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Final

Comprehensive Notes for Chapters 2

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 200
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Fall

Description
CHAPTER 2 NOTES Psychology as a Science Research Methods: Systematic Observation • The scientific method is a system of rules for investigation o This involves generating a hypothesis and testing it • For observations to be effective, we need to know: o What we are looking for o Whom we are going to observe o How the observations are going to be made (where) o In what form the observations are going to be recorded • Research must be unbiased and reliable What is a Science? • Two core beliefs of science o  The universe operates according to certain natural laws  o  Such laws are discoverable and testabl  • The scientific method uses: o Inductive (small to big) and deductive (big to small) reasoning o Hypothetico­deductive reasoning  (begin with an educated guess about  how the world works, then set about designing small controlled  observations to support or invalidate that hypothesis) o Sir Frances Bacon questioned deductive reasoning because it was  subjective to biases. o Inductive reasoning uses empirical (testable) observations.  o Karl Popper, hypotheses DEDUCTIVE REASONING INDUCTIVE REASONING HYPOTHETICODEDUCTIVE     Theory Observation/experiment Hypothesis Predictions Predictions Observation/experiment Observation/experiment                       Theor        Hypothesis Y/N : theory built Is Psychology a Science? • Psychology: Using the Scientific method to study human behavior and mental  processes • Pseudo­psychology: No use of the scientific method when commenting on  human behavior and mental processes o Examples: parapsychology, astrology, etc. The Steps in the Scientific Method 1. Identify questions of interest and review the literature 2. Develop a testable hypothesis (must be operationally defined) 3. Select a research method, choose participants and collect the data 4. Analyze the data and accept or reject the hypothesis 5. Seek scientific review, publish and replicate 6. Build a theory How Do Psychologists Conduct Research? • Two parts to a study: • Independent variable (IV) – the variable you manipulate • Dependent variable (DV) the variable that you measure (Or the variable that is  changed by the IV) Operational Definitions • An operational definition is how we (the researcher) decide to measure our  variables o There are usually hundreds of ways to measure a variable (eg. aggression,  depression) o When you do research you have to decide how you are going to measure  the IV and DV Choose Participants • Population: The entire group that is of interest to researchers (i.e children) • Sample: A portion of any population that is selected for the study (ie. 100  children) • Random selection: Randomly choosing a sample from a population • Sampling bias: Choosing a sample that does not represent your population (i.e  adults) Two Basic Types of Research • Descriptive o Research method used to observe and describe behavior. o Used to determine the existence of a relationship between the variables o Correlational research o  Meets the descriptive goal of psychology  o Advantages:  Good for developing early ideas, more reflective of actual behavior  than other methods, easier to collect data.  o Disadvantages:  Little or no control over variables, researcher and participant  biases, cannot explain cause and effect • Experimental o To demonstrate a cause and effect relationship between the variables. o  Meets the explanation goal of psychology   o Advantages:  Allow researchers precise control over variables ad to identify  cause and effect o Disadvantages:  Ethical concerns, practical limits, artificiality of lab conditions,  confounding variables, researcher and participant biases Types of Descriptive Research (Case studies, Naturalistic Observation and Surveys) • Case studies:  focuses of a single person o Researcher bias o Advantages:  Only method you can use if the type of behavior you are looking at  is rare  Very detailed o Disadvantages  You cannot generalize your results to all people  Cannot determine cause and effect • Naturalistic observation: observe people behaving as they normally do o Hawthorne Effect (people will change some of their behavior simply  because they are being watched, not from experimental manipulation) o Advantages:  Can study things that are too unethical to do in an experiment or  that people might lie about o Disadvantages:  Time consuming  Cannot determine cause and effect • Surveys: use a questionnaire of interview o Participant bias o Advantages:  Data collection is quick  Cheap o Disadvantages:  Sometimes people don’t tell the truth  Cannot determine cause and effect • Experiment: examines how one variable CAUSES another variable to change
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