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Lecture 1

PSYC 1010 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Operational Definition, Online Interview

Course Code
PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

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PSYC 1010
September 7, 2018
Lecture 1
Effects of Alcohol on Memory
“Common sense” sayings
Scientific Method
Research Methods
Everything we know about human behaviour is derived from research
Based on empirical data (direct observation)
Commonality or theme
Why are people aggressive?
Start with theory (a coherent network of explanatory ideas
Frustration causes aggression
Theories exist everywhere
This theory is abstract, vague; what is frustration?
Next, come up with something testable
Hypothesis (specific predictions derived from the theory)
Before you come up with a hypothesis, you have to come up with what is
called “an operational definition”
You have to define your terms very specifically, so if a future
researcher wants to replicate your study, they will know exactly what
to do.
Operationalize frustration: define and measure aggression.
Give the frustrated person something to hit, then you have to define “hit”
Number of hits, possibly the strength at which they hit it, are measured to
determine how aggressive they are.
Hypothesis: frustrated persons would be more aggressive than the control
Then you have the results: frustrated group is more aggressive; is this theory true?
In order for this theory to be true, you must test every possible group
We can never prove a theory to be true. You can only find evidence supporting your
Never throw out a theory on the basis of one study
Ask, could there be a flaw in my study?
If you think you have a flaw, redesign your study
Then, conduct research
If results support hypothesis, then confidence in the theory increases
If findings do not support hypothesis, then confidence in your theory decreases
Often, the theory is revised and refined
If the theory is proven wrong time and time, possibly discard the theory
Each study should be considered as one piece of a puzzle
Operational Definition just means be very specific in your definitions.
The different methods of research
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