UNIT 2: RESEARCH METHODS
How to collect and analyze information
Theory: not specific (ex: energy drinks improve memory)
Hypothesis: specific – what your trying to find out (students
who take energy drinks should show improved test
Research Method: how hypothesis is tested
Collect Date: taking outcomes of test
Analyze Data: understand date, trends, relationships.
Report Findings: publish in scholarly journals
Revise Theories: include new info into understanding – apply
Reliability: same output with same input (step on scale many
times in a day – input = produces # output – not cupcakes)
Construct Validity: ability to test something it’s suppose to
test (not if: step on scale to measure IQ).
Ways To Collect Data:
Single Detailed examination of a particular person
Provides initial facts, doesn’t manipulate (take results given to
Problems: not able to compare to others (or general
population), subjective (looking for certain support).
Correlational Studies (direct observation):
Look @ existing relationships btw pairs of variables (ex: diet
and life expectancy)
Positive, negative, zero correlations – measures one variable
to predict another
Correlation coefficient (1 / -1)
Problems: Cant tell cause & effect, third party variables,
difficult to explain rational of observed behaviors, subjective
Researcher makes something happen (manipulates variables)
Binary Variables: only 2 possibilities (On/off). One option =
Compound Variables: variables not measured yet still could
have an effect (gender, time of day).
Problems: artificial setting (lab) & results may not translate to
real world setting, ethic / moral constraints.