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1 Critical Thinking- the ability and willingness to assess claims and make objective judgments on the basis of well-supported reasons and evidence. Critical.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Critical Thinking- the ability and willingness to assess claims and make objective judgments on the basis of well-supported reasons and evidence. Critical."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Critical Thinking- the ability and willingness to assess claims and make objective judgments on the basis of well-supported reasons and evidence. Critical thinkers are able to look for flaws in arguments, resist claims that lack supporting evidence, and recognize that criticizing an argument is not the same as criticizing a person.

2 2 Eight guidelines emphasized by the text: 1.Ask questions- Be curious and willing to ask why. 2.Define your terms- Be clear, concrete and precise 3.Examine the evidence- Use reliable resources and empirical evidence 4.Analyze assumptions and biases- Analyze and test beliefs (yours and others) that may be taken for granted 5.Avoid emotional reasoning- question your support for an argument…is it based in evidence 6.Dont oversimplify- gather multiple sources of supporting evidence and do not generalize 7.Consider other interpretations- even after generating a possible explanation be willing to accept other possibilities 8.Tolerate uncertainty- It may be difficult if not impossible to determine an absolute answer and thats okay

3 With hopes of satisfying curiosity, many people listen to talk-radio counselors and psychics to learn about others and themselves. 3 Dr. Crane (radio-shrink) Psychic (Ball gazing)

4 Critical thinking does not accept arguments and conclusions blindly. It examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence and assesses conclusions. 4 The Amazing Randi From The Secrets of the Psychics Courtesy of the James Randi Education Foundation

5 5 The scientific attitude is composed of curiosity (passion for exploration), skepticism (doubting and questioning) and humility (ability to accept responsibility when wrong).

6 Intuition & Common Sense have limits 6 Many people believe that intuition and common sense are enough to bring forth answers regarding human nature.

7 Personal interviewers may rely too much on their gut feelings when meeting with job applicants. 7 Taxi/ Getty Images

8 Try this ! 8 Fold a piece of paper (0.1 mm thick) 100 times. How thick will it be? 800,000,000,000,000 times the distance between the sun and the earth.

9 Hindsight Bias is the I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon. After learning the outcome of an event, many people believe they could have predicted that very outcome. We only knew the stocks would plummet after they actually did plummet. 9

10 Sometimes we think we know more than we actually know. 10 Anagram BARGEGRABE ENTRYETYRN WATERWREAT How long do you think it would take to unscramble these anagrams? People said it would take about 10 seconds, yet on average they took about 3 minutes (Goranson, 1978).

11 By using the Scientific Method as the basis for psychological research examined conclusions can leads to a clear understanding of how people feel, think, and act as they do! 11

12 12 Collect Data/Make Observations Generate an initial theory based on research

13 13

14 The Scientific Method begins with wondering: What? Why? Or How? In the example of depression…the psychologist may have wondered what is the relationship between low self-esteem and depression

15 A Theory is an explanation that integrates principles, organizes events and predicts behavior based on empirical evidence. For example, low self-esteem possibly contributes to depression. 15

16 A Hypothesis is a testable prediction, often prompted by a scientific attitude, to enable us to accept, reject or revise a theory. If people have low self-esteem then they are apt to feel more depressed. (Note: The If/Then statement) 16

17 Research would require us to administer tests and make further observations to confirm or deny a hypothesis In our example…Individuals who score low on a self-esteem test and high on a depression test would confirm our hypothesis. 17

18 Descriptive Correlational Experimental

19 Descriptive Research 19 The purpose of this type of study is to describe and predict behaviors.

20 20

21 Case Study 21 A technique in which one person or a small group is studied in depth to reveal underlying behavioral principles. The study of this one individual may include an individual history, careful observation and/or psychological testing. Do animals have language? Susan Kuklin/ Photo Researchers

22 Naturalistic observation involves the observation, recording and measurement of behavior without intrusion into the subjects natural or normal environment. Observing and recording the behavior of animals in the wild and recording self-seating patterns in a multiracial school lunch room constitute naturalistic observation. 22 Courtesy of Gilda Morelli

23 23 Observing and recording the behavior of animals and people in a controlled environment enables the scientist to use more sophistic devices for measurement. However, this environment may lead to participants acting differently because they are in unusual surroundings.

24 Psychological tests, also called assessment instruments, are procedures for measuring and evaluating a wide variety human traits, emotional states and behaviors. Typically, tests require a response to a series of questions that can be scored and used for statistical analysis.

25 For a psychological test to be acceptable it must fulfill the following three criteria: 1.Standardization 2.Reliability 3.Validity

26 Standardizing a test involves administering the test to a representative sample of test takers in order to establish a basis for meaningful comparison (a norm) and to establish appropriate test procedures that can easily be duplicated.

27 A test is reliable when it yields consistent results. To establish reliability researchers establish different procedures: 1.Split-half Reliability: Dividing the test into two equal halves and assessing how consistent the scores are. 2.Reliability using different tests: Using different forms of the test to measure consistency between them. 3.Test-Retest Reliability: Using the same test on two occasions to measure consistency.

28 Reliability of a test does not ensure validity. Validity of a test refers to what the test is supposed to measure or predict. 1.Content Validity: Refers to the extent a test measures a particular behavior or trait. 2.Predictive Validity: Refers to the function of a test in predicting a particular behavior or trait.

29 A technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes, opinions or behaviors of people. This is usually done by questioning a representative sample that is both random and proportional. 29

30 It is impossible to survey everyone in any given population. It is necessary therefore to survey a group of individuals that accurately represents the larger population being studied. The fastest way to know about the marble color ratio is to blindly transfer a few into a smaller jar and count them.

31 Random Sample - ensures that everyone in the larger population has an equal chance of being selected as part of the representative sample. If the survey sample is not random it may be biased and its results would not be valid. 31 Random Sampling Errors in Random Sampling Volunteer Bias- People who volunteer may feel more strongly than those who do not. Selection Bias- If selection of participants are not random…the order of selection may bias results

32 The sample must represent an accurate proportion of the variations in the larger population in order to be a true representative sample. For Example: The sample should include the same percentage of males and females as what would be found in the larger population.

33 Wording can change the results of a survey. Q: Should cigarette ads and pornography be allowed on television? (allowed vs. forbidden) Q: How many times in your life have you cheated? (Have you ever? vs. How many? And cheated vs. lied or been dishonest) 33 Wording Effect

34 A tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors. 34 False Consensus Effect

35 Correlational Research Correlation and Causation Illusory Correlation Perceiving Order in Random Events 35

36 Correlation Coefficient is a statistical measure of the relationship between two variables. 36 When one trait or behavior accompanies another, we say the two correlate. Correlation coefficient Indicates direction of relationship (positive or negative) Indicates strength of relationship (0.00 to 1.00) r = 0.37 +

37 37 Perfect positive correlation (+1.00) Scatterplot is a graph comprised of points that are generated by values of two variables. The slope of the points depicts the direction, while the amount of scatter depicts the strength of the relationship.

38 38 No relationship (0.00) Perfect negative correlation (-1.00) The Scatterplot on the left shows a negative correlation, while the one on the right shows no relationship between the two variables.

39 39 Data showing height and temperament in people.

40 40 The Scatterplot below shows the relationship between height and temperament in people. There is a moderate positive correlation of +0.63.

41 41 or

42 The perception of a relationship where no relationship actually exists. Parents conceive children after adoption. 42 Confirming evidence Disconfirming evidence Do not adopt Disconfirming evidence Confirming evidence Adopt Do not conceive Conceive Michael Newman Jr./ Photo Edit

43 Given random data, we look for order and meaningful patterns. 43 Your chances of being dealt either of these hands is precisely the same: 1 in 2,598,960.

44 Given large numbers of random outcomes, a few are likely to express order. 44 Angelo and Maria Gallina won two California lottery games on the same day. Jerry Telfer/ San Francisco Chronicle

45 Experimental Research Exploring Cause and Effect Evaluating Therapies Independent and Dependent Variables

46 Like other sciences, experimentation is the backbone of psychology research. The purpose of experimental research is to isolate causes and their effects. Exploring Cause and Effect

47 Many factors influence our behavior. Experiments (1) manipulate factors that interest us, while other factors are kept under (2) control. Effects generated by factors manipulated by a researcher isolate cause and effect relationships.

48 I manipulated whether students had candy to eat while taking a quiz. These students were the experimental group Students who did not receive a candy were the control group, because their testing condition was the same as it normally is.

49 Assigning participants to experimental (candy eating) and control (non-candy eating) conditions by random assignment minimizes pre-existing differences between the two groups. Students were randomly assigned to either the experimental or the control group based on the row in which they sat within the classroom. If a student refused the lollipop it was given to the nearest student in the next row. If I gave candy to the first 15 students who came to class or students in the front of the room, a pre-existing difference may have accounted for a difference in test scores.

50 An Independent Variable is a factor manipulated by the experimenter. The effect of the independent variable is the focus of the study. For example, when examining the effects of candy on test scores, candy is the independent variable.

51 A Dependent Variable is a factor that may change in response to an independent variable. In psychology, it is usually a behavior or a mental process. For example, in our study on the effect of candy on test scores, test scores are the dependent variable. The score on the assessment is dependent on whether or not a candy was eaten

52 Random Assignment: Students are given lollipops by row Condition Independent Variable Dependent Variable Experimental Control Scores from a 8 point memory task No sweet substance made primarily of sugar A sweet substance made primarily of sugar Scores from a 8 point memory task

53 Expectations can influence results! My hypothesis was clearly written on the board when students were taking the test and eating candy. Their expectation that they would or would not perform well could have influenced your actual performance. Because of this, psychologists use single blind procedures. Where the participant is unaware of the behavior being observed.

54 In a single blind study, participants would not know whether they are in the experimental or control group. Psychologists may use a placebo to keep participants unaware of any differences in their treatment. Placebo- an inactive substance or fake treatment used as a control in an experiment or given by a practitioner to a patient

55 Participants are not the only people to bring expectations to the laboratory. Experimenter Effects can have powerful results In setting up the experiment and evaluating results, the participants and the experimenter s assistants conducting the experiment should both remain unaware of which group was the experimental group and which was the control. Think of the Russian scientists conducting the research on psychic ability.


57 If an experiment is repeated and consistently yields the same results, the finding can be deemed reliable. However, the best interpretation of a finding does not emerge until the hypothesis is further tested in multiple ways. So, after repeating my candy experiment several times…I may want to change the type of candy, assessment or student to see if that has an impact on my result

58 Statistical Reasoning Interpreting Results Describing Data Making Inferences


60 A meaningful description of data is important in research. Misrepresentation may lead to incorrect conclusions. Statistical procedures analyze and interpret data allowing us to see what the unaided eye misses.

61 Mode: The most frequently occurring score in a distribution. Mean: The arithmetic average of scores in a distribution obtained by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores that were added together. Median: The middle score in a rank-ordered distribution.

62 A Skewed Distribution

63 Candy Rows (Experimental Condition) 10 Students 2,5,5,5,6,7,8,8,8,8 Mean 6.2/10 Median 6.5/10 Mode 8/10 Non-candy Rows (Control Condition) 16 Students 3,4,4,4,5,5,6,6,6,6,6,6,7,7, 8,8 Mean 5.3/16 Median 6.5/16 Mode 6/16

64 Q4. Why do psychologists study animals? Ans: Studying animals gives us the understanding of many behaviors that may have common biology across animals and humans. D. Shapiro, © Wildlife Conservation Society

65 Q5. Is it ethical to experiment on animals? Ans: Yes. To gain insights to devastating and fatal diseases. All researchers who deal with animal research are required to follow ethical guidelines in caring for these animals.

66 Q6. Is it ethical to experiment on people? Ans: Yes. Experiments that do not involve any kind of physical or psychological harm beyond normal levels encountered in daily life may be carried out.

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