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Chapter 2

Textbook Chapter 2 Notes

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Ayesha Khan

Notes From Reading C HAPTER 2:T HE R ESEARCH E NTERPRISE IN PSYCHOLOGY (PGS.42-83) The Scientific Approach to Behaviour Goals of The Scientific Enterprise  Psychologists and other scientists share three sets of interrelated goals:  Measurement and Description – Develop measurement techniques that make it possible to describe behavior clearly and precisely  Understanding and Prediction – explain reasons for an occurrence o Hypothesis – is a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables o Variables – any measurable conditions, events, characteristics, or behaviours that are controlled or observed in a study  Application and Control – Practical Problems and how to control them o Theory – a system of interrelated ideas used to explain a set of observations. o Must be testable Steps in a Scientific Investigation  Scientific Investigation are systematic – follow an orderly pattern  Step 1: Formulate a Testable Hypothesis o Hypothesis expressed as a prediction o Operational Definition – describes actions that will be used to measure or control a variable (IV, DV, CV)  Step 2: Select the Research Method and Design the Study o How to put the hypothesis through an Empirical Test o Subjects/Participants – persons or animals whose behavior is systematically observed in a study  Step 3: Collect the Data o Data Collection Techniques – procedures for making empirical observations and measurements o i.e. direct observation, questionnaires, interviews, etc.  Step 4: Analyze the Data and Draw Conclusions o Researchers use statistics to analyze their data and decide whether their hypothesis has been supported.  Step 5: Report the Findings o Share findings with other scientists and general population o Done through journals – periodicals that publish technical and scholarly material, usually in a narrowly defined area of inquiry. o Allows others to evaluate and critique new findings. Discloses flaws. Advantages of the Scientific Approach  Clarity and Precision – enhance communication about important ideas  Intolerance for Error – yields more reliable data  Research Methods – varying approaches to the observation, measurement, manipulation, and control of variables in empirical studies  Research Approaches: o Quantitative Methods o Qualitative Methods Notes From Reading C HAPTER 2:T HE R ESEARCH ENTERPRISE IN PSYCHOLOGY PGS .42-83) Looking for Causes: Experimental Research  Experiment – a research method in which the investigator manipulates a variable under carefully controlled conditions and observes whether any changes occur in a second variable as a result i.e. Cause and Effect Relationships Independent and Dependant Variables  We want to find out how “x” affects “y” o Independent Variable (x) – Condition or event that an experimenter varies in order to see its impact on another variable o Dependent Variable (y) –Affected by manipulation of the IV Experiment And Control Groups  The investigator typically assembles two groups of subjects who are treated differently with regard to the IV  Experimental Group – consists of subjects who receive some special treatment in regard to IV  Control Group – similar subjects who don’t receive special treatment given to experiment group. Extraneous Variables  Extraneous Variables – are any variables other than the IV that seem to influence the DV in a specific study.  Confounding of Variables – when 2 or more variables are linked together in a way that makes it difficult to sort out their specific effects.  Random Assignment – when all subjects have an equal chance of being assigned to any group or conditions in the study. Variations in Designing Experiments  It may be advantageous to use the same group as the experiment and control group – Within- Subjects Design o In this case, the IV is evaluated using an “experimental condition” and a “control condition.” o Typing with and without music  It is possible to manipulate more than one IV in a single experiment. o Temp and Music while typing o Used to find how the effect of one variable depends on the other.  It is possible to use more than one DV in an experiment o Typing: speed and performance. Advantages and Disadvantages of Experimental Research  Advantage – allows researchers to draw conclusions about cause and effect relationships between variables  Disadvantages – o Experiments are artificial o Do not allow one to explore certain research questions, due to ethical dilemmas. o Manipulation of variables may be difficult or impossible. In this case, turn to correlational/descriptive research methods Notes From Reading C HAPTER 2:T HE R ESEARCH E NTERPRISE IN PSYCHOLOGY (PGS.42-83) Looking for Links: Descriptive/Correlational Research  Descriptive/correlational methods permit investigators to only describe patterns of behaviour and discover links or associations between variables Naturalistic Observation  Naturalistic Observation – researcher engages in careful observation of behavior without intervening directly with the subjects.  Behavior is allowed to unfold naturally without interference in its natural environment.  Advantage - Allows researchers to study behavior under conditions that are less artificial than in experiments  Disadvantage – Researchers often have trouble making their observations unobtrusively so they don’t affect their subject’s behavior. Case Studies  Case Study – an in depth investigation of an individual subject  Techniques – interviews, direct observation, examination for records, and psychological testing  Pros – well suited for studying phenomena like psychological disorders  Cons – highly subjective. Clinicians can be “selective”, reflecting a theoretical slant. Surveys  Survey – questionnaires or interviews to gather information about specific aspects of participants’ behaviour  Often used to obtain info about behaviour difficult to observe directly.  Easy to collect data  Cons – wishful thinking, intentional deception, memory lapses, and poorly worded questions can distort subjects view Advantages and Disadvantages of Correlational/Descriptive Research  Advantage –
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