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psyc 100 class notes

18 Pages

Course Code
PSYC 100
Daniel J Levitin

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September 28 2010Hi everybody you all have a good weekend No Whos gonna go see the face book movie on Friday So one quick announcement about the midterm I have it now on good authoritythat the professor whos teaching Econ 208 is no longer gonna be giving a midterm on the day our midterm is If you are taking econ 208 youd still have to show up for our midterm Theres no longer a conflict heshe doesnt have priority over usStudents Whats Econ 208Professor If you dont know what it is then you are not in it And you dont need to knowThats that Our midterm only has one conflict thats with the physiology class The details are posted on blackboard Now you remember in the first week of class we were talking about experiments that might have different interpretation or how to be a skeptical reader of the news and things like that Does any of these rings any bell I am gonna read you something from todays Gazette that paragon of journalistic excellence You know about the scandal with MacLeans Magazine Is this familiar to you So Macleans magazine last week says that Quebec is the most corrupt province in the country And of course Quebecker didnt want to hear that and the Quebecker were all unhappy and they were upset How many of you are from Quebec So for those of you that are outside Qubec you should understand that people who were resident of Qubec or Qubec natives often feel as though Ottawa as though the federal government has discriminated against Qubec in terms of making money available for big social programs and infrastructures like freeways and buildings and social services and so theres this sense among many Quebeckers that the federal government doesnt take Quebec seriously That might be some kind of francophone racism or bigotry And there certainly a lot of evidences to support both sides of the arguments Theres evidence that support that the federal government hasnt treated Qubec as an equal partner in the country and theres evidence that support that it has Without getting into that debate you can imagine that a national magazine thats not based in Quebec that says Quebec is corrupt the most corrupt province would create bad feelings within the province So Think about now you gonna be the skeptical consumer of scientific information how might you respond to the charge that claim Qubec is the most corrupt province Anybody Yeap student What do they mean by corruption So they actually talk about what they mean by corruption They mean corruption in government and in awarding of public service contracts and government political corruption so fair enough What else studentsWho are they comparing to Well they are comparing Qubec to other provinces so most corrupt provinceYeah thats right you gotta ask the question who they are comparing to Yeap students how do you know Good how do you know they are the most corrupt students how corrupt is the other provinces So is this a difference so tiny that it doesnt matter Or is it a big difference It turns out its a big difference It turns out how they know is based on newspaper articles and public reports of corruption So to their credit the Gazette Henry Oborne who writes wrote a good my snide remark earlier the Gazette really isnt that good of a newspaper I mean in terms of international level of journalism they are notone the best But they have some writers and reporters who do a really good job one of them is Henry Oborne who says McLeans cover story on Quebec the most corrupt province of Canada is a journalistic embarrassment Yes he says Qubec has a pundits level of corruption the problem is is with that one crucial word most is corruption really worse here than elsewhere in Canada It could be But this is a serious accusation One could easily affect outsiders investment decision He is worried of course about companies not wanting to locate here which could be bad for the Qubec economy The national magazine makes no attempt to compare the situation in Qubec empirically with that and other provinces McLeans list some headlines making scandals in other provinces and conclude that since more such cases have been unearthed and reported in Qubec than elsewhere This province has to be most corrupt The flow of logic is blatantcorruption by definition is hidden theres no way of knowing how much goes on out of sight McLeans would have been on firmer ground if it hadnt call Quebec the most visibly corrupt province or better the province with the most journalistic success in unearthing corruptions So what he is saying is that maybe we just have better journalists in Quebec and better in unearthing corruption So in fact the corruption levels may be the same all over the country Qubec may even be lower but we have better journalists and better reporting and who we were able to find about it or maybe our criminals if you want to call them that are less adapt at hiding their mistakes they are not the professional criminals that you might find in another province They are sort of naive criminal politician types so they dont get away with it So you can see the problem is really one of measurement and accuracy of the data and one of interpreting So even
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