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Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Course Code
Steve Joordens

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Chapter 2: the Ways and Means of Psychology
Three Major Types of Research:
1. NATURALISTIC OBSERVATION: observation of animals in their
natural environment (ex. Charles Darwin)
-least formal, fewest rules, foundation for biological and social sciences
-observer remains in background, trying not to interfere
2. CORRELATIONNAL STUDIES: examination of relations between
2+ measurements of behaviour or characteristics of animals
-attempt to explain observations
-**correlation does not mean causation
3. EXPERIMENTS: study in which researcher changes value of indep.
variable and observes whether the manipulation affects the value of the
dependent variable
-only experiments confirm cause-and-effect relations among variables
**Following steps of scientific method reduces chances that you will be wrong.
Scientific Method:
1. Identify the problem and formulate cause-effect hypothesis
-what’s the problem or phenomena you want to know about?
-hypothesis: a statement that tentatively expresses a cause-and-effect
relationship between 2+ events
-a good theory generates a testable hypothesis
2. Design the experiment
-manipulate independent variable, observe dependent variable
-variable: anything capable of assuming any several values
-must have a control group (no manipulation, natural group) and
experimental group (manipulation of indep. variable)
-given that both experimental and control group are alike at the
beginning, see whether outcomes differ or not
3. Perform the experiment, record observations
-only indep. variable can be manipulated, everything else must be the same
-CONFOUNDING VARIABLES: simultaneous manipulation of 1+ one
variable, results not valid (ex. Seasame street example)
4. Evaluate the hypothesis by examining data from the study
-**look at statistics
5. Communicate you results
-RELIABILITY: repeatability of experiment with same results
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