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PSYB01 Final: Final Exam Review

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Anna Nagy
Study Guide

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PSYB01 Final Review
Chapter 6: Observational Methods
Qualitative Approaches: Describe behaviour or findings based on themes that emerge from
the data
Data are non-numerical and expressed in language and images
Quantitative Aspproaches: Assign numerical values to responses and measures
Data then subjected to quantitative statistical analyses
Non-Experimental Research
1. Naturalistic Observation (Field Work or Field Observations): Researcher makes
observations in a natural setting, over a period of time, using a variety of techniques to
collect information
o Used to describe and understand how people or animals in a social or cultural
setting live, work, and experience the setting
Usually qualitative data
Researcher must interpret what occurred
Generate hypotheses that help explain the data
Final report of results organized around a structure developed by the
1. Participation  Objectivity
Non-participant observer does not become an active part of the
setting (outsider)
Participant observer assumes an active role (insider)
2. Concealment
Concealed observation may be preferable to minimize reactivity
Non-concealed observation may be preferable from an ethical
Cannot be used to study all issues
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PSYB01 Final Review
Less useful when studying well-defined hypotheses under precisely
specific conditions
Field research is difficult to do
A negative case analysis may be necessary
2. Systematic Observation: Careful observation of one or more specific behaviours in a
particular setting
oResearch interested in only a few very specific behaviours
oObservations are quantifiable
oResearcher has often developed prior hypotheses
oCoding Systems: A set of rules used to categorize observations
Categorize behaviours
Developed for particular study or may use validated systems
oPro-social Acts: Child attempts to comfort the experimenter
through distraction, by sharing a new toy, or with verbal sympathy
oAttempts to understand the distress: Child imitates the
experimenter’s emotional expression
oSelf-Distress: Child engages in self-soothing behavior (e.g.,
sucking thumb, seeks parental comforting)
oUnresponsive/Inappropriate Affect: Child shows little concern
(e.g., ignores experimenter, plays, laughs)
oGlobal Concern: Overall level of concern (0 = no concern evident
to 4 = variety of responses clearly indicating concern)
oMethodological Issues:
1. Equipment
2. Reactivity
3. Reliability
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PSYB01 Final Review
4. Sampling
3. Case Studies: Provides a description of an individual
oUsually the individual is a person, but may also be a setting
oPsychobiography: Type of case study that a researcher applies psychological
theory to explain the life of an individual
oUsually done when an individual possesses a particularly rare, unusual, or
noteworthy condition or way of being
oProvide unique data about some psychological phenomenon such as history,
symptoms, characteristic behaviours, reactions to situations, or responses to
oInsights gained from case studies may lead to research using other methods
Example: Genie the Feral Child
4. Archival Research: Involves using previously complied information to answer research
oThree types of data:
1. Statistical records
2. Survey archives (polling organizations)
3. Written and mass communication records
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