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Chapter 1

PSYB01H3 Chapter 1: Chapter 1

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Anna Nagy

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Psychology as Science
Natural Flaws in Thinking
without realising we often use mental shortcuts or heuristics to help us form
impressions make judgements or make decisions
availability heuristic
mental shortcut strategy for judging the likelihood of an event or
situation occurring based on how easily we can think of similar
or relevant examples
e.g. reporter say that it may have flooding!
they way we react by deciding whether or not take a shelter
says a lot about how we experienced it in a past→ does flooding
occur often?
this can lead to dangerous situations for people (people
usually ignore it if storms don’t happen it often)
representativeness heuristic
mental shortcut strategy for deciding the likelihood of an event
by how much it resembles on what we consider a “typical”
example of that
e.g. deciding to eat healthy food → starting to pick food
that “seems” healthy but it may not be healthy
better-than average effect
the tendency to overestimate your skills, abilities, performance
when comparing to others
everyone thinks that they are better than average! ( may not be
the case)
overconfidence phenomenon
our tendency to be overly confident in the correctness of our
e.g. overly confident that you are more good looking than
the average
:( we often do not take the steps to actually see if we are right or
e.g. if you are overconfident that you are a good kisser
more likely avoid asking review from the people you have
e.g. if you think you are going to ace a test you will less
likely to study for it
hindsight bias
a sense of “ I knew it all along” after learning the actual outcome
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once we learn the results of a given event, we tend to
overestimate our ability to have predicted that outcome
e.g. I knew it all along that the jobs interview have a poor
strategy in selecting employees! ( if you really knew all
along, you wouldn’t have used the method)
confirmation bias
bias in which we only look for evidence that CONFIRMS what
we already believe
due to
focusing effect
a bias in which we emphasize some pieces of information
of our own interest and undervaluing other pieces
reflecting on our own thoughts and experiences to find relevant
when we generalize based on our own ideas
“what you see is all there is” phenomenon
a failure to see the limitations of our immediate experience
difficult to predict alternative outcomes
it is much easier to stick with the immediate impression without
digging deeper
to avoid some errors, try to be more objective in your
introspection as you draw conclusions about yourself and
the world
pleasure paradox
when an introspective analysis regarding a positive experience
results in it becoming less enjoyable
e.g. asking your friend to list all the reasons they enjoyed their
birthday party can make your friend see the event less enjoyable
than it was
this is due to “elusive’ reasoning when you struggling to figure it
out why you actually like it!
belief perseverance
maintaining a belief! besides encountering contradictory factual
people use it interpret information in a way that does not
invalidate the original belief!
e.g. my bf/gf didn’t cheat on me on purpose :) I am good
at choosing partners!
Anecdotal Versus Scientific Evidence
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