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Canada (162,457)
Psychology (1,080)
PSY1101 (252)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1.docx

6 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY1101
Professor
Nigel Desouza

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Chapter 1: Thinking Critically with  Psychological Science • People turn to psychology to satisfy their curiosity about others • Others are intrigued by claims of psychological truth • “How can we best use psychology to understand why people think, feel, and act as they do?” The Need for Psychological Science • Why are the answers that flow from the scientific approach more reliable than those based on intuition and common sense? • Some people don’t believe in psychology • Others place their face in human intuition • “Buried deep within each and every one of us, there is an instinctive, heart-felt awareness that provides-if we allow it to-the most reliable guide.” – Prince Charles • Pop psychology books encourage us toward intuitive managing, trading and healing • Our thinking, memory and attitudes operate on two levels, conscious and unconscious • Intuition is extremely important H INDSIGHT BIAS • ‘I knew it all along phenomenon’ • Common sense describes what has happened rather than what will happen O VERCONFIDENCE • We think we know more than we do • Once people know an answer, hindsight makes it seem obvious **Hindsight bias and overconfidence often lead us to overestimate our intuition** THE SCIENTIFIC ATTITUDE • Underlying all science is curiosity • Moses created the empirical approach – testing theories • Psychologists approach the world of behaviour with curious skepticism • Putting scientific attitude into practice requires humility o Awareness of our own vulnerability to error o Openness to surprises and new perspectives • Curiosity, skepticism and humility all make modern science possible CRITICAL THINKING • Thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence and assesses conclusions • Smart thinking • Examines assumptions, discerns values, evaluates evidence and assesses conclusions How do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions? • Scientific method • Psychological science evaluates competing ideas with careful observation and rigorous analysis • Attempt to describe and explain human nature • Welcomes hunches and plausible sounding theories THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD • Scientific theory explains • Theory – an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and predicts behaviors or events o Organizes, observes and predicts behaviors • Simplifies theories • A good theory produces testable predictions through a hypothesis • Hypothesis – a testable prediction, often implied by a theory • Predictions give direction to research • Operational Definition – a statement of the procedures used to define research variables. For example, human intelligence may be operationally defined as what an intelligence test measures • Replication – repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances • The scientific method: o Theories lead to hypotheses which led to research and observations which confirm, reject or revise theories • Good theories explain by: o Organizing and linking observed facts o Implying hypotheses that offer testable predictions and practical applications • Can test hypotheses and refine theories using: o Descriptive methods  Describe behaviours o Correlational methods  Associate different factors o Experimental methods  Manipulate factors to discover their effects DESCRIPTION • Starting point of any science is description • Three main ways of observation: o Case study  Case Study – an observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles  Most of our knowledge of the brain came from case studies on people with brain damages  Jean Piaget taught about children’s thinking  Intensive case studies can be very revealing  Case studies show what can happen  Unrepresentative information can mean mistaken judgements and false conclusions  Case studies only give some answers – other research methods must also be used o Survey  Survey – a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviours of a particular group, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of the group  Asks people to report their behaviour or opinions  Wording and sampling can both have effects on the data  Large representative samples are better than small ones  Cannot compensate for unrepresentative samples by adding more people  Population – all the cases in a group being studied, from which samples may be drawn  Random Sample – a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion o Naturalistic Observation  Naturalistic Observation – observing and recording behaviour in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation  Doesn’t explain behaviour, describes it  Often used on animals, specifically chimpanzees C ORRELATION • Correlation – a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other • Correlation Coefficient – a statistical index of the relationship between two things o Helps us see the world more clearly by showing the extent of how two things relate • Scatterplots – a graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables. The slope of the points suggests the direction of the relationship between the two variables. The amount of the scatter suggests the strength of the correlation (little scatter indicates higher correlation) • Correlation is positive if two sets of scores rise or fall together • If a correlation is negative, the is no relation to strength or weakness o One goes up, other goes down Correlation and Causation • Correlation helps us predict • Association does not prove causation • Correlation indicates the possibility of a cause-effect relationship Illusory Correlations • Illusory Correlation – the perception of a relationship where none exists • Perceived but non-existent • When we believe there is a relation b
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