Stanovich chap 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
Thinking straight about Psychology
Terms in this set (44)
What is the Freud problem?
Lay people believe that Freud is the main psychologist whose works comprise much of its findings when in fact it makes up less than 10%. Freud only used case studies and introspection and he did not conduct experiments. His theories were unfalsifiable.
How do we solve the Freud problem?
By showing how diverse the field of psychology is and explaining what features are common to psychological investigation and what qualifies as science
Other disciplines concerned with human behavior
law, history, political science, social work, sociology, economics, anthropology
How is psychology different from other studies?
It uses the scientific method to study the full range of human and nonhuman behavior and applications to real life problems are scientifically based.
Why do people think psychology is not a science?
Because of bogus psychology promoters, pseudosciences are lumped together with psychology, it's hard to question authority and common sense, and confusion over what is science
What 3 things define science?
1. science employs methods of systematic empiricism
2. it aims for knowledge that is publicly verifiable
3. it seeks problems that are empirically solvable and that yield testable theroies
What does not define science?
subject matter, experimental apparatus
Why is there opposition to empirically based psychology?
It challenges beliefs commonly known to people or strongly held beliefs, they study highly charged topics that are often controversial or "obvious", some people don't want to know the findings of the research
Benjamin Rush: what he teaches about good and bad theories
Rush practiced blood letting and if the patient survived, he took credit, if the patient died, the patient was already too far gone to save. Bad theories cannot be proven wrong. Good theories are falsifiable and make predictions that are set up so that it can be proven false.
What is Tourette's Syndrome and how has science made it worse for people with the disease?
It is a neurological disorder. Processes in the brain degenerate. Symptoms are tics, involuntary muscle spasms, vocal utterances, repeating a certain word. Scientists used to believe that it was demon possession or caused by witches. Later it was thought to be a disease of the mind and treatable with psychoanalysis when in fact it is a brain disease treatable by a neurologist.
Little green men and ESP
neither are falsifiable
How is the falsifiable concept liberating?
it allows scientists to make mistakes, it's not a sin to make mistakes
relationships in science that have been confirmed so many times that they are termed laws because it is extremely doubtful that they will ever be overturned by future experimentation
an interrelated set of concepts that is used to explain a body of data and to make predictions about the results of future experiments
who articulated the falsifiability criterion?
What is cheap?
What is falsifiability?
Scientific theories must always be stated in such a way that the predictions derived from them could potentially be shown to be false. It should make predictions, the more specific, the better. Quantity of research is not everything, quality of theory matters too.
the idea that the only good scientific theories are those that give ultimate explanations of phenomena in terms of their underlying essences or their essential properties, it is all about the meaning of the words
Why are scientists not essentialists?
They consider questions about "ultimates" to be unanswerable and that claims of perfect or absolute knowledge tend to choke off inquiry, the meaning of a concept in science is determined after extensive investigation of the phenomena the tern relates to, not before such an investigation.
the idea that concepts in scientific theories must in some way be grounded in or linked to oberservable events that can be measured
Why should we use operational definitions?
They're falsifiable and makes the research falsifiable, it allows for adaptation, multiple people can research it, makes scientific knowledge publicly verifiable, and gets away from "intuitive" things
Why is it hard for lay people to understand psychological findings compared to other scientific findings?
Psychology uses familiar language that has a different meaning to lay people, media uses it in flippant ways, their own intuitive explanations, bogus pseudosciences
How are operational definitions humanizing?
It communicates information to the public, not everyone's definition is the same for something so putting knowledge in the public realm where it can be criticized, tested, improved, or even rejected
measuring what it's supposed to be measuring
consistency of a measurement
pre-existing bias problem
common sense theories, previously held beliefs about something
when 2 theories have the same explanatory power, the simpler theory, the one involving fewer concepts and conceptual relationships, is preferred
Why are testimonials and case studies bad for accurate understanding?
They are not falsifiable, there is no control group, no comparison, they don't rule out alternative explanations, they are isolated events and there is no way to prove or disprove them, any claim can be supported
What are testimonials and case studies useful for?
good for early stages of science, not later stages, to find out what to research more about, they are good for picking a research topic early on, not useful later on though
What can be bad about a placebo?
It could keep us away from more effective treatments, could harm us in some way, could be costly but you're actually getting nothing
when making a decision, people remember the most vivid memory or example they have heard, vividness of personal testimony often overshadows other information of much higher reliability
Who is the Amazing Randi?
A magician who debunks psychics and pseudosciences
What is the Barnum effect and what does it teach us about the use of testimonials in pursuing knowledge?
it is a general statement that could apply to anyone, it teaches us of the worthlessness of testimonials as evidence, it shows how it is not knowledge at all
What are some examples of how belief in pseudosciences have led to personal tragedy?
some people don't seek medical attention and opt for a pseudoscience method instead, non vaccinating children because it "caused" autism, politicians influencing others with their phony beliefs, president of South Africa didn't believe AIDS was a virus and so people in his country did not receive antiretroviral to combat the disease and hundreds of thousands dies.
5 things to spot a pseudoscience promoter
1. offers special or secret formula to cure something
2. uses case histories and testimonials from satisfied customers
3. promise a quick and easy cure
4. claims to know the cause of problem and says doctors are unnecessary
5. accuse medical establishment from thwarting process or persecuting him but doesn't allow method to be tested
does correlation prove causation?
What are the limitations of correlational findings and why are they difficult to recognize?
pre-existing bias, theoretical position from which we approach topic, hard to spot because causal link seems obvious
What does multiple regression and path analysis allow us to do with correlational evidence?
rule out 3rd variables
what is the directionality problem?
correlation that reflects a causal relationship that runs in the opposite direction of the first guess, finding out the correct direction of the linkage between two variables
What do we learn about correlational evidence from the pellagra example cited in text?
correlational evidence is less important than experimental cause and effect evidence, be cautious interpreting correlational data and approach it with skepticism
3rd variable problem
the fact that the correlation between the two variables may not indicate a direct causal path between them but may arise because both variables are related to a 3rd variable that has not been measured
correlations that arise not because a causal link exist between the 2 variables that are measured, but because both variables are related to a 3rd variable
relationships between certain subject and environmental variables that may arise when people with different biological and psychological characteristics select different types of environments
How can selection bias lead to spurious correlations?
arizona air and respiratory illness, SAT scored in Mississippi and California, cure rate for addiction and therapy, moderate drinkers do everything in moderation
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