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Psychology (9,568)
PSYA01H3 (1,196)
Steve Joordens (1,052)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2 The Ways and Mean of Psychology

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

Chapter 2 The Ways and Mean of Psychology ---- The Scientific Method in Psychology Scientific method: a set of rules that governs the collection and analysis of data gained through observational studies or experiments (these rules are not arbitrary) 1 type of scientific research Naturalistic observation: the observation of the behavior of people or other animals in their natural environments(provide foundation of the biological and social science) (observer remains in the background, trying not to interfere with the people) Clinical observation: the observation of the behavior of people who are undergoing diagnosis of treatment 2 type of scientific research Correlational studies: the examination of relations between two or more measurements of behavior or other characteristics of people or other animals Experiment: a study in which the researcher changes the value of an independent variable and observes whether this manipulation affects the value of a dependent variable. Only experiments can confirm the existence of cause-and-effect relations among variables. (Psychologist performing an experiment makes things happen and observes the results) Five steps summarize the rules of the scientific method that apply to experiments-the form of scientific research that identifies cause-and-effect relations 1. Identify the problem and formulate hypothetical cause-and-effect relations among variables 2. Design the experiment. 3. Perform the experiment 4. Evaluate the hypothesis by examining the data from the study 5. Communicate the results ***identifying the problem: getting an idea for research Hypothesis: a statement, usually designed to be tested by an experiment, that tentatively expresses a cause-and-effect relationship between two or more events Theory: a set of statements designed to explain a set of phenomena; more encompassing that a hypothesis ***naturalistic and clinical observations as sources of hypotheses and theories For clinical observations, they often report the results of their observations in detailed descriptions known as case studies (a detailed description of an individual’s behavior during the course of clinical treatment or diagnosis) Survey study ***designing an experiment Variables: anything capable of assuming any of several values Manipulation: setting the values of an independent variable in an experiment to see whether the value of another variable is affected Experimental group: a group of participants in an experiment, the members of which are exposed to a particular value of the independent variable, which has been manipulated by the researcher Control group: a comparison group used in an experiment, the members of which are exposed to the naturally occurring or zero value of the independent variable Independent variable: the variable that is manipulated in an experiment as a means of determining cause-and-effect relations Dependent variable: the variable that is measured in an experiment Independent variable causes dependent variable, IV is manipulated by experimenter and DV is measured by experimenter Nominal fallacy: the false belief that one has explained the cause of a phenomenon by identifying and naming it; for example, believing that one has explained lazy behavior by attributing it to “laziness” It only describes the behavior instead of explaining it ***operational definitions: the definition of a variable in terms of the operations the researcher performs to measure or manipulate it Validity: the degree to which the operational definition of a variable accurately reflects the variable it is designed to measure or manipulate ***control of independent variables Confounding of variables: inadvertent simultaneous manipulation of more than on variable. The results of an experiment involving confounded variables permit no valid conclusions about cause and effect. Counterbalancing: a systematic variation of conditions in an experiment, such as the order of presentation of stimuli, so that different participants encounter them in different orders; prevents confounding of independent variables with time-dependent processes such as habituation or fatigue ***performing an experiment Reliability of measurements: the repeatability of a measurement; the likelihood that if the measurement was made again it would yield the same value Reliability is mostly a result of care and
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