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PSYC 2310 (255)
Chapter 2

Dynamics of Behaviour Chapter 2

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2310
Anneke Olthof

Chapter 2: - Diffusion of responsibility- each person feels decreased personal responsibility for intervening - Gathering Evidence: o Initial observation and question o Hypothesis- tentative explanation or prediction about some phenomenon (gather clues and logically analyze them) o Test hypothesis (conduct research) o Analyze data o Further research and theory building (formal statements that explains how and why certain events are related to one another- specify lawful relations between certain behaviours and their cause) o New hypothesis derived from theory - Theories: o Existing facts and observations- organizes information in a meaningful way o Testable- creates new evidence that can be tested for accuracy through new evidence o Predictions are supported by the findings of new research o Law of parsimony- two theories can explain and predict the same thing equally - Variable- any characteristics that can differ o Memory personality, gender, intelligence, stress, learning, and motivation - Operational definition- variable in terms of the specific procedures used to produce or measure it o Translate an abstract term into something observable and measureable o Must measure it - Self-report measures- report on their own knowledge, beliefs, feelings, experiences, or behaviours o Interviews, questionnaires, or specially designed psychological tests o Social desirability- gives a good impression instead of how they truly feel or behave o Delroy Paulhus- minimize this bias by wording questions so that social desirability is not relevant o Interviews can be influenced by interviewer’s behaviours - Physiological measures o Physiological functioning helps understand a persons mind  Heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, hormonal secretion, electrical and biochemical processes in the brain o Have interpretive problems that we don’t always understand - Behavioural observations o Directly visible behaviours in either real-life or laboratory settings o Ensure measurements are reliable (consistent) o Archival measure- already existing records or documents o People behave differently when they know they are being observed o Unobtrusive measures- record behaviour participants that are unaware that they are being observed - Three types of research methods o Descriptive methods- recording observations or surveys o Correlational methods- measuring the strength of an association between two or more events o Experimental methods- manipulations to establish cause and effect relationships between two or more events - Descriptive methods o Identify how humans and other animals behave, usually in natural settings o Case studies, naturalistic observations, surveys o Case study- in-depth analysis of an individual, group, or event  Gathered through observations, interviews, psychological tests, physiological recordings, and task performance  Advantages: • Study it intensively and collect large amounts of data • May challenge validity of a theory or widely held belief • Illustrate effective intervention programs developed by clinical psychologists to treat special populations  Disadvantages: • Poor method for determining cause-effect relations • Generalization of findings • Lack of objectivity in the way the researcher gathers and interprets the data o Naturalistic observation  Observes behaviour as it occurs in a natural setting  Study animal behaviours • Jane Goodall- observation of African chimpanzees • Display a variety of behaviours  Can help sort out conflicting self reports  Doesn’t permit causal conclusions  Can be bias in the way that researchers interpret the behaviours they observe  Researchers have to avoid influencing participants o Survey research  Administering questionnaires or interviews to many people about their attitudes, opinions, or behaviours  Populations- all the individuals we are interested in drawing a conclusion (possible to survey whole population)  Sample- division of individuals drawn from the larger population of interest  Representative sample- reflects important characteristics of a population • Strongest advantage in survey research  Random sampling- used to select individuals of a subgroup to be in the survey • Every member of the population has an equal chance of being chosen to participate in the survey  Unrepresentative samples can produce distorted results • Better to have a small representative sample than a large unrepresentative sample  Disadvantages: • Unrepresentative samples lead to faulty generalizations about how an entire population would respond • Rely on self-reports which are based on the assumptions that people know themselves and don’t lie • Survey data cannot be used to draw conclusions about cause and effect - Correlational Research o Measuring variables, not m
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