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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 – Where To Start.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB01H3
Professor
Anna Nagy
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 2 – Where To Start Learning Objectives: 1. Discuss how a hypothesis differs from a prediction and a theory 2. Describe the different sources of ideas for research, including question common  assumptions, observation, practical problems, theories, and past research 3. Identify the two functions of a theory 4. Summarize the information included in the abstract, introduction, method, results,  and discussion sections of research articles 5. List the key steps  involved in conducting library research in psychology,  including the use of psychINFO (LO 1) H YPOTHESES  AND  PREDICTIONS   • Hypothesis  ▯   a statement that makes an assertion about what is true in a  particular situation; often, a statement asserting that two or more variables are  related to one another  o Informal research questions; ex. “Do female undergraduates eat different  amounts of food when sitting in mixed­sexed groups versus female­only  groups?” o Formal   research   question;   “females’   calorie   consumption   differs  depending on the sex composition of their eating companions.” • Then the researcher would translate the more general hypothesis into a specific  prediction ▯  a statement that makes an assertion concerning what will occur in a  particular research investigation • If the results of the study are consistent with prediction the hypothesis is  supported (not proven).  • If the results of the study are not consistent with the prediction, the researcher will  either reject the hypothesis or conduct further research testing the hypothesis  using different methods to study the hypothesis  • An important characteristic of all scientific hypotheses is  falsifiability  ▯  the  principle that a good scientific idea or theory should be capable of being shown  to be false when tested using scientific methods  (LO 2) SOURCES OF  IDEAS Questions Common Assumptions • Testing a widely held assumption can be valuable because such notions don’t  always turn out to be correct, or research may show that the real world is much  more complicated than our assumptions would have it o Ex. do “opposites attract” Observations of The World Around Us • The world around us is a rich source of material for scientific investigation Practical Problems • Research is stimulated by practical problems that can have immediate applications o Ex. groups of city planners and citizens might survey bicycle riders to  determine the most durable route for a city bike path (LO 3) Theories • Theory ▯  consists of a system of logical ideas proposed to explain a particular  phenomenon and its relationship to other phenomena • Theories serve two important functions: o (1)   Theories  organize   and   explain  a   variety   of   specific   facts   or  descriptions of behaviour.  Such facts and descriptions are not meaningful by themselves, and  so theories are needed to provide a framework that relates them to  each other in meaningful ways  Ex. Darwin’s theory of evolution organized and explained a variety  of facts concerning the characteristics of animal species o (2) Theories gener
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