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Midterm

[PSYB01] Ch. 1-5 Midterm textbook notes


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB01H3
Professor
Anna Nagy
Study Guide
Midterm

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Ch.1 Scientific Understanding of Behavior
Used of Research Methods
Help reading reports critically, evaluate methods employed. Decide which conclusion is reasonable
Different occupations require use of research findings
-e.g. Business environment: To make decision about marketing strategies/ improve productivity and morale
Become more important in making public policy decisions
Influence judicial decisions:
-e.g. Social Science Brief about Brown v/ Board of Education: conducted by Clark and Clark,
-Study which provide black and white children to choose light-skinned or dark-skinned dolls
-Both black and white children prefer to choose light-skinned doll to play with
Influence criminal investigations: Improve accuracy of eyewitness identification
Develop and assessing effectiveness of programs designed to achieve certain goals
-e.g. Increase retention of students, help employees in reducing stress etc.
The Scientific Approach
Limitation of Intuition and Authority
Common belief of adoption increases likelihood of pregnancy among couples who are having difficulties conceive child
-Adoption reduces major source of marital stress, stress reduction in turn increases chance of conception
Research makes use of Intuition and anecdotal evidence to draw general conclusion about the world
-Rely on intuition: Accept unquestioningly what personal judgment or single story about person’s experience
-Intuitive approach takes many forms:
-Involves finding explanation for own behaviors or behavior of others
-Used to explain intriguing events that have observed
-Problem in intuition: Numerous cognitive and motivational biases affect our perceptions
-May draw erroneous conclusion about cause and effects
-Gilovich points out there’s no relationship between adoption and pregnancy
-Illusory correlation: Cognitive bias which occurs when we focus on 2 events that stand out and occur together
-Likely to occur when we highly motivated to believe in causal relationship
-Attention is drawn to the situation and biased to conclude there must be a connection
Intuition is not scientific, scientific approach requires more evidence before conclusion can make
Authority
Aristotle: Concern with the factors associated with persuasion or attitude change
-Describe relationship between persuasion and credibility
-Persuasion: Achieved by speaker’s personal character when speech is spoken to make him credible
We are likely to be persuaded by speaker who seems prestigious, trustworthy and respectable
-Many people are ready to accept anything they learn from government, books and media etc
-Believing statements that made by authorities must be true

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Skepticism, Science and Empirical Approach
Scientific approach recognize both intuition and authority are sources of ideas about behavior
Scientists recognize their ideas can be false, and very skeptical about what they see and hear
-They reject intuition and blind acceptance of authority
Scientific skepticism: Ideas must be evaluated on the basis of careful logic and results from scientific investigations
Empiricism: Fundamental characteristic of scientific method
-Knowledge which based on observations
-Data are collected that form basis of conclusions about the nature of world
Goodstein: Describes “evolved theory of science” which defines characteristics of scientific inquiry
-Elements of Goodstein’s theory included:
1)Observations accurately reported to others 2) Search of discovery and verification of ideas
3) Open exchange and competition among ideas 4)Peer Review of research
-1) Make observations which can be replicated by other scientists, having same results
-2) Scientists search for observation that will verify their ideas about the world
-By develop theories, argues existing data support their theories, conduct research etc.
-3)Science as an open system for exchanging ideas
-Research can be disagree and evaluated by others
-Good scientific ideas are testable, can be reported or can be falsified by data (Falsifiability)
-Falsifiability: Principle that good scientific idea or theory should be capable of being shown to be false when
tested using scientific methods
-4) Peer review: Process of judging the scientific merit of research through review by peers of researcher
-Or by other scientists with the expertise to evaluate the research
-Studies have to be reviewed by peers before is published in scientific publications
-Review process ensure research with major flaws will not become part of scientific literature
Integrating Intuition, Skepticism, Authority
Advantages of scientific approach:
-Provides objective set of rules for gathering, evaluating and reporting information
-An open systems which allow ideas to be refuted or supported by others
Scientists rely on intuition and assertions of authorities for ideas for research
Its acceptable to accept assertions of authority as long as do not accept them as scientific evidence
Ideas must be evaluated on basis of available evidence that can be used to support or refute ideas
Opinions must always can be tested scientifically or whether scientific evidence
Ask scientists about to ensure:
1) Credentials of individuals: The reputation of institution represented by person
2) Examine researcher’s funding source: e.g. Might suspicious when drug company support effectiveness of drug
3) “Pseudoscientists”: Using scientific terms to substantiate their claims

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Characteristics of Pseudoscience:
-Hypothesis generated are typically not testable
-Methodology is not scientific and validity of data is questionable in scientific tests
-Supportive evidence tends to be anecdotal or relies heavily on authorities
-Genuine scientific references are not cited, ignore conflicting evidence
-Stated in scientific sounding terminology and ideas, claims never revised
-Claims tend to be vague, rationalize strongly held beliefs and appeal to preconceived ideas
Goals of Science
Scientific research has 4 goals:
1)To describe behavior 2)To predict behavior 3)Determine cause of behavior
4) Understand or explain behavior
1) Description of Behavior
Researches begin with observations since first goal of science is to describe events
Researchers describe the ways in which events are systematically related to one another
2) Prediction of Behavior:
Possible to make predictions when 2 events are systematically related to one another in observations
Implications: Process which allow us to anticipate events, ability to predict often make better decision
3) Determining the Cause of Behavior
Might not have correctly identified the cause even had accurately predict the occurrence of behavior
Need to know the cause of behavior in order to change a behavior
3 Types of evidence used to identify the cause of behavior:
1)Temporal precedence: Have temporal order of events in which the causes precedes the effects
-Part of causal inference, cause precedes the effect in a time sequence
2)Covariation of the cause and effect: Part of causal inference
-Observing that a change in one variable is accompanied by a change in second variable
-e.g. When the cause is present, the effect occurs; When cause is not present, effect don’t occur
3)Elimination of Alternative explanations:
-Nothing other than a causal variable could be responsible for observed effect
-No other plausible alternative explanation for relationship
- Alternative explanations: Potential alternative cause of an observed relationship between variables
4) Explanations of Behavior
Explain events to understand why the behavior occurs
May need further or additional research to explain particular behavior
Description, prediction, determination of cause and explanation are all intertwined
-Difficult to know the casualty of behavior without determination and explanation of behavior
Have certain amount of ambiguity in enterprise of scientific inquiry
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