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Psychology 2800 Textbook Summaries for Winter Midterm

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Western University
Psychology 2800E
Doug Hazlewood

Psychology 2800 – Research Methods – Textbook Notes Chapter 1: PsychologyAnd Science • Students underestimate the importance of research methods as they don't want to work in a lab • All encounter questions surrounding work whether they want to experiment or not • Must be able to understand and evaluate research evidence • Differences between Psychology and science: ◦ Humans more complex than trees, theories more complex than botanical ones; behaviours vary more ◦ Psychology uses statistics more than physics • Psychology and science both problem solving • Implicit memory, present in motor and priming learning preserved inAlzheimer's patients • Children with resilience live in lower crime neighbourhoods and have parents with lower substance abuse and personality disorders • Postpartum depression more common with bipolar • Higher level of relationship stress associated with lower academic achievement • Rates of depression when comparing gender depends on age; pre-adolescents are equal, after puberty, female higher Ways of Knowing About Behaviour • More than one learning method • Empirical : Experience • Non-Empirical :Authority and Logic ◦ Authority ▪ If respected person true, then it is true • Religion, Law, Parents ▪ Often disagree with eachother, Inclined to reject as a way of knowing ▪ How do you know? • Barrack Obama born in Hawaii ▪ Sources serve as authority if you believe them to be true ▪ Useful, but limitations: Galileo suffering because beliefs challenged Chapter 8: Nonexperimental research, Part 1: Observational,Archival and Case Research Nonexperimental: Research in which an independent variable is not manipulated • Researcher does not have complete control over conditions • Research that is not experimental Observational: Researcher measures behaviour that takes place in uncontrolled setting • Field observation • Records ongoing behaviour, no influencing it • More prominent role in society Naturalistic: • Popular with biologists • Subject's behaviour disturbed as little as possible • Environment where it occurs • Also called unobtrusive or nonreactive • Unobtrusive measures ◦ Physical trace measures : use physical evidence ▪ IE. marks on trees • Marsh and Collett recorder overlooking intersection to see reactions of pedestrians avoiding collisions ◦ Men face person, women turn away ▪ Women: protect breasts; arm cross • Zimmerman and West patterns of speech reflect dominance in conversation randomly and then in lab setting ◦ Males interrupted more ◦ Laboratory observation • Lorenz courtship of ducks • Sharpe and Johnsgard crossbred mallard and pintail ducks ◦ Cross between experiment and observation • Ekman and Friesen studying emotions in human face; development of a scheme to code ◦ Action units; facial movement code • Rules ◦ careful record keeping, variety of types of measures and care for participant privacy Participant-Observer • Investigators participate in groups • View behavioural activity from viewpont of insider • Festinger, Reiken and Schachter joining world end group ◦ Effect of disconfirmation of beliefs ◦ Upon disconfirmation, members more open and less analytical ◦ Theory of cognitive dissonance, how people deal with conflicting beliefs • Records crucial due to increased possibility of subjectivity • Most useful in small group separate from world, when little is known, or activities not available to public view • May be ethical problems • Researcher must be able to access the group and blend in • Problems of objectivity as they become engulfed ◦ Researcher might influencing group while observing • Thin line between ethical and influencing research ◦ When do you tell them you're a researcher? ◦ Invasion of privacy, can't obtain consent Archival: Examining already existent records • Crime statistics • Researcher had no part in collecting; data already present • Limitations: ◦ Most collected for nonscientific reasons; ie. Census may not suit needs of a scientist ◦ Biases may have occurred when collecting data initially; ie. Police records • Successful use with Blair, Judd and Chapleau's racial stereotypes in crime sentencing ◦ Inmates with moreAfrican features given harsher sentences regardless of race • Must find archives relevant to research needs Theory Development and Testing • Must be flexible • Opposed to null or alternative hypothesis, there may be none in observational • Use a mathematical approach to combat validity threats • Or more flexible hypothesis method; when hypothesis contradicted, hypothesis abandoned • Researcher must be critical of theory and look for evidence to prove it wrong • Cressey men embezzlement; 5 hypotheses to find one to cover all of previous Case Studies: Uses a number of methods in an immediate situation • Particular situation, individual or group • Difficult to characterize as they include observation and archival methods • In-depth investigations, characterized by individuality • Multiple approaches • Yin “empirical enquiry...are not clearly evident...benefits from prior development” • Little boy drawing half, cancerous tumour visual spatial neglect • Directed toward a practical problem • Narrative case study: firsthand story reflecting teller's experience to communicate meaning ◦ Jill on memory; tells how she never lost anything ◦ Coupled with test results ◦ Parker Cahill and McGaugh Survey: Participants answer questions (discussed in chapter 9) Experiments • Experiments permit the greatest control • Experiment: Type of investigation with a manipulated variable • Researcher control which participants receive which conditions at which times • Assignments of subjects to conditions make possible to determine if differences in conditions caused differences in behaviours • If you are unable to assign subjects to a group, it is not an experiment as it does not look at underlying factors Nonexperimental Research • Based on degree of control over subjects and conditions of research • Data collection procedure must forfeit degree of control to obtain data • Qualitative questions asked by researcher ◦ Less interested in cause/effect • Often called correlational research; looks for correlations and relationships between variables ◦ Correlational in common usage = no independent manipulated variable ◦ Related, not necessarily causational The HermeneuticApproach • What scientists using the method want to accomplish • What did the behaviour mean? Not why it happened • Hermeneutic: Principles of interpretation of a text's meaning • Methodology that looks more at interpretation than causation • Example: meaning of holding hands, not cause Nuts and Bolts: Challenges in nonexperimental research: • May not be obvious what to record • May not know how to define your observations • Systematic ◦ Detailed notes ◦ Record as much as possible • Selective ◦ Samples of behaviour • Use recording devices ◦ Record everything, go over footage ◦ Motion/audio sensor • Content analysis ◦ Don't need notes for picture or text recordings ◦ Manifest content: counting frequency of objective item ▪ Problem: different meaning ie. Love ◦ Latent content: interpreting theme in text or pictures ▪ Problem: inherently subjective, therefore less reliable ◦ Do both for validity ◦ Golder and Macy studying mood change tweets throughout day ▪ Coded positive or negative ▪ Mood decrease throughout day • Procedure: protocol • Pilot study • Guard integrity: plan recording/handling data; be very detailed and organized ◦ Data sheets Chapter 9: Nonexperimental research, Part 2: Survey Research • Widely used method • Determine how people feel about issues • Dispel myths How a Questionnaire is Designed • Researchers frequently use pre existing; allows for comparison to other studies ◦ Mental Measurement Yearbook • What is the purpose ◦ Campus security: not useful to know concern, but what could be done ◦ Anticipate questions of interpretation • What types of Questions ◦ Open ended: response in participants' own words ▪ More complete answers ▪ Reasoning behind answers ▪ More likely to make discovery not anticipated ▪ Harder to code; must categorize ▪ Require more effort ▪ More useful for smaller and preliminary studies ◦ Closed: limits to alternatives chosen by designer ▪ Easier to code and analyse ▪ Respondents don't have to think as hard ▪ Fewer off the wall responses ▪ Issues studied might be too complex ▪ Simplistic answers ▪ Errors coding and understanding ▪ Suitable for large studies ◦ Often two types mixed • Write the items ◦ One issue per question ◦ Clarity • Avoid bias ◦ Gallup poll death penalty • Make alternatives clear ◦ Options must be different and cover all possibilities ◦ Mutually exclusive and exhaustive ◦ Careful with “other” (what if everyone chooses) • Social desirability tendency ◦ One answer more acceptable than another ◦ Word questions equally ◦ Verification key ▪ detect dishonest responses ▪ Present in MMPI • Acquiescence ◦ tendency to agree with statement regardless of content ◦ True/False bias • Format of item ◦ Visual analogue scale : single line min max ◦ Likert scale: 7 or 9 point ◦ Appropriate scale important ◦ Not good for sensations --> labeled magnitude test useful ◦ Branching items: create your own path through the quiz • Sequence of items ◦ Otherwise answers may be biased ◦ Demographics first • How data is analyzed
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