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The Scientific Method

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PSYC 100
Ingrid Johnsrude

The scientific method The scientific method- a set of rules the governed the collection and analysis of data gained through observational studies and experiments Naturalistic observation- the observation of the behavior of people in their natural environments. (observer remains in the background, does not interfere) Clinical observation - the observation of behavior of people who are undergoing diagnosis or treatment. (does not stay in the background, change patients behavior) Correlational study- the examination of relations between two or more measurements of behavior Experiment- the researcher changes the value of an independent variable and observes whether it's manipulation affects the dependent variable Steps in the scientific method - identify the problem and formulate hypothetical cause and effect among variables - design the experiment (operationally defined) only the independent variable can be effected - perform the experiment - examine the data and evaluate the hypothesis - communicate the results Hypothesis - tested by an experiment, expresses cause and effect by two or more events. Theory- a set of statements that describe and explain known facts, proposes relations among variables, makes new predictions. Case study - a detailed description of an individuals behavior during the course of clinical treatment or diagnosis Variables- things that vary in value Experimental group- variable is manipulated by the research, have expected results Control group- comparison group in an experiment, have no expectations, exposed to the natural independent variable. Manipulation- setting the values of an independent variable to see whether another variable is affected (Independent variable - what we manipulate) (dependent variable- what we measure) Nominal fallacy- false belief that one has explained the cause of behavior just by naming it (lazy behavior as laziness) Operational definition- the definition of a variable that is completely specific Validity - how appropriate the operational definition is to testing the hypothesis, how accurate it represents the variables Confounding variables- manipulation of more than one variable, permit no valid conclusions Habituation- when a stimulus is presented repeatedly Counterbalancing- variation of conditions in an experiment, such as the order of presenting stimuli Reliability - the likelihood that if the measurement was made again it would yield the same value Interrater reliability - two or more independent observers agree on a another organisms behavior (neither person should be aware of the others fin
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