Rules/Slogans/Take-Home Lessons From Chapter 1
- As Richard Feynman said, "the easiest person to fool is yourself." Therefore,
- Be objective: That is, stick to what others can see, and don't fool yourself into thinking you are seeing what's there when you are
really reading into the situation.
- Make your methods, findings, and reasoning public, so others can check your work.
- Be humble, so ask: Could I be wrong?
- There are (general) rules--patterns--that we can find by connecting the dots, but
because there are many exceptions to general rules
- We need more than one dot to connect the dots to see the pattern;
- Even several dots may not show the true pattern;
- Stray dots--exceptions/outliers--do not disprove the general rule.
- Science involves making statements that can be disproven, testing those
statements, and then admitting being wrong so mistakes can be corrected.
- The key to making testable statements is to make specific predictions (As
Neil Bohr joked, "Prediction is difficult,
especially about the future.")
- The key to testing those specific predictions is to define your terms using
- By asking questions such as "what does the objective evidence say?", and
"Could the evidence be interpreted differently?", you can be skeptical
without being cynical and be open-minded without being gullible.
- Contrary to what television detectives say, there is such a thing as coincidence.
- In science, there is never proof --only disproof : One contradictory fact can
discredit a rule based on a mountain of supportive evidence.
- Psychology has adopted the characteristics of science because science is the
best way to understand objective reality.
- Operational definitions provide a bridge between objective reality and
invisible, subjective psychological constructs.
- Science is our best system for containing human biases, but it is not perfect.
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