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Psychology IS a science! Chapter 1 – Myers Chapter 2 - Barron’s.

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Presentation on theme: "Psychology IS a science! Chapter 1 – Myers Chapter 2 - Barron’s."— Presentation transcript:

1 Psychology IS a science! Chapter 1 – Myers Chapter 2 - Barron’s

2 The Limitation of Intuition Q Who wants a chance to win one dollar? Pick an envelope with a chance to change your answer. Q Who thinks that we can scientifically prove whether you have a better chance one way or another or if you have an equal chance?

3 The Need for Psychological Science Psychology does not rely on “common sense”, intuition, assumptions or gut instinct cannot be relied on. Ex. Empty nest syndrome Ex. Sadaam Hussein Ex. Correlation between amount of $ one has and long term happiness?

4 Why is intuition and common sense limited in psychology? Q1 Which Presidential Candidate do you think is best for the American People? Q2 What percentage of Butler students agree with you?

5 The Limits of common sense and intuition False Consensus Effect- The tendency to believe that more people agree with your viewpoint than they really do? Willy Wonka Q3. Did you probably under or overestimate your answer to Q2? Q4. Why would your estimation on a national level be even farther off?

6 Why is intuition and common sense limited in psychology? Hindsight bias –“I knew it all along phenomenon” –The tendency to believe, after learning the outcome, that one would have foreseen it. Ex. Sports reporters talking about who won the game. Ex. Ask people to explain why opposites attract or why “absence makes the heart grow fonder” –This is why it is important to form a hypothesis and scientifically prove something to be true

7 Becoming a good Critical Thinker Identify Bias or a “hidden agenda”. Ex. Salesman selling a car, friend suddenly being friendly. Separating Fact from opinion Where is your evidence? CNN, FOX and MSNBC News full of opinion shows not always fact based. Understand that correlation does not mean causation. (Ex. Popularity of Christianity and Crime rates)

8 Scientific Method What have you learned about the scientific method prior to this class? –Research/Observation –Form Hypothesis –Conduct Experiment –Draw Conclusions

9 Scientific Method Theories - an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts observations. –Ex. Humidity predicts aggressive behavior Hypotheses are formed from theories. Hypothesis – a testable prediction, states the relationship between two variables. –Ex. In July/August people are more likely to commit aggressive acts.

10 The importance of defining the variables. Psychologist form operational definitions to keep check on their biases and so that others can replicate their observations Operational definition – a statement of the procedure used to define research variables. –Ex. – Aggression can be defined as number of rapes and murders

11 Why use operational definitions? Operational Definitions help us achieve the goals of good research. Good research is both reliable and valid. –Valid – (accuracy) the research measures what it set out to measure –Reliable – (consistency) when a study can be replicated

12 Research Methods Descriptive methods –Goal is to observe and record –Case studies, surveys, naturalistic observation –Detect naturally occurring relationships, assess how one variable affects another. –Cannot draw conclusions of cause and effect Experimental Methods –Explore cause and effect

13 Descriptive Methods CASE STUDY Case Study - Psychologists study one individual in depth in hopes to reveal things true of us all. –Ex. Studying an individual that damaged a certain part of the brain. Compare behaviors and abilities before the accident to those after the accident. –How can case studies be misleading? An individual may be atypical Personal experience may be exaggerated Depends on experimenter's interpretation

14 Case of Phineas Gage Gage was a worker for a railroad company. On Sept. 13, 1848 an accidental explosion blew an iron rod through his head. The iron was 3 ft. 7 in. long and weighed over 13 lbs. The rod entered into his left cheek bone and exited from the top of his head landing about 30 yards behind Gage.

15 Gage (cont.) Gage regained consciousness within minutes and was able to speak. Gage suffered massive frontal lobe damage. Gage’s memory and mental abilities were unchanged but his personality changed dramatically. (Gage was easy going before the accident and became irritable and unpredictable following the accident.) Stabbed in the Brain: Phineas GageStabbed in the Brain: Phineas Gage

16 Descriptive Methods SURVEY Survey: Obtaining self reported attitudes and behaviors Surveys look at many cases in less depth Goal of the survey is to question a random sample.

17 SURVEY Sampling –Subjects: participants in the research –Sampling: process by which subjects are selected –Sample: Group of subjects. The goal is for the sample to be representative of the larger population (aka generalizable). –Population: all the cases in a group from which samples may be drawn for a study –Random Sample: a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has a chance of inclusion.

18 SURVEY Random Sampling The best way to create a random sample is through computer generated lists, a table of random numbers, or picking names from a hat. Ex. I sit in front of Wal-Mart on a Friday morning and walk up to people at random asking them to participate in a survey. What is wrong with this method? Why is it NOT random? Ex. I randomly pick every third table in the cafeteria to participate? Ex. I survey the 1 st 5 people that enter the classroom.

19 SURVEY Sampling Stratified Sample - allows the researcher to ensure that the sample represents the population. –Ex. A population of 1,000 students. 650 are female and 350 are male. Then in my sample of 100 students I would want 65 females and 35 males. I could divide the subgroups of male and female and then select 65 and then 35 students from those groups at random.

20 The Limitations of Surveys How are surveys limited in the data they produce? –Depending on self-reports (BIAS) Wording of Surveys must be done correctly for the research to be valid and reliable.

21 Descriptive Methods NATURALISTIC OBSERVATION Naturalistic Observation - watching, observing, and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation. Naturalistic Observation describes behavior … it does no explain it. –Ex. Watching animal behavior, observing parent child interaction, recording shopper tendencies as they enter the store, observing the interactions on an elevator

22 Assignment Naturalistic Observation in the cafeteria –Naturalistic Observation describes behavior, it does not explain behavior. –Observe the behavior of others during lunch in the cafeteria. –Come up with their own aspect to observe. (Seat selections by race or food choices by sex are some obvious behaviors to observe). –Record your observations. –Maintain confidentiality. –Explain what you are doing, if asked by teachers or other students. –Report findings the next class period.

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