CHAPTER 1: THINKING CRITICALLY WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE blog.wsd.net/rejohnson/files/2012/09/Ch-1-intro-critical- 1: THINKING CRITICALLY WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE ... Thinking Critically

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  • CHAPTER 1: THINKING

    CRITICALLY WITH

    PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE

    Introduction

  • Fact or Falsehood

    1. Human intuition is remarkably accurate and free from error.

    2. Most people seem to lack confidence in the accuracy of their beliefs.

    3. Case studies are particularly useful because of the similarities we all share.

    4. We tend to overestimate the number of people who share our attitudes and beliefs.

    5. The opinions of 1500 randomly selected people can provide a very accurate picture of the opinions of an entire nation.

  • Fact or Falsehood

    6. The scientific finding that children who watch violence on television tend to be violent proves that viewing violence causes it.

    7. Listening to a tape with a subliminal message suggesting that you have a good memory can actually help improve your memory.

    8. The purpose of the experiment is to re-create behaviors exactly as they occur in everyday life.

    9. An analysis of the research indicates that psychologists have sometimes unnecessarily caused extreme pain to animals.

    10. As a science, psychology is objective and value-free.

  • Fact or Falsehood

    Now at the top of your paper, predict how many

    you think you got correct.

  • Fact or Falsehood

    1. Human intuition is remarkable accurate and free from error.

    2. Most people seem to lack confidence in the accuracy of their beliefs.

    3. Case studies are particularly useful because of the similarities we all share.

    4. We tend to overestimate the number of people who share our attitudes and beliefs.

    5. The opinions of 1500 randomly selected people can provide a very accurate picture of the opinions of an entire nation.

    False

    False

    False

    True

    True

  • Fact or Falsehood

    6. The scientific finding that children who watch violence on television tend to be violent proves that viewing violence causes it.

    7. Listening to a tape with a subliminal message suggesting that you have a good memory can actually help improve your memory.

    8. The purpose of the experiment is to re-create behaviors exactly as they occur in everyday life.

    9. An analysis of the research indicates that psychologists have sometimes unnecessarily caused extreme pain to animals.

    10. As a science, psychology is objective and value-free.

    False

    False

    False

    False

    False

  • Understanding Research

    Discovering Psychology

  • Why do we have to learn this stuff?

    Psychology is first and foremost a science.

    Thus it is based in research.

    Before we delve into how to do research, you should be aware of three hurdles that tend to skew our logic.

  • Hindsight Bias

    The tendency to believe, after learning the outcome, that you knew it all along.

    I KNEW IT ALL ALONG

  • Overconfidence

    We tend to think we know more than we do.

    82% of U.S. drivers consider themselves to be in the top 30% of their group in terms of safety.

    81% of new business owners felt they had an excellent chance of their businesses succeeding. When asked about the success of their peers, the answer was only 39%. (Now that's overconfidence!!!)

  • Overconfidence

    Here are some examples of overconfidence among experts.

    There is no reason for anyone to have a computer in their home. (Ken Olsen, president of Digital Equipment Company, 1977)

    Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. (Lord Kelvin, British mathematician, physicist, and president of the British Royal Society, 1895)

    Wright Bros. December 17, 1903

    A severe depression like that of 1920-21 is outside the range of probability. (Harvard Economic Society, Weekly Letter, November 16, 1929)

    Stock Market Crash Oct 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday)

    Depression lasted almost a decade

    Man will never reach the moon, regardless of all future scientific advances. (Lee DeForest, inventor of the vacuum tube, 1957)

    July 20, 1969 one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind

    Nuclear powered vacuum cleaner will probably be a reality within 10 years. (Alex Lewyt, manufactures of vacuum cleaners, 1955)

  • Overconfidence

    Compare your score to your predicted score.

    By raise of hands, how many over predicted your

    score?

    Overconfidence is a powerful phenomenon.

    Overconfidence stems partly from our tendency to

    search for information that confirms our

    preconceptions.

  • The Barnum Effect

    It is the tendency for people to accept very general or vague characterizations of themselves and take them to be accurate.

  • Impression of Psychology

    With hopes of satisfying curiosity, many people listen to talk-radio counselors and psychics to

    learn about others and themselves.

    Dr. Crane (radio-shrink)

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    Psychic (Ball gazing)

  • Demonstration

    Glass of water and paperclips.

    The limits of Intuition and Common Sense

    Counter to human intuition, water has a high surface

    tension, behaving as though is has a flexible skin. That

    skin pulls inward and resists breaking. The glass of

    water will develop a great bulge before the water

    flows over the edge.

  • Thinking Critically with Psychological Science

    The Need for Psychological Science

    The limits of Intuition and Common Sense

    Many people believe that intuition and common sense are enough to bring forth answers regarding human nature.

    Intuition and common sense may aid queries, but they are not free of error.

    The Scientific Attitude

    The Scientific Method

  • Scientific Attitude

    How do we overcome the limits of our intuition,

    hindsight bias, and overconfidence?

    The scientific attitude is composed of curiosity

    (passion for exploration), skepticism (doubting

    and questioning) and humility (ability to accept

    responsibility when wrong).

  • Scientific Method

    Lets take our chairs outside for a demonstration.

  • The Need for Psychological Science

    Critical Thinking

    thinking that does not

    blindly accept

    arguments and

    conclusions

    examines assumptions

    discerns hidden values

    evaluates evidence

    The Amazing Randi--Skeptic