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PSYCH 291 (32)
Chapter 2

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCH 291
Professor
John Holmes
Semester
Fall

Description
[ CHAPTER TWO ] – FALSIFIABILITY: HOW TO FOIL LITTLE GREEN MEN IN THE HEAD Theories and the Falsifiability Criterion  Sci theories must always be stated in such a way tht predictions derived from them could potentially be shown to be false - falsifiability criterion = for a theory to be useful, predictions drawn from it must be specific  Successful theory is not one tht acc’s for every possible outcomes b/c such a theory robs itself of any predictive pwr  Theory = interrelated set of concepts used to explain body of data and to make predictions abt results of future expmts  Hypothesis = specific predictions derived from theories  The more specific predictions make, the greater impact when confirmed  Good theories make predictions tht expose themselves to falsifications; bad theories dN jeopardize themselves in this way  Existence of unfalsifiable theories does real damage i.e. Freudian theories: influenced by its ideas, psychologists Bruno Bettelheim popularized now- discredited notion of “refrigerator mothers” as cause and thought tht “precipitating factor in infantile autism is parent’s wish tht child should not exist” - ideas like this not only damage but set back study of autism The Little Green Man  ESP & Little Green Man: it’s there as long as you don’t intrude to look at it carefully, an
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