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What is science, and what can we rely on it for?
Science is a systematic approach to creating knowledge, which means we can rely on it in order to predict and control the world.
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What is the method used to gain scientific knowledge?
The scientific method.
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What 2 process do we use to acquire knowledge?
Induction and deduction.
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Describe induction.
It involves reasoning from the particular to the general. Pre-20th-century science used this principle, making discoveries about the world beginning with observations, which were used to formulate theories.
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Describe deduction.
It involves reasoning from the general to the particular, starting with a theory and looking for instances to confirm this.
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What 5 things does scientific knowledge aim to be based on?
Empirical methods, objectivity, replicability, theory construction and hypothesis testing.
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Describe empirical methods.
Information is gained through observation or experiment. Scientific research aims to collect facts, which is important because people can make claims about anything, but the only way we know such things to be true is through testing.
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What is at the heart of scientific method?
Systematic collection of measurable data.
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What is the ideal way to be objective?
To control conditions
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What is the best means of conducting scientific research and why?
An experiment, because it enables cause and effect to be investigated - where we vary 1 factor and observe its effect on the dependent variable.
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What is 1 way to demonstrate the validity of any observation or experiment?
By repeating it.
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How do you know if an observation of experiment is valid?
If, after you repeat it, the outcome is the same, especially if it's been made by a different person.
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How can you achieve replication?
If a scientists records their procedures carefully.
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Describe theory construction.
Explanations or theories must be constructed to make sense of the facts. A theory is a collection of general principles that explain observation and facts which can help understand and predict phenomena.
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How are theories modified?
Through hypothesis/validity testing.
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What makes a theory good?
If it;s able to generate testable expectations, which are stated in a hypothesis.
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When would a theory require modification?
If a scientist fails to find support for the theory.
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When did hypothesis testing develop?
In the 20th century.
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What part of science is evolving?
Using science as a method for discovering knowledge.
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What did scientists believe up until the 1930s?
That their task was to find examples that would confirm their theories.
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What did Karl Popper say that changed science, and how did it change science?
He pointed out that 'No matter how many instances of white swans we have observed, this doesn't justify the conclusion that all swans are white', so the sighting of 1 black one will disprove it, which led to the realisation that the only way to prove
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Previous card continued.
a theory correct was actually to seek disproof, therefore we research null hypothesis.
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How would we test a null hypothesis regarding whether swans are white?
We go looking for swans and record sightings but if we see no black swans his leads us to be reasonably certain that the null hypothesis is false, so we reject it.
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What happens if the null hypothesis isn't true?
It means that the alternative hypothesis must be true, which we can accept with reasonable certainty, and it's the best approximation of the truth.
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Why did psychology become a science?
In the 19th century psychologist sought to become scientists because this would allow them to produce knowledge about behaviour distinct from commonsense.We might claim men are more aggressive but people aren't willing to accept this without proof.
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Does using the scientific method make psychology a science? Describe and explain.
Psychologists generate models that can be falsified and conduct experiments to test them. As best this makes it a pseudoscience - but a dangerous one because psychologists claim that their discoveries are fact.
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How does science lack objectivity and control?
The object of a study reacts to the researcher and this leads to problems, which compromises validity. Heisenberg argued that it's not possible to measure a subatomic particle without altering its 'behaviour', which is the uncertainty principle.
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Why do some psychologists not see the study of behaviour as scientific?
Because science takes the nomothetic approach, looking to make generalisations about people and find similarities.
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Where has scientific methods not worked, and what has worked instead?
In mental illness treatment, because psychological approaches have worked, suggesting that the goals of science aren't appropriate here.
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What type of data does psychological research often obtain and is this scientific?
Some psychologists advocate subjective, qualitative methods which obtains this type of data, however these are 'scientific' as they aim to be valid.
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What makes science reductionist?
It's reductionist because phenomena are reduced to variables in order to study the causal relationship, and in the development of theories the canon of parsimony states 'of 2 competing theories, all other things be equal, the simpler is preferred.'
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What makes science determinist?
It's determinist in its search for causal relationships.
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Is the study of behaviour reductionist or determinist?
If we reduce behaviour to variables this may tell us little about 'real' behaviour, yet without it it's difficult to pick out patterns or reach conclusions.
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What is a strength and a weakness of determinism?
It may oversimplify the relationship between cause and effects, but provides insight into important factors.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What is the method used to gain scientific knowledge?


The scientific method.

Card 3


What 2 process do we use to acquire knowledge?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Describe induction.


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Describe deduction.


Preview of the front of card 5
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