PSYB01H3 Lecture Notes - Statistical Inference

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17 Dec 2010
Midterm Nov.1 (2hours)
50 MCs + 3 short answers/ essay questions (*Application questions so think abt skills taught)
Do questions after each Chapter in book & review lecture notes
Research Proposal:
Check sample topics posted on blackboard
5 pages content (background, methods,)
Cover page, Abstract (proposed results), appendices-questionnaire? References (5 peer-reviewed)
Find empirical articles: evaluate their methods and think of improvements/ come up with hypothesis
Read discussion sections in the articles
Ideas: test contradictions between 2 studies? Continue from a study and extend results
Describe the different steps involved in the research process
Define variable and describe the four categories of variables: situational, response, participant,
and mediating variables
Define operational definition of a variable
Describe the different relationships between variables: positive, negative, curvilinear, and no
Compare and contrast nonexperimental and experimental research methods
Distinguish between an independent variable and a dependent variable
Discuss the three elements for inferring causation: temporal order, covariation of cause and effect,
and elimination of alternative explanations
Discuss necessary & sufficient causes
Discuss the limitations of laboratory experiments and the advantage of using multiple methods of
Distinguish between construct validity, internal validity, and external validity
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The Research Process
1. Research Idea: Topic library research hypothesis
2. Define and measure variables: must be reliable and valid
3. Identify participants or subjects: which ones? How many? Ethics!!!
4. Determine which strategy will best answer question: experimental, quasi-experimental, correlational, or
descriptive study (consider limitations of each)
5. Choose specific research design: between or within subjects? Single subject? Factorial design?
6. Do the study (collect your data)
7. Analyze your data (descriptive and inferential statistics)
8. Write paper (APA ; remember ethical considerations)
9. Assess original idea: alter, refine, expand… (Gravetter & Forzano, 2009, p. 26)
Elements of a Good Hypothesis
Logical/ Testable/ Refutable/ Positive
1. Logical Hypothesis
Fou n d ed in theory(framework that ex plains curr ent d ata/ stu dies that h ave b e e n co n d u cted)
develop ed from p ast stu d y result s
Premise 1: Aca demic succ e s s is hig hly v alued an d respe c ted in society (at le a st by p arents an d te a
Premise 2: Being v alued and respe c ted by others co n tribu tes to high self-este e m.
Conclusio n/hy p o thesis: High er levels of a c a demic suc c e s s will b e related to hig h er levels of self-es
(Gravet t er & Forz a n o, 2 0 0 9 , p. 2 7)
2. Testable Hypothesis
Sh o uld b e able to o b serve and me a sure all imp ortant variables
(c a nnot b e imaginary, hy po thetic al, or b eli ef b ased (i.e. GOD/LOVE)
3. Refutable Hypothesis
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Must be able to falsify predictions t hat stem from hypothesis
Are the following hypotheses suitable?
The more sins a person com mits, the less likely she is going to heaven (X Not testable)
Abortion is morally wrong (X Not testable/ refutable)
If people could fly, there would be substantially fewer cases of depression (X Not testable)
The human mind emits thought waves that influence other people, but cannot be measured or
recorded in any way (X Not testable)
(Gravetter & Forzano, 2009, p. 28)
4.Positive Hypothesis
Should state that something (usually a relationship between two variables) exists (premise o
hypothesis testing is that we assume it doesnt exist)
Choose the positive hypotheses
There is no relationship between stress and health (X positive)
A negative relationship exists between stress and health (Positive!)
There is a difference between the language abilities of 4 year old girls and 4 year old boys (
The new treatment does not affect anxiety levels (X positive)
Hypothesis to Predictions
HYPOTHESIS: The dark and dreary environment during the winter leads to depression
(Gravetter & Forzano, 2009, p. 20)
Event, situation, behaviour, or individual characteristic that varies
Must have two or more levels or values
May be quantitative or categorical
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