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Chapter 2

PSYB01H3 Chapter 2: Chapter 2

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Anna Nagy

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The Research Process
The Research Question
in order to start with science you have to have a question
interesting enough to start with a scientific method
e.g. The connection between one’s name and the occupation they will have in
the future
It was found that the names our parents give us relate to our parent’s
socioeconomic status and education level
some names are more common among the wealthy than the
e.g. less educated parents tend to give their children
names with exotic spelling (Jayne vs. Jane)
social psychology → how are we influenced by others
developmental psychology → how we change over time
clinical psychologist → exploring well-being and how we can help people
achieve it
Good research questions are empirical
able to use direct and indirect observations or experiences to test the
we must make systematic observations that involve something
we touch, taste, smell or see
for psychology, we have to rely on some level of inference →
since we cannot evaluate what a person is feeling, thinking,etc.
The Literature Search
The best source for finding quality information about our question is peer-
reviewed journal articles
the process by which other scientific experts in the field serve as
reviewers who evaluate the quality of the research reported in the
you can use PsycINFO to find peer-reviewed databases :)
Conducting literature searches allows us to learn what answers others have
found and the methods they used to find them
Constructing a Hypothesis
educated guess that provides a testable explanation of a phenomenon
to determine if our guesses are rights, we test each hypothesis by
designing a study for each and provide a fair test of our proposed

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scientific law
a statement based on repeated experimental observation that
describes some aspect of the world, but makes no assumptions about
why it occurs.
psychology has few laws :(
eg. Weber’s law of just noticeable difference
states the amount by which a stimulus must change in
intensity for us to perceive the change
scientific theory
if empirical evidence repeatedly supports a hypothesis
a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural
world confirmed through repeated observation and
e.g. Kohlberg’s theory of more development
argues that moral development occurs throughout the
lifespan in six different stages
**** theories attempt to explain the underlying reasons for phenomena.
Generating Hypotheses
four strategies:
1. introspection
a. self observation or introspection
b. make the question related to you!
i. and use those explanation to develop a testable hypothesis
2. Find the exception to the rule
a. Crafting hypotheses that look at the outcomes in the opposite direction
of prior research has the potential to provide new insights into the
phenomenon of interest.
i. e.g. instead of searching if video games makes you more violent
→ maybe hypothesize that that video game makes you happy
3. Matter of degree
a. when you construct a hypothesis, try to think about your variables in
terms of amounts, which can take many forms → intensity, strength,
volume, number, force, persistence and effort
i. e.g. playing video game for 30 min vs. playing 3hrs
4. Change the directionality
a. thinking about ideas from both direction will help form creative
i. parents influence children, but children can influence parents as
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