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Psych 2C03 - Sept. 9, 2013 Lecture - Dr. Ostovich.docx

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McMaster University
Jennifer Ostovich

Monday, September 9, 2013 Psych 2C03 Lecture 1: The Scientific Method Do Scientists "Prove" Stuff?  We do not prove stuff, we give it supporting evidence  Statistics never tell you 100% you're right, it's usually about 95%  We just make it seem very likely that a theory is correct Observation + Theory --> Hypothesis + Predictions --> Test --> If test confirms, adds to theory and observations --> Observation + Theory Observation + Theory --> Hypothesis + Predictions --> Test --> If test fails to confirm, must modify hypothesis Ways of Testing Hypotheses: Data Collection Decisions Trade-off between:  Experimental control: controlled everything so can make causal statement at the end  Lose generalizability (whether what you found in the experiment would exist in the real world)  Lab and some field experiments has a lot of control  Correlational Studies and field (observational studies) not a lot of control, but doing stuff in the real world Correlational Studies  How are a set of variables related to the other? o Ie. How is cloud cover related to precipitation? (so a relationship)  How does your score on a survey on extraversion relate to you going to a party?  Some uncontrolled variables may make something look like they're not correlated  Some variables might affect the relationship o Ie. May have a full time job + school, so does not go to parties  Negative correlation: when one variable goes up, the other variable goes down  Positive correlation: when one variable goes up, the other goes up Correlations Does Not Equal Causality  There are probably variables you haven't measured Monday, September 9, 2013  The "Third Variable" problem o As violent crime increases, so does ice cream sales o Therefore, ice cream makes people violent o What causes what? o Maybe it's hot and people turn aggressive and eat more ice cream as well Experiments (Ss = Subjects)  Experimental controls helps you make causal statements  Use a cover story (deception) for the subjects to establish control on their behaviour  Confederates o The person who's job is to d
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