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How to Think Straight About Psychology

by
Edition:
10th
ISBN13:

9780205914128

ISBN10:
0205914128
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
9/19/2012
Publisher(s):
Pearson
List Price: $66.20

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Summary

Teaching students to become better consumers of psychological research. Keith Stanovich's widely used and highly acclaimed book presents a short introduction to the critical thinking skills that will help students to better understand the subject matter of psychology. How to Think Straight about Psychology, 10ehelps students recognize pseudoscience and be able to distinguish it from true psychological research, aiding students to become more discriminating consumers of psychological information. Learning Goals Upon completing this book, readers should be able to: Evaluate psychological claims they encounter in the general media. Distinguish between pseudoscience and true psychological research. Apply psychological knowledge to better understand events in the world around them.

Author Biography

Keith E. Stanovich is currently Emeritus Professor of Human Development and Applied Psychology at the University of Toronto. He is the author of over 175 scientific articles and seven books.  Stanovich is the 2012 recipient of the E. L. Thorndike Career Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association and the recipient of the 2010 Grawemeyer Award in Education. In 2000 he received the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading. Stanovich is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Divisions 3, 7, 8, and 15) and the Association for Psychological Science.

Table of Contents

In this Section:
1. Brief Table of Contents

2. Full Table of Contents

 


 

1. BRIEF TABLE OF CONTENTS:

 

Chapter 1: Psychology Is Alive and Well (and Doing Fine Among the Sciences)

Chapter 2: Falsifiability: How to Foil Little Green Men in the Hand

Chapter 3: Operationism and Essentialism: “But, Doctor, What Does It Really Mean?”

Chapter 4: Testimonials and Case Study Evidence: Placebo Effects and the Amazing

Chapter 5: Correlation and Causation: Birth Control by the Toaster Method    

Chapter 6: Getting Things Under Control: The Case of Clever Hans    

Chapter 7: “But It’s Not Real Life!”: The “Artificiality” Criticism and Psychology    

Chapter 8: Avoiding the Einstein Syndrome: The Importance of Converging

Chapter 9: The Misguided Search for the “Magic Bullet”: The Issue of Multiple

Chapter 10: The Achilles’ Heel of Human Cognition: Probabilistic

Reasoning    

Chapter 11: The Role of Chance in Psychology    

Chapter 12: The Rodney Dangerfield of the Sciences    



2.   FULL TABLE OF CONTENTS:

 

Preface 

  

Chapter 1: Psychology Is Alive and Well (and Doing Fine Among the Sciences)

The Freud Problem   

The Diversity of Modern Psychology   

     Implications of Diversity   

Unity in Science   

What, Then, Is Science?   

     Systematic Empiricism   

     Publicly Verifiable Knowledge: Replication   and Peer Review   

     Empirically Solvable Problems: Scientists’ Search   for Testable Theories   

Psychology and Folk Wisdom: The Problem with “Common Sense”   

Psychology as a Young Science   

Summary   

         

Chapter 2: Falsifiability: How to Foil Little Green Men in the Hand

Theories and the Falsifiability Criterion   

     The Theory of Knocking Rhythms   

     Freud and Falsifiability   

     The Little Green Men   

     Not All Confirmations Are Equal   

     Falsifiability and Folk Wisdom   

     The Freedom to Admit a Mistake   

     Thoughts Are Cheap   

Errors in Science: Getting Closer to the Truth   

Summary  

 

Chapter 3: Operationism and Essentialism: “But, Doctor, What Does It Really Mean?”

Why Scientists Are Not Essentialists   

     Essentialists Like to Argue About the Meaning   of Words   

     Operationists Link Concepts to Observable   Events   

     Reliability and Validity   

     Direct and Indirect Operational Definitions   

     Scientific Concepts Evolve   

     Operational Definitions in Psychology   

Operationism as a Humanizing Force   

     Essentialist Questions and the Misunderstanding  of Psychology   

Summary   

 

Chapter 4: Testimonials and Case Study Evidence: Placebo Effects and the Amazing

Amazing Randi   

The Place of the Case Study   

Why Testimonials Are Worthless: Placebo Effects   

The “Vividness” Problem   

     The Overwhelming Impact of the Single Case   

     The Amazing Randi: Fighting Fire with Fire   

Testimonials Open the Door to Pseudoscience   

Summary   

 

Chapter 5: Correlation and Causation: Birth Control by the Toaster Method    

The Third-Variable Problem: Goldberger and Pellagra   

     Why Goldberger’s Evidence Was Better   

The Directionality Problem   

Selection Bias   

Summary   

 

Chapter 6: Getting Things Under Control: The Case of Clever Hans      

Snow and Cholera   

Comparison, Control, and Manipulation   

     Random Assignment in Conjunction with Manipulation   Defines the True      Experiment   

     The Importance of Control Groups   

     The Case of Clever Hans, the Wonder Horse   

     Clever Hans in the 1990s   

     Prying Variables Apart: Special Conditions   

     Intuitive Physics   

     Intuitive Psychology   

Summary   

 

Chapter 7: “But It’s Not Real Life!”: The “Artificiality” Criticism and Psychology    

Why Natural Isn’t Always Necessary   

     The “Random Sample” Confusion   

     The Random Assignment Versus Random   Sample Distinction   

     Theory-Driven Research Versus Direct Applications   

Applications of Psychological Theory   

     The “College Sophomore” Problem   

     The Real-Life and College Sophomore   Problems in Perspective   

Summary   

 

 

Chapter 8: Avoiding the Einstein Syndrome: The Importance of Converging

Evidence   

The Connectivity Principle   

     A Consumer’s Rule: Beware of Violations   of Connectivity   

     The “Great-Leap” Model Versus the Gradual-Synthesis  Model   

Converging Evidence: Progress Despite Flaws   

     Converging Evidence in Psychology   

Scientific Consensus   

     Methods and the Convergence Principle   

     The Progression to More Powerful Methods   

A Counsel Against Despair   

Summary  

 

Chapter 9: The Misguided Search for the “Magic Bullet”: The Issue of Multiple

The Concept of Interaction   

The Temptation of the Single-Cause Explanation   

Summary  

 

Chapter 10: The Achilles’ Heel of Human Cognition: Probabilistic Reasoning       

“Person-Who” Statistics   

Probabilistic Reasoning and the Misunderstanding of Psychology   

Psychological Research on Probabilistic Reasoning   

     Insufficient Use of Probabilistic Information   

     Failure to Use Sample Size Information   

     The Gambler’s Fallacy   

     A Further Word About Statistics and Probability   

Summary 

 

Chapter 11:  The Role of Chance in Psychology   

The Tendency to Try to Explain Chance Events   

     Explaining Chance: Illusory Correlation and the Illusion   of Control   

Chance and Psychology   

     Coincidence   

     Personal Coincidences   

Accepting Error in Order to Reduce Error: Clinical versus Actuarial Prediction   

Summary 

 

Chapter 12:   The Rodney Dangerfield of the Sciences   

Psychology’s Image Problem   

     Psychology and Parapsychology   

     The Self-Help Literature   

     Recipe Knowledge   

Psychology and Other Disciplines   

Our Own Worst Enemies   

Isn’t Everyone a Psychologist? Implicit Theories of Behavior   

The Source of Resistance to Scientific Psychology   

The Final Word   

 

References   

Name Index   

Subject Index   



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