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Levels of Analysis

Presentation of the different levels of analysis used to explain human psychology in IB Psychology class.

Derek Miller

on 20 January 2016

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Transcript of Levels of Analysis

Basic Principles
"Everything psychological is simultaneously biological"
Brain "creates" the foundation of the mind
Genes are foundational to behavior AS they are
impacted by the environment
Animal research establishes a BASE for studying human behavior
improves METHOD TRIANGULATION (along with human research)
Phineas Gage Case
Clive Wearing Case
Case Studies of Paul Broca
Twin Studies
Ex. Bouchard (1990) - Minnesota Twin Studies
Brain changes in rats
Ex. Rosenzweig & Collegues (1972)
Topic: Introduction to the Biological LOA
Page: 10
We will...
Explain how principles that define the biological LOA may be demonstrated in research (that is, theories and/or studies); Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the biological LOA; Discuss the use of brain imaging technologies in investigating the relationship between biological factors and behaviour.
Research Methods in Biological LOA
Brain Imaging Techniques
Biological Level of Analysis
Create a Venn Diagram for the Preview part of L10... one circle for Experiments, one for Case Studies, and one for Correlational Studies. Write down ONE aspect of each that make it different from the other two.
"Evaluations" Page:
On L10 Evaluation of basic principles of Biological LOA
Note: READ Sections 3.11 - 3.13 in the Jamison Reader. Read Gazzaniga (1967) Study from "40 Studies" Book
Research Methods
Case Studies
Correlational Studies
(functional MRI)
Necessary when instances are rare (e.g. work of Oliver Sacks)
Raise questions about findings that point to new directions
Single cases do not allow generalizability
BUT similar cases over time show patterns for further research (Goodwin, 1998)
Do on animals when harm will come to humans
Researchers want to compare altered animals with normal animals
Often lack ECOLOGICAL VALIDITY (which is minimized by method TRIANGULATION)
Postmordem Studies of Brain Tissue (Iverson, 1973)
Use of fMRI to study Conformity (Gregory Burns & Collegues, 2005), p. 56-58
When ethical considerations preclude doing an experiment
Want to analyze RELATIONSHIPS
Do not show CAUSE & EFFECT
Correlation must be STRONG, or overinterpretation is high
Twin and Adoption Studies
Uses and Advantages
(from Gazzaniga & Collegues, 2008)
Measures blood oxygen levels to measure active brain areas
Better image, quicker, and easier than doing a PET Scan
Can truly localize brain function
(from Dobbs, 2005)
Shows CORRELATIONS between brain function and cognitive task
Blood flow may be lacking to areas still being used for cognitive task
A LOT of room for error... brain activity not likely to be as LOCALIZED as it appears
Physiology and Behavior
Localization of Brain Function
Neuroendocrine Systems
Environmental Effects
Some History
Paul Broca
In 1861, discovered damage to brain area in aphasic patient who had speech deficits
Carl Wernicke
Shortly after Broca
discovered damage to brain area linked with comprehension deficits of spoken language
Today's Understanding:
These areas are only PART of the process
"Split-Brain" Research
Work of Michael Gazzaniga (1967)
"Right" Brain:

"Left" Brain:
Point to remember:
"Split-Brain" Patients ALREADY have abnormal brains (Gazzaniga, 2008)
Modern Research: Bilingualism
- Meta-analysis of Rachel Hull & Jyotsna Vaid (2006)
Language Development
What is studied?
Culture as Driving force
How was this studied?
Four Hypotheses tested
"Second Language" hypothesis
"Balanced bilingual" hypothesis
"Age of Second Language" hypothesis
"Stage of Second Language" hypothesis
Three Variables considered
Early experience is the key...
Which findings support which hypothesis? (p.51)
Neurotransmission and Depression
Focus on: Serotonin
Body must get amino acid from food to produce serotonin (Somer, 1999)
Manuck, Kaplan, and Lotrich (2006) note that serotonin activity is linked with...
eating disorders
EX. Christensen & Borrows (1990) diet and mood study
page 48
Hormones and Aggression
Steroid Hormones
Stress hormones
trigger the SNS as result of "fight or flight" syndrome
Ex. Cortisol
Influence gene transcription
Primarily Sex Hormones and influence body development
Ex. Testosterone & Estrogen
Silvana Chiavegatto & Collegues (2006)
bred "Knockout Mice" lacking nNOS gene so they would be aggressive
discovered that castrated nNOS mice were LESS aggressive than non-castrated ones
Richard Sjoberg & Collegues (2008) study of anti-social behavior in males
Brain Change and Bilingualism
- Meta-analysis of Rachel Hull & Jyotsna Vaid (2006)
Language Development
What is studied?
Culture as Driving force
How was this studied?
Four Hypotheses tested
"Second Language" hypothesis
"Balanced bilingual" hypothesis
"Age of Second Language" hypothesis
"Stage of Second Language" hypothesis
Three Variables considered
Early experience is the key...
Which findings support which hypothesis? (p.51)
Theory and Practice
Brain Changes
Psychological Changes
Animal Research
Rosenzweig & Collegues (1972)
Gould and Gross (2002)
Human Research?
(From Kolb and Collegues, 2004)
Measuring neural changes very difficult
Current techniques are dangerous
Ultimately looking at CORRELATIONS
Physiology and Cognition
Anteriorgrade Amnesia
Case Study of H.M (1953)
Hippocampus removed to stop seizures
Short-term memory fine... until needed for Long-Term
Case Study of Clive Wearing
Hippocampus and portions of Frontal Lobes destroyed by virus
Cannot form new memories or recall most episodic memories
Memory and Brain Processes
Martinez and Kesner (1991)
Role of Hippocampus and Frontal Lobes
Role of Acetylcholine
Role of Neurotransmitters in Learning & Memory
Of the 3 Groups:
One injected with chemical that blocks acetylcholine activity
One injected with chemical that increases acetylcholine activity
One given nothing
Rats trained to master a maze... then broken into three groups
As predicted...
Group One moved slower and made more mistakes
Group Two moved faster and made fewer mistakes
Group Three remained steady
Bookheimer & Collegues (2000)
Brain Activation in Elderly People
Two Groups:
Each group identified by having (or not having) a particular gene linked with Alzheimers
Each group memorizes pairs of unrelated words
Used a fMRI to Compare brain activity of each group doing the task
Brain activity was more widespread for group identified as having gene linked with predisposition to Alzheimer's than group that lacked the gene
Researchers concluded that more effort by the brain was needed by the first group to do the same cognitive task as the second group
Genetics and Behavior
Terms and Research
Behavioral Genetics
Molecular Genetics
Twin Studies
(Bouchard & Colleagues, 1990)
Adoption Studies
Linkage Studies
"first attempt" study to find link of gene to trait
Find the "marker"
Association Studies
Test actual gene implicated in trait
Population-Based OR Family-Based
EX. MAOA gene and aggression
Approximate LIKELIHOOD of gene/behavior connection
The Impact of Genes On...
Chiavegatto and Collegues (2006)
"Knockout" mice had nNOS gene removed
nNOS mice placed "wild-type" (WT) mice in "Resident-Intruder" test
nNOS mice initiated aggression 90% more often that WT mice
Interaction of the MAOA gene (the "aggression gene") with Environment
Ex. Caspi and Collegues (2002)
Believed MAOA gene regulated the effect of child abuse on neurotransmitter release
MAOA gene codes for enzyme that regulates neurotransmitter activity
Conducted Longitudinal study of sample of New Zealand boys and girls
Participants selected for level of MAOA gene activity AND level of abuse
Evolutionary Psychology
Basic Principles:
Behavioral traits serve a functional purpose

Natural Selection... nature selects traits for adaptiveness
ALL psychological outcomes are selected for survival
Two Applications
Singh (1993) Cross-Cultural Study on Mate Selection
Men & Women from 37 Countries surveyed
Men: focused on physical characteristics
Women: focused on ability of man to protect and provide
Principle: Men sow WIDELY, Women sow WISELY
Curtis & Collegues (2004) Study of Disgust
77,000 participants from 165 countries shown 20 images
Each pair of images rated for level of disgust
Disgust ratings highest for images showing fluids/foods bad for immune system
Rate Desirable characteristics in a mate
Conclusion: Men seek those who can rear; women those who can provide
Conclusion: Disgust served adaptive, survival purpose
Males with LOW MAOA activity had higher rates of...
** violent crime
** violence predispostions (as labeled by questionnaire)
** higher rates of anti-social personality disorder
Basic Principles
Research is focused on how the "brain translates to mind"
Cognitive neuroscientists study the biological basis for cognitive processing
Mental processes CAN be scientifically studied
Behavior change is a RESULT of cognitive processes
Facilitated by perception, memory, and schemas
Phineas Gage Case
Clive Wearing Case
Case Studies of Paul Broca
Ex. Loftus's study of mis-information effect
Correlational Studies
Interviews and Questionnaires
Use of fMRI to study cognitive processes
brain activity and reading emotions
decision making
Topic: Cognitive Processes:
Page: 19
We will...
Evaluate two models or theories of one cognitive process with reference to research studies; Explain how biological factors may affect one cognitive process
Writing - Schema Theory
A Study of Sleep
Models of Memory
For the Preview on L19 write down the average number of hours a night you sleep during the week v. the number you WANT to sleep.
"Evaluations" Page:
On L19 Evaluation of Models of Memory
Note: Exams Friday (Definitely); Methods due Friday; Two Evaluation Pages turned in (from 11 - 16)
Baddeley and Hitch (1974) Model of Working Memory
Baddeley & Hitch (1974) Dual-Task Experiment
Participants given sequence of numbers to remember AND read prose
TWO THINGS happened:
Reasoning time over prose increased
Reasoning was impaired when remembering 6 numbers as opposed to 3
CONCLUSION: There is impairment BUT it's NOT catastrophic, THEREFORE
STM is MORE than a single, unitary storehouse
Working Memory and Learning
Pickering & Gathercole (2001)
Used "Working Memory Test Battery for Children" to study working memory performance
Discovered that
Working memory capacity improves with age AND
Individual WM capacity varies widely in same age
Conclusion: Problems with working memory = problems with academic performance
Reconstructive Memory
Elizabeth Loftus (1975, 1991, 1998, 2008)
Challenges veracity of eyewitness testimony
REALLY... question about
reconstructive memory
Recently... has come out against 'recovered' memory cases
as impacted by
misinformation effect
impacts encoding and recall
usually due to distortion
Criticism: Research lacks
ecological validity
Ex. Yuille & Cutshall (1986)
Interviewed people who had seen a REAL robbery
Memories were NOT distorted by misleading details
Culture and Cognition
Daniel Wright & Collegues (2001) Field Experiment
Own-Race Bias and Eyewitness Memories
Participants: Black and White in shopping centers
Confederates: Black and White ask...
The REAL task: Identify the Confederates in Pictures
"Excuse me, do you have the time?"
Results: Participants more likely to correctly identify Confederates of the same race.
Rosenthal & Jacobson (1966)
Power of Expectations
Socioeconomic Status (SES) & Cognitive Abilities
Neighborhoods are vitally imporant (Leventhal & Brooks-Gunn, 2004)
Longitudinal & Cross-Sectional Correlation studies mostly used
(High SES positively correlated with good verbal ability and I.Q. scores)
Field Experiments show positive results for children moving to more affluent neighborhoods (p. 87)
Cognition and Emotion
Two-Factor Theory
Schatcher & Singer (1962)
Physiological Response
Cognitive Label
Emotional Expression
Paul Eckman and Others
Eckman and Freisen (1972)
Cross-Cultural Nature of Emotional Expression
Eckman (2003)
Facial Affect Program
* Biologically-based
* Facial features... primary emotions
Topic: Cognitive and Emotion:
Page: 22
We will...
To what extent do cognitive and biological factors interact in emotion (for example, two factor theory, arousal theory)?
Two-Factor Theory of Emotion
Emotional Expression
For the preview on L22 be prepared to write down what emotions you are experiencing as we watch the scene
"Evaluations" Page:
On L22 Analysis of the Impact of Cognition on Emotion
Note: Quiz - Cognition & Emotion, Mon., 11/21
Integrating Biology and Cognition
Eckman, Matsumoto
Culture Display Rules
Ex. Disgust & medical students
Matsumoto & Juang (2008)
Emotion =
facial affect program
display rules
Topic: Various
Page: Various
We will...
Quiz - Cognition and Emotion
Exam Preparation - Cognitive LOA
Work on Prepping Experiment OR Beginning Results
Review for your quiz... feel free to discuss the content with each other and how to prepare yourselves
"Evaluations" Page:
Note: Exam - Cognitive LOA, Mon., 11/28
Topic: Culture:
Page: 26
We will...
Define the terms “culture” and “cultural norms”; Examine the role of two cultural dimensions on behaviour (for example, individualism/collectivism). Using one or more examples, explain "emic" and "etic" concepts.
Sociocultural LOA Writing Two
Ingroup Activity
Defining Culture
Cultural Dimensions (Triandis, 1995)
For the Preview on L26 write down your answer to the following question(s):
Who or what has had the most influence in the formation of your attitudes and opinions about people of different cultural groups? In what way?
"Evaluations" Page:
On L26 Evaluation of use of Individualist/Collectivist Dimensions of Culture to explain behavior.
Note: Read 5.11 in Jamison Reader for next class; Sociocultural LOA Quiz - Culture, Fri., 1/20
Cultural Norms and Dimensions
Basic Principles
Humans are SOCIAL by nature and have a need to belong.
The SITUATION explains individual behavior MORE than personality (Fiske, 2004)
Because we are social creatures, we have a SOCIAL SELF
Tavris & Wade (2001) - "The basic assumption of researchers in the sociocultural perspective is that as human beings we are constantly being influenced by other people and by the requirements of society, even when we believe we are acting independently."
Our interactions with others are influenced by a set of CORE MOTIVES related to survival within groups (Fiske, 2004)
Enhancing the Self
Topic: Sociocultural LOA
Page: 25
We will...
Explain how principles that define the SOCIO-CULTURAL level of analysis may be demonstrated in research (that is, theories and/or studies); Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the sociocultural level of analysis (for
example, participant/naturalistic observation, interviews, case studies).
Sociocultural LOA: Writing One
Zimbardo Prison Experiment
Research Methods Used in Sociocultural LOA
Look over the Principles that guide sociocultural research and explanations. Be prepared to discuss with your group ANY theoretical frameworks AND/OR research that supports ANY of them.
"Evaluations" Page:
On L25 Application of Principles of Sociocultural LOA to explaining Aggression, etc.
Note: Read 5.4 & 5.6 in Jamison Reader for Wed., 1/18.
Matsumoto & Juang (2008):
"A unique meaning and information system, shared by a group and transmitted across generations, that allows the group to meet basic needs of survival, pursue happiness and well-being, and derive meaning from life."
Cultural Norms
rules or expectations of BEHAVIOR of a cultural group
Dimensions of Culture
Understanding "Etics" and "Emics"
Example: Descriptions and Causes of Depression
Harry Triandis (1995):
"One way of thinking about these constructs is that we are all collectivists but some of us are also individualists"
Attribution Process
Consider the following:
Your date fails to show up for your date.
Fritz Heider (1958):
...how we interpret and explain behavior of ourselves and others
Social Cognition:
Dispositional Attributions
Situational Attributions
Errors in Attribution:
** Behavior attributed to
(personal) factors
** Behavior attributed to
(environmental) factors
Which better explains what happened in the Stanford Prison Experiment?
Fundamental Attribution Error
Self-Serving Bias
tendancy to OVERESTIMATE the role of
factors (and UNDERESTIMATE
Why do we do this?
- Cultural Dimensions Connection?
- Just-World Hypothesis (Lerner, 1977)
- Salience of the Actor
- Schemas and Judgments?
Fiske & Taylor (2008) - individualists more likely to do this; other studies inconclusive
Ex. Lee, et. al. (1977)
tendency to attribute personal SUCCESS to
factors (and personal FAILURE to
Why do we do this?
- Cultural Dimensions Connection?
- Enhance the Self, Self-Worth
- Defensive Attributions (to counter bad situations) (Fiske, 2004)
Ex. Higgins and Bhatt (2001) Cross-Cultural Study
Self-Serving Bias shown in research on Western participants
Individualists emphasize the self; Collectivists the context
Locus of Control, Controllability, Stability
Indian University Students
Canadian University Students
Compared explanations of causes for life events using Attribution Scale
BOTH groups used the self-serving bias to explain negative events
Higher correlation to explaining events (positive and negative) in terms of CONTEXT
Higher correlation to explaining postive events in terms of SELF
Self-Serving Bias is an ETIC with EMIC features
Social Cognition:
Formation of Stereotypes
Topic: Sociocultural Cognition:
Page: 27
We will...
Describe the role of situational and dispositional factors in explaining behaviour; Discuss two errors in attributions (for example, fundamental attribution error,
selfserving bias).
Sociocultural LOA: Writing Three
Errors of Attribution
Social Identity Theory
"Evaluations" Page:
On L27 Use Dimensions of Culture to Evaluate Errors of Attribution.
Note: Read 5.14 in Jamison Reader for next class
Attribution Process
LPrepare for completing a Writing over the Attribution Process
Blatant v. Subtle Stereotypes
social perception of an individual in terms of a group
controlled and conscious
(Fiske & Taylor, 2008)
automatic and unconscious
Have a need to understand and explain others
Result from ATTRIBUTION process
Schemas predispose us to CATEGORIZE (especially in ambiguous situations)
Social Identity Theory
Gender Stereotypes in Education (Herbert & Stipek, 2005)
(Henry Tajfel)
theory of social categorization; portion of one's self-concept derived from perceived group affliliation
affiliation with in-group satisfies CORE MOTIVES
Tajfel (1971)
Kandinsky v. Klee Experiment
* Three Groups
* ALL shown pics of Kandinsky or Klee
* ALL asked which they prefer
* Randomly assigned into TWO groups
* Given impression groups were because of preferences
* Each boy to assign award points; one to in-group boy, one to out-group boy
Cross-Cultural Quasi-Experiments
Yuki & Collegues (2005)
Sociocultural Norms:
Social Learning Theory
Albert Bandura (1973, 1977)
A few bits...
SLT is an ETIC
SLT is bi-directional for ALL three LOAs
Aggression is explained through SLT
Components for Modeling:
Vicarious Reinforcement
Must PERCEIVE ability to model
Process of Modeling:
SLT and Aggression: the famous "Bobo" Doll Experiments
Bandura, Ross & Ross (1961)
Bandura (1965)
(Direct modeling)
(Symbolic modeling)
What Matters...
Role of Culture
Role of Self-Efficacy
Ethnographies support Bandura's explanation and his use of experiments (method triangulation)
Ex. Aggression of Dugum Dani of New Guinea (Bandura, 1973)
Sociocultural Norms:
Conformity and Compliance
Understanding Conformity
Ethnographies support this notion
- Aggression of Dugum Dani of New Guinea (Bandura, 1973)
Topic: Sociocultural Norms:
Page: 31
We will...
Turn in Internal Assessment Final Report; Complete Sociocultural LOA Exam Short Answer; Evaluate research on conformity to group norms; Introduce Abnormal Psychology
Internal Assessment Final Report
Exam: Sociocultural LOA
Evaluating Conformity Research
Introduce Abnormal Psychology
"Evaluations" Page:
Conformity and Compliance
Have out your hard copy of your Internal Assessment (Experiment) Final Report and prepare to turn it in. Also, prepare for your exam.
Asch (1955)
Between 1955 and 1994, 94 experiments used Asch's original model; 17 of these were cross-cultural
Bond & Smith (1996) Meta-Analysis
133 Studies from 17 Countries Analyzed (though most from U.S.)
Studies used Asch's format (and included female participants)
Conformity higher with larger groups, females included, high ambiguity and majority is in-group
Conformity has declined since 1950s
Conformity higher closer one is to collectivism
Strengths and Weaknesses?

Stress, Cognition and Emotion
Lazarus' Appraisal Theory of Emotion
primary appraisal:
relevance and meaning
secondary appraisal:
coping strategies considered
Transactional Model of Stress
Lazarus and Folkman (1975)
You see a woman on the street and she appears to be homeless
You fail an exam in a class
You are cut off on the interstate by a driver trying to get to an exit
learning through observation of other people; modeling of behavior is the outcome
What IS Social Learning?
Now, let's look at the
and the
for modeling of observed behavior
Shows evidence for children modeling adult behavior that is directly experienced
modeling of adult behavior by children; children view models on video
Effect of model still evident, but not as strong as direct modeling
Believe that spirits will damage or bring sickness to a family unless the life of an enemy is taken
Therefore, aggressive, war-like behavior is modeled for young males
Is behavior noticed?
Can the behavior (of the model) be remembered?
Can behavior be reproduced? Self-Efficacy
Is there sufficient reinforcement?
Reinforcement THROUGH others (extrinsic motivation)
Reinforcement from within (intrinsic motivation)

Ex. Foster et al. (1994)
EWT (eyewitness testimony) was more accurate for real-life crimes
Memories that are personal and meaningful not easily distorted
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