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Lecture 2

01:830:271 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Falsifiability


Department
Psychology
Course Code
01:830:271
Professor
L.Dickson
Lecture
2

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LECTURE TWO THEORIES
Theories
Describe to explain behavior, state of affairs, language.
Explain give an explanation for the description; how/why things become to be a
certain why.
Predict make predictions about behavior based on theory.
Guide Research a good theory will create good predictions, leading to good research
Give Meaning understand the research; why it may be that the research presented
such results.
Theories
Empirically Sound theory must be logically sound; it cannot be contradictory to current
scientific findings.
Testable worded in such a way that it can be tested or have research done on the
theory. If research supports it, it is more empirically sound.
Falsifiable must be able to be tested in a way that the data may end up being
contradictory. Either supports or contradicts the theory presented.
o Example: Sigmund Freud’s theory is not falsifiable because there’s no research that
isn’t correct; “we dream to fulfill wishes” – but more than half of our dreams are
negative. His theory also says that he dreams negatively because people mask
their real dreams. Therefore, his theory is not falsifiable.
Developmental Theories
Describe and explain the changes that occur through development in life. How the
behavior of an organism changes over time. Will describe the relationship change in
between times personality changes.
3 Questions:
o What does developmental change look like? (Describe)
Continuous development as being cumulative, smooth, no major changes.
Example: how quickly a child can move across a room. As age increases, the
quicker a child can move. Quantitative changes.
Discontinuous different stages along development; these stages are different.
Example: infants crawl, then walk.
o What causes it? (Explain)
Nature emphasizing biology, genetics are the reason for the way people act/a
person’s personality.
Nurture emphasizing environment/social influences. Related to experiences
with the world that cause future behavior.
Cannot measure one without the other, both are intertwined.
o When is it possible? (When in life-span)
Early you develop throughout your early years and it will stay the same and
afterwards you just become used to it. (Freud)
Lifespan developmental change occurs throughout life. (Erickson)
Stability vs. Change Early vs. Lifespan
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