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Psychology (9,695)
PSYA01H3 (1,206)
Steve Joordens (1,058)
Chapter 2

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Steve Joordens

Chapter two-The Ways and Means of Psychology • scientific method: consists of a set of rules that dictate the general procedure a scientist must follow in his research • three major types of scientific research • first type is naturalistic observation and clinical observation—observation of people or animals in their natural environment or while they are undergoing treatment or diagnosis for a psychological condition • these methods are the least formal and constrained by fewest rules • naturalistic observations provide foundations of the biological and social science • Charles Darwin’s journey lead to theory of evolution • Second type is correlational studies • It is observations but involves more formal measurement of environmental events, of individuals physical and social characteristics and their behaviour rd • 3 one is experiments-only experiments can positively identify the casual relations among events • 5 rules to scientific method that apply to experiments o Identify the problem and formulate hypothetical cause and effect relations among variables. Involves identifying variables and describing the relations among them in general o Design the experiment. Experiments involve the manipulation of independent variables and the observation of dependent variables. The independent variable must be controlled so that only it is responsible for any changes in the dependent variable o Perform the experiment. Recruit volunteers whose behaviour will be observed, and randomly assign each of these volunteers to an experimental group or control group o Evaluate the hypothesis by examining the data from the study. Often involves special mathematical procedures used to determine whether an observed effect is statiscally significant o Communicate the results. Usually write an article • Hypothesis: a tentative statement about a cause and effect relation between two or more events • In Greek it means suggestion • Theory: is a set of statements that describes and explains known facts, proposes relations among variables, and makes new predictions • A good theory generates a testable hypothesis Naturalistic and Clinical Observations as Sources of Hypotheses and Theories • We perform naturalistic observations everyday • Naturalists are ppl who observe animals in their natural habitat, naturalistic observations are what naturalists see and record • Clinical observations are diff. Cuz clinical psychologists observe important patterns of behaviour • Report the results of their observations in detailed description known as case studies • They do not remain in the background • Some causes do interfere in natural or clinical settings • Survey study: a study of people’s response to standard questions • The observations are descriptions of the classes of responses to these questions • Clinical psychologist, may manipulate the treatment given to patient to produce more beneficial response Designing an Experiment • Variables: things that can vary in value • Manipulation: setting the values of an independent variable in an experiment to see whether the value of another variable is affected • Control group: a comparison group used in an experiment the members of the group 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 • Nominal fallacy: the false belief that one has explained the causes of a phenomenon by indentifying and naming it, for example believe that one has explained lazy behaviour by attributing it to laziness • operational behaviour: independent variables and dependent variables are defined in terms of the operations a researcher performs to set their values or to measure them • validity: the degree to which the operations definition of a variable accurately reflects the variable it is designed to measure or manipulate • Confounding of variables: inadvertent simultaneous manipulation of more than one 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 • reliability: the repeatability of a measurement: the likelihood that if the measurements was made again it would yield the same vale • interrater reliability: the degree to which two or more independent observers agree in their ratings of another organism’s behaviour • random assignment: procedure in which each participant has an equally likely chance of being assigned to any of the conditions or groups of an experiment • placebo: an inert substance that cannot be distinguished in appearance forma real medication; used as the control substance in a single-blind or double-blind experiment • single blind study: an experiment in which the researcher but not the participant knows the value of teh independent variable • double blind study-an experiment in which neither the participant nor the researcher knows the value of the independent variable • correlational study: the examination of relations between two or more measurements of behaviour or other characteristics of people or other animals • matching: a systematic selection of participants in groups in an experiment or (more often) a correlational study to ensure that the mean values of important participant variables of the groups are similar • informed consent: agreement to participate in an experiment after being informed about the nature of the research and any possible risks and benefits • descriptive statistics: mathematical procedures for organizing collections of data, such as determining the mean, median, the range and variance and the correlation coefficient • measure of central tendency: a statistical measure used to characterize the value of items in a sample of numbers • measure of variability: a statistical measure used to characterize the dispersion in values of items in a sample of numbers • standard deviation: a statistic that expresses the variability of a measurement; square root of the average of the squared deviations from the mean • correlation coefficient: a measurement of the degree to which variables are related • statistical significance: the likelihood that an observed relation or difference between two variables really exists rather than is due to change factor • inferential statistics: mathematical procedures for determining whether relations or differences between samples are statistically significant Chapter three-Humans and Evolution • Biological evolution: changes that take place in the genetic and physical characteristics of a population • Behavioral differences among organisms correspond to genetic and other biological differences • Adaptive significance: the effectiveness of behavior in aiding organism to adapt to changing environmental conditions • Novelty seeking the tendency to engage in behavior that lead to new experiences • High score equals impulsive • Ultimate cause: evolutionary conditions that have slowly shaped the behavior of a species over generations • Proximate causes: immediate environmental events and conditions that affect behavior • Psychologists are interested in understand both ultimate changes of behavior—events and conditions that over successive generations have slowly shaped the behavior of our species —and proximate causes that affect behavior • Clark and Galef (1998) discovered that testosterone from nearby brothers in the womb acts as a proximal cuase for the development of sexual behavior of these males and in its absence, when a male develops next to sisters, causes
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