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Things to Remember - Midterm 1.docx

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PSYC 2360
Naseem Al- Aidroos

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Things to Remember - Research Methods Midterm 1 Chapters 1 and 2: Purpose of behavioural research: increase understanding of behaviour, provide methods for improving quality of lives, guide public policy, see which methods are most effective Goal of behavioural research: discover how people interact, perceive, think, feel, change, learn, make decisions Intuition: gut feeling, often leads us to incorrect conclusions because we do not study thoroughly enough  Confidence does not reflect accuracy Hindsight Bias: after learning the outcome, thinking that it was obvious all along Values: cannot be proven right or wrong, can be influenced by scientific facts Facts: discovered empirically Empirical: systematic data collection Quantitative: descriptive research that focuses on numbers, then used for statistical analysis Qualitative: descriptive research that focuses on verbal accounts, often more subjective and time consuming Basic Research: curiosity sake, answers fundamental questions, uses applied research to know what to study Applied Research: answers specific questions for social issues, uses knowledge from basic research Program Evaluation Research: study the effectiveness of methods designed to make positive social changes Independent Variable: a.k.a. predictor variable Dependent Variable: a.k.a. outcome variable Descriptive Research: description of what is happening at that moment in time, “snap shot”, e.g. interviews, surveys, naturalistic observation, limited to that point in time (does not tell us how attitudes / behaviours changed or relationships between the variables) Correlational Research: looking to see the relationship (correlation) between 2+ variables, often measured with Pearson Product Moment Coefficient (symbolized as r, ranges from - 1 to + 1 with the sign indicating strength of the relationship), cannot conclude anything about causal relationships however it is a good way to study things Things to Remember - Research Methods Midterm 1 that would be considered unethical to do experimentally, one must be careful of confounding variables Experimental Research: where the experimenter manipulates 1 variable (independent / predictor) and looks to see the effect on another (dependent / outcome), you can conclude causal relationships (cause and effect) using this method but it can be unethical to manipulate some variables Inductive Method: deriving hypothesis from observation of facts or curiosity (Sherlock Holmes), bottom up Deductive Method: deriving hypothesis from existing theories, top down Laws: apply to all situations, rarely subjected to scientific investigation Theories: apply to many but not all situations, forms basic building blocks of science What Makes a Good Theory? General (can be generalized to population of interest), parsimonious (the simplest explanation) and falsifiable (it can be proved incorrect, tautological theories are ones that cannot be proven incorrect due to vague variables or variables cannot be measured) Chapter 3: Four Basic Goals of Ethics: (a) to prevent physiological or psychological harm of the participant, (b) to provide freedom to withdrawal from the experiment at any time (c) maintaining awareness of power differentials and (d) to honestly describe the nature and use of the research Informed Consent: done before participating in the experiment, signed by guardian for vulnerable populations, must be told purpose and duration of participation, the measures taken to ensure confidentiality, if anything will be taken from them and if so for how long, any foreseeable risks and their right to withdrawal from the experiment at any time and prospective benefits of the research Anonymity: when no one, even the researcher can connect the participant with their data, often hard to achieve (have a master list to make connections and once connections are made list is destroyed) Confidentiality: steps taken to ensure the participant’s privacy and reduce social risk, the individuals that have access to the data should be kept at a minimum Debriefing: occurs after the experiment, explains purpose of research, explains any deception, allow time for participant to answer questions and give contact information if they have any further questions or wish to speak to someone, eliminate long-term consequences Things to Remember - Research Methods Midterm 1 Deception: only done if it is absolutely necessary for the purpose of the experiment, disclosing something from the participant, must be explained at earliest possible time to participant, why it was necessary and participants must sign an extra consent form agreeing that they understand the terms of the deception and that their data can be included in the research, can be done actively (telling the participant the purpose of the research is one thing when it is really another) or passively (you do not tell the participant anything about purpose of research) Simulation Studies: an alternative to deception, participants are asked to act as if they were in a certain situation, problem with this is that we might not get honest results like we would if deception took place Process Debriefing: active debriefing with the goal to return the participant to the state they were in before entering the lab, or better, especially important if experiment, for example, sheds light on a particular personality characteristic that the person never thought they might have had and don’t feel great about having that characteristic, sometimes helps just to say that it is normal what they are feeling and that it may stick around for a little while but then they will start to feel better and if not, giving them contact information for someone that can help them Post-Experimental Interview: looking to see what the participants thought of the study Suspicion Check: when performing deceptive research you want to make sure that your participants do not guess the research hypothesis, as a result you perform this test to see if that is the case (could influence their responses), can be a simple question like, “the purpose of this research wasn’t actually X, do you know what it was?” Institutional Review Board: at least 5 members that weigh the benefits and costs of the experiment to determine if it is ethical or not, variety of disciplines are represented on the board so a wide variety of perspectives are covered, weigh cost-benefit ratio Cost-Benefit Ratio: looking to see if costs to the participant are out weighed by the benefit of the research findings, if this is the case, the study is often deemed ethical, what is ethical is often defined by society (values, laws etc.) Scientific Fraud: when a scientist intentionally alters the data Chapter 4: Conceptual Variable: concept of interest, idea that forms basis of research hypothesis, represented by circles Measured Variables: a quantification of the conceptual variable, represented by squares Operational Definition: statement that explains how you are getting from your conceptual variable to your measured variable, especially important for abstract conceptual variables (aggression), no single operational variable is correct, the more we study the conceptual Things to Remember - Research Methods Midterm 1 variable at different operational definitions the more thoroughly we will know the concept If research hypothesis is correct and there is a relationship between conceptual variable 1 and measured variable 1 as well as conceptual variable 2 and measured variable 2, there will also be an observed relationship between measured variable 1 and measured variable 2 with ultimate
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