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Chapter 1

Research Methods Chapter 1 .doc

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PSYC 2360

Chapter One Introduction to Research • behavioral research is used to study important human problems and provide solutions for them. Because research has such a significant impact on scientific decisions and public policy, informed citizens, like you, are wise to understand. Behavioral Research • conducted by scientists in fields such as behavioral medicine, communication, criminology, human development, education, psychology and sociology. the goal of behavioral research is to 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. • the statements made by behavioral researchers are empirical, which means that they are based on systematic collection and analysis of data, where data are information collected through formal observation or measurement. Intuition hindsight bias: The tendency to think that we could have predicted something that we probably could not have predicted. • Reading a description of the research finding leads us think of the many cases we know that support it, and thus, make it seem believable. • scientists always back up intuitions empirically The Scientific Method • scientific method: the set of assumptions, rules and procedures that scientists use to conduct research • the scientific method demands that the procedures used be objective, or free from the personal bias or emotions of scientists • It describes how scientists collect and analyze data, how they draw conclusions from data, and how they share data with others • these rules increase objectivity • accumulation of scientific knowledge through the reporting of research and the addition to and modifications of these reported findings through further research by other scientists. Values Versus Facts in Scientific Research • not all questions can be answered using scientific approaches • statements that cannot be objectively measured or objectively determined to be true or false are not within the domain of scientific inquiry. • Values: are personal statements such • Facts: objective statements determined to be accurate through empirical research Facts and the formation of values • values cannot not be considered true or false • behavioral research can sometimes provide facts that can help develop their values • values also come into play when determining what research is appropriate or important to conduct. Distinguishing between facts and values • Hard, because there is more than one way to interpret data Values and facts in research reports • one of the most important requirements of the research report is that the appropriate information goes in the appropriate section. • There are 2 sections: introduction and discussion, they involve such questions as what topics are of importance to study and how the data should be interpreted • the other 1 is Results and Discussion, describing the actual procedures of the experiments and the statistical analysis. • APA Basic and Applied Research • Basic: answers fundamental questions about behavior. For instances, cognitive psychologists study how different types of practices influence memory for pictures and words. there is no particular reason to study such things expect to acquire a better knowledge • of how these processes occur • Applied: investigates issues that have implications for everyday life and provide solutions to everyday problems. An example of this could be what types of psychotherapies are most effective in reducing depression • One type of applied research is called program evaluation research, which is conducted to study the effectiveness of methods designed to make positive social changes, such as training programs, anti prejudice programs. • scientists who conduct basic research are frequently influenced by practical issues in determining which topics to study. • scientists who are interested in solving practical programs are well aware that the results of basic research can help them do so • applied and basic research inform each other • basic research provides underlying principles that can be used to solve specific problems, and applied research gives ideas for the kinds of topics that basic research can study. The importance of studying research methods -evaluating research reports -conducting research -thinking critically about research Research Designs: Three Approaches to Studying behavior • different goals require different approaches to answering research questions • research design: Is the specific method a researcher uses to collect, analyze, and interpret data. • descriptive research designs, correlational research designs, and experimental research designs Descriptive Research: Assessing the Current State of Affairs • research designed to answer questions about the current state of affairs is know as descriptive research. • surveys • naturalistic observations • q
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