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PSYB01H3 Lecture Notes - Motor Vehicle Theft, Longitudinal Study, Job Satisfaction

Course Code
Connie Boudens

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Lecture 1
Why Learn Research?
Become a better consumer of research to be able to make sense of the research and ask
appropriate questions in order figure out if the research is valid, how it may affect it your life,
how to use the results of the research
o Psychology study says violent games make kids riskier drivers
o A longitudinal study where kids who play or have access to violent video games were
monitored looked at their driving record
o Looked at the driving habit of 1000s of kids over a 4 year period via phone interviews
interview them before they can actually drive and also check to see if they have been
pulled over for traffic violations and accidents these researchers found a significant
correlation between violent video games (such as grand theft auto) and reckless driving
o As a consumer of research you should look for more information to see if this applies to
you or others around you: were they looking at people similar to you? What games
were they looking at?
o What problems are there with the research that enable you to say that it doesn’t apply
to you or your life can only make this conclusion if you know how research in
psychology works and what the short-comings are
o Questions to ask:
What kind of phone interviews were used? Ie. Did they have the cell phone
numbers of the kids (most kids these days have cell phones), or were they only
calling those with landlines? people with only landlines are different
compared to those who don’t have landlines – for example most young people
have cellphones so they don’t have landlines
Is there something particular about the people used in this study compared to
those who were not included in the study
They interviewed participants directly but how can we be assured they are
telling the truth maybe those who play video games are more likely to tell you
when they get into an accident because they did its’ ‘badass’ or maybe those
who don’t play violent video games are more embarrassed to tell others about
accidents and traffic tickets they receive
This information in the study may not have been independently verified so the
relationship we see might not even be real for example the relationship may
just be one of those who tell the truth and those that don’t and the types of
video games they play = those who lie play non-violent video games + those
who don’t lie play violent games
o Easier to figure out what exact questions to ask about studies if you have training in
research methods
o Does Facebook make you fat?
o Study was carried out by a masters student he/she does not have a lot of research
under their belt ( therefore should look at the research much closer)
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