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Critical Thinking in Psychology

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by

Tim Malroy

on 4 April 2014

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Transcript of Critical Thinking in Psychology

Critical Thinking in Psychology Photo based on: 'horizon' by pierreyves @ flickr Is intuition more valuable than scientific data? Hindsight Bias
"I knew it all along" Overconfidence THE LIMITS OF INTUITION Tendency to believe that we knew an outcome AFTER we learn the outcome **Elections**
**Sporting Events**
**Courtroom Trials** WHO USES THIS BIAS TO THEIR ADVANTAGE....? Fact or Falsehood test... ENVELOPES... HINDSIGHT BIAS AND OVERCONFIDENCE LEAD US TO OVERESTIMATE THE ACCURACY OF OUR INTUITION SCIENTIFIC ATTITUDE (3 MAIN COMPONENTS
CURIOSITY (ASK QUESTIONS)
HEALTHY SKEPTICISM (WHAT DO YOU MEAN/HOW DO YOU KNOW?)
HUMILITY (OPEN FOR SURPRISES AND OUR OWN ERROR) Scientific Attitude leads to...
CRITICAL THINKING (EXAMINE ASSUMPTIONS, MOTIVATIONS, EVALUATE EVIDENCE, ASSESS CONCLUSIONS)
Critical Thinkers...
enjoy mysteries
resist black/white analyses of a complex world
distinguish fact from opinions
ready to re-examine their own ideas and assumptions SCIENTIFIC METHOD THEORY -- Observations organized into a set of principles that predict or explain behavior or events.

HYPOTHESES -- Predictions arising from a theory that can be tested

OPERATIONAL DEFINITION -- How a research variable is measured in a specific experiment

REPLICATION -- Repeatedly testing a hypothesis with different participants in different situations to see if the findings are consistent or variable http://www.ibiblio.org/rdu/a-liestt.html#1 3 methods of testing and refining theories:
-Descriptive
-Correlational
-Experimental 1. Descriptive -- observe and report
Case Study -- in depth examination of person, group, or event.
Benefit: suggest directions for further study. Possibilities
Drawback: ???
Survey -- ask and document
Benefit: collect lots of data and information
Drawback: ???
Naturalistic Observation -- voyeurism
Benefit: launching pad for other types of research
Drawback: ??? Correlation Shows how 2 naturally occurring traits or behaviors are related to each other
Helps predict the occurence of behaviors
Co-efficient ranges from 1.0 (perfect positive) to 0.0 (no relationship) to -1.0 (perfect negative)
A strong relationship (positive or negative) does NOT prove causation
Watch for perceived but non-existent correlations(illusory - ice cream, lice)
We also look for patterns in random events (often not as random as we might think) -- lotto
Correlation exercise Experimentation Manipulation of one or more factors to
observe the effect on a behavior or mental process. Random assignment of participants to experimental groups to neutralize any pre-existing conditions
Double-Blind Procedure: neither the participants or the data collectors know which group is receiving treatment (experimental group) and which is not (control group)
Independent Variable: the factor that is being manipulated to see its effect
Dependent Variable: the outcome that is being measured. DESCRIBE, PREDICT, EXPLAIN STATISTICS....... Mode -- most frequently occurring score in a distribution
Median -- Middle score in a distribution. Half the scores fall above, half below
Mean -- Average score of a distribution
Variance or Range -- Gap between lowest and highest score
Standard Deviation -- How much do scores vary from the average (mean)? DEMO When are observable differences reliable??
look for a representative (not biased) sample
less variance is better
more cases better than fewer Is Psychology Useful in Everyday Life? Lab experiments translate to real life? -- Help illluminate
general principles that help explain "real" behaviors

Role of gender and culture? -- Many things vary across culture and gender, but many of the underlying processes are the same or similar

Why study animals? Ethical? --

Ethics of experiments on people? --

Psychology is never without bias or value judgement of some kind Sum of (deviations) 2 Number of Scores
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