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The Need for Psychological Science Chapter 1, Lecture 1 “This much seems certain. Intuition is important, but we often underestimate its perils.” - David.

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Presentation on theme: "The Need for Psychological Science Chapter 1, Lecture 1 “This much seems certain. Intuition is important, but we often underestimate its perils.” - David."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Need for Psychological Science Chapter 1, Lecture 1 “This much seems certain. Intuition is important, but we often underestimate its perils.” - David Myers

2 Why Do Psychology? 1.How can we differentiate between uniformed opinions and examined conclusions? 2.The science of psychology helps make these examined conclusions, which leads to our understanding of how people feel, think, and act as they do!

3 What About Intuition & Common Sense? Many people believe that intuition and common sense are enough to bring forth answers regarding human nature. Intuition and common sense may aid queries, but they are not free of error.

4 Limits of Intuition Personal interviewers may rely too much on their “gut feelings” when meeting with job applicants. Taxi/ Getty Images

5 What About Intuition & Common Sense? 1. Try this simple number problem. 2. The glass of water example. 3. Complete Handout Complete Handout 1-3.

6 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 dot.com stocks would plummet after they actually did plummet. Hindsight Bias So how can we resist the hindsight bias??? Take a look at Handout 1-2…

7 Overconfidence Sometimes we think we know more than we actually know. 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).

8 Overconfidence Sometimes we think we know more than we actually know. So how can we resist overconfidence??? Now look at Handout 1-3… Let’s tally the number of errors. How many errors should we have in this class?

9 Overconfidence Some interesting quotes: “There is no reason for anyone to have a computer in their home.” (Ken Olson, president of Digital Equipment Company, 1977) “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” (Lord Kelvin, British mathematician, physicist, and President of the British Royal Society, 1895) “Reagan doesn’t have the presidential look.” (United Artists executive when asked whether Ronald Reagan should be offered the starring role in the move The Best Man, 1964)

10 Overconfidence Some interesting quotes: “A severe depression like that of is outside the range of possibility.” (Harvard Economic Society, Weekly Letter, November 16, 1929) “Impossible!” (Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder when asked whether Cassius Clay could last six rounds in his upcoming bout with heavyweight champion Sonny Liston, 1964) “Man will never reach the moon, regardless of all future scientific advances.” (Lee DeForest, inventor of the vacuum tube, 1957)

11 Overconfidence Some interesting quotes: “We know on the authority of Moses, that longer ago than six thousand years, the world did not exist.” (Martin Luther [ ], German leader of the Protestant Reformation) “Nuclear powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within 10 years.” (Alex Lewyt, manufacturer of vacuum cleaners, 1955)

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

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

14 Wrapping Up… Share your personal reflection (from your notebook) about a “limit of human intuition” with a neighbor (if you didn’t write about this in your PR, think of one now). How might you keep from making this type of error in the future?

15 Homework Read p “Today’s ‘truths’ sometimes become tomorrow’s fallacies. To sift reality from fantasy, sense from nonsense, therefore requires a scientific attitude: being skeptical but not cynical, open but not gullible.” - David Myers


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