Observation is a very important part of psychological study. However, in this discipline, "seeing" is not always "believing." To make things even more complicated, our own beliefs can get us into trouble since they do not always reflect the truth. Intriguingly, the simplifying methods of thinking involved in making our lives easier--known as heuristics--may also be the thought processes that trick us into making such mistakes in perception. Interestingly, I am often guilty of the "representativeness heuristic," especially when watching movie previews. This heuristic causes us to make quick judgments based on superficial stereotypes.
For example, the movie "Drive" sounded like a dull, simplistic action movie to me. To my surprise, it was actually a suspenseful, dramatic love story! Now, it's my favorite film. To safeguard ourselves from such mistakes, scientific thinking comes to our rescue!
Chapter 2 teaches us about biases, research, and the scientific method. We will learn to consider the type of experiment being conducted, how to make a useful experimental design (avoiding biases), and how to present and interpret the data. We will learn important skills that we will use not only in psychology, but also in the rest of our every day lives.