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Chapter 2

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Simon Fraser University
PSYC 100
A.George Alder

Sep2012 829 AM Chapter TwoDiffusion of Responsibility A psychological state in which each person feels decreased personal responsibility for intervening Hypothesis A specific prediction about some phenomenon that often takes the form of an IfThen statementTheory Broader than a hypothesis a theory will typically specify lawful relationships between certain behaviours and their causesThe scientific process proceeds through several steps1 asking questions based on some type of observation o identifying a question of interest based off some sort of personal experience or observation 2 gathering information and formulating a testable hypothesis odetermine whether any studies theories and other information that might help answer their question already exists3 conducting research to test the hypothesis o test the hypothesis by conducting research4 analyzing the data drawing tentative conclusions and reporting ones findings to the scientific community o researchers analyze the informationo They collect draw tentative conclusions and report their findings to the scientific community5 building a body of knowledge by asking further questions conducting more research and developing and testing theories o Ask further questions formulate new hypotheses and test those hypotheses by conducting more research then proceed to build theoriesIn everyday life we typically use hindsight to explain behaviourCan provide valuable insights and is often the foundation on which further scientific inquiry is built Hindsight is flawed because there may be many possible explanations for a behaviour and no way to ascertain which one is correctPsychologists prefer to test their understanding through prediction control and theory building A good theory organizes known facts gives rise to additional hypotheses that are testable is supported by the findings of new research and is parsimoniousIt incorporates existing facts and observations within a single broad frameworkOrganizes information in a meaningful way
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