What to Study for Final Exam

The Final Exam covers the entire course, which includes all of the book by Kalat, all of the book by Huff (How to Lie with Statistics), all videos shown in class, all material in the handouts, and all homeworks and quizzes. The Final exam is worth about 65-70 points, and the midterm about 45-50 points, so the Final has more points than the midterm.

Final-Only grading: Keep in mind that those who get 90% correct will get an A+ on the final no matter what they scored on the midterm. Similarly, by achieving absolute standards on the final, one can be graded by "Final Only" grading. See the syllabus for more detail and explanation. This policy requires that the final exam cover the entire course.

Most people, however, will be graded based on the total number of exam points (sum of the midterm and final), plus any extra credit. Extra credit is worth up to 3 points total and is based on quizzes, homeworks, and other in-class assignments. See syllabus for more detail.

The majority of test items on the final come from the last half of the course. The topics emphasized in the last half of the course include Statistics, regression and prediction, intelligence testing, heredity and environment, biological/physiological psychology, sensation, perception, and social psychology. Topics covered in more than one way (lectures, videos, books, homework, quizzes) will have the greatest number of test items, whereas items covered only in the book, for example, will have fewer items. In-class quizzes and homeworks give you a good idea of what kinds of questions you will be asked.

What to emphasize from the whole course: This course is intended to prepare you to be able to take the next three courses in the psychology department curriculum: "problem solving and critical thinking", "psychological statistics," and "research methods." Consequently, you should emphasize material in these three broad areas of psychology. (See syllabus or university catalog for descriptions of Psych 110, 201, and 202.)

Another List of Topics Covered (Emphasized) in Lecture:

  1. What is psychology? Science of behavior. Misinformation in the media = "media" psychology.
  2. What is an explanation? (Deductive, meaningful, predictive, causal, general)
  3. Philosophical terms (critical thinking): definition, logical, empirical. Operational definitions, a priori true and false; a posteriori true and false; empirical meaning; operationism's definition of meaning, etc.
  4. Two kinds of arguments (deduction, induction).
  5. Principles of logic (transitive implication, if A then B, etc.)
  6. Two kinds of empirical generalizations: correlation and causation.
  7. How to test correlations and causal assertions (surveys and experiments)
  8. Terminology of Research Methods (In Chapter 2* of Kalat and Handout: Independent Variable, Dependent variable, placebo, double blind, triple blind, etc.).
  9. Before-After studies and spontaneous remission: why we need a control group.
  10. Personality Theories (including Freud's psychoanalysis)
  11. Design a study to test effects of a new medicine.
  12. Design a study to test effects of a new type of psychotherapy.
  13. Cambridge-Somerville Youth Study on effects of psychotherapy, including the 30-year followup by Joan McCord. 600 boys randomly assigned to treatment and control groups; 5 years treatment; 3-year initial followup; 30-year follow up. Results and implications: "talk"-psychotherapies used were harmful, according to seven dependent variables (list them).
  14. Diagnostic Criteria for Abnormal Behavior (DSM). Reliability and Validity of diagnosis. False patients. Projective tests and their reliability.
  15. Statistical versus Clinical predictions of behavior. Statistical is more accurate.
  16. Skepical and open-minded.
  17. Barnum effect; cold-reading; ethical versus unethical magicians. ethical vs. unethical clinical psychologists.
  18. Classical conditioning
  19. Instrumental (Operant) Conditioning.
  20. Tests, diagnoses, and measurements: reliability, validity, & bias.
  21. Statistics: measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode, midpoint); measures of spread: (range, variance, standard deviation; types of distributions, asymmetric, positively skewed, negatively skewed, bimodal, normal (bell) distribution. standard scores, areas under normal curve; measure of association: Pearson, product-moment correlation coefficient, regression-prediction equations; Galton's paradox.
  22. Intelligence testing. Binet's goal; Binet's insight (bright children are like older children). IQ defined as ratio of mental age to chronological age (times 100).
  23. Results with IQ tests: reliability, validity, and bias.
  24. Results with IQ tests: correlations between husband and wife, parent-child, child-child.
  25. Results with IQ tests: correlation between IQ as child and as an adult.
  26. Studies of heredity and environment; h-coefficient; results for IQ testing.
  27. Developmental Psychology (Piaget was student of Binet/Simon): Experience versus Maturation
  28. Biological Psychology: Anatomy & Physiology/ Techniques, split brain research, lesions, ablations, stimulation, measurements (EEG, MRI, PET, CAT, evoked potentials, etc.)
  29. Sensation (vision, audition, olfaction, gustation, touch/temperature/pain, etc.).
  30. Wallach's theory of Gelb illusion, color constancy, ratio of luminance of object to surround.
  31. Perception: Illustions and constancies. illusions and constancies: size constancy, Ames room illusion, Mueller-Lyer illusion, Emmert's law of afterimages, Ponzo illusion, Baldwin illusion,
  32. Cues to distance: binocular disparity, convergence angle, motion parallax, accommodation, geometric perspective, height in visual field, textures and gradients, light and shade, familiar size, overlaps, color and clarity, etc.
  33. Social psychology (Asch, Milgram, Zimbardo, Jane Elliott, Rosenthal "pygmalion" effect (self-fulfilling prophesy, social influence, leadership, etc.)

List of Videos

Here is a link to "Discovering Psychology" series with Zimbardo. You can sign up for video on demand (its free). You will need a good connection to the Internet and the proper player for your browser.

Discovering psychology

Of the 26 programs, we viewed 9 Programs in class: #3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 19, 20, 21 and 22. If you missed any of these, I suggest that you make sure to view them. Viewing these again would also be helpful in preparation for the exams.

Others you might want to view include #2, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 23, 24, 25. For example, #2 is about research methods, which relates to Chapter 2 in the book by Kalat, and which we covered heavily in the course. The reason I did not show this in class is that I think this video does not add much to what you can learn from my lectures, Kalat's chapter 2, Huff's book, and the homework and quizzes. However, it does cover some of this same material in a different way and this might be useful to some of you.

The remaining 8 videos in "Discovering Psychology" with Zimbardo might be of interest to you, but they cover material that was not emphasized in this course.

Here is a link to "Against All Odds: Inside Statistics" which is a series of 26 programs on statistics:

Inside Statistics

We did not view many of these programs this semester (two were assigned, #1 and #9), but all of the programs would certainly be helpful to those wanting to learn statistics. If you missed any of the lectures on this material these programs would allow you to learn about these topics. The material that we covered in Psych 101 relates to the following programs: #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9. Of course, when you take a complete course on this topic, the other episodes will be very useful. Those who plan to major in psychology would do well to view these episodes before you start Psych 201 and to view the remaining episodes when you take that course.

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