Thinking Critically with
The Need for Psychology
• Fact or Falsehood
• Before attempting the quiz, predict
how many you will get correct.
• Complete Handouts 2-2 / 2-5
The Need for
Intuition & Common Sense
Many people believe that intuition and common
sense are enough to bring forth answers
regarding human nature.
Intuition and common sense an open
A bullet is fired from a gun across may aid field.
bullet is dropped from a free of error.
A queries, but they are not person’s hand.
Which hits the ground first?
Errors of Common Sense &
Limits of Intuition
Fold a piece of paper (0.1 mm thick) 100 times.
How thick will it be?
800,000,000,000,000 times the distance
between the sun and the earth.
Personal interviewers may
rely too much on their “gut
feelings” when meeting
with job applicants.
Did We Know It All Along?
• Hindsight Bias
– “I knew it all along”
– “Out of sight, out of mind”
– “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”
– Jurors told to ignore information by the judge
– Vick is obviously a better quarterback than Kolb
– Handout 2-2
Sometimes we think we
know more than we
actually know. together with
hindsight bias, can lead to overestimate
How long do you think it
our intuition WREAT WATER
would take to unscramble
People said it would
about 10 seconds, yet on
average they took about
3 minutes (Goranson 1978).
• How can we differentiate between
uniformed opinions and
• The science of psychology helps make
these examined conclusions, which
leads to our understanding of how
people feel, think, and act as they do!
The Scientific Attitude
• Three main components:
–Curiosity (passion for exploration)
–Skepticism (doubting and questioning
–Open-Minded Humility (ability to
accept responsibility when wrong).
• Critical Thinking
• does not accept arguments and
• Examines assumptions
• Discerns hidden values
• Evaluates evidence
• Assesses conclusions
How Do Psychologists Ask
and Answer Questions?
The Scientific Method
A Theory is an explanation that integrates
principles and organizes and predicts behavior
Good theories explain by:
1) Organizing and linking observed facts
2) Implying hypotheses that offer testable
predictions and sometimes practical
For example, low self-esteem contributes to
The Scientific Method
In Psychology, a Hypothesis is not an
“educated guess” or “testable question.”
A Hypothesis is a testable prediction, often
prompted by a theory, to enable us to accept,
reject or revise the theory.
A statement of relationship among variables.
i.e. People with low self-esteem are apt to feel
The Scientific Method
Research would require us to administer tests of
self-esteem and depression. Individuals who
score low on a self-esteem test and high on a
depression test would confirm our hypothesis.
Making Research Scientific
1) Must be Replicable
2) Must be Falsifiable
- Hypothesis stated in such a way that it can be
rejected (Loch Ness Monster example)
3) Must be Precise
- Use of Operational Definitions
4) Must be Parsimonious
- Apply simplest explanation to set of
observations (i.e. falling asleep in math class)
Purposes of Psychological
1) To find ways to measure and describe
2) To understand why, when and how
3) To apply this knowledge to solving
real world problems
• General Terms used:
– Variables: the events, characteristics,
behaviors, or conditions that researchers
measure & study
– Subject (or participant): an individual or
animal a researcher studies
– Sample: collection of subjects researchers
study (bc cannot study entire population)
– Population: collection of people or animals
from which researchers draw a sample
• Study sample & generalize to population 21
• Statement of procedures (operations)
used to define research variables
– Defines what the researcher will be observing and
– Ex. – human intelligence operationally defined as
what an intelligence test measures
• Operational Definitions MUST be:
• With a partner, attempt to operationally
define the following:
2) A Smile
4) Good Music
A technique in which one person is studied in
depth to reveal underlying behavioral
• Good way to generate • Can give incomplete or
hypotheses unrepresentative info
– Can be a source of insight and • Sometimes only relies on
ideas (Freud, Piaget, etc.) self-report data
– Suggest further study
– can be misleading
• Can provide data other • Can be subjective
methods cannot – Usually only 1 investigator
– Rare phenomena – damage to
– may lead to biased results
specific brain areas
• Cannot be used to test
• Provide illustrative
theories or treatments
– Concrete examples of • Does NOT explain behavior
concepts & principles – NO Cause & Effect
How long is the Mississippi River? What is the population of Argentina?
Form A Form B Form A Form B
A technique for ascertaining the self-reported
attitudes, opinions or behaviors of people
usually done by questioning a representative,
random sample of people.
Handout 2-5 & Discuss examples
Range of Responses
President Obama is a good president.
False Consensus Effect
A tendency to overestimate the extent to
Yes or No?
which others share our beliefs and
Estimate the % of people in class that you think
agree with you
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.
(Generalizability) The fastest way to know about the
In class Sample – m/f? hair color? marble color ratio is to blindly
transfer a few into a smaller jar and
Coin Flip count them.
-Table of Random #s
-Potential Problems in Polls? 28
• Provides a good way to • Relies on Self-Report Data
generate hypotheses – Can be misleading
– Saying vs. Doing – behavior
• Can provide info about
can’t be observed directly
many people at once
– Low Response Rate?
– Cheap & relatively easy
• Can be Subjective
– May lead to Bias
– Wording? Sample?
• Does NOT explain behavior
– NO Cause & Effect conclusions
• observing and recording behavior in naturally
occurring situations without trying to
manipulate and control the situation
– Animals in Wild
– Self-seating patterns in lunch room
• Can be useful in • Sometimes biased results
generating hypotheses• May be difficult to do
• Provides info about unobtrusively
behavior in natural • Does NOT explain
– Think of a question related to psychology (behavior &
mental processes) that you want to know the answer to.
– NO Cause & Effect
– Does not control for all
What makes people happy?factors that may influence
Do people’s personalities change over their life?
• a measure the following to which two factors
Discuss each of of the extentactual correlations with a
vary together, and thus of how
partner and attempt to explain them: well either factor
predicts the other.
1) Those who often ate Frosted Flakes as children had
– Does NOT mean Causation
cancer rate of those who
half theinformation obtained never ate the cereal.
• How is
– Surveys, often ate Oatmeal
2) Those who Quasi-experiments as children were 4 times
more likely to develop cancer.
• GPA related to Test Scores?
3) A • People w/ finds that as ice cream consumption
police chiefstore credit cards spend more on clothes?
increases, that can’t be manipulated
• Variables the crime rate increases. As ice cream
– i.e. gender, decreases, weight
consumption age, height,so does the crime rate.
– More likely to be used in correlational research
• Ice Cream Causes Polio?
• Correlation Coefficient
– How well does A predict B (or B predict A)
– Questions to Ask:
• Is it positive or negative? (+ / – )
– NOT good or bad – Negative ≠ Weak
• What is the strength? (-1.0 to +1.0)
– 0 = no relationship
y As Variable A goes up (or down) :
Variable B also goes up (or down)
Work in same direction
# of Hours Watching TV per Day
Negative or Inverse Correlation
a As Variable A goes up:
d Variable B goes Down
(work in opposite directions)
Years of Education
Alcoholic Drinks Per Week
Correlation Coefficient = +.62
Correlation and Causation
• Correlation helps predict
– Does not imply cause and effect
• Quick Quiz Time
1) Which of the following 2) Which of the following
correlation coefficients correlation coefficients
presents the strongest presents the weakest
A) +.02 A) +.02
B) –.67 B) –.67
C) +.55 C) +.55
D) –.14 D) –.14
For each of the following, indicate whether it is a positive
or negative correlation.
3) The more young people watch TV, the less they read.
4) The more sexual content teens see on TV, the more
likely they are to have sex.
5) The longer children are breast-fed, the greater their
later academic achievement.
6) The more often adolescents eat breakfast, the lower
their body mass.
• Correlation Coefficients
– Do not indicate directionality, just the existence of
• A to B or B to A
– It rains when people have their umbrellas up.
– Cities with the most police have the highest crime rates.
– Routine Physicals in past 3 years
• 2x as likely to report high blood pressure & cholesterol
– TV & Childhood Obesity
• Degree of obesity rises 2% for every hour of TV watched
•Positive Correlation between milk consumption and
incidents of cancer in various society
•Positive Correlation between body lice and good
health in the New Hebrides islands
•Positive Correlation between the quality of a state’s
day care programs and the reported rate of child abuse
•Positive Correlation between the disease pellagra and
poor plumbing and sewage
o pellagra = disease marked by dizziness, lethargy, running sores &
• Illusory Correlation
– Perceived non-existent correlation
• Examples – Couples conceive after they adopt.
– Studying = lower test scores
– It always rains after you wash your car.
– The phone always rings when you are in the shower.
– The elevator is always headed in the wrong direction.
– A random coincidence
Perceiving Order in Random Events
• Comes from our need to make sense
out of the world
– Which is most likely sequence?
• Coin flip
Gambler’s Fallacy Poker hand
• What is Love? / Love Styles
• Sternberg’s Triangular Theory
• Pairing Game Rules
– Do NOT at any time look at your own number or tell
anyone else what their number is
– Your task is to pair off with another student. The
pairing with the highest total will receive a reward.
– The offer to form a pair is made by extending your
hand to another person, as if to offer a handshake.
– If your offer is accepted, then stand together with
your partner at the edge of the room.
– If your offer is rejected, then continue looking until
you have found a pair.
Blue Brown Green Orange Red Yellow
to Mars, Inc.
• On a separate sheet of paper, set up the above
Distribution Data Chart
• Count the # of each color of M&Ms in your personal
“intact random sample” and convert numbers to %
• Attempt to predict the % of each color for all M&Ms
• Task – Unscramble the anagrams on the
paper provided as FAST as you possibly can!
–Can isolate cause and effect
–Control of factors
• Manipulation of the factor(s) of
• Hold constant (“controlling”) factors
• Random assignment
–Assigning participants to groups
–Eliminates alternative explanations
–Different from random sample
• Blind (uninformed)
– Single-Blind Procedure
– Double-Blind Procedure
– Which would be better? Why?
• Placebo Effect
– Getting treatment
– Dr. says it will work
– More expensive pill
– Experimental Group
• Receives the treatment (IV)
– Control Group
• Does not receive the treatment
– Need for 2 Groups - comparison (Capital Punishment)
• Within-subjects vs. Between- Subjects
– Comparing to selves
– Own control group (pre/post-test)
– Which is most efficient? More resistant to individual differences?
Independent and Dependent Variables
• Independent Variable
– “What do researchers hope will cause the
DV in the study?”
• Dependent Variable
– “What is the researcher measuring or
looking for in the study?”
Experimentation - Other Concerns
• Confounding variable (aka Extraneous Variable)
– Effect of random assignment on CVs?
• Forms of Bias If I wanted to prove that
– Experimenter Bias smoking causes heart
issues, what are some
• Expectations influence outcome (maze bright rats)
• How would you control for this? variables?
– Research Participant Bias
• Influenced by how they think they are supposed to behave
• What does this relate to?
• Validity Lifestyle and family
history may also
– Ecological Validity (Generalizability) – Do experimental
effect the heart.
methods & results generalize to real world? (mood / creativity)
– Internal Validity – Extent to which changes in DV are due to
manipulation of IV (Is it free from bias or errors?)
Possible Theory: Confidence affects performance
Hypothesis: More difficult tasks will lower later
performance on the same kinds of tasks
Hard Word List Complete
Easy Word List Time to
ABC NEWS – Curly or Straight?
• Can you identify each of the following for
– Independent Variable:
– Dependent Variable:
– Possible Problems with the study?
• Asch Experiment
Ethics in Research
• Ethics in animal research
–Reasons for using animals in
–Safeguards for animal use
Ethics in Research
• Ethics in human research
–Protect from harm and
Statistical Reasoning in
YES!! FINALLY!! WHOOHOO!!
• As you read pages 52-70 in textbook
• Due Wednesday / Test Friday
– At the end of the module:
• Answer the “Check Your Vocabulary” Section
• Answer the “Apply Your Knowledge Questions”
• Complete the “Writing about Psychology” Section
Four Scales of Measurement
• Nominal Data – Identifies categories
– Ex. – yes/no answers on survey, class levels in
• Ordinal Data – Identifies order in which data falls
in a set
– Ex. – any ranking of items (i.e. class rank, top ten)
• Interval Data – Falls within a number line that has
a 0 point
– Ex. – weight, height, etc.
• Ratio Data – Fall in a number line where 0 is just
– Ex. Temperature
Measures of Central Tendency
• Mode (occurs the most)
• Mean (arithmetic average)
• Median (middle score)
Measures of Variability
• Standard Deviation
Find the Mode, Mean, Median, Range, & Standard Deviation of
Friday’s Quiz Scores
Measures of Variability
• Normal Curve (bell shaped)
When Is an Observed Difference Reliable?
• Representative samples are
better than biased samples
• Less-variable observations are
more reliable than those that are
• More cases are better than fewer
When Is a Difference Significant?
• Statistical significance
–The averages are reliable
–The differences between averages
is relatively large
–Does imply the importance of the
Frequently Asked Questions
• Can laboratory experiments
illuminate everyday life?
–The principles, not the research
findings, help explain behavior
• Does behavior depend on one’s
culture and gender?
• Influence of culture on behavior
• More similarities than differences
• Types of Files
– This presentation has been saved as a “basic” Powerpoint file. While this file
format placed a few limitations on the presentation, it insured the file would be
compatible with the many versions of Powerpoint teachers use. To add
functionality to the presentation, teachers may want to save the file for their
specific version of Powerpoint.
– Once again, to insure compatibility with all versions of Powerpoint, none of the
slides are animated. To increase student interest, it is suggested teachers
animate the slides wherever possible.
• Adding slides to this presentation
– Teachers are encouraged to adapt this presentation to their personal teaching
style. To help keep a sense of continuity, blank slides which can be copied and
pasted to a specific location in the presentation follow this “Teacher
• Hyperlink Slides - This presentation contain two types of hyperlinks. Hyperlinks
can be identified by the text being underlined and a different color (usually purple).
– Unit subsections hyperlinks: Immediately after the unit title slide, a page (slide
#3) can be found listing all of the unit’s subsections. While in slide show mode,
clicking on any of these hyperlinks will take the user directly to the beginning of
that subsection. This allows teachers quick access to each subsection.
– Bold print term hyperlinks: Every bold print term from the unit is included in
this presentation as a hyperlink. While in slide show mode, clicking on any of
the hyperlinks will take the user to a slide containing the formal definition of
the term. Clicking on the “arrow” in the bottom left corner of the definition
slide will take the user back to the original point in the presentation.
These hyperlinks were included for teachers who want students to see or copy
down the exact definition as stated in the text. Most teachers prefer the
definitions not be included to prevent students from only “copying down what
is on the screen” and not actively listening to the presentation.
For teachers who continually use the Bold Print Term Hyperlinks option, please
contact the author using the email address on the next slide to learn a
technique to expedite the returning to the original point in the presentation.
• Continuity slides
– Throughout this presentation there are slides, usually of graphics or tables, that
build on one another. These are included for three purposes.
• By presenting information in small chunks, students will find it easier to process and
remember the concepts.
• By continually changing slides, students will stay interested in the presentation.
• To facilitate class discussion and critical thinking. Students should be encouraged to think
about “what might come next” in the series of slides.
• Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com with
any questions, concerns, suggestions, etc. regarding these
Germantown High School
Germantown, WI 53022
Division title (green print)
subdivision title (blue print)
Division title (green print)
subdivision title (blue print)
Use this slide to add a table, chart, clip art, picture, diagram, or video clip. Delete
this box when finished
= add definition here
= the tendency to believe, after learning an
outcome, that one would have foreseen it.
• Also known as the “I knew it all along”
= thinking that does not blindly accept
arguments and conclusions. Rather, it
examines assumptions, discerns hidden
values, evaluates evidence, and assesses
= an explanation using an integrated set of
principles that organizes observations and
predicts behaviors or events.
= a testable prediction, often implied by a
= a statement of the procedures (operations)
used to define research variables.
• i.e. Human intelligence may be
operationally defined as what an
intelligence test measures.
= repeating the essence of a research study,
usually with different participants in
different situations, to see whether the
basic finding extends to other participants
= an observation technique in which one
person is studied in depth in the hope of
revealing universal principles.
= a technique for ascertaining the self-
reported attitudes or behaviors of a
particular group, usually by questioning a
representative, random sample of the
= all the cases in a group being studied,
from which samples may be drawn.
• Note: Except for national studies, this does
NOT refer to a country’s whole population.
= a sample that fairly represents a
population because each member has an
equal chance of inclusion.
= observing and recording behavior in
naturally occurring situations without trying
to manipulate and control the situation.
= a measure of the extent to which two
factors vary together, and thus of how well
either factor predicts the other.
= a statistical index of the relationship
between two things (from -1 to +1).
= a graphed cluster of dots, each of which
represents the values of two variables.
The slope of the points suggests the
direction of the relationship between the
two variables. The amount of scatter
suggests the strength of the correlation
(little scatter indicates high correlation).
= the perception of a relationship where
= a research method in which an
investigator manipulates one or more
factors (independent variables) to observe
the effect on some behavior or mental
process (the dependent variable). By
random assignment of participants, the
experimenter aims to control other
= assigning participants to experimental and
control groups by chance, thus minimizing
preexisting differences between those
assigned to the different groups.
= an experimental procedure in which both
the research participants and the research
staff are ignorant (blind) about whether the
research participants have received the
treatment or the placebo. Commonly used
in drug-evaluation studies.
= experimental results caused by
expectation alone; any effect on behavior
caused by the administration of an inert
substance or condition, which the recipient
assumes is an active agent.
= in an experiment, the group that is
exposed to the treatment, that is, to one
version of the independent variable.
= in an experiment, the group that is NOT
exposed to the treatment; contrasts with
the experimental group and serves as a
comparison for evaluating the effect of
= the experimental factor that is
manipulated; the variable whose effect is
= a factor other than the independent
variable that might produce an effect in an
= the outcome factor; the variable that may
change in response to manipulations of
the independent variable.
= the most frequently occurring score(s) in a
= the arithmetic average of a distribution,
obtained by adding the scores and then
dividing by the number of scores.
= the middle score in a distribution, half the
scores are above it and half are below it.
= the difference between the highest and
lowest score in a distribution.
= a computed measure of how much scores
vary around the mean score.
= a symmetrical, bell-shaped curve that
describes the distribution of many types of
data; most scored fall near the mean (68
percent fall within one standard deviation
of it) and fewer and fewer near the
= a statistical statement of how likely it is
that an obtained result occurred by
= the enduring behavior, ideas, attitudes,
and traditions shared by a group of people
and transmitted from one generation to the
= an ethical principle that research
participants be told enough to enable them
to choose whether they wish to participate.
= the postexperimental explanation of a
study, including its purpose and any
deceptions, to its participants.