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PSY105_Chapter 2

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PSY 105
Kristin Vickers

Chapter 2: Psychology as a Science Core beliefs of science: 1. The universe operates according to natural laws 2. Such laws are discoverable and testable - The scientific method uses logical reasoning derived from philosophy Sir Frances Bacon - Point out that if left to our own, we aren’t objective - Emphasized avoiding biases - To get out of the opinion and bias realm you must conduct a study Karl Popper - A sound theory must be able to be proven false – must be falsifiable (Figure 2.1 in text) How Do Psychologists Conduct Research? - Two kinds of variables in a study: o Independent Variable (IV)  The variable you can manipulate  What researchers change to see what happens o Dependent Variable (DV)  The outcome variable that the researcher measures to see if changes in the IV affect it Operational Definitions: How we (the researcher) decide to measure our variables - There are usually many ways to measure a variable - Focus on 1 aspect of a particular construct - In order to define, you have to fugre out how to measure it Choose Participants - Population: The entire group of interest to researchers (Can’t physically study this) - Sample: A portion of any population that is selected for the study - Random selection: Randomly choosing a sample from a population - Sampling bias: Choosing a sample that does not represent your population (What happens when random selection isn’t done properly) Two Basic Types of Research - Descriptive: Research method used to observe and describe behavior o Used to determine the existence of a relationship between the variables - Experimental: To demonstrate a cause and effect relationship between the variables Descriptive Research Case Study Method: An intensive study of 1 or 2 people + Only method you can use if the type of behaviour you are looking at is rare + Very detailed - Cannot generalize results to all people - Possibility of researcher bias Naturalistic Observation: systematic people watching + Can’t study things that are too unethical for an experiment or that people might lie about - Time consuming - Cannot determine cause and effect - Hawthorne effect Surveys: ask people directly about their behaviours + Data collection is quick - Sometimes people don’t tell the truth - Cannot determine cause and effect Experimental Research Experiments examine how one variable causes another variable to change. + Can establish cause and effect + Can eliminate outside influence - Might not be generalizable to real world situation - Have to make a jump in reasoning - Sometimes unethical Stanley Milgram - A participant was told that he/she was a teacher and he/she had to teach another participant a word - Each time the learner made the mistake they had to shock them, and each time they got it wrong the shock would be increased in voltage. However, no real shocks were administered o Idea that in a lab setting the person thinks they are administering shocks to another person. Milgram was influenced by the events of the Nazi Holocaust to carry out an experiment that would demonstrate the relationship between obed
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