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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB01H3
Professor
Nussbaum D
Semester
Fall

Description
C HAPTER 1 U NCOMMON SENSE Psychology: scientific study of people, the mind, and behaviour; focus attention on questions about how we feel, think, behave, believe, and interact Schswartz: maximization scale; set of 13 statements, 1 disagree completely, 7 agree comp. Maximizers got better jobs but were less satisfied doing better but feeling worse Scientific method: absolute rules of research reflecting procedures and techniques for conducting and evaluating psychological research Rules, procedures, and techniques form a unified conceptual framework formal way of thinking about a problem, idea, or question Empiricism: knowledge is gained through experience, observation, and experiment Is: can be answered by facts or empirical data; independent of social, cultural, political, and religious preference Ought: call upon cultural values and ethical considerations; cannot be answered solely on basis of scientific evidence Theory: coherent set of propositions that are used as principles to describe, understand, and explain psychological or behavioural phenomena Testable hypothesis: famed statement Priori: exists before experimentation or observation; constitute key feature of scientific method. Post hoc: hypotheses formulated after data are collected and analyzed; pose serious problems for scientific method; increase likelihood of error and bias Variable: characteristic that can take on diff values or can vary across participants Sample bias: some members of population are less likely than others to be included in study Stats are computed on the sample and are assumed to provide estimates of the population Probability: all stats are based on logic of probability Reliability: consistency in replication Validity: extent to which study provides true measure of whats meant to investigate Control variable: rule out confounds; i.e. personality test to rule out perfectionism of maximizers. Unchanged throughout the experiment Observation & thinking -> formulate question -> hypothesis -> conduct study -> accept/reject -> reinterpret hypothesis Methods and tools of research True experiments: controlled investigation in which one or more variables are manipulated True experiment restricted to those IV such as placebo and experimental drug that can be randomly assigned Independent variable: researchers systematically manipulate Dependent variable: examined and measured Quasiexperiment: quasi as if; examine effects of independent variable that cannot be directly manipulated or randomly assigned on dependent variable (i.e. gender, age, history) Studies participants who have been exposed to specified events or those who have specific characteristics Control as many variables as possible so the interpretation of relationship between IV and DV is not confounded Descriptive research: focus on distribution of variables, quantitative association of variables Correlation: stat that provide index of how closely related 2 variables are Advantage: DS is always for quantitative comparison that cant be directly manipulated Disadvantage: Cannot determine causality Naturalistic observation: type of DS used to collect behavioural data in natural environment 1 Disadvantage: lack of control of variables that could influence behaviour in natural environment Survey: set of questions; limited by what people are capable of reporting accurately Performance based measures: test performance is scored and compared to stat average derived from normative or standardization sample taken from wider population Psychometric: intelligence, personality traits, aptitude Advantage: rests largely on extensive reliability and validity studies that are performed in development and construction of an instrument Disadvantage: psychometric measures often culturally biased Wechsler: measure variety of cognitive abilities such as vocab, mental arithmetic, spatial reasoning, construct designs, summarized in IQ Single subject design (small-n design): evaluate efficiency of particular intervention on one or few cases Advantage: Improve ability and monitor effectiveness Disadvantage: uncertainty whether findings from one case is applicable to others Qualitative research: participant observation, intensive interview, focus group; used to study/understand phenomena in terms of meanings people attach to them Especially suited for exploring research questions Advantage: preserving complexities and diversities of human behaviour Culture Culture: rich and intricate melding of shared meanings, communal practices and rituals and collective discourses and beliefs about human life that prevails in a given group or society Memes: cultural gene; group ways of life spread from one mind to another, like genes Culture is important because it generates psychological differences among people Cultural psychology: studies how culture shapes our thinking and vice versa Cross cultural psychology: universality of psychological processes across diff cultures Science vs. pseudoscience Epistemology: way of knowing that is exclusively reliant upon objective, empirical investigation Transparent: techniques of ^ must be transparent so methods, procedures, and analyses can be reproduced Allows for peer review, open to Pseudoscience: beliefs that are dubious but fascinating claims that are touted as scientifically proven and bolstered by public testimonials of believers who have experienced firsthand; i.e. horoscopes Phrenology: defunct field of study; bumps and fissures of skull determined character and personality of a person; psych attributes could be assessed Lilienfelds 10 commandments of distinguishing science from pseudoscience 1. Tendency to invoke ad hoc hypotheses, which can be thought of as loopholes, as means of immunizing claim from falsification 2. Absence of self-correction and accompanying intellectual stagnation 3. Emphasis on confirmation rather than refutation 4. Tendency to place burden of proof on skeptics, not proponents, of claims 5. Excessive reliance on anecdotal and testimonial evidence to substantiate claims 6. Evasion of scrutiny afforded by peer review 7. Absence of connectivity failure to build on existing scientific knowledge 8. Use of impressive-sounding jargon whose primary propose is to lend claims as facade of scientific respectability 2 9. Absence of boundary conditions failure to specify settings under which claims do not hold Cognitive illusions Occur when our thinking deceives us Heuristic biases: our minds naturally favour subjective impressions and personal anecdotes over facts False positives are usually harmless whereas false negatives may take you out Human mind is probability blind (see below) Confirmatory bias: natural tendency of human mind to actively seek out and assign more weight to any kind of evidence that favours existing beliefs, expectations, or a hypothesis Doctrine of falsification: scientists should aim to falsify their theories rather than confirm them Self correcting: info accumulates with new advances and discoveries Pseudoscience is stagnant and show little or no progress in accumulation of knowledge Dualism: mind is nonphysical substance thats fundamentally different from physical brain C HAPTER 2 FOUNDATIONS OF P SYCH R ESEARCH Experimental: researcher able to exercise control over variables that are assumed to be the causal agents producing predicted effect Nonexperimental: actions and events carefully measured and catalogued, but IV cannot be directly manipulated Paul Ekman: facial expressions are universal, not culturally/socially learned FACS facial action coding system Found emotion is not conscious or cognitive process Happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise, disgust, contempt Principal objective of research is to provide scientific understanding of topic of investigation Goals of science: description, explanation, causality Conceptual definition: provides meaning of abstract term; semantic or linguistic meaning Operational definition: indicates how concept is coded, measured, or quantified Important aspect of scientific description and explanation establish predictive relationship Explanation: prediction itself doesn't necessarily imply causation Reason why we have explanation is because we really want to determine causality and predictor doesn't necessarily mean causality e.g. hair color and shoe size in violence person doesn't mean can predict violence Thats why explanation help establish predictive relations. If you can understand why, then you can explain and predict it. THUS, determination of causality is hallmark of explanations Causality: requires 3 kinds of evidence Temporal precedence: cause precedes effect Covariation: when cause is present, effect occurs; when cause absent, effect doesnt Alternative explanation: nothing rather than cause is responsible for effect Confounds = third variables Logic of experimentation Goal is to eliminate all other possible causes An ideal experiment eliminates all possible confounds Realistically, a single study can rarely rule out all potential alternative explanations Conceptual replications
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