Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (620,000)
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Psychology (8,000)
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Anna Nagy (100)

lectures 2-4

Course Code
Anna Nagy

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Psychotherapy is beginning to emerge as treatment for schizophrenia (in
addition to antipsychotic drugs)
The scientific method allows for the continual evolution of research(?)..
Goals of Science
1.Description of Behaviour (esp. in something we dont know much about)
a.Careful observation e.g. in the SARS outbreak the behaviour of
the emergency responders could be observed.
2.Prediction of Behaviour
a.Systemic regularities in relation of two events e.g. in the case
of violence, studying the relation between violence and the
chances of reoffending, what triggers/predicts(?) violent
3.Determine the causes of behaviour
a.Requires three types of evidence and caution
4.Understand or explain behaviour
Inferences of cause and effect require:
a.Temporal precedence: causal variable should precede the effect
i.How is this tested in an experiment Manipulate IV;
observe effect on DV
Convergence is needed to confirm causality.
A controlled experiment is needed to confirm causality.
b.Covariation: when cause present, effect occurs; when cause not
present, effect doesnt occur

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i.Demonstrated in an experiment when
c. Elimination of Plausible alternative explanation nothing other than
causal variable could be responsible
Explanation of Behaviour
Description, prediction, causality, and explanation all closely related
Explanation may be deemed inaccurate when new causes found
oE.g. crib death in the 1950s. Sudden infant death syndrome was
attributed to enlarged thyroid glands and subjecting them to
radiation therapy to shrink the gland. The children in the study
were from impoverished backgrounds and 50 years later started
to develop severe forms of cancer. The enlarged thyroid gland
was due to malnourishment.
Ambiguity in science
Leads to new questions
Continual discarding and revision of explanations of behaviour as new
evidence gathered.
Basic vs. Applied Research
Basic research:
Attempts to answer fundamental questions about the nature of
behaviour (theoretical issues)
Issue of ecological validity
Usually in a lab
Applied research:
Practical problems and potential solution
Basic and applied research often overlap.
Scientific theory: a falsifiable framework of research.
Freuds theory on sexual behaviour and aggression is not a scientific theory
because it isnt falsifiable.

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Benjamin Rush and dengs disease (?). Practiced bloodletting to cure the
disease. Attributed deaths to the disease and healing to his procedure.
Scientific design
Posing an appropriate research question
Question should be developed from the literature how the
question is asked can influence the results !!
oRead a review paper: a systematic review of existing
literature & where the current research is
Conceptualizing the question
Operationalizing the related concepts
Turning abstract concepts into something that is measurable.
Use a manual with very specific instructions
Identifying independent, dependent & controlled variables
Hypothesis & Prediction
Hypothesis tentative idea or question; based on past research and theory
Prediction specific concerns outcome of experiments
**Argue why your proposed hypothesis is logical and plausible. Talk about
theoretical framework. Lead the reader through the process of what you think
to be the outcome in your study is supported.
Choosing an appropriate method
Experimental, quasi-experimental, or non-experimental
What method is appropriate for the situation?
Survey when you have an idea of what you want to research so
you can ask specific questions
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