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EXPLORING PSYCHOLOGY (7th Edition) David Myers. Professor: Dr. Ahsani. 4. Myers Website: http://bcs.worthpublishers.com/myers7e/ My email: ahsani@ucc.edu. Thinking Critically With Psychological Science Chapter 1. Thinking Critically With Psychological Science. What is Psychology?

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thinking critically with psychological science
Thinking Critically With Psychological Science

What is Psychology?

  • Psychology’s Roots
  • Contemporary Psychology
  • Why Do Psychology?
  • What About Intuition and Common Sense?
  • The Scientific Attitude
  • Critical Thinking
  • How Do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions?
  • The Scientific Method
  • Description
  • Correlation
  • Experimentation

With hopes of satisfying curiosity, many people listen to talk-radio counselors and psychics to learn about others and themselves.



Dr. Crane (radio-shrink)

Psychic (Ball gazing)

psychology has a long past but a short history
“Psychology has a long past, but a short history”
  • 500,000 BC: trephining to allow the escape of evil spirits.
  • 430 BC: Hippocrates argues for four temperaments of personality.
  • Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) suggests that the soul and body are not separate and that knowledge grows from experience.
  • 1689 AD: John Locke introduces idea of tabula rasa.
  • 1807: Franz Josef Gall proposes phrenology.
psychological science is born
Psychological Science is Born

Wundt and psychology’s first graduate students studied the “atoms of the mind” by conducting experiments at Leipzig, Germany, in 1879. This work is considered the birth of psychology as we know it today.

Wundt (1832-1920)

psychological science is born8
Psychological Science is Born

James (1842-1910)

Mary Calkins

American philosopher William James wrote an important 1890 psychology textbook. Mary Calkins, James’s student, became the APA’s first female president.

psychological science is born9
Psychological Science is Born

Freud (1856-1939)

Sigmund Freud, an Austrian physician, and his followers emphasized the importance of the unconscious mind and its effects on human behavior.

psychological science develops
Psychological Science Develops


Skinner (1904-1990)

Watson (1878-1958)

Watson and later Skinner emphasized the study of overt behavior as the subject matter of scientific psychology.

psychological science develops11
Psychological Science Develops

Humanistic Psychology

Maslow (1908-1970)


Rogers (1902-1987)


Maslow and Rogers emphasized current environmental influences on our growth potential and our need for love and acceptance.

psychology today
Psychology Today

We define psychology today as the scientific study of behavior (what we do) and mental processes (inner thoughts and feelings).

psychological associations societies
Psychological Associations & Societies

The American Psychological Association is the largest organization of psychology with 160,000 members world-wide, followed by the British Psychological Society with 34,000 members.


Chapter 1

Part 2

Which perspective is most relevant to understanding the impact of strokes and brain diseases on memory?





clinical psychology vs psychiatry
Clinical Psychology vs. Psychiatry

A clinical psychologist (Ph.D.) studies, assesses, and treats troubled people with psychotherapy.

Psychiatrists on the other hand are medical professionals (M.D.) who use treatments like drugs and psychotherapy to treat psychologically diseased patients.

why do psychology
Why Do Psychology?
  • How can we differentiate between uniformed opinions and examined conclusions?
  • The science of psychology helps make these examined conclusions, which leads to our understanding of how people feel, think, and actas they do!
what about intuition common sense
What About Intuition & Common Sense?

Many people believe that intuition and common sense are enough to bring forth answers regarding human nature.

Intuition and common sense may aid queries, but they are not free of error.

hindsight bias
Hindsight Bias

Hindsight Bias is the “I-knew-it-all-along” phenomenon.

After learning the outcome of an event, many people believe they could have predicted that very outcome. We only knew the dot.com stocks would plummet after they actually did plummet.

the scientific attitude
The Scientific Attitude

The scientific attitude is composed of curiosity (passion for exploration), skepticism (doubting and questioning) and humility (ability to accept responsibility when wrong).

how do psychologists ask answer questions
How Do Psychologists Ask & Answer Questions?

Psychologists, like all scientists, use the scientific method to construct theories that organize, summarize and simplify observations.


A theory isan explanation that integrates principles and organizes and predicts behavior or events.



A hypothesis is a testable prediction, often prompted by a theory, to enable us to accept, reject or revise the theory.

It is a statement

It must be falsifiable

Operational definition

12 two basic characteristics of the scientific attitude are
12.Two basic characteristics of the scientific attitude are:

A)pride and enthusiasm.

B)ingenuity and practicality.

C)creativity and patience.

D)skepticism and humility.

In a written report of their research, psychologists specify exactly how anxiety is assessed, thus providing their readers with a(n):


B)independent variable.

C)operational definition.

D)case study.

descriptive methods


Descriptive methods

Methods that yield descriptions of behavior, but not necessarily causal explanations


Case studies

Observational studies

Psychological tests



Case Study

A technique in which one person is studied in depth to reveal underlying behavioral principles.

Susan Kuklin/ Photo Researchers

Is language uniquely human?


A technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes, opinions or behaviors of people usually done by questioning a representative, random sample of people.



Wording Effects

Wording can change the results of a survey.


Random Sampling

If each member of a population has an equal chance of inclusion into a sample, it is called a random sample (unbiased). If the survey sample is biased, its results are not valid.

The fastest way to know about the marble color ratio is to blindly transfer a few into a smaller jar and count them.

naturalistic observation
Naturalistic Observation

Observing and recording the behavior of animals in the wild and recording self-seating patterns in a multiracial school lunch room constitute naturalistic observation.

Courtesy of Gilda Morelli

descriptive methods42
Descriptive Methods


Case studies, surveys, and naturalistic observation describe behaviors.

the case study is a research method in which
The case study is a research method in which:

A)a single individual is studied in great depth.

B)a representative sample of people are questioned regarding their opinions or behaviors.

C)organisms are carefully observed in a laboratory environment.

D)an investigator manipulates one or more variables that might affect behavior.


Chapter 1

Part 3


3. Indicates direction

of relationship

(positive or negative)



2. Indicates strength

of relationship

(0.00 to 1.00)


When one trait or behavior accompanies another, we say the two correlate.

1.Correlation Coefficient is a statistical measure of the relationship between two variables.

r =



direction of correlations


Direction of correlations

Positive correlations

An association between increases in one variable and increases in another, or decreases in one variable and decreases in the other.

Negative correlations

An association between increases in one variable and decreases in another.




Correlations can be represented by scatterplots.

correlation and causation
Correlation and Causation

Correlation does not mean causation!


correlation refers to the extent to which two variables
Correlation refers to the extent to which two variables:

A)vary together.

B)are random samples.

C)influence each other.

D)show statistically significant differences.


Exploring Cause and Effect

Like other sciences, experimentation is the backbone of psychological research. Experiments isolate causes and their effects.

exploring cause effect
Exploring Cause & Effect

Many factors influence our behavior. Experiments (1)manipulate factors that interest us, while other factors are kept under (2) control.

Effects generated by manipulated factors isolate cause and effect relationships.

evaluating therapies
Evaluating Therapies

Double-blind Procedure

In evaluating drug therapies, patients and experimenter’s assistants should remain unaware of which patients had the real treatment and which patients had the placebo treatment.

evaluating therapies53
Evaluating Therapies

Random Assignment

Hypothesis: Breast-fed babies have higher IQ than formula-fed babies.

Assigning participants to experimental (breast-fed) and control (formula-fed) conditions by random assignment minimizes pre-existing differences between the two groups.

independent variable
Independent Variable

An independent variable is a factor manipulated by the experimenter. The effect of the independent variable is the focus of the study.

For example, when examining the effects of breast feeding upon intelligence, breast feeding is the independent variable.

dependent variable
Dependent Variable

A dependent variable is a factor that may change in response to an independent variable. In psychology, it is usually a behavior or a mental process.

For example, in our study on the effect of breast feeding upon intelligence, intelligence is the dependent variable.


A summary of steps during experimentation.

researchers use experiments rather than other research methods in order to distinguish between
Researchers use experiments rather than other research methods in order to distinguish between:

A)facts and theories.

B) causes and effects.

C)case studies and surveys.

D)random samples and representative samples.

In a psychological experiment, the potentially causal factor that is manipulated by the investigator is called the ________ variable.