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Psuedopsychology (false psychology) and misconceptions can be popularized throug

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Psuedopsychology (false psychology) and misconceptions can be popularized through media and can also correspond with pop culture. These are theories that explain human behavior but are not supported by science (your textbook covers some examples). In addition to pseudo-psychology, there are many misconceptions that are linked to psychology, also not backed by research, that may have been made popular in the media by biased research or biased reporting of the research. What this means is that someone may have summed the results in favor of a position and/or reported a single aspect of a research study that distorted its meaning. For instance, have you ever considered if you were right-brained or left-brained? This is a popular misconception as we will learn in Chapter 3 that we actually use both sides of our brain.
Assessing misconceptions and determining the difference between psychology and pseudo-psychology in explaining behavior requires critical thinking. I like to start my lesson on critical thinking with this video because I think it does an excellent job providing an introduction to critical thinking, helping us to see how we use a version of the scientific method when we become critical thinkers. In addition, this video includes some great quotes that represent great critical thinkers in history.

Critical thinking is an essential element in psychology. Psychologists essentially critically think about many of the same things we do and draw conclusions through the use of research to find scientific evidence to support the assertion. We can do the same by evaluating claims made and determining the source and value of the claims being made, and what research has been done to provide scientific evidence. We too can turn to science like psychologists do to determine the validity of the claims being made.
In an initial post no later than Friday, September 2nd:
1. Evaluate a claim in the media regarding human behavior and the evidence presented to support the claim. Specifically, identify and state a claim you find in an article or essay in the media. For example, the claim could be made in an article that is reporting research on human behavior or medicine. Or, the claim could be found in an opinion essay or newspaper.
2. Describe any evidence or arguments used to support the claim. For example, what evidence or argument is the author using to say that the claim is true or valid.
3. Evaluate the evidence and arguments that are being provided. Is the evidence scientific or non-scientific in nature? Refer back to the Lecture on Research. Does the type of evidence provided (e.g., causal, correlational) fit the type of claim? Is there sufficient evidence to support the claim? Why or why not? Do the arguments used logically apply and connect the evidence to the claim? Why or why not?
3. Identify at least one plausible alternative explanation to the claim. Be sure to use appropriate scientific language in your analysis that you learned through your reading in Chapter 2.
Then after September 2nd: Respond to a minimum of two of your classmates and share another alternative explanation to the claim, using scientific language in your analysis that you learned through your reading in chapter 2, along with any other thoughts or reactions.
Remember a discussion is a back-and-forth conversation between two or more people. Your responses to your classmates should provide a meaningful contribution to the discussion and not just like or agree with what your classmate had shared. – Remember to stay focused on the topic as this is an academic discussion based on psychological science (and/or lack of it).
Please be sure to post your initial discussion post by Friday, 9/2, and return back to the discussion board to respond to your classmates before the final due date (Tuesday, 9/6). Please let me know if you have any questions or need any clarification.
*** Please be considerate to those in the class and post on time in accordance with the discussion posting instructions listed above.

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