Exam 1: chapters 1-4 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Exam 1: chapters 1-4 Deck (54):

Authority (as a way of knowing)

we rely on authority as a source of knowledge whenever we accept the validity of information from a source that we judge to be expert or influential in some way


reason and logic as a way of knowing (the priori method)

charles peirce defines the priori method as use of reason, and a developed consensus among those debating the merits of one belief over another


Empiricism (as a way of knowing)

empiricism is the process of learning things through direct observation or experience, and reflection on those experiences
problem: experiences are limited and our interpretation of experiences are influenced by social cognition biases


confirmation bias

confirmation bias is the social cognition bias describing the tendency to seek and pay special attention to information that supports ones beliefs, while ignoring information that contradicts one's beliefs


belief perseverance

one is motivated by a desire to be certain about ones knowledge, and belief perseverance is the tendency to hold on doggedly to a belief, even in the face of evidence that would convince most people that the belief is false


availability heuristic

this is when we experience unusual or very memorable events and then overestimate how often such events occur


some students think that they should never change their answers on a multiple choice test. what does this have to do with availability heuristic?

when students change their answers and happen to get the item wrong (which is statistically less likely compared to changing and getting it right) the outcome sticks out in their memory because it is painful (loss of grade points) This is an example of availability heuristic


meaning of determinism (because researchers assume determinism and discoverability)

determinism means that events, including psychological ones, have causes. determineable causes


meaning of discoverability (because researchers assume determinism and discoverability)

discoverability means that by using agreed-upon scientific methods, causes causes can be discovered with some degree of confidence


statistical (probablistic) determinism

a more moderate approach arguing that events can be predicted, but only with a probability greater than chance. (approach used by research psychologists)


what does a scientists systematic observation include?

-precise definitions of phenomena being measured
-reliable and valid measuring tools that yield useful and interpretable data
-generally accepted research methodologies
-a system of logic for drawing conclusions and fitting them into general theories


objectivity is an important characteristic of science as a way of knowing. how is objectivity defined

scientific procedures result in knowledge that can be publicly verified. peirce defines objectivity as the elimination of human factors such as expectation an bias



is the process of repeating a study to determine if its results occur reliably



an early method in psychological research which consistently varied from one laboratory to another (basically a precise self-report) introspection was when participants in experiments would describe their conscious experiences


researchers are data driven (attribute of science as a way of knowing)

research psychologists expect conclusions about behavior to be supported by evidence gathered through some systematic procedure. (importance of data based conclusions)


empirical question

those that can be answered through systematic observations and techniques that characterize scientific methodology. questions that are precise enough to allow specific predictions to be made.


example of an empirical question

investigating the bodys influence on mental states by asking
how physical fatigue affects performance on some task.


distinction of a hypothesis from an empirical question

a hypothesis is a predication of a studies outcome. a hypothesis is the best guess of the answer to an empirical question. a hypothesis is a statement (rather than a question) about what a scientist thinks may occur in a particular situation.


example of a hypothesis

because students experience high levels of stress during final exam week, they will be more likely to become ill if they are exposed to a virus than students not exposed to a virus


hypotheses sometimes develop as logical deductions from a theory. what is a theory?

a theory is a set of statements that summarize what is known about some phenomena and propose working explanations for those phenomena.


a critically important attribute of a good theory is that...

it must be precise enough to be refuted. this concept is referred to as falsification


why is it a good idea to take a research methods course before taking more specific psychology courses?

to provide a solid foundation for understanding findings in your field of interest (scores in methodology courses are good overall predictors for knowledge gained in undergrad courses. also it is important that you are able to understand the process used to acquire the content of those courses. knowing the knowledge gained from research is not as valuable if the method of knowledge attainment is unknown.


how can everyone benefit from using the attributes of scientific thinking?

by being more critical and analytical about the information we are exposed to every day.


what are the short comings of authority as a way of knowing?

there is always a possibility that authority has incomplete knowledge or is bias. a good critical thinker is willing to question authority


what are the shortcomings of the pierces priori method (use of reason) as a way of knowing?

pierce argues that the outcome of a priori approach is that philosophical beliefs go in and out of fashion, with no real "progress" toward truth. multiple lines of thinking can easily be derived from a single point of knowledge so reason and logic can be used to reach opposing conclusions


why can it be dangerous to rely uncritically and solely on ones experiences when trying to determine the truth of some matter?

because our experiences are necessarily limited and our interpretations of our experiences can be influenced by social cognition biases (confirmation bias, belief perseverance, availability heuristic)


kruger, writz, and miller (2005)'s "first instinct" fallacy

the phenomenon where students falsely believe they shouldn't change their test answers because they believe they should stick with their initial gut feeling.


what does it mean to be a skeptical optimist?

a skeptical optimist is open to new ideas and optimistic about using scientific methods to test these ideas, but at the same time tough minded in that they wont accept claims without good evidence


in general the term pseudoscience means?

any field of inquiry that appears to use scientific methods and tries hard to give that impression, but is actually based on inadequate, unscientific methods and makes claims that are generally false or, at best, overly simplistic


what are the main features of pseudoscience?

-trying hard to associate with true science
-relying primarily on anecdotal and testimonial evidence
-sidestepping falsification
-attempting to convince that complex phenomena can be understood by relying on simple-to-understand concepts


pseudoscience often relies on anecdotal evidence. what is anecdotal evidence?

anecdotal evidence includes specific instances that seem to provide evidence for some phenomenon.


what is the problem with relying heavily on anecdotal evidence?

anecdotal evidence is selective , and when using them you ignore examples that dont fit the argument (this is an example of confirmation bias)


effort justification

effort justification is a phenomenon familiar to social psychologists where people feel compelled to convince themselves that an effort was worth while, after they've expended significant effort.


what is leon festingers theory of cognitive dissonance?

the negative feeling that results from conflicting beliefs and behaviors.
-there is a tendency for individuals to seek consistency among their cognitions
when there is an inconsistency between attitudes and behaviors (dissonance) something must change to eliminate the dissonance. in the case of a discrepancy between attitudes and behavior, it is most likely that the attitude will change to accomodate the behavior


what are the different ways that falsification is sidestepped by pseudoscience?



what is the barnum effect?

this is the gullibility of people when reading descriptions of themselves

Ex: a group of people take a personality test thinking it is a valid test, and are all given the exact same results filled with mostly positive traits regardless of how they answer the test. these people judge the results of the invalid test as a good description of themselves.


pseudoscience is characterized by...

a) false association with true science
b) misusing the rules of evidence by relying excessively on anecdotal data
c) lack of specificity that avoids a true test of the theory
d) oversimplification of complex processes


what are the four goals of scientific research in psychology?

-researchers hope to develop complete descriptions of behaviors
-researchers are able to make predictions about future behavior
-researcher are able to provide reasonable explanations for behavior
-researchers assume that knowledge derived from their research will be applied in order to benefit people



to provide a good description in psychology is to

identify regularly occuring sequences of events, including both stimuli or environmental events and responses or behavioral events.
*research in psychology is primarily descriptive in nature


to say that behavior follows laws is to say that...

regular and predictable relationships exist for psychological phenomena... and the strength of these relationships allows predictions to be made with some degree of confidence. laws in psychology are associated with the research goal of prediction


research using correlation and regression is...

useful for making predictions


to explain some behavior is to know...

what caused it to happen. causality



refers simply to the various ways of applying principles of behavior learned through research


in order for research psychologists to feel confident that they have found a "cause" for some phenomenon, what conditions have to be met?

covariation, experimental control, a time sequence with cause preceding effect, a theoretical structure, and the ruling out of alternative explanations


a system of ethics is

a set of "standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession"


what year was the first formal code of ethics for the field of psychology published?



the critical incidents technique

is the procedure the ethics committee used while developing the code of ethics, where they surveyed the entire membership of the APA asking them to provide examples of "incidents" of unethical conduct they knew about firsthand and "to indicate what they perceived as being the ethical issue involved"


list the 5 general principles of the ethics code

1. beneficence and nonmaleficence
2. fidelity and responsibility
3. integrity
4. justice
5. respect for peoples rights and dignity


beneficence and non maleficence

the principle of the ethics code that means to constantly weigh the benefits and the costs of research


fidelity and responsibility

the principle of the ethics code that means to be aware of responsibility to society and to exemplify high standards of professional behavior



the principle of the ethics code that means to be scrupulously honest in research



the principle of the ethics code that means to treat everyone with fairness and maintain a level of expertise that reduces the chance of bias


respect for peoples rights and dignity

the principle of the ethics code that means to safeguard the welfare and protect the rights of volunteers


which principle did milgrams obediance study (modeled after nazis obeying hitler) violate?

beneficence and