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Recitation Section #2 (Thinking Critically) – February 8-9th Homework #1 (homework questions are highlighted) 1. When you signed up for this course, what did you think psychology would be about? 2. Define psychology. 3. How would each of psychology’s current perspectives (from Table 1, p. 11: neuroscience, evolutionary, behavior genetics, psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, and social-cultural) explain why humans sometimes get anxious. 4. Explain the difference between basic research and applied research. 5. What contribution did the research of psychologist Kenneth Clark (p. 50) from City College make to the American culture? 6. Explain the difference between clinical psychology and psychiatry. 7. What is the scientific attitude, and why is it important for critical thinking? 8. What is the scientific method? 9. Explain why correlational research fails to provide evidence of cause-effect relationships. How do experiments isolate cause and effect? 10. Here are some recently reported correlations, with interpretations drawn by journalists. Further research, often including experiments, has clarified cause and effect in each case. Knowing just these correlations, can you come up with other possible explanations for each of these? a. Alcohol use is associated with violence. (One interpretation: Drinking triggers or unleashes aggressive behavior). b. Educated people live longer, on average, than less-educated people. (One interpretation: Education lengthens life and enhances health). c. Teens engaged in team sports are less likely to use drugs, smoke, have sex, carry weapons, and eat junk food than are teens who do not engage in team sports. (One interpretation: Team sports encourage healthy living). d. Adolescents who frequently see smoking in movies are more likely to smoke. (One interpretation: Movie stars’ behavior influences impressionable teens). 11. Why, when testing a new drug for blood pressure, would we learn more about its effectiveness from giving it to half of the participants in a group of 1000 than to all 1000 participants?
12. Explain the difference between an independent variable and a dependent variable. Consider an experiment in which depression is measured on a rating scale before and after participants receive either a new drug for depression or a placebo. What is the independent variable in this study? What is the dependent
13. What does it mean to manipulate a variable? What does it mean to control a variable? What is the difference between a controlled variable and a control group?