Psychology March Madness Seeds

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  1. Milgram, S. (1963). Behavioral study of obedience. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67, 371-378. Milgram (1963) tested the hypothesis that humans obey other people who are in a position of authority. He designed a shock generator that the “teacher” would use to shock the “learner” in the study if the “learner” stated the wrong answer. Participants were not told the nature of the study. He found that 65% of participants administered the strongest shock.
  2. Skinner, B. F. (1948). Superstition in the pigeon. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 38, 168-172. Skinner (1948) studied behaviorism and operant conditioning by measuring how pigeons and rats would respond to a variety of situations in which they were contained in a box and a lever would administer either food or an electric current. Skinner found that behavior is reinforced by positive and negative reinforcement.
  3. Pavlov, I. P. (1927). Conditioned reflexes. London: Oxford University Press. Pavlov (1927) rang a bell signifying to dogs he worked with that were to be fed. Pavlov found that over time the dogs learned to associate the bell with food causing them to increase salivation due to classical conditioning. Associations can occur between neutral stimuli and an unconditioned response. Neutral stimuli will produce the same response as an unconditioned stimulus.
  4. Watson, J. B., & Rayner, R. (1920). Conditioned emotional responses. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 3, 1-14. Watson conditioned a fear response into infant Albert B. by pairing an animal with a frightening noise and then presenting the animal without the noise. He found that emotional behaviors can be conditioned through simple stimulus response techniques, although with a certain loss in the intensity of the reaction, for a longer period than one month.
  5. Rosenhan, D. L. (1973). On being sane in insane places. Science, 179, 250-258. Rosenhan (1973) tested mental health professionals’ ability to categorize new patients correctly by having normal individuals enter psychiatric facilities to see if they would be deemed psychologically healthy. Eight participants presented themselves for admission and no participant was detected as psychologically healthy. Even trained professionals have a difficult time distinguishing normal individuals from abnormal individuals in a hospital setting.
  6. Bandura, A., Ross, D., & Ross, S. A. (1961). Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63, 575-582.  Bandura, Ross, and Ross conducted an experiment to determine if viewing aggressive behavior from a male or female model would provoke aggressive behavior from the child. They found that viewing an aggressive model invoked aggressive behavior from the child, and males viewing an aggressive male model expressed the most aggressive behavior in response.
  7. Asch, S. E. (1955). Opinions and social pressure. Scientific American, 193, 31-35. This study researched how a person will react when they are put against an opposing opinion of a larger society, and whether they will forfeit their own perspective and conform to the crowds’ opposing opinion. The study found that 75% of people were willing to give up their own opinions to fit in with the crowd at least once.
  8. Freud, A. (1946). The ego and the mechanisms of defense. New York: International Universities Press. Freud (1946) studied how the ego plays a role with in both a person’s gratification of and mechanism of defense against id-based impulses. Freud (1946) discovered that the ego prevents instant gratification of the id by a “second process,” where ideas and thoughts, conforming to ethics and moral laws shape decisions to respect the demands of reality.
  9. Smith, M. L., & Glass, G. V. (1977). Meta-analysis of psychotherapy outcome studies. American Psychologist, 32, 752-760. This meta-analysis looked at 375 studies where clients who received psychotherapy were compared with clients who did not receive therapy. Through statistical analysis,Smith & Glass (1977) found that psychotherapy is effective and different types of therapy do not produce different effects.
  10. Piaget, J. (1954). The development of children’s orientations toward a moral order: Sequence in the development of moral thought. Vita Humana, 6, 11-33. Piaget examined object permanence development by using unstructured evaluation methods on infants. He identified six substages of development that happen during the sensori-motor period that influence the development of object permanence. These observations strengthened the creation of the four stages of cognitive development.
  11. Harlow, H. F. (1958). The nature of love. American Psychologist, 13, 673-685. Harlow created two “mother surrogates,” one of wire and mesh (uncomfortable) and another of sponge rubber and cloth, to determine the value of contact comfort and nursing. He found that “contact comfort is a variable of overwhelming importance in the development of affectional responses, whereas lactation is a variable of negligible importance.”
  12. Zimbardo, P, G. (1972). The pathology of imprisonment. Society, 9(6), 4-8. Zimbardo (1972) simulated a prison environment to observe people randomly assigned as prisoner or a guard. They found that the participants showed significant behavioral changes by assuming their role conforming to expectations of their role in a short amount of time. This produced psychological distress to the participants and the experiment was ended earlier than anticipated.
  13. Loftus, E. F. (1975). Leading questions and the eyewitness report. Cognitive Psychology, 7, 560-572. Loftus (1975) hypothesized that if eyewitnesses are asked questions that contain a false presupposition about the witnessed event, the new false information may be incorporated into the witness’s memory of the event. Through four experiments, Loftus (1975) found that new information can be integrated to the original memory by falsely presupposing information that alters the recalled memory.
  14. Bouchard, T., Lykken, D., McGue, M., Segal, N., & Tellegen, A. (1990). Sources of human psychological differences: The Minnesota study of twins reared apart. Science, 250, 223-229.This longitudinal study measured the development of twins separated at birth. Bouchard, Lykken, McGue, Segal & Tellegen (1990) found that twins who were raised in a different environment were remarkably similar to twins who had been raised in the same environment. This suggests that genetic factors account for much of the variation in human characteristics.
  15. Clark, K., Clark, M. (1939). The development of consciousness of self and the emergence of racial identification in Negro preschool children. Journal of Social Psychology, (10): 591–599. African-American children were given four dolls that were identical in every way except for color, and then asked to identify both the race of each doll and which doll they prefer. It was found that the children preferred the white doll, and assigned positive characteristics to it. The Clark’s concluded that “prejudice, discrimination, and segregation” created a feeling of inferiority among African-American children and damaged their self-esteem.
  16. Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books. Gardner developed the theory of multiple intelligences that is based on research from the structure of the brain itself. Gardner’s theory was developed upon eight indicators that define an intelligence that are linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalist, and existentialist.
  17. Rosenwig, M. R., Bennett, E. L., & Diamond, M. C. (1972). Brain changes in response to experience. Scientific American, 226, 22-29. Rosenwig, Bennett, & Diamond (1972) conducted an experiment to see if the brain changes with experience. They put one group of rats in a cage rich with stimuli and one group in a cage with no stimuli. Rosenwig, Bennett & Diamond (1972) found that the brains of the rats that were stimulated were heavier and also had much more neural activity.
  18. Seligman, M. E. P., & Maier, S. F. (1967). Failure to escape traumatic shock. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 74, 1-9. Seligman & Maier (1967) placed dogs into an escape group, a no-harness control group, or a no-escape group. The no-escape group had no control over an administered shock and the escape group could stop the shock. The dogs in the escape group learned to stop the shock, but the dogs in the no-escape group gave up, demonstrating learned helplessness.
  19. Darley, J. M. & Latane, B. (1968). Bystander intervention in emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8, 377-383.College students were brought into a room to converse with other students. While conversing, one student would have a scripted nervous seizure to see whether the bystanders would help them. They found that the more bystanders present, the less likely it is for someone to intervene in an emergency situation due to thinking that someone else will intervene.
  20. Bem, S. L. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 155-162. Bem had participant’s rank 20 items of either masculine, feminine and neutral to determine which role is most suitable for a male or female or both/neither. Bem found that masculinity and femininity are independent variables, psychological androgyny is reliable, and highly sex-typed scores reflect a tendency to describe oneself by desirable behavior for men and women.
  21. Rorschach, H. (1942). Psychodiagnostics: A diagnostic test based on perception. New York: Grune & Stratton. Rorschach created the Rorschach Ink Blot Test, which is a set of symmetrical ink blots that are readily interpreted as objects to ask participants to say freely what they interpret in them. He found that different responses are given among groups with different mental illnesses. Roscach claimed this test could examine schizophrenic tendencies, neuroses, depressive tendencies, introversion, extroversion, and intelligence.
  22. Spencer, S. J., Steele, C. M., & Quinn, D. M. (1999). Stereotype threat and women’s math performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 35(1), 4-28. Spencer, Steele, and Quinn (1999) set out to determine if gender stereotypes about women’s ability in math negatively impact their performance. By changing the the wording of a math exam, researchers were able to expose participants to both low and high stereotype threat. It was found that when stereotype threat was high, women performed significantly worse on a math exam compared to equally qualified men.
  23. Deffenbacher, J. L., Oetting, E. R., Thwaites, G. A., Lynch, R. S., Baker, D. A., Stark, R. S., Thacker, S., Eiswerth-Cox, L. (1996). State–Trait Anger Theory and the utility of the Trait Anger Scale. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 43(2), 131-148. Deffenbacher and colleagues (1996) did eight separate studies in this article on state-trait anger theory to determine whether or not there was such a thing as an angry personality trait. They found support for the anger trait in high anger participants were more likely to experience anger, felt anger more intensely, expressed their anger in more negative ways, and experience more negative anger consequences.
  24. Ulrich, R. S. (1984). View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. Science, 224, 420-421. Ulrich conducted this experiment to determine whether exposure to a natural environment had the potential to influence recovery from surgery. He ultimately found that patients who were placed in a recovery room with a window facing a natural setting had shorter hospital stays, received fewer negative evaluative comments in nurses’ notes, and took less potent pain medications than patients whose window faced a brick wall.
  25. Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80, 1-28. Rotter, J. B. (1966) coined the term locus of control which is an important piece of personality. The locus of control is about how an individual sees main events in her or his life. The idea is that behavior is based on rewards and punishments that shape their behaviors and attitudes.
  26. Simons, D. J., Chabris, C. F., Schnur, T., (2002). Evidence for preserved representations in change blindness. Consciousness and Cognition, 11, 78-97. Simons, Chabris, & Schnur (2002) conducted 3 experiments to determine if change blindness (the ability to detect change) in real-world, unexpected changes happens when observers have represented some of the details from the prechange scene. They found that people often have a representation of the prechange and discover this memory, answering specific questions regarding details of a changed scene.
  27. Taylor, Shelley E.; Klein, Laura Cousino; Lewis, Brian P.; Gruenewald, Tara L.; Gurung, Regan A. R.; Updegraff, John A. (2000). Biobehavioral responses to stress in females: Tend-and-befriend, not fight-or-flight. Psychological Review, 107(3): 411–29. Taylor and colleagues (2000) conducted a meta-analysis to better understand how men and women differently respond to stress. It was found that in times of stress, women are more likely to “tend and befriend,” a behavior pattern in which women tend to vulnerable offspring, and affiliate with other familiar people.
  28. Scoville, W. B., & Milner, B. (1957). Loss of recent memory after bilateral hippocampal lesions. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 20(1), 11–21. After removing the hippocampus of a young man with a history of epileptic seizures, Scoville & Milner (1957) found that the patient suffered from global amnesia. This case revealed the vital role the hippocampus plays in creating memories.
  29. Mischel, W., et al. (1989). Delay of gratification in children. Science, 244, 933-938. Mischel et al. (1989) researched delay gratification in children by measuring self-control from the participants’ choice to execution (attention on the rewards) and also from distraction to abstraction (attention to symbolic representations of the rewards). They found that “sustaining self-control depends on how the rewards are represented cognitively.”
  30. Masters, W. H., & Johnson, V. E. (1966). Human sexual response. Boston: Little, Brown. Masters and Johnson (1966) observed participants engaging in sexual acts in a lab setting in order to learn more about human sexuality. They learned about the male and female sexual response in great detail and they found that sexual response is similar in men and women, with the experience of orgasm being the largest difference.
  31. Gibson, E. J., & Walk, R. D. (1960). The “visual cliff.” Scientific American, 202, 67-71. Gibson &Walk (1960) set up the visual cliff, consisting of “a board laid across a large sheet of heavy glass which is supported a foot or more above the floor,” to observe if infants would show fear to the visual cliff. As a result, the researchers found that “most human infants can discriminate depth as soon as they can crawl.”
  32. Aserinksy, E., & Kleitman, N. (1953). Regularly occurring periods of eye mobility and concomitant phenomena during sleep. Science, 118, 273-274. Aserinksy and Kleitman conducted this experiment to detect changes in eye movement during sleep. They found that eye movement first occurs about 3 hours after falling asleep and appears again 2 hours later, then occurs again a third or fourth time at closer intervals.