[PSYCH 303] - Midterm Exam Guide - Everything you need to know! (24 pages long)

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7 Feb 2017
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PSYCH 303
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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January 9, 2016
Research Methods
Critical questions
How many participants were in each study?
Were the participants randomly selected?
Were there differences between participants in the two groups?
How was “capable of empathy and theory of mind” measured?
Framework for consuming research
What type of claim is being made?
Three types
Compared to what?
What is the evidence to support it?
Four validities
How were the data collected?
How big was the effect
Do the results generalize to my situation
Are there any likely confounds?
Is the media accurately summarizing scholarly research?
Understanding research
Theory-data
Cycle
Informal observations/practical problems
Leads to research questions
Research questions can be answered by empirical studies or by looking at older
research literature
Empirical study leads to data analysis
Analysis leads to conclusions
Conclusions can be published in research literature
Research literature can lead to more research questions
Classic example
Why do babies bond with caregivers?
Cupboard theory
Mother’s value lies in providing food and other important resources
Contact comfort theory (Harlow, 1958)
Physical contact with mother’s fur/skin is itself rewarding
Can you test these competing theories by simply observing babies/mothers as they are
naturally?
Harlow found a natural confound and so he created artificial “mothers” who provided
only one or the other
Hypothesis
Babies will prefer mother that provides food more than coziness
Data
How much time does baby choose to spend with each mother
Monkeys spend almost all their time with the cloth mother in comparison to the wire
mother, which they use just when hungry
How do Harlow’s data impact the theories?
Are there other explanations for the data?
Is the theory falsifiable?
Does this finding generalize to all animals, including people?
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Is it ethical to raise babies who only have a wire or cloth mom?
Can we trust Harlow’s claims?
Published his study, titled “The nature of love,” as a Presidential Address from the
1958 APA convention, meaning it was not peer-reviewed
The peer-reviewed version came out the next year, retitled to “Affectional responses in
the the infant monkey”
Peer review
Main way research enters literature
Provides expert scrutiny
Research is sent to three people unaffiliated with the research in order for them to give
criticism
Gatekeeper
Some papers are never published because peer reviewers say the research is not good
or has been previously proven
Opportunity to correct flaws or exaggerations in the presentation of research
Journal to journalism
Journey from “scholarly” to “popular”
Most of our exposure to research is via the popular press
There’s a much larger body of research that is only reported in scholarly journals and is
never seen by the vast public
Finding and reading about research
Popular outlet
Newspaper/magazines/radio
Blogs
Authored books and blogs
Scholarly outlets
Authored books (some), edited books, handbooks and reviews
Not new empirical findings
Only trustworthy if they utilize a lot of scientific citations
Conference presentations and papers
Conference reviewers are reviewed more “loosely”
Reviews are shorter and performed with less expertise
Take conference papers with a grain of salt
Journal articles
Empirical
The most important source for novel research
Most will be in APA style
Includes Methods and Results section
Meta-analysis
A summary and comparison of a bunch of articles centering on the same topic of
research
Not new data, just data someone else recorded and published
Reviews (e.g., Annual Review of Psychology)
Summary of content of a study, but not helpful for learning research methodology
(i.e. how the research was done)
Origin of beliefs
Our intuitions are biased by memory
Pop-up principle (availability heuristic)
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