[SOCECOL 10] - Midterm Exam Guide - Everything you need to know! (74 pages long)

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SOCECOL 10
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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LECTURE 2
January 11, 2016
Introduction to the Methods of Science
What ethods are used i today’s research?
Naturalistic Observation: Simply watch the phenomenon and get a general idea of what
is involved in the process.
o (e.g.) people-watching
Correlational Approach: Researchers seek to determine whether, when one event
occurs, the other event also occurs.
o To see whether there is a relationship between two variables
o (e.g.) correlation between laptop use and grades?
Passive Between Groups Approach (aka Natural Experiment): Researchers seek to
determine whether two (or more) naturally-occurring groups (e.g., men vs. women)
differ on some variable
o (e.g.) variables could be stress, GPA, etc.
Experimental Methods
o Compare experimentally induced groups
o Begin to interact with the phenomenon
o If I do this, hat ill happe?
Modeling: Establish a model capable of performing operations similar to the topic being
studied
o (e.g.) take a computer model of memory and apply it to human memory (is
storage of data similar to storage of memory?)
Qualitative Methods: Emphasize the subjective state of the person under study
o To describe the personal, individual experience of a particular group or person
o Probably naturalistic observation pictures and words
Quantitative Methods: An emphasis on behavior, as opposed to experience
o In terms of numbers, laws, or patterns that describe behavioral processes
o (e.g.) What is the score on some measure, such as stress level, between this
group and that group, with a higher number meaning more stress?
Correlational Approach
Direction and strength of relationships
o Is frequency or magnitude of one event related to the frequency or magnitude of
another event?
An association between variables?
o Collecting data on two different variables for each person
o Positive relationship or negative relationship
Positive: as one variable goes up, the other tends to go up; and vice
versa as one variable goes down, the other goes down
They go together!
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The more you study, the better your grades.
The more you eat, the higher your weight.
Negative: as one variable goes up, the other goes down; conversely, as
one variable goes down, the other goes up
They do opposite things!
The more hours you spend working out, the less your weight is.
The less you smoke, the higher your life expectancy.
o Correlation coefficient tells us the relatioship’s diretio ad stregth
Direction: Positive or negative
Strength: Weak or strong relationship
Depends on how many exceptions to the rule there are
-1 to +1 relationship
the sign of the number literally tells you the direction of the
relationship, but tells you nothing about the size
the size of the relationship is by how far away the number is from
zero the closer to 0, the smaller the correlation (more exceptions
to the rule)
Correlation does not imply causation
o Our instinct is to say that one causes the other
But just koig that there’s a orrelatio etee to ariales does’t
allow us to know that there is a causation as well
o (e.g.) Ice cream consumption has a positive correlation with crime rates
Heat is hat e all a third ariale
It affects variable A (ice cream) and variable B (crime)
o (e.g.) Attendance has a positive correlation with grades
third ariale ould e otiatio
o Three possibilities to consider:
A is causing B
B is causing A
C is independently causing A and independently causing B
o Causation can only be determined by experiments
Definitions in the Experimental Method
Independent variable:
o The variable that an experimenter manipulates in an experiment (IV)
o (e.g.) discussion attendance
Dependent variable:
o The aspect of the world that the experimenter expects will be affected by the
independent variable (DV)
o In other words, the outcome variable
o (e.g.) performance in the class
Test your knowledge!
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