Questions What can we find out with research? Why should we believe scientists? Isn’t Psychology just common sense?
What Can We Find Out With Science? How do people behave? (description) What will people do? (prediction) Why do people do what they do? (explanation and control)
Descriptive Research How do people behave? Measure and describe variables – Observation – Interview/Survey – Case Study
Correlational Research What will people do? Measure the relationship between variables – Correlation – Prediction (Regression)
Experimental Research Why do people do what they do? Manipulate an independent variable to see if it has an effect on a dependent variable Random assignment
Why Should We Believe Scientists? We should believe science, not scientists. Scientists are cautious in their conclusions. Scientific conclusions are based on systematically collected data (empirical). Scientists think critically about evidence consider alternative explanations.
Why Should We Believe Scientists? Scientific results are subject to peer review. Scientific results are replicated. Scientists test theories to try to disprove or improve them.
Misconception Alert! In science, a theory does NOT mean an “unproven idea.” A theory is a set of related claims that explain a variety of data. Theories vary in how well they are supported by the research.
Isn’t Psychology Just Common Sense? People have different common sense beliefs. Some common sense beliefs are supported by research but some are not. Anecdotes can be misleading.