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Psychology Questions

1. What are the differences between the experimental and control group?
2. What are the weaknesses or limitations of the naturalistic or field study method of research?
3. What are the advantages of using animals rather than humans in research?
4. What did the rise of behaviorism result in and why has behaviorism been of such popularity among psychologists?
5. What are the essential differences between classical and operant conditioning?
6. Why does high correlation not prove causation?
7. What are the differences between psychiatrists and psychologists?
8. Be able to distinguish between the independent and dependant variables

Solution Preview

1) In an experiment, you want to test to see if a variable (treatment) has any effect on behavior. In order for this to occur, you need to have at least 2 groups of people - one group of people who will receive the treatment - the experimental group, and the other group who does not receive the treatment - the control group. The reason why you need the control group is to use them as a benchmark. If differences exist between the group, you might be able to state that the treatment caused the differences. If you don't have a control group, you might not be able to see if a difference did exist.

2) In a naturalistic study you are observing activities that are occurring around you. The benefits is that you can witness first hand what is happening , but there are several weaknesses

a. You can't actual control what is going on around you and randomly assign people to either the control or experimental group. This then becomes a "quasi-experiment"
b. You can observe what is going on, but you can't actually stop to ask participants what they are thinking, why they are acting in a certain way - you can only make assumptions as to what is happening
3) When using animals, you can subject them to many different types of experiments that you would not be able to subject to humans. When doing experiments with humans, you have to ethically tell them that they are in fact in part of an experiment, and they have to know the purpose of the study before they sign the consent form. This might mean that the humans know the extent of the study before they even begin. This will then bias the results. This does not occur with animals, so when they are subject to an experiment they behave naturally, allowing researchers to observe their natural behavior

4) The rise in behaviorism resulted in everything seeing all activities (acting, thinking, and feeling) as behaviors, and thus, all behaviors can be explained. The researcher who made behaviorism popular was Watson. With his behaviorism, Watson put the emphasis on external behaviour of people and their reactions on given situations, rather than the internal, mental state of those people. In his opinion, the analysis of behaviours and reactions was the only objective method to get insight in the human actions.He helped show that all behaviors happen for a reason, they could be learned, or conditioned.

"Psychology as the behaviorist views it is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behavior. Introspection forms no essential part of its methods, nor is the scientific value of its data dependent upon the readiness with which they lend themselves to interpretation in terms of consciousness. The behaviorist, in his efforts to get a unitary scheme of animal response, recognizes no dividing line between man and brute. The behavior of man, with all of its refinement and complexity, forms only a part of the behaviorist's total scheme of investigation."

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