psych notes part 4 - 3-25 - 4-3

psych notes part 4 - 3-25 - 4-3 - Validity Validity =...

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Validity Validity = scientific acceptability Two widely accepted, and important, rules of thumb regarding the validity of scientific theories: - the falsifiability criterion - the corroboration criterion The falsifiability criterion A scientific theory is worth serious consideration only if there are c onceivable empirical outcomes (i.e., test results) that would count against it. The idea behind the falsifiability criterion: If a theory is really false , then we want there to be a way of discovering that it’s false. The corroboration criterion A scientific theory that satisfies the falsifiability criterion is credible only to the extent that it has been: - tested - not refuted The idea behind the corroboration criterion: We want to know how much probability to assign to any theory we’re seriously considering.
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Consider this example of the falsification of a long held idea about memory. Oliver Sacks’ patient Jimmie had a stroke in 1945. 35 years later, in 2000: Sacks: Who’s the president? Jimmie: Harry Truman Sacks: What’s this? Jimmie: It’s the moon. S: No, it’s not. It’s a picture of the earth taken from the moon. J: You’re kidding! Someone would’ve had to get a camera up there! S: Naturally. J: You’re joking. How the hell would you do that? Jimmie and other similar amnesic patients can’t recall new facts, or anything they have done recently. The conventional wisdom used to be that these patients could not learn anything new. But they can learn. For example, once they’re shown hard-to-find figures in pictures (e.g., Where’s Waldo? ), they can spot them quickly later. Such findings challenge the idea that memory is a single, unified system. Their conscious recall has been destroyed. But unconscious learning is intact. Having read a story once, they will: - read it faster a 2 nd time (showing implicit memory) - be unable to recall seeing it before (no explicit memory)
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After playing golf on a new course, they will: - completely forget the experience - play better each time they play the course If repeatedly shown the word perfume , they will: - not recall having seen it - say “perfume” if asked to say what word comes to mind in response to per ____ (i.e., in a “word stem completion” task). Some have used this distinction between implicit and explicit memory to explain infantile amnesia . Infantile amnesia: As adults, we recall (explicitly) almost nothing of our first 3 years. Two factors used to explain infantile amnesia : 1. So much of our explicit memory is indexed by words (many of which toddlers haven’t learned). 2. The hippocampus , crucial for forming explicit memories, is one of the last brain structures to mature. The old Freudians and the new cognitive scientists agree on this one thing:
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This note was uploaded on 10/03/2008 for the course PSYC 100 taught by Professor Capo during the Spring '08 term at Maryland.

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psych notes part 4 - 3-25 - 4-3 - Validity Validity =...

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