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PSYA01 Chapter 2 Exam Notes

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Steve Joordens

Psychological ScienceChapter 2 Reading and Evaluating Scientific Research21 Principles of Scientific ResearchObjectivity assumes that certain facts about the world can be observed and tested independently from the individual who describes them As soon as people observe an event their interpretation of it becomesmeaning that their subjectiveknowledge of the event is shaped by prior beliefs expectations experiences and even their moodThe Five Characteristics of Quality Scientific ResearchoIt is based on measurements that are objective valid and reliableoIt can be generalizedoIt uses techniques that reduce biasoIt is made publicoIt can be repeatedObjective measurements are measures of an entity or behavior that within an allowed margin of error is consistent across instruments and observers oFor example holding everything constant a single object should weight the same using multiple functioning scales Weight is something that can be measured objectivelyVariable refers to the object concept or event being measured oFor example speed being measured by a speedometer is a variableSelfreporting is a method in which responses are provided directly by the people who are being studied typically through facetoface interviews phone surveys paper and pencil tests and webbased questionnairesOperational definitions are statements that describe the procedures or operations and specific measures that are used to record observations oFor example a variable such as the level of intoxication can be operationally defined in multiple ways such as physiological measure blood alcohol level behavioral measure number of missteps when trying to walk heeltotoe on a straight line and selfreported measure score on the selfreport form called the Intoxication IndexReliability is when measurements provide consistent and stable answers across multiple observations and points in timeValidity is the degree to which an instrument or procedure actually measures what it claims to measure oFor example comparing shoe size to intelligence may give you positively correlated results but it is not a valid measure of intelligenceGeneralizability refers to the degree to which one set of results can be applied to other situations individuals or eventsoWhen we apply information and findings from one person to another we are generalizingPopulation is the group that researchers want to generalize aboutoIn reality the task of finding all population members persuading them to participate and measuring their behavior is impossible in most cases so instead psychologists typically study a sample oA sample is a select group of population membersoA random sample is one where every individual of a population has an equal chance of being includedoA convenience sample is a sample of individuals who are most readily availableLaboratory research includes any study conducted in an environment controlled by the researcher whereas naturalistic research takes place where the behavior would typically occurEcological validity is the degree to which the results of a laboratory study can be applied to or repeated in the natural environmentSources of Bias in Psychological ResearchoThe Hawthorne effect is a term used to describe situations in which behavior changes as a result of being observed People may behave differently if they know someone is watching them For example workers in a factory may work more efficiently if they know their supervisors are watching them closelyoDemand characteristics are inadvertent cues given off by the experimenter or the experimental context that provide information about how participants are expected to behaveoSocial desirability also known as socially desirable responding means that participants respond in ways that increase the chances that they will be viewed favorablyoThe placebo effect is a measureable and experienced improvement in health or behavior that cannot be attributable to a medication or treatmentTechniques That Reduce BiasoA singleblind study is one where the participants do not know the true purpose of the study or else do not know which type of treatment they are receiving for example a placebo or a drug
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