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For more information, please see full course syllabus of AP Psychology
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Lecture Comments (8)

1 answer

Last reply by: Professor Charles Schallhorn
Sun Jan 8, 2017 6:38 PM

Post by Johnny He on December 26, 2016

One more question: Can theories be false? Or are they always true?

1 answer

Last reply by: Professor Charles Schallhorn
Sun Jan 8, 2017 6:35 PM

Post by Johnny He on December 26, 2016

Could you give one more example to illustrate operational definition? I still don't understand it.                                          
                                  Thank you

1 answer

Last reply by: Professor Charles Schallhorn
Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:26 PM

Post by Mir Khan on October 4, 2014

Hi Charles,
Could you please help me with the below questions related to  Research Methods.
What  is the difference between a Research Question and a hypothesis?

Does all research require  a research question?

Does all research require a hypothesis?

1 answer

Last reply by: Professor Charles Schallhorn
Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:47 PM

Post by Moses Cherrington on November 23, 2013

Please explain define our terms. What do you mean by terms. Is it the way I learn? Is it our scope of learning?

The Science of Psychology

  • Methodology is the same as “hard sciences” with subjects that are far more complex
  • Empiricism is when information gained from direct observation and measurement
  • Science is the systematic observation and experimentation for answering scientific questions
  • What is true can change over time when new and better information comes along
  • Critical Thinking is the ability and willingness to assess claims and make objective judgments on the basis of well-supported reasons and evidence, rather than emotion or anecdote
  • The goals of psychology are describing, understanding/explaining predicting and controlling behavior
  • The Scientific Method has the elements of observation, defining a problem, proposing a hypothesis, gathering evidence/testing the hypothesis, publishing results, and building a theory
  • Methods in science include naturalistic observation, laboratory observation, case study/case history, psychological tests, surveys, and correlation

The Science of Psychology

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  1. Intro
    • Is Psychology a Science?
    • Empiricism: The Goals
    • What Is Science?
    • Critical Thinking
    • Critical Thinking: Key Principles
    • Goals of Psychology
    • The Scientific Method
    • Steps in Scientific Method
    • Another Way to Examine Process
    • Some Terms
    • Theory
    • Naturalistic Observation
    • Anthropomorphic Fallacy
    • Laboratory Observation
    • Case Study/Case History
    • Psychological Tests
    • Surveys
    • Courtesy Bias
    • Review Questions
    • Review Questions
    • Intro 0:00
    • Is Psychology a Science? 0:14
      • Some Conclude No, Psychology is Not a Science
      • Some Say It's a Soft Science
      • Methodology is the Same As Hard Sciences
      • Subjects Are More Complex
    • Empiricism: The Goals 1:29
      • To Measure and Describe Behaviors
      • To Gather Empirical Evidence: Information Gained From Direct Observation and Measurement
      • To Gather Data: Observed Facts
    • What Is Science? 2:03
      • Exploring What Is True
      • Systematic Observation and Experimentation For Answering Scientific Questions
      • Precise Definitions
      • Testing Hypotheses
      • Replication of Results
      • Objectivity as a Goal -- Reduction of Bias
    • Critical Thinking 3:42
      • The Ability and Willingness To Assess Claims and Make Objective Judgments On the Basis of Well-Supported Reasons and Evidence, Rather Than Emotion or Anecdote
      • Analyzing, Evaluating, and Synthesizing Information
      • Imperative For Use in All Science (And, Well, Life, Really)
    • Critical Thinking: Key Principles 5:48
      • Few Truths Transcend the Need for Empirical Testing
      • Evidence Varies in Quality
      • Authority or Claimed Expertise Does Not Automatically Make an Idea True
      • Guidelines
    • Goals of Psychology 9:59
      • Description of Behaviors: Naming and Classifying Various Observable, Measurable Behaviors
      • Understanding: The Causes of Behavior(s) And Being Able to State the Cause(s)
      • Prediction: Predicting Behavior Accurately
      • Control: Altering Conditions That Influence Behaviors in Predictable Ways
    • The Scientific Method 14:14
      • Six Basic Elements
    • Steps in Scientific Method 14:50
      • Flowchart Example
    • Another Way to Examine Process 16:07
      • Flowchart Example
    • Some Terms 18:23
      • Hypothesis: A Statement That Attempts to Predict or to Account For a Set of Phenomena; Scientific Hypotheses Specify Relationships Among Events or Variables and are Empirically Tested
      • Hypothesis Testing: Scientifically Testing Predicted Outcome of an Experiment or an Educated Guess About the Relationship Between Variables
      • Operational Definition: Defines a Scientific Concept By Stating Specific Actions or Procedures Used To Measure the Process, Behavior, or Phenomenon
    • Theory 23:20
      • NOT the Popular Idea of What a Theory is, I Have a Theory About Why…
      • A System of Ideas That Interrelates Facts and Concepts, Summarizes Existing Data, and Predicts Future Observations
    • Naturalistic Observation 25:02
      • Observing a Person or an Animal in the Environment in Which It Lives
      • Advantages
      • Disadvantages
    • Anthropomorphic Fallacy 27:39
      • A Fallacy is an Error in Thinking
      • Anthro Refers to Humans
      • Morphic is Related to Change
      • Attributing Human Thoughts, Feelings, or Motives to Animals, Especially as a Way of Explaining Their Behavior (e.g. Mohini, My Cat, is Acting Like That Because She is Feeling Depressed Today.)
    • Laboratory Observation 29:14
      • Creates a Scenario Where Controlled Conditions Are Available and a Situation is Set Up and Behaviors Are Observed
      • Advantages:
      • Disadvantages:
    • Case Study/Case History 32:31
      • Examination of One Individual in Great Detail -- Utilizing Interviews, Psych-Tests, and More
      • Advantages
      • Disadvantages
    • Psychological Tests 38:08
      • Using a Reliable, Valid, and Typically Paper/Pencil Test to Measure Some Aspect of Personality, Aptitude, Skill, Achievement, or Dysfunction. Must Be Standardized, Normed, Reliable and Valid
      • Advantages
      • Disadvantages
      • e.g. Myers-Briggs, Rorschach Ink Blot, TAT, MMPI, WISC/WAIS-IQ, SAT, etc.
    • Surveys 39:32
      • Method of Asking Questions About Attitudes, Experiences, Preferences, and Behaviors That Can Accumulate Large Data Sets. Need Representative Samples (Sample Population)
      • Advantages
      • Disadvantages
      • e.g. U.S. Census is World's Largest Survey
    • Courtesy Bias 43:59
      • Problem in Research; A Tendency to Give Polite or Socially Desirable Answers
    • Review Questions 44:55
      • How Is Psychology Scientific?
      • How are Hypotheses More Than Just Educated Guesses?
      • Which Method…
      • How Can We Reduce Bias In Surveys?
      • How Critical a Thinker Are You? Are You Willing to Practice?
    • Review Questions 47:58
      • What is a Scientific Theory?
      • What is a Scientific Hypothesis?
      • Why Are Operational Definitions Important?
      • Give One Advantage and One Disadvantage For Each of the Following Methods