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How does science differ from common sense?

1. Not reality - best approximation of reality 2. Test hypotheses/theories 3. Control variables/causes 4. Pursue relations 5. Focus on testable not metaphysical


Charls Sanders Peirce's 4 methods of knowing/fixing belief (+ 1)

1. Method of tenacity 2. Method of authority 3. Priori method / method of intuition 4. Method of science 5. one’s own direct experiences


method of tenacity (method of knowing)

people hold firmly to the truth because they’ve always believed it to be the truth


method of authority (method of knowing)

believing in “established beliefs”, i.e. from others, particular authority; superior method to tenacity because there can be slow progress through findings


priori method/method of intuition (method of knowing)

propositions that “agree with reason” and not necessarily with experience; people have natural inclinations toward truth. Difficulty lies in—whose reason is right?


method of science (method of knowing)

beliefs not determined by anything human, whereby the method can yield conclusions that are the same for every man. Includes the characteristic of self-correction/build-in checks along the way to be unbiased


2 broad views of science

1. static view 2. dynamic view/heuristic view


static view of science

science as an activity that contributes systematized information to the world (common to laypeople); emphasis on the present state of knowledge and adding to it


dynamic/heurisitic view of science

science as an activity that scientists perform, emphasis on theory and approaches that are fruitful for further research; discovery


2 views on function of science

1) science as a discipline or activity aimed at improving things/making progress
2) science is to establish general laws/theories that explain phenomena to create predictability


Sampson’s 2 opposing views of science

1) conventional/traditional perspective
2) nontraditional/sociohistorical perspective


Conventional/traditional perspective in Sampson's view of science

science as a mirror of nature that presents nature without bias; goal is to describe with accuracy what the world is like


Nontraditional/sociohistorical perspective in Sampson's view of science

scientists as storytellers and not neutral arbitrators


What is purpose of science?



What is theory?

-A set of interrelated concepts that present a systematic view of phenomena by specifying relations among variables, with the purpose of explaining and predicting the phenomena
-good theory is one that can’t fit all phenomena, should be able to find an occurrence that would contradict it; modest, limited, and specific research aims are good
-simple explanation is preferred (Occam’s Razor)


Scientific approach

special systematized form of reflective thinking and inquiry based on Dewey’s analysis


Scientific problem

is a statement that asks “what relationship exists between 2+ variables?


Criteria of good scientific problem

1. Problem should express a relationship between 2+ variables
2. Should be stated clearly and unambiguously in question form
3. Statement should imply possibilities of empirical testing to be scientific



conjectural statement of the relationship between 2+ variables


Criteria for good hypothesis

1) Hypothesis as statement about the relations between variables
2) Hypothesis carry clear implications for testing the stated relations


3 reasons why hypotheses are important tools of scientific research

1) They are working instruments of theory
2) Can be tested and shown to be probably true or false (predictive)
3) They are tools for advancement of knowledge b/c it allows non-bias of thinkers


What are errors of a hypothesis/problem?

1) They are not ethical questions/value questions (no should, better than, ought)
2) Problems that are too general/vague cannot be tested
3) Problems that are too specific are not generalizable
4) Probs/hyps need to reflect multivariable nature of reality


2 levels on which scientists operate

1. theory-hypothesis-construct 2. observations


What is a concept?

expresses an abstraction formed by generalization from particulars, i.e. weight


What is a construct?

concepts that are consciously invented for scientific purpose


Constitutive definition of construct

defines a construct using other constructs


Operational definition

assigns meaning to constructs by specifying the activities/operations necessary to measure it, and evaluate the measurement


2 types of operational definitions

1. Measured 2. Experimental


Measured type of operational definition

describes how variable will be measured


Experimental type of operational definition

states details (operations) of the experimenter’s manipulation of a variable, i.e. reinforcement can be operationally defined by giving details of how subjects will be rewarded