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Research Methods Midterm Notes.doc

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PSYC 2030
Krista Phillips

Research Methods Midterm Chapter 1 Understanding scientific method benefits • Modern way of life is largely the creation of science and technology, further understanding of world by understanding research • Not understanding research method costs us, believe misleading recommendations • Raise and address statistical equations of your own choosing • Understand limits of particular studies and methods • Fun! A Career! The Provisional Nature of Scientific Knowledge • “Paradigm shifts” resulting from revolutionary insights (S. Kuhn) • Fittest methods for research survive, evolutionary process (Karl Popper) Four distinctive approaches to explaining things and providing a foundation for strongly held beliefs (Peirce) • The fixation of beliefs • Method of tenacity o Most primitive o Bound by tradition o Involves clinging stubbornly (tenaciously) to mindless beliefs because they have been around for a while o False consensus or pluralistic ignorance  People have a tendency to misperceive, and frequently to overestimate, the extent to which others share their beliefs  People tell themselves only their own beliefs are correct, do not listen to or accept others • Method of authority o Something is true because someone in a position of authority says it is o Similar to method of tenacity, both imply conformity o Can be negative (Holocaust, medical quacks, food faddists, faith healers) o Positive: Society would cease to exist without people’s willingness to obey just laws and to carry out reasonable orders o Also, people listen to doctors, electricians, other professionals • A priori method o People rely primarily on their individual powers of reason and logic o Peirce argued far more intellectual and respectable o Use your own reason and logic (balance check book, what to tip, what career path to take) o What do you do in a disagreement? This is the role of scientific method. Framework for drawing on independent realities 1 Flying Saucers, Big Foot, and Other Odd Beliefs (related to method of tenacity) • Carl G. Jung, one of Freud’s students, theorized about UFOs • Myths are a projection of peoples fears and uncertainties about the world and their wish for a redeeming super natural force • Summary, people believe because they want to believe Scientific Method: Depends heavily on the use of empirical research (based on observation) Empirical reasoning • Combination of careful logic, organized observation, and measurement that is open to scrutiny by others • Goes back centuries (Galileo, Ancient times => thtron example) • Entered study of behaviour at the end of the 19 century, led to psychology as a distinct sciences • Early study of prayers being answered relating to royalty • Stephen J. Ceci experiment on the accuracy of children’s eyewitness testimony o Described someone clumsy, described person visited school, did not behave clumsily, children shown a ripped book, planted stereotypical information about person, these stereotypes carried over to children’s reports o Used control group to assess effect of experimental manipulation, control group made fewer false claims • Asch conformity study o One participant, seated around a table with many other people who appear to be participants but are involved in the study, objective reality on length of several lines and how the participant conformed to false answers o Most people went a long with their own feeling (a priori) Extraempirical factors – factors other than the primary role of independent observation to ascertain what is true. Science requires a leap of faith due to limitations of human observation. Aesthetic aspect of science • Science is a sense of beauty or elegance • A study or finding or theory is beautiful • Pure, simple, makes sense Perceptibility • Visualization • Scientists often use images in the form of analogies and metaphors to explain the operation of complex phenomena • Make complex ideas more understandable Rhetoric of justification 2 • Used to build a case in support of some conclusion • People sound like people in their field (Doctors sound like doctors, Lawyers talk like lawyers) • Must understand the terms and concepts they are using • In science, a verbalization is formally scientific and take form of a hypothesis expressing the relation among two or more variables • Professional researches are expected to publish their empirical results in peer- reviewed journals Behavioural science • Covers cognitive and emotional functioning as well as social behaviour and behavioural economics • Goal to describe and explain how and why humans think, feel, and behave as they do Methodological pluralism • Behavioural scientists frequently use more than one method to study a phenomenon, a single method is limited in some ways • One methods strengths compensate for another’s limitations Theoretical ecumenism • Often more than one right way to view the causes of behaviour • Behaviour may be motivated by more than one cause or the pursuit of more than one objective Descriptive research • The goal of the investigation is the careful mapping out of a situation or a set of events • Description of what is happening behaviourally • Necessary first step in the development of a program of research, establishes foundation • Insufficient, does not answer how or why • To understand how or why, must focus on at least two variables • Take two sets of observations and assess the degree of the relationship between the two sets Relational research (or correlational) • Two variables measured and their degree of relationship to each other is estimated • Such impressions are a frequent, and often valuable, by-product of descriptive research, but can not be left at impressionistic level for very long • Arrange a series of observations on a sample of students who represent the target population • Must distinguish if there is a relation, the pattern of the relationship (linear or nonlinear) and the strength of the relationship Ad hoc hypothesis • A conjecture or supposition developed on the spot “for this” special result • An opinion or a conclusion based on incomplete information 3 • Need to make further observations to confirm hypothesis • Do so by manipulating conditions that we think are responsible for effect • This is experimental research Experimental research • Identification of causes (what leads to what) • Relational research only rarely provides such information • Relational = X is related to Y. Experimental = X is responsible for Y *make sure understand difference between descriptive, relational, and experimental • Relational suggests possibility, experimental is a firm statement Summary Descriptive is to describe, relational is to identify relationships, experimental is to infer causality Random Sampling • Increased likelihood that it is representative of population Random Assignment • Using an unbiased randomizing procedure (coin toss) Chapter 2 Discovery phase (Reichenbach) • Discovery phase of scientific inquiry • Venturing into the unknown • Coming up with an idea, doing a background search of the literature, defining concepts and variables, formulating hypotheses, developing a study design and a plan to implement it Justification phase • Rationale for the plan of the study, logical argument for the conclusion reached • However, no rule saying science must proceed in this fashion Hypothesis generating heuristics (heuristic =stimulating interest as a means of further investigation) a. the use of an intensive case study • in depth examination of something • Single-case experimental research: studies using repeated-measures design in which there is one subject b. the effort to make psychological sense of a paradoxical incident • seemingly contradictory event • A weird event, that doesn’t seem to make sense. Base a hypothesis off this c. the use of analogies, metaphors, figures of speech, and other assorted imagery • hypothesis based on an analogy (small pox vaccination similar to propaganda) • Often basis of theories and principles (Psychogenetic principle of spirality) d. the resolution of conflicting results • Trying to account for conflicting results 4 • Do a study, data conflicts, make a hypothesis based on this e. the effort to improve on older ideas f. serendipity (beneficial chance) Also, replicating a published study with a new twist (Varied replication) Moderator variables – variables that may strengthen or weaken the relationships between independent and dependent variables when engaging in varied replication Experimenter expectancy effect • Researcher having a bias in favour of their hypothesis Operational definition • Identify variables on the basis of empirical conditions used to measure or to manipulate the variables Theoretical definition • Define variables in more abstract or more general terms Working hypotheses (experimental hypotheses) • Purpose is to select what the researcher will be looking for • Conjectural, presumptive, hypothetical statement or supposition • A theory is a larger set of such statements in the context of certain assumptions • Hypotheses can be derived from a good theory, give direction to researchers observations • Seminal theories – those that shape or stimulate other work • Good scientific theories are generative, encourage others to generate additional hypotheses • Identifiable characteristics of good working hypotheses: o Plausible, or credible  Consistent with respected theories and reliable data o Testable in some empirical way o Refutable, falsifiable  Falsifiability  If you can’t argue for it or against it, does not belong in science o Succinct (brief and clear)  Coherence (sticks together, logical), parsimony (not overly wordy)  Occam’s Razor: Should not have to make more assumptions than necessary, cut away what is difficult to comprehend. This is only a description for the hypothesis, rest of information can be complex Chapter 3 Ethics • Refers to the values by which people morally evaluate character or behaviour 5 • Refers to the values by which the conduct of researchers as well as the morality of the various strategies they use is evaluated • Consult legal, institutional, and professional ethical guidelines that contain rules and specifications pertaining to the question “Should I conduct this study?” • Most prominent guidelines in psychological researcher are those adopted by the American Psychological Association (APA) o Book with all rules, contains the APA’s ethical principles, the U.S. government’s regulations for the protection of human subjects, and a government document that is well known to researchers, the Belmont Report  The Belmont Report formulates guidelines that protect the rights and welfare of participants in biomedical and behavioural research  Study of men with syphilis, did not tell the men they had syphilis. Unethical, said they would dropped from the study if they sought out help else where  Resulted in a legacy of mistrust of government and medicine in many minority communities o Not an official statement of the APA (unrelated authors), but recommends 5 broad principles to organize researchers thinking about ethical issues Five Principles • Principle I is respect for persons and their autonomy, independence, in the context of research ethics, refers to a prospective participant’s right as well as ability to choose whether to take part or to continue in the study o Informed what they will be getting into, given opportunity to drop out o Informed consent agreements o There are situations where getting informed consent may be unnecessary or impossible (public records, risk free studies where informed consent would be counterproductive) o Not all information is always give, for drug trials not told whether they are getting placebo or active pill • Principle II is that researchers must agree to do no harm (nonmaleficence) and try to maximize the benefits of their research (beneficence) o Determined by review board • Principle III is the pursuit and promotion of justice, which means that the burdens as well as the benefits of research are distributed equitably and without favouritism o Can often be subjective, a matter of each persons view and perspective • Principle IV refers to the establishment of a relationship of trust with the research participants o i.e. must maintain confidentiality • Principle V is the fostering of fidelity and scientific integrity o Must be a good study in pursuit of knowledge Informed consent form (related to Principle I) • Nature of the study 6 • Any potential risk or inconvenience to them • The procedure for ensuring the confidentiality of the data • The voluntary nature of their cooperation and their freedom to withdraw at any time without prejudice or consequence • Some consent forms due to regulations have become so detailed that they defeat the purpose for which they were intended, participant does not understand study • Can still sue even if signed consent form Maximizing benefits of research, written proposals (relative to Principle II) • Researcher affiliated with an academic institution submits a detailed written proposal of the planned research to a panel of evaluators, called an institutional review board (IRB) • Does a risk-benefit analysis of the proposed study • If classified as minimal risk, eligible for an expedited review and is evaluated without delay • Research involving more than minimal risk raises a red flag and then undergoes detailed assessment by the IRB • If a study is borderline, returned to researchers to make adjustments to either increase benefits or decrease risks • A limitation of this assessment is that it focuses only on risks and benefits of doing research but ignores the costs of not doing research Obstacles to the Rendering of “Full Justice” (related to Principle III) • Tuskegee study (syphilis) none of the participants could have benefited in any significant way, they alone bore the awful burdens • One group should be given new drug, one group given best available medicine, minimizes risk • Placebo should only be used when no other effective treatment is available for comparison with the therapeutic intervention being tested • Study’s can be unfair as some participants get large benefits and others do not, or as participants have large risks and others do not • Difficult to achieve full justice Relationship of Trust (related to Principle IV) • Relationship of trust proceeds on the assumption that there is informed consent and that nothing will happen to jeopardize this agreement • Debrief after study to deal with previously withholding information • Confidentiality – participants disclosures are protected against unwarranted access, ensures privacy as well as improves data they provide Scientific Quality and Ethical Quality Intertwine (Principle V) • Close relationship between scientific quality and ethical quality • Medical studies have omitted information, which questions the validity of their study. Report information ambiguously and the result could be biased 7 • Researchers deliberately omit results that contradict their hypothesis, violation of the fidelity and scientific integrity principle • Also report results that never were, constitutes fraud • Implying a causal relationship where the data do not support it Justifying Deception • Milgram study – participants believed they were giving shocks o Deception caused stress on participants • Full disclosure could result in more problems, affect participants results • Some argue deception in any form is morally wrong, others argue that there are special circumstances in which it is needed to ensure the integrity of important scientific data (Principle V) • Active deception o Participants are actively misled, given false information about the purpose of the research (unwittingly interact with confederates, secretly given a placebo) • Passive deception o Information is withheld from participants, as when they are not informed of the meaning of their response when they are given a projective test or when they are not told the full details of the research • Must be determined whether a particular deception is worth a possible increase in knowledge Debriefing • Opportunity to remove any misconceptions and anxieties the participants may have • Sense of dignity remains intact and they feel that their time has not been wasted • If deception has been used, important to remove any detrimental impact on the participants feeling of trust in interpersonal relationships • A full debriefing is inadvisable if it would produce stress or be ineffective • Can also be used to explore what the participants thought about the study • Box 3.3 – word first used in context of pilots returning from bombing missions • Should be used to satisfy the participants about having cooperated in the investigation • Four Guidelines incorporated into debriefings 1. If there is a form of deception, give some explanation to reveal the truth about the research and you’re carefully considered use of the deception 2. Explain that them being deceived has no effect or representation of their intelligence 3. Proceed gradually and patiently, reduce the subjects negative feelings 4. Never use a double deception, a second deception in what the participant thinks is the official debriefings. Can be very damaging. Don’t fuck with them twice 8 Animal Research Three Rs principle emphasizes the reduction of the number of animals used in research, the refinement of experiment so there is less suffering, and the replacement of the use of animals with other procedures whenever possible • Laws and ethical guidelines exist Chapter 4 Systematic observational research • Differentiates the research strategies described in this chapter from the self-report methods described in chapter 5 • Observation means that the research is viewing for scientific purpose, systematic implies that the this observation follows a particular plan or involves a system that can be evaluated on the basis of technical standards • Calls for resourcefulness in the spirit of “lets try it and see” and also the use of more than just one observational or self-report method • Single empirical method would confine observation, methodological pluralism ties various methods together • By using multiple methods, researchers focus on phenomena from more than on perspective – methodological triangulation • Quantitative research – the data exist in a numerical or graphic form • Qualitative research – the data exist in a narrative form or pictorial form • Can still enumerate or graph qualitative data (using judges as raters or as counters, computerized systems) can use both in one study, not exclusive to each other Participant observation (qualitative research) • Term participant refers to th
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