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PSYC02H3 (41)
Anna Nagy (13)
Chapter 2

Chapter Two - Stanovich (How to Think Straight About Psycho..
Chapter Two - Stanovich (How to Think Straight About Psychology)

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Anna Nagy

How to Think Straight About Psychology (Ninth Edition) – Final Exam Notes Chapter Two: How to Foil Little Green Men in the Head - 1793, severe epidemic of yellow fever struck Philadelphia. Leading doctor, Benjamin Rush were one of the few physicians available to treat thousands of yellow fever cases. He adhered to the theory that dictated that illneses accompanied by fever should be treated by vigorous bloodletting (the removal of blood from the body either by using an instrument such as a lancet or by the application of leeches). Following the epidemic he even became more confident of the effectiveness of his treatment even though many of his patients had died - If patient got better it was taken as proof bloodletting worked, and if not than Rush interpreted this to the mean that the patient had been too ill for any treatment to work Theories and the Falsifiability Criterion - Benjamin Rush violated one of the most important rules regarding the construction and testing of theories in science: He made it impossible to falsify his theory - Scientific theories must always be stated in such a way that the predictions derived from them could potentially be shown to be false - Priniciple of falsifiability criterion and its important in scientific progress has been most forcefully articulated by Karl Popper - Falsifiabiliy criterion states that for a theory to be useful, the predictions drawn from it must be specific. In telling us what should happen, the theory must also imply that certain things will not happen - A theory in science is an interrelated set of concepts that is used to explain a body of data and to make predictions about the results of future experiments - Hypotheses are specific predictions that are derived from theories (which are more general and comprehensive) - The theories that are under scientific discussion are those that have been verified to some extent and that do not make predictions that are contradicted by the available data - Theories are not just guesses or hunches The Theory of Knocking Rhythms - More specific predictions made a greater impact when they were confirmed - The more specific and pecise the prediction was, the more potential observations there were that could have falsified it - Good theories, then, make predictions that expose themselves to falsification. Bad theories do not put themselves in jeopardy in this wayFreud and Falsifiability - In the early decades of the 20 century, Popper was searching for the underlying reasons that some scientific theories seem to lead to advances in knowledge and others lead to intellectual stagnation - Popper reasoned that it’s not true of stagnant theories and pointed to Freudian psychoanalysis as an example - Adherents of psychoanalytic theory spend much time and effort in getting the theory to explain every human event from individual quirks of behaviour to large- scale phenomena. But their success in making the theory a rich source of after-the- fact explanations robs it of any specific utility
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