Very brief chapter overview
This chapter has 3 parts:
Part 1 explains why science is a
useful way to understand the world.
Part 2 explains that psychology is a science and has
benefitted from being a research-based science.
Part 3 explains how you can benefit from understanding how to
read and conduct research.
Science attempts to find the truth by unearthing observable, objective evidence that
may refute our preconceived notions. (To see how science can be used to
supplement other ways of knowing, see Table 1.3 on pp. 23-25).
Psychologists wanted psychology to be a science so that psychology could be
evidence-based and make enormous progress.
Psychology is a science because, like other sciences, psychology
( For evidence that psychology possesses the eight key characteristics of
science, see Table 1.2 on p. 22).
- produces objective evidence that can be replicated (indeed, replicated with the same success as physics experiments are replicated)
- unearths observable, objective evidence that either supports or refutes existing beliefs
- creates new knowledge
- is open-minded about claims, even those that go against common sense
- is skeptical about ideas that, even though they make sense, have not been supported by any research evidence.
Understanding psychology's scientific research methods can benefit you. (For a
list of 9 ways understanding research methods can help you, see Box 1.1 on p. 33).
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