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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - PSYC Reading.docx

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PSYC 100
Jill L Atkinson

Chapter 2 PSYC Reading o Scientific Method: a set of rules that governs the collection and analysis of data gained though observational studies or experiments - Rules are based on logic and common sense - Originally devised by philosophers who were attempting to determine how we could understand reality - Important to realize how easily we can be fooled about the actual causes of behaviour o Types of Scientific Research: - Naturalistic Observation: the observant of the behaviour of people or other animals in their natural environments - Clinical Observation: the observation of people who are undergoing diagnosis or treatment researcher might perceive new facts following careful observation - Correlational Studies: the examination of relations between two or more measurements of behaviour or other characteristics of people or other animals (involves more formal measurements) - Experiments: a study in which the researcher changes the value of an independent variable and observes whether this manipulation affects the value of a dependent variable. Only experiments can confirm the existence of cause-and-effect relation among variables o Observational evidence identifies the phenomenon and might indicate something about its magnitude o Correlational evidence arises when you start to observe relations between observations o Systematic investigation of the phenomenon through experimentation can produce concrete evidence about the causal role. o Five Steps of the Scientific Method: identify cause-and-effect relations - Identify the problem and formulate hypothetical cause-and-effect relations among variables: involves identifying variables (particular behaviours and particular environmental and physiological events) and describe the relations among them in general terms - Design the experiment: involve the manipulation of independent variables and the observation of dependent variables variable must be operationally defined - Perform the experiment - Evaluate the hypothesis by examining the data from the study: involves special mathematical procedures used to determine whether an observed effect is statistically significant - Communicate the results o People have a tendency to accept some types of evidence even though the rules of logic indicate they should not o Psychological research in Canada has been supported by: the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research o Hypothesis: a statement, usually designed to be tested by an experiment, that tentatively expresses a cause-and-effect relationship between two or more events Starting point of any study o Theory: a set of statements designed to explain a set of phenomena; more encompassing than a hypothesis - A good theory is one that generates testable hypotheses hypotheses that can be potentially be supported or proved wrong by scientific research o Naturalists: people who carefully observe animals in their natural habitat, disturbing them as little as possible - Naturalistic Observations: what naturalists see and record all sciences begin with simple observations - Psychologist who are also naturalists apply observational procedures to questions of behaviour o Clinical Observations: psychologist doesnt remain in the background the gaol of therapy is to change the patients behaviour and solve problems - Case Studies: a detailed description of an individuals behaviour during the course of clinical treatment or diagnosis could form the basis of hypotheses about the causes of behaviour o Survey Study: a study of peoples responses to standardized questions o How to Design an Experiment: - Variable: anything capable of assuming any of several values anything that can differ in amount, degree, or presence versus absence is a variable - Manipulation: setting the values of an independent variable in an experiment to see whether the value of another variable is affected Psychologists devise instruments to measure psychological variables help us evaluate hypotheses - Experimental Group: a group of participants in an experiment, the members of which are exposed to a particular value of the independent variable, which has been manipulated by the researcher - Control Group: a comparison group used in an experiment, the members of which are exposed to the naturally occurring or zero value of the independent variable - Independent Variable: the variable that is manipulated in an experiment as a means of determining cause-and-effect relations - Dependent Variable: the variable that is measured in an experiment a hypothesis describes how an dependent variable depends on the independent variable - Variables that hypotheses deal with are expressed in general terms. Independent and dependent variables are categories into which various behaviours are classified - Nominal Fallacy: the false belief that one has explained the causes of a phenomenon by identifying and naming it- The task of a psychologist is to determine which of the many events that occurred before a particular behaviour caused that behaviour to happen - Operational Definition: the definition of a variable in terms of the operations the researcher performs to measure or manipulate it Setting Independent Variable Dependent Variable - Any general concept can be operationalized in many different ways: by selecting one particular operational definition, the researcher may or may not succeed in manipulating the independent variable or in measuring the dependent variable - Validity: the degree in which the operational definition of a variable accurately reflects the variable it is designed to measure or manipulate - Confounding of Variables: inadvertent simultaneous manipulation of more than one variable. The results of an experiment involving confounded variables permit no valid conclusions about cause and effect - Habituation: when a stimulus is presented repeatedly - Counterbalancing: a systematic variation of conditions in an experiment, such as the order of presentation of stimuli, so that different participants encounter them in different orders; prevents confounding of independent variables with time- dependent processes such as
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