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How to Think Straight About Psychology,9780321047137

How to Think Straight About Psychology

by
Edition:
6th
ISBN13:

9780321047137

ISBN10:
0321047133
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
7/1/2000
Publisher(s):
Prentice Hall
List Price: $26.00
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Summary

"This popular book on applying critical thinking techniques to standard concepts in psychology and teaches how to recognize and critically appraise pseudoscience." In particular, this book provides tips on evaluating claims that arise in discussions of psychology in the media and self-help literature. By boldly examining common misconceptions in psychology, this book helps readers become more critical and discriminating consumers of psychological information." For anyone interested in psychology.

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Psychology Is Alive and Well (and Doing Fine Among the Sciences)
1(22)
The Freud Problem
1(1)
The Diversity of Modern Psychology
2(4)
Implications of Diversity
3(3)
Unity in Science
6(2)
What, Then, Is Science?
8(9)
Systematic Empiricism
9(1)
Publicly Verifiable Knowledge: Replication and Peer Review
10(5)
Empirically Solvable Problems: Scientists' Search for Testable Theories
15(2)
Psychology and Folk Wisdom: The Problem With ``Common Sense''
17(3)
Psychology As A Young Science
20(1)
Summary
21(2)
Falsifiability: How to Foil Little Green Men in the Head
23(16)
Theories and The Falsifiability Criterion
24(12)
The Theory of Knocking Rhythms
25(1)
Freud and Falsifiability
26(2)
The Little Green Men
28(2)
Not All Confirmations Are Equal
30(1)
Falsifiability and Folk Wisdom
30(1)
The Freedom to Admit a Mistake
31(3)
Thoughts Are Cheap
34(2)
Errors in Science: Getting Closer to the Truth
36(2)
Summary
38(1)
Operationism and Essentialism: ``But, Doctor, What Does It Really Mean?''
39(16)
Why Scientists Are Not Essentialists
39(5)
Essentialists Like to Argue About the Meaning of Words
40(1)
Operationists Link Concepts to Observable Events
41(2)
Scientific Concepts Evolve
43(1)
Operational Definitions In Psychology
44(10)
Operationism as a Humanizing Force
46(2)
Essentialist Questions and the Misunderstanding of Psychology
48(2)
Operationism and the Phrasing of Psychological Questions
50(4)
Summary
54(1)
Testimonials and Case Study Evidence: Placebo Effects and the Amazing Randi
55(20)
Stages of Scientific Investigation
56(2)
Why Testimonials Are Worthless: Placebo Effects
58(3)
The ``Vividness'' Problem
61(9)
The Overwhelming Impact of the Single Case
65(2)
What to Do About the Vividness Problem
67(2)
The Amazing Randi: Fighting Fire with Fire
69(1)
Testimonials Open The Door To Pseudoscience
70(4)
Summary
74(1)
Correlation and Causation: Birth Control by the Toaster Method
75(12)
Pearson and Tuberculosis
76(1)
The Third-Variable Problem: Goldberger and Pellagra
77(4)
Why Goldberger's Evidence Was Better
78(3)
The Directionality Problem
81(1)
Selection Bias
82(4)
Summary
86(1)
Getting Things Under Control: The Case of Clever Hans
87(16)
Snow and Cholera
88(1)
Comparison, Control, And Manipulation
89(13)
The Case of Clever Hans, the Wonder Horse
92(2)
Clever Hans in the 1990s: An Unfolding Tragedy
94(3)
Prying Variables Apart: Special Conditions
97(2)
Intuitive Physics
99(1)
Intuitive Psychology
100(2)
Summary
102(1)
``But It's Not Real Life!'': The ``Artificiality'' criticism and psychology
103(18)
Why Natural Isn't Always Necessary
103(9)
The ``Random-Sample'' Confusion
105(1)
Theory-Driven Research Versus Direct Applications
105(4)
Two Examples: Night Vision and Language Development
109(3)
Applications of Psychological Theory
112(7)
The ``College Sophomore'' Problem
115(4)
The Real-Life and College Sophomore Problems in Perspective
119(1)
Summary
119(2)
Avoiding the Einstein Syndrome: The Importance of Converging Evidence
121(26)
The Connectivity Principle
122(5)
A Consumer's Rule: Beware of Violations of Connectivity
123(2)
The ``Great-Leap'' Model and the Gradual-Synthesis Model
125(2)
Psychology as a Gradual-Synthesis Science
127(1)
Converging Evidence
127(11)
Progress Despite Flaws
128(1)
Theory Evaluation
128(2)
Converging Evidence in Psychology
130(1)
Dyslexia: An Example of Convergence
131(4)
Television Violence and Aggression: Convergence Again
135(3)
Scientific Consensus
138(6)
Methods and the Convergence Principle
140(1)
The Progression to More Powerful Methods
141(3)
A Counsel Against Despair
144(2)
Summary
146(1)
The Misguided Search for the ``Magic Bullet'': The Issue of Multiple Causation
147(8)
Summary
154(1)
The Achilles' Heel of Human Cognition: Probabilistic Reasoning
155(17)
``Person-Who'' Statistics
156(2)
Probabilistic Reasoning and The Misunderstanding Of Psychology
158(1)
Psychological Research on Probabilistic Reasoning
159(12)
Insufficient Use of Probabilistic Information
160(2)
Inverting Conditional Probabilities
162(3)
Failure to Use Sample Size Information
165(1)
The Gambler's Fallacy
166(3)
A Further Word About Statistics and Probability
169(2)
Summary
171(1)
The Role of Chance in Psychology
172(22)
The Tendency to Try to Explain Chance Events
172(6)
Explaining Chance: Illusory Correlation and the Illusion of Control
176(2)
Chance and Psychology
178(6)
Coincidence
179(3)
Personal Coincidences
182(2)
Accepting Error in Order to Reduce Error: Clinical Versus Actuarial Prediction
184(8)
Summary
192(2)
The Rodney Dangerfield of the Sciences
194(30)
Psychology's Image Problem
195(7)
Psychology and Parapsychology
196(2)
The Self-Help Literature
198(2)
Recipe Knowledge
200(2)
Psychology And The Media
202(3)
Psychology and Other Disciplines
205(2)
Our Own Worst Enemies
207(5)
Isn't Everyone a Psychologist? Implicit Theories of Behavior
212(5)
Evaluating Our Implicit Theories: Psychology as a Meme Tester
214(3)
The Source of Resistance to Scientific Psychology
217(5)
Conflict of Interest
218(3)
Moral and Philosophical Objections to Psychology
221(1)
The Final Word
222(2)
References 224(25)
Index 249


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