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Chapter 1 (Myers)

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Esther Grabow

on 25 June 2016

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Transcript of Chapter 1 (Myers)

Building Critical Thinking with Psychological

Brain at work
Be curious.
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.
"Groups of guitars are on their way out."
- Decca Records, 1962
tendency to think we know more than we do.
Bee all that you can bee,
in psycholobee
Scientific Method
A self-correcting process for asking questions and making observations.
organizes observations
predicts behaviors or events
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
Observation & Description
Case Study
close study of an individual, group, or event
discovery of what is true for all of us
misleading, unrepresentative information
observe and describe behavior in the natural environment
Naturalistic Observation
Do we learn the cause of behavior?
What are the benefits?
looks at many cases
random sample represents population
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
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)
Louisiana Tech students
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
: how exactly one variable changes as the other does
: 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!
What does it mean?
correlation does
mean causation!
There is a positive correlation between two variables
ice cream sales
bike theft

How do we explain this?
Finding Causation
manipulate factor(s) to observe the effect on another variable
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
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
the average
the middle number, half scored above and half scored below
number occurring most
Standard deviation
: measure of the average distance of scores from the mean
Statistically significant
difference shows that our finding is
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
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
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?
Participation Points Question
How does psychology influence/impact critical thinking?
Full transcript