PSYC 111 Study Guide - Comprehensive Midterm Guide: Descriptive Statistics, Hindsight Bias, Statistical Significance

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Binghamton
PSYC 111
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Critical Thinking in Psychology
Research Results
o Group A: researchers found that people with low self-confidence are more susceptible to
flattery than those with high self-confidence
o Group B: researchers have found that people with high-self confidence are more susceptible
to flatter than those with low self-confidence
o To help understand the need for psychological science
Based on your intuition, you can come up with lots of reasons for why something may
be the way it is
Does’t ecessarily ea that is the case
o To show how humans are quick to believe in their intuition and can easily explain
events/phenomena using faulty thinking
We tend to rely on intuition
What is psychology?
o There is not one universal definition
o It is a science: we rely on the scientific method to actually explain phenomena
o Study of mind and its functions, especially in relation to behavior
The need for psychological science
o Humans cannot rely solely on intuition and common sense
Three phenomena
Hindsight bias
"Knew it all along" phenomena
After you learn something, we go back and say "we should have known"
Tendency to believe, after learning an outcome that we could have
predicted it
Judgmental overconfidence
Overconfidence: people tend to think they know more than they do; this
occurs in academic and social behavior
Tendency to perceive patterns in random events
Perceive patterns to make sense of the world
Adaptive skill
o Why is intuition overused and errors made
We overestimate our intuition due to the three phenomena
When we have something that we want to test we need to look at science to sift
reality from illusion
The Scientific Attitude
o Key elements
Curiosity
A passion to explore and understand the world without misleading or being
mislead
Skepticism
Critical thinking: refers to a more careful style of forming and evaluating
knowledge than simply using intuition
Humility
o Really important because without them it is hard to be a good scientist
The Scientific Attitude
o Key elements
Curiosity
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A passion to explore and understand the world without misleading or being
mislead
Ex: dissertation idea
Skepticism
Thinking Critically
Critical thinking: refers to a more careful style of forming and evaluating
knowledge than simply using intuition
Helps develop more effective and accurate ways to figure out what makes
people do, think, and feel the things they do
Video
Tennis ball with hole to unlock car
Use critical thinking to explain what you think is really happening
How did it work? Person recording (off-camera person) just
unlocked the car
Limitations to our research vs. the actual research regarding mood?
Don't follow people who put depressing things
Some people might have found positive while others might have
found negative/neutral
People using different accounts/different social medias
Skepticism is really important
Some of the questions you might ask: what do you mean? How do you
know? What other possible explanations are there?
You're trying to get evidence for the things that people say
Ex: Auras video
5 volunteers behind screen
Got 2 out of 5 correct for "seeing auras"
What explanation could there be?
Humility
Awareness that mistakes are possible and willingness to be surprised
"The rat is always right"
Sometimes we have an idea in our mind because we want it to work so
badly but we have to sometimes look at it and say "maybe it's not the
case"
o Really important because without them it is hard to be a good scientist
The Scientific Method
o Process of testing ideas about the world by
Setting up situations that test our ideas
Making careful, organized observations
Analyzing whether the data fit with our ideas
o You are constantly improving, constantly trying to make it as thorough as you can so that it
will replicate real life
o Theory
Explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and
predicts behaviors or events
May just come from curiosity
o Hypothesis
Testable prediction, often implied by a theory
o Operational definition
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