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Chapter 2

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David Collins

Chapter 2 Scientific Research ­ Scientific method: rules for designing, conducting, evaluating and communicating research. ­ The role of theory: o Theory: set of statements that describe a relation between a behavior and the factors that influence that behavior. o Law/principle: proven statement supported by strong evidence. o Hypothesis: how one variable affects the other o Has two roles:  Organize research findings  Guides new research ­ Objectivity and Measurement o Objectivity: procedures that should be made so that it could be agreed on by everyone o Primary goal is to let any other scientist perform the experiment in the exact same way. o It reduces bias o Objectivity can be achieved by:  Focusing on observable behaviours  Making sure the behaviours understudy is measurable  Use a quantitative approach to measurement Types of Research ­ Descriptive research: o Conducting interviews and recording results o No manipulation, describes things the way they are o Takes 3 forms:  Observational methods • Naturalistic observations: observing behavior in a natural setting. • Limitations: o Observer bias o Observer influences: knowing you’re being observed o Structured observation: observing behavior in a setting controlled by the researcher  Interview methods • Can be open-ended or structured • Open-ended questions are studied qualitatively and structured questions quantitatively • It only relies on the subjects knowledge, so it may not reflect actual behavior, or of the public  Case studies • Involves a single person and focuses on a clinical issues • Limitation: o Researcher has to be careful when drawing conclusions from the case • Shows a wide range of information on one child ­ Correlational Research o Identifying systematic relations in the observations o Variable: a factor that can take on different variables o Correlation: relation between two variables, described in terms of direction and strength  Positive correlation: variables change in the same direction  Negative correlation: variables change in opposite directions o Correlation coefficient  Indicates the direction and strength of a relation between two variables  Ranges from -1 to +1  Limitation: • Cannot be used to show causality **look at page 48 figures 2.1 and 2.2** ­ Experimental Research o Can prove the relationship of cause and effect by manipulating one variable which will change the other o The independent variable is the one that is manipulated o Dependent variable: affected by manipulation and controlled by the independent variable o Other experimental designs:  Study can be c
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