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How to Think Straight About Psychology / Edition 10

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Overview

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, 10e helps 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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205914128
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 10/3/2012
  • Edition number: 10
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 141,247
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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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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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 11, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    I wish I had written this! This book is essential for all those

    I wish I had written this!

    This book is essential for all those considering the study of psychology and are not sure if it’s just pseudoscience. It would also be great for layperson as it teaches valuable critical thinking skills that will come into play anytime you are evaluating information. This is refreshing reminder of why psychology is such a valuable area of science today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2002

    THE BEST PSY TEXT EVER

    This is possibly the best psychology text book ever written. It is certainly the best I have ever read. I would suguest it to not only thoses interested in psychology but to every average person. The topics covered are one's that I think everyone can find useful including people outside the field of psychology. Considering there are so many misconceptions about psychology and what psycholigists do I feel this is an important book. I would also suggest it to be used as a companion text for almost any psychology class.The style of the book made it easy to read and very enjoyable. If your professor has assigned you this textbook you are a lucky student or if you have accidentaly stumbled across this book you are also lucky because it is excceptional.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

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