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Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Introduction To Research.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2360

Chapter 1: Introduction to Research - behavioural research o used to study important human problems and provide solutions to them Behavioural Research - goal o discover, among other things, how people perceive their world, how they think and feel, how they change over time, how they learn and make decisions, and how they interact with others - scientists o study behaviour both because  want to understand it  want to contribute to creating solutions to the everyday problems that face human beings - empirical o based on systematic collection and analysis of data - data o information collected through formal observation or measurement - scientists o believe that research is the best tool for understanding human beings and their relationships with others o draw conclusion about human behaviour from systematic collection and analysis of data Everyday Science Versus Empirical Research - enables us to predict our own behaviour and that of others - people are “everyday scientists o conduct research projects to answer questions about behaviour o results can teach us many principles of human behaviour Replying on Our Intuition - may believe that behavioural research is basically “common sense” and that, therefore, formal study of it is not necessary - often incorrect in our intuition about why other do what they do and even why we ourselves do what we do - problem o not always particularly thorough o one explanation makes sense, we adopt that explanation as the truth - scientists o found that there are a variety of cognitive and motivational biases that frequently bias our perceptions and lead us to draw erroneous conclusions Discovering the Limitations of Using Intuition - hindsight bias o tendency to think that we could have predicted something we probably could not have predicted - people’s theories about how they make judgments do not always correspond well to how they actually make decisions - people believe that they would have predicted events that they would not have, making research findings seem like they are just common sense - people realize that this intuition is frequently unreliable, they always back up their intuition empirically The Scientific Method - scientific method o label the set of assumptions, rules, and procedures that scientists use to conduct research the scientific method o demands that the procedures used by objective, or free from the personal bias or emotions of the scientist o prescribes  how scientists collect and analyze data  how they draw conclusions from data  how they share data with others o rules increase objectivity by placing data under scrutiny by other scientists and even by the public at large o data are reported objectively, other scientists know exactly how the scientist collected and analyzed the data  do not have to rely only on the scientist’s own interpretation of the data; they make also draw their own, potentially different, conclusions o demands that science be based on what has come before it o results in the accumulation of scientific knowledge Values Versus Facts in Scientific Research - values o personal statements - facts o objective statements determined to be accurate through empirical study - facts and the formation of values o values cannot be considered to be either true or false  science cannot prove or disprove then o values frequently come into play in determining what research is appropriate or important to conduct - distinguishing between facts and values o scientists use research to help distinguish facts from values o interpreting data is difficult in the behavioural sciences  people have their own hypotheses and beliefs about human behaviour, they can easily make their own interpretations of the results of behavioural research o behavioural sciences  procedures involve creating a systematic set of knowledge about characteristics of individuals and groups and the relationships among them  just because data must be interpreted does not mean it is not useful o values and facts in the research report  research reports  scientific findings are mad publicly available  APA – American Psychological Association  important requirements  appropriate information goes in the appropriate section  introduction and discussion o subjective  involve such questions as what topics are of importance to study and how the data should be interpreted  results and discussion o objective  describing the actual procedures of the experiments and the statistical analyses  attempts to clearly differentiate the two Basic and Applied Research - basic research o answers fundamental questions about behaviour o no particular reason to study such things except to acquire a better knowledge of how these processes occur - applied research o investigates issues that have implications for everyday life and provide solutions toe everyday problems o program evaluation research  study the effectiveness of methods designed to make positive social changes, such as training programs, antiprejudice programs, and after-school learning programs - applied research and basic research inform each other o basic research  provides underlying principles that can be used to solve specific problems o applied research  gives ideas for the kinds of topics that basic research can study The Importance of Studying Research Methods Research Designs: Three Approaches to Studying Behaviour - research design
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