Chapter 1 Outline

Chapter 1 Outline - 1 What is Psychology Psychology the...

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1. What is Psychology? Psychology - the discipline concerned with behavior and mental processes and how they are affected by an organism’s physical state, mental state, and external environment Psychology, Pseudoscience, and Popular Opinion Pseudoscience promises easy fixes to life’s challenges Some forms of psychobabble play on the appeal of technology One of the most important lessons in science: Uncertainty about untested assumptions and beliefs can be a good thing Belief in psychobabble persists because it gives people a sense of control and predictability in a confusing world Psychobabble confirms our existing beliefs and prejudices whereas scientific psychology often challenges them Psychological researchers strive not only to discover new phenomena and correct mistaken ideas but also to deepen our understanding of an already familiar world Thinking Critically and Creatively About Psychology Critical thinking - the ability and willingness to assess claims and make objective judgments on the basis of well-supported reasons and evidence rather than emotion or anecdote o Ask Questions; Be Willing to Wonder - “Asking ‘What’s wrong here?’ and/or ‘Why is this the way it is, and how did it come to be that way?’ leads to the identification of problems and challenges. o Define your terms - Once you have raised a general question, the next step is to frame it in clear and concrete terms. o Examine the Evidence - A critical thinker asks “What evidence supports or refutes this argument and its opposition? How reliable is the evidence?” o Analyze Assumptions and Biases - Assumptions are beliefs that are taken for granted. When an assumption or belief keeps us from considering the evidence fairly, it becomes a bias .
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