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Psychology 201W - The Case Study Method - Tuesday 18th June 2013.docx

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Owen Thomas

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PSYCH 201W Summer 2013 Psychology 201W: Introduction to Research Methods The Case Study Method Announcements: - Project proposals due this week submit all the components listed in the checklist. - Penalty for late submission is 1.25% for every day that it is late. - Next week’s lecture class = Midterm 60 multiple-choice questions based on chapter 1-9 in the textbook and lecture notes. - No appendix questions. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Review on Last Week’s Lecture: - Causation - Possible Third Factors: Class Example: Sex of Driver and Accidental Rate - Percentage of male and female drivers reporting an accident in the last 5 years. Women Men 56% (N=7080) 68% (N=6590) Suggest That: - Sex of driver. - Accidents caused by driver’s sex differences. Potential Third Factors: - Women don’t tend to report as much as men - Eyesight - Comparison of number of accidents opposed to other years - Amount of exposure to the road Women Men >10,000 km/yr (high 75% (N=2070) 75% (N=5035) exposure) <10,000 km/yr (low 48% (N=5010) 48% (N=1915) exposure) All drivers 56% (N=7080) 68% (N=6950) Three Main Circumstances, when non-experimental research is preferred: 1) Early stages of research 2) Ethical and practical limitations 3) The goal is prediction PSYCH 201W Summer 2013 Summary of the Three Approaches to Research: - Experiments: Rigorous (high degree of control), causation, high internal validity, and low external validity. - Non-experimental studies: Less rigorous (limited control), prediction, variable validity, and absence of random assignment. - Naturalistic observation: Not rigorous (no control), description, high external validity. Classifying Research: - Causal statements require experimental demonstration. - Non-experimental data cannot establish causation. - Naturalistic observation is inadequate to establish causation. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The Case Study Method: - In-depth investigation of a single unit. - Typically rare or unusual units. - Limitations E.g. Unique situations in the community or school. Cozby Examples in Textbook: - Sybil (Famous cases of dissociative disorders). - Freud’s studies were all based on case studies - Little Hans: A four-year old boy who developed a fear of horses.  Significant study  Freud’s Short Term Goal: Securing the problem  Freud’s Long Term Goal: Developing a theory of the relationship between anxiety and suppression of memory  Boy witnessed a horse having a seizure, which led to negative effect on his imagination.  Freud developed a major theory for deeper explanation: “Parents split up and therefore led to Han’s need for attention from his mother. The conflict he has with his father (competing for mother’s attention) is somehow repressed and associated with Hans’ fear of horses.  Hans’ was repressing his anger towards his father, which somehow relates to his fear of horses.  Repression can lead to anxiety and then manifest in a number of different ways like with the association with the fear of the horse  Anxiety causes the repression to occur  A number of different interpretations can be made even amongst different observers. Sample Surveys: - Defining characteristic = Generalizability - There are two types: PSYCH 201W Summer 2013 1) Descriptive: Estimate the frequency or average value of one or more variables in a population. - Measured by a sample drawn from a particular population E.g. Spousal abuse rate in BC or the frequency of car accidents in SFU students 2) Relational: Establish a pattern of association between two or more variables in a particular population. - Measured by a sample drawn from a particular population. E.g. The voting preferences of unemployed people between the ages of 25-35. Most experiments use a group of participant selected haphazardly, researchers go to all lengths to get a sample size that represents the population. Sample Surveys (Continued): - Typically people are measured in sample surveys. (E.g. first time car buyers) - Can be used for other type of events (E.g. TV shows) - It is rarely that the whole population is sampled and therefore researchers have to go through all lengths to get a sample that represents the population - Sample surveys vs. census (every 4 years) - Accuracy depends on the representativeness of the sample and whether it is representative of the population. E.g. Neilson Ratings, Political Polls, Literary Digest, and Kinsey Reports Neilson Ratings: Studies run by the Neilson Company and they survey the TV viewing habits of TV viewers in North America. - Makes sure that the sample is representative of the population. Political Polls: Exit polls that predict samples by simply asking “who di you vote for?” - Carried out just by gaining little information. Literary Digest: Literature that has often predicted the outcomes of presidential elections. E.g. 1936 Roosevelt vs. Landon - Sample of 2 million people of the 10 million people they contacted - Political system changes  political affiliation was being linked to socio-economic status. Low SES voted for republicans, High SES voted for the democrats. - Phone numbers and license plates - 2 million was not representative of the population - Not just about sample size, it’s about representativeness of the sample. Kinsey Reports: Came out in the 50’s first study was based on sexual behaviour. - Suggesting sexual behaviour amongst all males only. - Males used in the sample were all Caucasian men there were no rural representatives. PSYCH 201W Summer 2013 Major critiques of the Kinsey Report = Biased Sample: Not representative of the population of interest. Sampling: - The Sampling Assumption:  The pattern of results found in the sample reflects the pattern of results that we would’ve found if we tested the whole population of interest. - Non-Probability Sampling: No efforts made to assess the probability. 1) “Haphazard” Sampling: “Take them, where you can find them” - Advantages: Can easily be tested, less cost and time involved = very conveni
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