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Canada (158,217)
Psychology (9,573)
PSYC02H3 (41)
Anna Nagy (13)
Chapter 1

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Anna Nagy

PSYB01MethodsinBehaviouralResearchChapter1ScientificUnderstandingofBehaviourUSESOFRESEARCHMETHODSTo make good decisions people must be able to read research literature in the particular field theyre working in and apply it to their personal lives Ex people working in business environments frequently rely on research to make decisions abt marketing strategies ways of improving employee productivity and morale and methods of selecting and training new employees Bottom line knowledge of research methods and the ability to evaluate research reports are useful in many fields Important to recognize that scientific research has become increasingly prominent in public policy decisions judicial decisionsAn example of this is the Social Science Brief prepared by psychologists and accepted as evidence in the pcase precedent of Brown v Board of EducationUS Supreme Court banned school segregation in the states In the Clark and Clark study 1974 the researchers found that when allowed to choose bw lightskinned and darkskinned dolls both Black and White children preferred playing with the lightskinned dollsBehavioural research on human development influenced the decisions related to juvenile crime especially in the 2005 case of Roper v Simmons where the Supreme Court decided that juveniles couldnt face the death penaltythis decision was informed by neurological and behavioural research that showed that the brain social and character differences bw adults and juveniles make juveniles less responsibleguilty than adults for the same crimes and juveniles should not be sentenced to life in prison Research points out that juveniles have a lack of maturity and poorly formed character development Psychologists have provided sciencebased perspectives on the values of confessions Research is also important when developing and assessing the effectiveness of programs designed to achieve certain goals ex increase the retention of students in school We need to be able to determine whether these programs are successfully meeting their goals THESCIENTIFICAPPROACHPeople rely on intuition and authority as a means of understanding and explaining what they see and experience ThelimitationsofintuitionandauthorityintuitionWe use intuition to gather general conclusions about the world around us When you rely on intuition you accept unquestioningly what your own personal judgement or a single story about one persons experience tells you Intuition often involves finding an explanation for our own behaviours or the behaviours of others Intuition is also used to explain intriguing events that you observe ex when an adoption is loosely followed by a pregnancy you tend to conclude that adoption increases the chances of conception among couples having difficulty conceiving a child Problem with intuition is that numerous cognitive and motivational biases affect our perceptions so we may draw erroneous conclusions about cause and effect Gilvoch points out that there is no relationship bw adoption and subsequent pregnancy according to scientific research Illusory correlation a cognitive bias that occurs when we focus on two events that stand out and occur together this is what the whole adoption increases the chances of becoming pregnant thing is Illusory
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