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PSYCH291 Chapter Notes -Operant Conditioning, System On A Chip, Intravenous Therapy

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John Holmes

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Why Natural Isn’t Always Necessary
Scientists deliberately set up conditions unlike many inherently corr’d variables tht dtrmn events in world
- in many instances, manipulations cannot be accomplished in natural env’, (TF) bring phenomenon into
lab where more precise ctrl possible
Instances impossible to see/discover otherwise
i.e. physicists & atom breaking machine = new particles
Restriction to real-life situations prevents discoveries
i.e. biofeedback tm’s: ability to partially ctrl int. physio. processes if they could monitor via
visual/auditory feedback
- humans not equipped daily for such feedback
The Random Assignment vs Random Sample Distinction
Random sampling = how subjects are chosen (randomly) to be part of study; not req’mt for all research;
when necessary (for i.e. election polling, survey research), refers to drawing smaple
from pop’n in manner tht ensures each member of pop’n has equal chance of being
chosen (*investigation can be corr’l / true expmt)
Most psych research dN employ RS b/c not necessary as convenience sample will suffice
Theory-Driven Research vs Direct Applications
Most theory-driven research seeks to test theories of psychological processes rather than to generalize
findings to particular real-world situation
Basic research = research 1ly focused on theory testing
Applied research = purpose of investigation to go from data directly to real-world application
Note: applied merely of immediate use, whereas basic may be used in future
i.e. theories of limited-capacity attention (decades old) + cell phone usage in the car
Impractical and short-sighted to ctrl direction of sci
- impedes progress of out of box possibilities
Applications of Psychological Theory
Even applied areas benefitted from theory-driven basic research
i.e. counselling psych, clinical psych, psychotherapy
classical & operant conditioning: expmt’s done
on animals
The College Sophomore” Problem
… = worry tht b/c college sophomores are subjects in large # of studies, generality of results in q’n
Responses to criticism:s
1) dN invalidate results but calls for more findings
- worst case scenario: failure to replicate, meaning theories dvlp’d based on college sophomore
data merely incomplete & not necessarily wrong
2) not problem when processes investigated so basic (i.e. visual sys) tht demographics dN i.v.
3) serves greater variety of bg’s (culture, religion) and generality (early edu exp, family variables, SES)
Not to say not a problem at all in research
i.e. dvlpmtal psych
Problem mostly aimed at soc psych
The Real-Life and College Sophomore Problems in Perspective
Reduce & be aware & keep in perspective w/ self-criticism & peer-review