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Unformatted text preview: Psyc 103 Study Guide 23/10/2007 03:10:00 1. Describe three criteria that are used to judge scientific theories, and explain why each is thought to be important. (pg. 6-7) Falsifiability : degree to which a theory can be tested against facts/can be proven o Theory that cannot be proven wrong has no predictive value o A theory must make definite predictions, because if there is room for reinterpretation and modification of the predictions after the data are collected, any result can be explain by the theory Generality : theories that deal with more phenomena, with a great range of observation is preferred Simplicity : fewer constructs and assumptions are preferred Fruitfulness : ability to stimulate further research and further thinking about a particular topic o Even if theory is wrong, will have served a useful function if it proved new studies that otherwise would not have been done Agreement with Data : how well it coincides with facts o If contradict well-established facts, theory must be modified or discarded o If theory accounts for facts fairly well, may be retained 2. Describe several ways that expectation effects can alter the outcome of an experiment with human subjects. How can the possibility of expectation effects be minimized? (pg. 9-10) Placebo effect : whenever people realize they are participating in an experiment, their behaviors may change or improve, even if they are in a control group and receive no special treatment---subjects expect something to happen and can change the results Experimenter effects : placebo effect occurs can occur if only the person administering the experiment knows what sort of result is being sought--- differences in the experimenters behavior can have significant effects on the a subjects performance Double-blind procedure : to avoid placebo effects and experimenter effects, neither the subjects nor the person conducting the experiment knows whether that subject is in the control group or the experimental group; then any expectations they have can be removed that would may otherwise change the data of the experiment 3. What is the biggest problem with using anecdotes or case histories as psychological data? How can this problem be avoided? (pg. 8) the cases reported may represent a biased sample : reported cases where treatment of the disorder was successful, and not those where the treatment was ineffective to avoid this, report such information as o number of cases of the disorder they have encountered o the number of patients selected for treatment o criteria used to select these patient...
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- Fall '07