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ATP 2016 - Critical Thinking in Psychology

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ATP 2016 - Critical Thinking in Psychology

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ATP 2016 - Critical Thinking in Psychology

  1. 1. ATP ‘16 Paperclips and Toasters: Critical Thinking in Psychology. Jamie Davies How many uses can you think of for a paper clip?
  2. 2. Outcome Type Things By the end of the session participants: • Should be able to describe what critical thinking is. • Have reflected on teaching critical thinking skills. • Should be able to describe what goes into a toaster. • Have discussed strategies to embed critical thinking skills into the curriculum.
  3. 3. There exists a gap between students’ understanding of research methodology and their capacity to think critically
  4. 4. Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used. Carl Sagan
  5. 5. • Reviewing from different perspectives in order to formulate own personalised judgement / view point and to be able to apply it to the matter in hand and engage in development • Stepping back & recognising different perspectives • Comprehending and valuing different viewpoints • Appreciating someone else’s viewpoint and logic but not necessarily agreeing • Being able to underpin your argument with evidence • Reviewing and developing – a constant cycle of reflection and adaptation • Analysis – taking things to pieces
  6. 6. Components of Critical Thinking - Analysing arguments, claims, or evidence (Ennis, 1985; Facione, 1990; Halpern, 1998; Paul, 1992) - Making inferences using inductive or deductive reasoning (Ennis, 1985; Facione, 1990; Paul, 1992; Willingham, 2007) - Judging or evaluating (Case, 2005; Ennis, 1985; Facione, 1990; Lipman, 1988) - Making decisions or solving problems (Ennis, 1985; Halpern, 1998; Willingham, 2007).
  7. 7. Design a study to investigate if people will be obedient to an authority figure’s instructions
  8. 8. How to make a piece of toast? Now, imagine you don’t have a toaster … what would you do? How could you make the toast? In small groups you have 90 seconds to write a set of instructions as to how to make the perfect piece of toast.
  9. 9. Left to his own devices he couldn’t build a toaster. He could just about make a sandwich and that was it.Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless, 1992 It takes an entire civilisation to build a toaster
  10. 10. What are you missing? What questions might a person running the study need to ask?
  11. 11. What is critical (rational) thinking in psychology?
  12. 12. “savvy consumers and producers of research” (Sternberg, 1999).
  13. 13. Correlation ≠ Causation
  14. 14. • More than 98% of convicted criminals are bread eaters. • 50% of all children who grow up in bread- consuming households score below average on standardised tests. • In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever and influenza ravaged whole nations. • More than 90% of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread.
  15. 15. “… science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths; neither with the collection of observations, nor with the invention of experiments, but with the critical discussion of myths, and of magical techniques and practices.” Popper (1963) p66.
  16. 16. Most people use only 10% of their brains. The different sides of the brain have different functions and do different things. Brain activity almost stops during sleep. Gamblers think differently than non-gamblers. Children all develop their cognitive abilities at the same time in their lives. Human memory works like a tape recorder or video camera. Punishment is typically an effective means of changing long-term behaviour. Researchers have demonstrated that dreams possess an underlying symbolic meaning. The polygraph (“lie detector”) test is a highly accurate means of detecting dishonesty. Happy people experience more positive events in their lives than do unhappy people. Children learn to be aggressive simply by watching others be aggressive around them. When we were younger we all had sexual fantasies about our parents. People with schizophrenia possess more than one personality. The characteristic feature of Tourette’s Syndrome is swearing and cursing. Eyewitness testimony is usually reliable. Students have a good sense of how well they know class material. Psychology is a science. A person’s intelligence is partially determined by brain size. Most of us would not follow instructions from an authority figure to hurt another person. Parts of the brain can grow if they are used more. The power of the situation is far higher than any personal wants or desires. Most people would walk on by if they saw someone in need. We all interpret the world the same way. A smile is a smile. A laugh is a laugh. Humans are the only things on this planet that can learn and use a language. Psychiatrists can reliably diagnose those who have a mental disorder. It is possible for a person to have more than one personality. Psychology is all about reading peoples minds and analyzing their behaviour.
  17. 17. CT | Criticisms of Psychology 1. Is psychology only common sense? 2. Do psychological theories provide new insight into the human condition or do they document the obvious? 3. Does psychology simply formalise what any amateur already knows intuitively? “Day after day social scientists go out into the world. Day after day they discover that people’s behavior is pretty much what you’d expect.” Cullen Murphy, Editor, Atlantic Monthly (1990)
  18. 18. 1. The children in the aggressive model condition made more aggressive responses than the children in the non-aggressive model condition 2. Boys made more aggressive responses than girls 3. The boys in the aggressive model conditions showed more aggressive responses if the model was male than if the model was female 4. The girls in the aggressive model conditions also showed more physical aggressive responses if the model was male but more verbal aggressive responses if the model was female
  19. 19. TASK In pairs look at the conclusions from Lazarsfeld (1949) and suggest reasons for the findings of the study. What could have led to his findings? Do the conclusions make sense? Can you explain the conclusions that he made? [5 minutes]
  20. 20. Paul Lazarsfeld (1949) | The American Soldier - An Expository Review 1. Better educated soldiers suffered more adjustment problems than less educated soldiers. 2. Southern soldiers coped better with the hot South Sea Island climate than Northern soldiers. 3. White privates were more eager to be promoted officers than Black privates. 4. As long as the fighting continued, soldiers were more eager to return home than after the war ended.
  21. 21. Paul Lazarsfeld (1949) | The American Soldier - An Expository Review 1. Better educated soldiers suffered fewer adjustment problems than less educated soldiers. 2. Northern soldiers coped better with the hot South Sea Island climate than Southern soldiers. 3. White privates were less eager to be promoted officers than Black privates. 4. After the war ended soldiers were more eager to return home than when the fighting continued.
  22. 22. “Anything seems commonplace, once explained” Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes Hindsight Bias 1. “I knew it all along phenomena”– the tendency to perceive something as obvious or unavoidable, after learning of the outcome. 2. Study of Hindsight bias: Teigen (1986) • Evaluate actual proverbs and their opposites Actual Proverb • Fear is stronger than love. • He that is fallen cannot help him who is down. • Wise men make proverbs and fools repeat them. Opposite • Love is stronger than fear. • He that is fallen can help him who is down. • Fools make proverbs and wise men repeat them.
  23. 23. How could you (do you) embed critical thinking into your classroom activities?
  24. 24. P.A.L.S PsychologyAppliedLearningScenarios
  25. 25. Maggie was walking down the street all excited because she was going to meet a friend that she had not seen for a long time. She heard screaming coming from a shop on the other side of the road and looking over saw three masked men, one carrying a shotgun, run into a bank. She felt really scared and hid inside a phone box where she called the police; on the phone the operator had to calm her down to get the information they needed such as location and what had happened. Maggie stayed in the box and watched the events unfold – all at once there was a shot fired and loads of people came running out of the bank. Some minutes later the three men ran out of the bank and across the road into a transit van that moved off. Maggie went across the road looking into the bank she saw a dead body on the floor with some of the bank workers around it. The police then arrived. The following day the police had 23 witnesses to the crime from both inside the bank and the street outside. Maggie was one of these. With this being such a serious event the police have requested the help of a psychologist to advise them on their questioning methods, how they can get the most reliable information from the witnesses and what factors they should be aware of. They have asked you to compile a report.
  26. 26. What is the quality of the evidence? Could the relationship have happened by chance? Is there a control or comparison group? Is the conclusion causal using correlational data? Are there any confounding variables? Are we over generalising based on an unrepresentative sample? Are there any biases in the research or data collection methods? Can you actually falsify the theory? Is the study claiming to have found the answer?
  27. 27. TheThe ThinkingThinking Ladder.Ladder. Charlotte Russell www.resourcd.com
  28. 28. Developing opinions, judgements & decisions.Developing opinions, judgements & decisions. Critical thinking skills.Critical thinking skills. Separating a whole an examining it’sSeparating a whole an examining it’s component parts or features.component parts or features. Using facts, rules, principles and applying themUsing facts, rules, principles and applying them to examples or to solve a problem.to examples or to solve a problem. Organisation and selection of facts, informationOrganisation and selection of facts, information and knowledge.and knowledge. Combining or organising information to form aCombining or organising information to form a new whole or create something new.new whole or create something new. Identification and recall of information. AlsoIdentification and recall of information. Also known as Knowledge!known as Knowledge!
  29. 29. Thinking Ladder Tasks Bloom-ing great!
  30. 30. Why do we study the WEIRDest people? http://jamiedavies.co/weird
  31. 31. “Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used” Carl Sagan “savvy consumers and producers of research” Sternberg
  32. 32. http://jamiedavies.co/atp16 @jamiedavies Thank You

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