Chapter 1 conduct your experiment and try to make sense of the
Doing Better, Feeling Worse results, you’ll likely find something based on bias (the
Psychology: scientific study of people, the mind and more you look, the more you find, meaning the more
behavior. post hoc hypotheses you test, the more likely you are to
An experiment was performed on college graduates and accept one falsely).
followed them through into their careers, after seeing if Variable: characteristic that can take on different values
they were ‘satisficers’ (score less than 52 on the or vary across participants. If it can’t be measured, it
Schwartz test; this means they are likely to settle for can’t be used scientifically.
good enough) or ‘maximizers’ (score more than 52; Population vs. Sample: Population is an entire collection
means they are likely always looking for the best). The of units from which we may collect information (it’s
experiment found that maximizers did better (got paid usually too large to study). Sample is group of units
20% more) but felt worse (more anxious, depressed…). selected from a larger group (i.e. population).
The researchers hypothesized that this is likely because Researchers experiment on sample and try to
maximizers explored all their options so well, that they generalize (apply) to the population.
start to second-guess themselves. Sample bias: some members of the population are less
likely than others to be included in a study.
Scientific Method All statistics are based on the logic of probability (is it
Scientific Method: veritable rules of the game of highly likely or is it by chance?) and use the same
research which reflect procedures and techniques for criterion for evaluation. Statistical evidence helps
conducting and evaluating psychological research. This evaluate and test theories.
method can be traced back to a school of philosophy, There are 2 standards used to test the scientific quality
empiricism: holds that knowledge is gained through of research methods and the results they produce:
experience, observation and experiment. Data: is the 1. Reliability: consistency; not all data are created equal.
information we collect, that is empirical and can be Yet, it’s more reliable if it can be replicated
measured or evaluated statistically. (reproduced with the same results).
Empirical vs. Anecdotal evidence: anecdotal refers to 2. Validity: extent to which a study provides a true
impressions of just one person, and can’t be translated measure of what it’s supposed to have measured.
into a quantifiable form; used in journalism and legal How a study sample is selected and how it
frameworks. On the other hand, empirical evidence is representative it is can influence validity. Within
used in science. Scientific method minimizes bias (unfair validity, we look for confounds (unwanted sources of
practices that wrongly discriminate against others). influence that can be viewed as viable alternative
Is-ought distinction is the differentiation between ‘is’ explanations for the result of the study). Usually, to
questions (can be answered by facts; independent of prevent confounds, control variables (measure
social, political or religious preference; best addressed unwanted sources of influence) are used.
through scientific method) and ‘ought’ questions (call Methods and Tools of Psychological Research
upon cultural values; based on beliefs; science can only True experiments: controlled investigation in which
help indirectly). one or more variables are manipulated; in ‘true’ ones,
Theory: coherent set of propositions that are used as researcher manipulates independent variable (IV;
principles to describe, understand and explain manipulated variable) to find the effects on the
psychological/behavioral phenomena. A theory dependent variable (DV; observed effect measured in
generates testable hypotheses (framed as statements response to IV). These also have random assignment
or predictions prior to collecting data and are evaluated (participants are equally likely to fall in any group) to
empirically). These can be described as a priori (existing ensure participants are similar. This entire process of
before experimentation), as opposed to post hoc the true experiment ensures that if there’s any
hypotheses (formulated after data is collected and difference somewhere, it’d be due to the influence of
analyzed), which are frowned upon because after you the variable. Quasiexperiments: In real life, sometimes it’s hard to cross-cultural psychology investigates universality of
have a manipulate-able IV, so we can’t have random psychological processes across cultures.
assignment. For example: race, gender, locale, age… Science vs. Pseudoscience
Researchers then try hardly to eliminate as much Epistemology: way of knowing exclusively based on
confounding as possible. objective, empirical investigation. The techniques must
Descriptive Research: research aimed to examine be transparent so that the methods, procedures and
relationship between variables. This is through: data analyses of the study can be reproduced.
o Correlation: statistic that provides an index of how Transparency allows for peer review (independent
reviewers evaluate the merit of the work).
closely related 2 variables are; symbol ‘r’ and value
between -1 – 1. Advantage: can look at relation of Pseudoscience: dubious but fascinating claims that are
variables that cannot be manipulated; disadvantage: ‘touted as scientifically proven’, but are not in fact
only looks at relation at one point in time and can’t supported by scientific evidence. One example is
determine causality. phrenology (bumps and fissures of the skull determined
character and personality) that was strongly believed as
o Naturalistic Observation: collect behavioral data in
natural environment (instead of lab). It’s not just a science but is now debunked.
simple impressions-study, but systematic study of Why Pseudoscience?
well-defined observations that can be repeated by Cognitive illusions: occur when our thinking deceives
others. Disadvantage: lack of control of countless us. Cognitive scientists believe that all humans have a
poor grasp of logic and probability theory (without
variables that could influence behavior in the
natural environment. practice/training). Our minds favor subjective
Survey: set of questions asking respondents about impressions and anecdotes over cold, hard science.
activities, opinions, attitudes or preferences. Heuristic bias: mental shortcuts that may distort logical
Advantage: inexpensive and time-sparing; reasoning. Pseudoscience also continues to exist
disadvantage: limited by what the people report because of our confirmatory bias (natural tendency for
Performance-Based Measures: psychometric the human mind to actively seek out and assign more
weight to any kind of evidence that favors existing
approach for investigating variables like intelligence,
personality and aptitude. Test performance is beliefs). Scientists then propose to follow the doctrine
standardized to a statistical average. For example: of falsification (aim to falsify your own theories instead
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Test (WAIS) measures of confirm them – by Popper). The doctrine fits with
cognitive abilities in adults. Advantage: extensive science’s self-correcting nature.
Pseudoscience is appealing because it matches our
reliability and validity; disadvantage: culturally-biased.
Single-Subject Designs (aka Small-N): used to test preconceptions, while science defies our pre-existing
effectiveness of an intervention on 1-9 people. beliefs, making science seem ‘incorrect’
Disadvantage: uncertainty about generalizability.
Qualitative Research: include methods of participant Chapter 2
Facial Expressions of Emotion
observation, intensive interviewing, and focus groups.
Cultural and Psychological Science Only an experimental (as opposed to non-experimental)
Culture: large societal context with shared meaning, design can help us understand cause and effect. For the
communal practices and collective discourse and beliefs example of whether smiling or mood comes first, we’d
about human life. Memes: genetic DNA of culture that need experimental designs to understand it.
Eckman: psychologist dedicated to studying facial
act as units through which group ways spread from one
mind to another. expressions of emotions. Eckman opposed the modern
Culture generates large psychological differences in view of facial expressions as being culturally
people. Cultural psychology studies how culture shapes determined, and believed, like Darwin, that it was a
our thinking and how thinking shapes culture, whereas human necessity by which we all communicate, and
must be universal. He started by traveling to developing countries carrying photos of people with different facial Cannon-Bard Theory (emotions come first, and the
expressions. Everywhere he went, people agreed on body responds). Then, there`s the embodiment theory
these emotions. Yet, because they could still be of emotion (re-experiencing of perception that involves
influenced by our media, he wanted to find more interplay of perceptual, body and motoric re-
groups of people that may have less bias. So, he went to experiencing of emotion). Paul Eckman thus created his
remote villages in Papua New Guinea (specifically the research question based on these 3 theories.
Fore People) and found that even the people there Thirdly, we can get ideas by reading through journals
could interpret the expressions similarly: fear, anger, (scientific literature), which are primary sources (actual
happiness, contempt, sadness, surprise, and disgust. His reports). Within journals, there are empirical (reports
system is Facial Action Coding System (FACS). on particular study – has abstract, intro, …) or review
Goals of Science (examines several studies of a particular phenomenon,
Principle objective of science is to provide a scientific evaluates their methodology and comments on
understanding of the topic. This includes: theoretical conclusions) articles. There are secondary
sources (2 hand) of literature: popular science
Description: you need a conceptual definition (give
meaning of a broad term like intelligence and provides (written by eminent scientists who aim to explain
semantic meaning, like dictionary) and an operational science for the general audience) and science
definition (how a concept is coded, measured or journalism (focus on recent developments that are
quantified; there’s usually more than one of these judged newsworthy). To search for literature, you can
use Google Scholar, PsycINFO, PsycLIT and SSCI that can
needed to define the concept).
Explanation: this can include both prediction and serve as databases for citations and abstracts of the
causality. Causality requires 3 kinds of evidence: world`s literature. The last 3 websites are proprietary
o Temporal Precedence: cause must precede effect (open only to subscribers). Beware: the internet may
o Covariation of Cause-effect: when cause is paradoxically have a narrowing effect on thinking and
present, effect must also be present and when research.
cause is not present, effect is not. Research Strategies
o Alternative explanations: researcher must show Deductive vs. Inductive:
that nothing other than causal variable could be Deductive: used in experimental studies; start with
responsible for the effect. theory and test its implications. Theories have a host
These are difficult to maintain because it’s impossible of generalizations (broad statement that can`t be
to control for all extraneous confounders (3 rd tested, but need to be translated into more
variables) that may influence our effect. hypotheses), and each one can lead to one or more
Basic vs. Applied: Basic research: looks at fundamental hypotheses (these hypotheses are what are actually
questions about nature of abstract psychological ideas. testable since they propose specific relationships).
Applied: looks at questions thought to be of immediate Hypotheses also define direction of association (when
relevance in solving practical problems (one example of variables go in the same direction, they’re positive;
these is program evaluations: study effects on behavior when they go in opposing direction, they’re negative;
of large-scale policy changes). represented by correlation coefficient). Direction of
Sources of Research Ideas association doesn’t apply to hypotheses in which at
We can get research from simple observations, yet least one variable is qualitative.
narrowing our observations may be counterproductive Inductive: in non-experimental studies; start with
(we may have seen a good observation, but ignored it collecting observations, measurements and data and
because it didn’t lie in our range). This is the serendipity then develop theory. We can go about this by
effect (open mind can lead to accidental discoveries). conducting naturalistic experiments that collect
James-Lange theory (emotions are feelings that happen qualitative data, for example, like ethnography
as a result of physiological changes created by (descriptive study of people). Yet, inductive strategies
autonomic nervous system) is the inverse of the also work with quantitative measures (as long as how to respond to stimuli) it prevented. Also,
they`re from naturalistic observations). informed consent would be included here.
Research circle: process of conducting research 4. Results: this presents the major statistical findings:
designed to test explanations for psychological descriptive (summaries of data in the form of means
phenomena (theory hypothesis data empirical and standard deviations) and inferential (tests of
generalizations theory…). significance that tell whether results were by chance
Substance of Psychological Research or not; also talk about effect size – strength of
Strack’s facial feedback hypothesis: originates from predicted relation between variables).
James-Lange theory; facial movements can re-enact 5. Discussion: this is where major findings are restated in
particular emotional feelings and these emotional narrative form to discuss theoretical meaning of
feelings can be created by ‘tricking’ people into making results. You should look here) and external validity
specific facial contractions. In this experiment, the (generalizability of the study; includes many aspects,
independent variable had 3 levels (conditions): holding one of which is for ecological validity – extent to
pen between lips (induce frown), holding pen with teeth which experiment approximates real phenomenon).
(induce smile), and a control group (don’t have the This is also where researcher talks about limitations.
independent variable; did not make any facial muscles Literature Review: these serve an extremely important
and held pen with non-dominant hand). function in developing a scientific understanding of a
How to Read Scientific Literature topic by evaluating empirical findings across
Skepticism: continuously questioning all knowledge. independent studies. Reviewing literature:
This is important for the self-correcting and ever- 1. How were the empirical studies selected for review?
changing nature of science. Steps: 2. How did they weigh the importance of one empirical
Look for a credible source, meaning one that requires finding over the other?
peer-review (that’s why primary is more reliable than 3. Literature reviews are limited by publication bias
secondary). (reviews are only based on findings that have been
Look at whether goals of the study are clearly defined published). Because of this, reviews now incorporate
and articulated (was the best method used?). meta-analyses (a method to provide a more unbiased
Keep your eye out of whether this is pseudoscience. evaluation by statistically providing objective
Look at who funded the research to see if there may measures to weigh strength of individual research).
be bias. Meta-analyses look at the effect size.
How a professional review goes:
1. Abstract: this is the summary of the major points of
the study. As a reviewer, you examine this to Historical Background
understand the main finding/contribution APA’s 2002 Code of Conduct (originally published in
2. Introduction: this identifies the problem and why it’s 1953) has a total of 151 standards, 15 of which are
important. You should look to see if these components under the research and publication category.
There were events that induced ethical codes:
have been cast in a psychological theory (ask: what’s
the study, and why is it important?). Nuremberg War Crime Trials (Nazi doctors performed
3. Method: this details the operations and procedures horrible experiments in 1946) and Tuskegee Syphilis
used. You should look to see if there’s enough detail in Study (researches in the U.S Public Health Service were
it for another researcher to replicate and you should funded to inject low-income African-Americans with
syphilis and study them in 1930). What resulted was the
be able to see yourself as a participant in the study.
This is where the researcher should have defined Belmont Report (1979) that has 3 basic ethical
variables operationally. If there is a cover story, it principles: respect for persons (treat people as
would be explained here as to what demand autonomous agents), beneficence (minimize harm and
characteristics (cues that may tip off participants on maximize benefit), and justice (distribute benefits and
risks fairly). Federal regulations also require that institutions with federal funding have an institutional people may be reluctant to disclose their work in
review board (IRB). fear of others expanding on it and taking credit.
Ethical Principles D: Justice: everyone is treated equally.
The Code of Conduct has 5 general principles (reference o (THIS IS ALSO FOR E) Encouraging appropriate
to Milgram’s obedience experiment too) application: scientists must make sure that their
A: Beneficence and Non-malifecence: strive to benefit research is put to good. Milgram was concerned
and take care to cause no harm. about obedience because of the Holocaust (thus,
o Avoid harming research participants: Baumrind people`s welfare).
(Milgram’s largest critique) believed that Milgram’s
E: Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity: respect
experiment harmed participants by altering their people’s right to privacy, confidentiality and self-
self-image and potential distrust in authority). determination.
Milgram provided evidence that all the participants
were not harmed (psychiatrist tested them). Chapter 4
Milgram also provided an extensive debriefing Measuring Mental Health and Illness
session to make sure the participants left the lab in Mental health is not just the absence of mental illness;
the same mood as they came in. it’s of happiness, thriving…
Another possibly harmful study was Zimbardo`s Developing and Defining Constructs
prison stimulation: investigated impact of social You should develop a conceptual framework (network
position on behavior. The participants (who had of interlocking relations linking theoretical ideas to
acted as either guards or prisoners in the concrete variables and their measurements) to better
experiment) initially experienced negative understand a concept.
symptoms (depression, crying, fits of rage…) but A theory unites concepts by translating them into
within a year there were no more signs. particular calculable variables. Constructs are these
o Obtain informed consent: Baumrind believes that abstract concepts; these are studied in psychology and
informed consent was not fully concerned because include intelligence, memory, emotion…; it
there was no full disclosure of everything that encompasses several referents that are cast into
could have caused harm. variables (e.g. pencil tests, physiological recordings…).
o Avoid Deception in Research: Milgram deceived Operational definition: specifies the variables that are
participants in that they believed the `learner` was to be used to measure the construct; specifically, it
real. This can be allowed, as long as there is enough identifies the IV that`s expected to produce construct.
justification. Positive Psychology: learn about human thriving,
B: Fidelity and Responsibility: uphold professional flourishing and optimism; by Keyes. His 2 constructs
standards of conduct and seek to manage conflicts of were mental health (as a state of success in functioning)
interest that could lead to exploitation/harm and mental illness (from DSM-III, that mental illness is
o Milgram was committed to achieving valid results the presence of diagnosable symptoms as well as that
in making sure everything seemed realistic and these symptoms prevent normal functioning).
standardized to every participant. However, the Measurement of Psychol