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How to Think Straight About Psychology

by
Edition:
9th
ISBN13:

9780205485130

ISBN10:
0205485138
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
1/1/2010
Publisher(s):
Prentice Hall

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Summary

Keith Stanovich's widely used and highly acclaimed book helps instructors teach critical-thinking skills within the rich context of psychology. It can be used as a stand-alone text or as a supplement in introductory psychology, critical-thinking, as well as research methods and statistics courses. It is the premier text of its kind. Stanovich helps students become more discriminating consumers of psychological information by helping them recognize pseudoscience and be able to distinguish it from true psychological research. Psychological topics such as falsifiability, operationalism, experimental control, converging evidence, correlational vs. experimental studies, and statistics are presented as tools for critical evaluation, giving students a set of practical consumer skills to independently evaluate psychological claims. Students also are given a set of "consumer rules" for dealing with psychology in the media. How to Think Straight About Psychology says what many instructors would like to say about the discipline of psychology but haven't found a way to. That is one reason adopters have called it "an instructor's dream text" and often comment "I wish I had written it. It tells my students just what I want them to hear about psychology." New to the eighth edition are expanded discussions of reliability and validity, meta-analysis, and the differences between random sampling versus random assignment.

Table of Contents

Preface xi
1 Psychology Is Alive and Well (and Doing Fine Among the Sciences) 1(18)
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(5)
Systematic Empiricism
9(1)
Publicly Verifiable Knowledge: Replication and Peer Review
10(2)
Empirically Solvable Problems: Scientists' Search for Testable Theories
12(1)
Psychology and Folk Wisdom: The Problem with "Common Sense"
13(4)
Psychology as a Young Science
17(1)
Summary
18(1)
2 Falsifiability: How to Foil Little Green Men in the Head 19(16)
Theories and the Falsifiability Criterion
20(11)
The Theory of Knocking Rhythms
21(1)
Freud and Falsifiability
22(2)
The Little Green Men
24(2)
Not All Confirmations Are Equal
26(1)
Falsifiability and Folk Wisdom
27(1)
The Freedom to Admit a Mistake
27(3)
Thoughts Are Cheap
30(1)
Errors in Science: Getting Closer to the Truth
31(2)
Summary
33(2)
3 Operationism and Essentialism: "But, Doctor, What Does It Really Mean?" 35(18)
Why Scientists Are Not Essentialists
35(7)
Essentialists Like to Argue About the Meaning of Words
36(1)
Operationists Link Concepts to Observable Events
37(1)
Reliability and Validity
38(2)
Direct and Indirect Operational Definitions
40(1)
Scientific Concepts Evolve
40(2)
Operational Definitions in Psychology
42(9)
Operationism as a Humanizing Force
45(1)
Essentialist Questions and the Misunderstanding of Psychology
46(2)
Operationism and the Phrasing of Psychological Questions
48(3)
Summary
51(2)
4 Testimonials and Case Study Evidence: Placebo Effects and the Amazing Randi 53(20)
The Place of the Case Study
55(1)
Why Testimonials Are Worthless: Placebo Effects
56(4)
The "Vividness" Problem
60(7)
The Overwhelming Impact of the Single Case
63(2)
The Amazing Randi: Fighting Fire with Fire
65(2)
Testimonials Open the Door to Pseudoscience
67(4)
Summary
71(2)
5 Correlation and Causation: Birth Control by the Toaster Method 73(12)
The Third-Variable Problem: Goldberger and Pellagra
74(4)
Why Goldberger's Evidence Was Better
75(3)
The Directionality Problem
78(2)
Selection Bias
80(3)
Summary
83(2)
6 Getting Things Under Control: The Case of Clever Hans 85(18)
Snow and Cholera
86(1)
Comparison, Control, and Manipulation
87(15)
Random Assignment in Conjunction with Manipulation Defines the True Experiment
88(3)
The Importance of Control Groups
91(1)
The Case of Clever Hans, the Wonder Horse
92(2)
Clever Hans in the 1990's
94(3)
Prying Variables Apart: Special Conditions
97(2)
Intuitive Physics
99(2)
Intuitive Psychology
101(1)
Summary
102(1)
7 "But It's Not Real Life!": The "Artificiality" Criticism and Psychology 103(16)
Why Natural Isn't Always Necessary
103(7)
The "Random Sample" Confusion
105(1)
The Random Assignment Versus Random Sample Distinction
105(1)
Theory-Driven Research Versus Direct Applications
106(4)
Applications of Psychological Theory
110(7)
The "College Sophomore" Problem
112(4)
The Real-Life and College Sophomore Problems in Perspective
116(1)
Summary
117(2)
8 Avoiding the Einstein Syndrome: The Importance of Converging Evidence 119(22)
The Connectivity Principle
120(4)
A Consumer's Rule: Beware of Violations of Connectivity
121(2)
The "Great-Leap" Model Versus the Gradual-Synthesis Model
123(1)
Converging Evidence: Progress Despite Flaws
124(6)
Converging Evidence in Psychology
126(4)
Scientific Consensus
130(5)
Methods and the Convergence Principle
131(2)
The Progression to More Powerful Methods
133(2)
A Counsel Against Despair
135(3)
Summary
138(3)
9 The Misguided Search for the "Magic Bullet": The Issue of Multiple Causation 141(8)
The Concept of Interaction
142(2)
The Temptation of the Single-Cause Explanation
144(3)
Summary
147(2)
10 The Achilles' Heel of Human Cognition: Probabilistic Reasoning 149(56)
"Person-Who" Statistics
150(2)
Probabilistic Reasoning and the Misunderstanding of Psychology
152(1)
Psychological Research on Probabilistic Reasoning
153(10)
Insufficient Use of Probabilistic Information
154(2)
Failure to Use Sample Size Information
156(1)
The Gambler's Fallacy
157(4)
A Further Word About Statistics and Probability
161(2)
Summary
163(2)
11 The Role of Chance in Psychology
165(18)
The Tendency to Try to Explain Chance Events
165(10)
Explaining Chance: Illusory Correlation and the Illusion of Control
168(2)
Chance and Psychology
170(1)
Coincidence
171(3)
Personal Coincidences
174(1)
Accepting Error in Order to Reduce Error: Clinical Versus Actuarial Prediction
175(6)
Summary
181(2)
12 The Rodney Dangerfield of the Sciences
183(22)
Psychology's Image Problem
183(6)
Psychology and Parapsychology
184(2)
The Self-Help Literature
186(1)
Recipe Knowledge
187(2)
Psychology and Other Disciplines
189(2)
Our Own Worst Enemies
191(6)
Isn't Everyone a Psychologist? Implicit Theories of Behavior
197(1)
The Source of Resistance to Scientific Psychology
198(4)
The Final Word
202(3)
References 205(26)
Author Index 231(7)
Subject Index 238


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