The Availability Heuristic

In this video I provide an introduction to behavioral economics and the work of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman by describing a heuristic we use when attempting to assess the frequency of events. The availability heuristic is a shortcut that estimates frequency based on how available an event is to us, or how readily we can bring examples to mind. …

Obstacles to Problem Solving

In this video I introduce several potential obstacles to problem-solving including overconfidence, illusory superiority, belief bias, and belief perseverance. Then I describe a “consider the opposite” strategy for potentially reducing the influence of bias when interpreting evidence that supports or contradicts our pre-existing beliefs. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to see future videos! Have questions or topics you’d …

Memory Failures: Misattribution, Suggestibility, Bias, & Persistence

In this video I explain the 4 remaining “sins” of memory from Daniel Schacter’s list. Misattribution refers to incorrectly identifying the source of a memory and relates to false recognition, deja vu, and cryptomnesia. Suggestibility is the idea that our memories are subject to influence and distortion from external information. Several types of bias can influence memory, including consistency bias …

Introduction to Memory

In this video I begin the memory unit by introducing a few key terms (encoding, storage, and retrieval), explaining why it’s important not to extend the “mind as computer” analogy too far, and briefly outlining the 3-Box model of memory first proposed by Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin, which includes stores for sensory, short-term, and long-term memory. Don’t forget to …

A Textbook Problem: Prices, Pages, and Purpose

As we enter a new school semester, thousands of students will once again face the exorbitant prices of college textbooks. I’ve read a number of introductory psychology textbooks and while I love textbooks and have a deep appreciation for the amount of work that goes in to them, the truth is that doing this caused me to wonder what purpose …

Internal Validity

In this video I explain the concept of internal validity and how it acts as a checklist for considering whether an independent variable has been effectively manipulated, a dependent variable has been measured without bias, and a clear pattern can be found in the data. I also mention the importance of avoiding simple yes/no answers and remembering that all of …

The Experimental Method

In this video I explain the experimental method and how the combination of manipulation and random assignment can help to eliminate the third variable problem. I also explain why random assignment helps avoid self-selection and bias so that we can assess the role of the independent variable on the dependent variable. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to see …

Observer Bias: Clever Horses and Dull Rats

In this video, I explain two well-known examples of observer bias: the case of Clever Hans, and Rosenthal and Fode’s experiment with “bright” and “dull” rats. Observer bias (or experimenter expectancy effect) is considered, along with an explanation for how to reduce this bias. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to see future videos! Have questions or topics you’d …

What is the Availability Heuristic?

In their first study of the availability heuristic, Tversky and Kahneman asked participants to estimate whether English had more words that started with the letter K or more words that had K as the third letter. What do you think? If you’re like most participants in their study, you might guess that there are more words that start with k …

Memory Resources

On this page you’ll find a number of resources for understanding the key concepts of memory, including types of memory, memory failures, mnemonics, and more. If I’ve missed a good resource, please share it in the comments section! General Resources Memory Key Terms List Memory Pinterest page OpenStax Memory Chapter Master Introductory Psychology Volume 2 (Amazon link) General Video Resources Specific …