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Methods of Research Lecture covering research methods, including: survey methods, naturalistic observation, the experimental method, and the correlational method. Also includes a brief introduction to statistics.

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PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

Methods of Research Survey Method Consists of a set of written questions that are used to determine people’s attitudes, beliefs or behaviours. Advantages Subject: participant in a study  Really efficient, and relatively cheap.  Anonymous Pilot Study: a smaller, trial study Disadvantages Biased sample: opposite of a  Not as accurate representative population  Can be interpreted differently by people In order to generalize from the sample to a population, the sample must be representative of the population. (Must be a “mini-version”). Random Sampling: Where each person in the population has an equal chance of being chosen for the sample. Naturalistic Observation Use this when you’re interested in describing or measuring people’s behaviour when they are behaving naturally. Advantages  People act naturally Disadvantages  Time and money consuming  No control  You can only observe  Might behave unnaturally if realizing you’re being watched  Might interpret things  Get bored In naturalistic observation, minimize subject reactivity is to use unobtrusive measures or to have a participant observer. Researchers have expectations, and that might affect how they interpret information. As a researcher you must prevent this from happening (inter-observer reliability). Experimental Method Advantage: You have control over the variables, and can infer a cause + effect relationship. Disadvantage: Subjects may not be behaving naturally. Independent Variable: What the experimenter manipulates to see if it has an effect on behaviour. Dependent Variable: The behaviour that is being measured to see if the independent variable had an effect. Control Group: Is a group that is used as a basis of comparison and is similar to the experimental groups in every way except that it gets to “zero” level of the independent variable. Placebo Control Is a special type of control group that’s used to control for subjects’ expectations that may in turn affect results. If the control group is given a placebo then it’s assumed that all groups are equal in terms of their expectations and differences are due to the independent variable. Confounding Variable Is a variable that interferes with the results of the study. It affects the dependent variable so you don’t know whether the effects are caused by the independent variable, the confounding variable or both. Cause Effect I.V. D.V. C
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