PSYC 102: Term Lecture Notes

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PSYC 102
David Klonsky

Lecture 1 January 3 2013Thursday January 03 2013203 PMPsychology scientific study of behaviour and mental processScientific study of how people think cognition feel emotion and act behaviourDescribe explain predict and controlThere are different levels of analysis and methods of psychologyUnderstanding how we know what we know How do we know what we dont knowUnderstanding how to pursue those types of questions the approach to takeWe cannot know what causes something without carefully examining approachesWe cannot trust our personal experience as a valid source of evidence Psychology 102 Page 1 Lecture 2 January 8 2013Tuesday January 08 2013206 PMPersonal experience has severe limitations difficult to trustTestimonialsanecdotes from others Given random data we look for order and meaningful patternsThe order that we see is based on our experience or past historyMight miss a pattern that is more meaningful or a pattern others seeTend to look for order sometimes where there is noneConfirmation bias we attend to what we agree with and ignore what we dontOften called the mother of all biasesWe often do this several times of dayWe discount information that we do not agree withWhen one has a particular bias we give away to certain information that we strongly agree with or strongly disagree withPeople considered smart wise PhDs published books lecture in university etcWe dont make conclusions in confidence based on a single studyMust look at several studies converging information then we can determine a conclusionStudies must be reproducesOften times even smart people will make decisions that are not rational or found to workWe cant trust our own personal experienceWe cant trust the opinions of othersWe cant trust the opinions of smart peopleScientific method our best protection against sloppy thinking and human reasoningHallmarks of Scientific MethodObjective observation and logically necessary conclusionsHave to look at something in a way we are not affecting it and measuring it in a way its not just our own opinion assigning each a number in a wayParsimonious explanationsThe most efficient explanation is the right oneOnly true if there are several explanations that predict the same thingIf there is a more complex explanation that is more accurate this should be usedThe simplest explanation with the most detail should always be usedIndependent replicationOne study does not make the conclusion trueNot until a study is independently investigated study is duplicatedBiases will always be present and therefore this must be eliminatedReplicated preferably using different types of measure and testsSkepticismEssentially anytime someone has an idea we have to have a healthy skepticismCareful designsEven if there are affects of a treatment we do not know if the study actually workedThere must be accurate studies to determine thisFalsifiability Psychology 102 Page 2 FalsifiabilityTake the ideas we think are true and use them to make hypothesisThere must be a way to test the hypothesis that is generatedOpenmindBeing open to other possibilities that were not thought of as long as they can be testedNeed to be open to new data that may be more or less accurate than other studiesNeed a healthy balance of openmindedness and skepticismCarl Sagan science is unique mix of openness and skepticismRichard Feynman science is a way of trying not to fool yourselfLearn from science that you must doubt expertsScience is the belief in the ignorance of expertsPaul Meehl just because he has a PhD does not mean that he has anymore influence or statureResearch process diagram available in the textbookCome up with our premise or our idea1Turn that theory into a hypothesis or an idea that is testable2When human reasoning goes unchecked by scientific investigationReasoningtheories are unchecked therefore it is unclear what is gained what is trueReasoningtheories that use science and reasoning and then are tested can be trueInterpret what is found and get closer and closer to what is accurateTwo possible outcomesInaccurate believe are gradually discredited and are replaced by more accurate beliefsWe dont have the methods or technology to study and make progress in a certain areaTherefore we remain ignorant at least temporarilyEither way we are protecting ourselves and the public from inaccurate beliefsKey Scientific TermsTheory an explanation that integrates principles and organizes and predicts behaviour or eventsHypothesis a testable prediction to enable us to keep reject or revise the theoryOperational the procedure used to define a variable in a studyConstruct vs OperationalConstruct is the thing that we want to measureOperational is how we are going to measure that thing Psychology 102 Page 3
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