PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Retina, Reward System, Perceptor

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6 Feb 2011
Brain Day Association of Uoft BDUT
PSYCH 100 LECTURE 2: Research Methods
Not a huge date/name guy for the exam-hint
More interested in whether you understand the concepts
Need to know wilhelm wundt for instance
Characteristics of Good Psychological Research:
When studying human psychology we have to be more careful than studying other things
ethically etc
STUFF WE NEED for good psychological research...
Is a systematic way of organizing and explaining observations
We need a Hypothesis- which flows from the theory or from an important question
Theories are never done, we are looking for the exceptions that might not be found until years
down the road
We might prefer the simpler theory if possible but exceptions are important
Means-procedure=same for all subjects except where variation introduced to death hypothesis
The differences must not be about how we ran the study
The results are a result of our intentional manipulation
Because of that we go to great lengths to ensure everything is as standard as possible
We want to counter balance
Avoid confounds
WE dont rely on any one study as being confirmative, the be all and end all
We dont want to rely on any one study as something we would put full faith in
We need studies to be replicated
Preferably by other researches or in other parts of the world
If we dont, we have to be more critical or skeptical
Standardize procedure in ways that others can do it in as close to the same way
The sample is representative of population
Procedure is sensible and relevant to to world outside the lab
Cant survey EVERYBODY so we take a representative sample
Procedure that is sensible and relevant to circumstances outside the lab
IF you use a biased sample you have to be concerned whether you can generalize your sample
to a larger group
We also want a procedure that has ecological validity-measuring something that is real
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How much sense does it make? Is it realistic
Sensible, relevant outside of lab
There are things below the level of conscious awareness
Subliminal perception might have higher rates in a lab than in a store
Reliable (produce consistent results)
Measures that are valid (that assess the dimensions they purport to assess
Need test/questionaries that measure what we think they are measuring
Are we measuring something well defined?
We want to make sure they are assessing what we believe they are assessing
PSYCHOMETRICS: --form of statistic--ensuring measurements reliable, valid etc. lets say we
are trying to measure anxiety-how will we measure it?
Naturalistic observation: observe ppl. In their natural setting without altering their setting
Man hiding in bush with camera filming lions
As removed as possible
Have as little influence as possible on the groups
Great way to come up with ideas for other studies
BUT we cant infer causality
Can be with anyone with anywhere
Ie: children on the playground forming peer groups, you watch them
Can be manipulated and used in a great way
Election surveys- not ALL polling is perfect-there is a margin of error
Have to be wary of surveys-you can create a survey that biases the answers you get--suggests
the answers in the question
Who is the source? Who paid for the survey? What are their stakes? We must be skeptical
Case study:
A single person
Person with a rare disease; if they get better do we know that are treatment worked or could
they have gotten naturally better
You have evidence that people have gotten better
But through empirical evidence found to be random
Anecdotal evidence can be very powerful--it helped you or someone you know and it makes it
seem real--those types of conclusion are very dangerous
The affect is placebo-believing something works is enough to make it work for some people
Unless we have multiple data to look at and compare we cant be sure
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A measure of association between two variables
Self esteem and grade point average are moderately positively correlated
Its not a perfect relationship but it can be measured
-1 or +1 are perfect correlations
0 = no correlation
Height and weight very strongly correlated
Strength of a correlation:
Strong 0.6 to 0.8
Moderately strong 0.3 0.5
No correlation 0
Most human behaviour we discuss in moderately strong, more than that is unusual
Cannot tell us about causation
We just have to be careful about the data we get and only apply it the way we should
What does causal mean here?
Correlational research: establishes whether there is a relationship between two or more variable
Cannot infer causality
1. Directionality problem ie: which variable affects which
2. Potential for a third variable (confound) if it interferes with the relationship and we arent
aware of it
From a correlational study we dont know if have a a high GPA causes high self esteem OR
vise versa
In this case there is a third more important variable ie: high IQ-more likely to have high self
esteem and GPA--IQ affects both other these factors than either has with each other
When we see correlations as if they are causal thats a huge problem
Media is very bad at presenting correlation studies as if they are causal
Good to do an experimental study following a correlation study
Smoking is correlated with lung cancer
For a long time you couldnt say that cigarettess CAUSE cancer
Couldnt do human experiments because of ethics
Cant do things we think will cause harm
For decades ppl. Said you cant prove it
After enough correlational studies and experiments with animals now health canada says
smoking causes cancer
We say now this is a correlation that is indeed causal
2. High grades are correlated with successful careers
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