PSY 105 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Karl Popper, Francis Bacon, Scientific Method
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Chapter 2: Psychology as a science
1. What is a science?
2. How do psychologists conduct research?
3. How do psychologists make sense of research results?
4. What ethical research guidelines do psychologists follow?
5. A few special issues in research design
What is a science?
Two core beliefs of science:
1. The universe operates according to natural laws
2. Such laws are discoverable and testable
3. The scientific method uses logical reasoning derived from philosophy:
Sir Francis Bacon emphasized avoiding biases
Karl Popper stressed that a good theory must be able to be proven false:
It must be falsifiable
How do psychologists do research?
A series of steps (figure 2-1 in text)
Get ethics approval (this is the “missing” box of the diagram between step 2 and 3)
Operational definitions in the hypothesis
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An operational definition is how we (the researcher) decide to measure our variables
There are usually many ways to measure a variable (e.g., sense of humor)
When you do research, you have to decide how you are going to measure the
Population—The entire group of interest to researchers
Sample—A portion of any population that is selected for the study
Random selection—Randomly choosing a sample from a population
Sampling bias—Choosing a sample that does not represent your population
(We post advertisements to promote for various research)
Two basic types of research:
Research method used to observe and describe behaviour.
Used to determine the existence of a relationship between the variables.
To demonstrate a cause and effect relationship between the variables.
Descriptive research: case study method:
An intensive study of 1 or 2 people
Only method you can use if the type of behaviour you are looking at is rare
Cannot generalize results to all people
Descriptive research: naturalistic observation:
Systematic people watching
Can study things that are too unethical for an experiment or that people might lie
Descriptive research: Surveys
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