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PSYB01H3 (585)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1

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University of Toronto Scarborough
David Nussbaum

Chapter 1: Uncommon Sense: scientific method and human reasoning Psychology: scientific study of people, the mind and behaviour Doing Better but Feeling worse Maximization Scale: opportunity maximizers found 20% higher paying jobs but were more dissatisfied with their jobs than satisficers The Scientific Method Scientific method: procedures and techniques for conducting and evaluating psychological framework; formal way of thinking about a problem idea or question o Countervailing force to bias that might distort a study Empiricism: knowledge is gained through experience observation and experiment; objective Data: information gained objectively from observation or experiments, can be measured and evaluated statistically Anecdotal evidence: impression, opinions, non quantifiable Bias: unfair practices that wrongly discriminate against others What is a Scientific Question? Is vs Ought distinction: 'is' question are answered by facts or empirical data and are independent of culture etc. Ought questions are subjective depend on cultural values etc Theory: coherent set of propositions that are used as principles to describe, understand and explain psychological or behavioural phenomena From theory to testable Hypothesis  Testable hypothesis: statement in form of prediction made prior to collecting the data o Priori: exists before experimentation or observation  Post hoc: making hypothesis after data collection and analysis; increase likelihood of error and bias Variables and Measurement  Variable: any characteristic that can take on different values and vary among participants; should be recorded objectively Systematic Observation and Data Collection  Simple observation: source of evidence and ideas  Population: any entire collection of people, animals, plants or things  Sample: a group of units selected from the larger population  Generalizability: the extent to which the findings that are derived from a sample can be applied to a wider population  Sample bias: some members of the population less likely than others to be included in the study ending up in misleading results Evaluating Evidence and Theory  Observations on variables are categorized or quantified systematically to make empirical evidence  Test relationships statistically  Probability: what statistics is based on; whats the probability that the results obtained were due to chance Reliability and Validity  Used to judge the scientific quality of various methods and techniques used and their results  Reliability: produces data that can be replicated, repeated with the same results  Validity: the extent to which a study provides a true measure of what its meant to investigate o Confounding variables/confounds: unwanted sources of influence that could give alternate explanations and affect validity o Control variable: to measure unwanted source of influence that could affect validity Methods and Tools of Psychological Research True Experiments  Experiment: controlled investigation where one or more variables are manipulated  True: researcher systematically alters or manipulates the independent variable and then measure its effect on the dependant variable  Random Assignment: to ensure participants are the same prior to manipulation so any differences are due to the manipulation of the independent variable Quasiexperiments  Independent variable cannot be directly manipulated or randomly assigned ex. Gender race, age, so participants are selected based on the characteristics they already posses; want to control for all other variables Descriptive Research  Examine relationship between two or more variables using correl
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