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Psychology (71)
PSYC 1101 (39)
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Chapter 1

psych ch .1.docx

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PSYC 1101

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- William James: founder of American psychology Psychology and Levels of Analysis - The scientific study of the mind, brain, and behavior - The “mind” is the brain in action What makes Psychology Challenging – and Fascinating - All actions are multiply determined - Psychological influences are rarely independent of each other - Individual differences in thinking, emotion, personality, and behavior - People influence each other  makes psychology more complicated - Reciprocal determinism: people mutually influence each other’s behavior - Behavior is influenced by culture  allows for generalizations to be drawn on human nature - Emic Approach to Psychology: investigators study the behavior of a culture from the perspective of a “native” or insider - Etic Approach to Psychology: investigators study the behavior of a culture from the perspective of an outsider Common Sense - Common Sense: our gut instinct about how the world works - Naïve Realism: the belief that we see the world precisely as it is o “seeing is believing” Psychology as a Science - Science is an approach to evidence - Begins with empiricism  the premise that knowledge should initially be acquired through observation o Observations must stand up to rigorous examination to be used - Scientific Theory: an explanation for a large number of findings in the natural world o Generate predictions for new data we have not yet observed - Hypothesis: specific predictions derived from theories - Science protects us from bias o Confirmation Bias: the tendency to seek out evidence that supports our beliefs and deny, dismiss any evidence that contradicts them o Belief Perseverance: the tendency to stick to our original beliefs when evidence contradicts them - Metaphysical Claims: assertions about the world that cannot be tested Pseudoscience - Pseudoscience: a set of claims that seem scientific but aren’t; lacks safeguards against confirmation and perseverance biases - Warning Signs of Pseudoscience o Overuse of ad hoc immunizing hypotheses: a loophole used to protect a theory from being disproven  Ex. Mind-readers claim they can’t use their powers under lab conditions because of “psychic interference” o Lack of Self-Correction: wrong beliefs never go away because of perseverance bias o Overreliance on anecdotes: second-hand evidence; falls prey to confirmation bias  Also don’t tell about cause-and-effect o Our brains are drawn to pseudoscience because of their tendency to make order out of disorder - Apophenia: perceiving meaningful connections among unrelated and/or random phenomena  Detections of eerie coincidences among people or events; ignorance of non- coincidences - Pareidolia: seeing meaningful images in meaningless visual stimuli - Terror Management Theory: our awareness of our inevitable death leaves us with an underlying sense of terror; we cope with this terror by adopting worldviews that give us some sort of purpose in the world - Logical Fallacies o Emotional Reasoning Fallacy: the error of using our emotions as guides for evaluating the validity of a claim o Bandwagon Fallacy: the error of assuming that a claim is correct just because many people believe it o Not Me Fallacy: the error of believing that we are immune to the logical fallacies that afflict other people  Leads to Blind Spot Bias Dangers of Pseudoscience - Opportunity Cost: the use of pseudoscience gives up the possibility of real, scientifically tested solutions - Direct Harm: can also lead to
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