Summer SAVY 2016 (Session 1, Day 1) – Behavioral Science in Action
Dear Behavioral Science in Action parents,
We had a wonderful first day exploring basic statistics and psychology as a class! It is clear that each student is coming in with a good understanding of basic descriptive statistics and the purpose of behavioral science. We are very excited to build on that knowledge!
To begin understanding how researchers use statistics to understand human behavior, we began the day by demonstrating the importance of probability in statistics by completing some fun activities with dice. We used the activities to get the class thinking about how our samples might differ from the populations we are interested in and how statistics can help us predict specific outcomes.
Next, the students worked in groups to breakdown a real empirical article. They were able to not only understand the advanced material but began to critique and review the study method and results like real behavioral scientists! Further, the students compared the scientific article to its coverage in the popular press and realized that in order to make findings more exciting to the common public, the media frequently depicts study findings in a way that can be deceptive or inaccurate.
Before the end of the week, they will know everything they need to form a real research question and carry out their own data analyses!
To get everyone in a behavioral science mindset, we ended the day by handing out journals in which all of our students will write down their thoughts, questions, and keep track of their ideas as the course develops. Their “homework” is to begin to notice how the popular media might misrepresent research findings to make them more exciting for public consumption. Tomorrow, we will begin to understand data using correlations and t-tests as well as discuss the varying perspectives of research from academia to practice to parenting.
Emily and Israel