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Chapter 5

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Konstantine Zakzanis

Chapter 5 - Research Methods In The Study of Abnormal Behaviour Science and Scientific Methods Science is the pursuit of systematized knowledge through observation. It refers to both the method (the systematic acquisition and evaluation of information) and to a goal (the development of general theories that explain the information) Testability and Replicability A scientific approach requires that the propositions and ideas must be stated in a clear and precise way so that they can be tested A hypothesis must be amenable to systematic testing that could show it to be false Whatever is observed must be replicated If it cannot be reproduced, scientists become wary of the legitimacy of the originalobservation The role of Theory A Theory is a set of propositions meant to explain a class of phenomena It permits the generation of a hypotheses, expectations about what should occur if a theory is true Theories are constructions put together by scientists In creating a theory, scientists use theoretical concepts, unobservable states or processes that are inferred from observable data Theoreticalconcepts can also summarize already observed relationships Operationalism: proposed that each concept take as its meaning a single observable and measureable operation Theoreticalconcepts are better defined by sets of operations or effects, rather than by a single operation The Research Methods of Abnormal Psychology Often researchers observe severalevents and try to determine how often they are associated or related Researchers want to know what the symptoms are, and their relation to other found data, and the reason for it (ie. eating disorders are more common in females, but why?) Commonly used research methods in abnormal behaviour: case studies, epidemiological research, the correlation method, and various types of experiments The case study Studying a patient one at a time and in detail A comprehensive case study covers family history and background, medical history, educational background, jobs held, marital history, and details concerning development, adjustment, personality, life course, and current situation O84L25479,3994N005L32L3L89K0.OL3L.L,385,7,LJ2 L0 58.K4,3,O89ZLOO.4OO0.92470L31472,9L43 ,-4:99K05,9L03980,7O.KLOK4409. Case studies may lack the degree of controland objectivity of other forms of research The case study has been used to: Provide a detailed description of rare or unusual phenomenon, and of important methods or procedures of interviewing, diagnoses and treatment 1
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