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Chapter 2

psy290 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: The Control Group, Operational Definition, Naturalistic Observation

6 pages48 viewsFall 2018

general science
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Chapter Two Study Questions
Briefly identify and describe the three goals of the scientific enterprise. (Page 44-
1. Measurement and description
a. To develop measurement techniques to make it possible to describe behaviour
clearly and precisely
2. Understanding and prediction
b. Evaluate predictions by making and testing predictions called hypothesis
3. Application and control
c. Using the information gathered towards a practical value in solving everyday
What are the five steps in scientific investigations? (Page 46,48)
Step One: formulate a testable hypothesis
Translate a theory or an intuitive idea into a testable hypothesis
Testable scientific hypothesis should be precise and all variables must be clearly
defined using operational definitions (explanation of all objects that will be used
to measure or control variable)
Step Two: select the research method and design the study
Figure out how to put the hypothesis to an empirical test
Various methods: experiments, case studies, surveys, naturalistic observation,
One should make detailed plans for executing their study ask questions like:
who would participants be? Where will you get participates?
Step Three: collect the data
Collect the data
Use data collection techniques such as: direct observation, questionnaire,
interview, psychological test, psychological recording examination of archival
Step Four: analyze the data and draw conclusions
Researchers use statistics to analyze data (does data support hypothesis?)
Step Five: report the findings
Scientific progress can only be achieved only if researchers share their findings
with another and with the general public
Submit to journal
Allows research to be evaluated and critiqued
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Define an operational definition, participants (or subjects), and data collection
techniques. (Page 44-45)
Operational definition: describes the actions or operations that will be used to measure
or control a variable
Participants: are the persons or animals whose behaviour is systematically observed in
a study
Data collection techniques: procedures for making empirical observations and
a. Direct
b. Questionnaire
c. Interview
d. Psychological test
e. Physiological recordings
f. Examination of archival records
Describe two advantages of the scientific approach as it relates to the study of
behaviour. (Page 48-49)
Clarity and precision
The specific approach requires that people specify exactly what they are talking
about when they formulate hypotheses
Clarity and precision enhances communication about important ideas
Relative intolerance of error
It demands objective data and thorough documentation before they accept ideas,
when findings of two studies conflict, the scientists try to figure out why, by
conducting additional studies
Define experiment. Define and give examples of the three types of variables
(independent, dependent, and extraneous) that may be encountered in an
experiment. (Page 49, 51)
Experiment: is a research method in which the investigator manipulates a variable
under carefully controlled conditions and observes whether any changes occur in a
second variable as a result
Independent variable (X): is a condition or event that an experimenter varies in order to
see its impact on another variable
Dependent variable (Y): is the variable that is thought to be affected by manipulation of
the independent variable
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