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PSYC 101 (392)
Paul Wehr (2)


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PSYC 101
Paul Wehr

Chapter 2: Research Methods Anatomy of a Research Article: • Abstract: Summary of hypotheses, methods, and results ◦ must provide citations (name & date) • Introduction: ◦ Outlines research question; reviews past research and theory; introduces formal hypotheses • Methods: Describes the participants, procedure and materials used • Results: Describes what was found; tables and graphs; statistics ◦ two most important parts of an article • • Discussion: ◦ Are results consistent or inconsistent with hypotheses? ◦ Compare with past research and suggest practical applications • References ◦ cite information that was actually used Research Methods: • procedures for obtaining data, which can then be used to answer research questions ◦ goals of science: ■ description ■ explanation ■ application • Data collection techniques ◦ ways that researchers collect numbers • Research Designs ◦ Correlational studies ◦ Experimental studies Scientists FALSIFY theories; theories can only be proven wrong, never proven correct. Data collection tools: • Case studies: cannot be tested ◦ detailed description of a single person or event; used to study unusual or rare cases ■ brain damage ■ terrorists attacks on world trade centre ◦ advantages: ■ able to study topics that would be impossible otherwise ■ lots of data: theory creation ◦ disadvantages: ■ low generalizability: unable to generalize findings to other individuals or events (cannot be predicted because every case/situation is different) ■ not systematic: observer bias ◦ Phineas Gage: ■ his personality changed after his frontal lobe was damaged ■ turned aggressive and mean • Observation ◦ systematic recording of specific behaviour in a particular setting ◦ observers trained to record behaviour as objectively and precisely as possible ■ multiple observers ◦ naturalistic observation (e.g. the park example observing people's age) ■ behaviour more natural ■ less control over situation (can't control the weather) ◦ laboratory: ■ better control ■ more artificial • Psychological tests ◦ instrument designed to assess mental aptitude, personality traits and abilities ■ I.Q. tests (intelligence) ■ M.M.P.I. (mental illness) ■ B.F.I. (big five personality traits) ◦ standardized: uniform procedure for administering and scoring the test ◦ reliability: consistency of the scores derived from the test ■ test-retest reliability: same test at two points in time ■ numbers will change within a small range due to situation (sick, bad mood) ■ the exact questions/answers allow the person to do better because they've already seen them, therefore, not accurate ■ alternate forms reliability: two comparable tests ◦ validity: degree to which test measu
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