Psych 1X03 Week Two Notes 12/6/2011 12:18:00 PM
The Scientific Method
- Has a seven step method that tries to eliminate biased opinions and
- The formal way of asking and answering questions about human behaviour
to get the most accurate information possible and sidestep the inaccuracy of
our common sense beliefs and assumptions.
The Seven Steps
1) Construct a theory
A general set of ideas about the way the world works.
2) Generate hypothesis
Testable statement guided by theories that make a prediction about
the relationship between variables.
3) Choose research method
The way in which the hypothesis will be tested.
4) Collect data
Taking measurements of the outcomes of the test.
5) Analyze data
Understand the data and discover trends or relationships between
6) Report the findings
Publish articles in scholarly journals.
7) Revise existing theories
To include new information into our understanding of the world.
A dramatic change in our way of thinking.
Different way of looking at things. A set of assumptions and ideas
about what kind of research questions can be asked and how they
can be answered.
Example: in 1543 thinking the world was not the center of the
Evidence gathered from others or self experience.
Scientific tool used to measure the effect of one variable on
another. Experimental Group
Will receive the manipulation of the independent variable during the
Will not receive any manipulation of the independent variable.
Variable manipulated by the scientist.
Variable being observed by the scientist.
Manipulating the independent variable within each participant to
minimize the effect of external variables on the dependent
Problems include: may be costly and time consuming, the subject
may also change in important ways.
Improved performance over the course of an experiment due to
becoming more experienced.
Between Subjects Experiment
One group of subjects receive experimental manipulation, one
group acts as the control group.
Choosing subjects from a population at random.
This reduces the chance of bias’ towards a specific group.
Assigning subjects to either the experimental or control group at
random to avoid any biases that may cause differences between the
groups of subjects.
A variable other than the independent variable that has an effect on
Effect that occurs when an individual exhibits a response to a
treatment that has no related therapeutic effect.
Participant Bias When a participant’s actions in an experiment influence the results
outside of the manipulations of the experiment.
When participants do not know whether they belong to the
experimental or control group, or which treatment they are
Experiments in which neither the experimenter nor the participants
know which group each participant belong to.
Actions made by the experimenter, unintentionally or deliberately,
to promote the result they hope to achieve.
Present information about data at a glance to give us an overall
Type of graph used to report the number of times groups of values
appear in a data set.
Type of graph illustrating the distribution of how frequent values
appear in the data set.