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Lecture

Lec 1-6 notes Research Methods.docx
Lec 1-6 notes Research Methods.docx

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School
University of Toronto Scarborough
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB01H3
Professor
David Nussbaum
Semester
Fall

Description
Research Methods notes The Scientific Method -Origins of the scientific method is traced of philosophy known as empirism, which holds that knowledge is gained through experience, observation, and experiment. - Empirical: denote information referred to as Data because it can be measured and evaluated statistically. - Empirical evidence differs from anecdotal evidence, which refers to impressions or opinions of just one person. - The scientific method is crucial to research because it minimized Bias by providing the rules by which observations are collected and results are evaluated. - Bias: familiar term that often indicates unfair practices that wrongly discriminate against others. Observation: Balance between focus and openness and serendipity effect. What is a scientific question? Questions that are researchable, some questions may deal with topics for which the scientific method is moot. These include questions of religion, faith. From theory to testable hypothesis A theory generates hypothesis, which are evaluated empirically with the scientific method. . A testable hypothesis is framed as a statement, often in the form of a prediction that is made prior to the actual collection of Data. Testable hypothesis is therefore described as a priori. Meaning that it exists before experimentation or observation. Variable and measurement Variable: simply defined as any characteristics that can take on different values ot can vary across research participants. Deductive Research: Research strategy that involves reasoning from a theory to specific data. Research circle: Theory->hypothesis->Date->Deductive research->Empirical generalizations->back to theory. The substance of psychological research: Independent variable: what is manipulated - Levels=conditions of the independent variable. - Control group=group that does not receive a treatment or manipulation - Random assignment=each participant has an equal chance of being assigned to any group. Dependent Variable: Out come of interest Control Variable: Held constant or statistically removed from different groups. *Research I psychology is most usually evaluated using statistics. *Statistical probabilities take form of p-values. Problems with relying on statistical Significance: Statistical significance is dependent on: - The number of observations in the study - In experiments: The magnitude of difference in the dependent variable resulting form the manipulation - In Correlational (association) Studies (Where there is no manipulation, but measurement on more than 1 variable): The strength of association between the measured variables. - The priori (stipulated) significance (a) Level. - Summary: Statistical significance is primarily dependent both on the “n” and the “effect size” - Effect size: The magnitude of difference resulting from the manipulation or association between measured variables. Significance can occur with: - A large effect Size with a modest number of observations - With small effect size and a vary large number of observations. How to Read scientific Literature: Evaluation a study: - Consider the source: for scientific validity - Ensure goals are clearly defined - Consider warning signs of pseudoscience - Consider how research was funded Empirical papers Empirical paper will be organized into specific sections: - Abstract - Intro - Method - Result - Discussion Belmont Report (1979) - Established by the national commission for the protection of human subjects of biomedical and behavioral research. - Three Basic Principles: Respect, Beneficence, Justice APA’s five general Principles: - Beneficence and non-malfeasance - Fidelity and responsibility - Integrity - Justice - Respect for people’s rights and dignity Four Central Ethical Research Principles - Achieving valid results - Maintaining professional integrity - Protecting subjects - Encouraging appropriate applications of research Protecting Subjects - Avoid harming research participants - Participant must be competent - Participant must fully voluntary - Participant must be fully informed - Participant must be able to comprehend - Document is given to the participant. - Avoid deception, except in limited circumstances - Maintain privacy and confidentiality Basic QEEG Concepts  There are two basic concepts that are employed in the analysis of the QEEG data.  The first refers to the type of activity that is occurring at a location in terms of the 5 frequencies.  Each frequency can be analyzed according to concepts such as microvolt, relative power, peak frequency and peak amplitude.  In general, the important variables for cognitive success are the microvolt and relative power measures.  The delta and theta frequencies are generally negatively related to cognitive abilities and the beta variables are positively related. Case study:Keyes (1997) Constuct specified in theory to describe,explain, and predict a wide range of empirical findings. Not directly observable. Must be translated into an operational definition. Measurement constructsAsignment of numerals to variables according to some objective rule. Do our hypothetical constructs reflect objective reality? Use of multiple methods of measurement is essential. Levels of measurement: -Nominal: Categorical or qualitative No mathematical meaning Must be mutually exclusive and exhaustive -Ordinal Quantitative Rank order Does not assume equal distance between values -Interval All qualities of nominal ordinal scales Equal distances between values No true zero point -Ratio All qualities of nominal, ordinal, and interval scales True zero Numbers can be added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided.  Multiplication only works if there is an absolute zero on the scare  The Kelvin scale has a zero value that represents the total absence of heat in the measured system.  Zero in the Fahrenheit or Celsius scales represents non-zero heat values. Choosing Level of Measurement Important when considering statistical analyses - Non-parametric statistics=generally used with nominal and ordinal scales - Parametric statistics-generally used with interval and ratio scales Psychometrics: Studies the application of psychological tests as objective measures of the mind and mental processes. Cultures often influences psychometric tests. Psychometric Principles: - People have certain levels of psychological traits - Requires standardization: Standardization sample= random and purportedly representative selection of people drawn from defines population - Calculate norms Mean=Average Standard deviation=degree to which an individual score deviates from the mean - Stratified sample= formed by randomly selecting from relatively uniform subpopulations called strata which is denied along specified, objective features. - Many traits are distributed along the normal curve, which is the most scores to fall near the center, with gradually fewer scores as you move forward either extreme. Evaluating measures: Reliability  Measurement reliability - Test-retest= Scores should remain consistent over time - Interobserver= degree to which raters code the same observed behavior - Interitem=measures of the same construct should have a high correlation - Alternate-forms= scores on alternate-forms of the same test should correlate; used to avoid practice effects Assessing inter-item reliability  Split-half reliability  Cronbach’s alpha Adding Valid Items increases inter-item reliability. Evaluating Measures: Validity Face Validity  Looks like it measures what it intends to measure  Lacks a firm scientific basis Content Validity  Items have sufficient breadth to capture the full range of a construct Criterion Validity  test scores agree with an objective criterion  Concurrent=measured at the same time  Predictive= predicts an outcome in the future Construct validity  Extent to which theoretical framework and empirical framework of the construct are valid Assessing Construct Validity Using the idea of nomological network  Cronbach and Meehl
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