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Methods in Psychology

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Western University
Psychology 1000
Nick Skinner

September 27, 2011 Psychology Lecture 2 Methods in Psychology: 1. Descriptive Methods which include: - Field (naturalistic) observation - Surveys - Clinical methods Clinical methods which include: -Interviews and Rating scales -Subjective and Objective tests -Longitudinal (case) study 2. Experimental Method Further Definitions: Field (naturalistic) observation – Watching a person in their natural environment. Must be systematic because situations are different for all people as well the observer is unaware of if the situation is common or foreign to the observed. Must look for the reasons for the behaviour, not just the behaviour itself. Cannot be just observed in this situation because all observations will only be based on that instance. In addition they do not have to be restricted to people. The disadvantages are anthropomorphism (in the study of animals) and despite the amount of systematic observation we have done we can only describe the behaviour we cannot explain it. *Systematic means observing people in as many situations as possible and as many times as possible. If you observe many people in one situation you only know about what effect that particular situation has on people. *Anthropomorphism means applying human qualities to non-human things. Surveys – is a questionnaire. For a survey to do its job well certain four conditions must be met. 1. Surveyors must fully understand the purpose of the survey and be skilful in its administration. 2. Methods of analyzing the survey must be foolproof. 3. When one conducts a survey one is surveying a sample of an overall population of people and this sample must properly represent the whole population. 4. The survey question must be prepared so it covers the
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