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Lecture 1

Psychology 46-320 Lecture 1: All Lecture Notes

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Ken Cramer

All Lecture Notes  The role of science (dracula movie)  What makes a science a science?  Theories can save us in the misery of science  Plato  additional reading What is Science?  What makes them sciences? They test hypotheses, more objective, falsifiable, derive from theories; most sciences use experiments (except astronomy) o Sciences have relationships with the outside world  Non-sciences  but there are philosophical and musical theories, history hypotheses and facts, but they don't define what a science is o Mathematics do not have relationships with the physical world because we invent math 4 main values of science (DOPE) 1. Determinism  To find the answers; things happen for a reason o Koppett's cycle  correlation in a high .8 between super bowl winner and the stock market (up or down) in 1973 to 1984 o If you have no theory to test something, then you have every right to say why a correlation occurs (ex. 5-factor theory of personality) 2. Order  the world has order so it follows laws o We're all the same in some ways but we have our own differences as well o We tend to inject patterns and meanings to randomness 3. Parsimony  keep it simple; the simple explanation is most likely to be right 4. Empiricism  we think through our hypotheses but we have to collect data; truth is paid through observations o Empiricism is named after Empedocles (490-430 BC) o But our senses sometimes give us wrong information (ex. dreams, visions, hallucinations, and hunches) Hypothesis and Theory  Hypothesis usually stands a if-then statement  Theory can explain a collection of interrelated statements (to get predictions; a series of hypotheses) o New technology forces us to get something right, to prevent us from making mistakes, the way to change our mind Start with a Good Theory  A bad theory cannot be tested whether it is right or wrong  A good theory needs to be clear, falsifiable, testable  The nature of archetypes  Self-actualization (A. Maslow)  The better the theory, the better we can get the science right Protagoras  "man is the measure of all things"  how you feel is how you measure the world  The way you understand the world is much more than just you; there is no ultimate truth  Every answer is right; depends on how a person perceives it  Issue of relativism Heraclitus  You're always changing; What you think is stable is changing  Heraclitus: Fire captures the idea of constant change; you can never know anything because everything is always in flux Implications of Relativism  The same wind can cool you down and warm you up  There's no such thing as false perception  No one is more wise than another person; there's no gold standard and no wisdom Plato  He thinks we should fix this reality with numbers; that there is the essence of 6 (the idea of 6 exists)  Plato would say different types of chairs are shadows of a chair; there is a perfect chair out there in the world and it leaves shadows  Three types of people: slave, soldier, king  Conversation with Glaucon  what is real and what is not and what he should believe and what not Measurement Theory  X = T + E  Measurements (X)  To Plato, we all try to get measurement, but we will never know what the true measurement is  The true score (T)  Plato would see measurement as what is true and what is not; you will never know T  We don't have a ruler or an measuring instrument to measure personality  We're bridging the sciences (empirical) and the non-sciences (fuzzy) using operational definitions  If you can see it, it's empirical; if you can't see or touch, it is fuzzy Escape from Ignorance  Get rid of what is fuzzy  Bridges concepts with empirical observations  If the numbers will change, then it's a variable  Measurement is nothing but a procedure; the different numbers are variables  The outcome is how we measure something  Thus how you measure something based on how it is defined  Stats in 3 lessons o Mean  average o Variance  differences in scores o Explained variance  variability that we understand  X=T+E o E is the error o X will vary because T varies o The goal is to reduce the E Common Sources of Error  Something you don’t intend to measure  Temperament conditions  Setting, gender, race, age could increase or decrease errors Three ways of test construction  External (empirical) approach  using items on the test to discriminate two groups  Inductive approach  data-driven same as external approach (all the items have the same purpose; all measuring the same thing, will quickly identify trouble-maker items)  Deductive approach  theory-driven; depends on what theory you listen to will change the way you construct your tests thus often multi-dimensional  The best is to take the combination of all three methods: collect criterion from groups (external), use the info to develop a (deductive) scale, then do item analysis and examine its structure (inductive) Selecting a Scaling Method  Scaling  outlining a behaviour Levels of Measurement  Nominal Scale  "name"; no inherit order; no more or less, they're just labels  Ordinal (Rank) Scale  a person can rank his/her preferences (ranks will make bigger differences when there are none; the space in between the ranks does not matter)  Interval Scale  looks like ranks (assumed equal intervals)  Ratio  looks like intervals but has a meaningful zero  We estimate parametric (ex. Canada's population) Test Item Construction Item Homogeneity  Items will become vary, driven by theory  Theory tells us what questions to include  We want our tests to be culture-free; asking the same questions regardless of what culture one is from Range of Difficulty  It's used for meaningful discrimination  Personality or trait measures wont have range of difficulty Number of Initial Items  Start with a big number and take out the worst items in the pile Table of Specification  A category might have more items than other categories Test Item Formats  Multiple choice  should have effective distracters to pull people away from the correct answer Guidelines for writing MCs  Make the questions clear  Longer tests are better, putting less weigh on each item  Long MC answers take longer to finish Test Item Formats  Matching  You pick one match wrong, your whole test will go wrong  Short Answer (ex. definitions, a piece of a theory)  True/False  you're forcing people's hand to the popular answer  Open/Closed Ended  open can measure a number of properties all at once o Open ended  can be used when research is unclear what questions to put; but answers might be too vague 20 Questions Test  Physical self-descriptions (tall, short, skinner)  Social self-descriptions (ex. a student, a mother)  Attributive/psychological self-descriptions (ex. outgoing, easily hurt)  Global self-descriptions (oceanic)  rather vague, indistinguishable o Research shows college students in the 50s and 60s gave more social descriptions o 70s students gave more attributive ones o 80s/90s more attributive descriptions o Grace & Cramer's (2002) Millenials  324 UWindsor psych undergrads  Highest attributive/reflective level ever (91%)  Males were more oceanic than females  Rating scales (ex. never, sometimes, often, always)  Having zeros or no zeros on scale anchors Four Methods Used in Closed-Ended Formats  Guttman  a cumulative scale (options grow in strength as one goes through the options)  taking all options above in one question  Thurstone Scales  a set of statements that starts
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