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Canada (161,803)
Psychology (9,695)
PSYA01H3 (1,206)
Steve Joordens (1,058)


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Steve Joordens

PSYA01H3 2010-10-19 CHAPTER 2: THE WAYS AND MEANS OF PSYCHOLOGY The Scientific Method in Psychology To explain behaviour we must use a method that is both precise enough to be clearly understood by others and general enough to be applied to a variety of situations Scientific method: a set of rules that governs the collection and analysis of data gained through observational studies or experiments The rules of the scientific method are based on logic and common sense and apply to a form of research that identifies cause-and-effect relationships; experiments Experiment: a study in which the researcher changes the value of an independent variable Only experiments can confirm the existence of cause-and-effect relationships among variables Five steps of an experiment: 1. Identify the problem and formulate hypothetical cause-and-effect relations among variables N Involves identifying variables and describing the relations between them in general terms N The hypothesis states that something about the first affects the second 2. Design the experiment N Involves the manipulation of indep. variables and the observation of dep. Variables N Each variable must be operationally defined (defined in terms of the operations the researcher performs to measure or manipulate the variable) N The indep. variable must be controlled so that only it, and no other variable, is responsible for any changes in the dep. variable 3. Perform the experiment N Randomly assigned volunteers to an experimental group or a control group 4. Evaluate the hypothesis by examining the data from the study N Do the reports support or refute the hypothesis? N Often involves special mathematical procedures used to determine whether an observed effect is statistically significant (likely that the observed relation or difference between two variables really exists rather than being due to chance factors) 5. Communicate the results N LK}Z ZZ7Z Z}o}2]ZZ]L] oZ]L oZZ ]]}L}Z]KL[Z procedure and results and a discussion of their significance Following these steps decreases the chances of us being misled by our observations or forming incorrect conclusions in our research Types of Research Naturalistic observation: observation of the behaviour or people or other animals in their natural environments N Little interference, but hard to do well (your very presence disturbs normalnatural activities) www.notesolution.com
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