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Steve Joordens

Chapter 2 – The Ways and Means of Psychology *Pg. 30-44* The Scientific Method in Psychology Scientific Method: A set of rules that govern the collection and analysis of data gained thought observational studies or experiments. -psychologists conduct 3 major types of scientific research: 1 Type -includes naturalistic observation and clinical observation Naturalistic Observation: The observation of the behaviour of people or other animals in their natural environments Clinical Observation: The observation of the behaviour of people who are undergoing diagnosis or treatment -these methods are the least formal -natural observations provide the foundations of the biological and social sciences (E.g. Darwin and his travels around the world helped with his theory on evolution, Montessori and her observation of children in the classroom helped her ideas about child development) 2 Type Correlational Studies: Is observational in nature but involves more formal measurement-of environmental events, of individuals physical and social characteristics, and of their behaviour rd 3 Type Experiments: 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 SIRD Stereogram (Single Image Random Dot) -naturalistic observations of yourself or your friends at a shopping mall in from of a SIRD stereogram could provide the context of the problem (likely to observe that some ppl take longer than others to identify the hidden objects) -observational evidence identifies the phenomenon and might indicate something about its magnitude -correlational evidence arises when you start to observe relations between observations -systematic investigation produces concrete evidence about the causal role that you believe visual hints play in seeing the 3D object -E.g. Suppose some get a visual hint of what the image looks like, and those were faste at finding the 3D image, that would now be systematic evidence about the casual role of visual hints 5 Steps of Scientific Method That Apply to Experiments: 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 date from the study 5) Communicate the results –writing an article Identifying the Problem: Getting an Idea for Research -psychological research in Canada has historically been supported by: 1) The Natural Science and Engineering Research Council 2 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council 3) Canadian Institutes of Health Research Hypotheses -hypothesis =suggestion Hypotheses: A tentative statement about a cause-and-effect relation between two or more events Theory Theory: A set of statements that describe and explain known facts, proposes relations among variables, and makes new predictions Naturalistic and Clinical Observations as Sources of Hypotheses and Theories -naturalists are people who carefully observe animals in their natural environment -naturalistic observation are what naturalists see and record -naturalistic observers try no to interfere with animals or people being observed and stays in the background -clinical psychologists observe in detailed case studies Case Study: A detailed description of an individual’s behaviour during the course of clinical treatment or diagnosis -clinical psychologists do not remain in the background Survey Study: A study of people’s responses to standardized questions Designing an Experiment -only experiments can determine whether these explanations are correct Variables Variables: Things that can vary in value Manipulate: Setting the values of an independent variable in an experiment to see whether the value of another variable is affected Experimental Group: 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: IS manipulated in an experiment as means of determining cause- and-effect relations Dependent Variable: The variable that is measured in an experiment -independent and dependent variables are categories into which various behaviours are classified Nominal Fallacy: The false belief that one has explained the causes of a phenomenon by identifying and naming it; for example, believing that one has explained lazy behaviour by attributing it to laziness -E.g. If a man shouts at ppl for no reason…this doesn’t explain his behaviour…but describes that he may be angry…what we need to know is what events made him act that way Operational Definitions (Step 2 of SM) O
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