PSYC1021 - Stanovich

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What are the 2 problems with Sigmund Freud?

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1

What are the 2 problems with Sigmund Freud?

  1. Theories are often unfalsifiable

  2. Used many case studies and not experiments thus were weak and unrepresentative

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2

Does psychology have a grand unifying theory?

No, just like other sciences it does not. The only one so far is the theory of evolution

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3

How is psychology common to other sciences?

Its scientific methods in research and evidence-base in practice/application

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4

What 2 guarantees does psychology give public?

  1. Conclusions about behaviour derived from scientific methods

  2. Practical applications also derived from scientific methods

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5

What are 2 sources of resistance to scientific psychology?

  1. Pseudoscience (astrology)

  2. Common sense

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6

What are the 3 features that define science?

  1. Systemic empiricism (structured observations that lead to greater understanding of the world)

  2. Knowledge that can be peer reviewed/replicated

  3. Empirically solvable problems (problems that are answerable by empirical techniques) Order: theory --> prediction --> test --> modification

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7

What is a testable theory?

Theories that have counter examples to the hypothesis

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8

What is a falsifiable theory?

Theories that can be proven wrong (psychoanalysis is the opposite)

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9

What is peer review?

Each paper is submitted to a journal, critiqued by several scientists and then editor makes a decision

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10

What is a theory in science?

Interrelated set of concepts used to explain data and also predict results of future experiments

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11

What is a hypothesis?

A specific prediction derived from theories

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12

How does a theory in science differ from one used by the layperson?

Layperson uses it when they mean guess/hunch

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13

How does science advance in creation of new knowledge?

  1. A theory is put forth

  2. Hypothesis is derived from the theory

  3. Hypothesis is tested in a scientific way with a variety of methods

  4. If hypothesis is confirmed, theory receives some degree of corroboration

  5. If hypothesis is falsified, theory must be altered or discarded for a better theory

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14

What is essentialism?

Definitions of an event in terms of their underlying properties

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15

What is operationalism?

Concepts that are linked to observable events that can be measured, and can be refined with further research

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16

Define reliability in terms of an assessment tool

An assessment tool that produces stable, consistent results

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17

Define validity in terms of an assessment tool

How well an assessment tool measures what it claims to

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18

List advantages and disadvantages of case studies

Advantages:

  • useful for early stages of scientific investigation as it gives insight to what variables deserve further study

Disadvantages:

  • Not useful when evidence is needed to support/refute a theory

  • Case studies/testimonials are isolated events that lack comparative information necessary to rule out alternative explanations

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19

What is the goal of an experimental design?

To structure events so that support of one particular explanation simultaneously disconfirms other explanations

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20

What is placebo?

Tendency for people to report a treatment has helped them regardless of whether it actually did or not

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21

What is spontaneous remission?

Recovery over time, with no specific effective treatment

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22

What is the vividness problem?

People overweigh evidence that is more vivid, and hence more retrievable from memory (e.g: salience of personal testimony like from a friend, movie star)

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23

What is the third variable problem? Give an example from Stanovich

A type of confounding in which a third variable leads to a mistaken causal relationship between two others. E.g: Goldberg & Pellagra - people thought Pellagra was caused by sewage problems (hygiene issues), when it was actually their poor economical situation causing a low protein diet. Goldberg managed to show this with feeding prisoners low and high protein diets

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24

What is the directionality problem in interpreting correlation? Give examples

Direction of relationship between two variables is not indicated just because they are correlated. E.g self esteem and school achievement/altruistic behaviour & happiness

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25

What is selection bias?

An error in how people are selected for a study; chosen in a specific environment, people tend to have a set of behaviour-biological characteristics. E.g: being in a hospital seems to be the reason why you die but it's actually bc people are in the hospital are sick

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26

What are the essential characteristics of a 'true' experiment

  1. Manipulates the variable that is hypothesized to be the cause (IV)

  2. Measures the variables hypothesized to be affected (DV)

  3. Keeping all other variables constant and using randomization

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27

What is manipulation, isolation and control in terms of a true experiment?

  1. Manipulation- varying the degree of manipulation and noting its effects on DV

  2. Isolation - isolating ONE variable (the independent variable) by holding everything else constant

  3. Control- ensuring there is no possibility of third variable effects

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28

What is random sampling vs random assignment? (give example in terms of your own 1021 research study)

Random sampling is how you get participants overall to join your study (UNSW students, friends and family). Random assignment is how the participants get conditioned into groups (average/above average)

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29

Strengths of random assignment

  1. Using random assignment with a large sample size means that all variables (that are potential extraneous variables) will be roughly equaled out

  2. Lack of systemic bias allows us to be confident in any conclusions about cause as long as it can be replicated

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30

What is the Clever Hans Study? What is its significance?

A horse that seemed to know how to do mathematical questions because it would tap out the right answers. It turns out it was just good at reading his trainer's body language. Significant in showing us there is a difference between describing a phenomenon and explaining it.

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31

What is the purpose of basic research?

To test universal theories and develop them rather than to predict what happens in a specific event. Usually in artificial setting.

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32

What is the purpose of applied research?

To predict what happens in the real world, need to randomize sample, has to representative of real world

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33

What's the difference between true experiment and correlational study in terms of random assignment?

Random assignment is applied in true experiment but not in correlational study

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34

What is the College Sophomore Problem?

College sophomores are the main participants in majority of psychological researches, questioning generalizability of results.

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35

What are responses to the College Sophomore problem?

  1. Compared to the past, college education is no longer only for the elite, thus college population now comes from a wide range of backgrounds making results more generalizable

  2. Doesn't make past results redundant but just calls for more findings that allow assessment of theory's generality

  3. Processes being measured are actually quite basic; the organization of the brain is similar for geographically different places

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36

What is the connectivity principle?

States that research must not only account for old data but also explain new ones. Researches contributing in expanding and improving past researches.

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37

What is the great leap model of scientific progress?

One experiment reveals all

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38

What is the gradual synthesis of scientific progress?

Each experiment reveals bit by bit

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39

What is the principle of converging evidence?

Each experiment will not be perfect but each will rule out some explanations. If a wide range of experiments points to a similar direction then we know that evidence is converging.

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40

Which is most powerful in terms of scientific investigation? Rate in ascending order (experiments, correlational study, case study)

  1. Experiments

  2. Correlational studies

  3. Case studies

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41

If a variable explains only one small proportion of behaviour, is it useless? Why/why not?

No, not useless. Behaviour has multiple causes and factors, it is not magic bullet (one cause). We can still draw some theoretical and practical inferences, especially if the variable can be controlled.

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42

Explain how you would go about exploring multiple causation? (2 ways)

  1. Using a multi-factorial design: one experiment testing out different variables to see if there is an interaction

  2. Series of experiments looking at different causes

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43

What is pre-existing bias? Give an example of one

We tend to see things as having one cause because of our preconceived notions. e.g: why do people commit crimes? Republicans may say its the person's characters and values while liberals may say it's because of the low SES (environment) E.g: During hurricane Katrina, diff tv networks showed people taking stuff from the grocery stores as either looting or surviving.

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44

What is a probabilistic statement vs. statement of certainty?

Probabilistic statement: cases that are more likely to happen but does not hold true in all cases Statement of certainty: cases that always hold true in all cases

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45

What is the HIV test example and what fallacy does it show?

HIV test has a false positive of 5%; if 51/1000 people tested positive for it, only 1 person would actually have it. This shows cognitive fallacy which is when people tend to overweigh vivid clinical evidence and underweigh base rate statistics.

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46

What relevance does sample size have regarding variability & reliability?

The bigger the sample size, the more accurate the estimate of a population value will be.

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47

What is the Gambler's Fallacy? Give an example

The tendency for people to make connections between past events and future ones. E.g: when you get heads 3 times in a row and you think the next one will be tails. Probability is actually still 50/50

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48

Why is our search for meaning sometimes maladaptive?

We search for patterns in places where there are none/when events are completely due to chance.

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49

Why do biases occur?

Our brains have to process a lot of info so we use biases and heuristics as shortcuts

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50

What is confirmation bias?

The tendency to see/process info that aligns with our views and opinions

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51

What is illusory correlation? Give an example

Our tendency to make a connection between events when there are merely due to chance. E.g wearing red shoes and getting lucky, now you think that everytime you wear them the same will happen

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52

What is illusion of control?

The tendency to think our own behaviours have affected the outcomes when they are determined purely by chance. E.g lottery tickets

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53

What is the just world hypothesis?

The idea that people get what they deserve; ignoring the role of chance and having to explain everything

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54

What is actual prediction vs clinical prediction? Which one is more accurate?

Actual prediction is based on group trends derived from statistical records. Predicts the same outcome for all individuals that share the same trait. Clinical prediction is based on experience of clinician and their intuition to predict individual case in terms of treatment outcomes Actual prediction is more accurate

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55

What is recipe knowledge?

Knowing how to do something without understanding its fundamental principles (computers) (self help books)

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56

Why does psych get such a hard time from the media?

Because people want quick answers but answers to scientifically answerable questions usually produce slow answers

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57

What are some problems with self-help literature?

  • Testimonial/peer-reviewed

  • little-evidence based

  • misrepresents the methods and goals of psychology (e.g positive thinking vs. positive psychology)

  • often offers miracle works

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58

What are the 9 points of final word?

  1. Psychology investigates solvable empirical problems.

  2. Proposes falsifiable theories to explain findings they uncover

  3. Concepts in theories are operationally defined & these evolve as evidence accumulates

  4. Theories are tested by means of systemic empiricism and can be replicated and criticized

  5. Theories are in the public domain after being in peer-reviewed scientific journals

  6. Empiricism systematic: strives for the logic of control & manipulation that characterizes a true experiment

  7. Psychologists use many diff methods and these have strengths and weaknesses

  8. Behavioural principles are almost always probabilistic relationships

  9. Knowledge is a slow accumulation of data from many experiments each containing flaws and converging on a common conclusion

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59

What is a spurious correlation?

When it seems like two variables are associated with each other but actually only appear so because of a third variable that has not yet been measured

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60

What two methodological considerations are important in applied research?

  • random sampling

  • representativeness of the conditions (need to be naturalistic)

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61

What is a person who statistics?

Situations in which well-established statistical trends are questioned because someone knows a "person who" went against the trend

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