PSC 152 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Bias Blind Spot, Scientific Method, Social Cognition

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Published on 15 Jun 2020
School
Department
Course
Professor
Social Cognition
Psychology as science
Psychological knowledge based on
Data - carefully collected, unbiased, replicable
Not intuition, experience, doctrine, popular consensus, testimonials, focus
groups, etc.
Scientific method
Pose question
Background research
Construct hypothesis
Design study to test hypothesis
Collect & analyze data
Draw conclusions
Why use scientific method?
Intuition & common sense can be faulty
Ex: bystander effect
Biased interpretation of evidence
Naive realism - people think they perceive the world “objectively”
as it truly is
Biased interpretation of evidence
Presidential debate (2004) - who won the debate?
ABC News Poll
Overall
Kerry - 44%
Bush - 41%
Kerry supporters
Kerry - 85%
Bush - 2%
Bush supporters
Kerry - 1%
Bush - 84%
We see what we want to see
Why use scientific method?
People not usually aware of own biases
Deny having them
Bias blind spot - “you’re more biased than I am”
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Estimate # of deaths per year in US
Number of deaths /year
Overestimation of rare events
Why use scientific method?
Influence of vivid anecdotes (availability heuristic)
Availability heuristic
Things more accessible in minds are seen as happening more often than
events less accessible in our minds
Primary empirical methods of psychology
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