3 Psych 101

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  1. Empiricism
    The belief that accurate knowledge can be acquired through observation
  2. Scientific method
    A procedure for finding truth by using empirical evidence
  3. Hypothesis
    A falsifiable prediction made by a theory
  4. What is the rule of parsimony?
    Simplest answer is most often the correct one. Aka Ockham's razor
  5. Why can theories be proven wrong but not right?
    Because it only takes one counter example to prove a theory wrong whereas it takes every example possible to prove a theory right
  6. Empirical method
    A set of rules and techniques for observation
  7. What makes human beings especially difficult to study?
    • Complexity: Complicated brain/feelings/thoughts that come with it
    • Variability: No two people ever do things and perceive things exactly the same
    • Reactivity: People act and react differently depending on what's going on around them
  8. Empiricism is the belief that
    The best way to understand the world is to observe it, its become prominent in the last few centuries
  9. The heart of the scientific method is
    Empiricism, which suggests out theories give rise to falsifiable hypotheses and we can make observations to test and disprove them but never prove them
  10. Observation doesn't just mean
    "Looking" it requires a method. Psychology requires special methods because people are different than bacteria or something like that
  11. What two things does measurement require?
    • 1. Define the property we wish to measure
    • 2. Find a way to detect it
  12. Operational definition
    A description of a property in concrete, measurable terms
  13. Instrument
    Anything that an detect the condition to which an operational definition refers
  14. Validity
    The goodness with which a concrete even defines a property
  15. Reliability
    The tendency for an instrument to produce the same measurement whenever it is used to measure the same thing
  16. Power
    An instrument's ability to detect small magnitudes of the property
  17. Demand characteristics
    Those aspects of an observational setting that cause people to behave as they think someone else wants or expects
  18. Naturalistic observation
    A technique for gathering scientific information by unobtrusively observing people in their natural environment
  19. What are the properties of a good operational definition and a good instrument?
    Reliability and validity.
  20. How do people respond when they know they are being observed?
    They display demand characteristics like refusing to honestly comment on if someone looks fat or not
  21. Why is it important for subjects to be "blind"?
    It helps avoid demand characteristics and get authentic results from the participants
  22. Why is it important for experimenters to be "blind"?
    Expectations can influence observations and expectations can influence reality
  23. Double blind
    An observation whose true purpose is hidden from both the observer and the person being observed
  24. Frequency distribution
    A graphical representation of measurements arranged by the number of times each measurement was taken
  25. Normal distribution
    A mathematically defined distribution where the frequency of measurements is highest in the middle and decreases symmetrically in both directions
  26. Mode
    The value of the most frequently observed measurement
  27. Mean
    The average value of all the measurements
  28. Median
    The value that is in the middle; that is, greater than or equal to half the measurements and less than or equal to half the measurements
  29. What are the two major kinds of descriptive statistics?
    • Central tendency: Statements about the value of the measurements that tend to lie near the center or midpoint
    • Variability: in a frequency distribution
  30. What are two measures of variability
    • Standard deviation
    • Range
  31. Range
    The value of the largest measurement in a frequency distribution minus the value of the smallest measurement
  32. Standard deviation
    A statistic that describes the average difference between the measurements in a frequency distribution and the mean of that distribution
  33. Measurement involves
    Defining a property in terms of a concrete condition, and then constructing a measurement that can detect that condition
  34. A good measure is
    • Valid: The concrete conditions it measures are conceptually related to the property of interest
    • Reliable: It produces the same measurement whenever it is used to measure the same thing
    • Powerful: It can detect the concrete conditions when they actually exist
  35. When people know they are being observed they may
    Behave as they think they should (demand characteristics)
  36. Frequency distribution graphs are used by psychologists to
    Describe the measurements they make. The graphs often have a special shape known as the normal distribution.
  37. Psychologists also describe their measurements with
    Descriptive statistics; the most common are central tendency: mean, median and mode; and descriptions of variability: such as range and standard deviation
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3 Psych 101
Psych 101 class 4
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