**Building Critical Thinking with Psychological**

Science

Science

**!**

WARNING

Brain at work

__________

**Be curious.**

Be skeptical.

Be humble.

Be skeptical.

Be humble.

Critical Thinking

thoughtful consideration of information encountered

knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning

some skill in applying those methods

How psychological science helps us do this...

"The naked intellect is an

extraordinarily inaccurate instrument."

-Madeleine L'Engle, novelist

The tendency to believe, after learning

the outcome, that one would have forseen it.

hindsight bias

It's like shooting an arrow...

...and then drawing the target around it.

Overconfidence

"Groups of guitars are on their way out."

- Decca Records, 1962

tendency to think we know more than we do.

Perceiving

Patterns

Bee all that you can bee,

in psycholobee

Scientific Method

A self-correcting process for asking questions and making observations.

Theory

explains

organizes observations

predicts behaviors or events

Hypotheses

often implied by theory

testable predictions

Caution: our theories can bias our observations

Research & Observations

use operational definitions

clearly defined research variables

reduce bias

should be repeatable

Howard is obsessed with space

Howard can take any topic and use it to remind you he went to space.

Leonard and Sheldon test and repeat their findings

confirm, reject, or revise

hypotheses

Observation & Description

How-To

Case Study

close study of an individual, group, or event

discovery of what is true for all of us

misleading, unrepresentative information

=

Case

Study

Naturalistic

Observation

Survey

observe and describe behavior in the natural environment

Naturalistic Observation

Do we learn the cause of behavior?

What are the benefits?

Survey

looks at many cases

random sample represents population

generalizability

Caution: how and what questions are asked effect results

Finding Correlation

a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, relationship

Research Study

Independent variable:

number of facebook friends

Dependent variable:

number of hours spent studying

hypothesis?

Finding Correlation

Independent variable:

manipulated experimental factor or variable whose value influences another variable (number of facebook friends)

Dependent variable:

the outcome factor or variable that may change due to independent variable (number of hours spent studying)

Population:

Louisiana Tech students

Sample?

status

update:

yum

Finding Correlations

What does the scatterplot tell us?

IV & DV are correlated, vary together

negative correlation, as one variable goes up the other goes down

Correlation Coefficient

A number that tells strength & direction of correlation, -1.0, 1.0

strength

: how exactly one variable changes as the other does

direction

: positive or negative correlation

both increase or decrease together = positive

one increases the other decreases = negative

Correlation Coefficient

A number that tells strength & direction of correlation, -1.0, 1.0

Perfect negative correlation

correlation coefficient = -1.0

negative correlation

correlation coefficient = -.73

So we found a correlation!

Yay!

What does it mean?

correlation does

not

mean causation!

There is a positive correlation between two variables

ice cream sales

bike theft

How do we explain this?

Finding Causation

Experiment:

manipulate factor(s) to observe the effect on another variable

Random

assignment

Experimental group

Control Group

assignment to

groups by chance

Receives treatment

No Treatment

Does coffee improve student alertness in early morning classes?

Placebo effect:

results caused by expectations alone

double-blind procedure:

Subjects and research assistants are unaware of who is receiving treatment/placebo

Finding Causation

Independent variable?

Dependent variable?

Caffeine, coffee

Alertness

Are there any other factors that might contribute to student alertness?

Confounding variables:

other factors that might cause an effect on the experiment

Describing Data

Measures of Central Tendency

Mean:

the average

Median:

the middle number, half scored above and half scored below

Mode:

number occurring most

Standard deviation

: measure of the average distance of scores from the mean

Normal

curve

Statistically significant

difference shows that our finding is

not

due to chance or a fluke

Remember these little people?

If the results of this study were

statistically significant

...

We'd know the difference in alertness between students not drinking coffee (control group) and students drinking coffee (experimental group) was not due to chance.

Scientific Method

No blind acceptance of arguments or conclusions

Examine assumptions

Discern hidden values

Evaluate evidence

Assess conclusions

We have a tendency to perceive order in random events

Leads us to overestimate our intuition and assumptions

http://www.angio.net/pi/piquery

Population:

whole group being studied

Random Sample

: represents the population, every member of population has equal chance of being selected

In Review...

Think critically

Don't rely on assumptions, common sense, or intuition for accuracy

Scientific attitude: curious, skeptical, humble

Scientific method

Describing & observing: case study, naturalistic observation, & survey

Correlational study

Experimental study

Descriptive statistics

typical

atypical

Misleading Data

Is the Mean misleading? Why?

A bat and ball cost $1.10.

The bat costs one dollar more than the ball.

How much does the ball cost?

If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?

http://paidpost.nytimes.com/netflix/women-inmates-separate-but-not-equal.html?_r=0#.VQXDOY7F_OV

Participation Points Question

How does psychology influence/impact critical thinking?