IV. Psychology and the Scientific Method
Why can psychology be viewed as a branch of science?
Psychology can be viewed as a branch of science because psychologists adopt the scientific methods in their efforts to study human behavior.
What values are central to the scientific method?
Values central to the scientific method include accuracy, objectivity, skepticism, and open-mindedness.
What are theories and what is their role in the scientific method?
Theories organize existing knowledge and make predictions that can be tested in research. They help scientists attain explanations of natural phenomena understanding of why certain events or processes occur as they do.
Why is common sense such an uncertain guide to human behavior?
Common sense often suggests inconsistent and contradictory conclusions about behavior, and is influenced by several important forms of bias.
What are the confirmation bias, availability heuristic, and intuitive thinking, and what role do they play in our efforts to understand human behavior?
These are cognitive errors we make in thinking about the world around us. They often lead us to false conclusions about human behavior.
What is critical thinking?
Such thinking closely examines all claims and assumptions, carefully evaluates existing evidence, and cautiously assesses all conclusions.
What role does it play in psychology?
Critical thinking is a basic aspect of the scientific method and is an integral part of efforts by psychologists to understand behavior.
How can you use it in everyday life?
You can use it to assess claims about human behavior made in newspaper and magazine articles, on television shows, and many other contexts.
This discussion of scientific reasoning presents insights into the actual process of conducting scientific investigations the things that scientists do and do not do in the course of an actual investigation. You might browse the site more to discover other points of view as well.
Experimenter Bias in Hypnotist Performance
Presents a brief article, "Experimenter Bias in Hypnotist Performance" by Suzanne A. Troffer and Charles T. Tart. This article was originally published in "Science," September 18, 1964, Vol. 145, No. 3638, Pages 1330-1331. What techniques could the experimenter use to avoid such biases? What does the article's author recommend for dealing with this bias in the process?