Sample Psychology Essays On Principles of Scientific Thinking

Homework Question on Principles of Scientific Thinking

  • General Instructions In total, this assignment should be 2 – 4 pages in length using double spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font with 1 inch margins.
  • Specific instructions:
Name and describe (in your own words) the Six Principles of Scientific Thinking (Lilienfeld, Chapter 1), and state why you believe it is important to use them when thinking about behavior.
  2. Find two examples of claims made in newspapers, magazines, television, or the Internet relevant to Psychology that you think should be evaluated using one of the 6 principles of scientific thinking. Briefly describe both of the claims, and state the media source where you found each claim. (Note: you must suggest a different principle of scientific thinking that would be useful to evaluate each of the two claims.) Each of these 2 sources must be cited both in the text of your paper and in the reference section (bibliography) using APA format.
For both of these claims, state and describe the principle that you think should be applied, and discuss how the principle is used (or not used) in the claim.
  4. Examples of issues relevant to Psychology that have been discussed in various media lately include; standardized testing in education, law enforcement policies (training programs for officers, technology used to modify people’s behavior such as automated speed monitors etc), gun control issues, the use of social media by extremist groups to recruit people to their causes.

Homework Answer on Principles of Scientific Thinking

Psychologists utilize the scientific method to carry out their research because various concepts in psychology make huge impact on how individuals think about their daily life. In addition, scientific thinking enables individuals to approach issues with objectivity, and ignore their own biases. Every issue in life can be reviewed to check its applicability through scientific reasoning. Scientific thinking principles enable scientists to evaluate scientific statements from the laboratory, as well as in everyday life.

According to Lilienfield, et al (2015) the six scientific thinking principles are as follows:

Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence: According to this principle, the more a claim continues to disagree with what is already known, the more convincing the evidence gathered for such claim is before it becomes acceptable. If an employee claim that he/she was late to work due to mechanical problem of his/her vehicle, his boss is likely to believe it since it appears to be an ordinary claim. On the contrary, if the employee claim that he/she encountered an alien on his way to work, then the boss may not believe in such explanation since it appears as extraordinary in nature.

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Testability: This principle is built on the fact that scientific theories endeavor to express the world as it is. The only way scientists can proof a hypothesis is through testing. Scientists conduct experiments and endeavor to verify the results to falsify or approve their hypotheses. If a repeated experiment proves that a given hypothesis is true, then it can be accepted as fact. Testability implies that individuals can predict something, even though at their own risk, to enhance acceptance of an idea. When individuals ask whether God exists, they cannot disapprove this claim because it is not testable.