Experimental Methods in Psychology

By Gustav Levine; Stanley Parkinson | Go to book overview

Preface

This text's unique contributions are found in two features. First, there is a detailed discussion of the process of theorizing that is coupled with a close examination of psychological constructs. This focus is evident in reading through some of the chapter headings: "The Problems Encountered in Theorizing about Internal Events"; "Changes in the Construct of Iconic Memory Over 30 Years of Research"; "A Close Look at the Methods and Logic Used in Evaluating a Theory of Short-Term Memory Search"; "Testing Theories when Internal Events Can Be Monitored or Manipulated." Thus, the reader of this text is offered an opportunity to see how psychologists think about, develop, and modify their theories, and the part played by research in changing explanations for behavior.

The second unusual focus in this text is an overt analysis of the logic of drawing conclusions from research. It is common for psychologists to be self-conscious in their reasoning. But it is uncommon to see an analysis of the logic that they use to draw conclusions. For example, chapter 7 closely examines the commonly encountered logical error of affirming the consequent, an error frequently made when predicted results are interpreted as confirmation of a theory. Conditions promoting the error, and conditions that avoid it, are described in both chapters 7 and 13. Other logical problems that are commonly encountered are also examined.

There are probably more chapters here than can be comfortably

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