Science & history of psychology
Scientific study of the mind, brain & behaviour
William James (1842-1910)
Level of analysis
Ladder of analysis, lower levels tied closely to biological influences and higher levels tied
most closely to social influences.
Lower= the brain
Higher= the mind
People differ from each other in thinking, emotions, personality and behaviour.
Help to explain why we each respond in different ways to the same situation.
Make psychology challenging
EG: an insulting comment from a boss.
The fact that we mutually influence each others’ behaviour
Belief that we see the world precisely as it is
Trusting our common sense largely
“seeing is believing”
Appearances can sometimes be deceiving
Explanation of a large number of findings in the natural world.
Testable prediction from a scientific theory.
“Specific predictions derived from explanations.”
Tendency to seek out evidence that supports our hypothesis and deny evidence that
contradicts them. Belief perseverance
Tendency to stick to our initial beliefs even when evidence contradicts them
Even when we are told that we are wrong we don’t completely wipe our mental slates clean
and start from scratch
EG: suicide notes
Claim about the world that is not testable.
EG: existence of God, the soul, afterlife.
Differ from scientific claims in that we can NEVER test them using scientific methods.
Set of claims that seems scientific but are not
Can be tested.
EG: belief in astrology, ghost, haunted houses etc
Believing in such claims even though the scientific evidence is weak
Approach of evaluating all claims with an open mind BUT insisting on persuasive evidence
before accepting them.
Unwillingness to accept claims on the basis of authority alone.
Set of skills for evaluating all claims in an open-minded and careful fashion.
Error of assuming that because one thing is associated with another, it must be true.
Anything that can vary.
For a claim to be meaningful (capable of being disproved).
Can be proven wrong if there were certain types of evidence against it. Reliability
When a study’s findings are able to be duplicated, ideally by independent investigators.
If not duplicated it increases the odds that the odds that fi