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Chapter 2

PSYB01_Chapter 2

Course Code
David Nussbaum

of 2
Chapter 2-Where to Start
Hypotheses and Predictions
A hypothesis is a tentative idea or question that is waiting for evidence to support it
The researcher then designs a study to test the hypothesis
A prediction concerns to the outcome of the experiment, if the prediction is confirmed
by the results of the study the hypotheses is supported
Who We Study: A Note on Terminology
We refer to humans who participate in research as participants
Respondents are people who take part in survey research
Informants are people who help researchers understand cultural or organizational
Sources of Ideas
Common Sense
Conducting research to test common sense ideas
Exampledo opposites attract?
Observation of the World Around Us
Serendipitysometimes the most interesting discoveries are the result of accident or
Theories have two important functions:
o Organize and explain simple facts or descriptions of behaviour
Impose a framework that includes abstract concepts
o Generate new knowledge by guiding our observations of the world
Theory generates hypotheses, and if studies confirm these hypotheses
the theory is supported
When a hypotheses is not supported people can modify a theory with new data
Past Research
Use different methodology, a different setting, or may study alternate explanations
Practical Problems
Practical problems with potential solutions (ie. Applied research)
Anatomy of a Research Article
Runs no more than 120 words
Includes information about the hypothesis, procedure and results
Outlines the problem to be investigated
Past research relevant to the problem are described in detail and shows how they are
connected to the current problem
Divided into subsections. First subsection is overview of the design, second is a
description of participant characteristics, third is the details of the procedure
Presents the findings in three ways
o Narrative form
o Statistical form
o Tables and graphs
If the results support the hypotheses then the researcher gives all possible explanations
and explains why one explanation is superior to others
If the results do not support the hypothesis the author suggests reasonsmethodology,
Discuss how results from past research compare with the results
Suggestions for future research and practical applications of the research