Intro to Psychology | Udacity

Brief Information

  • Instructors:
  • Flatform: Udacity
  • Course homepage:–ps001
  • Duration
    • 2017-08-24~present: (blank)
  • About this course
    • Introduction to Psychology is a journey through all of the major psychological concepts and principles. The knowledge gained from this course will allow students to critically evaluate psychological research and have a more in-depth understanding of human thought and behavior.

Course Overview

  • Lesson 1: What is Psychology?
  • Lesson 2: Research Methods
  • Lesson 3: The Biology of Behavior
  • Lesson 4: Sensation and Perception
  • Lesson 5: Psychological Development
  • Lesson 6: Consciousness
  • Lesson 7: Depressants, Hallucinogens and Opioids
  • Lesson 8: Memory
  • Lesson 9: Language and Thought
  • Lesson 10: Intelligence
  • Lesson 11: Motivation and Emotion
  • Lesson 12: Stress and Health
  • Lesson 13: Personality
  • Lesson 14: Social
  • Lesson 15: Psychological Disorders
  • Lesson 16: Treatments for Psychological Disorders

Lesson 1: What is Psychology?

Subfields of Psychology in This Course
  1. Cognitive psychology
    • perception, memory, reasoning.
    • Human thought
    • the processes of knowing and thinking
  2. Behavioral psychology: Behaviors caused by human thinking or feeling.
  3. Developmental psychology: How thoughts and behaviors change across lifespan.
  4. Neurological/Biological psychology: the functioning of the genes, brain, nervous system, and endocrine system.
  5. Personality psychology: How different individuals’ thinking and feeling.
  6. Social psychology: How people’s thinking and feeling change by interacting with others or their society.
  7. Clinical psychology: How to diagnose and cure mental illness.
  8. Forensic psychology: How to examine the person who committed the crime.

Each subfield of psychology has its own goal.

What questions do Forensic Psychologists ask?
  • Crime solving
  • Custody disputes
  • Insurance claims
  • Witness evaluations
What questions do Forensic Psychologists ask?
  • Can we really multitask?
  • Why does my dog learn to salivate when I open the door to the cabinet where I keep I keep the dog food?
Problem Set
Define Psychology
  • Psychology is the scientific study of thought and behavior.
Psychology As …
  • Clinical psychology: psychology as a practice.
  • Biological psychology: psychology as a science.
Why Study Psychology?
  • Psychology can help us make sense of our word.
  • Psychology can help us explain why we behave the way we do.
  • Because we can get a better understanding of how humans behave.
  • Because the different perspectives of psychology allow us to examine different levels of analysis.

Lesson 2: Research Methods

  • Correlation studies
  • Causal studies
Correlation Studies: Correlation Coefficients

(Add the captured screen)

  • Strength of the relationship = |correlation coefficient|
    • a strong correlation: The coefficient is nearly 1 or -1.
    • a moderate correlation: The coefficient is nearly 0.5 or -0.5.
    • no correlation: The coefficient is nearly 0.
  • Direction of the relationship = (the sign of correlation coefficient) = (negative) or (positive)
  • If two variables have a strong or moderate correlation, we can just say ‘two variables are related‘ or ‘two variables have a relationship.’
Case Study: The Correlation Between the Number of Ice Cream Cones Consumed and the Number of Drowning Deaths
  • A research showed that as the number of ice cream ones consumed, the number of drowning deaths increases.
  • The two variables are a positive correlation.
  • Confounding variables of a variable X are variables that can be the factors of the variable X.
  • A self report measure is the measure that we use by having people report their thoughts or feelings.
Experimental Study: A Way to Discover the Causality Between Two Variables
  • An independent variable v_i is a variable that we change.
  • A dependent variable v_d is a variable that we measure as the effect of the independent variable.
  • Example 1
    • Purpose: To discover caffeine affects employees’ reaction time
    • Independent variable: caffeine
    • Dependent variable: reaction time
  • Example 2
    • Purpose
      • To discover doing high fives in a group of workers affects employees’ happiness
    • Independent variable
      • The number of high fives
    • Dependent variable
      • The number of smiles as a measure of happiness
      • Happiness is a construct.
      • A construct is a concept that has to be measure indirectly because we cannot measure the concept directly.
      • We operationalize happiness with the number of smiles, an operational definition.
    • Method
      • She gave a half group high fives.
      • She gave the other group no high fives.
      • Then, she counted the number of smiles.
Hypotheses and Theories
  • A hypothesis is a testable question.
    • A hypothesis is usually stated as the form of if-then.
    • e.g.)
  • A theory is a well substantiated and unifying explanation for a set of proven hypotheses.
    • Theories can change with developing research.
    • In general, a theory is our current view of a topic.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *