Thinking like a Psychological Scientist

 We are bombarded every day with claims about how the world works, claims that have a direct impact on how we think about and solve problems in society and our personal lives. This module explores important considerations for evaluating the trustworthiness of such claims by contrasting between scientific thinking and everyday observations (also known as “anecdotal evidence”).


Learning Objectives

  • Compare and contrast conclusions based on scientific and everyday inductive reasoning.
  • Understand why scientific conclusions and theories are trustworthy, even if they are not able to be proven.
  • Articulate what it means to think like a psychological scientist, considering qualities of good scientific explanations and theories.
  • Discuss science as a social activity, comparing and contrasting facts and values.

Chapter Author: Erin I. Smith

Erin I. Smith is Associate Professor of Psychology at California Baptist University. She earned her PhD in Developmental Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. She was recently a visiting scholar in science and religion with SCIO (Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford) and currently serves as the director for the Center for the Study of Human Behavior at CBU.


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UPEI Introduction to Psychology 1 Copyright © by Philip Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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