1. Psychology in the Media The PowerPoint slides were developed by Mus Khairy (PhD), Stanford University at California. Educational ,Social Psychologists at German University at Cairo (GUC) unless otherwise noted on specific slides.
2. What is Media? Any modality of communication between persons or groups. Materials that hold data in any form or that allow data to pass through them. Information Packages.
3. Three mechanisms of media portrayal <ul><li>Attempts to directly report psychological findings </li></ul><ul><li>Attempts to use psychological findings to dispense advice, argue policy, or other applications of findings. </li></ul><ul><li>Attempts to describe or portray human behavior using “folk psychology”. </li></ul>
4. Common Misperceptions of Psychology <ul><li>All psychologists are clinicians </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Truth: Only about 55% of psychologists are clinicians (APA, 1993). </li></ul></ul>
5. Common Misperceptions of Psychology 2) All experimental psychologists study rats. Truth: I’ve never handled a live rat.
6. Common Misperceptions of Psychology 3) Experimental psychology is typically unethical. Truth: Although many past experiments have been unethical, stringent standards apply to modern experimental psychology
7. Common Misperceptions of Psychology 4) Psychology only tells us things we already know. Truth: Pay attention to discrepancies between research and media “folk-psychology” during this class, and make your own judgment.
8. Media Manipulating Numbers Google search stats: Misleading Ads: 158,000 Misleading Advertisement: 136,000 Misleading Statistics: 336,000 Media Distortion: 322,000
9. Manipulating Numbers “ There are lies, damned lies, and statistics” -- Disraeli
10. The elusive 'average' 1 4 3 4 3 2 2 2 27 Mean = 4.8 Median = 3 Mode = 2
11. The Correlation Correlation measures the strength of a relationship between two variables.
12. The Correlation Positive Correlation 0 < R < 1 No Correlation R = 0 Negative Correlation -1 < R < 0
13. The Correlation Correlation does not imply causation
14. The Correlation “ 75% of kids who smoke have parents who smoke. Funny how kids pick up our little habits.”
15. The Correlation Correlations can be misleading!!!
16. The Right Statistic A person wearing red is 129 times more likely to be gored by a charging bull! But what is the base rate?
17. The Right Statistic Mean: 275 minutes Mean: 53 minutes
18. The Right Statistic 98% of Americans have internet access available. Sprint has a “Nationwide Network” The average temperature in Oklahoma City over the past 100 years is 63.4 degrees. (and each year has been within 1 degree of that average)
19. The Right Statistic Consumer spending on prescription drugs has doubled since 1980. 85% of all car accidents occur within 10 miles of the home. 10 times as many people die each year by plane crashes than train crashes.
20. The Right Statistic During the Spanish-American war, the death rate for soldiers was 9 per 1000. The death rate for civilians in New York City was 16 per 1000.
21. Funny Graphs 1 minute 2 minutes Fluffy O’s Cereal Gives a body Energy!! 10 5 ??
22. Funny Graphs Earnings
23. Funny Graphs Earnings
24. Funny Graphs Even when the scale is fine, graphs can still be deceptive
25. Funny Graphs Even when the scale is fine, graphs can still be deceptive
26. Funny Graphs As you can see, Bob earns substantially more than Joe Joe’s income Bob’s Income
27. Funny Graphs Is it really a two to one ratio that’s being displayed?
28. Funny Graphs Percent of US income going to federal taxes
29. Funny Graphs Percent of US income going to federal taxes
30. Where's the control? Tylenol is used by 90% doctors for their own aches and pains! So are Asprin, Ibuprofen, and Bayer!
31. Semi-attached Numbers When Dewey was elected Governor in 1942, the minimum teacher’s salary in some districts was as low as $900 per year. Upon Governor Dewey’s recommendation… the Legislature in 1947 appropriated $32,000,000 out of state surplus to provide an increase in teacher’s salaries. As a result, the minimum salaries of teachers in New York City range from $2500 to $5325.
32. Semi-attached Numbers 1) Stanford is the #1 program in psychology 2) I am the only (and therefore #1) student at Stanford studying Decision Errors Therefore: I am the top student studying Decision Errors in the country.
33. What drives the data Group A: I II III IV V 6.2 6.4 7.6 6.1 6.2 Group B: I II III IV V 6.1 6.3 2.2 6.0 6.2 Is Group A superior to Group B?
34. Over Precise Numbers The average American sleeps 8 hours a night The average American sleeps 8.2 hours a night The average American sleeps 8.2339 hours a night
35. What could be... “ Currently there are 4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s Disease. By the year 2020 it could be 20 million.” This new calling plan can save you 30% over AT&T’s rates!
36. A CASE STUDY IN MEDIA DISTORTION Obfuscation Studies
37. Obfuscation Obfuscation: deliberately increasing the complexity of a piece of writing without changing the content
38. Do People Obfuscate? Have you ever changed the words in an academic essay to make the essay sound more valid or intelligent by using complicated language? 75% When you write an essay, do you turn to the thesaurus to choose words that are more complex to give the impression that the content is more valid or intelligent? 66%
39. Obfuscatory Stimuli <ul><li>Step 1:Take a normal string of text </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2: Replace every noun, verb, and adjective with the longest thesaurus entry. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No replacement if original word is longest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If multiple words are of equal length choose highest alphabetically </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change ‘a’ ‘an’ etc. to keep grammar </li></ul></ul>
40. Example Original “ The primary academic goal I have set for myself is to use my potential to the fullest. Your college represents an institution abundant with academic resources. During my undergraduate years I intend to use those resources to obtain knowledge about my career field, and I hope to fully explore my career field.”
41. Example Obfuscated “ The principal educational aspiration I have established for myself is to utilize my capabilities to the fullest. Your institution characterizes an institution plentiful with educational resources. Throughout my undergraduate existence I anticipate to exercise those resources to acquire information about my occupational discipline, and I hope to completely investigate my occupational discipline .”
42. Experiment #1 3 Levels of Obfuscation: 1) No obfuscation 2) Some obfuscation (every 3 rd word) 3) High obfuscation (every word) 2 Levels of Quality: 1) Good Essay 2) Bad Essay
43. Experimental Design <ul><li>130 Stanford University Undergraduates </li></ul><ul><li>Read Essay </li></ul><ul><li>Rate Likelihood of acceptance </li></ul><ul><li>Rate author’s intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>Rate clarity of passage </li></ul><ul><li>Manipulation check to ensure reading </li></ul>
44. Results Would you accept the applicant?
45. Experiment #2 3 Levels of Obfuscation: 1) No obfuscation 2) Some obfuscation (every 3 rd word) 3) High obfuscation (every word) 6 Levels of Essay: Applicants to graduate study in English
46. Results Would you accept the applicant?
47. Experiment #3 <ul><li>Control for incorrect usage of words </li></ul><ul><li>Use different translations of same text (Descartes Meditation V) </li></ul><ul><li>2) Control for priors </li></ul><ul><li>Use different attributions of authors </li></ul>