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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Textbook Notes

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Anna Nagy

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Chapter 2
Hypotheses and Predictions
Hypothesis a type of idea or question; it makes a statement about something that
may be true, it is a tentative idea or question that is waiting for evidence to support
or refute it
oOnce the hypothesis is proposed, data must be gathered and evaluated in
terms of whether the evidence is consistent or inconsistent w/ the hypothesis
oHypothesis can be general, informal questions (Do males and females differ
in their drinking ability). In such cases, the researchers develop a procedure
for collecting data to answer the questions. These are informal hypotheses or
simply questions about behaviour.
oFormal hypotheses state that two or more variables are related (Crowding
results in reduced performance on cognitive tasks)
oSuch hypotheses are formulated on the basis of past research and theoretical
considerations. The research will then design an experiment to test the
oAt this point the experimenter will make a specific prediction (a statement
that makes an assertion concerning what will occur in a particular research
investigation) concerning the outcome of the experiment.
oIf the prediction is confirmed by the results, the hypothesis is supported; if
the prediction is not confirmed, we will either reject the hypothesis or conduct
further research using different methods.
oWhen the results of a study confirms a prediction, the hypothesis is only
supported, not proven
Who We Study: A Note on Terminology
oParticipants refer to the individuals who participate in research projects, aka
The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
recommends using the term participants when describing humans
who take part in psychological research.
oRespondents individuals who take part in survey research
oInformants people who help researchers understand the dynamics of
particular cultural and organizational settings
Sources of Ideas
1.Common sense
2.Observation of the would around us
4.Past research
5.Practical problems

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Common Sense
oThe things we all believe to be true
E.g. do opposites attract?
oTesting common sense is valuable because such notions dont always turn out
to be true or research may show the real world is much more complicated
than our common sense ideas would have it
oConducting research to test common sense often makes us go beyond the
common sense theory of behaviour
Observation of the World Around Us
oThe curiosity sparked by you observations and experiences can lead you to
task questions about all sorts of phenomena
oWinograd and Soloway (1986) research demonstrated that people are likely to
forget where something is placed when two conditions are present
The location where the object is places is judges to be highly
memorable and
The location is considered a very unlikely place for the object
Although it may seem to be a good idea at the time, sorting something
in an unusual place is generally not a good idea
oFried (1999) suggested that the negative reaction to rap music in particular
mar arise b/c it is associated w/ black music
Tested this idea by asking participants to read the lyrics of a folk song
calls Bad Mans Blunder that has a violent theme; the song was
described as either rap or country music. Although the song is clearly
not rap, the participants has more negative reaction to the lyrics when
it was described as a rap song than when it was presented as country
oSerendipity - sometimes the most interesting discoveries are the result of
accident of sheer luck
Pavlov’s dogs
oA theory consists of a systematic body of ideas about a particular topic or
oTheories organize and explain a variety of specific facts or descriptions of
Such facts are meaningless on their own, so theories impose a
framework on them, making the world more comprehensible by
providing a few abstract concepts around which we can organize and
explain a variety of behaviours
oThey also generate new knowledge by focusing our thinking so that we notice
new aspects of behaviourtheories guide our observations of the world
oA theory generates hypotheses about behaviour, and the researcher conducts
studies to test the hypotheses. If the studies confirm the hypotheses, the
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