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Chapter 1

PYSB01 Chapter 1 Uncommon Sense.docx

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Nussbaum D

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PYSB01 Chapter 1 Uncommon Sense “is” questions can be answered through scientific research as they don’t affect or relate to cultural, social, political, or religious preference. “ought” questions can’t be answered with scientific research because they have to do with ethical considerations or cultural values. E.g. Should same-sex marriage be legalized? The most important reason for scientific method is to take out the bias in research studying. In psychology, theory is defined as a coherent set of propositions that are used as principles to describe, understand, and explain psychological or behavioural phenomena. Theories usually answer “how” questions. Often, theory influences all parts of a study. They inspire the study and how you interpret the final results. From theory to testable hypothesis Testable hypothesis –framed as a statement, often in the form of a prediction that is made prior to the actual collection of data Priori hypotheses- means it exists before experimentation or observation, coming up with a hypotheses before data collection and analysis, it’s less likely for a scientist to prone to error and bias by bending theory to fit numbers Post hoc- hypotheses formulated after data are collected and analyzed, pose serious problems for scientific method; increase the likelihood of error and bias, the more hypotheses you test post hoc, the more likely it is that one of these will by chance be wrongly accepted as true, the idea that the more you look the more likely you’ll find something Variable and Measurement Variable- any characteristic that can take on different values or can vary across research participants, can include age, gender, weight, height, education, attitude, income, and virtually any other attribute that can assume multiple values or can vary in people, scientific method requires objective measurement of identifiable and specifiable variables Systematic observation and Data collection Darwin based most of his theories on observation for example his book, the expression of the emotions in man and animals, purely from observations. Often In research, our observations are collected systematically and quantified by sampling a population. Population- any entire collection of people, animals, plants, or things, all of which can be referred to as units, from which we may collect info Sample- a group of unites selected from a larger group that is known as the population 1 Generalizability- extent to which findings that are derived from a sample can be applied to a wider population Sample bias- some members of the population are less likely than others to be included in the study, “cherry picking”-intentionally picking only cases that support your view while ignoring those opposing your view Evaluating Evidence and Theory Scientific methods use stats to test relationships between and among objective, quantifiable measures that are derived from either experimentation or observation Reliability and Validity Two most important tech to test the quality of scientific method and their results are: 1. Reliability- how consistent is the info? If it’s reliable, it can be replicated and you will get the same results each time 2. Validity- the extent to which a study provides a true measure of what it is MEANT to investigate, how a study sample is selected from a population and how representative it is can influence validity , look for confounds or confounding variable when searching for validity Confounding variables- aka confounds, unwanted sources of influence that can be viewed, much to the dismay of the researcher, as viable alternative explanations for the result of the study Control variable- used to measure an unwanted source of influence that could invalidate the conclusions of a study, used in experiments or research to rule out the effects of control variable on results of study Simplified Version of Scientific Method by William Harris Observing and thinking - formulate a question  develop a hypothesis conduct a study  accept hypothesis or reject hypothesis, if reject hypothesis goes back to “develop a hypothesis Methods and Tools of Psychological Research True Experiments An experiment – a controlled investigation in which one or more variables are manipulated Researcher controls who conducts the study, what is studied, and how the study is conducted Independent variable- an element of the study that a researcher systematically manipulates, changes, or selects Dependent variable – the observed effect, result or outcome that is measured in response to a systematic change in the independent variable -uses random assignment 2 Quasiexperiments - Aim to examine the effects of an independent variable that cannot be directly manipulated or randomly assigned on a dependent variable - Gender, age, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status (SES), personality traits, personal history are some independent variables that can’t be directly manipulated by an experimenter - Instead of those variables, experimenter either picks participants with certain characteristic or studies participants who have been exposed to specific events like war or trauma or might live in certain settings or situations like a neighbourhood or a geographic region Descriptive research - Researchers often aim to examine the relationship between two or more variables - Correlation helps psychologist establish the validity of IQ - Pros: allows for quantitative comparison of variables that cannot be manipulated directly - Limitation: a correlation can only indicate whether two sets of measurements tend to vary
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