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Chapter 1

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Criminology and Justice
PSYC 1000U
Leigh Harkins

Psychology – Chapter 1 Lecture Notes Research Methods in Psychology – Why do we research?  Why are people the way that they are? If we want to know something –  Make a reasonable guess based on our experiences, thoughts and beliefs o Common sense o Intuition  We could go and ask people – o Limited knowledge of others o Reliability of existing information o Validity?  Are they actually sure about what they are saying?  We could conduct research o Test it out for ourselves  Basing the information that we get back on the information that others give us Limits of Intuition –  People rely on their gut feeling too much  The point is that it is very likely that people will be coming from an very bias perspective  When people are asked their perspective on things then they are too over confident sometimes  Overestimate their on accuracy  Often they do not know if they are actuate Hindsight Bias –  The method of “I knew it all along”  After making a prediction then people say “oh that was obvious, I knew that” Scientific Research –  Much more effective  Generalizes beyond that small group of people o Beyond one person’s intuition  Avoids hindsight bias  Testing it out empirically  Comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses  Through the combination of different methods that we can gain confidence in the evidence we have collected Does Marijuana Impair Memory –  We could look and see what type of physiological reactions they are having  ask them to fill out some surveys  we could study people who smoke marijuana and test their memory  different types of memory tests  ask them whether they think it effects their memory o by randomly putting a person in one group or another they likely have a chance of having a different reaction Importance –  Facts and truths in this world often come from prior research  Psychology facts and truths are all based in research  The media reports research findings o We kind of take it into face value  They are based on shaky scientific grounds  Facts are only as good as the research that was done to collect them  People sometimes do not understand the research and they misinterpret the findings The Scientific Attitude –  Four underlying scientific principals – o Curiosity  why we want to learn about the certain topic o Skepticism  You look at things and evaluate them and you do not accept something unless you see the evidence  You have to look at the facts before you believe it o Empiricism  Only accepting ideas that have been tested and you can see the results  Presented with the facts and evidence  You do not take someone’s word for it o Parsimony  Simplest answers are the most accurate  The theories in the most simplest manner are the most favored  The one that seems to fit the data the best  Looking to the evidence to support your ideas  The Scientific Method o (1) Theories –explanations using set of principles that predict behavior over time o (2) Hypotheses – come up with a set of hypotheses o (3) Research and Observations – put the hypotheses to the test/ developing an idea  After all this is done –go back and see if your theory was accurate?  Deciding how you are going to measure your variables  Surveys?  Questionnaires? Research Methods –  Experimental o Manipulation and control of variables  Descriptive o Examine large group of people o Behavioural observations o Describing about what you are seeing o Through naturalistic observations o Case studies o Observing and collecting data o You have no control over the variables – you cannot control the way that they act Correlationational  how different variables vary  is there a relationship between the two  Does one increase do the other decrease?  How do the two variables relate to one another  Statistical approach  How two variables co-vary and change with one another  Help clarify relationships between variables  Test out ways of changing behaviour  Distinction between which ones are cause and effect over real world settings Three Key Rese
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