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Thinking Critically With Psychological Science
NOTE: Answer guidelines for all Chapter 1 questions begin on page 31.
Chapter 1 explains the limits of intuition and common sense in reasoning about behavior and mental processes. To counteract our human tendency toward faulty reasoning, psychologists adopt a scientific attitude that is based on curiosity, skepticism, humility, and critical thinking. Chapter 1 also explains how psychologists, using the scientific method, employ the research strategies of description, correlation, and experimentation in order to objectively describe, predict, and explain behavior. The next section discusses how statistical reasoning is used to help psychologists describe data and to generalize from instances. To describe data, psychologists often rely on measures of central tendency such as the mean, median, and mode, as well as variation measures such as the range and standard deviation. Statistical reasoning also helps psychologists determine when it is safe to generalize from a sample to the larger population. Chapter 1 concludes with a discussion of several questions people often ask about psychology, including why animal research is relevant, whether laboratory experiments are ethical, whether behavior varies with culture and gender, and whether psychology’s principles don’t have the potential for misuse. Chapter 1 introduces a number of concepts and issues that will play an important role in later chapters. Pay particular attention to the strengths and weaknesses of descriptive and correlational research. In addition, make sure that you understand the method of experimentation, especially the importance of control conditions and the difference between independent and dependent variables. Finally, you should be able to discuss three important principles concerning populations and samples, as well as the concept of significance in testing difference.
First, skim each section, noting headings and boldface items. After you have read the section, review each objective by answering the fill-in and essay-type questions that follow it. As you proceed, evaluate your performance by consulting the answers beginning on page 31. Do not continue with the next section until you understand each answer. If you need to, review or reread the section in the textbook before continuing.
The Need for Psychological Science (pp. 19–26)
David Myers at times uses idioms that are unfamiliar to some readers. If you do not know the meaning of any of the following words, phrases, or expressions in the context in which they appear in the introduction to this chapter and in this section, refer to pages 38–40 for an explanation: to remedy their own woes; winnow sense from nonsense; dresses it in jargon; bull’s eye; “Out of sight, out of mind”; “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”; familiarity breeds contempt; drop a course; lackluster predictions; hard-headed curiosity; leap of faith; the proof is in the pudding; auras; crazy-sounding ideas; arena of competing ideas; so much the worse for our ideas; “The rat is always right”; the spectacles of our preconceived ideas; gut feelings; debunked; “play the tape”; sift reality from illusion.
Chapter 1 Thinking Critically With Psychological Science
Objective 1: Define hindsight bias, and explain how it can make research findings seem like mere common sense. 1. The tendency to perceive an outcome that has occurred as being obvious and predictable is called the . This phenomenon is (rare/common) in (children/adults/both children and adults). 2. Because it is (after the fact/usually wrong), this tendency makes a research findings seem like mere common sense. Objective 2: Describe how overconfidence contaminates our everyday judgments. 3. Our everyday thinking is also limited by in what we think we know, which occurs because of our to seek information that confirms our judgments. 4. Most people are (better/worse/equally wrong) in predicting their social behavior. Objective 3: Explain how the scientific attitude encourages critical thinking. 5. The scientific approach is characterized by the attitudes of , , and . 6. Scientific inquiry thus encourages reasoning that examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions, which is called . Objective 4: Describe how psychological theories guide scientific research. 7. Psychologists use the to guide their study of behavior and mental processes. They make and form , which are based on new .
8. An explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts behaviors or events is a . Testable predictions that allow a scientist to evaluate a theory are called . These predic. tions give direction to 9. In order to prevent theoretical biases from influencing scientific observations, research must be reported precisely—using clear of all concepts—so that others can the findings. 10. The test of a useful theory is the extent to which it effectively observations . and implies clear 11. Psychologists conduct research using methods , and methods.
Description (pp. 26–30)
If you do not know the meaning of any of the following words, phrases, or expressions in the context in which they appear in the text, refer to page 40 for an explanation: Numbers are numbing; Anecdotes are often more startling; a thimbleful; snapshot of the opinions.
Objective 5: Identify an advantage and a disadvantage of using case studies to study behavior and mental processes. 1. The research strategy in which one or more individuals is studied in depth in order to reveal universal principles of behavior is the . 2. Although case studies can suggest for further study, a potential problem with this method is that any given individual may be . Objective 6: Identify the advantages and disadvantages of using surveys to study behavior and mental processes, and explain the importance of wording effects and random sampling. 3. The method in which a group of people is questioned about their attitudes or behavior is the .
and one is thus able to the other.Correlation 19 4. are often used to depict the relationship between two sets Correlation (pp. one decreases as the other increases. If two factors increase or decrease together. 8. Objective 7: Identify an advantage and a disadvantage of using naturalistic observation to study behavior and mental processes. flipped a coin. the two factors are said to be . they are they are Another way to state the latter is that the two variables relate does not indicate the does correlation prove rather. A correlation between two events or behaviors means only that one event can be from the other. surveys. 9. 5. 11. Also. 4. and naturalistic observation do not explain behavior. The mathematical expression of this relationship is called a . 10. Graphs called of scores. using observations of walking speed and the accuracy of public clocks. “cold hands” . or of the relationship. representative samples (are/are not) better than small ones. or expressions in the context in which they appear in the text. 7. researchers have found that people are more likely to laugh in situations than in situations. If your level of test anxiety goes down as your time spent studying for the exam goes up. Objective 9: Explain why correlational research fails to provide evidence of cause-effect relationships. 6. 5. . researchers have concluded that the pace of life (varies/ does not vary) from one culture to another. 2. When changes in one factor are accompanied by changes in another. . every person (does/does not) have a chance of being included. phrases. If. it merely indicates the possibility of a relationship. Nor . We are more likely to overgeneralize from select samples that are especially .” Objective 8: Describe positive and negative correlations. Large. 30–36) If you do not know the meaning of any of the following words. refer to page 40 for an explanation: naked eye. 3. An important factor in the validity of survey research is the of questions. 1. however. and explain how correlational measures can aid the process of prediction. one that will be representative of the being studied. “hot hands. . Surveys try to obtain a sample. A negative correlation between two variables . The tendency to overestimate others’ agreement with us is the . Case studies. would you say these events are positively or negatively correlated? Explain your reasoning. . The research method in which people or animals are directly observed in their natural environments is called . they simply it. In such a sample. Using naturalistic observation. .
researchers control for other . Objective 13: Explain why the double-blind procedure and random assignment build confidence in research findings. Research studies have found that breast-fed infants (do/do not) grow up with higher intelligence scores than those of help . refer to page 40 for an explanation: recap. Experimenters rely on the of individuals to the experimental conditions. the researcher is making use of the . 3. 9. A perceived correlation that does not really exist is an . 36–39) If you do not know the meaning of the following word in the context in which it appears in the text. 1. a correlation does the infants who are bottle-fed with cow’s milk. To isolate and . 5. 6. 8. 10. People are more likely to notice and recall events that their beliefs. An experiment must involve at least two conditions: the the condition. If a changes when an factor is varied. 7. Using this the other. . a is said to occur. This error beliefs. . Objective 14: Explain the difference between an independent and a dependent variable. When neither the subjects nor the person collecting the data knows which condition a subject is in. the . 7. For this reason. called a and compare their behavior with that of participants who receive the actual treatment. 2. and they do not) appear random. psychologists conduct method. Because two events may both be caused by some other not mean that one enable . Another common tendency is to perceive order in . and absent. Patterns and streaks in random sequences occur (more/less) often than people expect. 8. To study cause-effect relationships. a researcher factor of interest. When merely thinking that one is receiving a treatment produces results. (do/ in thinking helps explain many researcher knows the factor is having an . 4. Objective 12: Explain how experiments researchers isolate cause and effect. while other factors. in condition.20 Chapter 1 Thinking Critically With Psychological Science 6. in which it is which the experimental treatment is present. Researchers sometimes give certain participants a pseudotreatment. The factor that is being manipulated in an experiment is called the variable. correlation thus does not Objective 10: Describe how people form illusory correlations. Experimentation (pp. Objective 11: Explain the human tendency to perceive order in random sequences.
The most frequently occurring score in a distribu- Statistical Reasoning (pp. Objective 18: Describe two measures of variation. 9. Objective 16: Explain how bar graphs can misrepresent data. Explain at least one advantage of the experiment as a research method.Statistical Reasoning 21 The measurable factor that may change as a result of these manipulations is called the variable. data are “noisy. and all other . or expressions in the context in which they appear in the text.” extreme scores. Objective 17: Describe the three measures of central tendency. and give an example of their use in everyday life. not take) into consideration information from . (high/low) Objective 15: Explain the importance of statistical principles. . Researchers use to help 9. Unlike the range. 8. the standard deviation each score in the distribution. and tell which is most affected by extreme scores. Averages derived from scores with (high/low) variability are more reliable than those with variability. or . gauges. national income cake. (takes/does them see and interpret their observations. 3. The mean is computed as the of all the scores divided by the percentile. The measures of variation include the and the . The standard deviation is a (more accurate/less accurate) measure of variation than the range. . they must them. 7. refer to pages 40–41 for an explanation: Off the top-ofthe-head estimates. The aim of an experiment is to a(n) the variable. 4. 39–44) If you do not know the meaning of any of the following words. When a distribution is lopsided. The range provides a(n) (crude/accurate) estimate of variation because it (is/is not) influenced by extreme scores. the (mean/median/mode) can be biased by a few of scores. The three measures of central tendency are the . 12. 10. It is important to read the and note the to avoid being mislead by misrepresented data. Once researchers have gathered their . The median is the score at the . 2. phrases. variable. The range is computed as the . the and the tion is called the 5. 1. One simple way of visually representing data is to use a . 6. 11.
” In doing so. To understand how a combustion engine works . 7. Objective 20: Explain how psychologists decide whether differences are meaningful. 6. They wonder tion. . throughout the world people diagnosed with exhibit the same malfuncfar outweigh differences. 15. For instance. 5. the underlying are the same. Likewise. phrases. and the differ(relaThe differences are probably real if the sample that one generation passes Frequently Asked Questions About Psychology (pp. Objective 22: Discuss whether psychological research can be generalized across cultures and genders. or expressions in the context in which they appear in the text.22 Chapter 1 Thinking Critically With Psychological Science Objective 19: Identify three principles of making generalizations from samples. As an example. and over the many variables present in the “real world. More important. refer to page 41 for an explanation: plunge in. 4. should . Culture refers to shared . 13. . Opposition to animal experimentation also raises the question of what protect the well-being of animals.. 17. Tests of statistical are used sample. Objective 23: Explain why psychologists study animals. Averages are more reliable when they are based flexibly cope with also cope flexibly with . researchers have found that people who . to estimate whether observed differences are real—that is. 16. they study animals because of the (similarities/differences) between humans and other animals. sigvariation. . In laboratory experiments. and discuss the ethics of experimentation with both animals and humans. Although specific attitudes and behaviors vary across cultures. color “the facts. on to the next. . 1.” Objective 21: Explain the value of simplified laboratory conditions in discovering general principles of behavior. stresses 2. to make sure that they are not simply the result of averages are ence between them is tively small/relatively large). Some people question whether experiments with animals are whether it is right to place the of humans over those of animals. Statistical significance does not necessarily indicate the importance or nificance of a difference or result. psychologists’ concern is not with specific behaviors but with the underlying theoretical . These studies have led to treatments for human and to a better understanding of human functioning. Many psychologists study animals because they are fascinating. It is safer to generalize from a sample than from a on scores with variability. screen. Psychologists conduct experiments on simplified behaviors in a laboratory environment in order to gain they are able to test of behavior that also operate in the real world. similarities between the . 44–50) If you do not know the meaning of any of the following words. 3. (high/low) 14. Small samples provide a (more/less) reliable basis for generalizing than large samples.
(more/less) likely constructs. experimental group. and . d. principles that help to organize. correlation b. 3. A psychologist studies the play behavior of thirdgrade children by watching groups during recess at school. b. dependent variable. and explain facts. 1. test group. (Thinking Critically) People who serve on juries in capital punishment cases (do/do not) represent the greater population. (Thinking Critically) States with a death penalty (have/do not have) lower homicide rates. 5. arguing that most scientific concepts are merely Psychological scientists (agree/disagree) on whether there is. a psychologist concludes that the brain region destroyed is likely to be important for memory functions. 4. predict. They are to be minorities and women. statistical indexes. PROGRESS TEST 1 Multiple-Choice Questions Circle your answers to the following questions and check them with the answers beginning on page 33. b. case study c. exercise is the: a. b. Theories are defined as: a. independent variable. 9. control group. experimentation d. a survey d. If your answer is incorrect. observations. 10. Although psychology (can/cannot) be used to manipulate people. one group of people is given a pill that contains the drug. testable propositions. d. Which type of research did the psychologist use to deduce this? a. read the explanation for why it is incorrect and then consult the appropriate pages of the text (in parentheses following the correct answer). In an experiment to determine the effects of exercise on motivation. naturalistic observation Objective 24: Describe how personal values can influence psychologists’ research and its application. (Thinking Critically) The viewpoint called (do/ do not) influence their theories. in fact. the case study c. In order to determine the effects of a new drug on memory. control condition. 8. c. d. a “real world” of psychological principles that science can reveal. After detailed study of a gunshot wound victim. questions scientific objectivity. experimentation 2. correlation b. factors that may change in response to manipulation. This second group constitutes the: a. its purpose is to .Progress Test 1 23 Describe the goals of the ethical guidelines for psychological research. random sample. 12. A second group is given a sugar pill that does not contain the drug. c. Psychologists’ values professional advice. c. 11. intervening variable. and discuss psychology’s potential to manipulate people. Which type of research is being used? a.
the difference is not likely to be due to chance variation. 4? a. 2 d. naturalistic observation d. b. median b. ideas need to be tested against observable evidence. experiment 12. do not influence the interpretation of experimental results because of the use of statistical techniques that guard against subjective bias. operational definitions. 4 d. believing that his market savvy would allow him to pick stocks that would make him a rich day trader. all of the above are true. survey b. b. 0. the difference is probably the result of sampling variation. 2. it is important that: a. 8. 1. c. When a difference between two groups is “statistically significant. Which of the following is the measure of central tendency that would be most affected by a few extreme scores? a. symmetrical. 2 d. b. case study c. d. 3. 3 b. psychologists use: a. c. 18. 3. 2. all of the above are observed. illusory correlation. experimental group c. control group. d. IQ is unpredictable based on a person’s shoe size. People with large feet tend to have high IQs. d. c. d. The scientific attitude of skepticism is based on the belief that: a. the sample is representative of the population. normal. 5. population 13. Psychologists’ personal values: a. skewed. the scientist’s intuition about behavior is usually correct. the sample is large. This belief best illustrates: a. d. mental processes can’t be studied objectively. the scores in the sample have low variability. Well-done surveys measure attitudes in a representative subset. b. Juwan eagerly opened an online trading account. can bias both scientific observation and interpretation of data. 10. range d. 4 15. 8. A lopsided set of scores that includes a number of extreme or unusual values is said to be: a. 3. 6. People with small feet tend to have high IQs. What is the median of the following distribution of scores: 1. overconfidence. of an entire group.7 b. b. random sample b. or . 1 c. People with small feet tend to have low IQs.” this means that: a. control group d. mode . Which of the following would be best for determining whether alcohol impairs memory? a. 7. What is the mode of the following distribution: 8. 4. d. a.7 14. replication c. In generalizing from a sample to the population. hindsight bias. Which of the following is not a basic research technique used by psychologists? a. 2? a.24 Chapter 1 Thinking Critically With Psychological Science 6. the difference is statistically real but of little practical significance. 1. description b. c. b. population. 20. 2. experimental group. 1. 3 b. 7. 4. 19. d. dispersed. c. 6. the false consensus effect. experimentation d. have little influence on how their experiments are conducted. or . If shoe size and IQ are negatively correlated. correlation 9. 17. double-blind procedures. What is the mean of the following distribution of scores: 2. To ensure that other researchers can repeat their work. 7. c. 9. b. 7 16. c. 3. c. 5 c. have little influence on investigative methods but a significant effect on interpretation. random sample. 7. control groups. random assignment. 2? a. which of the following is true? a. 7. d. b. 1 c. 11. 8. people are rarely candid in revealing their thoughts. mean c.
experimental groups. 14. c. naturalistic observation b. 3. intervening variable. 4. starvation. 8. the mean. Allegations that psychologists routinely subject animals to pain. 3. the arithmetic average of a set of scores d. 12. control groups. control condition. memory is the: a. false perception of a relationship between two variables PROGRESS TEST 2 Progress Test 2 should be completed during a final chapter review. case study c. a graphed cluster of dots depicting the values of two variables h. d. survey d. 4. and mode b. 5. the range and standard deviation e. Which of the following research methods does not belong with the others? a. . the double-blind procedure. overestimating others’ agreement with us n. 9. independent variable. and other inhumane conditions have been proven untrue. d. the difference between the highest and lowest scores c. b. c. the most frequently occurring score f. scientists employ: a. “I-knew-it-all-along” phenomenon k. the middle score in a distribution g. Which statement about the ethics of experimentation with people and animals is false? a. Terms Definitions or Descriptions 1. experimental results caused by expectations alone m. In an experiment to determine the effects of attention on memory. 7. experiment 2. To prevent the possibility that a placebo effect or researchers’ expectations will influence a study’s results. 10. Multiple-Choice Questions 1. 6. b. b. culture median placebo effect hindsight bias mode range standard deviation scatterplot mean measures of central tendency measures of variation false consensus effect critical thinking illusory correlation a. dependent variable. random assignment. 11. Only a small percentage of animal experiments use shock.Progress Test 2 25 Matching Items Match each term and concept with its definition or description. The American Psychological Association and the British Psychological Society have set strict guidelines for the care and treatment of human and animal subjects. 2. reasoning that does not blindly accept arguments l. 13. c. a measure of variation based on every score i. Animals are used in psychological research more often than they are killed by humane animal shelters. shared ideas and behaviors passed from one generation to the next j. d. Answer the following questions after you thoroughly understand the correct answers for the section reviews and Progress Test 1. median.
6. c. overestimated. What is the median of the following distribution: 10. Cooper had students fill out questionnaires in brightly lit or dimly lit rooms. 8 b. d. Which of the following best describes the hindsight bias? a. d. make all of the above reasoning errors. randomly assigned b. 11. Dr. 10. 9. the perception of a correlation where there is none. b. In a test of the effects of air pollution. the sample not be too large. control d. Psychology has few ties to other disciplines. 2 c. random assignment. mean c. the students’ responses to the questionnaire. 14? a. What is the mode of the following distribution of scores: 2. standard deviation d. 7. experimentation b. positive. 4. 6 c. 10 d. c. Events seem more predictable after they have occurred. 6 16. 12. 7 d. 15. The strength of the relationship between two vivid events will most likely be: a. In order to study the effects of lighting on mood. Which type of research would allow you to determine whether students’ college grades accurately predict later income? a.0. 2. the independent variable consisted of: a. What is the mean of the following distribution of scores: 2. naturalistic observation d. b. it is important that: a. 9 18. 2 c. c. 11. One reason researchers base their findings on representative samples is to avoid the false consensus effect. c. 4. d. To what condition were students in the unpolluted room exposed? a. d. Which of the following is the measure of variation that is most affected by extreme scores? a. 1. c. 11. Because laboratory experiments are artificial. the room lighting. 4. 4 d. In this study. according to the text? a. 6. A person’s intuition is usually not correct. all of the above be true. an insignificant correlation. b. 15 17. No psychological theory can be considered a good one until it produces testable predictions. the sample be nonrandom. correlation 13. range . which refers to our tendency to: a. mode b. variable controlling. d. c. Which of the following is true. d. case study c. the subject matter of the questions asked. the number of students assigned to each group. b. 7.26 Chapter 1 Thinking Critically With Psychological Science 5. c. d. 6 b. overestimate the extent to which others share our belief. groups of students performed a reaction-time task in a polluted or an unpolluted room. b. 4? a. significant. Events seem more predictable before they have occurred. dependent 14. Psychology’s theories reflect common sense. the perception that two negatively correlated variables are positively correlated. 5 b. 8. a correlation that equals –1. b. Illusory correlation refers to: a. representative sampling. 9. b. 8. stratification. 5. 10. b. A person’s intuition is usually correct. experimental c. c. the sample be representative. In generalizing from a sample to the population. falsely perceive a relationship between two events when none exists. 8. 5. d. negative. The procedure designed to ensure that the experimental and control groups do not differ in any way that might affect the experiment’s results is called: a. 9? a. 4. any principles discovered cannot be applied to everyday behaviors. 6. underestimate errors in our judgment.
20. b. she has not specified a dependent variable. b. g. prediction is a(n) a. i. Your roommate is conducting a survey to learn how many hours the typical college student studies each day. an in-depth observational study of one person the variable being manipulated in an experiment the variable being measured in an experiment the “treatment-absent” condition in an experiment testable proposition repeating an experiment to see whether the same results are obtained the process in which research participants are selected by chance for different groups in an experiment an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts observations the research strategy in which the effects of one or more variables on behavior are tested the “treatment-present” condition in an experiment the research strategy in which a representative sample of individuals is questioned experimental procedure in which neither the research participant nor the experimenter knows which condition the participant is in PSYCHOLOGY APPLIED Answer these questions the day before an exam as a final check on your understanding of the chapter’s terms and concepts. hypothesis theory independent variable dependent variable experimental condition control condition case study survey replication random assignment experiment double-blind a. c. 4. 12. the sample will probably not be representative of the population of interest. 8. She plans to pass out her questionnaire to the members of her sorority. c. b. 10. The difference is probably not reliable. Multiple-Choice Questions 1. hypothesis. d.Psychology Applied 27 19. If a difference between two samples is not statistically significant. j. k. hypothesis independent variable. You point out that her findings will be flawed because: a. Terms Definitions or Descriptions 1. l. d. . b. dependent variable dependent variable. The difference is probably not a true one. d. 5. 6. c. theory theory. 11. which of the following can be concluded? a. small standard deviation. c. The difference could be due to sampling variation. The set of scores that would likely be most representative of the population from which it was drawn would be a sample with a relatively: a. d. You decide to test your belief that men drink more soft drinks than women by finding out whether more soft drinks are consumed per day in the men’s dorm than in the women’s dorm. f. Matching Items Match each term with its definition or description. b. 3. 2. c. e. All of the above can be concluded. independent variable 2. of all the above reasons. small range. she has not specified an independent variable. h. 7. 9. large range. large standard deviation. Your belief is a(n) . d. and your research .
c. d. c. Rashad. 6. is truthfully told by the experimenter that he has been assigned to the “high-dose condition. Saturated fat causes cancer. all of the above are true. b. What is wrong with Martina’s research strategy? a. 4. results cannot be generalized from a sample to a population. 7. most psychological research is not conducted in a laboratory environment. c. Every student should be sent the questionnaire. None of the above is necessarily true. Which of the following techniques should be used in order to survey a random sample of the student body? a.g. . psychologists intentionally study behavior in simplified environments in order to gain greater control over variables and to test general principles that help to explain many behaviors. researchers cannot describe. 5. d. psychologists make every attempt to avoid artificiality by setting up experiments that closely simulate real-world environments. c. c. Knowing that Rashad is in the “high-dose” condition may influence the experimenter’s interpretations of Rashad’s results.28 Chapter 1 Thinking Critically With Psychological Science 3. predict. naturalistic observation.” What is wrong with this experiment? a. d. b. b. experimentation. Both b. d. d. There is no provision for replication of the findings. There is no control condition. Martina believes that high doses of caffeine slow a person’s reaction time.) student should be asked to complete the questionnaire. psychological research should be free of value judgments. d. In order to test this belief. correlational research. Your best friend criticizes psychological research for being artificial and having no relevance to behavior in real life. and c. 10. No independent variable is specified. From an alphabetical listing of all students. The concept of control is important in psychological research because: a. This study is an example of: a. experimental control allows researchers to study the influence of one or two independent variables on a dependent variable while holding other potential influences constant. b. So she matched her students’ scores on a math test with their seating position. every tenth (or fifteenth. a survey. Rashad’s expectations concerning the effects of “high doses” of alcohol on perception may influence his performance. c. are correct. c. c. Only students living on campus should be asked to complete the questionnaire. of all the above reasons. Only students majoring in psychology should be asked to complete the questionnaire. People who are prone to develop cancer prefer foods containing saturated fat. psychologists who conduct basic research are not concerned with the applicability of their findings to the real world. A researcher was interested in determining whether her students’ test performance could be predicted from their proximity to the front of the classroom. who is participating in a psychology experiment on the effects of alcohol on perception. No dependent variable is specified. A professor constructs a questionnaire to determine how students at the university feel about nuclear disarmament. without control over independent and dependent variables. A separate factor links the consumption of saturated fat to cancer. psychologists study only observable behaviors. d. without experimental control. b. In defense of psychology’s use of laboratory experiments you point out that: a. b. or explain behavior. which of the following is true? a. There is no control condition. she has five friends each drink three 8ounce cups of coffee and then measures their reaction time on a learning task. To say that “psychology is a science” means that: a. 8. 9. b. If eating saturated fat and the likelihood of contracting cancer are positively correlated. e. b. psychologists study thoughts and actions with an attitude of skepticism and derive their conclusions from direct observations. d.
Bob scored 43 out of 70 points on his psychology exam. b. What can Dr. In a test of the effects of a drug on memory. All of the above are true. His decision probably is based on: a. He should compute the: a. statistical significance. 13. Which of the following procedures is an example of the use of a placebo? a. 16. b. Neither the participants nor the experimenter knows which treatment condition is in effect. even when specific thoughts and actions vary across cultures. Joe believes that his basketball game is always best when he wears his old gray athletic socks. c. 15. . If height and body weight are positively correlated.000. mode. mean. Females have superior reasoning ability. b. the possibility that the average is the mean. b. respectively. None of the above is true. researchers must evaluate new ideas and theories objectively rather than accept them blindly. d. c. 18. d. which actually contains an active drug. A friend majoring in anthropology is critical of psychological research because it often ignores the influence of culture on thoughts and actions. 12. b. it is impossible for psychologists to control for every possible variable that might influence research participants. scientific theories must be testable. He was worried until he discovered that most of the class earned the same score. mean. d. mean c. The football team’s punter wants to determine how consistent his punting distances have been during the past season. Salazar recently completed an experiment in which she compared reasoning ability in a sample of females and a sample of males. overconfidence. range. there is very little evidence that cultural diversity has a significant effect on specific behaviors and attitudes. which measure of central tendency would be most affected? a. d. You point out that: a. c. median d. b. b. a participant is led to believe that a harmless pill actually contains an active drug. d. A statistical test revealed that her results were not statistically significant. b. mode b. d. standard deviation 20. Dr. Salazar conclude? a. The four families on your block all have annual household incomes of $25. 14. c. c. The difference in the means of the two samples is probably due to chance variation. 19. Esteban refuses to be persuaded by an advertiser’s claim that people using their brand of gasoline average 50 miles per gallon. mode. A participant in an experiment is led to believe that a pill. The scientific attitude of humility is based on the idea that: a. d. median. the absence of information about the size of the sample studied. the absence of information about the variation in sample scores. weight decreases. There is a cause-effect relationship between height and weight. researchers must be prepared to reject their own ideas in the face of conflicting evidence. standard deviation. Bob’s score was equal to the: a. c. which of the following is true? a. all of the above. The difference in the means of the two samples is reliable. As height increases. c. one can predict his or her weight. If a new family with an annual income of $75. hindsight bias.000 moved in. d. is harmless. which could be artificially inflated by a few extreme scores. Participants in an experiment are not told which treatment condition is in effect. as they often do. c. Knowing a person’s height. d. c. on a 25-point scale. The means of the female and male samples equaled 21 and 19. b. Joe is a victim of the phenomenon called: a. simple explanations of behavior make better theories than do complex explanations. most researchers assign participants to experimental and control conditions in such a way as to fairly represent the cultural diversity of the population under study. 17. median. the underlying processes are much the same.Psychology Applied 29 11. illusory correlation.
30. 17. 18. 23. 19. 3. and organize them. 5. Then write the essay on a separate piece of paper. 11. on a separate piece of paper write a brief definition or explanation of each of the following. 20. 24. 28. 12. 8. 10. 26. 16. 22. 4. 2. 25.) KEY TERMS Writing Definitions Using your own words. (Use the space below to list the points you want to make. 14. 6. 13. 27. 15.30 Chapter 1 Thinking Critically With Psychological Science Essay Question Elio has a theory that regular exercise can improve thinking. 9. 1. 29. Help him design an experiment evaluating this theory. 7. hindsight bias critical thinking theory hypothesis operational definition replication case study survey false consensus effect population random sample naturalistic observation correlation scatterplot illusory correlation experiment double-blind procedure placebo effect experimental condition control condition random assignment independent variable dependent variable mode mean median range standard deviation statistical significance culture . 21.
18. After you have written the definitions of the key terms in this chapter. 5. you should complete the crossword puzzle to ensure that you can reverse the process—recognize the term. Careful reasoning that examines assumptions. Measure of central tendency computed by adding the scores in a distribution and dividing by the number of scores. 16. 12. Experimental condition in which the treatment of interest is withheld. 16 17 20 21 8. 6. 3. Sample in which every member of the population has an equal chance of being included. it is called a effect. 7. Research method in which behavior is observed and recorded in naturally occurring situations without any manipulation or control. When a research participant’s expectations produce the results of an experiment. Most frequently occurring score in a distribution. evaluates evidence. 10.Answers 31 Cross-Check As you learned in the Prologue. 13. 15. Explanation using an integrated set of principles that orga18 nizes and predicts behaviors or events. Descriptive research technique in which a representative. Perception of a correlation between two events where none exists. reviewing and overlearning of material are important to the learning process. hindsight bias. 4. cutting a distribution in half. 19. 2. the variable being manipulated and tested by the investigator. 22. 19 9. 20. 17. discerns hidden values. Measure that indicates the extent to which one factor predicts another factor. and assesses conclusions. 21. Score that falls at the 50th percentile. 5. random sample of people is questioned about their attitudes or behaviors. 3. Measure of variation comput22 ed as the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution. bias equally wrong curiosity. ANSWERS Chapter Review The Need for Psychological Science 1. Experimental condition in which research participants are exposed to the independent variable being studied. Depiction of the relationship between two sets of scores by means of a graphed cluster of dots. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 8 11 12 13 14 15 ACROSS 1. humility . often implied by a theory. 11. Our tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors. Control procedure in which neither the experimenter nor the research participants are aware of which condition is in effect. DOWN 2. The bias in which we believe. A precise definition of the procedures used to identify a variable. after learning an outcome. both children and adults after the fact overconfidence. Descriptive research strategy in which one person is studied in great depth. skepticism. In an experiment. given the definition. common. 4. 14. that we could have foreseen it. Testable prediction.
mean low. chance. random events 10. positively correlated. inversely 4. standard deviation difference between the lowest and highest scores crude. laboratory. do 9. bar graph. 50th skewed. more. total sum. critical thinking 7. traditions 4. cause-effect This is an example of a negative correlation. the other factor (anxiety level) decreases. experimental. predicted 6. statistically. principles. operational definitions. 15. social. 10. mode 5. 7. 9. genders 5. range 3. behaviors. As one factor (time spent studying) increases. hypotheses. effect 4. do not have . postmodernism. are vivid naturalistic observation describe social. ideas. ethical. organize. data. control. safeguards Ethical guidelines require investigators to (1) obtain informed consent from potential participants. case study 2. 11. explanation 7. enlighten 10. illusory correlation 8. varies 8. behavior. control 7. mode. number 6. atypical 3. does 7. median. is more accurate. 12. 16. 5. takes representative low less significance. experimental Description 1. can. manipulates. double-blind procedure 6. well-being 7. theories. superstitious 9. random assignment Frequently Asked Questions About Psychology 1. control. correlation coefficient 2. similarities. observations 8. reliable. correlation. wording 5. scatterplots 3. replicate 10. experiments. scale labels. causation.32 Chapter 1 Thinking Critically With Psychological Science 6. general principles 3. dependent. revised. hypotheses. theory. holding constant (controlling) 3. correlated. observations. random. 17. measure. dependent 9. independent. population. 8. brain. placebo. independent. effect. (2) protect them from harm and discomfort. 13. placebo effect 5. experimental. do not. weakness. relatively large practical Correlation 1. stress in their marriages 2. 9. cause. statistics 2. 11. variables Experimentation has the advantage of increasing the investigator’s control of both relevant and irrelevant variables that might influence behavior. confirm. organizes. (3) treat information obtained from participants confidentially. predictions 11. predict. false consensus effect 6. event. manipulate. scientific method. factors 2. mean 4. less 12. 14. survey 4. high range. dyslexia. diseases 6. Experiments also permit the investigator to go beyond observation and description to uncover cause-effect relationships in behavior. do. strength. 10. agree 11. negatively correlated. solitary. 8. Statistical Reasoning 1. and (4) fully explain the research afterward. principles or processes. do Experimentation 1. attitudes. caused. descriptive. research 9. 8.
Actually. 28) a. not general principles. & c. not in survey research. b. 20. 31) a. 18. Because there are more “twos” than any other number in the distribution. Hypotheses are testable propositions. is the answer. (p. & c. & c. d. c. b. (p. the effects of exercise. [(2 + 3 + 7 + 6 + 1 + 4 + 9 + 5 + 8 + 2)/10 = 4. c. (p. 42–43) 17. d. is the answer. is the answer. b. Dependent variables are factors that may change in response to manipulated independent variables. c. the children are being observed in their normal environment rather than in a laboratory. is the answer. This is the tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs. A sample is a subset of a population. is the answer. is the answer. is the answer. is the answer. Psychologists’ personal values can influence all of these. (p. 13. on memory. d. d. is the answer. 4. 25) 7. 24) a. 29) a. Correlational research measures relationships between two factors. In this case. (p. A control condition for this experiment would be a group of people not permitted to exercise. there is probably no correlation at all! 11. a. (p. In a case study one subject is studied in depth. The experimental condition is the group for which the experimental treatment (the new drug) is present. The psychologist may later want to determine whether there are correlations between the variables studied under natural conditions. 3. & d. 41) 16. d. c. d.. (p. In survey research a group of people is interviewed. Control and experimental groups are used in experimentation. splitting the distribution in half. These answers would have been correct had the question stated that there is a positive correlation between shoe size and IQ. it would be possible to manipulate alcohol consumption and observe the effects. is the answer. 3. Statistical indexes may be used to test specific hypotheses (and therefore as indirect tests of theories). 5. is the answer. The mode is the most frequently occurring score. The control condition is that for which the experimental treatment (the new drug) is absent.. (pp. is the answer. b. Correlations identify whether two factors are related.. that one could have foreseen it. As an average. (p. An intervening variable is a variable other than those being manipulated that may influence behavior. 6. is the answer. d. 38) a. is the answer. b. b. 48) a. is the answer. but they are merely mathematical tools. 2 is the mode. the mean could easily be affected by the inclusion of a few extreme scores. 41) . c. b. 26) b. b. (p. This is the false perception of a relationship between two events. A random sample is a subset of a population in which every person has an equal chance of being selected. The dependent variable is the behavior measured by the experimenter—in this case. (p. (p. d. 2. These answers are incorrect because only by directly controlling the variables of interest can a researcher uncover cause-effect relationships. It is not a research method. one subject is studied in depth. (p. c. 10. A statistically significant difference may or may not be of practical importance. In an experiment. 4. both the experimental and control group are tested. (p. b. c. b. (p. c. 23) 8. d. The mean is the sum of scores divided by the number of scores. When the scores are put in order (1.7.Answers 33 Progress Test 1 Multiple-Choice Questions 1. In a case study. is the answer. if any. 25) 9. 41) 15. d. This is the tendency to believe. is the answer. (p. d. This is often the case when a difference is not statistically significant. In an experiment an investigator manipulates one variable to observe its effect on another. 43) a. 37) a. 4 is at the 50th percentile. is the answer. 2. Replication is the repetition of an experiment in order to determine whether its findings are reliable. Exercise is the variable being manipulated in the experiment. calculated by adding all scores and dividing by the number of scores.. “Test group” is an ambiguous term. c. 36) a. 12. 41) 19. 22) a. as are theories. 8). (p. 7. a. (p. c. after learning an outcome. (p. This is not an experiment because the psychologist is not directly controlling the variables being studied. is the answer. 7.] (p. b. d. is the answer. b. 41) 14.
The control condition is the comparison group. behavior. c. b. these ties have been increasing. 37) a. The control condition is the one in which the treatment—in this case. In fact. 37) a.. & b. we are especially likely to perceive a relationship between them. 33) 9.. 10. Progress Test 2 Multiple-Choice Questions 1. 42) h (p. The relationship between vivid events is no more likely to be significant. 41) l (p. rather than predicting. is the answer. Random assignment is a method for establishing groups.. d. If enough subjects are used in an experiment and they are randomly assigned to the two groups. 45) f (p. 9. & d. Because a case study focuses in great detail on the behavior of an individual. (p. These answers are incorrect because they involve aspects of the experiment other than the variables. 14. c. c. 4. on many issues that psychology addresses. Large. b. 33) 8. Psychology has always had ties to other disciplines. (p. and in recent times. the artificiality of experiments is part of an intentional attempt to create a controlled environment in which to test theoretical principles that are applicable to all behaviors. (p. The phenomenon doesn’t involve whether or not the intuitions are correct but rather people’s attitude that they had the correct intuition. Students in the polluted room would be in the experimental condition. c. 2. (p. d. (p. Matching Items 1. d. 20) e (p. Memory is a directly observed and measured dependent variable in this experiment. & d. c. random samples are more likely to be representative of the populations from which they are drawn. a. is the answer.34 Chapter 1 Thinking Critically With Psychological Science b. d. 38) a. 7. None of these terms describes precautions taken in setting up groups for experiments. c. 12. is the answer. 31) c (p. is the answer. 41) 6. This refers to overconfidence. furthermore. i (p. Attention is the independent variable. Some psychological theories go against what we consider common sense. 11. 7. & d. any differences that emerge between the groups should stem from the experiment itself. b (p. d. in which the experimental treatment (the treatment of interest) is absent. pollution— is absent. 39) a. 3. Animal shelters are forced to kill 50 times as many dogs and cats as are used in research. conditions are either experimental or control. 20) a. is the answer. It is not clear how an experiment could help determine whether IQ tests predict academic success. (p. 5. 12. (p. (p. which is being manipulated. all students in both conditions were randomly assigned to their groups. 41) m (p. it’s far from clear what the “common sense” position is. d. (p. (p. (p. The median and mode give equal weight to all scores. 47) 4. Naturalistic observation is a method of describing. 41) 11. & c. is the answer. is the answer. 14. 25) a. 3. is the answer. b. 42) b. is the answer. the other methods can only describe relationships. The word dependent refers to a kind of variable in experiments. The phenomenon is related to hindsight rather than foresight. Research participants are randomly assigned to either an experimental or a control group. is the answer. rather than a condition. 38) a. 36) 2. c. b.. 28) k (p. . 42) g (p. (p. 10. is the answer. 34) a. b. is the answer. Correlations show how well one factor can be predicted from another. 24) n (p. In experimental research the effects of manipulated independent variables on dependent variables are measured. Only experiments can reveal cause-effect relationships. & c. (p. 41) a (p. 28) b. d. c. b. 5. is the answer. is the answer. The range is not a measure of central tendency. Presumably. b. b. it’s probably not useful in showing whether predictions are possible. or negative than that between less dramatic events. a. This refers to illusory correlation. 13. Because we are sensitive to dramatic or unusual events. 13. & d. each counts only once and its numerical value is unimportant. (p. 8.. The lighting is the factor being manipulated. The double-blind procedure is one way to create experimental and control groups. c. c. 30) a. d (p. positive. d. 6. 37) j (p.
Because the standard deviation is a more accurate estimate of variability than the range. b. and it is reliable. group that does not receive caffeine. Thus. 24. & c. 41) d. b. 4. 10. (p. is the answer. and generate testable predictions (called hypotheses) such as “men drink more soft drinks than women. which merely describes behavior as it occurs. 11. A difference that is statistically significant is a true difference. If the study were based entirely on students’ self-reported responses. b (p. is the answer. 11). 16. is the answer.” (pp. further relationships are not implied. d. 24) 3. be a . h (p. is the answer. 37) i (p. f (p. (p. is the answer. (p. is the answer. rather than an apparent difference due to factors such as sampling variation. Since the range is the difference between the highest and lowest scores. The members of one sorority are likely to share more interests. c. Psychology students are not representative of the entire student population. A separate factor may or may not be involved.). 37) d (p. 38) 4. d. is the answer. 37) a (p. 30–32) a.Answers 35 15. if not impossible. variable. 5. Independent and dependent variables are experimental treatments and behaviors. b. Selecting every tenth person would probably result in a representative sample of the entire population of students at the university. 8 is at the 50th percentile. Psychology Applied Multiple-Choice Questions 1. (p. 28) a. d. 2. c. not of variation. (pp. (p. 30–31) a. it is by definition affected by extreme scores. 17. 38) a. This answer is incorrect for the same reason as (b. This would constitute a biased sample. 36) l (p. 7. to determine if test scores can be predicted from students’ seating position. 43) 20. 41) c. When the scores are put in order (5. Unlike experiments. a. when it is calculated. and c. b. 8. is the answer. and the answers. This is not an experiment because the researcher is not manipulating the independent variable (seating position). is the answer. d. Correlation does not imply causality. A general belief such as this one is a theory. The mean is the sum of the scores divided by the number of scores (60/10 = 6). 8. d. is the answer. traits. This answer is the dependent. or comparison. 7. is the answer. This study goes beyond naturalistic observation. c. not the independent. j (p. Reaction time is the dependent variable. (p. a positive correlation simply means that two factors tend to increase or decrease together. d. surveys. 38) 5. b. & b. 43) Matching Items 1. is the answer. c (p. The standard deviation is less affected than the range because. 7. c. is the answer. 18. b. is the answer. naturalistic observation. 10. Whether or not a sample is representative of a population. 3. dependent variables. which is not an aspect of research strategy. (p. 19. but are not themselves those variables. they nevertheless enable researchers to describe and predict behavior. (p. In order to determine the effects of caffeine on reaction time. explain. It would be difficult. b. Beliefs and predictions may involve such variables. splitting the distribution in half. to survey every student on campus. the deviation of every score from the mean is computed. b. 45) d. 25) g (p. c. 6. Martina needs to measure reaction time in a control. That the two factors are correlated does not imply a separate factor. and correlational research do not involve control of variables. There may. she is merely measuring whether variation in this factor predicts test performance. e (p. & d. is incorrect. Again. (p. 9. 27) 9. c. 8. surveys do not specify or directly manipulate independent and de- pendent variables. Whether or not Martina’s experiment can be replicated is determined by the precision with which she reports her procedures. 41) a. The mean and mode are measures of central tendency. 28) a. respectively. survey questions are independent variables. 12. Averages derived from scores with low variability tend to be more reliable estimates of the populations from which they are drawn. 26) k (p. rather than control over variables. (p. it helps organize. 37) 6. In a sense. this would be a survey. Although the descriptive methods of case studies. b. (pp. 25) 2. 6. Caffeine is the independent variable. and attitudes than will the members of a random sample of college students. (p. 37) a. are incorrect. b. 25) c. determines whether results can be generalized from a sample to a population. for example. 41) c.
30) a. rather than humility. The low-dose comparison group is the control group. Psychology is a science because psychologists use the scientific method and approach the study of behavior and mental processes with attitudes of curiosity. the mean would change from $25. (p. If height and weight are positively correlated. is the answer. (p. often white North American college students. d. & c. & c. 14. Psychologists study both overt (observable) behaviors and covert thoughts and feelings. skepticism. Correlation does not imply causality. (p. c. 20. not central tendency. A small or large standard deviation indicates whether a distribution is homogeneous or variable. A control group that does not exercise is needed so that any improvement in the experimental group’s memory can be attributed to exercise. Although this may be true. The mean is computed as the sum of the scores divided by the number of scores.000 to (75. then the groups probably do not differ in the measured ability. after learning an outcome. (p. The mean is strongly influenced by extreme scores. is the answer. Actually. that one would have foreseen it. 12. The dependent variable is memory.000 + 25. c. 42) a. Overconfidence is the tendency to think we are more right than we actually are. a. one can predict a person’s weight from his or her height. d. d.000. psychological experiments tend to use the most readily available people. Exercise could be manipulated by having people in an experimental group jog for 30 minutes each day.000 + 25.. 16. 33) 19. (p. 11. When a result is not significant it means that the observed difference is unreliable. Essay Question Elio’s hypothesis is that daily aerobic exercise for one month will improve memory. and then randomly assigned to the experimental and control groups. 37) b. a. If the difference between the sample means is not significant. 42) c. Psychologists’ values definitely do influence their research. and humility.000. who mistakenly believes that a treatment (such as a drug) is in effect. Exercise is the independent variable. (pp. This follows from the attitude of skepticism. is the answer. In fact. is the answer. c. (p. 18. is the answer. is the answer. & d. as in the example. is the answer. c. Thus. The participants should be randomly selected from the population at large. 41. is known as an illusory correlation. even with the addition of the fifth family’s income. Although both of these are true of the scientific method. A correlation that is perceived but doesn’t actually exist. and not to some other factor. 10. increased height is associated with increased weight. d. 46) a. 37) a. Both the median and the mode would remain $25. (p. & c. b.36 Chapter 1 Thinking Critically With Psychological Science direct causal relationship between the two factors themselves. is the answer. psychological experiments remain important because they help explain underlying processes of human behavior everywhere. is the answer. b. neither has anything to do with humility. 17. is a much better response than c. d. is the same as it would be if the treatment were actually present. Statistical significance is a statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance. 13. is the answer. This situation depicts a negative correlation between height and weight.000)/5 = $35. b. is the answer. The standard deviation is a measure of variation. b. c. (p. b. Memory could be measured by comparing the number of words they recall from a test list studied before the exercise experiment begins. 9. The range is the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution. The median is the midmost score in a distribution. is the answer. The control group should engage in some nonexercise activity for the same amount of time each day that the experimental group exercises. Therefore. 43) a. b. d. d. 23) a. Hindsight bias is the tendency to believe.. d. such as the passage of one month’s time or familiarity with the memory test.000 + 25. a. 41) a. 41) b. just the opposite is true. (p.000 + 25. 15. and again afterward. 23) a. (p. In this example. These are examples of blind and double-blind control procedures. Use of a placebo tests whether the behavior of a research participant. c. b. These statistics would not give any information regarding the consistency of performance. d. b. . (p.
the warmer (higher) it is. is withheld so that comparison to the experimental condition can be made. 20. The control condition of an experiment is one in which the treatment of interest. 30) Example: If there is a positive correlation between air temperature and ice cream sales. A hypothesis is a testable prediction. 37) Example: The control condition for an experiment testing the effects of a new drug on reaction time would be a group of participants given a placebo (inactive drug or sugar pill) instead of the drug being tested. (p. 25) Example: In order to test his theory of why people conform. 28) 10.Answers 37 Key Terms Writing Definitions 1. A double-blind procedure is an experimental procedure in which neither the experimenter nor the research participants are aware of which condition is in effect. (p. 28) 11. (p. 29) 13. (p. often with different participants and in different situations. A scatterplot is a depiction of the relationship between two variables by means of a graphed cluster of dots. also called the I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon. (p. or independent variable. 26) 8. Critical thinking is careful reasoning that examines assumptions. 24) 4. An experiment is a research method in which a researcher directly manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) in order to observe their effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variable). An operational definition is a precise statement of the procedures (operations) used to define research variables. (p. (p. (p. (p. 37) 19. The survey is a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of a representative. 25) 7. 14. Hindsight bias refers to the tendency to believe. (p. to see whether the basic finding generalizes to other people and circumstances. The false consensus effect is the tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors. 36) 17. it can be positive or negative. 37) 18. (p. It is used to prevent experimenters’ and participants’ expectations from influencing the results of an experiment. 25) 6. The correlation coefficient is a statistical measure of the relationship. 24) 3. evaluates evidence. (p. 28) 12. 31) 15. (p. 21. (p. (p. 20) 2. A theory is an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts behaviors or events. A population consists of all the members of a group being studied. (p. (p. the more cocoa is sold. experiments therefore make it possible to establish cause-effect relationships. and assesses conclusions. participants in the experimental condition would actually receive the drug being tested. 37) . Replication is the process of repeating an experiment. and thus of how well either factor predicts the other. If there is a negative correlation between air temperature and sales of cocoa. 33) 16. Illusory correlation is the perception of a relationship where none exists. Random assignment is the procedure of assigning participants to the experimental and control conditions by chance in order to minimize preexisting differences between those assigned to the different groups. random sample of people. The placebo effect occurs when the results of an experiment are caused by a participant’s expectations about what is really going on. A random sample is one that is representative because every member of the population has an equal chance of being included. (p. 27) 9. (p. 37) Example: In the study of the effects of a new drug on reaction time. that one would have foreseen it. the more ice cream is sold. Solomon Asch formulated the testable hypothesis that an individual would be more likely to go along with the majority opinion of a large group than with that of a smaller group. discerns hidden values. The case study is an observation technique in which one person is studied in great depth. testing the hypothesis helps scientists to test the theory. 5. (p. often implied by a theory. (p. often with the intention of revealing universal principles. after learning an outcome. The experimental condition of an experiment is one in which participants are exposed to the independent variable being studied. Correlation is a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together. Naturalistic observation involves observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation. the cooler (lower) it is.
etc. Because it is based on every score in the distribution. (p. good ideas from bad ones. or what’s obvious to everyone. The mode is the most frequently occurring score in a distribution. (p.” (Psychology is in quotes because Myers wants to point out that not everything you think of as “psychology” is part of scientific psychology. the median is the more appropriate measure of central tendency. (p. Tests of statistical significance help researchers decide when they can justifiably generalize from an observed instance. The scientific method helps sort out. 20. 14. . Culture is the enduring behaviors. 18. is the score that falls at the 50th percentile.” In order to alleviate or fix (remedy) their misery. Page 20: How easy it is to seem astute when drawing the bull’s eye after the arrow has struck. (p. pain. 17. 38) Example: In the study of the effects of a new drug on reaction time. 9. 4. cutting a distribution in half. The standard deviation is a computed measure of how much scores in a distribution deviate around the mean. 42) 29. Instead of stating something plainly. anxiety. Page 20: “Out of sight. 27. Some people criticize psychology. (p. 15. and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next. 41) 26. helps winnow sense from nonsense. 19. very likely reflects a real difference rather than sampling variation or chance factors. or . 43) 30. 24. 3. 5. people seek help from “psychology. 23. the drug is the independent variable. 13. The dependent variable of an experiment is the factor being measured by the investigator. out of mind” and “Absence makes the heart grow fonder. the critics suggest. 45) Cross-Check ACROSS DOWN 1. . Statistical significance means that an obtained result. The independent variable of an experiment is the factor being manipulated and tested by the investigator. the measure of central tendency computed by adding the scores in a distribution and dividing by the number of scores.) from the grains of wheat. grief. the participants’ reaction time is the dependent variable. and suffering (woes). 10. then draw the target so that the arrow is in the center (in the bull’s eye). (p. The range is a measure of variation computed as the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution. median theory mode case study range mean illusory survey scatterplot random 2. . attitudes. we can appear to be very accurate. millions turn to “psychology. 22. The median. 16. If we first shoot an arrow. (p.) The Need for Psychological Science Page 19: . saying that it simply reports (documents) common sense. ideas. 41) Example: When the mean of a distribution is affected by a few extreme scores. 42) 28. it is the simplest measure of central tendency to determine. . 6. 7. Myers uses this analogy to illustrate how the hindsight bias (or the I-knew-it all-along phenomenon) can lead us to believe that we are shrewd (astute) and would have been able to predict outcomes that we have learned after-the-fact. Winnow means to separate out and was originally used to describe the separation of chaff (dust. psychology translates the information into the specialized and obscure vocabulary of the discipline (dresses it up in jargon).” These two sayings. In the sport of archery the task is to shoot the arrow at the red circle in the center of the target (the bull’s eye). such as the difference between the averages for two samples. to remedy their own woes. experimental independent naturalistic operational critical thinking hindsight false consensus double-blind hypothesis correlation control placebo FOCUS ON VOCABULARY AND LANGUAGE Page 19: . Page 19: Some people think psychology merely documents what people already know and dresses it in jargon. (p. 21. (p. it is a more precise measure of variation than the range. another measure of central tendency. 41) 25. or separate (winnow). 38) Example: In the study of the effects of a new drug on reaction time. The mean is the arithmetic average.38 Chapter 1 Thinking Critically With Psychological Science 22. 12. 11. 8. Myers makes it very clear with some good examples that this criticism is not justified and points out that our intuitions about reality can often be very mistaken (they can lead us astray).
. for example—cannot be answered by science and cannot be scientifically proved or disproved. This refers to basic intuitive reactions or responses. (Your text. about romantic love have opposite meanings. then it is on the basis of trust and confidence alone (leap of faith). . is guided by this realistic desire to know (curiosity) about nature and life. Page 23: More often. This is a belief in something in the absence of demonstrated proof. then so much the worse for our ideas. . will emphasize the fact that our common sense and intuition do not always provide us with reliable evidence. leap of faith. is it true that the better you know someone (familiarity).) Page 22: . The second saying makes the point that being separated (absence) increases the feelings of love the couple shares (makes the heart grow fonder). The rat became a symbol of this research. . Page 23: Underlying all science is. We have to be humble (i. . The first one suggests that when couples are apart (out of sight) they are less likely to think about each other (out of mind) than when they are together. . . Lackluster originally meant to be deficient in brightness or to be dull. Page 23: . Page 22: . out of mind) see this as mere common sense. or unswayed by sentiment. research shows that the opposite is probably true. This means that what we already believe (our preconceived ideas) influences. again and again. or get rid of. Some questions—about the existence of God or life after death. and to some extent determines. sports. An arena is an area where games. and competitions take place. . Page 24: We all view nature through the spectacles of our preconceived ideas. Hard-headed here means to be practical. our ideas if they are shown to be wrong (so much the worse for them). Page 21: . . . . . The use of scientific inquiry can get rid of or dispose of (relegate) non-sensible concepts (crazy-sounding ideas) to the large stack or pile (mountain) of ridiculous claims no longer remembered. if a person believes. even if they appear to make little sense (crazy-sounding ideas). lackluster predictions . There is clearly a problem here. . . Page 23: “The rat is always right. Page 23: In the arena of competing ideas . This expression and others are based on many casual observations but are often wrong. . As Myers notes. . Page 24: . . gut feelings . is contrary to the prediction or hypothesis. auras . . . This means to remove . science relegates crazy-sounding ideas to the mountain of forgotten claims. . Along with hindsight bias. Likewise. . An aura is a bright glow surrounding a figure or an object. .e. as shown by the rat. All science. can be tested using the scientific method. This means to stop going to class and to have your name removed from the class list. The magician James Randi proposed a simple test of this claim. . first. many questions. then one has to be humble about it and try another way. . .Focus on Vocabulary and Language 39 expressions. . Myers is suggesting that in an area (arena) where there is a contest between ideas (competing ideas). We can test (or prove) the quality of the dessert (pudding) by trying it (eating). Some believe that humans have auras which only those with extrasensory abilities can see. those who made them (those who erred) tended to be overconfident about their ability to foretell the future. . have humility). debunked . This comes from the expression “the proof of the pudding is in the eating. the more likely it is that you will dislike the person (have contempt)? In fact. a hard-headed curiosity . what we look for and actually see or discover in nature. . . Page 23: . skeptical testing can help discover the truth. . . People who are told that the results of a study support the first expression (out of sight. .” This early motto (a phrase used as a maxim or guiding principle) comes from the fact that for most of the first half of the twentieth century psychology used animals in its research (especially in the study of learning). . including psychology. but nobody who is alleged to have this magical power (aura-seer) has taken the test. the proof is in the pudding. Page 23: . . Page 23: . relying on common sense can lead to opposite conclusions. It’s as though the type of eyeglasses (spectacles) we wear limits what we can see. drop a course . If the truth. Lackluster predictions are forecasts that are usually wrong.” A pudding is a sweet dessert. People told that the results support the second expression (absence makes the heart grow fonder) also say this is obviously true. . Critical thinking requires determining whether a conclusion is based simply on a subjective opinion (gut feeling) or anecdote (a story someone tells) or on reliable scientific evidence. . Page 24: . . This means that we have to give up. .. our intuition may tell us that familiarity breeds contempt. For example. and its behavior or performance in experiments demonstrated the truth. . uncompromising. realistic. this overconfidence often leads us to overestimate our intuitions.
is that our intuition about sequences of events (streaks or streaky patterns) often deceives us. we’re very often not. Recap is an abbreviation of recapitulate. We are often overwhelmed and our senses deadened (numbed) by the sometimes inappropriate use of statistics and numbers. .g. intuition. we tend to make very big assumptions (generalizations as large as a tub). . As Myers notes. We are also alarmed or frightened (startled) by the strange stories people tell (anecdotes). “Given a thimbleful of [dramatic] facts we rush to make generalizations as large as a tub. Myers points out that scientific evidence and critical inquiry have indeed discredited (debunked) many popular presumptions..” A thimble is a small metal container which fits over the top of the thumb or finger and is used while sewing to push the needle through the material. Experimentation Page 39: Let’s Recap. p. . A snapshot is a picture taken with a camera.. . . . Myers summarizes (recaps) the important points in each section of the chapter. if any. a scientific approach helps us sift reality from illusion. but most people pick HTTHTH. a bathtub).40 Chapter 1 Thinking Critically With Psychological Science glamour or credibility from established ideas.g. and common sense. and these guesses do not represent the true nature of things (they often misread reality) and consequently can deceive (mislead) the public. relationships exist. Statistical Reasoning Page 40: Off the top-of-the head estimates often misread reality and then mislead the public. When looking at an array of data consisting of different measures (e. people may guess at the figures (they make top-of-the-head estimates). it is very difficult to discern what. when repeated (echoed) by others. persons. The crucial point. provide a remarkably accurate snapshot of the opinions of a nation. 9) said. one cannot simply “play the tape” and relive long-buried or repressed memories. Description Page 27: Numbers can be numbing . . may eventually be believed to be true by most people (they become public misinformation). which of the following sequences of heads (H) and tails (T) would be most likely: HHHTTT or HTTHTH or HHHHHH? Flipping a coin means throwing or tossing the coin into the air and observing which side is facing up when it lands. and a tub is a very large container (e. . The figures generated in this manner are often easy to articulate. . being hot (or having “hot hands”) means doing well. . and doing well consistently is having a hot streak. Correlation Page 31: Statistics can help us see what the naked eye sometimes misses. This is an example of a discredited (debunked) idea that hidden (repressed) memories can be accurately and reliably retrieved (brought back) intact and complete in the same way that playing a tape on a VCR allows us to watch exactly the same show over and over again. Page 27: As psychologist Gordon Allport (1954. and thus. such as 10 percent or 50 percent (big round numbers) and. all of the above sequences are equally likely.g. . A scientific (or empirical) attitude can separate (sift) what’s real from what is not and take us beyond the constraints (limits) of our beliefs. . When we think we’re doing well (“hot hands”). and Anecdotes are often more startling. we are merely noting or overinterpreting certain sequences (streaks) found in any random data. In this context. Page 29: . . . . however. height and temperament) for many subjects. “hot hands” . A good survey (1500 randomly selected representative people) gives an accurate picture (snapshot) of the opinions of the whole population of interest (the target group). they don’'t appear to be really random. True random sequences often are not what we think they should be.. Page 41: Because the bottom half of British income earners receive only a quarter of the national income . a bridge or poker hand in a game of cards) is just as likely as any other hand. Page 34: If someone flipped a coin six times. Here. to summarize. any series of five playing cards (e.) By the way. the president or the queen—is called heads (H) and the other side is called tails (T). experience.g. Page 35: “cold hands” .. Statistical tools. Allport is saying that given a small amount of information (a thimbleful). Likewise. 1500 randomly sampled people. Page 26: . and traditions. can help us see clearly what the unaided (naked) eye might not see. Without knowing actual data and numbers (statistics). “hot” and “cold” do not refer to temperature. drawn from all areas of a country. Having a run of poor luck is a cold streak. we sometimes need statistical illumination to see what is in front of us. which means to repeat or go over briefly. such as the correlation coefficient and the scatterplot. and it captures what people are doing at a given moment in time. Page 24: . (The side of the coin that usually has the imprint of the face of a famous person on it—e.
plunge in. (Similarly. Page 44: Data are “noisy. half the people account for 25 percent of all the money earned in the country (national income cake). and (c) a large number of subjects or observations are included. the result is an index of how spread out (dispersed) the scores are. .g. plunge in means to move ahead quickly with the discussion. because it uses information from each score (Table 1. most universities today screen research proposals through an ethics committee.” Differences between groups may simply be due to random (chance) variations (fluctuations) in those particular samples. most people earn below-average wages. like most people everywhere. Likewise.” which may limit our ability to generalize from them to the larger population. The most commonly used statistic for measuring (gauging) how much scores differ from one another (their variation) is the standard deviation (SD). interpretations. If these principles are followed. In this context.. and conclusions (“the facts”). a sea slug) than a complex one (a human). Ethics committees (groups of people concerned with moral behavior and acceptable standards of conduct) subject research proposals to rigorous tests (screen them) to ensure that they are fair and reasonable and that they do not harm the participants’ well-being. . Page 46: To understand how a combustion engine works. . . each score is compared to the mean. Page 48: Values can also color “the facts. it is better to study a simple one (e. . therefore. To understand the principles underlying both machines.” Our values (what we believe is right and true) can influence (color) our observations. you do so quickly. Page 42: It [standard deviation] better gauges whether scores are packed together or dispersed. A Mercedes is a very complex luxury car. Myers addresses some important issues and questions. When data have a great deal of variability. you would do better to study a lawn mower’s engine than a Mercedes’. they are said to be “noisy. make less than the mean. when trying to understand the nervous system.) Before going on with the discussion of psychology (plunging in).Focus on Vocabulary and Language 41 cake. most British people. it is easier to study the simpler one. . In order to determine if differences are reliable. A relatively small SD indicates that most of the scores are close to the average. Using this formula.4). in this uneven (skewed) distribution. and a lawn mower (a machine for cutting grass in the garden) has a very simple engine. . (b) scores in the sample are similar to each other (have low variability). a relatively large SD indicates that they are much more variable. we can confidently make inferences about the differences between groups. In Myers’ example. so a better measure of central tendency than the mean (arithmetic average) is either the median (the score in the middle) or the mode (the most frequently occurring score). Incomes are not normally distributed (they do not follow a bellshaped curve when plotted as a frequency distribution). . Page 48: . when you dive into a swimming pool [plunge in]. Frequently Asked Questions About Psychology Page 45: . we should be sure that (a) samples are random and representative.
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