Textbook and Lecture Notes

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19 Jun 2011
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Chapter 2
Scientific Method in Psychology
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The Scientific Method
- Scientific Method:
- Rules that governs the collection and analysis of data
- Gained through studies or experiments
- Naturalistic Observation:
- Observation of behaviour in natural environments
- Clinical Observation
- Observation of behaviour in those undergoing diagnosis or treatment
- Correlational Study:
- Examination of relations between two or more measurements of behaviour
- In comparison to characteristics of other people or animals
- Experiment:
- A study in which a researcher changes independant variables to observe if this has
any effect.
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Identifying the Problem
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- Hypothesis:
- Statement usually designed to be tested by an experiment that tentatively
expresses a cause and effect relationship
- Theory:
- A set of statements designed to explain a set of phenomena
- More encompassing than a hypothesis
- Case study:
- A detailed description of an individual's behaviour during the course of clinical
treatment / diagnosis
- Survey study:
- A study of one's responses to standardized questions
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Designing Experiment
- Variables:
- Anything capable of assuming any of several values
- Can affect the outcome of experiment
- Manipulation:
- Setting the values of an independent variables in an experiment to see whether the
value of another variable is affected
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- Experimental group:
- Multiple groups are exposed to different independant variables
- Control group:
- Comparison group in which the members are exposed to the natural occuring / zero
value of the environment
- Independent variable:
- The variable that is manipulated in an experiment
- As a means of determining cause and effect relations
- Dependent variable:
- The variable that is measured in an experiment
- Affected by independent variables and are the results of them.
- Nominal Fallacy:
- False belief that one has explained the causes of a phenomenon by identifying and
naming it
- Lazy behaviour = Laziness
- Operational Definiton:
- Definition of a variable in terms of the operations the researcher performs
- Just the definition of what the researcher is doing
- To measure or manipulate it
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