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Lecture 2

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Nussbaum D

PSYB01 Sept. 13, 2013 Foundations of Research/Stats Review Case Study 1: Paul Ekman Studied the identification of emotions from facial expressions across cultures  He started with 6 basic expressions (maybe 7 now) that, no matter which culture saw them, all people could identify. No matter what level of education or association with other cultures. o Happiness, Surprise, Anger, Fear, Disgust, Sadness o Contempt is the new number 7 Facial expressions as universal, instead of socially learned  The facial expressions are seen as the exact same emotion, across cultures Created Facial Action Coding System (FACS)  Coding based on appearance of facial areas during emotions The Goals of Science Description  Conceptual definition = provides the meaning of an abstract term.  Operational definition = indicates how the concept is coded, measured, or quantified Explanation  Establish predictive relationships  Determine causality – if you can show causality, you have an explanation. Hallmark of Explanation Causality requires three kinds of evidence (Cook & Campbell, 1979):  Temporal precedence = cause precedes effect o If A causes B then A has to precede B in order to show this.  Covariation = when the cause is present, the effect occurs; when the cause is absent, the effect does not occur. (This is sort of an all-or-nothing mindset) o Also Dosage Effects – if you titrate the dosage, the effect should reflect this. This is useful for drug trials, in order to find the optimal dosage. PSYB01 Sept. 13, 2013  Alternative explanations = nothing other than the cause could be responsible for the effect Is this ever really possible? o In order to prove covariation, you need to eliminate all alternative explanations. This is not easy in nature. Logic of Experimentation Similar to Subtraction: Goal: To eliminate all other possible “causes”  12 - 11 = 1 – if you identify 12 possible explanations, if you can eliminate 11 of them, you’ve found the one cause. An ideal experiment eliminates all possible confounds Realistically, a single study can rarely rule out all potential alternative explanations Conceptual replications are necessary to sequentially eliminate other possibilities  12 – 6 = 6-> 6 – 3 = 3 -> 3 – 2 = 1 Basic and Applied research Basic research: Addresses questions about the nature of abstract natural processes and ideas Applied research: Addresses questions that are thought to be of immediate relevance in solving practical problems Sources of Research Ideas Observation  Balance between focus and openness  Serendipity effect: things happen by chance that have a positive effect Theory  Abstract thinking  Often form the basis of a new, testable hypothesis PSYB01 Sept. 13, 2013 Literature  Primary sources o Empirical articles o Review articles: present state-of-the-art on a narrow topic  Secondary sources o Popular science o Science journalism  Archival Research o Conduct empirical research on public records Searching the Literature  Google Scholar (  PsycINFO  PsycLIT  SSCI Research Strategies Two important elements of all scientific research strategies:  Data = empirical observations that allow us to evaluate a theory  Theory = set of propositions that explains a variety of occurrences o Organization o Explanation – explains some observed phenomenon o Prediction – if conditions hold, results will be shown Inductive and Deductive Research Inductive Research  Research strategy that involves reasoning from particular data to a general theory  Involves imagination, insight and creativity  Generally IR is the strategy in non-experimental studies  Must be done systematically Deductive Research  Research strategy that involves reasoning from a theory to specific data PSYB01 Sept. 13, 2013  Generally the strategy in experimental studies  A testable hypothesis is formulated from the theory Hypothesis A Testable Hypothesis:  Specifies a predicted relationship between two or more variables  Often can be phrased as “if-then” statements  Specifies direction of association  Can (but rarely) involves stating two possible opposing outcomes o You see which one actually succeeds The Research Circle Case Study 2 Strack, Martin, & Stepper (1998) Test of the facial feedback hypothesis: parts of the brain that experience emotion produce a facial expression by sending specific i
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