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Lecture 1

PSYC39H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Schizophrenia, Neurofeedback, Behavioral Neuroscience


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC39H3
Professor
David Nussbaum
Lecture
1

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PSYC39H3F: Psychology and Law Lecture Notes
Week #1 Lecture #1 Monday, September 14, 2015
- criminal responsibility, risk assessment --> forensic science
- when a psychologist go into court, putting themselves on pedestals saying that they
have the knowledge they want to share, and is at higher level than a judge’s (beyond
common sense or everyday experience)
- testimony restricted in court, 2 types of witnesses:
- common case: someone sees an accident or crime, they are the witness speaking
to the fact (what they see or heard) [factual witnesses]
- judges take these facts and make a decision on conviction
- witness can’t say “I think the driver didn’t want to stop at a stop sign”
b/c that’s an inference to the factual evidence
- different with an expert, expert is assumed to have some valid
knowledge beyond the common sense, only experts are allowed to give
an opinion testimony
- opinion testimony: psychologist testing, can provide opinion on how the results
should be taken. But the ultimate decision lies with the court.
- empirical evidence supporting opinion
- issue: how reputable(/replicable) are the results?
New Crisis in Psychology: Replicability
Articles in Nature & Science:
http://www.nature.com/news/first-results-from-psychology-s-largest-reproducibility-test-
1.17433
tried to replicate 100 studies, but only 40% were replicable
even if you get significant result, but if can’t be replicated, don’t know if the
results were by chance
Contrast with:
http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Paul_Frewen/publication/6234438_Neuroimaging_st
udies_of_psychological_interventions_for_mood_and_anxiety_disorders_Empirical_and
_methodological_review/links/0f3175339a3dcddaa9000000.pdf
proves some validity involved in neuroimaging
things at brain level, higher likelihood of replication
- problem w/ replicability is b/c of the way we conceptualize behaviour
- where did you do the study? (specific demographic, cultural, genetics, diff
mindsets e.g. diff bwt study in Toronto, Beijing and London)
- adjust data to keep their “reputation” (minority of cases)
- technical issue: conceptual replication? Might use different measures (measuring during
the day vs. at night)
Four Requirements of a Science
1. Candidate science studies phenomena reflecting natural order in the universe
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(Natural Law requirement)
2. Candidate science has reductionistic language for defining and ultimately explaining
phenomena (Reductionistic Language Used for Definition)
- construct defined in specific way
3. Candidate science meshes linguistically with those levels of science immediately above and
below (Inter-Science Consistency requirement)
4. Candidate science uses sound empirical methodology to validate/invalidate its
theories thereby refining knowledge (Empirical Test requirement)
Candidate Science studies phenomena reflecting natural order in the universe: Illustration
Thought Experiment:
Hypothesis: Particular area is typical of U.S. demographics wrt distribution of
automobile types and years
Method: Four separate teams film intersection between 2 and 3 p.m. on a Tuesday
afternoon operated by central “on-off” switch to “measure” the exact distribution
of cars passing through and compile lists
Results: Inter-rater reliability r = 1.00
Question: Is this a “scientific study?”
Answer: No. There is no expectation of replicability because if a sick child has a
Dr.’s appointment this week and traverses the intersection in his mother's yellow Saturn
this Tuesday, there is no law of nature dictating that the owner of a yellow Saturn drive
through that intersection between 2 and 3
- human convention, not a law of nature (e.g. can do the experiment at rush hour, ppl’s
habits are mostly the same, but if were to do it on a Monday vs. a labour day Monday,
results will be diff)
- but this fits the Empirical Test requirement
Candidate science has reductionistic language for defining and ultimately explaining
phenomena: Illustration
Newton’s Second Law of Motion:
F = MxA Force = Mass x Acceleration
Mass is a fundamental and measurable element for the Newtonian world
Acceleration is defined as ^ Speed/^ Time
Speed is defined as ^ Distance/^ Time
Distance and Time are also fundamental and measurable elements of the Newtonian
world
Implications: Higher order constructs are defined in terms of precise relationships between
lower order constructs: Work = Force x Distance Power = Work/Time
- can be reduce down
Candidate science meshes linguistically with those levels of science immediately above and
below: Illustration
Biology: Ecosystems, Organisms, Organ Systems, Cells, Organelles ->
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