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Chapter 1-unommon sense-scientific method ad human reasoning.doc

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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 o focuses 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 o created 13 statements with answers 1( disagree completely ) to 7 ( agree completely) o gave the maximization scale( set of 13 statements ) – to 1000s of ppl and found the ↑est score was 75 o ppl whose avg ratings were ↑er than 4( scales midpoint )= maximizers’ and those ↓ than 4= satisficers o score > 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 o score < 52 →satisficer so u set standards for urself and you will chose the 1st option that meets the standard o found that maximizers found jobs that paid ↑ than 20% on avg than satisfiers jobs o maximizers 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 o maximizers- fantasize about jobs that they didn’t apply to and wish they pursued them o even 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 o scientific 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 o journalists can use anecdotal • scientific method is crucial cuz it min bias by providing the rules by which obs are collected and results are evaluated o bias- 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 o philosophical 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 o many 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 o theories 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 o “PRIORI”- meaning that it exists b4 expir or observation o key 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 o notion 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 o can 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 o since a pop is usually too large to study we select a sample to study • sample-group of units selected from a larger group which is the pop o sample size has the notation n • researchers try to max generalizabiltiy- extent to which findings that are derived from a sample can be applied to a wider pop • major reason for scientific method is to combat bias and a key source of potential bias can come from how a sample is selected o eg some ppl only pic cases that support ur view and don’t oppose it –“cherry picking “ o sample bias- means some members of the pop are less likely than others to be included in the study → can lead to misleading results Evaluating Evidence and Theory • observations are categorized or quantified systematically and numeric values are either assigned or computed o # values are what form to empirical evidence • scientific method uses stats to test relationships between and among objective, quantifiable measures that come from expiration or observation • stats are computed on the sample the stats are assumed to prov estimates of the pop • all stats are based on the logic of probability and all use the same criterion for evaluation o probability- likiligood that a given event will occur • if the stat analysis of the data show that the results are ↑ly unlikely due to chance then the predicated relationship is ↑ly likely → therefore u can use it to evaluate or test a theory Reliability and Validity • 2 important standards are used to judge the scientific quality of research methods and techniques as well as the results produced • Reliability- means consistency , and a reliable study can be replicated • validity- extent to which a study provides a true measure of what it meant to investigate o reliable study may not be valid , ↑ replication means ↑ confidence that the study is reliable o how a study sample is selected from a pop and how repative it is can influence the validity o Diff types of validity- but all have same question – how true are conclusions? • evaluating validity – look for confounds or confounding variables ( unwanted sources of influence) as viable alterable alternative explanations for the results of the study o researcher doesn’t like this o researchers use a control variable to measure a unwanted source of influence that invalidates the conclusion which rules out effect of control variables on the results of the study Methods and Tools of Psych Research True Expir • expir – controlled investigation in which 1 or ↑ variables are manipulated , variables will differ in the way they can be controlled or manipulated • true expir – researcher co
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