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psybo1 readings .docx Midterm chapters

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Amanda Uliaszek

Chapter 1 : scientific understanding of behavior Uses of research methods  Understanding research methods can help you become a informed consumer Methods of acquiring knowledge  Instead of using scientific approach, many people rely on intuition and authority as ways of knowing  When you rely on intuition you accept unquestioningly what your personal judgment as or single story about one person experience tells you about the world  It takes many forms: involves finding an explanation for our behavior or for the behaviors of others , it also explains intriguing events that you observe,  A problem with intuition is that many cognitive and motivational biases affect our perception and so we are likely to draw erroneous conclusions about cause and effect  No longer looking for love leads to finding love? Most likely believing that is because of a cognitive bias called ILLUSORY CORRELATION that occurs when we focus on two events that stand out and occur together Authority  Aristotle was concerned with the factors associated with persuasion or attitude change  He talks about the relationship about persuasion and credibility , persuasion is achieved by the speakers personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible  May of us might accept his argument because he is considered a prestigious authority and his writing remain important  The problem – the statements by the authority may not be true  The scientific approach rejects the notion that one can accept on faith the statements of any authority Skepticism, Science, and the Empirical Approach  The scientific approach to get knowledge recognizes both institution and authority as sources of ideas about behavior  Scientists are very skeptical about what they see and hear  Scientific skepticism means that ideas must be evaluated on the basis of careful logic and results from scientific investigations  The fundamental characteristics of the scientific method is empiricism  Empiricism- knowledge is based on structured, systematic observation  After developing an hypotheses ( an idea that might be true) , then they collect data to evaluate their hypotheses  4 key characteristics: o first is that scientist make systematic observations that are accurately reported to other scientist and the public , other can replicate the method used to check whether they obtain the same results. o Replication help to ensure that effects are not just a false positive or random fluke and to detect alternative explanations such as confounding variables o Second- scientist search for observations that will help them make accurate discoveries about the world , they develop theories , argue that existing data support their theories o Third- research can be conducted to test any idea that is advanced, supports of the idea and those who disagree with the idea can all report their research finding and these reports can be evaluated by others , therefore researchers are only interested in falsifiable ideas o If its falsifiable, then it can be either supported or refuted using empirical data, many Freud ideas, repression were un-falsifiable o Only ideas that are falsifiable- where data can reveal whether they are truth o Fourth- Peer review of research is very important in increasing the likelihood that only the most rigorous research is published o Before a study is published it must be reviewed  Also there are many examples in daily life of pseudoscience, which uses scientific terms to substantiate claims without using scientific data  Ranging from astrologers to some marketers Goals of scientific research in psychology  There are 4 general Goals of scientific research 1. To describe behavior 2. To predict behavior 3. To determine the cause of the behavior 4. To understand or explain behavior To describe behavior  It involves careful observation and measurements To Predict of behavior  Once it has been observed with some regularity that two events are systematically related to one another it becomes possible to make predictions and therefore to anticipate events  ED: if one candidate in election is more credible , we may be able to predict the outcome of the elections To determine the cause of the behavior  Although we might have accurately predict the occurrence of a behavior , we might not have correctly identified its cause  Ex: aptitude test us an indicator of other factors that are the actual causes , researchers may be undertaken to study these factors  To know how to change behavior we need to know the cause of behavior  There are 3 types of evidence used to identify the cause of a behavior( Cook and Campbell) a. When the cause is present the effect occurs when the cause is not present the effect does not occur (covariations of cause and effect) ( we need to know that children who watch television violence behave aggressively and the one who don’t watch it they don’t behave aggressive b. There is a temporal order of events in which the cause precedes the effect, this is called a temporal precedence ( we need to know that viewing a particular violent television show occurred first and acts of aggression then followed c. Nothing other than a causal variable could be responsible for the observed effect, this is called elimination of alternative explanation, there should be no other plausible alternative explanation for the relationship ( if particularly violent television show is also more exciting then an alternative show, the increased aggression could have been caused by excitement rather than the exposure to violence To understand or explain behavior  This goal is to explain why the events and behaviors occur  Additional research like this is carried out by testing theories that are developed to explain particular behaviors  Experiments and mediation analysis can help us explain behavior Basic and applied research  Both basic and applied research are important and neither should be considered superior to the other Basic  The four goals of scientific research in psychology capture much of the focus of basic research  It attempts to answer fundamental questions about the nature of behavior  Studies are often designed to address theoretical issues such as cognition, emotion, motivation, social behavior  They need to write it involves the form of journal article and submit to a scientific journal to peer review Applied  Applied research is conducted to address practical problems and potential solutions  EX: the violence – television program  The goal setting intervention study is very much applied  A major area of applied research – a growing career opportunity is called program evaluation  It evaluates the social reforms and innovations that occur in governments, educations and criminal justice system , industry, health care  Applied research is conducted in setting such as large business firms, marketing research companies, government agencies Chapter 2 : Where to start ( 16 – 23) Hypotheses and predictions  Most researchers want to test their hypotheses, It is a statement about something that may be true  It is a tentative idea about how two or more variable relate to each other  One the hypotheses is proposed , data must be gathered and evaluated  The researcher would translate the more general hypotheses into a specific prediction concerning the outcome of this particular experiments  If the results are not consistent with the prediction , the researcher will either reject the hypotheses or conduct further testing the hypotheses in different methods  Important characteristics off all scientific hypotheses is falsifiability  This means that data can show that a hypotheses is false, if in fact it is false Sources of ideas  There are 5 sources of ideas Common assumption Observation of the world around us Practical problems Theories Past research Common assumption  It is common assumption that people make to explain the world  EX: do opposite attract or birds of a feather flocks together  Testing assumptions can be valuable because such notions don’t always turn out to be correct Observations of the would around us  Observations of personal and social events can provide many ideas for research  The world around us is a rich source of materials for scientific investigations  The role of SRENDIPITY, sometimes the most interesting discoveries are the result of accident or sheer luck ( pavlo example ) classical conditioning , he was actually studying digestion system Practical problems  Groups of city planners and citizens might survey bicycle riders to determine the most desirable route for a city bike path Theories  Most research test theories of behavior  A theory consists of a system of logical ideas proposed to explain a particular phenomenon and its relationship to other phenomena  Theories have 2 important functions: o First, Theories organize and explain a variety of specific facts or descriptions of behavior o Second, theories generate new knowledge by focusing our thinking so that we notice new aspects of behavior  Theories are more general and abstract than hypotheses  A scientific theory helps to explain actual data from prior research and specifies numerous hypotheses that are consistent with the theory  The scientific principle of parsimony dictates that the least complex theory is most desirable because it is easiest to entirely falsify Past research  Becoming familiar with a body of research on a topic is perhaps the best way to generate ideas for new research  Researchers can use the body of past literature on a topic to continually refine and expand their knowledge Continues….. Anatomy of an empirical research article  In these journals , researchers publish the results of their research investigations  Some are published monthly , others quarterly or annually  Some journals provide online access shortly after paper is accepted, these research reports are considered primary sources  Research articles that are reporting the results of studies usually have five major sections o An abstract o Introduction o Method o Results o Discussion Abstract  The abstract is a summary of the research report  it typically runs no more than 120 words in length although the word limit can vary by journal  it incudes information about the hypotheses , procedure, and the broad pattern of results Introduction  In the introduction, the researcher outlines the problem that has been investigated  Past researchers and theories relevant to the problem are described in detail  The expectations of the researcher and the formal hypotheses is noted Method  the method section provides information about exactly how the study was conducted , including any details necessary for the reader to replicate or repeat the study  it is divided into subsections, with the number of subsections determined by the author and dependent on the complexity of the research design  First section – gives the overview of the design  Next section- characteristic of the participants  The next section- details the procedure used in the study  Other subsections- describe any equipment or testing materials that were used  Respondents – are people who take part in the survey  Informants- are people who help researchers understand the dynamics of particular cultural and organizational settings or who report on the personality characteristics of other people Results  In the results section, the researcher presents the finding , usually in three ways  First there is a description in narrative form  Second the results are described in statistical language that reflects the analysis that were conducted to test the hypotheses  Third the materials is often depicted in tables and graphs Discussion  In the discussion section, the researcher reviews the research from various perspectives Finding existing research  Before conducting research , an investigator must have throughout knowledge of previous research findings The nature of journals  Most psychology journals specialize in one or two areas of human or animal behaviors Conducting a PsycINFO search  The most common way to locate scientific research is to search computer database that contain the abstracts and often link to full text PDF version of the article  The American psychological associations searchable computer database system is called PsysINFo, which includes coverage of journal publications from the 1800 to the present Web of science  Web of science allows you to search through citation information such as the name of the author or article title and it includes disciplines such as biology, chemistry  The most important feature of this resource is the ability to use the cited reference search Review articles  The way the research is summarized, this type of article be called a literature review  Review articles will have abstract, introduction, discussion, and reference section  They also discuss new direction for the further understanding and applications of these findings Other electronic search resources Broader internet searches Wikipedia Evaluating web information  Is the information current  Is the site associated with a major educational institutions or research organization?  Do links form the site lead to legitimate organization? Chapter 3: Ethical Research Were Milgram’s obedience experiments ethical? ( the video we watched in class)  Sta
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