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Lecture 2

PSY 302 Lecture 2: Developmental Research Methods


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY 302
Professor
Lixia Yang
Lecture
2

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The Scientific Method
Identify a problem/ question
Formulate a hypothesis (predict the answer, ex; tv can cause aggressive
behaviour)
Gather data to test the hypothesis
Reliability (inter-rater -the amount of agreement in observations of
different raters who witness the same behaviour; test-retest-the
degree of similarity of a participants performance on two or more
occasions)
Validity (testing what you're meant to test)
Data analysis and conclusions
Basic Methods of Data Collection (Describing Behaviour)
Self-report methodologies
Interviews (structured-fixed set of questions vs clinical which is more
open ended)
Questionnaire
Advantages: Can reveal children's subjective experience. Structured
interviews are inexpensive means for collecting in-depth data about
individuals. Clinical interviews allow flexibility for following up on
unexpected comments
Disadvantages: Reports are often biased to reflect favourably on
interviewee. Memories of interviewee are often inaccurate and
incomplete. Prediction of future behaviours often is inaccurate
Observation
Naturalistic (ex: home, school) ( On going behaviour in an
environment not controlled by researcher)
Advantages: Useful for describing behaviour in everyday
settings. Helps illuminate social interaction processes
§
Disadvantages: Difficult to know which aspects of situation are
most influential. Limited value of studying infrequent
behaviour
§
Structured Observations (ex: lab) (presenting identical situation to
each participant and recording the participant's behaviour)
Advantages: Ensures that all children's behaviours are
§
Developmental Research Methods
Monday, January 21, 2019
9:08 AM
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Advantages: Ensures that all children's behaviours are
observed in same context. Allows controlled comparison of
children's behaviour in different situations
§
Disadvantages: Context is less natural than naturalistic
observation. Reveals less about subjective experience than
interviews
§
General Research Design (Detect Relationships)
Correlational
Predict behaviour
Experimental
Explain behaviour
Correlational Design
Relationship between two or more variable
Exist? (are they related)
Direction
Strength
Ex: Watching violent tv programs and aggression
3 Types of Correlations
Positive correlation
R>0 (0-1)
No correlation
R=0
Negative Correlation
R<0 (-1 to 0)
R is the correlation coefficient
+/- sign shows the direction
Number represents the strength, 1 is the highest
Problem: Direction of causation problem (concept that a correlation
between two variables does not indicate which, if either, variable is the
cause of the other)
Problem: Third variable problem (the concept that a correlation between
two variables may stem from both being influenced by some third
variableo0p-
Experimental Design
Three variables:
Independent variable
Different treatment conditions (manipulate the cause variable or
outcome measure)
Dependent variable
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