Intro to Psychology – Part 2


In part 1 we have seen about the Psychology, brain and behaviors. But there a lot of topics waiting for part 2, which will be more interesting ones like learning, memory, intelligence. So lets get started with Learning.

1) Learning

Learning is enduring change in behavior that occurs with experience. There are three types of learning Classic, operant and social learning.

a) Classical Conditioning:

Reflex – unlearned, automatic response (cough, eye blink)

Acquisition – Pavlov and dog (bell – meat – dog saliva)

Conditioned taste, smell – Some taste, smell make us ill.

Schedules of reinforcement – ratio, interval

b) ABC of Operant conditioning:

Sealion – training to kiss and dolphin show

Reinforcement and punishment are the basic keys to make learn.

i) Reinforcement – to increase a behavior. It can to +ve or -ve (by adding/removing something in environment)

ii) Punishment – to decrease a behavior

c) Social Learning:

If somebody do something and get a reward, we also like to do the same, so that we also will get a reward.

Bobo doll study, What we see on the social and gets a reinforcement, will do the same. (Watching television)

Brain and learning:

So how much you learn and practice, that much you brain neurons involved fired, wired and strengthened. When you stop learning, neurons become weaker and see a memory lose.



Long term learning makes our neuron stronger and growth, becomes change in brain.


2) Memory:

H.M – Henry Molaison, one of the famous patient in brain study for nearly 60 years. Few years ago he died and his brain was contributed to UCSD university for further study, which they sliced into 2400 slices.

H.M was affected by siezures due to some problem in Hippocampus. Because of his struggle in siezure nearly 10 per day, doctors decided to remove his hippocampi. Which solved his problem and came to know that his is not able to remember anything.

Hippocampus –  plays important roles in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory

There are many types of memory which our brain deals on our life.

a) Sensory memory –  During every moment of an organism’s life, sensory information is being taken in by sensory receptors and processed by the nervous system.The information people received which is stored in sensory memory is just long enough to be transferred to short-term memory.

b) Short-term/working memory – listening, reading (practice to make long-term)

c) Working memory – day to day activities

d) Chunking – acronyms or 5-7-9 digits make easier to remember

e) Serial position effect – remember begin and end items of list

f) Long-term memory:

While short-term and working memory persist for 10 – 30 seconds, Long-term memory remain for indefinitely.

There are different sub levels involved to store the long-term memory

    • Episodic memory – biographic things
    • Semantic memory – general knowledge or facts
    • Explicit or declarative memory – abt past (both episodic & semantic)
    • Implicit or procedural memory – knowledge on previous experience
      • Riding cycle, swimming

There are four step for long-term memory:

    • Encoding – Attention, take it in, process info. More deeper the better we can recall. Mnemonic device – rhyme or acronym
    • Consolidation – Process of establish, stabilize our memory – sleep
    • Storage – Hierarchy, Schema, Associative network
    • Retrieval – recall the information.

g) False memory – memory will change the situation.

Lets take a Car accident, if police asks different words, ways of same questions to each witness, we use to get different answer. Becoz mind changes.

h) Forgetting and memory loss:

Interference – due to new information we learn, use to forget previous memory

i) 3 distinct long-term memory systems.

    • Cerebellum and Striation – Learn to do things such as implicit procedures
    • Amygdala – Experiencing emotional events.
    • Hippocampus – We Concioussly and explicitly remember personal event or trying to recall answer to an essay.

j) Emotion in memory – play key role of storing info in long-term memory.

2) Language and Thoughts

a) Stages: Lang Comprehension (understanding) and then Lang development (production)

b) Initial stage of child development – not learn (lang), window of learning closes and become very difficult to learn.

c) Hart and Risley theory (functional approach): Professional, middle-class, welfare family – decrease in learning lang, speaking, praising or positive words

d) Chomskys (Structural approach): comes of naturally

e) Thoughts:

    • Mental representation – structure in mind, like idea, image
    • Mental rotation – Concept, category, prototype
    • Reasoning – Deductive reasoning(straight forward), Inductive reasoning(stmt diff from people)
    • Critical thinking
    • Metacognitive thinking – first think and reflect on one’s own thinking
    • Judgment and decision making

3) Intelligence:

Intelligence is ability to think, reasoning, problem solving, learning, from experience.

Single ability: Intelligence on single ability, Where Math, Lang, spatial – related ( 1increase other also increase in scores)

Multiple Intelligence : There are 8 types of intelligence. Math, linguistic, spatial, music, bodily, intra, interpersonal, naturalist

Measuring Intelligence:

IQ test: result mostly on academic not for real life (happiness)

Stanford Binet test: IQ nature vs nuture. Gene or family plays less percentage of role in Intelligence, Where nuture or environment makes our intelligence.

Creativity: Is not on intelligence. Thinking out of the box.

Problem solving: Intelligence and Creativity helps on problem solving.

4) Motivation and Emotion:


  • Drive reduction model – body auto change respect to environment
  • Hierarchy of needs: Physiological ( basic needs like food, sleep, Safety, Love/Belonging, Esteem (Confidence, achievement), Self-actualization (creativity, problem solving)
  • Rejection
  • Achievement motivation – desire to do things well and overcome obstacles
  • Extrinsic motivation – motivate others by giving rewards (have opposite effects)
  • Intrinsic motivation – comes from within person (challenge, enjoyment, mastery)
  • Motivation to eat – Insulin (glucose to blood and stop hunger)


  • Moods – longer lasting experience
  • Emotion – short exp to mins
  • Affective traits – permanently
  • Pride
  • Emotion expressions – Charles Darwin
  • Facial expression change our mind and emotions (it may be fake too, it chg our emotions)
  • Emotion thro voice – can control facial expression, but not voice on emotions
  • Amygdala – brain that control emotions
  • Culture changes emotions
  • Make positive frozen in your face brings positive energy into you.

5) Stress and Health:


  • It couldn’t take it up to the mind easily.
  • As stimulus – event or situation that trigger stress
  • As response – physiological change
  • Cortisol release which affects the brain and cause the interfere to memory. It should stop in sometimes, otherwise the stress makes more chemical emit and cause damage to our brain.

Handling stress:

a) Problem-focused – change situation or solve problem
b) Emotion-focused – changing or regulating one’s emotional response (social support or sharing)

    • Reappraisal
    • Escape-avoidance
    • Self-control
    • Seeking social support
    • Emotional disclosure

c) Emotional disclosure – to write or talk about stressful situation
d) Meditation, exercise
e) Smoking – stimulant (raise level of nervous system)
f) Drugs – Depressant (reduce functional nervous system)

Health psychology

  • Physiological reaction model – bodily changes to illness
  • Health Behavior Approach – diet, exercise

Immune system:

  • Type of defense
  • Natural immunity
  • Acquired immunity

6) Personality:

Big Five or OCEAN:

a) Openness to experience – try new things or curiosity
b) Conscientiousness – careful and planful
c) Extraversion – social, open, no shyness, taking risk
d) Agreeableness – carrying, friendly, compassion, warm.
e) Neurotics – fear, sadness

Personality comes from nature and nurture
Environment influence more on non-family (non-shared – friends, teacher, role model) rather than family (shared)




There are some more topics contains more deeper content, which I like to skip. With this am ending  my Intro to Psychology blog.

Courtesy: To Udacity online course.


Intro to Psychology – Part 1


I get involved too much in Psychology now a days, let me start with my story of how I entered into this area.

I just enrolled into Machine Learning online course in Udacity. Where the course started awesome, but while moved on to next chapters lot of math getting involved in it and of-course we never used math in real world and become difficult. So I gave up and upset on me. And due to lot of  things which disturbs my mind, I started searching some other course in Udacity, and that’s where I found this course “Intro to Psychology” and I enrolled in it. Basically Udacity courses are not a lengthy videos to make people bored, rather it have 2-5 mins clips of explaining each modules or topics which makes us interest and learn. That how I started Psychology and finished the course, so I thought will have the important points of what we learned in my blog, which will make some progress in my blogging and also it refresh on this topics.


Introduction to Psychology:

As most of people having common idea on psychology and myself too had same thoughts that “Psychology deals only on reading peoples mind, clinical – patients on mental problems or depression, crime”. But when I started this course, I learned that psychology is dealing on vast area.

There are lot chapters in this course. So let me write about few chapters here and rest I will continue on next parts.

Psychology – Study on how people react or behave. Study about the mental function and behaviors.

1) Types of Psychology:

  • Cognitive – Mental processing. How our mind or brain processing things like memory, decision, solving problems, language.
  • Behavior
  • Development
  • Biological – Neuroscience
  • Personality
  • Industrial/Organization – Motivation, Productivity
  • Social
  • Forensics – Crime
  • Clinical

So the above list are the areas where Psychology is dealing. We will see each topics on future chapters.


2) Biology of Behavior:

Behavior comes from lot of aspects. So let see how biologically the behavior happens because of our brain.

DNA – comes from parental DNA and it is unique because of the formation of DNA strands by A, G, T, C  – four chemical parts.

Gene – (Genome) encoded in DNA which regulating expression of genes. Due to these expressions from gene our  behaviors comes out (so as differently as  gene is differ from each other)

But our brain development is affected not only by Gene, but from Gene and Environment (surrounding we grow up). So our behaviors are from both our Gene and our surroundings.

Epigenetics:  Expression affected by environment, gene or sequence will not change. So because of this, due to our environment change our behavior also changes.

So before getting deep into our behavior, let see how we react and brain works.


Nervous System:

Our nervous system contains two parts Central and Peripheral.

Central NS: connects the brain and spinal cord.

Peripheral NS: Connects other parts which works somatic and transmits sensor to brain.


Our brain activities and our body response are full of neurons. It helps to process and transmit information to brain.

Sensory neurons: to pass the sense information to brain

Motor neurons: message from brain to move muscles

Inter-neurons: connect neurons, where neurons communicate each other by transmitting electric signals.


As we already learned in schooling that brain contains many parts, where each helps to do something in our body (like memory storage, control heart and other parts)

We can read the brain activities by EEG, PET Scan or MRI. And there are lot other equipment’s to do that.


3) Sensation and Perception:

Weight and Threshold – We will feel the weight difference of threshold is above 3% weight. (For Ex: If you hold two same cups one in  a hand, and you feel the same weight. Lets pour 10ml of water in one cup, still you will feel its in same weight. You will feel the weight difference if the threshold is more than 3% of another weight).

Physical and emotional pain activates same brain cells. Which is why we feel equivalent pain in us when we physically hurt or emotionally.

Human Senses:

1) Taste:

To identify the primary flavors, chemicals in our body helps to identify the taste and smell. There are 10k taste buds in our tongue.

2) Hearing:

Everything we can hear on our limits in hertz and decibels. Dogs can hear more hertz than human. Human (20 – 20k hertz)

3) Sight

We can see clearly when the light waves hits our lens and connects exactly at retina or sensors. If it merges before or after, then we gets near or far sight problems.

We see different colors on its wavelength freq. Each color has it wavelength freq. And we see colors due to cones in eye, which has sensors of RGB color. So we see all the colors from RGB combinations.

Depth Perception:

How far the object is from us. We identify the object size, distance all by our binocular cue (2 eyes process the image). Jumping thumb ( by closing one eye and we see jumping thumb)

5) Development:

Let see how Development of our brain is as we grow.

a) Brain develops and behave on Nature and Nurture – Gene & Environment

b) Brain works through neurons. So it creates million on neurons, more on earlier stage of our childhood and it slows down. If brain neurons are not used and it will be dead.

So everyone have more capacity to works with brain and think, where we need to really do homework to make our neurons busy and active.

c) Growth and creation of neurons needs good sleep. That why for first few years children need good sleep.

d) New born babies hear more than the vision. So for first few months babies will have blur view of us and identify and react through hearing.

Child growth is a separate vast topic, which will learn later in life when needed 😛

 e) Social development:

People expects and needs secure and relationship attachment. Bowlby attachment theory – People need attachment which makes them secure and relationship.

Research explains that new born Babies on ICU incubator. Group of babies got cured and out of ICU soon and other babies got cured slowly. Difference is that cured babies are daily touched or cared by some people which makes them more secure and got them cured quicker.

f) Cognitive Development:

How our brain think, process and react.

Intelligence is on two types:

    • Crystallized intelligence  – what we learned from experience, learning and education ( problems what we seen before in life).
    • Fluid intelligence – Solving new problems, makes our brain to think and process to solve the problem. (at aging it decreases). At 60’s we start losing mental thinking.

6)  Consciousness – responsive/perception to surroundings:

a)  Coma & Consciousness – Aware of what is going on and react or not aware and not able to react. Consciousness of people vary on time, sometime we maid be fully aware or sometimes we din’t aware of our surrounding

b) Wakefulness & Awareness:

Wakefulness – Whether we are awake or sleep

Aware – Whether we are aware of surrounding, environment


c) Tip of the Tongue (TOT) – failure to retrieve word from memory. We are wake but slightly unaware.

d) Comma (no aware, no wake) – Vegetative state (wake, no aware)

e) Cock tail party – 3 person talks about your interested topic and you are concentrating to some other things, but your brain automatically listens to  it.

f) Attention – our ability to focus on aspects of our environment and to be consciously aware of it

Selective Attention – Our ability to pay attention to our environment while ignoring aspects of our environment

Sustained attention –  “the ability to direct and focus cognitive activity on specific stimuli.”

g) Meditation – growth in brain tissues, gives freshness

h) Sleep

Need 7-9 hours of good sleep.

Sleep apnea – pause in breathing 30 times in  a hour, mostly in day time sleeping.

Narcolepsy – inability to regulate sleep/wake cycle

Night terrors

Insomnia – difficult to sleep

i) Drugs

Any chemical which changes our behavior

I will end the part 1 with this, and conclude that what we do, think, behave all from our brain. And brain is responsible for our thinking and emotions( which we say as heart or love in heart).