PSYB01 – Lecture 1
September 3 2013
Lecture 1 Learning Objectives
Limitations of non-scientific approaches
Limitations of scientific method
Why we use scientific method
General principles of the approach
How does Psychology differ from Philosophy, the Humanities?
Through scientific method, systematically collecting (research/ objective variable) and observing
data. Science makes things into measurable data.
Others have limitations and bias.
Rely on experience and authority in the construction of our beliefs.
o With science it is possible to remove emotion and insert objective.
Psychology (Science) focuses on the population. What we discover and research is through the
Why Use the Scientific Method in Psychology
Others have limitations
Tend to rely on personal experience, intuition, and opinions of authority figures.
Tend to rely on heuristic and beliefs.
o Heuristic refers to experience-based techniques for problem solving, learning, and
discovery that give a solution which is not guaranteed to be optimal.
o Critical Thinking: Open to everything, questions perspective.
7 Limitations of Personal Experiences
1. Confirmation Bias and Discounting Problem
a. Seek information that is similar to our expectations and ignore information that does
not meet our expectations.
i. e.g. When someone comes with a reputation, we find the things they do wrong.
As a result, they get nervous and screw up.
b. The way a question is worded affects the outcome. (Need to review.)
c. Confirmation Bias is dangerous
i. Consequence of prejudice.
ii. We tend to pay attention to things that conform to our beliefs.
iii. It is the biggest bias.
d. Research tries to falsify what is true. i. We