Posted: September 6th, 2023
Question 1. Why is psychology considered a science?
Why is psychology considered a science?
A scientist has formed the following hypothesis: Students who listen to music while studying will take longer to complete their reading and remember less of it. Once she has constructed her hypothesis, what are the three steps that she should follow to complete her experiment? State the steps and give an example of how to complete each step.
A professor assembles a group of volunteers to compare two methods of studying. One group spends an hour a day on the first subject (such as psychology), then an hour on the second (chemistry), and so forth. The other group goes back and forth, with a few minutes on each topic, repeating the sequence until completing the same total study time as the first group. At the end of a week, the professor tests each student’s knowledge of each subject. Identify the independent variable and the dependent variable.
Describe an example to demonstrate that even if a gene is known to produce an undesirable result, a change in the environment can largely prevent that outcome.
What types of evidence do researchers usually examine when trying to estimate the heritability of a human characteristic?
Describe the gate theory of pain.
Suppose we are trying to measure someone’s ability to detect weak stimuli. When we present extremely weak stimuli (sights, sounds, or touches), this person almost always reports that they were present. Before we draw any conclusions about this person’s apparently great sensitivity, what else do we need to know?
Describe how classical conditioning could explain drug tolerance.
Psychology is considered a science because it follows the scientific method to study human behavior and mental processes. Like any other science, psychology uses empirical evidence, systematic observation, and experimentation to develop theories and test hypotheses. It employs rigorous research methods, statistical analyses, and peer-reviewed publications to ensure the reliability and validity of its findings. Moreover, psychology relies on objective and replicable measurements of behavior and mental processes, such as reaction times, brain activity, and psychological tests. Thus, psychology is a science that seeks to understand and explain the complex phenomena of human behavior and mental processes.
The three steps that the scientist should follow to complete her experiment are as follows:
Operationalize the variables: The scientist needs to define the variables in her hypothesis in precise and measurable terms. For example, she needs to specify what she means by “listening to music,” “studying,” “completing reading,” and “remembering.” This will help her to design a reliable and valid experiment that can test her hypothesis.
Randomly assign participants to groups: The scientist needs to randomly assign the participants to either the experimental group (who listens to music while studying) or the control group (who studies in silence). This will help to ensure that any differences between the groups are not due to pre-existing differences in their abilities or motivation.
Collect and analyze data: The scientist needs to collect data on the time it takes for each group to complete the reading and their memory scores. She can then use statistical analyses to compare the means of these variables between the two groups and determine if there are significant differences that support or refute her hypothesis.
For example, the scientist could operationalize “listening to music” as using headphones to listen to instrumental music at a volume of 60 decibels. She could randomly assign 50 participants to the experimental group and 50 to the control group. The participants could then be asked to read a passage from a textbook for 30 minutes, and the scientist could record the time it takes each group to finish reading. After a 10-minute break, the participants could be asked to recall as much information from the passage as possible, and the scientist could score their memory performance on a scale from 1 to 10. The scientist could then use a t-test to compare the mean reading time and memory scores between the two groups and determine if there are significant differences.
The independent variable is the method of studying (alternating or blocked), and the dependent variable is the knowledge of each subject as measured by the test scores. The independent variable is the factor that the professor manipulates to see if it has an effect on the dependent variable. In this case, the independent variable is the different methods of studying. The dependent variable is the outcome that the professor measures to see if it changes as a result of the independent variable. In this case, the dependent variable is the knowledge of each subject as measured by the test scores.
An example of how a change in the environment can largely prevent an undesirable genetic outcome is the case of phenylketonuria (PKU). PKU is a genetic disorder that affects the ability to metabolize phenylalanine, an amino acid found in many foods. People with PKU cannot break down phenylalanine, leading to a toxic buildup of this compound in the body, which can cause severe neurological damage. However, the negative effects of PKU can be largely prevented by changing the environment, specifically the diet. By avoiding foods that contain phenylalanine, such as meat, dairy, and grains, people with PKU can live healthy and normal lives. Thus, the environment plays a crucial role in determining the expression of genetic traits.
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