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Chapter 2

PSYC 100 Ch. 2 Textbook Notes.docx

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PSYC 100
Samuel Reed

PSYC 100 Chap. 2 **RESEARCH ENTERPRISE IN PSYCHOLOGY** Qualitative Research Method - meaning of a specific experience - tend to let meaning emerge from the data they collect - data often consists of words and narratives of experiences - make empirical observations reported as narratives Quantitative Research Method - examine cause-and-effect relationships where variables may be defined ahead of time and the data are numerical - make empirical observations reported as numeric quantities - more dominant that qualitative method **Look at preview questions A) GOALS Measurement and Description - develop measurement technique to describe behavior clearly and precisely Understanding and Prediction - scientists confirm their understanding by making prediction through hypothesis - hypothesis is a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables Application and Control - to build a better understanding of the behavior, they construct theories - theory: a set of interrelated ideas used to explain a set of observations Theory construction is a gradual, iterative process that is always subject to revision B) STEPS 1) Formulate a testable hypothesis - conditions: hypothesis must be formulated precisely and variables must be clearly defined WHICH IS ACHIEVED BY HAVING PROVIDING - operational definition: describes the actions or operations that will be used to measure or control a variable (how the experiment is being carried out) 2) Select Research Method Design the Study - putting the hypothesis into an empirical test through various methodology: experiments, case studies, naturalistic observations - after the method has been chosen, researchers must make a detailed plans to execute their studies - this includes: what kind of experiment, who are the participants and where to get them etc 3) Collect the Data - there are varieties of data collection techniques (refer pg 46) 4) Analyze Data and Draw Conclusions - data usually converted into numbers (includes raw data) - statistics is often used to analyze data – and to see whether the hypothesis has been supported 5) Report the Findings - scientific research can be progress if the findings are shared - achieved through: concise summary of the finding and the study - research papers are delivered in a scientific meeting and submitted to a journal publication (usually in a very narrowly-defined area) - publishing journal allows other experts to evaluate and critique new research findings Advantages of Scientific Approach - clarity and precision - intolerance of error Scientists are trained to be skeptical- before accepting any ideas, they demand thorough documentation. And if the idea conflicts with another, they conduct an additional research **LOOKING FOR CAUSES: EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH** A) DEPENDENT AND INDEPENDENT VARIABLES Independent - researchers vary it because they want to see its impact on another variable (affect) - the variable that researchers manipulate Dependent - thought to be affected by manipulation of the independent variable (affected by) - is usually a measurement of some aspect (usually the result) B) EXPERIMENTAL AND CONTROL GROUPS Experimental group: receive a special treatment in regard to the independent variable Controlled group: receive no special treatment The logic: If the two groups are all alike in all respects except for the variation created by the manipulation of the independent variable, any differences between the two groups on the dependent variable must be due to the manipulation of the independent variable C) EXTRANEOUS VARIABLES - experimenters focus on ensuring that the control and experimental groups are alike on a limited number of variables that could have a bearing on the results of the study - a.k.a: extraneous /secondary / nuisance variables - confounding variables: two variables are linked together in a way that makes it difficult to sort out their specific effects - e.g: extraneous variables collide with independent variables. Effect: Researchers cannot tell which is having what effect on the dependent variable - safeguard purpose: > assigning subjects to the controlled and experimental group randomly (by doing so, researchers will feel more confident with their experiment) D) VARIATIONS IN DESIGNING EXPERIMENTS - within-subjects design: comparison are made within the same group of participants - between-subjects design: two or more independent groups of subject are exposed to a manipulation of an independent variable Variation 1: one group of subjects who serve as their own control group Variation 2: manipulate more than one independent variable in as single experiment Variation 3: use more than one dependent variable in a single study ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES - permits conclusions about cause-and-effect - often artificial relationships between variables Explanation: because experiments require Explanation: precise control available in the great control over proceedings, researchers experiment allows them to isolate the have to construct simple, contrived situations relationship between the independent variable to test their hypotheses experimentally. and the dependent variable, while neutralizing (However, reality is often more challenging the effects of extraneous variables than in the lab situation). Solution: Field experiment- settings that are very much like real life. May sacrifice some control over extraneous variables for greater generalizability - can’t be used to explore some research questions Explanation: psychologists are usually interested to know the effect of factors that can’t be manipulated as independent variables because of ethical concerns or practical realities Solution: Use lab and field research methodology in conducting experiment E) DESCRIPTIVE/CORRELATIONAL RESEARCH - alternative for research that is against ethical practice - cons: cannot demonstrate the cause-and-effect relationship between variables Descriptive/Correlational methods permits investigators to only describe patterns of behavior and discover links or associations between variables i) Naturalistic Observation - Method: Researchers engaged in careful observation without intervening directly with the research subjects or participants - It’s called naturalistic observation because: behavior is allowed to unfold naturally (without interference) in its natural environment - To ensure that, careful preparation is needed -Pros: a good starting point when little is known about the behavior under study; also used to study animal behaviour - Cons: to make the observation unobtrusive and translate the naturalis
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