ, bacteria, virus, organic damage, or
psychosocial factor that has been associated with the majority of cases. The medical model
contends that we will eventually identify biological causes for mental disorders. The psychosocial
model points to life experiences, stress, and sociocultural forces as causes. Currently, a synthesis
of these two theories prevails; biological and psychosocial forces interact as causal agents. Mental
disorders seem to be like headaches in that they may result from any of many causes. Therapists
of different theoretical orientations have their own explanations for mental disorders. Diagnosis of most mental disorders must be made based on signs and symptoms, what the
mental health professional observes in the patient’s behavior, and the patient’s description of his
complaint. Symptom patterns are usually not clear-cut or easily associated with a particular
diagnostic category, and mental health professionals do not get diagnostic help from analysis of
blood or urine or X-rays. Putting the blame on the therapists. Research suggests that the personality, experience, and talent of the therapist are more important
in determining the success of therapy than the type of therapy utilized. In other words, the
person-therapist is more important than whether the therapy is psychoanalytic, humanistic,
behavioral, or eclectic. It is more difficult for therapists to be objective than it is for medical practitioners to be so,
because the therapist cannot entirely avoid intrusions of his or her own values and preferences
into the perception and interpretation of the patient’s behavior and disclosures. This problem is
accentuated when the therapist and the patient have divergent socioeconomic, cultural, or ethnic
backgrounds, or perhaps are of different genders. Carl Rogers said that to be effective a therapist must be empathic, able to feel with the client;
warm and accepting; and genuine. Empathy and warmth cannot be merely a professional facade.
Yet, the important criteria for admission to most graduate and professional schools are
intellectual ability and academic achievement, rather than warmth and genuineness. There may
well be a gift or a talent that is an important ingredient in therapy that many therapists do not
possess—or that was selected out of postgraduate admissions. 327
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Putting the blame on the patients. For convenience, we can put people who undergo psychotherapy into one of two categories.
First, there are those who are in therapy because they were coerced or forced by family, authority
figures, or the courts. Second, there are those who voluntarily seek therapy because their
abnormal behavior is causing them pain or problems. It is not difficult to understand why
therapy often fails when patients are coerced or forced, but why does it fail to help those who
actively seek help with the intention of cooperating and doing their share in the therapeutic
process? Freud thought that neuroses served a purpose for the patient. The ego uses abnormal thinking
and behavior as a means of protecting itself from impulses of the id and unconscious conflicts.
Behaviorists admit that mental disorders can have advantages. They can make it possible for
people to avoid unwanted responsibilities, to excuse failure, and to manipulate others. Therefore,
the willing patient may have a conflict. In order to be relieved of the pain and misery associated
with the disorder, the advantages gained from it must be sacrificed. Take the addict as an
example. The addiction causes problems, and even physical pain, yet the person may feel that life
would be unbearable without the addictive substance. In the case of anxiety disorders, the
conflict is not so clearly perceived by the patient, who would generally deny getting any rewards
(secondary gains) from holding on to the disorder. Many disorders develop over a period of years, sometimes beginning in childhood. Patterns of
abnormal or maladaptive thoughts and behaviors become an integral part of the personality,
affecting the person’s view of reality and all his or her patterns of thought and behavior. Freud
believed that restructuring of the personality was a necessity in successful therapy. This idea was
that once the offending conflict or problem was identified, the person would need to rethink and
reconstruct other aspects of the self that developed, in order to accommodate the abnormal
patterns of thought and behavior. Most current therapies do not aim at reconstruction of the
personality, but perhaps they should be more mindful of the possibility that you cannot excise an
abnormality without affecting the personality structure from which it is removed. Consider the example of a hypochondriac who has spent a good part of his life monitoring his
body and looking for pathology to explain every irregularity of function or unfamiliar twitch. His
illnesses have brought him sympathy and attention, and he has used his poor health to explain to
himself and others why he has not “climbed the ladder of success.” After his life is endangered
by an unnecessary surgery, he goes to a psychotherapist for help. The issue is, will he be able to
give up his hypochondria and its benefits? Can he change his perception to see himself as a
normal, healthy person living in a world in which illnesses and the danger of infection can play a
relatively minor role? It is not easy for people to give up their maladaptive behavior, just as it is not easy for any of us
to break bad habits or improve aspects of our personalities. The therapist is in the position of
trying to teach old dogs new-or better-tricks. Prefrontal Lobotomies The doctor who developed the prefrontal lobotomy was given the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Ask
students if they have seen movies such as “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and what their
perception is of the procedure. Do they consider it barbaric, without any possible redeeming
value? If the answer to that question is “yes,” then you can play devil’s advocate by presenting
the following scenario. Imagine that you are a doctor on staff in a mental hospital in the late 1940s. Your mental hospital,
constructed to hold 700 patients, now has over 1,300. Many of these are violent and need to be
tied to their beds or kept in locked cells. Antipsychotic drugs will not be invented for another five 328
CHAPTER 16: THERAPIES FOR PERSONAL CHANGE to ten years. Patients regularly attack one another, as well as the attendants. Other patients run
through the hallways, screaming and yelling. You have one patient who has been in the hospital
for 25 years and has essentially been kept in confinement. You hold no hope of recovery.
However, you know that there is a therapeutic technique that will take only a half-hour, and if
successful, will result in a significant decrease in episodes of violent behavior in this patient.
Again, if the procedure is successful, the patient will appear to be much happier and more
content with life. You also know that for most patients receiving this procedure there will be little
difference in measurable IQ. You know of no behavioral test that routinely shows any mental
deficit from the procedure. Would you, as this patient’s doctor, use this procedure? When put into this context, most students begin to understand why prefrontal lobotomies were
used as frequently as they were in the 1940s and 1950s. Most college students find it difficult to
imagine a world in which there were no drugs that could be effectively used in place of
procedures such as prefrontal lobotomy. Visiting a mental hospital today, it is difficult for most
of us to imagine the general level of uproar and violence in the hospitals as recently as the 1940s.
The 1948 movie “Snake Pit,” starring Olivia DeHavilland, portrayed the horrors of life as a
patient (and staff member) in state mental hospitals during that “pre-chemotherapy” era. Identifying Therapists Ask students to compile a list of therapists in your area. They should gather information about
the therapists’ professional degrees, fees, areas of specialization, forms of treatment, and other
factors. You might divide them into groups and have each group attempt to locate therapists
from a particular theoretical orientation (i.e., psychodynamic, etc.). They might call some
therapists for such information, consult a local mental health association, check the web pages of
professional organizations such as the APA, and consult phone book listings as ways of gathering
this information. Should Psychologists Prescribe Medication? Since your text contains an excellent review of psychopharmacology, you might want to discuss
the issue of whether counseling or clinical psychologists should be able to prescribe medication.
Some have argued that it is ludicrous to have family physicians and surgical specialists, who may
have no psychological training at all, able to prescribe the entire range of psychoactive drugs for
treating mental illnesses, while psychologists, who specialize in treating mental illnesses, cannot
prescribe any medications. Although it is true that historically most psychologists did not have
the training in pharmacology that physicians were given, in recent years, many graduate
programs in psychology have added coursework in physiology and pharmacology to narrow this
gap. While most would agree that psychologists probably should not be able to prescribe
nonpsychoactive medications, the wisdom of prohibiting them from prescribing any medications
seems doubtful. Since psychologists are pressing for legislative changes in some states that would
allow psychologists to prescribe some medications in some circumstances, this issue is likely to
become more important in the near future. How do students feel about this issue? Do they see
any potential dangers if psychologists begin prescribing medicine? 329
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES Albert Ellis (b. 1913) Obtaining his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1947, Albert Ellis made early contributions to
psychoanalytic theory, although he has since become one of its major dissenters. Rebelling
against what he perceived to be rigid psychoanalytic dogma, Ellis established Rational Emotive
Therapy or RET in 1955. The development of RET is considered by many to represent the
informal founding of cognitive therapy, popular in many forms today. Ellis has also influenced
the development of sex and marital therapy, and his book Sex Without Guilt is recognized as an
important cultural impetus to the American sexual revolution of the 1960s. Frederick “Fritz” Perls (1893-1970) Fritz Perls was born in Berlin, studied at the University of Freiburg, and obtained his Ph.D. at the
University of Berlin. In 1926, he became Kurt Goldstein’s assistant at the Institute for Brain-
Injured Soldiers, where he developed the notion of “gestalt,” or integrative wholes. He then
studied psychoanalysis, being analyzed by such luminaries as Wilhelm Reich, Karen Horney, and
Otto Fenichel. Perls left Germany in 1933, shortly after Hitler’s rise to power, spent the next
decade in Holland and, in 1946, came to the United States, where he established the New York
Institute for Gestalt Therapy. Although accepting the importance of unconscious conflicts, Perls
believed it was necessary to deal with the present, rather than dwelling exclusively on the past.
The basic philosophy and practice of Gestalt therapy is described in his book Gestalt Therapy
Verbatim (1969). Joseph Wolpe (b. 1915) Joseph Wolpe was born in South Africa. He developed interests in chemistry as a teen, and
would channel this passion into medical school training, earning his M.D. in 1948 at the
University of Witwatersand. He worked as a lecturer in psychiatry for the next ten years. After
becoming increasingly dissatisfied with Freudian psychoanalysis, Wolpe turned to the empirical
works of Ivan Pavlov, with which he had become familiar as a medical student During the late 1940s, influenced by the theories and research of Clark Hull, Wolpe conducted
experiments on “reciprocal inhibition,” in which cats were “cured” of experimentally induced
neuroses. Based on these findings, Wolpe developed a therapeutic practice, resulting in the
publication of the classic book Psychotherapy by Reciprocal Inhibition (1958). In 1960, he came to the
United States, establishing himself as the foremost proponent of behavior therapy. 330
CHAPTER 16: THERAPIES FOR PERSONAL CHANGE SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READINGS Bergin, A., & Garfield, S. (1994). Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change, 4th Ed. New York:
John Wiley & Sons. This handbook is a reference for students, researchers, and practitioners
on a variety of aspects of psychotherapy and behavior change. Crowder, A. (1995). Opening the Door: A Treatment Model for Therapy with Male Survivors of Sexual
Abuse. New York: Brunner/Mazel Publishers. Presents a model for treatment that is tailored
to the male victim—a much-needed addition to a field that has female-as-norm for its model. Garfield, S. L., & Bergin, A. E. (1986). Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change. New York:
Wiley. A standard reference book on psychotherapy. Covers the history and conceptual
foundations as well as current descriptions of various therapies. Henggeler, S. W., & Borduin, C. M. (1990). Family Therapy and Beyond. A Multisystemic Approach to
Treating the Behavior Problem of Children and Adults. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Addresses a variety of significant issues relative to children and adolescents, to include
parent-child difficulties, difficult peer relations, delinquent behavior, and chemical
dependency. Ivey, A. E. (1986). Developmental Therapy: Theory into Practice. The Jossey-Bass Social and
Behavioral Science Series. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Drawing on the works of Piaget and
Erikson, Ivey offers examples of how the cognitive and developmental levels of the child are
taken into account when designing an appropriate treatment model. Maxmen, J. S. & Ward, N. G. (1995). Essential Psychopathology and Its Treatment, 2nd Ed. Revised
for DSM-IV. Not only does this volume orient readers in terms of DSM-IV; it also provides
much needed information on childhood disorders and sleep disorders. Minuchin, S. (1974). Families and Family Therapy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Although an older volume, this book provides an excellent introduction to systems theory, as
applied to the family therapy situation. Provides transcripts of actual family therapy sessions,
with the author’s commentary on the processes. Rogers, C. R. (1961). On Becoming a Person. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Rogers’ perspective on the
potential of the human being for growth and creativity. Shapiro, F., & Forrest, M. (1997). EMDR: The Breakthrough Therapy for Overcoming Anxiety, Stress,
and Trauma. New York: Basic Books. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and
Reprocessing) is the innovative clinical treatment that has helped individuals who have
survived trauma-including sexual abuse, domestic violence, drive-by shooting, combat, and
crime. Smith, M. L., Glass, G. V., & Miller, R. L. (1980). The Benefits of Psychotherapy. Baltimore, MD:
Johns Hopkins University Press. The authors argue that psychotherapy works, as indicated
by a meta-analysis of published studies. Valenstein, E. S. (1986). Great and Desperate Cures: The Rise and Decline of Psychosurgery and Other
Radical Treatments for Mental Illness. New York: Basic Books. An interesting description of
various approaches to treating emotional problems. Walker, L. E. A. (1994). Abused Women and Survivor Therapy. Washington, DC: American
Psychological Association. A blend of theory, research, and practical application for the
therapist and attorney working with the abused woman. Walker has provided an excellent
resource for those working with this segment of the population. 331
CHAPTER 16: THERAPIES FOR PERSONAL CHANGE Wedding, D., & Corsini, R. J. (Eds.). (1979). Great Cases in Psychotherapy. Itasca, IL: Peacock. A
collection of case histories drawn from cases treated by great psychotherapists and theorists.
Contributions are drawn from a variety of contemporary modes of therapy. Whitaker, C. A. (1989). Midnight Musings of a Family Therapist. Edited by M. R. Ryan. New York: W. W. Norton. Family therapist Whitaker addresses the integrity of the family system, the
marital partnership, and dialectics of the “happy” family.
Wolpe, J. (1990). The Practice of Behavior Therapy, 4th Ed. New York: Pergamon. Deals with the
history and research foundations of behavior therapy, as well as the practice of behavior
analysis, specific techniques, case studies, and methods of evaluating the effectiveness of
behavior therapy. DISCOVERING PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM 22: PSYCHOTHERAPY Overview The relationship among theory, research, and practice, and how treatment of psychological disorders has been influenced by historical, cultural, and social forces. Key Issues Psychosurgery, electroconvulsive therapy, drug therapy, genetic counseling, psychodynamic
therapy, rational emotive therapy, behavioral modification therapy, humanistic therapy. Archival Demonstrations A therapist uses fear reduction strategy to help a young boy overcome his fear of dentists. Another therapist trains a young girl to control her epileptic seizures. Actual therapy session with a girl who fears dating. Interviews Hans Strupp explains the kinds of patients most suited for psychodynamic therapy. Enrico Jones explains his problems in selecting the most effective therapy for various people
and their various disorders. Cognitive therapist Albert Ellis explains how to treat patients’ irrational attributes, false beliefs, and expectations of failure through rational emotive therapy. Humanistic therapist Rollo May discusses therapy for “normal” people seeking greater fulfillment. 333
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE FILMS AND VIDEOS Abnormal Psychology: The Psychoses (1980). HARR, 22 minutes This film is a tour of a ward in a mental institution in which the patients are interviewed. It is an
introduction to the etiology of psychosis, treatment, and prognosis. Anyplace But Here, Parts 1 and 2 (1978). IU (CARSL), 50 minutes Examines the problems that result when mental patients are released into communities
unprepared to treat and accept them and lacking facilities to help them return to useful lives. A
look at life inside Creedmore Psychiatric Center in Queens, New York. Reveals the dissatisfaction
of patients, staff, and relatives with myriad problems of budgets, paperwork, and bureaucracy. Biofeedback: Medical Applications of Psycho-Physiologic Self-Regulation (1987). Insight
Media, 54 minutes This program reviews treatment procedures from both the patient’s and the therapist’s
perspectives. It describes the rationale for the self-regulation process, presenting cases involving
self-regulation training for hypertension, migraine, chronic back pain, anxiety, and posttraumatic
rehabilitation. Carl Rogers Conducts an Encounter Group (1975). JEMC UCI, 70 minutes Rogers is shown interacting with a group and its individual members. He also discusses factors
that he considers important in facilitating a group. “Words from the Master.” Childhood Aggression: A Social Learning Approach to Family Therapy (1974). JREPR, 30
minutes Gerald Patterson’s approach to behavioral intervention in family therapy is demonstrated-an
older film, but still worthwhile. The Class That Went to War (1997). CRM, 35 minutes An estimated 40 percent of Vietnam War veterans have had problems adjusting to civilian life.
Close to a quarter million are unemployed and thousands have become the forgotten wounded,
the ones nobody wants to talk about. Through the microcosm of one New Jersey high school
class, this film focuses on the war and its legacy. Useful film to introduce the concept of posttraumatic
stress disorder. Depression: Beating the Blues (1983). NCIU (FML), 28 minutes Examines how clinical depression differs from the normal day-to-day feelings of being blue.
Focuses on old and new techniques for treating clinical depression. Uses interviews with several
depression sufferers to show reactions to different kinds of therapy: drug, electroshock, cognitive,
and psychiatric. Discusses the contribution of modern life to the psychological basis of
depression, and encourages sufferers to seek help. An interesting look at the “pre-Prozac” days. Frontline: Mind of a Murderer (1985). PBS, 120 minutes This show is long, but it also is an Emmy Award Winner for 1985. It describes how Kenneth
Bianchi, the Hillside Strangler who terrorized the Los Angeles area in the late 1970s, almost did
not stand trial due to the fact that he was not mentally competent. The controversy revolved
around his claim to multiple personalities. The videotape includes segments revealing Bianchi’s
interactions with a team of psychologists and psychiatrists. 334
CHAPTER 16: THERAPIES FOR PERSONAL CHANGE Gheel: A Changing Tradition (1973). EMC UC, 41 minutes Gheel, a Flemish town, is the oldest center of home care of the mentally ill. The problems and
advantages of this form of treatment are examined. Harry: Behavioral Treatment of Self-Abuse (1980). REPR, 38 minutes This is an account of the implementation of a behavioral treatment program for a young man
who engaged in chronic self-abuse. Peer-Conducted Behavior Modification (1976). VCIREPR, 24 minutes Paul Clement discusses the role of peers in shaping deviant behavior, as well as the value of
peers as positive modifiers in a therapy program. Portrait of Manic Depression (1988). FANIJI, 60 minutes Profiles four individuals who struggle to control the extreme mood swings caused by bipolar
depression-an illness that affects nearly three million Americans. Current treatments are
reviewed. R. D. Laing: A Dialogue on Mental Illness and Its Treatment (1976). Assoc. Films, 22 minutes
Laing presents his critical views as an “anti-psychiatrist” on what creates abnormal behavior and
how it should be treated. Romance to Recovery (1979). FMS, 36 minutes Dr. Joseph Pursch describes how alcoholism adversely affects the normal relationships of the
family and turns other family members into co-alcoholics who operate to reinforce the alcoholism
of one member Follows an alcoholic/co-alcoholic family through cover-up, manipulation,
medical complications, child abuse, remorse, separation, revenge, and reunion. Emphasizes that
all family members need treatment and that solutions are available, and talks about how to find
them. This is a good depiction of family therapy, and it focuses on a problem that personally
affects 10% of the American population. 335
Social Processes and Relationships LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Explain how the environment or social factors help determine how individuals think,
feel, and behave
2. Discuss the important lessons learned from the Stanford Prison Experiment
3. Describe and discuss the processes of conformity
4. Describe the concepts and processes involved with persuasion and attitude change
5. Explain the concept of the social construction of reality
6. Discuss the importance of attributions and the significance of the fundamental
attributional error
7. Describe theories of social expectancy and self-fulfilling prophecy
8. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of cognitive dissonance
9. Explain how interpersonal attraction relates to prejudice
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. The Power of the Situation
A. Definitions
1. Social psychology is the study of the ways in which thoughts, feelings,
perceptions, motives, and behavior are influenced by interactions
and transactions between people
2. Social context includes the real, imagined, or symbolic presence of
other people; the activities and interactions that take place between
people; the features of the settings in which behavior occurs; and the
expectations and norms that govern behavior in a given setting
B. Roles and Rules
1. A social role is a socially defined pattern of behavior that is expected
of a person when functioning in a given setting or group
2. Rules are behavioral guidelines for specific settings
a) Explicit rules are specifically stated or taught to children
b) Implicit rules are learned through transactions with others in
particular settings 3. The Stanford Prison Experiment demonstrated the effects of roles and
a) Roles were designated randomly 336
CHAPTER 17: SOCIAL PROCESSES AND RELATIONSHIPS (i) “Guards” were put in charge of “prisoners” and
behaved aggressively, sometimes even sadistically
(ii) Prisoners behaved passively, resigned to an
unexpected fate.
b) The simulated prison environment created a new social
reality c) Coercive rules included explicit punishments for violations d) Prisoners could only react to the social structure of the
prison like setting created by those in power C. Social Norms are specific expectations for socially appropriate attitudes and behaviors
that are embodied in the stated or implicit rule of a group
1. Adjustment to group norms occurs in two ways:
a) Observation of uniformities in certain behaviors of all or most
members are noted
b) Observation of negative consequences for norm violation 2. Coercive power of the group can be experienced by implementation
of three painful R’s:
a) Ridicule
b) Reeducation
c) Rejection
D. Conformity
1. Conformity is the tendency for people to adopt the behavior and
opinions presented by other group members. Two types of forces
may lead to conformity:
a) Informational influence where individuals conform in an
effort to be correct and to understand how best to act in a
given situation b) Normative influence where individuals conform in an effort
to be liked, accepted, and approved of by others 2. Informational Influence: Sherif’s autokinetic effect
a) Norm crystallization is the formation and solidification of
norms b) Autokinetic effect refers to “a type of apparent motion in
which a small, objectively stationary spot of light in an
otherwise dark room appears to move about” c) Although individual judgments vary widely, stating
judgments aloud brought about convergence of opinion 3. Normative Influence: The Asch Effect
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE a) Asch created circumstances in which participants made
judgments under conditions in which physical reality was
absolutely clear, but the rest of the group reported that they
saw the world differently b) Procedure (i) Both participants and confederates agreed on first
three trials
(ii) On fourth trial, first confederate “matched” two
stimuli that were not a true match; all confederates
did the same
(iii) Participants had to determine whether to confirm to
the group view or remain independent
c) Results (i) Roughly one-fourth of participants remained
(ii) Between 50% and 80% of participants conformed to
the false majority estimate at least once
(iii) Participants yielding to majority were “disoriented”
and “doubt ridden,” experiencing “a powerful
impulse not to appear different from the majority”
(iv) Two complementary lessons learned:
(a) People are not entirely swayed by normative
influence. They assert their independence on a
majority of occasions
(b) People will sometimes conform, even in the most
unambiguous situations. That potential to
conform is an important element of human
4. Conformity in Everyday Life: Minority influence and nonconformity
a) Majority decisions tend to be made without engaging the
systematic thought and critical thinking skills of the
individuals in the group b) Minority groups have little normative influence, but they do
have informational influence c) The majority tends to be the defender of the status quo 5. Groupthink is the tendency of a decision-making group to filter out
undesirable input so that a consensus may be reached, especially if
the consensus is in line with the leader’s viewpoint.
E. Situational Power: Candid Camera Revelations
1. Smart, independent, rational, good people can be led to behave in
ways that are foolish, compliant, irrational, and evil
2. Human nature follows a situational script to the letter
A. Social Reality
1. Two individuals, observing the same event, may interpret it in very
different ways. Each constructs social reality in a unique way, bringing
his or her personal knowledge and experience to bear in interpreting
the situation
2. There is no objective social reality; there are only the individual’s
construction and interpretation of it
3. Social Perception is the process by which people come to understand
and categorize the behaviors of others
B. The Origins of Attribution Theory
1. Attribution theory is a general approach to describe the ways the
social perceiver uses information to generate causal explanations
a) Heider suggested people are all intuitive psychologists,
attempting to discern what people are like and what causes
their behavior b) Heider suggested that questions dominating most
attributional analyses are whether the cause of the behavior
is dispositional (internal) or situational (external) 2. Kelley observed that people most often make causal attributions for
events under conditions of uncertainty using the covariation principle
a) Covariation principle: People attribute behavior to a causal
factor if that factor was present when the behavior occurred,
but was absent whenever the behavior didn’t occur b) Covariation is assessed using three dimensions of
information (i) Distinctiveness refers to whether the behavior is
specific to a particular situation
(ii) Consistency refers to whether the behavior occurs
repeatedly in response to this situation
(iii) Consensus refers to whether other people also
produce the same behavior in the same situation
C. The Fundamental Attribution Error
1. The Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE) represents the dual
tendency for people to overestimate dispositional factors and to
underestimate situational ones when searching for the cause of some
behavior of outcome
a) The FAE may be due in part to cultural sources D. Self-serving bias leads people to take credit for their successes while denying
responsibility for their failures
E. Expectations and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE 1. Self-fulfilling prophecies are predictions made about some future
behavior or event that modifies interactions to produce what is
2. Expectations are powerful and self-fulfilling prophecies are most
likely to occur when the individual has not had an opportunity to
develop accurate expectations before judgments must be made
F. Behaviors that Confirm Expectations
1. Behavioral confirmation is the process by which someone’s
expectations about another person actually influence the second
person to behave in ways that confirm the original hypothesis
a) Behavior confirmation depends on the availability of
accurate information from the environment b) Expectations have their greatest effect when the actual state
of the world is uncertain III. Attitudes, Attitude Change, and Action
A. Attitudes and Behaviors
1. An attitude is a positive or negative evaluation of people, objects, or
2. Three types of experiences give rise to attitudes:
a) Cognitive b) Affective c) Behavioral 3. One property of attitudes that predicts behavior is accessibility, the
strength of the association between an attitude object and a person’s
evaluation of that object
a) Attitudes are more accessible when they are based on direct
experience 4. Attitudes are more predictive of behavior when the attitudes and
behaviors are measured at the same level of specificity
B. Processes of Persuasion
1. Persuasion refers to deliberate efforts to change attitude
2. The Elaboration Likelihood Model suggests that there are two routes to
a) The Central Route represents circumstances in which people
think carefully about a persuasive communication so that
attitude change depends on the logical strength of the
arguments. Central route arguments depend on facts,
features, and objective qualities. 340
CHAPTER 17: SOCIAL PROCESSES AND RELATIONSHIPS b) The Peripheral Route represents circumstances in which
people do not focus critically on the message, but respond to
superficial cues in the situation. Peripheral route messages
depend on sex appeal, image, prestige, and subjective
qualities. 3. The route that people take depends on their motivation to process
and critically analyze the message
C. Persuasion by Your Own Actions
1. Dissonance Theory
a) Cognitive dissonance is the state of conflict someone
experiences after making a decision, taking an action, or
being exposed to information that is contrary to prior beliefs,
feelings, or values (i) Dissonance-reducing activities modify the
unpleasant state and achieve consonance among
(ii) Dissonance has motivational force and impels the
individual to act to reduce the unpleasant feeling
(iii) The greater the dissonance, the greater the
motivation to reduce it
b) Under conditions of high dissonance, the individual acts to
justify his or her behavior after the fact, engages in self-
persuasion, and often becomes a convincing communicator c) Recently researchers have begun to question whether
dissonance effects generalize to cultures in which
individuals have an interdependent conception of self, such
as in Japan 2. Self-Perception theory
a) Given that in Western culture, people are quick to make
dispositional attributions about the behavior of others, it
should not be surprising that they have the same bias
toward themselves (i) Internal states are inferred by perceiving how one is
acting now and recalling how one was active in a
given situation in the past
(ii) Self-knowledge allows the individual to reason
backward to the most likely causes or determinants
of behavior
b) Self-perception theory lacks the motivational components of
dissonance theory D. Compliance
1. Often people want to change not only your attitudes, but your
behavior so that you comply with their requests. Compliance
techniques include the following:
2. Reciprocity
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE a) The Reciprocity Norm states that when someone else does
something for you, you should do something for them b) The Door-in-the-Face Technique works because when people
say “no” to a large request, they will often say “yes” to a
more moderate request; it arises from the reciprocity norm 3. Commitment
a) The commitment principle states that if you make a small
commitment, you will be more likely to commit to
something larger in the future b) Use of the commitment strategy in compliance attempts is
often called the Foot-in-the-Door Technique 4. Scarcity
a) The scarcity principle states that people dislike feeling that
they can’t have something; thus, people desire the scare
object more b) The countdown timer on home shopping networks is a good
example of the scarcity principle in action 5. Modeling
a) People can bring about compliance and behavior change by
modeling the desired behavior b) This technique draws on the principle of conformity IV. Social Relationships
A. Liking
1. People tend to become attracted to people with whom they are in
close proximity, by virtue of mere exposure
2. Physical attractiveness often plays a role in development of
3. Similarity: Individuals similar to oneself provide a sense of personal
validation, because a similar individual makes one feel that the
attitudes one holds dear are the right ones. Conversely, dissimilarity
often leads to strong repulsion
4. Reciprocity: As individuals, we tend to like other individuals who
like us.
B. Loving
1. In most cases, we first liked the person we come to love
2. The Experience of Love
a) Conceptualizations of love cluster into three dimensions: (i) Passion: sexual passion and desire
(ii) Intimacy: honesty and understanding
(iii) Commitment: devotion and sacrifice
CHAPTER 17: SOCIAL PROCESSES AND RELATIONSHIPS b) People’s ability to sustain loving relationships also depends
on adult attachment style (iii) Secure attachment (55 %)
(iv) Avoidant attachment (25 %)
(v) Anxious-ambivalent attachment (20 %)
c) Distinctions between types of love in relationships as they
evolve over time: (i) Passionate love: a period of great intensity and
(ii) Compassionate love: a migration toward a state of
lesser intensity, but greater intimacy
3. Factors that Allow a Relationship to Last
a) One theory suggests that having a feeling that the “other” is
included in one’s “self’ helps relationships last b) The Dependence Model suggests that likelihood to remain
together is based on a series of judgments: (i) The degree to which intimacy, sex, emotional
involvement, companionship, and intellectual
involvement are important in the individual’s
(ii) The degree to which each of those needs is satisfied
in the relationship
(iii) For each need, whether there is anyone other than
the current partner with whom the individual has an
important relationship
(iv) The degree to which each need is satisfied by the
alternative relationship
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. While colleges have historically been thought of as centers of divergent thought and
intellectual freedom, many political conservatives feel that in recent years many colleges and
universities have become centers of “political correctness” and liberal intellectual rigidity.
While these people may be overstating the case somewhat, certainly there are many
pressures on college students to conform to certain “norms” that exist on every college
campus. These norms may be more social than political, but they still exist. You might
explore with your students what pressures they have felt to conform while in college, in
terms of political thought, dress norms, social mores, and social attitudes. Depending on
where your class is taught, this could turn into a very interesting discussion. (From Koss)
2. In discussing Milgram’s studies with your class, you might want to discuss the sociological
implications. Do students believe that people’s willingness to obey an authority figure in
Milgram’s studies is linked to why national populations will sometimes willingly follow
tyrants like Adolf Hitler? Are the factors that led to Milgram’s results the same ones that lead
to phenomena such as groupthink and risky shift? Does the fact that most Americans believe
an Adolf Hitler could never do here what he did in Germany actually make us more
vulnerable to a Hitler-type if he should ever come along? What are some ways that people
might inoculate themselves from these effects?
An elderly man suffered a severe viral infection. Manifestations of the infection included
large blisters on his back, severe muscle and joint pain, and a concomitant depressive
episode. After three months, the man recovered completely. During his final visit to his
physician, as he was being given a clean bill of health, the physician remarked that his
recovery was “remarkable for a man your age.” The physician went on to say that because of
the severity of the virus, “some people just never get over the symptoms.” Before this visit,
the man had been free of pain, his depression was lifting, and he was gradually resuming his
usual level of activity. Within two weeks, the man slipped back into his sick-role behavior of
sitting in his chair all day in front of the television. He began telling everyone he met how ill
he was, and became convinced that he would “never get any better.” Discuss with the class
the psychological mechanisms at work with this man’s “illness” and the comments made by
his physician on that last visit. 4. What would be the consequences of a race of people who were not “social animals,” who
were shy and fearful of all people and preferred to be in isolation?
5. Should parents of seventh and eighth graders try to help their children resist the norms of a
peer-group drug culture? If so, how? What other adolescent, and adult, behaviors are
subject to peer influence? Is this influence harmful or not? 6. What activities would
you arrange for your children if you wanted them to be very social, outgoing extroverts, or
the opposite, social introverts?
6. Ask the class how they might use the cognitive dissonance principle that “changing behavior
changes attitudes” to design programs for:
. Increasing a person’s low self-esteem
. Modifying a deprecatory attitude toward student protesters
. Decreasing a racial prejudice in schoolchildren
Now reverse the process and design new programs using the principle that “changing
attitudes changes behaviors” for the same problems. Which principle do you think the class
will be more successful using? Why? 344
CHAPTER 17: SOCIAL PROCESSES AND RELATIONSHIPS SUPPLEMENTAL LECTURE MATERIAL Cognitive Dissonance A high school girl believed the use of drugs to be physically harmful and morally wrong. She
was invited to a party given by a group from her class that she admired. Other people at the
party were using cocaine and drinking wine and, because she wanted to be accepted by the
group, she decided she should do what the others were doing. The next day she was tense and
uncomfortable because she had done something that she believed to be wrong. She was suffering
from cognitive dissonance. The theory of cognitive dissonance was proposed in the 1950s by psychologist Leon Festinger. It
is a very simple theory, but one applicable to an enormous range of situations. Cognitive
dissonance is defined as a state of tension that exists when two (or more) cognitions are
psychologically inconsistent, with that inconsistency creating tension. Festinger considered
tension motivating because when tension occurs, there is a motive to reduce or eliminate it.
“Cognition” is a broad term that includes perception, reasoning, beliefs, values, and attitudes-any
form of knowledge or knowing. “Psychologically inconsistent” means that the individual
possessing the cognitions perceives them to be incompatible or in conflict. This is the Achilles
heel of the theory, because psychological inconsistency is subjective; it cannot be directly
observed and measured. Dissonance sometimes occurs after making a decision that is irrevocable, or that would be very
difficult to reverse. Suppose a high school senior has narrowed his choice of colleges to two, both
equally attractive. He has to make a decision and choose one of the schools. When he chooses
one, he has to give up the things he likes about the other. What are the dissonant cognitions? I
chose school A, therefore I have to give up all things I liked about school B. What does he do to
reduce the dissonance? He accentuates the positive aspects of school A and the negative aspects
of school B. He may decide that the things he liked about school B are not really important. Two students have identical new cars. One student’s car was a gift from her parents while the
other student had saved for several years to buy her car, doing without things she would like to
have in order to accumulate the money for the car. A well-known automotive magazine assigns
the car its “lemon of the year award,” claiming that the car is unsafe and undependable, and that
it is poorly engineered and designed. Which student is likely to feel more uncomfortable about
the magazine’s negative evaluation of the car? Obviously, the student who had to save money to
buy it. What are her dissonant cognitions? “I spent my savings for this car. The car is a lemon.”
What can she do to reduce the dissonance? She can discredit the magazine and the database that
was used for the evaluation. She can also remind herself of the things she likes about the car. For most of us, there are things we would like to have that we cannot. When the desire for
something” is very important to us, we may have dissonant cognitions that make us tense and
unhappy. For example, suppose you are in love with a person who does not love you. What are
the dissonant cognitions? I would like to have a serious relationship with Lucy. Lucy doesn’t
love me.” What do people do to reduce the dissonance in this type of situation? One method is
the “sour grapes” approach. “Lucy isn’t so great after all. She is bowlegged and chews with her
mouth open.” The expensive sweater is not practical and the sports car that is so appealing is the
type of car driven by people who are too status-conscious. The group that did not ask you to join
is composed of snobs that you would not want to associate with anyway. Jenny and Jack are both in danger of failing a course. The instructor gives a take-home exam that
students must sign, declaring that they did not receive help from another person. Both Jenny and
Jack have friends who took the course and made good grades, and who could help them, and 345
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE both feel that cheating is wrong. Jenny gives in to temptation and gets help from her friend, gets a
good grade on the final, passes the course, but now she suffers from cognitive dissonance. What
are Jenny’s dissonant cognitions? “I think it is wrong to cheat. I cheated.” How will she reduce
the dissonance? She will probably not feel as strongly about cheating. She may also belittle the
amount of help she got from the friend, telling herself that she did most of the work, and that she
would have passed the course without the help of the friend. Jack did not succumb to the temptation of getting his friend to help him. He made a poor grade
on the final and failed the course. He may have some dissonance, too. What are Jack’s dissonant
cognitions? “If I had cheated I would have passed the course. I didn’t cheat.” What will he do to
reduce his dissonance? Jack is likely to become more strongly opposed to cheating than before.
He may feel badly about failing, but will feel good about his integrity and strength of his
convictions. These next applications are similar to dissonance due to the investment of time, money, or effort,
but in these cases, the person gets little or nothing in exchange for the investment. If we give
money to a charity, we convince ourselves that it is a worthy cause. If we work for a political
candidate, we convince ourselves that the candidate is a good and competent person. If we paint
our room, we convince ourselves that we have made a big improvement. If we gave money to a
charity we didn’t trust, worked for a candidate who is a scoundrel, or made the room dingy by
painting it, our time, money, or effort would have been wasted, and our self-esteem would suffer
because we did something stupid, so we seek to justify our behavior by convincing ourselves that
our time, money, or effort served a good cause. In 1978, nine hundred members of the People’s Temple in Guyana fed a poisonous drink to their
children, drank it themselves, and lay down on the ground to die. People were attracted to the
Temple’s charismatic leader, Jun Jones, and were initially drawn to his meetings in San Francisco
by Jones’ emotional message of love and hope. Small demands were made on new members, like
giving one percent of their incomes and giving one night a week to a cause. At this point,
dissonance due to inadequate justification could occur. The dissonant cognitions were, “I’m
giving of my time and money. Why am I doing this?” Was giving time and money justified based
on belief in the cause? As the commitment to the cause increased, Jones began to ask for more
money and more time, until the members had given all they owned to the Temple and were
neglecting family and other responsibilities to serve the Temple. Once individuals were thoroughly committed to Jones and the People’s Temple, another aspect
of cognitive dissonance was likely to become evident, that due to inconsistency between
commitment and information. Before the People’s Temple moved from San Francisco to an
isolated area in Guyana, criticism of Jones and his group began to appear in the media. Suppose
you were a committed member of his group, and you heard criticism of the group or its leader.
You may have had the dissonant cognitions: “I have given all I have to the Temple. The media
claim that our leader is an insincere, evil person.” The first cognition is irrevocable, and leaving
the group would be economically and psychologically difficult. The easiest way to reduce the
dissonance would be to deny the adverse information and to denigrate the source. Little by little
the people of the People’s Temple were firmly entrapped. The account of the recruitment, commitment, and death of the followers of the People’s Temple
provides a powerful example of some of the concepts of social psychology, such as persuasion,
conformity, and obedience, as well as cognitive dissonance. The account could also be analyzed
in terms of the failure in critical thinking made by the people whose faulty reasoning paved the
way for their death in the jungles of Guyana. 346
CHAPTER 17: SOCIAL PROCESSES AND RELATIONSHIPS Establishing Trust One of the essential elements in a long-term relationship is the development of a sense of trust
between partners. This confident belief in the integrity and reliability of the other person is often
achieved through a process of reciprocal self-disclosure of personal information. At the beginning
of any relationship, there is little self-revelation and, thus, no basis for trust. The term social
penetration refers to “overt interpersonal behaviors that occur in social interaction, as well as
internal subjective processes that precede, accompany, and follow overt exchange” (Shaw &
Costanzo, 1982, p. 153). Social penetration theory consists of three basic divisions of analysis. · Altman and Taylor (1973) outlined their assumptions about the structure of
personality, deeming it necessary to describe their assumptions because the process
of social penetration involves an overlap in exploration of the personalities involved
in social relationships. This overlap is the beginning of trust. · The second category of the theory details how costs and rewards influence the
process of social penetration, and specifies the forces that underlie the growth of
interpersonal relationships. . The last category describes the particular aspects of the social penetration process.
This may be the most significant part of the theory, as it deals with such factors as
movement into the intimate regions of a relationship, involving the blending of
interactions in both established and new areas of exploration. The theory of social penetration proposes that trust begins when one person initiates self-
disclosure. If the other person responds in kind, it indicates that trust has been accepted, and the
basis for a closer relationship has been established. The partners continue to trade self-
disclosures, gradually moving through deeper levels of intimacy, so long as each level is
mutually satisfying. The final level of intimacy that is achieved will depend on the needs and
interpersonal skills of the two people involved. In some cases, the relationship will stop at a more
superficial level. In others, it will continue to grow and deepen. According to Jourard (1964), there is an optimal level of self-disclosure for any healthy, well-
adjusted individual. A person who never discloses will not be able to have close, meaningful
relationships with other individuals. Conversely, a person who goes too far by disclosing
everything to anyone who will listen is viewed as maladjusted and excessively self-centered.
Ideally (according to Jourard), one should disclose a moderate amount of personal information to
most acquaintances and reveal a lot about oneself to a very few close friends. Trust, as displayed through disclosure, is a major dimension in human fears of rejection, ridicule,
and betrayal that haunt relationships. Trust washes away the fears of rejection, ridicule, and
betrayal that haunt the existence of many. Trust paves the road to friendship and intimacy; it is at
the core of love for another person and the acceptance of oneself A climate of trust can be established by doing the following: . Make it acceptable for other people to talk openly about themselves.
. Reciprocate with your own openness.
. Express support and unconditional acceptance of your loved ones, although you may
disapprove of some of their specific behaviors (make them aware of this difference).
. Be consistent but not rigid in your standards, values, and behavior.
. Be available to listen, express warmth, and empathize, even when you do not have
an answer or a solution.
. Do not make promises you do not intend to keep or cannot deliver.
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE You Only Get One Chance to Make a First Impression First impressions can have a lasting effect on how we see others and on how they see us. Some
researchers claim that first impressions are typically formed within the first 8 to 10 seconds of
first seeing someone, often before they ever actually speak to us or shake our hand. In those first
few seconds, we appear to “size up” the person according to their physical appearance, their eye
contact, their facial expressions, their manner of dress, their body language, and their overall
demeanor. Then we compare our perceptions of the person to our previous experiences with
others of similar demeanor, etc., and develop a “thumbnail sketch” of what type of person we
believe this person is. Much of this is done unconsciously and automatically. But once formed, it
can be difficult to change. Because of our tendency to selectively perceive only the aspects of the
person’s behavior that fit our first impression, the person will have to behave in a manner that is
pervasively and enduringly inconsistent with our impression before we will change it.
Additionally, since the way we behave toward the person can affect the way he or she behaves
toward us, our first impression may cause us to behave in ways that almost guarantee a response
that fits our first impression. This results in a “self-fulfilling prophecy” which makes it unlikely
that we will ever significantly change our impression of the person. It is for these reasons that making a good first impression, or at least a neutral first impression,
can be so important. In a situation such as a job interview, in which you may have only 20 or 30
minutes to interact with the interviewer, there is usually not enough time to overcome a negative
first impression. Recruiters have told me that something as simple as the way an interviewee
shakes his or her hands can sometimes leave a lasting impression that positively or negatively
affects the remainder of the interview. After reviewing the power of first impressions, you might want to have students generate ways
they can pursue self-enhancement and other-enhancement strategies in order to try and create as
positive a first impression as possible. BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILES Solomon Asch (1907 —1996) Solomon Asch obtained his Ph.D. at Columbia University in 1932. He subsequently taught at the
New School for Social Research in New York City and at Rutgers University. Asch’s research and
conceptual orientation in social psychology were influenced strongly by the Gestalt school,
particularly as represented in the writings of his close friend, Max Wertheimer. Asch is best
known for his pioneering research on conformity and the effects of group pressure on the
behavior of the individual. Among his major works is the classic text Social Psychology, published
in 1952. Leon Festinger (b. 1919) Born in New York City, Festinger obtained both his M.A. and Ph.D. at the State University of
Iowa. He taught at various schools, including Iowa, Rochester, MIT, the University of Minnesota,
and Stanford University. In 1968, he joined the New School for Social Research in New York City. Believing that humans are thinking animals desiring to bring order to life, Festinger argued that
people often make special efforts to reduce cognitive inconsistencies. His theory of cognitive
dissonance, proposed in 1957, was of immense influence in social psychology, inspiring volumes
of research during the 1950s and 1960s. 348
CHAPTER 17: SOCIAL PROCESSES AND RELATIONSHIPS Kurt Lewin (1890—1947) Kurt Lewin grew up in prewar Germany in an era that produced a number of prominent and
revolutionary psychologists. Best known for his field theory of psychology, which attempts to
explain human behavior in terms of the interrelations of environmental and psychological
elements acting on the individual, Lewin has contributed a body of thought that has had a great
impact on such disciplines as social psychology, industrial psychology, and personality theory. Lewin was born in a small village in the Prussian province of Posen in 1890. His father owned a
large general store there and maintained his family in relative comfort. In order to expand his
business, Herr Lewin moved his wife and four children to Berlin in 1905, where Kurt completed
his secondary education. Lewin entered the University of Freiburg, intent on studying medicine,
but, within a short time, he discovered that the field held little interest for him. He underwent a
period of vacillation, during which he struggled to decide the direction in which he should
channel his considerable energies. His search led him first to transfer to the University of Munich
and then back to Berlin, where he eventually took his basic degree in psychology and embarked
on a course of graduate study in that discipline. At this time, Lewin came under the tutelage of
Professor Carl Stumpf, a prominent experimental psychologist, who advised and encouraged
him in his research. Just as he completed his requirements for a Ph.D. in 1914, Lewin was conscripted into the
German army as an infantryman. He served in the military for the next four years, so
distinguishing himself that he rose from private to lieutenant in a short time. At the close of the
war, Lewin returned to the University of Berlin as both instructor and research assistant in the
Psychological Institute. He rapidly gained a reputation as a superb lecturer in the classroom and
an excellent supervisor in the laboratory. Of particular importance to the development of Lewin’s thought at this time was the alliance he
formed with two of his colleagues at the university, Max Wertheimer and Wolfgang Kohler.
These two had participated in the founding of Gestalt psychology and, while Lewin never
became a Gestalt psychologist, the connection between that approach and Lewin’s field theory
approach is immediately apparent. Eventually Lewin was appointed full professor at the
university, where he and his graduate students generated numerous insightful research papers. As Lewin’s prominence in the German academic world continued to grow, so too did the power
of the Nazi Party. Lewin was spending a year as visiting professor at Stanford University when it
became apparent that Hitler’s control of Germany was inevitable. He hurriedly returned to
Germany to settle his affairs and then reentered the United States, where he lived until his death. His career in America was varied and productive. He taught child psychology at Cornell
University from 1933 to 1935, then accepted an appointment to the State University of Iowa as
professor of psychology in the Child Welfare Station. Lewin’s last academic position was as
professor and director of the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology. Concurrently, he acted as director of the Commission of Interrelations of the
American Jewish Congress, which engaged in research on community problems. While the
influence of Lewin’s work has spread widely over the last three decades, the work in group
dynamics carried on by the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the University of Michigan
most closely follows the theories Lewin proposed. 349
1908 William McDougall published An Introduction to Social Psychology, one of the
earliest books on the subject.
World War I was fought.
1924 Floyd Allport published Social Psychology, the first college text for this area of
1929 The Great Depression began in America.
1936 Muzafer Sherif conducted his important autokinetic studies involving social
World War II was fought.
1944 Kurt Lewin established the Research Center for Group Dynamics at MIT.
The Korean War was fought.
1957 Leon Festinger published the theory of cognitive dissonance.
1964 The stabbing of Kitty Genovese in Queens, New York, resulted in public
outrage at the perceived apathy of the bystanders.
1967 Harold Kelley’s analysis started researchers working on attributional
analyses of social behavior.
1968 Bibb Latane and John Darley published their research on the bystander
1969 The first human landing on the moon occurred.
1971 Philip Zimbardo, Craig Haney, and Curt Banks conducted the Stanford
prison study, in which college students were randomly assigned to play the
roles of prisoners and guards in a mock prison.
1974 Stanley Milgram published Obedience to Authority, outlining the methods,
findings, and significance of his obedience research.
1975 E. O. Wilson published Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, describing the
application of genetics to the study of social behavior. 350
CHAPTER 17: SOCIAL PROCESSES AND RELATIONSHIPS SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING Aronson, E. (1994). The Social Animal, 7th Ed. New York: W. H. Freeman. A narrative approach to
social psychology. This classic presents theory and research in an interesting and very
relevant manner. Topics covered include prejudice, propaganda, war, alienation, aggression,
unrest, and political upheaval. Carkenord, D. M. & Bullington, J. (1993). Bringing Cognitive Dissonance to the Classroom. Teaching of
Psychology, 20(l), 41-43. Provides a sample handout for use during lectures on cognitive
dissonance; the handout enables students to see the areas of dissonance in their own lives. Cialdini, R. B. (1988). Influence: Science and Practice, 2nd Ed. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman. A lively
account of theory and research in the area of social influence; contains many real-world
illustrations. Cialdini, R., & Trost, M. (1998). Social Influence. Social Norms, Conformity and Compliance. In The
Handbook of Social Psychology, Vol. 2, 4th Ed., 151-192. A comprehensive review of research on
social norms, conformity, and compliance organized around three goals of behavior. The
goals are to behave effectively, to build and maintain relationships and to manage self-
concept. Deaux, K., & Wrightsman, L. (1988). Social Psychology, 5th Ed. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. A
basic text with wide coverage. Research-oriented, with emphasis on applications of social
psychology. Evans, R. (1980). The Making of Social Psychology Discussions with Creative Contributors. New York:
Gardner Press. A collection of Evans’ discussions with nineteen significant contributors to the
field of social psychology, and is an excellent reference for both biographical and historical
material. Festinger, L. (1957). A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. Evanston, IL: Row, Peterson. A classic text in
social psychology. Explores the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and
shows that inconsistent cognitions can lead to changes in attitudes and behavior. Lewin, K. (1951). Field Theory in Social Science: Selected Theoretical Papers. Edited by Dorwin
Cartwright. New York: Harpers. A classic text by the founder of the discipline of social
psychology. Reber, A. S. (1985). The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology. London: The Penguin Group. A concise,
cogent dictionary of even the most obscure psychological terms. Rosenthal, R., & Jacobson, L. (1968). Pygmalion in the Classroom: Teacher Expectations and Intellectual
Development. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Classic study of the self-fulfilling
prophecy process and its application in the classroom. Ross, L., & Nisbett, R. (1991). The Person and the Situation: Perspectives of Social Psychology. New
York: McGraw-Hill. An excellent summary and review of the field of social psychology by
two leading researchers. Presents the complex and often contradictory findings of social
psychology in a manner easily understood by all. Tesser, A. (1995). Advanced Social Psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill. An excellent introduction
to the field of social psychology. Individual chapters are written by leading researchers in
different areas of social psychology. 351
CHAPTER 17: SOCIAL PROCESSES AND RELATIONSHIPS DISCOVERING PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM 17: SEX AND GENDER Overview The ways in which males and females are similar and different, and how sex roles reflect
social values and psychological knowledge. Key Issues How sex hormones affect gender behavior in rats, how the environment affects gender roles,
reasons for self-segregation by gender among preschool children, artificial limits imposed on
female gender roles, relationship between gender roles and depression, and how gender
stereotypes in advertisements affect behavior. Demonstrations Sex differences in the play behavior of baby rats. Self-segregation by gender in a preschool. Archival Demonstrations Socialization differences in gender appropriate behavior and dress. Interviews Developmental neuroscientist Michael Meaney studies why male rats are more apt to engage
in rough-and-tumble play, while female rats are consistently less aggressive and less
physical. Eleanor Maccoby examines why children tend to socialize with other children of the same
sex. Jean Block examines the differences in the socialization of male and female children and its
effects on their relationships with other children of the same and opposite sex. PROGRAM 20: CONSTRUCTING SOCIAL REALITY Overview The factors that contribute to our interpretation of reality and how understanding the
psychological processes that govern our behavior may help us to become more empathetic
and independent members of society. Key Issues Power of cognitive control, the Pygmalion effect, how teachers’ expectations affect children’s
test scores, the development of prejudice in a grammar school classroom, and the principle of
compliance as illustrated in television ads. 353
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Demonstrations The self-fulfilling prophecy study, or the Pygmalion effect. The principles of compliance illustrated with actual television advertisements. Jane Elliot’s blue-eyed versus brown-eyed case study. Students’ enhanced self-esteem and performance due to the jigsaw classroom. New Interview Steven Hassan looks at the ways cults use mind control methods to reshape people’s identity and reconstruct the way they perceive reality. Interviews Grammar school teacher Jane Elliot divides her classroom into a superior blue-eyed group and an inferior brown-eyed group to study the development and nature of prejudice. Robert Rosenthal studies how teachers’ expectations can affect children’s test scores. Elliot Aronson and Alex Gonzalez examine how cooperation rather than competition changes
the way students see themselves and their peers. Robert Cialdini examines the principles of reciprocation, scarcity, authority, commitment, liking, and consensus in marketing and advertising. FILM AND VIDEOS Candid Camera Classics for Social Psychology consists of 16 episodes that I selected, with Allen
Funt’s assistance, to dramatize many key social psychology topics, such as compliance,
conformity, obedience, social influence, authority, power, morality, and bias in field surveys.
Each of these creative gems is funny and entertaining, while teaching important messages about
human nature. Since they vary in duration from 2 to 6 minutes, a given episode can be used to
launch a lecture as a thematic overview, to underscore a conclusion from a body of empirical
research, or to provide a source for opening a discussion of the behaviors that the class and the
instructor observed together. The Candid Camera Classics come with an instructor’s guide (that I
prepared with Allen Funt) that will assist teachers in getting the most mileage from using them.
McGraw-Hill distributes this video (VHS) and a laser disk version. For ordering information, call
1-800-338-3987. Quiet Rage: The Stanford Prison Study is a 50-minute video of the experiment I conducted in
1971 (with Craig Haney and Curt Banks), in which college students were randomly assigned to
play the roles of prisoners or guards in a mock prison. This planned 2-week study had to be
terminated after only 6 days because of the pathology that emerged from participants chosen
precisely because they were the most normal and healthy individuals of the many that had
volunteered for the study. The video uses some of the original archival footage filmed secretly
during the study, along with film of the surprise arrests of the volunteers by the police. In
addition to the daily chronology of events that unfolded in this Pirandellian Prison, the film
includes post-experiment interviews with former prisoners and guards, including a powerful
testimony by the first student to have a “nervous breakdown” that influenced his entire life. He
went on to get a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, do an internship at San Quentin Prison, and become
a prison psychologist in the San Francisco County Jail, where he has worked for the past 14 years. 354
CHAPTER 17: SOCIAL PROCESSES AND RELATIONSHIPS Flashback techniques and an original music score add to the impact of this AV supplement for
teaching social psychology. It can be ordered by writing to P.O. Box 2996, Stanford, CA 943052996,
or by calling (415) 725-2417. If not entirely satisfied, a full refund is guaranteed. 355
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE Abilene Paradox (1984). VCFM, 27 minutes A gently humorous exposition of social psychological concepts such as groupthink and
deindividuation. Demonstrates how the cognitive processing of a well-intentioned, cooperating
group can go far astray from the individual views of the members. Captive Minds: Hypnosis and Beyond (1985). JFMU, 55 minutes Explains how long-term conditioning takes place, such as how the Moonies hold on to their
disciples, and how the Marine Corps generates such fierce loyalty. The indoctrination methods of
disparate institutions are surprisingly similar. Recruits are isolated in unfamiliar environments,
kept busy to the point of exhaustion, confused, frightened, and their sense of identity weakened.
Over time, they become vulnerable to suggestion. They then readily submit to a strong
authoritarian leader. Reminds us that we are all vulnerable to psychological manipulations, some
of which have social and political consequences. Conformity (1989). Insight Media, 30 minutes This program examines the pros and cons of conforming behavior, looking at its dangers as well
as its utility in group decision making, classroom activities, and military regimentation. It
introduces reasons for conformity and investigates some of the variables that predict who is
likely to conform. Conformity and Independence (1975). ITJ (MTI), 23 minutes Uses field and laboratory settings to look at social psychology’s main findings and principles in
the area of conformity and independence. Includes Sherif’s experiments on norm formation;
Asch’s experiments on group pressure, and Crutchfield’s variation; Milgram’s experiment on
action conformity; Kelman’s three processes of compliance; and Moscovici’s theoretical views. Prejudice: Causes, Consequences, Cures (1974). CFM, 23 minutes Explores several forms of prejudice: racial, sexual, educational, and economic. Offers examples of
the problems of double standards, overgeneralized observations, territorial and economic group
conflicts, severe and punitive upbringing, conformity, and socialization. Prejudice (1989). Insight Media, 30 minutes Showing four scenarios of prejudiced behavior, this program explores stereotypes and emotions
underlying prejudice. It discusses possible methods for reducing discrimination. Productivity and the Self-fulfilling Prophecy: The Pygmalion Effect (1976). MCGFY, 28
minutes This film illustrates self-fulfilling prophecies in several settings, including social science and
industrial management experiments. Illustrations include placebo effects and bank runs during
the depression. Reflections on 100 Years of Social Psychology. (Available from California State University,
Fresno, Department of Psychology, 5310 N. Campus Drive, Fresno, CA 93740-0011.) An edited video of presentations by Elliot Aronson, Leonard Berkowitz, Morton Deutsch, Harold
Gerard, Harold Kelley, Albert Pepitone, Bertram Raven, Robert Zajonc, and Philip Zimbardo to
accompany a text commemorating 100 years of experimental social psychology. Social Psychology (1990). Insight Media, 30 minutes Social psychology attempts to understand the myriad of social forces that influence our attitudes
and actions. This program discusses several research studies and findings on stereotyping and 356
CHAPTER 17: SOCIAL PROCESSES AND RELATIONSHIPS prejudice, attribution theory, and the power of social roles. Philip G. Zimbardo’s prison
experiments are described and analyzed. 357
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE War and Violence (1986). FFHS, 52 minutes Demonstrates that poverty and violence go hand in hand. Depicts inner-city Boston and a lesson
on walking away from a fight. Includes an interview with a young Hispanic in Oakland who
talks about the machismo that underlies gang violence. Explains that around the world violence
is fueled by religion, nationalism, or race and made worse by politicians’ rhetoric. Looks at the
possibility of warfare today and the repercussion it has on the whole human race. From the
Human Animal Series, hosted by Phil Donahue. The Wave (1981). 44 minutes Observes as teacher Burt Ross reenacts a 1967 social experiment in which a movement similar in
philosophy to that of the Nazi Third Reich is created. Shows how the ideas of power, discipline,
and superiority were drilled into his students and how willingly most of them adopted these
ideas. Illustrates the attitudes that allow people to deny responsibility for-and even knowledge of-the
injustices occurring around them. 358
Social Psychology, Society, and Culture LEARNING OBJECTIVES On completion of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Display knowledge of the social determinants of behavior
2. Describe Milgram’s obedience to authority experiments and comment on their
3. Explain the significance of Sherif’s Robber’s Cave experiment in terms of competition,
group dynamics, and motives for prosocial behavior
4. Identify the significance of social psychological work on group dynamics and leadership
5. Describe “the bystander effect” and suggest some ways to counteract it
6. Discuss how interpersonal attraction relates to prejudice
7. Demonstrate knowledge of the tenets of environmental psychology
8. Discuss the concept of “stereotype threat” and explain how it relates to both prejudice
and performance by minority group members
9. Suggest several measures that could be implemented to reduce prejudice
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. Altruism and Prosocial Behavior
A. The Roots of Altruism
1. Prosocial behaviors are behaviors that are carried out with the goal of
helping other people
2. Altruism: refers to the prosocial behaviors a person carries out
without considering his or her own safety or interests
3. Reciprocal altruism suggests that people perform altruistic behaviors
because they, in some sense, expect that others will perform altruistic
behaviors for them
B. Motives for Prosocial Behavior
1. Research suggests that there are four forces that prompt people to
act for the public good:
a) Altruism: Acting in response to a motive to benefit others, as
in the case of the driver who saved another person’s life b) Egoism: Performing prosocial behaviors ultimately in one’s
own self-interest; someone might perform a helping
behavior to receive a similar favor in return or a reward 358
CHAPTER 18: SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, SOCIETY, AND CULTURE c) Collectivism: Performing prosocial behaviors to benefit a
particular group; people might perform helping behaviors to
improve circumstances for their families, fraternities,
political parties, and so on d) Principlism: Performing prosocial behaviors to uphold moral
principles; someone might act in a prosocial manner because
of a religious or civic principle 2. The principle of justice suggests that each person should have an
equal probability of getting the positive or negative outcome
3. The empathy-altruism hypothesis suggests that when one feels
empathy toward another individual, those feelings evoke an
altruistic motive to provide help
C. The Effects of the Situation on Prosocial Behavior
1. Bystander Intervention, people’s willingness to help strangers in
distress, is sensitive to characteristics of the situation
a) Latanè and Darley’s research indicates likelihood of
intervention is dependent on number of bystanders the
participant thought were present b) Diffusion of responsibility occurs when more than one person
who could help is present. Others assume that someone else
will or should help 2. Facets of emergency situations:
a) Bystanders must notice the emergency b) Bystanders must label events as an emergency c) Bystander must feel responsibility II.Aggression
A. Evolutionary Perspectives
1. Aggression is behavior that causes psychological or physical harm to
another individual
2. Animals may commit aggressive behaviors to ensure themselves
access to desired mates and to protect the resources that allow
themselves and their offspring to survive
3. Lorenz argued that, unlike most other species, humans did not have
appropriately evolved mechanisms to inhibit their aggressive
impulses. Because of this, Lorenz declared humans to be at the
pinnacle of aggression
4. Research has contradicted Lorenz’s contention in two ways
a) Field research with a variety of animal species suggests that
many other species commit the same range of aggressive
acts as do humans b) Humans have more inhibitory control over their use of 359
PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFE aggression than Lorenz suggested 5. Although Lorenz’s idea may be flawed, the general idea that
aggressive responses are part of human’s genetic endowment is on
firm ground
B. Individual Differences
1. Research has focused on brain and hormonal differences that may
mark a predisposition toward aggressive behavior
2. High levels of serotonin may impair the brain’s ability to regulate
negative emotions and impulsive behavior
3. Studies also suggest that some individual differences in aggression
may reflect muted stress responses
C. Situational Influences
1. The Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis suggests that frustration occurs
in situations in which people are prevented from obtaining their
goals; a rise in frustration leads to a greater probability of aggression
2. Research suggests that there is a positive relationship betw