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PSYB01H3 (581)
Chapter 1

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David Nussbaum

Chapter 1: Uncommon Sense: Scientific Method and Human Reasoning - the “Maximization Scale” – 13 statements to distinguish maximizers from satisficers - 52 or less = satificer, choosing first option that meets the standard - above 52 = maximizer, you exhaust all possibilities before final choice The Scientific Method - Scientific Method – rules reflecting procedures and techniques for designing, conducting and evaluating theories to test hypotheses - toolbook for psychological research as a formal way of thinking about a question, idea, problem - origins of the scientific method is Empiricism – knowledge gained through experience, observation and experiment - scientific method uses stats which are based on the logic of prob. - Data – information gathered objectively from observation/experimentation - empirical evidence differs from anecdotal evidence as anecdotal evidence refers to impressions (opinions of a person) - minimizes bias (unfair practices that discriminates against others) - distinction of “is-questions” (can be answered by facts/empirical data) and “ought questions” (cultural values and ethical considerations as they address laws/customs and are influenced by beliefs reflecting ideology-> does god exist?) is called is-ought - Theory – propositions used as principles to describe, understand, explain psychological/behavioural phenomena - uses stats to test relationships between and among objective, quantifiable measures derived from experiments/observations From Theory to Testable Hypothesis - a theory generates a Testable Hypothesis – predication made prior to the actual collection of data (aka a priori – existing before experimentation/observation) - Post Hoc increases the likelihood of error and bias, “after this” in Latin Variables and Measurement, Systematic Observation and Data Collection - Variable – any characteristic that can take on different values or varies across research participants (e.g. age, gender, income, education, height) - Population – collection of people, animals, plants, things that can be referred to as units - Sample – group of units selected from a larger group known as population - Generalizability – extent to which findings are derived from a sample can be applied to a wider population - Sample Bias – some members of a population are less likely than others to be included in the study - statistics are based on the logic of probability, using the same criterion for evaluation (e.g. if analyses of data show results are due to chance, then there is no empirical evidence to support the theory and vice versa) 1 Reliability and Validity - judging scientific quality of results and methods: Reliability (consistency – an experiment producing data that can be replicated-> meaning repeated with same results) and Validity (extent to which a study provides a true measure of what it is meant to investigate - Confounding Variables/ Confounds – unwanted sources of influence for the result of study - Control Variable – used in many case studies, measures unwanted sources of influence that cancel conclusions of studies - Scientific Method (simplified version) – observing/thinking->formulate a question->develop hypothesis->conduct a study->accept or reject hypothesis Methods and Tools of Psychological Research 1) True Experiments aka Experimental Designs (random assignment of participants to groups and manipulation of one or more independent variables) - Experiment – controlled investigation in which one or more variables are manipulated - Independent Variable – element of study the researcher manipulates, changes or selects - Dependent Variable – the outcome measured in response to a change in the independent variable - random assignment ensure research participants are similar before manipulation of the independent variable - 3 key variables – independent variable, dependent variable, control variable 2) Quasiexperiments – experiments where the independent variable can’t be manipulated and random assignment is not possible (e.g. age, gender, race, personality traits, etc) 3) Descriptive Research (studies focusing on the distribution of variables, causation can’t be established) - Correlation – how closely rela
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