PSYCH 2010 Lecture Notes - Lecture 28: Operations Management, Construct Validity, Internal Validity

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Research Methods
“Psychology is math applied to people”
Lots of other people jumping on the psychology research bandwagon….
Economics - behavioral economics
Engineering - car following, etc.
Business - behavioral operations management
How we do Research Methods
LOTs of misunderstanding of how science actually works
Example “proof”
Nobody says proof in science we say EVIDENCE
Ex: at halftime of football score is 43-3
Most people will bet team up by 43 will win
If score 24-21 at halftime no one will probably bet on either team
Competing theories work in the same way
Terms:
Theory - explanation using an INTEGRATED set of principles that organizes and
PREDICTS observations
Theories aren’t right or wrong or proven or disproven
Theories put many pieces together and a theory is a nice way of organizing all of
the collected data
GOOD THEORIES MAKE PREDICTIONS
Hypothesis - a testable prediction
Often implied by a theory
Also known as a “research question
Constructs
Hypothesized psychological structures, mechanisms, and variables
Personality, intelligence, temperament are all constructs
Operational Definition
Actually implementing or measuring a construct
Example: what’s the operational definition of “reading speed”
What specifically do you mean by “reading speed”
Read what? A child’s book or organic chemistry textbook
How am I testing reading speed? With a stop watch? Did they actually
read it?
Construct validity
Does the hypothesized construct actually exist in people’s heads and behavior?
Example: “personality” has LOW construct validity
There is no single way to define personality because there are many
different aspects of it
But “extraversion” has pretty good construct validity
Variables
Constructs that can, well, vary
As opposed to CONSTANTS
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Document Summary

Lots of other people jumping on the psychology research bandwagon . Lots of misunderstanding of how science actually works. Nobody says proof in science we say evidence. Ex: at halftime of football score is 43-3. Most people will bet team up by 43 will win. Competing theories work in the same way. If score 24-21 at halftime no one will probably bet on either team. Theory - explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and. Theories aren"t right or wrong or proven or disproven. Theories put many pieces together and a theory is a nice way of organizing all of. Example: what"s the operational definition of reading speed . What specifically do you mean by reading speed . There is no single way to define personality because there are many different aspects of it. But extraversion has pretty good construct validity.

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