Psychology in Action

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Imagine yourself as a research psychologist who wants to answer the question, “Do feelings of attachment and marital happiness increase over time?” You conduct a longitudinal study of couples who’ve been married for 5 years, and then reexamine them when they’ve been married for 10 years. Your research finds couples who’ve been married only five years rank lowest on these measures, while the 10-year couples reports increased levels of attachment and higher marital happiness. Before submitting your paper to journals for possible publication, what factor(s) should you consider that might explain or contaminate your findings? _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ Possible answers appear at the end of this study guide chapter. Critical Thinking Exercise 9.4 - Evaluating Arguments: The Pro-Life/Pro-Choice Controversy (A Cognitive Skill) The evaluation of arguments is one of the most important elements of active learning and critical thinking. Rather than carelessly agreeing or disagreeing with arguments, critical thinkers analyze the relative strengths and weaknesses of each position. They are especially sensitive to the arguments with which they personally disagree because they recognize the natural human tendency to ignore or oversimplify opposing information. After carefully evaluating all arguments, the critical thinker develops his or her own independent position. A contemporary, controversial issue involves the argument between those who support a pro-life view concerning abortion and those who support a pro-choice position. Specifically, those who support the pro-life view believe that abortion is morally and religiously wrong. They oppose abortion in almost all circumstances. On the other side, those who advocate a pro- choice position believe that the right to an abortion should not be dictated by religion or government, but is a matter of choice for the woman who is pregnant. To help you sharpen your critical thinking skills in evaluating the pro-life/pro-choice controversy, the following guidelines are offered. 1. Begin by listing three "points" and three "counterpoints" of each argument. When all points and counterpoints are not explicitly stated, you will need to "read between the lines" and make your best guess of what each side might say. Point Counterpoint Instructor’s Resource Guide                               Chapter 9                                            Page  40                             
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____________________ _______________________ ____________________ _______________________ ____________________ _______________________ 2. After clarifying the points and counterpoints, you should attempt to use the following analytical tools to critique each side of the issue: a. Differentiating between fact and opinion . The ability to recognize statements of fact versus statements of opinion is an important first step to successful analysis of arguments. After rereading the arguments regarding the pro-life/pro-choice issue, see if you can state at least two facts and two opinions on each side.
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  • Developmental Psychology, Resource Guide                                Chapter

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