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PSYC 102: Lecture #2

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PSYC 102
David Klonsky

Psychology 102: Developmental, Social, Personality, and Clinical Psychology Lecture #2 - January 8, 2013  Personal experience have severe limitations, difficult to trust  Testimonials/anecdotes from others  Given random data, we look for order and meaningful patterns o The order that we see is based on our experience or past history o Might miss a pattern that is more meaningful, or a pattern others see  Tend to look for order sometimes where there is none  Confirmation bias: we attend to what we agree with and ignore what we don’t o Often called the mother of all biases o We often do this, several times of day o We discount information that we do not agree with  When one has a particular bias, we give away to certain information that we strongly agree with or strongly disagree with  People considered smart: wise, PhDs, published books, lecture in university etc.  We don't make conclusions in confidence based on a single study o Must look at several studies, converging information, then we can determine a conclusion o Studies must be reproduces  Often times even smart people will make decisions that are not rational, or found to work  We can't trust our own personal experience  We can't trust the opinions of others  We can't trust the opinions of smart people  Scientific method: our best protection against sloppy thinking and human reasoning Hallmarks of Scientific Method:  Objective observation and logically necessary conclusions o Have to look at something in a way we are not affecting it, and measuring it in a way it’s not just our own opinion (assigning each a number in a way)  Parsimonious explanations o The most efficient explanation is the right one o Only true if there are several explanations that predict the same thing o If there is a more complex explanation that is more accurate this should be used o The simplest explanation with the most detail should always be used  Independent replication o One study does not make the conclusion true o Not until a study is independently investigated (study is duplicated) o Biases will always be present and therefore this must be eliminated o Replicated preferably using different types of measure and tests Psychology 102: Developmental
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