Study Guide: Secrets Of The Psychics Video

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Study Guide – Final Exam, 3rd Section Lecture Material – PSYC 4030, Fall 2011, Dr. Lane

Secrets of the Psychics Video

How did James Randi demonstrate to the college students that they could be fooled by “individualized” horoscopes?

What did James Randi demonstrate about how “psychic surgery” could be performed?

What did James Randi point out what was wrong with the design of previous parapsychology experiments carried out by the Russian scientists?
This is the section where a psychic attempts to affect the blood pressure or brain waves of someone in another room

DM5 (Chps. 18-21)

What kinds of group biases have parallels with individual biases?

• Group attribution error-group members more likely to attrivute group member’s actions to circumstances, while a non-group members actions are something else
• Group serving bias-making dispostional attributions for successes and situational attributions for failures
• Outgroup homogeneity bial-groups perceive their own members as being more varied than members of other groups
What are group polarization effects?

• Discussion will strengthen an attitude shared by group members. If people favor something, they will favor it more after discussion; if they oppose something, they will oppose more after discussion.
What is the general finding with respect to group vs individual performance?

• Groups perform better than average individuals, particularly if group leader encourages everyone to contribute
• The best member’s performance typically exceed that of the group
What is overconfidence? Do we always become more accurate as we learn more information (Oskamp, 1965)?

• Overestimating the accuracy of one’s judgments
• The discrepancy between true accuracy and self-estimated accuracy of one’s judgments
• As we learn more, we become more confident, but not necessarily more correct.
When is overconfidence in judgment typically found (Fischoff & Lichtenstein)?
• Between 10-40% accuracy it is common occurrenct
• Overconfidence is greatest when accuracy in near 50%
• Beyond 80% accuracy, people sometimes become under-confident
What factor appears to be especially important with respect to good calibration?
• Regular feedbacke
What are self-perpetuating beliefs?
• Confirmation bias-people want to turn over cards (or see patterns) that will confirm their theory
• They weigh confirming evidence higher than disconfirming evidence
• You can almost always find some evidence in support of what you already believe.
What is the Pygmalion effect? How can racial stereotypes become self-fulfilling (Word, Zanna, & Cooper, 1974)? How can you “fix” self-fulfilling prophecies?
• Pygmalion-false conceptions that ultimately become true because they cause behavioral change. Ex.-kids tagged as gifted rose to the level of their epectations
• Blacks received shorter interviews, there were more speech errors by interviewer, and interviewer sat further away
• Frame questions in a way that encourages disconfirming info.
• Encourage people to see that confirming questions are not socially acceptable
Describe the major “behavioral traps.”

• Time Delay Trap- short-term gratification leads to long-term consequences
 Temporal discounting-tendency to value things available now more than those things available later Ex. Lack of exercise, smoking, unprotected sex
• Ignorance Trap- situations where negative consequences of choices are not known beforehand an you cannot change course easily
 Ex. Pesticides that eventually increase pests; drugs that have initially unknown side effects; career path that initially seemed interesting but turns out not to be
• Investment Trap- previous investments of time, money, or other resources lead us to make choices we would not otherwise have made
• Deterioration Trap- behavior becomes increasingly more costly over time; outcome may feel beneficial, pleasurable in the early stages, but increasingly more is needed to achieve same levels