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PSYB01Chapter1-5 for Midterm

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Anna Nagy

Chapter 1- Scientific Understanding Of Behaviour  Methods of acquiring Knowledge; o Intuition; accept unquestioningly what personal judgment of experience tells you about the world  Illusory Correlation; focus on two events that stand out and occur together  Jumping to conclusions/motivated to see causal relationships o Authority; people are more willing to believe authoritative people o Scientific Scepticism; ideas must be evaluated on the basis of careful logic/results from the investigations o The fundamental characteristic of the scientific method is empiricism; knowledge is based on structured, systematic, observations. After developing a hypothesis a scientist carefully collects data to evaluate whether that hypothesis accurately reflects the nature of the world.  Characteristics of Scientific Inquiry; o Others can replicate the method used and get the same results o Develop theories with old data and for new data o Falsifiable ideas (can be proven wrong/right) o Peer review; ensures that only best research is published  Pseudoscience; uses scientific terms to substantiate claims without using data o Hypotheses generated are falsifiable o If scientific tests are reported, methodology is not scientific and accuracy of data is questionable o Supportive evidence tends to be anecdotal/relies heavily on “experts” (genuine peer reviewed scientific references are not cited) o Claims ignore conflicting evidence o Claims are stated in scientific sounding terminology o Claims tend to be vague, rationalize strongly held beliefs and appeal to preconceived ideas o Claims are never revised to account for new data  Goals Of Scientific research; o Describe behaviour; events which involve observation/measurement o Prediction of behaviour; 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. o Determining the cause of behaviour;  Co-variation of cause and effect; cause occurs=effect occurs/cause doesn’t occur=effect doesn’t occur  Temporal precedence; cause precedes the effect  Elimination of Alternative explanation; there should be no other explanation for the relationship apart from the causal effect o Explanation of behaviour should be possible  Basic research; attempts to answer fundamental questions about the nature of behaviour/four goals of scientific research  Applied research; conducted to address practical problems and find potential solutions o Program evaluation; evaluates the social reforms/innovations that occur in government, education, institutions Chapter 2: Where to Start Hypotheses and Predictions  Hypothesis; is a statement about something that may be true. It is a tentative idea about how two or more variables relate to each other that is waiting for evidence to support or refute it.  Once the hypothesis is proposed, data must be gathered and evaluated in terms of whether the evidence is consistent or inconsistent with the hypothesis.  The researcher would then translate the more general hypothesis into a specific prediction concerning the outcome of this particular experiment. o It is important to note that when the results of a study are consistent with a prediction, the hypothesis is only supported, not proven.  Falsifiability; means that data can show that a hypothesis is false, if in fact it is false. Source of Ideas  Researcher starts with an idea-consider five sources of ideas: common assumptions, observation of the world around us, practical problems, theories, and past research. o Questioning Common Assumptions; testing a widely held assumption can be valuable because such notions don’t always turn out to be correct/ the real world is much more complicated than our assumption show. For example, despite the common belief that opposites attract, decades of research have shown that people tend to be attracted to others who are similar to themselves. o Observation of the World Around Us; Observations of personal and social events can provide many ideas for research. The curiosity sparked by your observation and experiences can lead you to ask questions about all sorts of phenomena. o Practical Problems; Research is also stimulated by practical problems that can have immediate applications o Theories; Much research in the behavioural science test theories of behaviour. A theory consists of a system of logical ideas proposed to explain a particular phenomenon and its relationship to other phenomena.  Theories organize and explain a variety of specific facts or descriptions of behaviour. Facts are not very meaningful by themselves so theories are needed to provide a framework that relates them to each other in meaningful ways.  Theories guide our observations of the world. Theories are more general and abstract than hypothesis (which in turn are more general than predictions).  If multiple theories are equally successful at explaining the same phenomenon, the scientific principle of parsimony dictates that the least complex theory is most desirable, because it is easiest to entirely falsify. o Past Research; Because the results of research are published, researchers can use the body of past literature on a topic to continually refine and expand our knowledge.  Virtually every study raises questions that can be addressed in subsequent research. The research may lead to an attempt to apply the findings in a different setting, to study the topics with a different age group, or to use a different methodology to replicate the results. Anatomy of an Empirical Research Article  For empirical research, after a researcher has developed a hypothesis, has designed at least one study to test it, and has found support for the hypothesis, it is time to write up the project in a report format.  The researcher then submits the article for publication in a professional journal. There are an enormous number of professional journals. In these journals, researchers publish the results of their research investigations.  Once the researcher has submitted an article for publication consideration, the journal’s editors solicits reviews from other scientists in the same field, and then decides whether the report is to be accepted for publication.  Across all sciences, research articles being submitted for publication typically follow a consistent format. o Abstract; Summary of the research report. It typically runs no more than 120 words in length, although the word limit can vary by journal. It includes information about the hypothesis, the procedure, and the broad pattern of results. o Introduction; the researcher outlines the problem that has been investigated. Past research and theories relevant to the problem are described in detail. In other words, the investigator introduces the research project by building a logical case that justifies why this study and the expected results make an important contribution to understanding behaviour. o 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 often divided into subsections.  First subsection presents an overview of the design to prepare the reader for the material that follows.  Next subsection describes the characteristics of the participants.  Next subsection details the procedures used in the study. In describing any stimulus materials presented to the participants, the way the behaviour of the participants was recorded, and so on, it is important that no potentially crucial detail be omitted.  Other subsections may be necessary to describe in detail any equipment or testing materials that were used.  The individuals who take part in survey research are usually called respondents. Informants are the people who help researchers understand the dynamics of particular cultural and organizational settings, or who report on the personality characteristic of other people. o Results; In the results section, the researcher presents the findings, usually in three ways.  Description in narrative form. Researchers try to avoid commenting on the meaning of these results so that the reader can consider them without being biased. Comments about meaning are typically reserved for the discussion section.  The results are described in statistical language that reflects the analyses that were conducted to test the hypothesis.  Third, the material is often depicted in tables and graphs. o Discussion; In the discussion section, the researcher reviews the research from various perspectives. Do the results support the hypothesis? If they do, the author should give all possible explanations for the results and discuss why one explanation is superior to another.  The researcher may speculate on the broader implications of the results, propose alternative explanations for the results, discuss reasons that a particular hypothesis may not have been supported by the data, and/ or make suggestions for further research on the problem. Finding Existing Research; Before conducting any research project, an investigator must have thorough knowledge of pervious research findings. Even if the basic idea has been formulated, a review of past studies is a critical step in the research process. Investigating past research helps the researcher clarify the idea and design the study, and ensures that the study is making a new contribution to understanding behaviour.  Most psychology journals specialize in one or two areas of human or animal behaviour.  Conducting a PsycINFO Search o The most common way to locate scientific research is to search computer database that contain the abstracts, and often link to full-text PDF versions of the articles. There are many databases that cover a wide range of academic disciplines. The American Psychological Association’s searchable computer database system is called PsycINFO, which includes coverage of journal publications from the 1800s to the present. o The full name of each field is included here; many systems allow abbreviations. You will almost always want to see the Tittle (abbreviated as TI), Author (AU), Source (SO), and Abstract (AB) o The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) field can be helpful in finding full-text sources of the article, and is included in the latest APA style referencing format mentioned earlier in this chapter. o Another helpful search tool is the wildcard asterisk (*). The asterisk stands for any set of letters in a word and so it can expand your search. The wildcard can be very useful with the term child* to find child, children, childhood, and so on.  Web of Science ; Another search resource is the Web of Science, which can be accessed directly or through the Web of Knowledge database. Web Science allows you to search through citation information such as the name of the author or article. The most important feature of this resource is the ability to use the “cited reference search.” Here you need to first identify a key article on your topic, usually one published a while ago that is particularly relevant to your interest. You can then search for more recent articles that cited the key article.  Review Articles; Not all articles follow the five-section format described above. Articles that review and summarize the research in a particular area are also useful. Depending on the way the research is summarized, this type of article might be called a literature review or a meta-analysis.  Other Electronic Search Resources; Other major databases include Academic Search Complete, Sociological Abstracts, MEDLINE, PubMed, and ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center). In addition, services such as PsychEXTRA, Canadian Newsstand Complete, and Access World News allow you to search general media resources such as newspapers. Chapter 3: Ethical Research Ethical Research In Canada  The Tri-Council and Its Policy Statement o In Canada, researchers and institutions adhere to the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. “Tri-Council” is a common way to refer to the three federally funded research granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). o In 1998 the Tri-Council published the first Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS), which became the first standard Canadian Ethics Code to guide all research involving humans, and replacing all guidelines developed by some individual agencies as early as the 1970s.  Historical, Legal, and International Context o The Nuremberg Code, which was developed in response to horrific human experimentation during WWII, was a catalyst for modern international debate and policies for respecting human dignity in medical and behavioural research.  Core Principles Guiding Research with Human Participants o The aim of research ethics codes generally, including the TCPS, is to ensure that research is conducted in a way that respects the dignity and inherent worth of all human beings. Three basic ethical principles express the value of ensuring human dignity, and are specified in the TCPS and other documents: respect of persons, concern for the welfare, and justice.  To show respect for persons, researchers must respect the autonomy of research participants, and protect those who have “developing, impaired or diminished autonomy.” Respecting autonomy means enabling people to choose participation freely and without interference.  To show concern for welfare, researchers must attempt to minimize risks associated with participating in research, while maximizing the benefits of that research to individual participants and to society.  To show justice, researchers must treat people fairly and equitably by distributing the benefits and burdens of participating in research. Promote Concern for Welfare by Minimizing Risks and Maximizing Benefits  In decisions about the ethics of research, we must calculate potential risks and benefits that are likely to result; this is called a risk-benefits analysis.  Risk of Physical Harm: Some procedures could conceivably cause some physical harm to participants.. The risks in such procedures require that great care be taken to make them ethically acceptable. (e.g. Sleep Deprivation)  Risk of Stress: Participants may experience psychological stress during research. (e.g. causing anxiety)  Risk of Losing Privacy and Confidentiality: Another risk is the loss of expected privacy and confidentiality. Promote Respect for Persons through Informed Consent  The TCPS principle of respect for person’s states that participants are treated as autonomous; they are capable of making deliberate decisions about whether to participate in research.  Potential participants in a research project should be provided with all information that might influence their decision about whether to participate.  Informed Consent Form: Potential participants are usually provided with some type of informed consent form that contains the information they need to make their decision. The content will typically cover: 1) The purpose of the research 2) Procedures that will be used, including time involved 3) Risks and benefits to the participants and in general 4) Any compensation 5) How confidentially will be protected 6) Assurance of voluntary participation and permission to withdraw 7) Contact information for questions about the research and about the ethics of the research.  Researchers do not need to tell participants exactly what is being studied, but the consent form must include all information that could affect a participant’s choice to participate.  Autonomy Issue: The first concerns lack of autonomy; special populations such as minors, patients in psychiatric hospitals, or adults with cognitive impairments require special precautions.  Information Issues: Withholding Information and Deception When planning research, it is important to make sure that you do have good reasons not to have any informed consent. If informed consent is considered impossible to achieve the goal of science, the researcher’s responsibilities to participants are increased.  The Importance of Debriefing: Debriefing occurs after the completion of the study. It is an opportunity for the research to deal with issues of withholding information, deception, and potential harmful effects of participation, as well as to further education participants about the nature and purpose of the research.  Role-Playing: In one role-playing procedure, the experimenter describes a situation to participants and then asks them how they would respond to the situation.  Features of the experiment that may inform participants about the hypothesis are called demand characteristics.  Simulation Studies: A different type of role-playing involves simulation of a real-world situation  Honest Experiments: Honest experiments include any research design that doesn’t try to misinform or hide information from participants. Promote Justice by Involving People Equitably in Research; the principle of justice addresses issues of fairness receiving the benefits of research as well as bearing the burdens of accepting risks. Monitoring Ethical Standards at Each Institution  Each institution that receives any funding from any of the Tri-Council agencies must have in place a Research Ethics Board (REB), whose mandate is to review all research projects for compliance with ethical standards.  Exempt Research; Research in which there is absolutely no risk is typically exempt from REB review. According to the TCPS, exempt research does not require REB review when it: 1) Only employs publicly available information that is legally accessible 2) Only involves observing people in public places without any intervention by the researcher, and no individuals can be identified when presenting the results 3) Uses data that have already been collected and are completely anonymous.  Minimal Risk Research; According to the TCPS minimal risk research means that the risk of harm to participants are no greater than risks encountered in daily life.  Greater Than Minimal Risk Research; Any research procedure that places participants at greater than minimal risk is subject to thorough review by the full REB committee. In addition to informed consent, other safeguards may be required before approval is granted.  Ethics and Animal Research; The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) is an organization sponsored primarily by CIHR and NSERC and whole purpose it to “oversee the ethical use of animals in science in Canada”. It is responsible for certifying institutions and specif
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