Purple text – Prof’s Speech
PSYB01 – Lecture 2
Slide 2 – Getting Initial Ideas
- Look around you
o Things from the environment, things other people do
o Direct observation – anything that makes you wonder
Question what you usually take for granted
i.e. people entering PIN at a cashier – do they cover the pad? Stand
in front of it? Only when others are around?
- Stories in newspapers, magazines, websites
o Ex: Robert the Doll (in museum) – where does superstition come from?
- Common sayings
o Does this really happen? (is it true?)
o Could I research this – what question might it translate into?
What goes around comes around - untestable
o Under what conditions might this hold or not hold?
o Ex. Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Ex: physical separation makes people more affectionate towards each other
Factors: time period of separation, distance, sexual orientation
- The funnies/cartoons
- Extend previous research
o Psychology is a cumulative field
o What are the questions that were left unanswered by study X?
Often, we see a problem/something researchers haven‟t thought of and form
a study accordingly
o Are there additional variables I could add or different conditions I could look at
Slide 5 – Narrowing it Down
- Narrow it down to 1 or 2 sentences
- Be specific about what you want to research
o I want to study love – too broad
o I want to find out if talent is inherited
o Why do so many people think Obama is muslim?
o I‟m interested in the development of love relationships that start online
o I‟d like to know if the ability to match pitch is mostly genetic or mostly learned
o I‟m interested in why people are less likely to questions information that is consistent
with their beliefs
- Don‟t ramble on and on – narrow it down to 1 or 2 sentences
- Use sentence stems or fill in the blanks
o Ex: I‟d like to investigate the effect of ____ on _____ under these conditions.
Slide 7 – Searching the Literature
- Why is this necessary?
o There aren‟t many great insights that come from 1 previous study – they usually
come from many previous studies
o History of research in the area o Establish case for project/build rationale
o Make sure it hasn‟t already been done
Know what‟s been done in the past
o Can be a source of ideas in itself
- Best ways to start
o Refer to textbooks on the subject in order to get the basic information
o Library web page
o Google Scholar
o Refer to texts
o Use keywords in references to access more articles on the same topic
Slide 8 – What exactly is “the literature”?
- Published materials – not magazines, newspapers articles
- Scholarly books and papers that describe theory or report on research findings