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psych ch. 2.docx

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Georgia Institute of Technology
PSYC 1101

Research Designs – Why We Need Them - Lobotomies: subject to confirmation bias; no valid research design Heuristics - Shortcuts that help us streamline our thinking and make sense of our world - Heuristics can, however, oversimplify the world in some cases - Representative Heuristic o Like goes with like o We judge the probability of an event by its superficial similarity to a prototype o We judge similarity based on how alike they are superficially o Base Rate: how common a behavior or characteristic is o Representative Heuristic is subject to base rate fallacy – base rate is ignored - Availability Heuristic o “off the top of my head” o We estimate the likelihood of an occurrence based on the ease with which it comes to our minds Cognitive Biases - Confirmation Bias o Tendency to ignore evidence that might contradict a hypothesis - Hindsight Bias o Tendency to overestimate how well we could have successfully forecasted a known outcome - Overconfidence o Tendency to overestimate our ability to make correct predictions Scientific Method Naturalistic Observation - Studying behavior in real-world settings without trying to manipulate people’s behavior - High in external validity: generalizations can be made - Low in internal validity: cannot make cause-and-effect inferences Case Studies - Researchers examine one person or a small group of people over an extended period of time - Existence Proofs: demonstrations that a psychological phenomenon can occur Self-Report Measures and Surveys - Random Selection o Key to generalizability o Every person in the population has an equal chance of being selected - Reliability o The consistency of measurement o Yields similar scores over time - Validity o Topicality o The extent to which a measure assesses what it claims to measure Correlation Designs - Correlation Design: psychologists examine the extent to which two variables are associated - Correlations o Can be positive or negative o Coefficients determine how strongly correlated two events are - Illusory Correlation o The perception of statistical association between two variables where none exists o Superstition o Relies on availability heuristic - Correlation vs. Causation o Correlation does not mean causation o Third Variable Problem Experimental Designs - Permit cause-and-effect inferences - Experiment Conditions o Random assignment of participants to conditions o Manipulation of an independent variable - Random Assignment o Experimenter randomly sorts participants into one of two groups o Cancels out preexisting differences between groups - Manipulation of an Independent Variable o Operational definition: a working definition of what is being measured - Confounds o The independent variable must be the only difference between the two groups o Confounding Variable: any difference between the control and experimental gro
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