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Introduction to Psychology

Preface
I think that this book will provide a useful and productive synthesis between of instructors and students. I have tried to focus on the forest rather than the trees and to bring psychology to life--in ways that really matter--for the students. At the same time, the book maintains content and conceptual rigor, with a strong focus on the fundamental principles of empiricism and the scientific method 

Getting Started
Introducing Psychology
Psychological Science

How the Physical and Psychological Relate
Brains, Bodies, and Behavior
Sensing and Perceiving
States of Consciousness

Mental Development
Growing and Developing
Learning

Mental Capacity
Remembering and Judging
Intelligence and Language
Emotions and Motivations
Personality

Disorders and Society
Defining Psychological Disorders
Treating Psychological Disorders
Psychology in Our Social Lives

Introducing Psychology

Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior. The word "psychology" comes from the Greek words "psyche," meaning life, and "logos," meaning explanation. Psychology is a popular major for students, a popular topic in the public media, and a part of our everyday lives.

Television shows such as Dr. Phil feature psychologists who provide personal advice to those with personal or family difficulties. Crime dramas such as CSI, Lie to Me, and others feature the work of forensic psychologists who use psychological principles to help solve crimes. And many people have direct knowledge about psychology because they have visited psychologists, for instance, school counselors, family therapists, and religious, marriage, or bereavement counselors.

Because we are frequently exposed to the work of psychologists in our everyday lives, we all have an idea about what psychology is and what psychologists do. In many ways I am sure that your conceptions are correct. Psychologists do work in forensic fields, and they do provide counseling and therapy for people in distress. But there are hundreds of thousands of psychologists in the world, and most of them work in other places, doing work that you are probably not aware of.

Most psychologists work in research laboratories, hospitals, and other field settings where they study the behavior of humans and animals. For instance, my colleagues in the Psychology Department at the University of Maryland study such diverse topics as anxiety in children, the interpretation of dreams, the effects of caffeine on thinking, how birds recognize each other, how praying mantises hear, how people from different cultures react differently in negotiation, and the factors that lead people to engage in terrorism. Other psychologists study such topics as alcohol and drug addiction, memory, emotion, hypnosis, love, what makes people aggressive or helpful, and the psychologies of politics, prejudice, culture, and religion. Psychologists also work in schools and businesses, and they use a variety of methods, including observation, questionnaires, interviews, and laboratory studies, to help them understand behavior.

This chapter provides an introduction to the broad field of psychology and the many approaches that psychologists take to understanding human behavior. We will consider how psychologists conduct scientific research, with an overview of some of the most important approaches used and topics studied by psychologists, and also consider the variety of fields in which psychologists work and the careers that are available to people with psychology degrees. I expect that you may find that at least some of your preconceptions about psychology will be challenged and changed, and you will learn that psychology is a field that will provide you with new ways of thinking about your own thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Psychology as a Science
Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior. Though it is easy to think that everyday situations have commonsense answers, scientific studies have found that people are not always as good at predicting outcomes as they think they are. The hindsight bias leads us to think that we could have predicted events that we actually could not have predicted. People are frequently unaware of the causes of their own behaviors.
 
Psychologists use the scientific method to collect, analyze, and interpret evidence. Employing the scientific method allows the scientist to collect empirical data objectively, which adds to the accumulation of scientific knowledge. Psychological phenomena are complex, and making predictions about them is difficult because of individual differences and because they are multiply determined at different levels of explanation.

The Evolution of Psychology: History, Approaches, and Questions
The first psychologists were philosophers, but the field became more empirical and objective as more sophisticated scientific approaches were developed and employed. Some basic questions asked by psychologists include those about nature versus nurture, free will versus determinism, accuracy versus inaccuracy, and conscious versus unconscious processing. The structuralists attempted to analyze the nature of consciousness using introspection. The functionalists based their ideas on the work of Darwin, and their approaches led to the field of evolutionary psychology. The behaviorists explained behavior in terms of stimulus, response, and reinforcement, while denying the presence of free will.
 
Cognitive psychologists study how people perceive, process, and remember information. Psychodynamic psychology focuses on unconscious drives and the potential to improve lives through psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. The social-cultural approach focuses on the social situation, including how cultures and social norms influence our behavior. 

Psychological Science

Psychologists study the behavior of both humans and animals, and the main purpose of this research is to help us understand people and to improve the quality of human lives. The results of psychological research are relevant to problems such as learning and memory, homelessness, psychological disorders, family instability, and aggressive behavior and violence. Psychological research is used in a range of important areas, from public policy to driver safety. It guides court rulings with respect to racism and sexism (Brown v. Board of Education, 1954; Fiske, Bersoff, Borgida, Deaux, & Heilman, 1991), [1] as well as court procedure, in the use of lie detectors during criminal trials, for example (Saxe, Dougherty, & Cross, 1985). [2] Psychological research helps us understand how driver behavior affects safety (Fajen & Warren, 2003),[3] which methods of educating children are most effective (Alexander & Winne, 2006; Woolfolk-Hoy, 2005), [4] how to best detect deception (DePaulo et al., 2003), [5] and the causes of terrorism (Borum, 2004). [6]

Some psychological research is basic research. Basic research is research that answers fundamental questions about behavior. For instance, biopsychologists study how nerves conduct impulses from the receptors in the skin to the brain, and cognitive psychologists investigate how different types of studying influence memory for pictures and words. There is no particular reason to examine such things except to acquire a better knowledge of how these processes occur. Applied research is research that investigates issues that have implications for everyday life and provides solutions to everyday problems. Applied research has been conducted to study, among many other things, the most effective methods for reducing depression, the types of advertising campaigns that serve to reduce drug and alcohol abuse, the key predictors of managerial success in business, and the indicators of effective government programs, such as Head Start.

Basic research and applied research inform each other, and advances in science occur more rapidly when each type of research is conducted (Lewin, 1999). [7]For instance, although research concerning the role of practice on memory for lists of words is basic in orientation, the results could potentially be applied to help children learn to read. Correspondingly, psychologist- practitioners who wish to reduce the spread of AIDS or to promote volunteering frequently base their programs on the results of basic research. This basic AIDS or volunteering research is then applied to help change people's attitudes and behaviors.

The results of psychological research are reported primarily in research articles published in scientific journals, and your instructor may require you to read some of these. The research reported in scientific journals has been evaluated, critiqued, and improved by scientists in the field through the process of peer review. In this book there are many citations to original research articles, and I encourage you to read those reports when you find a topic interesting.

Most of these papers are readily available online through your college or university library. It is only by reading the original reports that you will really see how the research process works.

Psychological Journals
Some of the most important journals in psychology are provided here for your information. 

In this chapter you will learn how psychologists develop and test their research ideas; how they measure the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of individuals; and how they analyze and interpret the data they collect. To really understand psychology, you must also understand how and why the research you are reading about was conducted and what the collected data mean. Learning about the principles and practices of psychological research will allow you to critically read, interpret, and evaluate research.

In addition to helping you learn the material in this course, the ability to interpret and conduct research is also useful in many of the careers that you might choose. For instance, advertising and marketing researchers study how to make advertising more effective, health and medical researchers study the impact of behaviors such as drug use and smoking on illness, and computer scientists study how people interact with computers. Furthermore, even if you are not planning a career as a researcher, jobs in almost any area of social, medical, or mental health science require that a worker be informed about psychological research.

Psychologists Use the Scientific Method to Guide Their Research
Psychologists use the scientific method to generate, accumulate, and report scientific knowledge.
 
Basic research, which answers questions about behavior, and applied research, which finds solutions to everyday problems, inform each other and work together to advance science.
 
Research reports describing scientific studies are published in scientific journals so that other scientists and laypersons may review the empirical findings.
 
Organizing principles, including laws, theories and research hypotheses, give structure and uniformity to scientific methods.
 
Concerns for conducting ethical research are paramount. Researchers assure that participants are given free choice to participate and that their privacy is protected. Informed consent and debriefing help provide humane treatment of participants.
 
A cost-benefit analysis is used to determine what research should and should not be allowed to proceed. 

Psychologists Use Descriptive, Correlational, and Experimental Research Designs to Understand Behavior
Descriptive, correlational, and experimental research designs are used to collect and analyze data.
 
Descriptive designs include case studies, surveys, and naturalistic observation. The goal of these designs is to get a picture of the current thoughts, feelings, or behaviors in a given group of people. Descriptive research is summarized using descriptive statistics.
 
Correlational research designs measure two or more relevant variables and assess a relationship between or among them. The variables may be presented on a scatter plot to visually show the relationships. The Pearson Correlation Coefficient (r) is a measure of the strength of linear relationship between two variables.
 
Common-causal variables may cause both the predictor and outcome variable in a correlational design, producing a spurious relationship. The possibility of common-causal variables makes it impossible to draw causal conclusions from correlational research designs.
 
Experimental research involves the manipulation of an independent variable and the measurement of a dependent variable. Random assignment to conditions is normally used to create initial equivalence between the groups, allowing researchers to draw causal conclusions. 

You Can Be an Informed Consumer of Psychological Research
Research is said to be valid when the conclusions drawn by the researcher are legitimate. Because all research has the potential to be invalid, no research ever "proves" a theory or research hypothesis.
 
Construct validity, statistical conclusion validity, internal validity, and external validity are all types of validity that people who read and interpret research need to be aware of.
 
Construct validity refers to the assurance that the measured variables adequately measure the conceptual variables Statistical conclusion validity refers to the assurance that inferences about statistical significance are appropriate.
 
Internal validity refers to the assurance that the independent variable has caused the dependent variable. Internal validity is greater when confounding variables are reduced or eliminated.
 
External validity is greater when effects can be replicated across different manipulations, measures, and populations.
 
Scientists use meta-analyses to better understand the external validity of research. 

[1] Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954); Fiske, S. T., Bersoff, D. N., Borgida, E., Deaux, K., & Heilman, M. E. (1991).

Social science research on trial: Use of sex stereotyping research in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins. American Psychologist, 46(10), 10491060.

[2] Saxe, L., Dougherty, D., & Cross, T. (1985). The validity of polygraph testing: Scientific analysis and public controversy. American Psychologist, 40, 355366.

[3] Fajen, B. R., & Warren, W. H. (2003). Behavioral dynamics of steering, obstacle avoidance, and route selection. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 29(2), 343362.

[4] Alexander, P. A., & Winne, P. H. (Eds.). (2006). Handbook of educational psychology(2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; Woolfolk-Hoy, A. E. (2005).Educational psychology (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

[5] DePaulo, B. M., Lindsay, J. J., Malone, B. E., Muhlenbruck, L., Charlton, K., & Cooper, H. (2003). Cues to deception. Psychological Bulletin, 129(1), 74118.

[6] Borum, R. (2004). Psychology of terrorism. Tampa: University of South Florida.

[7] Lewin, K. (1999). The complete social scientist: A Kurt Lewin reader (M. Gold, Ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Brains, Bodies, and Behavior

Did a Neurological Disorder Cause a Musician to Compose Bolro and an Artist to Paint It 66 Years Later?
Anne Adams completed her painting Unravelling Bolro, a translation of Maurice Ravel's famous orchestral piece onto canvas, in 1994. Shortly after, she began to experience behavioral problems. Neuroimages of her brain show that regions in the front part of her brain had begun to deteriorate, which is a symptom of frontotemporal dementia. Scientists have concluded that Ravel also experienced the effects of frontotemporal dementia. If Adams and Ravel were both affected by the same disease, this could explain why they both became fascinated with the repetitive aspects of their arts, and it would present a remarkable example of the influence of our brains on behavior. 

Every behavior begins with biology. Our behaviors, as well as our thoughts and feelings, are produced by the actions of our brains, nerves, muscles, and glands. In this chapter we will begin our journey into the world of psychology by considering the biological makeup of the human being, including the most remarkable of human organs--the brain. We'll consider the structure of the brain and also the methods that psychologists use to study the brain and to understand how it works.

We will see that the body is controlled by an information highway known as the nervous system, a collection of hundreds of billions of specialized and interconnected cells through which messages are sent between the brain and the rest of the body. The nervous system consists of the central nervous system (CNS), made up of the brain and the spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system (PNS), the neurons that link the CNS to our skin, muscles, and glands. And we will see that our behavior is also influenced in large part by the endocrine system, the chemical regulator of the body that consists of glands that secrete hormones.

Although this chapter begins at a very low level of explanation, and although the topic of study may seem at first to be far from the everyday behaviors that we all engage in, a full understanding of the biology underlying psychological processes is an important cornerstone of your new understanding of psychology. We will consider throughout the chapter how our biology influences important human behaviors, including our mental and physical health, our reactions to drugs, as well as our aggressive responses and our perceptions of other people. This chapter is particularly important for contemporary psychology because the ability to measure biological aspects of behavior, including the structure and function of the human brain, is progressing rapidly, and understanding the biological foundations of behavior is an increasingly important line of psychological study.

The Neuron Is the Building Block of the Nervous System
The central nervous system (CNS) is the collection of neurons that make up the brain and the spinal cord.
 
The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is the collection of neurons that link the CNS to our skin, muscles, and glands.
 
Neurons are specialized cells, found in the nervous system, which transmit information. Neurons contain a dendrite, a soma, and an axon.
 
Some axons are covered with a fatty substance known as the myelin sheath, which surrounds the axon, acting as an insulator and allowing faster transmission of the electrical signal The dendrite is a treelike extension that receives information from other neurons and transmits electrical stimulation to the soma.
 
The axon is an elongated fiber that transfers information from the soma to the terminal buttons.
 
Neurotransmitters relay information chemically from the terminal buttons and across the synapses to the receiving dendrites using a type of lock and key system.
 
The many different neurotransmitters work together to influence cognition, memory, and behavior.
 
Agonists are drugs that mimic the actions of neurotransmitters, whereas antagonists are drugs that block the action of neurotransmitters. 

Our Brains Control Our Thoughts, Feelings, and Behavior
The old brain--including the brain stem, medulla, pons, reticular formation, thalamus, cerebellum, amygdala, hypothalamus, and hippocampus--regulates basic survival functions, such as breathing, moving, resting, feeding, emotions, and memory.
 
The cerebral cortex, made up of billions of neurons and glial cells, is divided into the right and left hemispheres and into four lobes.
 
The frontal lobe is primarily responsible for thinking, planning, memory, and judgment. The parietal lobe is primarily responsible for bodily sensations and touch. The temporal lobe is primarily responsible for hearing and language. The occipital lobe is primarily responsible for vision. Other areas of the cortex act as association areas, responsible for integrating information.
 
The brain changes as a function of experience and potential damage in a process known as plasticity. The brain can generate new neurons through neurogenesis.
 
The motor cortex controls voluntary movements. Body parts requiring the most control and dexterity take up the most space in the motor cortex.
 
The sensory cortex receives and processes bodily sensations. Body parts that are the most sensitive occupy the greatest amount of space in the sensory cortex.
 
The left cerebral hemisphere is primarily responsible for language and speech in most people, whereas the right hemisphere specializes in spatial and perceptual skills, visualization, and the recognition of patterns, faces, and melodies.
 
The severing of the corpus callosum, which connects the two hemispheres, creates a "split -brain patient," with the effect of creating two separate minds operating in one person.
 
Studies with split-brain patients as research participants have been used to study brain lateralization.
 
Neuroplasticity allows the brain to adapt and change as a function of experience or damage. 

Psychologists Study the Brain Using Many Different Methods
 Studying the brains of cadavers can lead to discoveries about brain structure, but these studies are limited due to the fact that the brain is no longer active.
 
Lesion studies are informative about the effects of lesions on different brain regions.
 
Electrophysiological recording may be used in animals to directly measure brain activity.
 
Measures of electrical activity in the brain, such as electroencephalography (EEG), are used to assess brain-wave patterns and activity.
 
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures blood flow in the brain during different activities, providing information about the activity of neurons and thus the functions of brain regions.
 
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is used to temporarily and safely deactivate a small brain region, with the goal of testing the causal effects of the deactivation on behavior. 

Putting It All Together: The Nervous System and the Endocrine System
The body uses both electrical and chemical systems to create homeostasis.
 
The CNS is made up of bundles of nerves that carry messages to and from the PNS The peripheral nervous system is composed of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The ANS is further divided into the sympathetic (activating) and parasympathetic (calming) nervous systems. These divisions are activated by glands and organs in the endocrine system.
 
Specific nerves, including sensory neurons, motor neurons, and interneurons, each have specific functions.
 
The spinal cord may bypass the brain by responding rapidly using reflexes.
 
The pituitary gland is a master gland, affecting many other glands.
 
Hormones produced by the pituitary and adrenal glands regulate growth, stress, sexual functions, and chemical balance in the body.
 
The adrenal glands produce epinephrine and norepinephrine, the hormones responsible for our reactions to stress.
 
The sex hormones, testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, play an important role in sex differences.

[1] Seeley, W. W., Matthews, B. R., Crawford, R. K., Gorno-Tempini, M. L., Foti, D., Mackenzie, I. R., & Miller, B. L. (2008). "Unravelling Bolro": Progressive aphasia, transmodal creativity, and the right posterior neocortex. Brain, 131(1), 3949.

[2] Miller, B. L., Boone, K., Cummings, J. L., Read, S. L., & Mishkin, F. (2000). Functional correlates of musical and visual ability in frontotemporal dementia. British Journal of Psychiatry, 176, 458463.

[3] Aldhous, P. (2008, April 7). "Bolro": Beautiful symptom of a terrible disease. New Scientist. Retrieved from http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13599-bolero-beautiful-symptom-of-a-terrible-disease.html

[4] Amaducci, L., Grassi, E., & Boller, F. (2002). Maurice Ravel and right-hemisphere musical creativity: Influence of disease on his last musical works? European Journal of Neurology, 9(1), 7582.

Sensing and Perceiving

Misperception by Those Trained to Accurately Perceive a Threat
Summary

The ability to detect and interpret the events that are occurring around us allows us to respond to these stimuli appropriately (Gibson & Pick, 2000). [1] In most cases the system is successful, but as you can see from the above example, it is not perfect. In this chapter we will discuss the strengths and limitations of these capacities, focusing on both sensation--awareness resulting from the stimulation of a sense organ, and perception--the organization and interpretation of sensations. Sensation and perception work seamlessly together to allow us to experience the world through our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin, but also to combine what we are currently learning from the environment with what we already know about it to make judgments and to choose appropriate behaviors.

The study of sensation and perception is exceedingly important for our everyday lives because the knowledge generated by psychologists is used in so many ways to help so many people. Psychologists work closely with mechanical and electrical engineers, with experts in defense and military contractors, and with clinical, health, and sports psychologists to help them apply this knowledge to their everyday practices. The research is used to help us understand and better prepare people to cope with such diverse events as driving cars, flying planes, creating robots, and managing pain (Fajen & Warren, 2003). [2]

We will begin the chapter with a focus on the six senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting, and monitoring the body's positions (proprioception). We will see that sensation is sometimes relatively direct, in the sense that the wide variety of stimuli around us inform and guide our behaviors quickly and accurately, but nevertheless is always the result of at least some interpretation. We do not directly experience stimuli, but rather we experience those stimuli as they are created by our senses. Each sense accomplishes the basic process of transduction--the conversion of stimuli detected by receptor cells to electrical impulses that are then transported to the brain--in different, but related, ways.

After we have reviewed the basic processes of sensation, we will turn to the topic of perception, focusing on how the brain's processing of sensory experience can not only help us make quick and accurate judgments, but also mislead us into making perceptual and judgmental errors, such as those that allowed the Chaser group to breach security at the APEC meeting.

We Experience Our World Through Sensation
Sensation is the process of receiving information from the environment through our sensory organs. Perception is the process of interpreting and organizing the incoming information in order that we can understand it and react accordingly.
 
Transduction is the conversion of stimuli detected by receptor cells to electrical impulses that are transported to the brain.
 
Although our experiences of the world are rich and complex, humans--like all species--have their own adapted sensory strengths and sensory limitations.
 
Sensation and perception work together in a fluid, continuous process.
 
Our judgments in detection tasks are influenced by both the absolute threshold of the signal as well as our current motivations and experiences. Signal detection analysis is used to differentiate sensitivity from response biases.
 
The difference threshold, or just noticeable difference, is the ability to detect the smallest change in a stimulus about 50% of the time. According to Weber's law, the just noticeable difference increases in proportion to the total intensity of the stimulus.
 
Research has found that stimuli can influence behavior even when they are presented below the absolute threshold (i.e., subliminally). The effectiveness of subliminal advertising, however, has not been shown to be of large magnitude. 

Seeing
Vision is the process of detecting the electromagnetic energy that surrounds us. Only a small fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum is visible to humans.
 
The visual receptor cells on the retina detect shape, color, motion, and depth.
 
Light enters the eye through the transparent cornea and passes through the pupil at the center of the iris. The lens adjusts to focus the light on the retina, where it appears upside down and backward. Receptor cells on the retina are excited or inhibited by the light and send information to the visual cortex through the optic nerve.
 
The retina has two types of photoreceptor cells: rods, which detect brightness and respond to black and white, and cones, which respond to red, green, and blue. Color blindness occurs when people lack function in the red- or green- sensitive cones.
 
Feature detector neurons in the visual cortex help us recognize objects, and some neurons respond selectively to faces and other body parts.
 
The Young-Helmholtz trichromatic color theory proposes that color perception is the result of the signals sent by the three types of cones, whereas the opponent-process color theory proposes that we perceive color as three sets of opponent colors: red-green, yellow-blue, and white-black.
 
The ability to perceive depth occurs through the result of binocular and monocular depth cues.
 
Motion is perceived as a function of the size and brightness of objects. The beta effect and the phi phenomenon are examples of perceived motion. 

Hearing
Sound waves vibrating through mediums such as air, water, or metal are the stimulus energy that is sensed by the ear.
 
The hearing system is designed to assess frequency (pitch) and amplitude (loudness).
 
Sound waves enter the outer ear (the pinna) and are sent to the eardrum via the auditory canal. The resulting vibrations are relayed by the three ossicles, causing the oval window covering the cochlea to vibrate. The vibrations are detected by the cilia (hair cells) and sent via the auditory nerve to the auditory cortex.
 
There are two theories as to how we perceive pitch: The frequency theory of hearing suggests that as a sound wave's pitch changes, nerve impulses of a corresponding frequency enter the auditory nerve. The place theory of hearing suggests that we hear different pitches because different areas of the cochlea respond to higher and lower pitches.
 
Conductive hearing loss is caused by physical damage to the ear or eardrum and may be improved by hearing aids or cochlear implants. Sensorineural hearing loss, caused by damage to the hair cells or auditory nerves in the inner ear, may be produced by prolonged exposure to sounds of more than 85 decibels. 

Tasting, Smelling, and Touching
The ability to taste, smell, and touch are important because they help us avoid harm from environmental toxins.
 
The many taste buds on our tongues and inside our mouths allow us to detect six basic taste sensations: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, piquancy, and umami.
 
In olfaction, transduction occurs as airborne chemicals that are inhaled through the nostrils are detected by receptors in the olfactory membrane. Different chemical molecules fit into different receptor cells, creating different smells.
 
On average, women have a better sense of smell than men, and the ability to smell diminishes with age.
 
We have a range of different nerve endings embedded in the skin, combinations of which respond to the four basic sensations of pressure, hot, cold, and pain. But only the sensation of pressure has its own specialized receptors.
 
Proprioception is our ability to sense the positions and movements of our body parts. Postural and movement information is detected by special neurons located in the skin, joints, bones, ears, and tendons, which pick up messages from the compression and the contraction of muscles throughout the body.
 
The vestibular system, composed of structures in the inner ear, monitors the head's position and movement, maintaining the body's balance.
 
Gate control theory explains how large and small neurons work together to transmit and regulate the flow of pain to the brain. 

Accuracy and Inaccuracy in Perception
Sensory interaction occurs when different senses work together, for instance, when taste, smell, and touch together produce the flavor of food.
 
Selective attention allows us to focus on some sensory experiences while tuning out others.
 
Sensory adaptation occurs when we become less sensitive to some aspects of our environment, freeing us to focus on more important changes.
 
Perceptual constancy allows us to perceive an object as the same, despite changes in sensation.
 
Cognitive illusions are examples of how our expectations can influence our perceptions.
 
Our emotions, motivations, desires, and even our culture can influence our perceptions. 

[1] Gibson, E. J., & Pick, A. D. (2000). An ecological approach to perceptual learning and development. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[2] Fajen, B. R., & Warren, W. H. (2003). Behavioral dynamics of steering, obstacle avoidance, and route selection. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 29(2), 343362.

States of Consciousness

An Unconscious Killing
Summary

Consciousness is defined as our subjective awareness of ourselves and our environment (Koch, 2004). [4] The experience of consciousness is fundamental to human nature. We all know what it means to be conscious, and we assume (although we can never be sure) that other human beings experience their consciousness similarly to how we experience ours.

The study of consciousness has long been important to psychologists and plays a role in many important psychological theories. For instance, Sigmund Freud's personality theories differentiated between the unconscious and the conscious aspects of behavior, and present-day psychologists distinguish between automatic (unconscious) and controlled (conscious) behaviors and between implicit (unconscious) and explicit (conscious) memory (Petty, Wegener, Chaiken, & Trope, 1999; Shanks, 2005). [5]

Some philosophers and religious practices argue that the mind (or soul) and the body are separate entities. For instance, the French philosopher Ren Descartes (15961650) was a proponent of dualism, the idea that the mind, a nonmaterial entity, is separate from (although connected to) the physical body. In contrast to the dualists, psychologists believe that consciousness (and thus the mind) exists in the brain, not separate from it. In fact, psychologists believe that consciousness is the result of the activity of the many neural connections in the brain, and that we experience different states of consciousness depending on what our brain is currently doing (Dennett, 1991; Koch & Greenfield, 2007). [6]

The study of consciousness is also important to the fundamental psychological question regarding the presence of free will. Although we may understand and believe that some of our behaviors are caused by forces that are outside our awareness (i.e., unconscious), we nevertheless believe that we have control over, and are aware that we are engaging in, most of our behaviors. To discover that we, or even someone else, has engaged in a complex behavior, such as driving in a car and causing severe harm to others, without being at all conscious of one's actions, is so unusual as to be shocking. And yet psychologists are increasingly certain that a great deal of our behavior is caused by processes of which we are unaware and over which we have little or no control (Libet, 1999; Wegner, 2003). [7]

Our experience of consciousness is functional because we use it to guide and control our behavior, and to think logically about problems (DeWall, Baumeister, & Masicampo, 2008). [8] Consciousness allows us to plan activities and to monitor our progress toward the goals we set for ourselves. And consciousness is fundamental to our sense of morality--we believe that we have the free will to perform moral actions while avoiding immoral behaviors.

But in some cases consciousness may become aversive, for instance when we become aware that we are not living up to our own goals or expectations, or when we believe that other people perceive us negatively. In these cases we may engage in behaviors that help us escape from consciousness, for example through the use of alcohol or other psychoactive drugs (Baumeister, 1998). [9]

Because the brain varies in its current level and type of activity, consciousness is transitory. If we drink too much coffee or beer, the caffeine or alcohol influences the activity in our brain, and our consciousness may change. When we are anesthetized before an operation or experience a concussion after a knock on the head, we may lose consciousness entirely as a result of changes in brain activity. We also lose consciousness when we sleep, and it is with this altered state of consciousness that we begin our chapter.

Sleeping and Dreaming Revitalize Us for Action
Consciousness, our subjective awareness of ourselves and our environment, is functional because it allows us to plan activities and monitor our goals.
 
Psychologists believe the consciousness is the result of neural activity in the brain.
 
Human and animal behavior is influenced by biological rhythms, including annual, monthly, and circadian rhythms.
 
Sleep consists of two major stages: REM and non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep has three substages, known as stage N1, N2, and N3.
 
Each sleep stage is marked by a specific pattern of biological responses and brain wave patterns.
 
Sleep is essential for adequate functioning during the day. Sleep disorders, including insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy, may make it hard for us to sleep well.
 
Dreams occur primarily during REM sleep. Some theories of dreaming, such Freud's, are based on the content of the dreams. Other theories of dreaming propose that dreaming is related to memory consolidation. The activation- synthesis theory of dreaming is based only on neural activity. 

Altering Consciousness With Psychoactive Drugs
Psychoactive drugs are chemicals that change our state of consciousness. They work by influencing neurotransmitters in the CNS.
 
Using psychoactive drugs may create tolerance and, when they are no longer used, withdrawal. Addiction may result from tolerance and the difficulty of withdrawal.
 
Stimulants, including caffeine, nicotine, and amphetamine, increase neural activity by blocking the reuptake of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the CNS.
 
Depressants, including, alcohol, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines, decrease consciousness by increasing the production of the neurotransmitter GABA and decreasing the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
 
Opioids, including codeine, opium, morphine and heroin, produce euphoria and analgesia by increasing activity in opioid receptor neurons.
 
Hallucinogens, including cannabis, mescaline, and LSD, create an extreme alteration of consciousness as well as the possibility of hallucinations.
 
Recreational drug use is influenced by social norms as well as by individual differences. People who are more likely to take risks are also more likely to use drugs. 

Altering Consciousness Without Drugs
Hypnosis is a trance-like state of conscious consisting of heightened susceptibility, deep relaxation, and intense focus.
 
Hypnosis is not useful for helping people remember past events, but it can be used to alleviate anxiety and pain.
 
Sensory deprivation is the intentional reduction of stimulation to one or more of the senses. It can be used therapeutically to treat insomnia, muscle tension, and pain.
 
Meditation refers to a range of techniques that can create relaxation and well-being. 

[1] Martin, L. (2009). Can sleepwalking be a murder defense? Sleep Disorders: For Patients and Their Families. Retrieved from http://www.lakesidepress.com/pulmonary/Sleep/sleep-murder.htm [2] Broughton, R. J., Billings, R., Cartwright, R., & Doucette, D. (1994). Homicidal somnambulism: A case report. Sleep: Journal of Sleep Research & Sleep Medicine, 17(3), 253264.

[3] Wilson, C. (1998). The mammoth book of true crime. New York, NY: Robinson Publishing.

[4] Koch, C. (2004). The quest for consciousness: A neurobiological approach. Englewood, CO: Roberts & Co.

[5] Petty, R., Wegener, D., Chaiken, S., & Trope, Y. (1999). Dual-process theories in social psychology. New York, NY: Guilford Press; Shanks, D. (2005). Implicit learning. In K. Lamberts (Ed.), Handbook of cognition (pp. 202220). London, England: Sage.

[6] Dennett, D. C. (1991). Consciousness explained. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company; Koch, C., & Greenfield, S. (2007).

How does consciousness happen? Scientific American, 7683.

[7] Libet, B. (1999). Do we have free will? Journal of Consciousness Studies, 6, 8(9), 4757; Wegner, D. M. (2003). The mind's best trick: How we experience conscious will. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7(2), 6569.

[8] DeWall, C., Baumeister, R., & Masicampo, E. (2008). Evidence that logical reasoning depends on conscious processing. Consciousness and Cognition, 17(3), 628.

[9] Baumeister, R. (1998). The self. In The handbook of social psychology (4th ed., Vol. 2, pp. 680740). New York, NY: McGraw- Hill.

Growing and Developing

The Repository for Germinal Choice
Summary

The goal of this chapter is to investigate the fundamental, complex, and essential process of human development. Development refers to the physiological, behavioral, cognitive, and social changes that occur throughout human life, which are guided by both genetic predispositions (nature) and by environmental influences (nurture). We will begin our study of development at the moment of conception, when the father's sperm unites with the mother's egg, and then consider prenatal development in the womb. Next we will focus on infancy, the developmental stage that begins at birth and continues to one year of age, and childhood, the period between infancy and the onset of puberty. Finally, we will consider the developmental changes that occur during adolescence--the years between the onset of puberty and the beginning of adulthood; the stages of adulthood itself, including emerging, early, middle, and older adulthood; and finally, the preparations for and eventual facing of death.

Each of the stages of development has its unique physical, cognitive, and emotional changes that define the stage and that make each stage unique, one from the other. The psychologist and psychoanalyst Erik Erikson (1963, p. 202) [5] proposed a model of life-span development that provides a useful guideline for thinking about the changes we experience throughout life. As you can see in Table 6.1 "Challenges of Development as Proposed by Erik Erikson", Erikson believed that each life stage has a unique challenge that the person who reaches it must face. And according to Erikson, successful development involves dealing with and resolving the goals and demands of each of the life stages in a positive way.

Table 6.1 Challenges of Development as Proposed by Erik Erikson

Stage  Age range
Key challenge
Positive resolution of challenge
Oral-sensory
Birth to 12 to 18 months
Trust versus mistrust
The child develops a feeling of trust in his or her caregivers.
Muscular-anal
18 months to 3 years
Autonomy versus shame/doubt
The child learns what he or she can and cannot control and develops a sense of free will.
Locomotor
3 to 6 years
Initiative versus guilt
The child learns to become independent by exploring, manipulating, and taking action.
Latency
6 to 12 years
Industry versus
inferiority
The child learns to do things well or correctly according to standards set by others, particularly in school.
Adolescence
12 to 18 years
Identity versus role confusion
The adolescent develops a well-defined and positive sense of self in relationship to others.
Young adulthood
19 to 40 years
Intimacy versus isolation
The person develops the ability to give and receive love and to
make long-term commitments.
Middle adulthood
40 to 65 years
Generativity versus stagnation
The person develops an interest in guiding the development of the next generation, often by becoming a parent.
Late adulthood
65 to death
Ego integrity versus despair
The person develops acceptance of his or her life as it was lived.

Source: Adapted from Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and society. New York, NY: Norton (p. 202).

As we progress through this chapter, we will see that Robert Klark Graham was in part right-- nature does play a substantial role in development (it has been found, for instance, that identical twins, who share all of their genetic code, usually begin sitting up and walking on the exact same days). But nurture is also important--we begin to be influenced by our environments even while still in the womb, and these influences remain with us throughout our development. Furthermore, we will see that we play an active role in shaping our own lives. Our own behavior influences how and what we learn, how people respond to us, and how we develop as individuals. As you read the chapter, you will no doubt get a broader view of how we each pass through our own lives. You will see how we learn and adapt to life's changes, and this new knowledge may help you better understand and better guide your own personal life journey.

6.1 Conception and Prenatal Development
Summary

6.2 Infancy and Childhood: Exploring and Learning
Summary

6.3 Adolescence: Developing Independence and Identity
Summary

6.4 Early and Middle Adulthood: Building Effective Lives
Summary

6.5 Late Adulthood: Aging, Retiring, and Bereavement
Summary

[1] Plotz, D. (2001, February 8). The "genius babies," and how they grew. Slate. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/id/100331

[2] Plotz, D. (2001, February 8). The "genius babies," and how they grew. Slate. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/id/100331

[3] Plotz, D. (2001, February 8). The "genius babies," and how they grew. Slate. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/id/100331

[4] Olding, P. (2006, June 15). The genius sperm bank. BBC News. Retrieved fromhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/broadband/tx/spermbank/doron/index_textonly.shtml ; Plotz, D. (2001, February 8). The "genius babies," and how they grew.Slate. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/id/100331

[5] Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and society. New York, NY: Norton.

Learning

My Story of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Summary

The topic of this chapter is learning--the relatively permanent change in knowledge or behavior that is the result of experience. Although you might think of learning in terms of what you need to do before an upcoming exam, the knowledge that you take away from your classes, or new skills that you acquire through practice, these changes represent only one component of learning. In fact, learning is a broad topic that is used to explain not only how we acquire new knowledge and behavior but also a wide variety of other psychological processes including the development of both appropriate and inappropriate social behaviors, and even how a person may acquire a debilitating psychological disorder such as PTSD.

Learning is perhaps the most important human capacity. Learning allows us to create effective lives by being able to respond to changes. We learn to avoid touching hot stoves, to find our way home from school, and to remember which people have helped us in the past and which people have been unkind. Without the ability to learn from our experiences, our lives would be remarkably dangerous and inefficient. The principles of learning can also be used to explain a wide variety of social interactions, including social dilemmas in which people make important, and often selfish, decisions about how to behave by calculating the costs and benefits of different outcomes.

The study of learning is closely associated with the behaviorist school of psychology, in which it was seen as an alternative scientific perspective to the failure of introspection. The behaviorists, including John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner, focused their research entirely on behavior, to the exclusion of any kinds of mental processes. For behaviorists, the fundamental aspect of learning is the process of conditioning--the ability to connect stimuli (the changes that occur in the environment) with responses (behaviors or other actions).

But conditioning is just one type of learning. We will also consider other types, including learning through insight, as well as observational learning (also known as modeling). In each case we will see not only what psychologists have learned about the topics but also the important influence that learning has on many aspects of our everyday lives. And we will see that in some cases learning can be maladaptive--for instance, when a person like P. K. Philips continually experiences disruptive memories and emotional responses to a negative event.

Learning by Association: Classical Conditioning
In classical conditioning, a person or animal learns to associate a neutral stimulus (the conditioned stimulus, or CS)
 
with a stimulus (the unconditioned stimulus, or US) that naturally produces a behavior (the unconditioned response, or UR). As a result of this association, the previously neutral stimulus comes to elicit the same response (the conditioned response, or CR).
 
Extinction occurs when the CS is repeatedly presented without the US, and the CR eventually disappears, although it may reappear later in a process known as spontaneous recovery.
 
Stimulus generalization occurs when a stimulus that is similar to an already-conditioned stimulus begins to produce the same response as the original stimulus does.
 
Stimulus discrimination occurs when the organism learns to differentiate between the CS and other similar stimuli.
 
In second-order conditioning, a neutral stimulus becomes a CS after being paired with a previously established CS.
 
Some stimuli--response pairs, such as those between smell and food--are more easily conditioned than others because they have been particularly important in our evolutionary past. 

Changing Behavior Through Reinforcement and Punishment: Operant Conditioning
Edward Thorndike developed the law of effect: the principle that responses that create a typically pleasant outcome in a particular situation are more likely to occur again in a similar situation, whereas responses that produce a typically unpleasant outcome are less likely to occur again in the situation.
 
B. F. Skinner expanded on Thorndike's ideas to develop a set of principles to explain operant conditioning.
 
Positive reinforcement strengthens a response by presenting something that is typically pleasant after the response, whereas negative reinforcement strengthens a response by reducing or removing something that is typically unpleasant.
 
Positive punishment weakens a response by presenting something typically unpleasant after the response, whereas negative punishment weakens a response by reducing or removing something that is typically pleasant.
 
Reinforcement may be either partial or continuous. Partial reinforcement schedules are determined by whether the reinforcement is presented on the basis of the time that elapses between reinforcements (interval) or on the basis of the number of responses that the organism engages in (ratio), and by whether the reinforcement occurs on a regular (fixed) or unpredictable (variable) schedule.
 
Complex behaviors may be created through shaping, the process of guiding an organism's behavior to the desired outcome through the use of successive approximation to a final desired behavior. 

Learning by Insight and Observation
Not all learning can be explained through the principles of classical and operant conditioning.
 
Insight is the sudden understanding of the components of a problem that makes the solution apparent.
 
Latent learning refers to learning that is not reinforced and not demonstrated until there is motivation to do so.
 
Observational learning occurs by viewing the behaviors of others.
 
Both aggression and altruism can be learned through observation. 

Using the Principles of Learning to Understand Everyday Behavior
Learning theories have been used to change behaviors in many areas of everyday life.
 
Some advertising uses classical conditioning to associate a pleasant response with a product.
 
Rewards are frequently and effectively used in education but must be carefully designed to be contingent on performance and to avoid undermining interest in the activity.
 
Social dilemmas, such as the prisoner's dilemma, can be understood in terms of a desire to maximize one's outcomes in a competitive relationship. 

[1] Philips, P. K. (2010). My story of survival: Battling PTSD. Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Retrieved from http://www.adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/personal-stories/my-story-survival-battling-ptsd

Remembering and Judging

She Was Certain, but She Was Wrong
Summary

The two subjects of this chapter are memory, defined as the ability to store and retrieve information over time, and cognition, defined as the processes of acquiring and using knowledge. It is useful to consider memory and cognition in the same chapter because they work together to help us interpret and understand our environments.

Memory and cognition represent the two major interests of cognitive psychologists. The cognitive approach became the most important school of psychology during the 1960s, and the field of psychology has remained in large part cognitive since that time. The cognitive school was influenced in large part by the development of the electronic computer, and although the differences between computers and the human mind are vast, cognitive psychologists have used the computer as a model for understanding the workings of the mind.

Differences between Brains and Computers
Summary

We will begin the chapter with the study of memory. Our memories allow us to do relatively simple things, such as remembering where we parked our car or the name of the current president of the United States, but also allow us to form complex memories, such as how to ride a bicycle or to write a computer program. Moreover, our memories define us as individuals-- they are our experiences, our relationships, our successes, and our failures. Without our memories, we would not have a life.

At least for some things, our memory is very good (Bahrick, 2000). [4] Once we learn a face, we can recognize that face many years later. We know the lyrics of many songs by heart, and we can give definitions for tens of thousands of words. Mitchell (2006) [5] contacted participants 17 years after they had been briefly exposed to some line drawings in a lab and found that they still could identify the images significantly better than participants who had never seen them.

For some people, memory is truly amazing. Consider, for instance, the case of Kim Peek, who was the inspiration for the Academy Awardwinning film Rain Man (Figure 8.1 "Kim Peek" andNote 8.5 "Video Clip: Kim Peek"). Although Peek's IQ was only 87, significantly below the average of about 100, it is estimated that he memorized more than 10,000 books in his lifetime (Wisconsin Medical Society, n.d.; "Kim Peek," 2004). [6] The Russian psychologist A. R. Luria (2004) [7] has described the abilities of a man known as "S," who seems to have unlimited memory. S remembers strings of hundreds of random letters for years at a time, and seems in fact to never forget anything.

Video Clip: Kim Peek

You can view an interview with Kim Peek and see some of his amazing memory abilities at this link.

In this chapter we will see how psychologists use behavioral responses (such as memory tests and reaction times) to draw inferences about what and how people remember. And we will see that although we have very good memory for some things, our memories are far from perfect (Schacter, 1996). [8] The errors that we make are due to the fact that our memories are not simply recording devices that input, store, and retrieve the world around us. Rather, we actively process and interpret information as we remember and recollect it, and these cognitive processes influence what we remember and how we remember it. Because memories are constructed, not recorded, when we remember events we don't reproduce exact replicas of those events (Bartlett, 1932). [9]

In the last section of the chapter we will focus primarily on cognition, with a particular consideration for cases in which cognitive processes lead us to distort our judgments or misremember information. We will see that our prior knowledge can influence our memory. People who read the words "dream, sheets, rest, snore, blanket, tired, and bed" and then are asked to remember the words often think that they saw the word sleep even though that word was not in the list (Roediger & McDermott, 1995). [10] And we will see that in other cases we are influenced by the ease with which we can retrieve information from memory or by the information that we are exposed to after we first learn something.

Although much research in the area of memory and cognition is basic in orientation, the work also has profound influence on our everyday experiences. Our cognitive processes influence the accuracy and inaccuracy of our memories and our judgments, and they lead us to be vulnerable to the types of errors that eyewitnesses such as Jennifer Thompson may make. Understanding these potential errors is the first step in learning to avoid them.

Memories as Types and Stages
Memory refers to the ability to store and retrieve information over time.
 
For some things our memory is very good, but our active cognitive processing of information assures that memory is never an exact replica of what we have experienced.
 
Explicit memory refers to experiences that can be intentionally and consciously remembered, and it is measured using recall, recognition, and relearning. Explicit memory includes episodic and semantic memories.
 
Measures of relearning (also known as savings) assess how much more quickly information is learned when it is studied again after it has already been learned but then forgotten.
 
Implicit memory refers to the influence of experience on behavior, even if the individual is not aware of those influences. The three types of implicit memory are procedural memory, classical conditioning, and priming.
 
Information processing begins in sensory memory, moves to short-term memory, and eventually moves to long-term memory.
 
Maintenance rehearsal and chunking are used to keep information in short-term memory.
 
The capacity of long-term memory is large, and there is no known limit to what we can remember. 

How We Remember: Cues to Improving Memory
Information is better remembered when it is meaningfully elaborated.
 
Hermann Ebbinghaus made important contributions to the study of learning, including modeling the forgetting curve, and studying the spacing effect and the benefits of overlearning.
 
Context- and state-dependent learning, as well as primacy and recency effects, influence long-term memory.
 
Memories are stored in connected synapses through the process of long-term potentiation (LTP). In addition to the cortex, other parts of the brain, including the hippocampus, cerebellum, and the amygdala, are also important in memory.
 
Damage to the brain may result in retrograde amnesia or anterograde amnesia. Case studies of patients with amnesia can provide information about the brain structures involved in different types of memory.
 
Memory is influenced by chemicals including glutamate, serotonin, epinephrine, and estrogen.
 
Studies comparing memory enhancers with placebo drugs find very little evidence for their effectiveness. 

Accuracy and Inaccuracy in Memory and Cognition
Our memories fail in part due to inadequate encoding and storage, and in part due to the inability to accurately retrieve stored information.
 
The human brain is wired to develop and make use of social categories and schemas. Schemas help us remember new information but may also lead us to falsely remember things that never happened to us and to distort or misremember things that did.
 
A variety of cognitive biases influence the accuracy of our judgments. 

[1] Innocence Project. (n.d.). Ronald Cotton. Retrieved fromhttp://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/72.php; Thompson, J.

(2000, June 18). I was certain, but I was wrong. New York Times. Retrieved fromhttp://faculty.washington.edu/gloftus/Other_Information/Legal_Stuff/Articles/News_Articles/Thompson_NYT_6_18_2000.

html [2] Wells, G. L., Memon, A., & Penrod, S. D. (2006). Eyewitness evidence: Improving its probative value. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 7(2), 4575.

[3] Chatham, C. (2007, March 27). 10 important differences between brains and computers. Developing Intelligence. Retrieved fromhttp://scienceblogs.com/developingintelligence/2007/03/why_the_brain_ is_not_like_a_co.php [4] Bahrick, H. P. (2000). Long-term maintenance of knowledge. In E. Tulving & F. I. M. Craik (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of memory (pp. 347362). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[5] Mitchell, D. B. (2006). Nonconscious priming after 17 years: Invulnerable implicit memory? Psychological Science, 17(11), 925928.

[6] Wisconsin Medical Society. (n.d.). Retrieved fromhttp://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/_SAVANT/_PROFILES/kim_peek/_media/video/expedition/video.html ; Kim Peek: Savant who was the inspiration for the film Rain Man. (2009, December 23). The Times. Retrieved fromhttp://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article6965115.ece [7] Luria, A. (2004). The mind of a mnemonist: A little book about a vast memory.Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[8] Schacter, D. L. (1996). Searching for memory: The brain, the mind, and the past (1st ed.). New York, NY: Basic Books.

[9] Bartlett, F. C. (1932). Remembering. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

[10] Roediger, H. L., & McDermott, K. B. (1995). Creating false memories: Remembering words not presented in lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 21(4), 803814.

Intelligence and Language

How We Talk (or Do Not Talk) about Intelligence
Summary

The characteristic that is most defining of human beings as a species is that our large cerebral cortexes make us very, very smart. In this chapter we consider how psychologists conceptualize and measure human intelligence--the ability to think, to learn from experience, to solve problems, and to adapt to new situations. We'll consider whether intelligence involves a single ability or many different abilities, how we measure intelligence, what intelligence predicts, and how cultures and societies think about it. We'll also consider intelligence in terms of nature versus nurture and in terms of similarities versus differences among people.

Intelligence is important because it has an impact on many human behaviors. Intelligence is more strongly related than any other individual difference variable to successful educational, occupational, economic, and social outcomes. Scores on intelligence tests predict academic and military performance, as well as success in a wide variety of jobs (Ones, Viswesvaran, & Dilchert, 2005; Schmidt & Hunter, 1998). [2] Intelligence is also negatively correlated with criminal behaviors--the average intelligence quotient (IQ) of delinquent adolescents is about 7 points lower than that of other adolescents (Wilson & Herrnstein, 1985) [3]--and positively correlated with health-related outcomes, including longevity (Gottfredson, 2004; Gottfredson & Deary, 2004). [4] At least some of this latter relationship may be due to the fact that people who are more intelligent are better able to predict and avoid accidents and to understand and follow instructions from doctors or on drug labels. Simonton (2006) [5] also found that among U.S. presidents, the ability to effectively lead was well predicted by ratings of the president's intelligence.

The advantages of having a higher IQ increase as life settings become more complex. The correlation between IQ and job performance is higher in more mentally demanding occupations, such as physician or lawyer, than in less mentally demanding occupations, like clerk or newspaper delivery person (Salgado et al., 2003). [6] Although some specific personality traits, talents, and physical abilities are important for success in some jobs, intelligence predicts performance across all types of jobs.

Our vast intelligence also allows us to have language, a system of communication that uses symbols in a regular way to create meaning. Language gives us the ability communicate our intelligence to others by talking, reading, and writing. As the psychologist Steven Pinker put it, language is the "the jewel in the crown of cognition" (Pinker, 1994). [7] Although other species have at least some ability to communicate, none of them have language. In the last section of this chapter we will consider the structure and development of language, as well as its vital importance to human beings.

Defining and Measuring Intelligence
Intelligence is the ability to think, to learn from experience, to solve problems, and to adapt to new situations.
 
Intelligence is important because it has an impact on many human behaviors.
 
Psychologists believe that there is a construct that accounts for the overall differences in intelligence among people, known as general intelligence (g).
 
There is also evidence for specific intelligences (s), measures of specific skills in narrow domains, including creativity and practical intelligence.
 
The intelligence quotient (IQ) is a measure of intelligence that is adjusted for age. The Wechsler Adult lntelligence Scale (WAIS) is the most widely used IQ test for adults.
 
Brain volume, speed of neural transmission, and working memory capacity are related to IQ.
 
Between 40% and 80% of the variability in IQ is due to genetics, meaning that overall genetics plays a bigger role than does environment in creating IQ differences among individuals.
 
Intelligence is improved by education and may be hindered by environmental factors such as poverty.
 
Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify, assess, manage, and control one's emotions. People who are better able to regulate their behaviors and emotions are also more successful in their personal and social encounters. 

The Social, Cultural, and Political Aspects of Intelligence
IQ is distributed in the population in the form of a normal distribution (frequently known as a bell curve).
 
Mental retardation is a generalized disorder ascribed to people who have an IQ below 70, who have experienced deficits since childhood, and who have trouble with basic life skills, such as dressing and feeding oneself and communicating with others. One cause of mental retardation is Down syndrome.
 
Extremely intelligent individuals are not unhealthy or poorly adjusted, but rather are above average in physical health and taller and heavier than individuals in the general population.
 
Men and women have almost identical intelligence, but men have more variability in their IQ scores than do women.
 
On average, men do better than women on tasks requiring spatial ability, whereas women do better on verbal tasks and score higher on emotional intelligence.
 
Although their bell curves overlap considerably, there are also average group differences for members of different racial and ethnic groups.
 
The observed average differences in intelligence between racial and ethnic groups has at times led to malicious attempts to correct for them, such as the eugenics movement in the early part of the 20th century.
 
The situation in which one takes a test may create stereotype threat--performance decrements that are caused by the knowledge of cultural stereotypes. 

Communicating With Others: The Development and Use of Language
Language involves both the ability to comprehend spoken and written words and to speak and write. Some languages are sign languages, in which the communication is expressed by movements of the hands.
 
Phonemes are the elementary sounds of our language, morphemes are the smallest units of meaningful language, syntax is the grammatical rules that control how words are put together, and contextual information is the elements of communication that help us understand its meaning.
 
Recent research suggests that there is not a single critical period of language learning, but that language learning is simply better when it occurs earlier.
 
Broca's area is responsible for language production. Wernicke's area is responsible for language comprehension.
 
Language learning begins even before birth. An infant usually produces his or her first words at about 1 year of age.
 
One explanation of language development is that it occurs through principles of learning, including association, reinforcement, and the observation of others.
 
Noam Chomsky argues that human brains contain a language acquisition module that includes a universal grammar that underlies all human language. Chomsky differentiates between the deep structure and the surface structure of an idea.
 
Although other animals communicate and may be able to express ideas, only the human brain is complex enough to create real language.
 
Our language may have some influence on our thinking, but it does not affect our underlying understanding of concepts. 

[1] Goldin, G., Goldin, R., & Foulkes, A. (2005, February 21). How Summers offended: Harvard president's comments underscored the gender bias we've experienced. The Washington Post, p. A27. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A40693-2005Feb20.html

[2] Ones, D. S., Viswesvaran, C., & Dilchert, S. (2005). Cognitive ability in selection decisions. In O. Wilhelm & R. W. Engle (Eds.), Handbook of understanding and measuring intelligence (pp. 431468). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; Schmidt, F., & Hunter, J. (1998). The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings. Psychological Bulletin, 124(2), 262274.

[3] Wilson, J. Q., & Herrnstein, R. J. (1985). Crime and human nature. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

[4] Gottfredson, L. S. (2004). Life, death, and intelligence. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology, 4(1), 2346; Gottfredson, L. S., & Deary, I. J. (2004). Intelligence predicts health and longevity, but why? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(1), 14.

[5] Simonton, D. K. (2006). Presidential IQ, openness, intellectual brilliance, and leadership: Estimates and correlations for 42 U.S. chief executives. Political Psychology, 27(4), 511526.

[6] Salgado, J. F., Anderson, N., Moscoso, S., Bertua, C., de Fruyt, F., & Rolland, J. P. (2003). A meta-analytic study of general mental ability validity for different occupations in the European Community. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(6), 10681081.

[7] Pinker, S. (1994). The language instinct (1st ed.). New York, NY: William Morrow.

Emotions and Motivations

Captain Sullenberger Conquers His Emotions
Summary

The topic of this chapter is affect, defined as the experience of feeling or emotion. Affect is an essential part of the study of psychology because it plays such an important role in everyday life. As we will see, affect guides behavior, helps us make decisions, and has a major impact on our mental and physical health.

The two fundamental components of affect are emotions and motivation. Both of these words have the same underlying Latin root, meaning "to move." In contrast to cognitive processes that are calm, collected, and frequently rational, emotions and motivations involve arousal, or our experiences of the bodily responses created by the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Because they involve arousal, emotions and motivations are "hot"--they "charge," "drive," or "move" our behavior.

When we experience emotions or strong motivations, we feel the experiences. When we become aroused, the sympathetic nervous system provides us with energy to respond to our environment. The liver puts extra sugar into the bloodstream, the heart pumps more blood, our pupils dilate to help us see better, respiration increases, and we begin to perspire to cool the body. The stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine are released. We experience these responses as arousal.

An emotion is a mental and physiological feeling state that directs our attention and guides our behavior. Whether it is the thrill of a roller-coaster ride that elicits an unexpected scream, the flush of embarrassment that follows a public mistake, or the horror of a potential plane crash that creates an exceptionally brilliant response in a pilot, emotions move our actions. Emotions normally serve an adaptive role: We care for infants because of the love we feel for them, we avoid making a left turn onto a crowded highway because we fear that a speeding truck may hit us, and we are particularly nice to Mandy because we are feeling guilty that we didn't go to her party. But emotions may also be destructive, such as when a frustrating experience leads us to lash out at others who do not deserve it.

Motivations are closely related to emotions. A motivation is a driving force that initiates and directs behavior. Some motivations are biological, such as the motivation for food, water, and sex. But there are a variety of other personal and social motivations that can influence behavior, including the motivations for social approval and acceptance, the motivation to achieve, and the motivation to take, or to avoid taking, risks (Morsella, Bargh, & Gollwitzer, 2009). [2] In each case we follow our motivations because they are rewarding. As predicted by basic theories of operant learning, motivations lead us to engage in particular behaviors because doing so makes us feel good.

Motivations are often considered in psychology in terms of drives, which are internal states that are activated when the physiological characteristics of the body are out of balance, and goals, which are desired end states that we strive to attain. Motivation can thus be conceptualized as a series of behavioral responses that lead us to attempt to reduce drives and to attain goals by comparing our current state with a desired end state (Lawrence, Carver, & Scheier, 2002). [3] Like a thermostat on an air conditioner, the body tries to maintain homeostasis, the natural state of the body's systems, with goals, drives, and arousal in balance. When a drive or goal is aroused--for instance, when we are hungry--the thermostat turns on and we start to behave in a way that attempts to reduce the drive or meet the goal (in this case to seek food). As the body works toward the desired end state, the thermostat continues to check whether or not the end state has been reached. Eventually, the need or goal is satisfied (we eat), and the relevant behaviors are turned off. The body's thermostat continues to check for homeostasis and is always ready to react to future needs.

In addition to more basic motivations such as hunger, a variety of other personal and social motivations can also be conceptualized in terms of drives or goals. When the goal of studying for an exam is hindered because we take a day off from our schoolwork, we may work harder on our studying on the next day to move us toward our goal. When we are dieting, we may be more likely to have a big binge on a day when the scale says that we have met our prior day's goals. And when we are lonely, the motivation to be around other people is aroused and we try to socialize. In many, if not most cases, our emotions and motivations operate out of our conscious awareness to guide our behavior (Freud, 1922; Hassin, Bargh, & Zimerman, 2009; Williams, Bargh, Nocera, & Gray, 2009). [4]

We begin this chapter by considering the role of affect on behavior, discussing the most important psychological theories of emotions. Then we will consider how emotions influence our mental and physical health. We will discuss how the experience of long-term stress causes illness, and then turn to research on positive thinking and what has been learned about the beneficial health effects of more positive emotions. Finally, we will review some of the most important human motivations, including the behaviors of eating and sex. The importance of this chapter is not only in helping you gain an understanding the principles of affect but also in helping you discover the important roles that affect plays in our everyday lives, and particularly in our mental and physical health. The study of the interface between affect and physical health--that principle that "everything that is physiological is also psychological"--is a key focus of the branch of psychology known as health psychology. The importance of this topic has made health psychology one of the fastest growing fields in psychology.

The Experience of Emotion
Emotions are the normally adaptive mental and physiological feeling states that direct our attention and guide our behavior.
 
Emotional states are accompanied by arousal, our experiences of the bodily responses created by the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system.
 
Motivations are forces that guide behavior. They can be biological, such as hunger and thirst; personal, such as the motivation for achievement; or social, such as the motivation for acceptance and belonging.
 
The most fundamental emotions, known as the basic emotions, are those of anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise.
 
Cognitive appraisal allows us to also experience a variety of secondary emotions.
 
According to the Cannon-Bard theory of emotion, the experience of an emotion is accompanied by physiological arousal.
 
According to the James-Lange theory of emotion, our experience of an emotion is the result of the arousal that we experience.
 
According to the two-factor theory of emotion, the experience of emotion is determined by the intensity of the arousal we are experiencing, and the cognitive appraisal of the situation determines what the emotion will be.
 
When people incorrectly label the source of the arousal that they are experiencing, we say that they have misattributed their arousal.
 
We express our emotions to others through nonverbal behaviors, and we learn about the emotions of others by observing them. 

Stress: The Unseen Killer
Stress refers to the physiological responses that occur when an organism fails to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats.
 
The general adaptation syndrome refers to the three distinct phases of physiological change that occur in response to long-term stress: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.
 
Stress is normally adaptive because it helps us respond to potentially dangerous events by activating the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system. But the experience of prolonged stress has a direct negative influence on our physical health.
 
Chronic stress is a major contributor to heart disease. It also decreases our ability to fight off colds and infections.
 
Stressors can occur as a result of both major and minor everyday events.
 
Men tend to respond to stress with the fight-or-flight response, whereas women are more likely to take a tend-and- befriend response. 

Positive Emotions: The Power of Happiness
Positive thinking can be beneficial to our health.
 
Optimism, self-efficacy, and hardiness all relate to positive health outcomes.
 
Happiness is determined in part by genetic factors, but also by the experience of social support.
 
People may not always know what will make them happy.
 
Material wealth plays only a small role in determining happiness. 

Two Fundamental Human Motivations: Eating and Mating
Biologically, hunger is controlled by the interactions among complex pathways in the nervous system and a variety of hormonal and chemical systems in the brain and body.
 
How we eat is also influenced by our environment, including social norms about appropriate body size.
 
Homeostasis varies among people and is determined by the basal metabolic rate. Low metabolic rates, which are determined entirely by genetics, make weight management a very difficult undertaking for many people.
 
Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, affect more than 10 million people (mostly women) in the United States alone.
 
Obesity is a medical condition in which so much excess body fat has accumulated in the body that it begins to have an adverse impact on health. Uncontrolled obesity leads to health problems including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, arthritis, and some types of cancer.
 
The two approaches to controlling weight are to eat less and exercise more.
 
Sex drive is regulated by the sex hormones estrogen in women and testosterone in both women and men.
 
Although their biological determinants and experiences of sex are similar, men and women differ substantially in their overall interest in sex, the frequency of their sexual activities, and the mates they are most interested in.
 
Sexual behavior varies widely, not only between men and women but also within each sex.
 
There is also variety in sexual orientation: toward people of the opposite sex, people of the same sex, or people of both sexes. The determinants of sexual orientation are primarily biological.
 
We can outwit stress, obesity, and other health risks through appropriate healthy action. 

[1] Levin, A. (2009, June 9). Experience averts tragedy in Hudson landing. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-06-08-hudson_N.htm; National Transportation Safety Board. (2009, June 9).

Excerpts of Flight 1549 cockpit communications. USA Today. Retrieved fromhttp://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-06-09- hudson-cockpit-transcript_N.htm [2] Morsella, E., Bargh, J. A., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2009). Oxford handbook of human action. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[3] Lawrence, J. W., Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (2002). Velocity toward goal attainment in immediate experience as a determinant of affect. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32(4), 788802.

[4] Freud, S. (1922). The unconscious. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 56(3), 291; Hassin, R. R., Bargh, J. A., & Zimerman, S. (2009). Automatic and flexible: The case of nonconscious goal pursuit. Social Cognition, 27(1), 2036; Williams, L. E., Bargh, J. A., Nocera, C. C., & Gray, J. R. (2009). The unconscious regulation of emotion: Nonconscious reappraisal goals modulate emotional reactivity. Emotion, 9(6), 847854.

Personality

Identical Twins Reunited after 35 Years
Summary

One of the most fundamental tendencies of human beings is to size up other people. We say that Bill is fun, that Marian is adventurous, or that Frank is dishonest. When we make these statements, we mean that we believe that these people have stable individual characteristics-- their personalities. Personality is defined as an individual's consistent patterns of feeling, thinking, and behaving (John, Robins, & Pervin, 2008). [2]

The tendency to perceive personality is a fundamental part of human nature, and a most adaptive one. If we can draw accurate generalizations about what other people are normally like, we can predict how they will behave in the future, and this can help us determine how they are likely to respond in different situations. Understanding personality can also help us better understand psychological disorders and the negative behavioral outcomes they may produce. In short, personality matters because it guides behavior.

In this chapter we will consider the wide variety of personality traits found in human beings. We'll consider how and when personality influences our behavior, and how well we perceive the personalities of others. We will also consider how psychologists measure personality, and the extent to which personality is caused by nature versus nurture. The fundamental goal of personality psychologists is to understand what makes people different from each other (the study of individual differences), but they also find that people who share genes (as do Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein) have a remarkable similarity in personality.

Personality and Behavior: Approaches and Measurement
Personality is an individual's consistent patterns of feeling, thinking, and behaving.
 
Personality is driven in large part by underlying individual motivations, where motivation refers to a need or desire that directs behavior.
 
Early theories assumed that personality was expressed in people's physical appearance. One of these approaches, known as physiognomy, has been validated by current research.
 
Personalities are characterized in terms of traits--relatively enduring characteristics that influence our behavior across many situations.
 
The most important and well-validated theory about the traits of normal personality is the Five-Factor Model of Personality.
 
There is often only a low correlation between the specific traits that a person expresses in one situation and those that he expresses in other situations. This is in part because people tend to see more traits in other people than they do in themselves. Personality predicts behavior better when the behaviors are aggregated or averaged across different situations.
 
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is the most important measure of psychological disorders.
 
Projective measures are measures of personality in which unstructured stimuli, such as inkblots, drawings of social situations, or incomplete sentences are shown to participants, who are asked to freely list what comes to mind as they think about the stimuli. Despite their widespread use, however, the empirical evidence supporting the use of projective tests is mixed. 

The Origins of Personality
One of the most important psychological approaches to understanding personality is based on the psychodynamic approach to personality developed by Sigmund Freud.
 
For Freud the mind was like an iceberg, with the many motivations of the unconscious being much larger, but also out of sight, in comparison to the consciousness of which we are aware.
 
Freud proposed that the mind is divided into three components: id, ego, and superego, and that the interactions and conflicts among the components create personality.
 
Freud proposed that we use defense mechanisms to cope with anxiety and to maintain a positive self-image.
 
Freud argued that personality is developed through a series of psychosexual stages, each focusing on pleasure from a different part of the body.
 
The neo-Freudian theorists, including Adler, Jung, Horney, and Fromm, emphasized the role of the unconscious and early experience in shaping personality, but placed less evidence on sexuality as the primary motivating force in personality.
 
Psychoanalytic and behavioral models of personality were complemented during the 1950s and 1960s by the theories of humanistic psychologists, including Maslow and Rogers. 

Is Personality More Nature or More Nurture? Behavioral and Molecular Genetics
Genes are the basic biological units that transmit characteristics from one generation to the next.
 
Personality is not determined by any single gene, but rather by the actions of many genes working together.
 
Behavioral genetics refers to a variety of research techniques that scientists use to learn about the genetic and environmental influences on human behavior.
 
Behavioral genetics is based on the results of family studies, twin studies, and adoptive studies.
 
Overall, genetics has more influence than do parents on shaping our personality.
 
Molecular genetics is the study of which genes are associated with which personality traits.
 
The largely unknown environmental influences, known as the nonshared environmental effects, have the largest impact on personality. Because these differences are nonsystematic and largely accidental or random, we do not inherit our personality in any fixed sense. 

[1] Spilius, A. (2007, October 27). Identical twins reunited after 35 years. Telegraph.Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1567542/Identical-twins-reunited-after-35-years.html; Kuntzman, G. (2007, October 6). Separated twins Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein. The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved fromhttp://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/30/39/30_39twins.html [2] John, O. P., Robins, R. W., & Pervin, L. A. (2008). Handbook of personality psychology: Theory and research (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Defining Psychological Disorders

When Minor Body Imperfections Lead to Suicide
Summary

Psychological Disorder: What Makes a Behavior "Abnormal"?
More psychologists are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorder than in any other endeavor, and those tasks are probably the most important psychologists face.
 
The impact on people with a psychological disorder comes both from the disease itself and from the stigma associated with disorder.
 
A psychological disorder is an ongoing dysfunctional pattern of thought, emotion, and behavior that causes significant distress and that is considered deviant in that person's culture or society.
 
According to the bio-psycho-social model, psychological disorders have biological, psychological, and social causes.
 
It is difficult to diagnose psychological disorders, although the DSMprovides guidelines that are based on a category system. The DSM is frequently revised, taking into consideration new knowledge as well as changes in cultural norms about disorder.
 
There is controversy about the diagnosis of disorders such as ADHD, autistic disorder, and Asperger's disorder. 

Anxiety and Dissociative Disorders: Fearing the World Around Us
 Anxiety is a natural part of life, but too much anxiety can be debilitating. Every year millions of people suffer from anxiety disorders.
 
People who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder experience anxiety, as well as a variety of physical symptoms.
 
Panic disorder involves the experience of panic attacks, including shortness of breath, heart palpitations, trembling, and dizziness.
 
Phobias are specific fears of a certain object, situation, or activity. Phobias are characterized by their specificity and their irrationality.
 
A common phobia is social phobia, extreme shyness around people or discomfort in social situations.
 
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is diagnosed when a person's repetitive thoughts are so disturbing and their compulsive behaviors so time consuming that they cause distress and significant disruption in a person's everyday life.
 
People who have survived a terrible ordeal, such as combat, torture, rape, imprisonment, abuse, natural disasters, or the death of someone close to them, may develop PTSD.
 
Dissociative disorders, including dissociative amnesia and dissociative fugue, are conditions that involve disruptions or breakdowns of memory, awareness, and identity. The dissociation is used as a defense against the trauma.
 
Dissociative identity disorder, in which two or more distinct and individual personalities exist in the same person, is relatively rare and difficult to diagnose.
 
Both nature and nurture contribute to the development of anxiety disorders. 

Mood Disorders: Emotions as Illness
Mood is the positive or negative feelings that are in the background of our everyday experiences.
 
We all may get depressed in our daily lives, but people who suffer from mood disorders tend to experience more intense--and particularly more intense negative--moods.
 
The most common symptom of mood disorders is negative mood.
 
If a person experiences mild but long-lasting depression, she will be diagnosed with dysthymia. If the depression continues and becomes even more severe, the diagnosis may become that of major depressive disorder.
 
Bipolar disorder is characterized by swings in mood from overly "high" to sad and hopeless, and back again, with periods of near-normal mood in between.
 
Mood disorders are caused by the interplay among biological, psychological, and social variables. 

Schizophrenia: The Edge of Reality and Consciousness
Schizophrenia is a serious psychological disorder marked by delusions, hallucinations, and loss of contact with reality.
 
Schizophrenia is accompanied by a variety of symptoms, but not all patients have all of them.
 
Because the schizophrenic patient has lost contact with reality, we say that he or she is experiencing psychosis.
 
Positive symptoms of schizophrenia include hallucinations, delusions, derailment, disorganized behavior, inappropriate affect, and catatonia.
 
Negative symptoms of schizophrenia include social withdrawal, poor hygiene and grooming, poor problem-solving abilities, and a distorted sense of time.
 
Cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia include difficulty comprehending and using information and problems maintaining focus.
 
There is no single cause of schizophrenia. Rather, there are a variety of biological and environmental risk factors that interact in a complex way to increase the likelihood that someone might develop schizophrenia. 

Personality Disorders
A personality disorder is a disorder characterized by inflexible patterns of thinking, feeling, or relating to others that causes problems in personal, social, and work situations.
 
Personality disorders are categorized into three clusters: those characterized by odd or eccentric behavior, dramatic or erratic behavior, and anxious or inhibited behavior.
 
Although they are considered as separate disorders, the personality disorders are essentially milder versions of more severe Axis I disorders.
 
Borderline personality disorder is a prolonged disturbance of personality accompanied by mood swings, unstable personal relationships, and identity problems, and it is often associated with suicide.
 
Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a disregard of others' rights and a tendency to violate those rights without being concerned about doing so. 

Somatoform, Factitious, and Sexual Disorders
Somatoform disorders, including body dysmorphic disorder and hypochondriasis, occur when people become excessively and inaccurately preoccupied with the potential that they have an illness or stigma.
 
Patients with factitious disorder fake physical symptoms in large part because they enjoy the attention and treatment that they receive in the hospital. In the more severe form of factitious disorder known as Mnchhausen syndrome, the patient has a lifelong pattern with a series of successive hospitalizations for faked symptoms.
 
Sexual dysfunction is a psychological disorder that occurs when the physical sexual response cycle is inadequate for reproduction or for sexual enjoyment. The types of problems experienced are different for men and women. Many sexual dysfunctions are only temporary or can be treated with therapy or medication.
 
Gender identity disorder (GID, also called transsexualism) is a rare disorder that is diagnosed when the individual displays a repeated and strong desire to be the other sex, a persistent discomfort with one's sex, and a belief that one was born the wrong sex, accompanied by significant dysfunction and distress.
 
The classification of GID as a mental disorder has been challenged because people who suffer from it do not regard their own cross-gender feelings and behaviors as a disorder and do not feel that they are distressed or dysfunctional.
 
A paraphilia is a sexual deviation where sexual arousal is obtained from a consistent pattern of inappropriate responses to objects or people, and in which the behaviors associated with the feelings are distressing and dysfunctional. Some paraphilias are illegal because they involve a lack of consent on the part of the recipient of the sexual advance, but other paraphilias are simply unusual, even though they may not cause distress or dysfunction. 

[1] Mitchell, N. (Producer). (2002, April 28). Body dysmorphic disorder and cosmetic "surgery of the psyche." All in the mind. ABC Radio National. Retrieved fromhttp://www.abc.net.au/rn/allinthemind/stories/2003/746058.htm

Treating Psychological Disorders

Therapy on Four Legs
Summary

Psychological disorders create a tremendous individual, social, and economic drain on society. Disorders make it difficult for people to engage in productive lives and effectively contribute to their family and to society. Disorders lead to disability and absenteeism in the workplace, as well as physical problems, premature death, and suicide. At a societal level the costs are staggering. It has been estimated that the annual financial burden of each case of anxiety disorder is over $3,000 per year, meaning that the annual cost of anxiety disorders alone in the United States runs into the trillions of dollars (Konnopka, Leichsenring, Leibing, & Knig, 2009; Smit et al., 2006). [3]

The goal of this chapter is to review the techniques that are used to treat psychological disorder. Just as psychologists consider the causes of disorder in terms of the bio-psycho-social model of illness, treatment is also based on psychological, biological, and social approaches.

The psychological approach to reducing disorder involves providing help to individuals or families through psychological therapy, including psychoanalysis, humanistic-oriented therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and other approaches.

The biomedical approach to reducing disorder is based on the use of medications to treat mental disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety, as well as the employment of brain intervention techniques, including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and psychosurgery.

The social approach to reducing disorder focuses on changing the social environment in which individuals live to reduce the underlying causes of disorder. These approaches include group, couples, and family therapy, as well as community outreach programs. The community approach is likely to be the most effective of the three approaches because it focuses not only on treatment, but also on prevention of disorders (World Health Organization, 2004). [4]

A clinician may focus on any or all of the three approaches to treatment, but in making a decision about which to use, he or she will always rely on his or her knowledge about existing empirical tests of the effectiveness of different treatments. These tests, known as outcome studies, carefully compare people who receive a given treatment with people who do not receive a treatment, or with people who receive a different type of treatment. Taken together, these studies have confirmed that many types of therapies are effective in treating disorder.

Reducing Disorder by Confronting It: Psychotherapy
Psychoanalysis is based on the principles of Freudian and neo-Freudian personality theories. The goal is to explore the unconscious dynamics of personality.
 
Humanist therapy, derived from the personality theory of Carl Rogers, is based on the idea that people experience psychological problems when they are burdened by limits and expectations placed on them by themselves and others.
 
Its focus is on helping people reach their life goals.
 
Behavior therapy applies the principles of classical and operant conditioning, as well as observational learning, to the elimination of maladaptive behaviors and their replacement with more adaptive responses.
 
Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck developed cognitive-based therapies to help clients stop negative thoughts and replace them with more objective thoughts.
 
Eclectic therapy is the most common approach to treatment. In eclectic therapy, the therapist uses whatever treatment approaches seem most likely to be effective for the client. 

Reducing Disorder Biologically: Drug and Brain Therapy
Psychostimulants are commonly prescribed to reduce the symptoms of ADHD.
 
Antipsychotic drugs play a crucial role in the treatment of schizophrenia. They do not cure schizophrenia, but they help reduce the positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms, making it easier to live with the disease.
 
Antidepressant drugs are used in the treatment of depression, anxiety, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
 
They gradually elevate mood by working to balance neurotransmitters in the CNS. The most commonly prescribed antidepressants are the SSRIs.
 
Antianxiety drugs (tranquilizers) relieve apprehension, tension, and nervousness and are prescribed for people with diagnoses of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and panic disorder. The drugs are effective but have severe side effects including dependence and withdrawal symptoms.
 
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a controversial procedure used to treat severe depression, in which electric currents are passed through the brain, deliberately triggering a brief seizure.
 
A newer method of brain stimulation is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a noninvasive procedure that employs a pulsing magnetic coil to electrically stimulate the brain. 

Reducing Disorder by Changing the Social Situation
Group therapy is psychotherapy in which clients receive psychological treatment together with others. A professionally trained therapist guides the group. Types of group therapy include couples therapy and family therapy.
 
Self-help groups have been used to help individuals cope with many types of disorder.
 
The goal of community health service programs is to act during childhood or early adolescence with the hope that interventions might prevent disorders from appearing or keep existing disorders from expanding. The prevention provided can be primary, secondary, or tertiary. 

Evaluating Treatment and Prevention: What Works?
Outcome research is designed to differentiate the effects of a treatment from natural improvement, nonspecific treatment effects, and placebo effects.
 
Meta-analysis is used to integrate and draw conclusions about studies.
 
Research shows that getting psychological therapy is better at reducing disorder than not getting it, but many of the results are due to nonspecific effects. All good therapies give people hope and help them think more carefully about themselves and about their relationships with others.
 
Biomedical treatments are effective, at least in the short term, but overall they are less effective than psychotherapy.
 
One problem with drug therapies is that although they provide temporary relief, they do not treat the underlying cause of the disorder.
 
Federally funded community mental health service programs are effective, but their preventive effects may in many cases be minor. 

[1] Shim, J. (2008, January 29). Dogs chase nightmares of war away. CNN. Retrieved fromhttp://edition.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/personal/01/29/dogs.veterans; Lorber, J. (2010, April 3). For the battle-scarred, comfort at leash's end. The New York Times. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/04/us/04dogs.html; Alaimo, C. A. (2010, April 11). Psychiatric service dogs use senses to aid owners. Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved fromhttp://azstarnet.com/news/local/article_d24b5799-9b31-548c-afec-c0160e45f49c.html; Schwartz, A. N. (2008, March 16). Psychiatric service dogs, very special dogs, indeed. Dr. Schwartz's Weblog. Retrieved from http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=14844

[2] Odendaal, J. S. J. (2000). Animal-assisted therapy--Magic or medicine? Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 49(4), 275280.

[3] Konnopka, A., Leichsenring, F., Leibing, E., & Knig, H.-H. (2009). Cost-of-illness studies and cost-effectiveness analyses in anxiety disorders: A systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders, 114(13), 1431; Smit, F., Cuijpers, P., Oostenbrink, J., Batelaan, N., de Graaf, R., & Beekman, A. (2006). Costs of nine common mental disorders: Implications for curative and preventive psychiatry. Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, 9(4), 193200.

[4] World Health Organization. (2004). Prevention of mental disorders: Effective interventions and policy options: Summary report. Retrieved fromhttp://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/en/Prevention_of_Mental_Disorders.pdf

Psychology in Our Social Lives

Binge Drinking and the Death of a Homecoming Queen
Summary

We have now reached the last chapter of our journey through the field of psychology. The subdiscipline of psychology discussed in this chapter reflects the highest level of explanation that we will consider. This topic, known as social psychology, is defined as the scientific study of how we feel about, think about, and behave toward the other people around us, and how those people influence our thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

The subject matter of social psychology is our everyday interactions with people, including the social groups to which we belong. Questions these psychologists ask include why we are often helpful to other people but at other times are unfriendly or aggressive; why we sometimes conform to the behaviors of others but at other times are able to assert our independence; and what factors help groups work together in effective and productive, rather than in ineffective and unproductive, ways. A fundamental principle of social psychology is that, although we may not always be aware of it, our cognitions, emotions, and behaviors are substantially influenced by the social situation, or the people with whom we are interacting.

In this chapter we will introduce the principles of social cognition--the part of human thinking that helps us understand and predict the behavior of ourselves and others--and consider the ways that our judgments about other people guide our behaviors toward them. We'll explore how we form impressions of other people, and what makes us like or dislike them. We'll also see how our attitudes--our enduring evaluations of people or things--influence, and are influenced by, our behavior.

Then we will consider the social psychology of interpersonal relationships, including the behaviors of altruism, aggression, and conformity. We will see that humans have a natural tendency to help each other, but that we may also become aggressive if we feel that we are being threatened. And we will see how social norms, the accepted beliefs about what we do or what we should do in particular social situations (such as the norm of binge drinking common on many college campuses), influence our behavior. Finally, we will consider the social psychology of social groups, with a particular focus on the conditions that limit and potentially increase productive group performance and decision-making.

The principles of social psychology can help us understand tragic events such as the death of Sam Spady. Many people might blame the tragedy on Sam herself, asking, for instance, "Why did she drink so much?" or "Why didn't she say no?" As we will see in this chapter, research conducted by social psychologists shows that the poor decisions Sam made on the night she died may have been due less to her own personal weaknesses or deficits than to her desires to fit in with and be accepted by the others around her--desires that in her case led to a disastrous outcome.

Social Cognition: Making Sense of Ourselves and Others
Social psychology is the scientific study of how we influence, and are influenced by, the people around us.
 
Social cognition involves forming impressions of ourselves and other people. Doing so quickly and accurately is functional for social life.
 
Our initial judgments of others are based in large part on what we see. The physical features of other people--and particularly their sex, race, age, and physical attractiveness--are very salient, and we often focus our attention on these dimensions.
 
We are attracted to people who appear to be healthy. Indicators of health include youth, symmetry, and averageness.
 
We frequently use people's appearances to form our judgments about them, and to determine our responses to them. These responses include stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. Social psychologists believe that people should get past their prejudices and judge people as individuals.
 
Close relationships are based on intimacy. Intimacy is determined by similarity, self-disclosure, interdependence, commitment, rewards, and passion.
 
Causal attribution is the process of trying to determine the causes of people's behavior with the goal of learning about their personalities. Although people are reasonably accurate in their attributions, they also succumb to biases such as the fundamental attribution error.
 
Attitudes refer to our relatively enduring evaluations of people and things. Attitudes are determined in part by genetic transmission from our parents and in part through direct and indirect experiences.
 
Although attitudes predict behaviors, behaviors also predict attitudes. This occurs through the processes of self- perception and cognitive dissonance. 

Interacting With Others: Helping, Hurting, and Conforming
Altruism is behavior that is designed to increase another person's welfare, and particularly those actions that do not seem to provide a direct reward to the person who performs them. The tendency to help others in need is in part a functional evolutionary adaptation and in part determined by environmental factors.
 
Although helping others can be costly to us as individuals, helping people who are related to us can perpetuate our own genes. Some helping is based on reciprocal altruism, the principle that if we help other people now, those others will return the favor should we need their help in the future.
 
We also learn to help through modeling and reinforcement. The result of this learning is norms about helping, including the reciprocity norm and the social responsibility norm.
 
Research testing the Latan and Darley model of helping has shown the importance of the social situation in noticing, interpreting, and acting in emergency situations.
 
Aggression is physical or nonphysical behavior that is intended to harm another individual. Aggression has both genetic and environmental causes. The experience of negative emotions tends to increase aggression.
 
Viewing violence tends to increase aggression.
 
The social norm that condones and even encourages responding to insults with aggression is known as the culture of honor.
 
Conformity, the change in beliefs or behavior that occurs as the result of the presence of the other people around us, can occur in both active and passive ways. The typical outcome of conformity is that our beliefs and behaviors become more similar to those of others around us.
 
The situation is the most powerful determinant of conformity, but individual differences may also matter. The important influence of the social situation on conformity was demonstrated in the research by Sherif, Asch, Milgram, and others.
 
Minority influence can change attitudes and change how majorities process information.

Working With Others: The Costs and Benefits of Social Groups
The performance of working groups is almost never as good as we would expect, given the number of individuals in the group, and in some cases may even be inferior to the performance of one or more members of the group working alone.
 
The tendency to perform tasks better or faster in the presence of others is known as social facilitation. The tendency to perform tasks more poorly or more slowly in the presence of others is known as social inhibition.
 
The ability of a group to perform well is determined by the characteristics of the group members as well as by the events that occur in the group itself--the group process.
 
One group process loss that may occur in groups is that the group members may engage in social loafing. Group process losses can also occur as a result of groupthink, when group members conform to each other rather than expressing their own divergent ideas.
 
Taken together, working in groups has both positive and negative outcomes. It is important to recognize both the strengths and limitations of group performance and use whatever techniques we can to increase process gains and reduce process losses.

[1] Sidman, J. (2006, June 26). A college student's death may help save lives. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-06-26-spady -binge-drinking_x.htm

[2] National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2010). Statistical snapshot of college drinking. Retrieved fromhttp://www.niaaa.nih.gov/AboutNIAAA/NIAAASponsoredPrograms /StatisticalSnapshotCollegeDrinking.htm

[3] Sidman, J. (2006, June 26). A college student's death may help save lives. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-06-26-spady -binge-drinking_x.htm

Psychology as a Science

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Explain why using our intuition about everyday behavior is insufficient for a complete understanding of the causes of behavior.
  2. Describe the difference between values and facts and explain how the scientific method is used to differentiate between the two.

Despite the differences in their interests, areas of study, and approaches, all psychologists have one thing in common: They rely on scientific methods. Research psychologists use scientific methods to create new knowledge about the causes of behavior, whereas psychologist-practitioners, such as clinical, counseling, industrial-organizational, and school psychologists, use existing research to enhance the everyday life of others. The science of psychology is important for both researchers and practitioners.

In a sense all humans are scientists. We all have an interest in asking and answering questions about our world. We want to know why things happen, when and if they are likely to happen again, and how to reproduce or change them. Such knowledge enables us to predict our own behavior and that of others. We may even collect data (i.e., any information collected through formal observation or measurement) to aid us in this undertaking. It has been argued that people are "everyday scientists" who conduct research projects to answer questions about behavior (Nisbett & Ross, 1980). [1] When we perform poorly on an important test, we try to understand what caused our failure to remember or understand the material and what might help us do better the next time. When our good friends Monisha and Charlie break up, despite the fact that they appeared to have a relationship made in heaven, we try to determine what happened. When we contemplate the rise of terrorist acts around the world, we try to investigate the causes of this problem by looking at the terrorists themselves, the situation around them, and others' responses to them.

The Problem of Intuition
The results of "everyday" research projects can teach us many principles of human behavior. In fact, much research in psychology involves the scientific study of everyday behavior.[2] However, people collect and interpret data in their everyday lives in ways that are not always particularly thorough. Often, we adopt an explanation that seems "right" as the truth even when other possible explanations are potentially more accurate, and a variety of biases influence our perceptions, resulting in erroneous conclusions. Therefore, accepting explanations for events without testing them thoroughly may lead us to think that we know the causes of things when we really do not. Once we know the outcome of an event, we frequently believe that we could have predicted the outcome when we probably couldn't have. This tendency is called the hindsight bias. 

Why Psychologists Rely on Empirical Methods
All scientists use empirical methods to study the topics that interest them. Empirical methods include the processes of collecting and organizing data and drawing conclusions about those data. We can label the scientific method as the set of assumptions, rules, and procedures that scientists use to conduct empirical research. However, not all questions can be answered using scientific approaches. Scientists therefore draw a distinction between values and facts. Values are personal statements, and facts are objective statements determined to be accurate through empirical study. Because values cannot be considered to be either true or false, science cannot prove or disprove them. Nevertheless, research can provide facts that can help people develop their values.

Sometimes further research will disprove previously held scientific notions. When old facts are discarded, they are replaced with new facts based on newer and more correct data. Although science is not perfect, the requirements of empiricism and objectivity result in a much greater chance of producing an accurate understanding of human behavior than available through other approaches. 

Levels of Explanation in Psychology
Summary

The Challenges of Studying Psychology
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING 

  1.  Can you think of a time when you used your intuition to analyze an outcome, only to be surprised later to find that your explanation was completely incorrect? Did this surprise help you understand how intuition may sometimes lead us astray?
  2. Describe the scientific method in a way that someone who knows nothing about science could understand it.
  3. Consider a behavior that you find to be important and think about its potential causes at different levels of explanation. How do you think psychologists would study this behavior? 


[1] Nisbett, R. E., & Ross, L. (1980). Human inference: Strategies and shortcomings of social judgment. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

[2] Heider, F. (1958). The psychology of interpersonal relations. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum; Kelley, H. H. (1967). Attribution theory in social psychology. In D. Levine (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation (Vol. 15, pp. 192-240). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

[3] Cutler, B. L., & Wells, G. L. (2009). Expert testimony regarding eyewitness identification. In J. L. Skeem, S. O. Lilienfeld, & K. S. Douglas (Eds.), Psychological science in the courtroom: Consensus and controversy (pp. 100123). New York, NY: Guilford Press; Wells, G. L., & Hasel, L. E. (2008). Eyewitness identification: Issues in common knowledge and generalization. In E. Borgida & S. T. Fiske (Eds.), Beyond common sense: Psychological science in the courtroom (pp. 159176). Malden, NJ: Blackwell.

[4] Gilovich, T. (1993). How we know what isn't so: The fallibility of human reason in everyday life. New York, NY: Free Press.

[5] Fiske, S. T., & Taylor, S. E. (2007). Social cognition: From brains to culture. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.; Hsee, C. K., & Hastie, R. (2006). Decision and experience: Why don't we choose what makes us happy? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10(1), 3137.

[6] Brendl, C. M., Chattopadhyay, A., Pelham, B. W., & Carvallo, M. (2005). Name letter branding: Valence transfers when product specific needs are active. Journal of Consumer Research, 32(3), 405415.

[7] Cacioppo, J. T., Berntson, G. G., Sheridan, J. F., & McClintock, M. K. (2000). Multilevel integrative analyses of human behavior: Social neuroscience and the complementing nature of social and biological approaches. Psychological Bulletin, 126(6), 829843.

[8] Williams, N., Simpson, A. N., Simpson, K., & Nahas, Z. (2009). Relapse rates with long-term antidepressant drug therapy: A meta-analysis. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 24(5), 401408.

[9] Chen, P.-Y., Wang, S.-C., Poland, R. E., & Lin, K.-M. (2009). Biological variations in depression and anxiety between East and West. CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics, 15(3), 283294; Seedat, S., Scott, K. M., Angermeyer, M. C., Berglund, P., Bromet, E. J., Brugha, T. S.,...Kessler, R. C. (2009). Cross-national associations between gender and mental disorders in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys. Archives of General Psychiatry, 66(7), 785795.

[10] Wilson, E. O. (1998). Consilience: The unity of knowledge. New York, NY: Vintage Books.

The Evolution of Psychology: History, Approaches, and Questions

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Explain how psychology changed from a philosophical to a scientific discipline.
  2. List some of the most important questions that concern psychologists.
  3. Outline the basic schools of psychology and how each school has contributed to psychology.

In this section we will review the history of psychology with a focus on the important questions that psychologists ask and the major approaches (or schools) of psychological inquiry. The schools of psychology that we will review are summarized in Table 1.2 "The Most Important Approaches (Schools) of Psychology", and Figure 1.5 "Timeline Showing Some of the Most Important Psychologists" presents a timeline of some of the most important psychologists, beginning with the early Greek philosophers and extending to the present day. Table 1.2 "The Most Important Approaches (Schools) of Psychology" and Figure 1.5 "Timeline Showing Some of the Most Important Psychologists" both represent a selection of the most important schools and people; to mention all the approaches and all the psychologists who have contributed to the field is not possible in one chapter.

The approaches that psychologists have used to assess the issues that interest them have changed dramatically over the history of psychology. Perhaps most importantly, the field has moved steadily from speculation about behavior toward a more objective and scientific approach as the technology available to study human behavior has improved (Benjamin & Baker, 2004). [1] There has also been an increasing influx of women into the field. Although most early psychologists were men, now most psychologists, including the presidents of the most important psychological organizations, are women.

Important questions that psychologists address
Nature versus nurture
Free will versus determinism
Accuracy versus inaccuracy
Conscious versus unconscious processing
Differences versus similarities

Figure 1.5 Timeline Showing Some of the Most Important Psychologists Although it cannot capture every important psychologist, this timeline shows some of the most important contributors to the history of psychology.

Early Psychologists
Summary

Structuralism: Introspection and the Awareness of Subjective Experience
Uses the method of introspection to identify the basic elements or "structures" of psychological experience
Wilhelm Wundt, Edward B. Titchener

Functionalism and Evolutionary Psychology
Attempts to understand why animals and humans have developed the particular psychological aspects that they currently possess
William James

Psychodynamic Psychology
Focuses on the role of our unconscious thoughts, feelings, and memories and our early childhood experiences in determining behavior
Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Erik Erickson 

Behaviorism and the Question of Free Will
Based on the premise that it is not possible to objectively study the mind, and therefore that psychologists should limit their attention to the study of behavior itself
John B. Watson, B. F. Skinner 

The Cognitive Approach and Cognitive Neuroscience
The study of mental processes, including perception, thinking, memory, and judgments
Hermann Ebbinghaus, Sir Frederic Bartlett, Jean Piaget 

Social-Cultural Psychology
The study of how the social situations and the cultures in which people find themselves influence thinking and behavior
Fritz Heider, Leon Festinger, Stanley Schachter 

The Many Disciplines of Psychology
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. What type of questions can psychologists answer that philosophers might not be able to answer as completely or as accurately? Explain why you think psychologists can answer these questions better than philosophers can.
  2. Choose one of the major questions of psychology and provide some evidence from your own experience that supports one side or the other.
  3. Choose two of the fields of psychology discussed in this section and explain how they differ in their approaches to understanding behavior and the level of explanation at which they are focused. 


[1] Benjamin, L. T., Jr., & Baker, D. B. (2004). From seance to science: A history of the profession of psychology in America. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson.

[2] Harris, J. (1998). The nurture assumption: Why children turn out the way they do. New York, NY: Touchstone Books; Pinker, S. (2002). The blank slate: The modern denial of human nature. New York, NY: Penguin Putnam.

[3] Wegner, D. M. (2002). The illusion of conscious will. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

[4] Fiske, S. T. (2003). Social beings. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

[5] Hunt, M. (1993). The story of psychology. New York, NY: Anchor Books.

[6] James, W. (1890). The principles of psychology. New York, NY: Dover.

[7] Dennett, D. (1995). Darwin's dangerous idea: Evolution and the meanings of life. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster; Tooby, J., & Cosmides, L. (1992). The psychological foundations of culture. In J. H. Barkow & L. Cosmides (Eds.), The adapted mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture (p. 666). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[8] Buss, D. M. (2000). The dangerous passion: Why jealousy is as necessary as love and sex. New York, NY: Free Press.

[9] Gould, S. J., & Lewontin, R. C. (1979). The spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian paradigm: A critique of the adaptationist programme. In Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (Series B, Vol. 205, pp. 581598).

[10] Moore, B. E., & Fine, B. D. (1995). Psychoanalysis: The major concepts. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

[11] Watson, J. B., Rayner, R. (1920). Conditioned emotional reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 3(1), 114; Beck, H. P., Levinson, S., & Irons, G. (2009). Finding Little Albert: A journey to John B. Watson's infant laboratory. American Psychologist, 64(7), 605614.

[12] Skinner, B. (1957). Verbal behavior. Acton, MA: Copley; Skinner, B. (1968). The technology of teaching. New York, NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts; Skinner, B. (1972). Beyond freedom and dignity. New York, NY: Vintage Books.

[13] Libet, B. (1985). Unconscious cerebral initiative and the role of conscious will in voluntary action. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 8(4), 529566; Matsuhashi, M., & Hallett, M. (2008). The timing of the conscious intention to move. European Journal of Neuroscience, 28(11), 23442351; Wegner, D. M. (2002). The illusion of conscious will. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

[14] Soon, C. S., Brass, M., Heinze, H.-J., & Haynes, J.-D. (2008). Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain. Nature Neuroscience, 11(5), 543545.

[15] Aarts, H., Custers, R., & Wegner, D. M. (2005). On the inference of personal authorship: Enhancing experienced agency by priming effect information. Consciousness and Cognition: An International Journal, 14(3), 439458.

[16] Dijksterhuis, A., Preston, J., Wegner, D. M., & Aarts, H. (2008). Effects of subliminal priming of self and God on self- attribution of authorship for events. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44(1), 29.

[17] Wegner, D. M. (2003). The mind's best trick: How we experience conscious will. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7(2), 6569.

[18] Bartlett, F. C. (1932). Remembering. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[19] Ilardi, S. S., & Feldman, D. (2001). The cognitive neuroscience paradigm: A unifying metatheoretical framework for the science and practice of clinical psychology. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 57(9), 10671088.

[20] Byrne, D. (1969). Attitudes and attraction. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 4, pp. 35 89). New York, NY: Academic Press.

[21] Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes. Human Relations, 7, 117140.

[22] Asch, S. E. (1952). Social psychology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall; Cialdini, R. B. (1993). Influence: Science and practice (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Harper Collins College.

[23] Fiske, A., Kitayama, S., Markus, H., & Nisbett, R. (1998). The cultural matrix of social psychology. In D. Gilbert, S. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), The handbook of social psychology(4th ed., pp. 915981). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; Markus, H. R., Kitayama, S., & Heiman, R. J. (1996). Culture and "basic" psychological principles. In E. T. Higgins & A. W. Kruglanski (Eds.), Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles (pp. 857913). New York, NY: Guilford Press; Matsumoto, D. (Ed.). (2001). The handbook of culture and psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[24] Mesoudi, A. (2009). How cultural evolutionary theory can inform social psychology and vice versa. Psychological Review, 116(4), 929952.

[25] Chan, D. K. S., Gelfand, M. J., Triandis, H. C., & Tzeng, O. (1996). Tightness-looseness revisited: Some preliminary analyses in Japan and the United States. International Journal of Psychology, 31, 112.

[26] Yang, Y.-J., & Chiu, C.-Y. (2009). Mapping the structure and dynamics of psychological knowledge: Forty years of APA journal citations (19702009). Review of General Psychology, 13(4), 349356.

[27] Gold, P. E., Cahill, L., & Wenk, G. L. (2002). Ginkgo biloba: A cognitive enhancer?Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 3(1), 211; McDaniel, M. A., Maier, S. F., & Einstein, G. O. (2002). "Brain-specific" nutrients: A memory cure? Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 3(1), 1238.

[28] Rogers, T. B., Kuiper, N. A., & Kirker, W. S. (1977). Self-reference and the encoding of personal information. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 35(9), 677-688.

[29] Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2006). New directions in goal-setting theory. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(5), 265-268.

Psychologists Use the Scientific Method to Guide Their Research

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Describe the principles of the scientific method and explain its importance in conducting and interpreting research.
  2. Differentiate laws from theories and explain how research hypotheses are developed and tested.
  3. Discuss the procedures that researchers use to ensure that their research with humans and with animals is ethical.

Psychologists aren't the only people who seek to understand human behavior and solve social problems. Philosophers, religious leaders, and politicians, among others, also strive to provide explanations for human behavior. But psychologists believe that research is the best tool for understanding human beings and their relationships with others. Rather than accepting the claim of a philosopher that people do (or do not) have free will, a psychologist would collect data to empirically test whether or not people are able to actively control their own behavior. Rather than accepting a politician's contention that creating (or abandoning) a new center for mental health will improve the lives of individuals in the inner city, a psychologist would empirically assess the effects of receiving mental health treatment on the quality of life of the recipients. The statements made by psychologists are empirical, which means they are based on systematic collection and analysis of data.

The Scientific Method
Summary

Laws and Theories as Organizing Principles
Summary

The Research Hypothesis
Summary

Conducting Ethical Research
Summary

Ensuring That Research Is Ethical
Summary

Research With Animals
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Give an example from personal experience of how you or someone you know have benefited from the results of scientific research.
  2. Find and discuss a research project that in your opinion has ethical concerns. Explain why you find these concerns to be troubling.
  3. Indicate your personal feelings about the use of animals in research. When should and should not animals be used? What principles have you used to come to these conclusions? 


[1] Kohlberg, L. (1966). A cognitive-developmental analysis of children's sex-role concepts and attitudes. In E. E. Maccoby (Ed.), The development of sex differences. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

[2] Ruble, D., & Martin, C. (1998). Gender development. In W. Damon (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology (5th ed., pp. 933 1016). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

[3] Popper, K. R. (1959). The logic of scientific discovery. New York, NY: Basic Books.

[4] Rosenthal, R. (1994). Science and ethics in conducting, analyzing, and reporting psychological research. Psychological Science, 5, 127134.

Psychologists Use Descriptive, Correlational, and Experimental Research Designs to Understand Behavior

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Differentiate the goals of descriptive, correlational, and experimental research designs and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  2. Explain the goals of descriptive research and the statistical techniques used to interpret it.
  3. Summarize the uses of correlational research and describe why correlational research cannot be used to infer causality.
  4. Review the procedures of experimental research and explain how it can be used to draw causal inferences.

Psychologists agree that if their ideas and theories about human behavior are to be taken seriously, they must be backed up by data. However, the research of different psychologists is designed with different goals in mind, and the different goals require different approaches. These varying approaches, summarized in Table 2.2 "Characteristics of the Three Research Designs", are known as research designs. A research design is the specific method a researcher uses to collect, analyze, and interpret data. Psychologists use three major types of research designs in their research, and each provides an essential avenue for scientific investigation. Descriptive research is research designed to provide a snapshot of the current state of affairs. Correlational research is research designed to discover relationships among variables and to allow the prediction of future events from present knowledge. Experimental research is research in which initial equivalence among research participants in more than one group is created, followed by a manipulation of a given experience for these groups and a measurement of the influence of the manipulation. Each of the three research designs varies according to its strengths and limitations, and it is important to understand how each differs.

Table 2.2 Characteristics of the Three Research Designs

Research design Goal Advantages Disadvantages
Descriptive To create a snapshot of the current state of affairs
Provides a relatively complete picture of what is occurring at a given time. Allows the development of questions for further study. Does not assess relationships among variables. May be unethical if participants do not know they are being observed.
Correlational To assess the relationships between and among two or more variables Allows testing of expected relationships between and among variables and the making of predictions. Can assess these relationships in everyday life events. Cannot be used to draw inferences about the causal relationships between and among the variables.
Experimental To assess the causal impact of one or more experimental manipulations on a dependent variable Allows drawing of conclusions about the causal relationships among variables. Cannot experimentally manipulate many important variables. May be expensive and time consuming.

There are three major research designs used by psychologists, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Source: Stangor, C. (2011). Research methods for the behavioral sciences (4th ed.). Mountain View, CA: Cengage.

Descriptive Research: Assessing the Current State of Affairs
Summary

Correlational Research: Seeking Relationships Among Variables
Summary

Experimental Research: Understanding the Causes of Behavior
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. There is a negative correlation between the row that a student sits in in a large class (when the rows are numbered from front to back) and his or her final grade in the class. Do you think this represents a causal relationship or a spurious relationship, and why?
  2. Think of two variables (other than those mentioned in this book) that are likely to be correlated, but in which the correlation is probably spurious. What is the likely common-causal variable that is producing the relationship?
  3. Imagine a researcher wants to test the hypothesis that participating in psychotherapy will cause a decrease in reported anxiety. Describe the type of research design the investigator might use to draw this conclusion. What would be the independent and dependent variables in the research?


[1] Freud, S. (1964). Analysis of phobia in a five-year-old boy. In E. A. Southwell & M. Merbaum (Eds.), Personality: Readings in theory and research (pp. 332). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. (Original work published 1909)

[2] Kotowicz, Z. (2007). The strange case of Phineas Gage. History of the Human Sciences, 20(1), 115131.

[3] Damasio, H., Grabowski, T., Frank, R., Galaburda, A. M., Damasio, A. R., Cacioppo, J. T., & Berntson, G. G. (2005). The return of Phineas Gage: Clues about the brain from the skull of a famous patient. In Social neuroscience: Key readings. (pp. 2128). New York, NY: Psychology Press.

[4] Rokeach, M. (1964). The three Christs of Ypsilanti: A psychological study. New York, NY: Knopf.

[5] Ainsworth, M. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

[6] Aiken, L., & West, S. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

[7] Anderson, C. A., & Dill, K. E. (2000). Video games and aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behavior in the laboratory and in life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(4), 772790.

You Can Be an Informed Consumer of Psychological Research

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Outline the four potential threats to the validity of research and discuss how they may make it difficult to accurately interpret research findings.
  2. Describe how confounding may reduce the internal validity of an experiment.
  3. Explain how generalization, replication, and meta-analyses are used to assess the external validity of research findings.

Good research is valid research. When research is valid, the conclusions drawn by the researcher are legitimate. For instance, if a researcher concludes that participating in psychotherapy reduces anxiety, or that taller people are smarter than shorter people, the research is valid only if the therapy really works or if taller people really are smarter. Unfortunately, there are many threats to the validity of research, and these threats may sometimes lead to unwarranted conclusions.

Often, and despite researchers' best intentions, some of the research reported on websites as well as in newspapers, magazines, and even scientific journals is invalid. Validity is not an all-or- nothing proposition, which means that some research is more valid than other research. Only by understanding the potential threats to validity will you be able to make knowledgeable decisions about the conclusions that can or cannot be drawn from a research project. There are four major types of threats to the validity of research, and informed consumers of research are aware of each type.

Threats to construct validity.
Although it is claimed that the measured variables measure the conceptual variables of interest, they actually may not.

Threats to statistical conclusion validity.
Conclusions regarding the research may be incorrect because no statistical tests were made or because the statistical tests were incorrectly interpreted.

Threats to internal validity.
Although it is claimed that the independent variable caused the dependent variable, the dependent variable actually may have been caused by a confounding variable.

Threats to external validity.
Although it is claimed that the results are more general, the observed effects may [1] actually only be found under limited conditions or for specific groups of people. (Stangor, 2011) 

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. The Pepsi Cola Corporation, now PepsiCo Inc., conducted the "Pepsi Challenge" by randomly assigning individuals to taste either a Pepsi or a Coke. The researchers labeled the glasses with only an "M" (for Pepsi) or a "Q" (for Coke) and asked the participants to rate how much they liked the beverage. The research showed that subjects overwhelmingly preferred glass "M" over glass "Q," and the researchers concluded that Pepsi was preferred to Coke. Can you tell what confounding variable is present in this research design? How would you redesign the research to eliminate the confound?
  2. Locate a research report of a meta-analysis. Determine the criteria that were used to select the studies and report on the findings of the research.


Psychology in Everyday Life: Critically Evaluating the Validity of Websites
Summary


[1] Stangor, C. (2011). Research methods for the behavioral sciences (4th ed.). Mountain View, CA: Cengage.

[2] Nunnally, J. C. (1978). Pyschometric theory. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

[3] Campbell, D. T., & Stanley, J. C. (1963). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research. Chicago: Rand McNally.

[4] Rosenthal, R., & Fode, K. L. (1963). The effect of experimenter bias on the performance of the albino rat. Behavioral Science, 8, 183189.

[5] Heine, S. J. (2010). Cultural psychology. In S. T. Fiske, D. T. Gilbert, & G. Lindzey (Eds.),Handbook of social psychology (5th ed., Vol. 2, pp. 14231464). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Psychological Journals

The following is a list of some of the most important journals in various subdisciplines of psychology. The research articles in these journals are likely to be available in your college library. You should try to read the primary source material in these journals when you can.

General Psychology

Biopsychology and Neuroscience

Clinical and Counseling Psychology

Cognitive Psychology

Cross-Cultural, Personality, and Social Psychology

Developmental Psychology

Educational and School Psychology

Environmental, Industrial, and Organizational Psychology

Personality and Behavior: Approaches and Measurement

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Outline and critique the early approaches to assessing personality.
  2. Define and review the strengths and limitations of the trait approach to personality.
  3. Summarize the measures that have been used to assess psychological disorders.

Early theories assumed that personality was expressed in people's physical appearance. One early approach, developed by the German physician Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828) and known as phrenology, was based on the idea that we could measure personality by assessing the patterns of bumps on people's skulls (Figure 11.1 "Phrenology"). In the Victorian age, phrenology was taken seriously and many people promoted its use as a source of psychological insight and self- knowledge. Machines were even developed for helping people analyze skulls (Simpson, 2005). [1] However, because careful scientific research did not validate the predictions of the theory, phrenology has now been discredited in contemporary psychology.

Figure 11.1 Phrenology

This definition of phrenology with a chart of the skull appeared in Webster's Academic Dictionary, circa 1895.
Source: Photo courtesy of Webster's Academic Dictionary, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1895-Dictionary-Phrenolog.png.

Another approach, known as somatology, championed by the psychologist William Herbert Sheldon (1898-1977), was based on the idea that we could determine personality from people's body types (Figure 11.2 "Sheldon's Body Types"). Sheldon (1940) [2] argued that people with more body fat and a rounder physique ("endomorphs") were more likely to be assertive and bold, whereas thinner people ("ectomorphs") were more likely to be introverted and intellectual. As with phrenology, scientific research did not validate the predictions of the theory, and somatology has now been discredited in contemporary psychology.

Figure 11.2 Sheldon's Body Types

William Sheldon erroneously believed that people with different body types had different personalities.

Another approach to detecting personality is known as physiognomy, or the idea that it is possible to assess personality from facial characteristics. In contrast to phrenology and somatology, for which no research support has been found, contemporary research has found that people are able to detect some aspects of a person's character--for instance, whether they are gay or straight and whether they are Democrats or Republicans--at above chance levels by looking only at his or her face (Rule & Ambady, 2010; Rule, Ambady, Adams, & Macrae, 2008; Rule, Ambady, & Hallett, 2009). [3]

Despite these results, the ability to detect personality from faces is not guaranteed. Olivola and Todorov (2010) [4] recently studied the ability of thousands of people to guess the personality characteristics of hundreds of thousands of faces on the website What's My Image? (http://www.whatsmyimage.com). In contrast to the predictions of physiognomy, the researchers found that these people would have made more accurate judgments about the strangers if they had just guessed, using their expectations about what people in general are like, rather than trying to use the particular facial features of individuals to help them. It seems then that the predictions of physiognomy may also, in the end, find little empirical support.

Personality as Traits
Summary

Situational Influences on Personality
Summary

The MMPI and Projective Tests
Summary

Psychology in Everyday Life: Leaders and Leadership
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Consider your own personality and those of people you know. What traits do you enjoy in other people, and what traits do you dislike?
  2. Consider some of the people who have had an important influence on you. What were the personality characteristics of these people that made them so influential? 

[1] Simpson, D. (2005). Phrenology and the neurosciences: Contributions of F. J. Gall and J. G. Spurzheim. ANZ Journal of Surgery, 75(6), 475-482.

[2] Sheldon, W. (1940). The varieties of human physique: An introduction to constitutional psychology . New York, NY: Harper.

[3] Rule, N. O., & Ambady, N. (2010). Democrats and Republicans can be differentiated from their faces. PLoS ONE, 5(1), e8733; Rule, N. O., Ambady, N., Adams, R. B., Jr., & Macrae, C. N. (2008). Accuracy and awareness in the perception and categorization of male sexual orientation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(5), 10191028; Rule, N. O., Ambady, N., & Hallett, K.C. (2009). Female sexual orientation is perceived accurately, rapidly, and automatically from the face and its features. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(6), 12451251.

[4] Olivola, C. Y., & Todorov, A. (2010). Fooled by first impressions? Reexamining the diagnostic value of appearance-based inferences. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(2), 315324.

[5] Hunsley, J., Lee, C. M., & Wood, J. M. (2003). Controversial and questionable assessment techniques. In S. O. Lilienfeld, S. J. Lynn, & J. M. Lohr (Eds.), Science and pseudoscience in clinical psychology (pp. 3976). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

[6] Allport, G. W., & Odbert, H. (1936). Trait-names: A psycho-lexical study. No. 211. Princeton, NJ: Psychological Review Monographs.

[7] John, O. P., Angleitner, A., & Ostendorf, F. (1988). The lexical approach to personality: A historical review of trait taxonomic research. European Journal of Personality, 2(3), 171203.

[8] Allport, G. W. (1937). Personality: A psychological interpretation. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.

[9] Cattell, R. B. (1990). Advances in Cattellian personality theory. In L. A. Pervin (Ed.),Handbook of personality: Theory and research (pp. 101110). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

[10] Eysenck, H. (1998). Dimensions of personality. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction.

[11] Costa, P. T., Jr., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) and NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO- FFI) manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources; Goldberg, L. R. (1982). From ace to zombie: Some explorations in the language of personality. In C. D. Spielberger & J. N. Butcher (Eds.), Advances in personality assessment (Vol. 1). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

[12] Triandis, H. C., & Suh, E. M. (2002). Cultural influences on personality. Annual Review of Psychology, 53(1), 133160.

[13] Tett, R. P., Jackson, D. N., & Rothstein, M. (1991). Personality measures as predictors of job performance: A meta-analytic review. Personnel Psychology, 44(4), 703742.

[14] Rubenzer, S. J., Faschingbauer, T. R., & Ones, D. S. (2000). Assessing the U.S. presidents using the revised NEO Personality Inventory. Assessment, 7(4), 403420.

[15] Oldham, J. (2010). Borderline personality disorder and DSM-5. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 16(3), 143154; Saulsman, L. M., & Page, A. C. (2004). The five-factor model and personality disorder empirical literature: A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 23, 10551085.

[16] Cheung, F. M., & Leung, K. (1998). Indigenous personality measures: Chinese examples. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 29(1), 233248.

[17] Mischel, W. (1968). Personality and assessment. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

[18] Hartshorne, H., May, M. A., Maller, J. B., Shuttleworth, F. K. (1928). Studies in the nature of character. New York, NY: Macmillan.

[19] Bem, D. J., & Allen, A. (1974). On predicting some of the people some of the time: The search for cross-situational consistencies in behavior. Psychological Review, 81(6), 506520.

[20] Gosling, S. D. (2001). From mice to men: What can we learn about personality from animal research? Psychological Bulletin, 127(1), 4586.

[21] Fiske, S. T., & Taylor, S. E. (2007). Social cognition, from brains to culture. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

[22] Nisbett, R. E., Caputo, C., Legant, P., & Marecek, J. (1973). Behavior as seen by the actor and as seen by the observer. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 27(2), 154164.

[23] Hines, T. (2003). Pseudoscience and the paranormal (2nd ed.). Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.

[24] Mischel, W., & Shoda, Y. (2008). Toward a unified theory of personality: Integrating dispositions and processing dynamics within the cognitive-affective processing system. In O. P. John, R. W. Robins, & L. A. Pervin (Eds.), Handbook of personality psychology: Theory and research (3rd ed., pp. 208241). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

[25] Roberts, B. W., & DelVecchio, W. F. (2000). The rank-order consistency of personality traits from childhood to old age: A quantitative review of longitudinal studies.Psychological Bulletin, 126(1), 325; Srivastava, S., John, O. P., Gosling, S. D., & Potter, J. (2003). Development of personality in early and middle adulthood: Set like plaster or persistent change? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(5), 10411053.

[26] Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

[27] Tellegen, A., Ben-Porath, Y. S., McNulty, J. L., Arbisi, P. A., Graham, J. R., & Kaemmer, B. (2003). The MMPI-2 Restructured Clinical Scales: Development, validation, and interpretation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

[28] Garb, H. N. (1998). Computers and judgment. In H. N. Garb (Ed.), Studying the clinician: Judgment research and psychological assessment (pp. 207229). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association; Karon, B. P. (2000). The clinical interpretation of the Thematic Apperception Test, Rorschach, and other clinical data: A reexamination of statistical versus clinical prediction. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 31(2), 230233.

[29] Graham, J. R. (2006). MMPI-2: Assessing personality and psychopathology (4th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[30] Machover, K. (1949). Personality projection in the drawing of the human figure (A method of personality investigation). In K. Machover (Ed.), Personality projection in the drawing of the human figure: A method of personality investigation (pp. 332). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

[31] Karon, B. P. (2000). The clinical interpretation of the Thematic Apperception Test, Rorschach, and other clinical data: A reexamination of statistical versus clinical prediction. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 31(2), 230233; Wood, J.M., Nezworski, M. T., Lilienfeld, S. O., & Garb, H. N. (2003). What's wrong with the Rorschach? Science confronts the controversial inkblot test. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

[32] Zaccaro, S. J. (2007). Trait-based perspectives of leadership. American Psychologist, 62(1), 616.

[33] Simonton, D. K. (1994). Greatness: Who makes history and why. New York, NY: Guilford Press; Simonton, D. K. (1995). Personality and intellectual predictors of leadership. In D. H. Saklofske & M. Zeidner (Eds.), International handbook of personality and intelligence. Perspectives on individual differences (pp. 739757). New York, NY: Plenum.

[34] Kenny, D. A., & Zaccaro, S. J. (1983). An estimate of variance due to traits in leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 68(4), 678685.

[35] Sternberg, R., & Lubart, T. (1995). Defying the crowd: Cultivating creativity in a culture of conformity. New York, NY: Free Press; Sternberg, R. J. (2002). Successful intelligence: A new approach to leadership. In R. E. Riggio, S. E. Murphy, & F. J. Pirozzolo (Eds.), Multiple intelligences and leadership (pp. 928). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

[36] Simonton, D. K. (1988). Presidential style: Personality, biography and performance.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 928936.

[37] Bass, B. M. (1999). Current developments in transformational leadership: Research and applications. Psychologist-Manager Journal, 3(1), 521; Pieterse, A. N., Van Knippenberg, D., Schippers, M., & Stam, D. (2010). Transformational and transactional leadership and innovative behavior: The moderating role of psychological empowerment.Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31(4), 609623.

[38] Ayman, R., Chemers, M. M., & Fiedler, F. (1995). The contingency model of leadership effectiveness: Its level of analysis. The Leadership Quarterly, 6(2), 147167.

The Origins of Personality

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Describe the strengths and limitations of the psychodynamic approach to explaining personality.
  2. Summarize the accomplishments of the neo-Freudians.
  3. Identify the major contributions of the humanistic approach to understanding personality.

Although measures such as the Big Five and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) are able to effectively assess personality, they do not say much about where personality comes from. In this section we will consider two major theories of the origin of personality: psychodynamic and humanistic approaches.

Psychodynamic Theories of Personality: The Role of the Unconscious
Summary

Focusing on the Self: Humanism and Self-Actualization
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Based on your understanding of psychodynamic theories, how would you analyze your own personality? Are there aspects of the theory that might help you explain your own strengths and weaknesses?
  2. Based on your understanding of humanistic theories, how would you try to change your behavior to better meet the underlying motivations of security, acceptance, and self-realization?
  3. Consider your own self-concept discrepancies. Do you have an actual-ideal or actual-ought discrepancy? Which one is more important for you, and why? 

[1] Roudinesco, E. (2003). Why psychoanalysis? New York, NY: Columbia University Press; Taylor, E. (2009). The mystery of personality: A history of psychodynamic theories. New York, NY: Springer Science + Business Media.

[2] Dolnick, E. (1998). Madness on the couch: Blaming the victim in the heyday of psychoanalysis. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

[3] Freud, S. (1923/1949). The ego and the id. London, England: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1923)

[4] McGregor, H. A., Lieberman, J. D., Greenberg, J., Solomon, S., Arndt, J., Simon, L.,...Pyszczynski, T. (1998). Terror management and aggression: Evidence that mortality salience motivates aggression against worldview-threatening others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(3), 590605.

[5] Crews, F. C. (1998). Unauthorized Freud: Doubters confront a legend. New York, NY: Viking Press.

[6] Fisher, S., & Greenberg, R. P. (1996). Freud scientifically reappraised: Testing the theories and therapy. Oxford, England: John Wiley & Sons.

[7] Kihlstrom, J. F. (1997). Memory, abuse, and science. American Psychologist, 52(9), 994995.

[8] Newman, L. S., Duff, K. J., & Baumeister, R. F. (1997). A new look at defensive projection: Thought suppression, accessibility, and biased person perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72(5), 9801001.

[9] Baddeley, J. L., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2009). Expressive writing. In W. T. O'Donohue & J. E. Fisher (Eds.), General principles and empirically supported techniques of cognitive behavior therapy (pp. 295299). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

[10] Kihlstrom, J. F. (1987). The cognitive unconscious. Science, 237(4821), 14451452.

[11] Maslow, Abraham (1970). Motivation and personality (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Harper.

[12] Prochaska, J. O., & Norcross, J. C. (2007). Systems of psychotherapy: A transtheoretical analysis (6th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole; Yalom, I. (1995). Introduction. In C. Rogers, A way of being. (1980). New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin.

[13] Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), 514.

[14] Higgins, E. T., Bond, R. N., Klein, R., & Strauman, T. (1986). Self-discrepancies and emotional vulnerability: How magnitude, accessibility, and type of discrepancy influence affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(1), 515; Strauman, T. J., & Higgins, E. T. (1988). Self-discrepancies as predictors of vulnerability to distinct syndromes of chronic emotional distress. Journal of Personality, 56(4), 685707.

[15] Higgins, E. T., Bond, R. N., Klein, R., & Strauman, T. (1986). Self-discrepancies and emotional vulnerability: How magnitude, accessibility, and type of discrepancy influence affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(1), 515.

Is Personality More Nature or More Nurture? Behavioral and Molecular Genetics

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Explain how genes transmit personality from one generation to the next.
  2. Outline the methods of behavioral genetics studies and the conclusions that we can draw from them about the determinants of personality.
  3. Explain how molecular genetics research helps us understand the role of genetics in personality.

One question that is exceedingly important for the study of personality concerns the extent to which it is the result of nature or nurture. If nature is more important, then our personalities will form early in our lives and will be difficult to change later. If nurture is more important, however, then our experiences are likely to be particularly important, and we may be able to flexibly alter our personalities over time. In this section we will see that the personality traits of humans and animals are determined in large part by their genetic makeup, and thus it is no surprise that identical twins Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein turned out to be very similar even though they had been raised separately. But we will also see that genetics does not determine everything.

In the nucleus of each cell in your body are 23 pairs of chromosomes. One of each pair comes from your father, and the other comes from your mother. The chromosomes are made up of strands of the molecule DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), and the DNA is grouped into segments known as genes. A gene is the basic biological unit that transmits characteristics from one generation to the next. Human cells have about 25,000 genes.

The genes of different members of the same species are almost identical. The DNA in your genes, for instance, is about 99.9% the same as the DNA in my genes and in the DNA of every other human being. These common genetic structures lead members of the same species to be born with a variety of behaviors that come naturally to them and that define the characteristics of the species. These abilities and characteristics are known as instincts--complex inborn patterns of behaviors that help ensure survival and reproduction (Tinbergen, 1951). [1] Different animals have different instincts. Birds naturally build nests, dogs are naturally loyal to their human caretakers, and humans instinctively learn to walk and to speak and understand language.

But the strength of different traits and behaviors also varies within species. Rabbits are naturally fearful, but some are more fearful than others; some dogs are more loyal than others to their caretakers; and some humans learn to speak and write better than others do. These differences are determined in part by the small amount (in humans, the 0.1%) of the differences in genes among the members of the species.

Personality is not determined by any single gene, but rather by the actions of many genes working together. There is no "IQ gene" that determines intelligence and there is no "good marriage partner gene" that makes a person a particularly good marriage bet. Furthermore, even working together, genes are not so powerful that they can control or create our personality. Some genes tend to increase a given characteristic and others work to decrease that same characteristic--the complex relationship among the various genes, as well as a variety of random factors, produces the final outcome. Furthermore, genetic factors always work with environmental factors to create personality. Having a given pattern of genes doesn't necessarily mean that a particular trait will develop, because some traits might occur only in some environments. For example, a person may have a genetic variant that is known to increase his or her risk for developing emphysema from smoking. But if that person never smokes, then emphysema most likely will not develop.

Studying Personality Using Behavioral Genetics
Summary

Studying Personality Using Molecular Genetics
Summary

Reviewing the Literature: Is Our Genetics Our Destiny?
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Think about the twins you know. Do they seem to be very similar to each other, or does it seem that their differences outweigh their similarities?
  2. Describe the implications of the effects of genetics on personality, overall. What does it mean to say that genetics "determines" or "does not determine" our personality? 

[1] Tinbergen, N. (1951). The study of instinct (1st ed.). Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.

[2] Baker, C. (2004). Behavioral genetics: An introduction to how genes and environments interact through development to shape differences in mood, personality, and intelligence. Retrieved from http://www.aaas.org/spp/bgenes/Intro.pdf

[3] Bouchard, T. J., Lykken, D. T., McGue, M., Segal, N. L., & Tellegen, A. (1990). Sources of human psychological differences: The Minnesota study of twins reared apart. Science, 250(4978), 223228. Retrieved fromhttp://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/250/4978/223

[4] Turkheimer, E., & Waldron, M. (2000). Nonshared environment: A theoretical, methodological, and quantitative review. Psychological Bulletin, 126(1), 78-108.

[5] Harris, J. R. (2006). No two alike: Human nature and human individuality. New York, NY: Norton.

[6] Roberts, B. W., & DelVecchio, W. F. (2000). The rank-order consistency of personality traits from childhood to old age: A quantitative review of longitudinal studies.Psychological Bulletin, 126(1), 3-25.

[7] Goldsmith, H., Gernsbacher, M. A., Crabbe, J., Dawson, G., Gottesman, I. I., Hewitt, J.,...Swanson, J. (2003). Research psychologists' roles in the genetic revolution. American Psychologist, 58(4), 318319; Strachan, T., & Read, A. P. (1999). Human molecular genetics(2nd ed.). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bookshelf/br.fcgi?book=hmg&part=A2858

[8] Human Genome Project. (2010). Information. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/home.shtml

[9] Crusio, W. E., Goldowitz, D., Holmes, A., & Wolfer, D. (2009). Standards for the publication of mouse mutant studies. Genes, Brain & Behavior, 8(1), 1-4.

[10] Ekelund, J., Lichtermann, D., Jrvelin, M. R., & Peltonen, L. (1999). Association between novelty seeking and the type 4 dopamine receptor gene in a large Finnish cohort sample. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156, 1453-1455.

[11] Waldman, I. D., & Gizer, I. R. (2006). The genetics of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Clinical Psychology Review, 26(4), 396-432.

[12] Thorgeirsson, T. E., Geller, F., Sulem, P., Rafnar, T., Wiste, A., Magnusson, K. P.,...Stefansson, K. (2008). A variant associated with nicotine dependence, lung cancer and peripheral arterial disease. Nature, 452(7187), 638-641.

[13] Plomin, R. (2000). Behavioural genetics in the 21st century. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 24(1), 30-34.

Preface

When I first started teaching Introduction to Psychology, I found it difficult--much harder than teaching classes in statistics or research methods. I was able to give a lecture on the sympathetic nervous system, a lecture on Piaget, and a lecture on social cognition, but how could I link these topics together for the student? I felt a bit like I was presenting a laundry list of research findings rather than an integrated set of principles and knowledge. Of course, what was difficult for me was harder still for my students. How could they be expected to remember and understand all the many phenomena of psychology? How could they tell what was most important? And why, given the abundance of information that was freely available to them on the web, should they care about my approach? My pedagogy needed something to structure, integrate, and motivate their learning.

Eventually, I found some techniques to help my students understand and appreciate what I found to be important. First, I realized that psychology actually did matter to my students, but that I needed to make it clear to them why it did. I therefore created a more consistent focus on the theme of behavior. One of the most fundamental integrating principles of the discipline of psychology is its focus on behavior, and yet that is often not made clear to students. Affect, cognition, and motivation are critical and essential, and yet are frequently best understood and made relevant through their links with behavior. Once I figured this out, I began tying all the material to this concept: The sympathetic nervous system matters because it has specific and predictable influences on our behavior. Piaget's findings matter because they help us understand the child's behavior (not just his or her thinking). And social cognition matters because our social thinking helps us better relate to the other people in our everyday social lives. This integrating theme allows me to organize my lectures, my writing assignments, and my testing.

Second was the issue of empiricism: I emphasized that what seems true might not be true, and we need to try to determine whether it is. The idea of empirical research testing falsifiable hypotheses and explaining much (but never all) behavior--the idea of psychology as a science-- was critical, and it helped me differentiate psychology from other disciplines. Another reason for emphasizing empiricism is that the Introduction to Psychology course represents many students' best opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of scientific research.

The length of existing textbooks was creating a real and unnecessary impediment to student learning. I was condensing and abridging my coverage, but often without a clear rationale for choosing to cover one topic and omit another. My focus on behavior, coupled with a consistent focus on empiricism, helped in this regard--focusing on these themes helped me identify the underlying principles of psychology and separate more essential topics from less essential ones.

Approach and Pedagogy

I wrote this book to help students organize their thinking about psychology at a conceptual level. Five or ten years from now, I do not expect my students to remember the details of most of what I teach them. However, I do hope that they will remember that psychology matters because it helps us understand behavior and that our knowledge of psychology is based on empirical study.

This book is designed to facilitate these learning outcomes. I have used three techniques to help focus students on behavior:

  1. Chapter openers. I begin my focus on behavior by opening each chapter with a chapter opener showcasing an interesting real-world example of people who are dealing with behavioral questions and who can use psychology to help them answer those questions. The opener is designed to draw the student into the chapter and create an interest in learning about the topic.

  2. Psychology in everyday life. Each chapter contains one or two features designed to link the principles from the chapter to real-world applications in business, environment, health, law, learning, and other relevant domains. For instance, the application in Chapter 6 "Growing and Developing"--"What Makes a Good Parent?"--applies the concepts of parenting styles in a mini handbook about parenting, and the application in Chapter 3 "Brains, Bodies, and Behavior" is about the difficulties that left-handed people face performing everyday tasks in a right-handed world.

  3. Research focus. I have also emphasized empiricism throughout, but without making it a distraction from the main story line. Each chapter presents two close-ups on research-- well-articulated and specific examples of research within the content area, each including a summary of the hypotheses, methods, results, and interpretations. This feature provides a continuous thread that reminds students of the importance of empirical research. The research foci also emphasize the fact that findings are not always predictable ahead of time (dispelling the myth of hindsight bias) and help students understand how research really works.

My focus on behavior and empiricism has produced a text that is better organized, has fewer chapters, and is somewhat shorter than many of the leading books.

Finally, as with all Flat World Knowledge texts, this textbook also includes learning objectives, key takeaways, exercises and critical thinking activities, and a marginal glossary of key terms.

In short, I think that this book will provide a useful and productive synthesis between your goals and the goals of your students. I have tried to focus on the forest rather than the trees and to bring psychology to life--in ways that really matter--for the students. At the same time, the book maintains content and conceptual rigor, with a strong focus on the fundamental principles of empiricism and the scientific method

Getting Started

Introducing Psychology
Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior. Most psychologists work in research laboratories, hospitals, and other field settings where they study the behavior of humans and animals. Some psychologists are researchers and others are practitioners, but all psychologists use scientific methods to inform their work.

Although it is easy to think that everyday situations have commonsense answers, scientific studies have found that people are not always as good at predicting outcomes as they often think they are. The hindsight bias leads us to think that we could have predicted events that we could not actually have predicted.
 
Employing the scientific method allows psychologists to objectively and systematically understand human behavior.
 
Psychologists study behavior at different levels of explanation, ranging from lower biological levels to higher social and cultural levels. The same behaviors can be studied and explained within psychology at different levels of explanation.
 
The first psychologists were philosophers, but the field became more objective as more sophisticated scientific approaches were developed and employed. Some of the most important historical schools of psychology include structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, and psychodynamic psychology. Cognitive psychology, evolutionary psychology, and social-cultural psychology are some important contemporary approaches.
 
Some of the basic questions asked by psychologists, both historically and currently, include those about the relative roles of nature versus nurture in behavior, free will versus determinism, accuracy versus inaccuracy, and conscious versus unconscious processing.
 
Psychological phenomena are complex, and making predictions about them is difficult because they are multiply determined at different levels of explanation. Research has found that people are frequently unaware of the causes of their own behaviors.
 
There are a variety of available career choices within psychology that provide employment in many different areas of interest.

Psychological Science
Psychologists study the behavior of both humans and animals in order to understand and improve the quality of human lives.
 
Psychological research may be either basic or applied in orientation. Basic research and applied research inform each other, and advances in science occur more rapidly when both types of research are conducted.
 
The results of psychological research are reported primarily in research reports in scientific journals. These research reports have been evaluated, critiqued, and improved by other scientists through the process of peer review.
 
The methods used by scientists have developed over many years and provide a common framework through which information can be collected, organized, and shared.
 
The scientific method is the set of assumptions, rules, and procedures that scientists use to conduct research. In addition to requiring that science be empirical, the scientific method demands that the procedures used be objective, or free from personal bias.
 
Scientific findings are organized by theories, which are used to summarize and make new predictions, but theories are usually framed too broadly to be tested in a single experiment.
 
Therefore, scientists normally use the research hypothesis as a basis for their research.
 
Scientists use operational definitions to turn the ideas of interest--conceptual variables--into measured variables.
 
Decisions about whether psychological research using human and animals is ethical are made using established ethical codes developed by scientific organizations and on the basis of judgments made by the local Institutional Review Board. These decisions are made through a cost-benefit analysis, in which the costs are compared to the benefits. If the potential costs of the research appear to outweigh any potential benefits that might come from it, then the research should not proceed.
 
Descriptive research is designed to provide a snapshot of the current state of affairs. Descriptive research allows the development of questions for further study but does not assess relationships among variables. The results of descriptive research projects are analyzed using descriptive statistics.
 
Correlational research assesses the relationships between and among two or more variables. It allows making predictions but cannot be used to draw inferences about the causal relationships between and among the variables. Linear relationships between variables are normally analyzed using the Pearson correlation coefficient.
 
The goal of experimental research is to assess the causal impact of one or more experimental manipulations on a dependent variable. Because experimental research creates initial equivalence among the participants in the different experimental conditions, it allows drawing conclusions about the causal relationships among variables. Experimental designs are not always possible because many important variables cannot be experimentally manipulated.
 
Because all research has the potential for invalidity, research never "proves" a theory or hypothesis.
 
Threats to construct validity involve potential inaccuracies in the measurement of the conceptual variables.
 
Threats to statistical conclusion validity involve potential inaccuracies in the statistical testing of the relationships among variables.
 
Threats to internal validity involve potential inaccuracies in assumptions about the causal role of the independent variable on the dependent variable.
 
Threats to external validity involve potential inaccuracy regarding the generality of observed findings.
 
Informed consumers of research are aware of the strengths of research but are also aware of its potential limitations. 

How the Physical and Psychological Relate

Brains, Bodies, and Behavior
All human behavior, thoughts, and feelings are produced by the actions of our brains, nerves, muscles, and glands.
 
The body is controlled by the nervous system, consisting of the central nervous system (CNS)  and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and the endocrine system, which is made up of glands that create and control hormones.
 
Neurons are the cells in the nervous system. Neurons are composed of a soma that contains the nucleus of the cell; a dendrite that collects information from other cells and sends the information to the soma; and a long segmented fiber, known as the axon, which transmits information away from the cell body toward other neurons and to the muscles and glands.
 
The nervous system operates using an electrochemical process. An electrical charge moves through the neuron itself, and chemicals are used to transmit information between neurons.
 
Within the neuron, the electrical charge occurs in the form of an action potential. The action potential operates in an all-or-nothing manner.
 
Neurons are separated by junction areas known as synapses. Neurotransmitters travel across the synaptic space between the terminal button of one neuron and the dendrites of other neurons, where they bind to the dendrites in the neighboring neurons. More than 100 chemical substances produced in the body have been identified as neurotransmitters, and these substances have a wide and profound effect on emotion, cognition, and behavior.
 
Drugs that we may ingest may either mimic (agonists) or block (antagonists) the operations of neurotransmitters.
 
The brains of all animals are layered, and generally quite similar in overall form.
 
The brain stem is the oldest and innermost region of the brain. It controls the most basic functions of life, including breathing, attention, and motor responses. The brain stem includes the medulla, the pons, and the reticular formation.
 
Above the brain stem are other parts of the old brain involved in the processing of behavior and emotions, including the thalamus, the cerebellum, and the limbic system. The limbic system includes the amygdala, the hypothalamus, and the hippocampus.
 
The cerebral cortex contains about 20 billion nerve cells and 300 trillion synaptic connections, and it's supported by billions more glial cells that surround and link to the neurons. The cerebral cortex is divided into two hemispheres, and each hemisphere is divided into four lobes, each separated by folds known as fissures.
 
The frontal lobe is primarily responsible for thinking, planning, memory, and judgment. The parietal lobe is responsible for processing information about touch. The occipital lobe processes visual information, and the temporal lobe is responsible for hearing and language. The cortex also includes the motor cortex, the somatosensory cortex, the visual cortex, the auditory cortex, and the association areas.
 
The brain can develop new neurons, a process known as neurogenesis, as well as new routes for neural communications (neuroplasticity).
 
Psychologists study the brain using cadaver and lesion approaches, as well as through neuroimaging techniques that include electroencephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
 
Sensory (afferent) neurons carry information from the sensory receptors, whereas motor (efferent) neurons transmit information to the muscles and glands. Interneurons, by far the most common of neurons, are located primarily within the CNS and responsible for communicating among the neurons.
 
The peripheral nervous system is itself divided into two subsystems, one controlling internal responses (the autonomic nervous system, ANS) and one controlling external responses (the somatic nervous system). The sympathetic division of the ANS is involved in preparing the body for behavior by activating the organs and the glands in the endocrine system. The parasympathetic division of the ANS tends to calm the body by slowing the heart and breathing and by allowing the body to recover from the activities that the sympathetic system causes.
 
Glands in the endocrine system include the pituitary gland, the pancreas, the adrenal glands, and the male and female sex glands. The male sex hormone testosterone and the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone play important roles in behavior and contribute to gender differences. 

Sensing and Perceiving
Sensation and perception work seamlessly together to allow us to detect both the presence of, and changes in, the stimuli around us.
 
The study of sensation and perception is exceedingly important for our everyday lives because the knowledge generated by psychologists is used in so many ways to help so many people.
 
Each sense accomplishes the basic process of transduction--the conversion of stimuli detected by receptor cells into electrical impulses that are then transported to the brain--in different, but related, ways.
 
Psychophysics is the branch of psychology that studies the effects of physical stimuli on sensory perceptions. Psychophysicists study the absolute threshold of sensation as well as the difference threshold, or just noticeable difference (JND). Weber's law maintains that the JND of a stimulus is a constant proportion of the original intensity of the stimulus.
 
Most of our cerebral cortex is devoted to seeing, and we have substantial visual skills. The eye is a specialized system that includes the cornea, pupil, iris, lens, and retina. Neurons, including rods and cones, react to light landing on the retina and send it to the visual cortex via the optic nerve.
 
Images are perceived, in part, through the action of feature detector neurons.
 
The shade of a color, known as hue, is conveyed by the wavelength of the light that enters the eye. The Young-Helmholtz trichromatic color theory and the opponent-process color theory are theories of how the brain perceives color.
 
Depth is perceived using both binocular and monocular depth cues. Monocular depth cues are based on gestalt principles. The beta effect and the phi phenomenon are important in detecting motion.
 
The ear detects both the amplitude (loudness) and frequency (pitch) of sound waves.
 
Important structures of the ear include the pinna, eardrum, ossicles, cochlea, and the oval window.
 
The frequency theory of hearing proposes that as the pitch of a sound wave increases, nerve impulses of a corresponding frequency are sent to the auditory nerve. The place theory of hearing proposes that different areas of the cochlea respond to different frequencies.
 
Sounds that are 85 decibels or more can cause damage to your hearing, particularly if you are exposed to them repeatedly. Sounds that exceed 130 decibels are dangerous, even if you are exposed to them infrequently.
 
The tongue detects six different taste sensations, known respectively as sweet, salty, sour, bitter, piquancy (spicy), and umami (savory).
 
We have approximately 1,000 types of odor receptor cells and it is estimated that we can detect 10,000 different odors.
 
Thousands of nerve endings in the skin respond to four basic sensations: Pressure, hot, cold, and pain, but only the sensation of pressure has its own specialized receptors. The ability to keep track of where the body is moving is provided by the vestibular system.
 
Perception involves the processes of sensory interaction, selective attention, sensory adaptation, and perceptual constancy.
 
Although our perception is very accurate, it is not perfect. Our expectations and emotions color our perceptions and may result in illusions. 

States of Consciousness
Consciousness is our subjective awareness of ourselves and our environment.
 
Consciousness is functional because we use it to reason logically, to plan activities, and to monitor our progress toward the goals we set for ourselves.
 
Consciousness has been central to many theories of psychology. Freud's personality theories differentiated between the unconscious and the conscious aspects of behavior, and present-day psychologists distinguish between automatic (unconscious) and controlled (conscious) behaviors and between implicit (unconscious) and explicit (conscious) cognitive processes.
 
The French philosopher Ren Descartes (15961650) was a proponent of dualism, the idea that the mind, a nonmaterial entity, is separate from (although connected to) the physical body. In contrast to the dualists, psychologists believe the consciousness (and thus the mind) exists in the brain, not separate from it.
 
The behavior of organisms is influenced by biological rhythms, including the daily circadian rhythms that guide the waking and sleeping cycle in many animals.
 
Sleep researchers have found that sleeping people undergo a fairly consistent pattern of sleep stages, each lasting about 90 minutes. Each of the sleep stages has its own distinct pattern of brain activity. Rapid eye movement (REM) accounts for about 25% of our total sleep time, during which we dream. Non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep is a deep sleep characterized by very slow brain waves, and is further subdivided into three stages: stages N1, N2, and N3.
 
Sleep has a vital restorative function, and a prolonged lack of sleep results in increased anxiety, diminished performance, and if severe and extended, even death. Sleep deprivation suppresses immune responses that fight off infection, and can lead to obesity, hypertension, and memory impairment.
 
Some people suffer from sleep disorders, including insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, sleepwalking, and REM sleep behavior disorder.
 
Freud believed that the primary function of dreams was wish fulfillment, and he differentiated between the manifest and latent content of dreams. Other theories of dreaming propose that we dream primarily to help with consolidation--the moving of information into long-term memory.
 
The activation-synthesis theory of dreaming proposes that dreams are simply our brain's interpretation of the random firing of neurons in the brain stem.
 
Psychoactive drugs are chemicals that change our states of consciousness, and particularly our perceptions and moods. The use (especially in combination) of psychoactive drugs has the potential to create very negative side effects, including tolerance, dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and addiction.
 
Stimulants, including caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, and amphetamine, are psychoactive drugs that operate by blocking the reuptake of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the synapses of the central nervous system (CNS). Some amphetamines, such as Ecstasy, have very low safety ratios and thus are highly dangerous.
 
Depressants, including alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and toxic inhalants, reduce the activity of the CNS. They are widely used as prescription medicines to relieve pain, to lower heart rate and respiration, and as anticonvulsants. Toxic inhalants are some of the most dangerous recreational drugs, with a safety index below 10, and their continued use may lead to permanent brain damage.
 
Opioids, including opium, morphine, heroin, and codeine, are chemicals that increase activity in opioid receptor neurons in the brain and in the digestive system, producing euphoria, analgesia, slower breathing, and constipation.
 
Hallucinogens, including cannabis, mescaline, and LSD, are psychoactive drugs that alter sensation and perception and which may create hallucinations.
 
Even when we know the potential costs of using drugs, we may engage in using them anyway because the rewards from using the drugs are occurring right now, whereas the potential costs are abstract and only in the future. And drugs are not the only things we enjoy or can abuse. It is normal to refer to the abuse of other behaviors, such as gambling, sex, overeating, and even overworking as "addictions" to describe the overuse of pleasant stimuli.
 
Hypnosis is a trance-like state of consciousness, usually induced by a procedure known as hypnotic induction, which consists of heightened suggestibility, deep relaxation, and intense focus. Hypnosis also is frequently used to attempt to change unwanted behaviors, such as to reduce smoking, eating, and alcohol abuse.
 
Sensory deprivation is the intentional reduction of stimuli affecting one or more of the five senses, with the possibility of resulting changes in consciousness. Although sensory deprivation is used for relaxation or meditation purposes and to produce enjoyable changes in consciousness, when deprivation is prolonged, it is unpleasant and can be used as a means of torture.
 
Meditation refers to techniques in which the individual focuses on something specific, such as an object, a word, or one's breathing, with the goal of ignoring external distractions. Meditation has a variety of positive health effects. 

Mental Development

Growing and Developing
 Development begins at conception when a sperm from the father fertilizes an egg from the mother creating a new life. The resulting zygote grows into an embryo and then a fetus.
 
Babies are born prepared with reflexes and cognitive skills that contribute to their survival and growth.
 
Piaget's stage model of cognitive development proposes that children learn through assimilation and accommodation and that cognitive development follows specific sequential stages: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational.
 
An important part of development is the attainment of social skills, including the formation of the self-concept and attachment.
 
Adolescence involves rapid physical changes, including puberty, as well as continued cognitive changes. Moral development continues in adolescence. In Western cultures, adolescence blends into emerging adulthood, the period from age 18 until the mid-20s.
 
Muscle strength, reaction time, cardiac output, and sensory abilities begin to slowly decline in early and middle adulthood. Fertility, particularly for women, also decreases, and women eventually experience menopause.
 
Most older adults maintain an active lifestyle--remaining as happy or happier than they were when they were younger--and increasingly value their social connections with family and friends.
 
Although older adults have slower cognitive processing overall (fluid intelligence), their experience in the form of crystallized intelligence, or existing knowledge about the world and the ability to use it, is maintained and even strengthened during aging. A portion of the elderly suffer from age-related brain diseases, such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. 

Learning
Classical conditioning was first studied by physiologist Ivan Pavlov. In classical conditioning a person or animal learns to associate a neutral stimulus (the conditioned stimulus, or CS) with a stimulus (the unconditioned stimulus, or US) that naturally produces a behavior (the unconditioned response, or UR). As a result of this association, the previously neutral stimulus comes to elicit the same or similar response (the conditioned response, or CR).
 
Classically conditioned responses show extinction if the CS is repeatedly presented without the US. The CR may reappear later in a process known as spontaneous recovery.
 
Organisms may show stimulus generalization, in which stimuli similar to the CS may produce similar behaviors, or stimulus discrimination, in which the organism learns to differentiate between the CS and other similar stimuli.
 
Second-order conditioning occurs when a second CS is conditioned to a previously established CS.
 
Psychologist Edward Thorndike developed the law of effect: the idea that responses that are reinforced are "stamped in" by experience and thus occur more frequently, whereas responses that are punishing are "stamped out" and subsequently occur less frequently.
 
B. F. Skinner (19041990) expanded on Thorndike's ideas to develop a set of principles to explain operant conditioning.
 
Positive reinforcement strengthens a response by presenting a something pleasant after the response, and negative reinforcement strengthens a response by reducing or removing something unpleasant. Positive punishment weakens a response by presenting something unpleasant after the response, whereas negative punishment weakens a response by reducing or removing something pleasant.
 
Shaping is the process of guiding an organism's behavior to the desired outcome through the use of reinforcers.
 
Reinforcement may be either partial or continuous. Partial-reinforcement schedules are determined by whether the reward is presented on the basis of the time that elapses between rewards (interval) or on the basis of the number of responses that the organism engages in (ratio), and by whether the reinforcement occurs on a regular (fixed) or unpredictable (variable)
 
schedule.
 
Not all learning can be explained through the principles of classical and operant conditioning.
 
Insight is the sudden understanding of the components of a problem that makes the solution apparent, and latent learning refers to learning that is not reinforced and not demonstrated until there is motivation to do so.
 
Learning by observing the behavior of others and the consequences of those behaviors is known as observational learning. Aggression, altruism, and many other behaviors are learned through observation.
 
Learning theories can and have been applied to change behaviors in many areas of everyday life.
 
Some advertising uses classical conditioning to associate a pleasant response with a product.
 
Rewards are frequently and effectively used in education but must be carefully designed to be contingent on performance and to avoid undermining interest in the activity.
 
Social dilemmas, such as the prisoner's dilemma, can be understood in terms of a desire to maximize one's outcomes in a competitive relationship. 

Mental Capacity

Remembering and Judging
Memory and cognition are the two major interests of cognitive psychologists. The cognitive school was influenced in large part by the development of the electronic computer. Psychologists conceptualize memory in terms of types, stages, and processes.
 
Explicit memory is assessed using measures in which the individual being tested must consciously attempt to remember the information. Explicit memory includes semantic and episodic memory. Explicit memory tests include recall memory tests, recognition memory tests, and measures of relearning (also known as savings).
 
Implicit memory refers to the influence of experience on behavior, even if the individual is not aware of those influences. Implicit memory is made up of procedural memory, classical conditioning effects, and priming. Priming refers both to the activation of knowledge and to the influence of that activation on behavior. An important characteristic of implicit memories is that they are frequently formed and used automatically, without much effort or awareness on our part.
 
Sensory memory, including iconic and echoic memory, is a memory buffer that lasts only very briefly and then, unless it is attended to and passed on for more processing, is forgotten.
 
Information that we turn our attention to may move into short-term memory (STM). STM is limited in both the length and the amount of information it can hold. Working memory is a set of memory procedures or operations that operates on the information in STM. Working memory's central executive directs the strategies used to keep information in STM, such as maintenance rehearsal, visualization, and chunking.
 
Long-term memory (LTM) is memory storage that can hold information for days, months, and years. The information that we want to remember in LTM must be encoded and stored, and then retrieved. Some strategies for improving LTM include elaborative encoding, relating information to the self, making use of the forgetting curve and the spacing effect, overlearning, and being aware of context- and state-dependent retrieval effects.
 
Memories that are stored in LTM are not isolated but rather are linked together into categories and schemas. Schemas are important in part because they help us encode and retrieve information by providing an organizational structure for it.
 
The ability to maintain information in LTM involves a gradual strengthening of the connections among the neurons in the brain, known as long-term potentiation (LTP). The hippocampus is important in explicit memory, the cerebellum is important in implicit memory, and the amygdala is important in emotional memory. A number of neurotransmitters are important in consolidation and memory. Evidence for the role of different brain structures in different types of memories comes in part from case studies of patients who suffer from amnesia.
 
Cognitive biases are errors in memory or judgment that are caused by the inappropriate use of cognitive processes. These biases are caused by the overuse of schemas, the reliance on salient and cognitive accessible information, and the use of rule-of-thumb strategies known as heuristics. These biases include errors in source monitoring, the confirmation bias, functional fixedness, the misinformation effect, overconfidence, and counterfactual thinking. Understanding the potential cognitive errors we frequently make can help us make better decisions and engage in more appropriate behaviors. 

Intelligence and Language
Intelligence--the ability to think, to learn from experience, to solve problems, and to adapt to new situations--is more strongly related than any other individual difference variable to successful educational, occupational, economic, and social outcomes.
 
The French psychologist Alfred Binet and his colleague Henri Simon developed the first intelligence test in the early 1900s. Charles Spearman called the construct that the different abilities and skills measured on intelligence tests have in common the general intelligence factor, or simply "g." There is also evidence for specific intelligences (s), measures of specific skills in narrow domains. Robert Sternberg has proposed a triarchic (three-part) theory of intelligence, and Howard Gardner has proposed that there are eight different specific intelligences.
 
Good intelligence tests both are reliable and have construct validity. Intelligence tests are the most accurate of all psychological tests. IQ tests are standardized, which allows calculation of mental age and the intelligence quotient (IQ), The Wechsler Adult lntelligence Scale (WAIS) is the most widely used intelligence test for adults. Other intelligence tests include aptitude tests such as the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), American College Test (ACT), and Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and structured tests used for personnel selection.
 
Smarter people have somewhat larger brains, which operate more efficiently and faster than the brains of the less intelligent. Although intelligence is not located in a specific part of the brain, it is more prevalent in some brain areas than others.
 
Intelligence has both genetic and environmental causes, and between 40% and 80% of the variability in IQ is heritable. Social and economic deprivation, including poverty, can adversely affect IQ, and intelligence is improved by education.
 
Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify, assess, manage, and control one's emotions. However, tests of emotional intelligence are often unreliable, and emotional intelligence may be a part of g, or a skill that can be applied in some specific work situations.
 
About 3% of Americans score above an IQ of 130 (the threshold for giftedness), and about the same percentage score below an IQ of 70 (the threshold for mental retardation). Males are about 20% more common in these extremes than are women.
 
Women and men show overall equal intelligence, but there are sex differences on some types of tasks. There are also differences in which members of different racial and ethnic groups cluster along the IQ line. The causes of these differences are not completely known. These differences have at times led to malicious, misguided, and discriminatory attempts to try to correct for them, such as eugenics.
 
Language involves both the ability to comprehend spoken and written words and to create communication in real time when we speak or write. Language can be conceptualized in terms of sounds (phonemes), meaning (morphemes and syntax), and the environmental factors that help us understand it (contextual information).
 
Language is best learned during the critical period between 3 and 7 years of age.
 
Broca's area, an area of the brain in front of the left hemisphere near the motor cortex, is responsible for language production, and Wernicke's area, an area of the brain next to the auditory cortex, is responsible for language comprehension.
 
Children learn language quickly and naturally, progressing through stages of babbling, first words, first sentences, and then a rapid increase in vocabulary. Children often make overextensions of concepts.
 
Some theories of language learning are based on principles of learning. Noam Chomsky argues that human brains contain a language acquisition device that includes a universal grammar that underlies all human language and that allows generativity. Chomsky differentiates between the deep structure and the surface structure of an idea.
 
Bilingualism is becoming more and more frequent in the modern world. Bilingual children may show more cognitive function and flexibility than do monolingual children.
 
Nonhuman animals have a wide variety of systems of communication. But efforts to teach animals to use human language have had only limited success. Although many animals communicate, none of them have a true language. 

Emotions and Motivations
Affect guides behavior, helps us make decisions, and has a major impact on our mental and physical health. Affect is guided by arousal--our experiences of the bodily responses created by the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system.
 
Emotions are the mental and physiological feeling states that direct our attention and guide our behavior. The most fundamental emotions, known as the basic emotions, are those of anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise. A variety of secondary emotions are determined by the process of cognitive appraisal. The distinction between the primary and the secondary emotions is paralleled by two brain pathways: a fast pathway and a slow pathway.
 
There are three primary theories of emotion, each supported by research evidence. The Cannon- Bard theory of emotion proposed that the experience of an emotion is accompanied by physiological arousal. The James-Lange theory of emotion proposes that our experience of an emotion is the result of the arousal that we experience. The two-factor theory of emotion asserts that the experience of emotion is determined by the intensity of the arousal we are experiencing, but that the cognitive appraisal of the situation determines what the emotion will be. When people incorrectly label the source of the arousal that they are experiencing, we say that they have misattributed their arousal.
 
We communicate and perceive emotion in part through nonverbal communication and through facial expressions. The facial feedback hypothesis proposes that we also experience emotion in part through our own facial expressions.
 
Stress refers to the physiological responses that occur when an organism fails to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats. When it is extreme or prolonged, stress can create substantial health problems.
 
The general adaptation syndrome describes the three phases of physiological change that occur in response to long-term stress: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. Stress creates a long-term negative effect on the body by activating the HPA axis, which produces the stress hormone cortisol. The HPA reactions to persistent stress lead to a weakening of the immune system.
 
Chronic stress is also a major contributor to heart disease.
 
The stress that we experience in our everyday lives, including daily hassles, can be taxing.
 
People who experience strong negative emotions as a result of these hassles exhibit more negative stress responses those who react in a less negative way.
 
On average, men are more likely than are women to respond to stress by activating the fight-or- flight response, whereas women are more likely to respond using the tend-and-befriend response.
 
Attempting to ignore or suppress our stressors is not effective, in part because it is difficult to do.
 
It is healthier to let out the negative thoughts and feelings by expressing them, either to ourselves or to others. It is easier to respond to stress if we can interpret it in more positive ways--for instance, as a challenge rather than a threat.
 
The ability to successfully control our emotions is known as emotion regulation. Regulating emotions takes effort, but the ability to do so can have important positive health outcomes.
 
The best antidote for stress is to think positively, have fun, and enjoy the company of others.
 
People who express optimism, self-efficacy, and hardiness cope better with stress and experience better health overall. Happiness is determined in part by genetic factors such that some people are naturally happier than others, but it is also facilitated by social support--our positive social relationships with others.
 
People do not often know what will make them happy. After a minimum level of wealth is reached, more money does not generally buy more happiness. Although people think that positive and negative events will make a huge difference in their lives, and although these changes do make at least some difference in life satisfaction, they tend to be less influential than we think they are going to be.
 
A motivation is a driving force that initiates and directs behavior. Motivations are often considered in psychology in terms of drives and goals, with the goal of maintaining homeostasis.
 
Eating is a primary motivation determined by hormonal and social factors. Cultural norms about appropriate weights influence eating behaviors. The desire to be thin can lead to eating disorders including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
 
Uncontrolled obesity leads to health problems including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, and some types of cancer. It is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide. The two approaches to controlling weight are eating less and exercising more.
 
Sex is a fundamental motivation that involves the coordination of a wide variety of behaviors, including courtship, sex, household arrangements, parenting, and child care. The sexual response cycle is similar in men and women. The sex hormone testosterone is particularly important for sex drive, in both men and women.
 
Sexual behavior varies widely, not only between men and women but within each sex.
 
The vast majority of human beings have a heterosexual orientation, but a smaller minority is primarily homosexual or bisexual. The love and sexual lives of homosexuals and bisexual are little different from those of heterosexuals, except where their behaviors are constrained by cultural norms and local laws. 

Personality
Personality is defined as an individual's consistent patterns of feeling, thinking, and behaving.
 
Early theories of personality, including phrenology and somatology, are now discredited, but there is at least some research evidence for physiognomy--the idea that it is possible to assess personality from facial characteristics.
 
Personalities are characterized in terms of traits, which are relatively enduring characteristics that influence our behavior across many situations. Psychologists have investigated hundreds of traits using the self-report approach.
 
The utility of self-report measures of personality depends on their reliability and construct validity. Some popular measures of personality, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), do not have reliability or construct validity and therefore are not useful measures of personality.
 
The trait approach to personality was pioneered by early psychologists, including Allport, Cattell, and Eysenck, and their research helped produce the Five-Factor (Big Five) Model of Personality. The Big Five dimensions are cross-culturally valid and accurately predict behavior.
 
The Big Five factors are also increasingly being used to help researchers understand the dimensions of psychological disorders.
 
A difficulty of the trait approach to personality is that there is often only a low correlation between the traits that a person expresses in one situation and those that he or she expresses in other situations. However, psychologists have also found that personality predicts behavior better when the behaviors are averaged across different situations.
 
People may believe in the existence of traits because they use their schemas to judge other people, leading them to believe that traits are more stable than they really are. An example is the Barnum effect--the observation that people tend to believe in descriptions of their personality that supposedly are descriptive of them but could in fact describe almost anyone.
 
An important personality test is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) used to detect personality and psychological disorders. Another approach to measuring personality is to use projective measures, such as the Rorschach Inkblot Test and the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT). The advantage of projective tests is that they are less direct, but empirical evidence supporting their reliability and construct validity is mixed.
 
There are behaviorist, social-cognitive, psychodynamic, and humanist theories of personality.
 
The psychodynamic approach to understanding personality, begun by Sigmund Freud, is based on the idea that all behaviors are predetermined by motivations that lie outside our awareness, in the unconscious. Freud proposed that the mind is divided into three components: id, ego, and superego, and that the interactions and conflicts among the components create personality. Freud also believed that psychological disorders, and particularly the experience of anxiety, occur when there is conflict or imbalance among the motivations of the id, ego, and superego and that people use defense mechanisms to cope with this anxiety.
 
Freud argued that personality is developed through a series of psychosexual stages, each focusing on pleasure from a different part of the body, and that the appropriate resolution of each stage has implications for later personality development.
 
Freud has probably exerted a greater impact on the public's understanding of personality than any other thinker, but his theories have in many cases failed to pass the test of empiricism.
 
Freudian theory led to a number of followers known as the neo-Freudians, including Adler, Jung, Horney, and Fromm.
 
Humanistic theories of personality focus on the underlying motivations that they believed drive personality, focusing on the nature of the self-concept and the development of self-esteem. The idea of unconditional positive regard championed by Carl Rogers has led in part to the positive psychology movement, and it is a basis for almost all contemporary psychological therapy.
 
Personality traits of humans and animals are determined in large part by their genetic makeup.
 
Personality is not determined by any single gene, but rather by the actions of many genes working together.
 
The role of nature and nurture in personality is studied by means of behavioral genetics studies including family studies, twin studies, and adoption studies. These studies partition variability in personality into the influence of genetics (known as heritability), shared environment, and nonshared environment. Although these studies find that many personality traits are highly heritable, genetics does not determine everything. The major influence on personality is nonshared environmental influences.
 
In addition to the use of behavioral genetics, our understanding of the role of biology in personality recently has been dramatically increased through the use of molecular genetics, the study of which genes are associated with which personality traits in animals and humans.

Disorders and Society

Defining Psychological Disorders
More psychologists are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorder than in any other aspect of psychology.
 
About 1 in every 4 Americans (over 78 million people) are estimated to be affected by a psychological disorder during any one year. The impact of mental illness is particularly strong on people who are poorer, of lower socioeconomic class, and from disadvantaged ethnic groups.
 
A psychological disorder is an unusual, distressing, and dysfunctional pattern of thought, emotion, or behavior. Psychological disorders are often comorbid, meaning that a given person suffers from more than one disorder.
 
The stigma of mental disorder affects people while they are ill, while they are healing, and even after they have healed. But mental illness is not a "fault," and it is important to work to help overcome the stigma associated with disorder.
 
All psychological disorders are multiply determined by biological, psychological, and social factors.
 
Psychologists diagnose disorder using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The DSM organizes the diagnosis of disorder according to five dimensions (or axes) relating to different aspects of disorder or disability. The DSM uses categories, and patients with close approximations to the prototype are said to have that disorder.
 
One critique of the DSM is that many disorders--for instance, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autistic disorder, and Asperger's disorder--are being diagnosed significantly more frequently than they were in the past.
 
Anxiety disorders are psychological disturbances marked by irrational fears, often of everyday objects and situations. They include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Anxiety disorders affect about 57 million Americans every year.
 
Dissociative disorders are conditions that involve disruptions or breakdowns of memory, awareness, and identity. They include dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, and dissociative identity disorder.
 
Mood disorders are psychological disorders in which the person's mood negatively influences his or her physical, perceptual, social, and cognitive processes. They include dysthymia, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder. Mood disorders affect about 30 million Americans every year.
 
Schizophrenia is a serious psychological disorder marked by delusions, hallucinations, loss of contact with reality, inappropriate affect, disorganized speech, social withdrawal, and deterioration of adaptive behavior. About 3 million Americans have schizophrenia.
 
A personality disorder is a long-lasting but frequently less severe disorder characterized by inflexible patterns of thinking, feeling, or relating to others that causes problems in personal, social, and work situations. They are characterized by odd or eccentric behavior, by dramatic or erratic behavior, or by anxious or inhibited behavior. Two of the most important personality disorders are borderline personality disorder (BPD) and antisocial personality disorder (APD).
 
Somatization disorder is a psychological disorder in which a person experiences numerous long- lasting but seemingly unrelated physical ailments that have no identifiable physical cause.
 
Somatization disorders include conversion disorder, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), and hypochondriasis.
 
Patients with factitious disorder fake physical symptoms in large part because they enjoy the attention and treatment that they receive in the hospital.
 
Sexual disorders refer to a variety of problems revolving around performing or enjoying sex.
 
Sexual dysfunctions include problems relating to loss of sexual desire, sexual response or orgasm, and pain during sex.
 
Gender identity disorder (GID, also called transsexualism) is diagnosed when the individual displays a repeated and strong desire to be the other sex, a persistent discomfort with one's sex, and a belief that one was born the wrong sex, accompanied by significant dysfunction and distress. The classification of GID as a mental disorder has been challenged because people who suffer from GID do not regard their own cross-gender feelings and behaviors as a disorder and do not feel that they are distressed or dysfunctional.
 
A paraphilia is a sexual deviation where sexual arousal is obtained from a consistent pattern of inappropriate responses to objects or people, and in which the behaviors associated with the feelings are distressing and dysfunctional.

Treating Psychological Disorders
Psychological disorders create a tremendous individual, social, and economic drain on society.
 
Psychologists work to reduce this burden by preventing and treating disorder. Psychologists base this treatment and prevention of disorder on the bio-psycho-social model, which proposes that disorder has biological, psychological, and social causes, and that each of these aspects can be the focus of reducing disorder.
 
Treatment for psychological disorder begins with a formal psychological assessment. In addition to the psychological assessment, the patient is usually seen by a physician to gain information about potential Axis III (physical) problems.
 
One approach to treatment is psychotherapy. The fundamental aspect of psychotherapy is that the patient directly confronts the disorder and works with the therapist to help reduce it.
 
Psychodynamic therapy (also known as psychoanalysis) is a psychological treatment based on Freudian and neo-Freudian personality theories. The analyst engages with the patient in one-on- one sessions during which the patient verbalizes his or her thoughts through free associations and by reporting on his or her dreams. The goal of the therapy is to help the patient develop insight-- that is, an understanding of the unconscious causes of the disorder.
 
Humanistic therapy is a psychological treatment based on the personality theories of Carl Rogers and other humanistic psychologists. Humanistic therapies attempt to promote growth and responsibility by helping clients consider their own situations and the world around them and how they can work to achieve their life goals.
 
The humanistic therapy promotes the ideas of genuineness, empathy, and unconditional positive regard in a nurturing relationship in which the therapist actively listens to and reflects the feelings of the client; this relationship is probably the most fundamental part of contemporary psychotherapy Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) is a structured approach to treatment that attempts to reduce psychological disorders through systematic procedures based on cognitive and behavioral principles. CBT is a very broad approach used for the treatment of a variety of problems.
 
Behavioral aspects of CBT may include operant conditioning using reward or punishment. When the disorder is anxiety or phobia, then the goal of the CBT is to reduce the negative affective responses to the feared stimulus through exposure therapy, flooding, or systematic desensitization. Aversion therapy is a type of behavior therapy in which positive punishment is used to reduce the frequency of an undesirable behavior.
 
Cognitive aspects of CBT include treatment that helps clients identify incorrect or distorted beliefs that are contributing to disorder.
 
The most commonly used approaches to therapy are eclectic, such that the therapist uses whichever techniques seem most useful and relevant for a given patient.
 
Biomedical therapies are treatments designed to reduce psychological disorder by influencing the action of the central nervous system. These therapies primarily involve the use of medications but also include direct methods of brain intervention, including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and psychosurgery.
 
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is treated using low doses of psychostimulants, including Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine.
 
Mood disorders are most commonly treated with the antidepressant medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft. The SSRIs selectively block the reuptake of serotonin at the synapse. Bipolar disorder is treated with mood stabilizing medications.
 
Antianxiety medications, including the tranquilizers Ativan, Valium, and Xanax, are used to treat anxiety disorders.
 
Schizophrenia is treated with antipsychotic drugs, including Thorazine, Haldol, Clozaril, Risperdal, and Zyprexa. Some of these drugs treat the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, and some treat both the positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms.
 
Practitioners frequently incorporate the social setting in which disorder occurs by conducting therapy in groups, with couples, or with families. One way for people to gain this social support is by joining a self-help group.
 
Community mental health services refer to psychological treatments and interventions that are distributed at the community level. These centers provide primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention.
 
Psychologists use outcome research to determine the effectiveness of different therapies. These studies help determine if improvement is due to natural improvement, nonspecific treatment effects, or placebo effects. Research finds that psychotherapy and biomedical therapies are both effective in treating disorder, but there is not much evidence that any one type of therapy is more effective than any other type. What all good therapies have in common is that they give people hope; help them think more carefully about themselves and about their relationships with others; and provide a positive, empathic, and trusting relationship with the therapist--the therapeutic alliance.
 
One problem with drug therapies is that although they provide temporary relief, they don't treat the underlying cause of the disorder. Once the patient stops taking the drug, the symptoms often return in full force.
 
Data suggest that although some community prevention programs are successful, the changes brought about by even the best of these programs are, on average, modest. 

Psychology in Our Social Lives
Social psychology is the scientific study of how we feel about, think about, and behave toward the other people around us, and how those people influence our thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
 
A fundamental principle of social psychology is that although we may not always be aware of it, our cognitions, emotions, and behaviors are substantially influenced by the people with whom we are interacting.
 
Our initial judgments of others are based in large part on what we see. The physical features of other people--particularly their sex, race, age, and physical attractiveness--are very salient, and we often focus our attention on these dimensions. At least in some cases, people can draw accurate conclusions about others on the basis of physical appearance.
 
Youth, symmetry, and averageness have been found to be cross-culturally consistent determinants of perceived attractiveness, although different cultures may also have unique beliefs about what is attractive.
 
We frequently use people's appearances to form our judgments about them, and these judgments may lead to stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. We use our stereotypes and prejudices in part because they are easy and we may be evolutionarily disposed to stereotyping. We can change and learn to avoid using them through positive interaction with members of other groups, practice, and education.
 
Liking and loving in friendships and close relationships are determined by variables including similarity, disclosure, proximity, intimacy, interdependence, commitment, passion, and responsiveness.
 
Causal attribution is the process of trying to determine the causes of people's behavior.
 
Attributions may be made to the person, to the situation, or to a combination of both. Although people are reasonably accurate in their attributions, they may make self-serving attributions and fall victim to the fundamental attribution error.
 
Attitudes refer to our relatively enduring evaluations of people and things. Attitudes are important because they frequently (but not always) predict behavior. Attitudes can be changed through persuasive communications. Attitudes predict behavior better for some people than for others, and in some situations more than others.
 
Our behaviors also influence our attitudes through the cognitive processes of self-perception and the more emotional process of cognitive dissonance.
 
The tendency to help others in need is in part a functional evolutionary adaptation. We help others to benefit ourselves and to benefit the others. Reciprocal altruism leads us to help others now with the expectation those others will return the favor should we need their help in the future. The outcome of the reinforcement and modeling of altruism is the development of social norms about helping, including the reciprocity norm and the social responsibility norm. Latan and Darley's model of helping proposes that the presence of others can reduce noticing, interpreting, and responding to emergencies.
 
Aggression may be physical or nonphysical. Aggression is activated in large part by the amygdala and regulated by the prefrontal cortex. Testosterone is associated with increased aggression in both males and females. Aggression is also caused by negative experiences and emotions, including frustration, pain, and heat. As predicted by principles of observational learning, research evidence makes it very clear that, on average, people who watch violent behavior become more aggressive.
 
The social norm that condones and even encourages responding to insults with aggression, known as the culture of honor, is stronger among men who live or were raised in the South and West than among men who are from or living in the North and East.
 
We conform not only because we believe that other people have accurate information and we want to have knowledge (informational conformity) but also because we want to be liked by others (normative conformity). The typical outcome of conformity is that our beliefs and behaviors become more similar to those of others around us. Studies demonstrating the power of conformity include those by Sherif and Asch, and Milgram's work on obedience.
 
Although majorities are most persuasive, numerical minorities that are consistent and confident in their opinions may in some cases be able to be persuasive.
 
The tendency to perform tasks better or faster in the presence of others is known as social facilitation, whereas the tendency to perform tasks more poorly or more slowly in the presence of others is known as social inhibition. Zajonc explained the influence of others on task performance using the concept of physiological arousal.
 
Working in groups involves both costs and benefits. When the outcome of group performance is 

Putting It All Together: The Nervous System and the Endocrine System

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Summarize the primary functions of the CNS and of the subsystems of the PNS.
  2. Explain how the electrical components of the nervous system and the chemical components of the endocrine system work together to influence behavior.

Now that we have considered how individual neurons operate and the roles of the different brain areas, it is time to ask how the body manages to "put it all together." How do the complex activities in the various parts of the brain, the simple all-or-nothing firings of billions of interconnected neurons, and the various chemical systems within the body, work together to allow the body to respond to the social environment and engage in everyday behaviors? In this section we will see that the complexities of human behavior are accomplished through the joint actions of electrical and chemical processes in the nervous system and the endocrine system.

Electrical Control of Behavior: The Nervous System
Summary

The Body's Chemicals Help Control Behavior: The Endocrine System
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Recall a time when you were threatened or stressed. What physiological reactions did you experience in the situation, and what aspects of the endocrine system do you think created those reactions?
  2. Consider the emotions that you have experienced over the past several weeks. What hormones do you think might have been involved in creating those emotions?

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[4] Cashdan, E. (2003). Hormones and competitive aggression in women. Aggressive Behavior, 29(2), 107115.

[5] Gladue, B. A., Boechler, M., & McCaul, K. D. (1989). Hormonal response to competition in human males. Aggressive Behavior, 15(6), 409422; Mazur, A., Booth, A., & Dabbs, J. M. (1992). Testosterone and chess competition. Social Psychology Quarterly, 55(1), 7077.

[6] Macrae, C. N., Alnwick, K. A., Milne, A. B., & Schloerscheidt, A. M. (2002). Person perception across the menstrual cycle: Hormonal influences on social-cognitive functioning. Psychological Science, 13(6), 532536.

Psychologists Study the Brain Using Many Different Methods

LEARNING OBJECTIVE

  1. Compare and contrast the techniques that scientists use to view and understand brain structures and functions.

One problem in understanding the brain is that it is difficult to get a good picture of what is going on inside it. But there are a variety of empirical methods that allow scientists to look at brains in action, and the number of possibilities has increased dramatically in recent years with the introduction of new neuroimaging techniques. In this section we will consider the various techniques that psychologists use to learn about the brain. Each of the different techniques has some advantages, and when we put them together, we begin to get a relatively good picture of how the brain functions and which brain structures control which activities.

Perhaps the most immediate approach to visualizing and understanding the structure of the brain is to directly analyze the brains of human cadavers. When Albert Einstein died in 1955, his brain was removed and stored for later analysis. Researcher Marian Diamond (1999) [1] later analyzed a section of the Einstein's cortex to investigate its characteristics. Diamond was interested in the role of glia, and she hypothesized that the ratio of glial cells to neurons was an important determinant of intelligence. To test this hypothesis, she compared the ratio of glia to neurons in Einstein's brain with the ratio in the preserved brains of 11 other more "ordinary" men. However, Diamond was able to find support for only part of her research hypothesis. Although she found that Einstein's brain had relatively more glia in all the areas that she studied than did the control group, the difference was only statistically significant in one of the areas she tested. Diamond admits a limitation in her study is that she had only one Einstein to compare with 11 ordinary men.

Lesions Provide a Picture of What Is Missing
Summary

Recording Electrical Activity in the Brain
Summary

Peeking Inside the Brain: Neuroimaging
Summary

Research Focus: Cyberostracism
Summary

EXERCISE AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Consider the different ways that psychologists study the brain, and think of a psychological characteristic or behavior that could be studied using each of the different techniques.

[1] Diamond, M. C. (1999). Why Einstein's brain? New Horizons for Learning. Retrieved from http://www.newhorizons.org/neuro/diamond_einstein.htm

[2] Macmillan, M. (2000). An odd kind of fame: Stories of Phineas Gage. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

[3] Kotowicz, Z. (2007). The strange case of Phineas Gage. History of the Human Sciences, 20(1), 115131.

[4] Damasio, H., Grabowski, T., Frank, R., Galaburda, A. M., Damasio, A. R., Cacioppo, J. T., & Berntson, G. G. (2005). The return of Phineas Gage: Clues about the brain from the skull of a famous patient. In Social neuroscience: Key readings (pp. 2128). New York, NY: Psychology Press.

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[6] Miller, G. (2008). The roots of morality. Science, 320, 734737.

[7] Koenigs, M., Young, L., Adolphs, R., Tranel, D., Cushman, F., Hauser, M., & Damasio, A. (2007). Damage to the prefontal cortex increases utilitarian moral judgments. Nature, 446(7138), 908911.

[8] Kanwisher, N. (2000). Domain specificity in face perception. Nature Neuroscience, 3(8), 759763.

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[10] Eisenberger, N. I., Lieberman, M. D., & Williams, K. D. (2003). Does rejection hurt? An fMRI study of social exclusion. Science, 302(5643), 290292.

[11] Chen, Z., Williams, K. D., Fitness, J., & Newton, N. C. (2008). When hurt will not heal: Exploring the capacity to relive social and physical pain. Psychological Science, 19(8), 789795; Wesselmann, E. D., Bagg, D., & Williams, K. D. (2009). "I feel your pain": The effects of observing ostracism on the ostracism detection system. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(6), 13081311.

Our Brains Control Our Thoughts, Feelings, and Behavior

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Describe the structures and function of the "old brain" and its influence on behavior.
  2. Explain the structure of the cerebral cortex (its hemispheres and lobes) and the function of each area of the cortex.
  3. Define the concepts of brain plasticity, neurogenesis, and brain lateralization.

If you were someone who understood brain anatomy and were to look at the brain of an animal that you had never seen before, you would nevertheless be able to deduce the likely capacities of the animal. This is because the brains of all animals are very similar in overall form. In each animal the brain is layered, and the basic structures of the brain are similar (see Figure 3.6 "The Major Structures in the Human Brain"). The innermost structures of the brain--the parts nearest the spinal cord--are the oldest part of the brain, and these areas carry out the same the functions they did for our distant ancestors. The "old brain" regulates basic survival functions, such as breathing, moving, resting, and feeding, and creates our experiences of emotion. Mammals, including humans, have developed further brain layers that provide more advanced functions-- for instance, better memory, more sophisticated social interactions, and the ability to experience emotions. Humans have a very large and highly developed outer layer known as the cerebral cortex (see Figure 3.7 "Cerebral Cortex"), which makes us particularly adept at these processes.

Figure 3.6 The Major Structures in the Human Brain The major brain parts are colored and labeled.

Source: Adapted from Camazine, S. (n.d.). Images of the brain. Medical, science, and nature things: Photography and digital imagery by Scott Camazine. Retrieved from http://www.scottcamazine.com/photos/brain/pages/09MRIBrain_jpg.htm.

Figure 3.7 Cerebral Cortex Humans have a very large and highly developed outer brain layer known as the cerebral cortex. The cortex provides humans with excellent memory, outstanding cognitive skills, and the ability to experience complex emotions.

Source: Adapted from Wikia Education. (n.d.). Cerebral cortex. Retrieved from http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Cerebral_cortex.

The Old Brain: Wired for Survival
Summary

The Cerebral Cortex Creates Consciousness and Thinking
Summary

Functions of the Cortex
Summary

The Brain Is Flexible: Neuroplasticity
Summary

Research Focus: Identifying the Unique Functions of the Left and Right Hemispheres Using Split-Brain Patients
Summary

Psychology in Everyday Life: Why Are Some People Left-Handed?
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Do you think that animals experience emotion? What aspects of brain structure might lead you to believe that they do or do not?
  2. Consider your own experiences and speculate on which parts of your brain might be particularly well developed as a result of these experiences.
  3. Which brain hemisphere are you likely to be using when you search for a fork in the silverware drawer? Which brain hemisphere are you most likely to be using when you struggle to remember the name of an old friend?
  4. Do you think that encouraging left-handed children to use their right hands is a good idea? Why or why not?


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[9] de Courten-Myers, G. M. (1999). The human cerebral cortex: Gender differences in structure and function. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, 58, 217226.

[10] Miller, G. (2005). Neuroscience: The dark side of glia. Science, 308(5723), 778781.

[11] Fritsch, G., & Hitzig, E. (2009). Electric excitability of the cerebrum (ber die Elektrische erregbarkeit des Grosshirns). Epilepsy & Behavior, 15(2), 123130. (Original work published 1870)

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[22] Gazzaniga, M. S. (2005). Forty-five years of split-brain research and still going strong.Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 6(8), 653659.

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[24] Peters, M., Reimers, S., & Manning, J. T. (2006). Hand preference for writing and associations with selected demographic and behavioral variables in 255,100 subjects: The BBC Internet study. Brain and Cognition, 62(2), 177189.

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The Neuron Is the Building Block of the Nervous System

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Describe the structure and functions of the neuron.
  2. Draw a diagram of the pathways of communication within and between neurons.
  3. List three of the major neurotransmitters and describe their functions.

The nervous system is composed of more than 100 billion cells known asneurons. A neuron is a cell in the nervous system whose function it is to receive and transmit information. As you can see in Figure 3.2 "Components of the Neuron", neurons are made up of three major parts: a cell body, or soma, which contains the nucleus of the cell and keeps the cell alive; a branching treelike fiber known as the dendrite, which collects information from other cells and sends the information to the soma; and a long, segmented fiber known as the axon, which transmits information away from the cell body toward other neurons or to the muscles and glands.

Figure 3.2 Components of the Neuron

Some neurons have hundreds or even thousands of dendrites, and these dendrites may themselves be branched to allow the cell to receive information from thousands of other cells. The axons are also specialized, and some, such as those that send messages from the spinal cord to the muscles in the hands or feet, may be very long--even up to several feet in length. To improve the speed of their communication, and to keep their electrical charges from shorting out with other neurons, axons are often surrounded by a myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is a layer of fatty tissue surrounding the axon of a neuron that both acts as an insulator and allows faster transmission of the electrical signal. Axons branch out toward their ends, and at the tip of each branch is a terminal button.

Neurons Communicate Using Electricity and Chemicals
Summary

Neurotransmitters: The Body's Chemical Messengers
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Draw a picture of a neuron and label its main parts.
  2. Imagine an action that you engage in every day and explain how neurons and neurotransmitters might work together to help you engage in that action.

Accuracy and Inaccuracy in Perception

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Describe how sensation and perception work together through sensory interaction, selective attention, sensory adaptation, and perceptual constancy.
  2. Give examples of how our expectations may influence our perception, resulting in illusions and potentially inaccurate judgments.

The eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin sense the world around us, and in some cases perform preliminary information processing on the incoming data. But by and large, we do not experience sensation--we experience the outcome of perception--the total package that the brain puts together from the pieces it receives through our senses and that the brain creates for us to experience. When we look out the window at a view of the countryside, or when we look at the face of a good friend, we don't just see a jumble of colors and shapes--we see, instead, an image of a countryside or an image of a friend (Goodale & Milner, 2006). [1]

How the Perceptual System Interprets the Environment
Summary

Illusions
Summary

The Important Role of Expectations in Perception
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Consider the role of the security personnel at the APEC meeting who let the Chaser group's car enter the security area. List some perceptual processes that might have been at play.
  2. Consider some cases where your expectations about what you think you might be going to experience have influenced your perceptions of what you actually experienced.

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[19] Chua, H. F., Boland, J. E., & Nisbett, R. E. (2005). Cultural variation in eye movements during scene perception. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102, 1262912633.

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Tasting, Smelling, and Touching

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Summarize how the senses of taste and olfaction transduce stimuli into perceptions.
  2. Describe the process of transduction in the senses of touch and proprioception.
  3. Outline the gate control theory of pain. Explain why pain matters and how it may be controlled.

Although vision and hearing are by far the most important, human sensation is rounded out by four other senses, each of which provides an essential avenue to a better understanding of and response to the world around us. These other senses are touch, taste, smell, and our sense of body position and movement (proprioception).

Tasting
Summary

Smelling
Summary

Touching
Summary

Experiencing Pain
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Think of the foods that you like to eat the most. Which of the six taste sensations do these foods have, and why do you think that you like these particular flavors?
  2. Why do you think that women might have a better developed sense of smell than do men?
  3. Why is experiencing pain a benefit for human beings? 

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[2] Northcutt, R. G. (2004). Taste buds: Development and evolution. Brain, Behavior and Evolution, 64(3), 198206.

[3] Kelling, S. T., & Halpern, B. P. (1983). Taste flashes: Reaction times, intensity, and quality. Science, 219, 412414.

[4] Bensafi, M., Zelano, C., Johnson, B., Mainland, J., Kahn, R., & Sobel, N. (2004). Olfaction: From sniff to percept. In M. S. Gazzaniga (Ed.), The cognitive neurosciences (3rd ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

[5] Malnic, B., Hirono, J., Sato, T., & Buck, L. B. (1999). Combinatorial receptor codes for odors. Cell, 96, 713723.

[6] Baysinger, C. M., Plubell, P. E., & Harlow, H. F. (1973). A variable-temperature surrogate mother for studying attachment in infant monkeys. Behavior Research Methods & Instrumentation, 5(3), 269272; Feldman, R. (2007). Maternal-infant contact and child development: Insights from the kangaroo intervention. In L. L'Abate (Ed.), Low-cost approaches to promote physical and mental health: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 323351). New York, NY: Springer Science + Business Media; Haradon, G., Bascom, B., Dragomir, C., & Scripcaru, V. (1994). Sensory functions of institutionalized Romanian infants: A pilot study. Occupational Therapy International, 1(4), 250260.

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[8] Melzack, R., & Wall, P. (1996). The challenge of pain. London, England: Penguin.

[9] Wall, P. (2000). Pain: The science of suffering. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

[10] Bantick, S. J., Wise, R. G., Ploghaus, A., Clare, S., Smith, S. M., & Tracey, I. (2002). Imaging how attention modulates pain in humans using functional MRI. Brain: A Journal of Neurology, 125(2), 310319.

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[12] Sternberg, W. F., Bailin, D., Grant, M., & Gracely, R. H. (1998). Competition alters the perception of noxious stimuli in male and female athletes. Pain, 76(12), 231238.

Hearing

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Draw a picture of the ear and label its key structures and functions, and describe the role they play in hearing.
  2. Describe the process of transduction in hearing.

Like vision and all the other senses, hearing begins with transduction. Sound waves that are collected by our ears are converted into neural impulses, which are sent to the brain where they are integrated with past experience and interpreted as the sounds we experience. The human ear is sensitive to a wide range of sounds, ranging from the faint tick of a clock in a nearby room to the roar of a rock band at a nightclub, and we have the ability to detect very small variations in sound. But the ear is particularly sensitive to sounds in the same frequency as the human voice. A mother can pick out her child's voice from a host of others, and when we pick up the phone we quickly recognize a familiar voice. In a fraction of a second, our auditory system receives the sound waves, transmits them to the auditory cortex, compares them to stored knowledge of other voices, and identifies the identity of the caller.

The Ear
Summary

Hearing Loss
Summary

EXERCISE AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Given what you have learned about hearing in this chapter, are you engaging in any activities that might cause long- term hearing loss? If so, how might you change your behavior to reduce the likelihood of suffering damage? 

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[5] Chisolm, T. H., Willott, J. F., & Lister, J. J. (2003). The aging auditory system: Anatomic and physiologic changes and implications for rehabilitation. International Journal of Audiology, 42(Suppl. 2), 2S32S10.

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Seeing

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Identify the key structures of the eye and the role they play in vision.
  2. Summarize how the eye and the visual cortex work together to sense and perceive the visual stimuli in the environment, including processing colors, shape, depth, and motion.

Whereas other animals rely primarily on hearing, smell, or touch to understand the world around them, human beings rely in large part on vision. A large part of our cerebral cortex is devoted to seeing, and we have substantial visual skills. Seeing begins when light falls on the eyes, initiating the process of transduction. Once this visual information reaches the visual cortex, it is processed by a variety of neurons that detect colors, shapes, and motion, and that create meaningful perceptions out of the incoming stimuli.

The air around us is filled with a sea of electromagnetic energy; pulses of energy waves that can carry information from place to place. As you can see in Figure 4.6 "The Electromagnetic Spectrum", electromagnetic waves vary in their wavelength--the distance between one wave peak and the next wave peak, with the shortest gamma waves being only a fraction of a millimeter in length and the longest radio waves being hundreds of kilometers long. Humans are blind to almost all of this energy--our eyes detect only the range from about 400 to 700 billionths of a meter, the part of the electromagnetic spectrum known as the visible spectrum.

Figure 4.6 The Electromagnetic Spectrum

Only a small fraction of the electromagnetic energy that surrounds us (the visible spectrum) is detectable by the human eye.

The Sensing Eye and the Perceiving Visual Cortex
Summary

Perceiving Color
Summary

Perceiving Form
Summary

Perceiving Depth
Summary

Perceiving Motion
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Consider some ways that the processes of visual perception help you engage in an everyday activity, such as driving a car or riding a bicycle.
  2. Imagine for a moment what your life would be like if you couldn't see. Do you think you would be able to compensate for your loss of sight by using other senses? 

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We Experience Our World Through Sensation

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Review and summarize the capacities and limitations of human sensation.
  2. Explain the difference between sensation and perception and describe how psychologists measure sensory and difference thresholds.

Sensory Thresholds: What Can We Experience?
Summary

Measuring Sensation
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. The accidental shooting of one's own soldiers (friendly fire) frequently occurs in wars. Based on what you have learned about sensation, perception, and psychophysics, why do you think soldiers might mistakenly fire on their own soldiers?
  2. If we pick up two letters, one that weighs 1 ounce and one that weighs 2 ounces, we can notice the difference. But if we pick up two packages, one that weighs 3 pounds 1 ounce and one that weighs 3 pounds 2 ounces, we can't tell the difference. Why?
  3. Take a moment and lie down quietly in your bedroom. Notice the variety and levels of what you can see, hear, and feel. Does this experience help you understand the idea of the absolute threshold?

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Altering Consciousness Without Drugs

LEARNING OBJECTIVE

  1. Review the ways that people may alter consciousness without using drugs.

Although the use of psychoactive drugs can easily and profoundly change our experience of consciousness, we can also--and often more safely--alter our consciousness without drugs. These altered states of consciousness are sometimes the result of simple and safe activities, such as sleeping, watching television, exercising, or working on a task that intrigues us. In this section we consider the changes in consciousness that occur through hypnosis, sensory deprivation, and meditation, as well as through other non-drug-induced mechanisms.

Changing Behavior Through Suggestion: The Power of Hypnosis
Summary

Reducing Sensation to Alter Consciousness: Sensory Deprivation
Summary

Meditation
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Do you think that you would be a good candidate for hypnosis? Why or why not?
  2. Try the meditation exercise in this section for three consecutive days. Do you feel any different when or after you meditate? 

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[5] Hilgard, E. R. (1965). Hypnotic susceptibility. New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace & World.

[6] Spiegel, H., Greenleaf, M., & Spiegel, D. (2005). Hypnosis. In B. J. Sadock & V. A. Sadock (Eds.), Kaplan & Sadock's comprehensive textbook of psychiatry. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

[7] Spanos, N. P. (1991). A sociocognitive approach to hypnosis. In S. J. Lynn & J. W. Rhue (Eds.), Theories of hypnosis: Current models and perspectives, New York, NY: Guilford Press.

[8] Fassler, O., Lynn, S. J., Knox, J. (2008). Is hypnotic suggestibility a stable trait?Consciousness and Cognition: An International Journal. 17(1), 240253.

[9] Kinnunen, T., Zamansky, H. S., & Block, M. L. (1994). Is the hypnotized subject lying? Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103, 184191.

[10] Jamieson, G. A., & Hasegawa, H. (2007). New paradigms of hypnosis research. Hypnosis and conscious states: The cognitive neuroscience perspective. In G.A. Jamieson (Ed.), Hypnosis and conscious states: The cognitive neuroscience perspective (pp. 133144).New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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[12] Orne, M. T., & Evans, F. J. (1965). Social control in the psychological experiment: Antisocial behavior and hypnosis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1(3), 189200.

[13] Hilgard, E. R., & Cooper, L. M. (1965). Spontaneous and suggested posthypnotic amnesia. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 13(4), 261273.

[14] Silverman, P. S., & Retzlaff, P. D. (1986). Cognitive stage regression through hypnosis: Are earlier cognitive stages retrievable? International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 34 (3), 192204.

[15] Newman, L. S., & Baumeister, R. F. (1996). Toward an explanation of the UFO abduction phenomenon: Hypnotic elaboration, extraterrestrial sadomasochism, and spurious memories. Psychological Inquiry, 7(2), 99126.

[16] Kirsch, I., Montgomery, G., & Sapirstein, G. (1995). Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy: A meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 63(2), 214220.

[17] Elkins, G., & Perfect, M. (2008). Hypnosis for health-compromising behaviors. In M. Nash & A. Barnier (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of hypnosis: Theory, research and practice (pp. 569591). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[18] Cardena, E. (2000). Hypnosis in the treatment of trauma: A promising, but not fully supported, efficacious intervention. International Journal of Clinical Experimental Hypnosis, 48, 225238; Montgomery, G. H., David, D., Winkel, G., Silverstein, J. H., & Bovbjerg, D. H. (2002). The effectiveness of adjunctive hypnosis with surgical patients: A meta-analysis.Anesthesia and Analgesia, 94(6), 16391645.

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[20] Suedfeld, P. (1990b). Restricted environmental stimulation techniques in health enhancement and disease prevention. In K. D. Craig & S. M. Weiss (Eds.), Health enhancement, disease prevention, and early intervention: Biobehavioral perspectives (pp. 206230). New York, NY: Springer Publishing; Bood, S. ., Sundequist, U., Kjellgren, A., Nordstrm, G., & Norlander, T. (2007). Effects of flotation rest (restricted environmental stimulation technique) on stress related muscle pain: Are 33 flotation sessions more effective than 12 sessions? Social Behavior and Personality, 35(2), 143156; Kjellgren, A., Sundequist, U., Norlander, T., & Archer, T. (2001). Effects of flotation- REST on muscle tension pain. Pain Research & Management, 6(4), 181189.

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Altering Consciousness With Psychoactive Drugs

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Summarize the major psychoactive drugs and their influences on consciousness and behavior.
  2. Review the evidence regarding the dangers of recreational drugs.

A psychoactive drug is a chemical that changes our states of consciousness, and particularly our perceptions and moods. These drugs are commonly found in everyday foods and beverages, including chocolate, coffee, and soft drinks, as well as in alcohol and in over-the-counter drugs, such as aspirin, Tylenol, and cold and cough medication. Psychoactive drugs are also frequently prescribed as sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and antianxiety medications, and they may be taken, illegally, for recreational purposes. As you can see in Table 5.1 "Psychoactive Drugs by Class", the four primary classes of psychoactive drugs are stimulants, depressants, opioids, and hallucinogens.

Psychoactive drugs affect consciousness by influencing how neurotransmitters operate at the synapses of the central nervous system (CNS). Some psychoactive drugs are agonists, which mimic the operation of a neurotransmitter; some are antagonists, which block the action of a neurotransmitter; and some work by blocking the reuptake of neurotransmitters at the synapse.

Table 5.1 Psychoactive Drugs by Class

Mechanism Symptoms Drug Dangers and side effects Psychological dependence Physical dependence Addiction potential
Stimulants
Stimulants block the reuptake of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the synapses of the CNS. Enhanced mood and increased energy Caffeine May create dependence Low Low Low
Nicotine Has major negative health effects if smoked or chewed High
High
High
Cocaine Decreased appetite, headache Low
Low
Moderate
Amphetamines Possible dependence, accompanied by severe "crash" with depression as drug effects wear off, particularly if smoked or injected Moderate Low Moderate to high
Depressants
Depressants change consciousness by increasing the production of the neurotransmitter GABA and decreasing the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, usually at the level of the thalamus and the reticular formation. Calming effects, sleep, pain relief, slowed heart rate and respiration Alcohol Impaired judgment, loss of coordination, dizziness, nausea, and eventually a loss of consciousness Moderate
Moderate
Moderate
Barbiturates and benzodiazepines Sluggishness, slowed speech, drowsiness, in severe cases, coma or death Moderate
Moderate
Moderate
Toxic inhalants Brain damage and death High
High
High
Opioids
The chemical makeup of opioids is similar to the endorphins, the neurotransmitters that serve as the body's "natural pain reducers." Slowing of many body functions, constipation, respiratory and cardiac depression, and the rapid development of tolerance Opium Side effects include nausea, vomiting, tolerance, and addiction. Moderate
Moderate
Moderate
Morphine Restlessness, irritability, headache and body aches, tremors, nausea, vomiting, and severe abdominal pain High
Moderate
Moderate
Heroin All side effects of morphine but about twice as addictive as morphine High
Moderate
High
Hallucinogens
The chemical compositions of the hallucinogens are similar to the
neurotransmitters serotonin and epinephrine, and they act primarily by mimicking them.
Altered consciousness; hallucinationsMarijuana
Mild intoxication; enhanced perception
Low
Low
Low
LSD, mescaline, PCP, and peyote
Hallucinations; enhanced perception
Low
Low
Low

In some cases the effects of psychoactive drugs mimic other naturally occurring states of consciousness. For instance, sleeping pills are prescribed to create drowsiness, and benzodiazepines are prescribed to create a state of relaxation. In other cases psychoactive drugs are taken for recreational purposes with the goal of creating states of consciousness that are pleasurable or that help us escape our normal consciousness.

The use of psychoactive drugs, and especially those that are used illegally, has the potential to create very negative side effects (Table 5.1 "Psychoactive Drugs by Class"). This does not mean that all drugs are dangerous, but rather that all drugs can be dangerous, particularly if they are used regularly over long periods of time. Psychoactive drugs create negative effects not so much through their initial use but through the continued use, accompanied by increasing doses, that ultimately may lead to drug abuse.

The problem is that many drugs create tolerance: an increase in the dose required to produce the same effect, which makes it necessary for the user to increase the dosage or the number of times per day that the drug is taken. As the use of the drug increases, the user may develop a dependence, defined as a need to use a drug or other substance regularly. Dependence can be psychological, in which the drug is desired and has become part of the everyday life of the user, but no serious physical effects result if the drug is not obtained; or physical, in which serious physical and mental effects appear when the drug is withdrawn. Cigarette smokers who try to quit, for example, experience physical withdrawal symptoms, such as becoming tired and irritable, as well as extreme psychological cravings to enjoy a cigarette in particular situations, such as after a meal or when they are with friends.

Users may wish to stop using the drug, but when they reduce their dosage they experience withdrawal--negative experiences that accompany reducing or stopping drug use, including physical pain and other symptoms. When the user powerfully craves the drug and is driven to seek it out, over and over again, no matter what the physical, social, financial, and legal cost, we say that he or she has developed an addiction to the drug.

It is a common belief that addiction is an overwhelming, irresistibly powerful force, and that withdrawal from drugs is always an unbearably painful experience. But the reality is more complicated and in many cases less extreme. For one, even drugs that we do not generally think of as being addictive, such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, can be very difficult to quit using, at least for some people. On the other hand, drugs that are normally associated with addiction, including amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin, do not immediately create addiction in their users. Even for a highly addictive drug like cocaine, only about 15% of users become addicted (Robinson & Berridge, 2003; Wagner & Anthony, 2002). [1] Furthermore, the rate of addiction is lower for those who are taking drugs for medical reasons than for those who are using drugs recreationally. Patients who have become physically dependent on morphine administered during the course of medical treatment for a painful injury or disease are able to be rapidly weaned off the drug afterward, without becoming addicts. Robins, Davis, and Goodwin (1974) [2] found that the majority of soldiers who had become addicted to morphine while overseas were quickly able to stop using after returning home.

This does not mean that using recreational drugs is not dangerous. For people who do become addicted to drugs, the success rate of recovery is low. These drugs are generally illegal and carry with them potential criminal consequences if one is caught and arrested. Drugs that are smoked may produce throat and lung cancers and other problems. Snorting ("sniffing") drugs can lead to a loss of the sense of smell, nosebleeds, difficulty in swallowing, hoarseness, and chronic runny nose. Injecting drugs intravenously carries with it the risk of contracting infections such as hepatitis and HIV. Furthermore, the quality and contents of illegal drugs are generally unknown, and the doses can vary substantially from purchase to purchase. The drugs may also contain toxic chemicals.

Another problem is the unintended consequences of combining drugs, which can produce serious side effects. Combining drugs is dangerous because their combined effects on the CNS can increase dramatically and can lead to accidental or even deliberate overdoses. For instance, ingesting alcohol or benzodiazepines along with the usual dose of heroin is a frequent cause of overdose deaths in opiate addicts, and combining alcohol and cocaine can have a dangerous impact on the cardiovascular system (McCance-Katz, Kosten, & Jatlow, 1998). [3]

Although all recreational drugs are dangerous, some can be more deadly than others. One way to determine how dangerous recreational drugs are is to calculate a safety ratio, based on the dose that is likely to be fatal divided by the normal dose needed to feel the effects of the drug. Drugs with lower ratios are more dangerous because the difference between the normal and the lethal dose is small. For instance, heroin has a safety ratio of 6 because the average fatal dose is only 6 times greater than the average effective dose. On the other hand, marijuana has a safety ratio of 1,000. This is not to say that smoking marijuana cannot be deadly, but it is much less likely to be deadly than is heroin. The safety ratios of common recreational drugs are shown in Table 5.2 "Popular Recreational Drugs and Their Safety Ratios".

Table 5.2 Popular Recreational Drugs and Their Safety Ratios Safety

Drug
Description
Street or brand name
Safety ratio
Heroin
Strong depressant
Smack, junk H
6
GHB (Gamma hydroxy butyrate)
“Rave” drug (not Ecstacy), also used as a “date rape” drug.
Georgia home boy, liquid ecstasy, liquid X, liquid G, fantasy
8
Isobutyl nitrite
Depressant and toxic inhalant
Poppers, rush, locker room
8
Alcohol
Active compound is ethanol

10
DXM (Dextromethorphan)
Active ingredient in over-the-counter cold and cough medicines

10
Methamphetamine
May be injected or smoked
Meth, crank
10
Cocaine
May be inhaled or smoked
Crack, coke, rock, blue
15
MDMA (methylene-dioxymethamphetamine)
Very powerful stimulant
Ecstasy
16
Codeine
Depressant

20
Methadone
Opoid

20
Mescaline
Hallucinogen

24
Benzodiazepine
Prescription tranquilizer
Centrax, Dalmane, Doral, Halcion, Librium, ProSom, Restoril, Xanax, Valium
30
Ketamine
Prescription anesthetic
Ketanest, Ketaset, Ketalar
40
DMT (Dimethyltryptamine)
Usually prescribed as a sleeping
pill
Luminal (Phenobarbital), Mebaraland, Nembutal, Seconal, Sombulex
50
Prozac
Antidepressant

100
Nitrous oxide
Often inhaled from whipped cream dispensers
Laughing gas
150
Lysergic acid diethylamide
(LSD)

Acid
1,000
Marijuana (Cannabis)
Active ingredient is THC
Pot, spliff, weed
1,000
Drugs with lower safety ratios have a greater risk of brain damage and death.

Source: Gable, R. (2004). Comparison of acute lethal toxicity of commonly abused psychoactive substances. Addiction, 99(6), 686-696.

Speeding Up the Brain With Stimulants: Caffeine, Nicotine, Cocaine, and Amphetamines
Summary

Slowing Down the Brain With Depressants: Alcohol, Barbiturates and Benzodiazepines, and Toxic Inhalants
Summary

Opioids: Opium, Morphine, Heroin, and Codeine
Summary

Hallucinogens: Cannabis, Mescaline, and LSD
Summary

Why We Use Psychoactive Drugs
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Do people you know use psychoactive drugs? Which ones? Based on what you have learned in this section, why do you think that they are used, and do you think that their side effects are harmful? 
  2. Consider the research reported in the research focus on risk and cigarette smoking. What are the potential implications of the research for drug use? Can you see any weaknesses in the study caused by the fact that the results are based on correlational analyses? 

[1] Robinson, T. E., & Berridge, K. C. (2003). Addiction. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 2553; Wagner, F. A., & Anthony, J. C.

(2002). From first drug use to drug dependence: Developmental periods of risk for dependence upon marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol.Neuropsychopharmacology, 26(4), 479488.

[2] Robins, L. N., Davis, D. H., & Goodwin, D. W. (1974). Drug use by U.S. Army enlisted men in Vietnam: A follow-up on their return home. American Journal of Epidemiology, 99, 235249.

[3] McCance-Katz, E., Kosten, T., & Jatlow, P. (1998). Concurrent use of cocaine and alcohol is more potent and potentially more toxic than use of either alone--A multiple-dose study 1. Biological Psychiatry, 44(4), 250259.

[4] Lovett, R. (2005, September 24). Coffee: The demon drink? New Scientist, 2518. Retrieved from http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg18725181.700 [5] U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2007). Medicines in my home: Caffeine and your body. Retrieved fromhttp://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/UnderstandingOver-the- CounterMedicines/UCM205286.pdf [6] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2009). Cocaine abuse and addiction. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nida.nih.gov/researchreports/cocaine/cocaine.html [7] Csaky, T. Z., & Barnes, B. A. (1984). Cutting's handbook of pharmacology (7th ed.). East Norwalk, CT: Appleton-Century- Crofts.

[8] Csaky, T. Z., & Barnes, B. A. (1984). Cutting's handbook of pharmacology (7th ed.). East Norwalk, CT: Appleton-Century- Crofts.

[9] Abbey, A., Ross, L. T., McDuffie, D., & McAuslan, P. (1996). Alcohol and dating risk factors for sexual assault among college women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 20(1), 147169.

[10] Bushman, B. J. (1993). Human aggression while under the influence of alcohol and other drugs: An integrative research review. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2(5), 148152; Bushman, B. J. (Ed.). (1997). Effects of alcohol on human aggression: Validity of proposed explanations. New York, NY: Plenum Press; Graham, K., Osgood, D. W., Wells, S., & Stockwell, T. (2006). To what extent is intoxication associated with aggression in bars? A multilevel analysis. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 67(3), 382390.

[11] Steele, C. M., & Southwick, L. (1985). Alcohol and social behavior: I. The psychology of drunken excess. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48(1), 1834.

[12] Bushman, B. J., & Cooper, H. M. (1990). Effects of alcohol on human aggression: An integrative research review. Psychological Bulletin, 107(3), 341354.

[13] Medline Plus. (2008). Barbiturate intoxication and overdose. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000951.htm [14] Ben Amar, M. (2006). Cannabinoids in medicine: A review of their therapeutic potential. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 105, 125.

[15] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2009). NIDA InfoFacts: High School and Youth Trends. Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/HSYouthTrends.html [16] Lejuez, C. W., Aklin, W. M., Bornovalova, M. A., & Moolchan, E. T. (2005). Differences in risk-taking propensity across inner- city adolescent ever- and never-smokers. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 7(1), 7179.

[17] Lejuez, C. W., Read, J. P., Kahler, C. W., Richards, J. B., Ramsey, S. E., Stuart, G. L.,...Brown, R. A. (2002). Evaluation of a behavioral measure of risk taking: The Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 8(2), 7585.

[18] Vaughan, E. L., Corbin, W. R., & Fromme, K. (2009). Academic and social motives and drinking behavior. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. 23(4), 564576.

[19] Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2004). Monitoring the future: National results on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan (conducted for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute of Health).

[20] Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2004). Monitoring the future: National results on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan (conducted for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute of Health).

[21] Clapp, J., Reed, M., Holmes, M., Lange, J., & Voas, R. (2006). Drunk in public, drunk in private: The relationship between college students, drinking environments and alcohol consumption. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 32(2), 275-285.

[22] Lynskey, M. T., Heath, A. C., Bucholz, K. K., Slutske, W. S., Madden, P. A. F., Nelson, E. C.,...Martin, N. G. (2003). Escalati on of drug use in early-onset cannabis users vs co-twin controls. Journal of the American Medical Association, 289(4), 427-433.

Sleeping and Dreaming Revitalize Us for Action

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Draw a graphic showing the usual phases of sleep during a normal night and notate the characteristics of each phase.
  2. Review the disorders that affect sleep and the costs of sleep deprivation.
  3. Outline and explain the similarities and differences among the different theories of dreaming.

The lives of all organisms, including humans, are influenced by regularly occurring cycles of behaviors known as biological rhythms. One important biological rhythm is the annual cycle that guides the migration of birds and the hibernation of bears. Women also experience a 28-day cycle that guides their fertility and menstruation. But perhaps the strongest and most important biorhythm is the daily circadian rhythm (from the Latin circa, meaning "about" or "approximately," and dian, meaning "daily") that guides the daily waking and sleeping cycle in many animals.

Many biological rhythms are coordinated by changes in the level and duration of ambient light, for instance, as winter turns into summer and as night turns into day. In some animals, such as birds, the pineal gland in the brain is directly sensitive to light and its activation influences behavior, such as mating and annual migrations. Light also has a profound effect on humans. We are more likely to experience depression during the dark winter months than during the lighter summer months, an experience known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and exposure to bright lights can help reduce this depression (McGinnis, 2007). [1]

Sleep is also influenced by ambient light. The ganglion cells in the retina send signals to a brain area above the thalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which is the body's primary circadian "pacemaker." The suprachiasmatic nucleus analyzes the strength and duration of the light stimulus and sends signals to the pineal gland when the ambient light level is low or its duration is short. In response, the pineal gland secretes melatonin, a powerful hormone that facilitates the onset of sleep.

Research Focus: Circadian Rhythms Influence the Use of Stereotypes in Social Judgments
Summary

Sleep Stages: Moving Through the Night
Summary

Sleep Disorders: Problems in Sleeping
Summary

The Heavy Costs of Not Sleeping
Summary

Dreams and Dreaming
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. If you happen to be home alone one night, try this exercise: At nightfall, leave the lights and any other powered equipment off. Does this influence what time you go to sleep as opposed to your normal sleep time?
  2. Review your own sleep patterns. Are you getting enough sleep? What makes you think so?
  3. Review some of the dreams that you have had recently. Consider how each of the theories of dreaming we have discussed would explain your dreams.

[1] McGinniss, P. (2007). Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)--Treatment and drugs. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195/DSECTION=treatments%2Dand%2Ddrugs

[2] Bodenhausen, G. V. (1990). Stereotypes as judgmental heuristics: Evidence of circadian variations in discrimination. Psychological Science, 1, 319322.

[3] Hobson, A. (2004). A model for madness? Dream consciousness: Our understanding of the neurobiology of sleep offers insight into abnormalities in the waking brain. Nature, 430, 6995.

[4] Dement, W., & Kleitman, N. (1957). Cyclic variations in EEG during sleep.Electroencephalography & Clinical Neurophysiology, 9, 673690.

[5] National Sleep Foundation. (2009). Sleep in America Poll. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved fromhttp://www.sleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/2009%20Sleep%20in%20America%20SOF%20EMBARGOED.pdf

[6] Morgenthaler, T. I., Kagramanov, V., Hanak, V., & Decker, P. A. (2006). Complex sleep apnea syndrome: Is it a unique clinical syndrome? Sleep, 29(9), 12031209. Retrieved from http://www.journalsleep.org/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=26630

[7] Yaggi, H. K., Concato, J., Kernan, W. N., Lichtman, J. H., Brass, L. M., & Mohsenin, V. (2005). Obstructive sleep apnea as a risk factor for stroke and death. The New England Journal of Medicine, 353(19), 20342041. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa043104

[8] National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2008). Who is at risk for narcolepsy? Retrieved from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/nar/nar_who.html

[9] Taheri, S., Zeitzer, J. M., & Mignot, E. (2002). The role of hypocretins (Orexins) in sleep regulation and narcolepsy. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 25, 283313.

[10] Mahowald, M., & Schenck, C. (2000). REM sleep parasomnias. Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine, 724741.

[11] Mahowald, M., & Schenck, C. (2000). REM sleep parasomnias. Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine, 724741.

[12] Mahowald, M., & Schenck, C. (2000). REM sleep parasomnias. Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine, 724741.

[13] Mahowald, M., & Schenck, C. (2005). REM sleep behavior disorder. Handbook of Clinical Neurophysiology, 6, 245253.

[14] Mercer, P., Merritt, S., & Cowell, J. (1998). Differences in reported sleep need among adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 23(5), 259263; National Sleep Foundation. (2008). Sleep in America Poll. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved fromhttp://www.sleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/2008%20POLL%20SOF.PDF

[15] Hack, M. A., Choi, S. J., Vijayapalan, P., Davies, R. J. O., & Stradling, J. R. S. (2001). Comparison of the effects of sleep deprivation, alcohol and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) on simulated steering performance. Respiratory medicine, 95(7), 594 601; Williamson, A., & Feyer, A. (2000). Moderate sleep deprivation produces impairments in cognitive and motor performance equivalent to legally prescribed levels of alcohol intoxication. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 57(10), 649.

[16] Smith-Coggins, R., Rosekind, M. R., Hurd, S., & Buccino, K. R. (1994). Relationship of day versus night sleep to physician performance and mood. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 24(5), 928934.

[17] Ferrie, J. E., Shipley, M. J., Cappuccio, F. P., Brunner, E., Miller, M. A., Kumari, M., & Marmot, M. G. (2007). A prospective study of change in sleep duration: Associations with mortality in the Whitehall II cohort. Sleep, 30(12), 1659; Kushida, C. (2005). Sleep deprivation: basic science, physiology, and behavior. London, England: Informa Healthcare.

[18] Dew, M. A., Hoch, C. C., Buysse, D. J., Monk, T. H., Begley, A. E., Houck, P. R.,...Reynolds, C. F., III. (2003). Healthy older adults' sleep predicts all-cause mortality at 4 to 19 years of follow-up. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(1), 6373.

[19] Dement, W. (1997) What all undergraduates should know about how their sleeping lives affect their waking lives. Sleepless at Stanford. Retrieved fromhttp://www.Stanford.edu/~dement/sleepless.html

[20] Cartwright, R., Agargun, M., Kirkby, J., & Friedman, J. (2006). Relation of dreams to waking concerns. Psychiatry Research, 141(3), 261270; Domhoff, G. W., Meyer-Gomes, K., & Schredl, M. (2005). Dreams as the expression of conceptions and concerns: A comparison of German and American college students. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 25(3), 269282.

[21] Freud, S., & Classics of Medicine Library. (1988). The interpretation of dreams (Special ed.). Birmingham, AL: The Classics of Medicine Library. (Original work published 1913)

[22] Alvarenga, T. A., Patti, C. L., Andersen, M. L., Silva, R. H., Calzavara, M. B., Lopez, G.B.,...Tufik, S. (2008). Paradoxical sleep deprivation impairs acquisition, consolidation and retrieval of a discriminative avoidance task in rats. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 90, 624632; Zhang, J. (2004). Memory process and the function of sleep. Journal of Theoretics, 6(6), 17.

[23] Rauchs, G., Desgranges, B., Foret, J., & Eustache, F. (2005). The relationships between memory systems and sleep stages. Journal of Sleep Research, 14, 123140.

[24] Payne, J., & Nadel, L. (2004). Sleep, dreams, and memory consolidation: The role of the stress hormone cortisol. Learning & Memory, 11(6), 671.

[25] Hobson, J. A., Pace-Schott, E. F., & Stickgold, R. (2000). Dreaming and the brain: Toward a cognitive neuroscience of conscious states. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 23(6), 793842, 9041018, 10831121.

[26] Hobson, J. A., & McCarley, R. (1977). The brain as a dream state generator: An activation-synthesis hypothesis of the dream process. American Journal of Psychiatry, 134, 13351348; Hobson, J. A. (2004). Dreams Freud never had: A new mind science. New York, NY: Pi Press.

6.5 Late Adulthood: Aging, Retiring, and Bereavement

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Review the physical, cognitive, and social changes that accompany late adulthood.
  2. Describe the psychological and physical outcomes of bereavement.

We have seen that, over the course of their lives, most individuals are able to develop secure attachments; reason cognitively, socially and morally; and create families and find appropriate careers. Eventually, however, as people enter into their 60s and beyond, the aging process leads to faster changes in our physical, cognitive, and social capabilities and needs, and life begins to come to its natural conclusion, resulting in the final life stage, beginning in the 60s, known as late adulthood.

Despite the fact that the body and mind are slowing, most older adults nevertheless maintain an active lifestyle, remain as happy or are happier than when they were younger, and increasingly value their social connections with family and friends (Angner, Ray, Saag, & Allison, 2009). [1] Kennedy, Mather, and Carstensen (2004) [2] found that people's memories of their lives became more positive with age, and Myers and Diener (1996) [3] found that older adults tended to speak more positively about events in their lives, particularly their relationships with friends and family, than did younger adults.

Cognitive Changes During Aging
Summary

Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
Summary

Social Changes During Aging: Retiring Effectively
Summary

Death, Dying, and Bereavement
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. How do the people in your culture view aging? What stereotypes are there about the elderly? Are there other ways that people in your society might learn to think about aging that would be more beneficial?
  2. Based on the information you have read in this chapter, what would you tell your parents about how they can best maintain healthy physical and cognitive function into late adulthood? 

[1] Angner, E., Ray, M. N., Saag, K. G., & Allison, J. J. (2009). Health and happiness among older adults: A community-based study. Journal of Health Psychology, 14, 503512.

[2] Kennedy, Q., Mather, M., & Carstensen, L. L. (2004). The role of motivation in the age-related positivity effect in autobiographical memory. Psychological Science, 15, 208214.

[3] Myers, D. G., & Diener, E. (1996). The pursuit of happiness. Scientific American, 274(5), 7072.

[4] Rubin, L. (2007). 60 on up: The truth about aging in America. Boston, MA: Beacon Press; Sroufe, L. A., Collins, W. A., Egeland, B., & Carlson, E. A. (2009). The development of the person: The Minnesota study of risk and adaptation from birth to adulthood. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

[5] Nemmers, T. M. (2005). The influence of ageism and ageist stereotypes on the elderly.Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 22(4), 1120.

[6] Levy, B. R., Slade, M. D., Kunkel, S. R., & Kasl, S. V. (2002). Longevity increased by positive self-perceptions of aging. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 261270.

[7] Levy, B., & Langer, E. (1994). Aging free from negative stereotypes: Successful memory in China among the American deaf. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66(6), 989997.

[8] Burke, D. M., Shafto, M. A., Craik, F. I. M., & Salthouse, T. A. (2008). Language and aging. In The handbook of aging and cognition (3rd ed., pp. 373443). New York, NY: Psychology Press.

[9] Persad, C. C., Abeles, N., Zacks, R. T., & Denburg, N. L. (2002). Inhibitory changes after age 60 and the relationship to measures of attention and memory. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 57B(3), P223P232.

[10] Pushkar, D., Basevitz, P., Arbuckle, T., Nohara-LeClair, M., Lapidus, S., & Peled, M. (2000). Social behavior and off-target verbosity in elderly people. Psychology and Aging, 15(2), 361374.

[11] Salthouse, T. A. (2004). What and when of cognitive aging. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(4), 140-144.

[12] Baltes, P. B., Staudinger, U. M., & Lindenberger, U. (1999). Life-span psychology: Theory and application to intellectual functioning. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, 471506; Scheibe, S., Kunzmann, U., & Baltes, P. B. (2009). New territories of positive life-span development: Wisdom and life longings. In S. J. E. Lopez & C. R. E. Snyder (Eds.), Oxford handbook of positive psychology (2nd ed., pp. 171183). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[13] Blanchard-Fields, F., Mienaltowski, A., & Seay, R. B. (2007). Age differences in everyday problem-solving effectiveness: Older adults select more effective strategies for interpersonal problems. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 62B(1), P61P64.

[14] Hebert, L. E., Scherr, P. A., Beckett, L. A., Albert, M. S., Pilgrim, D. M., Chown, M. J.,...Evans, D. A. (1995). Age-specific incidence of Alzheimer's disease in a community population. Journal of the American Medical Association, 273(17), 13541359.

[15] Pushkar, D., Bukowski, W. M., Schwartzman, A. E., Stack, D. M., & White, D. R. (2007).Responding to the challenges of late life: Strategies for maintaining and enhancing competence. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

[16] Cherkas, L. F., Hunkin, J. L., Kato, B. S., Richards, J. B., Gardner, J. P., Surdulescu, G. L.,...Aviv, A. (2008). The association between physical activity in leisure time and leukocyte telomere length. Archives of Internal Medicine, 168, 154158; Verghese, J., Lipton, R., Katz, M. J., Hall, C. B., Derby, C. A.,...Buschke, M.D. (2003). Leisure activ ities and the risk of dementia in the elderly. New England Journal of Medicine, 348, 25082516.

[17] Ertel, K. A., Glymour, M. M., & Berkman, L. F. (2008). Effects of social integration on preserving memory function in a nationally representative U.S. elderly population.American Journal of Public Health, 98, 12151220.

[18] Wang, M. (2007). Profiling retirees in the retirement transition and adjustment process: Examining the longitudinal change patterns of retirees' psychological well-being.Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(2), 455474.

[19] Kbler-Ross, E. (1997). On death and dying. New York, NY: Scribner.

[20] Bonanno, G. (2009). The other side of sadness: What the new science of bereavement tells us about life after a loss. New York, NY: Basic Books.

[21] Corr, C. A., Nabe, C. M., & Corr, D. M. (2009). Death and dying: Life and living (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

[22] Diaz-Cabello, N. (2004). The Hispanic way of dying: Three families, three perspectives, three cultures. Illness, Crisis, & Loss, 12(3), 239255.

[23] Stroebe, M. S., Hansson, R. O., Schut, H., & Stroebe, W. (2008). Bereavement research: Contemporary perspectives. In M. S. Stroebe, R. O. Hansson, H. Schut, & W. Stroebe (Eds.),Handbook of bereavement research and practice: Advances in theory and intervention (pp. 325). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

[24] Neimeyer, R. A., Holland, J. M., Currier, J. M., & Mehta, T. (2008). Meaning reconstruction in later life: Toward a cognitive- constructivist approach to grief therapy. In D. Gallagher-Thompson, A. Steffen, & L. Thompson (Eds.), Handbook of behavioral and cognitive therapies with older adults (pp. 264277). New York, NY: Springer Verlag.

6.4 Early and Middle Adulthood: Building Effective Lives

LEARNING OBJECTIVE

  1. Review the physical and cognitive changes that accompany early and middle adulthood 

Until the 1970s, psychologists tended to treat adulthood as a single developmental stage, with few or no distinctions made among the various periods that we pass through between adolescence and death. Present-day psychologists realize, however, that physical, cognitive, and emotional responses continue to develop throughout life, with corresponding changes in our social needs and desires. Thus the three stages of early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood each has its own physical, cognitive, and social challenges.

In this section, we will consider the development of our cognitive and physical aspects that occur during early adulthood and middle adulthood--roughly the ages between 25 and 45 and between 45 and 65, respectively. These stages represent a long period of time--longer, in fact, than any of the other developmental stages--and the bulk of our lives is spent in them. These are also the periods in which most of us make our most substantial contributions to society, by meeting two of Erik Erikson's life challenges: We learn to give and receive love in a close, long-term relationship, and we develop an interest in guiding the development of the next generation, often by becoming parents.

Psychology in Everyday Life: What Makes a Good Parent?
Summary

Physical and Cognitive Changes in Early and Middle Adulthood
Summary

Menopause
Summary

Social Changes in Early and Middle Adulthood
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Compare your behavior, values, and attitudes regarding marriage and work to the attitudes of your parents and grandparents. In what way are your values similar? In what ways are they different?
  2. Draw a timeline of your own planned or preferred social clock. What factors do you think will make it more or less likely that you will be able to follow the timeline? 

[1] Ekus, C., Christensson, K., & Hjern, A. (2004). Unintentional and violent injuries among pre-school children of teenage mothers in Sweden: A national cohort study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 58(8), 680685.

[2] Moore, M. R., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2002). Adolescent parenthood. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting: Being and becoming a parent (2nd ed., Vol. 3, pp. 173214). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

[3] Rohner, R. P., & Veneziano, R. A. (2001). The importance of father love: History and contemporary evidence. Review of General Psychology, 5(4), 382405.

[4] Amato, P. R. (1994). Father-child relations, mother-child relations, and offspring psychological well-being in adulthood. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 56, 10311042.

[5] Baumrind, D. (1996). The discipline controversy revisited. Family Relations, 45(4), 405414; Grolnick, W. S., & Ryan, R. M. (1989). Parent styles associated with children's self-regulation and competence in school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81(2), 143154.

[6] Tamis-LeMonda, C. S., Briggs, R. D., McClowry, S. G., & Snow, D. L. (2008). Challenges to the study of African American parenting: Conceptualization, sampling, research approaches, measurement, and design. Parenting: Science and Practice, 8(4), 319358.

[7] Chang, L., Lansford, J. E., Schwartz, D., & Farver, J. M. (2004). Marital quality, maternal depressed affect, harsh parenting, and child externalising in Hong Kong Chinese families.International Journal of Behavioral Development, 28(4), 311318.

[8] Pluess, M., & Belsky, J. (2010). Differential susceptibility to parenting and quality child care. Developmental Psychology, 46(2), 379390.

[9] Burt, S. A., Barnes, A. R., McGue, M., & Iacono, W. G. (2008). Parental divorce and adolescent delinquency: Ruling out the impact of common genes. Developmental Psychology, 44(6), 16681677; Ge, X., Natsuaki, M. N., & Conger, R. D. (2006). Trajectories of depressive symptoms and stressful life events among male and female adolescents in divorced and nondivorced families. Development and Psychopathology, 18(1), 253273.

[10] Panno, J. (2004). Aging: Theories and potential therapies. New York, NY: Facts on File Publishers.

[11] Lacher-Fougre, S., & Demany, L. (2005). Consequences of cochlear damage for the detection of inter-aural phase differences. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 118, 25192526.

[12] Shelton, H. M. (2006). High blood pressure. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishers.

[13] Minkin, M. J., & Wright, C. V. (2004). A woman's guide to menopause and perimenopause. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

[14] Avis, N. E., & Crawford, S. (2008). Cultural differences in symptoms and attitudes toward menopause. Menopause Management, 17(3), 813.

[15] DePaulo, B. M. (2006). Singled out: How singles are stereotyped, stigmatized and ignored, and still live happily ever after. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press; Rook, K. S., Catalano, R. C., & Dooley, D. (1989). The timing of major life events: Effects of departing from the social clock. American Journal of Community Psychology, 17, 223258.

[16] Gallagher, M., & Waite, L. J. (2001). The case for marriage: Why married people are happier, healthier, and better off financially. New York, NY: Random House; Liu, H., & Umberson, D. (2008). The times they are a changin': Marital status and health differentials from 1972 to 2003. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 49, 239253.

[17] Bureau of the Census. (2007). Statistical abstract of the United States 2006 (p. 218). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

[18] Goodwin, P. Y., Mosher, W. D., Chandra A. (2010, February). Marriage and cohabitation in the United States: A statistical portrait based on Cycle 6 (2002) of the National Survey of Family Growth. Vital Health Statistics 23(28), 145. Retrieved from National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, website:http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_23/sr23_028.pdf

[19] Twenge, J., Campbell, W., & Foster, C. (2003). Parenthood and marital satisfaction: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Marriage and Family, 65(3), 574583.

[20] Eid, M., & Larsen, R. J. (Eds.). (2008). The science of subjective well-being. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

6.3 Adolescence: Developing Independence and Identity

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Summarize the physical and cognitive changes that occur for boys and girls during adolescence.
  2. Explain how adolescents develop a sense of morality and of self-identity.

Adolescence is defined as the years between the onset of puberty and the beginning of adulthood. In the past, when people were likely to marry in their early 20s or younger, this period might have lasted only 10 years or less--starting roughly between ages 12 and 13 and ending by age 20, at which time the child got a job or went to work on the family farm, married, and started his or her own family. Today, children mature more slowly, move away from home at later ages, and maintain ties with their parents longer. For instance, children may go away to college but still receive financial support from parents, and they may come home on weekends or even to live for extended time periods. Thus the period between puberty and adulthood may well last into the late 20s, merging into adulthood itself. In fact, it is appropriate now to consider the period of adolescence and that of emerging adulthood (the ages between 18 and the middle or late 20s) together.

During adolescence, the child continues to grow physically, cognitively, and emotionally, changing from a child into an adult. The body grows rapidly in size and the sexual and reproductive organs become fully functional. At the same time, as adolescents develop more advanced patterns of reasoning and a stronger sense of self, they seek to forge their own identities, developing important attachments with people other than their parents. Particularly in Western societies, where the need to forge a new independence is critical (Baumeister & Tice, 1986; Twenge, 2006), [1] this period can be stressful for many children, as it involves new emotions, the need to develop new social relationships, and an increasing sense of responsibility and independence.

Although adolescence can be a time of stress for many teenagers, most of them weather the trials and tribulations successfully. For example, the majority of adolescents experiment with alcohol sometime before high school graduation. Although many will have been drunk at least once, relatively few teenagers will develop long-lasting drinking problems or permit alcohol to adversely affect their school or personal relationships. Similarly, a great many teenagers break the law during adolescence, but very few young people develop criminal careers (Farrington, 1995). [2] These facts do not, however, mean that using drugs or alcohol is a good idea. The use of recreational drugs can have substantial negative consequences, and the likelihood of these problems (including dependence, addiction, and even brain damage) is significantly greater for young adults who begin using drugs at an early age.

Physical Changes in Adolescence
Summary

Cognitive Development in Adolescence
Summary

Social Development in Adolescence
Summary

Developing Moral Reasoning: Kohlberg's Theory
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Based on what you learned in this chapter, do you think that people should be allowed to drive at age 16? Why or why not? At what age do you think they should be allowed to vote and to drink alcohol?
  2. Think about your experiences in high school. What sort of cliques or crowds were there? How did people express their identities in these groups? How did you use your groups to define yourself and develop your own identity? 

[1] Baumeister, R. F., & Tice, D. M. (1986). How adolescence became the struggle for self: A historical transformation of psychological development. In J. Suls & A. G. Greenwald (Eds.), Psychological perspectives on the self (Vol. 3, pp. 183201). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; Twenge, J. M. (2006). Generation me: Why today's young Americans are more confident, assertive, entitled--and more miserable than ever before. New York, NY: Free Press.

[2] Farrington, D. P. (1995). The challenge of teenage antisocial behavior. In M. Rutter & M. E. Rutter (Eds.), Psychosocial disturbances in young people: Challenges for prevention (pp. 83130). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

[3] Marshall, W. A., & Tanner, J. M. (1986). Puberty. In F. Falkner & J. M. Tanner (Eds.),Human growth: A comprehensive treatise (2nd ed., pp. 171209). New York, NY: Plenum Press.

[4] Marshall, W. A., & Tanner, J. M. (1986). Puberty. In F. Falkner & J. M. Tanner (Eds.),Human growth: A comprehensive treatise (2nd ed., pp. 171209). New York, NY: Plenum Press.

[5] Anderson, S. E., Dannal, G. E., & Must, A. (2003). Relative weight and race influence average age at menarche: Results from two nationally representative surveys of U.S. girls studied 25 years apart. Pediatrics, 111, 844850.

[6] Lynne, S. D., Graber, J. A., Nichols, T. R., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Botvin, G. J. (2007). Links between pubertal timing, peer influences, and externalizing behaviors among urban students followed through middle school. Journal of Adolescent Health, 40, 181.e7181.e13 (p. 198).

[7] Mendle, J., Turkheimer, E., & Emery, R. E. (2007). Detrimental psychological outcomes associated with early pubertal timing in adolescent girls. Developmental Review, 27, 151171; Pescovitz, O. H., & Walvoord, E. C. (2007). When puberty is precocious: Scientific and clinical aspects. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.

[8] Ge, X., Conger, R. D., & Elder, G. H., Jr. (1996). Coming of age too early: Pubertal influences on girls' vulnerability to psychological distress. Child Development, 67(6), 33863400.

[9] Weinberger, D. R., Elvevg, B., & Giedd, J. N. (2005). The adolescent brain: A work in progress. National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Retrieved fromhttp://www.thenationalcampaign.org/resources/pdf/BRAIN.pdf [10] Blakemore, S. J. (2008). Development of the social brain during adolescence.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61, 4049.

[11] Goldberg, E. (2001). The executive brain: Frontal lobes and the civilized mind. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[12] Rapoport, J. L., Giedd, J. N., Blumenthal, J., Hamburger, S., Jeffries, N., Fernandez, T.,...Evans, A. (1999). Progressive cort ical change during adolescence in childhood-onset schizophrenia: A longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 56(7), 649654.

[13] Blakemore, S. J. (2008). Development of the social brain during adolescence.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61, 4049.

[14] Steinberg, L. (2007). Risk taking in adolescence: New perspectives from brain and behavioral science. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16, 5559.

[15] Elkind, D. (1978). The child's reality: Three developmental themes. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

[16] Goossens, L., Beyers, W., Emmen, M., & van Aken, M. (2002). The imaginary audience and personal fable: Factor analyses and concurrent validity of the "new look" measures.Journal of Research on Adolescence, 12(2), 193215.

[17] Rycek, R. F., Stuhr, S. L., Mcdermott, J., Benker, J., & Swartz, M. D. (1998). Adolescent egocentrism and cognitive functioning during late adolescence. Adolescence, 33, 746750.

[18] Harris, J. (1998), The nurture assumption--Why children turn out the way they do. New York, NY: Free Press.

[19] Marcia, J. (1980). Identity in adolescence. Handbook of Adolescent Psychology, 5, 145160.

[20] Answerbag. (2007, March 20). What were you like as a teenager? (e.g., cool, nerdy, awkward?). Retrieved from http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/171753 [21] Rubin, K. H., Bukowski, W. M., & Parker, J. G. (2006). Peer interactions, relationships, and groups. In N. Eisenberg, W. Damon, & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Social, emotional, and personality development (6th ed., Vol. 3, pp. 571645). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

[22] Kohlberg, L. (1984). The psychology of moral development: Essays on moral development (Vol. 2, p. 200). San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row.

[23] Kohlberg, L. (1984). The psychology of moral development: Essays on moral development (Vol. 2, p. 200). San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row.

[24] Rest, J. (1979). Development in judging moral issues. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

[25] Haidt, J. (2001). The emotional dog and its rational tail: A social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. Psychological Review, 108(4), 814834.

[26] Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women's development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[27] Turiel, E. (1998). The development of morality. In W. Damon (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Socialization (5th ed., Vol. 3, pp. 863932). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

[28] Jaffee, S., & Hyde, J. S. (2000). Gender differences in moral orientation: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 126(5), 703726.

6.2 Infancy and Childhood: Exploring and Learning

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Describe the abilities that newborn infants possess and how they actively interact with their environments.
  2. List the stages in Piaget's model of cognitive development and explain the concepts that are mastered in each stage
  3. Critique Piaget's theory of cognitive development and describe other theories that complement and expand on it.
  4. Summarize the important processes of social development that occur in infancy and childhood.

If all has gone well, a baby is born sometime around the 38th week of pregnancy. The fetus is responsible, at least in part, for its own birth because chemicals released by the developing fetal brain trigger the muscles in the mother's uterus to start the rhythmic contractions of childbirth. The contractions are initially spaced at about 15-minute intervals but come more rapidly with time. When the contractions reach an interval of 2 to 3 minutes, the mother is requested to assist in the labor and help push the baby out.

The Newborn Arrives With Many Behaviors Intact
Summary

Cognitive Development During Childhood
Summary

Social Development During Childhood
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Give an example of a situation in which you or someone else might show cognitive assimilation and cognitive accommodation. In what cases do you think each process is most likely to occur?
  2. Consider some examples of how Piaget's and Vygotsky's theories of cognitive development might be used by teachers who are teaching young children.
  3. Consider the attachment styles of some of your friends in terms of their relationships with their parents and other friends. Do you think their style is secure? 

[1] Beauchamp, D. K., Cowart, B. J., Menellia, J. A., & Marsh, R. R. (1994). Infant salt taste: Developmental, methodological, and contextual factors. Developmental Psychology, 27, 353365; Blass, E. M., & Smith, B. A. (1992). Differential effects of sucrose, fructose, glucose, and lactose on crying in 1- to 3-day-old human infants: Qualitative and quantitative considerations. Developmental Psychology, 28, 804810.

[2] Porter, R. H., Makin, J. W., Davis, L. B., & Christensen, K. M. (1992). Breast-fed infants respond to olfactory cues from their own mother and unfamiliar lactating females. Infant Behavior & Development, 15(1), 8593.

[3] Bushnell, I. W. R., Sai, F., & Mullin, J. T. (1989). Neonatal recognition of the mother's face. British Journal of developmental psychology, 7, 315.

[4] Gibson, E. J., Rosenzweig, M. R., & Porter, L. W. (1988). Exploratory behavior in the development of perceiving, acting, and the acquiring of knowledge. In Annual review of psychology (Vol. 39, pp. 141). Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews; Gibson, E. J., & Pick, A. D. (2000). An ecological approach to perceptual learning and development. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; Smith, L. B., & Thelen, E. (2003). Development as a dynamic system. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7(8), 343348.

[5] Juraska, J. M., Henderson, C., & Mller, J. (1984). Differential rearing experience, gender, and radial maze performance. Developmental Psychobiology, 17(3), 209215.

[6] Soska, K. C., Adolph, K. E., & Johnson, S. P. (2010). Systems in development: Motor skill acquisition facilitates three- dimensional object completion. Developmental Psychology, 46(1), 129138.

[7] James, W. (1890). The principles of psychology. New York, NY: Dover.

[8] Trehub, S., & Rabinovitch, M. (1972). Auditory-linguistic sensitivity in early infancy.Developmental Psychology, 6(1), 7477.

[9] Wynn, K. (1995). Infants possess a system of numerical knowledge. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 4, 172176.

[10] DeLoache, J. S. (1987). Rapid change in the symbolic functioning of very young children. Science, 238(4833), 15561556.

[11] Klahr, D., & McWhinney, B. (1998). Information Processing. In D. Kuhn & R. S. Siegler (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Cognition, perception, & language (5th ed., Vol. 2, pp. 631678). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons; Shrager, J., & Siegler, R. S. (1998). SCADS: A model of children's strategy choices and strategy discoveries. Psychological Science, 9, 405422.

[12] Driscoll, M. P. (1994). Psychology of learning for instruction. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon; Levin, I., Siegler, S. R., & Druyan, S. (1990). Misconceptions on motion: Development and training effects. Child Development, 61, 15441556.

[13] Baillargeon, R. (2004). Infants' physical world. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(3), 8994; Wang, S. H., Baillargeon, R., & Brueckner, L. (2004). Young infants' reasoning about hidden objects: Evidence from violation -of-expectation tasks with test trials only. Cognition, 93, 167198.

[14] Courage, M. L., & Howe, M. L. (2002). From infant to child: The dynamics of cognitive change in the second year of life. Psychological Bulletin, 128(2), 250276.

[15] Dasen, P. R. (1972). Cross-cultural Piagetian research: A summary. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 3, 2339.

[16] Cole, M. (1996). Culture in mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; Rogoff, B. (1990). Apprenticeship in thinking: Cognitive development in social context. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; Tomasello, M. (1999). The cultural origins of human cognition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[17] Vygotsky, L. S. (1962). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[18] Aronson, E., Blaney, N., Stephan, C., Sikes, J., & Snapp, M. (1978). The jigsaw classroom. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage; Brown, A. L. (1997). Transforming schools into communities of thinking and learning about serious matters. American Psychologist, 52(4), 399413.

[19] Kagan, J. (1991). The theoretical utility of constructs of self. Developmental Review, 11, 244250.

[20] Boysen, S. T., & Himes, G. T. (1999). Current issues and emerging theories in animal cognition. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, 683705.

[21] Gallup, G. G., Jr. (1970). Chimpanzees: Self-recognition. Science, 167(3914), 8687.

[22] Povinelli, D. J., Landau, K. R., & Perilloux, H. K. (1996). Self-recognition in young children using delayed versus live feedback: Evidence of a developmental asynchrony.Child Development, 67(4), 15401554.

[23] Harter, S. (1998). The development of self-representations. In W. Damon & N. Eisenberg (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Social, emotional, & personality development (5th ed., Vol. 3, pp. 553618). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

[24] Moretti, M. M., & Higgins, E. T. (1990). The development of self-esteem vulnerabilities: Social and cognitive factors in developmental psychopathology. In R. J. Sternberg & J. Kolligian, Jr. (Eds.), Competence considered (pp. 286314). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

[25] Doherty, M. J. (2009). Theory of mind: How children understand others' thoughts and feelings. New York, NY: Psychology Press.

[26] Cassidy, J. E., & Shaver, P. R. E. (1999). Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

[27] Bowlby, J. (1953). Some pathological processes set in train by early mother-child separation. Journal of Mental Science, 99, 265272.

[28] Harlow, H. (1958). The nature of love. American Psychologist, 13, 573685.

[29] Ainsworth, M. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

[30] Rothbaum, F., Weisz, J., Pott, M., Miyake, K., & Morelli, G. (2000). Attachment and culture: Security in the United States and Japan. American Psychologist, 55(10), 10931104.

[31] van den Boom, D. C. (1994). The influence of temperament and mothering on attachment and exploration: An experimental manipulation of sensitive responsiveness among lower-class mothers with irritable infants. Child Development, 65(5), 14571476.

[32] Gillath, O., Shaver, P. R., Baek, J.-M., & Chun, D. S. (2008). Genetic correlates of adult attachment style. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(10), 13961405; Seifer, R., Schiller, M., Sameroff, A. J., Resnick, S., & Riordan, K. (1996). Attachment, maternal sensitivity, and infant temperament during the first year of life. Developmental Psychology, 32(1), 1225.

[33] Cassidy, J. E., & Shaver, P. R. E. (1999). Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

[34] Waters, E., Merrick, S., Treboux, D., Crowell, J., & Albersheim, L. (2000). Attachment security in infancy and early adulthood: A twenty-year longitudinal study. Child Development, 71(3), 684689.

[35] Lucas-Thompson, R., & Clarke-Stewart, K. A. (2007). Forecasting friendship: How marital quality, maternal mood, and attachment security are linked to children's peer relationships. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 28(56), 499514.

[36] Carlson, E. A., Sroufe, L. A., & Egeland, B. (2004). The construction of experience: A longitudinal study of representation and behavior. Child Development, 75(1), 6683.

[37] Jang, K. L., Livesley, W. A., & Vernon, P. A. (1996). The genetic basis of personality at different ages: A cross-sectional twin study. Personality and Individual Differences, 21, 299301.

[38] Jang, K. L., Livesley, W. A., & Vernon, P. A. (1996). The genetic basis of personality at different ages: A cross-sectional twin study. Personality and Individual Differences, 21, 299301.

6.1 Conception and Prenatal Development

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Review the stages of prenatal development.
  2. Explain how the developing embryo and fetus may be harmed by the presence of teratogens and describe what a mother can do to reduce her risk.

Conception occurs when an egg from the mother is fertilized by a sperm from the father. In humans, the conception process begins with ovulation, when an ovum, or egg (the largest cell in the human body), which has been stored in one of the mother's two ovaries, matures and is released into the fallopian tube. Ovulation occurs about halfway through the woman's menstrual cycle and is aided by the release of a complex combination of hormones. In addition to helping the egg mature, the hormones also cause the lining of the uterus to grow thicker and more suitable for implantation of a fertilized egg.

If the woman has had sexual intercourse within 1 or 2 days of the egg's maturation, one of the up to 500 million sperm deposited by the man's ejaculation, which are traveling up the fallopian tube, may fertilize the egg. Although few of the sperm are able to make the long journey, some of the strongest swimmers succeed in meeting the egg. As the sperm reach the egg in the fallopian tube, they release enzymes that attack the outer jellylike protective coating of the egg, each trying to be the first to enter. As soon as one of the millions of sperm enters the egg's coating, the egg immediately responds by both blocking out all other challengers and at the same time pulling in the single successful sperm.

The Zygote
Summary

The Embryo
Summary

The Fetus
Summary

How the Environment Can Affect the Vulnerable Fetus
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. What behaviors must a woman avoid engaging in when she decides to try to become pregnant, or when she finds out she is pregnant? Do you think the ability of a mother to engage in healthy behaviors should influence her choice to have a child?
  2. Given the negative effects of poverty on human development, what steps do you think that societies should take to try to reduce poverty? 

[1] DeCasper, A. J., & Fifer, W. P. (1980). Of human bonding: Newborns prefer their mothers' voices. Science, 208, 11741176; Moon, C., Cooper, R. P., & Fifer, W. P. (1993). Two-day-olds prefer their native language. Infant Behavior & Development, 16, 495-500.

[2] Mennella, J. A., Jagnow, C. P., & Beauchamp, G. K. (2001). Prenatal and postnatal flavor learning by human infants. Pediatrics, 107(6), e88.

[3] Moore, K., & Persaud, T. (1993). The developing human: Clinically oriented embryology(5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.

[4] Niccols, G. A. (1994). Fetal alcohol syndrome: Implications for psychologists. Clinical Psychology Review, 14, 91-111.

[5] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005). Alcohol use and pregnancy. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/factsheets/FAS_alcoholuse.pdf

[6] Duncan, G., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2000). Family poverty, welfare reform, and child development. Child Development, 71(1), 188196; Haber, M., & Toro, P. (2004). Homelessness among families, children, and adolescents: An ecological developmental perspective. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 7(3), 123-164.

[7] Evans, G. W., & English, K. (2002). The environment of poverty: Multiple stressor exposure, psychophysiological stress, and socio-emotional adjustment. Child Development, 73(4), 12381248; Gunnar, M., & Quevedo, K. (2007). The neurobiology of stress and development. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 145-173.

Using the Principles of Learning to Understand Everyday Behavior

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Review the ways that learning theories can be applied to understanding and modifying everyday behavior.
  2. Describe the situations under which reinforcement may make people lesslikely to enjoy engaging in a behavior.
  3. Explain how principles of reinforcement are used to understand social dilemmas such as the prisoner's dilemma and why people are likely to make competitive choices in them.

The principles of learning are some of the most general and most powerful in all of psychology. It would be fair to say that these principles account for more behavior using fewer principles than any other set of psychological theories. The principles of learning are applied in numerous ways in everyday settings. For example, operant conditioning has been used to motivate employees, to improve athletic performance, to increase the functioning of those suffering from developmental disabilities, and to help parents successfully toilet train their children (Simek & O'Brien, 1981; Pedalino & Gamboa, 1974; Azrin & Foxx, 1974; McGlynn, 1990). [1] In this section we will consider how learning theories are used in advertising, in education, and in understanding competitive relationships between individuals and groups.

Using Classical Conditioning in Advertising
Summary

Reinforcement in Social Dilemmas
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Find and share with your class some examples of advertisements that make use of classical conditioning to create positive attitudes toward products.
  2. Should parents use both punishment as well as reinforcement to discipline their children? On what principles of learning do you base your opinion?
  3. Think of a social dilemma other than one that has been discussed in this chapter, and explain people's behavior in it in terms of principles of learning.

[1] Simek, T. C., & O'Brien, R. M. (1981). Total golf: A behavioral approach to lowering your score and getting more out of your game. New York, NY: Doubleday & Company; Pedalino, E., & Gamboa, V. U. (1974). Behavior modification and absenteeism: Intervention in one industrial setting. Journal of Applied Psychology, 59, 694697; Azrin, N., & Foxx, R. M. (1974). Toilet training in less than a day. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster; McGlynn, S. M. (1990). Behavioral approaches to neuropsychological rehabilitation. Psychological Bulletin, 108, 420-441.

[2] Hawkins, D., Best, R., & Coney, K. (1998.) Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing Strategy (7th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw- Hill.

[3] Gorn, G. J. (1982). The effects of music in advertising on choice behavior: A classical conditioning approach. Journal of Marketing, 46(1), 94-101.

[4] Schemer, C., Matthes, J. R., Wirth, W., & Textor, S. (2008). Does "Passing the Courvoisier" always pay off? Positive and negative evaluative conditioning effects of brand placements in music videos. Psychology & Marketing, 25(10), 923-943.

[5] Das, E. H. H. J., de Wit, J. B. F., & Stroebe, W. (2003). Fear appeals motivate acceptance of action recommendations: Evidence for a positive bias in the processing of persuasive messages. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 29(5), 650-664; Perloff, R. M. (2003).The dynamics of persuasion: Communication and attitudes in the 21st century (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; Witte, K., & Allen, M. (2000). A meta-analysis of fear appeals: Implications for effective public health campaigns. Health Education & Behavior, 27(5), 591-615.

[6] Schemer, C., Matthes, J. R., Wirth, W., & Textor, S. (2008). Does "Passing the Courvoisier" always pay off? Positive and negative evaluative conditioning effects of brand placements in music videos. Psychology & Marketing, 25(10), 923-943.

[7] Watson, J. B. (1930). Behaviorism (Rev. ed.). New York, NY: Norton.

[8] Skinner, B. F. (1965). The technology of teaching. Proceedings of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences, 162(989): 427-43. doi:10.1098/rspb.1965.0048

[9] Emurian, H. H. (2009). Teaching Java: Managing instructional tactics to optimize student learning. International Journal of Information & Communication Technology Education, 3(4), 34-49.

[10] Baumeister, R. F., Campbell, J. D., Krueger, J. I., & Vohs, K. D. (2003). Does high self-esteem cause better performance, interpersonal success, happiness, or healthier lifestyles? Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 4, 1-44.

[11] Lepper, M. R., Greene, D., & Nisbett, R. E. (1973). Undermining children's intrinsic interest with extrinsic reward: A test of the "overjustification" hypothesis. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 28(1), 129-137.

[12] Hulleman, C. S., Durik, A. M., Schweigert, S. B., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2008). Task values, achievement goals, and interest: An integrative analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100(2), 398416; Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2002). Overview of self- determination theory: An organismic-dialectical perspective. In E. L. Deci & R. M. Ryan (Eds.), Handbook of self-determination research (pp. 333). Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.

[13] Gershoff, E. T. (2002). Corporal punishment by parents and associated child behaviors and experiences: A meta-analytic and theoretical review. Psychological Bulletin, 128(4), 539-579.

[14] Kohn, A. (1993). Punished by rewards: The trouble with gold stars, incentive plans, A's, praise, and other bribes . Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin and Company.

[15] Rotter, J. B. (1945). Social learning and clinical psychology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall; Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. New York, NY: General Learning Press; Miller, N., & Dollard, J. (1941). Social learning and imitation. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

[16] Hardin, G. (1968). The tragedy of the commons. Science, 162, 12431248.

[17] Poundstone, W. (1992). The prisoner's dilemma. New York, NY: Doubleday.

Learning by Insight and Observation

LEARNING OBJECTIVE

  1. Understand the principles of learning by insight and observation.

John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner were behaviorists who believed that all learning could be explained by the processes of conditioning--that is, that associations, and associations alone, influence learning. But some kinds of learning are very difficult to explain using only conditioning. Thus, although classical and operant conditioning play a key role in learning, they constitute only a part of the total picture.

One type of learning that is not determined only by conditioning occurs when we suddenly find the solution to a problem, as if the idea just popped into our head. This type of learning is known as insight, the sudden understanding of a solution to a problem. The German psychologist Wolfgang Khler (1925) [1] carefully observed what happened when he presented chimpanzees with a problem that was not easy for them to solve, such as placing food in an area that was too high in the cage to be reached. He found that the chimps first engaged in trial-and-error attempts at solving the problem, but when these failed they seemed to stop and contemplate for a while. Then, after this period of contemplation, they would suddenly seem to know how to solve the problem, for instance by using a stick to knock the food down or by standing on a chair to reach it. Khler argued that it was this flash of insight, not the prior trial-and-error approaches, which were so important for conditioning theories, that allowed the animals to solve the problem.

Edward Tolman (Tolman & Honzik, 1930) [2] studied the behavior of three groups of rats that were learning to navigate through mazes. The first group always received a reward of food at the end of the maze. The second group never received any reward, and the third group received a reward, but only beginning on the 11th day of the experimental period. As you might expect when considering the principles of conditioning, the rats in the first group quickly learned to negotiate the maze, while the rats of the second group seemed to wander aimlessly through it. The rats in the third group, however, although they wandered aimlessly for the first 10 days, quickly learned to navigate to the end of the maze as soon as they received food on day 11. By the next day, the rats in the third group had caught up in their learning to the rats that had been rewarded from the beginning.

It was clear to Tolman that the rats that had been allowed to experience the maze, even without any reinforcement, had nevertheless learned something, and Tolman called this latent learning. Latent learning refers to learning that is not reinforced and not demonstrated until there is motivation to do so. Tolman argued that the rats had formed a "cognitive map" of the maze but did not demonstrate this knowledge until they received reinforcement.

Observational Learning: Learning by Watching
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Describe a time when you learned something by insight. What do you think led to your learning?
  2. Imagine that you had a 12-year-old brother who spent many hours a day playing violent video games. Basing your answer on the material covered in this chapter, do you think that your parents should limit his exposure to the games? Why or why not?
  3. How might we incorporate principles of observational learning to encourage acts of kindness and selflessness in our society? 

[1] Khler, W. (1925). The mentality of apes (E. Winter, Trans.). New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

[2] Tolman, E. C., & Honzik, C. H. (1930). Introduction and removal of reward, and maze performance in rats. University of California Publications in Psychology, 4, 257-275.

[3] Bandura, A., Ross, D., & Ross, S. A. (1963). Imitation of film-mediated aggressive models. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 66(1), 3-11.

[4] Cook, M., & Mineka, S. (1990). Selective associations in the observational conditioning of fear in rhesus monkeys. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 16(4), 372-389.

[5] Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavior change.Psychological Review, 84, 191-215.

[6] Heyman, R. E., & Slep, A. M. S. (2002). Do child abuse and interparental violence lead to adulthood family violence? Journal of Marriage and Family, 64(4), 864-870.

[7] Patterson, G. R., Dishion, T. J., & Bank, L. (1984). Family interaction: A process model of deviancy training. Aggressive Behavior, 10(3), 253-267.

[8] The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. (2003, Spring). Key facts. Menlo Park, CA: Author. Retrieved from http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/Key-Facts-TV-Violence.pdf; Schulenburg, C. (2007, January). Dying to entertain: Violence on prime time broadcast television, 1998 to 2006. Los Angeles, CA: Parents Television Council. Retrieved fromhttp://www.parentstv.org/PTC/publications/reports/violencestudy/exsummary.asp ; Coyne, S. M., & Archer, J. (2005). The relationship between indirect and physical aggression on television and in real life. Social Development, 14(2), 324-337.

[9] Anderson, C. A., Berkowitz, L., Donnerstein, E., Huesmann, L. R., Johnson, J. D., Linz, D.,...Wartella, E. (2003). The influenc e of media violence on youth. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 4(3), 81110; Cantor, J., Bushman, B. J., Huesmann, L. R., Groebel, J., Malamuth, N. M., Impett, E. A.,...Singer, J. L. (Eds.). (2001). Some hazards of television viewing: Fears, aggression, and sexual attitudes. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

[10] Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2001). Effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, physiological arousal, and prosocial behavior: A meta-analytic review of the scientific literature. Psychological Science, 12(5), 353-359.

[11] Bushman, B. J., & Anderson, C. A. (2002). Violent video games and hostile expectations: A test of the general aggression model. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(12), 1679-1686.

[12] Seymour, B., Yoshida W., & Dolan, R. (2009) Altruistic learning. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 3, 23. doi:10.3389/neuro.07.023.2009

Changing Behavior Through Reinforcement and Punishment: Operant Conditioning

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Outline the principles of operant conditioning.
  2. Explain how learning can be shaped through the use of reinforcement schedules and secondary reinforcers.

In classical conditioning the organism learns to associate new stimuli with natural, biological responses such as salivation or fear. The organism does not learn something new but rather begins to perform in an existing behavior in the presence of a new signal. Operant conditioning, on the other hand, is learning that occurs based on the consequences of behavior and can involve the learning of new actions. Operant conditioning occurs when a dog rolls over on command because it has been praised for doing so in the past, when a schoolroom bully threatens his classmates because doing so allows him to get his way, and when a child gets good grades because her parents threaten to punish her if she doesn't. In operant conditioning the organism learns from the consequences of its own actions.

How Reinforcement and Punishment Influence Behavior: The Research of Thorndike and Skinner
Summary

Creating Complex Behaviors Through Operant Conditioning
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Give an example from daily life of each of the following: positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, negative punishment.
  2. Consider the reinforcement techniques that you might use to train a dog to catch and retrieve a Frisbee that you throw to it.
  3. Watch the following two videos from current television shows. Can you determine which learning procedures are being demonstrated?
    1. The Office 
    2. The Big Bang Theory

[1] Thorndike, E. L. (1898). Animal intelligence: An experimental study of the associative processes in animals. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

[2] Thorndike, E. L. (1911). Animal intelligence: Experimental studies. New York, NY: Macmillan. Retrieved from http://www.archive.org/details/animalintelligen00thor

[3] Cerella, J. (1980). The pigeon's analysis of pictures. Pattern Recognition, 12, 16.

[4] Porter, D., & Neuringer, A. (1984). Music discriminations by pigeons. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 10(2), 138148; Watanabe, S., Sakamoto, J., & Wakita, M. (1995). Pigeons' discrimination of painting by Monet and Picasso. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 63(2), 165174.

Learning by Association: Classical Conditioning

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Describe how Pavlov's early work in classical conditioning influenced the understanding of learning.
  2. Review the concepts of classical conditioning, including unconditioned stimulus (US), conditioned stimulus (CS), unconditioned response (UR), and conditioned response (CR).
  3. Explain the roles that extinction, generalization, and discrimination play in conditioned learning.

Pavlov Demonstrates Conditioning in Dogs
Summary

The Persistence and Extinction of Conditioning
Summary

The Role of Nature in Classical Conditioning
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. A teacher places gold stars on the chalkboard when the students are quiet and attentive. Eventually, the students start becoming quiet and attentive whenever the teacher approaches the chalkboard. Can you explain the students' behavior in terms of classical conditioning?
  2. Recall a time in your life, perhaps when you were a child, when your behaviors were influenced by classical conditioning. Describe in detail the nature of the unconditioned and conditioned stimuli and the response, using the appropriate psychological terms.
  3. If posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of classical conditioning, how might psychologists use the principles of classical conditioning to treat the disorder? 

[1] Lewicki, P. (1985). Nonconscious biasing effects of single instances on subsequent judgments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48, 563-574.

[2] hman, A., & Mineka, S. (2001). Fears, phobias, and preparedness: Toward an evolved module of fear and fear learning. Psychological Review, 108(3), 483-522; LoBue, V., & DeLoache, J. S. (2010). Superior detection of threat-relevant stimuli in infancy.Developmental Science, 13(1), 221-228.

[3] Garcia, J., Kimeldorf, D. J., & Koelling, R. A. (1955). Conditioned aversion to saccharin resulting from exposure to gamma radiation. Science, 122, 157158; Garcia, J., Ervin, F. R., & Koelling, R. A. (1966). Learning with prolonged delay of reinforcement. Psychonomic Science, 5(3), 121-122.

[4] American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

[5] Keane, T. M., Zimering, R. T., & Caddell, J. M. (1985). A behavioral formulation of posttraumatic stress disorder in Vietnam veterans. The Behavior Therapist, 8(1), 9-12.

[6] Milad, M. R., Pitman, R. K., Ellis, C. B., Gold, A. L., Shin, L. M., Lasko, N. B.,...Rauch, S. L. (2009). Neurobiological basis of failure to recall extinction memory in posttraumatic stress disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 66(12), 1075-82.

Accuracy and Inaccuracy in Memory and Cognition

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Outline the variables that can influence the accuracy of our memory for events.
  2. Explain how schemas can distort our memories.
  3. Describe the representativeness heuristic and the availability heuristic and explain how they may lead to errors in judgment.

As we have seen, our memories are not perfect. They fail in part due to our inadequate encoding and storage, and in part due to our inability to accurately retrieve stored information. But memory is also influenced by the setting in which it occurs, by the events that occur to us after we have experienced an event, and by the cognitive processes that we use to help us remember. Although our cognition allows us to attend to, rehearse, and organize information, cognition may also lead to distortions and errors in our judgments and our behaviors.

In this section we consider some of the cognitive biases that are known to influence humans. Cognitive biases are errors in memory or judgment that are caused by the inappropriate use of cognitive processes (Table 8.3 "Cognitive Processes That Pose Threats to Accuracy"). The study of cognitive biases is important both because it relates to the important psychological theme of accuracy versus inaccuracy in perception, and because being aware of the types of errors that we may make can help us avoid them and therefore improve our decision-making skills.

Table 8.3 Cognitive Processes That Pose Threats to Accuracy

Cognitive process Description Potential threat to accuracy
Source monitoring
The ability to accurately identify the source of a memory
Uncertainty about the source of a memory may lead to mistaken judgments.
Confirmation bias
The tendency to verify and confirm our existing memories rather than to challenge and disconfirm them
Once beliefs become established, they become self-perpetuating and difficult to change.
Functional fixedness
When schemas prevent us from seeing and using information in new and nontraditional ways
Creativity may be impaired by the overuse of traditional, expectancy-based thinking.
Misinformation
effect
Errors in memory that occur when new but incorrect information influences existing accurate memories
Eyewitnesses who are questioned by the police may change their memories of what they observed at the crime scene.
Overconfidence
When we are more certain that our memories and judgments are accurate than we should be
Eyewitnesses may be very confident that they have accurately identified a suspect, even though their memories are incorrect.
Salience
When some stimuli, (e.g., those that are colorful, moving, or unexpected) grab our attention and make them more likely to be remembered
We may base our judgments on a single salient event while we ignore hundreds of other equally informative events that we do not see.
Representativeness heuristic
Tendency to make judgments according to how well the event matches our expectations
After a coin has come up “heads” many times in a row, we may erroneously think that the next
flip is more likely to be “tails” (the gambler’s fallacy).
Availability heuristic
Idea that things that come to mind easily are seen as more common
We may overestimate the crime statistics in our own area, because these crimes are so easy to recall.
Cognitive accessibility
Idea that some memories are more highly activated than others
We may think that we contributed more to a project than we really did because it is so easy to remember our own contributions.
Counterfactual thinking
When we “replay” events such that they turn out differently (especially when only minor changes in the events leading up to them make a difference)
We may feel particularly bad about events that might not have occurred if only a small change had occurred before them.

Source Monitoring: Did It Really Happen?
Summary

Schematic Processing: Distortions Based on Expectations
Summary

Misinformation Effects: How Information That Comes Later Can Distort Memory
Summary

Overconfidence
Summary

Heuristic Processing: Availability and Representativeness
Summary

Salience and Cognitive Accessibility
Summary

Counterfactual Thinking
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Consider a time when you were uncertain if you really experienced an event or only imagined it. What impact did this have on you, and how did you resolve it?
  2. Consider again some of the cognitive schemas that you hold in your memory. How do these knowledge structures bias your information processing and behavior, and how might you prevent them from doing so?
  3. Imagine that you were involved in a legal case in which an eyewitness claimed that he had seen a person commit a crime. Based on your knowledge about memory and cognition, what techniques would you use to reduce the possibility that the eyewitness was making a mistaken identification? 

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[3] Jacoby, L. L., & Rhodes, M. G. (2006). False remembering in the aged. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(2), 49

[4] Pratkanis, A. R., Greenwald, A. G., Leippe, M. R., & Baumgardner, M. H. (1988). In search of reliable persuasion effects: III. The sleeper effect is dead: Long live the sleeper effect.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(2), 203218.

[5] Stangor, C., & McMillan, D. (1992). Memory for expectancy-congruent and expectancy-incongruent information: A review of the social and social developmental literatures.Psychological Bulletin, 111(1), 4261.

[6] Trope, Y., & Thompson, E. (1997). Looking for truth in all the wrong places? Asymmetric search of individuating information about stereotyped group members. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 229241.

[7] Darley, J. M., & Gross, P. H. (1983). A hypothesis-confirming bias in labeling effects.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 2033.

[8] Wason, P. (1960). On the failure to eliminate hypotheses in a conceptual task. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 12(3), 129140.

[9] Duncker, K. (1945). On problem-solving. Psychological Monographs, 58, 5.

[10] Erdmann, K., Volbert, R., & Bhm, C. (2004). Children report suggested events even when interviewed in a non-suggestive manner: What are its implications for credibility assessment? Applied Cognitive Psychology, 18(5), 589611; Loftus, E. F. (1979). The malleability of human memory. American Scientist, 67(3), 312320; Zaragoza, M. S., Belli, R. F., & Payment, K. E. (2007). Misinformation effects and the suggestibility of eyewitness memory. In M. Garry & H. Hayne (Eds.), Do justice and let the sky fall: Elizabeth Loftus and her contributions to science, law, and academic freedom (pp. 3563). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

[11] Loftus, E. F., & Palmer, J. C. (1974). Reconstruction of automobile destruction: An example of the interaction between language and memory. Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior, 13(5), 585589.

[12] Ceci, S. J., Huffman, M. L. C., Smith, E., & Loftus, E. F. (1994). Repeatedly thinking about a non-event: Source misattributions among preschoolers. Consciousness and Cognition: An International Journal, 3(34), 388407.

[13] Loftus, E. F., & Pickrell, J. E. (1995). The formation of false memories. Psychiatric Annals, 25(12), 720725.

[14] Mazzoni, G. A. L., Loftus, E. F., & Kirsch, I. (2001). Changing beliefs about implausible autobiographical events: A little plausibility goes a long way. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 7(1), 5159.

[15] Brown, D., Scheflin, A. W., & Hammond, D. C. (1998). Memory, trauma treatment, and the law. New York, NY: Norton.

[16] McNally, R. J., Bryant, R. A., & Ehlers, A. (2003). Does early psychological intervention promote recovery from posttraumatic stress? Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 4(2), 4579; Pope, H. G., Jr., Poliakoff, M. B., Parker, M. P., Boynes, M., & Hudson, J. I. (2007). Is dissociative amnesia a culture-bound syndrome? Findings from a survey of historical literature. Psychological Medicine: A Journal of Research in Psychiatry and the Allied Sciences, 37 (2), 225233.

[17] Loftus, E. F., & Ketcham, K. (1994). The myth of repressed memory: False memories and allegations of sexual abuse (1st ed.). New York, NY: St. Martin's Press.

[18] Dunning, D., Griffin, D. W., Milojkovic, J. D., & Ross, L. (1990). The overconfidence effect in social prediction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58(4), 568581.

[19] Wells, G. L., & Olson, E. A. (2003). Eyewitness testimony. Annual Review of Psychology, 277295.

[20] Brown, R., & Kulik, J. (1977). Flashbulb memories. Cognition, 5, 7398.

[21] Talarico, J. M., & Rubin, D. C. (2003). Confidence, not consistency, characterizes flashbulb memories. Psychological Science, 14(5), 455461.

[22] Schmolck, H., Buffalo, E. A., & Squire, L. R. (2000). Memory distortions develop over time: Recollections of the O. J. Simpson trial verdict after 15 and 32 months. Psychological Science, 11(1), 3945.

[23] MacLeod, C., & Campbell, L. (1992). Memory accessibility and probability judgments: An experimental evaluation of the availability heuristic. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63(6), 890902; Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1973). Availability: A heuristic for judging frequency and probability. Cognitive Psychology, 5, 207232.

[24] McArthur, L. Z., & Post, D. L. (1977). Figural emphasis and person perception. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 13(6), 520535; Taylor, S. E., & Fiske, S. T. (1978). Salience, attention and attribution: Top of the head phenomena. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 11, 249288.

[25] Loftus, E. F., Loftus, G. R., & Messo, J. (1987). Some facts about "weapon focus." Law and Human Behavior, 11(1), 5562.

[26] Kahneman, D., & Miller, D. T. (1986). Norm theory: Comparing reality to its alternatives. Psychological Review, 93, 136 153; Roese, N. (2005). If only: How to turn regret into opportunity. New York, NY: Broadway Books.

[27] Medvec, V. H., Madey, S. F., & Gilovich, T. (1995). When less is more: Counterfactual thinking and satisfaction among Olympic medalists. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 69(4), 603610.

[28] Medvec, V. H., Madey, S. F., & Gilovich, T. (1995). When less is more: Counterfactual thinking and satisfaction among Olympic medalists. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 69(4), 603610.

[29] Miller, D. T., Turnbull, W., & McFarland, C. (1988). Particularistic and universalistic evaluation in the social comparison process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 908917.

[30] Slovic, P. (Ed.). (2000). The perception of risk. London, England: Earthscan Publications.

[31] Doob, A. N., & Macdonald, G. E. (1979). Television viewing and fear of victimization: Is the relationship causal? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37(2), 170179.

[32] Ross, M., & Sicoly, F. (1979). Egocentric biases in availability and attribution. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37(3), 322336.

[33] Gilovich, T., Griffin, D., & Kahneman, D. (2002). Heuristics and biases: The psychology of intuitive judgment. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

[34] Wells, G. L., Wright, E. F., & Bradfield, A. L. (1999). Witnesses to crime: Social and cognitive factors governing the validity of people's reports. In R. Roesch, S. D. Hart, & J. R. P. Ogloff (Eds.), Psychology and law: The state of the discipline (pp. 5387). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

[35] Wells, G. L., Memon, A., & Penrod, S. D. (2006). Eyewitness evidence: Improving its probative value. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 7(2), 4575.

[36] Lilienfeld, S. O., Ammirati, R., & Landfield, K. (2009). Giving debiasing away: Can psychological research on correcting cognitive errors promote human welfare?Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4(4), 390398.

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How We Remember: Cues to Improving Memory

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Label and review the principles of encoding, storage, and retrieval.
  2. Summarize the types of amnesia and their effects on memory.
  3. Describe how the context in which we learn information can influence our memory of that information.

Although it is useful to hold information in sensory and short-term memory, we also rely on our long-term memory (LTM). We want to remember the name of the new boy in the class, the name of the movie we saw last week, and the material for our upcoming psychology test.

Psychological research has produced a great deal of knowledge about long-term memory, and this research can be useful as you try to learn and remember new material (see Table 8.2 "Helpful Memory Techniques Based on Psychological Research"). In this section we will consider this question in terms of the types of processing that we do on the information we want to remember. To be successful, the information that we want to remember must be encoded and stored, and then retrieved.

Table 8.2 Helpful Memory Techniques Based on Psychological Research

Technique
Description
Useful example
Use elaborative encoding.
Material is better remembered if it is processed more fully.
Think, for instance, "Proactive interference is like retroactive interference but it occurs in a forward manner."
Make use of the self-reference effect.
Material is better remembered if it is linked to thoughts about the self.
Think, for instance, "I remember a time when I knew the answer to an exam question bu couldn't quite get it to come to mind. This was an example of the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon."
Be aware of the forgetting curve.
Information that we have learned drops off rapidly with time.
Review the material that you have already studied right before the exam to increase the likelihood it will remain in memory.
Make use of the spacing effect.
Information is learned better when it is studied in shorter periods spaced over time.
Study a little bit every day; do not cram at the last minute.
Rely on overlearning.We can continue to learn even after we think we know the information perfectly.Keep studying, even if you think you already have it down.
Use context-dependent retrieval.
We have better retrieval when it occurs in the same situation in which we learned the material.
If possible, study under conditions similar to the conditions in which you will take the exam.
Use state-dependent retrieval.
We have better retrieval when we are in the same psychological state as we were when we learned the material.
Many possibilities, but don't study under the influence of drugs or alcohol, unless you plan to use them on the day of the exam (which is not recommended).

Encoding and Storage: How Our Perceptions Become Memories
Summary

Using the Contributions of Hermann Ebbinghaus to Improve Your Memory
Summary

Retrieval
Summary

The Structure of LTM: Categories, Prototypes, and Schemas
Summary

The Biology of Memory
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Plan a course of action to help you study for your next exam, incorporating as many of the techniques mentioned in this section as possible. Try to implement the plan.
  2. Make a list of some the schemas that you have stored in your memory. What are the contents of each schema, and how might you use the schema to help you remember new information?
  3. In the film "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," the characters undergo a medical procedure designed to erase their memories of a painful romantic relationship. Would you engage in such a procedure if it was safely offered to you? 

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Memories as Types and Stages

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Compare and contrast explicit and implicit memory, identifying the features that define each.
  2. Explain the function and duration of eidetic and echoic memories.
  3. Summarize the capacities of short-term memory and explain how working memory is used to process information in it.

As you can see in Table 8.1 "Memory Conceptualized in Terms of Types, Stages, and Processes", psychologists conceptualize memory in terms of types, in terms of stages, and in terms of processes. In this section we will consider the two types of memory, explicit memory and implicit memory, and then the three major memory stages: sensory, short-term, and long-term (Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968). [1] Then, in the next section, we will consider the nature of long-term memory, with a particular emphasis on the cognitive techniques we can use to improve our memories. Our discussion will focus on the three processes that are central to long-term memory: encoding, storage, and retrieval.

Table 8.1 Memory Conceptualized in Terms of Types, Stages, and Processes

As types
Explicit memory
Implicit memory
As stages
Sensory memory
Short-term memory
Long-term memory
As processes
Encoding
Storage
Retrieval

Explicit Memory
Summary

Implicit Memory
Summary

Stages of Memory: Sensory, Short-Term, and Long-Term Memory
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. List some situations in which sensory memory is useful for you. What do you think your experience of the stimuli would be like if you had no sensory memory?
  2. Describe a situation in which you need to use working memory to perform a task or solve a problem. How do your working memory skills help you?

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[10] Unsworth, N., & Engle, R. W. (2007). On the division of short-term and working memory: An examination of simple and complex span and their relation to higher order abilities. Psychological Bulletin, 133(6), 10381066.

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[14] Didierjean, A., & Marmche, E. (2005). Anticipatory representation of visual basketball scenes by novice and expert players. Visual Cognition, 12(2), 265283.

[15] Wang, Y., Liu, D., & Wang, Y. (2003). Discovering the capacity of human memory. Brain & Mind, 4(2), 189198.

Communicating With Others: The Development and Use of Language

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Review the components and structure of language.
  2. Explain the biological underpinnings of language.
  3. Outline the theories of language development.

Human language is the most complex behavior on the planet and, at least as far as we know, in the universe. Language involves both the ability to comprehend spoken and written words and to create communication in real time when we speak or write. Most languages are oral, generated through speaking. Speaking involves a variety of complex cognitive, social, and biological processes including operation of the vocal cords, and the coordination of breath with movements of the throat and mouth, and tongue. Other languages are sign languages, in which the communication is expressed by movements of the hands. The most common sign language is American Sign Language (ASL), currently spoken by more than 500,000 people in the United States alone.

Although language is often used for the transmission of information ("turn right at the next light and then go straight," "Place tab A into slot B"), this is only its most mundane function. Language also allows us to access existing knowledge, to draw conclusions, to set and accomplish goals, and to understand and communicate complex social relationships. Language is fundamental to our ability to think, and without it we would be nowhere near as intelligent as we are.

Language can be conceptualized in terms of sounds, meaning, and the environmental factors that help us understand it. Phonemes are the elementary sounds of our language, morphemes are the smallest units of meaning in a language, syntax is the set of grammatical rules that control how words are put together, and contextual information is the elements of communication that are not part of the content of language but that help us understand its meaning.

The Components of Language
Summary

The Biology and Development of Language
Summary

Learning Language
Summary

How Children Learn Language: Theories of Language Acquisition
Summary

Bilingualism and Cognitive Development
Summary

Can Animals Learn Language?
Summary

Language and Perception
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. What languages do you speak? Did you ever try to learn a new one? What problems did you have when you did this? Would you consider trying to learn a new language?
  2. Some animals, such as Kanzi, display at least some language. Do you think that this means that they are intelligent? 

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The Social, Cultural, and Political Aspects of Intelligence

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Explain how very high and very low intelligence is defined and what it means to have them.
  2. Consider and comment on the meaning of biological and environmental explanations for gender and racial differences in IQ.
  3. Define stereotype threat and explain how it might influence scores on intelligence tests.

Intelligence is defined by the culture in which it exists. Most people in Western cultures tend to agree with the idea that intelligence is an important personality variable that should be admired in those who have it. But people from Eastern cultures tend to place less emphasis on individual intelligence and are more likely to view intelligence as reflecting wisdom and the desire to improve the society as a whole rather than only themselves (Baral & Das, 2004; Sternberg, 2007). [1] And in some cultures, such as the United States, it is seen as unfair and prejudicial to argue, even at a scholarly conference, that men and women might have different abilities in domains such as math and science and that these differences might be caused by genetics (even though, as we have seen, a great deal of intelligence is determined by genetics). In short, although psychological tests accurately measure intelligence, it is cultures that interpret the meanings of those tests and determine how people with differing levels of intelligence are treated.

Extremes of Intelligence: Retardation and Giftedness
Summary

Sex Differences in Intelligence
Summary

Racial Differences in Intelligence
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Were Lawrence Summers's ideas about the potential causes of differences between men and women math and hard sciences careers offensive to you? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think that we should give intelligence tests? Why or why not? Does it matter to you whether or not the tests have been standardized and shown to be reliable and valid?
  3. Give your ideas about the practice of providing accelerated classes to children listed as "gifted" in high school. What are the potential positive and negative outcomes of doing so? What research evidence has helped you form your opinion?
  4. Consider the observed sex and racial differences in intelligence. What implications do you think the differences have for education and career choices? 

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Defining and Measuring Intelligence

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Define intelligence and list the different types of intelligences psychologists study.
  2. Summarize the characteristics of a scientifically valid intelligence test.
  3. Outline the biological and environmental determinants of intelligence.

Psychologists have long debated how to best conceptualize and measure intelligence (Sternberg, 2003). [1] These questions include how many types of intelligence there are, the role of nature versus nurture in intelligence, how intelligence is represented in the brain, and the meaning of group differences in intelligence.

General (g) Versus Specific (s) Intelligences
Summary

Measuring Intelligence: Standardization and the Intelligence Quotient
Summary

The Biology of Intelligence
Summary

Is Intelligence Nature or Nurture?
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Consider your own IQ. Are you smarter than the average person? What specific intelligences do you think you excel in?
  2. Did your parents try to improve your intelligence? Do you think their efforts were successful?
  3. Consider the meaning of the Flynn effect. Do you think people are really getting smarter?
  4. Give some examples of how emotional intelligence (or the lack of it) influences your everyday life and the lives of other people you know.

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[15] Sternberg, R. J., Wagner, R. K., & Okagaki, L. (1993). Practical intelligence: The nature and role of tacit knowledge in work and at school. In J. M. Puckett & H. W. Reese (Eds.),Mechanisms of everyday cognition (pp. 205227). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; Wagner, R., & Sternberg, R. (1985). Practical intelligence in real-world pursuits: The role of tacit knowledge. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49(2), 436458.

[16] Gottfredson, L. S. (2003). Dissecting practical intelligence theory: Its claims and evidence. Intelligence, 31(4), 343397.

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[19] Treffert, D. A., & Wallace, G. L. (2004, January 1). Islands of genius. Scientific American, 1423. Retrieved from http://gordonresearch.com/articles_autism/SciAm-Islands_of_Genius.pdf [20] Brody, N. (2003). Construct validation of the Sternberg Triarchic abilities test: Comment and reanalysis. Intelligence, 31(4), 319329.

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Two Fundamental Human Motivations: Eating and Mating

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Understand the biological and social responses that underlie eating behavior.
  2. Understand the psychological and physiological responses that underlie sexual behavior.

Eating: Healthy Choices Make Healthy Lives
Summary

Sex: The Most Important Human Behavior
Summary

Psychology in Everyday Life: Regulating Emotions to Improve Our Health
Summary

EXERCISE AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Consider your own eating and sex patterns. Are they healthy or unhealthy? What can you do to improve them? 

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[53] Monteiro, M. (2001). A World Health Organization perspective on alcohol and illicit drug use and health. European Addiction Research, 7(3), 98103. doi:10.1159/000050727

[54] Hutton, H., McCaul, M., Santora, P., & Erbelding, E. (2008). The relationship between recent alcohol use and sexual behaviors: Gender differences among sexually transmitted disease clinic patients. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 32(11), 20082015; Raj, A., Reed, E., Santana, M., Walley, A., Welles, S., Horsburgh, C.,...Silverman, J. G. (2009). The associations of binge alcohol use with HIV/STI risk and diagnosis among heterosexual African American men. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 101(1/2), 101-106.

Positive Emotions: The Power of Happiness

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Understand the important role of positive emotions and happiness in responding to stress.
  2. Understand the factors that increase, and do not increase, happiness.

Although stress is an emotional response that can kill us, our emotions can also help us cope with and protect ourselves from it. The stress of the Monday through Friday grind can be offset by the fun that we can have on the weekend, and the concerns that we have about our upcoming chemistry exam can be offset by a positive attitude toward school, life, and other people. Put simply, the best antidote for stress is a happy one: Think positively, have fun, and enjoy the company of others.

You have probably heard about the "power of positive thinking"--the idea that thinking positively helps people meet their goals and keeps them healthy, happy, and able to effectively cope with the negative events that occur to them. It turns out that positive thinking really works. People who think positively about their future, who believe that they can control their outcomes, and who are willing to open up and share with others are healthier people (Seligman, & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). [1]

The power of positive thinking comes in different forms, but they are all helpful. Some researchers have focused on optimism, a general tendency to expect positive outcomes, finding that optimists are happier and have less stress (Carver & Scheier, 2009). [2] Others have focused self-efficacy, the belief in our ability to carry out actions that produce desired outcomes. People with high self-efficacy respond to environmental and other threats in an active, constructive way--by getting information, talking to friends, and attempting to face and reduce the difficulties they are experiencing. These people too are better able to ward off their stresses in comparison to people with less self-efficacy (Thompson, 2009). [3]

Self-efficacy helps in part because it leads us to perceive that we can control the potential stressors that may affect us. Workers who have control over their work environment (e.g., by being able to move furniture and control distractions) experience less stress, as do patients in nursing homes who are able to choose their everyday activities (Rodin, 1986). [4] Glass, Reim, and Singer (1971) [5] found that participants who believed that they could stop a loud noise experienced less stress than those who did not think that they could, even though the people who had the option never actually used it. The ability to control our outcomes may help explain why animals and people who have higher status live longer (Sapolsky, 2005). [6]

Suzanne Kobasa and her colleagues (Kobasa, Maddi, & Kahn, 1982) [7] have argued that the tendency to be less affected by life's stressors can be characterized as an individual difference measure that has a relationship to both optimism and self-efficacy known as hardiness. Hardy individuals are those who are more positive overall about potentially stressful life events, who take more direct action to understand the causes of negative events, and who attempt to learn from them what may be of value for the future. Hardy individuals use effective coping strategies, and they take better care of themselves.

Taken together, these various coping skills, including optimism, self-efficacy, and hardiness, have been shown to have a wide variety of positive effects on our health. Optimists make faster recoveries from illnesses and surgeries (Carver et al., 2005). [8] People with high self-efficacy have been found to be better able to quit smoking and lose weight and are more likely to exercise regularly (Cohen & Pressman, 2006). [9] And hardy individuals seem to cope better with stress and other negative life events (Dolbier, Smith, & Steinhardt, 2007). [10] The positive effects of positive thinking are particularly important when stress is high. Baker (2007) [11] found that in periods of low stress, positive thinking made little difference in responses to stress, but that during stressful periods optimists were less likely to smoke on a day-to-day basis and to respond to stress in more productive ways, such as by exercising.

It is possible to learn to think more positively, and doing so can be beneficial. Antoni et al. (2001) [12] found that pessimistic cancer patients who were given training in optimism reported more optimistic outlooks after the training and were less fatigued after their treatments. And Maddi, Kahn, and Maddi (1998)[13] found that a "hardiness training" program that included focusing on ways to effectively cope with stress was effective in increasing satisfaction and decreasing self-reported stress.

The benefits of taking positive approaches to stress can last a lifetime. Christopher Peterson and his colleagues (Peterson, Seligman, Yurko, Martin, & Friedman, 1998) [14] found that the level of optimism reported by people who had first been interviewed when they were in college during the years between 1936 and 1940 predicted their health over the next 50 years. Students who had a more positive outlook on life in college were less likely to have died up to 50 years later of all causes, and they were particularly likely to have experienced fewer accidental and violent deaths, in comparison to students who were less optimistic. Similar findings were found for older adults. After controlling for loneliness, marital status, economic status, and other correlates of health, Levy and Myers found that older adults with positive attitudes and higher self-efficacy had better health and lived on average almost 8 years longer than their more negative peers (Levy & Myers, 2005; Levy, Slade, & Kasl, 2002). [15] And Diener, Nickerson, Lucas, and Sandvik (2002) [16] found that people who had cheerier dispositions earlier in life had higher income levels and less unemployment when they were assessed 19 years later.

Finding Happiness Through Our Connections With Others
Summary

What Makes Us Happy?
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Are you a happy person? Can you think of ways to increase your positive emotions?
  2. Do you know what will make you happy? Do you believe that material wealth is not as important as you might have thought it would be? 

[1] Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction.American Psychologist, 55(1), 514.

[2] Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (2009). Optimism. In M. R. Leary & R. H. Hoyle (Eds.),Handbook of individual differences in social behavior (pp. 330342). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

[3] Thompson, S. C. (2009). The role of personal control in adaptive functioning. In S. J. Lopez & C. R. Snyder (Eds.), Oxford handbook of positive psychology (2nd ed., pp. 271278). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[4] Rodin, J. (1986). Aging and health: Effects of the sense of control. Science, 233(4770), 12711276.

[5] Glass, D. C., Reim, B., & Singer, J. E. (1971). Behavioral consequences of adaptation to controllable and uncontrollable noise. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 7(2), 244257.

[6] Sapolsky, R. M. (2005). The influence of social hierarchy on primate health. Science, 308(5722), 648652.

[7] Kobasa, S. C., Maddi, S. R., & Kahn, S. (1982). Hardiness and health: A prospective study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 42(1), 168177.

[8] Carver, C. S., Smith, R. G., Antoni, M. H., Petronis, V. M., Weiss, S., & Derhagopian, R. P. (2005). Optimistic personality and psychosocial well-being during treatment predict psychosocial well-being among long-term survivors of breast cancer. Health Psychology, 24(5), 508516.

[9] Cohen, S., & Pressman, S. D. (2006). Positive affect and health. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(3), 122125.

[10] Dolbier, C. L., Smith, S. E., & Steinhardt, M. A. (2007). Relationships of protective factors to stress and symptoms of illness. American Journal of Health Behavior, 31(4), 423433.

[11] Baker, S. R. (2007). Dispositional optimism and health status, symptoms, and behaviors: Assessing ideothetic relationships using a prospective daily diary approach.Psychology and Health, 22(4), 431455.

[12] Antoni, M. H., Lehman, J. M., Klibourn, K. M., Boyers, A. E., Culver, J. L., Alferi, S. M.,...Kilbourn, K. (2001). Cognitive - behavioral stress management intervention decreases the prevalence of depression and enhances benefit finding among women under treatment for early-stage breast cancer. Health Psychology, 20(1), 2032.

[13] Maddi, S. R., Kahn, S., & Maddi, K. L. (1998). The effectiveness of hardiness training.Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 50(2), 7886.

[14] Peterson, C., Seligman, M. E. P., Yurko, K. H., Martin, L. R., & Friedman, H. S. (1998). Catastrophizing and untimely death. Psychological Science, 9(2), 127130.

[15] Levy, B., & Myers, L. (2005). Relationship between respiratory mortality and self-perceptions of aging. Psychology & Health, 20(5), 553564. doi:10.1080/14768320500066381; Levy, B., Slade, M., & Kasl, S. (2002). Longitudinal benefit of positive self- perceptions of aging on functional health. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences, 57B(5), P409. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database.

[16] Diener, E., Nickerson, C., Lucas, R., & Sandvik, E. (2002). Dispositional affect and job outcomes. Social Indicators Research, 59(3), 229. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database.

[17] Braungart, J. M., Plomin, R., DeFries, J. C., & Fulker, D. W. (1992). Genetic influence on tester-rated infant temperament as assessed by Bayley's Infant Behavior Record: Nonadoptive and adoptive siblings and twins. Developmental Psychology, 28(1), 4047; Lykken, D. T. (2000). Happiness: The nature and nurture of joy and contentment. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press.

[18] Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125(2), 276302; Diener, E., Tamir, M., & Scollon, C. N. (2006). Happiness, life satisfaction, and fulfillment: The social psychology of subjective well-being. In P. A. M. VanLange (Ed.), Bridging social psychology: Benefits of transdisciplinary approaches. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

[19] Pew Research Center (2006, February 13). Are we happy yet? Retrieved fromhttp://pewresearch.org/pubs/301/are-we- happy-yet

[20] Leary, M. R. (1990). Responses to social exclusion: Social anxiety, jealousy, loneliness, depression, and low self- esteem. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 9(2), 221229.

[21] Koopman, C., Hermanson, K., Diamond, S., Angell, K., & Spiegel, D. (1998). Social support, life stress, pain and emotional adjustment to advanced breast cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 7(2), 101110.

[22] Ashton, E., Vosvick, M., Chesney, M., Gore-Felton, C., Koopman, C., O'Shea, K.,...Spiegel, D. (2005). Social support and maladaptive coping as predictors of the change in physical health symptoms among persons living with HIV/AIDS. AIDS Patient Care & STDs, 19(9), 587598. doi:10.1089/apc.2005.19.587

[23] Au, A., Lau, S., & Lee, M. (2009). Suicide ideation and depression: The moderation effects of family cohesion and social self- concept. Adolescence, 44(176), 851868. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database; Bertera, E. (2007). The role of positive and negative social exchanges between adolescents, their peers and family as predictors of suicide ideation. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 24(6), 523538. doi:10.1007/s10560-007-0104-y; Compton, M., Thompson, N., & Kaslow, N. (2005). Social environment factors associated with suicide attempt among low-income African Americans: The protective role of family relationships and social support. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 40(3), 175185. doi:10.1007/s00127- 005-0865-6; Skrster, I., Langius, A., gren, H., Hggstrm, L., & Dencker, K. (2005). Sense of coherence and social support in relation to recovery in first-episode patients with major depression: A one-year prospective study. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 14(4), 258264. doi:10.1111/j.1440-0979.2005.00390.x

[24] Genz, T., & zlale, Y. (2004). Direct and indirect effects of social support on psychological well-being. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 32(5), 449458.

[25] Easterlin, R. (2005). Feeding the illusion of growth and happiness: A reply to Hagerty and Veenhoven. Social Indicators Research, 74(3), 429443. doi:10.1007/s11205-004-6170-z

[26] Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1999). If we are so rich, why aren't we happy? American Psychologist, 54(10), 821827.

[27] Twenge, J. M., Campbell, W. K., & Foster, C. A. (2003). Parenthood and marital satisfaction: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Marriage and Family, 65(3), 574583.

[28] Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2005). Affective forecasting: Knowing what to want.Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(3), 131134.

[29] Brickman, P., Coates, D., & Janoff-Bulman, R. (1978). Lottery winners and accident victims: Is happiness relative? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36(8), 917927.

[30] Small, D. M., Zatorre, R. J., Dagher, A., Evans, A. C., & Jones-Gotman, M. (2001). Changes in brain activity related to eating chocolate: From pleasure to aversion. Brain, 124(9), 17201733.

[31] Wilson, T. D., Wheatley, T., Meyers, J. M., Gilbert, D. T., & Axsom, D. (2000). Focalism: A source of durability bias in affective forecasting. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(5), 821836.

[32] Bonanno, G. A., Wortman, C. B., Lehman, D. R., Tweed, R. G., Haring, M., Sonnega, J.,...Nesse, R. M. (2002). Resilien ce to loss and chronic grief: A prospective study from preloss to 18-months postloss. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(5), 11501164.

[33] Lucas, R. (2007). Long-term disability is associated with lasting changes in subjective well-being: Evidence from two nationally representative longitudinal studies. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 92(4), 717730. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database; Riis, J., Baron, J., Loewenstein, G., Jepson, C., Fagerlin, A., & Ubel, P. (2005). Ignorance of hedonic adaptation to hemodialysis: A study using ecological momentary assessment. Journal of Experimental Psychology/General, 134(1), 39. doi:10.1037/0096-3445.134.1.3

[34] Marini, M., & Brkljaci, T. (2008). Love over gold--The correlation of happiness level with some life satisfaction factors between persons with and without physical disability.Journal of Developmental & Physical Disabilities, 20(6), 527540. doi:10.1007/s10882-008-9115-7

[35] Argyle, M. (1999). Causes and correlates of happiness. In D. Kahneman, E. Diener, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Well being: The foundations of hedonic psychology. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.

Stress: The Unseen Killer

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Define stress and review the body's physiological responses to it.
  2. Summarize the negative health consequences of prolonged stress.
  3. Explain the differences in how people respond to stress.
  4. Review the methods that are successful in coping with stress.

Emotions matter because they influence our behavior. And there is no emotional experience that has a more powerful influence on us than stress. Stress refers to the physiological responses that occur when an organism fails to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats (Selye, 1956). [1] Extreme negative events, such as being the victim of a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, or a violent crime, may produce an extreme form of stress known as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a medical syndrome that includes symptoms of anxiety, sleeplessness, nightmares, and social withdrawal. PTSD is frequently experienced by soldiers who return home from wars, with those who have experienced more extreme events during the war also experiencing more PTSD.

When it is extreme or prolonged, stress can create substantial health problems. Survivors of hurricane Katrina had three times the rate of heart attacks than the national average in the years following the disaster, and this is probably due to the stress that the hurricane created (American Medical Association, 2009). [2] And people in New York City who lived nearer to the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks reported experiencing more stress in the year following it than those who lived farther away (Pulcino et al., 2003). [3] But stress is not unique to the experience of extremely traumatic events. It can also occur, and have a variety of negative outcomes, in our everyday lives.

The Negative Effects of Stress
Summary

Stressors in Our Everyday Lives
Summary

Responses to Stress
Summary

Managing Stress
Summary

Emotion Regulation
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Consider a time when you experienced stress, and how you responded to it. Do you now have a better understanding of the dangers of stress? How will you change your coping mechanisms based on what you have learned?
  2. Are you good at emotion regulation? Can you think of a time that your emotions got the better of you? How might you make better use of your emotions? 

[1] Selye, H. (1956). The stress of life. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

[2] American Medical Association. (2009). Three-fold heart attack increase in Hurricane Katrina survivors. Retrieved from http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/heart-attack-katrina-survivors.shtml

[3] Pulcino, T., Galea, S., Ahern, J., Resnick, H., Foley, M., & Vlahov, D. (2003). Posttraumatic stress in women after the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City.Journal of Women's Health, 12(8), 809820.

[4] Seyle, Hans (1936). A syndrome produced by diverse nocuous agents. Nature, 138, 32. Retrieved from http://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/reprint/10/2/230a.pdf; Seyle, H. (1974). Forty years of stress research: Principal remaining problems and misconceptions.Canadian Medical Association Journal, 115(1), 5356; Seyle, H. (1982). The nature of stress. Retrieved from http://www.icnr.com/articles/thenatureofstress.html

[5] Rodrigues, S. M., LeDoux, J. E., & Sapolsky, R. M. (2009). The influence of stress hormones on fear circuitry. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 32, 289313.

[6] Cohen, S., & Herbert, T. B. (1996). Health psychology: Psychological factors and physical disease from the perspective of human psychoneuroimmunology. Annual Review of Psychology, 47, 113142; Faulkner, S., & Smith, A. (2009). A prospective diary study of the role of psychological stress and negative mood in the recurrence of herpes simplex virus (HSV1). Stress and Health: Journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress, 25(2), 179187; Miller, G., Chen, E., & Cole, S. W. (2009). Health psychology: Developing biologically plausible models linking the social world and physical health.Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 501524; Uchino, B. N., Smith, T. W., Holt-Lunstad, J., Campo, R., & Reblin, M. (2007). Stress and illness. In J. T. Cacioppo, L. G. Tassinary, & G. G. Berntson (Eds.), Handbook of psychophysiology (3rd ed., pp. 608632). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

[7] Epel, E., Lin, J., Wilhelm, F., Wolkowitz, O., Cawthon, R., Adler, N.,...Blackburn, E. H. (2006). Cell aging in relation to str ess arousal and cardiovascular disease risk factors.Psychoneuroendocrinology, 31(3), 277287.

[8] Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., McGuire, L., Robles, T. F., & Glaser, R. (2002). Psychoneuroimmunology: Psychological influences on immune function and health.Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 70(3), 537547; Wells, W. (2006). How chronic stress exacerbates cancer. Journal of Cell Biology, 174(4), 476.

[9] Krantz, D. S., & McCeney, M. K. (2002). Effects of psychological and social factors on organic disease: A critical assessment of research on coronary heart disease. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 341369.

[10] Dekker, M., Koper, J., van Aken, M., Pols, H., Hofman, A., de Jong, F.,...Tiemeier, H. (2008). Salivary cortisol is related to atherosclerosis of carotid arteries. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 93(10), 3741.

[11] Holmes, T. H., & Rahe, R. H. (1967). The social readjustment rating scale. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 11, 213218.

[12] Rahe, R. H., Mahan, J., Arthur, R. J., & Gunderson, E. K. E. (1970). The epidemiology of illness in naval environments: I. Illness types, distribution, severities and relationships to life change. Military Medicine, 135, 443452.

[13] Hutchinson, J. G., & Williams, P. G. (2007). Neuroticism, daily hassles, and depressive symptoms: An examination of moderating and mediating effects. Personality and Individual Differences, 42(7), 13671378.

[14] Fiksenbaum, L. M., Greenglass, E. R., & Eaton, J. (2006). Perceived social support, hassles, and coping among the elderly. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 25(1), 1730.

[15] Glaser, R. (1985). Stress-related impairments in cellular immunity. Psychiatry Research, 16(3), 233239.

[16] Cacioppo, J. T., Berntson, G. G., Malarkey, W. B., Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Sheridan, J. F., Poehlmann, K. M.,...Glaser, R. (1998). Autonomic, neuroendocrine, and immune responses to psychological stress: The reactivity hypothesis. In Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences: Neuroimmunomodulation: Molecular aspects, integrative systems, and clinical advances (Vol. 840, pp. 664673). New York, NY: New York Academy of Sciences.

[17] Friedman, M., & Rosenman, R. H. (1974). Type A behavior and your heart. New York, NY: Knopf.

[18] McIntyre, K., Korn, J., & Matsuo, H. (2008). Sweating the small stuff: How different types of hassles result in the experience of stress. Stress & Health: Journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress, 24 (5), 383392. doi:10.1002/smi.1190; Suls, J., & Bunde, J. (2005). Anger, anxiety, and depression as risk factors for cardiovascular disease: The problems and implications of overlapping affective dispositions. Psychological Bulletin, 131(2), 260300.

[19] Williams, R. B. (2001). Hostility: Effects on health and the potential for successful behavioral approaches to prevention and treatment. In A. Baum, T. A. Revenson, & J. E. Singer (Eds.), Handbook of health psychology. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

[20] Taylor, S. E., Klein, L. C., Lewis, B. P., Gruenewald, T. L., Gurung, R. A. R., & Updegraff, J. A. (2000). Biobehavioral responses to stress in females: Tend-and-befriend, not fight-or-flight. Psychological Review, 107(3), 411429.

[21] Gross, J. J., & Levenson, R. W. (1997). Hiding feelings: The acute effects of inhibiting negative and positive emotion. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 106(1), 95103.

[22] Wegner, D. M., Schneider, D. J., Carter, S. R., & White, T. L. (1987). Paradoxical effects of thought suppression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53(1), 513.

[23] Pennebaker, J. W., Colder, M., & Sharp, L. K. (1990). Accelerating the coping process.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58(3), 528537; Watson, D., & Pennebaker, J. W. (1989). Health complaints, stress, and distress: Exploring the central role of negative affectivity. Psychological Review, 96(2), 234254.

[24] Pennebaker, J. W., & Beall, S. K. (1986). Confronting a traumatic event: Toward an understanding of inhibition and disease. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95(3), 274281.

[25] Petrie, K. J., Fontanilla, I., Thomas, M. G., Booth, R. J., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2004). Effect of written emotional expression on immune function in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection: A randomized trial. Psychosomatic Medicine, 66(2), 272275.

[26] Pennebaker, J. W., & Stone, L. D. (Eds.). (2004). Translating traumatic experiences into language: Implications for child abuse and long-term health. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

[27] Kelsey, R. M., Blascovich, J., Tomaka, J., Leitten, C. L., Schneider, T. R., & Wiens, S. (1999). Cardiovascular reactivity and adaptation to recurrent psychological stress: Effects of prior task exposure. Psychophysiology, 36(6), 818831.

[28] Metcalfe, J., & Mischel, W. (1999). A hot/cool-system analysis of delay of gratification: Dynamics of willpower. Psychological Review, 106(1), 319; Strack, F., & Deutsch, R. (2007). The role of impulse in social behavior. In A. W. Kruglanski & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Social Psychology: Handbook of Basic Principles (Vol. 2). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

[29] Ayduk, O., Mendoza-Denton, R., Mischel, W., Downey, G., Peake, P. K., & Rodriguez, M. (2000). Regulating the interpersonal self: Strategic self-regulation for coping with rejection sensitivity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(5), 776792; Eigsti, I.-M., Zayas, V., Mischel, W., Shoda, Y., Ayduk, O., Dadlani, M. B.,...Casey, B. J. (2006). Predicting cognitive control from preschool to late adolescence and young adulthood.Psychological Science, 17(6), 478484; Mischel, W., & Ayduk, O. (Eds.). (2004). Willpower in a cognitive-affective processing system: The dynamics of delay of gratification. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

[30] Bizot, J.-C., Le Bihan, C., Peuch, A. J., Hamon, M., & Thiebot, M.-H. (1999). Serotonin and tolerance to delay of reward in rats. Psychopharmacology, 146(4), 400412; Liu, Y. P., Wilkinson, L. S., & Robbins, T. W. (2004). Effects of acute and chronic buspirone on impulsive choice and efflux of 5-HT and dopamine in hippocampus, nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex. Psychopharmacology, 173(12), 175185.

[31] Asberg, M., Traskman, L., & Thoren, P. (1976). 5-HIAA in the cerebrospinal fluid: A biochemical suicide predictor? Archives of General Psychiatry, 33(10), 11931197.

[32] Muraven, M., & Baumeister, R. F. (2000). Self-regulation and depletion of limited resources: Does self-control resemble a muscle? Psychological Bulletin, 126(2), 247259.

[33] Muraven, M., Tice, D. M., & Baumeister, R. F. (1998). Self-control as a limited resource: Regulatory depletion patterns. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 74(3), 774789.

[34] Vohs, K. D., & Heatherton, T. F. (2000). Self-regulatory failure: A resource-depletion approach. Psychological Science, 11(3), 249254.

[35] Baumeister, R. F., Gailliot, M., DeWall, C. N., & Oaten, M. (2006). Self-regulation and personality: How interventions increase regulatory success, and how depletion moderates the effects of traits on behavior. Journal of Personality, 74(6), 1773 1801; Baumeister, R. F., Schmeichel, B., & Vohs, K. D. (2007). Self-regulation and the executive function: The self as controlling agent. In A. W. Kruglanski & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles (Vol. 2). New York, NY: Guilford Press; Oaten, M., & Cheng, K. (2006). Longitudinal gains in self-regulation from regular physical exercise.British Journal of Health Psychology, 11(4), 717733.

The Experience of Emotion

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Explain the biological experience of emotion.
  2. Summarize the psychological theories of emotion.
  3. Give examples of the ways that emotion is communicated.

The most fundamental emotions, known as the basic emotions, are those of anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise. The basic emotions have a long history in human evolution, and they have developed in large part to help us make rapid judgments about stimuli and to quickly guide appropriate behavior (LeDoux, 2000). [1] The basic emotions are determined in large part by one of the oldest parts of our brain, the limbic system, including the amygdala, the hypothalamus, and the thalamus. Because they are primarily evolutionarily determined, the basic emotions are experienced and displayed in much the same way across cultures (Ekman, 1992; Elfenbein & Ambady, 2002, 2003; Fridland, Ekman, & Oster, 1987), [2] and people are quite accurate at judging the facial expressions of people from different cultures. View Note 10.8 "Video Clip: The Basic Emotions" to see a demonstration of the basic emotions.

Video Clip: The Basic Emotions

Not all of our emotions come from the old parts of our brain; we also interpret our experiences to create a more complex array of emotional experiences. For instance, the amygdala may sense fear when it senses that the body is falling, but that fear may be interpreted completely differently (perhaps even as "excitement") when we are falling on a roller-coaster ride than when we are falling from the sky in an airplane that has lost power. The cognitive interpretations that accompany emotions--known as cognitive appraisal--allow us to experience a much larger and more complex set of secondary emotions, as shown in Figure 10.2 "The Secondary Emotions". Although they are in large part cognitive, our experiences of the secondary emotions are determined in part by arousal (on the vertical axis of Figure 10.2 "The Secondary Emotions") and in part by their valence--that is, whether they are pleasant or unpleasant feelings (on the horizontal axis of Figure 10.2 "The Secondary Emotions")

Figure 10.2 The Secondary Emotions

The secondary emotions are those that have a major cognitive component. They are determined by both their level of arousal (low to high) and their valence (pleasant to unpleasant).
Source: Adapted from Russell, J. A. (1980). A circumplex model of affect.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 1161-1178.

When you succeed in reaching an important goal, you might spend some time enjoying your secondary emotions, perhaps the experience of joy, satisfaction, and contentment. But when your close friend wins a prize that you thought you had deserved, you might also experience a variety of secondary emotions (in this case, the negative ones)--for instance, feeling angry, sad, resentful, and ashamed. You might mull over the event for weeks or even months, experiencing these negative emotions each time you think about it (Martin & Tesser, 2006). [3]

The distinction between the primary and the secondary emotions is paralleled by two brain pathways: a fast pathway and a slow pathway (Damasio, 2000; LeDoux, 2000; Ochsner, Bunge, Gross, & Gabrielli, 2002). [4] The thalamus acts as the major gatekeeper in this process (Figure 10.3 "Slow and Fast Emotional Pathways"). Our response to the basic emotion of fear, for instance, is primarily determined by the fast pathway through the limbic system. When a car pulls out in front of us on the highway, the thalamus activates and sends an immediate message to the amygdala. We quickly move our foot to the brake pedal. Secondary emotions are more determined by the slow pathway through the frontal lobes in the cortex. When we stew in jealousy over the loss of a partner to a rival or recollect on our win in the big tennis match, the process is more complex. Information moves from the thalamus to the frontal lobes for cognitive analysis and integration, and then from there to the amygdala. We experience the arousal of emotion, but it is accompanied by a more complex cognitive appraisal, producing more refined emotions and behavioral responses.

Figure 10.3 Slow and Fast Emotional Pathways

There are two emotional pathways in the brain (one slow and one fast), both of which are controlled by the thalamus.

Although emotions might seem to you to be more frivolous or less important in comparison to our more rational cognitive processes, both emotions and cognitions can help us make effective decisions. In some cases we take action after rationally processing the costs and benefits of different choices, but in other cases we rely on our emotions. Emotions become particularly important in guiding decisions when the alternatives between many complex and conflicting alternatives present us with a high degree of uncertainty and ambiguity, making a complete cognitive analysis difficult. In these cases we often rely on our emotions to make decisions, and these decisions may in many cases be more accurate than those produced by cognitive processing (Damasio, 1994; Dijksterhuis, Bos, Nordgren, & van Baaren, 2006; Nordgren & Dijksterhuis, 2009; Wilson & Schooler, 1991). [5]

The Cannon-Bard and James-Lange Theories of Emotion
Summary

The Two-Factor Theory of Emotion
Summary

Communicating Emotion
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Consider the three theories of emotion that we have discussed and provide an example of a situation in which a person might experience each of the three proposed patterns of arousal and emotion.
  2. Describe a time when you used nonverbal behaviors to express your emotions or to detect the emotions of others. What specific nonverbal techniques did you use to communicate? 

[1] LeDoux, J. E. (2000). Emotion circuits in the brain. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 23, 155184.

[2] Ekman, P. (1992). Are there basic emotions? Psychological Review, 99(3), 550553; Elfenbein, H. A., & Ambady, N. (2002). On the universality and cultural specificity of emotion recognition: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 20323; Fridlund, A. J., Ekman, P., & Oster, H. (1987). Facial expressions of emotion. In A. Siegman & S. Feldstein (Eds.), Nonverbal behavior and communication (2nd ed., pp. 143223). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

[3] Martin, L. L., & Tesser, A. (2006). Extending the goal progress theory of rumination: Goal reevaluation and growth. In L. J. Sanna & E. C. Chang (Eds.), Judgments over time: The interplay of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (pp. 145162). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[4] Damasio, A. (2000). The feeling of what happens: Body and emotion in the making of consciousness. New York, NY: Mariner Books; LeDoux, J. E. (2000). Emotion circuits in the brain. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 23, 155184; Ochsner, K. N., Bunge, S.

A., Gross, J. J., & Gabrieli, J. D. E. (2002). Rethinking feelings: An fMRI study of the cognitive regulation of emotion. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 14(8), 12151229.

[5] Damasio, A. R. (1994). Descartes' error: Emotion, reason, and the human brain. New York, NY: Grosset/Putnam; Dijksterhuis, A., Bos, M. W., Nordgren, L. F., & van Baaren, R. B. (2006). On making the right choice: The deliberation-without-attention effect. Science, 311(5763), 10051007; Nordgren, L. F., & Dijksterhuis, A. P. (2009). The devil is in the deliberation: Thinking too much reduces preference consistency. Journal of Consumer Research, 36(1), 3946; Wilson, T. D., & Schooler, J. W. (1991). Thinking too much: Introspection can reduce the quality of preferences and decisions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60(2), 181192.

[6] James, W. (1884). What is an emotion? Mind, 9(34), 188205.

[7] LeDoux, J. E. (2000). Emotion circuits in the brain. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 23,155184.

[8] Hohmann, G. W. (1966). Some effects of spinal cord lesions on experienced emotional feelings. Psychophysiology, 3(2), 143

[9] Whalen, P. J., Shin, L. M., McInerney, S. C., Fischer, H., Wright, C. I., & Rauch, S. L. (2001). A functional MRI study of human amygdala responses to facial expressions of fear versus anger. Emotion, 1(1), 7083; Witvliet, C. V., & Vrana, S. R. (1995). Psychophysiological responses as indices of affective dimensions. Psychophysiology, 32(5), 436443.

[10] Leary, M. R., Britt, T. W., Cutlip, W. D., & Templeton, J. L. (1992). Social blushing.Psychological Bulletin, 112(3), 446460.

[11] Oatley, K., Keltner, D., & Jenkins, J. M. (2006). Understanding emotions (2nd ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell.

[12] Schachter, S., & Singer, J. (1962). Cognitive, social, and physiological determinants of emotional state. Psychological Review, 69, 379399.

[13] Dutton, D., & Aron, A. (1974). Some evidence for heightened sexual attraction under conditions of high anxiety. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 30, 510517.

[14] Schachter, S., & Singer, J. E. (1962). Cognitive, social and physiological determinants of emotional state. Psychological Review, 69, 379399.

[15] Schachter, S., & Singer, J. E. (1962). Cognitive, social and physiological determinants of emotional state. Psychological Review, 69, 379399.

[16] Ambady, N., & Weisbuch, M. (2010). Nonverbal behavior. In S. T. Fiske, D. T. Gilbert, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology (5th ed., Vol. 1, pp. 464497). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons; Andersen, P. (2007). Nonverbal communication: Forms and functions(2nd ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.

[17] Strack, F., Martin, L., & Stepper, S. (1988). Inhibiting and facilitating conditions of the human smile: A nonobtrusive test of the facial feedback hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(5), 768-777. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.54.5.768

[18] Stepper, S., & Strack, F. (1993). Proprioceptive determinants of emotional and nonemotional feelings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64(2), 211-220.

Somatoform, Factitious, and Sexual Disorders

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Differentiate the symptoms of somatoform and factitious disorders.
  2. Summarize the sexual disorders and paraphilias.

Although mood, anxiety, and personality disorders represent the most prevalent psychological disorders, as you saw in Table 12.3 "Categories of Psychological Disorders Based on the " there are a variety of other disorders that affect people. This complexity of symptoms and classifications helps make it clear how difficult it is to accurately and consistently diagnose and treat psychological disorders. In this section we will review three other disorders that are of interest to psychologists and that affect millions of people:somatoform disorder, factitious disorder, and sexual disorder.

Somatoform and Factitious Disorders
Summary

Sexual Disorders
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Consider the biological, personal, and social-cultural aspects of gender identity disorder. Do you think that this disorder is really a "disorder," or is it simply defined by social-cultural norms and beliefs?
  2. Consider the paraphilias in Table 12.8 "Some Paraphilias". Do they seem like disorders to you, and how would one determine if they were or were not?
  3. View one of the following films and consider the diagnosis that might be given to the characters in it: Antwone Fisher, Ordinary People, Girl Interrupted,Grosse Pointe Blank, A Beautiful Mind, What About Bob?, Sybil, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

[1] Akagi, H., & House, A. O. (2001). The epidemiology of hysterical conversion. In P. Halligan, C. Bass, & J. Marshall (Eds.), Hysterical conversion: Clinical and theoretical perspectives (pp. 7387). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

[2] Smith, R. C., Gardiner, J. C., Lyles, J. S., Sirbu, C., Dwamena, F. C., Hodges, A.,...Goddeeris, J. (2005). Exploration of DSM- IV criteria in primary care patients with medically unexplained symptoms. Psychosomatic Medicine, 67(1), 123129.

[3] Bass, C., Peveler, R., & House, A. (2001). Somatoform disorders: Severe psychiatric illnesses neglected by psychiatrists. British Journal of Psychiatry, 179, 1114; Looper, K. J., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2002). Behavioral medicine approaches to somatoform disorders.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70(3), 810827.

[4] Laumann, E. O., Paik, A., Rosen, R. (1999). Sexual dysfunction in the United States.Journal of the American Medical Association, 281(6), 537544.

[5] Donahey, K. M., & Carroll, R. A. (1993). Gender differences in factors associated with hypoactive sexual desire. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 19(1), 2540.

[6] Kingsberg, S. A., & Janata, J. W. (2003). The sexual aversions. In S. B. Levine, C. B. Risen, & S. E. Althof (Eds.), Handbook of clinical sexuality for mental health professionals (pp. 153165). New York, NY: Brunner-Routledge.

[7] Waldinger, M. D. (2003). Rapid ejaculation. In S. B. Levine, C. B. Risen, & S. E. Althof (Eds.), Handbook of clinical sexuality for mental health professionals (pp. 257274). New York, NY: Brunner-Routledge.

[8] Beitchman, J. H., Zucker, K. J., Hood, J. E., & DaCosta, G. A. (1992). A review of the long-term effects of child sexual abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect, 16(1), 101118.

[9] Bower, H. (2001). The gender identity disorder in the DSM-IV classification: A critical evaluation. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 35(1), 18.

[10] Olsson, S.-E., & Mller, A. R. (2003). On the incidence and sex ratio of transsexualism in Sweden, 19722002. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 32(4), 381386.

[11] Kraemer, B., Noll, T., Delsignore, A., Milos, G., Schnyder, U., & Hepp, U. (2009). Finger length ratio (2D:4D) in adults with gender identity disorder. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38(3), 359363.

[12] Connolly, P. (2006). Psychological functioning of bondage/domination/sado-masochism (BDSM) practitioners. Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, 18(1), 79120. doi:10.1300/j056v18n01_05

Personality Disorders

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Categorize the different types of personality disorders and differentiate antisocial personality disorder from borderline personality disorder.
  2. Outline the biological and environmental factors that may contribute to a person developing a personality disorder.

To this point in the chapter we have considered the psychological disorders that fall on Axis I of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) categorization system. In comparison to the Axis I disorders, which may frequently be severe and dysfunctional and are often brought on by stress, the disorders that fall on Axis II are longer-term disorders that are less likely to be severely incapacitating. Axis II consists primarily of personality disorders. A personality disorder is a disorder characterized by inflexible patterns of thinking, feeling, or relating to others that cause problems in personal, social, and work situations. Personality disorders tend to emerge during late childhood or adolescence and usually continue throughout adulthood (Widiger, 2006). [1] The disorders can be problematic for the people who have them, but they are less likely to bring people to a therapist for treatment than are Axis I disorders.

The personality disorders are summarized in Table 12.6 "Descriptions of the Personality Disorders (Axis II)". They are categorized into three types: those characterized by odd or eccentric behavior, those characterized by dramatic or erratic behavior, and those characterized by anxious or inhibited behavior. As you consider the personality types described in Table 12.6 "Descriptions of the Personality Disorders (Axis II)", I'm sure you'll think of people that you know who have each of these traits, at least to some degree. Probably you know someone who seems a bit suspicious and paranoid, who feels that other people are always "ganging up on him," and who really doesn't trust other people very much. Perhaps you know someone who fits the bill of being overly dramatic--the "drama queen" who is always raising a stir and whose emotions seem to turn everything into a big deal. Or you might have a friend who is overly dependent on others and can't seem to get a life of her own.

The personality traits that make up the personality disorders are common--we see them in the people whom we interact with every day--yet they may become problematic when they are rigid, overused, or interfere with everyday behavior (Lynam & Widiger, 2001). [2] What is perhaps common to all the disorders is the person's inability to accurately understand and be sensitive to the motives and needs of the people around them.

Table 12.6 Descriptions of the Personality Disorders (Axis II)

Cluster
Personality disorder
Characteristics
A. Odd/eccentric
Schizotypal
Peculiar or eccentric manners of speaking or dressing. Strange beliefs. “Magical thinking” such as belief in ESP or telepathy. Difficulty forming relationships. May react oddly in conversation, not respond, or talk to self. Speech elaborate or difficult to follow. (Possibly a mild form of schizophrenia.)
Paranoid
Distrust in others, suspicion that people have sinister motives. Apt to challenge the loyalties of friends and read hostile intentions into others’ actions. Prone to anger and aggressive outbursts but otherwise emotionally cold. Often jealous, guarded, secretive, overly serious.
Schizoid
Extreme introversion and withdrawal from relationships. Prefers to be alone, little interest in others. Humorless, distant, often absorbed with own thoughts and feelings, a daydreamer. Fearful of closeness, with poor social skills, often seen as a “loner.”
B.
Dramatic/erratic
Antisocial
Impoverished moral sense or “conscience.” History of deception, crime, legal problems, impulsive and aggressive or violent behavior. Little emotional empathy or remorse for hurting others. Manipulative, careless, callous. At high risk for substance abuse and alcoholism.
Borderline
Unstable moods and intense, stormy personal relationships. Frequent mood changes and anger, unpredictable impulses. Self-mutilation or suicidal threats or gestures to get attention or manipulate others. Self-image fluctuation and a tendency to see others as “all good” or “all bad.”
Histrionic
Constant attention seeking. Grandiose language, provocative dress, exaggerated illnesses, all to gain attention. Believes that everyone loves him. Emotional, lively, overly dramatic, enthusiastic, and excessively flirtatious.
Narcissistic
Inflated sense of self-importance, absorbed by fantasies of self and success. Exaggerates own achievement, assumes others will recognize they are superior. Good first impressions but poor longer-term relationships. Exploitative of others.
C.
Anxious/inhibited
Avoidant
Socially anxious and uncomfortable unless he or she is confident of being liked. In contrast with schizoid person, yearns for social contact. Fears criticism and worries
about being embarrassed in front of others. Avoids social situations due to fear of rejection.
Dependent
Submissive, dependent, requiring excessive approval, reassurance, and advice. Clings to people and fears losing them. Lacking self-confidence. Uncomfortable when alone. May be devastated by end of close relationship or suicidal if breakup is threatened.
Obsessive-compulsive
Conscientious, orderly, perfectionist. Excessive need to do everything “right.” Inflexibly high standards and caution can interfere with his or her productivity. Fear of errors can make this person strict and controlling. Poor expression of emotions. (Not the same as obsessive-compulsive disorder.)

Source: American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

The personality disorders create a bit of a problem for diagnosis. For one, it is frequently difficult for the clinician to accurately diagnose which of the many personality disorders a person has, although the friends and colleagues of the person can generally do a good job of it (Oltmanns & Turkheimer, 2006). [3] And the personality disorders are highly comorbid; if a person has one, it's likely that he or she has others as well. Also, the number of people with personality disorders is estimated to be as high as 15% of the population (Grant et al., 2004), [4] which might make us wonder if these are really "disorders" in any real sense of the word.

Although they are considered as separate disorders, the personality disorders are essentially milder versions of more severe Axis I disorders (Huang et al., 2009). [5] For example, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is a milder version of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and schizoid and schizotypal personality disorders are characterized by symptoms similar to those of schizophrenia. This overlap in classification causes some confusion, and some theorists have argued that the personality disorders should be eliminated from the DSM. But clinicians normally differentiate Axis I and Axis II disorders, and thus the distinction is useful for them (Krueger, 2005; Phillips, Yen, & Gunderson, 2003; Verheul, 2005). [6]

Although it is not possible to consider the characteristics of each of the personality disorders in this book, let's focus on two that have important implications for behavior. The first, borderline personality disorder (BPD), is important because it is so often associated with suicide, and the second, antisocial personality disorder (APD), because it is the foundation of criminal behavior.

Borderline and antisocial personality disorders are also good examples to consider because they are so clearly differentiated in terms of their focus. BPD (more frequently found in women than men) is known as aninternalizing disorder because the behaviors that it entails (e.g., suicide and self-mutilation) are mostly directed toward the self. APD (mostly found in men), on the other hand, is a type of externalizing disorder in which the problem behaviors (e.g., lying, fighting, vandalism, and other criminal activity) focus primarily on harm to others.

Borderline Personality Disorder
Summary

Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD)
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. What characteristics of men and women do you think make them more likely to have APD and BDP, respectively? Do these differences seem to you to be more genetic or more environmental?
  2. Do you know people who suffer from antisocial personality disorder? What behaviors do they engage in, and why are these behaviors so harmful to them and others? 

[1] Widiger, T.A. (2006). Understanding personality disorders. In S. K. Huprich (Ed.),Rorschach assessment to the personality disorders. The LEA series in personality and clinical psychology (pp. 325). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

[2] Lynam, D., & Widiger, T. (2001). Using the five-factor model to represent the DSM-IVpersonality disorders: An expert consensus approach. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 110(3), 401412.

[3] Oltmanns, T. F., & Turkheimer, E. (2006). Perceptions of self and others regarding pathological personality traits. In R. F. Krueger & J. L. Tackett (Eds.), Personality and psychopathology (pp. 71111). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

[4] Grant, B., Hasin, D., Stinson, F., Dawson, D., Chou, S., Ruan, W., & Pickering, R. P. (2004). Prevalence, correlates, and disability of personality disorders in the United States: Results from the national epidemiologic survey on alcohol and related conditions.Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 65(7), 948958.

[5] Huang, Y., Kotov, R., de Girolamo, G., Preti, A., Angermeyer, M., Benjet, C.,...Kessler, R. C. (2009). DSM-IV personality disorders in the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. British Journal of Psychiatry, 195(1), 4653. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.108.058552

[6] Krueger, R. F. (2005). Continuity of Axes I and II: Towards a unified model of personality, personality disorders, and clinical disorders. Journal of Personality Disorders, 19, 233261; Phillips, K. A., Yen, S., & Gunderson, J. G. (2003). Personality disorders. In R. E. Hales & S. C. Yudofsky (Eds.), Textbook of clinical psychiatry. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing; Verheul, R. (2005). Clinical utility for dimensional models of personality pathology. Journal of Personality Disorders, 19, 283302.

[7] Hyman, S. E. (2002). A new beginning for research on borderline personality disorder.Biological Psychiatry, 51(12), 933935.

[8] Zweig-Frank, H., Paris, J., Kin, N. M. N. Y., Schwartz, G., Steiger, H., & Nair, N. P. V. (2006). Childhood sexual abuse in relation to neurobiological challenge tests in patients with borderline personality disorder and normal controls. Psychiatry Research, 141(3), 337341.

[9] Minzenberg, M. J., Poole, J. H., & Vinogradov, S. (2008). A neurocognitive model of borderline personality disorder: Effects of childhood sexual abuse and relationship to adult social attachment disturbance. Development and Psychological disorder. 20(1), 341368. doi:10.1017/S0954579408000163

[10] Lobbestael, J., & Arntz, A. (2009). Emotional, cognitive and physiological correlates of abuse-related stress in borderline and antisocial personality disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48(2), 116124. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2009.09.015

[11] Skodol, A. E., Gunderson, J. G., Pfohl, B., Widiger, T. A., Livesley, W. J., & Siever, L. J. (2002). The borderline diagnosis I: Psychopathology, comorbidity, and personality structure. Biological Psychiatry, 51(12), 936950.

[12] Posner, M., Rothbart, M., Vizueta, N., Thomas, K., Levy, K., Fossella, J.,...Kernberg, O. (2003). An approach to the psychobiology of personality disorders. Development and Psychopathology, 15(4), 10931106. doi:10.1017/S0954579403000506

[13] Rhee, S. H., & Waldman, I. D. (2002). Genetic and environmental influences on anti-social behavior: A meta-analysis of twin and adoptions studies. Psychological Bulletin, 128(3), 490529.

[14] Rhee, S. H., & Waldman, I. D. (2002). Genetic and environmental influences on anti-social behavior: A meta-analysis of twin and adoptions studies. Psychological Bulletin, 128(3), 490529.

[15] Lyons-Ruth, K., Holmes, B. M., Sasvari-Szekely, M., Ronai, Z., Nemoda, Z., & Pauls, D. (2007). Serotonin transporter polymorphism and borderline or antisocial traits among low-income young adults. Psychiatric Genetics, 17, 339343; Raine, A., Lencz, T., Bihrle, S., LaCasse, L., & Colletti, P. (2000). Reduced prefrontal gray matter volume and reduced autonomic activity in antisocial personality disorder. Archive of General Psychiatry, 57, 119127.

[16] Huesmann, L. R., & Kirwil, L. (2007). Why observing violence increases the risk of violent behavior by the observer. In D. J. Flannery, A. T. Vazsonyi, & I. D. Waldman (Eds.),The Cambridge handbook of violent behavior and aggression (pp. 545570). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Schizophrenia: The Edge of Reality and Consciousness

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Categorize and describe the three major symptoms of schizophrenia.
  2. Differentiate the five types of schizophrenia and their characteristics.
  3. Identify the biological and social factors that increase the likelihood that a person will develop schizophrenia.

The term schizophrenia, which in Greek means "split mind," was first used to describe a psychological disorder by Eugen Bleuler (18571939), a Swiss psychiatrist who was studying patients who had very severe thought disorders.Schizophrenia is a serious psychological disorder marked by delusions, hallucinations, loss of contact with reality, inappropriate affect, disorganized speech, social withdrawal, and deterioration of adaptive behavior.

Schizophrenia is the most chronic and debilitating of all psychological disorders. It affects men and women equally, occurs in similar rates across ethnicities and across cultures, and affects at any one time approximately 3 million people in the United States (National Institute of Mental Health, 2010). [1] Onset of schizophrenia is usually between the ages of 16 and 30 and rarely after the age of 45 or in children (Mueser & McGurk, 2004; Nicholson, Lenane, Hamburger, Fernandez, Bedwell, & Rapoport, 2000). [2]

Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Summary

Explaining Schizophrenia
Summary

EXERCISE AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. 1. How should society deal with people with schizophrenia? Is it better to keep patients in psychiatric facilities against their will, but where they can be observed and supported, or to allow them to live in the community, where they may commit violent crimes against themselves or others? What factors influence your opinion? 

[1] National Institute of Mental Health. (2010, April 26). What is schizophrenia? Retrieved from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml

[2] Mueser, K. T., & McGurk, S. R. (2004). Schizophrenia. Lancet, 363(9426), 20632072; Nicolson, R., Lenane, M., Hamburger, S.D., Fernandez, T., Bedwell, J., & Rapoport, J. L. (2000). Lessons from childhood-onset schizophrenia. Brain Research Review, 31(23), 147156.

[3] Lindenmayer, J. P., & Khan, A. (2006). Psychological disorder. In J. A. Lieberman, T. S. Stroup, & D. O. Perkins (Eds.), Textbook of schizophrenia (pp. 187222). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.

[4] American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author; National Institute of Mental Health. (2010, April 26). What is schizophrenia? Retrieved fromhttp://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml

[5] Skrabalo, A. (2000). Negative symptoms in schizophrenia(s): The conceptual basis.Harvard Brain, 7, 710.

[6] Nicolson, S. E., Mayberg, H. S., Pennell, P. B., & Nemeroff, C. B. (2006). Persistent auditory hallucinations that are unresponsive to antipsychotic drugs. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 163, 11531159. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.163.7.1153

[7] National Institute of Mental Health. (2009, September 8). What are the symptoms of schizophrenia? Retrieved fromhttp://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/schizophrenia/what-are-the-symptoms-of-schizophrenia.shtml

[8] De Sousa, A. (2007). Types and contents of hallucinations in schizophrenia. Journal of Pakistan Psychiatric Society, 4(1), 29.

[9] Buchanan, R. W., & Carpenter, W. T. (2005). Concept of schizophrenia. In B. J. Sadock & V. A. Sadock (Eds.), Kaplan & Sadock's comprehensive textbook of psychiatry. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

[10] Maher, B. A. (2001). Delusions. In P. B. Sutker & H. E. Adams (Eds.), Comprehensive handbook of psychological disorder (3rd ed., pp. 309370). New York, NY: Kluwer Academic/Plenum.

[11] Buchanan, R. W., & Carpenter, W. T. (2005). Concept of schizophrenia. In B. J. Sadock & V. A. Sadock (Eds.), Kaplan & Sadock's comprehensive textbook of psychiatry. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

[12] Janno, S., Holi, M., Tuisku, K., & Wahlbeck, K. (2004). Prevalence of neuroleptic-induced movement disorders in chronic schizophrenia patients. American Journal of Psychiatry, 161, 160163; Rosebush, P. I., & Mazurek, M. F. (2010). Catatonia and its treatment. Schizophrenia Bulleting, 36(2), 239242. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbp141

[13] Skrabalo, A. (2000). Negative symptoms in schizophrenia(s): The conceptual basis.Harvard Brain, 7, 710.

[14] Kring, A. M. (1999). Emotion in schizophrenia: Old mystery, new understanding. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 8, 160163.

[15] Kirkpatrick, B., & Tek, C. (2005). Schizophrenia: Clinical features and psychological disorder concepts. In B. J. Sadock & S. V. Sadock (Eds.), Kaplan & Sadock's comprehensive textbook of psychiatry (pp. 14161435). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

[16] Fenton, W. S., & McGlashan, T. H. (1994). Antecedents, symptom progression, and long-term outcome of the deficit syndrome in schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 151, 351356.

[17] Walker, E., Kesler, L., Bollini, A., & Hochman, K. (2004). Schizophrenia: Etiology and course. Annual Review of Psychology, 55, 401430.

[18] Walker, E., & Tessner, K. (2008). Schizophrenia. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3(1), 3037.

[19] Suddath, R. L., Christison, G. W., Torrey, E. F., Casanova, M. F., & Weinberger, D. R. (1990). Anatomical abnormalities in the brains of monozygotic twins discordant for schizophrenia. New England Journal of Medicine, 322(12), 789794.

[20] Galderisi, S., Quarantelli, M., Volper, U., Mucci, A., Cassano, G. B., Invernizzi, G.,...Maj, M. (2008). Patterns of structural MRI abnormalities in deficit and nondeficit schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 34, 393401.

[21] Javitt, D. C., & Laruelle, M. (2006). Neurochemical theories. In J. A. Lieberman, T. S. Stroup, & D. O. Perkins (Eds.), Textbook of schizophrenia (pp. 85116). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.

[22] Inayama, Y., Yoneda, H., Sakai, T., Ishida, T., Nonomura, Y., Kono, Y.,...Asaba, H. (1996). Positive association between a DNA sequence variant in the serotonin 2A receptor gene and schizophrenia. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 67(1), 103105.

[23] Csernansky, J. G., & Grace, A. A. (1998). New models of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia: Editors' introduction. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 24(2), 185187.

[24] Gottesman, I. I., & Erlenmeyer-Kimling, L. (2001). Family and twin studies as a head start in defining prodomes and endophenotypes for hypothetical early interventions in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 5(1), 93102; Riley, B. P., & Kendler, K. S. (2005). Schizophrenia: Genetics. In B. J. Sadock & V. A. Sadock (Eds.), Kaplan & Sadock's comprehensive textbook of psychiatry (pp.13541370). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

[25] Brown, A. S., Begg, M. D., Gravenstein, S., Schaefer, C. S., Wyatt, R. J., Bresnahan, M.,...Susser, E. S. (2004). Serologic evidence of prenatal influenza in the etiology of schizophrenia. Archives of General Psychiatry, 61, 774780; Murray, R. M., & Bramon, E. (2005). Developmental model of schizophrenia. In B. J. Sadock & V. A. Sadock (Eds.), Kaplan & Sadock's comprehensive textbook of psychiatry (pp. 1381-1395). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; Susser, E. B., Neugebauer, R., Hock, H.W., Brown, A. S., Lin, S., Labowitz, D., & Gorman, J. M. (1996). Schizophrenia after prenatal famine: Further evidence. Archives of general psychiatry, 53, 2531; Waddington J. L., Lane, A., Larkin, C., & O'Callaghan, E. (1999). The neurodevelopmental basis of schizophrenia: Clinical clues from cerebro-craniofacial dysmorphogenesis, and the roots of a lifetime trajectory of disease. Biological Psychiatry, 46(1), 319.

[26] Walker, E., Mittal, V., & Tessner, K. (2008). Stress and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis in the developmental course of schizophrenia. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 4, 189-216.

[27] Walker, E., Mittal, V., & Tessner, K. (2008). Stress and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis in the developmental course of schizophrenia. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 4, 189-216.

[28] Hooley, J. M., & Hiller, J. B. (1998). Expressed emotion and the pathogenesis of relapse in schizophrenia. In M. F. Lenzenweger & R. H. Dworkin (Eds.), Origins and development of schizophrenia: Advances in experimental psychopathology (pp. 447-468). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Mood Disorders: Emotions as Illness

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Summarize and differentiate the various forms of mood disorders, in particular dysthymia, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder.
  2. Explain the genetic and environmental factors that increase the likelihood that a person will develop a mood disorder.

The everyday variations in our feelings of happiness and sadness reflect ourmood, which can be defined as the positive or negative feelings that are in the background of our everyday experiences. In most cases we are in a relatively good mood, and this positive mood has some positive consequences--it encourages us to do what needs to be done and to make the most of the situations we are in (Isen, 2003). [1] When we are in a good mood our thought processes open up, and we are more likely to approach others. We are more friendly and helpful to others when we are in a good mood than we are when we are in a bad mood, and we may think more creatively (De Dreu, Baas, & Nijstad, 2008). [2] On the other hand, when we are in a bad mood we are more likely to prefer to be alone rather than interact with others, we focus on the negative things around us, and our creativity suffers.

It is not unusual to feel "down" or "low" at times, particularly after a painful event such as the death of someone close to us, a disappointment at work, or an argument with a partner. We often get depressed when we are tired, and many people report being particularly sad during the winter when the days are shorter. Mood (or affective) disorders are psychological disorders in which the person's mood negatively influences his or her physical, perceptual, social, and cognitive processes. People who suffer from mood disorders tend to experience more intense--and particularly more intense negative--moods. About 10% of the U.S. population suffers from a mood disorder in a given year.

The most common symptom of mood disorders is negative mood, also known as sadness or depression. Consider the feelings of this person, who was struggling with depression and was diagnosed with major depressive disorder:

I didn't want to face anyone; I didn't want to talk to anyone. I didn't really want to do anything for myself...I couldn't sit down for a minute really to do anything that took deep concentration...It was like I had big huge weights on my legs and I was trying to swim and just kept sinking. And I'd get a little bit of air, just enough to survive and then I'd go back down again. It was just constantly, constantly just fighting, fighting, fighting, fighting, fighting. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2010)[3]

Mood disorders can occur at any age, and the median age of onset is 32 years (Kessler, Berglund, Demler, Jin, & Walters, 2005). [4] Recurrence of depressive episodes is fairly common and is greatest for those who first experience depression before the age of 15 years. About twice as many women suffer from depression than do men (Culbertson, 1997). [5] This gender difference is consistent across many countries and cannot be explained entirely by the fact that women are more likely to seek treatment for their depression. Rates of depression have been increasing over the past years, although the reasons for this increase are not known (Kessler et al., 2003). [6]

As you can see below, the experience of depression has a variety of negative effects on our behaviors. In addition to the loss of interest, productivity, and social contact that accompanies depression, the person's sense of hopelessness and sadness may become so severe that he or she considers or even succeeds in committing suicide. Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States, and a suicide occurs approximately every 16 minutes. Almost all the people who commit suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death (American Association of Suicidology, 2010; American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 2007; Sudak, 2005). [7]

Behaviors Associated with Depression

Dysthymia and Major Depressive Disorder
Summary

Bipolar Disorder
Summary

Explaining Mood Disorders
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Give a specific example of the negative cognitions, behaviors, and responses of others that might contribute to a cycle of depression like that shown in Figure 12.13 "Cycle of Depression".
  2. Given the discussion about the causes of negative moods and depression, what might people do to try to feel better on days that they are experiencing negative moods? 

[1] Isen, A. M. (2003). Positive affect as a source of human strength. In J. Aspinall, Apsychology of human strengths: Fundamental questions and future directions for a positive psychology (pp. 179195). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

[2] De Dreu, C. K. W., Baas, M., & Nijstad, B. A. (2008). Hedonic tone and activation level in the mood-creativity link: Toward a dual pathway to creativity model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(5), 739756.

[3] National Institute of Mental Health. (2010, April 8). People with depression discuss their illness. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nimh.nih.gov/media/video/health/depression.shtml

[4] Kessler, R. C., Berglund, P. A., Demler, O., Jin, R., & Walters, E. E. (2005). Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 593602.

[5] Culbertson, F. M. (1997). Depression and gender: An international review. American Psychologist, 52, 2531.

[6] Kessler, R. C., Berglund, P., Demler, O, Jin, R., Koretz, D., Merikangas, K. R.,...Wang, P. S. (2003). The epidemiology of majo r depressive disorder: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Journal of the American Medical Association, 289(23), 30953105.

[7] American Association of Suicidology. (2010, June 29). Some facts about suicide and depression. Retrieved from http://www.suicidology.org/c/document_library/get_file?folderId=232&name=DLFE-246.pdf; American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. (2007).About suicide: Facts and figures. National statistics. Retrieved fromhttp://www.afsp.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewpage&page_id= 050FEA9F-B064-4092-B1135C3A70DE1FDA; Sudak, H. S. (2005). Suicide. In B. J. Sadock & V. A. Sadock (Eds.), Kaplan & Sadock's comprehensive textbook of psychiatry. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

[8] Fairchild, K., & Scogin, F. (2008). Assessment and treatment of depression. In K. Laidlow & B. Knight (Eds.), Handbook of emotional disorders in later life: Assessment and treatment. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[9] Kessler, R. C., Chiu, W. T., Demler, O., & Walters, E. E. (2005). Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM- IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 61727; Kessler, R. C., Berglund, P., Demler, O, Jin, R., Koretz, D., Merikangas, K. R.,...Wang, P. S. (2003). The epidemiology of major depressive disorder: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Journal of the American Medical Association, 289(23), 30953105.

[10] Thomas, P., & Bracken, P. (2001). Vincent's bandage: The art of selling a drug for bipolar disorder. British Medical Journal, 323, 1434.

[11] Bowden, C. L. (2001). Strategies to reduce misdiagnosis of bipolar depression.Psychiatric Services, 52(1), 5155.

[12] Berrettini, W. (2006). Genetics of bipolar and unipolar disorders. In D. J. Stein, D. J. Kupfer, & A. F. Schatzberg (Eds.), Textbook of mood disorders. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing; Merikangas, K., Chakravarti, A., Moldin, S., Araj, H., Blangero, J., Burmeister, M,...Takahashi, A. S. (2002). Future of genetics of mood disorders research.Biological Psychiatry, 52(6), 457477.

[13] Sher, L., & Mann, J. J. (2003). Psychiatric pathophysiology: Mood disorders. In A. Tasman, J. Kay, & J. A. Lieberman (Eds.), Psychiatry. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

[14] Videbech, P., & Ravnkilde, B. (2004). Hippocampal volume and depression: A meta-analysis of MRI studies. American Journal of Psychiatry, 161, 19571966.

[15] Warner-Schmidt, J. L., & Duman, R. S. (2006). Hippocampal neurogenesis: Opposing effects of stress and antidepressant treatment. Hippocampus, 16, 239249.

[16] Duman, R. S., & Monteggia, L. M. (2006). A neurotrophic model for stress-related mood disorders. Biological Psychiatry, 59, 11161127.

[17] Caspi, A., Sugden, K., Moffitt, T. E., Taylor, A., Craig, I. W., Harrington, H.,...Poulton, R. (2003). Influence of life stress o n depression: Moderation by a polymorphism in the 5-HTT gene. Science, 301(5631), 386389.

[18] Robins, L. N., Cottler, L., Bucholtz, K., & Compton, W. (1995). Diagnostic interview schedule for DSM-1V. St. Louis, MO: Washington University.

[19] Weissman, M. M., Bland, R. C., Canino, G. J., Greenwald, S., Hwu, H-G., Joyce, P. R.,...Yeh, E-K. (1996). Cross-national epidemiology of major depression and bipolar disorder.Journal of the American Medical Association, 276, 293299.

[20] Tsai, J. L., Knutson, B., & Fung, H. H. (2006). Cultural variation in affect valuation.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 288307.

Anxiety and Dissociative Disorders: Fearing the World Around Us

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Outline and describe the different types of anxiety disorders.
  2. Outline and describe the different types of dissociative disorders.
  3. Explain the biological and environmental causes of anxiety and dissociative disorders.

Anxiety, the nervousness or agitation that we sometimes experience, often about something that is going to happen, is a natural part of life. We all feel anxious at times, maybe when we think about our upcoming visit to the dentist or the presentation we have to give to our class next week. Anxiety is an important and useful human emotion; it is associated with the activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the physiological and behavioral responses that help protect us from danger. But too much anxiety can be debilitating, and every year millions of people suffer from anxiety disorders, which are psychological disturbances marked by irrational fears, often of everyday objects and situations (Kessler, Chiu, Demler, & Walters, 2005). [1]

Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Summary

Panic Disorder
Summary

Phobias
Summary

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
Summary

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Summary

Dissociative Disorders: Losing the Self to Avoid Anxiety
Summary

Explaining Anxiety and Dissociation Disorders
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Under what situations do you experience anxiety? Are these experiences rational or irrational? Does the anxiety keep you from doing some things that you would like to be able to do?
  2. Do you or people you know suffer from phobias? If so, what are the phobias and how do you think the phobias began? Do they seem more genetic or more environmental in origin? 

[1] Kessler, R., Chiu, W., Demler, O., & Walters, E. (2005). Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 617627.

[2] Chase. (2010, February 28). Re: "anxiety?" [Online forum comment]. Mental Health Forum. Retrieved from http://www.mentalhealthforum.net/forum/showthread.php?t=9359

[3] Kessler, R., Chiu, W., Demler, O., & Walters, E. (2005). Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 61727; Robins, L., & Regier, D. A. (1991).Psychiatric disorders in America: The Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study . New York, NY: Free Press.

[4] Rubio, G., & Lopez-Ibor, J. (2007). Generalized anxiety disorder: A 40-year follow up study. Acta Psychiatric Scandinavica, 115, 372379.

[5] Ceejay. (2006, September). My dance with panic [Web log post]. Panic Survivor. Retrieved from http://www.panicsurvivor.com/index.php/2007102366/Survivor-Stories/My-Dance-With-Panic.html [6] MacLeod, C., Rutherford, E., Campbell, L., Ebsworthy, G., & Holker, L. (2002). Selective attention and emotional vulnerability: Assessing the causal basis of their association through the experimental manipulation of attentional bias. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 111(1), 107123.

[7] American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

[8] Fredrikson, M., Annas, P., Fischer, H., & Wik, G. (1996). Gender and age differences in the prevalence of specific fears and phobias. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 34(1), 3339. doi:10.1016/0005-7967(95)00048-3; Kessler, R., Meron-Ruscio, A., Shear, K., & Wittchen, H. (2009). Epidemiology of anxiety disorders. In M. Anthony, & M. Stein (Eds).Oxford handbook of anxiety and related disorders. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[9] Dolan, A. (2006, April 3). The obsessive disorder that haunts my life. Daily Mail. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-381802/The-obsessive-disorder-haunts-life.html

[10] Horwath, E., & Weissman, M. (2000). The epidemiology and cross-national presentation of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 23(3), 493507. doi:10.1016/S0193-953X(05)70176-3; Samuels, J., & Nestadt, G. (1997). Epidemiology and genetics of obsessive-compulsive disorder. International Review of Psychiatry, 9, 6171.

[11] Gould, M. (2007, October 10). You can teach a man to kill but not to see dying. The Guardian. Retrieved fromhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/oct/10/guardiansocietysupplement.socialcare2 [12] Hoge, C., & Castro, C. (2006). Post traumatic stress disorder in UK and U.S. forces deployed to Iraq. Lancet, 368, 867.

[13] Davidson, J. (2000). Trauma: The impact of post-traumatic stress disorder. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 14(2 Suppl 1), S5S12.

[14] Brewin, C., Andrews, B., & Valentine, J. (2000). Meta-analysis of risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder in trauma- exposed adults. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68(5), 748766. doi:10.1037//0022-006X.68.5.748

[15] Brady, K. T., Back, S. E., & Coffey, S. F. (2004). Substance abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(5), 206209.

[16] van der Hart, O., & Nijenhuis, E. R. S. (2009). Dissociative disorders. In P. H. Blaney & T. M. Millon (Eds.), Oxford textbook of psychological disorder (2nd ed., pp. 452481). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[17] Cloninger, C., & Dokucu, M. (2008). Somatoform and dissociative disorders. In S. H. Fatemi & P. J. Clayton (Eds.), The medical basis of psychiatry (3rd ed., pp. 181-194). Totowa, NJ: Humana Press. doi:10.1007/978-1-59745-252-6_11

[18] van der Hart, O., & Nijenhuis, E. R. S. (2009). Dissociative disorders. In P. H. Blaney & T. M. Millon (Eds.), Oxford textbook of psychological disorder (2nd ed., pp. 452481). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[19] Cardea, E., & Gleaves, D. (2007). Dissociative disorders. In M. M. Hersen, S. M. Turner, & D. C. Beidel (Eds.), Adult psychological disorder and diagnosis (5th ed., pp. 473503). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

[20] van der Hart, O., & Nijenhuis, E. R. S. (2009). Dissociative disorders. In P. H. Blaney, & T. M. Millon (Eds.), Oxford textbook of psychological disorder (2nd ed., pp. 452481). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[21] Gillig, P. M. (2009). Dissociative identity disorder: A controversial diagnosis.Psychiatry, 6(3), 2429.

[22] Kluft, R. P. (1996). The diagnosis and treatment of dissociative identity disorder. InThe Hatherleigh guide to psychiatric disorders (1st ed., Vol. 1, pp. 4996). New York, NY: Hatherleigh Press.

[23] Dawson, P. L. (1990). Understanding and cooperation among alter and host personalities. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 44(11), 994997.

[24] American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

[25] Barry-Walsh, J. (2005). Dissociative identity disorder. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 39, 109110; Kihlstrom, J. F. (2004). An unbalanced balancing act: Blocked, recovered, and false memories in the laboratory and clinic. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 11(1), 3441; Lilienfeld, S. O., & Lynn, S. J. (2003). Dissociative identity disorder: Multiple personalities, multiple controversies. In S. O. Lilienfeld, S. J. Lynn, & J. M. Lohr (Eds.), Science and pseudoscience in clinical psychology (pp. 109-142). New York, NY: Guilford Press; Lipsanen, T., Korkeila, J., Peltola, P., Jarvinen, J., Langen, K., & Lauerma, H. (2004). Dissociative disorders among psychiatric patients: Comparison with a nonclinical sample. European Psychiatry, 19(1), 53-55.

[26] Miller, M., & Kantrowitz, B. (1999, January 25). Unmasking Sybil: A reexamination of the most famous psychiatric patient in history. Newsweek, pp. 1116.

[27] Hettema, J. M., Neale, M. C., & Kendler, K. S. (2001). A review and meta-analysis of the genetic epidemiology of anxiety disorders. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 158(10), 15681578.

[28] Smoller, J., Paulus, M., Fagerness, J., Purcell, S., Yamaki, L., Hirshfeld-Becker, D.,...Stein, M. (2008). Influence of RGS2 on anxiety-related temperament, personality, and brain function. Archives of General Psychiatry, 65(3), 298308. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2007.48; Thoeringer, C., Ripke, S., Unschuld, P., Lucae, S., Ising, M., Bettecken, T.,...Erhardt, A. (2009). The GABA transporter 1 (SLC6A1): A novel candidate gene for anxiety disorders. Journal of Neural Transmission, 116(6), 649657. doi:10.1007/s00702-008-0075-y

[29] Brown, T., & McNiff, J. (2009). Specificity of autonomic arousal to DSM-IV panic disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 47(6), 487493. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2009.02.016; Damsa, C., Kosel, M., & Moussally, J. (2009). Current status of brain imaging in anxiety disorders. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 22(1), 96-110. doi:10.1097/YCO.0b013e328319bd10

[30] Gilbertson, M. W., Shenton, M. E., Ciszewski, A., Kasai, K., Lasko, N. B., Orr, S. P.,...Pitman, R. K. (2002). Smaller hippocampal volume predicts pathologic vulnerability to psychological trauma. Nature Neuroscience, 5(11), 12-42.

[31] Stein, M., Schork, N., & Gelernter, J. (2008). Gene-by-environment (serotonin transporter and childhood maltreatment) interaction for anxiety sensitivity, an intermediate phenotype for anxiety disorders. Neuropsychopharmacology, 33(2), 312 319. doi:10.1038/sj.npp.1301422

[32] Twenge, J. (2006). Generation me. New York, NY: Free Press.

[33] Alpher, V. S. (1992). Introject and identity: Structural-interpersonal analysis and psychological assessment of multiple personality disorder. Journal of Personality Assessment. 58(2), 347367. doi:10.1207/s15327752jpa5802_12; Cardea, E., & Gleaves, D. (2007). Dissociative disorders. In M. M. Hersen, S. M. Turner, & D. C. Beidel (Eds.), Adult psychological disorder and diagnosis (5th ed., pp. 473-503). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

[34] Kihlstrom, J. F., Glisky, M. L., & Angiulo, M. J. (1994). Dissociative tendencies and dissociative disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103, 117-124.

[35] Lilienfeld, S. O., & Lynn, S. J. (2003). Dissociative identity disorder: Multiple personalities, multiple controversies. In S. O. Lilienfeld, S. J. Lynn, & J. M. Lohr (Eds.),Science and pseudoscience in clinical psychology (pp. 109-142). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Psychological Disorder: What Makes a Behavior "Abnormal"?

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Define "psychological disorder" and summarize the general causes of disorder.
  2. Explain why it is so difficult to define disorder, and how the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is used to make diagnoses.
  3. Describe the stigma of psychological disorders and their impact on those who suffer from them.

The focus of the next two chapters is to many people the heart of psychology. This emphasis on abnormal psychology--the application of psychological science to understanding and treating mental disorders--is appropriate, as more psychologists are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorder than in any other endeavor, and these are probably the most important tasks psychologists face. About 1 in every 4 Americans (or over 78 million people) are affected by a psychological disorder during any one year (Kessler, Chiu, Demler, & Walters, 2005), [1] and at least a half billion people are affected worldwide. The impact of mental illness is particularly strong on people who are poorer, of lower socioeconomic class, and from disadvantaged ethnic groups.

People with psychological disorders are also stigmatized by the people around them, resulting in shame and embarrassment, as well as prejudice and discrimination against them. Thus the understanding and treatment of psychological disorder has broad implications for the everyday life of many people. Table 12.1 "One-Year Prevalence Rates for Psychological Disorders in the United States, 20012003" shows the prevalence (i.e., the frequency of occurrence of a given condition in a population at a given time) of some of the major psychological disorders in the United States.

Table 12.1 One-Year Prevalence Rates for Psychological Disorders in the United States, 2001-2003

Disease
Percentage affected
Number affected
Any mental disorder
26.2
81,744,000
Any anxiety disorder
18.1
56,472,000
      Specific phobia
8.7
27,144,000
      Social phobia
6.8
21,216,000
      Agoraphobia
0.8
2,496,000
      Generalized anxiety disorder
3.1
9,672,000
      Panic disorder
2.7
8,424,000
      Obsessive-compulsive disorder
1.0
3,120,000
      Posttraumatic stress disorder
3.5
10,920,000
Any mood disorder
9.5
29,640,000
      Major depressive disorder
6.7
20,904,000
      Bipolar disorder
2.6
8,112,000
Schizophrenia
1.0
3,120,000
Personality disorders


      Antisocial personality disorder
1.5
4,680,000
      Borderline personality disorder
1.5
4,680,000
Anorexia nervosa
0.1
312,000
Any substance abuse disorder
3.8
11,856,000
      Alcohol use disorder
4.4
13,728,000
      Drug use disorder
1.8
5,616,000
All cancers*
5.4
16,848,000
Diabetes*
10.7
33,348,000
* These nonpsychological conditions are included for comparison.

Sources: Kessler, R. C., Chiu, W. T., Demler, O., & Walters, E. E. (2005). Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12- month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 617-627; Narrow, W. E., Rae, D. S., Robins, L. N., & Regier, D. A. (2002). Revised prevalence based estimates of mental disorders in the United States: Using a clinical significance criterion to reconcile 2 surveys' estimates.Archives of General Psychiatry, 59(2), 115-123.

In this chapter our focus is on the disorders themselves. We will review the major psychological disorders and consider their causes and their impact on the people who suffer from them. Then in Chapter 13 "Treating Psychological Disorders", we will turn to consider the treatment of these disorders through psychotherapy and drug therapy.

Defining Disorder
Summary

Diagnosing Disorder: The DSM
Summary

Diagnosis or Overdiagnosis? ADHD, Autistic Disorder, and Asperger's Disorder
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Do you or your friends hold stereotypes about the mentally ill? Can you think of or find clips from any films or other popular media that portray mental illness positively or negatively? Is it more or less acceptable to stereotype the mentally ill than to stereotype other social groups?
  2. Consider the psychological disorders listed in Table 12.3 "Categories of Psychological Disorders Based on the ". Do you know people who may suffer from any of them? Can you or have you talked to them about their experiences? If so, how do they experience the illness?
  3. Consider the diagnosis of ADHD, autism, and Asperger's disorder from the biological, personal, and social-cultural perspectives. Do you think that these disorders are overdiagnosed? How might clinicians determine if ADHD is dysfunctional or distressing to the individual?

[1] Kessler, R. C., Chiu, W. T., Demler, O., & Walters, E. E. (2005). Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSMIV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 617–627.

[2] Butcher, J., Mineka, S., & Hooley, J. (2007). Abnormal psychology and modern life (13th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

[3] Engel, G. (1977). The need for a new medical model: A challenge for biomedicine.Science, 196(4286), 129. doi:10.1126/science.847460

[4] Gejman, P., Sanders, A., & Duan, J. (2010). The role of genetics in the etiology of schizophrenia. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 33(1), 3566. doi:10.1016/j.psc.2009.12.003

[5] Sawa, A., & Snyder, S. (2002). Schizophrenia: Diverse approaches to a complex disease.Science, 296(5568), 692695. doi:10.1126/science.1070532; Walker, E., Kestler, L., Bollini, A., & Hochman, K. (2004). Schizophrenia: Etiology and course. Annual Review of Psychology, 55, 401430. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.141950

[6] American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

[7] Hunt, C., Slade, T., & Andrews, G. (2004). Generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder comorbidity in the National Survey of Mental Health and Well Being.Depression and Anxiety, 20, 2331.

[8] Kessler, R. C., Chiu, W. T., Demler, O., & Walters, E. E. (2005). Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM- IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 617627.

[9] Brothwell, D. (1981). Digging up bones: The excavation, treatment, and study of human skeletal remains . Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

[10] Schefer, R. (2003, May 28). Addressing stigma: Increasing public understanding of mental illness. Presented to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. Retrieved fromhttp://www.camh.net/education/Resources_communities_organizations/addressing_stigma_senatepres03.pdf

[11] Boardman, J., Grove, B., Perkins, R., & Shepherd, G. (2003). Work and employment for people with psychiatric disabilities. British Journal of Psychiatry, 182(6), 467468. doi:10.1192/bjp.182.6.467; Leff, J., & Warner, R. (2006). Social inclusion of people with mental illness. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press; Ozawa, A., & Yaeda, J. (2007). Employer attitudes toward employing persons with psychiatric disability in Japan.Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 26(2), 105113; Pulido, F., Diaz, M., & Ramrez, M. (2004). Work integration of people with severe mental disorder: A pending question.Revista Psiquis, 25(6), 2643.

[12] Francis, C., Pirkis, J., Dunt, D., & Blood, R. (2001). Mental health and illness in the media: A review of the literature. Canberra, Australia: Commonwealth Department of Health & Aged Care.

[13] Hayward, P., & Bright, J. (1997). Stigma and mental illness: A review and critique.Journal of Mental Health, 6(4), 345354.

[14] National Alliance on Mental Illness. (n.d.). Fight stigma. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=fight_stigma

[15] American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

[16] American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author; National Institute of Mental Health. (2010). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Retrieved fromhttp://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml

[17] Weyandt, L. L., & DuPaul, G. (2006). ADHD in college students. Journal of Attention Disorders, 10(1), 919.

[18] Kessler, R. C., Chiu, W. T., Demler, O., & Walters, E. E. (2005). Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM- IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 617627.

[19] Olfson, M., Gameroff, M., Marcus, S., & Jensen, P. (2003). National trends in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160, 10711077.

[20] Barkley, R. A. (1998). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A handbook for diagnosis and treatment (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

[21] National Institute of Mental Health. (2010). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Retrieved from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml

[22] Seidman, L., Valera, E., & Makris, N. (2005). Structural brain imaging of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 57, 12631272.

[23] Braun, J., Kahn, R., Froehlich, T., Auinger, P., & Lanphear, B. (2006). Exposures to environmental toxicants and attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder in U.S. children.Environmental Health Perspectives, 114(12), 19041909; Linnet K., Dalsgaard, S., Obel, C., Wisborg, K., Henriksen T., Rodriguez, A.,...Jarvelin, M. (2003). Maternal lifestyle factors in pregnancy r isk of attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder and associated behaviors: Review of the current evidence. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160(6), 10281040; McCann, D., Barrett, A., Cooper, A., Crumpler, D., Dalen, L., Grimshaw, K.,...Stevenson, J. (2007). Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: A randomised, double-blinded, placebo- controlled trial. Lancet, 370(9598), 15601567.

[24] Burt, S. A., Krueger, R. F., McGue, M., & Iacono, W. G. (2001). Sources of covariation among attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder: The importance of shared environment. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 110(4), 516525.

[25] Kogan, M., Blumberg, S., Schieve, L., Boyle, C., Perrin, J., Ghandour, R.,...van Dyck, P. (2009). Prevalence of parent-reported diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder among children in the US, 2007. Pediatrics, 124(5), 1395-1403. doi:10.1542/peds.2009-

[26] Freitag C. M. (2007). The genetics of autistic disorders and its clinical relevance: A review of the literature. Molecular Psychiatry, 12(1), 222.

[27] Moldin, S. O. (2003). Editorial: Neurobiology of autism: The new frontier. Genes, Brain & Behavior, 2(5), 253-254.

Evaluating Treatment and Prevention: What Works?

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Summarize the ways that scientists evaluate the effectiveness of psychological, behavioral, and community service approaches to preventing and reducing disorders.
  2. Summarize which types of therapy are most effective for which disorders.

We have seen that psychologists and other practitioners employ a variety of treatments in their attempts to reduce the negative outcomes of psychological disorders. But we have not yet considered the important question of whether these treatments are effective, and if they are, which approaches are most effective for which people and for which disorders. Accurate empirical answers to these questions are important as they help practitioners focus their efforts on the techniques that have been proven to be most promising, and will guide societies as they make decisions about how to spend public money to improve the quality of life of their citizens (Hunsley & Di Giulio, 2002). [1]

Psychologists use outcome research, that is, studies that assess the effectiveness of medical treatments, to determine the effectiveness of different therapies. As you can see in Figure 13.10 "Outcome Research", in these studies the independent variable is the type of the treatment--for instance, whether it was psychological or biological in orientation or how long it lasted. In most cases characteristics of the client (e.g., his or her gender, age, disease severity, and prior psychological histories) are also collected as control variables. The dependent measure is an assessment of the benefit received by the client. In some cases we might simply ask the client if she feels better, and in other cases we may directly measure behavior: Can the client now get in the airplane and take a flight? Has the client remained out of juvenile detention?

Figure 13.10 Outcome Research

The design of an outcome study includes a dependent measure of benefit received by the client, as predicted by independent variables including type of treatment and characteristics of the individual.

In every case the scientists evaluating the therapy must keep in mind the potential that other effects rather than the treatment itself might be important, that some treatments that seem effective might not be, and that some treatments might actually be harmful, at least in the sense that money and time are spent on programs or drugs that do not work.

One threat to the validity of outcome research studies is natural improvement--the possibility that people might get better over time, even without treatment. People who begin therapy or join a self-help group do so because they are feeling bad or engaging in unhealthy behaviors. After being in a program over a period of time, people frequently feel that they are getting better. But it is possible that they would have improved even if they had not attended the program, and that the program is not actually making a difference. To demonstrate that the treatment is effective, the people who participate in it must be compared with another group of people who do not get treatment.

Another possibility is that therapy works, but that it doesn't really matter which type of therapy it is. Nonspecific treatment effects occur when the patient gets better over time simply by coming to therapy, even though it doesn't matter what actually happens at the therapy sessions. The idea is that therapy works, in the sense that it is better than doing nothing, but that all therapies are pretty much equal in what they are able to accomplish. Finally, placebo effects are improvements that occur as a result of the expectation that one will get better rather than from the actual effects of a treatment.

Effectiveness of Psychological Therapy
Summary

Effectiveness of Biomedical Therapies
Summary

Effectiveness of Social-Community Approaches
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Revisit the chapter opener that focuses on the use of "psychiatric service dogs." What factors might lead you to believe that such "therapy" would or would not be effective? How would you propose to empirically test the effectiveness of the therapy?
  2. Given your knowledge about the effectiveness of therapies, what approaches would you take if you were making recommendations for a person who is seeking treatment for severe depression? 

[1] Hunsley, J., & Di Giulio, G. (2002). Dodo bird, phoenix, or urban legend? The question of psychotherapy equivalence. The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice: Objective Investigations of Controversial and Unorthodox Claims in Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry, and Social Work, 1(1), 1122.

[2] Ruwaard, J., Broeksteeg, J., Schrieken, B., Emmelkamp, P., & Lange, A. (2010). Web-based therapist-assisted cognitive behavioral treatment of panic symptoms: A randomized controlled trial with a three-year follow-up. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 24(4), 387396.

[3] Keller, M. B., Ryan, N. D., Strober, M., Klein, R. G., Kutcher, S. P., Birmaher, B.,...McCafferty, J. P. (2001). Efficacy of paroxetine in the treatment of adolescent major depression: A randomized, controlled trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 40(7), 762772.

[4] Herbert, J. D., Gaudiano, B. A., Rheingold, A. A., Myers, V. H., Dalrymple, K., & Nolan, E. M. (2005). Social skills training augments the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral group therapy for social anxiety disorder. Behavior Therapy, 36(2), 125138.

[5] Crits-Christoph, P. (1992). The efficacy of brief dynamic psychotherapy: A meta-analysis. American Journal of Psychiatry, 149, 151158; Crits-Christoph, P., Gibbons, M. B., Losardo, D., Narducci, J., Schamberger, M., & Gallop, R. (2004). Who benefits from brief psychodynamic therapy for generalized anxiety disorder? Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 12, 301324.

[6] Dalgleish, T. (2004). Cognitive approaches to posttraumatic stress disorder: The evolution of multirepresentational theorizing. Psychological Bulletin, 130, 228260; Hollon, S. D., Thase, M. E., & Markowitz, J. C. (2002). Treatment and prevention of depression. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 3, 3977.

[7] Smith, M. L., Glass, G. V., & Miller, R. L. (1980). The benefits of psychotherapy. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

[8] Butler A. C., Chapman, J. E., Forman, E. M., Beck, A. T. (2006). The empirical status of cognitive-behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses. Clinical Psychology Review, 26(1), 1731. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2005.07.003; Deacon, B. J., & Abramowitz, J. S. (2004). Cognitive and behavioral treatments for anxiety disorders: A review of meta-analytic findings.Journal of Clinical Psychology, 60(4), 429441.

[9] Shadish, W. R., & Baldwin, S. A. (2002). Meta-analysis of MFT interventions. In D. H. Sprenkle (Ed.), Effectiveness research in marriage and family therapy (pp. 339370). Alexandria, VA: American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

[10] Shedler, J. (2010). The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 65(2), 98109.

[11] Chambless, D. L., & Hollon, S. D. (1998). Defining empirically supported therapies.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66(1), 718; Hollon, S., Stewart, M., & Strunk, D. (2006). Enduring effects for cognitive therapy in the treatment of depression and anxiety. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 285316.

[12] Smith, M. L., Glass, G. V., & Miller, R. L. (1980). The benefits of psychotherapy. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

[13] Cuijpers, P., van Straten, A., Andersson, G., & van Oppen, P. (2008). Psychotherapy for depression in adults: A meta- analysis of comparative outcome studies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(6), 909922.

[14] Ahn, H.-N., & Wampold, B. E. (2001). Where oh where are the specific ingredients? A meta-analysis of component studies in counseling and psychotherapy. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 48(3), 251257.

[15] Lieberman, J., Stroup, T., McEvoy, J., Swartz, M., Rosenheck, R., Perkins, D.,...Lebowitz, B. D. (2005). Effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs in patients with chronic schizophrenia. New England Journal of Medicine, 353(12), 1209.

[16] Cardea, E., & Kirsch, I. (2000). True or false: The placebo effect as seen in drug studies is definitive proof that the mind can bring about clinically relevant changes in the body: What is so special about the placebo effect? Advances in Mind-Body Medicine, 16(1), 1618.

[17] Deshauer, D., Moher, D., Fergusson, D., Moher, E., Sampson, M., & Grimshaw, J. (2008). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for unipolar depression: A systematic review of classic long-term randomized controlled trials. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 178(10), 1293301. doi:10.1503/cmaj.071068; Turner, E. H., Matthews, A. M., Linardatos, E., Tell, R. A., & Rosenthal, R. (2008). Selective publication of antidepressant trials and its influence on apparent efficacy. New England Journal of Medicine, 358(3), 25260.

[18] Louik, C., Lin, A. E., Werler M. M., Hernandez, S., & Mitchell, A. A. (2007). First-trimester use of selective serotonin- reuptake inhibitors and the risk of birth defects. New England Journal of Medicine, 356, 26752683; U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2004). FDA Medwatch drug alert on Effexor and SSRIs. Retrieved fromhttp://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2004/safety04.htm#effexor

[19] Diav-Citrin, O., Shechtman, S., Ornoy, S., Arnon, J., Schaefer, C., Garbis, H.,...Ornoy, A. (2005). Safety of haloperidol and penfluridol in pregnancy: A multicenter, prospective, controlled study. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 66, 317322.

[20] Price, R. H., Cowen, E. L., Lorion, R. P., & Ramos-McKay, J. (Eds.). (1988). Fourteen ounces of prevention: A casebook for practitioners. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

[21] Ripple, C. H., & Zigler, E. (2003). Research, policy, and the federal role in prevention initiatives for children. American Psychologist, 58(67), 482490.

[22] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2000). Blood lead levels in young children: United States and selected states, 19961999. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 49, 1133-1137.

[23] Wandersman, A., & Florin, P. (2003). Community interventions and effective prevention. American Psychologist, 58(67), 441-448; Wilson, D. B., Gottfredson, D. C., & Najaka, S. S. (2001). School-based prevention of problem behaviors: A meta- analysis.Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 17(3), 247-272.

[24] Weissberg, R. P., Kumpfer, K. L., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2003). Prevention that works for children and youth: An introduction. American Psychologist, 58(67), 425-432.

Reducing Disorder by Changing the Social Situation

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Explain the advantages of group therapy and self-help groups for treating disorder.
  2. Evaluate the procedures and goals of community mental health services.

Although the individual therapies that we have discussed so far in this chapter focus primarily on the psychological and biological aspects of the bio-psycho-social model of disorder, the social dimension is never out of the picture. Therapists understand that disorder is caused, and potentially prevented, in large part by the people with whom we interact. A person with schizophrenia does not live in a vacuum. He interacts with his family members and with the other members of the community, and the behavior of those people may influence his disease. And depression and anxiety are created primarily by the affected individual's perceptions (and misperceptions) of the important people around them. Thus prevention and treatment are influenced in large part by the social context in which the person is living.

Group, Couples, and Family Therapy
Summary

Self-Help Groups
Summary

Community Mental Health: Service and Prevention
Summary

EXERCISE AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Imagine the impact of a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina on the population of the city of New Orleans. How would you expect such an event to affect the prevalence of psychological disorders in the community? What recommendations would you make in terms of setting up community support centers to help the people in the city? 

[1] Yalom, I., & Leszcz, M. (2005). The theory and practice of group psychotherapy (5th ed.). New York, NY: Basic Books.

[2] McDermut, W., Miller, I. W., & Brown, R. A. (2001). The efficacy of group psychotherapy for depression: A meta-analysis and review of the empirical research. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 8(1), 98-116.

[3] American Group Psychotherapy Association. (2000). About group psychotherapy. Retrieved from http://www.groupsinc.org/group/consumersguide2000.html [4] Humphreys, K., & Rappaport, J. (1994). Researching self-help/mutual aid groups and organizations: Many roads, one journey. Applied and Preventative Psychology, 3(4), 217-231.

[5] Gonzales, L. R., Kelly, J. G., Mowbray, C. T., Hays, R. B., & Snowden, L. R. (1991). Community mental health. In M. Hersen, A.E. Kazdin, & A. S. Bellack (Eds.), The clinical psychology handbook (2nd ed., pp. 762-779). Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press.

[6] Institute of Medicine. (1994). Reducing risks for mental disorders: Frontiers for preventive intervention research. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

[7] Werner, E. E., & Smith, R. S. (1992). Overcoming the odds: High risk children from birth to adulthood. New York, NY: Cornell University Press.

[8] Busch, K. A., Fawcett, J., & Jacobs, D. G. (2003). Clinical correlates of inpatient suicide.Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 64(1), 14-19.

[9] Nock, M. K., Park, J. M., Finn, C. T., Deliberto, T. L., Dour, H. J., & Banaji, M. R. (2010). Measuring the suicidal mind: Implicit cognition predicts suicidal behavior. Psychological Science, 21(4), 511-517.

[10] Greenwald, A. G., McGhee, D. E., & Schwartz, J. L. K. (1998). Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: The Implicit Association Test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1464-1480.

Reducing Disorder Biologically: Drug and Brain Therapy

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Classify the different types of drugs used in the treatment of mental disorders and explain how they each work to reduce disorder.
  2. Critically evaluate direct brain intervention methods that may be used by doctors to treat patients who do not respond to drug or other therapy.

Like other medical problems, psychological disorders may in some cases be treated biologically. Biomedical therapies are treatments designed to reduce psychological disorder by influencing the action of the central nervous system. These therapies primarily involve the use of medications but also include direct methods of brain intervention, including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and psychosurgery.

Drug Therapies
Summary

Direct Brain Intervention Therapies
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. What are your opinions about taking drugs to improve psychological disorders? Would you take an antidepressant or antianxiety medication if you were feeling depressed or anxious? Do you think children with ADHD should be given stimulants? Why or why not?
  2. Based on what you have just read, would you be willing to undergo ECT or TMS if you were chronically depressed and drug therapy had failed? Why or why not? 

[1] Biedermann, F., & Fleischhacker, W. W. (2009). Antipsychotics in the early stage of development. Current Opinion Psychiatry, 22, 326330.

[2] Greenhill, L. L., Halperin, J. M., & Abikof, H. (1999). Stimulant medications. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 38(5), 503512.

[3] Zahn, T. P., Rapoport, J. L., & Thompson, C. L. (1980). Autonomic and behavioral effects of dextroamphetamine and placebo in normal and hyperactive prepubertal boys. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 8(2), 145160.

[4] Spencer, T. J., Biederman, J., Harding, M., & O'Donnell, D. (1996). Growth deficits in ADHD children revisited: Evidence for disorder-associated growth delays? Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 35(11), 14601469.

[5] Fraser, A. R. (2000). Antidepressant choice to minimize treatment resistance. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 176, 493; Hollon, S. D., Thase, M. E., & Markowitz, J. C. (2002). Treatment and prevention of depression. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 3, 3977.

[6] Healy, D., & Whitaker, C. J. (2003). Antidepressants and suicide: Risk-benefit conundrums. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, 28, 331339; Simon, G. E. (2006). The antidepressant quandary--Considering suicide risk when treating adolescent depression.The New England Journal of Medicine, 355, 27222723; Simon, G. E., Savarino, J., Operskalski, B., & Wang, P. S. (2006). Suicide risk during antidepressant treatment.American Journal of Psychiatry, 163, 4147. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.163.1.41

[7] McElroy, S. L., & Keck, P. E. (2000). Pharmacologic agents for the treatment of acute bipolar mania. Biological Psychiatry, 48, 539557.

[8] Kowatch, R. A., Suppes, T., Carmody, T. J., Bucci, J. P., Hume, J. H., Kromelis, M.,...Rush, A. J. (2000). Effect size of lithi um, divalproex sodium, and carbamazepine in children and adolescents with bipolar disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 71320.

[9] Otto, M. W., Pollack, M. H., Sachs, G. S., Reiter, S. R., Meltzer-Brody, S., & Rosenbaum, J. F. (1993). Discontinuation of benzodiazepine treatment: Efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy for patients with panic disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 150, 14851490.

[10] Marangell, L. B., Silver, J. M., Goff, D. C., & Yudofsky, S. C. (2003). Psychopharmacology and electroconvulsive therapy. In R.E. Hales & S. C. Yudofsky (Eds.), The American Psychiatric Publishing textbook of clinical psychiatry (4th ed., pp. 10471149). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

[11] National Institute of Mental Health. (2008). Mental health medications (NIH Publication No. 08-3929). Retrieved fromhttp://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/mental-health-medications/complete-index.shtml#pub4

[12] Casey, D. E. (1996). Side effect profiles of new antipsychotic agents. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 57(Suppl. 11), 4045.

[13] Kellner, C. H., Fink, M., Knapp, R., Petrides, G., Husain, M., Rummans, T.,...Malur, C. (2005). Relief of expressed suicidal intent by ECT: A consortium for research in ECT study.The American Journal of Psychiatry, 162(5), 977982.

[14] Sackheim, H. A., Haskett, R. F., Mulsant, B. H., Thase, M. E., Mann, J. J., Pettinati, H.,...Prudic, J. (2001). Continuation pharmacotherapy in the prevention of relapse following electroconvulsive therapy: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285, 12991307.

[15] Abrams, R. (1997). Electroconvulsive therapy (3rd ed.). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press; Sackeim, H. A., Prudic, J., Fuller, R., Keilp, J., Philip, W., Lavori, P. W., & Olfson, M. (2007). The cognitive effects of electroconvulsive therapy in community settings. Neuropsychopharmacology, 32, 244254. doi:10.1038/sj.npp.1301180

[16] Loo, C. K., Schweitzer, I., & Pratt, C. (2006). Recent advances in optimizing electroconvulsive therapy. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 40, 632638; Rado, J., Dowd, S. M., & Janicak, P. G. (2008). The emerging role of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for treatment of psychiatric disorders. Directions in Psychiatry, 28(4), 315332.

[17] Corcoran, C. D., Thomas, P., Phillips, J., & O'Keane, V. (2006). Vagus nerve stimulation in chronic treatment -resistant depression: Preliminary findings of an open-label study.The British Journal of Psychiatry, 189, 282283; Nemeroff, C., Mayberg, H., Krahl, S., McNamara, J., Frazer, A., Henry, T.,...Brannan, S. (2006). VNS therapy in treatment-resistant depression: Clinical evidence and putative neurobiological mechanisms.Neuropsychopharmacology, 31(7), 13451355.

[18] Valenstein, E. (1986). Great and desperate cures: The rise and decline of psychosurgery and other radical treatments for mental illness. New York, NY: Basic Books.

[19] Dougherty, D., Baer, L., Cosgrove, G., Cassem, E., Price, B., Nierenberg, A.,...Rauch, S. L. (2002). Prospective long-term follow-up of 44 patients who received cingulotomy for treatment-refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159(2), 269.

[20] Sachdev, P. S., & Chen, X. (2009). Neurosurgical treatment of mood disorders: Traditional psychosurgery and the advent of deep brain stimulation. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 22(1), 25-31.

Reducing Disorder by Confronting It: Psychotherapy

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Outline and differentiate the psychodynamic, humanistic, behavioral, and cognitive approaches to psychotherapy.
  2. Explain the behavioral and cognitive aspects of cognitive-behavioral therapy and how CBT is used to reduce psychological disorders.

Treatment for psychological disorder begins when the individual who is experiencing distress visits a counselor or therapist, perhaps in a church, a community center, a hospital, or a private practice. The therapist will begin by systematically learning about the patient's needs through a formal psychological assessment, which is an evaluation of the patient's psychological and mental health. During the assessment the psychologist may give personality tests such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personal Inventory (MMPI-2) or projective tests, and will conduct a thorough interview with the patient. The therapist may get more information from family members or school personnel.

In addition to the psychological assessment, the patient is usually seen by a physician to gain information about potential Axis III (physical) problems. In some cases of psychological disorder--and particularly for sexual problems--medical treatment is the preferred course of action. For instance, men who are experiencing erectile dysfunction disorder may need surgery to increase blood flow or local injections of muscle relaxants. Or they may be prescribed medications (Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra) that provide an increased blood supply to the penis, which are successful in increasing performance in about 70% of men who take them.

After the medical and psychological assessments are completed, the therapist will make a formal diagnosis using the detailed descriptions of the disorder provided in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM; see below). The therapist will summarize the information about the patient on each of the five DSM axes, and the diagnosis will likely be sent to an insurance company to justify payment for the treatment.

DSM-IV-TR Criteria for Diagnosing Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Summary

If a diagnosis is made, the therapist will select a course of therapy that he or she feels will be most effective. One approach to treatment is psychotherapy, the professional treatment for psychological disorder through techniques designed to encourage communication of conflicts and insight. The fundamental aspect of psychotherapy is that the patient directly confronts the disorder and works with the therapist to help reduce it. Therapy includes assessing the patient's issues and problems, planning a course of treatment, setting goals for change, the treatment itself, and an evaluation of the patient's progress. Therapy is practiced by thousands of psychologists and other trained practitioners in the United States and around the world, and is responsible for billions of dollars of the health budget.

To many people therapy involves a patient lying on a couch with a therapist sitting behind and nodding sagely as the patient speaks. Though this approach to therapy (known as psychoanalysis) is still practiced, it is in the minority. It is estimated that there are over 400 different kinds of therapy practiced by people in many fields, and the most important of these are shown in Figure 13.2 "The Many Types of Therapy Practiced in the United States". The therapists who provide these treatments include psychiatrists (who have a medical degree and can prescribe drugs) and clinical psychologists, as well as social workers, psychiatric nurses, and couples, marriage, and family therapists.

Figure 13.2 The Many Types of Therapy Practiced in the United States

These data show the proportion of psychotherapists who reported practicing each type of therapy.
Source: Adapted from Norcross, J. C., Hedges, M., & Castle, P. H. (2002). Psychologists conducting psychotherapy in 2001: A study of the Division 29 membership. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 39(1), 97-102

Psychology in Everyday Life: Seeking Treatment for Psychological Difficulties
Summary

Psychodynamic Therapy
Summary

Humanistic Therapies
Summary

Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
Summary

Combination (Eclectic) Approaches to Therapy
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Imagine that your friend has been feeling depressed for several months but refuses to consider therapy as an option. What might you tell her that might help her feel more comfortable about seeking treatment?
  2. Imagine that you have developed a debilitating fear of bees after recently being attacked by a swarm of them. What type of therapy do you think would be best for your disorder?
  3. Imagine that your friend has a serious drug abuse problem. Based on what you've learned in this section, what treatment options would you explore in your attempt to provide him with the best help available? Which combination of therapies might work best? 

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Working With Others: The Costs and Benefits of Social Groups

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Summarize the advantages and disadvantages of working together in groups to perform tasks and make decisions.
  2. Review the factors that can increase group productivity.

Just as our primitive ancestors lived together in small social groups, including families, tribes, and clans, people today still spend a great deal of time in groups. We study together in study groups, we work together on production lines, and we decide the fates of others in courtroom juries. We work in groups because groups can be beneficial. A rock band that is writing a new song or a surgical team in the middle of a complex operation may coordinate their efforts so well that it is clear that the same outcome could never have occurred if the individuals had worked alone. But group performance will only be better than individual performance to the extent that the group members are motivated to meet the group goals, effectively share information, and efficiently coordinate their efforts. Because these things do not always happen, group performance is almost never as good as we would expect, given the number of individuals in the group, and may even in some cases be inferior to that which could have been made by one or more members of the group working alone.

Working in Front of Others: Social Facilitation and Social Inhibition
Summary

Working Together in Groups
Summary

Using Groups Effectively
Summary

EXERCISE AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Consider a time when you worked together with others in a group. Do you think the group experienced group process gains or group process losses? If the latter, what might you do now in a group to encourage effective group performance? 

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Interacting With Others: Helping, Hurting, and Conforming

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Summarize the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to human altruism.
  2. Provide an overview of the causes of human aggression.
  3. Explain the situations under which people conform to others and their motivations for doing so.

Humans have developed a variety of social skills that enhance our ability to successfully interact with others. We are often helpful, even when that helping comes at some cost to ourselves, and we often change our opinions and beliefs to fit in with the opinions of those whom we care about. Yet we also are able to be aggressive if we feel the situation warrants it.

Helping Others: Altruism Helps Create Harmonious Relationships
Summary

Human Aggression: An Adaptive yet Potentially Damaging Behavior
Summary

Conformity and Obedience: How Social Influence Creates Social Norms
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. Consider a time when you were helpful. Was the behavior truly altruistic, or did you help for selfish reasons?
  2. Consider a time when you or someone you know was aggressive. What do you think caused the aggression?
  3. Should parents limit the amount of violent TV shows and video games that their children are exposed to? Why or why not?
  4. Is conformity a "good thing" or a "bad thing" for society? What determines whether it is good or bad? What role do you think conformity played in Sam Spady's death? 

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[19] Graham, K., Osgood, D. W., Wells, S., & Stockwell, T. (2006). To what extent is intoxication associated with aggression in bars? A multilevel analysis. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 67(3), 382390.

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[21] Griffit, W., & Veitch, R. (1971). Hot and crowded: Influence of population density and temperature on interpersonal affective behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 17(1), 9298.

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Social Cognition: Making Sense of Ourselves and Others

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Review the principles of social cognition, including the fundamentals of how we form judgments about other people.
  2. Define the concept of attitude and review the ways that attitudes are developed and changed, and how attitudes relate to behavior.

One important aspect of social cognition involves forming impressions of other people. Making these judgments quickly and accurately helps us guide our behavior to interact appropriately with the people we know. If we can figure out why our roommate is angry at us, we can react to resolve the problem; if we can determine how to motivate the people in our group to work harder on a project, then the project might be better.

Perceiving Others
Summary

Forming Judgments on the Basis of Appearance: Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination
Summary

Close Relationships
Summary

Causal Attribution: Forming Judgments by Observing Behavior
Summary

Attitudes and Behavior
Summary

EXERCISES AND CRITICAL THINKING

  1. What kinds of people are you attracted to? Do your preferences match the factors that we have just discussed?
  2. What stereotypes and prejudices do you hold? Are you able to get past them and judge people as individuals? Do you think that your stereotypes influence your behavior without your being aware of them?
  3. Consider a time when your behavior influenced your attitudes. Did this occur as a result of self-perception or cognitive dissonance? 

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[12] Schneider, D. J. (2004). The psychology of stereotyping. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

[13] Langlois, J. H., Kalakanis, L., Rubenstein, A. J., Larson, A., Hallam, M., & Smoot, M. (2000). Maxims or myths of beauty? A meta-analytic and theoretical review.Psychological Bulletin, 126(3), 390423.

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The Problem of Intuition

The results of "everyday" research projects can teach us many principles of human behavior. We learn through experience that if we give someone bad news, he or she may blame us even though the news was not our fault. We learn that people may become depressed after they fail at an important task. We see that aggressive behavior occurs frequently in our society, and we develop theories to explain why this is so. These insights are part of everyday social life. In fact, much research in psychology involves the scientific study of everyday behavior (Heider, 1958; Kelley, 1967). [2]

The problem, however, with the way people collect and interpret data in their everyday lives is that they are not always particularly thorough. Often, when one explanation for an event seems "right," we adopt that explanation as the truth even when other explanations are possible and potentially more accurate. For example, eyewitnesses to violent crimes are often extremely confident in their identifications of the perpetrators of these crimes. But research finds that eyewitnesses are no less confident in their identifications when they are incorrect than when they are correct (Cutler & Wells, 2009; Wells & Hasel, 2008). [3] People may also become convinced of the existence of extrasensory perception (ESP), or the predictive value of astrology, when there is no evidence for either (Gilovich, 1993). [4] Furthermore, psychologists have also found that there are a variety of cognitive and motivational biases that frequently influence our perceptions and lead us to draw erroneous conclusions (Fiske & Taylor, 2007; Hsee & Hastie, 2006). [5] In summary, accepting explanations for events without testing them thoroughly may lead us to think that we know the causes of things when we really do not.

Research Focus: Unconscious Preferences for the Letters of Our Own Name
A study reported in the Journal of Consumer Research demonstrates the extent to which people can be unaware of the causes of their own behavior. The research demonstrated that people frequently prefer brand names that contain the letters of their own name to brand names that do not contain the letters of their own name. 

Once we learn about the outcome of a given event (e.g., when we read about the results of a research project), we frequently believe that we would have been able to predict the outcome ahead of time. For instance, if half of a class of students is told that research concerning attraction between people has demonstrated that "opposites attract" and the other half is told that research has demonstrated that "birds of a feather flock together," most of the students will report believing that the outcome that they just read about is true, and that they would have predicted the outcome before they had read about it. Of course, both of these contradictory outcomes cannot be true. (In fact, psychological research finds that "birds of a feather flock together" is generally the case.) The problem is that just reading a description of research findings leads us to think of the many cases we know that support the findings, and thus makes them seem believable. The tendency to think that we could have predicted something that has already occurred that we probably would not have been able to predict is called the hindsight bias.

Research Focus: Unconscious Preferences for the Letters of Our Own Name

A study reported in the Journal of Consumer Research (Brendl, Chattopadhyay, Pelham, & Carvallo, 2005) [6] demonstrates the extent to which people can be unaware of the causes of their own behavior. The research demonstrated that, at least under certain conditions (and although they do not know it), people frequently prefer brand names that contain the letters of their own name to brand names that do not contain the letters of their own name.

The research participants were recruited in pairs and were told that the research was a taste test of different types of tea. For each pair of participants, the experimenter created two teas and named them by adding the word stem "oki" to the first three letters of each participant's first name. For example, for Jonathan and Elisabeth, the names of the teas would have been Jonoki and Elioki.

The participants were then shown 20 packets of tea that were supposedly being tested. Eighteen packets were labeled with made-up Japanese names (e.g., "Mataku" or "Somuta"), and two were labeled with the brand names constructed from the participants' names. The experimenter explained that each participant would taste only two teas and would be allowed to choose one packet of these two to take home.

One of the two participants was asked to draw slips of paper to select the two brands that would be tasted at this session. However, the drawing was rigged so that the two brands containing the participants' name stems were always chosen for tasting. Then, while the teas were being brewed, the participants completed a task designed to heighten their needs for self-esteem, and that was expected to increase their desire to choose a brand that had the letters of their own name. Specifically, the participants all wrote about an aspect of themselves that they would like to change.

After the teas were ready, the participants tasted them and then chose to take a packet of one of the teas home with them. After they made their choice, the participants were asked why they chose the tea they had chosen, and then the true purpose of the study was explained to them.

The results of this study found that participants chose the tea that included the first three letters of their own name significantly more frequently (64% of the time) than they chose the tea that included the first three letters of their partner's name (only 36% of the time). Furthermore, the decisions were made unconsciously; the participants did not know why they chose the tea they chose. When they were asked, more than 90% of the participants thought that they had chosen on the basis of taste, whereas only 5% of them mentioned the real cause--that the brand name contained the letters of their name.

Why Psychologists Rely on Empirical Methods

All scientists, whether they are physicists, chemists, biologists, sociologists, or psychologists, use empirical methods to study the topics that interest them. Empirical methods include the processes of collecting and organizing data and drawing conclusions about those data. The empirical methods used by scientists have developed over many years and provide a basis for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data within a common framework in which information can be shared. We can label the scientific method as the set of assumptions, rules, and procedures that scientists use to conduct empirical research.

Although scientific research is an important method of studying human behavior, not all questions can be answered using scientific approaches. Statements that cannot be objectively measured or objectively determined to be true or false are not within the domain of scientific inquiry. Scientists therefore draw a distinction between values and facts. Values are personal statements such as "Abortion should not be permitted in this country," "I will go to heaven when I die," or "It is important to study psychology." Facts are objective statements determined to be accurate through empirical study. Examples are "There were more than 21,000 homicides in the United States in 2009," or "Research demonstrates that individuals who are exposed to highly stressful situations over long periods of time develop more health problems than those who are not."

Because values cannot be considered to be either true or false, science cannot prove or disprove them. Nevertheless, as shown in Table 1.1 "Examples of Values and Facts in Scientific Research", research can sometimes provide facts that can help people develop their values. For instance, science may be able to objectively measure the impact of unwanted children on a society or the psychological trauma suffered by women who have abortions. The effect of capital punishment on the crime rate in the United States may also be determinable. This factual information can and should be made available to help people formulate their values about abortion and capital punishment, as well as to enable governments to articulate appropriate policies. Values also frequently come into play in determining what research is appropriate or important to conduct. For instance, the U.S. government has recently supported and provided funding for research on HIV, AIDS, and terrorism, while denying funding for research using human stem cells.

Table 1.1 Examples of Values and Facts in Scientific Research

Personal value Scientific fact
Welfare payments should be reduced for unmarried parents. The U.S. government paid more than $21 billion in unemployment insurance in 2010.
Handguns should be outlawed.There were more than 30,000 deaths caused by handguns in the United States in 2009.
Blue is my favorite color. More than 35% of college students indicate that blue is their favorite color.
It is important to quit smoking. Smoking increases the incidence of cancer and heart disease.

Source: Stangor, C. (2011). Research methods for the behavioral sciences (4th ed.). Mountain View, CA: Cengage.

Although scientists use research to help establish facts, the distinction between values and facts is not always clear-cut. Sometimes statements that scientists consider to be factual later, on the basis of further research, turn out to be partially or even entirely incorrect. Although scientific procedures do not necessarily guarantee that the answers to questions will be objective and unbiased, science is still the best method for drawing objective conclusions about the world around us. When old facts are discarded, they are replaced with new facts based on newer and more correct data. Although science is not perfect, the requirements of empiricism and objectivity result in a much greater chance of producing an accurate understanding of human behavior than is available through other approaches.

Levels of Explanation in Psychology

The study of psychology spans many different topics at many different levels of explanation, which are the perspectives that are used to understand behavior. Lower levels of explanation are more closely tied to biological influences, such as genes, neurons, neurotransmitters, and hormones, whereas the middle levels of explanation refer to the abilities and characteristics of individual people, and the highest levels of explanation relate to social groups, organizations, and cultures (Cacioppo, Berntson, Sheridan, & McClintock, 2000). [7]

The same topic can be studied within psychology at different levels of explanation, as shown in Figure 1.3 "Levels of Explanation". For instance, the psychological disorder known as depression affects millions of people worldwide and is known to be caused by biological, social, and cultural factors. Studying and helping alleviate depression can be accomplished at low levels of explanation by investigating how chemicals in the brain influence the experience of depression. This approach has allowed psychologists to develop and prescribe drugs, such as Prozac, which may decrease depression in many individuals (Williams, Simpson, Simpson, & Nahas, 2009). [8] At the middle levels of explanation, psychological therapy is directed at helping individuals cope with negative life experiences that may cause depression. And at the highest level, psychologists study differences in the prevalence of depression between men and women and across cultures. The occurrence of psychological disorders, including depression, is substantially higher for women than for men, and it is also higher in Western cultures, such as in the United States, Canada, and Europe, than in Eastern cultures, such as in India, China, and Japan (Chen, Wang, Poland, & Lin, 2009; Seedat et al., 2009). [9] These sex and cultural differences provide insight into the factors that cause depression. The study of depression in psychology helps remind us that no one level of explanation can explain everything. All levels of explanation, from biological to personal to cultural, are essential for a better understanding of human behavior.

Figure 1.3 Levels of Explanation

Level of explanation
Underlying process
Examples



Lower
Biological

Depression is in part genetically influenced.

Depression is influenced by the action of neurotransmitters in the brain.

Middle
Interpersonal

People who are depressed may interpret the events that occur to them too negatively.

Psychotherapy can be used to help people talk about and combat depression.

Higher
Cultural and social

Women experience more depression than do men.

The prevalence of depression varies across cultures and historical time periods.

The Challenges of Studying Psychology

Understanding and attempting to alleviate the costs of psychological disorders such as depression is not easy, because psychological experiences are extremely complex. The questions psychologists pose are as difficult as those posed by doctors, biologists, chemists, physicists, and other scientists, if not more so (Wilson, 1998). [10]

A major goal of psychology is to predict behavior by understanding its causes. Making predictions is difficult in part because people vary and respond differently in different situations. Individual differences are the variations among people on physical or psychological dimensions. For instance, although many people experience at least some symptoms of depression at some times in their lives, the experience varies dramatically among people. Some people experience major negative events, such as severe physical injuries or the loss of significant others, without experiencing much depression, whereas other people experience severe depression for no apparent reason. Other important individual differences that we will discuss in the chapters to come include differences in extraversion, intelligence, self-esteem, anxiety, aggression, and conformity.

Because of the many individual difference variables that influence behavior, we cannot always predict who will become aggressive or who will perform best in graduate school or on the job. The predictions made by psychologists (and most other scientists) are only probabilistic. We can say, for instance, that people who score higher on an intelligence test will, on average, do better than people who score lower on the same test, but we cannot make very accurate predictions about exactly how any one person will perform.

Another reason that it is difficult to predict behavior is that almost all behavior is multiply determined, or produced by many factors. And these factors occur at different levels of explanation. We have seen, for instance, that depression is caused by lower-level genetic factors, by medium-level personal factors, and by higher-level social and cultural factors. You should always be skeptical about people who attempt to explain important human behaviors, such as violence, child abuse, poverty, anxiety, or depression, in terms of a single cause.

Furthermore, these multiple causes are not independent of one another; they are associated such that when one cause is present other causes tend to be present as well. This overlap makes it difficult to pinpoint which cause or causes are operating. For instance, some people may be depressed because of biological imbalances in neurotransmitters in their brain. The resulting depression may lead them to act more negatively toward other people around them, which then leads those other people to respond more negatively to them, which then increases their depression. As a result, the biological determinants of depression become intertwined with the social responses of other people, making it difficult to disentangle the effects of each cause.

Another difficulty in studying psychology is that much human behavior is caused by factors that are outside our conscious awareness, making it impossible for us, as individuals, to really understand them. The role of unconscious processes was emphasized in the theorizing of the Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), who argued that many psychological disorders were caused by memories that we have repressed and thus remain outside our consciousness. Unconscious processes will be an important part of our study of psychology, and we will see that current research has supported many of Freud's ideas about the importance of the unconscious in guiding behavior.

Early Psychologists

The earliest psychologists that we know about are the Greek philosophers Plato (428347 BC) and Aristotle (384322 BC). These philosophers asked many of the same questions that today's psychologists ask; for instance, they questioned the distinction between nature and nurture and the existence of free will. In terms of the former, Plato argued on the nature side, believing that certain kinds of knowledge are innate or inborn, whereas Aristotle was more on the nurture side, believing that each child is born as an "empty slate" (in Latin atabula rasa) and that knowledge is primarily acquired through learning and experience.

European philosophers continued to ask these fundamental questions during the Renaissance. For instance, the French philosopher Ren Descartes (15961650) also considered the issue of free will, arguing in its favor and believing that the mind controls the body through the pineal gland in the brain (an idea that made some sense at the time but was later proved incorrect). Descartes also believed in the existence of innate natural abilities. A scientist as well as a philosopher, Descartes dissected animals and was among the first to understand that the nerves controlled the muscles. He also addressed the relationship between mind (the mental aspects of life) and body (the physical aspects of life). Descartes believed in the principle of dualism: that the mind is fundamentally different from the mechanical body. Other European philosophers, including Thomas Hobbes (15881679), John Locke (16321704), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 1778), also weighed in on these issues.

The fundamental problem that these philosophers faced was that they had few methods for settling their claims. Most philosophers didn't conduct any research on these questions, in part because they didn't yet know how to do it, and in part because they weren't sure it was even possible to objectively study human experience. But dramatic changes came during the 1800s with the help of the first two research psychologists: the German psychologist Wilhelm Wundt (18321920), who developed a psychology laboratory in Leipzig, Germany, and the American psychologist William James (18421910), who founded a psychology laboratory at Harvard University.

Structuralism: Introspection and the Awareness of Subjective Experience

Wundt's research in his laboratory in Liepzig focused on the nature of consciousness itself. Wundt and his students believed that it was possible to analyze the basic elements of the mind and to classify our conscious experiences scientifically. Wundt began the field known as structuralism, a school of psychology whose goal was to identify the basic elements or "structures" of psychological experience. Its goal was to create a "periodic table" of the "elements of sensations," similar to the periodic table of elements that had recently been created in chemistry.

Structuralists used the method of introspection to attempt to create a map of the elements of consciousness. Introspection involves asking research participants to describe exactly what they experience as they work on mental tasks, such as viewing colors, reading a page in a book, or performing a math problem. A participant who is reading a book might report, for instance, that he saw some black and colored straight and curved marks on a white background. In other studies the structuralists used newly invented reaction time instruments to systematically assess not only what the participants were thinking but how long it took them to do so. Wundt discovered that it took people longer to report what sound they had just heard than to simply respond that they had heard the sound. These studies marked the first time researchers realized that there is a difference between the sensation of a stimulus and the perception of that stimulus, and the idea of using reaction times to study mental events has now become a mainstay of cognitive psychology.

Perhaps the best known of the structuralists was Edward Bradford Titchener (18671927). Titchener was a student of Wundt who came to the United States in the late 1800s and founded a laboratory at Cornell University. In his research using introspection, Titchener and his students claimed to have identified more than 40,000 sensations, including those relating to vision, hearing, and taste.

An important aspect of the structuralist approach was that it was rigorous and scientific. The research marked the beginning of psychology as a science, because it demonstrated that mental events could be quantified. But the structuralists also discovered the limitations of introspection. Even highly trained research participants were often unable to report on their subjective experiences. When the participants were asked to do simple math problems, they could easily do them, but they could not easily answer how they did them. Thus the structuralists were the first to realize the importance of unconscious processes--that many important aspects of human psychology occur outside our conscious awareness, and that psychologists cannot expect research participants to be able to accurately report on all of their experiences.

Functionalism and Evolutionary Psychology

In contrast to Wundt, who attempted to understand the nature of consciousness, the goal of William James and the other members of the school of functionalism was to understand why animals and humans have developed the particular psychological aspects that they currently possess (Hunt, 1993). [5] For James, one's thinking was relevant only to one's behavior. As he put it in his psychology textbook, "My thinking is first and last and always for the sake of my doing" (James, 1890). [6]

James and the other members of the functionalist school were influenced by Charles Darwin's (1809-1882) theory of natural selection, which proposed that the physical characteristics of animals and humans evolved because they were useful, or functional. The functionalists believed that Darwin's theory applied to psychological characteristics too. Just as some animals have developed strong muscles to allow them to run fast, the human brain, so functionalists thought, must have adapted to serve a particular function in human experience.

Although functionalism no longer exists as a school of psychology, its basic principles have been absorbed into psychology and continue to influence it in many ways. The work of the functionalists has developed into the field of evolutionary psychology, a branch of psychology that applies the Darwinian theory of natural selection to human and animal behavior (Dennett, 1995; Tooby & Cosmides, 1992). [7] Evolutionary psychology accepts the functionalists' basic assumption, namely that many human psychological systems, including memory, emotion, and personality, serve key adaptive functions. As we will see in the chapters to come, evolutionary psychologists use evolutionary theory to understand many different behaviors including romantic attraction, stereotypes and prejudice, and even the causes of many psychological disorders.

A key component of the ideas of evolutionary psychology is fitness. Fitness refers to the extent to which having a given characteristic helps the individual organism survive and reproduce at a higher rate than do other members of the species who do not have the characteristic. Fitter organisms pass on their genes more successfully to later generations, making the characteristics that produce fitness more likely to become part of the organism's nature than characteristics that do not produce fitness. For example, it has been argued that the emotion of jealousy has survived over time in men because men who experience jealousy are more fit than men who do not. According to this idea, the experience of jealously leads men to be more likely to protect their mates and guard against rivals, which increases their reproductive success (Buss, 2000). [8]

Despite its importance in psychological theorizing, evolutionary psychology also has some limitations. One problem is that many of its predictions are extremely difficult to test. Unlike the fossils that are used to learn about the physical evolution of species, we cannot know which psychological characteristics our ancestors possessed or did not possess; we can only make guesses about this. Because it is difficult to directly test evolutionary theories, it is always possible that the explanations we apply are made up after the fact to account for observed data (Gould & Lewontin, 1979). [9] Nevertheless, the evolutionary approach is important to psychology because it provides logical explanations for why we have many psychological characteristics.

Psychodynamic Psychology

Perhaps the school of psychology that is most familiar to the general public is the psychodynamic approach to understanding behavior, which was championed by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and his followers. Psychodynamic psychology is an approach to understanding human behavior that focuses on the role of unconscious thoughts, feelings, and memories. Freud developed his theories about behavior through extensive analysis of the patients that he treated in his private clinical practice. Freud believed that many of the problems that his patients experienced, including anxiety, depression, and sexual dysfunction, were the result of the effects of painful childhood experiences that the person could no longer remember.

Freud's ideas were extended by other psychologists whom he influenced, including Carl Jung (18751961), Alfred Adler (18701937), Karen Horney (18551952), and Erik Erikson (1902 1994). These and others who follow the psychodynamic approach believe that it is possible to help the patient if the unconscious drives can be remembered, particularly through a deep and thorough exploration of the person's early sexual experiences and current sexual desires. These explorations are revealed through talk therapy and dream analysis, in a process called psychoanalysis.

The founders of the school of psychodynamics were primarily practitioners who worked with individuals to help them understand and confront their psychological symptoms. Although they did not conduct much research on their ideas, and although later, more sophisticated tests of their theories have not always supported their proposals, psychodynamics has nevertheless had substantial impact on the field of psychology, and indeed on thinking about human behavior more generally (Moore & Fine, 1995). [10] The importance of the unconscious in human behavior, the idea that early childhood experiences are critical, and the concept of therapy as a way of improving human lives are all ideas that are derived from the psychodynamic approach and that remain central to psychology.

Behaviorism and the Question of Free Will

Although they differed in approach, both structuralism and functionalism were essentially studies of the mind. The psychologists associated with the school of behaviorism, on the other hand, were reacting in part to the difficulties psychologists encountered when they tried to use introspection to understand behavior. Behaviorism is a school of psychology that is based on the premise that it is not possible to objectively study the mind, and therefore that psychologists should limit their attention to the study of behavior itself. Behaviorists believe that the human mind is a "black box" into which stimuli are sent and from which responses are received. They argue that there is no point in trying to determine what happens in the box because we can successfully predict behavior without knowing what happens inside the mind. Furthermore, behaviorists believe that it is possible to develop laws of learning that can explain all behaviors.

The first behaviorist was the American psychologist John B. Watson (18781958). Watson was influenced in large part by the work of the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov (18491936), who had discovered that dogs would salivate at the sound of a tone that had previously been associated with the presentation of food. Watson and the other behaviorists began to use these ideas to explain how events that people and other organisms experienced in their environment (stimuli) could produce specific behaviors (responses). For instance, in Pavlov's research the stimulus (either the food or, after learning, the tone) would produce the response of salivation in the dogs.

In his research Watson found that systematically exposing a child to fearful stimuli in the presence of objects that did not themselves elicit fear could lead the child to respond with a fearful behavior to the presence of the stimulus (Watson & Rayner, 1920; Beck, Levinson, & Irons, 2009). [11] In the best known of his studies, an 8-month-old boy named Little Albert was used as the subject. Here is a summary of the findings:

The boy was placed in the middle of a room; a white laboratory rat was placed near him and he was allowed to play with it. The child showed no fear of the rat. In later trials, the researchers made a loud sound behind Albert's back by striking a steel bar with a hammer whenever the baby touched the rat. The child cried when he heard the noise. After several such pairings of the two stimuli, the child was again shown the rat. Now, however, he cried and tried to move away from the rat.

In line with the behaviorist approach, the boy had learned to associate the white rat with the loud noise, resulting in crying.

The most famous behaviorist was Burrhus Frederick (B. F.) Skinner (19041990), who expanded the principles of behaviorism and also brought them to the attention of the public at large. Skinner used the ideas of stimulus and response, along with the application of rewards or reinforcements, to train pigeons and other animals. And he used the general principles of behaviorism to develop theories about how best to teach children and how to create societies that were peaceful and productive. Skinner even developed a method for studying thoughts and feelings using the behaviorist approach (Skinner, 1957, 1968, 1972). [12]

Research Focus: Do We Have Free Will?
Summary

The behaviorists made substantial contributions to psychology by identifying the principles of learning. Although the behaviorists were incorrect in their beliefs that it was not possible to measure thoughts and feelings, their ideas provided new ideas that helped further our understanding regarding the nature-nurture debate as well as the question of free will. The ideas of behaviorism are fundamental to psychology and have been developed to help us better understand the role of prior experiences in a variety of areas of psychology.

The Cognitive Approach and Cognitive Neuroscience

Science is always influenced by the technology that surrounds it, and psychology is no exception. Thus it is no surprise that beginning in the 1960s, growing numbers of psychologists began to think about the brain and about human behavior in terms of the computer, which was being developed and becoming publicly available at that time. The analogy between the brain and the computer, although by no means perfect, provided part of the impetus for a new school of psychology called cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychology is a field of psychology that studies mental processes, including perception, thinking, memory, and judgment. These actions correspond well to the processes that computers perform.

Although cognitive psychology began in earnest in the 1960s, earlier psychologists had also taken a cognitive orientation. Some of the important contributors to cognitive psychology include the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus (18501909), who studied the ability of people to remember lists of words under different conditions, and the English psychologist Sir Frederic Bartlett (18861969), who studied the cognitive and social processes of remembering.

Bartlett created short stories that were in some ways logical but also contained some very unusual and unexpected events. Bartlett discovered that people found it very difficult to recall the stories exactly, even after being allowed to study them repeatedly, and he hypothesized that the stories were difficult to remember because they did not fit the participants' expectations about how stories should go. The idea that our memory is influenced by what we already know was also a major idea behind the cognitive-developmental stage model of Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980). Other important cognitive psychologists include Donald E. Broadbent (1926-1993), Daniel Kahneman (1934), George Miller (1920), Eleanor Rosch (1938), and Amos Tversky (1937-1996).

The War of the Ghosts
Summary

In its argument that our thinking has a powerful influence on behavior, the cognitive approach provided a distinct alternative to behaviorism. According to cognitive psychologists, ignoring the mind itself will never be sufficient because people interpret the stimuli that they experience. For instance, when a boy turns to a girl on a date and says, "You are so beautiful," a behaviorist would probably see that as a reinforcing (positive) stimulus. And yet the girl might not be so easily fooled. She might try to understand why the boy is making this particular statement at this particular time and wonder if he might be attempting to influence her through the comment.

Cognitive psychologists maintain that when we take into consideration how stimuli are evaluated and interpreted, we understand behavior more deeply. Cognitive psychology remains enormously influential today, and it has guided research in such varied fields as language, problem solving, memory, intelligence, education, human development, social psychology, and psychotherapy. The cognitive revolution has been given even more life over the past decade as the result of recent advances in our ability to see the brain in action using neuroimaging techniques. Neuroimaging is the use of various techniques to provide pictures of the structure and function of the living brain (Ilardi & Feldman, 2001). [19] These images are used to diagnose brain disease and injury, but they also allow researchers to view information processing as it occurs in the brain, because the processing causes the involved area of the brain to increase metabolism and show up on the scan. We have already discussed the use of one neuroimaging technique, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), in the research focus earlier in this section, and we will discuss the use of neuroimaging techniques in many areas of psychology in the chapters to follow.

The Many Disciplines of Psychology

Psychology is not one discipline but rather a collection of many subdisciplines that all share at least some common approaches and that work together and exchange knowledge to form a coherent discipline (Yang & Chiu, 2009). [26] Because the field of psychology is so broad, students may wonder which areas are most suitable for their interests and which types of careers might be available to them. Table 1.3 "Some Career Paths in Psychology" will help you consider the answers to these questions. You can learn more about these different fields of psychology and the careers associated with them at http://www.apa.org/careers/psyccareers/.

Table 1.3 Some Career Paths in Psychology

Psychology field Description Career opportunities
Biopsychology and neuroscience This field examines the physiological bases of behavior in animals and humans by studying the functioning of different brain areas and the effects of hormones and neurotransmitters on behavior. Most biopsychologists work in research settings--for instance, at universities, for the federal government, and in private research labs.
Clinical and counseling psychologyThese are the largest fields of psychology. The focus is on the assessment, diagnosis, causes, and treatment of mental disorders. Clinical and counseling psychologists provide therapy to patients with the goal of improving their life experiences. They work in hospitals, schools, social agencies, in counseling and private practice. Because the demand for this career is psychology high, entry to academic programs is highly competitive.
Cognitive psychology This field uses sophisticated research methods, including reaction time and brain imaging to study memory, settings, language, and thinking of humans. Cognitive psychologists work primarily in research although some (such as those who specialize in human-computer interactions) consult for businesses.
Developmental psychology These psychologists conduct research on the cognitive, emotional, and social changes that occur across the lifespan.Many work in research settings, although others work in schools and community agencies to help improve and evaluate the effectiveness of intervention programs such as Head Start.
Forensic psychology Forensic psychologists apply psychological principles to understand the behavior of judges, attorneys, courtroom juries, and others in the criminal justice system. Forensic psychologists work in the criminal justice system. They may testify in court and may provide information about the reliability of eyewitness testimony and jury selection.
Health psychology Health psychologists are concerned with understanding how biology, behavior, and the social situation influence health and illness.Health psychologists work with medical professionals in clinical settings to promote better health, conduct research, and teach at universities.
Industrial-organizational and environmental psychology Industrial-organizational psychology applies psychology to the workplace with the goal of improving the performance and well-being of employees. There are a wide variety of career opportunities in these fields, generally working in businesses. These psychologists help select employees, evaluate employee performance, and examine the effects of different working conditions on behavior. They may also work to design equipment and environments that improve employee performance and reduce accidents.
Social and cross-cultural psychologyThis field examines people’s interactions with other people. Topics of study include conformity, group behavior, leadership, attitudes, and person perception.
Many social psychologists work in marketing, advertising, organizational, systems design, and other applied psychology fields.
Sports psychologyThis field studies the psychological aspects of sports behavior. The goal is to understand the psychological factors that influence performance in sports,
including the role of exercise and team interactions.

Sports psychologists work in gyms, schools, professional sports teams, and other areas where sports are practiced.

Psychology in Everyday Life: How to Effectively Learn and Remember
Summary

Research Focus: Do We Have Free Will?

The behaviorist research program had important implications for the fundamental questions about nature and nurture and about free will. In terms of the nature-nurture debate, the behaviorists agreed with the nurture approach, believing that we are shaped exclusively by our environments. They also argued that there is no free will, but rather that our behaviors are determined by the events that we have experienced in our past. In short, this approach argues that organisms, including humans, are a lot like puppets in a show who don't realize that other people are controlling them. Furthermore, although we do not cause our own actions, we nevertheless believe that we do because we don't realize all the influences acting on our behavior.

Recent research in psychology has suggested that Skinner and the behaviorists might well have been right, at least in the sense that we overestimate our own free will in responding to the events around us (Libet, 1985; Matsuhashi & [13] Hallett, 2008; Wegner, 2002). In one demonstration of the misperception of our own free will, neuroscientists [14] Soon, Brass, Heinze, and Haynes (2008) placed their research participants in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scanner while they presented them with a series of letters on a computer screen. The letter on the screen changed every one-half second. The participants were asked, whenever they decided to, to press either of two buttons. Then they were asked to indicate which letter was showing on the screen when they decided to press the button. The researchers analyzed the brain images to see if they could predict which of the two buttons the participant was going to press, even before the letter at which he or she had indicated the decision to press a button. Suggesting that the intention to act occurred in the brain before the research participants became aware of it, the researchers found that the prefrontal cortex region of the brain showed activation that could be used to predict the button press as long as 10 seconds before the participants said that they decided which button to press.

Research has found that we are more likely to think that we control our behavior when the desire to act occurs immediately prior to the outcome, when the thought is consistent with the outcome, and when there are no other [15] apparent causes for the behavior. Aarts, Custers, and Wegner (2005) asked their research participants to control a rapidly moving square along with a computer that was also controlling the square independently. The participants pressed a button to stop the movement. When participants were exposed to words related to the location of the square just before they stopped its movement, they became more likely to think that they controlled the motion, even when it [16] was actually the computer that stopped it. And Dijksterhuis, Preston, Wegner, and Aarts (2008) found that participants who had just been exposed to first-person singular pronouns, such as "I" and "me," were more likely to believe that they controlled their actions than were people who had seen the words "computer" or "God."

The idea that we are more likely to take ownership for our actions in some cases than in others is also seen in our attributions for success and failure. Because we normally expect that our behaviors will be met with success, when we are successful we easily believe that the success is the result of our own free will. When an action is met with failure, on the other hand, we are less likely to perceive this outcome as the result of our free will, and we are more likely to [17] blame the outcome on luck or our teacher (Wegner, 2003).

The War of the Ghosts

The War of the Ghosts was a story used by Sir Frederic Bartlett to test the influence of prior expectations on memory. Bartlett found that even when his British research participants were allowed to read the story many times they still could not remember it well, and he believed this was because it did not fit with their prior knowledge.

One night two young men from Egulac went down to the river to hunt seals and while they were there it became foggy and calm. Then they heard war-cries, and they thought: "Maybe this is a war-party." They escaped to the shore, and hid behind a log. Now canoes came up, and they heard the noise of paddles, and saw one canoe coming up to them. There were five men in the canoe, and they said:

"What do you think? We wish to take you along. We are going up the river to make war on the people." One of the young men said, "I have no arrows." "Arrows are in the canoe," they said.

"I will not go along. I might be killed. My relatives do not know where I have gone. But you," he said, turning to the other, "may go with them." So one of the young men went, but the other returned home.

And the warriors went on up the river to a town on the other side of Kalama. The people came down to the water and they began to fight, and many were killed. But presently the young man heard one of the warriors say, "Quick, let us go home: that Indian has been hit." Now he thought: "Oh, they are ghosts." He did not feel sick, but they said he had been shot.

So the canoes went back to Egulac and the young man went ashore to his house and made a fire. And he told everybody and said: "Behold I accompanied the ghosts, and we went to fight. Many of our fellows were killed, and many of those who attacked us were killed. They said I was hit, and I did not feel sick." He told it all, and then he became quiet. When the sun rose he fell down. Something black came out of his mouth. His face became contorted. The people jumped up and cried.

He was dead. (Bartlett, 1932) [18]

Social-Cultural Psychology

A final school, which takes a higher level of analysis and which has had substantial impact on psychology, can be broadly referred to as the social-cultural approach. The field of social-cultural psychology is the study of how the social situations and the cultures in which people find themselves influence thinking and behavior. Social-cultural psychologists are particularly concerned with how people perceive themselves and others, and how people influence each other's behavior. For instance, social psychologists have found that we are attracted to others who are similar to us in terms of attitudes and interests (Byrne, 1969), [20] that we develop our own beliefs and attitudes by comparing our opinions to those of others (Festinger, 1954), [21] and that we frequently change our beliefs and behaviors to be similar to those of the people we care about--a process known as conformity.

An important aspect of social-cultural psychology are social norms--the ways of thinking, feeling, or behaving that are shared by group members and perceived by them as appropriate (Asch, 1952; Cialdini, 1993). [22] Norms include customs, traditions, standards, and rules, as well as the general values of the group. Many of the most important social norms are determined by the culture in which we live, and these cultures are studied by cross-cultural psychologists. A culture represents the common set of social norms, including religious and family values and other moral beliefs, shared by the people who live in a geographical region (Fiske, Kitayama, Markus, & Nisbett, 1998; Markus, Kitayama, & Heiman, 1996; Matsumoto, 2001). [23] Cultures influence every aspect of our lives, and it is not inappropriate to say that our culture defines our lives just as much as does our evolutionary experience (Mesoudi, 2009). [24]

Psychologists have found that there is a fundamental difference in social norms between Western cultures (including those in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand) and East Asian cultures (including those in China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, India, and Southeast Asia). Norms in Western cultures are primarily oriented toward individualism, which is about valuing the self and one's independence from others. Children in Western cultures are taught to develop and to value a sense of their personal self, and to see themselves in large part as separate from the other people around them. Children in Western cultures feel special about themselves; they enjoy getting gold stars on their projects and the best grade in the class. Adults in Western cultures are oriented toward promoting their own individual success, frequently in comparison to (or even at the expense of) others.

Norms in the East Asian culture, on the other hand, are oriented toward interdependence or collectivism. In these cultures children are taught to focus on developing harmonious social relationships with others. The predominant norms relate to group togetherness and connectedness, and duty and responsibility to one's family and other groups. When asked to describe themselves, the members of East Asian cultures are more likely than those from Western cultures to indicate that they are particularly concerned about the interests of others, including their close friends and their colleagues.

Another important cultural difference is the extent to which people in different cultures are bound by social norms and customs, rather than being free to express their own individuality without considering social norms (Chan, Gelfand, Triandis, & Tzeng, 1996). [25] Cultures also differ in terms of personal space, such as how closely individuals stand to each other when talking, as well as the communication styles they employ.

It is important to be aware of cultures and cultural differences because people with different cultural backgrounds increasingly come into contact with each other as a result of increased travel and immigration and the development of the Internet and other forms of communication.

In the United States, for instance, there are many different ethnic groups, and the proportion of the population that comes from minority (non-White) groups is increasing from year to year. The social-cultural approach to understanding behavior reminds us again of the difficulty of making broad generalizations about human nature. Different people experience things differently, and they experience them differently in different cultures.

Important questions that psychologists address

Although psychology has changed dramatically over its history, the most important questions that psychologists address have remained constant. Some of these questions follow, and we will discuss them both in this chapter and in the chapters to come:

Psychology in Everyday Life: How to Effectively Learn and Remember

One way that the findings of psychological research may be particularly helpful to you is in terms of improving your learning and study skills. Psychological research has provided a substantial amount of knowledge about the principles of learning and memory. This information can help you do better in this and other courses, and can also help you better learn new concepts and techniques in other areas of your life.

The most important thing you can learn in college is how to better study, learn, and remember. These skills will help you throughout your life, as you learn new jobs and take on other responsibilities. There are substantial individual differences in learning and memory, such that some people learn faster than others. But even if it takes you longer to learn than you think it should, the extra time you put into studying is well worth the effort. And you can learn to learn--learning to effectively study and to remember information is just like learning any other skill, such as playing a sport or a video game.

To learn well, you need to be ready to learn. You cannot learn well when you are tired, when you are under stress, or if you are abusing alcohol or drugs. Try to keep a consistent routine of sleeping and eating. Eat moderately and nutritiously, and avoid drugs that can impair memory, particularly alcohol. There is no evidence that stimulants such as caffeine, amphetamines, or any of the many "memory enhancing drugs" on the market will help you learn (Gold, [27] Cahill, & Wenk, 2002; McDaniel, Maier, & Einstein, 2002). Memory supplements are usually no more effective than drinking a can of sugared soda, which also releases glucose and thus improves memory slightly.

Psychologists have studied the ways that best allow people to acquire new information, to retain it over time, and to retrieve information that has been stored in our memories. One important finding is that learning is an active process. To acquire information most effectively, we must actively manipulate it. One active approach is rehearsal--repeating the information that is to be learned over and over again. Although simple repetition does help us learn, psychological research has found that we acquire information most effectively when we actively think about or elaborate on its meaning and relate the material to something else.

When you study, try to elaborate by connecting the information to other things that you already know. If you want to remember the different schools of psychology, for instance, try to think about how each of the approaches is different from the others. As you make the comparisons among the approaches, determine what is most important about each one and then relate it to the features of the other approaches. In an important study showing the effectiveness of [28] elaborative encoding, Rogers, Kuiper, and Kirker (1977) found that students learned information best when they related it to aspects of themselves (a phenomenon known as the self-reference effect). This research suggests that imagining how the material relates to your own interests and goals will help you learn it.

An approach known as the method of loci involves linking each of the pieces of information that you need to remember to places that you are familiar with. You might think about the house that you grew up in and the rooms in it. Then you could put the behaviorists in the bedroom, the structuralists in the living room, and the functionalists in the kitchen. Then when you need to remember the information, you retrieve the mental image of your house and should be able to "see" each of the people in each of the areas.

One of the most fundamental principles of learning is known as the spacing effect. Both humans and animals more easily remember or learn material when they study the material in several shorter study periods over a longer period of time, rather than studying it just once for a long period of time. Cramming for an exam is a particularly ineffective way to learn.

Psychologists have also found that performance is improved when people set difficult yet realistic goals for themselves [29] (Locke & Latham, 2006). You can use this knowledge to help you learn. Set realistic goals for the time you are going to spend studying and what you are going to learn, and try to stick to those goals. Do a small amount every day, and by the end of the week you will have accomplished a lot.

Our ability to adequately assess our own knowledge is known asmetacognition. Research suggests that our metacognition may make us overconfident, leading us to believe that we have learned material even when we have not. To counteract this problem, don't just go over your notes again and again. Instead, make a list of questions and then see if you can answer them. Study the information again and then test yourself again after a few minutes. If you made any mistakes, study again. Then wait for a half hour and test yourself again. Then test again after 1 day and after 2 days. Testing yourself by attempting to retrieve information in an active manner is better than simply studying the material because it will help you determine if you really know it.

In summary, everyone can learn to learn better. Learning is an important skill, and following the previously mentioned guidelines will likely help you learn better.

The Scientific Method

All scientists (whether they are physicists, chemists, biologists, sociologists, or psychologists) are engaged in the basic processes of collecting data and drawing conclusions about those data. The methods used by scientists have developed over many years and provide a common framework for developing, organizing, and sharing information. The scientific method is the set of assumptions, rules, and procedures scientists use to conduct research.

In addition to requiring that science be empirical, the scientific method demands that the procedures used be objective, or free from the personal bias or emotions of the scientist. The scientific method proscribes how scientists collect and analyze data, how they draw conclusions from data, and how they share data with others. These rules increase objectivity by placing data under the scrutiny of other scientists and even the public at large. Because data are reported objectively, other scientists know exactly how the scientist collected and analyzed the data. This means that they do not have to rely only on the scientist's own interpretation of the data; they may draw their own, potentially different, conclusions.

Most new research is designed to replicate--that is, to repeat, add to, or modify--previous research findings. The scientific method therefore results in an accumulation of scientific knowledge through the reporting of research and the addition to and modifications of these reported findings by other scientists.

Laws and Theories as Organizing Principles

One goal of research is to organize information into meaningful statements that can be applied in many situations. Principles that are so general as to apply to all situations in a given domain of inquiry are known as laws. There are well-known laws in the physical sciences, such as the law of gravity and the laws of thermodynamics, and there are some universally accepted laws in psychology, such as the law of effect and Weber's law. But because laws are very general principles and their validity has already been well established, they are themselves rarely directly subjected to scientific test.

The next step down from laws in the hierarchy of organizing principles is theory. A theory is an integrated set of principles that explains and predicts many, but not all, observed relationships within a given domain of inquiry. One example of an important theory in psychology is the stage theory of cognitive development proposed by the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget. The theory states that children pass through a series of cognitive stages as they grow, each of which must be mastered in succession before movement to the next cognitive stage can occur. This is an extremely useful theory in human development because it can be applied to many different content areas and can be tested in many different ways.

Good theories have four important characteristics. First, good theories are general, meaning they summarize many different outcomes. Second, they are parsimonious, meaning they provide the simplest possible account of those outcomes. The stage theory of cognitive development meets both of these requirements. It can account for developmental changes in behavior across a wide variety of domains, and yet it does so parsimoniously--by hypothesizing a simple set of cognitive stages. Third, good theories provide ideas for future research. The stage theory of cognitive development has been applied not only to learning about cognitive skills, but also to the study of children's moral (Kohlberg, 1966) [1] and gender (Ruble & Martin, 1998) [2] development.

Finally, good theories are falsifiable (Popper, 1959), [3] which means the variables of interest can be adequately measured and the relationships between the variables that are predicted by the theory can be shown through research to be incorrect. The stage theory of cognitive development is falsifiable because the stages of cognitive reasoning can be measured and because if research discovers, for instance, that children learn new tasks before they have reached the cognitive stage hypothesized to be required for that task, then the theory will be shown to be incorrect.

No single theory is able to account for all behavior in all cases. Rather, theories are each limited in that they make accurate predictions in some situations or for some people but not in other situations or for other people. As a result, there is a constant exchange between theory and data: Existing theories are modified on the basis of collected data, and the new modified theories then make new predictions that are tested by new data, and so forth. When a better theory is found, it will replace the old one. This is part of the accumulation of scientific knowledge.

The Research Hypothesis

Theories are usually framed too broadly to be tested in a single experiment. Therefore, scientists use a more precise statement of the presumed relationship among specific parts of a theory--a research hypothesis--as the basis for their research. A research hypothesis is a specific and falsifiable prediction about the relationship between or among two or more variables, where a variable is any attribute that can assume different values among different people or across different times or places. The research hypothesis states the existence of a relationship between the variables of interest and the specific direction of that relationship. For instance, the research hypothesis "Using marijuana will reduce learning" predicts that there is a relationship between a variable "using marijuana" and another variable called "learning." Similarly, in the research hypothesis "Participating in psychotherapy will reduce anxiety," the variables that are expected to be related are "participating in psychotherapy" and "level of anxiety."

When stated in an abstract manner, the ideas that form the basis of a research hypothesis are known as conceptual variables. Conceptual variables are abstract ideas that form the basis of research hypotheses. Sometimes the conceptual variables are rather simple--for instance, "age," "gender," or "weight." In other cases the conceptual variables represent more complex ideas, such as "anxiety," "cognitive development," "learning," self-esteem," or "sexism." The first step in testing a research hypothesis involves turning the conceptual variables into measured variables, which are variables consisting of numbers that represent the conceptual variables. For instance, the conceptual variable "participating in psychotherapy" could be represented as the measured variable "number of psychotherapy hours the patient has accrued" and the conceptual variable "using marijuana" could be assessed by having the research participants rate, on a scale from 1 to 10, how often they use marijuana or by administering a blood test that measures the presence of the chemicals in marijuana.

Psychologists use the term operational definition to refer to a precise statement of how a conceptual variable is turned into a measured variable. The relationship between conceptual and measured variables in a research hypothesis is diagrammed in Figure 2.1 "Diagram of a Research Hypothesis". The conceptual variables are represented within circles at the top of the figure, and the measured variables are represented within squares at the bottom. The two vertical arrows, which lead from the conceptual variables to the measured variables, represent the operational definitions of the two variables. The arrows indicate the expectation that changes in the conceptual variables (psychotherapy and anxiety in this example) will cause changes in the corresponding measured variables. The measured variables are then used to draw inferences about the conceptual variables.

Figure 2.1 Diagram of a Research Hypothesis In this research hypothesis, the conceptual variable of attending psychotherapy is operationalized using the number of hours of psychotherapy the client has completed, and the conceptual variable of anxiety is operationalized using self-reported levels of anxiety. The research hypothesis is that more psychotherapy will be related to less reported anxiety.

Table 2.1 "Examples of the Operational Definitions of Conceptual Variables That Have Been Used in Psychological Research" lists some potential operational definitions of conceptual variables that have been used in psychological research. As you read through this list, note that in contrast to the abstract conceptual variables, the measured variables are very specific. This specificity is important for two reasons. First, more specific definitions mean that there is less danger that the collected data will be misunderstood by others. Second, specific definitions will enable future researchers to replicate the research.

Table 2.1 Examples of the Operational Definitions of Conceptual Variables That Have Been Used in Psychological Research

Conceptual variable
Operational definitions
Aggression
  • Number of presses of a button that administers shock to another student
  • Number of seconds taken to honk the horn at the car ahead after a stoplight turns green
Interpersonal attraction
  • Number of inches that an individual places his or her chair away from another person
  • Number of millimeters of pupil dilation when one person looks at another
Employee satisfaction
  • Number of days per month an employee shows up to work on time
  • Rating of job satisfaction from 1 (not at all satisfied) to 9 (extremely satisfied)
Decision-making skills
  • Number of groups able to correctly solve a group performance task
  • Number of seconds in which a person solves a problem
Depression
  • Number of negative words used in a creative story
  • Number of appointments made with a psychotherapist

Conducting Ethical Research

One of the questions that all scientists must address concerns the ethics of their research. Physicists are concerned about the potentially harmful outcomes of their experiments with nuclear materials. Biologists worry about the potential outcomes of creating genetically engineered human babies. Medical researchers agonize over the ethics of withholding potentially beneficial drugs from control groups in clinical trials. Likewise, psychologists are continually considering the ethics of their research.

Research in psychology may cause some stress, harm, or inconvenience for the people who participate in that research. For instance, researchers may require introductory psychology students to participate in research projects and then deceive these students, at least temporarily, about the nature of the research. Psychologists may induce stress, anxiety, or negative moods in their participants, expose them to weak electrical shocks, or convince them to behave in ways that violate their moral standards. And researchers may sometimes use animals in their research, potentially harming them in the process.

Decisions about whether research is ethical are made using established ethical codes developed by scientific organizations, such as the American Psychological Association, and federal governments. In the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services provides the guidelines for ethical standards in research. Some research, such as the research conducted by the Nazis on prisoners during World War II, is perceived as immoral by almost everyone. Other procedures, such as the use of animals in research testing the effectiveness of drugs, are more controversial.

Scientific research has provided information that has improved the lives of many people. Therefore, it is unreasonable to argue that because scientific research has costs, no research should be conducted. This argument fails to consider the fact that there are significant costs to not doing research and that these costs may be greater than the potential costs of conducting the research (Rosenthal, 1994). [4] In each case, before beginning to conduct the research, scientists have attempted to determine the potential risks and benefits of the research and have come to the conclusion that the potential benefits of conducting the research outweigh the potential costs to the research participants.

Characteristics of an Ethical Research Project Using Human Participants

This list presents some of the most important factors that psychologists take into consideration when designing their research. The most direct ethical concern of the scientist is to prevent harm to the research participants. One example is the well-known research of Stanley Milgram (1974) [6] investigating obedience to authority. In these studies, participants were induced by an experimenter to administer electric shocks to another person so that Milgram could study the extent to which they would obey the demands of an authority figure. Most participants evidenced high levels of stress resulting from the psychological conflict they experienced between engaging in aggressive and dangerous behavior and following the instructions of the experimenter. Studies such as those by Milgram are no longer conducted because the scientific community is now much more sensitized to the potential of such procedures to create emotional discomfort or harm.

Another goal of ethical research is to guarantee that participants have free choice regarding whether they wish to participate in research. Students in psychology classes may be allowed, or even required, to participate in research, but they are also always given an option to choose a different study to be in, or to perform other activities instead. And once an experiment begins, the research participant is always free to leave the experiment if he or she wishes to. Concerns with free choice also occur in institutional settings, such as in schools, hospitals, corporations, and prisons, when individuals are required by the institutions to take certain tests, or when employees are told or asked to participate in research.

Researchers must also protect the privacy of the research participants. In some cases data can be kept anonymous by not having the respondents put any identifying information on their questionnaires. In other cases the data cannot be anonymous because the researcher needs to keep track of which respondent contributed the data. In this case one technique is to have each participant use a unique code number to identify his or her data, such as the last four digits of the student ID number. In this way the researcher can keep track of which person completed which questionnaire, but no one will be able to connect the data with the individual who contributed them.

Perhaps the most widespread ethical concern to the participants in behavioral research is the extent to which researchers employ deception. Deception occurs whenever research participants are not completely and fully informed about the nature of the research project before participating in it. Deception may occur in an active way, such as when the researcher tells the participants that he or she is studying learning when in fact the experiment really concerns obedience to authority. In other cases the deception is more passive, such as when participants are not told about the hypothesis being studied or the potential use of the data being collected.

Some researchers have argued that no deception should ever be used in any research (Baumrind, 1985). [7] They argue that participants should always be told the complete truth about the nature of the research they are in, and that when participants are deceived there will be negative consequences, such as the possibility that participants may arrive at other studies already expecting to be deceived. Other psychologists defend the use of deception on the grounds that it is needed to get participants to act naturally and to enable the study of psychological phenomena that might not otherwise get investigated. They argue that it would be impossible to study topics such as altruism, aggression, obedience, and stereotyping without using deception because if participants were informed ahead of time what the study involved, this knowledge would certainly change their behavior. The codes of ethics of the American Psychological Association and other organizations allow researchers to use deception, but these codes also require them to explicitly consider how their research might be conducted without the use of deception.

Ensuring That Research Is Ethical

Making decisions about the ethics of research involves weighing the costs and benefits of conducting versus not conducting a given research project. The costs involve potential harm to the research participants and to the field, whereas the benefits include the potential for advancing knowledge about human behavior and offering various advantages, some educational, to the individual participants. Most generally, the ethics of a given research project are determined through a cost-benefit analysis, in which the costs are compared to the benefits. If the potential costs of the research appear to outweigh any potential benefits that might come from it, then the research should not proceed.

Arriving at a cost-benefit ratio is not simple. For one thing, there is no way to know ahead of time what the effects of a given procedure will be on every person or animal who participates or what benefit to society the research is likely to produce. In addition, what is ethical is defined by the current state of thinking within society, and thus perceived costs and benefits change over time. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulations require that all universities receiving funds from the department set up an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to determine whether proposed research meets department regulations.

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee of at least five members whose goal it is to determine the cost-benefit ratio of research conducted within an institution. The IRB approves the procedures of all the research conducted at the institution before the research can begin. The board may suggest modifications to the procedures, or (in rare cases) it may inform the scientist that the research violates Department of Health and Human Services guidelines and thus cannot be conducted at all.

One important tool for ensuring that research is ethical is the use of informed consent. A sample informed consent form is shown in Figure 2.2 "Sample Consent Form". Informed consent, conducted before a participant begins a research session, is designed to explain the research procedures and inform the participant of his or her rights during the investigation. The informed consent explains as much as possible about the true nature of the study, particularly everything that might be expected to influence willingness to participate, but it may in some cases withhold some information that allows the study to work.

Figure 2.2 Sample Consent Form Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org The informed consent form explains the research procedures and informs the participant of his or her rights during the investigation.

Source: Adapted from Stangor, C. (2011). Research methods for the behavioral sciences (4th ed.). Mountain View, CA: Cengage.

Because participating in research has the potential for producing long-term changes in the research participants, all participants should be fully debriefed immediately after their participation. The debriefing is a procedure designed to fully explain the purposes and procedures of the research and remove any harmful aftereffects of participation.

Research With Animals

Because animals make up an important part of the natural world, and because some research cannot be conducted using humans, animals are also participants in psychological research. Most psychological research using animals is now conducted with rats, mice, and birds, and the use of other animals in research is declining (Thomas & Blackman, 1992). [8] As with ethical decisions involving human participants, a set of basic principles has been developed that helps researchers make informed decisions about such research; a summary is shown below.

APA Guidelines on Humane Care and Use of Animals in Research

The following are some of the most important ethical principles from the American Psychological Association's guidelines on research with animals.

Because the use of animals in research involves a personal value, people naturally disagree about this practice. Although many people accept the value of such research (Plous, 1996), [10] a minority of people, including animal-rights activists, believes that it is ethically wrong to conduct research on animals. This argument is based on the assumption that because animals are living creatures just as humans are, no harm should ever be done to them.

Most scientists, however, reject this view. They argue that such beliefs ignore the potential benefits that have and continue to come from research with animals. For instance, drugs that can reduce the incidence of cancer or AIDS may first be tested on animals, and surgery that can save human lives may first be practiced on animals. Research on animals has also led to a better understanding of the physiological causes of depression, phobias, and stress, among other illnesses. In contrast to animal-rights activists, then, scientists believe that because there are many benefits that accrue from animal research, such research can and should continue as long as the humane treatment of the animals used in the research is guaranteed.

Descriptive Research: Assessing the Current State of Affairs

Descriptive research is designed to create a snapshot of the current thoughts, feelings, or behavior of individuals. This section reviews three types of descriptive research: case studies, surveys, and naturalistic observation.

Sometimes the data in a descriptive research project are based on only a small set of individuals, often only one person or a single small group. These research designs are known as case studies--descriptive records of one or more individual's experiences and behavior. Sometimes case studies involve ordinary individuals, as when developmental psychologist Jean Piaget used his observation of his own children to develop his stage theory of cognitive development. More frequently, case studies are conducted on individuals who have unusual or abnormal experiences or characteristics or who find themselves in particularly difficult or stressful situations. The assumption is that by carefully studying individuals who are socially marginal, who are experiencing unusual situations, or who are going through a difficult phase in their lives, we can learn something about human nature.

Sigmund Freud was a master of using the psychological difficulties of individuals to draw conclusions about basic psychological processes. Freud wrote case studies of some of his most interesting patients and used these careful examinations to develop his important theories of personality. One classic example is Freud's description of "Little Hans," a child whose fear of horses the psychoanalyst interpreted in terms of repressed sexual impulses and the Oedipus complex (Freud (1909/1964). [1]

Another well-known case study is Phineas Gage, a man whose thoughts and emotions were extensively studied by cognitive psychologists after a railroad spike was blasted through his skull in an accident. Although there is question about the interpretation of this case study (Kotowicz, 2007), [2] it did provide early evidence that the brain's frontal lobe is involved in emotion and morality (Damasio et al., 2005). [3] An interesting example of a case study in clinical psychology is described by Rokeach (1964),[4] who investigated in detail the beliefs and interactions among three patients with schizophrenia, all of whom were convinced they were Jesus Christ.

In other cases the data from descriptive research projects come in the form of a survey--a measure administered through either an interview or a written questionnaire to get a picture of the beliefs or behaviors of a sample of people of interest. The people chosen to participate in the research (known as the sample) are selected to be representative of all the people that the researcher wishes to know about (the population). In election polls, for instance, a sample is taken from the population of all "likely voters" in the upcoming elections.

The results of surveys may sometimes be rather mundane, such as "Nine out of ten doctors prefer Tymenocin," or "The median income in Montgomery County is $36,712." Yet other times (particularly in discussions of social behavior), the results can be shocking: "More than 40,000 people are killed by gunfire in the United States every year," or "More than 60% of women between the ages of 50 and 60 suffer from depression." Descriptive research is frequently used by psychologists to get an estimate of the prevalence (or incidence) of psychological disorders.

A final type of descriptive research--known as naturalistic observation--is research based on the observation of everyday events. For instance, a developmental psychologist who watches children on a playground and describes what they say to each other while they play is conducting descriptive research, as is a biopsychologist who observes animals in their natural habitats. One example of observational research involves a systematic procedure known as the strange situation, used to get a picture of how adults and young children interact. The data that are collected in the strange situation are systematically coded in a coding sheet such as that shown in Table 2.3 "Sample Coding Form Used to Assess Child's and Mother's Behavior in the Strange Situation".

Table 2.3 Sample Coding Form Used to Assess Child's and Mother's Behavior in the Strange Situation

Coder name: Olive

Coding categories
Episode
Proximity
Contact
Resistance
Avoidance
Mother and baby play alone
1
1
1
1
Mother puts baby down  4
1
1
1
Stranger enters room
1
2
3
1
Mother leaves room; stranger plays with baby
1
3
1
1
Mother reenters, greets and may comfort baby, then leaves again 4
2
1
2
Stranger tries to play with baby 1
3
1
1
Mother reenters and picks up baby 6
6
1
2
Coding categories explained
Proximity The baby moves toward, grasps, or climbs on the adult.
Maintaining contact The baby resists being put down by the adult by crying or trying to climb back up.
Resistance
The baby pushes, hits, or squirms to be put down from the adult’s arms.
Avoidance
The baby turns away or moves away from the adult.
This table represents a sample coding sheet from an episode of the "strange situation," in which an infant (usually about 1 year old) is observed playing in a room with two adults --the child's mother and a stranger. Each of the four coding categories is scored by the coder from 1 (the baby makes no effort to engage in the behavior) to 7 (the baby makes a significant effort to engage in the behavior). More information about the meaning of the coding can be found in Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, and Wall (1978). [5]

 Source: Stangor, C. (2011). Research methods for the behavioral sciences (4th ed.). Mountain View, CA: Cengage.

The results of descriptive research projects are analyzed using descriptive statistics--numbers that summarize the distribution of scores on a measured variable. Most variables have distributions similar to that shown in Figure 2.5 "Height Distribution", where most of the scores are located near the center of the distribution, and the distribution is symmetrical and bell- shaped. A data distribution that is shaped like a bell is known as a normal distribution

Table 2.4 Height and Family Income for 25 Students

Student name
Height in inches
Family income in dollars
Lauren
62
48,000
Courtnie
62
57,000
Leslie
63
93,000
Renee
64
107,000
Katherine
64
110,000
Jordan
65
93,000
Rabiah
66
46,000
Alina
66
84,000
Young Su
67
68,000
Martin
67
49,000
Hanzhu
67
73,000
Caitlin
67
3,800,000
Steven
67
107,000
Emily
67
64,000
Amy
68
67,000
Jonathan
68
51,000
Julian
68
48,000
Alissa
68
93,000
 Christine  69
93,000
Candace
69
111,000
Xiaohua
69
56,000
Charlie
70
94,000
Timothy
71
73,000
Ariane
72
70,000
Logan
72
44,000

Figure 2.5 Height Distribution The distribution of the heights of the students in a class will form a normal distribution. In this sample the mean (M) = 67.12 and the standard deviation (s) = 2.74.

A distribution can be described in terms of its central tendency--that is, the point in the distribution around which the data are centered--and its dispersion, or spread. The arithmetic average, or arithmetic mean, is the most commonly used measure of central tendency. It is computed by calculating the sum of all the scores of the variable and dividing this sum by the number of participants in the distribution (denoted by the letter N). In the data presented in Figure 2.5 "Height Distribution", the mean height of the students is 67.12 inches. The sample mean is usually indicated by the letter M.

In some cases, however, the data distribution is not symmetrical. This occurs when there are one or more extreme scores (known as outliers) at one end of the distribution. Consider, for instance, the variable of family income (see Figure 2.6 "Family Income Distribution"), which includes an outlier (a value of $3,800,000). In this case the mean is not a good measure of central tendency. Although it appears from Figure 2.6 "Family Income Distribution" that the central tendency of the family income variable should be around $70,000, the mean family income is actually $223,960. The single very extreme income has a disproportionate impact on the mean, resulting in a value that does not well represent the central tendency.

The median is used as an alternative measure of central tendency when distributions are not symmetrical. The median is the score in the center of the distribution, meaning that 50% of the scores are greater than the median and 50% of the scores are less than the median. In our case, the median household income ($73,000) is a much better indication of central tendency than is the mean household income ($223,960).

Figure 2.6 Family Income Distribution The distribution of family incomes is likely to be nonsymmetrical because some incomes can be very large in comparison to most incomes. In this case the median or the mode is a better indicator of central tendency than is the mean.

A final measure of central tendency, known as the mode, represents the value that occurs most frequently in the distribution. You can see from Figure 2.6 "Family Income Distribution" that the mode for the family income variable is $93,000 (it occurs four times).

In addition to summarizing the central tendency of a distribution, descriptive statistics convey information about how the scores of the variable are spread around the central tendency. Dispersion refers to the extent to which the scores are all tightly clustered around the central tendency, like this:

Figure 2.7 Or they may be more spread out away from it, like this:

Figure 2.8

One simple measure of dispersion is to find the largest (the maximum) and the smallest (the minimum) observed values of the variable and to compute the range of the variable as the maximum observed score minus the minimum observed score. You can check that the range of the height variable in Figure 2.5 "Height Distribution" is 72 62 = 10. The standard deviation, symbolized as s, is the most commonly used measure of dispersion. Distributions with a larger standard deviation have more spread. The standard deviation of the height variable is s = 2.74, and the standard deviation of the family income variable is s = $745,337.

An advantage of descriptive research is that it attempts to capture the complexity of everyday behavior. Case studies provide detailed information about a single person or a small group of people, surveys capture the thoughts or reported behaviors of a large population of people, and naturalistic observation objectively records the behavior of people or animals as it occurs naturally. Thus descriptive research is used to provide a relatively complete understanding of what is currently happening.

Despite these advantages, descriptive research has a distinct disadvantage in that, although it allows us to get an idea of what is currently happening, it is usually limited to static pictures. Although descriptions of particular experiences may be interesting, they are not always transferable to other individuals in other situations, nor do they tell us exactly why specific behaviors or events occurred. For instance, descriptions of individuals who have suffered a stressful event, such as a war or an earthquake, can be used to understand the individuals' reactions to the event but cannot tell us anything about the long-term effects of the stress. And because there is no comparison group that did not experience the stressful situation, we cannot know what these individuals would be like if they hadn't had the stressful experience.

Correlational Research: Seeking Relationships Among Variables

In contrast to descriptive research, which is designed primarily to provide static pictures, correlational research involves the measurement of two or more relevant variables and an assessment of the relationship between or among those variables. For instance, the variables of height and weight are systematically related (correlated) because taller people generally weigh more than shorter people. In the same way, study time and memory errors are also related, because the more time a person is given to study a list of words, the fewer errors he or she will make. When there are two variables in the research design, one of them is called the predictor variable and the other the outcome variable. The research design can be visualized like this, where the curved arrow represents the expected correlation between the two variables:

Figure 2.2.2

One way of organizing the data from a correlational study with two variables is to graph the values of each of the measured variables using a scatter plot. As you can see in Figure 2.10 "Examples of Scatter Plots", a scatter plot is a visual image of the relationship between two variables. A point is plotted for each individual at the intersection of his or her scores for the two variables. When the association between the variables on the scatter plot can be easily approximated with a straight line, as in parts (a) and (b) of Figure 2.10 "Examples of Scatter Plots", the variables are said to have a linear relationship.

When the straight line indicates that individuals who have above-average values for one variable also tend to have above-average values for the other variable, as in part (a), the relationship is said to be positive linear. Examples of positive linear relationships include those between height and weight, between education and income, and between age and mathematical abilities in children. In each case people who score higher on one of the variables also tend to score higher on the other variable. Negative linear relationships, in contrast, as shown in part (b), occur when above-average values for one variable tend to be associated with below-average values for the other variable. Examples of negative linear relationships include those between the age of a child and the number of diapers the child uses, and between practice on and errors made on a learning task. In these cases people who score higher on one of the variables tend to score lower on the other variable.

Relationships between variables that cannot be described with a straight line are known as nonlinear relationships. Part (c) of Figure 2.10 "Examples of Scatter Plots" shows a common pattern in which the distribution of the points is essentially random. In this case there is no relationship at all between the two variables, and they are said to be independent. Parts (d) and (e) of Figure 2.10 "Examples of Scatter Plots" show patterns of association in which, although there is an association, the points are not well described by a single straight line. For instance, part (d) shows the type of relationship that frequently occurs between anxiety and performance. Increases in anxiety from low to moderate levels are associated with performance increases, whereas increases in anxiety from moderate to high levels are associated with decreases in performance. Relationships that change in direction and thus are not described by a single straight line are called curvilinear relationships.

Figure 2.10 Examples of Scatter Plots Some examples of relationships between two variables as shown in scatter plots. Note that the Pearson correlation coefficient (r) between variables that have curvilinear relationships will likely be close to zero.

Source: Adapted from Stangor, C. (2011). Research methods for the behavioral sciences (4th ed.). Mountain View, CA: Cengage.

The most common statistical measure of the strength of linear relationships among variables is the Pearson correlation coefficient, which is symbolized by the letter r. The value of the correlation coefficient ranges from r= 1.00 to r = +1.00. The direction of the linear relationship is indicated by the sign of the correlation coefficient. Positive values of r (such as r = .54 or r = .67) indicate that the relationship is positive linear (i.e., the pattern of the dots on the scatter plot runs from the lower left to the upper right), whereas negative values of r (such as r = .30 or r = .72) indicate negative linear relationships (i.e., the dots run from the upper left to the lower right). The strength of the linear relationship is indexed by the distance of the correlation coefficient from zero (its absolute value). For instance, r = .54 is a stronger relationship than r= .30, and r = .72 is a stronger relationship than r = .57. Because the Pearson correlation coefficient only measures linear relationships, variables that have curvilinear relationships are not well described by r, and the observed correlation will be close to zero.

It is also possible to study relationships among more than two measures at the same time. A research design in which more than one predictor variable is used to predict a single outcome variable is analyzed through multiple regression (Aiken & West, 1991). [6] Multiple regression is a statistical technique, based on correlation coefficients among variables, that allows predicting a single outcome variable from more than one predictor variable. For instance, Figure 2.11 "Prediction of Job Performance From Three Predictor Variables" shows a multiple regression analysis in which three predictor variables are used to predict a single outcome. The use of multiple regression analysis shows an important advantage of correlational research designs--they can be used to make predictions about a person's likely score on an outcome variable (e.g., job performance) based on knowledge of other variables.

Figure 2.11 Prediction of Job Performance From Three Predictor Variables Multiple regression allows scientists to predict the scores on a single outcome variable using more than one predictor variable.

An important limitation of correlational research designs is that they cannot be used to draw conclusions about the causal relationships among the measured variables. Consider, for instance, a researcher who has hypothesized that viewing violent behavior will cause increased aggressive play in children. He has collected, from a sample of fourth-grade children, a measure of how many violent television shows each child views during the week, as well as a measure of how aggressively each child plays on the school playground. From his collected data, the researcher discovers a positive correlation between the two measured variables.

Although this positive correlation appears to support the researcher's hypothesis, it cannot be taken to indicate that viewing violent television causes aggressive behavior. Although the researcher is tempted to assume that viewing violent television causes aggressive play, Figure 2.2.2 there are other possibilities. One alternate possibility is that the causal direction is exactly opposite from what has been hypothesized. Perhaps children who have behaved aggressively at school develop residual excitement that leads them to want to watch violent television shows at home:

Figure 2.2.2

Although this possibility may seem less likely, there is no way to rule out the possibility of such reverse causation on the basis of this observed correlation. It is also possible that both causal directions are operating and that the two variables cause each other:

Figure 2.2.2

Still another possible explanation for the observed correlation is that it has been produced by the presence of a common-causal variable (also known as a third variable). A common-causal variable is a variable that is not part of the research hypothesis but that causes both the predictor and the outcome variable and thus produces the observed correlation between them. In our example a potential common-causal variable is the discipline style of the children's parents. Parents who use a harsh and punitive discipline style may produce children who both like to watch violent television and who behave aggressively in comparison to children whose parents use less harsh discipline:

Figure 2.2.2

In this case, television viewing and aggressive play would be positively correlated (as indicated by the curved arrow between them), even though neither one caused the other but they were both caused by the discipline style of the parents (the straight arrows). When the predictor and outcome variables are both caused by a common-causal variable, the observed relationship between them is said to be spurious. A spurious relationship is a relationship between two variables in which a common-causal variable produces and "explains away" the relationship. If effects of the common-causal variable were taken away, or controlled for, the relationship between the predictor and outcome variables would disappear. In the example the relationship between aggression and television viewing might be spurious because by controlling for the effect of the parents' disciplining style, the relationship between television viewing and aggressive behavior might go away.

Common-causal variables in correlational research designs can be thought of as "mystery" variables because, as they have not been measured, their presence and identity are usually unknown to the researcher. Since it is not possible to measure every variable that could cause both the predictor and outcome variables, the existence of an unknown common-causal variable is always a possibility. For this reason, we are left with the basic limitation of correlational research: Correlation does not demonstrate causation. It is important that when you read about correlational research projects, you keep in mind the possibility of spurious relationships, and be sure to interpret the findings appropriately. Although correlational research is sometimes reported as demonstrating causality without any mention being made of the possibility of reverse causation or common-causal variables, informed consumers of research, like you, are aware of these interpretational problems.

In sum, correlational research designs have both strengths and limitations. One strength is that they can be used when experimental research is not possible because the predictor variables cannot be manipulated. Correlational designs also have the advantage of allowing the researcher to study behavior as it occurs in everyday life. And we can also use correlational designs to make predictions--for instance, to predict from the scores on their battery of tests the success of job trainees during a training session. But we cannot use such correlational information to determine whether the training caused better job performance. For that, researchers rely on experiments.

Experimental Research: Understanding the Causes of Behavior

The goal of experimental research design is to provide more definitive conclusions about the causal relationships among the variables in the research hypothesis than is available from correlational designs. In an experimental research design, the variables of interest are called the independent variable (or variables) and the dependent variable. The independent variable in an experiment is the causing variable that is created (manipulated) by the experimenter. The dependent variable in an experiment is a measured variable that is expected to be influenced by the experimental manipulation. The research hypothesis suggests that the manipulated independent variable or variables will cause changes in the measured dependent variables. We can diagram the research hypothesis by using an arrow that points in one direction. This demonstrates the expected direction of causality:

Figure 2.2.3

Research Focus: Video Games and Aggression
Summary

Despite the advantage of determining causation, experiments do have limitations. One is that they are often conducted in laboratory situations rather than in the everyday lives of people. Therefore, we do not know whether results that we find in a laboratory setting will necessarily hold up in everyday life. Second, and more important, is that some of the most interesting and key social variables cannot be experimentally manipulated. If we want to study the influence of the size of a mob on the destructiveness of its behavior, or to compare the personality characteristics of people who join suicide cults with those of people who do not join such cults, these relationships must be assessed using correlational designs, because it is simply not possible to experimentally manipulate these variables.

Research Focus: Video Games and Aggression

Consider an experiment conducted by Anderson and Dill (2000). [7] The study was designed to test the hypothesis that viewing violent video games would increase aggressive behavior. In this research, male and female undergraduates from Iowa State University were given a chance to play with either a violent video game (Wolfenstein 3D) or a nonviolent video game (Myst). During the experimental session, the participants played their assigned video games for 15 minutes. Then, after the play, each participant played a competitive game with an opponent in which the participant could deliver blasts of white noise through the earphones of the opponent. The operational definition of the dependent variable (aggressive behavior) was the level and duration of noise delivered to the opponent. The design of the experiment is shown in Figure 2.17 "An Experimental Research Design".

Figure 2.17An Experimental Research Design Two advantages of the experimental research design are (1) the assurance that the independent variable (also known as the experimental manipulation) occurs prior to the measured dependent variable, and (2) the creation of initial equivalence between the conditions of the experiment (in this case by using random assignment to conditions).

Experimental designs have two very nice features. For one, they guarantee that the independent variable occurs prior to the measurement of the dependent variable. This eliminates the possibility of reverse causation. Second, the influence of common-causal variables is controlled, and thus eliminated, by creating initial equivalence among the participants in each of the experimental conditions before the manipulation occurs.

The most common method of creating equivalence among the experimental conditions is through random assignment to conditions, a procedure in which the condition that each participant is assigned to is determined through a random process, such as drawing numbers out of an envelope or using a random number table. Anderson and Dill first randomly assigned about 100 participants to each of their two groups (Group A and Group B). Because they used random assignment to conditions, they could be confident that, before the experimental manipulation occurred, the students in Group A were, on average, equivalent to the students in Group B on every possible variable, including variables that are likely to be related to aggression, such as parental discipline style, peer relationships, hormone levels, diet--and in fact everything else.

Then, after they had created initial equivalence, Anderson and Dill created the experimental manipulation--they had the participants in Group A play the violent game and the participants in Group B play the nonviolent game. Then they compared the dependent variable (the white noise blasts) between the two groups, finding that the students who had viewed the violent video game gave significantly longer noise blasts than did the students who had played the nonviolent game.

Anderson and Dill had from the outset created initial equivalence between the groups. This initial equivalence allowed them to observe differences in the white noise levels between the two groups after the experimental manipulation, leading to the conclusion that it was the independent variable (and not some other variable) that caused these differences. The idea is that the only thing that was different between the students in the two groups was the video game they had played.

Threats to construct validity.

One threat to valid research occurs when there is a threat to construct validity. Construct validity refers to the extent to which the variables used in the research adequately assess the conceptual variables they were designed to measure. One requirement for construct validity is that the measure be reliable, where reliability refers to the consistency of a measured variable. A bathroom scale is usually reliable, because if we step on and off it a couple of times the scale will consistently measure the same weight every time. Other measures, including some psychological tests, may be less reliable, and thus less useful.

Normally, we can assume that the researchers have done their best to assure the construct validity of their measures, but it is not inappropriate for you, as an informed consumer of research, to question this. It is always important to remember that the ability to learn about the relationship between the conceptual variables in a research hypothesis is dependent on the operational definitions of the measured variables. If the measures do not really measure the conceptual variables that they are designed to assess (e.g., if a supposed IQ test does not really measure intelligence), then they cannot be used to draw inferences about the relationship between the conceptual variables (Nunnally, 1978). [2]

The statistical methods that scientists use to test their research hypotheses are based on probability estimates. You will see statements in research reports indicating that the results were "statistically significant" or "not statistically significant." These statements will be accompanied by statistical tests, often including statements such as "p < 0.05" or about confidence intervals. These statements describe the statistical significance of the data that have been collected. Statistical significance refers to the confidence with which a scientist can conclude that data are not due to chance or random error. When a researcher concludes that a result is statistically significant, he or she has determined that the observed data was very unlikely to have been caused by chance factors alone. Hence, there is likely a real relationship between or among the variables in the research design. Otherwise, the researcher concludes that the results were not statistically significant.

Threats to statistical conclusion validity.

Statistical conclusion validity refers to the extent to which we can be certain that the researcher has drawn accurate conclusions about the statistical significance of the research. Research will be invalid if the conclusions made about the research hypothesis are incorrect because statistical inferences about the collected data are in error. These errors can occur either because the scientist inappropriately infers that the data do support the research hypothesis when in fact they are due to chance, or when the researcher mistakenly fails to find support for the research hypothesis. Normally, we can assume that the researchers have done their best to ensure the statistical conclusion validity of a research design, but we must always keep in mind that inferences about data are probabilistic and never certain--this is why research never "proves" a theory.

Threats to internal validity.

Internal validity refers to the extent to which we can trust the conclusions that have been drawn about the causal relationship between the independent and dependent variables (Campbell & Stanley, 1963). [3] Internal validity applies primarily to experimental research designs, in which the researcher hopes to conclude that the independent variable has caused the dependent variable. Internal validity is maximized when the research is free from the presence of confounding variables--variables other than the independent variable on which the participants in one experimental condition differ systematically from those in other conditions.

Consider an experiment in which a researcher tested the hypothesis that drinking alcohol makes members of the opposite sex look more attractive. Participants older than 21 years of age were randomly assigned either to drink orange juice mixed with vodka or to drink orange juice alone. To eliminate the need for deception, the participants were told whether or not their drinks contained vodka. After enough time had passed for the alcohol to take effect, the participants were asked to rate the attractiveness of pictures of members of the opposite sex. The results of the experiment showed that, as predicted, the participants who drank the vodka rated the photos as significantly more attractive.

If you think about this experiment for a minute, it may occur to you that although the researcher wanted to draw the conclusion that the alcohol caused the differences in perceived attractiveness, the expectation of having consumed alcohol is confounded with the presence of alcohol. That is, the people who drank alcohol also knew they drank alcohol, and those who did not drink alcohol knew they did not. It is possible that simply knowing that they were drinking alcohol, rather than the effect of the alcohol itself, may have caused the differences (see Figure 2.18 "An Example of Confounding"). One solution to the problem of potential expectancy effects is to tell both groups that they are drinking orange juice and vodka but really give alcohol to only half of the participants (it is possible to do this because vodka has very little smell or taste). If differences in perceived attractiveness are found, the experimenter could then confidently attribute them to the alcohol rather than to the expectancies about having consumed alcohol.

Figure 2.18 An Example of Confounding

Confounding occurs when a variable that is not part of the research hypothesis is "mixed up," or confounded with, the variable in the research hypothesis. In the bottom panel alcohol consumed and alcohol expectancy are confounded, but in the top panel they are separate (independent). Confounding makes it impossible to be sure that the independent variable (rather than the confounding variable) caused the dependent variable.

Another threat to internal validity can occur when the experimenter knows the research hypothesis and also knows which experimental condition the participants are in. The outcome is the potential for experimenter bias, a situation in which the experimenter subtly treats the research participants in the various experimental conditions differently, resulting in an invalid confirmation of the research hypothesis. In one study demonstrating experimenter bias, Rosenthal and Fode (1963) [4] sent twelve students to test a research hypothesis concerning maze learning in rats. Although it was not initially revealed to the students, they were actually the participants in an experiment. Six of the students were randomly told that the rats they would be testing had been bred to be highly intelligent, whereas the other six students were led to believe that the rats had been bred to be unintelligent. In reality there were no differences among the rats given to the two groups of students. When the students returned with their data, a startling result emerged. The rats run by students who expected them to be intelligent showed significantly better maze learning than the rats run by students who expected them to be unintelligent. Somehow the students' expectations influenced their data. They evidently did something different when they tested the rats, perhaps subtly changing how they timed the maze running or how they treated the rats. And this experimenter bias probably occurred entirely out of their awareness.

To avoid experimenter bias, researchers frequently run experiments in which the researchers are blind to condition. This means that although the experimenters know the research hypotheses, they do not know which conditions the participants are assigned to. Experimenter bias cannot occur if the researcher is blind to condition. In a double-blind experiment, both the researcher and the research participants are blind to condition. For instance, in a double-blind trial of a drug, the researcher does not know whether the drug being given is the real drug or the ineffective placebo, and the patients also do not know which they are getting. Double-blind experiments eliminate the potential for experimenter effects and at the same time eliminate participant expectancy effects.

While internal validity refers to conclusions drawn about events that occurred within the experiment, external validity refers to the extent to which the results of a research design can be generalized beyond the specific way the original experiment was conducted. Generalization refers to the extent to which relationships among conceptual variables can be demonstrated in a wide variety of people and a wide variety of manipulated or measured variables.

Threats to external validity.

Psychologists who use college students as participants in their research may be concerned about generalization, wondering if their research will generalize to people who are not college students. And researchers who study the behaviors of employees in one company may wonder whether the same findings would translate to other companies. Whenever there is reason to suspect that a result found for one sample of participants would not hold up for another sample, then research may be conducted with these other populations to test for generalization.

Recently, many psychologists have been interested in testing hypotheses about the extent to which a result will replicate across people from different cultures (Heine, 2010). [5] For instance, a researcher might test whether the effects on aggression of viewing violent video games are the same for Japanese children as they are for American children by showing violent and nonviolent films to a sample of both Japanese and American schoolchildren. If the results are the same in both cultures, then we say that the results have generalized, but if they are different, then we have learned a limiting condition of the effect (see Figure 2.19 "A Cross-Cultural Replication").

Figure 2.19 A Cross-Cultural Replication

In a cross-cultural replication, external validity is observed if the same effects that have been found in one culture are replicated in another culture. If they are not replicated in the new culture, then a limiting condition of the original results is found.

Unless the researcher has a specific reason to believe that generalization will not hold, it is appropriate to assume that a result found in one population (even if that population is college students) will generalize to other populations. Because the investigator can never demonstrate that the research results generalize to all populations, it is not expected that the researcher will attempt to do so. Rather, the burden of proof rests on those who claim that a result will not generalize.

Because any single test of a research hypothesis will always be limited in terms of what it can show, important advances in science are never the result of a single research project. Advances occur through the accumulation of knowledge that comes from many different tests of the same theory or research hypothesis. These tests are conducted by different researchers using different research designs, participants, and operationalizations of the independent and dependent variables. The process of repeating previous research, which forms the basis of all scientific inquiry, is known as replication.

Scientists often use a procedure known as meta-analysis to summarize replications of research findings. A meta-analysis is a statistical technique that uses the results of existing studies to integrate and draw conclusions about those studies. Because meta-analyses provide so much information, they are very popular and useful ways of summarizing research literature.

A meta-analysis provides a relatively objective method of reviewing research findings because it (1) specifies inclusion criteria that indicate exactly which studies will or will not be included in the analysis, (2) systematically searches for all studies that meet the inclusion criteria, and (3) provides an objective measure of the strength of observed relationships. Frequently, the researchers also include--if they can find them--studies that have not been published in journals.

Psychology in Everyday Life: Critically Evaluating the Validity of Websites

The validity of research reports published in scientific journals is likely to be high because the hypotheses, methods, results, and conclusions of the research have been rigorously evaluated by other scientists, through peer review, before the research was published. For this reason, you will want to use peer-reviewed journal articles as your major source of information about psychological research.

Although research articles are the gold standard for validity, you may also need and desire to get at least some information from other sources. The Internet is a vast source of information from which you can learn about almost anything, including psychology. Search engines--such as Google or Yahoo!--bring hundreds or thousands of hits on a topic, and online encyclopedias, such as Wikipedia, provide articles about relevant topics.

Although you will naturally use the web to help you find information about fields such as psychology, you must also realize that it is important to carefully evaluate the validity of the information you get from the web. You must try to distinguish information that is based on empirical research from information that is based on opinion, and between valid and invalid data. The following material may be helpful to you in learning to make these distinctions.

The techniques for evaluating the validity of websites are similar to those that are applied to evaluating any other source of information. Ask first about the source of the information. Is the domain a ".com" (business), ".gov" (government), or ".org" (nonprofit) entity? This information can help you determine the author's (or organization's)

purpose in publishing the website. Try to determine where the information is coming from. Is the data being summarized from objective sources, such as journal articles or academic or government agencies? Does it seem that the author is interpreting the information as objectively as possible, or is the data being interpreted to support a particular point of view? Consider what groups, individuals, and political or commercial interests stand to gain from the site. Is the website potentially part of an advocacy group whose web pages reflect the particular positions of the group? Material from any group's site may be useful, but try to be aware of the group's purposes and potential biases.

Also, ask whether or not the authors themselves appear to be a trustworthy source of information. Do they hold positions in an academic institution? Do they have peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals? Many useful web pages appear as part of organizational sites and reflect the work of that organization. You can be more certain of the validity of the information if it is sponsored by a professional organization, such as the American Psychological Association or the American Psychological Society.

Try to check on the accuracy of the material and discern whether the sources of information seem current. Is the information cited such that you can read it in its original form? Reputable websites will probably link to other reputable sources, such as journal articles and scholarly books. Try to check the accuracy of the information by reading at least some of these sources yourself.

It is fair to say that all authors, researchers, and organizations have at least some bias and that the information from any site can be invalid. But good material attempts to be fair by acknowledging other possible positions, interpretations, or conclusions. A critical examination of the nature of the websites you browse for information will help you determine if the information is valid and will give you more confidence in the information you take from it.

Did a Neurological Disorder Cause a Musician to Compose Bolro and an Artist to Paint It 66 Years Later?

In 1986 Anne Adams was working as a cell biologist at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. She took a leave of absence from her work to care for a sick child, and while she was away, she completely changed her interests, dropping biology entirely and turning her attention to art. In 1994 she completed her painting Unravelling Bolro, a translation of Maurice Ravel's famous orchestral piece onto canvas. As you can see in Figure 3.1, this artwork is a filled with themes of repetition. Each bar of music is represented by a lacy vertical figure, with the height representing volume, the shape representing note quality, and the color representing the music's pitch. Like Ravel's music (see the video below), which is a hypnotic melody consisting of two melodial themes repeated eight times over 340 musical bars, the theme in the painting repeats and builds, leading to a dramatic change in color from blue to orange and pink, a representation of Boléro's sudden and dramatic climax.

Shortly after finishing the painting, Adams began to experience behavioral problems, including increased difficulty speaking. Neuroimages of Adams's brain taken during this time show that regions in the front part of her brain, which are normally associated with language processing, had begun to deteriorate, while at the same time, regions of the brain responsible for the integration of information from the five senses were unusually well developed (Seeley et al., 2008). [1] The deterioration of the frontal cortex is a symptom of frontotemporal dementia, a disease that is associated with changes in artistic and musical tastes and skills (Miller, Boone, Cummings, Read, & Mishkin, 2000), [2] as well as with an increase in repetitive behaviors (Aldhous, 2008). [3]

What Adams did not know at the time was that her brain may have been undergoing the same changes that Ravel's had undergone 66 years earlier. In fact, it appears that Ravel may have suffered from the same neurological disorder. Ravel composed Boléro at age 53, when he himself was beginning to show behavioral symptoms that were interfering with his ability to move and speak. Scientists have concluded, based on an analysis of his written notes and letters, that Ravel was also experiencing the effects of frontotemporal dementia (Amaducci, Grassi, & Boller, 2002). [4] If Adams and Ravel were both affected by the same disease, this could explain why they both became fascinated with the repetitive aspects of their arts, and it would present a remarkable example of the influence of our brains on behavior.

Neurons Communicate Using Electricity and Chemicals

The nervous system operates using an electrochemical process (see Note 3.12 "Video Clip: The Electrochemical Action of the Neuron"). An electrical charge moves through the neuron itself and chemicals are used to transmit information between neurons. Within the neuron, when a signal is received by the dendrites, is it transmitted to the soma in the form of an electrical signal, and, if the signal is strong enough, it may then be passed on to the axon and then to the terminal buttons. If the signal reaches the terminal buttons, they are signaled to emit chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which communicate with other neurons across the spaces between the cells, known as synapses.

Video Clip: The Electrochemical Action of the Neuron

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This video clip shows a model of the electrochemical action of the neuron and neurotransmitters.

The electrical signal moves through the neuron as a result of changes in the electrical charge of the axon. Normally, the axon remains in the resting potential, a state in which the interior of the neuron contains a greater number of negatively charged ions than does the area outside the cell.

When the segment of the axon that is closest to the cell body is stimulated by an electrical signal from the dendrites, and if this electrical signal is strong enough that it passes a certain level or threshold, the cell membrane in this first segment opens its gates, allowing positively charged sodium ions that were previously kept out to enter. This change in electrical charge that occurs in a neuron when a nerve impulse is transmitted is known as the action potential. Once the action potential occurs, the number of positive ions exceeds the number of negative ions in this segment, and the segment temporarily becomes positively charged.

As you can see in Figure 3.4 "The Myelin Sheath and the Nodes of Ranvier", the axon is segmented by a series of breaks between the sausage-like segments of the myelin sheath. Each of these gaps is a node of Ranvier. The electrical charge moves down the axon from segment to segment, in a set of small jumps, moving from node to node. When the action potential occurs in the first segment of the axon, it quickly creates a similar change in the next segment, which then stimulates the next segment, and so forth as the positive electrical impulse continues all the way down to the end of the axon. As each new segment becomes positive, the membrane in the prior segment closes up again, and the segment returns to its negative resting potential. In this way the action potential is transmitted along the axon, toward the terminal buttons. The entire response along the length of the axon is very fast--it can happen up to 1,000 times each second.

Figure 3.4 The Myelin Sheath and the Nodes of Ranvier The myelin sheath wraps around the axon but also leaves small gaps called the nodes of Ranvier. The action potential jumps from node to node as it travels down the axon.

An important aspect of the action potential is that it operates in an all or nothing manner. What this means is that the neuron either fires completely, such that the action potential moves all the way down the axon, or it does not fire at all. Thus neurons can provide more energy to the neurons down the line by firing faster but not by firing more strongly. Furthermore, the neuron is prevented from repeated firing by the presence of a refractory period--a brief time after the firing of the axon in which the axon cannot fire again because the neuron has not yet returned to its resting potential.

Neurotransmitters: The Body's Chemical Messengers

Not only do the neural signals travel via electrical charges within the neuron, but they also travel via chemical transmission between the neurons. Neurons are separated by junction areas known as synapses, areas where the terminal buttons at the end of the axon of one neuron nearly, but don't quite, touch the dendrites of another. The synapses provide a remarkable function because they allow each axon to communicate with many dendrites in neighboring cells. Because a neuron may have synaptic connections with thousands of other neurons, the communication links among the neurons in the nervous system allow for a highly sophisticated communication system.

When the electrical impulse from the action potential reaches the end of the axon, it signals the terminal buttons to release neurotransmitters into the synapse. A neurotransmitter is a chemical that relays signals across the synapses between neurons. Neurotransmitters travel across the synaptic space between the terminal button of one neuron and the dendrites of other neurons, where they bind to the dendrites in the neighboring neurons. Furthermore, different terminal buttons release different neurotransmitters, and different dendrites are particularly sensitive to different neurotransmitters. The dendrites will admit the neurotransmitters only if they are the right shape to fit in the receptor sites on the receiving neuron. For this reason, the receptor sites and neurotransmitters are often compared to a lock and key (Figure 3.5 "The Synapse").

Figure 3.5 The Synapse When the nerve impulse reaches the terminal button, it triggers the release of neurotransmitters into the synapse.

The neurotransmitters fit into receptors on the receiving dendrites in the manner of a lock and key.

When neurotransmitters are accepted by the receptors on the receiving neurons their effect may be either excitatory (i.e., they make the cell more likely to fire) or inhibitory (i.e., they make the cell less likely to fire). Furthermore, if the receiving neuron is able to accept more than one neurotransmitter, then it will be influenced by the excitatory and inhibitory processes of each. If the excitatory effects of the neurotransmitters are greater than the inhibitory influences of the neurotransmitters, the neuron moves closer to its firing threshold, and if it reaches the threshold, the action potential and the process of transferring information through the neuron begins.

Neurotransmitters that are not accepted by the receptor sites must be removed from the synapse in order for the next potential stimulation of the neuron to happen. This process occurs in part through the breaking down of the neurotransmitters by enzymes, and in part through reuptake, a process in which neurotransmitters that are in the synapse are reabsorbed into the transmitting terminal buttons, ready to again be released after the neuron fires.

More than 100 chemical substances produced in the body have been identified as neurotransmitters, and these substances have a wide and profound effect on emotion, cognition, and behavior. Neurotransmitters regulate our appetite, our memory, our emotions, as well as our muscle action and movement. And as you can see in Table 3.1 "The Major Neurotransmitters and Their Functions", some neurotransmitters are also associated with psychological and physical diseases.

Drugs that we might ingest--either for medical reasons or recreationally--can act like neurotransmitters to influence our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Anagonist is a drug that has chemical properties similar to a particular neurotransmitter and thus mimics the effects of the neurotransmitter. When an agonist is ingested, it binds to the receptor sites in the dendrites to excite the neuron, acting as if more of the neurotransmitter had been present. As an example, cocaine is an agonist for the neurotransmitter dopamine. Because dopamine produces feelings of pleasure when it is released by neurons, cocaine creates similar feelings when it is ingested.

An antagonist is a drug that reduces or stops the normal effects of a neurotransmitter. When an antagonist is ingested, it binds to the receptor sites in the dendrite, thereby blocking the neurotransmitter. As an example, the poison curare is an antagonist for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. When the poison enters the brain, it binds to the dendrites, stops communication among the neurons, and usually causes death. Still other drugs work by blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitter itself--when reuptake is reduced by the drug, more neurotransmitter remains in the synapse, increasing its action.

Table 3.1 The Major Neurotransmitters and Their Functions

Neurotransmitter Description and function Notes
Acetylcholine (ACh) A common neurotransmitter used in the spinal cord and motor neurons to stimulate muscle contractions. It's also used in the brain to regulate memory, sleeping, and dreaming. Alzheimer's disease is associated with an undersupply of acetylcholine. Nicotine is an agonist that acts like acetylcholine.
Dopamine Involved in movement, motivation, and emotion. Dopamine produces feelings of pleasure when released by the brain's reward system, and it's also involved in learning.Schizophrenia is linked to increases in dopamine, whereas Parkinson's disease is linked to reductions in dopamine (and dopamine agonists may be used to treat it).
EndorphinsReleased in response to behaviors such as vigorous exercise, orgasm, and eating spicy foods.Endorphins are natural pain relievers. They are related to the compounds found in drugs such as opium, morphine, and heroin. The release of endorphins creates the runner's high that is experienced after intense physical exertion.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) The major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. A lack of GABA can lead to involuntary motor actions, including tremors and seizures. Alcohol stimulates the release of GABA, which inhibits the nervous system and makes us feel drunk. Low levels of GABA can produce anxiety, and GABA agonists (tranquilizers) are used to reduce anxiety.
Glutamate The most common neurotransmitter, it's released in more than 90% of the brain's synapses. Glutamate is found in the food additive MSG (monosodium glutamate). Excess glutamate can cause overstimulation, migraines and seizures.
Serotonin Involved in many functions, including mood, appetite, sleep, and aggression. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, and some drugs designed to treat depression (known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs) serve to prevent their reuptake.

The Old Brain: Wired for Survival

The brain stem is the oldest and innermost region of the brain. It's designed to control the most basic functions of life, including breathing, attention, and motor responses (Figure 3.8 "The Brain Stem and the Thalamus"). The brain stem begins where the spinal cord enters the skull and forms the medulla, the area of the brain stem that controls heart rate and breathing. In many cases the medulla alone is sufficient to maintain life--animals that have the remainder of their brains above the medulla severed are still able to eat, breathe, and even move. The spherical shape above the medulla is the pons, a structure in the brain stem that helps control the movements of the body, playing a particularly important role in balance and walking.

Running through the medulla and the pons is a long, narrow network of neurons known as the reticular formation. The job of the reticular formation is to filter out some of the stimuli that are coming into the brain from the spinal cord and to relay the remainder of the signals to other areas of the brain. The reticular formation also plays important roles in walking, eating, sexual activity, and sleeping. When electrical stimulation is applied to the reticular formation of an animal, it immediately becomes fully awake, and when the reticular formation is severed from the higher brain regions, the animal falls into a deep coma.

Figure 3.8 The Brain Stem and the Thalamus The brain stem is an extension of the spinal cord, including the medulla, the pons, the thalamus, and the reticular formation.

Above the brain stem are other parts of the old brain that also are involved in the processing of behavior and emotions (see Figure 3.9 "The Limbic System"). The thalamus is the egg-shaped structure above the brain stem that applies still more filtering to the sensory information that is coming up from the spinal cord and through the reticular formation, and it relays some of these remaining signals to the higher brain levels (Guillery & Sherman, 2002). [1] The thalamus also receives some of the higher brain's replies, forwarding them to the medulla and the cerebellum.

The thalamus is also important in sleep because it shuts off incoming signals from the senses, allowing us to rest.

Figure 3.9 The Limbic System This diagram shows the major parts of the limbic system, as well as the pituitary gland, which is controlled by it.

The cerebellum (literally, "little brain") consists of two wrinkled ovals behind the brain stem. It functions to coordinate voluntary movement.

People who have damage to the cerebellum have difficulty walking, keeping their balance, and holding their hands steady. Consuming alcohol influences the cerebellum, which is why people who are drunk have more difficulty walking in a straight line. Also, the cerebellum contributes to emotional responses, helps us discriminate between different sounds and textures, and is important in learning (Bower & Parsons, 2003). [2] Whereas the primary function of the brain stem is to regulate the most basic aspects of life, including motor functions, the limbic system is largely responsible for memory and emotions, including our responses to reward and punishment. The limbic system is a brain area, located between the brain stem and the two cerebral hemispheres, that governs emotion and memory. It includes the amygdala, the hypothalamus, and the hippocampus.

The amygdala consists of two "almond-shaped" clusters (amygdala comes from the Latin word for "almond") and is primarily responsible for regulating our perceptions of, and reactions to, aggression and fear. The amygdala has connections to other bodily systems related to fear, including the sympathetic nervous system (which we will see later is important in fear responses), facial responses (which perceive and express emotions), the processing of smells, and the release of neurotransmitters related to stress and aggression (Best, 2009).[3] In one early study, Klver and Bucy (1939) [4] damaged the amygdala of an aggressive rhesus monkey. They found that the once angry animal immediately became passive and no longer responded to fearful situations with aggressive behavior. Electrical stimulation of the amygdala in other animals also influences aggression. In addition to helping us experience fear, the amygdala also helps us learn from situations that create fear. When we experience events that are dangerous, the amygdala stimulates the brain to remember the details of the situation so that we learn to avoid it in the future (Sigurdsson, Doyre, Cain, & LeDoux, 2007). [5] Located just under the thalamus (hence its name) the hypothalamus is a brain structure that contains a number of small areas that perform a variety of functions, including the important role of linking the nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland. Through its many interactions with other parts of the brain, the hypothalamus helps regulate body temperature, hunger, thirst, and sex, and responds to the satisfaction of these needs by creating feelings of pleasure. Olds and Milner (1954) [6] discovered these reward centers accidentally after they had momentarily stimulated the hypothalamus of a rat. The researchers noticed that after being stimulated, the rat continued to move to the exact spot in its cage where the stimulation had occurred, as if it were trying to re-create the circumstances surrounding its original experience. Upon further research into these reward centers, Olds (1958) [7] discovered that animals would do almost anything to re-create enjoyable stimulation, including crossing a painful electrified grid to receive it. In one experiment a rat was given the opportunity to electrically stimulate its own hypothalamus by pressing a pedal. The rat enjoyed the experience so much that it pressed the pedal more than 7,000 times per hour until it collapsed from sheer exhaustion.

The hippocampus consists of two "horns" that curve back from the amygdala. The hippocampus is important in storing information in long-term memory. If the hippocampus is damaged, a person cannot build new memories, living instead in a strange world where everything he or she experiences just fades away, even while older memories from the time before the damage are untouched.

The Cerebral Cortex Creates Consciousness and Thinking

All animals have adapted to their environments by developing abilities that help them survive. Some animals have hard shells, others run extremely fast, and some have acute hearing. Human beings do not have any of these particular characteristics, but we do have one big advantage over other animals--we are very, very smart.

You might think that we should be able to determine the intelligence of an animal by looking at the ratio of the animal's brain weight to the weight of its entire body. But this does not really work. The elephant's brain is one thousandth of its weight, but the whale's brain is only one ten- thousandth of its body weight. On the other hand, although the human brain is one 60th of its body weight, the mouse's brain represents one fortieth of its body weight. Despite these comparisons, elephants do not seem 10 times smarter than whales, and humans definitely seem smarter than mice.

The key to the advanced intelligence of humans is not found in the size of our brains. What sets humans apart from other animals is our larger cerebral cortex--the outer bark-like layer of our brain that allows us to so successfully use language, acquire complex skills, create tools, and live in social groups (Gibson, 2002). [8] In humans, the cerebral cortex is wrinkled and folded, rather than smooth as it is in most other animals. This creates a much greater surface area and size, and allows increased capacities for learning, remembering, and thinking. The folding of the cerebral cortex is referred to as corticalization.

Although the cortex is only about one tenth of an inch thick, it makes up more than 80% of the brain's weight. The cortex contains about 20 billion nerve cells and 300 trillion synaptic connections (de Courten-Myers, 1999). [9] Supporting all these neurons are billions more glial cells (glia), cells that surround and link to the neurons, protecting them, providing them with nutrients, and absorbing unused neurotransmitters. The glia come in different forms and have different functions. For instance, the myelin sheath surrounding the axon of many neurons is a type of glial cell. The glia are essential partners of neurons, without which the neurons could not survive or function (Miller, 2005). [10]

The cerebral cortex is divided into two hemispheres, and each hemisphere is divided into four lobes, each separated by folds known as fissures. If we look at the cortex starting at the front of the brain and moving over the top (see Figure 3.10 "The Two Hemispheres"), we see first the frontal lobe (behind the forehead), which is responsible primarily for thinking, planning, memory, and judgment. Following the frontal lobe is the parietal lobe, which extends from the middle to the back of the skull and which is responsible primarily for processing information about touch. Then comes the occipital lobe, at the very back of the skull, which processes visual information. Finally, in front of the occipital lobe (pretty much between the ears) is the temporal lobe, responsible primarily for hearing and language.

Figure 3.10 The Two Hemispheres The brain is divided into two hemispheres (left and right), each of which has four lobes (temporal, frontal, occipital, and parietal). Furthermore, there are specific cortical areas that control different processes.

Functions of the Cortex

When the German physicists Gustav Fritsch and Eduard Hitzig (1870/2009) [11]applied mild electric stimulation to different parts of a dog's cortex, they discovered that they could make different parts of the dog's body move. Furthermore, they discovered an important and unexpected principle of brain activity. They found that stimulating the right side of the brain produced movement in the left side of the dog's body, and vice versa. This finding follows from a general principle about how the brain is structured, called contralateral control. The brain is wired such that in most cases the left hemisphere receives sensations from and controls the right side of the body, and vice versa.

Fritsch and Hitzig also found that the movement that followed the brain stimulation only occurred when they stimulated a specific arch-shaped region that runs across the top of the brain from ear to ear, just at the front of the parietal lobe (see Figure 3.11 "The Sensory Cortex and the Motor Cortex"). Fritsch and Hitzig had discovered the motor cortex, the part of the cortex that controls and executes movements of the body by sending signals to the cerebellum and the spinal cord. More recent research has mapped the motor cortex even more fully, by providing mild electronic stimulation to different areas of the motor cortex in fully conscious patients while observing their bodily responses (because the brain has no sensory receptors, these patients feel no pain). As you can see in Figure 3.11 "The Sensory Cortex and the Motor Cortex", this research has revealed that the motor cortex is specialized for providing control over the body, in the sense that the parts of the body that require more precise and finer movements, such as the face and the hands, also are allotted the greatest amount of cortical space.

Figure 3.11 The Sensory Cortex and the Motor Cortex

The portion of the sensory and motor cortex devoted to receiving messages that control specific regions of the body is determined by the amount of fine movement that area is capable of performing. Thus the hand and fingers have as much area in the cerebral cortex as does the entire trunk of the body.

Just as the motor cortex sends out messages to the specific parts of the body, the somatosensory cortex, an area just behind and parallel to the motor cortex at the back of the frontal lobe, receives information from the skin's sensory receptors and the movements of different body parts. Again, the more sensitive the body region, the more area is dedicated to it in the sensory cortex. Our sensitive lips, for example, occupy a large area in the sensory cortex, as do our fingers and genitals.

Other areas of the cortex process other types of sensory information. Thevisual cortex is the area located in the occipital lobe (at the very back of the brain) that processes visual information. If you were stimulated in the visual cortex, you would see flashes of light or color, and perhaps you remember having had the experience of "seeing stars" when you were hit in, or fell on, the back of your head. The temporal lobe, located on the lower side of each hemisphere, contains the auditory cortex, which is responsible for hearing and language. The temporal lobe also processes some visual information, providing us with the ability to name the objects around us (Martin, 2007). [12]

As you can see in Figure 3.11 "The Sensory Cortex and the Motor Cortex", the motor and sensory areas of the cortex account for a relatively small part of the total cortex. The remainder of the cortex is made up of association areas in which sensory and motor information is combined and associated with our stored knowledge. These association areas are the places in the brain that are responsible for most of the things that make human beings seem human. The association areas are involved in higher mental functions, such as learning, thinking, planning, judging, moral reflecting, figuring, and spatial reasoning.

The Brain Is Flexible: Neuroplasticity

The control of some specific bodily functions, such as movement, vision, and hearing, is performed in specified areas of the cortex, and if these areas are damaged, the individual will likely lose the ability to perform the corresponding function. For instance, if an infant suffers damage to facial recognition areas in the temporal lobe, it is likely that he or she will never be able to recognize faces (Farah, Rabinowitz, Quinn, & Liu, 2000). [13] On the other hand, the brain is not divided up in an entirely rigid way. The brain's neurons have a remarkable capacity to reorganize and extend themselves to carry out particular functions in response to the needs of the organism, and to repair damage. As a result, the brain constantly creates new neural communication routes and rewires existing ones. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain's ability to change its structure and function in response to experience or damage. Neuroplasticity enables us to learn and remember new things and adjust to new experiences.

Our brains are the most "plastic" when we are young children, as it is during this time that we learn the most about our environment. On the other hand, neuroplasticity continues to be observed even in adults (Kolb & Fantie, 1989).[14] The principles of neuroplasticity help us understand how our brains develop to reflect our experiences. For instance, accomplished musicians have a larger auditory cortex compared with the general population (Bengtsson et al., 2005) [15] and also require less neural activity to move their fingers over the keys than do novices (Mnte, Altenmller, & Jncke, 2002). [16] These observations reflect the changes in the brain that follow our experiences.

Plasticity is also observed when there is damage to the brain or to parts of the body that are represented in the motor and sensory cortexes. When a tumor in the left hemisphere of the brain impairs language, the right hemisphere will begin to compensate to help the person recover the ability to speak (Thiel et al., 2006). [17] And if a person loses a finger, the area of the sensory cortex that previously received information from the missing finger will begin to receive input from adjacent fingers, causing the remaining digits to become more sensitive to touch (Fox, 1984). [18] Although neurons cannot repair or regenerate themselves as skin or blood vessels can, new evidence suggests that the brain can engage in neurogenesis,the forming of new neurons (Van Praag, Zhao, Gage, & Gazzaniga, 2004). [19]These new neurons originate deep in the brain and may then migrate to other brain areas where they form new connections with other neurons (Gould, 2007). [20] This leaves open the possibility that someday scientists might be able to "rebuild" damaged brains by creating drugs that help grow neurons.

Research Focus: Identifying the Unique Functions of the Left and Right Hemispheres Using Split-Brain Patients

We have seen that the left hemisphere of the brain primarily senses and controls the motor movements on the right side of the body, and vice versa. This fact provides an interesting way to studybrain lateralization--the idea that the left and the right hemispheres of the brain are specialized to perform different functions. Gazzaniga, Bogen, and [21] Sperry (1965) studied a patient, known as W. J., who had undergone an operation to relieve severe seizures. In this surgery the region that normally connects the two halves of the brain and supports communication between the hemispheres, known as thecorpus callosum, is severed. As a result, the patient essentially becomes a person with two separate brains. Because the left and right hemispheres are separated, each hemisphere develops a mind of its own, [22] with its own sensations, concepts, and motivations (Gazzaniga, 2005).

In their research, Gazzaniga and his colleagues tested the ability of W. J. to recognize and respond to objects and written passages that were presented to only the left or to only the right brain hemispheres (see Figure 3.12 "Visual and Verbal Processing in the Split-Brain Patient"). The researchers had W. J. look straight ahead and then flashed, for a fraction of a second, a picture of a geometrical shape to the left of where he was looking. By doing so, they assured that--because the two hemispheres had been separated--the image of the shape was experienced only in the right brain hemisphere (remember that sensory input from the left side of the body is sent to the right side of the brain). Gazzaniga and his colleagues found that W. J. was able to identify what he had been shown when he was asked to pick the object from a series of shapes, using his left hand, but that he could not do this when the object was shown in the right visual field. On the other hand, W. J. could easily read written material presented in the right visual field (and thus experienced in the left hemisphere) but not when it was presented in the left visual field.

Figure 3.12Visual and Verbal Processing in the Split-Brain Patient

The information that is presented on the left side of our field of vision is transmitted to the right brain hemisphere, and vice versa. In split-brain patients, the severed corpus callosum does not permit information to be transferred between hemispheres, which allows researchers to learn about the functions of each hemisphere. In the sample on the left, the split-brain patient could not choose which image had been presented because the left hemisphere cannot process visual information. In the sample on the right the patient could not read the passage because the right brain hemisphere cannot process language.

This research, and many other studies following it, has demonstrated that the two brain hemispheres specialize in different abilities. In most people the ability to speak, write, and understand language is located in the left hemisphere. This is why W. J. could read passages that were presented on the right side and thus transmitted to the left hemisphere, but could not read passages that were only experienced in the right brain hemisphere. The left hemisphere is also better at math and at judging time and rhythm. It is also superior in coordinating the order of complex movements--for example, lip movements needed for speech. The right hemisphere, on the other hand, has only very limited verbal abilities, and yet it excels in perceptual skills. The right hemisphere is able to recognize objects, including faces, patterns, and melodies, and it can put a puzzle together or draw a picture. This is why W. J. could pick out the image when he saw it on the left, but not the right, visual field.

Although Gazzaniga's research demonstrated that the brain is in fact lateralized, such that the two hemispheres specialize in different activities, this does not mean that when people behave in a certain way or perform a certain activity they are only using one hemisphere of their brains at a time. That would be drastically oversimplifying the concept of brain differences. We normally use both hemispheres at the same time, and the difference between the [23] abilities of the two hemispheres is not absolute (Soroker et al., 2005).

Psychology in Everyday Life: Why Are Some People Left-Handed?

Across cultures and ethnic groups, about 90% of people are mainly right-handed, whereas only 10% are primarily left- [24] handed (Peters, Reimers, & Manning, 2006). This fact is puzzling, in part because the number of left-handers is so low, and in part because other animals, including our closest primate relatives, do not show any type of handedness. The existence of right-handers and left-handers provides an interesting example of the relationship among evolution, biology, and social factors and how the same phenomenon can be understood at different levels of analysis (Harris, [25] 1990; McManus, 2002).

At least some handedness is determined by genetics. Ultrasound scans show that 9 out of 10 fetuses suck the thumb of [26] their right hand, suggesting that the preference is determined before birth (Hepper, Wells, & Lynch, 2005), and the [27] mechanism of transmission has been linked to a gene on the X chromosome (Jones & Martin, 2000). It has also been observed that left-handed people are likely to have fewer children, and this may be in part because the mothers of left-handers are more prone to miscarriages and other prenatal problems (McKeever, Cerone, Suter, & Wu, [28] 2000).

But culture also plays a role. In the past, left-handed children were forced to write with their right hands in many countries, and this practice continues, particularly in collectivistic cultures, such as India and Japan, where left- handedness is viewed negatively as compared with individualistic societies, such as the United States. For example, [29] India has about half as many left-handers as the United States (Ida & Mandal, 2003).

There are both advantages and disadvantages to being left-handed in a world where most people are right-handed. One problem for lefties is that the world is designed for right-handers. Automatic teller machines (ATMs), classroom desks, scissors, microscopes, drill presses, and table saws are just some examples of everyday machinery that is designed with the most important controls on the right side. This may explain in part why left-handers suffer [30] somewhat more accidents than do right-handers (Dutta & Mandal, 2006).

Despite the potential difficulty living and working in a world designed for right-handers, there seem to be some advantages to being left-handed. Throughout history, a number of prominent artists have been left-handed, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Pablo Picasso, and Max Escher. Because the right hemisphere is superior in imaging and visual abilities, there may be some advantage to using the left hand for drawing or painting (Springer & [31] Deutsch, 1998). Left-handed people are also better at envisioning three-dimensional objects, which may explain why there is such a high number of left-handed architects, artists, and chess players in proportion to their numbers [32] (Coren, 1992). However, there are also more left-handers among those with reading disabilities, allergies, and [33] migraine headaches (Geschwind & Behan, 2007), perhaps due to the fact that a small minority of left-handers owe [34] their handedness to a birth trauma, such as being born prematurely (Betancur, Vlez, Cabanieu, & le Moal, 1990).

In sports in which handedness may matter, such as tennis, boxing, fencing, or judo, left-handers may have an advantage. They play many games against right-handers and learn how to best handle their styles. Right-handers, however, play very few games against left-handers, which may make them more vulnerable. This explains why a disproportionately high number of left-handers are found in sports where direct one-on-one action predominates. In other sports, such as golf, there are fewer left-handed players because the handedness of one player has no effect on the competition.

The fact that left-handers excel in some sports suggests the possibility that they may have also had an evolutionary advantage because their ancestors may have been more successful in important skills such as hand-to-hand combat [35] (Bodmer & McKie, 1994). At this point, however, this idea remains only a hypothesis, and determinants of human handedness are yet to be fully understood.

Lesions Provide a Picture of What Is Missing

An advantage of the cadaver approach is that the brains can be fully studied, but an obvious disadvantage is that the brains are no longer active. In other cases, however, we can study living brains. The brains of living human beings may be damaged, for instance, as a result of strokes, falls, automobile accidents, gunshots, or tumors. These damages are called lesions. In rare occasions, brain lesions may be created intentionally through surgery, such as that designed to remove brain tumors or (as in split-brain patients) to reduce the effects of epilepsy. Psychologists also sometimes intentionally create lesions in animals to study the effects on their behavior. In so doing, they hope to be able to draw inferences about the likely functions of human brains from the effects of the lesions in animals.

Lesions allow the scientist to observe any loss of brain function that may occur. For instance, when an individual suffers a stroke, a blood clot deprives part of the brain of oxygen, killing the neurons in the area and rendering that area unable to process information. In some cases, the result of the stroke is a specific lack of ability. For instance, if the stroke influences the occipital lobe, then vision may suffer, and if the stroke influences the areas associated with language or speech, these functions will suffer. In fact, our earliest understanding of the specific areas involved in speech and language were gained by studying patients who had experienced strokes.

It is now known that a good part of our moral reasoning abilities are located in the frontal lobe, and at least some of this understanding comes from lesion studies. For instance, consider the well-known case of Phineas Gage, a 25-year-old railroad worker who, as a result of an explosion, had an iron rod driven into his cheek and out through the top of his skull, causing major damage to his frontal lobe (Macmillan, 2000). [2] Although remarkably Gage was able to return to work after the wounds healed, he no longer seemed to be the same person to those who knew him. The amiable, soft-spoken Gage had become irritable, rude, irresponsible, and dishonest. Although there are questions about the interpretation of this case study (Kotowicz, 2007),[3] it did provide early evidence that the frontal lobe is involved in emotion and morality (Damasio et al., 2005). [4]

More recent and more controlled research has also used patients with lesions to investigate the source of moral reasoning. Michael Koenigs and his colleagues (Koenigs et al., 2007) [5] asked groups of normal persons, individuals with lesions in the frontal lobes, and individuals with lesions in other places in the brain to respond to scenarios that involved doing harm to a person, even though the harm ultimately saved the lives of other people (Miller, 2008). [6]

In one of the scenarios the participants were asked if they would be willing to kill one person in order to prevent five other people from being killed. As you can see in Figure 3.14 "The Frontal Lobe and Moral Judgment", they found that the individuals with lesions in the frontal lobe were significantly more likely to agree to do the harm than were individuals from the two other groups.

Figure 3.14 The Frontal Lobe and Moral Judgment

Koenigs and his colleagues (2007) [7] found that the frontal lobe is important in moral judgment. Persons with lesions in the frontal lobe were more likely to be willing to harm one person in order to save the lives of five others than were control participants or those with lesions in other parts of the brain.

Recording Electrical Activity in the Brain

In addition to lesion approaches, it is also possible to learn about the brain by studying the electrical activity created by the firing of its neurons. One approach, primarily used with animals, is to place detectors in the brain to study the responses of specific neurons. Research using these techniques has found, for instance, that there are specific neurons, known as feature detectors, in the visual cortex that detect movement, lines and edges, and even faces (Kanwisher, 2000). [8]

A less invasive approach, and one that can be used on living humans, is electroencephalography (EEG). The EEG is a technique that records the electrical activity produced by the brain's neurons through the use of electrodes that are placed around the research participant's head. An EEG can show if a person is asleep, awake, or anesthetized because the brain wave patterns are known to differ during each state. EEGs can also track the waves that are produced when a person is reading, writing, and speaking, and are useful for understanding brain abnormalities, such as epilepsy. A particular advantage of EEG is that the participant can move around while the recordings are being taken, which is useful when measuring brain activity in children who often have difficulty keeping still. Furthermore, by following electrical impulses across the surface of the brain, researchers can observe changes over very fast time periods.

Peeking Inside the Brain: Neuroimaging

Although the EEG can provide information about the general patterns of electrical activity within the brain, and although the EEG allows the researcher to see these changes quickly as they occur in real time, the electrodes must be placed on the surface of the skull and each electrode measures brain waves from large areas of the brain. As a result, EEGs do not provide a very clear picture of the structure of the brain.

But techniques exist to provide more specific brain images. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a type of brain scan that uses a magnetic field to create images of brain activity in each brain area. The patient lies on a bed within a large cylindrical structure containing a very strong magnet. Neurons that are firing use more oxygen, and the need for oxygen increases blood flow to the area. The fMRI detects the amount of blood flow in each brain region, and thus is an indicator of neural activity.

Very clear and detailed pictures of brain structures (see, e.g., Figure 3.16 "fMRI Image") can be produced via fMRI. Often, the images take the form of cross-sectional "slices" that are obtained as the magnetic field is passed across the brain. The images of these slices are taken repeatedly and are superimposed on images of the brain structure itself to show how activity changes in different brain structures over time. When the research participant is asked to engage in tasks while in the scanner (e.g., by playing a game with another person), the images can show which parts of the brain are associated with which types of tasks. Another advantage of the fMRI is that is it noninvasive. The research participant simply enters the machine and the scans begin.

Although the scanners themselves are expensive, the advantages of fMRIs are substantial, and they are now available in many university and hospital settings. fMRI is now the most commonly used method of learning about brain structure.

There is still one more approach that is being more frequently implemented to understand brain function, and although it is new, it may turn out to be the most useful of all. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a procedure in which magnetic pulses are applied to the brain of living persons with the goal of temporarily and safely deactivating a small brain region. In TMS studies the research participant is first scanned in an fMRI machine to determine the exact location of the brain area to be tested. Then the electrical stimulation is provided to the brain before or while the participant is working on a cognitive task, and the effects of the stimulation on performance are assessed. If the participant's ability to perform the task is influenced by the presence of the stimulation, then the researchers can conclude that this particular area of the brain is important to carrying out the task.

The primary advantage of TMS is that it allows the researcher to draw causal conclusions about the influence of brain structures on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. When the TMS pulses are applied, the brain region becomes less active, and this deactivation is expected to influence the research participant's responses. Current research has used TMS to study the brain areas responsible for emotion and cognition and their roles in how people perceive intention and approach moral reasoning (Kalbe et al., 2010; Van den Eynde et al., 2010; Young, Camprodon, Hauser, Pascual-Leone, & Saxe, 2010). [9] TMS is also used as a treatment for a variety of psychological conditions, including migraine, Parkinson's disease, and major depressive disorder.

Research Focus: Cyberostracism

Neuroimaging techniques have important implications for understanding our behavior, including our responses to [10] those around us. Naomi Eisenberger and her colleagues (2003) tested the hypothesis that people who were excluded by others would report emotional distress and that images of their brains would show that they experienced pain in the same part of the brain where physical pain is normally experienced. In the experiment, 13 participants were each placed into an fMRI brain-imaging machine. The participants were told that they would be playing a computer "Cyberball" game with two other players who were also in fMRI machines (the two opponents did not actually exist, and their responses were controlled by the computer).

Each of the participants was measured under three different conditions. In the first part of the experiment, the participants were told that as a result of technical difficulties, the link to the other two scanners could not yet be made, and thus at first they could not engage in, but only watch, the game play. This allowed the researchers to take a baseline fMRI reading. Then, during a second inclusion scan, the participants played the game, supposedly with the two other players. During this time, the other players threw the ball to the participants. In the third, exclusion, scan, however, the participants initially received seven throws from the other two players but were then excluded from the game because the two players stopped throwing the ball to the participants for the remainder of the scan (45 throws).

The results of the analyses showed that activity in two areas of the frontal lobe was significantly greater during the exclusion scan than during the inclusion scan. Because these brain regions are known from prior research to be active for individuals who are experiencing physical pain, the authors concluded that these results show that the physiological brain responses associated with being socially excluded by others are similar to brain responses experienced upon physical injury.

Further research (Chen, Williams, Fitness, & Newton, 2008; Wesselmann, Bagg, & Williams, 2009) [11] has documented that people react to being excluded in a variety of situations with a variety of emotions and behaviors. People who feel that they are excluded, or even those who observe other people being excluded, not only experience pain, but feel worse about themselves and their relationships with people more generally, and they may work harder to try to restore their connections with others.

Electrical Control of Behavior: The Nervous System

The nervous system (see Figure 3.17 "The Functional Divisions of the Nervous System"), the electrical information highway of the body, is made up ofnerves--bundles of interconnected neurons that fire in synchrony to carry messages. The central nervous system (CNS), made up of the brain and spinal cord, is the major controller of the body's functions, charged with interpreting sensory information and responding to it with its own directives. The CNS interprets information coming in from the senses, formulates an appropriate reaction, and sends responses to the appropriate system to respond accordingly. Everything that we see, hear, smell, touch, and taste is conveyed to us from our sensory organs as neural impulses, and each of the commands that the brain sends to the body, both consciously and unconsciously, travels through this system as well.

Figure 3.17 The Functional Divisions of the Nervous System

Nerves are differentiated according to their function. A sensory (or afferent) neuron carries information from the sensory receptors, whereas a motor (or efferent) neuron transmits information to the muscles and glands. An interneuron, which is by far the most common type of neuron, is located primarily within the CNS and is responsible for communicating among the neurons. Interneurons allow the brain to combine the multiple sources of available information to create a coherent picture of the sensory information being conveyed.

The spinal cord is the long, thin, tubular bundle of nerves and supporting cells that extends down from the brain. It is the central throughway of information for the body. Within the spinal cord, ascending tracts of sensory neurons relay sensory information from the sense organs to the brain while descending tracts of motor neurons relay motor commands back to the body. When a quicker-than-usual response is required, the spinal cord can do its own processing, bypassing the brain altogether. A reflex is an involuntary and nearly instantaneous movement in response to a stimulus. Reflexes are triggered when sensory information is powerful enough to reach a given threshold and the interneurons in the spinal cord act to send a message back through the motor neurons without relaying the information to the brain (see Figure 3.18 "The Reflex"). When you touch a hot stove and immediately pull your hand back, or when you fumble your cell phone and instinctively reach to catch it before it falls, reflexes in your spinal cord order the appropriate responses before your brain even knows what is happening.

Figure 3.18 The Reflex

The central nervous system can interpret signals from sensory neurons and respond to them extremely quickly via the motor neurons without any need for the brain to be involved. These quick responses, known as reflexes, can reduce the damage that we might experience as a result of, for instance, touching a hot stove.

If the central nervous system is the command center of the body, theperipheral nervous system (PNS) represents the front line. The PNS links the CNS to the body's sense receptors, muscles, and glands. As you can see inFigure 3.19 "The Autonomic Nervous System", the peripheral nervous system is itself divided into two subsystems, one controlling internal responses and one controlling external responses.

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is the division of the PNS that governs the internal activities of the human body, including heart rate, breathing, digestion, salivation, perspiration, urination, and sexual arousal. Many of the actions of the ANS, such as heart rate and digestion, are automatic and out of our conscious control, but others, such as breathing and sexual activity, can be controlled and influenced by conscious processes.

The somatic nervous system (SNS) is the division of the PNS that controls the external aspects of the body, including the skeletal muscles, skin, and sense organs. The somatic nervous system consists primarily of motor nerves responsible for sending brain signals for muscle contraction.

The autonomic nervous system itself can be further subdivided into thesympathetic and parasympathetic systems (see Figure 3.19 "The Autonomic Nervous System"). The sympathetic division of the ANS is involved in preparing the body for behavior, particularly in response to stress, by activating the organs and the glands in the endocrine system. Theparasympathetic division of the ANS tends to calm the body by slowing the heart and breathing and by allowing the body to recover from the activities that the sympathetic system causes. The sympathetic and the parasympathetic divisions normally function in opposition to each other, such that the sympathetic division acts a bit like the accelerator pedal on a car and the parasympathetic division acts like the brake.

Figure 3.19 The Autonomic Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system has two divisions: The sympathetic division acts to energize the body, preparing it for action. The parasympathetic division acts to calm the body, allowing it to rest.

Our everyday activities are controlled by the interaction between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. For example, when we get out of bed in the morning, we would experience a sharp drop in blood pressure if it were not for the action of the sympathetic system, which automatically increases blood flow through the body. Similarly, after we eat a big meal, the parasympathetic system automatically sends more blood to the stomach and intestines, allowing us to efficiently digest the food. And perhaps you've had the experience of not being at all hungry before a stressful event, such as a sports game or an exam (when the sympathetic division was primarily in action), but suddenly finding yourself starved afterward, as the parasympathetic takes over. The two systems work together to maintain vital bodily functions, resulting in homeostasis, the natural balance in the body's systems.

The Body's Chemicals Help Control Behavior: The Endocrine System

The nervous system is designed to protect us from danger through its interpretation of and reactions to stimuli. But a primary function of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems is to interact with the endocrine system to elicit chemicals that provide another system for influencing our feelings and behaviors.

A gland in the endocrine system is made up of groups of cells that function to secrete hormones. A hormone is a chemical that moves throughout the body to help regulate emotions and behaviors. When the hormones released by one gland arrive at receptor tissues or other glands, these receiving receptors may trigger the release of other hormones, resulting in a series of complex chemical chain reactions. The endocrine system works together with the nervous system to influence many aspects of human behavior, including growth, reproduction, and metabolism. And the endocrine system plays a vital role in emotions. Because the glands in men and women differ, hormones also help explain some of the observed behavioral differences between men and women. The major glands in the endocrine system are shown in Figure 3.20 "The Major Glands of the Endocrine System".

Figure 3.20 The Major Glands of the Endocrine System The male is shown on the left and the female on the right.

The pituitary gland, a small pea-sized gland located near the center of the brain, is responsible for controlling the body's growth, but it also has many other influences that make it of primary importance to regulating behavior. The pituitary secretes hormones that influence our responses to pain as well as hormones that signal the ovaries and testes to make sex hormones. The pituitary gland also controls ovulation and the menstrual cycle in women. Because the pituitary has such an important influence on other glands, it is sometimes known as the "master gland."

Other glands in the endocrine system include the pancreas, which secretes hormones designed to keep the body supplied with fuel to produce and maintain stores of energy; the pineal gland, located in the middle of the brain, which secretes melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the wake-sleep cycle; and the thyroid and parathyroid glands, which are responsible for determining how quickly the body uses energy and hormones, and controlling the amount of calcium in the blood and bones.

The body has two triangular adrenal glands, one atop each kidney. Theadrenal glands produce hormones that regulate salt and water balance in the body, and they are involved in metabolism, the immune system, and sexual development and function. The most important function of the adrenal glands is to secrete the hormones epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) andnorepinephrine (also known as noradrenaline) when we are excited, threatened, or stressed. Epinephrine and norepinephrine stimulate the sympathetic division of the ANS, causing increased heart and lung activity, dilation of the pupils, and increases in blood sugar, which give the body a surge of energy to respond to a threat. The activity and role of the adrenal glands in response to stress provides an excellent example of the close relationship and interdependency of the nervous and endocrine systems. A quick-acting nervous system is essential for immediate activation of the adrenal glands, while the endocrine system mobilizes the body for action.

The male sex glands, known as the testes, secrete a number of hormones, the most important of which is testosterone, the male sex hormone. Testosterone regulates body changes associated with sexual development, including enlargement of the penis, deepening of the voice, growth of facial and pubic hair, and the increase in muscle growth and strength. The ovaries, the female sex glands, are located in the pelvis. They produce eggs and secrete the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen is involved in the development of female sexual features, including breast growth, the accumulation of body fat around the hips and thighs, and the growth spurt that occurs during puberty. Both estrogen and progesterone are also involved in pregnancy and the regulation of the menstrual cycle.

Recent research has pinpointed some of the important roles of the sex hormones in social behavior. Dabbs, Hargrove, and Heusel (1996) [1] measured the testosterone levels of 240 men who were members of 12 fraternities at two universities. They also obtained descriptions of the fraternities from university officials, fraternity officers, yearbook and chapter house photographs, and researcher field notes. The researchers correlated the testosterone levels and the descriptions of each fraternity. They found that the fraternities with the highest average testosterone levels were also more wild and unruly, and one of these fraternities was known across campus for the crudeness of its behavior. On the other hand, the fraternities with the lowest average testosterone levels were more well behaved, friendly and pleasant, academically successful, and socially responsible. Banks and Dabbs (1996) [2] found that juvenile delinquents and prisoners who had high levels of testosterone also acted more violently, and Tremblay et al. (1998) [3] found that testosterone was related to toughness and leadership behaviors in adolescent boys. Although testosterone levels are higher in men than in women, the relationship between testosterone and aggression is not limited to males. Studies have also shown a positive relationship between testosterone and aggression and related behaviors (such as competitiveness) in women (Cashdan, 2003). [4]

It must be kept in mind that the observed relationships between testosterone levels and aggressive behavior that have been found in these studies do not prove that testosterone causes aggression--the relationships are only correlational. In fact, there is evidence that the relationship between violence and testosterone also goes in the other direction: Playing an aggressive game, such as tennis or even chess, increases the testosterone levels of the winners and decreases the testosterone levels of losers (Gladue, Boechler, & McCaul, 1989; Mazur, Booth, & Dabbs, 1992), [5] and perhaps this is why excited soccer fans sometimes riot when their team wins.

Recent research has also begun to document the role that female sex hormones may play in reactions to others. A study about hormonal influences on social-cognitive functioning (Macrae, Alnwick, Milne, & Schloerscheidt, 2002) [6]found that women were more easily able to perceive and categorize male faces during the more fertile phases of their menstrual cycles. Although researchers did not directly measure the presence of hormones, it is likely that phase-specific hormonal differences influenced the women's perceptions.

At this point you can begin to see the important role the hormones play in behavior. But the hormones we have reviewed in this section represent only a subset of the many influences that hormones have on our behaviors. In the chapters to come we will consider the important roles that hormones play in many other behaviors, including sleeping, sexual activity, and helping and harming others.

Misperception by Those Trained to Accurately Perceive a Threat

On September 6, 2007, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit was being held in downtown Sydney, Australia. World leaders, including the then-current U.S. president, George W. Bush, were attending the summit. Many roads in the area were closed for security reasons, and police presence was high.

As a prank, eight members of the Australian television satire The Chaser's War on Everything assembled a false motorcade made up of two black four-wheel-drive vehicles, a black sedan, two motorcycles, body guards, and chauffeurs (see the video below). Group member Chas Licciardello was in one of the cars disguised as Osama bin Laden. The motorcade drove through Sydney's central business district and entered the security zone of the meeting. The motorcade was waved on by police, through two checkpoints, until the Chaser group decided it had taken the gag far enough and stopped outside the InterContinental Hotel where former President Bush was staying. Licciardello stepped out onto the street and complained, in character as bin Laden, about not being invited to the APEC Summit. Only at this time did the police belatedly check the identity of the group members, finally arresting them.

Chaser APEC Motorcade Stunt Motorcade Stunt performed by the Chaser pranksters in 2007.

Afterward, the group testified that it had made little effort to disguise its attempt as anything more than a prank. The group's only realistic attempt to fool police was its Canadian-flag marked vehicles. Other than that, the group used obviously fake credentials, and its security passes were printed with "JOKE," "Insecurity," and "It's pretty obvious this isn't a real pass," all clearly visible to any police officer who might have been troubled to look closely as the motorcade passed. The required APEC 2007 Official Vehicle stickers had the name of the group's show printed on them, and this text: "This dude likes trees and poetry and certain types of carnivorous plants excite him." In addition, a few of the "bodyguards" were carrying camcorders, and one of the motorcyclists was dressed in jeans, both details that should have alerted police that something was amiss.

The Chaser pranksters later explained the primary reason for the stunt. They wanted to make a statement about the fact that bin Laden, a world leader, had not been invited to an APEC Summit where issues of terror were being discussed. The secondary motive was to test the event's security. The show's lawyers approv ed the stunt, under the assumption that the motorcade would be stopped at the APEC meeting.

Sensory Thresholds: What Can We Experience?

Humans possess powerful sensory capacities that allow us to sense the kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that surround us. Our eyes detect light energy and our ears pick up sound waves. Our skin senses touch, pressure, hot, and cold. Our tongues react to the molecules of the foods we eat, and our noses detect scents in the air. The human perceptual system is wired for accuracy, and people are exceedingly good at making use of the wide variety of information available to them (Stoffregen & Bardy, 2001). [1]

In many ways our senses are quite remarkable. The human eye can detect the equivalent of a single candle flame burning 30 miles away and can distinguish among more than 300,000 different colors. The human ear can detect sounds as low as 20 hertz (vibrations per second) and as high as 20,000 hertz, and it can hear the tick of a clock about 20 feet away in a quiet room. We can taste a teaspoon of sugar dissolved in 2 gallons of water, and we are able to smell one drop of perfume diffused in a three-room apartment. We can feel the wing of a bee on our cheek dropped from 1 centimeter above (Galanter, 1962). [2]

Link
To get an idea of the range of sounds that the human ear can sense, try testing your hearing here: http://test-my-hearing.com

Although there is much that we do sense, there is even more that we do not. Dogs, bats, whales, and some rodents all have much better hearing than we do, and many animals have a far richer sense of smell. Birds are able to see the ultraviolet light that we cannot (see Figure 4.3 "Ultraviolet Light and Bird Vision") and can also sense the pull of the earth's magnetic field. Cats have an extremely sensitive and sophisticated sense of touch, and they are able to navigate in complete darkness using their whiskers. The fact that different organisms have different sensations is part of their evolutionary adaptation. Each species is adapted to sensing the things that are most important to them, while being blissfully unaware of the things that don't matter.

Measuring Sensation

Psychophysics is the branch of psychology that studies the effects of physical stimuli on sensory perceptions and mental states. The field of psychophysics was founded by the German psychologist Gustav Fechner (18011887), who was the first to study the relationship between the strength of a stimulus and a person's ability to detect the stimulus.

The measurement techniques developed by Fechner and his colleagues are designed in part to help determine the limits of human sensation. One important criterion is the ability to detect very faint stimuli. The absolute threshold of a sensation is defined as the intensity of a stimulus that allows an organism to just barely detect it.

In a typical psychophysics experiment, an individual is presented with a series of trials in which a signal is sometimes presented and sometimes not, or in which two stimuli are presented that are either the same or different. Imagine, for instance, that you were asked to take a hearing test. On each of the trials your task is to indicate either "yes" if you heard a sound or "no" if you did not. The signals are purposefully made to be very faint, making accurate judgments difficult.

The problem for you is that the very faint signals create uncertainty. Because our ears are constantly sending background information to the brain, you will sometimes think that you heard a sound when none was there, and you will sometimes fail to detect a sound that is there. Your task is to determine whether the neural activity that you are experiencing is due to the background noise alone or is a result of a signal within the noise.

The responses that you give on the hearing test can be analyzed using signal detection analysis. Signal detection analysis is a technique used to determine the ability of the perceiver to separate true signals from background noise (Macmillan & Creelman, 2005; Wickens, 2002). [3] As you can see in Figure 4.4 "Outcomes of a Signal Detection Analysis", each judgment trial creates four possible outcomes: A hit occurs when you, as the listener, correctly say "yes" when there was a sound. A false alarm occurs when you respond "yes" to no signal. In the other two cases you respond "no"--either a miss (saying "no" when there was a signal) or a correct rejection (saying "no" when there was in fact no signal).

Figure 4.4 Outcomes of a Signal Detection Analysis

Our ability to accurately detect stimuli is measured using a signal detection analysis. Two of the possible decisions (hits and correct rejections) are accurate; the other two (misses and false alarms) are errors.

The analysis of the data from a psychophysics experiment creates two measures. One measure, known as sensitivity, refers to the true ability of the individual to detect the presence or absence of signals. People who have better hearing will have higher sensitivity than will those with poorer hearing. The other measure, response bias, refers to a behavioral tendency to respond "yes" to the trials, which is independent of sensitivity.

Imagine for instance that rather than taking a hearing test, you are a soldier on guard duty, and your job is to detect the very faint sound of the breaking of a branch that indicates that an enemy is nearby. You can see that in this case making a false alarm by alerting the other soldiers to the sound might not be as costly as a miss (a failure to report the sound), which could be deadly. Therefore, you might well adopt a very lenient response bias in which whenever you are at all unsure, you send a warning signal. In this case your responses may not be very accurate (your sensitivity may be low because you are making a lot of false alarms) and yet the extreme response bias can save lives.

Another application of signal detection occurs when medical technicians study body images for the presence of cancerous tumors. Again, a miss (in which the technician incorrectly determines that there is no tumor) can be very costly, but false alarms (referring patients who do not have tumors to further testing) also have costs. The ultimate decisions that the technicians make are based on the quality of the signal (clarity of the image), their experience and training (the ability to recognize certain shapes and textures of tumors), and their best guesses about the relative costs of misses versus false alarms.

Although we have focused to this point on the absolute threshold, a second important criterion concerns the ability to assess differences between stimuli.

The difference threshold (or just noticeable difference [JND]), refers to the change in a stimulus that can just barely be detected by the organism. The German physiologist Ernst Weber (1795 1878) made an important discovery about the JND--namely, that the ability to detect differences depends not so much on the size of the difference but on the size of the difference in relationship to the absolute size of the stimulus. Weber's law maintains that the just noticeable difference of a stimulus is a constant proportion of the original intensity of the stimulus. As an example, if you have a cup of coffee that has only a very little bit of sugar in it (say 1 teaspoon), adding another teaspoon of sugar will make a big difference in taste. But if you added that same teaspoon to a cup of coffee that already had 5 teaspoons of sugar in it, then you probably wouldn't taste the difference as much (in fact, according to Weber's law, you would have to add 5 more teaspoons to make the same difference in taste).

One interesting application of Weber's law is in our everyday shopping behavior. Our tendency to perceive cost differences between products is dependent not only on the amount of money we will spend or save, but also on the amount of money saved relative to the price of the purchase. I would venture to say that if you were about to buy a soda or candy bar in a convenience store and the price of the items ranged from $1 to $3, you would think that the $3 item cost "a lot more" than the $1 item. But now imagine that you were comparing between two music systems, one that cost $397 and one that cost $399. Probably you would think that the cost of the two systems was "about the same," even though buying the cheaper one would still save you $2.

Research Focus: Influence without Awareness
Summary

Another example of processing that occurs outside our awareness is seen when certain areas of the visual cortex are damaged, causing blindsight, a condition in which people are unable to consciously report on visual stimuli but nevertheless are able to accurately answer questions about what they are seeing. When people with blindsight are asked directly what stimuli look like, or to determine whether these stimuli are present at all, they cannot do so at better than chance levels. They report that they cannot see anything. However, when they are asked more indirect questions, they are able to give correct answers. For example, people with blindsight are able to correctly determine an object's location and direction of movement, as well as identify simple geometrical forms and patterns (Weiskrantz, 1997). [9] It seems that although conscious reports of the visual experiences are not possible, there is still a parallel and implicit process at work, enabling people to perceive certain aspects of the stimuli.

Research Focus: Influence without Awareness

If you study Figure 4.5 "Absolute Threshold", you will see that the absolute threshold is the point where we become aware of a faint stimulus. After that point, we say that the stimulus is conscious because we can accurately report on its existence (or its nonexistence) better than 50% of the time. But can subliminal stimuli (events that occur below the absolute threshold and of which we are not conscious) have an influence on our behavior?

Figure 4.5 Absolute Threshold

As the intensity of a stimulus increases, we are more likely to perceive it. Stimuli below the absolute threshold can still have at least some influence on us, even though we cannot consciously detect them.

A variety of research programs have found that subliminal stimuli can influence our judgments and behavior, at least in the short term (Dijksterhuis, 2010). [4] But whether the presentation of subliminal stimuli can influence the products that we buy has been a more controversial topic in psychology. In one relevant experiment, Karremans, Stroebe, and Claus (2006) [5] had Dutch college students view a series of computer trials in which a string of letters such as BBBBBBBBB or BBBbBBBBB were presented on the screen. To be sure they paid attention to the display, the students were asked to note whether the strings contained a small b. However, immediately before each of the letter strings, the researchers presented either the name of a drink that is popular in Holland (Lipton Ice) or a control string containing the same letters as Lipton Ice (NpeicTol). These words were presented so quickly (for only about one fiftieth of a second) that the participants could not see them.

Then the students were asked to indicate their intention to drink Lipton Ice by answering questions such as "If you would sit on a terrace now, how likely is it that you would order Lipton Ice," and also to indicate how thirsty they were at the time. The researchers found that the students who had been exposed to the "Lipton Ice" words (and particularly those who indicated that they were already thirsty) were significantly more likely to say that they would drink Lipton Ice than were those who had been exposed to the control words.

If it were effective, procedures such as this (we can call the technique "subliminal advertising" because it advertises a product outside awareness) would have some major advantages for advertisers, because it would allow them to promote their products without directly interrupting the consumers' activity and without the consumers' knowing they are being persuaded. People cannot counterargue with, or attempt to avoid being influenced by, messages received outside awareness. Due to fears that people may be influenced without their knowing, subliminal advertising has been legally banned in many countries, including Australia, Great Britain, and the United States.

Although it has been proven to work in some research, subliminal advertising's effectiveness is still uncertain. Charles Trappey (1996) [6] conducted a meta-analysis in which he combined 23 leading research studies that had tested the influence of subliminal advertising on consumer choice. The results of his meta-analysis showed that subliminal advertising had a negligible effect on consumer choice. And Saegert (1987, p. 107) [7]concluded that "marketing should quit giving subliminal advertising the benefit of the doubt," arguing that the influences of subliminal stimuli are usually so weak that they are normally overshadowed by the person's own decision making about the behavior.

Taken together then, the evidence for the effectiveness of subliminal advertising is weak, and its effects may be limited to only some people and in only some conditions. You probably don't have to worry too much about being subliminally persuaded in your everyday life, even if subliminal ads are allowed in your country. But even if subliminal advertising is not all that effective itself, there are plenty of other indirect advertising techniques that are used and that do work. For instance, many ads for automobiles and alcoholic beverages are subtly sexualized, which encourages the consumer to indirectly (even if not subliminally) associate these products with sexuality. And there is the ever more frequent "product placement" techniques, where images of brands (cars, sodas, electronics, and so forth) are placed on websites and in popular television shows and movies. Harris, Bargh, & Brownell (2009) [8] found that being exposed to food advertising on television significantly increased child and adult snacking behaviors, again suggesting that the effects of perceived images, even if presented above the absolute threshold, may nevertheless be very subtle.

The Sensing Eye and the Perceiving Visual Cortex

As you can see in Figure 4.7 "Anatomy of the Human Eye", light enters the eye through the cornea, a clear covering that protects the eye and begins to focus the incoming light. The light then passes through the pupil, a small opening in the center of the eye. The pupil is surrounded by the iris, the colored part of the eye that controls the size of the pupil by constricting or dilating in response to light intensity. When we enter a dark movie theater on a sunny day, for instance, muscles in the iris open the pupil and allow more light to enter. Complete adaptation to the dark may take up to 20 minutes.

Behind the pupil is the lens, a structure that focuses the incoming light on the retina, the layer of tissue at the back of the eye that contains photoreceptor cells. As our eyes move from near objects to distant objects, a process known as visual accommodation occurs. Visual accommodation is the process of changing the curvature of the lens to keep the light entering the eye focused on the retina. Rays from the top of the image strike the bottom of the retina and vice versa, and rays from the left side of the image strike the right part of the retina and vice versa, causing the image on the retina to be upside down and backward. Furthermore, the image projected on the retina is flat, and yet our final perception of the image will be three dimensional.

Figure 4.7 Anatomy of the Human Eye

Light enters the eye through the transparent cornea, passing through the pupil at the center of the iris. The lens adjusts to focus the light on the retina, where it appears upside down and backward. Receptor cells on the retina send information via the optic nerve to the visual cortex.

Accommodation is not always perfect, and in some cases the light that is hitting the retina is a bit out of focus. As you can see in Figure 4.8 "Normal, Nearsighted, and Farsighted Eyes", if the focus is in front of the retina, we say that the person is nearsighted, and when the focus is behind the retina we say that the person is farsighted. Eyeglasses and contact lenses correct this problem by adding another lens in front of the eye, and laser eye surgery corrects the problem by reshaping the eye's own lens.

Figure 4.8 Normal, Nearsighted, and Farsighted Eyes

For people with normal vision (left), the lens properly focuses incoming light on the retina. For people who are nearsighted (center), images from far objects focus too far in front of the retina, whereas for people who are farsighted (right), images from near objects focus too far behind the retina. Eyeglasses solve the problem by adding a secondary, corrective, lens.

The retina contains layers of neurons specialized to respond to light (see Figure 4.9 "The Retina With Its Specialized Cells"). As light falls on the retina, it first activates receptor cells known as rods and cones. The activation of these cells then spreads to the bipolar cells and then to the ganglion cells, which gather together and converge, like the strands of a rope, forming the optic nerve. The optic nerve is a collection of millions of ganglion neurons that sends vast amounts of visual information, via the thalamus, to the brain. Because the retina and the optic nerve are active processors and analyzers of visual information, it is not inappropriate to think of these structures as an extension of the brain itself.

Figure 4.9 The Retina With Its Specialized Cells

When light falls on the retina, it creates a photochemical reaction in the rods and cones at the back of the retina. The reactions then continue to the bipolar cells, the ganglion cells, and eventually to the optic nerve.

Rods are visual neurons that specialize in detecting black, white, and gray colors. There are about 120 million rods in each eye. The rods do not provide a lot of detail about the images we see, but because they are highly sensitive to shorter-waved (darker) and weak light, they help us see in dim light, for instance, at night. Because the rods are located primarily around the edges of the retina, they are particularly active in peripheral vision (when you need to see something at night, try looking away from what you want to see). Cones are visual neurons that are specialized in detecting fine detail and colors. The 5 million or so cones in each eye enable us to see in color, but they operate best in bright light. The cones are located primarily in and around the fovea, which is the central point of the retina.

To demonstrate the difference between rods and cones in attention to detail, choose a word in this text and focus on it. Do you notice that the words a few inches to the side seem more blurred? This is because the word you are focusing on strikes the detail-oriented cones, while the words surrounding it strike the less-detail-oriented rods, which are located on the periphery.

As you can see in Figure 4.11 "Pathway of Visual Images Through the Thalamus and Into the Visual Cortex", the sensory information received by the retina is relayed through the thalamus to corresponding areas in the visual cortex, which is located in the occipital lobe at the back of the brain. Although the principle of contralateral control might lead you to expect that the left eye would send information to the right brain hemisphere and vice versa, nature is smarter than that. In fact, the left and right eyes each send information to both the left and the right hemisphere, and the visual cortex processes each of the cues separately and in parallel. This is an adaptational advantage to an organism that loses sight in one eye, because even if only one eye is functional, both hemispheres will still receive input from it.

Figure 4.11 Pathway of Visual Images Through the Thalamus and Into the Visual Cortex

The left and right eyes each send information to both the left and the right brain hemisphere.

The visual cortex is made up of specialized neurons that turn the sensations they receive from the optic nerve into meaningful images. Because there are no photoreceptor cells at the place where the optic nerve leaves the retina, a hole or blind spot in our vision is created (see Figure 4.12 "Blind Spot Demonstration"). When both of our eyes are open, we don't experience a problem because our eyes are constantly moving, and one eye makes up for what the other eye misses. But the visual system is also designed to deal with this problem if only one eye is open--the visual cortex simply fills in the small hole in our vision with similar patterns from the surrounding areas, and we never notice the difference. The ability of the visual system to cope with the blind spot is another example of how sensation and perception work together to create meaningful experience.

Figure 4.12 Blind Spot Demonstration

You can get an idea of the extent of your blind spot (the place where the optic nerve leaves the retina) by trying this demonstration. Close your left eye and stare with your right eye at the cross in the diagram. You should be able to see the elephant image to the right (don't look at it, just notice that it is there). If you can't see the elephant, move closer or farther away until you can. Now slowly move so that you are closer to the image while you keep looking at the cross. At one distance (probably a foot or so), the elephant will completely disappear from view because its image has fallen on the blind spot.

Perception is created in part through the simultaneous action of thousands of feature detector neurons--specialized neurons, located in the visual cortex, that respond to the strength, angles, shapes, edges, and movements of a visual stimulus (Kelsey, 1997; Livingstone & Hubel, 1988). [2] The feature detectors work in parallel, each performing a specialized function. When faced with a red square, for instance, the parallel line feature detectors, the horizontal line feature detectors, and the red color feature detectors all become activated. This activation is then passed on to other parts of the visual cortex where other neurons compare the information supplied by the feature detectors with images stored in memory. Suddenly, in a flash of recognition, the many neurons fire together, creating the single image of the red square that we experience (Rodriguez et al., 1999). [3]

Figure 4.13 The Necker Cube

The Necker cube is an example of how the visual system creates perceptions out of sensations. We do not see a series of lines, but rather a cube. Which cube we see varies depending on the momentary outcome of perceptual processes in the visual cortex.

Some feature detectors are tuned to selectively respond to particularly important objects, for instance, faces, smiles, and other parts of the body (Downing, Jiang, Shuman, & Kanwisher, 2001; Haxby et al., 2001). [4] When researchers disrupted face recognition areas of the cortex using the magnetic pulses of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), people were temporarily unable to recognize faces, and yet they were still able to recognize houses (McKone, Kanwisher, & Duchaine, 2007; Pitcher, Walsh, Yovel, & Duchaine, 2007). [5]

Perceiving Color

It has been estimated that the human visual system can detect and discriminate among 7 million color variations (Geldard, 1972), [6] but these variations are all created by the combinations of the three primary colors: red, green, and blue. The shade of a color, known as hue, is conveyed by the wavelength of the light that enters the eye (we see shorter wavelengths as more blue and longer wavelengths as more red), and we detect brightness from the intensity or height of the wave (bigger or more intense waves are perceived as brighter).

Figure 4.14 Low- and High-Frequency Sine Waves and Low- and High-Intensity Sine Waves and Their Corresponding Colors 

Light waves with shorter frequencies are perceived as more blue than red; light waves with higher intensity are seen as brighter.

In his important research on color vision, Hermann von Helmholtz (18211894) theorized that color is perceived because the cones in the retina come in three types. One type of cone reacts primarily to blue light (short wavelengths), another reacts primarily to green light (medium wavelengths), and a third reacts primarily to red light (long wavelengths). The visual cortex then detects and compares the strength of the signals from each of the three types of cones, creating the experience of color. According to this Young-Helmholtz trichromatic color theory, what color we see depends on the mix of the signals from the three types of cones. If the brain is receiving primarily red and blue signals, for instance, it will perceive purple; if it is receiving primarily red and green signals it will perceive yellow; and if it is receiving messages from all three types of cones it will perceive white.

The different functions of the three types of cones are apparent in people who experience color blindness--the inability to detect either green and/or red colors. About 1 in 50 people, mostly men, lack functioning in the red- or green-sensitive cones, leaving them only able to experience either one or two colors (Figure 4.15).

Figure 4.15

People with normal color vision can see the number 42 in the first image and the number 12 in the second (they are vague but apparent). However, people who are color blind cannot see the numbers at all.
Source: Courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ishihara_11.PNG and http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ishiha ra_23.PNG.

The trichromatic color theory cannot explain all of human vision, however. For one, although the color purple does appear to us as a mixing of red and blue, yellow does not appear to be a mix of red and green. And people with color blindness, who cannot see either green or red, nevertheless can still see yellow. An alternative approach to the Young-Helmholtz theory, known as the opponent-process color theory, proposes that we analyze sensory information not in terms of three colors but rather in three sets of "opponent colors": red-green, yellow-blue, and white-black. Evidence for the opponent-process theory comes from the fact that some neurons in the retina and in the visual cortex are excited by one color (e.g., red) but inhibited by another color (e.g., green).

One example of opponent processing occurs in the experience of an afterimage. If you stare at the flag on the left side of Figure 4.16 "U.S. Flag" for about 30 seconds (the longer you look, the better the effect), and then move your eyes to the blank area to the right of it, you will see the afterimage. When we stare at the green stripes, our green receptors habituate and begin to process less strongly, whereas the red receptors remain at full strength. When we switch our gaze, we see primarily the red part of the opponent process. Similar processes create blue after yellow and white after black.

Figure 4.16 U.S. Flag

The presence of an afterimage is best explained by the opponent-process theory of color perception. Stare at the flag for a few seconds, and then move your gaze to the blank space next to it. Do you see the afterimage?
Source: Photo courtesy of Mike Swanson, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_flag(inverted).svg.

The tricolor and the opponent-process mechanisms work together to produce color vision. When light rays enter the eye, the red, blue, and green cones on the retina respond in different degrees, and send different strength signals of red, blue, and green through the optic nerve. The color signals are then processed both by the ganglion cells and by the neurons in the visual cortex (Gegenfurtner & Kiper, 2003). [7]

Perceiving Form

One of the important processes required in vision is the perception of form. German psychologists in the 1930s and 1940s, including Max Wertheimer (1880-1943), Kurt Koffka (1886-1941), and Wolfgang Khler (1887-1967), argued that we create forms out of their component sensations based on the idea of the gestalt, a meaningfully organized whole. The idea of the gestalt is that the "whole is more than the sum of its parts." Some examples of how gestalt principles lead us to see more than what is actually there are summarized in Table 4.1 "Summary of Gestalt Principles of Form Perception".

Table 4.1 Summary of Gestalt Principles of Form Perception

Principle Description Example Image
Figure and ground We structure input such that we always see a figure (image) against a ground (background). At right, you may see a vase or you may see two faces, but in either case, you will organize the image as a figure against a ground. a869cc27c82ab5133554ff7d83ca434e.png
Similarity Stimuli that are similar to each other tend to be grouped together. You are more likely to see three similar columns among the XYX characters at right than you are to see four rows. bf57af48e73d1af4eebec9c6b2461f62.png
Proximity We tend to group nearby figures together. Do you see four or eight images at right? Principles of proximity suggest that you might see only four. 96944be24362719b0ec2d888df8abd55.png
Continuity We tend to perceive stimuli in smooth, continuous ways rather than in more discontinuous ways. At right, most people see a line of dots that moves from the lower left to the upper right, rather than a line that moves from the left and then suddenly turns down. The principle of continuity leads us to see most lines as following the smoothest possible path. 7bf7bd1a2b70f0997b8a73618130f8f3.png
Closure We tend to fill in gaps in an incomplete image to create a complete, whole object. Closure leads us to see a single spherical object at right rather than a set of unrelated cones. cb9737d18165c015c25d1e0c45a0bc02.png

Perceiving Depth

Depth perception is the ability to perceive three-dimensional space and to accurately judge distance. Without depth perception, we would be unable to drive a car, thread a needle, or simply navigate our way around the supermarket (Howard & Rogers, 2001). [8] Research has found that depth perception is in part based on innate capacities and in part learned through experience (Witherington, 2005). [9]

Psychologists Eleanor Gibson and Richard Walk (1960) [10] tested the ability to perceive depth in 6- to 14-month-old infants by placing them on a visual cliff, a mechanism that gives the perception of a dangerous drop-off, in which infants can be safely tested for their perception of depth (Figure 4.22 "Visual Cliff"). The infants were placed on one side of the "cliff," while their mothers called to them from the other side. Gibson and Walk found that most infants either crawled away from the cliff or remained on the board and cried because they wanted to go to their mothers, but the infants perceived a chasm that they instinctively could not cross. Further research has found that even very young children who cannot yet crawl are fearful of heights (Campos, Langer, & Krowitz, 1970). [11] On the other hand, studies have also found that infants improve their hand-eye coordination as they learn to better grasp objects and as they gain more experience in crawling, indicating that depth perception is also learned (Adolph, 2000). [12]

Depth perception is the result of our use of depth cues, messages from our bodies and the external environment that supply us with information about space and distance. Binocular depth cues are depth cues that are created by retinal image disparity--that is, the space between our eyes, and thus which require the coordination of both eyes. One outcome of retinal disparity is that the images projected on each eye are slightly different from each other. The visual cortex automatically merges the two images into one, enabling us to perceive depth. Three-dimensional movies make use of retinal disparity by using 3-D glasses that the viewer wears to create a different image on each eye. The perceptual system quickly, easily, and unconsciously turns the disparity into 3-D.

An important binocular depth cue is convergence, the inward turning of our eyes that is required to focus on objects that are less than about 50 feet away from us. The visual cortex uses the size of the convergence angle between the eyes to judge the object's distance. You will be able to feel your eyes converging if you slowly bring a finger closer to your nose while continuing to focus on it. When you close one eye, you no longer feel the tension--convergence is a binocular depth cue that requires both eyes to work.

The visual system also uses accommodation to help determine depth. As the lens changes its curvature to focus on distant or close objects, information relayed from the muscles attached to the lens helps us determine an object's distance. Accommodation is only effective at short viewing distances, however, so while it comes in handy when threading a needle or tying shoelaces, it is far less effective when driving or playing sports.

Although the best cues to depth occur when both eyes work together, we are able to see depth even with one eye closed. Monocular depth cues are depth cues that help us perceive depth using only one eye (Sekuler & Blake, 2006).[13] Some of the most important are summarized in Table 4.2 "Monocular Depth Cues That Help Us Judge Depth at a Distance".

Table 4.2 Monocular Depth Cues That Help Us Judge Depth at a Distance

Name Description Example Image
Position We tend to see objects higher up in our field of vision as farther away. The fence posts at right appear farther away not only because they become smaller but also because they appear higher up in the picture. 35c24267520cd43c6e1790e483945af2.png
Relative size Assuming that the objects in a scene are the same size, smaller objects are perceived as farther away. At right, the cars in the distance appear smaller than those nearer to us.2a55d87b78bb8a6860a6d50efde2deab.png
Linear perspective Parallel lines appear to converge at a distance. We know that the tracks at right are parallel. When they appear closer together, we determine they are farther away. 846530bc342f6bc84662490c01f94de4.png
Light and shadow The eye receives more reflected light from objects that are closer to us. Normally, light comes from above, so darker images are in shadow. We see the images at right as extending and indented according to their shadowing. If we invert the picture, the images will reverse. 0b1d7a958f874631b21f95da405450c6.png
Interposition When one object overlaps another object, we view it as closer. At right, because the blue star covers the pink bar, it is seen as closer than the yellow moon. 706f10ee0168bbbc9a8d179eb11a7793.png
Aerial perspective Objects that appear hazy, or that are covered with smog or dust, appear farther away. The artist who painted the picture on the right used aerial perspective to make the clouds more hazy and thus appear farther away. 58f4e3e677ad20ef47b0b3e6bdf8b9c0.png

Perceiving Motion

Many animals, including human beings, have very sophisticated perceptual skills that allow them to coordinate their own motion with the motion of moving objects in order to create a collision with that object. Bats and birds use this mechanism to catch up with prey, dogs use it to catch a Frisbee, and humans use it to catch a moving football. The brain detects motion partly from the changing size of an image on the retina (objects that look bigger are usually closer to us) and in part from the relative brightness of objects.

We also experience motion when objects near each other change their appearance. The beta effect refers to the perception of motion that occurs when different images are presented next to each other in succession (see Note 4.43 "Beta Effect and Phi Phenomenon"). The visual cortex fills in the missing part of the motion and we see the object moving. The beta effect is used in movies to create the experience of motion. A related effect is thephi phenomenon, in which we perceive a sensation of motion caused by the appearance and disappearance of objects that are near each other. The phi phenomenon looks like a moving zone or cloud of background color surrounding the flashing objects. The beta effect and the phi phenomenon are other examples of the importance of the gestalt--our tendency to "see more than the sum of the parts."

Beta Effect and Phi Phenomenon

In the beta effect, our eyes detect motion from a series of still images, each with the object in a different place. This is the fundamental mechanism of motion pictures (movies). In the phi phenomenon, the perception of motion is based on the momentary hiding of an image.
Phi phenomenon: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/Lilac-Chaser.gif
Beta effect: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/09/Phi_phenomenom_no_watermark.gif

The Ear

Just as the eye detects light waves, the ear detects sound waves. Vibrating objects (such as the human vocal chords or guitar strings) cause air molecules to bump into each other and produce sound waves, which travel from their source as peaks and valleys much like the ripples that expand outward when a stone is tossed into a pond. Unlike light waves, which can travel in a vacuum, sound waves are carried within mediums such as air, water, or metal, and it is the changes in pressure associated with these mediums that the ear detects.

As with light waves, we detect both the wavelength and the amplitude of sound waves. The wavelength of the sound wave (known as frequency) is measured in terms of the number of waves that arrive per second and determines our perception of pitch, the perceived frequency of a sound. Longer sound waves have lower frequency and produce a lower pitch, whereas shorter waves have higher frequency and a higher pitch.

The amplitude, or height of the sound wave, determines how much energy it contains and is perceived as loudness (the degree of sound volume). Larger waves are perceived as louder. Loudness is measured using the unit of relative loudness known as the decibel. Zero decibels represent the absolute threshold for human hearing, below which we cannot hear a sound. Each increase in 10 decibels represents a tenfold increase in the loudness of the sound (see Figure 4.29 "Sounds in Everyday Life"). The sound of a typical conversation (about 60 decibels) is 1,000 times louder than the sound of a faint whisper (30 decibels), whereas the sound of a jackhammer (130 decibels) is 10 billion times louder than the whisper.

Figure 4.29 Sounds in Everyday Life

The human ear can comfortably hear sounds up to 80 decibels. Prolonged exposure to sounds above 80 decibels can cause hearing loss.

Audition begins in the pinna, the external and visible part of the ear, which is shaped like a funnel to draw in sound waves and guide them into the auditory canal. At the end of the canal, the sound waves strike the tightly stretched, highly sensitive membrane known as thetympanic membrane (or eardrum), which vibrates with the waves. The resulting vibrations are relayed into the middle ear through three tiny bones, known as the ossicles--the hammer (or malleus), anvil (or incus), and stirrup (or stapes)--to the cochlea, a snail-shaped liquid-filled tube in the inner ear. The vibrations cause the oval window, the membrane covering the opening of the cochlea, to vibrate, disturbing the fluid inside the cochlea.

The movements of the fluid in the cochlea bend the hair cells of the inner ear, much in the same way that a gust of wind bends over wheat stalks in a field. The movements of the hair cells trigger nerve impulses in the attached neurons, which are sent to the auditory nerve and then to the auditory cortex in the brain. The cochlea contains about 16,000 hair cells, each of which holds a bundle of fibers known as cilia on its tip. The cilia are so sensitive that they can detect a movement that pushes them the width of a single atom. To put things in perspective, cilia swaying at the width of an atom is equivalent to the tip of the Eiffel Tower swaying by half an inch (Corey et al., 2004). [1]

Figure 4.30 The Human Ear

Sound waves enter the outer ear and are transmitted through the auditory canal to the eardrum. The resulting vibrations are moved by the three small ossicles into the cochlea, where they are detected by hair cells and sent to the auditory nerve.

Although loudness is directly determined by the number of hair cells that are vibrating, two different mechanisms are used to detect pitch. The frequency theory of hearing proposes that whatever the pitch of a sound wave, nerve impulses of a corresponding frequency will be sent to the auditory nerve. For example, a tone measuring 600 hertz will be transduced into 600 nerve impulses a second. This theory has a problem with high-pitched sounds, however, because the neurons cannot fire fast enough. To reach the necessary speed, the neurons work together in a sort of volley system in which different neurons fire in sequence, allowing us to detect sounds up to about 4,000 hertz.

Not only is frequency important, but location is critical as well. The cochlea relays information about the specific area, or place, in the cochlea that is most activated by the incoming sound. The place theory of hearing proposes that different areas of the cochlea respond to different frequencies. Higher tones excite areas closest to the opening of the cochlea (near the oval window). Lower tones excite areas near the narrow tip of the cochlea, at the opposite end. Pitch is therefore determined in part by the area of the cochlea firing the most frequently.

Just as having two eyes in slightly different positions allows us to perceive depth, so the fact that the ears are placed on either side of the head enables us to benefit from stereophonic, or three- dimensional, hearing. If a sound occurs on your left side, the left ear will receive the sound slightly sooner than the right ear, and the sound it receives will be more intense, allowing you to quickly determine the location of the sound. Although the distance between our two ears is only about 6 inches, and sound waves travel at 750 miles an hour, the time and intensity differences are easily detected (Middlebrooks & Green, 1991). [2] When a sound is equidistant from both ears, such as when it is directly in front, behind, beneath or overhead, we have more difficulty pinpointing its location. It is for this reason that dogs (and people, too) tend to cock their heads when trying to pinpoint a sound, so that the ears receive slightly different signals.

Hearing Loss

More than 31 million Americans suffer from some kind of hearing impairment (Kochkin, 2005). [3] Conductive hearing loss is caused by physical damage to the ear (such as to the eardrums or ossicles) that reduce the ability of the ear to transfer vibrations from the outer ear to the inner ear. Sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by damage to the cilia or to the auditory nerve, is less common overall but frequently occurs with age (Tennesen, 2007). [4] The cilia are extremely fragile, and by the time we are 65 years old, we will have lost 40% of them, particularly those that respond to high-pitched sounds (Chisolm, Willott, & Lister, 2003). [5]

Prolonged exposure to loud sounds will eventually create sensorineural hearing loss as the cilia are damaged by the noise. People who constantly operate noisy machinery without using appropriate ear protection are at high risk of hearing loss, as are people who listen to loud music on their headphones or who engage in noisy hobbies, such as hunting or motorcycling. Sounds that are 85 decibels or more can cause damage to your hearing, particularly if you are exposed to them repeatedly. Sounds of more than 130 decibels are dangerous even if you are exposed to them infrequently. People who experience tinnitus (a ringing or a buzzing sensation) after being exposed to loud sounds have very likely experienced some damage to their cilia. Taking precautions when being exposed to loud sound is important, as cilia do not grow back.

While conductive hearing loss can often be improved through hearing aids that amplify the sound, they are of little help to sensorineural hearing loss. But if the auditory nerve is still intact, a cochlear implant may be used. A cochlear implant is a device made up of a series of electrodes that are placed inside the cochlea. The device serves to bypass the hair cells by stimulating the auditory nerve cells directly. The latest implants utilize place theory, enabling different spots on the implant to respond to different levels of pitch. The cochlear implant can help children hear who would normally be deaf, and if the device is implanted early enough, these children can frequently learn to speak, often as well as normal children do (Dettman, Pinder, Briggs, Dowell, & Leigh, 2007; Dorman & Wilson, 2004). [6]

Tasting

Taste is important not only because it allows us to enjoy the food we eat, but even more crucial, because it leads us toward foods that provide energy (sugar, for instance) and away from foods that could be harmful. Many children are picky eaters for a reason--they are biologically predisposed to be very careful about what they eat. Together with the sense of smell, taste helps us maintain appetite, assess potential dangers (such as the odor of a gas leak or a burning house), and avoid eating poisonous or spoiled food.

Our ability to taste begins at the taste receptors on the tongue. The tongue detects six different taste sensations, known respectively as sweet, salty, sour, bitter, piquancy (spicy), and umami (savory). Umami is a meaty taste associated with meats, cheeses, soy, seaweed, and mushrooms, and particularly found in monosodium glutamate (MSG), a popular flavor enhancer (Ikeda, 1909/2002; Sugimoto & Ninomiya, 2005). [1]

Our tongues are covered with taste buds, which are designed to sense chemicals in the mouth. Most taste buds are located in the top outer edges of the tongue, but there are also receptors at the back of the tongue as well as on the walls of the mouth and at the back of the throat. As we chew food, it dissolves and enters the taste buds, triggering nerve impulses that are transmitted to the brain (Northcutt, 2004). [2] Human tongues are covered with 2,000 to 10,000 taste buds, and each bud contains between 50 and 100 taste receptor cells. Taste buds are activated very quickly; a salty or sweet taste that touches a taste bud for even one tenth of a second will trigger a neural impulse (Kelling & Halpern, 1983). [3] On average, taste buds live for about 5 days, after which new taste buds are created to replace them. As we get older, however, the rate of creation decreases making us less sensitive to taste. This change helps explain why some foods that seem so unpleasant in childhood are more enjoyable in adulthood.

The area of the sensory cortex that responds to taste is in a very similar location to the area that responds to smell, a fact that helps explain why the sense of smell also contributes to our experience of the things we eat. You may remember having had difficulty tasting food when you had a bad cold, and if you block your nose and taste slices of raw potato, apple, and parsnip, you will not be able to taste the differences between them. Our experience of texture in a food (the way we feel it on our tongues) also influences how we taste it.

Smelling

As we breathe in air through our nostrils, we inhale airborne chemical molecules, which are detected by the 10 million to 20 million receptor cells embedded in the olfactory membrane of the upper nasal passage. The olfactory receptor cells are topped with tentacle-like protrusions that contain receptor proteins. When an odor receptor is stimulated, the membrane sends neural messages up the olfactory nerve to the brain (see Figure 4.31 "Smell Receptors").

Figure 4.31 Smell Receptors

There are more than 1,000 types of odor receptor cells in the olfactory membrane.

We have approximately 1,000 types of odor receptor cells (Bensafi et al., 2004), [4] and it is estimated that we can detect 10,000 different odors (Malnic, Hirono, Sato, & Buck, 1999). [5] The receptors come in many different shapes and respond selectively to different smells. Like a lock and key, different chemical molecules "fit" into different receptor cells, and odors are detected according to their influence on a combination of receptor cells. Just as the 10 digits from 0 to 9 can combine in many different ways to produce an endless array of phone numbers, odor molecules bind to different combinations of receptors, and these combinations are decoded in the olfactory cortex. As you can see in Figure 4.32 "Age Differences in Smell", women tend to have a more acute sense of smell than men. The sense of smell peaks in early adulthood and then begins a slow decline. By ages 60 to 70, the sense of smell has become sharply diminished.

Touching

The sense of touch is essential to human development. Infants thrive when they are cuddled and attended to, but not if they are deprived of human contact (Baysinger, Plubell, & Harlow, 1973; Feldman, 2007; Haradon, Bascom, Dragomir, & Scripcaru, 1994). [6] Touch communicates warmth, caring, and support, and is an essential part of the enjoyment we gain from our social interactions with close others (Field et al., 1997; Kelter, 2009). [7]

The skin, the largest organ in the body, is the sensory organ for touch. The skin contains a variety of nerve endings, combinations of which respond to particular types of pressures and temperatures. When you touch different parts of the body, you will find that some areas are more ticklish, whereas other areas respond more to pain, cold, or heat.

The thousands of nerve endings in the skin respond to four basic sensations: Pressure, hot, cold, and pain, but only the sensation of pressure has its own specialized receptors. Other sensations are created by a combination of the other four. For instance:

The experience of a tickle is caused by the stimulation of neighboring pressure receptors.

The experience of heat is caused by the stimulation of hot and cold receptors.

The experience of itching is caused by repeated stimulation of pain receptors.

The experience of wetness is caused by repeated stimulation of cold and pressure receptors.

The skin is important not only in providing information about touch and temperature but also in proprioception--the ability to sense the position and movement of our body parts. Proprioception is accomplished by specialized neurons located in the skin, joints, bones, ears, and tendons, which send messages about the compression and the contraction of muscles throughout the body. Without this feedback from our bones and muscles, we would be unable to play sports, walk, or even stand upright.

The ability to keep track of where the body is moving is also provided by thevestibular system, a set of liquid-filled areas in the inner ear that monitors the head's position and movement, maintaining the body's balance. As you can see in Figure 4.33 "The Vestibular System", the vestibular system includes the semicircular canals and the vestibular sacs. These sacs connect the canals with the cochlea. The semicircular canals sense the rotational movements of the body and the vestibular sacs sense linear accelerations. The vestibular system sends signals to the neural structures that control eye movement and to the muscles that keep the body upright.

Figure 4.33 The Vestibular System

The vestibular system includes the semicircular canals (brown) that transduce the rotational movements of the body and the vestibular sacs (blue) that sense linear accelerations.

Experiencing Pain

We do not enjoy it, but the experience of pain is how the body informs us that we are in danger. The burn when we touch a hot radiator and the sharp stab when we step on a nail lead us to change our behavior, preventing further damage to our bodies. People who cannot experience pain are in serious danger of damage from wounds that others with pain would quickly notice and attend to.

The gate control theory of pain proposes that pain is determined by the operation of two types of nerve fibers in the spinal cord. One set of smaller nerve fibers carries pain from the body to the brain, whereas a second set of larger fibers is designed to stop or start (as a gate would) the flow of pain (Melzack & Wall, 1996). [8] It is for this reason that massaging an area where you feel pain may help alleviate it--the massage activates the large nerve fibers that block the pain signals of the small nerve fibers (Wall, 2000). [9]

Experiencing pain is a lot more complicated than simply responding to neural messages, however. It is also a matter of perception. We feel pain less when we are busy focusing on a challenging activity (Bantick, Wise, Ploghaus, Clare, Smith, & Tracey, 2002), [10] which can help explain why sports players may feel their injuries only after the game. We also feel less pain when we are distracted by humor (Zweyer, Velker, & Ruch, 2004). [11] And pain is soothed by the brain's release of endorphins, natural hormonal pain killers. The release of endorphins can explain the euphoria experienced in the running of a marathon (Sternberg, Bailin, Grant, & Gracely, 1998). [12]

How the Perceptual System Interprets the Environment

This meaning-making involves the automatic operation of a variety of essential perceptual processes. One of these is sensory interaction--the working together of different senses to create experience. Sensory interaction is involved when taste, smell, and texture combine to create the flavor we experience in food. It is also involved when we enjoy a movie because of the way the images and the music work together.

Although you might think that we understand speech only through our sense of hearing, it turns out that the visual aspect of speech is also important. One example of sensory interaction is shown in the McGurk effect--an error in perception that occurs when we misperceive sounds because the audio and visual parts of the speech are mismatched. You can witness the effect yourself by viewing Note 4.69 "Video Clip: The McGurk Effect".

Video Clip: The McGurk Effect
The McGurk effect is an error in sound perception that occurs when there is a mismatch between the senses of hearing and seeing. You can experience it here.

Other examples of sensory interaction include the experience of nausea that can occur when the sensory information being received from the eyes and the body does not match information from the vestibular system (Flanagan, May, & Dobie, 2004) [2] and synesthesia--an experience in which one sensation (e.g., hearing a sound) creates experiences in another (e.g., vision). Most people do not experience synesthesia, but those who do link their perceptions in unusual ways, for instance, by experiencing color when they taste a particular food or by hearing sounds when they see certain objects (Ramachandran, Hubbard, Robertson, & Sagiv, 2005). [3]

Another important perceptual process is selective attention--the ability to focus on some sensory inputs while tuning out others. View Note 4.71 "Video Clip: Selective Attention" and count the number of times the people playing with the ball pass it to each other. You may find that, like many other people who view it for the first time, you miss something important because you selectively attend to only one aspect of the video (Simons & Chabris, 1999). [4] Perhaps the process of selective attention can help you see why the security guards completely missed the fact that the Chaser group's motorcade was a fake--they focused on some aspects of the situation, such as the color of the cars and the fact that they were there at all, and completely ignored others (the details of the security information).

Video Clip: Selective Attention
Watch this video and carefully count how many times the people pass the ball to each other.

Selective attention also allows us to focus on a single talker at a party while ignoring other conversations that are occurring around us (Broadbent, 1958; Cherry, 1953). [5] Without this automatic selective attention, we'd be unable to focus on the single conversation we want to hear. But selective attention is not complete; we also at the same time monitor what's happening in the channels we are not focusing on. Perhaps you have had the experience of being at a party and talking to someone in one part of the room, when suddenly you hear your name being mentioned by someone in another part of the room. This cocktail party phenomenon shows us that although selective attention is limiting what we processes, we are nevertheless at the same time doing a lot of unconscious monitoring of the world around us--you didn't know you were attending to the background sounds of the party, but evidently you were.

A second fundamental process of perception is sensory adaptation--a decreased sensitivity to a stimulus after prolonged and constant exposure. When you step into a swimming pool, the water initially feels cold, but after a while you stop noticing it. After prolonged exposure to the same stimulus, our sensitivity toward it diminishes and we no longer perceive it. The ability to adapt to the things that don't change around us is essential to our survival, as it leaves our sensory receptors free to detect the important and informative changes in our environment and to respond accordingly. We ignore the sounds that our car makes every day, which leaves us free to pay attention to the sounds that are different from normal, and thus likely to need our attention. Our sensory receptors are alert to novelty and are fatigued after constant exposure to the same stimulus.

If sensory adaptation occurs with all senses, why doesn't an image fade away after we stare at it for a period of time? The answer is that, although we are not aware of it, our eyes are constantly flitting from one angle to the next, making thousands of tiny movements (called saccades) every minute. This constant eye movement guarantees that the image we are viewing always falls on fresh receptor cells. What would happen if we could stop the movement of our eyes? Psychologists have devised a way of testing the sensory adaptation of the eye by attaching an instrument that ensures a constant image is maintained on the eye's inner surface. Participants are fitted with a contact lens that has miniature slide projector attached to it. Because the projector follows the exact movements of the eye, the same image is always projected, stimulating the same spot, on the retina. Within a few seconds, interesting things begin to happen. The image will begin to vanish, then reappear, only to disappear again, either in pieces or as a whole. Even the eye experiences sensory adaptation (Yarbus, 1967). [6]

One of the major problems in perception is to ensure that we always perceive the same object in the same way, despite the fact that the sensations that it creates on our receptors changes dramatically. The ability to perceive a stimulus as constant despite changes in sensation is known asperceptual constancy. Consider our image of a door as it swings. When it is closed, we see it as rectangular, but when it is open, we see only its edge and it appears as a line. But we never perceive the door as changing shape as it swings--perceptual mechanisms take care of the problem for us by allowing us to see a constant shape.

The visual system also corrects for color constancy. Imagine that you are wearing blue jeans and a bright white t-shirt. When you are outdoors, both colors will be at their brightest, but you will still perceive the white t-shirt as bright and the blue jeans as darker. When you go indoors, the light shining on the clothes will be significantly dimmer, but you will still perceive the t-shirt as bright. This is because we put colors in context and see that, compared to its surroundings, the white t-shirt reflects the most light (McCann, 1992). [7] In the same way, a green leaf on a cloudy day may reflect the same wavelength of light as a brown tree branch does on a sunny day. Nevertheless, we still perceive the leaf as green and the branch as brown.

Illusions

Although our perception is very accurate, it is not perfect. Illusions occur when the perceptual processes that normally help us correctly perceive the world around us are fooled by a particular situation so that we see something that does not exist or that is incorrect. Figure 4.34 "Optical Illusions as a Result of Brightness Constancy (Left) and Color Constancy (Right)" presents two situations in which our normally accurate perceptions of visual constancy have been fooled.

Figure 4.34 Optical Illusions as a Result of Brightness Constancy (Left) and Color Constancy (Right)

Look carefully at the snakelike pattern on the left. Are the green strips really brighter than the background? Cover the white curves and you'll see they are not. Square A in the right-hand image looks very different from square B, even though they are exactly the same.
Source: Right image courtesy of Edward H. Adelson,http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grey_square_optical_illusion.PNG.

Another well-known illusion is the Mueller-Lyer illusion (see Figure 4.35 "The Mueller-Lyre Illusion"). The line segment in the bottom arrow looks longer to us than the one on the top, even though they are both actually the same length. It is likely that the illusion is, in part, the result of the failure of monocular depth cues--the bottom line looks like an edge that is normally farther away from us, whereas the top one looks like an edge that is normally closer.

Figure 4.35 The Mueller-Lyre Illusion

The Mueller-Lyre illusion makes the line segment at the top of the left picture appear shorter than the one at the bottom. The illusion is caused, in part, by the monocular distance cue of depth--the bottom line looks like an edge that is normally farther away from us, whereas the top one looks like an edge that is normally closer.

The moon illusion refers to the fact that the moon is perceived to be about 50% larger when it is near the horizon than when it is seen overhead, despite the fact that both moons are the same size and cast the same size retinal image. The monocular depth cues of position and aerial perspective (see Figure 4.36 "The Moon Illusion") create the illusion that things that are lower and more hazy are farther away. The skyline of the horizon (trees, clouds, outlines of buildings) also gives a cue that the moon is far away, compared to a moon at its zenith. If we look at a horizon moon through a tube of rolled up paper, taking away the surrounding horizon cues, the moon will immediately appear smaller.

The Ponzo illusion operates on the same principle. As you can see in Figure 4.37 "The Ponzo Illusion", the top yellow bar seems longer than the bottom one, but if you measure them you'll see that they are exactly the same length. The monocular depth cue of linear perspective leads us to believe that, given two similar objects, the distant one can only cast the same size retinal image as the closer object if it is larger. The topmost bar therefore appears longer.

Figure 4.37 The Ponzo Illusion

The Ponzo illusion is caused by a failure of the monocular depth cue of linear perspective: Both bars are the same size even though the top one looks larger.

Illusions demonstrate that our perception of the world around us may be influenced by our prior knowledge. But the fact that some illusions exist in some cases does not mean that the perceptual system is generally inaccurate--in fact, humans normally become so closely in touch with their environment that that the physical body and the particular environment that we sense and perceive becomes embodied--that is, built into and linked with--our cognition, such that the worlds around us become part of our brain (Calvo & Gamila, 2008). [8] The close relationship between people and their environments means that, although illusions can be created in the lab and under some unique situations, they may be less common with active observers in the real world (Runeson, 1988). [9]

The Important Role of Expectations in Perception

Our emotions, mind-set, expectations, and the contexts in which our sensations occur all have a profound influence on perception. People who are warned that they are about to taste something bad rate what they do taste more negatively than people who are told that the taste won't be so bad (Nitschke et al., 2006),[10] and people perceive a child and adult pair as looking more alike when they are told that they are parent and child (Bressan & Dal Martello, 2002). [11] Similarly, participants who see images of the same baby rate it as stronger and bigger when they are told it is a boy as opposed to when they are told it is a girl (Stern & Karraker, 1989), [12] and research participants who learn that a child is from a lower-class background perceive the child's scores on an intelligence test as lower than people who see the same test taken by a child they are told is from an upper-class background (Darley & Gross, 1983). [13] Plassmann, O'Doherty, Shiv, and Rangel (2008) [14] found that wines were rated more positively and caused greater brain activity in brain areas associated with pleasure when they were said to cost more than when they were said to cost less. And even experts can be fooled: Professional referees tended to assign more penalty cards to soccer teams for videotaped fouls when they were told that the team had a history of aggressive behavior than when they had no such expectation (Jones, Paull, & Erskine, 2002). [15]

Our perceptions are also influenced by our desires and motivations. When we are hungry, food- related words tend to grab our attention more than non-food-related words (Mogg, Bradley, Hyare, & Lee, 1998), [16] we perceive objects that we can reach as bigger than those that we cannot reach (Witt & Proffitt, 2005),[17] and people who favor a political candidate's policies view the candidate's skin color more positively than do those who oppose the candidate's policies (Caruso, Mead, & Balcetis, 2009). [18] Even our culture influences perception. Chua, Boland, and Nisbett (2005) [19] showed American and Asian graduate students different images, such as an airplane, an animal, or a train, against complex backgrounds. They found that (consistent with their overall individualistic orientation) the American students tended to focus more on the foreground image, while Asian students (consistent with their interdependent orientation) paid more attention to the image's context. Furthermore, Asian-American students focused more or less on the context depending on whether their Asian or their American identity had been activated.

Psychology in Everyday Life: How Understanding Sensation and Perception Can Save Lives
Summary

Psychology in Everyday Life: How Understanding Sensation and Perception Can Save Lives

Human factors is the field of psychology that uses psychological knowledge, including the principles of sensation and perception, to improve the development of technology. Human factors has worked on a variety of projects, ranging from nuclear reactor control centers and airplane cockpits to cell phones and websites (Proctor & Van Zandt, [20] 2008). For instance, modern televisions and computer monitors were developed on the basis of the trichromatic color theory, using three color elements placed close enough together so that the colors are blended by the eye. Knowledge of the visual system also helped engineers create new kinds of displays, such as those used on notebook computers and music players, and better understand how using cell phones while driving may contribute to automobile accidents (Lee & Strayer, 2004). [21]

Human factors also has made substantial contributions to airline safety. About two thirds of accidents on commercial [22] airplane flights are caused by human error (Nickerson, 1998). During takeoff, travel, and landing, the pilot simultaneously communicates with ground control, maneuvers the plane, scans the horizon for other aircraft, and operates controls. The need for a useable interface that works easily and naturally with the pilot's visual perception is essential.

[23] Psychologist Conrad Kraft (1978) hypothesized that as planes land, with no other distance cues visible, pilots may be subjected to a type of moon illusion, in which the city lights beyond the runway appear much larger on the retina than they really are, deceiving the pilot into landing too early. Kraft's findings caused airlines to institute new flight safety measures, where copilots must call out the altitude progressively during the descent, which has probably decreased the number of landing accidents.

Figure 4.38 presents the design of an airplane instrument panel before and after it was redesigned by human factors psychologists. On the left is the initial design in which the controls were crowded and cluttered, in no logical sequence, each control performing one task. The controls were more or less the same in color, and the gauges were not easy to read. The redesigned digital cockpit (right on Figure 4.38) shows a marked improvement in usability. More of the controls are color-coded and multifunctional so that there is less clutter on the dashboard. Screens make use of LCD and 3-D graphics. Text sizes are changeable--increasing readability--and many of the functions have become automated, freeing up the pilots concentration for more important activities.

Figure 4.38

One important aspect of the redesign was based on the principles of sensory adaptation. Displays that are easy to see in darker conditions quickly become unreadable when the sun shines directly on them. It takes the pilot a relatively long time to adapt to the suddenly much brighter display. Furthermore, perceptual contrast is important. The display cannot be so bright at night that the pilot is unable to see targets in the sky or on the land. Human factors psychologists used these principles to determine the appropriate stimulus intensity needed on these displays so that pilots would be able to read them accurately and quickly under a wide range of conditions. The psychologists accomplished this by developing an automatic control mechanism that senses the ambient light visible through the front cockpit windows and that detects the light falling on the display surface, and then automatically adjusts the intensity of the display for the pilot (Silverstein, Krantz, Gomer, Yeh, & Monty, 1990; Silverstein & Merrifield, 1985). [24]

An Unconscious Killing

During the night of May 23, 1987, Kenneth Parks, a 23-year old Canadian with a wife, a baby daughter, and heavy gambling debts, got out of his bed, climbed into his car, and drove 15 miles to the home of his wife's parents in the suburbs of Toronto. There, he attacked them with a knife, killing his mother-in-law and severely injuring his father- in-law. Parks then drove to a police station and stumbled into the building, holding up his bloody hands and saying, "I think I killed some people...my hands." The police arrested him and took him to a hospital, where surgeons repaired several deep cuts on his hands. Only then did police discover that he had indeed assaulted his in-laws.

Parks claimed that he could not remember anything about the crime. He said that he remembered going to sleep in his bed, then awakening in the police station with bloody hands, but nothing in between. His defense was that he had been asleep during the entire incident and was not aware of his actions (Martin, 2009). [1]

Not surprisingly, no one believed this explanation at first. However, further investigation established that he did have a long history of sleepwalking, he had no motive for the crime, and despite repeated attempts to trip him up in numerous interviews, he was completely consistent in his story, which also fit the timeline of events. Parks was examined by a team of sleep specialists, who found that the pattern of brain waves that occurred while he slept was [2] very abnormal (Broughton, Billings, Cartwright, & Doucette, 1994). The specialists eventually concluded that sleepwalking, probably precipitated by stress and anxiety over his financial troubles, was the most likely explanation of his aberrant behavior. They also agreed that such a combination of stressors was unlikely to happen again, so he was not likely to undergo another such violent episode and was probably not a hazard to others. Given this combination of evidence, the jury acquitted Parks of murder and assault charges. He walked out of the courtroom a [3] free man (Wilson, 1998).

Research Focus: Circadian Rhythms Influence the Use of Stereotypes in Social Judgments

The circadian rhythm influences our energy levels such that we have more energy at some times of day than others. Galen Bodenhausen (1990) [2] argued that people may be more likely to rely on their stereotypes (i.e., their beliefs about the characteristics of social groups) as a shortcut to making social judgments when they are tired than when they have more energy. To test this hypothesis, he asked 189 research participants to consider cases of alleged misbehavior by other college students and to judge the probability of the accused students' guilt. The accused students were identified as members of particular social groups, and they were accused of committing offenses that were consistent with stereotypes of these groups.

One case involved a student athlete accused of cheating on an exam, one case involved a Hispanic student who allegedly physically attacked his roommate, and a third case involved an African American student who had been accused of selling illegal drugs. Each of these offenses had been judged via pretesting in the same student population to be stereotypically (although, of course, unfairly) associated with each social group. The research participants were also provided with some specific evidence about the case that made it ambiguous whether the person had actually committed the crime, and then asked to indicate the likelihood of the student's guilt on an 11 -point scale (0 = extremely unlikely to 10 = extremely likely).

Participants also completed a measure designed to assess their circadian rhythms--whether they were more active and alert in the morning (Morning types) or in the evening (Evening types). The participants were then tested at experimental sessions held either in the morning (9 a.m.) or in the evening (8 p.m.). As you can see in Figure 5.2 "Circadian Rhythms and Stereotyping", the participants were more likely to rely on their negative stereotypes of the person they were judging at the time of day in which they reported being less active and alert. Morning people used their stereotypes more when they were tested in the evening, and evening people used their stereotypes more when they were tested in the morning.

Sleep Stages: Moving Through the Night

Although we lose consciousness as we sleep, the brain nevertheless remains active. The patterns of sleep have been tracked in thousands of research participants who have spent nights sleeping in research labs while their brain waves were recorded by monitors, such as an electroencephalogram, or EEG (Figure 5.3 "Sleep Labs").

Sleep researchers have found that sleeping people undergo a fairly consistent pattern of sleep stages, each lasting about 90 minutes. As you can see in Figure 5.4 "Stages of Sleep", these stages are of two major types: Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is a sleep stage characterized by the presence of quick fast eye movements and dreaming. REM sleep accounts for about 25% of our total sleep time. During REM sleep, our awareness of external events is dramatically reduced, and consciousness is dominated primarily by internally generated images and a lack of overt thinking (Hobson, 2004). [3] During this sleep stage our muscles shut down, and this is probably a good thing as it protects us from hurting ourselves or trying to act out the scenes that are playing in our dreams. The second major sleep type, non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep is a deep sleep, characterized by very slow brain waves, that is further subdivided into three stages: N1, N2, and N3. Each of the sleep stages has its own distinct pattern of brain activity (Dement & Kleitman, 1957). [4]

Figure 5.4 Stages of Sleep

During a typical night, our sleep cycles move between REM and non-REM sleep, with each cycle repeating at about 90-minute intervals. The deeper non-REM sleep stages usually occur earlier in the night.

As you can see in Figure 5.5 "EEG Recordings of Brain Patterns During Sleep", the brain waves that are recorded by an EEG as we sleep show that the brain's activity changes during each stage of sleeping. When we are awake, our brain activity is characterized by the presence of very fast beta waves. When we first begin to fall asleep, the waves get longer (alpha waves), and as we move into stage N1 sleep, which is characterized by the experience of drowsiness, the brain begins to produce even slower theta waves. During stage N1 sleep, some muscle tone is lost, as well as most awareness of the environment. Some people may experience sudden jerks or twitches and even vivid hallucinations during this initial stage of sleep.

Figure 5.5 EEG Recordings of Brain Patterns During Sleep

Each stage of sleep has its own distinct pattern of brain activity.

Normally, if we are allowed to keep sleeping, we will move from stage N1 to stage N2 sleep. During stage N2, muscular activity is further decreased and conscious awareness of the environment is lost. This stage typically represents about half of the total sleep time in normal adults. Stage N2 sleep is characterized by theta waves interspersed with bursts of rapid brain activity known as sleep spindles.

Stage N3, also known as slow wave sleep, is the deepest level of sleep, characterized by an increased proportion of very slow delta waves. This is the stage in which most sleep abnormalities, such as sleepwalking, sleeptalking, nightmares, and bed-wetting occur. The sleepwalking murders committed by Mr. Parks would have occurred in this stage. Some skeletal muscle tone remains, making it possible for affected individuals to rise from their beds and engage in sometimes very complex behaviors, but consciousness is distant. Even in the deepest sleep, however, we are still aware of the external world. If smoke enters the room or if we hear the cry of a baby we are likely to react, even though we are sound asleep. These occurrences again demonstrate the extent to which we process information outside consciousness.

After falling initially into a very deep sleep, the brain begins to become more active again, and we normally move into the first period of REM sleep about 90 minutes after falling asleep. REM sleep is accompanied by an increase in heart rate, facial twitches, and the repeated rapid eye movements that give this stage its name. People who are awakened during REM sleep almost always report that they were dreaming, while those awakened in other stages of sleep report dreams much less often. REM sleep is also emotional sleep. Activity in the limbic system, including the amygdala, is increased during REM sleep, and the genitals become aroused, even if the content of the dreams we are having is not sexual. A typical 25-year-old man may have an erection nearly half of the night, and the common "morning erection" is left over from the last REM period before waking.

Normally we will go through several cycles of REM and non-REM sleep each night (Figure 5.5 "EEG Recordings of Brain Patterns During Sleep"). The length of the REM portion of the cycle tends to increase through the night, from about 5 to 10 minutes early in the night to 15 to 20 minutes shortly before awakening in the morning. Dreams also tend to become more elaborate and vivid as the night goes on. Eventually, as the sleep cycle finishes, the brain resumes its faster alpha and beta waves and we awake, normally refreshed.

Sleep Disorders: Problems in Sleeping

According to a recent poll (National Sleep Foundation, 2009), [5] about one-fourth of American adults say they get a good night's sleep only a few nights a month or less. These people are suffering from a sleep disorder known asinsomnia, defined as persistent difficulty falling or staying asleep. Most cases of insomnia are temporary, lasting from a few days to several weeks, but in some cases insomnia can last for years.

Insomnia can result from physical disorders such as pain due to injury or illness, or from psychological problems such as stress, financial worries, or relationship difficulties. Changes in sleep patterns, such as jet lag, changes in work shift, or even the movement to or from daylight savings time can produce insomnia. Sometimes the sleep that the insomniac does get is disturbed and nonrestorative, and the lack of quality sleep produces impairment of functioning during the day. Ironically, the problem may be compounded by people's anxiety over insomnia itself: Their fear of being unable to sleep may wind up keeping them awake. Some people may also develop a conditioned anxiety to the bedroom or the bed.

People who have difficulty sleeping may turn to drugs to help them sleep. Barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and other sedatives are frequently marketed and prescribed as sleep aids, but they may interrupt the natural stages of the sleep cycle, and in the end are likely to do more harm than good. In some cases they may also promote dependence. Most practitioners of sleep medicine today recommend making environmental and scheduling changes first, followed by therapy for underlying problems, with pharmacological remedies used only as a last resort.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, some steps that can be used to combat insomnia include the following:

Another common sleep problem is sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing that last at least 10 seconds during sleep (Morgenthaler, Kagramanov, Hanak, & Decker, 2006). [6] In addition to preventing restorative sleep, sleep apnea can also cause high blood pressure and may raise the risk of stroke and heart attack (Yaggi et al., 2005). [7]

Most sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction of the walls of the throat that occurs when we fall asleep. It is most common in obese or older individuals who have lost muscle tone and is particularly common in men. Sleep apnea caused by obstructions is usually treated with an air machine that uses a mask to create a continuous pressure that prevents the airway from collapsing, or with mouthpieces that keep the airway open. If all other treatments have failed, sleep apnea may be treated with surgery to open the airway.

Narcolepsy is a disorder characterized by extreme daytime sleepiness with frequent episodes of "nodding off." The syndrome may also be accompanied by attacks of cataplexy, in which the individual loses muscle tone, resulting in a partial or complete collapse. It is estimated that at least 200,000 Americans suffer from narcolepsy, although only about a quarter of these people have been diagnosed (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 2008). [8]

Narcolepsy is in part the result of genetics--people who suffer from the disease lack neurotransmitters that are important in keeping us alert (Taheri, Zeitzer, & Mignot, 2002) [9]-- and is also the result of a lack of deep sleep. While most people descend through the sequence of sleep stages, then move back up to REM sleep soon after falling asleep, narcolepsy sufferers move directly into REM and undergo numerous awakenings during the night, often preventing them from getting good sleep.

Narcolepsy can be treated with stimulants, such as amphetamines, to counteract the daytime sleepiness, or with antidepressants to treat a presumed underlying depression. However, since these drugs further disrupt already-abnormal sleep cycles, these approaches may, in the long run, make the problem worse. Many sufferers find relief by taking a number of planned short naps during the day, and some individuals may find it easier to work in jobs that allow them to sleep during the day and work at night.

Other sleep disorders occur when cognitive or motor processes that should be turned off or reduced in magnitude during sleep operate at higher than normal levels (Mahowald & Schenck, 2000). [10] One example is somnamulism (sleepwalking), in which the person leaves the bed and moves around while still asleep. Sleepwalking is more common in childhood, with the most frequent occurrences around the age of 12 years. About 4% of adults experience somnambulism (Mahowald & Schenck, 2000). [11]

Sleep terrors is a disruptive sleep disorder, most frequently experienced in childhood, that may involve loud screams and intense panic. The sufferer cannot wake from sleep even though he or she is trying to. In extreme cases, sleep terrors may result in bodily harm or property damage as the sufferer moves about abruptly. Up to 3% of adults suffer from sleep terrors, which typically occur in sleep stage N3 (Mahowald & Schenck, 2000). [12]

Other sleep disorders include bruxism, in which the sufferer grinds his teeth during sleep; restless legs syndrome, in which the sufferer reports an itching, burning, or otherwise uncomfortable feeling in his legs, usually exacerbated when resting or asleep; and periodic limb movement disorder, which involves sudden involuntary movement of limbs. The latter can cause sleep disruption and injury for both the sufferer and bed partner.

Although many sleep disorders occur during non-REM sleep, REM sleep behavior disorder (Mahowald & Schenck, 2005) [13] is a condition in which people (usually middle-aged or older men) engage in vigorous and bizarre physical activities during REM sleep in response to intense, violent dreams. As their actions may injure themselves or their sleeping partners, this disorder, thought to be neurological in nature, is normally treated with hypnosis and medications.

The Heavy Costs of Not Sleeping

Our preferred sleep times and our sleep requirements vary throughout our life cycle. Newborns tend to sleep between 16 and 18 hours per day, preschoolers tend to sleep between 10 and 12 hours per day, school-aged children and teenagers usually prefer at least 9 hours of sleep per night, and most adults say that they require 7 to 8 hours per night (Mercer, Merritt, & Cowell, 1998; National Sleep Foundation, 2008). [14] There are also individual differences in need for sleep. Some people do quite well with fewer than 6 hours of sleep per night, whereas others need 9 hours or more. The most recent study by the National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night (Figure 5.8 "Average Hours of Required Sleep per Night"), and yet Americans now average fewer than 7 hours.

Figure 5.8 Average Hours of Required Sleep per Night

The average U.S. adult reported getting only 6.7 hours of sleep per night, which is less than the recommended range propose by the National Sleep Foundation.
Source: Adapted from National Sleep Foundation. (2008). Sleep in America Poll. Washington, DC: Author.
Retrieved from http://www.sleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/2008%20POLL%20SOF.PDF.

Getting needed rest is difficult in part because school and work schedules still follow the early- to-rise timetable that was set years ago. We tend to stay up late to enjoy activities in the evening but then are forced to get up early to go to work or school. The situation is particularly bad for college students, who are likely to combine a heavy academic schedule with an active social life and who may, in some cases, also work. Getting enough sleep is a luxury that many of us seem to be unable or unwilling to afford, and yet sleeping is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. Continued over time, a nightly deficit of even only 1 or 2 hours can have a substantial impact on mood and performance.

Sleep has a vital restorative function, and a prolonged lack of sleep results in increased anxiety, diminished performance, and, if severe and extended, may even result in death. Many road accidents involve sleep deprivation, and people who are sleep deprived show decrements in driving performance similar to those who have ingested alcohol (Hack, Choi, Vijayapalan, Davies, & Stradling, 2001; Williamson & Feyer, 2000). [15] Poor treatment by doctors (Smith- Coggins, Rosekind, Hurd, & Buccino, 1994) [16] and a variety of industrial accidents have also been traced in part to the effects of sleep deprivation.

Good sleep is also important to our health and longevity. It is no surprise that we sleep more when we are sick, because sleep works to fight infection. Sleep deprivation suppresses immune responses that fight off infection, and can lead to obesity, hypertension, and memory impairment (Ferrie et al., 2007; Kushida, 2005). [17] Sleeping well can even save our lives. Dew et al. (2003) [18] found that older adults who had better sleep patterns also lived longer.

Figure 5.9 The Effects of Sleep Deprivation

In 1964, 17-year-old high school student Randy Gardner remained awake for 264 hours (11 days) in order to set a new Guinness World Record. At the request of his worried parents, he was monitored by a U.S. Navy psychiatrist, Lt. Cmdr. John J. Ross. This chart maps the progression of his behavioral changes over the 11 days.
Source: Adapted from Ross, J. J. (1965). Neurological findings after prolonged sleep deprivation. Archives of Neurology, 12, 399

Dreams and Dreaming

Dreams are the succession of images, thoughts, sounds, and emotions that passes through our minds while sleeping. When people are awakened from REM sleep, they normally report that they have been dreaming, suggesting that people normally dream several times a night but that most dreams are forgotten on awakening (Dement, 1997). [19] The content of our dreams generally relates to our everyday experiences and concerns, and frequently our fears and failures (Cartwright, Agargun, Kirkby, & Friedman, 2006; Domhoff, Meyer-Gomes, & Schredl, 2005). [20]

Many cultures regard dreams as having great significance for the dreamer, either by revealing something important about the dreamer's present circumstances or predicting his future. The Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud (1913/1988) [21] analyzed the dreams of his patients to help him understand their unconscious needs and desires, and psychotherapists still make use of this technique today. Freud believed that the primary function of dreams was wish fulfillment, or the idea that dreaming allows us to act out the desires that we must repress during the day. He differentiated between the manifest content of the dream (i.e., its literal actions) and its latent content (i.e., the hidden psychological meaning of the dream). Freud believed that the real meaning of dreams is often suppressed by the unconscious mind in order to protect the individual from thoughts and feelings that are hard to cope with. By uncovering the real meaning of dreams through psychoanalysis, Freud believed that people could better understand their problems and resolve the issues that create difficulties in their lives.

Although Freud and others have focused on the meaning of dreams, other theories about the causes of dreams are less concerned with their content. One possibility is that we dream primarily to help with consolidation, or the moving of information into long-term memory (Alvarenga et al., 2008; Zhang (2004).[22] Rauchs, Desgranges, Foret, and Eustache (2005) [23] found that rats that had been deprived of REM sleep after learning a new task were less able to perform the task again later than were rats that had been allowed to dream, and these differences were greater on tasks that involved learning unusual information or developing new behaviors. Payne and Nadel (2004) [24] argued that the content of dreams is the result of consolidation--we dream about the things that are being moved into long-term memory. Thus dreaming may be an important part of the learning that we do while sleeping (Hobson, Pace- Schott, and Stickgold, 2000). [25]

The activation-synthesis theory of dreaming (Hobson & McCarley, 1977; Hobson, 2004) [26] proposes still another explanation for dreaming--namely, that dreams are our brain's interpretation of the random firing of neurons in the brain stem. According to this approach, the signals from the brain stem are sent to the cortex, just as they are when we are awake, but because the pathways from the cortex to skeletal muscles are disconnected during REM sleep, the cortex does not know how to interpret the signals. As a result, the cortex strings the messages together into the coherent stories we experience as dreams.

Although researchers are still trying to determine the exact causes of dreaming, one thing remains clear--we need to dream. If we are deprived of REM sleep, we quickly become less able to engage in the important tasks of everyday life, until we are finally able to dream again.

Speeding Up the Brain With Stimulants: Caffeine, Nicotine, Cocaine, and Amphetamines

A stimulant is a psychoactive drug that operates by blocking the reuptake of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the synapses of the CNS. Because more of these neurotransmitters remain active in the brain, the result is an increase in the activity of the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Effects of stimulants include increased heart and breathing rates, pupil dilation, and increases in blood sugar accompanied by decreases in appetite. For these reasons, stimulants are frequently used to help people stay awake and to control weight.

Used in moderation, some stimulants may increase alertness, but used in an irresponsible fashion they can quickly create dependency. A major problem is the "crash" that results when the drug loses its effectiveness and the activity of the neurotransmitters returns to normal. The withdrawal from stimulants can create profound depression and lead to an intense desire to repeat the high.

Caffeine is a bitter psychoactive drug found in the beans, leaves, and fruits of plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide. It is found in a wide variety of products, including coffee, tea, soft drinks, candy, and desserts. In North America, more than 80% of adults consume caffeine daily (Lovett, 2005). [4]Caffeine acts as a mood enhancer and provides energy. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lists caffeine as a safe food substance, it has at least some characteristics of dependence. People who reduce their caffeine intake often report being irritable, restless, and drowsy, as well as experiencing strong headaches, and these withdrawal symptoms may last up to a week. Most experts feel that using small amounts of caffeine during pregnancy is safe, but larger amounts of caffeine can be harmful to the fetus (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2007). [5]

Nicotine is a psychoactive drug found in the nightshade family of plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide. Nicotine is the main cause for the dependence-forming properties of tobacco use, and tobacco use is a major health threat. Nicotine creates both psychological and physical addiction, and it is one of the hardest addictions to break. Nicotine content in cigarettes has slowly increased over the years, making quitting smoking more and more difficult. Nicotine is also found in smokeless (chewing) tobacco.

People who want to quit smoking sometimes use other drugs to help them. For instance, the prescription drug Chantix acts as an antagonist, binding to nicotine receptors in the synapse, which prevents users from receiving the normal stimulant effect when they smoke. At the same time, the drug also releases dopamine, the reward neurotransmitter. In this way Chantix dampens nicotine withdrawal symptoms and cravings. In many cases people are able to get past the physical dependence, allowing them to quit smoking at least temporarily. In the long run, however, the psychological enjoyment of smoking may lead to relapse.

Cocaine is an addictive drug obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was a primary constituent in many popular tonics and elixirs and, although it was removed in 1905, was one of the original ingredients in Coca-Cola. Today cocaine is taken illegally as recreational drug.

Cocaine has a variety of adverse effects on the body. It constricts blood vessels, dilates pupils, and increases body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. It can cause headaches, abdominal pain, and nausea. Since cocaine also tends to decrease appetite, chronic users may also become malnourished. The intensity and duration of cocaine's effects, which include increased energy and reduced fatigue, depend on how the drug is taken. The faster the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream and delivered to the brain, the more intense the high. Injecting or smoking cocaine produces a faster, stronger high than snorting it. However, the faster the drug is absorbed, the faster the effects subside. The high from snorting cocaine may last 30 minutes, whereas the high from smoking "crack" cocaine may last only 10 minutes. In order to sustain the high, the user must administer the drug again, which may lead to frequent use, often in higher doses, over a short period of time (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2009). [6]Cocaine has a safety ratio of 15, making it a very dangerous recreational drug.

Amphetamine is a stimulant that produces increased wakefulness and focus, along with decreased fatigue and appetite. Amphetamine is used in prescription medications to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) and narcolepsy, and to control appetite. Some brand names of amphetamines are Adderall, Benzedrine, Dexedrine, and Vyvanse. But amphetamine ("speed") is also used illegally as a recreational drug. The methylated version of amphetamine, methamphetamine ("meth" or "crank"), is currently favored by users, partly because it is available in ampoules ready for use by injection (Csaky & Barnes, 1984). [7] Meth is a highly dangerous drug with a safety ratio of only 10.

Amphetamines may produce a very high level of tolerance, leading users to increase their intake, often in "jolts" taken every half hour or so. Although the level of physical dependency is small, amphetamines may produce very strong psychological dependence, effectively amounting to addiction. Continued use of stimulants may result in severe psychological depression. The effects of the stimulant methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), also known as "Ecstasy," provide a good example. MDMA is a very strong stimulant that very successfully prevents the reuptake of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. It is so effective that when used repeatedly it can seriously deplete the amount of neurotransmitters available in the brain, producing a catastrophic mental and physical "crash" resulting in serious, long-lasting depression. MDMA also affects the temperature-regulating mechanisms of the brain, so in high doses, and especially when combined with vigorous physical activity like dancing, it can cause the body to become so drastically overheated that users can literally "burn up" and die from hyperthermia and dehydration.

Slowing Down the Brain With Depressants: Alcohol, Barbiturates and Benzodiazepines, and Toxic Inhalants

In contrast to stimulants, which work to increase neural activity, a depressantacts to slow down consciousness. A depressant is a psychoactive drug that reduces the activity of the CNS. Depressants are widely used as prescription medicines to relieve pain, to lower heart rate and respiration, and as anticonvulsants. Depressants change consciousness by increasing the production of the neurotransmitter GABA and decreasing the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, usually at the level of the thalamus and the reticular formation. The outcome of depressant use (similar to the effects of sleep) is a reduction in the transmission of impulses from the lower brain to the cortex (Csaky & Barnes, 1984). [8]

The most commonly used of the depressants is alcohol, a colorless liquid, produced by the fermentation of sugar or starch, that is the intoxicating agent in fermented drinks. Alcohol is the oldest and most widely used drug of abuse in the world. In low to moderate doses, alcohol first acts to remove social inhibitions by slowing activity in the sympathetic nervous system. In higher doses, alcohol acts on the cerebellum to interfere with coordination and balance, producing the staggering gait of drunkenness. At high blood levels, further CNS depression leads to dizziness, nausea, and eventually a loss of consciousness. High enough blood levels such as those produced by "guzzling" large amounts of hard liquor at parties can be fatal. Alcohol is not a "safe" drug by any means--its safety ratio is only 10.

Alcohol use is highly costly to societies because so many people abuse alcohol and because judgment after drinking can be substantially impaired. It is estimated that almost half of automobile fatalities are caused by alcohol use, and excessive alcohol consumption is involved in a majority of violent crimes, including rape and murder (Abbey, Ross, McDuffie, & McAuslan, 1996). [9]Alcohol increases the likelihood that people will respond aggressively to provocations (Bushman, 1993, 1997; Graham, Osgood, Wells, & Stockwell, 2006). [10] Even people who are not normally aggressive may react with aggression when they are intoxicated. Alcohol use also leads to rioting, unprotected sex, and other negative outcomes.

Alcohol increases aggression in part because it reduces the ability of the person who has consumed it to inhibit his or her aggression (Steele & Southwick, 1985). [11] When people are intoxicated, they become more self-focused and less aware of the social situation. As a result, they become less likely to notice the social constraints that normally prevent them from engaging aggressively, and are less likely to use those social constraints to guide them. For instance, we might normally notice the presence of a police officer or other people around us, which would remind us that being aggressive is not appropriate. But when we are drunk, we are less likely to be so aware. The narrowing of attention that occurs when we are intoxicated also prevents us from being cognizant of the negative outcomes of our aggression. When we are sober, we realize that being aggressive may produce retaliation, as well as cause a host of other problems, but we are less likely to realize these potential consequences when we have been drinking (Bushman & Cooper, 1990). [12] Alcohol also influences aggression through expectations. If we expect that alcohol will make us more aggressive, then we tend to become more aggressive when we drink.

Barbiturates are depressants that are commonly prescribed as sleeping pills and painkillers. Brand names include Luminal (Phenobarbital), Mebaraland, Nembutal, Seconal, and Sombulex. In small to moderate doses, barbiturates produce relaxation and sleepiness, but in higher doses symptoms may include sluggishness, difficulty in thinking, slowness of speech, drowsiness, faulty judgment, and eventually coma or even death (Medline Plus, 2008). [13]

Related to barbiturates, benzodiazepines are a family of depressants used to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and muscle spasms. In low doses, they produce mild sedation and relieve anxiety; in high doses, they induce sleep. In the United States, benzodiazepines are among the most widely prescribed medications that affect the CNS. Brand names include Centrax, Dalmane, Doral, Halcion, Librium, ProSom, Restoril, Xanax, and Valium.

Toxic inhalants are also frequently abused as depressants. These drugs are easily accessible as the vapors of glue, gasoline, propane, hair spray, and spray paint, and are inhaled to create a change in consciousness. Related drugs are the nitrites (amyl and butyl nitrite; "poppers," "rush," "locker room") and anesthetics such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and ether. Inhalants are some of the most dangerous recreational drugs, with a safety index below 10, and their continued use may lead to permanent brain damage.

Opioids: Opium, Morphine, Heroin, and Codeine

Opioids are chemicals that increase activity in opioid receptor neurons in the brain and in the digestive system, producing euphoria, analgesia, slower breathing, and constipation. Their chemical makeup is similar to the endorphins, the neurotransmitters that serve as the body's "natural pain reducers." Natural opioids are derived from the opium poppy, which is widespread in Eurasia, but they can also be created synthetically.

Opium is the dried juice of the unripe seed capsule of the opium poppy. It may be the oldest drug on record, known to the Sumerians before 4000 BC. Morphine and heroin are stronger, more addictive drugs derived from opium, while codeine is a weaker analgesic and less addictive member of the opiate family. When morphine was first refined from opium in the early 19th century, it was touted as a cure for opium addiction, but it didn't take long to discover that it was actually more addicting than raw opium. When heroin was produced a few decades later, it was also initially thought to be a more potent, less addictive painkiller but was soon found to be much more addictive than morphine. Heroin is about twice as addictive as morphine, and creates severe tolerance, moderate physical dependence, and severe psychological dependence. The danger of heroin is demonstrated in the fact that it has the lowest safety ratio (6) of all the drugs listed in Table 5.1 "Psychoactive Drugs by Class".

The opioids activate the sympathetic division of the ANS, causing blood pressure and heart rate to increase, often to dangerous levels that can lead to heart attack or stroke. At the same time the drugs also influence the parasympathetic division, leading to constipation and other negative side effects. Symptoms of opioid withdrawal include diarrhea, insomnia, restlessness, irritability, and vomiting, all accompanied by a strong craving for the drug. The powerful psychological dependence of the opioids and the severe effects of withdrawal make it very difficult for morphine and heroin abusers to quit using. In addition, because many users take these drugs intravenously and share contaminated needles, they run a very high risk of being infected with diseases. Opioid addicts suffer a high rate of infections such as HIV, pericarditis (an infection of the membrane around the heart), and hepatitis B, any of which can be fatal.

Hallucinogens: Cannabis, Mescaline, and LSD

The drugs that produce the most extreme alteration of consciousness are the hallucinogens, psychoactive drugs that alter sensation and perception and that may create hallucinations. The hallucinogens are frequently known as "psychedelics." Drugs in this class include lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD, or "Acid"), mescaline, and phencyclidine (PCP), as well as a number of natural plants including cannabis (marijuana), peyote, and psilocybin. The chemical compositions of the hallucinogens are similar to the neurotransmitters serotonin and epinephrine, and they act primarily as agonists by mimicking the action of serotonin at the synapses. The hallucinogens may produce striking changes in perception through one or more of the senses. The precise effects a user experiences are a function not only of the drug itself, but also of the user's preexisting mental state and expectations of the drug experience. In large part, the user tends to get out of the experience what he or she brings to it.The hallucinations that may be experienced when taking these drugs are strikingly different from everyday experience and frequently are more similar to dreams than to everyday consciousness.

Cannabis (marijuana) is the most widely used hallucinogen. Until it was banned in the United States under the Marijuana Tax Act of 1938, it was widely used for medical purposes. In recent years, cannabis has again been frequently prescribed for the treatment of pain and nausea, particularly in cancer sufferers, as well as for a wide variety of other physical and psychological disorders (Ben Amar, 2006). [14] While medical marijuana is now legal in several American states, it is still banned under federal law, putting those states in conflict with the federal government. Marijuana also acts as a stimulant, producing giggling, laughing, and mild intoxication. It acts to enhance perception of sights, sounds, and smells, and may produce a sensation of time slowing down. It is much less likely to lead to antisocial acts than that other popular intoxicant, alcohol, and it is also the one psychedelic drug whose use has not declined in recent years (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2009). [15]

Although the hallucinogens are powerful drugs that produce striking "mind-altering" effects, they do not produce physiological or psychological tolerance or dependence. While they are not addictive and pose little physical threat to the body, their use is not advisable in any situation in which the user needs to be alert and attentive, exercise focused awareness or good judgment, or demonstrate normal mental functioning, such as driving a car, studying, or operating machinery.

Why We Use Psychoactive Drugs

People have used, and often abused, psychoactive drugs for thousands of years. Perhaps this should not be surprising, because many people find using drugs to be fun and enjoyable. Even when we know the potential costs of using drugs, we may engage in them anyway because the pleasures of using the drugs are occurring right now, whereas the potential costs are abstract and occur in the future.

Research Focus: Risk Tolerance Predicts Cigarette Use
Summary

Individual ambitions, expectations, and values also influence drug use. Vaughan, Corbin, and Fromme (2009) [18] found that college students who expressed positive academic values and strong ambitions had less alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems, and cigarette smoking has declined more among youth from wealthier and more educated homes than among those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds (Johnston, O'Malley, Bachman, & Schulenberg, 2004). [19]

Drug use is in part the result of socialization. Children try drugs when their friends convince them to do it, and these decisions are based on social norms about the risks and benefits of various drugs. In the period 1991 to 1997, the percentage of 12th-graders who responded that they perceived "great harm in regular marijuana use" declined from 79% to 58%, while annual use of marijuana in this group rose from 24% to 39% (Johnston et al., 2004). [20] And students binge drink in part when they see that many other people around them are also binging (Clapp, Reed, Holmes, Lange, & Voas, 2006). [21]

Figure 5.13 Use of Various Drugs by 12th-Graders in 2005

Despite the fact that young people have experimented with cigarettes, alcohol, and other dangerous drugs for many generations, it would be better if they did not. All recreational drug use is associated with at least some risks, and those who begin using drugs earlier are also more likely to use more dangerous drugs later (Lynskey et al., 2003). [22] Furthermore, as we will see in the next section, there are many other enjoyable ways to alter consciousness that are safer.

Research Focus: Risk Tolerance Predicts Cigarette Use

Because drug and alcohol abuse is a behavior that has such important negative consequences for so many people, researchers have tried to understand what leads people to use drugs. Carl Lejuez and his colleagues (Lejuez, Aklin, Bornovalova, & Moolchan, 2005) [16] tested the hypothesis that cigarette smoking was related to a desire to take risks. In their research they compared risk-taking behavior in adolescents who reported having tried a cigarette at least once with those who reported that they had never tried smoking.

Participants in the research were 125 5th- through 12th-graders attending after-school programs throughout inner- city neighborhoods in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Eighty percent of the adolescents indicated that they had never tried even a puff of a cigarette, and 20% indicated that they had had at least one puff of a cigarette. The participants were tested in a laboratory where they completed the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), a [17] measure of risk taking (Lejuez et al., 2002). The BART is a computer task in which the participant pumps up a series of simulated balloons by pressing on a computer key. With each pump the balloon appears bigger on the screen, and more money accumulates in a temporary "bank account." However, when a balloon is pumped up too far, the computer generates a popping sound, the balloon disappears from the screen, and all the money in the temporary bank is lost. At any point during each balloon trial, the participant can stop pumping up the balloon, click on a button, transfer all money from the temporary bank to the permanent bank, and begin with a new balloon.

Because the participants do not have precise information about the probability of each balloon exploding, and because each balloon is programmed to explode after a different number of pumps, the participants have to determine how much to pump up the balloon. The number of pumps that participants take is used as a measure of their tolerance for risk. Low-tolerance people tend to make a few pumps and then collect the money, whereas more risky people pump more times into each balloon.

Supporting the hypothesis that risk tolerance is related to smoking, Lejuez et al. found that the tendency to take risks was indeed correlated with cigarette use: The participants who indicated that they had puffed on a cigarette had significantly higher risk-taking scores on the BART than did those who had never tried smoking.

Changing Behavior Through Suggestion: The Power of Hypnosis

Franz Anton Mesmer (17341815) was an Austrian doctor who believed that all living bodies were filled with magnetic energy. In his practice, Mesmer passed magnets over the bodies of his patients while telling them their physical and psychological problems would disappear. The patients frequently lapsed into a trancelike state (they were said to be "mesmerized") and reported feeling better when they awoke (Hammond, 2008). [1]

Although subsequent research testing the effectiveness of Mesmer's techniques did not find any long-lasting improvements in his patients, the idea that people's experiences and behaviors could be changed through the power of suggestion has remained important in psychology. James Braid, a Scottish physician, coined the term hypnosis in 1843, basing it on the Greek word for sleep (Callahan, 1997). [2]

Hypnosis is a trance-like state of consciousness, usually induced by a procedure known as hypnotic induction, which consists of heightened suggestibility, deep relaxation, and intense focus (Nash & Barnier, 2008). [3] Hypnosis became famous in part through its use by Sigmund Freud in an attempt to make unconscious desires and emotions conscious and thus able to be considered and confronted (Baker & Nash, 2008). [4]

Because hypnosis is based on the power of suggestion, and because some people are more suggestible than others, these people are more easily hypnotized. Hilgard (1965) [5] found that about 20% of the participants he tested were entirely unsusceptible to hypnosis, whereas about 15% were highly responsive to it. The best participants for hypnosis are people who are willing or eager to be hypnotized, who are able to focus their attention and block out peripheral awareness, who are open to new experiences, and who are capable of fantasy (Spiegel, Greenleaf, & Spiegel, 2005). [6]

People who want to become hypnotized are motivated to be good subjects, to be open to suggestions by the hypnotist, and to fulfill the role of a hypnotized person as they perceive it (Spanos, 1991). [7] The hypnotized state results from a combination of conformity, relaxation, obedience, and suggestion (Fassler, Lynn, & Knox, 2008). [8] This does not necessarily indicate that hypnotized people are "faking" or lying about being hypnotized. Kinnunen, Zamansky, and Block (1994) [9] used measures of skin conductance (which indicates emotional response by measuring perspiration, and therefore renders it a reliable indicator of deception) to test whether hypnotized people were lying about having been hypnotized. Their results suggested that almost 90% of their supposedly hypnotized subjects truly believed that they had been hypnotized.

One common misconception about hypnosis is that the hypnotist is able to "take control" of hypnotized patients and thus can command them to engage in behaviors against their will. Although hypnotized people are suggestible (Jamieson & Hasegawa, 2007), [10] they nevertheless retain awareness and control of their behavior and are able to refuse to comply with the hypnotist's suggestions if they so choose (Kirsch & Braffman, 2001). [11] In fact, people who have not been hypnotized are often just as suggestible as those who have been (Orne & Evans, 1965). [12]

Another common belief is that hypnotists can lead people to forget the things that happened to them while they were hypnotized. Hilgard and Cooper (1965)[13] investigated this question and found that they could lead people who were very highly susceptible through hypnosis to show at least some signs of posthypnotic amnesia (e.g., forgetting where they had learned information that had been told to them while they were under hypnosis), but that this effect was not strong or common.

Some hypnotists have tried to use hypnosis to help people remember events, such as childhood experiences or details of crime scenes, that they have forgotten or repressed. The idea is that some memories have been stored but can no longer be retrieved, and that hypnosis can aid in the retrieval process. But research finds that this is not successful: People who are hypnotized and then asked to relive their childhood act like children, but they do not accurately recall the things that occurred to them in their own childhood (Silverman & Retzlaff, 1986). [14] Furthermore, the suggestibility produced through hypnosis may lead people to erroneously recall experiences that they did not have (Newman & Baumeister, 1996). [15] Many states and jurisdictions have therefore banned the use of hypnosis in criminal trials because the "evidence" recovered through hypnosis is likely to be fabricated and inaccurate.

Hypnosis is also frequently used to attempt to change unwanted behaviors, such as to reduce smoking, overeating, and alcohol abuse. The effectiveness of hypnosis in these areas is controversial, although at least some successes have been reported. Kirsch, Montgomery, and Sapirstein (1995) [16] found that that adding hypnosis to other forms of therapies increased the effectiveness of the treatment, and Elkins and Perfect (2008) [17] reported that hypnosis was useful in helping people stop smoking. Hypnosis is also effective in improving the experiences of patients who are experiencing anxiety disorders, such as PTSD (Cardena, 2000; Montgomery, David, Winkel, Silverstein, & Bovbjerg, 2002),[18] and for reducing pain (Montgomery, DuHamel, & Redd, 2000; Paterson & Jensen, 2003). [19]

Reducing Sensation to Alter Consciousness: Sensory Deprivation

Sensory deprivation is the intentional reduction of stimuli affecting one or more of the five senses, with the possibility of resulting changes in consciousness. Sensory deprivation is used for relaxation or meditation purposes, and in physical and mental health-care programs to produce enjoyable changes in consciousness. But when deprivation is prolonged, it is unpleasant and can be used as a means of torture.

Although the simplest forms of sensory deprivation require nothing more than a blindfold to block the person's sense of sight or earmuffs to block the sense of sound, more complex devices have also been devised to temporarily cut off the senses of smell, taste, touch, heat, and gravity. In 1954 John Lilly, a neurophysiologist at the National Institute of Mental Health, developed the sensory deprivation tank. The tank is filled with water that is the same temperature as the human body, and salts are added to the water so that the body floats, thus reducing the sense of gravity. The tank is dark and soundproof, and the person's sense of smell is blocked by the use of chemicals in the water, such as chlorine.

The sensory deprivation tank has been used for therapy and relaxation. In a typical session for alternative healing and meditative purposes, a person may rest in an isolation tank for up to an hour. Treatment in isolation tanks has been shown to help with a variety of medical issues, including insomnia and muscle pain (Suedfeld, 1990b; Bood, Sundequist, Kjellgren, Nordstrm, & Norlander, 2007; Kjellgren, Sundequist, Norlander, & Archer, 2001), [20] headaches (Wallbaum, Rzewnicki, Steele, & Suedfeld, 1991), [21] and addictive behaviors such as smoking, alcoholism, and obesity (Suedfeld, 1990a). [22]

Although relatively short sessions of sensory deprivation can be relaxing and both mentally and physically beneficial, prolonged sensory deprivation can lead to disorders of perception, including confusion and hallucinations (Yuksel, Kisa, Avdemin, & Goka, 2004). [23] It is for this reason that sensory deprivation is sometimes used as an instrument of torture (Benjamin, 2006). [24]

Meditation

Meditation refers to techniques in which the individual focuses on something specific, such as an object, a word, or one's breathing, with the goal of ignoring external distractions, focusing on one's internal state, and achieving a state of relaxation and well-being. Followers of various Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism) use meditation to achieve a higher spiritual state, and popular forms of meditation in the West, such as yoga, Zen, and Transcendental Meditation, have originated from these practices. Many meditative techniques are very simple. You simply need to sit in a comfortable position with your eyes closed and practice deep breathing. You might want to try it out for yourself (Note 5.43 "Video Clip: Try Meditation").

Video Clip: Try Meditation
Here is a simple meditation exercise you can do in your own home.

Brain imaging studies have indicated that meditation is not only relaxing but can also induce an altered state of consciousness. Cahn and Polich (2006) [25] found that experienced meditators in a meditative state had more prominent alpha and theta waves, and other studies have shown declines in heart rate, skin conductance, oxygen consumption, and carbon dioxide elimination during meditation (Dillbeck, Glenn, & Orme-Johnson, 1987; Fenwick, 1987). [26] These studies suggest that the action of the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is suppressed during meditation, creating a more relaxed physiological state as the meditator moves into deeper states of relaxation and consciousness.

Research has found that regular meditation can mediate the effects of stress and depression, and promote well-being (Grossman, Niemann, Schmidt, & Walach, 2004; Reibel, Greeson, Brainard, & Rosenzweig, 2001; Salmon et al., 2004). [27] Meditation has also been shown to assist in controlling blood pressure (Barnes, Treiber, & Davis, 2001; Walton et al., 2004). [28] A study by Lyubimov (1992) [29] showed that during meditation, a larger area of the brain was responsive to sensory stimuli, suggesting that there is greater coordination between the two brain hemispheres as a result of meditation. Lutz and others (2004) [30]demonstrated that those who meditate regularly (as opposed to those who do not) tend to utilize a greater part of their brain and that their gamma waves are faster and more powerful. And a study of Tibetan Buddhist monks who meditate daily found that several areas of the brain can be permanently altered by the long-term practice of meditation (Lutz, Greischar, Rawlings, Ricard, & Davidson, 2004). [31]

It is possible that the positive effects of meditation could also be found by using other methods of relaxation. Although advocates of meditation claim that meditation enables people to attain a higher and purer consciousness, perhaps any kind of activity that calms and relaxes the mind, such as working on crossword puzzles, watching television or movies, or engaging in other enjoyed behaviors, might be equally effective in creating positive outcomes. Regardless of the debate, the fact remains that meditation is, at the very least, a worthwhile relaxation strategy.

Psychology in Everyday Life: The Need to Escape Everyday Consciousness
Summary

Psychology in Everyday Life: The Need to Escape Everyday Consciousness

We may use recreational drugs, drink alcohol, overeat, have sex, and gamble for fun, but in some cases these normally pleasurable behaviors are abused, leading to exceedingly negative consequences for us. We frequently refer to the abuse of any type of pleasurable behavior as an "addiction," just as we refer to drug or alcohol addiction.

Roy Baumeister and his colleagues (Baumeister, 1991) [32] have argued that the desire to avoid thinking about the self (what they call the "escape from consciousness") is an essential component of a variety of self-defeating behaviors. Their approach is based on the idea that consciousness involves self-awareness, the process of thinking about and examining the self. Normally we enjoy being self-aware, as we reflect on our relationships with others, our goals, and our achievements. But if we have a setback or a problem, or if we behave in a way that we determine is inappropriate or immoral, we may feel stupid, embarrassed, or unlovable. In these cases self-awareness may become burdensome. And even if nothing particularly bad is happening at the moment, self-awareness may still feel unpleasant because we have fears about what might happen to us or about mistakes that we might make in the future.

Baumeister argues that when self-awareness becomes unpleasant, the need to forget about the negative aspects of the self may become so strong that we turn to altered states of consciousness. Baumeister believes that in these cases we escape the self by narrowing our focus of attention to a particular action or activity, which prevents us from having to think about ourselves and the implications of various events for our self-concept.

Baumeister has analyzed a variety of self-defeating behaviors in terms of the desire to escape consciousness. Perhaps most obvious is suicide--the ultimate self-defeating behavior and the ultimate solution for escaping the negative aspects of self-consciousness. People who commit suicide are normally depressed and isolated. They feel bad about themselves, and suicide is a relief from the negative aspects of self-reflection. Suicidal behavior is often preceded by a period of narrow and rigid cognitive functioning that serves as an escape from the very negative view of the self brought on by recent setbacks or traumas (Baumeister, 1990). [33]

Alcohol abuse may also accomplish an escape from self-awareness by physically interfering with cognitive [34] functioning, making it more difficult to recall the aspects of our self-consciousness (Steele & Josephs, 1990). And cigarette smoking may appeal to people as a low-level distractor that helps them to escape self-awareness. Heatherton [35] and Baumeister (1991) argued that binge eating is another way of escaping from consciousness. Binge eaters, including those who suffer from bulimia nervosa, have unusually high standards for the self, including success, achievement, popularity, and body thinness. As a result they find it difficult to live up to these standards. Because these individuals evaluate themselves according to demanding criteria, they will tend to fall short periodically. Becoming focused on eating, according to Heatherton and Baumeister, is a way to focus only on one particular activity and to forget the broader, negative aspects of the self.

The removal of self-awareness has also been depicted as the essential part of the appeal of masochism, in which people engage in bondage and other aspects of submission. Masochists are frequently tied up using ropes, scarves, neckties, stockings, handcuffs, and gags, and the outcome is that they no longer feel that they are in control of themselves, which relieves them from the burdens of the self (Baumeister, 1991). [36]

Newman and Baumeister (1996) [37] have argued that even the belief that one has been abducted by aliens may be driven by the need to escape everyday consciousness. Every day at least several hundred (and more likely several thousand) Americans claim that they are abducted by these aliens, although most of these stories occur after the individuals have consulted with a psychotherapist or someone else who believes in alien abduction. Again, Baumeister and his colleagues have found a number of indications that people who believe that they have been abducted may be using the belief as a way of escaping self-consciousness.

The Repository for Germinal Choice

During the 1970s, American millionaire Robert Klark Graham began one of the most controversial and unique sperm banks in the world. He called it the Repository for Germinal Choice. The sperm bank was part of a project that attempted to combat the "genetic decay" Graham saw all around him. He believed human reproduction was experiencing a genetic decline, making for a population of "retrograde humans," and he was convinced that the way to save the human race was to breed the best genes of his generation (Plotz, 2001). [1]

Graham began his project by collecting sperm samples from the most intelligent and highly achieving people he could find, including scientists, entrepreneurs, athletes, and even Nobel Prize winners. Then he advertised for potential mothers, who were required to be married to infertile men, educated, and financially well-off. Graham mailed out catalogs to the potential mothers, describing the donors using code names such as "Mr. Grey-White," who was "ruggedly handsome, outgoing, and positive, a university professor, expert marksman who enjoys the classics," and "Mr. Fuchsia," who was an "Olympic gold medalist, tall, dark, handsome, bright, a successful businessman and [2] author" (Plotz, 2001). When the mother had made her choice, the sperm sample was delivered by courier and insemination was carried out at home. Before it closed following Graham's death in 1999, the repository claimed responsibility for the birth of 228 children.

But did Graham's project actually create superintelligent babies? Although it is difficult to be sure, because very few interviews with the offspring have been permitted, at least some of the repository's progeny are indeed smart. Reporter for Slate magazine David Plotz (2001) spoke to nine families who benefited from the repository, and they proudly touted their children's achievements. [3] He found that most of the offspring in the families interviewed seem to resemble their genetic fathers. Three from donor Mr. Fuchsia, the Olympic gold medalist, are reportedly gifted athletes. Several who excel in math and science were fathered by professors of math and science.

And the offspring, by and large, seem to be doing well, often attending excellent schools and maintaining very high grade-point averages. One of the offspring, now 26 years old, is particularly intelligent. In infancy, he could mark the beat of classical music with his hands. In kindergarten, he could read Hamlet and was learning algebra, and at age 6, his IQ was already 180. But he refused to apply to prestigious universities, such as Harvard or Yale, opting instead to study at a smaller progressive college and to major in comparative religion, with the aim of becoming an elementary school teacher. He is now an author of children's books.

Although it is difficult to know for sure, it appears that at least some of the children of the repository are indeed outstanding. But can the talents, characteristics, and skills of this small repository sample be attributed to genetics alone? After all, consider the parents of these children: Plotz reported that the parents, particularly the mothers, were highly involved in their children's development and took their parental roles very seriously. Most of the parents studied child care manuals, coached their children's sports teams, practiced reading with their kids, and either home-schooled them or sent them to the best schools in their areas. And the families were financially well-off. Furthermore, the mothers approached the repository at a relatively older child-bearing age, when all other options were exhausted. These children were desperately wanted and very well loved. It is undeniable that, in addition to their genetic backgrounds, all this excellent nurturing played a significant role in the development of the repository children. Although the existence of the repository provides interesting insight into the potential importance of genetics on child development, the results of Graham's experiment are inconclusive. The offspring interviewed are definitely smart and talented, but only one of them was considered a true genius and child prodigy. And nurture may have played as much a role as nature in their outcomes (Olding, 2006; Plotz, 2001). [4]

The Zygote

Within several hours, half of the 23 chromosomes from the egg and half of the 23 chromosomes from the sperm fuse together, creating a zygote--a fertilized ovum. The zygote continues to travel down the fallopian tube to the uterus. Although the uterus is only about 4 inches away in the woman's body, this is nevertheless a substantial journey for a microscopic organism, and fewer than half of zygotes survive beyond this earliest stage of life. If the zygote is still viable when it completes the journey, it will attach itself to the wall of the uterus, but if it is not, it will be flushed out in the woman's menstrual flow. During this time, the cells in the zygote continue to divide: The original two cells become four, those four become eight, and so on, until there are thousands (and eventually trillions) of cells. Soon the cells begin to differentiate, each taking on a separate function. The earliest differentiation is between the cells on the inside of the zygote, which will begin to form the developing human being, and the cells on the outside, which will form the protective environment that will provide support for the new life throughout the pregnancy.

The Embryo

Once the zygote attaches to the wall of the uterus, it is known as the embryo. During the embryonic phase, which will last for the next 6 weeks, the major internal and external organs are formed, each beginning at the microscopic level, with only a few cells. The changes in the embryo's appearance will continue rapidly from this point until birth.

While the inner layer of embryonic cells is busy forming the embryo itself, the outer layer is forming the surrounding protective environment that will help the embryo survive the pregnancy. This environment consists of three major structures: The amniotic sac is the fluid-filled reservoir in which the embryo (soon to be known as a fetus) will live until birth, and which acts as both a cushion against outside pressure and as a temperature regulator. The placenta is an organ that allows the exchange of nutrients between the embryo and the mother, while at the same time filtering out harmful material. The filtering occurs through a thin membrane that separates the mother's blood from the blood of the fetus, allowing them to share only the material that is able to pass through the filter. Finally, the umbilical cord links the embryo directly to the placenta and transfers all material to the fetus. Thus the placenta and the umbilical cord protect the fetus from many foreign agents in the mother's system that might otherwise pose a threat.

The Fetus

Beginning in the 9th week after conception, the embryo becomes a fetus. The defining characteristic of the fetal stage is growth. All the major aspects of the growing organism have been formed in the embryonic phase, and now the fetus has approximately six months to go from weighing less than an ounce to weighing an average of 6 to 8 pounds. That's quite a growth spurt.

The fetus begins to take on many of the characteristics of a human being, including moving (by the 3rd month the fetus is able to curl and open its fingers, form fists, and wiggle its toes), sleeping, as well as early forms of swallowing and breathing. The fetus begins to develop its senses, becoming able to distinguish tastes and respond to sounds. Research has found that the fetus even develops some initial preferences. A newborn prefers the mother's voice to that of a stranger, the languages heard in the womb over other languages (DeCasper & Fifer, 1980; Moon, Cooper, & Fifer, 1993), [1] and even the kinds of foods that the mother ate during the pregnancy (Mennella, Jagnow, & Beauchamp, 2001).[2] By the end of the 3rd month of pregnancy, the sexual organs are visible.

How the Environment Can Affect the Vulnerable Fetus

Prenatal development is a complicated process and may not always go as planned. About 45% of pregnancies result in a miscarriage, often without the mother ever being aware it has occurred (Moore & Persaud, 1993). [3] Although the amniotic sac and the placenta are designed to protect the embryo, substances that can harm the fetus, known as teratogens, may nevertheless cause problems. Teratogens include general environmental factors, such as air pollution and radiation, but also the cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs that the mother may use. Teratogens do not always harm the fetus, but they are more likely to do so when they occur in larger amounts, for longer time periods, and during the more sensitive phases, as when the fetus is growing most rapidly.

The most vulnerable period for many of the fetal organs is very early in the pregnancy--before the mother even knows she is pregnant.

Harmful substances that the mother ingests may harm the child. Cigarette smoking, for example, reduces the blood oxygen for both the mother and child and can cause a fetus to be born severely underweight. Another serious threat is fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), a condition caused by maternal alcohol drinking that can lead to numerous detrimental developmental effects, including limb and facial abnormalities, genital anomalies, and mental retardation. One in about every 500 babies in the United States is born with fetal alcohol syndrome, and it is considered one of the leading causes of retardation in the world today (Niccols, 1994). [4] Because there is no known safe level of alcohol consumption for a pregnant woman, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that "a pregnant woman should not drink alcohol" (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2005). [5] Therefore, the best approach for expectant mothers is to avoid alcohol completely. Maternal drug abuse is also of major concern and is considered one of the greatest risk factors facing unborn children.

The environment in which the mother is living also has a major impact on infant development (Duncan & Brooks-Gunn, 2000; Haber & Toro, 2004). [6]Children born into homelessness or poverty are more likely to have mothers who are malnourished, who suffer from domestic violence, stress, and other psychological problems, and who smoke or abuse drugs. And children born into poverty are also more likely to be exposed to teratogens. Poverty's impact may also amplify other issues, creating substantial problems for healthy child development (Evans & English, 2002; Gunnar & Quevedo, 2007).[7]

Mothers normally receive genetic and blood tests during the first months of pregnancy to determine the health of the embryo or fetus. They may undergo sonogram, ultrasound, amniocentesis, or other testing. The screenings detect potential birth defects, including neural tube defects, chromosomal abnormalities (such as Down syndrome), genetic diseases, and other potentially dangerous conditions. Early diagnosis of prenatal problems can allow medical treatment to improve the health of the fetus.

The Newborn Arrives With Many Behaviors Intact

Newborns are already prepared to face the new world they are about to experience. As you can see in Table 6.2 "Survival Reflexes in Newborns", babies are equipped with a variety of reflexes, each providing an ability that will help them survive their first few months of life as they continue to learn new routines to help them survive in and manipulate their environments.

Table 6.2 Survival Reflexes in Newborns 

Name
Stimulus
Response
Significance
Rooting reflex
The baby’s cheek is stroked.
The baby turns its head toward the stroking, opens its mouth, and tries to suck.
Ensures the infant’s feeding will be a reflexive habit
Blink reflex
A light is flashed in the baby’s eyes.
The baby closes both eyes.
Protects eyes from strong and potentially dangerous stimuli
Withdrawal reflex
A soft pinprick is applied to
the sole of the baby’s foot.
The baby flexes the leg.
Keeps the exploring infant away from painful stimuli
Tonic neck reflex
The baby is laid down on its back.
The baby turns its head to one side and extends the arm on the same side.
Helps develop hand-eye coordination
Grasp reflex
An object is pressed into the palm of the baby.
The baby grasps the object pressed and can even hold its own weight for a brief period.
Helps in exploratory learning
Moro reflex
Loud noises or a sudden drop
in height while holding the
baby.
The baby extends arms and legs and quickly brings them in as if trying to grasp something.
Protects from falling; could have assisted infants in holding onto their mothers during rough traveling
Stepping
reflex
The baby is suspended with bare feet just above a surface and is moved forward.
Baby makes stepping motions as if trying to walk.
Helps encourage motor development

In addition to reflexes, newborns have preferences--they like sweet tasting foods at first, while becoming more open to salty items by 4 months of age (Beauchamp, Cowart, Menellia, & Marsh, 1994; Blass & Smith, 1992). [1] Newborns also prefer the smell of their mothers. An infant only 6 days old is significantly more likely to turn toward its own mother's breast pad than to the breast pad of another baby's mother (Porter, Makin, Davis, & Christensen, 1992), [2] and a newborn also shows a preference for the face of its own mother (Bushnell, Sai, & Mullin, 1989). [3]

Although infants are born ready to engage in some activities, they also contribute to their own development through their own behaviors. The child's knowledge and abilities increase as it babbles, talks, crawls, tastes, grasps, plays, and interacts with the objects in the environment (Gibson, Rosenzweig, & Porter, 1988; Gibson & Pick, 2000; Smith & Thelen, 2003). [4] Parents may help in this process by providing a variety of activities and experiences for the child. Research has found that animals raised in environments with more novel objects and that engage in a variety of stimulating activities have more brain synapses and larger cerebral cortexes, and they perform better on a variety of learning tasks compared with animals raised in more impoverished environments (Juraska, Henderson, & Mller, 1984). [5] Similar effects are likely occurring in children who have opportunities to play, explore, and interact with their environments (Soska, Adolph, & Johnson, 2010). [6]

Research Focus: Using the Habituation Technique to Study What Infants Know
Summary

Cognitive Development During Childhood

Childhood is a time in which changes occur quickly. The child is growing physically, and cognitive abilities are also developing. During this time the child learns to actively manipulate and control the environment, and is first exposed to the requirements of society, particularly the need to control the bladder and bowels. According to Erik Erikson, the challenges that the child must attain in childhood relate to the development of initiative, competence, and independence. Children need to learn to explore the world, to become self-reliant, and to make their own way in the environment.

These skills do not come overnight. Neurological changes during childhood provide children the ability to do some things at certain ages, and yet make it impossible for them to do other things. This fact was made apparent through the groundbreaking work of the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget. During the 1920s, Piaget was administering intelligence tests to children in an attempt to determine the kinds of logical thinking that children were capable of. In the process of testing the children, Piaget became intrigued, not so much by the answers that the children got right, but more by the answers they got wrong. Piaget believed that the incorrect answers that the children gave were not mere shots in the dark but rather represented specific ways of thinking unique to the children's developmental stage. Just as almost all babies learn to roll over before they learn to sit up by themselves, and learn to crawl before they learn to walk, Piaget believed that children gain their cognitive ability in a developmental order. These insights--that children at different ages think in fundamentally different ways--led to Piaget's stage model of cognitive development.

Piaget argued that children do not just passively learn but also actively try to make sense of their worlds. He argued that, as they learn and mature, children develop schemas--patterns of knowledge in long-term memory--that help them remember, organize, and respond to information. Furthermore, Piaget thought that when children experience new things, they attempt to reconcile the new knowledge with existing schemas. Piaget believed that the children use two distinct methods in doing so, methods that he called assimilation andaccommodation (see Figure 6.5 "Assimilation and Accommodation").

Figure 6.5 Assimilation and Accommodation

When children employ assimilation, they use already developed schemas to understand new information. If children have learned a schema for horses, then they may call the striped animal they see at the zoo a horse rather than a zebra. In this case, children fit the existing schema to the new information and label the new information with the existing knowledge. Accommodation, on the other hand, involves learning new information, and thus changing the schema. When a mother says, "No, honey, that's a zebra, not a horse," the child may adapt the schema to fit the new stimulus, learning that there are different types of four-legged animals, only one of which is a horse.

Piaget's most important contribution to understanding cognitive development, and the fundamental aspect of his theory, was the idea that development occurs in unique and distinct stages, with each stage occurring at a specific time, in a sequential manner, and in a way that allows the child to think about the world using new capacities. Piaget's stages of cognitive development are summarized in Table 6.3 "Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development".

Table 6.3 Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development

Stage
Approximate age range
Characteristics
Stage attainments
Sensorimotor
Birth to about 2 years
The child experiences the world through the fundamental senses of seeing, hearing, touching, and tasting.
Object permanence
Preoperational
2 to 7 years
Children acquire the ability to internally represent the world through language and mental imagery. They also start to see the world from other people’s perspectives.
Theory of mind; rapid
increase in language ability
Concrete operational
7 to 11 years
Children become able to think logically. They can increasingly perform operations on objects that are only imagined.
Conservation
Formal operational
11 years to adulthood
Adolescents can think systematically, can reason about
abstract concepts, and can understand ethics and scientific
reasoning.
Abstract logic

The first developmental stage for Piaget was the sensorimotor stage, the cognitive stage that begins at birth and lasts until around the age of 2. It is defined by the direct physical interactions that babies have with the objects around them. During this stage, babies form their first schemas by using their primary senses--they stare at, listen to, reach for, hold, shake, and taste the things in their environments.

During the sensorimotor stage, babies' use of their senses to perceive the world is so central to their understanding that whenever babies do not directly perceive objects, as far as they are concerned, the objects do not exist. Piaget found, for instance, that if he first interested babies in a toy and then covered the toy with a blanket, children who were younger than 6 months of age would act as if the toy had disappeared completely--they never tried to find it under the blanket but would nevertheless smile and reach for it when the blanket was removed. Piaget found that it was not until about 8 months that the children realized that the object was merely covered and not gone. Piaget used the term object permanence to refer to the child's ability to know that an object exists even when the object cannot be perceived.

Video Clip: Object Permanence
Children younger than about 8 months of age do not understand object permanence.

At about 2 years of age, and until about 7 years of age, children move into the preoperational stage. During this stage, children begin to use language and to think more abstractly about objects, but their understanding is more intuitive and without much ability to deduce or reason. The thinking is preoperational, meaning that the child lacks the ability to operate on or transform objects mentally. In one study that showed the extent of this inability, Judy DeLoache (1987) [10] showed children a room within a small dollhouse. Inside the room, a small toy was visible behind a small couch. The researchers took the children to another lab room, which was an exact replica of the dollhouse room, but full-sized. When children who were 2.5 years old were asked to find the toy, they did not know where to look--they were simply unable to make the transition across the changes in room size. Three-year-old children, on the other hand, immediately looked for the toy behind the couch, demonstrating that they were improving their operational skills.

The inability of young children to view transitions also leads them to be egocentric--unable to readily see and understand other people's viewpoints. Developmental psychologists define the theory of mind as the ability to take another person's viewpoint, and the ability to do so increases rapidly during the preoperational stage. In one demonstration of the development of theory of mind, a researcher shows a child a video of another child (let's call her Anna) putting a ball in a red box. Then Anna leaves the room, and the video shows that while she is gone, a researcher moves the ball from the red box into a blue box. As the video continues, Anna comes back into the room. The child is then asked to point to the box where Anna will probably look to find her ball. Children who are younger than 4 years of age typically are unable to understand that Anna does not know that the ball has been moved, and they predict that she will look for it in the blue box. After 4 years of age, however, children have developed a theory of mind--they realize that different people can have different viewpoints, and that (although she will be wrong) Anna will nevertheless think that the ball is still in the red box.

After about 7 years of age, the child moves into the concrete operational stage, which is marked by more frequent and more accurate use of transitions, operations, and abstract concepts, including those of time, space, and numbers. An important milestone during the concrete operational stage is the development of conservation--the understanding that changes in the form of an object do not necessarily mean changes in the quantity of the object. Children younger than 7 years generally think that a glass of milk that is tall holds more milk than a glass of milk that is shorter and wider, and they continue to believe this even when they see the same milk poured back and forth between the glasses. It appears that these children focus only on one dimension (in this case, the height of the glass) and ignore the other dimension (width). However, when children reach the concrete operational stage, their abilities to understand such transformations make them aware that, although the milk looks different in the different glasses, the amount must be the same.

Video Clip: Conservation
Children younger than about 7 years of age do not understand the principles of conservation.

At about 11 years of age, children enter the formal operational stage, which is marked by the ability to think in abstract terms and to use scientific and philosophical lines of thought. Children in the formal operational stage are better able to systematically test alternative ideas to determine their influences on outcomes. For instance, rather than haphazardly changing different aspects of a situation that allows no clear conclusions to be drawn, they systematically make changes in one thing at a time and observe what difference that particular change makes. They learn to use deductive reasoning, such as "if this, then that," and they become capable of imagining situations that "might be," rather than just those that actually exist.

Piaget's theories have made a substantial and lasting contribution to developmental psychology. His contributions include the idea that children are not merely passive receptacles of information but rather actively engage in acquiring new knowledge and making sense of the world around them. This general idea has generated many other theories of cognitive development, each designed to help us better understand the development of the child's information-processing skills (Klahr & McWinney, 1998; Shrager & Siegler, 1998). [11] Furthermore, the extensive research that Piaget's theory has stimulated has generall y supported his beliefs about the order in which cognition develops. Piaget's work has also been applied in many domains--for instance, many teachers make use of Piaget's stages to develop educational approaches aimed at the level children are developmentally prepared for (Driscoll, 1994; Levin, Siegler, & Druyan, 1990). [12]

Over the years, Piagetian ideas have been refined. For instance, it is now believed that object permanence develops gradually, rather than more immediately, as a true stage model would predict, and that it can sometimes develop much earlier than Piaget expected. Rene Baillargeon and her colleagues (Baillargeon, 2004; Wang, Baillargeon, & Brueckner, 2004) [13]placed babies in a habituation setup, having them watch as an object was placed behind a screen, entirely hidden from view. The researchers then arranged for the object to reappear from behind another screen in a different place. Babies who saw this pattern of events looked longer at the display than did babies who witnessed the same object physically being moved between the screens. These data suggest that the babies were aware that the object still existed even though it was hidden behind the screen, and thus that they were displaying object permanence as early as 3 months of age, rather than the 8 months that Piaget predicted.

Another factor that might have surprised Piaget is the extent to which a child's social surroundings influence learning. In some cases, children progress to new ways of thinking and retreat to old ones depending on the type of task they are performing, the circumstances they find themselves in, and the nature of the language used to instruct them (Courage & Howe, 2002). [14] And children in different cultures show somewhat different patterns of cognitive development. Dasen (1972) [15] found that children in non-Western cultures moved to the next developmental stage about a year later than did children from Western cultures, and that level of schooling also influenced cognitive development. In short, Piaget's theory probably understated the contribution of environmental factors to social development.

More recent theories (Cole, 1996; Rogoff, 1990; Tomasello, 1999), [16] based in large part on the sociocultural theory of the Russian scholar Lev Vygotsky (1962, 1978), [17] argue that cognitive development is not isolated entirely within the child but occurs at least in part through social interactions. These scholars argue that children's thinking develops through constant interactions with more competent others, including parents, peers, and teachers.

An extension of Vygotsky's sociocultural theory is the idea of community learning, in which children serve as both teachers and learners. This approach is frequently used in classrooms to improve learning as well as to increase responsibility and respect for others. When children work cooperatively together in groups to learn material, they can help and support each other's learning as well as learn about each other as individuals, thereby reducing prejudice (Aronson, Blaney, Stephan, Sikes, & Snapp, 1978; Brown, 1997). [18]

Research Focus: Using the Habituation Technique to Study What Infants Know

It may seem to you that babies have little ability to view, hear, understand, or remember the world around them. Indeed, the famous psychologist William James presumed that the newborn experiences a "blooming, buzzing confusion" (James, 1890, p. 462). [7] And you may think that, even if babies do know more than James gave them credit for, it might not be possible to find out what they know. After all, infants can't talk or respond to questions, so how would we ever find out? But over the past two decades, developmental psychologists have created new ways to determine what babies know, and they have found that they know much more than you, or William James, might have expected.

One way that we can learn about the cognitive development of babies is by measuring their behavior in response to the stimuli around them. For instance, some researchers have given babies the chance to control which shapes they get to see or which sounds they get to hear according to how hard they suck on a pacifier (Trehub & Rabinovitch, [8] 1972). The sucking behavior is used as a measure of the infants' interest in the stimuli--the sounds or images they suck hardest in response to are the ones we can assume they prefer.

Another approach to understanding cognitive development by observing the behavior of infants is through the use of the habituation technique. Habituation refers to the decreased responsiveness toward a stimulus after it has been presented numerous times in succession. Organisms, including infants, tend to be more interested in things the first few times they experience them and become less interested in them with more frequent exposure. Developmental psychologists have used this general principle to help them understand what babies remember and understand. In the habituation procedure, a baby is placed in a high chair and presented with visual stimuli while a video camera records the infant's eye and face movements. When the experiment begins, a stimulus (e.g., the face of an adult) appears in the baby's field of view, and the amount of time the baby looks at the face is recorded by the camera. Then the stimulus is removed for a few seconds before it appears again and the gaze is again measured. Over time, the baby starts to habituate to the face, such that each presentation elicits less gazing at the stimulus. Then, a new stimulus (e.g., the face of a different adult or the same face looking in a different direction) is presented, and the researchers observe whether the gaze time significantly increases. You can see that, if the infant's gaze time increases when a new stimulus is presented, this indicates that the baby can differentiate the two stimuli.

Although this procedure is very simple, it allows researchers to create variations that reveal a great deal about a newborn's cognitive ability. The trick is simply to change the stimulus in controlled ways to see if the baby "notices the difference." Research using the habituation procedure has found that babies can notice changes in colors, sounds, [9] and even principles of numbers and physics. For instance, in one experiment reported by Karen Wynn (1995), 6- month-old babies were shown a presentation of a puppet that repeatedly jumped up and down either two or three times, resting for a couple of seconds between sequences (the length of time and the speed of the jumping were controlled). After the infants habituated to this display, the presentation was changed such that the puppet jumped a different number of times. As you can see in Figure 6.3 "Can Infants Do Math?", the infants' gaze time increased when Wynn changed the presentation, suggesting that the infants could tell the difference between the number of jumps.

Figure 6.3 Can Infants Do Math?

Karen Wynn found that babies that had habituated to a puppet jumping either two or three times significantly increased their gaze when the puppet began to jump a different number of times.
Source: Adapted from Wynn, K. (1995). Infants possess a system of numerical knowledge. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 4, 172-176.

Social Development During Childhood

It is through the remarkable increases in cognitive ability that children learn to interact with and understand their environments. But these cognitive skills are only part of the changes that are occurring during childhood. Equally crucial is the development of the child's social skills--the ability to understand, predict, and create bonds with the other people in their environments.

Knowing the Self: The Development of the Self-Concept
Summary

Successfully Relating to Others: Attachment
Summary

Research Focus: Using a Longitudinal Research Design to Assess the Stability of Attachment
Summary

Knowing the Self: The Development of the Self-Concept

One of the important milestones in a child's social development is learning about his or her own self-existence. This self-awareness is known asconsciousness, and the content of consciousness is known as the self-concept. The self-concept is a knowledge representation or schema that contains knowledge about us, including our beliefs about our personality traits, physical characteristics, abilities, values, goals, and roles, as well as the knowledge that we exist as individuals (Kagan, 1991). [19]

Some animals, including chimpanzees, orangutans, and perhaps dolphins, have at least a primitive sense of self (Boysen & Himes, 1999). [20] In one study (Gallup, 1970), [21] researchers painted a red dot on the foreheads of anesthetized chimpanzees and then placed each animal in a cage with a mirror. When the chimps woke up and looked in the mirror, they touched the dot on their faces, not the dot on the faces in the mirror. These actions suggest that the chimps understood that they were looking at themselves and not at other animals, and thus we can assume that they are able to realize that they exist as individuals. On the other hand, most other animals, including, for instance dogs, cats, and monkeys, never realize that it is they themselves in the mirror.

Infants who have a similar red dot painted on their foreheads recognize themselves in a mirror in the same way that the chimps do, and they do this by about 18 months of age (Povinelli, Landau, & Perilloux, 1996). [22] The child's knowledge about the self continues to develop as the child grows. By age 2, the infant becomes aware of his or her sex, as a boy or a girl. By age 4, self- descriptions are likely to be based on physical features, such as hair color and possessions, and by about age 6, the child is able to understand basic emotions and the concepts of traits, being able to make statements such as, "I am a nice person" (Harter, 1998). [23]

Soon after children enter grade school (at about age 5 or 6), they begin to make comparisons with other children, a process known as social comparison. For example, a child might describe himself as being faster than one boy but slower than another (Moretti & Higgins, 1990). [24] According to Erikson, the important component of this process is the development of competence and autonomy--the recognition of one's own abilities relative to other children. And children increasingly show awareness of social situations--they understand that other people are looking at and judging them the same way that they are looking at and judging others (Doherty, 2009). [25]

Successfully Relating to Others: Attachment

One of the most important behaviors a child must learn is how to be accepted by others--the development of close and meaningful social relationships. The emotional bonds that we develop with those with whom we feel closest, and particularly the bonds that an infant develops with the mother or primary caregiver, are referred to as attachment (Cassidy & Shaver, 1999). [26]

As late as the 1930s, psychologists believed that children who were raised in institutions such as orphanages, and who received good physical care and proper nourishment, would develop normally, even if they had little interaction with their caretakers. But studies by the developmental psychologist John Bowlby (1953) [27] and others showed that these children did not develop normally--they were usually sickly, emotionally slow, and generally unmotivated. These observations helped make it clear that normal infant development requires successful attachment with a caretaker.

In one classic study showing the importance of attachment, Wisconsin University psychologists Harry and Margaret Harlow investigated the responses of young monkeys, separated from their biological mothers, to two surrogate mothers introduced to their cages. One--the wire mother-- consisted of a round wooden head, a mesh of cold metal wires, and a bottle of milk from which the baby monkey could drink. The second mother was a foam-rubber form wrapped in a heated terry-cloth blanket. The Harlows found that, although the infant monkeys went to the wire mother for food, they overwhelmingly preferred and spent significantly more time with the warm terry-cloth mother that provided no food but did provide comfort (Harlow, 1958). [28]

Video Clip: The Harlows' Monkeys

The studies by the Harlows showed that young monkeys preferred the warm mother that provided a secure base to the cold mother that provided food.

The Harlows' studies confirmed that babies have social as well as physical needs. Both monkeys and human babies need a secure base that allows them to feel safe. From this base, they can gain the confidence they need to venture out and explore their worlds. Erikson (Table 6.1 "Challenges of Development as Proposed by Erik Erikson") was in agreement on the importance of a secure base, arguing that the most important goal of infancy was the development of a basic sense of trust in one's caregivers.

Developmental psychologist Mary Ainsworth, a student of John Bowlby, was interested in studying the development of attachment in infants. Ainsworth created a laboratory test that measured an infant's attachment to his or her parent. The test is called the strange situation because it is conducted in a context that is unfamiliar to the child and therefore likely to heighten the child's need for his or her parent (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978). [29]During the procedure, which lasts about 20 minutes, the parent and the infant are first left alone, while the infant explores the room full of toys. Then a strange adult enters the room and talks for a minute to the parent, after which the parent leaves the room. The stranger stays with the infant for a few minutes, and then the parent again enters and the stranger leaves the room. During the entire session, a video camera records the child's behaviors, which are later coded by trained coders.

Video Clip: The Strange Situation

In the strange situation, children are observed responding to the comings and goings of parents and unfamiliar adults in their environments.

On the basis of their behaviors, the children are categorized into one of four groups, where each group reflects a different kind of attachment relationship with the caregiver. A child with a secure attachment style usually explores freely while the mother is present and engages with the stranger. The child may be upset when the mother departs but is also happy to see the mother return. A child with an ambivalent (sometimes called insecure-resistant) attachment style is wary about the situation in general, particularly the stranger, and stays close or even clings to the mother rather than exploring the toys. When the mother leaves, the child is extremely distressed and is ambivalent when she returns. The child may rush to the mother but then fail to cling to her when she picks up the child. A child with an avoidant (sometimes called insecure-avoidant) attachment style will avoid or ignore the mother, showing little emotion when the mother departs or returns. The child may run away from the mother when she approaches. The child will not explore very much, regardless of who is there, and the stranger will not be treated much differently from the mother.

Finally, a child with a disorganized attachment style seems to have no consistent way of coping with the stress of the strange situation--the child may cry during the separation but avoid the mother when she returns, or the child may approach the mother but then freeze or fall to the floor. Although some cultural differences in attachment styles have been found (Rothbaum, Weisz, Pott, Miyake, & Morelli, 2000), [30] research has also found that the proportion of children who fall into each of the attachment categories is relatively constant across cultures (see Figure 6.8 "Proportion of Children With Different Attachment Styles").

Figure 6.8 Proportion of Children With Different Attachment Styles

The graph shows the approximate proportion of children who have each of the four attachment styles. These proportions are fairly constant across cultures.

You might wonder whether differences in attachment style are determined more by the child (nature) or more by the parents (nurture). Most developmental psychologists believe that socialization is primary, arguing that a child becomes securely attached when the mother is available and able to meet the needs of the child in a responsive and appropriate manner, but that the insecure styles occur when the mother is insensitive and responds inconsistently to the child's needs. In a direct test of this idea, Dutch researcher Dymphna van den Boom (1994) [31] randomly assigned some babies' mothers to a training session in which they learned to better respond to their children's needs. The research found that these mothers' babies were more likely to show a secure attachment style in comparison to the mothers in a control group that did not receive training.

But the attachment behavior of the child is also likely influenced, at least in part, by temperament, the innate personality characteristics of the infant. Some children are warm, friendly, and responsive, whereas others tend to be more irritable, less manageable, and difficult to console. These differences may also play a role in attachment (Gillath, Shaver, Baek, & Chun, 2008; Seifer, Schiller, Sameroff, Resnick, & Riordan, 1996). [32] Taken together, it seems safe to say that attachment, like most other developmental processes, is affected by an interplay of genetic and socialization influences.

Research Focus: Using a Longitudinal Research Design to Assess the Stability of Attachment

You might wonder whether the attachment style displayed by infants has much influence later in life. In fact, research has found that the attachment styles of children predict their emotions and their behaviors many years later (Cassidy [33] & Shaver, 1999). Psychologists have studied the persistence of attachment styles over time usinglongitudinal research designs--research designs in which individuals in the sample are followed and contacted over an extended period of time, often over multiple developmental stages.

[34] In one such study, Waters, Merrick, Treboux, Crowell, and Albersheim (2000) examined the extent of stability and change in attachment patterns from infancy to early adulthood. In their research, 60 middle-class infants who had been tested in the strange situation at 1 year of age were recontacted 20 years later and interviewed using a measure of adult attachment. Waters and colleagues found that 72% of the infants received the same secure versus insecure attachment classification in early adulthood as they had received as infants. The adults who changed categorization (usually from secure to insecure) were primarily those who had experienced traumatic events, such as the death or divorce of parents, severe illnesses (contracted by the parents or the children themselves), or physical or sexual abuse by a family member.

In addition to finding that people generally display the same attachment style over time, longitudinal studies have also found that the attachment classification received in infancy (as assessed using the strange situation or other measures) predicts many childhood and adult behaviors. Securely attached infants have closer, more harmonious relationship with peers, are less anxious and aggressive, and are better able to understand others' emotions than are [35] those who were categorized as insecure as infants (Lucas-Thompson & Clarke-Stewart, (2007). And securely attached adolescents also have more positive peer and romantic relationships than their less securely attached [36] counterparts (Carlson, Sroufe, & Egeland, 2004).

Conducting longitudinal research is a very difficult task, but one that has substantial rewards. When the sample is large enough and the time frame long enough, the potential findings of such a study can provide rich and important information about how people change over time and the causes of those changes. The drawbacks of longitudinal studies include the cost and the difficulty of finding a large sample that can be tracked accurately over time and the time (many years) that it takes to get the data. In addition, because the results are delayed over an extended period, the research questions posed at the beginning of the study may become less relevant over time as the research continues.

Cross-sectional research designs represent an alternative to longitudinal designs. In a cross- sectional research design, age comparisons are made between samples of different people at different ages at one [37] time. In one example, Jang, Livesley, and Vernon (1996) studied two groups of identical and nonidentical (fraternal) twins, one group in their 20s and the other group in their 50s, to determine the influence of genetics on personality. They found that genetics played a more significant role in the older group of twins, suggesting that genetics became more significant for personality in later adulthood.

Cross-sectional studies have a major advantage in that the scientist does not have to wait for years to pass to get results. On the other hand, the interpretation of the results in a cross-sectional study is not as clear as those from a longitudinal study, in which the same individuals are studied over time. Most important, the interpretations drawn from cross-sectional studies may be confounded by cohort effects. Cohort effects refer to the possibility that differences in cognition or behavior at two points in time may be caused by differences that are unrelated to the changes in age. The differences might instead be due to environmental factors that affect an entire age group. For [38] instance, in the study by Jang, Livesley, and Vernon (1996) that compared younger and older twins, cohort effects might be a problem. The two groups of adults necessarily grew up in different time periods, and they may have been differentially influenced by societal experiences, such as economic hardship, the presence of wars, or the introduction of new technology. As a result, it is difficult in cross-sectional studies such as this one to determine whether the differences between the groups (e.g., in terms of the relative roles of environment and genetics) are due to age or to other factors.

Physical Changes in Adolescence

Adolescence begins with the onset of puberty, a developmental period in which hormonal changes cause rapid physical alterations in the body, culminating in sexual maturity. Although the timing varies to some degree across cultures, the average age range for reaching puberty is between 9 and 14 years for girls and between 10 and 17 years for boys (Marshall & Tanner, 1986).[3]

Puberty begins when the pituitary gland begins to stimulate the production of the male sex hormone testosterone in boys and the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone in girls. The release of these sex hormones triggers the development of the primary sex characteristics, the sex organs concerned with reproduction (Figure 6.9 "Sex Characteristics"). These changes include the enlargement of the testicles and the penis in boys and the development of the ovaries, uterus, and vagina in girls. In addition, secondary sex characteristics (features that distinguish the two sexes from each other but are not involved in reproduction) are also developing, such as an enlarged Adam's apple, a deeper voice, and pubic and underarm hair in boys and enlargement of the breasts, hips, and the appearance of pubic and underarm hair in girls (Figure 6.9 "Sex Characteristics"). The enlargement of breasts is usually the first sign of puberty in girls and, on average, occurs between ages 10 and 12 (Marshall & Tanner, 1986). [4] Boys typically begin to grow facial hair between ages 14 and 16, and both boys and girls experience a rapid growth spurt during this stage. The growth spurt for girls usually occurs earlier than that for boys, with some boys continuing to grow into their 20s.

Figure 6.9 Sex Characteristics

Puberty brings dramatic changes in the body, including the development of primary and secondary sex characteristics.

A major milestone in puberty for girls is menarche, the first menstrual period, typically experienced at around 12 or 13 years of age (Anderson, Dannal, & Must, 2003). [5] The age of menarche varies substantially and is determined by genetics, as well as by diet and lifestyle, since a certain amount of body fat is needed to attain menarche. Girls who are very slim, who engage in strenuous athletic activities, or who are malnourished may begin to menstruate later. Even after menstruation begins, girls whose level of body fat drops below the critical level may stop having their periods. The sequence of events for puberty is more predictable than the age at which they occur. Some girls may begin to grow pubic hair at age 10 but not attain menarche until age 15. In boys, facial hair may not appear until 10 years after the initial onset of puberty.

The timing of puberty in both boys and girls can have significant psychological consequences. Boys who mature earlier attain some social advantages because they are taller and stronger and, therefore, often more popular (Lynne, Graber, Nichols, Brooks-Gunn, & Botvin, 2007). [6] At the same time, however, early-maturing boys are at greater risk for delinquency and are more likely than their peers to engage in antisocial behaviors, including drug and alcohol use, truancy, and precocious sexual activity. Girls who mature early may find their maturity stressful, particularly if they experience teasing or sexual harassment (Mendle, Turkheimer, & Emery, 2007; Pescovitz & Walvoord, 2007). [7] Early-maturing girls are also more likely to have emotional problems, a lower self-image, and higher rates of depression, anxiety, and disordered eating than their peers (Ge, Conger, & Elder, 1996). [8]

Cognitive Development in Adolescence

Although the most rapid cognitive changes occur during childhood, the brain continues to develop throughout adolescence, and even into the 20s (Weinberger, Elvevg, & Giedd, 2005). [9] During adolescence, the brain continues to form new neural connections, but also casts off unused neurons and connections (Blakemore, 2008). [10] As teenagers mature, the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for reasoning, planning, and problem solving, also continues to develop (Goldberg, 2001). [11] And myelin, the fatty tissue that forms around axons and neurons and helps speed transmissions between different regions of the brain, also continues to grow (Rapoport et al., 1999). [12]

Adolescents often seem to act impulsively, rather than thoughtfully, and this may be in part because the development of the prefrontal cortex is, in general, slower than the development of the emotional parts of the brain, including the limbic system (Blakemore, 2008). [13] Furthermore, the hormonal surge that is associated with puberty, which primarily influences emotional responses, may create strong emotions and lead to impulsive behavior. It has been hypothesized that adolescents may engage in risky behavior, such as smoking, drug use, dangerous driving, and unprotected sex in part because they have not yet fully acquired the mental ability to curb impulsive behavior or to make entirely rational judgments (Steinberg, 2007). [14]

The new cognitive abilities that are attained during adolescence may also give rise to new feelings of egocentrism, in which adolescents believe that they can do anything and that they know better than anyone else, including their parents (Elkind, 1978, p. 199). [15] Teenagers are likely to be highly self-conscious, often creating an imaginary audience in which they feel that everyone is constantly watching them (Goossens, Beyers, Emmen, & van Aken, 2002). [16]Because teens think so much about themselves, they mistakenly believe that others must be thinking about them, too (Rycek, Stuhr, McDermott, Benker, & Swartz, 1998). [17] It is no wonder that everything a teen's parents do suddenly feels embarrassing to them when they are in public.

Social Development in Adolescence

Some of the most important changes that occur during adolescence involve the further development of the self-concept and the development of new attachments. Whereas young children are most strongly attached to their parents, the important attachments of adolescents move increasingly away from parents and increasingly toward peers (Harris, 1998). [18] As a result, parents' influence diminishes at this stage.

According to Erikson (Table 6.1 "Challenges of Development as Proposed by Erik Erikson"), the main social task of the adolescent is the search for a unique identity--the ability to answer the question, "Who am I?" In the search for identity, the adolescent may experience role confusion in which he or she is balancing or choosing among identities, taking on negative or undesirable identities, or temporarily giving up looking for an identity altogether if things are not going well.

One approach to assessing identity development was proposed by James Marcia (1980). [19] In his approach, adolescents are asked questions regarding their exploration of and commitment to issues related to occupation, politics, religion, and sexual behavior. The responses to the questions allow the researchers to classify the adolescent into one of four identity categories (seeTable 6.4 "James Marcia's Stages of Identity Development").

Table 6.4 James Marcia's Stages of Identity Development

Identity-diffusion status
The individual does not have firm commitments regarding the issues in question and is not making progress toward them.
Foreclosure status
The individual has not engaged in any identity experimentation and has established an identity based on the choices or values of others.
Moratorium status
The individual is exploring various choices but has not yet made a clear commitment to any of them.
Identity-achievement status
The individual has attained a coherent and committed identity based on personal decisions.

Source: Adapted from Marcia, J. (1980). Identity in adolescence. Handbook of adolescent psychology, 5, 145-160.

Studies assessing how teens pass through Marcia's stages show that, although most teens eventually succeed in developing a stable identity, the path to it is not always easy and there are many routes that can be taken. Some teens may simply adopt the beliefs of their parents or the first role that is offered to them, perhaps at the expense of searching for other, more promising possibilities (foreclosure status). Other teens may spend years trying on different possible identities (moratorium status) before finally choosing one.

To help them work through the process of developing an identity, teenagers may well try out different identities in different social situations. They may maintain one identity at home and a different type of persona when they are with their peers. Eventually, most teenagers do integrate the different possibilities into a single self-concept and a comfortable sense of identity (identity- achievement status).

For teenagers, the peer group provides valuable information about the self-concept. For instance, in response to the question "What were you like as a teenager? (e.g., cool, nerdy, awkward?)," posed on the website Answerbag, one teenager replied in this way:

I'm still a teenager now, but from 8th-9th grade I didn't really know wh