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Lecture 4

PSYA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Jane Goodall, Abscissa And Ordinate, Falsifiability

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Steve Joordens

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Lecture 4 and 5: Finding Answers Begin by Finding Questions
-a theory can be anything; hypothesis a statement of something you think to be true and are
linked to theories
-a good theory is when you can prove it to be wrong
-bad theories: religion, Freud’s theories
-evolutionary theory can sometimes be thought as unfalsifiable, a theory that considers how
life forms are evolved, which is too big of a theory to be considered and proven wrong
Naturalistic Observation
-Jane Goodall is someone who became friends with the Leakeys, who suggested that she
observe chimpanzees to better understand them when she was 18
-disadvantages: makes the subjects change behaviour due to observation
-Goodall tried to eliminate disadvantages by trying to act like a chimpanzee for them to act
more naturally
-she found that there is a social hierarchy, where some chimpanzees cannot look at another
chimpanzee in the eye, and if the chimpanzee does not lower their stare (submissive), they
would start a fight (hypothesis and observation)
-this is why wild primates have hard time adapting to the zoo environment
-she had trouble writing scientific paper, where many scientists do not agree when she refer
chimpanzees as ‘him/her’
-a variable is something that can take on multiple values
-categorical variables is the values can take distinct and specific categories (e.g. colour, if we
ignore the different tints of colour)
-continuous variables is the values do not have distinct properties and must be measured (e.g.
-psychologists must work with the data they collected to explain it clearly and efficiently to
another person
-using data to create graphs that are easier to read, creating a visual of the data
-ordinates (y-value) are the frequencies and abscissa (x-value) is the age
-normal distribution: when having measurements that most people have average (middle)
lengths and less have extremes
-taking a set of data to find the middle value and figuring out how spread apart the distribution
-the mean is the point that tries to be as close to other values as possible, however extremities
(abnormal values) may pull the mean away from the most of the data (skewed results)
-results in researchers like to use other measures like the median
-median is not sensitive to abnormal points (will not be skewed)
-mode is less used in scientific studies
-how typical?= mode
-how are values are different from average point (variability)
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