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Lecture 1b

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PSYC 1200
Jason Leboe- Mcgowan

Lecture 1b The Scientific Method  Research is systematic (rules must be followed) Beginning - Observation Problem with Personal Observations 1. What’s true to the observer might not actually be true 2. Observer could perceive events incorrectly 3. Observer could remember things incorrectly causing them to draw the wrong conclusions Variable  Any variable that varies in quantity/ type (age, gender, height, intelligence, fighting, happiness, speed, etc.) Steps 1. Form a Hypothesis  A precise statement about the relationships between variables proposed in the observation Ex) People will solve less math problems to the extent that temperatures become very high Challenge - Factors proposed must be measurable Ex) Researcher would have to develop a precise way to measure "doing things/math problems" and temperature Operational Definitions  Defines the procedures for measuring the factors used in the hypothesis  Study must be simple enough to conduct  Value depends on whether it provides a valid and reliable measure of the variable Ex) Doings things could be measured as the amount of math problems solved in 15 minutes Ex) Temperature could be measured as room temperature vs temperature 20 degrees above room temperature Measurement Validity  The extent that the procedure measures what it is intended to measure Measurement Reliability  Extent the procedure produces the same measure across different points in time Ex) An unreliable weight scale will give you a bunch of different weights 2. Design the Study + Collect the Data Naturalistic Observation Study  Can rely on observed ongoing behaviors or can rely on archival data Archival Data  Records of naturally occurring behavior that has already taken place (diary, medical records, court proceedings) Advantage: Because observations are based on natural events should be highly relevant for understanding real life psychological processes (Ecological Validity) Disadvantage:  Real life events are so complex there is no way to know for sure what factor caused a behavior  Can provide hints of whether a variable might influence a type of behavior but cannot firmly establish the cause of the behavior Observer Bias - If researcher has expectations about what people/animals should behave like and why they can misinterpret behaviors as consistent with those views Lecture 1b Expectancy Effects - People under observation might guess the researcher's expectations for the study, leading them to change their behavior to help/sabotage the researcher Heidelberg Principle - Observing a phenomenon changes its behavior Correlational Study  Designed to provide a precise measure of t
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