Chapter 4 – January 23/2013
Hypothesis: lower social status in college students is correlated with increases in deviant behaviour.
How will we define “Social Status”? Age, year of degree, wealth…
How will we measure “Deviant Behaviour”? Cheating in class, illicit drug use…
Hypothesis: sending flowers and get well cards increases the health of patients
How will we measure “Increasing Health”? Days in hospital, normalized heart rate/pressure (systolic, distolic?)…
Things to consider: how well does an operational definition capture the essence of what the researchers are interested
in; construct validity – how legitimate are inferences made from the measures in your study regarding the theoretical
constructs on which your operational definitions were based.
What goes into developing a research hypothesis?
- It is a specific and falsifiable prediction regarding the relationship between or among two or more variables; all
about getting data; ex. what effect does viewing violence on television have on boys?
- Construct: what do we mean by “effect on boys”? likelihood of violence, doing something terrible?
Initial stages in conducting scientific research:
- Getting ideas for research
- Background literature review; ex. why good people do bad things
- Organizing the research using
o Research hypotheses; after you gather evidence, how and why; theory does not come about until there
is substantial evidence
- Identify real world problems (why people on the bus interact certain ways)
- Use observation and intuition; what makes one person believe so strongly in one thing and others from the
same community feel completely different; use intuition.; you can develop research ideas just from intuition or
personal observations; ex. Piaget theory of cognitive development - based lots of his work on watching kids play
with each other.
- Intuition can lead astray! Be careful.
- Using existing research to generate new research ideas and topics; consider potential limiting conditions of the
previous research; consider ALL variables in existing studies; follow up study – changing one or more elements
of an existing study