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PSYC 2360 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Theoretical Definition, Predictive Validity, Free Recall

Course Code
PSYC 2360
Naseem Al- Aidroos
Study Guide

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Four ways to learn about the world:
Intuition, Logic, Authority, Observation
1. Authority
1. Logic
1. Observation
2. Intuition
2. Observation
2. Logic
3. Logic
3. Intuition
3. Intuition
4. Observation
4. Authority
4. Authority
Behavioural research Research designed to study the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours of
humans and animals
Purpose of behavioural research is to increase our understanding of behaviour and
provide methods for improving the quality of our lives
Behavioural research also provides important information that complements other
scientific approaches
Used to study important human problems and provide solutions to them
Difference between behavioural science and other fields on behaviour, is they believe
personal and social behaviour can be understood and improved through research methods
Statements by social scientist are empirical
Empirical based on systematic collection and analysis of data, based on observation
Data information collected through formal observation or measurement
Psychological research Systematic empirical investigations designed to study the thoughts,
feelings, and behaviours of humans and animals
Systematic - logically consistent
The intuition problem:
Accepting explanations without testing them thoroughly
May lead people to think they know things they do not really know
Hindsight bias Tendency to think we could have predicted something we probably could not
have predicted
Intuition is good, but you run into problems when you only use intuition
If we only rely we don’t know if it is correct or not
The common sense problem
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Out of site out of mind
Look before you leap
He who hesitates is lost
Both sayings are not compatible and some are true and some are not depending on circumstances
Pseudoscience anybody of alleged knowledge, methodology, belief, or practice that claims to
be scientific but does not follow the scientific method
Identifying pseudoscience
o Vague exaggerated claims

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promise the impossible
“if it sounds too good to be true it probably is”
o Unfalsifiable
evade risky tests, need to show some way of testing the hypothesis is not
o Over-reliance on confirmation
personal experience
Basic and applied research
Basic research Answers fundamental questions about behaviour
EX. Can the luminance of a distractor impact how attention is allocated during
visual search?
Study these things to acquire a better knowledge of how these process occur
Applied research Investigates issues of everyday life and provides solutions to everyday
EX. How can peer groups influence drinking behaviour?
EX. Can video games increase aggression among children?
Program evaluation research study effectiveness of methods designed to make positive
social change
EX. evaluating training programs, or after school programs
Basic vs. applied
Both are important
Progress in science is dependent on a synergy between basic and applied research.
o Much applied research is guided by the theories and findings of basic research
o Findings obtained in field settings often require modification of existing theories
and spur more basic research
Research designs
Research design Specific method used to collect, analyze, and interpret data
Descriptive research designed to answer questions about the current state of affairs
o Surveys and interviews
o Naturalistic observation observing everyday events
Correlational research measurement of two or more relevant variables and an
assessment of the relationship between or among those variables
Variable Any attribute that can assume different values among different people or
different times or places
o Can predict future events based off a correlation
o Cannot make cause-effect conclusions
Experimental research manipulation of a given situation or experience for two or more
groups of individuals, followed by a measurement of the effect of those experiences on
thoughts, feelings, or behaviours
o Designed to create equivalence between the two groups before the experiment
begins so and differences can be attributed to the manipulation

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o Can only make experiments to certain questions due to ethics and practical
Converging operations Use of more than one research design to study the same thing with the
hope that all of the approaches will produce similar findings
Qualitative vs. quantitative
Used in descriptive research
Qualitative research Focuses on observing and describing events as they occur and keeps the
data in their original rich form
Quantitative research Formal measures of behaviour designed to be subjected to statistical
Qualitative research could suffer from bias and different conclusions could be made
Quantitative research is harder to show bias and less likely to result in different
o However if you don’t follow everything the conclusion could be totally off, EX.
rhino example
• x axis indicates the scores on the predictor variable
• y axis represents the scores on the outcome variable.
• A point is plotted for each individual at the intersection of their scores.
Pattern of relationships
Linear relationship When the association between the variables on the scatterplot can be easily
approximated with a straight line
• Can be Positive Linear or Negative Linear
Pearson correlation coefficient
• Strength and direction of association between two quantitative variables
• Frequently designated by the letter r
• Values range from r = -1.00 to r = +1.00
Just because we use a correlation coefficient does not mean the study is correlational
Scientific method
Phase One
A. Observation and Intuition
It is possible to develop research ideas on the basis of intuition or personal
But, intuition alone can lead us astray so it is important to empirically test
Scientific method demands that procedures used be objective and free from personal
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