Very brief chapter overview
The first part of this chapter tells you why psychology is a science. The last part explains why you should be able to understand and conduct research.
The essence of science is that it attempts to find the truth by unearthing observable, objective evidence that either supports or refutes our preconceived notions. Psychology is a science because, like other sciences, psychology
( To see that psychology possesses the eight key characteristics of science, see
Table 1.2 [p.
- 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.
to review why science is a useful way of knowing see Table 1.3 [pp. 23-25])
After reading the last part of the chapter (pages 25-31), you should be able to
state nine reasons why you should understand research methods (the reasons are
listed in Box 1.1, p. 33).
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