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PSYC 2360 (93)
Chapter 14

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2360
Dan Meegan

Chapter 14: Generalizing Results Generalizing to Other Populations of Research Participants - Most participants who are “randomly selected” are college students because they are the most available - College students were studied in over 70% of the articles published between 1962 - 1964 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology - College students have characteristics of late adolescence: A developing self-identity, attitudes in flux, need for peer approval, intelligent, and unstable peer relationships - Volunteers are highly educated, more in need of approval, are more social, and have a higher socioeconomic status - Researchers may use males OR females (not both) because it is convenient – results may not be generalizable & gender bias may be an issue - Solution is to be aware of possible gender differences and include both males and females in research - Participants in one locale may differ from participants in another locale Generalizing as a Statistical Interaction: - Interaction occurs when a relationship between variables exists under one condition but not another OR when the relationship is different in one condition than in another (Ex: If you are generalizing a study only using males, you are suggesting that there is a relationship between gender and the independent variable) - The presence of an interaction indicates that the result for males cannot be generalized to females - By using variables like gender, age, or ethnic group in a design, the results can be analyzed to determine if there are interaction effects - College students are increasingly diverse and representative of society, replication prevents a safe guard against limited generalizablitiy, and rats are useful in research that applies findings to humans Cultural Considerations - Cultural research focuses on finding similarities or differences that may exist in personality and other psychological characteristics; also find ways that individuals from different cultures react to the same environment - “Culture is understood as a shared meaning systems that are embodied in artifacts and practices that form a medium for human development” Generalizing to Other Experiments - The person who conducts the experiment is the source of another generalization problem - Main goal is to make sure that any influences that the experimenter has on the experiment is constant throughout the experiment (gender, personality, amount of practice) - Solution is to use two or more experimenters Pretests and Generalization - Pretesting may limit the ability to generalize to populations that did not receive a pretest - Pretests enable researchers to assess mortality effects when participants withdraw from an experiment - Solomon four-group designs can be used in situations where a pretest is desirable but there is concern over the possible impact of taking the pretest - Solomon four-group design: half of participants are given a pretest & the other half re
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