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Updated: Monday, April 12, 1999 10:49:58 AM

Intro to Psych Perspectives History & People
 Epistemology Bettelheim's Autism Scientific Method & Experiments
Experimental Termonology Neurotransmitters Neurotransmission
Anatomy of the Brain Split Brain Brain Imaging
Neural Plasticity Auditory System Visual System

Section 1: Scientific Method & Experiments

Scientific Method
      Controlling for Expectation

Single Blind - The participant does not know if he or she is receiving the active treatment or the placebo (example: sugar pills)
Double Blind - Neither the participant nor the person adminstering the experiment knows who is getting what.

Random Selection – Every subject has an equal chance to be in the experiment.

Determining a correlation:
Representation of a relationship
   Correlation coefficient.
       R = +.37
       Smallest value = -1
       Largest = +1

Correlational Studies Are Not True Experiments
To infer causation, you need..
  1. A correlation, or co-variation
  2. Time order – cause comes before the effect
  3. Eliminate all other hypothesis
Class example a correlation that does NOT imply causation:

There is a correlation between eating sugar frosted flakes for breakfast and having less cancer. That is people who ate sugar frosted flakes have a reduced chance of acquiring cancer.  But sugar frosted flakes does not cause less cancer.

Explanation of correlation without causation in this example:
The relationship between eating Sugar fosted flakes is due to the age of the participants.   The fact that sugar frosted flakes are so new means that most people who started eating the cereal are still young and healthy (and have not come down with cancer yet), whereas, partipants who did not eat sugar forsted flakes (because they were not available yet) are now old and dying of cancer.

time order:  the manipulation comes before it's effect
manipulation: changing the stimulus to which subjects respond in one group and not changing it in another group.

To avoid these problems perform a "True" experiment must use manipulation. This involves changing the stimulus to which subjects respond, assuring time order and also random assignment assures that the two groups are equal to each other before the manipulation begins. Random assignment means that each subject had an equal chance of being in each condition of the experiment.


Test people for Alcohol related Violence:
    Some with No Alcohol (0 ounces of alcohol (control))
    Some with Alcohol (1 ounce of alcohol)
    Some with More Alcohol (8 ounces of alcohol

How are we going to change violence (dependent variable) into a number?

Each time the person raises their voice and it will be counted as one violent action.


There are a number of possible operational definitions of violence


Abstract of a Correlational study presented in lecture:
Key Term:
MR: Magnetic Resonance Image

Study About:
Cerebral N-Acetylaspartate is low in patients with multiple Sclerosis and abnormal Visual Evoked Potentials (VEP’s)

Purpose: Our purpose was to compare cerebral proton MR metabolite changes in patients with multiple sclerosis MS and abnormal visual evoked potentials (VEP’s) with those in ms patients with normal VEP’s
Methods: seventeen subjects with clinically definite MS were studied with VP’s and MR spectroscopic imaging. Proton MR metabolites were measured using a fast spectroscopic imaging technique called proton echo-planar spectroscopic imaging PEPSI. Kurtzke’s Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score was also ascertained for each subject to obtain a evaluated for levels of N-Acetylaspartate, choline, creatine, and the presence or absence of MR-detectable lesions
Result: PEPEI NAA values (Water-normalized, CSF-corrected were significant lower in ms subjects with abnormal VP’s than in subjects with normal VEP’s. MR-detectable lesion factors and EDSS Scores were also significantly different between the two VEP groups, but NAA comparison and a P value 100 times less than either of these measures.
Conclusion: In patients with MS, NAA measurements in the optic pathways of the brain, were sensitive to VEP abnormalities. NAA was more sensitive to VEP changes than were choline creatine, MR-detectable lesions and EDSS score.





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