Psy100 Lecture 4
Tuesday September 28, 2010
Science: Just the facts?
- Replication, convergence [find the same thing using a variety of mythologies],
multiple methods and the peer review process
- Single pieces of evidence, single studies
But how do you measure something?
- Measure things that are abstract
- Scientific thinking occurs across 2 levels: conceptual and operational
- Conceptual: level which you are thinking about reality, forming models,
theories, descriptions, relatively pure- how different factors interact with
- Operational: the experimental, measurement level, the thing you’re actually
studying, what instrument or manipulation you use to reflect the conceptual
-Process of taking one’s “pure” theoretical construct and figuring out how to
represent it through some sort of measurement device
Example: operationalize “exposure to violent media”
- You need to test out whether violent media is polluting our minds
- One thing you could do is an experiment where your manipulating how many
movies people are watching [violent or non-violent] compare the groups that
watch a lot and who don’t watch a lot.
- Your always left with limitations around the conclusions
Example: operationalize “violent behaviour”
- Teachers evaluation with kids in schoolyard or parents evaluation with their
children at home.
- You need many types of mythologies pointing in the same direction
Example: operationalization is itself based on a theory
- Your trying to test whether violent media creates violent tendencies
Conclusions Re: Methodology
- It is very easy to make simple methodological errors, leading to erroneous
conclusions (e.g. CASA study).
- Take a closer look at the operationalization of variables and think about
whether there are any problems with validity, consider 3 variable
explanations for the findings, and look for possible confounds in
experimental designs. Neurons
Remember the mind-body problem? How have psychologists resolved this?
Consciousness as an Emergent Property
- One ant is no ant.
- A million ants is a viable community of organisms that exhibits coordinated,
- One neuron is no neuron. 100 billion neurons is you.
- Afferent (sensor