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PSY Week 2 Textbook Notes

by: merlec16

PSY Week 2 Textbook Notes PSY 151

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About this Document

These notes are taken from the textbook pages 18-35.
Introductory Psychology
Ashley L. Heffner
Class Notes
Intro to Psychology, notes, Homework, textbook, Pseudoscience
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by merlec16 on Sunday September 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 151 at Wake Forest University taught by Ashley L. Heffner in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views.


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Date Created: 09/04/16
Chapter 1: Psychological Research Notes p. 18-35 Is Psychological Science Really Scientific? Science is an Empirical Way of Knowing  Empirical and nonempirical methods  Empirical- based on experience  Nonempirical- the knowledge is taken on faith rather than experience o Logic is an example of nonempirical Intuition is an Empirical Mixed Blessing  Intuition- obtaining knowledge or understanding without conscious effort of analytical reasoning and often without awareness o A person’s history of personal experiences plays a critical role in the development of his or her intuitions o “Gut-feeling” o Seriously fallible Science Is the Best Method of Gaining Material Knowledge  Science- a unique, systematic application of observation and logic to any question concerning the natural world  Science is self-correcting  It uses both knowledge and empirical observation  Scientific Method o Make an observation about the world o Form a hypothesis o Collect data through research o Analyze the data o Draw conclusions Science Has Goals and Methods 1. Science seeks to describe. What is the nature of a thing? 2. Science seeks to classify. To what category does the thing belong? 3. Science seeks to explain. Why does the thing occur? 4. Science seeks to predict. Based upon our explanation for the thing, given certain conditions, what will occur?  Scientific method- classical succession of five steps which occur in the process of acquiring scientific knowledge  Sixth step in modern science of publishing material Science Has a Point of View: Skepticism  Skepticism- it is important to see compelling evidence in favor of a claim before you come to believe it  Nothing in science is every truly “proven”  All that we have in science is tentative knowledge that we accept provisionally  Skepticism must be tempered with openness to new ideas and claims Critical Thinking is The Key  Critical thinking- a series of interrelated cognitive skills designed to help one see things as they actually are, free from bias and error 1. Critical thinking is rational 2. The critical thinker is aware of biases- his or her own, as well as others’- and is able to see situations from more than one perspective. 3. The critical thinker is always ready to revise previously held beliefs in light of new evidence. 4. The critical thinker reflects. Science Uses Theories to Explain facts  Hypothesis- precise, testable predication about what will occur given some specific set of circumstances  Theory- a set of interconnected ideas and statements used to explain observed facts Theory and Levels of Analysis  Level of analysis- the particular aspect or level of a problem to which a theory is addressed  Theories differ in their level of analysis Critical Thinking About Psychology- What Science is Not: Pseudoscience  Pseudoscience- non-science performed for nonscientific goals, but with the surface appearance of science  Indicators that suggest an enterprise is pseudoscientific rather than truly scientific 1. Science is self-correcting. Pseudoscience is not. 2. Pseudoscientists rely on testimonials, anecdotes, and bold statements. 3. Pseudoscientists reverse the burden of proof from themselves to their critics. 4. Pseudoscientific claims are untestable. Psychological Science Varies Widely in Quality  Psychologists clearly aspire to the goals of science: to describe, classify, explain, and predict  Psychology is a science  Psychology involves creating methods to measure and characterize phenomena that have no material substance and are sometimes difficult to define in a manner upon which all can agree  Psychology also relies on statistic much more than do sciences such as physics or chemistry How do Psychologists Conduct Research?  Limitations of expert opinion  Expert opinions may differ- just as any other educated opinions may differ There are Three Categories of Research Methods  Carrying out a single research study is generally not enough to establish the truth status of a claim in psychology  Replication- involves the repetition of a research study by an independent group of researchers who attempt to duplicate the original study’s basic procedures and determine whether the results obtained are comparable  Research study may accidentally report results that are false  Research methods- general strategy that one may choose to address a research problem o Descriptive o Correlational o Experimental Descriptive Methods Take “Snapshots” of Individuals or Groups  Descriptive study- one that attempts to describe some individual or group in relation to characteristics of interest to the researcher  Answer questions of “who, what, when and how”  Case study- allow the researcher to gain extremely detailed information about a single individual o Qualitative research- conveys the quality of the psychological state of the research participants in a highly detailed portrait o These findings may not generalize to other people  Descriptive research conducted among large sample of people o Quantitative- relies upon statistics to create its descriptive portrait Surveys  Survey- descriptive research method used to obtain self-report data about people’s experiences, attitudes, or feelings  Sample- relatively small group of individuals selected to represent a larger group- the population from which the same is drawn  Probability sampling- any sampling procedure in which the probability of an individual being selected for the sample is known in advance, but each individual is chosen on a random basis o Each individual in a population had an equal probability of being selected o The resulting sample should be representative of the population as a whole o Difficult, expensive, and time consuming  Biased sample- sample that in some important respect is not representative of the population of interest o Can seriously distort research results  Convenience sample- one that may be drawn in a way that fits the researcher’s budget or the logistics of the research setting  Wording effects- the way survey questions are composed can have an enormous impact on survey results, potential biases Naturalistic Observations  Naturalistic observation- a technique in which a trained person makes systematic observations in a real-world setting Descriptive Research is Valuable but Limited  Correlations research methods are turned to when a question goes beyond a computing percentage Correlational Methods Examine Relationships among Variables  Correlational research- method of study in which the researcher measures two or more variables as they already exist to see if there is an association (correlation) between them  Variable- any factor whose magnitude or category can vary  Positive correlation- when one variable increases as another increases  Negative correlation- when one variable increases as another decreases  Correlation coefficient- a statistic which quantifies the strength and direction of correlation between two variables/ranges from -1.0 (perfect negative) to +1.0 (perfect positive) Correlation Does Not Equal Causation  The possibility that two variables can be correlated without one causing the other is of critical importance  Directionality- in correlation research, even if two variables are related casually, it may not be clear which variable caused the other to change  Third variable problem (illusory correlation)- when a variable the researcher had not considered is responsible for observed effects in both of the variables of interest  Casual effect- what happens when a change in one variable causes a change in another variable  There is only one way to determine causal effects with certainty: a true experiment Top of Page 35


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