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Chapter 2

PSYB01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Psychological Bulletin, Biomedicine, Psycinfo

Course Code
Connie Boudens

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PSYB01- Chapter 2
Hypothesis- A statement that makes an assertion about what is true in a particular situation;
often, a statement asserting that two or more variables are related to one another.
- Once hypothesis is proposed, data must be gathered and evaluated in terms if evidence
is consistent or inconsistent research question
- Research questions can be stated in more formal terms
oFor example, a research question was “Do females eat different amount of food
when sitting with mixed-sex groups vs female groups?
oThis turned into “female calorie consumption differs depending on the sex
composition of their eating companion”
- After formulating hypothesis, researcher will design study to test hypothesis
oFor example, testing if “crowding results in lowered performance on mental task”,
researcher might conduct an experiment which research participants on either a
crowded/uncrowned room work on series of task, performance of these task is
then measured
- At this point, researchers would translate more general hypothesis into more specific
prediction concerning outcome of this particular experiment
oA statement that makes an assertion concerning what will occur in a particular
research investigation
oFor example, prediction might be “people in uncrowded condition will perform
better on task than participants in the crowded condition”
oIf results of study are consistent with prediction, hypothesis is supported
oIf not consistent, researcher would reject the hypothesis or conduct further
testing the hypothesis using different methods to study the hypothesis
- Note: Results of study are consistent with a prediction, the hypothesis is only supported
not proven
- Researchers often study same hypothesis using variety of methods and each time this
hypothesis is supported by research study, we become more confident that hypothesis
reflects the truth
- Important characteristic of all scientific hypothesis is falsifiability
oThe principle that a good scientific idea or theory should be capable of being
shown to be false when tested using scientific methods

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oData can show that hypothesis is false if is it actually false
Sources of Data
- 5 sources: common assumptions, observation of the world around us, practical
problems, theories and past research
Questioning Common assumptions
- We can test common assumptions that people make to explain the world
- For example “Do opposite attract” or “bird of the same feather flock together?”
- Not all notions tend to be correct: “People tend to be attracted to others similar to
Observation of the World Around Us
- Observations of personal/social events can provided many areas for research
- There is the role of serendipity- sometimes the most interesting discoveries are the
result of accident or sheer luck
- Ivan Pavolv wanted to study the digestive system in dogs by measuring their salviation
when given food
oInstead he found about about classical conditioning
Practical Problems
- Research is stimulated by practical problems that can have immediate applications
- For example, groups of city planners and citizens might survey bicycle riders to
determine most desirable route for city bike path
- Researchers have guided public policy conducting research on obesity and eating
disorders, as well as other social and health issues
- A framework that attempts to organize and explain various findings relating to a
particular phenomenon, and in doing so generates new, testable hypotheses about the
- It’s a system of logical ideas proposed to explain a particular phenomenon
- Theory serve two important functions

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- 1) They organize and explain a variety of specific facts or descriptions of
oFacts and behaviours are not meaningful by themselves so theories are needed
to provide a framework relating them to each other in meaningful ways
oThis framework makes the world more comprehensible by providing a few
abstract concepts which we can organize and explain a variety of behaviours
oFor example, in memory and long-term memory in cognitive psych- theory
accounts for number of specific observations about learning and memory,
including phenomena of memory deficits, etc.
o2) theories generate new knowledge by focusing our thinking so that we notice
new aspects of behaviour
Theories guide our observations of the world
Theories are more general and abstract then hypothesis
Hypothesis are more general than predictions
Theory generates many hypotheses about behaviour and researcher
conducts studies to test the hypothesis
If the study supports the hypotheses, the theory is also supported
The more evidence accumulates that is consistent with theory, we
become more confidence that theory represents truth
- Scientifically speaking, to denote an idea that may or may not be true is a hypothesis
- A theory is more than a hypothesis- it’s grounded in and helps explain actual data from
prior research and specifies numerous hypothesis that are consistent with the theory
- These hypotheses can be then tested through further research
- Recall: to be scientific, hypotheses must be falsifiable – the data can either support or
refute the hypotheses
oAs a theory develops with more and more evidence that supports the theory, the
theory becomes well established as it enables us to explain observable facts
- Research may reveal a weakness in a theory when a hypothesis generated by theory is
not supported
oWhen that happens, theory can be modified to account for the new data
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