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Scientific Method.docx

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PSYC 302

Chapter 1 Pg 24 - 38 Scientific Method • Basic assumption of the scientific method is that all beliefs may be wrong • Until beliefs have been tested they must be viewed as hypotheses (educated guess) • Use of scientific method involves four basic steps: 1. Choosing a question to be answered 2. Formulating a hypothesis regarding the question 3. Developing a method for testing the hypothesis 4. Using the data yielded by the method to draw a conclusion regarding the hypothesis • What distinguishes scientific research from nonscientific approaches is the third step, methods to test the hypotheses The Importance of Appropriate Measurement • Researchers must use measures that are directly relevant to the hypotheses being tested • Measure must be directly relevant to the hypotheses • Two other qualities that good measures must possess are reliability and validity Reliability • The degree to which independent measurements of a given behavior are consistent • One important type of consistency, interrater reliability - the amount of agreement in the observations of different raters who witness the same behavior o Without close agreement, one cannot have confidence in the research findings because there is no way to tell which rating is accurate • Second important type of consistency is test–retest reliability. o This type of reliability is attained when measures of a child’s performance on the same test, administered under the same conditions, are similar on two or more occasions. Validity • The degree to which a test measures what it is intended to measure • Two types of validity: internal and external • Internal validity ­ the degree to which effects observed within experiments can be attributed to the variables that the researcher intentionally manipulated • External validity ­ the degree to which results can be generalized beyond the particulars of the research Interviews • Two types of interview, structured and clinical • Structured interview - a research procedure in which all participants are asked to answer the same questions o Stra
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