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PSYC 1000 (740)
Dan Meegan (212)

Module 3.docx

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PSYC 1000
Dan Meegan

Module 3: Research Strategies: How Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions How do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions? - Scientific method o Self correcting process for evaluating ideas with observation and analysis o Describe and explain human nature o Takes hunches and plausible sounding theories and puts them to the test  If data supports predictions, even better for the theory  If not theory can be revised or rejected The Scientific Methods - Theory explains with principles that organize observations and predict behaviours o Organize isolated facts a theory simplifies o Link those with deeper principles and theory offers useful summary o Connect observed dots have coherent picture - Hypothesis is a testable prediction, often implied by a theory o Specify what results would support the theory and what disconfirm it - Theories can bias observations - Operational definitions used to check bias o A statement of the procedures (operations) used to define research variables  Hunger hours without eating, generosity money contributed o Others can then replicate study  Original observations with different participants materials and circumstances  If similar results findings reliability grows - Theory is useful if it o Organizes a range of self reports and observations o Implies predictions that anyone can use to check the theory or to derive pratical applications - Descriptive methods describe behaviours o Case studies, surveys, or naturalistic observations - Correlational methods associate different factors - Experimental methods manipulate factors to discover their effects Description - Observe and describe people drawing conclusions about why they act as they do o Objectively and systematically Case Study - Examines one individual indepth in the hope of revealing things true to all of us o Show us what can happen, suggest directions for further study o May mislead us if individual is atypical  Dramatic stories and personal experiences command attention and more easily remembered  Anecdotes are not evidence Naturalistic Observation - Observing and recording behaviour in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation - Does not explain behaviour - Offers interesting snapshots of everyday life The Survey - A technique for ascertain the self reported attitudes or behaviours of a particular groups usually by questioning a representative, random sample of the group - Wording effects o Critical thinkers will reflect on how the phrasing of a question might affect people’s expressed opinions - Random sampling o Tend to generalize from samples we observe especially in vivid cases o Random sample fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance for inclusion  Best basis for generalizing is from a representative sample Correlation - A measure to the extent to which two factors vary together and thus of how well either factor predicts the other - Correlation coefficient o Statistical index of the relationship between two things (from -1 to +1) o Straight line going up +1 perfect positive correlation o Complete random points 0 no relationship o Straight line going down -1 perfect negative correlation - When it is negative it shows that scores relate inversely o One set goes up as the other goes down - Used when relationship of data cannot be seen when presented systematically Correlation and Causation - Correlations help us predict but does not merit the other - Association does not prove causation o It indicates the possibility of a cause and effect relationship Experimentation - Enable researchers to isolate the effects of one or more factors by o Manipulating the factors at interest o Holding constant (controlling) other factors  Experimental group  Exposed to the treatment  Control group  Does not receive treatment  These are randomly assigned - Correlation studies uncover naturally occurring relationships, experiments manipulate a factor to determine the effect - In new drug treatments or methods of psychological research o Randomly assign to receive treatment or receive a placebo o Participants are often blind of what they are receiving o Double blind procedure  Neither the participants or research assistants know which group is receiving
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