Textbook Notes (369,067)
Canada (162,366)
Psychology (663)
PSYC 1001 (161)
Chris Motz (18)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Notes from Book.docx

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PSYC 1001
Chris Motz

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Chapter 2 Intro: -different types of questions call for different types of research methods Goals of the Scientific Enterprise: -all psychologists and scientists share 3 sets of interrelated goals -measurement and description -first goal of psych is to develop measurement techniques that make it possible to describe behaviour clearly and precisely -understanding and prediction -events can be understood if the reason(s) for its occurrence can be explained -must make and test predictions (hypothesis) -a hypothesis is a cautious statement about the relationship between 2 or more variables -variables are any events, conditions, characteristics or behaviours that can be measured and controlled or observed in a study -application and control -psychologists hope that the info they gather will be useful -once people understand a phenomenon they can exert more control over it -a theory is a system of interrelated ideas used to explain a set of observations -permits psychologists to travel from the description of behaviour to understanding it -guides future research by creating new predictions and lines of inquiry -must be testable empirically -most theories are too complicated to be tested all at once -in a typical study, one or two specific hypothesis are derived from the theory -if the findings support the hypothesis, confidence in the theory increases -process allows theories to be revised or eliminated Steps in a Scientific Investigation: -investigations are systematic and done in a certain order Step 1: Formulate a Testable Hypothesis -turn a theory into a testable hypothesis -normally, hypothesis conveyed as predictions -to be testable, it must be formulated precisely and the variables must be clearly defined -must provide operational definitions for each relevant variable -an operational definition describes the actions or operations that will be used to control or measure a variable -may be different from dictionary meanings -establish exactly what is meant in context of the study Step 2: Select the Research Method and Design the Study -figure out how to empirically test the hypothesis -research method chosen depends on the question -case studies, experiments, surveys, naturalistic observations, etc. -advantages and disadvantages to each -select most suitable and sensible method -next make detailed plans on how to carry out the study -who are the participants, where will you find them, how many do you need, etc. -participants (or subjects) are the people or animals whose behaviour is observed systematically in a study Step 3: Collect the Data -collect the data using data collection techniques -data collection techniques are procedures for making empirical observations and measurements Step 4: Analyze the Data and Draw Conclusions -observations made in a study usually converted into numbers -represent the study’s raw data -statistics are used to analyze the data and decide whether or not the hypothesis is supported Step 5: Report the Findings -share findings with colleagues and general pubic -write a concise summary of the study and its findings -researchers usually deliver this report at a conference and then submit it to a journal for publication -a journal is periodical that publishes technical and scholarly material, usually in a specific niche -this process allows other experts to critique and evaluate research results and disclose any errors -if errors are serious, research usually discarded/discounted Advantages of the Scientific Approach -offers clarity and precision -is EXACT -relative intolerance for error -scientists are skeptics -demand objective data and thorough documentation -research methods consist of various approaches to the observation, measurement, manipulation, and control of variables in empirical studies Experimental Research -the experiment is a research method where the investigator manipulates a variable under carefully controlled conditions and observes any changes that may occur in the second variable as a result -find cause-and-effect relationships -most important method Independent and Dependent Variables: -purpose is to find how x (independent) affects y (dependent) -an independent variable is a condition or even that an experimenter varies in order to see its impact on another variable -variable the experimenter manipulates in hopes that it will affect the other variable and prove the thesis -the dependent variable is the variable that is thought to be affected by manipulation of the independent variable -usually a measurement of subjects’ behaviour Experimental and Control Groups: -usually 2 groups of subjects who are treated differently in regard to the independent -experimental and control group -experimental group consists of the subjects who receive some special treatment in regard to the independent -control group consists of similar subjects who do not receive the special treatment given to the experimental group -crucial that experimental and control groups in a study be alike except for treatment they receive in regard to the independent -any differences found between the two groups must be because of the manipulation of the independent Extraneous Variables: -experimental and control groups MUST BE ALIKE except for treatment -any other differences can take away from conclusions -practically, it is impossible to ensure two groups are exactly the same -therefore, only have to be the same in areas relevant to the dependent -concentrate on ensuring participants are alike on a limited number of variables that could have affect on the results -these variables called extraneous, secondary, or nuisance variables -extraneous variables are any variables other than the independent that seem likely to influence the dependent in a specific study -ex. Personality or risk-taking tendency -a confounding of variables occurs when two variables are linked together in a way that makes it difficult to sort out their specific effects -when an extraneous is confounded with an independent, can’t tell which is having an effect on the dependent -anticipating confounding/avoiding them=sign of a good experimenter -use variety of safeguards -ex. Random assignment of subjects occurs when all subjects have an equal chance of being assigned to any group or condition in the study -can be reasonably sure groups will be similar in most ways Variations in Designing Experiments: -some experiments are simply designed with one independent and one dependent - there are many experimental variations -sometimes useful to only use one group -serve as their own control group -expose group to two different conditions, control and experimental condition -allows for all extraneous variables to be alike because only one group -possible to manipulate more than one independent in a single experiment -possible to manipulate 2 or 3 independent variables to observe effect on dependent -allows experimenter to see if 2 variables interact -an interaction means that the effect of one variable depends on the effect of another. -possible to use more than one dependent variable in a single study -get a more complete picture on how manipulating the x affects behaviour Advantages and Disadvantages of Experimental Research: + allows conclusions to be drawn about cause-and-effect relationships between variables + precise control allows experimenter to isolate relationship between x and y, while neutralizing the effects of extraneous variables + strong method that experimenters choose to use whenever possible -experiments are often artificial -researchers must often create simple, artificial situations to test their hypotheses -doubts arise about applicability of findings to everyday behaviour/life -method can’t be used to explore all research questions -ethical concerns or practical realities get in the way -in this situation, descriptive/correlational research methods must be used -include naturalistic observation, case studies, and surveys -researcher can’t manipulate variables under study=certain lack of control -can’t be used to show cause-and-effect relationships -can only be used to describe patterns of behaviour and discover links or associations between variables -can be very valuable Naturalistic Observation: -in naturalistic observation, a researcher engages in careful observation of behaviour without intervening directly with the subjects -called naturalistic because behaviour is able to unfold naturally in a setting in which it would normally occur -a + is that behaviour can be observed under less artificial conditions than experiments -a – is that it is hard to observe unobtrusively as to not affect the participants’ behaviour Case Studies: -a case study is an in-depth investigation of an individual subject -when app
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