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Ch2_SciMethods_08_24_09

Ch2_SciMethods_08_24_09 - Chapter 2 Scientific Methods in...

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Chapter 2 Scientific Methods in Psychology
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Scientific Methods in Psychology Science is a word derived from Latin roots: scientia meaning “knowledge.” - Scientific practice helps psychologists to know that they have obtained the most accurate and useful knowledge of mental processes and human behavior.
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Module 2.1 Thinking Critically and Evaluating Evidence
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Thinking Critically and Evaluating Evidence Psychology is a science. This chapter is about how we utilize scientific methods in evaluating claims and theories in psychology.
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The Scientific Method Why do we need it? The scientific method provides guidelines for scientists in all fields, including psychology, to use in evaluating discrete claims (called hypotheses ) and broader theories .
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The Scientific Method Why do we need it? It is almost impossible to prove with utter certainty that any individual claim or theory is true beyond a doubt. The scientific method allows us to declare our conclusions to be probable to the point where it is reasonable to treat them as factual .
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Scientific Theories What is a theory? A theory is a comprehensive explanation of observable events and conditions. A good theory makes precise and consistent predictions while relying on a small number of underlying assumptions.
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Scientific Theories The importance of falsifiability and parsimony A theory that makes precise predictions is falsifiable because it is easy to think of evidence that would confirm or contradict the theory. Reliance on the fewest and simplest possible assumptions is called parsimony , and is considered an essential strength of good scientific theory.
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Scientific Theories Example of a parsimonious and falsifiable scientific theory: Gravity is a force that pulls objects in the universe towards each other. According to the theory of gravity, larger and more massive objects pull smaller objects towards them.
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The Scientific Method How do we support claims scientifically? Scientists want to know the evidence that will support or disprove a claim. The scientific word for a claim is hypothesis . A hypothesis is a testable prediction of what will occur under a stated set of conditions.
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Figure 2.1 Figure 2.1 A hypothesis leads to predictions. An experimental method tests those predictions; a confirmation of a prediction supports the hypothesis; a disconfirmation indicates a need to revise or discard the hypothesis. Conclusions remain tentative, especially after only one experiment. Most scientists avoid saying that their results “prove” a conclusion.
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The Scientific Method What’s the hypothesis? Claim: There is a relationship between televised violence and aggressive behavior.
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The Scientific Method The importance of replication Testing of hypotheses must be repeated.
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