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Lecture 6

PSYA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Dependent And Independent Variables, Phonics, Random Assignment

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Steve Joordens

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Lecture 6: Experimentation- Finding the Cause & Ethics and Research Marketing
-correlation is not enough
-experiment is needed to establish a causal relationship
-sharks attacking cages, sharks trying to eat humans? Vs humans diving to swim with sharks,
sharks do not want to eat humans (fussy eaters, only want to eat fish)
-the cage is the reason for sharks attacking, sharks can sense electrical signals on their snout to
hunt and the metal conducts electrical signals causing sharks to falsely sense it and attack the
cage, not the human
-hypothesis: the shark wants to attack the metal cage due to electrical signals causes aggression
in the shark
-a possible experiment: a shark in water, then to put the metal rod into the water, that can
conduct currents of electricity (can be turned on/off), see if shark will attack
-e.g. the current being turned on/off is two different conditions, the presence of the metal bar
is the independent variable, the dependent variable is the aggression of the shark; when the
current is on, experiment mode, when off is control mode
-e.g. need to measure aggression in sharks, can’t be abstract
-to measure aggression, shark bite/bumping bar (how many times)
-e.g. prejudice; prejudicial behaviour occurs in poor economies (like Germany before wwii) due
to humans trying to find someone to blame
result in determining self-esteem is the cause for prejudice, need to define and measure self-
esteem and prejudice
A participant in the experiment will see the experimenter with a stack of slides (who comes in
late, and tells the participant that the slides are for a important presentation), and told the
participant to watch a movie (about French Canadians); half of the participants will be blamed
for knocking the slides off the table (experimental group, hoping to lower their self-esteem and
make them feel bad), half will just watch the movie (control group), then after the movie all
participants will receive a questionnaire, which give them opportunities to write bad things
about French Canadians
Result is that the half that was blamed for the slides, they write much worse things than the
other group, proves hypothesis?
-manipulation checks are for when you ask the participants afterwards and see how they feel
about the experiment
-convergence from use of operational definitions is when someone else used different ways to
set a experiment that proves a common hypothesis and compare to see if they are the same
-reliability: e.g. sharks’ aggression may be measured different ways like analyzing their brain
which may be a better way to measure
-e.g. when experimenting with infants (for instance, when eyes begin to detect colour) by
placing a camera and several monitors near the baby’s face, one monitor will present a colour
image and the other greyscale, but hard to measure since babies are moving around a lot, so
have people look at the footage and determine which monitor the baby look more at (with the
judges not knowing which monitor is showing what) and eventually seeing if the more judges
agree on a result
find more resources at
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