You must choose ONE of the following questions/topics below to answer/address. Make sure you answer/address ALL parts of the question/topic. If you quote directly from the text in your answer please indicate so by using quotation marks. When using material from the text you must list page numbers. Remember, grammar counts, this is an upper level course so I expect you to communicate your ideas clearly and to appropriately cite material. DO NOT copy and paste from websites. During the first week of class I will do my best to prompt students and give feedback so you can get a feel for exactly what is expected. Don’t forget that a portion of your participation score comes from responding to posts from other students (you must have at least 2 comments/asides to student main posts in addition to your main response) for each discussion.
It is important that you provide enough detail so it is clear to me that you understand the material and provide a reference and citations for ANY information that is not your own.
See your syllabus and the rubric for more details.
1. An important part of research is separating the good from the bad. Research shows that even the best and brightest students may hold some beliefs in pseudoscience. It also shows that if discussions about pseudoscience are not handled correctly, there can be a backfire effect where the example of pseudoscience is remembered but not that the claim is actually false (Impey, Buxner, & Antonellis, 2012; Lewandowsky et al., 2012). Describe pseudoscience and give a detailed example (PLEASE DO NOT USE ASTROLOGY AS AN EXAMPLE). Explain how you would teach about your example so that it is clear that it is pseudoscience.
2. People sometimes suggest that psychology cannot be a science because either a) human behavior cannot be predicted with perfect accuracy, or b) most of its subject matter (e.g., thoughts and feelings) cannot be observed directly. Explain how the use of the scientific method and empirical questions helps to dispute those claims. In your response, define and give an example of empirical and nonempirical questions and the scientific method. Do we need to be able to directly observe and predict human behavior with accuracy for psychology to be a science? Why or why not?
3. Define basic and applied research in terms of research in psychology. Pick a topic that is interesting to you and provide three basic research questions for that topic. Then, expand on that to include three applied questions related to your basic research questions. Identify specific variables in each example. Finally, find an article in a research journal related to your topic. Does the research question in that article fit as a basic or applied research question. Why?
4. If we look at science as a general way of understanding the natural world, there are three fundamental features to the scientific approach. Define those features and provide specific examples of each. How are these features related to one another? Include at least one published work from a research journal in your response.
Topic 4 – Features of Science
Each scientific discovery has three ultimate features that come into deliberation with the first one being systematically empiricism (Price, Jhangiani, & Chiang 2015, p. 5). Empiricism is the absorbed information that is conducted within the involvement or observation process while systematically indicates the followed procedure that took place by arranging, implementing, recording, and investigating on the research question. If we reflect on how the discovery of the Bystander Effect from Larane and Darley in 1968 was conducted, they let participants complete a survey when smoke entered the room and noticed a pluralistic ignorance among several of them when it came to taking action (Emeghara, 2020, “Bystander Experiments” section). For the experiment to generally find accurate results, the researchers first needed to plan how to create an emergency situation with different individuals to record their reactions and to then analyze the findings that have been observed.
The second feature is the important empirical question that needs to be answered by systematically perceiving it while in this case, we empathize on a question that is in fact investigational. If we look again at the Bystander Effect, we can record the number of individuals who took responsibility when the incident occurred but documenting why the individuals reacted in this manner would not be an empirical question since it is not observable.
Coming to the last feature which is essential for the contribution to the public knowledge in the research literature. By publishing the findings in a professional journal, it benefits other researchers to contemplate or to investigate upon the study even further as it allowed to emerge with Larane and Darley experiment over time. The three features of science are therefore interconnected and construct a social process that lays an establishment for the collective scientific awareness to improve our understanding of the natural world we live in (Price, Jhangiani, & Chiang, 2015, p.6).
Emeghara, U. (2020). Bystander effect and diffusion of responsibility. Simply Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/bystander-effect.html
Price, P., Jhangiani, R., & Chiang, I. (2015). Research Methods of Psychology – 2nd Canadian Edition. Victoria, B.C.: BCcampus. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/researchmethods/.
CLASSMATE POST 2:
The three fundamental features to scientific approach as follows:
1. Systematic Empiricism: defined as “learning by observation” ( (Price, Jhangiani, & Chiang 2015, p. 5). The definition is pretty vague and right on. Researchers learn from what they observing.
2. Empirical Questions: defined as a specific question about how the world works, and can be answered by observing (Price, Jhangiani, & Chiang 2015, p. 6).
3. Public Knowledge: once the question is asked, the subjects are observed and the results are recorded the researcher writes up the entire research and publishes it and allows the public to gain knowledge from their research and possibly recreate the research as well.
The three fundamentals work together in sequence, you cannot have one without the other. The research starts with the empirical question and then is followed by systematic empiricism which is the observing in order to answer the question and record the results. Finally comes the public knowledge where the whole entire research gets published and open to the public in order for them to gain the knowledge from the observations and recreate the research based off what was learned to see if maybe there is another outcome with that new knowledge added.