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Richard Eibach

PSYCH 291 HYPOTHESIS TESTING: translating theories into testable predictions SEPT 19 Theory: general propositions used to explain established facts and generate predictions Hypothesis: an assumption derived from theory to generate testable predictions  then translated into testable predictions about the relationship between 2 or more variables For a theory to be testable, its concepts must be translated into measurable variables - Operational definitions: translation of theoretical constructs stated in terms of procedures/measures that could be conducted by anyone with proper training - Connects unobservable concepts (love, anxiety, intelligence [psychological concepts]) to directly observable measures  Eg. Defining intelligence as “g” the first principle component of a factor analysis of varied cognitive ability measures - Operationism is democratizing – makes knowledge public – places arguments based on authority/intuition. Ability to replicate/reproduce knowledge/observations.  Limitations: - danger of reifying measures - when theoretical assumptions bias measurement, polarized concept of gender  (eg. Assuming individuals who are high masculinity must be low in femininity ignoring possibility of androgyny [high in both]) BEMS RECONCEPTUALIZATION: that M and F are independent constructs, suggested possibility of diverse expressions of gender  Example of operationalizations in psychology - self-control: how long an individual can wait to receive a greater delayed reward rather than taking a smaller immediate reward - physical attraction: pupil dilation when looking at another person’s face - artificial intelligence: “Turing Test”: machine imitating a human under repeated questioning A variable is anything that can take on more than one quantifiable value - 2 main types of variables in psychological research  Discrete variables: valuables that can take on a limited set of values where fractional values are not possible (demographics [male or female])  Continuous variables: variables that are quantified based on degree of expression of a measurable state/trait (SES [low or high range]) fractions are possible - A pattern is an association between 2 or more variables that eliminates chance (not random relationship between variables) Hypothesis Testing Terminol
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