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Lecture 2

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Connie Boudens

Lecture 2 - Sept 20.12 Getting Initial Ideas  Look around you! – Direct observation • Question what you usually take for granted – Stories in newspapers, magazines, websites – Blogs  *direct observation – things you see in environment, things other people do, or what you wonder about  -things that seem to be pretty ordinary – look at these kind of things more carefully  Ex. People who cover up their pin number, some don't cover, some don't care – things we take for granted- make this a research question if we wanted to  -blogs are good to get ideas because you might start wondering about what these people blog and wonder about  -anything that makes you wonder you can turn that into a research idea  Common sayings • Does this really happen? (is it true?) • Could I research this – what question might it translate into? • Under what conditions might this hold or not hold? • Ex: Absence makes the heart grow fonder; out of sight, out of mind  -common sayings; you can test certain ones  Ex. what goes around comes around – hard to test  Find something you can turn into a research question  -cartoons are another way of getting initial ideas  -most common way that people get research ideas is by extending previous research  Are there additional variables I could add, or different conditions Narrowing it Down  Be specific about what you want to research!  Once you found your initial idea, you need to narrow it down  Bad – I want to study love – I want to find out if talent is inherited - too general , specify what kind of talent and what kind of inherit you're looking at – Why do so many people think Obama is Muslim? -  Better – I’m interested in the development of love relationships that start online - looking it at with a specific domain – I’d like to know if the ability to match pitch is mostly genetic or mostly learned - if somebody produces a note, you can reproduce it with your voice – I’m interested in why people are less likely to question information that is consistent with their beliefs  Don’t ramble on and on – narrow it to one or 2 sentences  Use sentence stems or fill-in-the-blanks -I’m interested in the relationship between ____ and ___. -I’d like to investigate the effect of ____ on ____. -I want to see if ____ has the same effect on ____ under these conditions:_____. -Is the influence of ____ on ____ the same for women as for men?  try to isolate it to two or more variables Searching the Literature  Why is this necessary? – History of research in the area – Establish case for project / build rationale – Make sure it hasn’t already been done – Can be a source of ideas in itself  Best ways to start – Library web page – PsychInfo – Google scholar (still need to look up article)  Keywords – Refer to texts – Use keywords in references to access more articles on same What Exactly is "the literature"? Scholarly books and papers that describe theory or report on research findings  Journal articles  Book chapters or entire books  Dissertations  Papers presented at conferences What are journal articles? Scholarly papers published in academic journals  Submitted to journal by researcher / author  Accepted or rejected by journal editor Parts of a journal article Abstract  Short summary of contents of article Introduction  Sets up problem  Discusses shortcomings in present understanding of problem, describes how study will try to overcome some of them  Introduces hypothesis(es) Method  Describes in exact detail how study was conducted – Must allow for replication Results  Details the outcome of study, reports statistical analyses of the data Discussion  Restates the results, relates them to the original goals  Practical and theoretical implications  Limitations References  List of sources Reading empirical articles  If the abstract is too complex, the paper will be too.  Skim article to see how it is set up  Read discussion section first  Take brief notes  Skip sections you don’t understand and reread later Developing a Hypothesis A good hypothesis is:  Testable  Specific  About a specific relationship (there must be a comparison or contrast)  About a particular population Why do we need ethical guidelines?  Guide balance btw desire for knowledge and responsibility to protect  Helps protect reputation of psychology as a science  Helps ensure participants keep participating  Because we don’t want to harm people intentionally  Past ethical violations – Tuskegee Syphilis Study – Humphrey
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