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Lecture

First Test Text Readings Notes from Chapters 1,2,12 and appendix B


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 1010
Professor
Rebecca Jubis

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Chapter 2: The Research Enterprise in Psychology
Scientific Enterprise Goals
1. Measurement and description: Develop measurement techniques that make it
possible to describe behaviour clearly and precisely
2. Understanding and prediction: Hypothesis, understand events when they can explain
the reason for the occurrence of the events
3. Application and controle: scientists hope that the information gathered will be of
some practical value
Theory: A system of interrelated ideas used to explain a set of observations
Theory Construction:
Theory hosts testable hypothesis
If the evidence supports hypothesis confidence goes up
If the evidence doesn’t support hypothesis confidence declines
Operational definition: describes the actions or operation that will be used to measure
or control a variable. Establish precisely what is meant by each variable in the context of
a study.
Participants/subjects: persons/animals whose behaviour is systematically observed in
a study
Data collection techniques: procedures for making empirical observations and
measurements
Journal: a periodical that publishes technical and scholarly material, usually in a
narrowly defined area of inquiry
Scientific Approach: 2 main advantages
1. Clarity and precision
2. Relative intolerance of error
Research Methods: consist of various approaches to the observation, measurement,
manipulation, and control of variables in empirical studies (general strategies for
conducting studies)
The Experiment: A research method in which the investigator manipulates a variable
under carefully controlled conditions and observes whether any changes occur in a
second variable as a result
Independent Variable: Experimenter controls/ manipulates
Dependent Variable: Depends on independent
Experimental group/ control group: 2 groups of subjects
Experimental group: Special treatment in regard to independent variable
Control group: Do no receive special treatment given to experimental group

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Extraneous variables: any variables other than the independent variable that seem
likely to influence the dependent variable
Confounding of variables: 2 variables are linked together in a way that makes it
different to sort out their specific effects
Random Assignment: subjects occur when all subjects have an equal chance of being
assigned to any group or condition in the study
Naturalistic Observation: Researcher engages in careful observation of behaviour
without intervening directly with subjects
Case Study: In depth investigation of an individual subject
When a case study is conducted on a suicide victim the study is called “Psychological
autopsies”
Survey: Questionnaires or interviews to gather info about specific aspects of
participants’ behaviour
Descriptive/ Correlation Research
Advantages:
Can explore questions that could not be examined with experimental procedures
Broadens the scope of phenomena that psychologists are able to study
Disadvantages:
Investigators cannot control events to isolate cause and effect
Statistics: use of mathematics to organize and summarize data
2 types of Statistics:
1. Descriptive: Used to organize and summarize data
2. Inferential: Used to interpret data and draw conclusion
Descriptive Statistics: Central Tendencies
Median: Score that falls exactly in the centre of a distribution of scores
Mean: The arithmetic average of the scores, divided by the total number of scores
Mode: Most frequent score in the distribution
Variability: How much the scores in a data set vary from each other and from the mean
Standard Deviation: Index of the amount of variability in a set of data
Correlation: Exists when 2 variables are related to each other
Correlation coefficient: Numerical index of the degree of relationship between 2
variables
Indicates:
1. Direction (Positive or Negative)
2. How strongly 2 are related
Positive Correlation: 2 variables co-vary in the same direction

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Negative Correlation: 2 variables co-vary in opposite direction
Size of co-efficient indicates the strength of an association between 2 variables
Inferential Statistics
Statistically Significant: Statistical research results are not likely to be due to chance.
Exists when probability that the observed findings are due to chance is very low
Evaluating Research
Replication: The repetition of a study to see whether the earlier results are duplicated
Sampling Bias
Sample: Collection of subjects selected for observation in an empirical study
Population: Much larger collection of animals/people that researchers want to
generalize about
Sampling Bias: Exists when a sample is not representative of the population which it
was drawn
Placebo Effects: When participants’ expectations lead them to experience some
change even though they receive empty, fake or ineffectual treatment
Self-report Data: Subjects verbal accounts of their behaviour
Distortions
1. Social Desirability Bias: Tendency to give socially approved answers to questions
about oneself
2. Response set: Tendency to respond to questions in a particular way that is
unrelated to the content of the questions
Experimenter Bias: Occurs when a researcher’s expectations or preferences about the
outcome of a study influence the results obtained
Double-blind Procedures: Research strategy which neither subjects nor
experimenters know which subjects are in the experimental or control group
Internet-mediated Research: Refers to studies in which data collection is done using
the web
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