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psych 1115 notes Ch 1.docx

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Langara College
PSYC 1115
Troy Chenier

Week 1May 102013 Chapter 1 Thinking Critically With Psychological Science The Need for Psychological Science Did We Know It All Along Hindsight Bias 11Hindsight bias The tendency to believe after learning an outcome that one would have foreseen it Also called IKnewitallalongJust asking people how and why they felt or acted as they did can sometimes be misleadingnot because common sense is usually wrong but because common sense more easily describe what has happened than what will happenNiels Bohr Prediction is very difficult especially about the future Good ideas in Psychology usually have an oddly familiar quality and the moment we encounter them we feel certain that we once came close to thinking the same thing ourselves and simply failed to write it down Daniel Gilbert Brett Pelham Douglas Krull 2003 Good ideas are like good inventions once created they seem obvious Why did it take so long for someone to invent suitcases on wheels and Postit NotesOverconfidenceWe humans tend to think we know more than we doWe tend to be more confident than correct especially when we are asked how sure we are of answers to factual questions Is Boston north or south of ParisThis is also the case when it comes to three anagrams which Richard Goranson 1978 asked people to unscramble WREATWATER GRABE BARGEAbout how many seconds do you think it would have taken you to unscramble each letterDid hindsight influence you Knowing the answers tends to makes us overconfident The point to remember Hindsight bias overconfidence and our tendency to perceive patterns in random events often lead us to overestimate our intuition But scientific inquiry can help us sift reality from reality and illusion The Scientific Attitude Curious Skeptical and Humble 12 to sift reality from fantasy sense from nonsense therefore requires a scientific attitude being skeptical but not skeptical but not cynical open but not gullibleTo believe with certainty we must begin by doubting Polish ProverbWhen ideas compete skeptical testing can reveal which ones best match the factsputting a scientific attitude into practice requires not only curiosity and skepticism but also humilityan awareness of our own vulnerability to error and an openness to new surprises and new perspectivesHistorians of science tell us that these three attitudes curiosity skepticism and humilityhelped make modern science possible Critical Thinking smart thinking called critical thinking examines assumptions discerns hidden values evaluates evidence and assesses conclusionsShow me the evidence critical thinking does not involve blindly accepting arguments and conclusionswhen contemplating any issue ex global warming melting of polar ice caps critical thinkers will consider the credibility of sources they will look at the evidence Do the facts support them or are they just making stuff upthey will recognize multiple perspectives and they will expose themselves to news sources that challenge their preconceived ideas Has psychologys critical inquiry been open to surprising findings Yes massive losses of tissue early in life may have minimal long term effects within days newborns can recognize their mothers odor and voiceafter brain damage a person may be able to learn new skills yet be unaware of such learningdiverse groups men and women old and young rich and middle class those with disabilities and withoutreport roughly comparable levels of personal happiness And has critical inquiry convincingly debunked popular presumptions Yesour past experiences are not all recorded verbatim in our brains with brain stimulation one cannot simply hit the replay button and relieve longburied or repressed memoriesmost people do not suffer from unrealistically lowself esteem and high selfesteem is not all goodopposites do not generally attractIn each of these instances and more what has been learned is not what is widely believed How do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions
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