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Mione Labuschagne
Flashcards by Mione Labuschagne, updated more than 1 year ago
Mione Labuschagne
Created by Mione Labuschagne almost 9 years ago

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CHAPTER ONE METHODS FOR ACQUIRING KNOWLEDGE *Methods of acquiring knowledge - ways a person can know things - discover answers to questions. *FIVE NONSCIENTIFIC APPROACHES: ~Method of TENACITY; ~Method of INTUITION; ~Method of AUTHORITY; ~RATIONAL Method; & ~Method of EMPIRICISM. *Scientific methods tends - more complicated & more time consuming. *Goal: obtain better quality answers - higher level of confidence in answers. 1) METHOD OF TENACITY *Holding on to ideas & beliefs simply - have been accepted as facts - long time or of superstition. *Method is based on habit or superstition. *Habit leads us to continue believing something we have always believed - referred to as BELIEF PERSEVERANCE. *Also involves persistence of superstitions - represent beliefs reacted to as facts. *ONE PROBLEM - information required might NOT BE ACCURATE. *Another problem - there is NO method for correcting ERRONEOUS IDEAS. - Even in face of evidence - a belief is widely accepted solely on basis of tenacity - very difficult to change.
2) METHOD OF INTUITION *Information is accepted as true because it "feels right." *A person relies on hunches & "instinct" to answer questions. - Whenever we say we know something because we have a "gut feeling" - using method of intuition. *Many questions, this method - quickest way to obtain answers. *When we have NO information at all & CANNOT refer to supporting data or use rational justification - often resort to intuition. *Many ethical decisions or moral questions - resolved by method of intuition. *Intuition probably based on SUBTLE CUES - pick up from people around us. *PREDICTIONS & DESCRIPTIONS given by psychics - thought to be intuitive. *PROBLEM with method of intuition - has NO mechanism for separating ACCURATE from INACCURATE Knowledge. 3) METHOD OF AUTHORITY *A person finds answers - seeking out an authority on the subject. *Mean consulting an expert directly or going to library or a website to read the works of an expert. *Relying on the assumed expertise of another person. *For many questions, this method is - an excellent starting point - QUICKEST & EASIEST way to obtain answers. Formal education is based on notion - answers can be obtained from experts. *A problem - is it DOES NOT always provide accurate information. *Sources are often BIASED - answers obtained from an expert - represent Subjective, Personal opinion rather than true expert knowledge. *Limitation - is that we assume - person's status as an authority - expertise can be generalized to include questions we are asking. *Another limitation - people often accept an expert's statement without question. - FALSE information sometimes taken as truth. *Authority accepted without question - information appears to make sense - NO obvious reason to question. *People sometimes accept the word of an authority - have complete trust. - METHOD OF FAITH.
4) RATIONAL METHOD *Also known as RATIONALISM - Involves seeking answers by LOGICAL REASONING. *Begin with set of known facts or assumptions - use logic to reach a conclusion or get an answer to a question. *In logical reasoning - PREMISE STATEMENTS are - FACTS OR ASSUMPTIONS - known (assumed) to be true. *AN ARGUMENT - set of premise statements - logically combined to yield a conclusion. *If premise statements are true - logic is sound - the conclusion is guaranteed correct. *Answers obtained by rational method - satisfy standards established by rules of logic BEFORE accepted as true. *Rational method begins AFTER premise statements have been presented. *DOES NOT involve making observations & gathering info - INSTEAD it is sitting alone, quietly, mentally manipulating premise statements - determine whether they combined to produce logical conclusion. *LIMITATIONS are - logic is sound - still a chance - conclusion is not true. Unless both premise statements are true - conclusion NOT necessarily true - even in a valid logical argument. CRITICAL COMPONENT of scientific method. 5) EMPIRICAL METHOD *Also known as EMPIRICISM - attempts to answer questions by DIRECT observation or PERSONAL experience. *Empirical viewpoint - philosophy - holds that all knowledge is acquired through senses. *Empirical method provides an EASY - DIRECT WAY to answer questions. Method of inquiry has some limitations: ~Tempting to place confidence in our own observations - reveal faith we place in our own experience. Cannot necessarily believe everything we see, hear or feel. - Common for people to misperceive or misinterpret the world around. *Direct experience - simple way to obtain answers - perceptions can be drastically altered by prior knowledge, expectations, feelings or beliefs. Possible to make accurate observations - then misinterpret what we see. *Method usually time-consuming & sometimes dangerous. *Might be SAFER to use Rational method or Method of authority - rather than experience something for yourself. *EVIDENCE or OBSERVATIONS - one's senses is required for verification of info. *Observations can be causal - unplanned or Systematic & Purposeful.
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD (pages 16 - 25) *Scientific method - approach to acquiring knowledge - involves formulating specific questions & systemically finding answers. *Scientific method - carefully developed system for ASKING & ANSWERING questions - Answers we discover are accurate as possible. *Series of STEPS - define the scientific method. STEP 1: OBSERVE BEHAVIOUR or OTHER PHENOMENA (page 16-17) *Scientific method often BEGINS with CASUAL or INFORMAL OBSERVATIONS. *Simply observe the world-around - until some behaviour or event catches your attention. *Initial observations - result of your-own personal-experience - involve watching behaviour of other people or monitoring your own behaviour. *Attention is caught by someone else's observations. *Any event - observations catch your attention & begin to raise questions in your mind. *In this stage - people tend to generalise beyond actual observations. *Process of generalisation - almost automatic human response - known as - INDUCTION or INDUCTIVE REASONING. *Inductive reasoning involves - reaching a general conclusion based on a few specific examples. *Inductive reasoning - reaches far beyond actual observations.
STEP 2: FORM A TENTATIVE ANSWER or EXPLANATION - A HYPOTHESIS (pages 17-18) *IDENTIFYING other factors or VARIABLES - associated with your observation. Can identify variables based on common sense or background research. *VARIABLES: characteristics or conditions - change or have different values for different individuals. *HYPOTHESIS: statement describes or explains a relationship between or among variables. Hypothesis is NOT a final answer - rather a proposal to be TESTED & EVALUATED. STEP 3: USE YOUR HYPOTHESIS TO GENERATE A TESTABLE PREDICTION (pages18-20) *Step involves taking the hypothesis & applying it to a specific observable, real-world situation. *A single hypothesis - lead to several different predictions - each prediction refers to a specific situation or an event - can be observed & measured. *Use logic (rational method) make the prediction - logical process is known as DEDUCTION or DEDUCTIVE REASONING. *Begin with a general (universal) statement - then make specific deductions. *Use hypothesis as universal premise statement - then determine - conclusions or predictions - logically follow if hypothesis is true. *DEDUCTIVE or DEDUCTIVE REASONING - uses general statement as basis for reaching a conclusion about specific examples. *Induction & Deduction - COMPLEMENTARY processes. - Induction uses specific examples, generate general conclusions or hypotheses & Deduction uses general conclusions to generate specific predictions. *Predictions generated from hypothesis must be testable - possible to demonstrate predictions either correct or incorrect.
STEP 4: EVALUATE the PREDICTION by MAKING SYSTEMATIC, PLANNED OBSERVATIONS (page20) *Step is to EVALUATE prediction using DIRECT observation (empirical method). *Actual RESEARCH or DATA COLLECTION PHASE of scientific method. *GOAL - provide a fair & unbiased test or research hypothesis - observing if prediction is correct. *Researcher careful to observe & record exactly what happens, free of any subjective interpretation or personal expectations. STEP 5: USE THE OBSERVATIONS to SUPPORT, REFUTE or REFINE the ORIGINAL HYPOTHESIS (pages 20-21) *Final step of scientific method - COMPARE actual observations with predictions - made from hypothesis. *Agreement indicates support for original hypothesis & suggests consider making new predictions & testing them. *Lack of agreement indicates - original hypothesis was wrong or hypothesis was used incorrectly, producing faulty predictions. *Revise the hypothesis or reconsider how it was used to generate predictions. *Scientific method continues same series of steps over and over again. *Observations lead to hypothesis & a prediction, leads to more observations, lead to another hypothesis. Scientific method is NOT a LINEAR process that moves directly from a beginning to an end - rather is a CIRCULAR PROCESS or SPIRAL - repeats over & over - moving higher with each cycle as new knowledge is gained. *Scientific method - acquiring knowledge - uses observations develop a hypothesis - uses the hypothesis to make logical predictions - empirically tested making systematic observation.
OTHER ELEMENTS OF SCIENTIFIC METHOD Set of overriding principles governs scietific investigation. THREE important principles are: EMPIRICAL, PUBLIC & OBJECTIVE. ~SCIENCE IS EMPIRICAL (pages 21-23): *SCIENCE IS EMPIRICAL - mean that answers are obtained by making observations. Preliminary answers or hypothesis may be obtained by other means - science requires empirical verification. *It is NOT scientifically accepted until been empirically demonstrated. *Scientific method involves - STRUCTURED & SYSTEMATIC OBSERVATION *Structure of observation is determined by - PROCEDURES & TECHNIQUES. *Purpose of observations - provide empirical test of a hypothesis. *Observations structured that results either provide clear support for hypothesis or clearly refute the hypothesis. *Scientific method - observations are systematic - performed under specific set of conditions - accurately answer question addressing. *Observations - indeed the entire study - structured to test a hypothesis about way the world works. ~SCIENCE IS PUBLIC (page 23) *Scientific method is public. *Makes observations available for evaluation by others. *Other individuals - able to repeat same step-by-step process led to observations - can replicate observations for themselves. *REPLICATION: repetition of observation - verification of findings. NOTE: ONLY public observations can be repeated - only public observations are verifiable. *Events that are private CANNOT be replicated or evaluated by others. *Research reports appear in most journals - evaluated by researcher's peers for RIGOR & APPROPRIATENESS of methodology & absence of flaws in study. *Report must meet a variety of standards for it to be published. *NOTIONS of replication & verification are important. Provide the checks & balances for research. *Multitude ways - error or chance - study result in erroneous conclusion. *Important we scrutinize & evaluate research reports carefully & maintain some skepticism about results until studies confirm findings. *Replicating studies & subjecting them to peer review - checks & balances against errors & fraud.
~SCIENCE IS OBJECTIVE (page 24) *Scientific method is objective. *Observations are structured - researcher's biases & beliefs DO NOT influence outcome of study. *Researcher DOES NOT let personal feelings contaminate observations. *Bias comes from belief in a particular theory. *A researcher might find evidence to support his theory. *Expectations can subtly influence the findings. *One way to reduce influence of experimenter expectation - keep people who are making observations uniformed about details of study. *Sometimes say - researcher is BLIND to details of study. SCIENCE VERSUS PSEUDOSCIENCE (pages 24-25)
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