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Lecture 2

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PSYC 1010
Gerry Goldberg

Psychology is Empirical (2) o Theory: a system of interrelated ideas use to explain a set of observations o Theories lead the description of behaviour to become the understanding of behaviour Measurement and Description o Develop measurement techniques that make it possible to describe behaviour clearly and precisely Understanding and Prediction o Hypothesis: tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables o Variables: any measurable conditions, events, characteristics, or behaviours that are controlled or observed in a study Application and Control o Scientists hope that the information they gather will have some practical value in helping to solve everyday problems Steps in a Scientific Investigation (3) o Formulate a testable hypothesis o Variables must be clearly defined o Operational definitions: describe actions or operations that will be used to measure or control a variable o Method and Design o Figure out how to put hypothesis into an empirical test o Researcher has to select the strategy that appears to be the most appropriate and practical o Collect the Data o Analyze the Data and Draw Conclusions o Report the Findings o Scientific progress is only achieved if researchers share their findings with one another and with the public o Journal: periodical that publishes technical and scholarly material The Experiment: looking for causes o Experiment: research method where investigator manipulates a variable under controlled conditions and observes whether any changes occur in the second variable as a result o Independent and dependent variables o Independent variable: variable that is controlled or manipulated o Dependent variable: thought to be affected o Control groups o Consists of similar subjects who don’t receive the special treatment given to the experimental group o Extraneous variables o Any variables other than the independent variable that seem likely to influence the dependent variable o Confounding of variables o Occurs when two variables are linked together in a way that makes it difficult to sort out their specific effects o These have wrecked many experiments o Random assignment o Occurs when all subjects have an equal chance of being assigned to any group or condition in the study Variations in Designing Experiments o Some experiments are conducted with one independent and one dependent variable o Effects of independent variable are evaluated by exposing single group to two different conditions (experimental and control) o Possible to manipulate more than one independent variable in a single experiment o Researchers manipulate two or three independent variables to examine their joint effects on the dependent variable o This permits the experimenter to see whether two variables interact o Possible to use more than one dependent variable Experimental Research o Main advantage o Cause and effect: able to draw conclusions about causation because the precise control available in the experiment allows them to isolate the relationship between independent and dependent variable, while neutralizing the effects of extraneous variables o Main disadvantage o Experiments are often artificial o Researchers must construct simple, contrived situations to t
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