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Chapter 2

PSYA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Ecological Validity, Scientific Literacy


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYA01H3
Professor
Steve Joordens
Chapter
2

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Psychology Notes
Psychology Lecture Number: 1
Date: September 22, 2015
Chapter Two Notes
Five Characters of Quality Research
It is based on measurements that are objective, valid, and reliable.
2. It can be generalized.
3. It uses techniques that reduce bias.
4. It is made public.
5. It can be replicated.
Scientific Measurement
Objective Measurements: the measure of an entity or behavior that, within an allowed margin
of error, is consistent across instruments and observers.
- Ex. Weight is same regardless of what scale you use
Variable: the object, concept, or event being measured.
- Can be describes and measured
Operational definitions: are statements that describe the procedures (or operations) and specific
measures that are used to record observations
- Specific measures to record observations
- Search through the existing research literature before you make any decisions.
Validity: refers to the degree to which an instrument or procedure actually measures what it
claims to measure.
- Creation of valid measures is often time consuming and requires a great deal of testing and
revising before the final product is ready for use
Reliability: when it provides consistent and stable answers across multiple observations and
points in time
- if a score on a test always varies each time, its not reliable
- always use two differenty types of test (same level) but just to test the reliability so that
someone is not just getting asnwers because of practice
- Having more than one rater allows you to have inter-rater reliability
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Generalizability of Results
Generalizability refers to the degree to which one set of results can be applied to other
situations, individuals, or events.
- One way to increase the possibility that research results will generalize is to study a large group
of participants.
Sample: a select group of population members
- Hard to study the entire population
Random sample: a sampling technique in which every individual of a population has an equal
chance of being included.
Convenience samples: samples of individuals who are the most readily available
Ecological validity: meaning that the results of a laboratory study can be applied to or repeated
in the natural environment.
-Scientific literacy also involves thinking critically about when it is appropriate to generalize
results to other group
Sources of Bias
Bias can also be introduced by the act of observation itself
Bias can also be introduced by the researcher, known as researcher bias
Hawthorne effect: a behavior change that occurs as a result of being observed
- People sometimes change their behaviour when they know someone is observing them
- Ie, whenever I see a police, my behavior changes as I feel like the police is observing me even
tho I did nothing wrong
Social desirability: research participants respond in ways that increase the chances that they will
be viewed favorably.
Demand Characteristics: Cluse given off by the experimenter of the experimental context
Techniques that Reduce Bias
Provide anonymity and confidentiality to the volunteers
Provide Full information: participant anxiety about the experiment—which often leads to
changes in how people respond to questions—can be reduced if researchers provide full
information about how they will eventually use the data.
Use Blind procedures in which the participants do not know the true purpose of the study,
or else do not know which type of treatment they are receiving ( for example, a placebo
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