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Chapter 1- Uses of Research Methods.docx

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PSYC 2360
Dan Meegan

Introduction Research Methods Chapter 1: Scientific Understanding of Behaviour 1 Uses of Research Methods The Scientific Approach The Limitations of intuition and Authority  The intuitive approach takes many forms. Often, it involves finding an explanation for our own behaviours or the behaviours of others  Other times, intuition is used to explain intriguing events that you observe, as in the case of concluding that adoption increases the chances of conception among couples having difficulty conceiving a child.  Illusory correlation: Occurs when we focus on two events that stand out and occur together Authority  Aristotle: factors associated with persuasion or attitude change: o In his Rhetoric, he describes the relationship between persuasion and credibility. “ Persuasion is achieved by the speakers personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think hum credible. We believe good men more fully and readily than others” o He would argue that we are more likely to be persuaded by a speaker who seems prestigious, trustworthy, and respectable than by one who lacks such qualities  The scientific approach rejects the notion that one can accept on faith the statements of any authority; again, more evidence is needed before we can draw scientific conclusions. Skepticism, Science, and the Empirical Approach  The scientific approach to acquiring knowledge recognizes that both intuition and authority are sources of ideas about behaviour.  Scientists do not accept anyone’s intuitions—including their own.  Thus, they are very sceptical about what they see and hear.  Scientific Skepticism: ideas that must be evaluated on the basis of careful logic and results from scientific investigations  Empiricism: knowledge is based on observations. Data are collected that form the basis of conclusions about the nature of the world.  “evolved theory of science”- defines the characteristics of scientific inquiry o Observations accurately reported to others o Search for discovery and verification of ideas o Open exchange and competition among ideas o Peer review of research  Falsifiability: the latter result  IF AN IDEA IS FALSIFIED WHEN IT IS TESTED, SCIENCE IS ALSO ADVANCED BECAUSE THIS RESULT WILL SPUR THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW AND BETTER IDEAS Introduction Research Methods Chapter 1: Scientific Understanding of Behaviour 2 Integrating Intuition, Skepticism, and Authority  The advantage of the scientific approach over other ways of knowing about the world is that it provides an objective set of rules for gathering, evaluating, and reporting information  Scientific evidence is not obtainable Some characteristics of pseudoscience  Hypothesis generated are typically not testable  If scientific tests are reported, methodology is not scientific and validity of data is questionable  Supportive evidence tends to be anecdotal or relies heavily on authorities that are so called experts in the area of interest. Genuine scientific references are not cited  Claims ignore conflicting evidence  Claims are stated in the scientific-sounding terminology and ideas  Claims tend to be vague, rationalize strongly held beliefs and appeal to preconceived ideas  Claims are never revised Goals of Science  4 general goals: o To describe behaviour o To predict behaviour o To determine the causes of behaviour o To understand or explain behaviour Description of Behaviour  The scientific begins with careful observation because the first goal of science is to describe events.  Standards of attractiveness remain constant over time  Researchers are often interested in describing the ways in whic
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