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Lecture

PSYB01H3 Lecture Notes - Scientific Method, Satisficing, Cherry Picking


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB01H3
Professor
David Nussbaum

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Chapter 1- Uncommon Sense- Scientific Method and Human Reasoning
Doing Better but Feeling Worse
psychology- the scientific study of ppl, the mind and behaviour
ofocuses on the questions about how we feel, think, behave, believe,
interact
feelings can motivate our activity , have influence how we view the world, what
we remember and how we behave with others
barry shwartz and colleagues set out to look at how happy college graduates
are with the job choices they made
ocreated 13 statements with answers 1( disagree completely ) to 7
( agree completely)
ogave the maximization scale( set of 13 statements ) – to 1000s of ppl
and found the est score was 75
oppl whose avg ratings were er than 4( scales midpoint )= maximizers’
and those than 4= satisficers
oscore > 52( avg=4) maximizer-type of person who always has to do a
exhaustive check of all the available choices to make sure u pick the
best
oscore < 52 satisficer so u set standards for urself and you will chose
the 1st option that meets the standard
ofound that maximizers found jobs that paid than 20% on avg than
satisfiers jobs
omaximizers were less satisfied with the outcome of their job search and
were pessimistic, stressed, tired, worried , depressed ↑ → felt worse
even though they had done well cuz considering so many choices lead
to unrealistic expectations that d the feelings of regret,
disappointment, dissatisfaction
omaximizers- fantasize about jobs that they didn’t apply to and wish they
pursued them
oeven though maximizer’s careful search for the best job paid off they
still felt bad , they were doing better but feeling worse... guessing they
felt worse cuz they second guessed their choice and kept asking
themselves what if cuz they had so many options
The Scientific Method
objectively looking at things means thers no personal feelings or opinions in
looking & rep facts
scientific method- formal way of knowing that relies on objective- empirical
investigation
oscientific method serves as a playbook or toll box for psyc research
empirism – school of philosophy that says that knowledge is gained through
experience , observation and experiment
data- info that is gained objectively from obs or experimentations that can be
measured and evaluated stat
empirical evidence is diff from anecdotal evidence which refers to impressions
– opinions about just one person that arnt translated into quantifiable form
ojournalists can use anecdotal
scientific method is crucial cuz it min bias by providing the rules by which obs
are collected and results are evaluated

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obias- indicates unfair practices that wrongly discriminate against others
What is a scientific question
lots of questions can interest us but only some are researchable , questions of
religion/faith fall beyond science and for which empiricism would be considered
an abomination and maybe even apostasy (abandonment)
philosophers have 2 types of questions : “is” questions from those they call
ought questions
ophilosophical distinction known as “is-ought” can help us understand
wat is scientific or researchable
is questions can be answered by facts or empirical data and the answers are
free of social , cultural, political and religious pref
omany argue that they are exclusive domain of scientific research
ought questions call upon cultural values and ethical considerations but cant
be answered on basis of scientific evidence – like does god exist- ought
questions are influenced by beliefs that reflect ideology, politics and capital
punishment , constitutional law
scientific method aims to answer scientific questions- scientific questions
and their answers are framed in ref to a particular theory
theory- coherent set of propositions that are used as principles to describe ,
understand and explain psyc or behavioural phenomena
otheories address questions of how
From Theory to Testable Hypothesis
theory generates a testable hyp which are evaluated empirically with the
scientific method
testable hyp- statement in the form of a prediction that is made prior to
collection of data
oPRIORI”- meaning that it exists b4 expir or observation
okey feature of scientific method , since its b4 data collection its less
likely to be prone to error and bias by bending the theory to fit the #s
post hoc- hyp that are formed after the data are collected and analyzed ,
poses serious prob for the scientific method , the likelihood of error and bias
onotion is the u look the u will find something , the hyp that u test↑ ↑
post hoc the likely that one of these will by chance be wrongly
accepted as true
Variables and Measurement
thers key variables to investigate scientifically
variable- any characteristic that can take on diff values or can vary across
research participants
ocan be anything and any other quality that can have multiple values or
can vary in ppl
scientific method needs objective measurement of indefinable and specifiable
variables
in psyc if something can’t be measured it can’t be investigated scientifically
Systematic observation and data collection
science starts with a simple observation which can serve as evidence and ideas
observations are collected systematically and quantified by sampling a pop
pop – any entire collection of ppl , animals, plants or things all of which can be
referred to as units from which we collect info
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