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Psychology as a Science: The Importance of Research

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Presentation on theme: "Psychology as a Science: The Importance of Research"— Presentation transcript:

1 Psychology as a Science: The Importance of Research

2 Personality example

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

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

5 Limits of Human Intuition and Overconfidence Activity
Math Problem Overconfidence Activity

6 ACTIVITY Need ten volunteers
You will be instructed to lie or tell the truth. Be sure your response is detailed and believable. Determine if the student is lying or telling the truth. Rate your degree of confidence 50% = fifty-fifty chance 100% = absolutely certain

7 Overconfidence Sometimes we think we know more than we actually know. Anagram How long do you think it would take to unscramble these anagrams? WREAT WATER ETYRN ENTRY People said it would take about 10 seconds, yet on average they took about 3 minutes (Goranson, 1978). GRABE BARGE Psychology 7e in Modules

8 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. Preview Question 5: Why are the answers that flow from the scientific approach more reliable than those based on intuition and common sense? Psychology 7e in Modules

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

10 Activity

11 Hindsight Bias 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 stock market would plummet after it actually did plummet. Video: Understanding Research “Anything seems commonplace, once explained.” Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes. Two phenomena – hindsight bias and judgmental overconfidence – illustrate why we cannot rely solely on intuition and common sense. Psychology 7e in Modules

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). Preview Question 6: What attitudes characterize scientific inquiry? Psychology 7e in Modules

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

14 How Do Psychologists Ask & Answer Questions?
Psychologists, like all scientists, use the scientific method to construct theories that organize, summarize and simplify observations. Preview Question 7: How do psychologists use the scientific method to construct theories? Psychology 7e in Modules

15 For example, low self-esteem contributes to depression.
Theory A theory is an explanation that integrates principles and organizes and predicts behavior or events. For example, low self-esteem contributes to depression. If we were to observe that depressed people talk about their past, present, and future in a gloomy manner, we may theorize that low-self-esteem contributes to depression. Psychology 7e in Modules

16 Hypothesis A hypothesis is a testable prediction, often prompted by a theory, to enable us to accept, reject or revise the theory. People with low self-esteem are apt to feel more depressed. (not an educated guess)

17 Research Observations
Research would require us to administer tests of self-esteem and depression. Individuals who score low on a self-esteem test and high on a depression test would confirm our hypothesis.

18 Research Process

Operational definitions reduce experimenter bias and allow for replication (repeating results) An operational definition of a variable is observable and measurable. How could self-esteem be observed and measured? Activity: operationally define the underlined term.

20 Does this drug help people overcome tiredness?
Operational Definitions: The teacher wants to find a way to help make Billy act more friendly toward other children. A psychologist wants to know if the new form of psychotherapy will make people less depressed. Does this drug help people overcome tiredness? Boys show more affection for their fathers than their mothers. People dream more if they have a big meal before going to sleep. 6. College athletes are not as smart as regular students.

Remember, you need to be able to observe and measure the variable: Happiness Fear Conscientiousness

22 Is language uniquely human?
Description Case Study A technique in which one person, group, or situation is studied in depth to reveal underlying behavioral principles. Preview Question 8: How do psychologists observe and describe behavior? Susan Kuklin/ Photo Researchers Is language uniquely human? Psychology 7e in Modules

23 CASE STUDY Often used in clinical work.
Can include tests, interviews, analysis of letters, or transcripts. Example: Phineas Gage

24 Survey A technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes, opinions or behaviors of people usually done by questioning a representative, random sample of people. Psychology 7e in Modules

25 Survey Random Sampling
If each member of a population (the larger group the hypothesis applies to) has an equal chance of inclusion into a sample, it is called a random sample (unbiased). It will be representative of the population. If the survey sample is biased, its results are not valid. The fastest way to know about the marble color ratio is to blindly transfer a few into a smaller jar and count them.

26 Basketball activity

27 Wording can change the results of a survey.
Wording Effects Wording can change the results of a survey. Q: Should cigarette ads and pornography not be allowed on television? (not allowed vs. forbid)

28 WORDING EFFECTS Women with young children should be able to work outside the home. 8 in 10 Americans agreed

29 WORDING EFFECTS Women should stay at home if they have young preschool children. 7 in 10 Americans agreed

30 SURVEY People may be reluctant to admit undesirable or embarrassing things about themselves Or they may say what they think they should say. Examples?

A tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors. Example?

32 Naturalistic Observation
Observing and recording the behavior of animals in the wild and recording self-seating patterns in a multiracial school lunch room constitute naturalistic observation. Courtesy of Gilda Morelli Psychology 7e in Modules

33 Talking activity

What problems did you encounter while doing the naturalistic observation? What were the advantages of doing this type of research? How would you describe your results? What can we conclude from the data? Can we assume causation from this data? Why or why not?

35 Descriptive Methods Summary
Case studies, surveys, and naturalistic observation describe behaviors. They are correlational types of research rather than experimental.

36 CORRELATION Correlation shows a relationship between variables.
It is measured by the correlation coefficient. The extent to which two factors vary together determines how well either factor predicts the other

37 (positive or negative)
Correlation When one trait or behavior accompanies another, we say the two correlate. Indicates strength of relationship (0.00 to 1.00) Correlation coefficient r = + 0.37 Correlation Coefficient is a statistical measure of the relationship between two variables. Indicates direction of relationship (positive or negative) Psychology 7e in Modules

38 CORRELATION Positive correlation: a direct relationship; two variables increase or decrease together Negative correlation: an inverse relationship; as one thing increases, the other decreases. It would be very rare in Psychology to have a perfect (1.00) correlation

39 Correlation WS

40 Guys – if you want keep your hair, don’t get married
Among men, the number of years they are married positively correlates to baldness So… marriage causes baldness in men, right?

41 Correlation does not mean causation!!!
Preview Question 9: Why do correlations permit prediction but not explanation? Psychology 7e in Modules

42 Correlation Practice Which relationship is stronger?
Complete PsychSim Activity

43 Disconfirming evidence
Illusory Correlation The perception of a relationship where no relationship actually exists. When we believe there is a relationship we are likely to notice and recall instances that confirm our belief. Parents conceive children after adoption. Confirming evidence Disconfirming evidence Do not adopt Adopt Do not conceive Conceive Preview Question 10: How accurately does the naked eye detect correlations? Michael Newman Jr./ Photo Edit Psychology 7e in Modules

44 Given random data, we look for order and meaningful patterns.
Order in Random Events Given random data, we look for order and meaningful patterns. Your chances of being dealt either of these hands is precisely the same: 1 in 2,598,960. Psychology 7e in Modules

45 Order in Random Events Given large numbers of random outcomes, a few are likely to express order. Jerry Telfer/ San Francisco Chronicle Angelo and Maria Gallina won two California lottery games on the same day. Psychology 7e in Modules

46 Experimentation Exploring Cause and Effect
Like other sciences, experimentation is the backbone of psychological research. Experiments isolate causes and their effects. Reaction Time Experiment Preview Question 11: How do experiments clarify or reveal cause-effect relationships? Psychology 7e in Modules

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

48 Independent Variable 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 breast feeding upon intelligence, breast feeding is the independent variable. Psychology 7e in Modules

49 Dependent Variable 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 breast feeding upon intelligence, intelligence is the dependent variable.

50 A summary of steps during experimentation.

What (IV) affects what (DV)? Practice exercises.

An experiment has at least two different conditions: control condition experimental condition Random assignment of subjects between conditions equates the conditions (basketball example)

Confounding (uncontrolled factors that might have affected the dependent variable and confused interpretation of the experimental data) Random variables (uncontrolled factors such as differences in subjects' backgrounds, personalities, health, and so on that might confound research results) These need to be eliminated when possible. Why? Random assignment is presumed to distribute impact of uncontrolled variables randomly and probably equally across groups.

Eliminating order effects Matching conditions to eliminate confounding variables Double blind Eliminate experimenter bias Experimenter expectancies Confirmation bias

Random Sampling (aka Random Selection) Population Everyone has equal chance. This is the goal! Representative Sample (larger the better) Apply Methods of control Apply methods of control Experimental Group Random Assignment Control Group = Independent Variable Placebo Measure Dependent Variable Measure Dependent Variable Is the difference statistically significant?

56 EXPERIMENTATION Population (group you are generalizing your hypothesis to) Random sample from the population Random sample creates a representative sample rather than a biased sample Random assignment of subjects to experimental group or control group

57 EXPERIMENTATION Experimental group gets the independent variable
Control group gets the placebo Be sure all measures of control are in place so the only thing influencing the results (dependent variable) is the independent variable

58 EXPERIMENTATION Measure the dependent variable (you can do this because of operational definitions) Compare the results between the experimental group and the control group using inferential statistics. Is there a statistically significant difference (greater than 1 in 20 = .05)? If so, you have established a causal relationship.

59 ETHICAL PRINCIPLES Established by the American Psychological Association Obtain informed consent of potential participants Protect subjects from harm and discomfort Treat information about subjects confidentially Fully explain the research afterward (debrief) Institutional Review Boards should screen research proposals


61 Complete Practice Exams in Study Guide
Chapter One, Answers begin p. 20 Progress Test One, p. 8 , #’s 1-20 Progress Test Two, p. 11, #’s 1 -20 Thinking Critically , p. 13 #’s 1-20 Chapter Twelve, Answers begin p. 361 Progress Test One, p. 348, # 2-6, 15, and Matching Items Progress Test Two, p. 350, # 2, 7, 10 and Matching Items Thinking Critically, p. 353, #’s 1-5, 7-8, 11

62 Below is a comparison of different research methods.

63 Q1. Can laboratory experiments illuminate everyday life?
FAQ Q1. Can laboratory experiments illuminate everyday life? Ans: Artificial laboratory conditions are created to study behavior in simplistic terms. The goal is to find underlying principles that govern behavior. Preview Question 12: Can laboratory experiments illuminate everyday life? Psychology 7e in Modules

64 Q2. Does behavior depend on one’s culture and gender?
FAQ Q2. Does behavior depend on one’s culture and gender? Ans: Even when specific attitudes and behaviors vary across cultures, as they often do, the underlying processes are much the same. Biology determines our sex, and culture further bends the genders. However, in many ways woman and man are similarly human. Preview Question 13: Does behavior depend on one’s culture and gender? Ami Vitale/ Getty Images Psychology 7e in Modules

65 FAQ Q3. Why do psychologists study animals, and is it ethical to experiment on animals? Ans: Studying animals gives us the understanding of many behaviors that may have common biology across animals and humans. From animal studies, we have gained insights to devastating and fatal diseases. All researchers who deal with animal research are required to follow ethical guidelines in caring for these animals. Preview Question 14: Why do psychologists study animals, and is it ethical to experiment on animals? D. Shapiro, © Wildlife Conservation Society Psychology 7e in Modules

66 Q4. Is it ethical to experiment on people?
FAQ Q4. 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. Preview Question 15: Is it ethical to experiment on people? Psychology 7e in Modules

67 Q5. Is psychology free of value judgments?
FAQ Q5. Is psychology free of value judgments? Ans: No. Psychology emerges from people who subscribe to a set of values and judgments. Preview Question 16: Is psychology free of value judgments? © Roger Shepard Psychology 7e in Modules

68 Q6. Is psychology potentially dangerous?
FAQ Q6. Is psychology potentially dangerous? Ans: It can be, but it is not. The purpose of psychology is to help humanity with problems such as war, hunger, prejudice, crime, family dysfunction, etc. Preview Question 17: Is psychology potentially dangerous? Psychology 7e in Modules

69 Tips for Studying Psychology
Psychology can teach you how to ask and answer important questions. Survey, Question, Read, Rehearse and Review (SQ3R) Survey: What you are about to read, including chapter outlines and section heads. Question: Ask questions. Make notes. Read: Look for the answer to your questions by reading a manageable amount at a time. Rehearse: Recall what you’ve read in your own words. Test yourself with quizzes. Review: What you learn. Read over notes and quickly review the whole chapter. Preview Question 18: How can psychological principles help you as a student? Psychology 7e in Modules

70 Tips for Studying Psychology
Additional Study Hints Distribute your time. Learn to think critically. Listen actively in class. Overlearn. Be a smart test-taker.

71 Overconfidence Activity
1)I feel 98 percent certain that the area of the U.S. is more than ____ square miles but less than ____ square miles. 2)I feel 98 percent certain that in 2010 the population of the US was more than ___ but less than ____. 3)I feel 98 percent certain that the number of dogs in America is more than ___ but less than ___.

72 Overconfidence Activity
4)I feel 98 percent certain that in 2012 the number of female engineers in the United States was more than ___ % of all engineers but less than ___%. 5)I feel 98 percent certain that in 2011 the number of Starbucks in the US was more than___ but less than ___.

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