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Chapter 1 Thinking Critically with Psychological Science

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1 Chapter 1 Thinking Critically with Psychological Science
PowerPoint® Presentation by Jim Foley

2 Topics and Questions How do I explain dreams? Anxiety? The abilities and funny behavior of babies? The history and growth of psychology The big question: Nature vs. Nurture Biopsychosocial levels of analysis Psychology’s subfields Avoiding three “common sense” thinking errors The Scientific Attitude: Curiosity, Skepticism, Humility The Scientific Method Description, Correlation, and Experimentation Frequently Asked Questions about Psychology Applying psychology to learning the text: SQ3R Click to reveal all bullets. Instructor: Of course, it would be good to see what questions your students have. You can ask what their favorite item was from the examples given by Myers, some of which are implied in the more general questions above. Another question relating to the nature/nurture debate: How much of my identity, my traits, my moods, and my behavior is influenced by my genes? How much of these are produced by conditioning and other experiences?

3 From speculation to science: The Birth of Modern Psychology
Aristotle (4th century BCE) had ideas about how the body and mind work. His method: making guesses. Wilhelm Wundt ( ) added two key elements to help make psychology a science: carefully measured observations experiments Click to reveal information about Aristotle. Instructor: a comment you can make along with this slide: Obviously, people thought about the nature of behavior and the mind in the 2,000 years between Aristotle and Wilhelm Wundt. However, in this class, we are mostly concerned with psychological thinkers and ideas of the last two centuries. Click to reveal information about Wundt. Instructor: Below are these two points stated in more detail: 1) Carefully measured observations are detailed enough to measure “the atoms of the mind” (basic human mental processes). 2) Experiments refer to controlled activities allowing psychologists to study one “atom” (mental process) well.

4 Why were the times different?
Wilhelm Wundt’s 1879 experiment measured the time it took for people to: Push a button when a ball dropped (based on when they heard the ball hit a platform): 1/10th of a second. Push a button when consciously aware of hearing the ball hit the platform: 2/10ths of a second. Why were the times different? Click to reveal two parts of experiment and again for the question. Instructor: You could try to get discussion going on whether our conscious choice of pushing a button is just an illusion of choice that happens after the fact. However, the real issue is that the delay is caused by the time it takes, however small, to consciously form an idea that a sound has been heard. Still, you can use this to highlight the limited value of introspection… coming up next.

5 Structuralism Edward Titchener, like his teacher Wundt, used data from introspection, reporting on sensations and other elements of experience. Structuralism: Using these introspective reports to build a view of the mind’s structure Click to reveal bullets. Instructor: You might add that “Unfortunately, Titchener’s structuralism was built on unreliable data that might not generalize to all people. And he couldn’t build the whole mind from these parts.”

6 Functionalism: The school of thought that Psychological processes have a function: helping us survive as individuals, adapt as a species The developer of functionalism, William James ( ), asked: How did the human style of thinking and behavior enable our ancestors to live long enough to reproduce? James mentored another pioneer Click to reveal bullets. Instructor: The functionalist approach, closely related to evolutionary thinking and sometimes presented as the evolutionary approach, will come up many times in the text. Examples: Anxiety may have helped ancestors avoid dangers and plan to prevent future dangers. Getting conditioned to phobically avoid food after one experience is good for not getting poisoned. The bullet points with more detail: William James developed functionalism: studying human thoughts, feelings and behaviors and asking: What function might it serve? How might it have helped our ancestors to survive long enough to pass on these traits? He spent 12 years writing Principles of Psychology, a summary of the new science (1890, but ideas still used). William James

7 Psychology Pioneers Mary Whiton Calkins ( ) became a memory researcher and the first female president of the APA. She studied with William James but was denied a Harvard PhD. Why? Because of her gender. Click to reveal bullets. Calkins studied with William James but was denied a Harvard PhD because of her gender. She declined a degree offered by Radcliffe College. She taught at Wellesley College from 1891 to 1929. APA = American Psychological Association. The “experimental psychology organization” was similar in mission to today’s Association for Psychological Science. Mary Whiton Calkins

8 Margaret Floy Washburn, PhD
Psychology Pioneers Margaret Floy Washburn ( ): The first female to earn a Psychology PhD The second female APA president Author of The Animal Mind. Click to reveal bullets. Margaret Floy Washburn, PhD

9 Shifting definitions of “psychology”
Now we combine these definitions: “The science of behavior and mental processes.” Wilhelm Wundt and Edward Titchener, around 1900: “The science of mental life.” John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner, behaviorists, 1920’s: “The scientific study of observable behavior.” Cognitive psychologists, 1960’s, studied internal mental processes, helped by neuroscience. Click to show each stage, then click again to show the combined definition. Mention that there will be more on these later, especially behaviorists when we study Learning.

10 Trends in Psychological Science: Behaviorism
John B. Watson Behaviorists study and experiment with observable behavior. Watson experimented with conditioned responses. Skinner studied the way consequences shape behavior. Like other behaviorists, he saw little value in introspection. B. F. Skinner Click to reveal information about Watson and then Skinner. You can remind your students that we will be learning more about behaviorist study of human behavior in Chapter 7 on Learning.

11 Trends in Psychology: Freudian/Psychoanalytic Psychology
Sigmund Freud Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis: He studied and helped people with a variety of mental disorders. More about Freud when we study personality and therapy Click to reveal more information about Freud. Instructor: you could mention that there will be more info on these later in the course, both in the study of personality and the study of psychotherapy.

12 Trends in Psychology: Humanism
Abraham Maslow Humanists: Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers (1960s): studied people who were thriving rather than those who had psychological problems. developed theories and treatments to help people to feel accepted and to reach their full potential. Click to reveal more information about Maslow and Rogers. Instructor: You could mention that there will be more info on these later in the course, both in the study of personality and the study of psychotherapy. Carl Rogers

13 The Growth of Psychology
Psychology’s pioneers have come from many fields: physiology, philosophy, medicine, and biology. Advances in psychology also have been made in many countries Psychology has spread rapidly; there are 71 member nations in the IUPS. Click to reveal bullets. First bullet details: physiology (Wilhelm Wundt, Ivan Pavlov), philosophy (William James), medicine (Sigmund Freud), and biology (Jean Piaget). Second bullet: National origins of the same men: Switzerland, America, Austria, Russia IUPS = the International Union of Psychological Science. The subjects studied in psychology have multiplied too… as we shall see in this course.

14 The Big Issue in Psychology: N-N
The Nature- Nurture Question: To what extent are our traits already set in place at birth (our “Nature”)? And to what extent do our traits develop in response to our environment/ experience (our “Nurture”)? Click to reveal text.

15 Plato: Ideas such as “the good” and “beauty” are inborn.
Aristotle: All knowledge comes through the senses. Descartes: Some ideas are innate. Nature Nurture vs. Charles Darwin: Some traits become part of our nature through natural selection: they help us survive long enough to pass the traits to the next generation. John Locke: The mind is a blank slate (blank chalkboard or screen) “written on” by experience. Click to reveal five bubbles of different perspectives.

16 We have differences that are shaped by our environment.
We share a common origin that gives us an inborn human nature in common. We have differences that are shaped by our environment. Nature + Nurture Click to reveal the new nature and nurture bubbles. This interplay of nature and nurture may be more complex in humans than any other species. Another way of looking at this, suggested in the text: Behaviors can be seen as “pushed” (constrained, really) by biology, and “pulled” (influenced) by the environment.

17 The Roles of Nature and Nurture:
No animation. “Nurture works on what Nature endows.”

18 Biology Plus Environment..
are part of psychology’s three “biopsychosocial” levels of analysis. The outer level, Environment: social Influences, culture, education, relationships The deep level, Biology: genes, brain, neuro-transmitters, survival, reflexes, sensation In the middle, Psychology: thoughts, emotions, moods, choices, behaviors, traits, motivations, knowledge, perceptions Click to reveal three levels.

19 The three levels as influences on some psychological phenomenon
Example: Depression Example: Enjoying Soccer Example: Intelligence Example: Shyness Click to start animation example.

20 Cognitive perspective
There are many perspectives for describing psychological phenomena: From different angles, you ask different questions: Cognitive perspective Social-cultural Behavioral genetics Neuroscience Psychodynamic Behaviorist Evolutionary How reliable is memory? How can we improve our thinking? Could our behavior, skills, and attitudes be “downloads” from our culture? Could our behavior, skills, and attitudes be genetically programmed instincts? What role do our bodies and brains play in emotions? How is pain inhibited? Can we trust our senses? Click to reveal each box of questions. Do inner childhood conflicts still plague me and affect my behavior? How are our problematic behaviors reinforced? How do our fears become conditioned? What can we do to change these fears and behaviors? Why are humans prone to panic, anger, and making irrational judgments?

21 Different perspectives on a single issue: Six Blind Men and an Elephant
No animation. Instructor: This slide illustrates the results of taking only one perspective on an issue. The image refers to the “Six Blind Men and the Elephant,” a poem by John Saxe ( ) based on an ancient Indian folktale. The parable illustrates how people with limited perspective can be mistaken if they feel they have the whole picture, seeing the elephant as a rope, wall, tree trunk, fan, spear, and snake. Image (c) Jason Hunt

22 Let’s play: “What’s my perspective?”
“Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a problem in the orbital cortex.” “Compulsions start as habits and are rewarded by the anxiety relief they bring.” “No, it’s a sign of unresolved childhood issues.” “OCD comes from our natural instinct to control our environment.” “No, OCD is an inherited condition.” Automatic animation. Instructor: This would be “The Seven Psychologists and the client with OCD.” Ask the students if they can identify the perspective used in making the comments. I have created a different example than the “anger” one found in the book. I have color-coded the statements so students can call out suggestions by color, “the orange one is…” The answers: Orange: Neuroscience, Magenta: Psychodynamic, Blue: Behavior Genetics, Black: Behaviorist, Brown: Evolutionary, Gray: Social-Cultural, Green: Cognitive. “OCD thinking and behavior is a reaction to our fast-paced, out-of-control lifestyles.” “No, OCD is a matter of mental habits and errors that can be corrected.”

23 Psychology’s Subfields
Basic research Biological Developmental Cognitive Personality Social Positive Psychology Applied Clinical Psychology Counseling Psychology Educational Psychology Industrial-Organizational Community Psychology No animation. Instructor: This slide lists categories that are covered in more depth in the next two slides.

24 Psychology’s Subfields Research Examples
Type of research Biological Developmental Cognitive Personality Social Positive Psychology Explore the structural problems in the brain that may be part of autism Study how the stages of cognitive and emotional development vary in autism Clarify the difficulties autistic children have with understanding sarcasm Decide whether traits like neuroticism need to be measured differently in autism Click to reveal an example for each type of research. Find how autistic children can learn social skills as procedures if not by intuition Explore what motivates people and contributes to life satisfaction

25 Psychology’s Subfields Applied
Clinical Psychology Counseling Psychology Educational Psychology Industrial-Organizational Community Psychology Use exposure therapy to decrease phobic reactions in a traumatized client Help someone achieve career goals despite family conflict and self-doubt Evaluate aptitudes and achievement to plan for a student with learning problems Figure out how a factory can improve coordination of tasks, roles, and personalities Click to reveal an example of each type of applied psychology. Instructor: This slide lists categories that are covered in more depth in the next two slides. Help coordinate a city’s efforts to understand and prevent elder abuse Use exposure therapy to decrease phobic reactions in a traumatized client

26 Psychology in context with other professions
Psychiatrists are physicians, M.D.s or D.O.s. They can prescribe medication. In addition to psychologists, professionals in social work, counseling, and marriage and family therapy may be trained to do psychotherapy. Click to reveal two bubbles. Instructor: Below is the content of this slide in more detail, for your lecture/discussion: Psychiatrists are physicians, M.D.s or D.O.s. Unlike psychologists in most states, psychiatrists can prescribe medication. In addition to psychologists, the marriage and family therapy, counseling, and social work professions include people with a Master’s degree who can diagnose and treat mental disorders, although they are usually not trained to do intelligence testing.

27 The Need for Psychological Science: Overview
Typical errors in hindsight, overconfidence, and coincidence The scientific attitude and critical thinking The scientific method: theories and hypotheses Gathering psychological data: description, correlation, and experimentation/causation Describing data: significant differences Issues in psychology: laboratory vs. life, culture and gender, values and ethics Click to reveal all bullets. Instructor: Note that we will start the chapter with an overview, doing our “surveying” as the SQ3R technique recommends.

28 When our natural thinking style fails:
Hindsight bias: “I knew it all along.” Overconfidence error: “I am sure I am correct.” The coincidence error, or mistakenly perceiving order in random events: “The dice must be fixed because you rolled three sixes in a row.” Click to show three circles. Instructor: There is a series of slides explaining these concepts, not all of which are necessary. The middle error on this slide can also be described as “mistakenly thinking that a random sequence of events is a meaningful pattern.”

29 Hindsight Bias When you see most results of psychological research, you might say, “that was obvious…” Classic example: after watching a competition (sports, cooking), if you don’t make a prediction ahead of time, you might make a “postdiction”: “I figured that team/person would win because…” I knew this would happen… You were accepted into this college/university Optional slide. Click to reveal a sequence of four “messages” in the crystal ball. Once you saw this term explained in the book, you might have said, “I knew that’s what that meant.” However, if you haven’t done the reading, does it seem obvious?” “ ‘that was obvious…’ This is why psychological science involves predictions, and then gathering information to test our predictions. “Next slide: Let’s test our hindsight bias with some ’facts’….” Hindsight bias is like a crystal ball that we use to predict… the past.

30 But then why do these other phrases also seem to make sense?
Absence makes the heart grow fonder Out of sight, out of mind You can’t teach an old dog new tricks You’re never too old to learn Good fences make good neighbors No [wo]man is an island Birds of a feather flock together Seek and ye shall find Opposites attract These sayings all seem to make sense, in hindsight, after we read them. But then why do these other phrases also seem to make sense? Curiosity killed the cat Optional slide. Automatic animation. Instructor: The point being made here: If students feel that the saying on one side makes intuitive sense, then when they see the opposing saying, you can show them that even opposing statements can each seem true in hindsight. Look before you leap The pen is mightier than the sword S/He who hesitates is lost Actions speak louder than words The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence There’s no place like home

31 Hindsight “Bias” Why call it “bias”?
The mind builds its current wisdom around what we have already been told. We are “biased” in favor of old information. For example, we may stay in a bad relationship because it has lasted this far and thus was “meant to be.” Optional slide. Click to reveal second graphic and text box. Further explaining the bias: We are “biased” in favor of old information; we give old knowledge more weight than new information because we feel as if we have always known it to be correct. Explaining the target image: Hindsight bias is like watching an arrow land and then drawing a target around it, saying “that was what we were aiming at.”

32 Overconfidence Error: Predicting performance
Overconfidence Error: Judging our accuracy We overestimate our performance, our rate of work, our skills, and our degree of self-control. When stating that we “know” something, our level of confidence is usually much higher than our level of accuracy. Overconfidence is a problem in preparing for tests. Familiarity is not understanding If you feel confident that you know a concept, try explaining it to someone else. Test for this: “how long do you think it takes you to…” (e.g. “just finish this one thing I’m doing on the computer before I get to work”)? Optional slide. Click to reveal all bullets in each column. Instructor: Overconfidence Error 1: The example in the text of unscrambling the anagrams is a version of “performance overestimation.” “Still think you’d unscramble the words faster than it says in the book? And you peeked at the answer for “COSHA”? How about : HEGOUN (Enough) or “ERSEGA” (Grease)…” [I made those up, so I doubt they’ll have seen them] Overconfidence Error 2: Familiarity error: You may feel you know a concept from the psychology text because it looks familiar. However, then you might get surprised on the exam when it’s hard to choose between two similar answers. I suggest asking students, “do you understand?” The call on someone who nodded/raised hand to explain the concept.” Demonstration of misjudging our accuracy: Any trivia quiz in which the answers are numbers (the diameter of the earth, the age of a famous historical figure when they died, etc.) allows you to test overconfidence; give students a chance to create a 90 percent confidence interval (90 percent sure that the correct answer is between x and y), and they may still get a lot wrong, showing overconfidence. Here’s a sample online: How fast can you unscramble words? Guess, then try these: HEGOUN ERSEGA

33 Perceiving order in random events:
Example: The coin tosses that “look wrong” if there are five heads in a row. Danger: thinking you can make a prediction from a random series. If there have been five heads in a row, you can not predict that “it’s time for tails” on the next flip Why this error happens: because we have the wrong idea about what randomness looks like. Result of this error: reacting to coincidence as if it has meaning Optional slide. Click through examples and answers. Another example: If the ball in the roulette wheel has landed on an even number four times in a row, it does not increase the likelihood that it will land on an odd number on the next spin. I have called this the “coincidence error” on another slide: the error of assuming that there is some meaning in someone winning two lotteries in one day. That error applies more to the example two slides after this one. Explaining the author’s term: The word “perceiving” is used to highlight that it is a perception, not necessarily an accurate view of reality; you PERCEIVE that the order is there in the randomness. About expecting an odd after 4 evens, Key insight: events based on luck do not even out, but over a zillion coin flips, they average out (become close to 50-50). An experiment you could do in class to demonstrate that people have the wrong idea of what randomness looks like: If there are X students in this room and we distributed X +2 pieces of candy to the class one at a time by picking names at random (where chosen names go back in the “hat”), what is the most common number of pieces students will receive? Candy example: Students may assume that most people will get one piece, but if the method is truly random, starting fresh after each piece (with names that go back into the hat after being selected), the most common number might be zero, with lots of 1’s, 2’s, even someone with 8 or more. Poker example: “No, it has to happen sometime for some player, at some table; if everyone gets the same number of AA’s then the game must be rigged. Or, if you had been able to predict in advance which player got the AA/AA, then you might be accused of being the one cheating.” One more example: Your dream tonight might not come true tomorrow. However, simply by chance, it is certain that someone’s dream, sometime this year, sometime in the world, will come true. If it’s “one chance in a billion,” this is 2000 times a year (365 days x 7 [billion]), somewhere in the world. If one poker player at a table got pocket aces twice in a row, is the game rigged?

34 Making our ideas more accurate by being scientific
What did “Amazing Randi” do about the claim of seeing auras? He developed a testable prediction, which would support the theory if it succeeded. Which it did not. The aura-readers were unable to locate the aura around Randi’s body without seeing Randi’s body itself, so their claim was not supported. Click through to demonstrate “seeing and aura” when a face is covered and when a body is covered. Randi’s prediction: “If you can see my aura, then you should be able to identify my location even if my body is concealed.” The aura-readers were unable to locate the aura around Randi’s body without seeing Randi’s body itself, so their claim was not supported. Randi shows here how to apply the scientific method to serve a part of the scientific attitude we’ll refer to in a moment: skepticism.

35 Scientific Attitude Part 1: Curiosity
Definition: always asking new questions “That behavior I’m noticing in that guy… is that common to all people? Or is it more common when under stress? Or only common for males?” Hypothesis: Curiosity, if not guided by caution, can lead to the death of felines and perhaps humans. Click through to reveal all text boxes. More thoughts and questions that might emerge from curiosity: guessing at WHY something happens. wondering if two events or traits tend to go together, or even one causes the other. wondering if there are predictable patterns in people’s behavior or traits. Comment you can add: “These guesses and wonderings sometimes take the form of ‘hypotheses,’ such as: “Curiosity, if not guided by caution, can lead to the death of felines and perhaps humans.” The hypothesis refers to “curiosity killed the cat.” The human example: “what could possibly go wrong?”

36 Scientific Attitude Part 2: Skepticism
Definition: not accepting a ‘fact’ as true without challenging it; seeing if ‘facts’ can withstand attempts to disprove them Skepticism, like curiosity, generates questions: “Is there another explanation for the behavior I am seeing? Is there a problem with how I measured it, or how I set up my experiment? Do I need to change my theory to fit the evidence?” Click through to reveal text boxes. Instructor: The Amazing Randi is of course an example of a skeptic; he didn’t just accept confirming evidence but thought of a situation which might really test whether people could see auras.

37 Scientific Attitude Part 3: Humility
Humility refers to seeking the truth rather than trying to be right; a scientist needs to be able to accept being wrong. “What matters is not my opinion or yours, but the truth nature reveals in response to our questioning.” David Myers Click through to reveal text boxes. Instructor: Scientists put all three traits together when they doubt and challenge their own theories. Some of the enemies of humility are overconfidence, confirmation bias, and belief perseverance.

38 “Think critically” with psychological science… does this mean “criticize”?
Why do I need to work on my thinking? Can’t you just tell me facts about psychology? The brain is designed for surviving and reproducing, but it is not the best tool for seeing ‘reality’ clearly. Critical thinking refers to a more careful style of forming and evaluating knowledge than simply using intuition. Along with the scientific method, critical thinking will help us develop more effective and accurate ways to figure out what makes people do, think, and feel the things they do. Click to reveal two text boxes. Instructor: A comment you could make before or after mentioning the scientific method, “Although our personal experiences give us many ideas about the people around us, psychological science will help us evaluate and test those ideas in order to have more accurate knowledge about mind, feelings, and behavior.” In the magenta sidebar: Optional Material. Could just be part of lecture material instead. Added comments: “We’ll see more about how our minds are not the most accurate scientific tool when we get to topics such as Memory, Sensation and Perception, and Social Thinking and Influence.” Instructor: Although the text does not bring up the phenomenon of confirmation bias at this point, I suggest mentioning it here, because it fits well with issues and examples in this chapter.

39 Look for hidden assumptions and decide if you agree.
Consider if there are other possible explanations for the facts or results. Look for hidden bias, politics, values, or personal connections. Critical thinking: analyzing information, arguments, and conclusions, to decide if they make sense, rather than simply accepting it. See if there was a flaw in how the information was collected. Put aside your own assumptions and biases, and look at the evidence. Click to reveal five circles.

40 How Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions: The Scientific Method
The scientific method is the process of testing our ideas about the world by: Turning our theories into testable predictions. Gather information related to our predictions. analyzing whether the data fits with our ideas. Automatic animation. If the data doesn’t fit our ideas, then we modify our hypotheses, set up a study or experiment, and try again to see if the world fits our predictions.

41 Some research findings revealed by the scientific method:
Scientific Method: Tools and Goals The brain can recover from massive early childhood brain damage. Sleepwalkers are not acting out dreams. Our brains do not have accurate memories locked inside like video files. There is no “hidden and unused 90 percent” of our brain. People often change their opinions to fit their actions. The basics: Theory Hypothesis Operational Definitions Replication Click to reveal bullets. The last bullet on the left refers to cognitive dissonance theory and explains the “foot in the door” phenomenon. Scientific Method Tools and Goals follow in next clicks. Research goals/types: Description Correlation Prediction Causation Experiments

42 Theory: the big picture
A theory, in the language of science, is a set of principles, built on observations and other verifiable facts, that explains some phenomenon and predicts its future behavior. Example of a theory: “All ADHD symptoms are a reaction to eating sugar.” Automatic animation. Theories are not guesses; they are the result of carefully testing many related guesses. Learn to say, when making a guess about something: “I have a theory hypothesis…”

43 Hypotheses: informed predictions
A hypothesis is a testable prediction consistent with our theory. “Testable” means that the hypothesis is stated in a way that we could make observations to find out if it is true. What would be a prediction from the “All ADHD is about sugar” theory? Click to reveal all text. If students need elaboration on this term: “Predictions” can simply be that two factors in our theory go together in the way that we suggested. Below is more detail about the sample predictions that will appear on screen, after you have the students give it a try: Example from our ADHD-sugar theory, the type of hypothesis generated by our confirmation bias: “If a kid gets sugar, the kid will act more distracted, impulsive, and hyper.” Problem: the theory could still be wrong even if we saw this result; it could be coincidence. Even better is a disconfirming hypothesis like the Amazing Randi’s test, to test the “All” part of the theory. “All” is an extremely strong word; try to find a case in which this is not true: “ADHD symptoms will continue for some kids even after sugar is removed from the diet.” One hypothesis: “If a kid gets sugar, the kid will act more distracted, impulsive, and hyper.” To test the “All” part of the theory: “ADHD symptoms will continue for some kids even after sugar is removed from the diet.”

44 Danger when testing hypotheses: theories can bias our observations
Guide for making useful observations: How can we measure “ADHD symptoms” in the previous example in observable terms? Impulsivity = # of times/hour calling out without raising hand. Hyperactivity = # of times/hour out of seat Inattention = # minutes continuously on task before becoming distracted We might select only the data, or the interpretations of the data, that support what we already believe. There are safeguards against this: Hypotheses designed to disconfirm Operational definitions Click to reveal all bullets.

45 The next/final step in the scientific method: Replication
Replicating research means trying the methods of a study again, but with different participants or situations, to see if the same results happen. Automatic animation. “If we have planned our research well, others will readily be able to confirm the results.” You could introduce a small change in the study, e.g. trying the ADHD/sugar test on college students instead of elementary students.

46 Research Process: an example
No animation. Instructor: Optional slide. If you use it, consider critiquing this example from the book as I have done below. Problem with this example, as we soon will see; the procedure described in part (3) only tells us whether self-esteem and depression vary together, but does not tell us whether low self-esteem “feeds” (implication: causes or worsens) depression. The result might be explained by depression “feeding” low self-esteem! We would come closer if there was a test of self-esteem in non-depressed people, and then the low self-esteem group later became more depressed, or if interventions that changed self esteem only were found to have an impact on depression. And of course, this implies that a “depression scale” and a “test of self-esteem’ is a meaningful and accurate (in all cases and at all times) measure of ‘depression’ and ‘self-esteem.’

47 Scientific Method: Tools and Goals
The basics: Theory Hypothesis Operational Definitions Replication Research goals/types: Description Correlation Prediction Causation Experiments Now that we’ve covered this We can move on to this Automatic animation.

48 Research goal and strategy: Description
Descriptive research is a systematic, objective observation of people. Strategies for gathering this information: Case Study: observing and gathering information to compile an in-depth study of one individual Naturalistic Observation: gathering data about behavior; watching but not intervening Surveys and Interviews: having other people report on their own attitudes and behavior The goal is to provide a clear, accurate picture of people’s behaviors, thoughts, and attributes. Click to reveal three strategies for gathering information. “Attributes” here refers to age, gender, income, and other labels that might sort people into categories in our studies. Note that all categories are culturally determined.

49 Case Study Examining one individual in depth
Benefit: can be a source of ideas about human nature in general Example: cases of brain damage have suggested the function of different parts of the brain (e.g. Phineas Gage seen here) Danger: overgeneralization from one example; “Joe got better after tapping his foot, so tapping must be the key to health!” Click to reveal bullets. “The plural of anecdote is not evidence” quote in the book has appeared in many versions, including the original quote that the plural of anecdote IS data. The key is whether data is collected and analyzed systematically. That’s where the next two topics take steps in the right direction..

50 Naturalistic Observation
Observing “natural” behavior means just watching (and taking notes), and not trying to change anything. This method can be used to study more than one individual, and to find truths that apply to a broader population. Click to reveal bullets.

51 The Survey Wording effects the results you get from a survey can be changed by your word selection. Example: Q: Do you have motivation to study hard for this course? Q: Do you feel a desire to study hard for this course? Definition: A method of gathering information about many people’s thoughts or behaviors through self-report rather than observation. Keys to getting useful information: Be careful about the wording of questions Only question randomly sampled people Click to reveal all bullets on right. Something to say before clicking-in the second bullet: “A survey generally covers more people than naturalistic observation, so it may find truths that apply to an even broader population, IF you do it right.” The next slides are about doing it right. Click to reveal sidebar. “The wording effect can be manipulated: use your critical thinking to catch this. Someone wanting to make students look ambitious would choose the first question, while someone wanting to make students look lazy could choose the second.”

52 What psychology science mistake was made here?
Hint #2: The Chicago Tribune interviewed people about whom they would vote for. Hint #3: in 1948. Optional Slide, to introduce the topic of the need for RANDOM sampling. Automatic animation. Answer to the title question: People wealthy and urban enough to have a phone in 1948 were more likely to report having voted for Thomas Dewey. This example shows how you need to make a plan for a random sample that represents a population. If your results are supposed to describe all Americans who are likely and able to vote, you should try not leave out ones with no phones (or ones that don’t answer the phone, or ones only on one party’s mailing list, etc.). Hint #4: by phone. Hint #1: Harry Truman won.

53 Random Sampling population If you want to find out something about men, you can’t interview every single man on earth. Sampling saves time. You can find the ratio of colors in this jar by making sure they are well mixed (randomized) and then taking a sample. sample Random sampling is a technique for making sure that every individual in a population has an equal chance of being in your sample. Click to reveal bullets and example. If this is done right, a few thousand people, randomly selected, can be an adequate predictor of the population of a country of 350 million people. Click to reveal definition of random sampling. (two parts) You can add: “If the red balls were larger than the other colors, it would be harder to get a random sample by shaking the jar (counterintuitively, the larger ones would rise to the top….)” “Random” means that your selection of participants is driven only by chance, not by any characteristic.

54 In a case study: The fewer hours the boy was allowed to sleep, the more episodes of aggression he displayed. A possible result of many descriptive studies: discovering a correlation In a naturalistic observation: Children in a classroom who were dressed in heavier clothes were more likely to fall asleep than those wearing lighter clothes. Correlation General Definition: an observation that two traits or attributes are related to each other (thus, they are “co”- related) Scientific definition: a measure of how closely two factors vary together, or how well you can predict a change in one from observing a change in the other Optional: Click for 3 fictional examples. In a survey: The greater the number of Facebook friends, the less time was spent studying.

55 Correlation Coefficient
The correlation coefficient is a number representing how closely and in what way two variables correlate (change together). The direction of the correlation can be positive (direct relationship; both variables increase together) or negative (inverse relationship: as one increases, the other decreases). The strength of the relationship, how tightly, predictably they vary together, is measured in a number that varies from 0.00 to +/ Guess the Correlation Coefficients Height vs. shoe size Years in school vs. years in jail Height vs. intelligence Click to reveal bullets and example. Click again to reveal answers. Close to +1.0 Close to -1.0 Close to 0.0 (strong positive correlation) (strong negative correlation) (no relationship, no correlation)

56 If we find a correlation, what conclusions can we draw from it?
Let’s say we find the following result: there is a positive correlation between two variables, ice cream sales, and rates of violent crime How do we explain this? Optional Slide, introducing the concept on the next slide, “correlation does not mean causation.” Click to reveal bullets. Possible explanations for this correlation: “Does ice cream cause crime? Does violence give people ice cream cravings? Is it because daggers and cones look similar? Perhaps both are increased by a third variable: hot weather.”

57 Correlation is not Causation!
If this data is from a survey, can we conclude that flossing might prevent heart disease? Or that people with heart-healthy habits also floss regularly? “People who floss more regularly have less risk of heart disease.” “People with bigger feet tend to be taller.” Optional slide. Click to reveal two examples and questions. Not even if one event or change in a variable precedes another can we assume that one event or variation caused the other; the correlation between the two variables could still be caused by a third factor. If the data is from a survey, we are presuming that the respondents answered accurately and/or truthfully. Does that mean having bigger feet causes height?

58 If self-esteem correlates with depression, there are still numerous possible causal links:
No animation. If a low self-esteem test score “predicts” a high depression score, what have we confirmed? that low self-esteem causes or worsens depression? that depression is bad for self-esteem? that low self-esteem may be part of the definition of depression, and that we’re not really connecting two different variables at all?

59 So how do we find out about causation? By experimentation
Testing the theory that ADHD = sugar: removing sugar from the diet of children with ADHD to see if it makes a difference The depression/self- esteem example: trying interventions that improve self- esteem to see if they cause a reduction in depression Experimentation: manipulating one factor in a situation to determine its effect Click to reveal bullets. About the definition: sometimes you might manipulate more than one variable, but always a limited number of variables, manipulated in a controlled way.

60 The Control Group If we manipulate a variable in an experimental group of people, and then we see an effect, how do we know the change wouldn’t have happened anyway? We solve this problem by comparing this group to a control group, a group that is the same in every way except the one variable we are changing. Example: two groups of children have ADHD, but only one group stops eating refined sugar. By using random assignment: randomly selecting some study participants to be assigned to the control group or the experimental group. How do make sure the control group is really identical in every way to the experimental group? Click to reveal bullets. You could add/explain: “It’s called a “control” group rather than just a “comparison” group because using such a group is like being able to control the factors in the situation except the one you are manipulating. If the experimental group showed a reduction in ADHD symptoms, but the control group did also, we don’t have evidence that eliminating sugar made a difference (maybe they all got better because they were being watched, got other help, got older, etc). Click to reveal two text boxes about random assignment. Example: “If you let the participants choose which group they will be in-=-such as the mothers who decided to use breast milk vs. those who chose to use formula---then there may be some difference between the two groups.” It is important here to review the difference between random assignment and random sampling, because by test time this gets confused. You can use the next slide, but it would be better continuity to delete it and just remind them, below: “Random sampling, from the population you’re trying to learn about, refers to how you get your pool of research participants; random assignment of people to control or experimental groups is how you control all variables except the one you’re manipulating.”

61 To clarify two similar-sounding terms…
Random sampling is how you get a pool of research participants that represents the population you’re trying to learn about. Random assignment of participants to control or experimental groups is how you control all variables except the one you’re manipulating. Automatic animation. Optional Slide. First you sample, then you sort (assign)

62 Placebo effect Working with the placebo effect: Control groups may be given a placebo – an inactive substance or other fake treatment in place of the experimental treatment. The control group is ideally “blind” to whether they are getting real or fake treatment. Many studies are double-blind – neither participants nor research staff knows which participants are in the experimental or control groups. How do we make sure that the experimental group doesn’t experience an effect because they expect to experience it? How can we make sure both groups expect to get better, but only one gets the real intervention being studied? Placebo effect: experimental effects that are caused by expectations about the intervention Click to reveal bullets, bubble and sidebar. Note: the placebo effect even occurs for non-psychotropic medications and interventions. In cases of psychotherapy, the control group can get chatty conversation or education instead of treatment. The function of double-blind research (see if they can guess): to control for the effect of research expectations on the participants. Obviously, this works better for pills than psychotherapy.

63 Naming the variables The variable we are able to manipulate independently of what the other variables are doing is called the independent variable (IV). The variable we expect to experience a change which depends on the manipulation we’re doing is called the dependent variable (DV). If we test the ADHD/sugar hypothesis: Sugar = Cause = Independent Variable ADHD = Effect = Dependent Variable Click to reveal three types. Principle: try not to let the confounding variables vary! How to prevent the confounding variables from varying in the ice cream example: you could do all your data collection only on days in which the high temperature is 70 degrees (but why 70 degrees? why not 60 or 80 degrees? Or make the temperature a third variable? But then what about humidity?). The other variables that might have an effect on the dependent variable are confounding variables. Did more hyper kids get to choose to be in the sugar group? Then their preference for sugar would be a confounding variable. (preventing this problem: random assignment).

64 Filling in our definition of experimentation
An experiment is a type of research in which the researcher carefully manipulates a limited number of factors (IVs) and measures the impact on other factors (DVs). *in psychology, you would be looking at the effect of the experimental change (IV) on a behavior or mental process (DV). Click to reveal second bubble.

65 Correlation vs. causation: the breastfeeding/intelligence question
Studies have found that children who were breastfed score higher on intelligence tests, on average, than those who were bottle-fed. Can we conclude that breast feeding CAUSES higher intelligence? Not necessarily. There is at least one confounding variable: genes. The intelligence test scores of the mothers might be higher in those who choose breastfeeding. So how do we deal with this confounding variable? Hint: experiment. Click to reveal bullets. These questions set up the next slide about bottle vs. breast feeding experiments. These slides contrast the difference in what we can conclude from descriptive research vs. experimental research.

66 Ruling out confounding variables: experiment with random assignment
An actual study in the text: women were randomly selected to be in a group in which breastfeeding was promoted No animation. Note: for ethical and practical reasons, it is problematic to have researchers actually make the choice of nutrition for the babies, as the graphic seems to indicate. Thus I’ve added a note about how the study in the book was conducted. In that study, intelligence tests were administered at age 6, not age 8; the diagram here refers to a different study, by Lucas in 1992. Result of the study: 43 percent of women in the breastfeeding promotion group chose breastfeeding, but only 6 percent in the control group (regular pediatric care) chose breastfeeding (this was in Belarus, perhaps a part of the world influenced more than the United States by advertisements for buying formula). Result: The kids in the group breastfeeding promotion group had intelligence scores 6 percentage points higher on average (not clear from the book if this figure included those who still chose not to breastfeed; it appears so). +6 points

67 Summary of the types of Research
Comparing Research Methods Research Method Basic Purpose How Conducted What is Manipulated Weaknesses Descriptive To observe and record behavior Perform case studies, surveys, or naturalistic observations Nothing No control of variables; single cases may be misleading Correlational To detect naturally occurring relationships; to assess how well one variable predicts another Compute statistical association, sometimes among survey responses Nothing Does not specify cause-effect; one variable predicts another but this does not mean one causes the other Click to reveal row for each research method. Experimental To explore cause-effect Manipulate one or more factors; randomly assign some to control group The independent variable(s) Sometimes not possible for practical or ethical reasons; results may not generalize to other contexts

68 Drawing conclusions from data: are the results useful?
After finding a pattern in our data that shows a difference between one group and another, we can ask more questions. Is the difference reliable: can we use this result to generalize or to predict the future behavior of the broader population? Is the difference significant: could the result have been caused by random/ chance variation between the groups? How to achieve reliability: Nonbiased sampling: Make sure the sample that you studied is a good representation of the population you are trying to learn about. Consistency: Check that the data (responses, observations) is not too widely varied to show a clear pattern. Many data points: Don’t try to generalize from just a few cases, instances, or responses. Click to reveal bullets, then click to reveal an additional text box about reliability and one about significant. Remember: a result can have STATISTICAL significance (clearly not a difference caused by chance), but still not signify much. When have you found statistically significant difference (e.g. between experimental and control groups)? When your data is reliable AND When the difference between the groups is large (e.g. the data’s distribution curves do not overlap too much).

69 FAQ about Psychology Laboratory vs. Life
Question: How can a result from an experiment, possibly simplified and performed in a laboratory, give us any insight into real life? Answer: By isolating variables and studying them carefully, we can discover general principles that might apply to all people. Diversity Question: Do the insights from research really apply to all people, or do the factors of culture and gender override these “general” principles of behavior? Click to reveal each question and answer. Re: Diversity: There may be many human universals, but it is hard to be sure we have found them when so many studies in psychology are based on the responses of largely upper-middle-class, mostly white, year olds. Answer: Research can discover human universals AND study how culture and gender influence behavior. However, we must be careful not to generalize too much from studies done with subjects who do not represent the general population.

70 FAQ about Psychology Ethics
Question: Why study animals? Is it possible to protect the safety and dignity of animal research subjects? Answer: Sometimes, biologically related creatures are less complex than humans and thus easier to study. In some cases, harm to animals generates important insights to help all creatures. The value of animal research remains extremely controversial. Ethics Question: How do we protect the safety and dignity of human subjects? Click to reveal each question and answer. Answer: People in experiments may experience discomfort; deceiving people sometimes yields insights into human behavior. Human research subjects are supposedly protected by guidelines for non-harmful treatment, confidentiality, informed consent, and debriefing (explaining the purpose of the study).

71 FAQ about Psychology The impact of Values
Question: How do the values of psychologists affect their work? Is it possible to perform value-free research? Answer: Researchers’ values affect their choices of topics, their interpretations, their labels for what they see, and the advice they generate from their results. Value-free research remains an impossible ideal. Click to reveal each question and answer.

72 An Application of Psychology: Improving your test performance
Scientific studies show us that: Testing yourself boosts retention of material. The retrieval practice effect/testing effect Actively processing material helps master it. Put it in your own words, make connections Spaced rehearsal, interspaced with other subjects, is more efficient than cramming. Click to reveal each study result and advice that goes with it. Spread studying over multiple days People tend to overestimate their mastery. If the concept looks familiar… not good enough

73 Applying this knowledge: Use SQ3R to master a textbook
Survey Scan/Skim what you are about to read, especially chapter outlines and section heads. Question Ask questions that the text might answer; write guesses. Read Look for the answer to your questions, reading a manageable amount at a time. Click to reveal explantion of each step. 4th, Bonus “R”: wRiting new concepts, answers, reactions, connections. Rehearse Recall what you’ve read in your own words. Test yourself with quizzes. Review Look over text and notes and quickly review the main ideas of the whole chapter.

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