PSY100H1 : PSYCH CH. 2.doc

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10 Apr 2012
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PSY100H1 Full Course Notes
PSY100H1 Full Course Notes
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First goal of psychology is to develop measurement techniques that make it possible to describe behaviour clearly and precisely. To evaluate understandings, scientists make and test predictions called hypotheses. Hypothesis = a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables. Variable = any measurable conditions, events, characteristics, or behaviours that are controlled or observed in a study. To better understand behaviour, psychologists construct theories: theory = a system of interrelated ideas used to explain a set of observations. Integrating apparently unrelated facts and principles into a coherent whole. A scientific theory must be testable : a good theory generates many testable hypotheses: most theories are too complex to be tested all at once. Thus, researchers test one or two specific hypotheses derived from the theory. If the their findings support the hypotheses, confidence in the theory grows. If the findings do not support the hypotheses, the theories may be revised or discarded: theory construction is a gradual process.