PSYB01 Lecture 1: PY
Reasons to study research methods:
1) Even if you aren’t going to do research in the future, at some point, you will be consumer of
research and you want to be able to make sense of that research. Want to be able to ask the
questions that are appropriate for figuring out whether that research is valid, whether that research
will affect you life and figuring out how to use the results of this research in the future if you need
a. Study: found that violent video games make riskier drivers in the future
i. Did longitudinal study, looked at kids who access violent vg and tried to see how
their driving would be like in the future
ii. Looked at driving habits of 1000s of kids thru phone interviews, start interviewing
b4 they can actually drive and then look to see if they’ve been pulled over for risky
iii. Found significant correlation btn violent video games and risky driving
iv. Ex) parents stop you from driving b/c you used to play violent games; you as a
consumer of research will want more info:
v. Does this actually apply to me? Were they looking at ppl who aren’t similar to me?
vi. Were they looking at particular types of video games?
vii. What are the problems w/ this research that will allow me to say that it won’t
necessarily apply to my life?
viii. You need to know how research in psychology normally works and what its short-
ix. Ex) they did a series of phone interviews what kind were they? did they have
cell #s for these kids? Ppl who have landlines are a certain type of person vs ppl who
have cell phones. Systematic difference btn them.
x. Ex) they said they got the info directly from the ppl involved; how do we know the
ppl are telling the truth? Maybe ppl who play violent video games are more likely to
tell you truth when they get pulled over…makes them appear more ‘bada**’; what
if ppl who play less violent video games don’t tell interviewer the truth b/c they’re
embarrassed if pulled over/get ticket
1. You have no way of independently verifying the info that is received
xi. There may not even be a relationship btn playing violent video games and reckless
driving at all; it may just be the case that some ppl are telling truth and others aren’t
and there’s a relationship there
b. Does FB make you fat?
i. Carried out by Master’s student; so going to look at study more closely b/c they
don’t have as much experience as someone who’s been in field
ii. Found that amt spent on social networking programs is negatively correlated w/
level of physical activity in previous week and less likely to take part in team sports
1. Problem: didn’t actually look at weight gain, just looked at how much
physical activity done and how much time on FB over a limited period of
2. This study doesn’t actually show that FB causes you to become fatter
1 PSYB01 Lecture 1: PY
iii. To judge validity of this research, know what to look for and what questions to ask
c. Study: if ppl feeling down/lack NRG, watching re-runs of fave tv shows restores mental
i. Look more deeply
ii. And look up original study/research see exactly who it applies to, under what
circumstance it applies; is there particular age range, is it particular to specific
2) Another reason to learn research methods, it’s often used in work settings
a. Job satisfaction
i. Not just rate it as ‘good or bad’ this isn’t good research
ii. We’ll learn how to design good survey instruments
b. Lot of research involved in advertising & marketing
c. Your boss asks you to find out about something:
i. What is relationship btn particular color and how hungry ppl get?
ii. Is there any research that shows this relationship?
3) Research often used in making policy decisions
a. Public policy how public funds will be distributed? What sorts of programs gvt will fund?
Who should be included in particular programs?
b. Allocation of funds at municipal/provincial level policy decisions made based on empirical
c. Ex) full-day kindergarten
Become confident consumers and producers of research
Science = cumulative = builds on previous research mostly
o Some has observation in enviro
o Develop hypothesis about observation they had
Ex) walking down hall, someone approaches, they move to right side? Does it depend on
handedness or does it depend on side of the road you drive on in that country?
Hypothesis: ppl move to right if country drive on right side; ppl move to left if in that
country they drive on left side
o Hypothesis = prediction of what you’ll find