PSYB01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Serendipity, Psychological Abstracts, Classical Conditioning

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20 Apr 2012

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Chapter 2: Where to Start
- Motivation to conduct scientific research derives from a natural curiosity about the world
Hypothesis and Predictions
- Hypothesis: tentative idea or question that is waiting for evidence to support or refute it
o Scientific research attempt to test hypothesizes
- A type of idea or question; is makes a statement about something that may be true
- Next the researcher will design a study to test the hypothesis
- Data must be collected and evaluated in terms of whether the evidence is consistent or
inconsistent with the hypothesis
- Next the researcher makes a prediction, a statement that makes an assertion concerning what
will occur in a particular research investigation
o If the statement is confirmed = hypothesis is supported, if not = hypothesis rejected or
conduct further research using different methods to study the hypothesis
- When the results of a study confirm a predication the hypothesis is only supported not proven
Who we study: A Note on Terminology
- Participants/subjects: the individuals that participate in research projects
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological recommends participants when describing
humans who take part
- Respondents: those who take part in survey research
- Informants: people who help the researchers understand the dynamics of particular cultural and
organizational settings [originated in anthropology]
Sources of Ideas
5 sources of Ideas: common sense, observation of the world around us, theories, past research, practical
Common Sense
o the things we believe to be true
o asking questions can lead to research programs
o testing these ideas can prove these notions to be wrong or too simplified
o conducting research to test commonsense ideas often forces s to go beyond a
commonsense theory of behaviour
Observation of the World Around US
o curiousity sparked by our observations/experiences can lead to asking questions about
all sorts of phenomena
o often what cause students to engage in their first research project
o diverse ideas can come about
o world around us is a rich source of material for scientific invesitigation
o serendipity: sometimes the most interesting ideas are those that are result of accident
Pavlov, classical conditioning [was studying something else initially]
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