Lec 2 - Chap 1 cont'd and Chap 2.docx

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Carly Prusky

Chapter 1 cont’d and Chapter 2 th Thursday January 17 , 2013 Recap from Last Class • Research Question o Is watching TV related to aggression? • Hypothesis o Watching TV is related to aggression. o Watching TV is not related to aggression o Watching TV causes aggression • Variables o Independent: Watching TV o Dependent: Aggressive Behaviour Experimental studies • Used to determine cause and effect • Participants are randomly selected and randomly assigned to either of two conditions: o An experimental group – receives a treatment o A control group – doesn’t receive a treatment (basis for comparison)  No experimental exposure o Random samples : asking for volunteers is not random  There is bias Designing an experiment • Research question: Does watching TV cause aggression? • Independent variable: TV (watch or don’t watch) o What they watch (shows) o What channels they watch o Access to TV  How long they watch TV o Gender • Dependent variable: aggressive behaviour • 2 groups: o Experimental group – watches TV o Control group – doesn’t watch TV  Watch TV at home or in another environment Experiments • 3 essential characteristics 1. Researcher manipulates one variable 2. Research measures whether this variable produces change in another variable 3. Research attempts to control for other factors that might influence the results  Whether they watch TV or not • *If at the end of the experiment the experimental group is different from the control group on the dependent variable (e.g., aggression), you can say that the independent variable (e.g., watching TV) CAUSED this difference because that was the only difference between the two groups Correlational Studies • Tell us whether factors are associated with each other in a positive or negative way or have no relation o Nothing manipulated – Ethical problems  Income  Gender  Smoking o Anything of sensitive nature  Cannot manipulate these variables  Would have to be a correlational study … cannot be experimental design o E.g., is there a relationship between watching TV and aggression? • Most widely used design in developmental research because experiments are often impossible or unethical o Phrase your question to determine what design to use for the study • Can be either a positive (+) or a negative (–) or no correlation Direction of Relationship • Positive correlation o Variables change in the same direction o As X is increasing, Y is increasing • Negative Correlation o Variables change in opposite directions  More years in jail… less education o As X is increasing, Y is decreasing • No relationship o Variables do NOT change depending on each other  Points all over the place  Nothing related o NO relationship between X and Y Correlational Studies • Advantages o Show the strength of present relationships o Can be useful where experiments are unethical (e.g., effects of alcohol on fetus among pregnant women) • Disadvantages o Correlations can show an association NOT a cause o Correlation does NOT mean causation!  Just because there is a relationship, that does not mean its cause and effect  One does not cause the other… only a relationship  Can be other factors  Fluke/coincidence Explanation of Correlations • 3 possibilities o A causes B o B causes A o C causes both A and B • Example – watching TV and aggression o Watching TV causes aggression o Being aggressive causes you to watch more TV o Neglectful parents cause both rd  Possibility of 3 variable coming into play Case Studies • Music Training Produces Math Whiz Kids – Or does it? • A small in-depth investigation of one person or a small group of individuals o Used in rare conditions • Advantage o Provide detailed information about an aspect of development  Very specific case  Smaller cases • Disadvantage o Hard to make general statements from a single case o Can’t make conclusions about cause and effect o Vulnerable to “observer bias”  Experimenter will push things to happen Action Research • Carried out by teachers, administrators, and other change agents in the school to improve the educational environment for their students o Not common but there • Goal is to understand a problem or to improve teaching practices • Encourages teachers to problem solve and to think critically about their own teaching practices o Much more casual study o Not so global • The Action Research Spiral o Pg. 37 o Start with area of focus  Reading comprehension improvement  Reade story and relate to own life o Data Collection  Retrieve answers from students o Analyze and Interpret Data  Works for girls not for boys o Develop an action Plan  Find something that works Judging Study Quality • How do we know whether research findings can be trusted? o Generalizability o Reliability o Validity o Replication Generalizability • How well do the findings apply to another sample or to the general population? o Not able to generalize to wider public o Not very representative of general population Reliability • The consistency or precision of a measurement when repeated under similar circumstances o Are the measures used in a study reliable?  Looking at measures  How sure are you to get the same results every time  Same measures  Reliable  Same consistency  Same precision Validity • Whether or not you have an accurate measure of the phenomenon being studied o Are you really measuring what you think you are measuring?  Researches pilot the study for different populations  Problem solving – is it really just looking for math ability? Also includes reading comprehension Replication • Quality of a study is often judged by its ability to be replicated – to find the same results again o Find same result over and over again o Able to replicate study o Experiment first done with experimental group, then control group  Replicate the experiment  Interventions done over and over
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