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Chapter 4

Psybo1 - Chapter 4 notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Nussbaum D

PSYB01 Chapter 4 Conceptualization and Measurement Measuring Mental Health and Mental Illness - mental health is not simply the absence of mental illness but something more positive - you might think of mental health and mental illness as two separate categories o what are the characteristics of a mentally healthy person? o is complete mental health more then the absence of mental illness? Developing and Defining Constructs - you carry these questions into a psychological theory specifies the conceptual meaning of key terms and it identifies how variables are to be measured or operationalized - provides a conceptual framework that links theoretical idea to concrete variables and their measurements are chosen Theoretical Constructs - a theory unites concepts with their corresponding variables and their distinct forms of measurements - in a scientific theory, abstract concepts are formally referred to as constructs a specified theory in order to describe, explain, and predict a wide range of related empirical findings - ex. Intelligence, memory, anxiety etc. ( cannot be directly observed can be measured by collected data from multiple instruments, such as physiological recordings, behaviour rating scales) Operational Definitions of Constructs - a construct has to be translated into a operational definition - an operational defn provides a recipe for specifying variables that are to be be used to measure a construct - an operational definition of construct is not limited to specifying hot to measure it (dependant variable) also spells out the conditions under which a construct Is expected to occur (independent variable) - Bushman and Baumeister (1998) o Investigated conditions that produce interpersonal violence o Interpersonal violence represents the construct o What dependant variable could be used to measure the effect of a lab task on interpersonal violence? - the study began with the participants having to write essays about their opinions on abortion - the essays were randomly marked good or bad - the participants then played a reaction time test with the person that marked their test and regardless of whether they had been insulted or praised on their essays they always won - they then had the opportunity to blast their opponent with a loud noise ( there was no actual opponent, noone received the blast like Milgrams) - the level of noise blasted was a direct measure of the interpersonal violence - this was called staged manipulation o the essay was meant to either anger atleast half of the participants o they were also told that their opponent in the game was the person that marked their essay o insulted parties would respond aggressively in competitive game against a person they believe had offended them - the staged manipulation served as the independent variable with the purpose of trying to insult their participants - the dependant variable measured the level of noise that the participant delivered to their opponent - B&B also had their participants take a narcissm pencil and paper test o they theorized that a person with high scores would be more aggressive towards the person that had insulted them o perceived threat links the independent variable of narcissm to the dependant variable of level of aggressive response toward the offender o the perceived threat is known as the intervening variable they help to link independent with dependant variables - Summary: the structure of scientific theory beings with constructs that are translated or operationalized into independent and dependant variables Building Constructs - positive psychology seeks to learn about human thriving, flourishing, optimism, joy and capabilities o provides a framework for studying attitudes, actions and feelings - through positive psychology we can flesh out the meaning of two constructs, mental health and mental illness - mental health is theorized as an enduring sense of well-being and happiness that a person regularly experiences in life - both are necessary in order to establish the presence of a diagnosable mental disorder one component is the symptomsand whether they have interfered with aspects of everyday functioning - used several methods of measurement that served as operation definitions o asked people to rate how frequently they felt six different positive states: cheerful, in good spirits, extremely happy, calm and peaceful, satisfied, full of life o also asked in the form of behaviour related activities of daily life, such as things that can be limited by health, like lifting groceries, climbing stairs, walking a mile o asked about missed days of work due to mental illness o Keyes identified 4 different forms of mental illness Major depressive episode Generalized anxiety disorder Panic disorder Alcohol dependence during the past 12 month - mental illness and mental health were inferred from related sets of behaviours, emotions, attitudes and experiences - used two different forms of measurement: self-report ratings of everyday fee
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