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Science & history of psychology.docx

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Monash University

Science & history of psychology 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 Individual differences  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. Reciprocal determinism  Albert Bandura  The fact that we mutually influence each others’ behaviour Naïve realism  Belief that we see the world precisely as it is  Trusting our common sense largely  “seeing is believing”  Appearances can sometimes be deceiving Scientific theory  Explanation of a large number of findings in the natural world. Hypothesis  Testable prediction from a scientific theory.  “Specific predictions derived from explanations.” Confirmation bias  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 Metaphysical claim  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. Pseudoscience  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 Scientific scepticism  Approach of evaluating all claims with an open mind BUT insisting on persuasive evidence before accepting them.  “show me”  Unwillingness to accept claims on the basis of authority alone. Critical thinking  Set of skills for evaluating all claims in an open-minded and careful fashion. Correlation-causation Fallacy  Error of assuming that because one thing is associated with another, it must be true. Variable  Anything that can vary. Falsifiable  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
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