Psy Chapter 1
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Psy Chapter 1
Caswell Psy chapter
Caswell Psy 3213 Chapter 1
What is Science?
Science is a systematic formof inquiry, based onobservation, prediction,reasoning, and testing
Science is not
a subject matter.
Science is a method!
Use the scientific method to…
Test our hypotheses
-can be refuted or accepted
Scientific knowledge is refined/altered
Science should be self-correcting
Where does knowledge comefrom?
-Thoughts and preferences that come to mindquickly and without much reflection
-Based on common sense or experience
-Going with your gut feeling
-Teachers, religious leaders, politicians,celebrities, etc.E.g. – “The sun revolves around the earth.”
Scientists reject intuitionand blind acceptance ofauthority
Empiricism - knowledgethrough direct observationand experience
Reason - use logic todeduce what is true
- Relies on premises to beaccurate
Goodstein’s (2000) Evolved Theory of Science
Defines characteristics of scientific inquiry
1) Scientists make observations that areaccurately reported- Allow for scrutiny/replication
2) Search for observations that will verifytheir theories
- Conduct research to build
3) Open system for exchange of ideas
- Different points of view must befunded/protected
4) Peer review—before findings are published,they must be evaluated by other experts
- Prevent flawed research from being published
Psychology is a ??
The science of human behavior and mental processes
Science is not a subject matter
Science is a method, a way ofanswering questions
techniques for acquiring newknowledge
- Must beobservable/measurable(empirical)
- Must use logical reasoning
- Claims must be justified
-Scientific method embodiesrules for collecting and evaluating data
The Scientific Method -Step 1,2,3
1) Ask a question / Define a problem
- May require skepticism
- Often based on observation
Start with empirical questions
- those that can be answered with the scientific method
2) Do background research- May require skepticism
3) Construct a hypothesis- Based on observation or past research findings- Involves a specific relationship
The Scientific Method - Steps 4-7
4) Collect data Measuring the variables of interest Study design differs depending on what you arestudying
5) Analyze results Use statistics to test hypotheses and makeconclusion
6) Evaluate hypothesis Supported? Not supported?
7) Report results Peer review
What is Critical Thinking?
Ask questions; be willing to wonder
- Be curious
Define the problem
- Be clear on all of the terms
Examine the evidence.- Be skeptical of “self-reports.”
Analyze assumptions and biases.- Are there unsupported assumptions or biases?
Avoid emotional reasoning.- “I just know it. I feel it. It’s instinct.
”Don’t over generalize or use “either/orthinking”.- All Muslims are terrorists. All or nothing. Black or white.
Tolerate uncertainty.- Don’t make a decision just for the sake ofmaking a decision.
Limitations to Watch Out For
Belief perseverance- Tendency to hold doggedly onto a belief, even inthe face of evidence that would convince mostpeople that the belief is false
Confirmation bias- Tendency to seek out information that supportsone’s beliefs while ignoring contrary information
Availability heuristic- Experiencing an unusual or very memorable event and then overestimating how often it occurs
Appears to look like science, but…
-Rely on non-scientific authorities/anecdotes tosupport theories
Hypotheses aren’t really testable
Methodology is not reported or is not scientific
Ignore conflicting claims/evidence
Claims never revised
Goals of (Psychological) Science
• Description– Observational research
• Prediction– Correlational research
• Explanation– Experimental research
• Change/Application– Real world uses
tries to answer basicquestions about the nature of behavior - Basic behavioral processes
Do shared negative beliefs facilitatebonding more than shared positivebeliefs?
Does testosterone predict statusseekingbehavior?
h addresses issues inwhich there are practical problems and potential solutions
Do dopamine levels shape the severityof schizophrenia?
Can measurable personality traitspredict workplace behavior?
Psychology is a science
If you want to use psychology in yourwork, you must be use the research appropriately
Learn to be a better consumer ofresearch
Learn how to ask critical questions
Learn how to distinguish between goodscience and bad science