PSYB01H3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Naturalistic Observation, Psychobiography, Discriminant

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18 Nov 2010

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PSYB01 Notes I
Chapter 1: Scientific Understanding of Behaviour
The Scientific Approach
Limitations of Intuition and Authority:
illusory correlation ± occurs when we focus on two events that stand out and occur
- observations accurately reported to others
- search for discovery and verification of ideas
- open exchange and competition among ideas
- peer review of research
Scepticism, Science, and the Empirical Approach
Empiricism ± knowledge is based on observations
Falsifiability ± can be falsified by data
Peer Review ± reviewed by peers of the same expertise to carefully evaluate the research
and recommend if research should be published
- hypotheses generated are typically not testable
- if scientific tests are reported, methodology is not scientific and validity of data is
- supportive evidence tends to be anecdotal or relies heavily on authoritiHVWKDWDUH³VR-
- Claims ignore conflicting evidence
- Claims are stated in scientific-sounding terminology and ideas
- Claims tend to be vague, rationalize strongly held beliefs, and appeal to pre-conceived
- Claims are never revised
Goals of Science
1) to describe behaviour ± careful observation
2) to predict behaviour
3) to determine the causes of behaviour
4) to understand or explain behaviour
To Conclude Causation these 3 must occur:
1) Temporal Precedence ± A first then B
2) Co-variation of the cause and effect ± when A is present B occurs, when A not present B
does not occur
3) Elimination of Alternative Explanation ± no other plausible explanation
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Basic Research ± tries to answer fundamental questions about the nature of behaviour, studies
are often designed to address theoretical issues concerning phenomena such as cognition,
emotion, motivation, learning, psychobiology, personality development, and social
Applied Research ± conducted to address issues in which there are practical problems and
potential solutions
education, the criminal justice, industry, health care, and mental health institutions
Chapter 2: Where to Start
Hypotheses and Predictions
Hypothesis ± a type of idea or question; it makes a statement about something that may
be true, often stated in more specific and formal terms
Predictions ± if prediction is confirmed by the result, hypothesis is supported (not proven),
if prediction is not confirmed, hypothesis is rejected
Who We Study
- Subjects/Participants, Respondents (people who take part in survey research), Informants
(people who help researchers understand the dynamics of a particular culture or
organizational setting)
Sources of Ideas
- common sense ± ex: common sayings ± opposites attract
- observation of the world around us ± H[3DYORY¶VGRJVDOYLD
- theories ± organize and explain events, generate new knowledge
o Scientific Theory ± grounded by actual data, supported by a large body of
- past research
- practical problems ± ex: city planning
Anatomy of a Research Article
1) Abstract ± summary 120words
2) Introduction ± explains the problem under investigation and the specific hypothesis
being tested
3) Method ± describes in detail the exact procedures used in study
4) Results ± findings are presented (ex: narrative form, statistically, tables and graphs)
5) Discussion ± researcher may speculate on the broader implications of the results
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