[PSYC 1] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (35 pages long!)

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6 Feb 2017
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PSYC 1
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Lecture 2: Research, Methods, and Statistics
The Scientific Method
We overestimate our intuition
We use scientific inquiry to sift reality from illusion
A self-correcting process for asking questions & observing answers
- theories
Colloquial Def: hunch or idea
Scientific Method: explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes
observations and predicts behaviors or events
- hypotheses
Testable prediction informed by theory
- operational definitions
A statement of how the procedures are used to define research variables
How a physiological phenomenon is measured
- research & observation
procedures and measurement of research variable to test hypothesis
The Scientific Method is an ongoing process
Correction process only after gathering data (or else you’ll have hindsight bias)
Psychology Research Methods
Case Studies
Observation technique where you have one or a few participants
Usually b/c it’s so rare & difficult to study, and is very in-depth
Not as scientific as we would like
Problems
Hard to generalize
Could be coincidence sometimes freak accidents are just that, sometimes for just
that individual
Difficult to establish objectivity on measurement
Naturalistic Observations
Behavior observed in natural setting
Typically, behavior is not altered or interfered
Observer bias:
Person observing has to be careful to be consistent and objective about what
they are recording
May be looking for a specific behavior
Some experimenters will ask people who are unaware of the hypothesis to do
the observing for them
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Descriptive
Focuses on recording events, seeks to identify how humans & other animals behave,
particularly in natural settings
Low amount of researcher control
Ex: making a 3D model of the brain
Correlational
- Focuses on the relationship between two or more psychological phenomena, in
either laboratory or natural settings
- Moderate amount of researcher control
- Mostly naturalistic studies
- Not causational
Experimental
- Focuses on the cause and effect relationship between two or more psychological
phenomena, particularly in lab settings
- High amount of researcher control
Variables: any factor that can vary
Operational Def: how you measure the variable
Measuring Variables in Psych
o Self-reports & reports by others
o The participant fills a form, and someone else fills out the same form for
that person
Observations of behaviors
Psychological test
Physiological measures
Sampling
Choosing participants for research studies
Terms
Population: All people we are interested in
Sample: subset of people we are interested in
Representative Sample: reflects important characteristics of population
Random Sample: all members of population have equal chance of being selected
Difficult to do with large / widespread population
Correlation Method
Statistical technique used to measure the strength and nature of the relation between two
variables
Correlation Coefficient: the number that describes the correlation between two variables
- can be positive or negative
- ranges from -1 to +1
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