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Psychology (9,549)
PSYA01H3 (1,196)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ingrid L.Stefanovic

How the scientific method is used in psychological research Scientific method a set of rules that governs the collection and analysis of data gained through observational studies or experiments - A set of rules that dictate the general procedure a scientist must follow in his or her research These rules are based on logic and common sense The rules were originally devised by philosophers who were attempting to determine how we could understand reality 3 major types of scientific research 1. Naturalistic observation the observation of the behaviour of people or other animals in their natural environments Provide the foundations of the biological and social sciences Clinical observation the observation of the behaviour of people who are undergoing diagnosis or treatment These methods are the least formal and are constrained by the fewest rules A researcher might perceive new facts following careful observation 2. Correlational studies the examination of relations between two or more measurements of behaviour or other characteristics of people or other animals - Observational in nature but involves more formal measurement of environmental events, of individuals physical and social characteristics, and of their behaviour Researchers examine the relations of these measurements in an attempt to explain the observed behaviours 3. 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 - only experiments can positively identify the causal relations among events Go beyond mere measurement www.notesolution.com Performing an experiment makes things happen and observes the results The 3 classes of research often occur in progressive sequence, and provide increasingly more compelling evidence 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 of the phenomenon through experimentation can produce concrete evidence about the causal role that you believe visual hints play in seeing the 3Dobjects Experiments provide evidence about the psychological processes that affect behaviour, and in this sense provide general accounts of phenomena 5 steps summarize the rules of the scientific method that apply to experiments Following these steps decreases the chances that we will be misled by our observations and come to incorrect conclusions in our research 1.Identify the problem and formulate hypothetical cause-and-effect relations among variables - identifying variables (particular behaviours and particular environmental and physiological events) - describing the relations among them in general terms 2.Design the experiment - experiments involve the manipulation of independent variables and the observation of dependent variables Each variable must be operationally defined, and the independent variable must be controlled so that only it, and no other variable, is responsible for any changes in the dependent variable 3.Perform the experiment - the researcher must organize the material needed to perform the experiment train the people who will perform the research recruit volunteers whose behaviour will be observed randomly assign each of these volunteers to an experimental group or a control group - the experiment is performed and the observations are recorded www.notesolution.com
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