Chapter 2: The Ways and Means of Psychology
The Scientific Method in Psychology
- Set of rules that dictate the general procedure a scientist must follow in his or her research.
- Three major types of scientific research is done
o 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.
Least formal method
Foundation of biological and social sciences
o Correlational studies
Observational in natural but has a more formal measurement of environmental
events of individuals physical and social characteristics and of their behaviour
Makes things happen and observes the results
- Scientific Method:
1) Identify the problem and formulate a hypothetical cause and effect relationship
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
o Hypothesis: starting point of any study
An idea, phrased as a general statement
www.notesolution.com Tentative statement about a cause and effect relation between two or more events
o Theories: set of statements that describes and explains known facts, proposes relations
among variables, and makes new predictions.
good theory is one that generates testable hypotheses
o Naturalistic and Clinical Observations as Sources of Hypotheses and Theories
To understand human behaviour or other animal’s behaviours, we first have to
know something about that behaviour
Naturalists: people that observe animals in their natural environment without
disturbing them (i.e. Jane Goodall)
Case studies: detailed description of an individual’s behaviour during the course
of clinical treatment or diagnosis.
Survey study: researchers ask people specially designed and controlled
questions, i.e. about their beliefs, opinions, or attitudes
- Designing an Experiment
o Variables: things that vary in value
Scientists either manipulate or measure the values of variables
There would be two groups:
• Experimental group
• Control group (won’t get to experience what experimental group
Independent variable: variable that is manipulated
Dependent variable: variable that we measure
- Performing an Experiment
o Reliability of measurements
www.notesolution.com Procedure deserved by an operational definition that produces consistent results
under consistent conditions
o Selecting the Participants
Random assignment is u