AP PSYCH Chapter 1 Essay

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Chapter 1: Thinking Critically With Psychological Science

1.) The Need For Psychological Science
Hindsight bias and judgmental overconfidence show that we cannot rely on intuition and common sense. Critical thinking must also be employed in order to perceive facts from nonsense.

a. The Limits of Intuition and Common Sense

Hand-sight Bias
The thought that once the person finds out the outcome, that the person knew the outcome all along and could have predicted it.
Proves that we need psychological research
Common sense describes what has happened more easily then predict what will happen

Thinking is limited by overconfidence and after-the-fact common sense
Even when you are 100% sure about something, self prediction may change up to
15% of the time.
When prediction becomes wrong, individual’s attempt the ‘I was close’ excuse
Often leads to the overestimation of our potential.
Skepticism and humility must be added to come back to reality

b. The Scientific Attitude
Sometimes refutes skeptics
Being skeptical but not cynical, open but not gullible
Skeptical testing could separate the real facts
Requires skepticism, curiosity, and humility
Need to reject our own ideas
Copernicus and Newton, are examples of people who used the scientific attitude
Critical Thinking examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence and assesses conclusion without blindly accepting arguments and conclusions.

c. The Scientific Method
Scientific Theory explains through principles that organizes and predicts behaviors or events.
By organizing isolated facts, theory simplifies things.
Connection of observed dots, we may discover a pattern
Hypothesis is testable prediction, often started by a theory
Research allows one to test or reject the theory
Operational Definition is a statement of the procedures used to define research variables. Replication when a procedure could be repeated with different participants in different situations to see whether the same result is found.
A theory is successful if it links and organizes observed facts and if it implies hypothesis that offer testable predictions and practical application

2.) Description

a. The Case Study
An observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in hope of revealing universal principles
Case studies can suggest hypotheses for further study.
Unrepresentative information can lead to mistaken judgments and false conclusions. Anecdotal stories may elevate the truth
Does not work to find the general truths that cover individual cases

b. The Survey
Looks at many cases in less depth
Asks individuals about behaviors and attitudes
Asking can be tricky

1.Wording Effects
Subtle changes to wording can have major effects on answers
Critical thinkers will reflect on how the phrasing of a question might have effected the answers people responded

2.Random Sampling
Random sampling represents a populations because each member has an equal chance of inclusion
Very large samples may be more reliable if they are representative
Basis of generalizing is from representative sample of cases

c. Naturalistic Observation
Observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation
Does not explain behavior, it describes it
Robert Levine and Ara Norenzayan – compared pace of life
Can be used with correlation research

3.) Correlation

When two traits seem to accompany each other, they correlate
Correlation coefficient is a statistical measure of a relationship
Reveals how closely two things vary together and thus how well wither one predicts the other
Scatter plots show how closely related the traits are associated with
Each point plots the value of the two variables
Positive correlation means that two variables seem to rise or fall together
A negative correlation could mean inverse as well as negative relationships
Inverse means that while one variable is increasing, the other is decreasing