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Chapter 2: Psychology as Science
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- 2.1: Why Science?
- Psychologists believe that scientific methods can be used in the behavioral domain to understand and improve the world. This module outlines the characteristics of the science, and the promises it holds for understanding behavior. The ethics that guide psychological research are briefly described. It concludes with the reasons you should learn about scientific psychology.
- 2.2: Thinking like a Psychological Scientist
- We are bombarded every day with claims about how the world works, claims that have a direct impact on how we think about and solve problems in society and our personal lives. This module explores important considerations for evaluating the trustworthiness of such claims by contrasting between scientific thinking and everyday observations (also known as “anecdotal evidence”).
- 2.3: Statistical Thinking
- As our society increasingly calls for evidence-based decision making, it is important to consider how and when we can draw valid inferences from data. This module will use four recent research studies to highlight key elements of a statistical investigation.
- 2.4: Research Designs
- Psychologists test research questions using a variety of methods. Most research relies on either correlations or experiments. With correlations, researchers measure variables as they naturally occur in people and compute the degree to which two variables go together.
- 2.5: Conducting Psychology Research in the Real World
- This module highlights the importance of also conducting research outside the psychology laboratory, within participants’ natural, everyday environments, and reviews existing methodologies for studying daily life.
- 2.6: History of Psychology
- This module provides an introduction and overview of the historical development of the science and practice of psychology in America. Ever-increasing specialization within the field often makes it difficult to discern the common roots from which the field of psychology has evolved. By exploring this shared past, students will be better able to understand how psychology has developed into the discipline we know today.
- 2.7: Psychophysiological Methods in Neuroscience
- As a generally noninvasive subset of neuroscience methods, psychophysiological methods are used across a variety of disciplines in order to answer diverse questions about psychology, both mental events and behavior. Many different techniques are classified as psychophysiological.
- 2.8: The Replication Crisis in Psychology
- In science, replication is the process of repeating research to determine the extent to which findings generalize across time and across situations. Recently, the science of psychology has come under criticism because a number of research findings do not replicate. In this module we discuss reasons for non-replication, the impact this phenomenon has on the field, and suggest solutions to the problem.