PSYB01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Electrodermal Activity, Electromyography, Construct Validity

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Published on 11 Aug 2012
School
UTSC
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB01H3
Professor
Chapter 9- Conducting Experiments
SELECTING RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS
- The method used to select Ps can effect external validity (the extent to which
results from a study can be generalized to other populations/settings)
MANIPULATING THE INDEPENDENT VARIABLE
- To manipulate it, you have to construct an operational definition of the variable
Setting the Stage
- Informed consent
- Experimental setting must seem plausible to the Ps, nor are there any clear-cut
rules for translating conceptual variables into specific operations
- Exactly how the variable is manipulated depends on the variable and the cost,
practicality, and ethics of the procedures being considered
Types of Manipulations
- Straightforward manipulations- presenting written, verbal or visual material to Ps
o Manipulate variables with instructions and stimulus presentations
o Verbally, written, videotape or with a computer
- Staged manipulations- need to stage events during the experiment in order to
manipulate the independent variable successfully
o Also called event manipulation
o Used for 2 reasons:
Researcher may be trying to create some psychological state in the
Ps
Necessary to simulate some situation that occurs in the real world
o Commonly uses confederates
Strength of the Manipulation
- Simplest experimental design has 2 levels of the independent variable
o Making the manipulation strong as possible, but has 2 considerations:
External validity- may not happen in real life
Ethics- manipulation should be strong within ethical boundaries
Cost of the Manipulation
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- Straightforward is less expensive
MEASURING THE DEPENDENT VARIABLE
Types of Measure
- Self-reports- used to measure attitudes, emotional states, attributions,
confidence and other aspects of human behaviour
o Rating scales with descriptive anchors (endpoints) are used
- Behavioural measures- direct observations of behaviours
o Like self-reports, measurements of infinity behaviours are possible
Rate of behaviour- number of times a behaviour occurs in a time
period
Reaction time- how quickly a response occurs after a stimulus
Duration- how long a behaviour lasts
- Physiological measures- recordings of responses of the body
o Galvanic skin response (GSR)- general emotional arousal/anxiety
o Electromyogram (EMG)- muscle tension for stress
o Electroencephalogram (EEG)- electrical activity of brain cells
o MRI- image of brain structure
o fMRI- scan areas of the brain while a P does a physical/cognitive task
Sensitivity of the Dependent Variable
- Dependent variable should be sensitive enough to detect differences between
groups
- Ex. Do you like this person? Can't be answered with a yes or no, should be answered
with a 7 point scale
- Ceiling effect- the independent variable appears to have no effect on the
dependent measure only because Ps quickly reach the max performance level
- Floor effect- task is so difficult that no one performs well
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Document Summary

The method used to select ps can effect external validity (the extent to which results from a study can be generalized to other populations/settings) To manipulate it, you have to construct an operational definition of the variable. Experimental setting must seem plausible to the ps, nor are there any clear-cut rules for translating conceptual variables into specific operations. Exactly how the variable is manipulated depends on the variable and the cost, practicality, and ethics of the procedures being considered. Straightforward manipulations- presenting written, verbal or visual material to ps: manipulate variables with instructions and stimulus presentations, verbally, written, videotape or with a computer. Staged manipulations- need to stage events during the experiment in order to manipulate the independent variable successfully: also called event manipulation, used for 2 reasons: Researcher may be trying to create some psychological state in the. Necessary to simulate some situation that occurs in the real world: commonly uses confederates.

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