How To Think Straight About Psychology

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  • Edition: 9th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-07-29
  • Publisher: Pearson
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Keith Stanovich's widely used and highly acclaimed book helps students become more discriminating consumers of psychological information, helping them recognize pseudoscience and be able to distinguish it from true psychological research. Stanovich helps instructors teach critical thinking skills within the rich context of psychology. It is the leading text of its kind. How to Think Straight About Psychologysays about the discipline of psychology what many instructors would like to say 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".

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Psychology Is Alive and Well (and Doing Fine Among the Sciences)p. 1
The Freud Problemp. 1
The Diversity of Modern Psychologyp. 2
Implications of Diversityp. 3
Unity in Sciencep. 6
What, Then, Is Science?p. 8
Systematic Empiricismp. 9
Publicly Verifiable Knowledge: Replication and Peer Reviewp. 10
Empirically Solvable Problems: Scientists' Search for Testable Theoriesp. 12
Psychology and Folk Wisdom: The Problem with "Common Sense"p. 13
Psychology as a Young Sciencep. 16
Summaryp. 18
Falsifiability: How to Foil Little Green Men in the Headp. 19
Theories and the Falsifiability Criterionp. 20
The Theory of Knocking Rhythmsp. 22
Freud and Falsifiabilityp. 23
The Little Green Menp. 25
Not All Confirmations Are Equalp. 26
Falsifiability and Folk Wisdomp. 27
The Freedom to Admit a Mistakep. 28
Thoughts Are Cheapp. 30
Errors in Science: Getting Closer to the Truthp. 31
Summaryp. 34
Operationism and Essentialism: "But, Doctor, What Does It Really Mean?"p. 35
Why Scientists Are Not Essentialistsp. 35
Essentialists Like to Argue About the Meaning of Wordsp. 36
Operationists Link Concepts to Observable Eventsp. 37
Reliability and Validityp. 38
Direct and Indirect Operational Definitionsp. 40
Scientific Concepts Evolvep. 40
Operational Definitions in Psychologyp. 42
Operationism as a Humanizing Forcep. 45
Essentialist Questions and the Misunderstanding of Psychologyp. 47
Operationism and the Phrasing of Psychological Questionsp. 48
Summaryp. 51
Testimonials and Case Study Evidence: Placebo Effects and the Amazing Randip. 53
The Place of the Case Studyp. 54
Why Testimonials Are Worthless: Placebo Effectsp. 56
The "Vividness" Problemp. 59
The Overwhelming Impact of the Single Casep. 63
The Amazing Randi: Fighting Fire with Firep. 65
Testimonials Open the Door to Pseudosciencep. 67
Summaryp. 71
Correlation and Causation: Birth Control by the Toaster Methodp. 73
The Third-Variable Problem: Goldberger and Pellagrap. 74
Why Goldberger's Evidence Was Betterp. 75
The Directionality Problemp. 78
Selection Biasp. 80
Summaryp. 83
Getting Things Under Control: The Case of Clever Hansp. 85
Snow and Cholerap. 86
Comparison, Control, and Manipulationp. 87
Random Assignment in Conjunction with Manipulation Defines the True Experimentp. 88
The Importance of Control Groupsp. 91
The Case of Clever Hans, the Wonder Horsep. 94
Clever Hans in the 1990sp. 96
Prying Variables Apart: Special Conditionsp. 99
Intuitive Physicsp. 101
Intuitive Psychologyp. 103
Summaryp. 104
"But It's Not Real Life!": The "Artificiality" Criticism and Psychologyp. 105
Why Natural Isn't Always Necessaryp. 105
The "Random Sample" Confusionp. 107
The Random Assignment Versus Random Sample Distinctionp. 107
Theory-Driven Research Versus Direct Applicationsp. 108
Applications of Psychological Theoryp. 113
The "College Sophomore" Problemp. 115
The Real-Life and College Sophomore Problems in Perspectivep. 119
Summaryp. 120
Avoiding the Einstein Syndrome: The Importance of Converging Evidencep. 121
The Connectivity Principlep. 122
A Consumer's Rule: Beware of Violations of Connectivityp. 123
The "Great-Leap" Model Versus the Gradual-Synthesis Modelp. 125
Converging Evidence: Progress Despite Flawsp. 126
Converging Evidence in Psychologyp. 129
Scientific Consensusp. 133
Methods and the Convergence Principlep. 135
The Progression to More Powerful Methodsp. 136
A Counsel Against Despairp. 139
Summaryp. 142
The Misguided Search for the "Magic Bullet": The Issue of Multiple Causationp. 145
The Concept of Interactionp. 146
The Temptation of the Single-Cause Explanationp. 149
Summaryp. 152
The Achilles' Heel of Human Cognition: Probabilistic Reasoningp. 153
"Person-Who" Statisticsp. 155
Probabilistic Reasoning and the Misunderstanding of Psychologyp. 156
Psychological Research on Probabilistic Reasoningp. 158
Insufficient Use of Probabilistic Informationp. 159
Failure to Use Sample Size Informationp. 161
The Gambler's Fallacyp. 162
A Further Word About Statistics and Probabilityp. 164
Summaryp. 166
The Role of Chance in Psychologyp. 167
The Tendency to Try to Explain Chance Eventsp. 167
Explaining Chance: Illusory Correlation and the Illusion of Controlp. 170
Chance and Psychologyp. 172
Coincidencep. 173
Personal Coincidencesp. 176
Accepting Error in Order to Reduce Error: Clinical versus Actuarial Predictionp. 177
Summaryp. 184
The Rodney Dangerfield of the Sciencesp. 185
Psychology's Image Problemp. 185
Psychology and Parapsychologyp. 186
The Self-Help Literaturep. 188
Recipe Knowledgep. 190
Psychology and Other Disciplinesp. 192
Our Own Worst Enemiesp. 194
Isn't Everyone a Psychologist? Implicit Theories of Behaviorp. 200
The Source of Resistance to Scientific Psychologyp. 201
The Final Wordp. 206
Referencesp. 207
Name Indexp. 231
Subject Indexp. 238
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Think Smarter about the World April 5, 2011
I read this textbook during my research methods class while completing my undergraduate education four years ago. This was one of the most helpful textbooks that I have ever read related to psychology. More specifically, this book reminds us that, as psychologists, we need to remember to take in all information with a grain of salt. In other words, remember to critically evaluate all information presented to you and not believe everything is face valid.
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How To Think Straight About Psychology: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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