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Unformatted text preview: CHAPTER 1: THINKING CRITICALLY WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE The Need for Psychological Science The Limits of Intuition and Common Sense Although in some ways we outsmart the smartest computers, our intuition often goes awry. To err is human. Without scientific inquiry and critical thinking we readily succumb to hindsight bias, also called the I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon. Learning the outcome of a study (or of an everyday happening) can make it seem like obvious common sense. We also are routinely overconfident of our judgments, thanks partly to our bias to seek information that confirms them. Such biases lead us to overestimate our unaided intuition. Enter psychological science. Science, with its procedures for gathering and sifting evidence, restrains error. Although limited by the testable questions it can address, a scientific approach helps us sift reality from illusion, taking us beyond the limits of our intuition and common sense. The Scientific Attitude Scientific inquiry begins with an attitude—a curious eagerness to skeptically scrutinize competing ideas and an open-minded humility before nature. Putting ideas, even crazy-sounding ideas, to the test helps us winnow sense from nonsense. The curiosity that drives us to test ideas and to expose their underlying assumptions carries into everyday life as critical thinking. The Scientific Method Research stimulates the construction of theories, which organize observations and imply predictive hypotheses. These hypotheses (predictions) are then tested to validate and refine the theory and to suggest practical applications. Description The Case Study, the Survey, and Naturalistic Observation Through individual case studies, surveys among random samples of a population, and naturalistic...
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- Spring '08