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Chapter 1-5

Chapter 1 - 5.docx

Course Code
PSYC 2360
Naseem Al- Aidroos

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- Introduction
Purpose of behavioural research is to increase understanding of behaviour and
provide methods for improving quality of lives, and also provides information that
complements other scientific approaches.
Used to study important human problems and find solutions.
- Behavioural Research
Behavioural Research The goal is to discover how people perceive their world
and how they think, feel, and change overtime, how they learn and make
decisions, and how they interact with other people.
Believe that personal and social behaviour can be understood through the
application of scientific research methods.
Statements made by social scientists are empirical based on systematic
collection, data.
- Everyday Science Versus Empirical Research
Knowledge enables us to predict our own behaviour and that of others.
Relying on Our Intuition
Often when one explanation for event seems to make sense we adopt that
explanation as truth even when others are possible.
Evidence shows eyewitnesses no less confident of identifications when
correct as when incorrect.
Cognitive and motivational bias frequently bias our perceptions and lead
us to make false conclusions.
Discovering the Limitations of Using Intuition
Nibsett & Wilson Had college students read passage describing woman
who was applying for counseling job.
Being described as excellent increased ratings of her intelligence
and spilling coffee on interviewer’s desk increased how much they
liked her.
Hindsight Bias Tendency to think that we could have predicted
something that we probably could not have predicted.
- The Scientific Method
Scientific Methods Set of assumptions, rules, and procedures scientists use to
conduct research.
Demands procedure used be objective free from personal bias.
Demands that science be based on what has come before it.
Replicate, results in accumulation of scientific knowledge.
- Values Versus Facts in Scientific Research
Not all questions can be answered using scientific approach.
Distinction between values and facts.
Values Personal statements such as abortion should not be permitted in this
Facts Objective statements determined to be accurate through empirical study.
Facts and Formation of Values
Science cannot prove or disprove values.
Come into play in determining what research is appropriate or important
to conduct.
Distinguishing Between Facts and Values
Distinction between facts and values not always clear-cut.
Race related differences in IQ, Black score more poorly on standardized
exams than white.
Values and Facts in Research Reports
Goal of science is not to make everything objective but to make clear
which parts of research process are objective and which are not.

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Research Report Is a document that presents scientific findings using a
standardized written format.
Should have an Introduction and Discussion Subjective
Results and Discussion Completely objective.
- Basic and Applied Research
Basic Research Answers fundamental questions about behaviour, no particular
reasons other than to acquire better knowledge.
Applied Research Investigates issues that have real world implications and
everyday issues.
Program Evaluation Research Conducted to study effectiveness of
methods designed to make positive social changes such as training
- The Importance of Studying Research Methods
Fundamental understanding of research methodology will help you read about
correctly interpret results of research in any field.
Evaluating Research Reports
Ability to distinguish good from bad research.
Conducting Research
Advertising, jobs in almost any area of social science require you be
informed of behavioural research.
Thinking Critically About Research
Program depends on people who have skills to critically create research.
Able to conduct sound research and determine value of research.
- Research Designs: Three Approaches to Studying Behaviour
Research Design Specific method researcher used to collect, analyze and
interpret data.
There are descriptive research designs, correlational, and experimental.
Descriptive Research: Assessing the Current State of Affairs
Descriptive Research Designed to answer questions about current state of
Survey and Interviews
Surveys and interviews found in newspapers.
Surveys of current concerns of people within a city, state.
Naturalistic Observation
Is based on observation of everyday event; watching children on
Qualitative Versus Quantitative
Qualitative Observing and describing events as they occur.
Are in original rich form, field notes or audio notes.
Quantitative Descriptive research that uses more formal
measures of behaviour including questionnaires or systematic
observation, designed to be subjected to statistical analysis.
Generally more subjective.
Strengths And Limitations of Descriptive Research
Advantage of descriptive research is it attempts to capture
complexity of everyday behaviour.
Used to provide understanding of what is happening.
Limited to providing static pictures; can’t tell us how
concerns developed.
Correlational Research: Seeking Relationships Among Variables
Correlational Research Involves measurement of two or more relevant
variables and assessment of relationships between among variables.

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Variable Any attribute that can assume different values among different
people across different times.
Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient symbolized by r.
1= strong
Use of Correlations to Make Predictions
Predicting future events from available knowledge.
Used to predict whether students would drop out or not.
Found that student’s ratings of social problems experiences
on campus highly as predictive of grade-point average as
were standardized test scores they took before entering
Strengths and Limitations of Correlational Research
Can be used to assess behaviour as it occurs in every day life.
Cannot be used to identify causal relationships.
Experimental Research: Understanding the Causes of Behaviour
Involves the active creation or manipulation of a given situation for two or
more groups, measurement of effect of those experiences.
Designed to create equivalence between individuals in different groups.
Elements of Experiments
Shown picture of skinhead, students who had preciously
suppressed stereotypes would sit farther away from skinhead’s
chair than students who had not suppressed their stereotypes was
Strengths and Limitations of Experimental Research
Experiment can be interpreted as demonstrating suppressing
stereotypes caused students to sit farther away from skinhead.
Cannot be used t study important social questions like poverty or
Selecting an Appropriate Method
Converging Operations Often effective to used them together, using more
than one technique to study the same thing.
- Current Research in the Behavioural Sciences: Preferences for Brands That
Contain Letters of Our Own Name
People frequently prefer brand names that contain letters of their own name.
Participants chose the tea that included first three letters of their own name 64%
of the time.
- Getting Ideas
A lot of things to study in the world, good research ideas are hard to come by.
Must be informed by past research.
Solving Important Real-World Problems
Develop research around every day problems that are going to contribute
to society and help science progress.
Using Observation and Intuition
Inductive Method Getting ideas about relationships among variables by
observing specific facts.
Useful to test your hunches because they are not always correct.
Sigmund Freud Developed theory if personality by observing patients.
Piaget Theory of cognitive development by watching and observing his
Dangers to Method
May not advance the field very far
You should try to link research to findings from other research.
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