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PSY100 Lecture5.docx

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Dan Dolderman

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 each other - Operational: the experimental, measurement level, the thing you’re actually studying, what instrument or manipulation you use to reflect the conceptual variables. Operationalization -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? They haven’t. Consciousness as an Emergent Property - One ant is no ant. - A million ants is a viable community of organisms that exhibits coordinated, “self-directed behavior”. - One neuron is no neuron. 100 billion neurons is you. - Afferent (sensor
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