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Lecture 2

PSYC100 13/14 Week 2.docx

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PSYC 100
Rana Pishva

Week 2: What is the Scientific Method? Pearson Online: Theory - An idea or conceptual model designed to explain existing facts and make predictions about new facts that may be discovered Hypothesis - A testable prediction about processes that can be observed and measured Putting the Scientific Method to Use - Scientific method focuses on verifiability and objectivity - Verifiability: can be tested by other people - Reliability: consistency in experiments - Objectivity: based on observable phenomena and uninfluenced by emotions or personal points of view - Validity: the degree to which a procedure actually measure what it claims to measure - Generalizability: the degree to which one set of results can be applied to other situations, individuals, or events An Ordered Series of Steps 1. Formulate hypothesis: know what cause and effect relationship you want to test 2. Design a study: find a way to use verifiable objective measurements to test whether these events are related 3. Collect data: objectively measure and record phenomena of interest 4. Analyze data and obtain results: determine if there are identifiable and meaningful patterns 5. Draw conclusions from results; develop new hypothesis, share findings: decide what the experiment/observation meant Operational Definitions - Used to make subjective phenomena objective; should be clear o Eg. How can we define memory?  Recall, recognition, motor behaviour - Describes a concept by how it is demonstrated in an observable or measurable way Experiment design - Asks a “how” question - Looks for correlations and causation o Between independent and dependent variables Collecting Data: Correlational Studies - Correlation: a descriptive statistic that describes the relationship between two variables - Correlation does not mean causation Independent Variable - The variable that is manipulated - Independent of other outside variables that may influent an experiment’s outcome Dependent Variable - The measured variable; outcome of experiment - Depends on the manipulations on the independent variable Ethics and Psychological Experiments - Should ensure o Safety o Benefits outweigh risks o Informed consent is obtained o Lack of coercion o Privacy Critical Thinking - Confounds: extra independent variables Verification Review - Random assignment: prevents bias; randomizes those in control and experimental groups Random selection - Used so that data can be generalized - Helps make findings representative of population Data and Information: Collapsing Data - Descriptive statistics: summarizes data o Eg. Mean, median, mode  These are the center of the normal distribution; measures of central tendency - Variability: the degree to which scores are dispersed in a distribution; also spread/scatter - Inferential sta
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