1.1—the science of psychology Flashcards Preview

🚫 PSY100H1: Introduction to Psychology (Winter 2016) with J. Vervaeke > 1.1—the science of psychology > Flashcards

Flashcards in 1.1—the science of psychology Deck (9)
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1.1 Learning Objectives

  • know the key terminology of the scientific method.
  • understand the steps of the scientific method.
  • under stand the concept of scientific literacy.
  • apple the biopsychosocial model to behaviour.
  • apply the steps in critical thinking.
  • analyze the use of the term scientific theory.



the scientific study of behaviour, though, and experience, and how they can be affected by physical, mental, social, and environmental factors.


Scientific Method

a way of learning about the world through collecting observations, developing theories to explain them, and using the theories to make predictions. 


Hypothesis | Scientific Method

  • hypothesis: (plural, hypotheses) a testable prediction about processes that can be observed and measured.
  • can be supported or rejected; you do not prove a hypothesis.
  • must be testable.


Pseudoscience | Scientific Method

  • pseudoscience: an idea that is presented as science but does not actually utilize basic principles of scientific thinking or procedure.
  • e.g. astrology—very general predictions; they do not want to test their hypotheses, but would rather you just take their word for it.


Theory | Scientific Method

  • theory: an explanation for a broad range of observations that also generates new hypotheses and integrates numerous findings into a coherent whole.
  • not the same thing as opinions or beliefs.
  • all theories are not equally plausible.
  • a measure of a good theory is not the number of people who believe it to be true.


Biopsychosocial Model | Scientific Method

  • biopsychosocial model: a means of explaining behaviour as a product of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors.
  • biological influences: brain structures and chemicals, hormones, and external substances such as drugs.
  • psychological influences: memories, emotions, and personalities, and how these factors shape the way we think about and respond to different people and situations.
  • social factors: family, peers, ethnicity, and culture.
  • these levels also influence each other.


Scientific Literacy

  • scientific literacy: the ability to understand, analyze, and apply scientific information.
  • we must examine whether ideas being presented are scientifically tested, and whether studies are designed properly or not.
  • allows us to separate the information we should find convincing from the information that we should view with caution.


Critical Thinking | Scientific Literacy

  • critical thinking: exercising curiosity and skepticism when evaluating the claims of others, and with our own assumptions and beliefs.
  • critical thinking is not a philosophy, belief, or faith, not is it meant to make everyone arrive at the same answer.
  • principle of parsimony: the simplest of all competing explanations (the most “parsimonious”) of a phenomenon should be the one we accept.

steps to becoming a critical thinker:

  1. be curious; simple answers are sometimes too simple and common sense is not always correct.
  2. examine the nature and source of the evidence; not all research is of equal quality.
  3. examine assumptions and biases, including your own assumptions as well as the assumptions of those making claims.
  4. avoid overly emotional thinking.
  5. tolerate ambiguity; most complex issues do not have clear-cut answers.
  6. consider alternative viewpoints and alternative interpretations of the evidence.  

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