PSYC 2310 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Naturalistic Observation, External Validity, Dependent And Independent Variables

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22 Nov 2011
Chapter 2:
- Diffusion of responsibility- each person feels decreased personal
responsibility for intervening
- Gathering Evidence:
oInitial observation and question
oHypothesis- tentative explanation or prediction about some
phenomenon (gather clues and logically analyze them)
oTest hypothesis (conduct research)
oAnalyze data
oFurther 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
oNew hypothesis derived from theory
- Theories:
oExisting facts and observations- organizes information in a
meaningful way
oTestable- creates new evidence that can be tested for accuracy
through new evidence
oPredictions are supported by the findings of new research
oLaw of parsimony- two theories can explain and predict the same
thing equally
- Variable- any characteristics that can differ
oMemory personality, gender, intelligence, stress, learning, and
- Operational definition- variable in terms of the specific procedures used
to produce or measure it
oTranslate an abstract term into something observable and
oMust measure it
- Self-report measures- report on their own knowledge, beliefs, feelings,
experiences, or behaviours
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oInterviews, questionnaires, or specially designed psychological
oSocial desirability- gives a good impression instead of how they
truly feel or behave
oDelroy Paulhus- minimize this bias by wording questions so that
social desirability is not relevant
oInterviews can be influenced by interviewer’s behaviours
- Physiological measures
oPhysiological functioning helps understand a persons mind
Heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, hormonal
secretion, electrical and biochemical processes in the brain
oHave interpretive problems that we don’t always understand
- Behavioural observations
oDirectly visible behaviours in either real-life or laboratory settings
oEnsure measurements are reliable (consistent)
oArchival measure- already existing records or documents
oPeople behave differently when they know they are being
oUnobtrusive measures- record behaviour participants that are
unaware that they are being observed
- Three types of research methods
oDescriptive methods- recording observations or surveys
oCorrelational methods- measuring the strength of an association
between two or more events
oExperimental methods- manipulations to establish cause and
effect relationships between two or more events
- Descriptive methods
oIdentify how humans and other animals behave, usually in natural
oCase studies, naturalistic observations, surveys
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oCase study- in-depth analysis of an individual, group, or event
Gathered through observations, interviews, psychological
tests, physiological recordings, and task performance
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
Poor method for determining cause-effect relations
Generalization of findings
Lack of objectivity in the way the researcher gathers
and interprets the data
oNaturalistic 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
oSurvey 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)
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