DANCEST 805 Lecture Notes - Lecture 26: Babbling, Confirmation Bias, Sampling Bias

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25 Sep 2020
School
Department
Professor
Research Methods in Psychology: Evaluating a World of
Information (3rd edition) Beth Morling.
Chapter 1
Lecture
Sources of information: Intuition, personal experience, authority, common sense.
Intuition: using your gut feeling, plays an important role in obtaining knowledge and
could be the start of a scientific discovery ( apple - Isaac Newton). Con, we don't
know how it works and it can be false/wrong.
Personal experience: I know because I have seen it myself, is also important for
generating ideas, cons: there can be confounds, no comparison groups, present-
present bias and confirmation bias.
Common sense: everybody knows that, problem: massive groups of people can have
completely incorrect ideas about the world
Authority: he must know because he is a doctor.
The scientific method: testing our ideas against observations, replace old beliefs with
new beliefs.
Validity
Validity: whether we measure what we intend to measure.
Threats to validity: observer bias, sampling bias, confounds.
Sampling bias: when your observations are possibly not representative of the
population
Observer bias: when your observations are influenced by your expectations.
Confounding: when the factor of interest systematically varies with other factors that
could also have an effect
Present- present bias: The tendency to rely only on what is present and ignore what is
absent when evaluating the evidence for a conclusion.
Confirmation: is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in
a way that confirms one's preexisting beliefs or hypotheses.
Difference between present-present bias and confirmation bias: difference present
bias is more specific to one instance and confirmation is more to do with ignoring or
wrongly interpreting.
Comparison Group: A group in an experiment whose levels on the independent
variable differ from those of the treatment group in some intended and meaningful
way.
Confederate: An actor playing a specific role for the experimenter.
Morling’s theory-data cycle:
The empirical cycle: the process of hypothesizing data collection, testing and
evaluating is typical for science but does not guarantee scientifically proven facts.
Observation: example, I see different people speaking different languages.
Theory: example, Egyptian is the original language
Prediction: example if Egyptian is the natural language humans should automatically
speak Egyptian.
Testing: example, baby says bekos.
Evaluation: example, interpreted the baby babbling as evidence against his theory.
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Research Methods in Psychology: Evaluating a World of
Information (3rd edition) Beth Morling.
Irrefutable theories: theories cannot be tested, when you cant derive a testable
prediction from this hypothesis which makes it structurally irrefutable.
Falsifiable: a scientific theory needs to be able to be falsifiable, you should be able to
test against it, if not it does not speak of reality.
Correction mechanisms: there are only two real mechanisms, during the publication
process ( peer review) and after the publication process ( replication) bu different
researchers at different locations, and different methods.
Book
Testing our ideas
Ideas change because of systematic research ( example icebox parenting = autism)
If assumptions go unchecked we continue to hold false beliefs.
The best way to determine if advice is good or bad is to simply ask the question “ how
do you know”. The advantage of scientific evidence is that it tests its conclusions,
corrects its mistakes and compares it to other possible ways of knowing
Psychologists are empiricists which means basing one's conclusions on systematic
observations psychologists do not simply think intuitively about behavior, cognition,
and emotion they base information on studies.
Authority
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Document Summary

Sources of information: intuition, personal experience, authority, common sense. Intuition: using your gut feeling, plays an important role in obtaining knowledge and could be the start of a scientific discovery ( apple - isaac newton). Con, we don"t know how it works and it can be false/wrong. Personal experience: i know because i have seen it myself, is also important for generating ideas, cons: there can be confounds, no comparison groups, present- present bias and confirmation bias. Common sense: everybody knows that, problem: massive groups of people can have completely incorrect ideas about the world. Authority: he must know because he is a doctor. The scientific method: testing our ideas against observations, replace old beliefs with new beliefs. Validity: whether we measure what we intend to measure. Threats to validity: observer bias, sampling bias, confounds. Sampling bias: when your observations are possibly not representative of the population. Observer bias: when your observations are influenced by your expectations.

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