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Lecture 3

Psychology Lecture 3 Sept 25, 2013.docx

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Lakehead University
PSYCH 1100
Mike Moland

PSYC-1100-YB RB-1042 Dr. M. Moland Psychology September 25, 2013 7:00 PM Chances for bonus marks: brief summaries will be sent out after this class for different studies provided by the PhD students at Lakehead Chapter 2: Research Methods Safeguards against error Necessity of Good Research Design Why do we need to know about research? We need to know because without the tools of science there is nothing to psychology  Without research designs, even intelligent and well-educated people can be fooled  The scientific method is a set of tools that helps us avoid being tricked by our biases - we all think we are smarter than we are  We'll learn what these tools are and how we can use them to evaluate psychological claims But I know it works! If you claim a claim to be true - has it been tested? Evidence? The question is not if something works at all but if it works better than another of its kind in the same circumstance  Often our impressions are wrong - human error  We need rigorous research methods to find out whether a technique really works  Prefrontal lobotomy - example of what happens when we rely on our subjective impressions - the medical practitioners found it works (and won a Nobel prize for it), but did not test it, they based their opinions on observations and since they wanted it to work they saw it work - when it was finally tested, it didn't work Availability & Representativeness Heuristics Lazy thinkers - easier to make quicker assumptions  Heuristics: Efficient & quick "mental shortcuts" often systematically & predictably wrong (you know milk is refrigerated, therefore you would look along the walls or in the refrigeration aisles - you don't have to walk down every aisle looking for it)  Availability Heuristics: Judging the likelihood of things by how readily they come to mind - if it comes to mind easily, it is presumed to be true (full moon and crime)  Representative Heuristics: Judging the likelihood of an event by its superficial similarity to a prototype. This may lead one to ignore other relevant information. (fitting stereotypes - looking at a guy in a tie and a guy in a Hawaiian shirt who would you say the prof is? The guy in the tie - usually, but not always, true)  Base Rates: How common a behaviour or characteristic is in the general population (how common would it be for a plane to crash - we think it is more likely than it actually is when we are involved) Representativeness: How We Can Be Fooled If we take into account base rates, numbers show that we will not always be right through judging people by stereotypes Base rates are often ignored Page 1 PSYC-1100-YB RB-1042 Dr. M. Moland Overconfidence Phenomenon  To overestimate the accuracy of ones' beliefs  To reduce overconfidence; get people to think of one good reason why your beliefs could be wrong - people usually neglect to seek info that might disprove their beliefs  These errors can lead to confidence in false conclusions (being right feels good) Scientific Method: A Toolbox of Skills Many different kinds of techniques  Allows us to test specific hypotheses derived from broader theories of how things work - theories are never "proven" (the evidence suggests…because conclusions can be differently drawn by other people) but hypotheses can be disconfirmed  Naturalistic Observation - watching behaviour in real-world settings o High degree of external validity - extent to which we can generalize our findings to the real world - how applicable the findings are to the real life o Low degree of internal validity - extent to which we can draw cause and effect inferences - you cannot identify why they are occurring  Case Study Designs o Depth is traded for breadth (like brain injury, what we know about the brain comes a lot from study about the brain injuries) o Common with rare types of brain damage and other rare occurring cases (Phineas Gage - got a bar through his frontal lobe, he survived so they could study him, but he changed - didn't seem like he was Gage anymore) o Helpful in providing exi
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