PS101 Lecture 2 (Chapter 2)

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Boston University
Psychological & Brain Sciences
CAS PS 101
Barry Grant

1/24 02 : THE RESEARCH ENTERPRISE IN PSYCHOLOGY Experimental Research ● Epistemology ○ How we come to know ○ Philosophy of knowledge ● Methodology ○ Specific “methods” used to know/understand Measurement and Description ● Anxiety ● (Ex.) Collecting data by asking questions to determine “levels” Understanding and Prediction ● How X Affects Y ● Always asking some empirical question; “If then this”, etc. Theories, Hypotheses, and Research ● Theories ○ Interrelated ideas used to explain a set of observations ● Hypotheses ○ “If - then” statements ● Research ○ How hypotheses are tested ● Use hypotheses to test theories ● Figure 2.1 Steps in a Scientific Investigation ● Hypothesis: Students who study over a span of 3 weeks before a test perform better than those who wait until the night before ● 1. Method ● 2. Data Collection ● 3. Analysis ● 4. Report Findings ● In most publications, you see intro, (thesis? / theory?,) hypothesis, data, discussion section (interpretation) Experimental Research ● Variable: anything we can measure (height, age, etc.) ● Independent Variable - Predictor Variable ○ Treatment, Program, Cause ● Dependent Variable - Outcome Variable ● Experimental Group ● Control Group ● Extraneous Variables ○ Other variables that might affect the dependent variable. Concept Check Which one is the dependent variable? ● Aphysiologist sets to determine whether the caloric content of food is a determinant of the amount eaten by rats who have been subjected to 48 hours of sleep deprivation. Statistics Mean, Standard Deviation Skewness & Kurtosis: 2 statistics that tell us about the distribution data. ● Skewness: Shifting of the data to the left or right ● Kurtosis: Peakedness of the d
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