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Lecture 4

PSYA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Physical Exercise, Standard Deviation, Jane Goodall

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PSYA01 Lecture 4 Finding Answers Begins by Finding Questions
September 16, 2015
*How scientists try to find truth*
Theories & Hypotheses:
- Usually the scientific process begins with a theory
o Theory: Somebody’s explanation meant to explain things they have
- Good theories lead to clear hypotheses clear things you can look at & test
and see if they’re true or not
o The best theories are when you can find out they’re wrong and if they
never seem to be wrong then it is impressive
o Hypotheses: predictions can be empirically tested in a way that might
prove them to be incorrect (ie. Falsifiable
A good theory is falsifiable <- this is a very important term
- Freud’s theories of human behaviour, and religious theories of existence, are
often criticized for being un-falsifiable, and therefore, impossible to test
Where Does One Find These Theories?
- Naturalistic Observation Jane Goodall
o She went to Africa to learn about chimpanzees
Her first step was to watch them (her presence is changing
their behaviour)
The best way to make the chimpanzees to act as natural as
possible, to make them think that she is a chimpanzees (She
tried to smell like them, behave like them)
She realized there was a social hierarchy which was
dictated through the eyes of chimpanzees (e.g put their
eyes down is a submissive rule that they had bottom
of hierarchy)
o Females are lower in rank, when male chimps
are angry they beat on females
o She ends up with a theory: Chimps have a social structure and they do
this with eyes
Terminology Time!
- Variable: is used to refer anything that can take on multiple values
o Eg: eye colour can have values of green, blue, brown etc. (Categorical
o Eg: Height a continuous variable because its values lie on a
If we have distinct categories then were treating it as a
categorical variable (brown, blue, black)
Continuous treat it not like in categories
Eg: light which produces colour is a continuous variable
Descriptive Statistics:
find more resources at
find more resources at
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