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Chapter 2

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PSYC 1200
Jason Leboe- Mcgowan

The Scientific Approach to Behaviour  The scientific approach assumes that there are laws of behaviour that can be discovered through empirical research  The goals of science of psychology include o The measurement and description of behaviour o The understanding and prediction of behaviour o The application of this knowledge to the task of controlling behaviour  A scientific investigation follows a systematic pattern that includes five steps o Formulate a testable hypothesis o Select the research method and design the study o Collect the data o Analyze the data and draw conclusions o Report the findings  The two major advantages of the scientific approach are its clarity in communication and its relative intolerance of error  By integrating apparently unrelated facts into a coherent whole, theories permit psychologists to make the leap from the description of behaviour to understanding behaviour Looking for Causes: Experimental Research  Experimental research involves the manipulation of an independent variable to ascertain its effects on a dependent variable o Done by comparing experimental and control groups o Must be alike in regards to important extraneous variables  Experimental designs may vary o Sometimes an experimental group is its own control group o May have more than one independent or dependent variable  An experiment is a powerful research method that permits conclusions about cause-ad- effect relationships between variables Looking for Links: Descriptive/Correlational Research  Psychologists rely on descriptive/correlational research when they are unable to manipulate the variables they want to study o Key descriptive methods include naturalistic observation, case studies, and surveys  Descriptive/correlational research methods allow psychologists to explore issues
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