Psychology and Philosophy – Freud, Pavlov, Skinner, Maslow, or Piaget
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6 x Questions on Psychology
Please do not use any
sources other than your textbook.
1. Choose one person from the following list whom you feel
played an important role in the history of
Freud, Pavlov, Skinner, Maslow, or Piaget. Describe
what that person did, the approximate time that this person
lived, what makes their contribution important, and criticisms of their work or
2. You are an experimental psychologist interested in finding
out how effective a new medication might work for treating depression. Describe
a study you might conduct to reach some conclusions on this matter. Be sure to
define and provide examples of the following terms and concepts, demonstrating
your understanding of each: hypothesis, independent variable, dependent variable,
random assignment of participants, ethical guidelines.
3. When your best friend hears that you are taking a psychology
course, she asserts that psychology is simply common sense. Explain why your
awareness of both the limits of everyday reasoning and the methods of
psychological research would lead
you to disagree with your friend’s assertion.
4. Imagine that you were involved in a legal case in which
an eyewitness claimed the he has seen a person commit a crime. Based on your
knowledge about memory and cognition, discuss some of the problems of
5. David’s history teacher asked him why so many German people
complied with Hitler’s orders to systematically slaughter millions of innocent
Jews. David suggested that the atrocities were committed because the Germans
had become unusually cruel, sadistic people with abnormal and twisted
personalities. Use your knowledge of the fundamental attribution error and
Milgram’s research on obedience to highlight the weaknesses of David’s explanation.
6. Choose a behavior that you would like to modify or change
using the principles of operant conditioning. Be sure to use and explain the
following terms: operant conditioning, positive reinforcement, negative
reinforcement, punishment, schedules of reinforcement, shaping and extinction.
1 x Question on Philisophy
This week, we look at two
arguments in particular that examine further the relation between mind and
body. In our discussion, let’s focus on functionalism and whether it advances
our understanding of mind and body, or whether it advances us not at all, or
maybe isn’t even right. Your views on this will be interesting, to be sure.