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Lecture 2

Methodology - Week 2.docx

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Simon Fraser University
PSYC 260
Lara Aknin

Chapter 2 – Methodology 1/14/2013 12:36:00 PM Why Bother with Research?  Understanding research methods o Learn the terminology/jargon o Insight/inferences from studies o Helps you become an educated consumer of research Ex. What will happen if you reward a child for engaging in a hobby/activity (piano practice)? It will decrease interest - Outcomes can usually be reasoned either way ahead of time “Knew it All Along” Effect = everything seems obvious in retrospect (Hindsight 20/20)  predict behaviour before it occurs not explain it afterwards  Both endings of the story will make sense to conclude that one was able to predict Psychology as an Empirical Science - most human behaviour can be scientifically studied  not all folk wisdom/common knowledge is correct Theory: An organized set of principles that can be used to explain observed phenomena Hypothesis: A tentative explanation for a set of facts that can be tested with further investigation  Ex. “Birds of a feather flock together” (Similar couples have longer relationships) 3 Main Research Methods 1. Observational  A technique whereby a researcher observes people and systematically records their behaviour  School bullying, Helpers? o Goal: Describe and measure behaviour in a natural setting  Up close and immediate and/or from a distance and at a delay (Beeper Q’s, surveys) o EAR (Electronically Activated Recorder) features  New technology allows for unobtrusive naturalistic observation of everyday lives  Records ~70/30 sec. clips from 1 person/day  Advantages: Unobtrusive, doesn’t rely on self report, reduces self-presentation (“I’m generous, I don’t lie”)  Need to define how we conceptualize behaviour which requires the use of an “operational definition” (how we measured and/or manipulated a behaviour) o “Talking with a stranger,” means…  One form of observational method: Studying a group of culture from inside by joining the group o Not imposing/no bias o Without preconceived notions  Ex. Leon Festinger infiltrating Mrs. Keech’s group o Examines Documents (e.g. Diaries, newspapers, lyrics, novels etc.) from culture to identify its values.  Refer to homosexual hate crime reports  Racism/immigration policies Strengths o A good first step in understanding how people behaviour; Real life behaviour Weaknesses o Some behaviors can be hard to observe; Behaviors can be hard to code or measure reliably 2. Correlational  Systematically measures two or more variables and assess the degree of relation between them o Ex. Violence on TV; Child aggression
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