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UMBC PSYC 311 - Psyc 311 Exam 1 Notes (UMBC)

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PSYC 311 Notes (Exam 1)!Unit 1: Psychology and Science • Science is relevant to me personally because nearly everything I touch has been created, modified, or processed with knowledge gained through science. !• Two examples of science’s involvement in my life include the manufacture of the clothes I wear and the food I eat.!• Scientific Abstracts Background: Where the authors describe why they chose to conduct the study. In different articles, it may be framed as either a goal, objective, or a justification.!Methods: Where the authors describe how they conducted the study. It may include the population they studied, the way they sampled the population, and the statistics they used to analyze the data. If it is a review article, which compiles the results of many related articles, then it may discuss how the articles were selected and analyzed.!Results: Where the authors describe what they found from their investigation. This will be a description and not an interpretation of what the results mean.!Conclusion: Where the authors describe what the results mean and how their findings may be relevant to society or the theory they tested.!• Science is relevant to our society because of the sheer amount of research devoted to studying and helping people understand what is and isn’t beneficial for the community.!• Two examples of scientific research that are beneficial for our society include research on climate change and on social media.!•Research - refers to the process of collecting information to answer a question!• In work settings, research skills are used to assess a situation, to make decisions based on evidence, and to evaluate outcomes in a reasoned and evidence-based way.!• Critical thinking is important at every step of the research process and within most other research skills.!•Scientific Method - a systematic approach to generating new knowledge!• Scientists use the scientific method to collect information to answer a question.!• Steps of the Scientific Method Observe a Phenomenon: This is the start of the scientific method during which we take notice of something in our environment.!Ask a Question: From an observation, a question is asked that stimulates the research process. The goal of the research is to find answers to that question.!Review the Literature: Before you can design a study to answer your question, you need to find what is already known on the topic. This “literature review” step is important.!Form a Hypothesis: Hypotheses are formed after a careful review of studies published by scholars in the field.!Test the Hypothesis: The specific research method used (descriptive, correlational, experimental, etc.) will influence the data collection process. Data collection is usually the step that takes the longest.!Analyze the Data: After data are collected and before conclusions are made, researchers analyze the data to compare scores or look for trends.!Draw Conclusions: Drawing conclusions from research allows researchers to go back to their initial question and use the answer to inform others in the field. In the scientific community, results are reported at professional meetings as oral or poster presentations. They are also published in peer-reviewed journals.!Construct or Revise a Theory: The conclusions from research are used to add more knowledge to current scientific theories. If the research indicates a new direction that previous theories cannot explain, a new theory may be constructed. More often, a previous theory is revised to fit the new data and conclusions from the current study.!•Applied Research - designed to address a problem!•Basic Research - designed to get a better understanding of something!• Basic research is conducted to add to a base of knowledge.!• The distinction between basic research and applied research is in how research can be used after the study is completed.!• Basic research often leads to applied research. Some applied research leads to basic research.!• The scientific method is not linear nor static. As one question is answered, another is revealed, with our understanding of a topic further refined and advanced.!• Characteristics of Science Deterministic: All natural, social, and psychological phenomena are causally determined by preceding events or natural laws.!Empirical: Science is based on pure reason, emotion, or subjective experiences.!Falsifiable: A theory or hypothesis is not scientific unless it can be proven false.!Provisional: All scientific knowledge is open to further testing and revision.!Public: Scientific inquiry has value independent of any economic value that may result from the research.!• It is important to recognize pseudoscientific claims to avoid perpetuating such claims as scientific. This recognition will also protect you from the dangers of these claims.!•Pseudoscience - describes claims that appear to be scientific, yet lack several characteristics of the scientific method!• Key Characteristics that Indicate Pseudoscience Claims Based on Consensus: Pseudoscience is often guided by the collective opinion of people in the news, the media, or your social circle, instead of by empirical research.!Anecdotal Evidence: Anecdotes are personal examples. Although these can be helpful for gathering opinions, they are not useful for objective research. They can be biased and unsystematic, since they are not subject to the rigors of scientific research.!Claims Are Not Open to Falsification: If a claim cannot be proven wrong, it cannot be proven wrong, it cannot be tested. A scientific claim without scientific research is considered pseudoscience.!Attempts to “Prove” Something to be True: Many instances of pseudoscience offer a guarantee or proof to enhance the claim that is being made. Scientific research cannot be proven or offer guarantees since it is always open to further testing and modification.!Lacks Openness: If past studies, evidence, or methods, are not made public, this can signal pseudoscience. Being able to access research methods and results is an important part of science. In addition, without


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