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PSYC 2P30- January 15

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Brock University
Gordon Hodson

PSYC 2P30 January 15 Research Methods and Writing Non-experimental Methods 1. Observational analysis a. Observe and record behaviours systematically, as it is happening b. Must clearly define variables and behaviours a priori, ahead of time c. Can be from a distance (unobtrusive) or as participant observer (interact, but do not alter the situation) Observational analysis (limits) d. Some behaviours occur rarely e. Some behaviours occur in private only f. How do we know that the observers did not interfere? g. How do we know that the observers are accurate? i. Assisted by the interrater/interjudge reliability 2. Correlational Research a. Two or more variables measured systematically to determine the relation between them b. No manipulation of variables (usually measured) c. Are x and y related? If so, how? i. Example: meat consumption and colon cancer d. Properties of correlations* i. Valence (positive or negative), informs of direction of effect ii. Value (0 to 1.0), informs of magnitude of effect iii. Example: The use of “I” in conversation: as group size increases, they refer to themselves less e. Must randomly sample to generalize findings 3. Surveys a. Select representative sample, ask for opinions or behaviours b. Convenient, can be quick c. Can allow to determine relations that are difficult or unethical to examine in a lab (amount of smoking and cancer; viewing porn and attitudes towards women) d. Example: Literary Digest/Car registration list, 2 million participants e. Other issues: i. Refusal to participate can bias result ii. Phone polls usually get high response rate (90+%), whereas mail-in responses often skewed low response rates f. Example: 1987, Height survey on sexual behaviour; mail-in survey. Less than 5% of women who read the survey responded g. Internet not available to all (yet), and certain types of people respond
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