Capstone: Advanced General

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How do psychologists determine what is true and what is false about human behavior, affect, and cognition? The question encompasses more than we can know from a single study or even a single research paper, and the issues run deeper than just research methods. Instead, we need to consider what it means to conduct and understand science. We must consider why scientists, as humans themselves, can fall prey to biases and fallacies that interfere with their ability to draw sound conclusions. This course focuses on an emerging field known as meta-science (i.e., the study of the process of science itself) in the context of research in psychology. We begin by considering whether and if the research practices of psychologists need to change. We touch briefly on philosophy of science and epistemology before attempting to determine how psychologists form cumulative knowledge and theories. We examine meta-analysis and its criticisms, drawing on several prominent historical and recent cases. Student pairs will lead discussion on reviews of diverse research. Capstone serves as a bookend for the psychology major. We examine the field of psychology in a broad, integrative way using a seminar format. A seminar means that this course primarily involves close reading, reflective writing, andthoughtful discussion. With almost no lecture in this-course, students should expect to read and write a lot.

Link to resource:

Type of resources: Syllabus

Education level(s): College / Upper Division (Undergraduates), Graduate / Professional

Primary user(s): Teacher

Subject area(s): Social Science

Language(s): English