Psy Chapter 1
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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
- Basic research 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?
- Applied research 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
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