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Explain how the purpose of a methods course differs from other courses in the psychology curriculum.

  • Research methods are at the core of the psychology curriculum
  • Provides the foundation for doing research in psychology
  • Serves as a basis for understanding other content courses in psychology
  • Develops Critical Thinking about research,
  • Essential for admission to postgraduate courses
  • Teaches scientific thinking.


Identify and evaluate non-scientific ways of knowing about things in the world — through authority, reasoning and experience

  • Knowledge is derived from our experiences and how we interpret them
  • Also derived from reliance on the authority of others and our use of reason.
  • These can be accurate but they can also lead to error.
  • Our experiences can be subject to social cognition biases (e.g., belief perseverance, availability heuristic, confirmation bias), authorities can be wrong and while reason and logic are essential for critical thinking, reasonable arguments in the absence of empirical evidence can be unproductive in the search for truth. Research psychologists rely heavily on scientific thinking as a way of knowing and understanding behaviour.