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Chapter 1

Chapt 1 psyb01.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB01H3
Professor
David Nussbaum

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Chapt 1 scientific method: veritable “rules” of the game of research. - reflects procedures and techniques - together, these rules, procedures and techniques for a unified conceptual framework ex. just as any game has a set of rules, procedures and techniques to play, so does the scientific method lay a foundation of how info is collected empiricism: knowledge is gained through experience, observation and experiment - data is described as empirical b/c it can be measured and used statistically - anecdotal evidence is impressions/opinions of (usually) one person, and cannot be translated into a quantifiable form ex. investigative journalism - scientific method minimalizes bias by providing rules by which observations are collected and results are evaluated - bias, often indicates unfair practices that wrongly discriminate against others is-ought: “is” questions are questions that are scientific/researchable, can be answered by facts/empirical data “ought” questions are questions that call upon cultural values and ethical considerations but cannot answer solely on the basis of scientific evidence theory: coherent set of propositions that are used as principles to describe, understand, and explain psychological and behavioural phenomena testable hypotheses: framed as a statement, often in form of a prediction that is made prior to the actual collection of data - testable hypotheses are is described as a priori meaning that it exists before experimentation or observation - a priori hypothesis constitute a key feature in scientific method - by formulating a hypothesis before data collection and analysis, a scientist is less likely to be prone to error and bias post hoc: “after this”, pose serious probs for scientific method. Post hoc hypotheses increase likelihood of error and bias - the more you look, the more likely it is that one of these will by chance be wrongly accepted as true variable: any characteristic that can take on different values or can vary across research participants - can include age, gender, weight, height, education, attitude, income, etc our observations are collected systematically and quantified by sampling a population: defined as any entire collection of people, animals, plants or things all which can be referred to as units from which we may collect information - b/c a pop. Is too large to study entirely, a sample is generally selected for study sample: a group of units selected from a larger group that is known as the population generalizability: findings that are derived from a sample can be applied to a wider population case studies can be seriously flawed by selecting those cases that fit preconceived ideas - “cherry picking” – deliberately picking only cases that support your view while ignoring those opposing your view sample bias: some members of the population are less likely than others to be included in the study - scientific method requires collection of observations, test scores, ratings, etc and are categorized systematically and numeric values are assigned/computed - and the numeric values are what constitute as empirical evidence - scientific method uses statistics to test relationships between and among objective, quantifiable measures that are derived from either experimentation or observation - all statistics are based on the logic of probability - statistical evidence provides a means to evaluate or test a theory two important standards that are used to judge the scientific quality of methods and techniques as well as the results that they produce 1. Reliability: also means consistency. Not all data are created as equal. A reliable study is one that produces data that can be replicated (repeated with the same results) -> greater confidence in reliability 2. Validity: the extent to which a study provides a true measure of what it is meant to investigate - a reliable study may not necessarily be valid - “how true are our conclusions?” - in evaluating validity, you will learn to look for what are known as confounds/confounding variables: unwanted sources of influence that can be viewed as viable alternative explanations for the result of a study - in many studies, researchers use control variables in order to measure an unwanted source of influence that could invalidate the conclusions of a study simplified version of scientific method 1. Observing and thinking -> 2. Formulate a question -> 3.develop a hypothesis -> 4. Interpret with caution (could lead directly to 6.reject hypothesis) 5. Conduct a study 6. Accept or reject hypothesis TRUE EXPERIMENTS: random assignment of participants to groups and manipulation of one or more independent variables experiment: a controlled investigation in which one or more variables are manipulated independent variable: an element of the study that you as a research systematically manipulate dependent variable: the observed effect, result or outcome that is measured in response to a systematic change in the independent variable Random assignment: helps to ensure that research participants are similar prior to the manipulation of the independent variable QUASI EXPERIMENTS: experiments in which random assignment is not possible to grou
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