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Lecture 2

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PSYC 2030
Krista Phillips

Lecture 2 Lack of Unity in Psychology Method o Methodological pluralism: researchers use different tools and designs because each is limited in some way o Each method represents and reflects a particular perspective on the phenomenon of interest and the multifaceted complexity of human nature The Scientific Method0 Empiricism and Empirical Reasoning o The scientific method depends heavily on the use of empirical research o Empiricism: doctrine that knowledge is derived through experience o Empirical: based on observation o Empirical reasoning: a combination of careful logic, organized observation, and measurement that is open to scrutiny by others Assumptions o Determinism: assumption that all events have causes o Objectivity: without bias, can be verified by more than one observer Evolution of Scientific Disciplines Natural History o The study and description of living things and natural objects, especially their origins, evolution and relationships to one another o Ex) What is the nature of attachment? Relational Research o Research is relational when two or more variables or conditions are measured and their degree of relationship is assessed o “X is related to Y” o Ex) Does early attachment style relate to attachment style in adulthood? Experimental Research o Experimental research: objective of which is the identification of causes o “X is responsible for Y” o Ex) Does damage in the left hemisphere impair language functions? The Problem of Operational Definitions in Psychology o Operational definitions identify variables on the basis of empirical conditions used to measure or to manipulate the variables The Natural Science Approach vs. the Human Science Approach Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research o In quantitative research, the empirical approach emphasizes numerical data o Qualitative research: spoken words, prose descriptions of behaviour, and pictorial records o It is often instructive to use quantitative and qualitative methods in the same study o It can also be informative to systematically observe, and describe in prose, the demeanor of the participants Nomothetic vs. Idiographic Approaches o Nomothetic: the approach of investigating large groups of people in order to find general laws of behaviour
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