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Week Two
Chapter 2:
The Methods of Psychology
Empiricism : Hindsight bias: Or why does something seem easier to explain than predict?
Hindsight is 20/20.
Science and its theories must allow us to predict: Karl Popper & the falsification of theories
Science can help us to think more critically: Empiricism vs. dogmatism
Humans Are Difficult to Study :
They are complex
They vary depending on who we are studying and the variables of the situation
They are very reactive.
Scientific Process :
How do psychologists ask questions & get answers?
1.THEORIES: A hypothetical account of how & why a phenomenon occurs. Based on the
concerns of a given research & his/her perspective on psychology.
2. HYPOTHESES: Testable predictions made by a theory.
3. OBSERVATIONS: Selecting participants, measuring, analyzing data, etc...)
4. IMPROVE THE THEORY and start again!
What Is A Good Theory?
The scientific method helps transform ideas into testable questions and can generate helpful
answers: Systematic study of a phenomenon to learn about it.
e.g., Theory of the diffusion of responsibility
General Approach to Research :
Theoretical Context
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Use a systematic way to try to organize and explain observations. Leads to questions or hypotheses to be
tested.
Standard Procedure
The procedure of the experiment must be the same for all participants (except for the manipulation of the
independent variable).
Generalisation
For example, the sample must be representative of the whole population.
Objective Measures
Measures must be reliable (consistent) and valid (measuring what we are trying to measure).
Different Approaches To Research :
1. Descriptive Studies
Naturalistic observations
Case studies
Surveys
2. Correlation studies
3. Experimental studies
Independent variables
Dependent variables
Control group
Experimental group
Sampling & random assignment
Double-blind study
Generalization
Different Approaches To Research (description)
1. Descriptive Studies
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Document Summary

Science and its theories must allow us to predict: karl popper & the falsification of theories. Science can help us to think more critically: empiricism vs. dogmatism. They vary depending on who we are studying and the variables of the situation. 1. theories: a hypothetical account of how & why a phenomenon occurs. Based on the concerns of a given research & his/her perspective on psychology. The scientific method helps transform ideas into testable questions and can generate helpful answers: systematic study of a phenomenon to learn about it. e. g. , theory of the diffusion of responsibility. Use a systematic way to try to organize and explain observations. Leads to questions or hypotheses to be tested. The procedure of the experiment must be the same for all participants (except for the manipulation of the independent variable). For example, the sample must be representative of the whole population. Measures must be reliable (consistent) and valid (measuring what we are trying to measure).

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