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Scientific Methods

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Course Code
SOC 102
Ron Babin

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Chapter 5  There is less than total agreement about how ab beh ought to be studied and what are the facts of the field SCIENCE AND SCIENTIFIC METHODS  Science is the pursuit of systematized knowledge through observation  Comes from latin term “to know” refers to both a method and to a goal  Its always imp for scientific observations and explanations to be testable and reliable (replicable) Testability and Replicability st  A scientific approach requires 1 that propositions and ideas be states in a clear and precise way  Must be testable in the public arena  If the event cannot be reproduced scientists become wary of the legitimacy of the original observation The role of theory  A theory is a set of propositions meant to explain a class of phenomena  A primary goal of science is to advance theories to account for data often by proposing cause –effect relationships  A theory permits the generation of hypotheses ---expectations about what should occur if a theory is true ---to be testes in research  Theories are constructions put together by scientists. Ex: repression is a theoretical concept  A theoretical concept such as acquired fear is useful in accounting for the fact that some earlier experiences can have an effect on our current beh  Several advantages can be gained by using theoretical terms: ex: we may want to bridge temporal gaps with theoretical concepts or theoretical concepts can also summarize already observed relationships EX: PG 134  Earlier school of thought called operationism proposed that each concept take as its meaning a single observable and measurable operation. This way each theoretical concept would be nothing more than one particular measurable event  Theoretical concepts are better defined by sets of operations than by a single operation THE RESEARCH METHODS OF ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY  All empirical research entails the collection of observable data  Sometimes research remains at a purely descriptive level but often researcher observe several events and try to determine how they are associated or related  Ex: eating disorder much more common in women than men.  We want more than a description of relationships we want to understand the causes The case study  Study ppl one at a time and record detailed info about them  J.Brett Barkley is an ex  Prepare a case study by collecting historical and biographical info on a single indiv often including experiences in therapy  The role of the clinicians paradigm in determining the kinds of info actually collected and reported in a case study. Ex: case studies of psychoanalytically oriented clinicians contain more info about the clients early childhood and conflicts with parents than do reports made by beh practitioner  Case studies from practising clinicians may lack the degree of control and objectivity of research using other methods . the case study has been used to:
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