Understanding Psychology as a Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Statistical Inference

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9780230542303: Understanding Psychology as a Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Statistical Inference
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How can we objectively define categories of truth in scientific thinking? How can we reliably measure the results of research? In this ground-breaking text, Dienes undertakes a comprehensive historical analysis of the dominant schools of thought, key theories and influential thinkers that have progressed the foundational principles and characteristics that typify scientific research methodology today. This book delivers a masterfully simple, ‘though not simplistic’, introduction to the core arguments surrounding Popper, Kuhn and Lakatos, Fisher and Royall, Neyman and Pearson and Bayes. Subsequently, this book clarifies the prevalent misconceptions that surround such theoretical perspectives in psychology today, providing an especially accessible critique for student readers.  

This book launches an informative inquiry into the methods by which psychologists throughout history have arrived at the conclusions of research, equipping readers with the knowledge to accurately design and evaluate their own research and gain confidence in critiquing results in psychology research. Particular attention is given to understanding methods of measuring the falsifiability of statements, probabilities and the differing views on statistical inference. An illuminating book for any undergraduate psychology student taking courses in critical thinking, research methods, BPS’s core area ‘conceptual and historical issues’ as well as those studying masters, phd’s and experienced researchers. 

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From the Back Cover:

What makes psychology a science?

What is the logic underlying psychological research?

In this groundbreaking book Zoltán Dienes introduces students to key issues in the philosophy of science and statistics that have a direct and vital bearing on the practice of research in psychology. The book is organised around the influential thinkers and conceptual debates which pervade psychological research and teaching but until now have not been made accessible to students. In a clear and fluid style, Dienes takes the reader on a compelling tour of the ideas of:

- Popper
- Kuhn& Lakatos
- Neyman& Pearson
- Bayes
- Fisher& Royall

Featuring examples drawn from extensive teaching experience to ground the ideas firmly in psychological science, the book is an ideal companion to courses and modules in psychological research methods and also to those covering conceptual and historical issues. 

 

About the Author:

ZOLTAN DIENES is a Reader in Experimental Psychology at the University of Sussex, where he has lectured since 1990. His main research area is learning and he has written 65 publications. He teaches a core course on philosophy of psychology to all final year psychology undergraduates.

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