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PSYC1000 - Module 02

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PSYC 1000
Harvey Marmurek

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Course: PSYC*1000 (DE) Professor: Harvey Marmurek Schedule: Summer, 2012 Textbook: Psychology – Tenth Edition in Modules authored by David G. Myers Textbook ISBN: 9781464102615 Module 02: Thinking Critically with Psychological Science The Need for Psychological Science How do hindsight bias, overconfidence, and the tendency to perceive order in random events illustrate why science-based answers are more valid than those based on intuition and common sense? Three phenomena – hindsight bias, judgmental overconfidence, and our tendency to perceive patterns in random events – illustrate why we cannot rely solely on intuition and common sense. The point to remember is that all three of these phenomena often lead us to overestimate our intuition. But scientific inquiry can help us sift reality from illusion. Hindsight Bias: the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it. (Also known as the I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon.) Overconfidence: thinking we know more than we do. Perceiving Order in Random Events: when sequences often don’t look random and are then over interpreted. How do the scientific attitude’s three main components relate to critical thinking? The Scientific Attitude: Curious, skeptical, and humble • Curiosity – passion to explore and understand without misleading or being misled. • To sift reality from fantasy, sense from nonsense, therefore requires a scientific attitude: being skeptical but not cynical, open but not gullible. • Curious skepticism – persistently asking two questions – what do you mean, how do you know. • Humility – an awareness of our own vulnerability to error and an openness to surprises and new perspectives. How does the scientific attitude contribute to critical thinking? The scientific attitude combines (1) curiosity about the world around us, (2) skepticism toward various claims and ideas, and (3) humility about one’s own understanding. Evaluating evidence, assessing conclusions, and examining our own assumptions are essential parts of critical thinking. Critical Thinking: thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions. Frequently Asked Questions About Psychology Can laboratory experiments illuminate everyday life? • The experimenter intends the lab environment to be a simplified reality. An experiment’s purpose is not to recreate the exact behaviours of everyday life but to test theoretical principles. It is the resulting principles – not the specific findings – that help explain everyday behaviours. • Psychological science focuses less on particular behaviours than on seeking general principles that help explain many behaviours. Does behaviour depend on one’s culture and gender? • WEIRD cultures – Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic • Culture – shared ideas and behaviours – shapes our behaviour. • We are each in certain respects like all others, like some others, and like no other. • Even when specific attitudes and behaviours va
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