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Critical Thinking

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**Psychological Science**

Hindsight Bias Also known as “I-Knew-It-All-Along” Phenomenon Tendency to believe, after learning the outcome, that we knew it all along

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**Overconfidence Overconfidence contaminates our everyday judgments**

Limited by the tendency to think we know more than we do Usually more confident than correct Political Elections?

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**Scientific Attitude Scientific Attitude Critical Thinking**

Hard-headed curiosity to explore and understand the world w/out being fooled by it Critical Thinking Test assumptions Discern hidden values Evaluate Evidence Assess Conclusions

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**Psychological Theories and Scientific Research**

Theory: effectively organizes a wide range of observations in implies testable predictions or hypotheses What results confirm or disconfirm our theory Psychologists report results with CLEAR operational definitions Thus allows others to test the theory

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**Case Studies vs. Surveys vs. Naturalistic Observation**

Case Study The analysis of one or more individuals in great depth Hope: Revelation of things true in all of us Problem: Any given subject may be atypical Result: Case becomes misleading

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**Con’t Survey Looks at many cases less in depth**

Hope: Results will show a consensus Problem: Biased sample of people who share our attitudes and habits (Polls) Result: Vulnerable to false consensus effect (we overestimate agreement with us

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**Con’t Naturalistic Observation**

Observing and recording behavior of organism in their natural habitat Hope: description of behavior will lead to reasononing Problem: describes behavior but does not explain it Result: No cause of behavior can be determined

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**Correlations Correlation Coefficient**

A statistical measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus how well either factor predicts the other

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**(positive or negative)**

Correlation Con’t Indicates direction of relationship (positive or negative) Correlation coefficient r = +.37 Indicates strength of relationship (0.00 to 1.00)

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**Correlation Con’t Scatterplots**

a graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables the slope of the points suggests the direction of the relationship the amount of scatter suggests the strength of the correlation little scatter indicates high correlation also called a scattergram or scatter diagram

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**Showing patterns of Correlations**

Perfect positive correlation (+1.00) No relationship (0.00) Perfect negative correlation (-1.00)

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**Height and Temperament of 20 Men**

Correlation Con’t Height and Temperament of 20 Men 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 80 63 61 79 74 69 62 75 77 60 64 76 71 66 73 70 68 90 42 81 39 48 72 57 30 84 Subject Height in Inches Temperament

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**Correlation 95 Temperament 90 85 scores 80 75 70 65 60 55 50 45 40 35**

30 25 Temperament scores Height in inches

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**Illusory Correlation Illusory Correlation**

the perception of a relationship where none exists

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**Experimentation Experiment**

Research method in which the investigator manipulates one or more variables Observe their effect on some behavior or mental process

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**Experimentation Con’t**

Experimental Condition the condition of an experiment that exposes participants to the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable Control Condition the condition of an experiment that contrasts with the experimental treatment serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment

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**Experimentation Con’t**

Placebo an inert substance or condition that may be administered instead of a presumed active agent, such as a drug, to see if it triggers the effects believed to characterize the active agent Double-blind Procedure Research participants and staff are ignorant (blind) about whether the research participants have received the treatment or a placebo commonly used in drug-evaluation studies

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**Experimentation Con’t**

Random Assignment assigning participants to experimental and control conditions by chance minimizes pre-existing differences between those assigned to the different groups

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**Independent Variable Dependent Variable**

the experimental factor that is manipulated the variable whose effect is being studied Dependent Variable the experimental factor that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable in psychology it is usually a behavior or mental process

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**Experimentation Con’t**

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**Statistical Reasoning**

Mode the most frequently occurring score in a distribution Mean the arithmetic average of a distribution obtained by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores Median the middle score in a distribution half the scores are above it and half are below it Range The difference between highest and lowest scores in a distribution

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**Statistical Reasoning Con’t**

Standard Deviation a computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean Statistical Significance a statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance

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**Can laboratory experiments illuminate everyday life?**

Question #1 Can laboratory experiments illuminate everyday life?

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**Does behavior vary with gender?**

Question #2 Does behavior vary with gender?

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**Is psychology free of value judgments?**

Question #3 Is psychology free of value judgments?

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**Is it Ethical to experiment on animals?**

Question 4 & 5 Is it Ethical to experiment on animals? Is it Ethical to experiment on Humans?

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**Is psychology potentially dangerous?**

Question #6 Is psychology potentially dangerous?

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