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PSYC 2360 (100)
Chapter 1

PSYCH*2360 - Chapter 1.docx

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PSYC 2360
Carol Anne Hendry

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Introductory to Research Methods Psych 2360 Chapter 1 Notes The scientific approach  People seek explanation; however, instead of scientific method they use intuition and authority as a way of knowing. The Limitations of Intuition and Authority  Intuitive approach takes many forms  Involves finding explanation for our own behavior of others 1. Problem: Cognitive and motivational biases affect our perceptions so we draw erroneous conclusions about cause and effect. Likely it is due to a cognitive bias called illusory correlation that occurs when we focus on two events that stand out and occur together. 2. Problem: we are more likely to be persuaded by a speaker who seems prestigious, trustworthy, and respectable than by one who lacks such qualities The scientific approach rejects the notion that one can accept on faith the statements of any authority Skepticism, Science and the Empirical Approach  The scientific approach to acquiring knowledge recognizes that both intuition and authority are sources of ideas about behavior  Scientist are very skeptical about what they see and hear  Scientific skepticism means the ideas must be evaluated on the basis of careful logic and results from investigations Fundamental characteristic of sci. method is empiricism—knowledge is based on observations. Data are collected that form the bases of conclusions about the world.  Scientists make observations that are accurately reported to other scientists and the public; other can replicate the methods used and obtain same results  Fabricating data is inherently unethical and dealt with by strong sanctions  Science verifies ideas about the world  Science flourishes in open system for the exchange of ideas  Good scientific ideas are testable  Can be supported or falsified (falsifiability) Peer review of research is important in making sure that only the best results are published. Integrating Intuition, Skepticism and Authority Introductory to Research Methods Psych 2360  Approach provides and objective set of rules for gathering, evaluating, and reporting information  Scientist often rely on intuition and assertions of authorities for ideas for research  Characteristics of pseudoscience: 1. Hypotheses generated are typically not testable 2. Methodology is not scientific and validity of data is questionable 3. Supportive evidence tends to be anecdotal or relies heavily on authorities
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