Psychology100- Chapter One- Psychology and Scientific Thinking
Psychology100- Chapter One- Psychology and Scientific Thinking Psychology 100
Popular in Psychology 100-Introduction to Psychology
Popular in Psychology (PSYC)
This 11 page Class Notes was uploaded by Obioma Azie on Saturday September 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psychology 100 at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign taught by Megan Davis in Winter 2016 2016. Since its upload, it has received 39 views. For similar materials see Psychology 100-Introduction to Psychology in Psychology (PSYC) at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Reviews for Psychology100- Chapter One- Psychology and Scientific Thinking
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 09/03/16
Chapter One Psychology and Scientific Thinking (Source: Psychology: From Understanding to Inquiry (13th Edition)) Topics Covered: Psychology and Levels of Analysis What Makes Psychology Distinctive—and Fascinating Why We Can’t Always Trust Our Common Sense Psychology as a Science Metaphysical Claims: The Boundaries of Science Recognizing That We Might Be Wrong Scientific Skepticism The Basic Framework for Scientific Thinking What is psychology? Psychology is the scientific study of the mind, brain and behavior. Psychological scientists study mind, brain, and behavior. Psychology spans many levels of analysis o These levels go from biological influences to social influences. The lower levels of analysis are more associated with the brain, while the higher levels of analysis are more associated with the mind. Mind vs Brain The mind is the brain in action The Levels of Psychological Analysis Molecular Level Neurochemical Level Neurological/ Physiological Level Mental Level Behavioral Level Social Level What makes psychology challenging and fascinating? All the challenges of psychology are what make psychology such a fascinating field of study. There are 5 key reasons why psychology is a fascinating discipline(a(1), b(2),c(3),d(4),e(5)). o Human behavior is unpredictable. Why? All behaviors are multiply determined(produced by many factors). All behavior roots from an agglomeration of various factors. o Psychological influences are almost always interdependent of one another. How is this a challenge? It is hard to identify what factor or factors are operating. o Individual differences( Thinking, emotion, personality, and behavior) Why? It is hard to formulate explanations of behavior that can be applied to everyone. o We influence one another’s behavior. Reciprocal Determinism We mutually influence each other’s behavior. This makes it hard to determine what is causing what. o One’s behavior is often shaped by his/her culture. Like our individual differences, our cultural differences limit the extent to which generalizations can be made about human nature. Social scientists who focus on crosscultural psychology use etic and emic approaches to attain a better understanding of the influence of culture on human behavior. Etic Approach Study a culture from the perspective of an outsider Emic Approach Study culture from the perspective of a native It is of the utmost importance that one develops a good understanding of these challenges. o Doing so will help us to better predict and understand behavior. Why can’t we always trust our common sense? Common Sense o An individual’s assumptions about the world We use common sense very often make assessments of others and their behavior. Our intuitive understanding of the world around us is often faulty. o We often fall victim to naive realism Naive Realism What is it? The belief that we see the world exactly how it is. Naive realism can trip us up when it comes to assessing ourselves and others. It serves us pretty well in the realworld. Example You see a bicyclist heading right in your direction, so you use common sense to make the decision to move out of the way. What should our big takeaway be from this? Even though our perceptions are often accurate, we cannot always trust them to provide us with a flawless picture of the world. Our tendencies towards naive realism can lead us to drawing faulty conclusions about human nature. Believing is seeing in many cases. Our beliefs shape our perceptions of the world , often in ways we do not realize. When is our common sense right? Our tuition can guide us to the truth. Common sense can be a helpful guide for generating hypotheses, that can later be tested by scientists in investigations. There are some everyday psychological notions that are correct. o Example Happy employees tend to be more productive than unhappy employees. What should we take away from this? o We must learn when and when not to use common sense, in order to think scientifically. What will this do? Make us better consumers of popular psychology Help us to make better realworld decisions The Science of Psychology What is a science? o Science is a systematic approach to evidence. Science consists of a set of attitudes and skills designed to prevent us fooling ourselves Science begins with empiricism. o Empiricism The premise that knowledge should initially be acquired through observation. What does science do? o Science refines our initial observations, by subjecting them to stringent tests to determine whether or not they are accurate. Observations that make it through rigorous examination are retained; those that don’t are revised or discarded. What is scientific theory? A scientific theory is an explanation for a large number of findings in the natural world(including the psychological world). o It provides an account that ties multiple findings together. God scientific theories generate predictions regarding new data that we have not yet observed. What must a theory be to be scientific? o A scientific theory must generate novel predictions that can be tested by researchers. Hypotheses are specific predictions derived from theories All scientific explanations of the world are theories. All scientific theories cannot be proven. o Why? There is always a better chance that a better explanation may appear one day. Consistency with numerous lines of evidence is essential in establishing the validity or credibility of a theory. Not all theories are created equally. o Why? Bias can influence our interpretation of data. Bias Science is a safeguard against bias. We are all prone to selfdeception. Confirmation Bias o The tendency to seek out evidence that supports our beliefs, and deny, dismiss or distort evidence that contradicts them. Our preconceptions often cause us to focus more on evidence that supports our beliefs, than evidence that does not. What does this result in? Psychological tunnel vision o To protect themselves from confirmation bias, good scientists adopt procedural safeguards against errors, especially errors that could work in their favor. o What are tools for overcoming confirmation bias? Scientific methods o What makes confirmation bias so important is that it extends to several areas of everyday life. Examples Friendship Romance Politics o We can think of confirmation bias as the mother of all biases. Why? It is the bias that can fool us the most easily into seeing what we want to see. o Confirmation bias is the most crucial bias that psychologists must counteract. Psychological Scientists vs. NonScientists Psychological scientists develop systematic safeguards to protect against confirmation bias. Belief Perseverance What is belief perseverance? o Belief perseverance is the tendency to stick to initial beliefs, even in the face of evidence that contradicts them. Confirmation bias predisposes us to belief perseverance. Metaphysical Claims What are metaphysical claims? o Metaphysical claims are assertions about the world that we cannot test. Scientific Claims vs Metaphysical claims o Scientific claims can be tested using scientific methods. This does not mean that metaphysical claims are all wrong or unimportant. It is not all questions that can be answered with science. Examples of metaphysical claims o The existence of God o The afterlife o The soul Science has its limits; thus, science must respect religion and other metaphysical domains. Recognizing That We Might Be Wrong Scientific information is almost always tentative and potentially open to revision “The fact that science is a process of continually revising and updating findings lends its strengths as a method of inquiry.” We usually acquire knowledge slowly and in small bits. Science forces us to: o Ferret out mistakes in our belief systems Attend to data that is not to our liking, both when we want to, and when we don’t want to. Scientific Thinking: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction The scientific skeptic evaluates all claims with an open mind but insists on persuasive Carl Sagan said that for one to be a scientific skeptic one must: o Be willing to keep an open mind to all claims o Be willing to accept all claims only after researchers have subjected them to careful scientific tests Another feature of scientific skepticism is an unwillingness to accept claims on the basis of authority alone. A Basic Framework for Scientific Thinking The hallmark of scientific skepticism o Critical thinking There are 6 scientific thinking principles o 1) Ruling out rival hypotheses Have important alternative explanations for the findings been excluded? o 2) Correlation vs Causation Can we be sure that A causes B? Correlation is not causation. o 3) Falsifiability Can the claim be disproved? o 4) Replicability Can the results be duplicated in other studies? The finding should not be due to chance. o 5) Extraordinary Claims Is the evidence as strong as the claim? The evidence must be as extraordinary as the the claim. o 6) Occam’s Razor Does a simpler explanation fit the data as well? Scientists of a romantic persuasion refer to this ideas as the principle of KISS(Keep It Simple Stupid).
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'