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Chapter 2

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PSYC 2740
Andrew Robinson

Chapter 2: Research Methods Form a question  Can be based on the observation of a real world event  Sometimes questions are designed to test established theories in psych Search the literature  First find out what other poepl have already discovered about the same or similar ideas.  Literature review- examining previous relevant studies on a given topic and critically appraising them o The aim is to conduct a review of valid and unbiased studies o You don’t want to conduct a piece of research that you think is original, only to discover something similary has already been done Form a Hypothesis  Hypothesis: a testable prediction about the conditions under which an event will occur  Statement about the cause and effect relationship between two variables  A quasi-experimental approach samples pre-existing groups and then treats them as if they are different experimental groups Create an Operational Defintiion  Operational definition: a specificprocedure or measure that one uses to test a hypothesis  If you have a good operational definition, your measure is valid—it measures what it is suppose to meaure Collect and Analyze Data  Can be collected by observation, through surveys, from pre-existing documents or via experiment  The Facebook study conducted an online survey which was approporaite because more than 90$ of student use Facebook- representative of the general student population  The next step is to analyze the datawhe researchers get to see if their ideas are supported by data Propose or Revise a Theory Theory: an organized set of principles that explain observed phenomena  Theories give potential explanations  Ex: exposure to violence on tv leads to aggression through a variety of processes  Some studies lead to the revision of a theory and other contest altogether  Theoires generate questions for future research Correlational research methods Correctional research: a research technique that examines the exten to which two or more variables are associated with one another Observational/ Naturalistic Methods: a research approach that involves the observation and systematic rcording of a particular behaviour  Data can be collected by observing social interactions and then rating them— watching children on a playground to determine if girls or boys are more aggressive  Naturalistic data can be obtained without observing peoples behaviour— relation between being in a fraternity and amount of pizza consumption. You can look outside in the garbage can each week to see how many pizza boxed were thrown away  Archival research: a research approach that uses already recorded behaviour o Hot weather and the increase in violence and crime  Meta analysis: a literature review that anaylizes data from several studies that examine related hypothesis Advantages  Help researchers develop hypotheses and theories  Internal validity and less vulnerable to criticisms  Relatively easy to conduct  Naturalistic methods provide data about events that researchers would be unable to examine in other settings  Naturalistic methods can provide large amounts of datae that researchers woyuld never be able to gather on their own Limitations  Presence of the observer is likely to influence behaviour—behave differently when watches  Observers own biases—one might thinking puishing on a playground is normal  Inter-rater reliability- the extent to which two or more coders agree on ratings of a particular measure  Observational- cannot tell us which variable causes the other. Self Report or Survey Methods  Rely on asking people questions about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviour Event recording or experience sampling measures- a particular type of self-report suvery data where participants report various experiences they have a regular time intervals Advantages  Enable researches to collect data from many particpants at the same imte; inexpensive  Faster when collected as a group  Lets researchers asl questions about a range of topics Limitations Questions Wording  Can lead to biased feelings if they use leading questions  The order in which questions are asked can influence responses  Providing information bout who is conducting the research influences responses Response Options  Responses provided give people an idea of what the normal or typical behaviour is and people don’t want to appear different from others  Opotions can have an even stronger impact on answers when participants must choose between a set of very limites response options Inaccuracy of Responses  People might think they are telling the truth, but they simply may not be able to accurately recall the neces
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