What are the three fundamental features of the general scientific approach?



You must choose ONE of the following questions/topics below to answer/address.  Make sure you answer/address ALL parts of the question/topic.  If you quote directly from the text in your answer please indicate so by using quotation marks.  When using material from the text you must list page numbers.  Remember, grammar counts, this is an upper level course so I expect you to communicate your ideas clearly and to appropriately cite material.  DO NOT copy and paste from websites.  During the first week of class I will do my best to prompt students and give feedback so you can get a feel for exactly what is expected.  Don’t forget that a portion of your participation score comes from responding to posts from other students (you must have at least 2 comments/asides to student main posts in addition to your main response) for each discussion.  See your syllabus for more details.

1.  What are the three fundamental features of the general scientific approach?  Be sure to describe each feature and provide a specific example of each.

2.  What is pseudoscience?  What defines a belief or activity as pseudoscientific?  Why should we be concerned about pseudoscience?  Describe an example of a pseudoscientific activity or belief and tell us exactly why it is pseudoscientific.

3.  People sometimes suggest that psychology cannot be a science because either a) human behavior cannot be predicted with perfect accuracy, or b) must of its subject matter (e.g., thoughts and feelings) cannot be observed directly.  Tell us why psychology is a science and why both assumptions are false.  What is an “empirical question”?  List two empirical and two nonempirical questions about human behavior.

4 .  What is basic research?  What is applied research?  Based on your own experience or on things you have already learned about psychology, list three basic research questions and three applied research questions.  Be sure to identify specific variables in your examples.


Generate research ideas for each of the categories below. Work together to generate solid ideas for each, identify the variables involved, possible methods, the hypothesis, etc.

a.  informal observations (generate research ideas that will use informal observations to collect the evidence to prove/disprove the hypothesis)

b.  practical problems

c.  topics discussed in recent issues of professional peer-reviewed journals (identify the journal or journals you browse, you can use “library services” or journal websites to see what recent topics have been discussed in journals).  Some journals you may look at include:  American Journal of Psychology, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, British Journal of Psychology, Evolution and Human Behavior, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Behavior Research and Therapy, Psychopharmacology, Behavioral Pharmacology, European Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning and Memory, Neuropharmacology


Choose a construct (sexual jealousy, self-confidence, etc.) and find and describe two measures of that construct in the research literature. Identify the references (using APA style) and describe the measures for each (find at least two peer-reviewed scientific articles).  If you were conducting your own study, which one (if either) would you use and why?

Note: please refer to this week’s reading to understand what a constructis and what a measure is.You should refer to the types of measures in your post: behavioral, physical, etc…