Class Notes (837,548)
Canada (510,312)
Psychology (7,785)
PSYB01H3 (260)
Anna Nagy (133)

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Anna Nagy

Chapter 1: Scientific Understanding of Behaviour Uses of Research Methods: Informed citizens in our society increasingly need knowledge of research methods. Daily newspapers, general-interest magazines, and other media are continually reporting research results. A background in research methods will help us to read these reports more critically, evaluate the methods employed, and decide whether the conclusions are reasonable. Many occupations require the use of research findings. For example, mental health professionals must make decisions about treatment methods, assignment of clients to different types of facilities, medications, and testing procedures (such decisions are made on the basis of research). Knowledge of research methods and the ability to evaluate research reports are useful in many fields. Scientific research has become increasingly important in public policy decisions. Research is also important when developing and assessing the effectiveness of programs designed to achieve certain goals. The Scientific Approach: People have always observed the world around them and sought explanations for what they seeand experience. However, instead of using a scientific approach, many people rely on intuition and authority as ways of knowing. The Limitations of Intuition and Authority When you rely on intuition, you accept unquestioningly what your own personal judgment or single story about one persons experience tells you about the world. The intuitive approach takes many forms. Often it involves finding an explanation for our own behaviour of the behaviours of others. Other times, intuitions is used to explain intriguing events that your observe, as in the caseof concluding that adoption increases the chance of conception among couples having difficulty conceiving a child. A problem with intuition is that numerous cognitive and motivational biases affect our perceptions, and so we may draw erroneous conclusions about cause and effect. Gilovich points out that there is in fact no relationship between adoption and subsequent pregnancy, according to scientific investigations. We still hold this belief because of a cognitive bias called illusory correlation that occurs when we focus on two events that out and occur together. When an adoption is closely
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