By Susan Nolen-Hoeksema

The most recent booklet from Cengage studying on Atkinson & Hilgard's advent to Psychology

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Atkinson & Hilgard's Introduction to Psychology

The most recent ebook from Cengage studying on Atkinson & Hilgard's creation to Psychology

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Extra info for Atkinson & Hilgard's Introduction to Psychology

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Experiments provide the strongest tests of hypotheses about cause and effect. The investigator carefully controls conditions – often in a laboratory – and takes measurements in order to discover the causal relationships among variables. A variable is something that can occur with different values (see Concept Review Table: Terminology of experimental research). ). If an experiment shows that memory performance changes systematically with hours of sleep, an orderly causal relationship between these two variables has been found.

Positive psychology emerged to balance the field’s sophisticated scientific understanding of mental illness with an equally sophisticated scientific understanding of human flourishing (Seligman, 2002). Although positive psychology shares with the earlier humanistic psychology a concern with people’s development toward their full potential, it departs from humanistic psychology by relying heavily on empirical methods. Positive psychology targets psychological phenomena at levels ranging from the study of positive subjective experiences, such as happiness and optimism, to the study of positive personality traits, such as courage and wisdom, and the study of positive institutions – social structures that might cultivate civility and responsible citizenship (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).

Cognitive neuroscience Cognitive neuroscience focuses on cognitive processes and relies heavily on the methods and findings of neuroscience (the branch of biology that deals with the brain and nervous system). In essence, cognitive neuroscience attempts to learn how mental activities are executed in the brain. The key idea is that cognitive psychology provides hypotheses about specific cognitive capacities – such as recognizing faces – and neuroscience supplies proposals about how these specific functions might be executed in the brain.

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