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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Notes 97-03.doc

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB01H3
Professor
David Nussbaum
Semester
Summer

Description
PSYB01 Chapter 2 - The Foundations of Psychological Research Facial Expressions of Emotion - On an experimental design allows for testing of cause-and-effect relationships The Goals of Science Paul Ekman: study of facial expressions of emotion (1960s) - Traced to Charles Darwin’s 1872 book “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals” - Went to places like Japan, Brazil and Argentina, then to jungles of Papua New Guinea - Discovery that facial expressions of emotions were not socially learned but rather products of evolution - 7 Basic Emotions: Fear, Anger, Happiness, Contempt, Surprise, Disgust and Sadness - Description: o Principle objective of research is to provide a scientific understanding of the topic o Researchers describe and define terms both conceptually and operationally  Conceptual Definition: provides the meaning, often rather broad in scope, of an abstract term  Operational Definition: follow from conceptual, indicates how a concept is coded, measured or quantified. • Ekman: Facial Action Coding System: Defines specific combinations of facial muscle movements that are universally generated when certain emotions are elicited • Important aspect of a scientific description and explanation is establishing predictive relationships between two events or occurrences • Coding system is transparent so it can be replicated in another study - Explanation o Can include both prediction as well as establishing cause and effect o Causality (requires 3 kinds of evidence as described by Cook and Campbell (1979))  Temporal Precedence: Cause precedes the effect  Covariation of the cause and effect: When the cause is present, the effect occurs, when the cause is absent, the effect does not occur  Alternative Explanations: Must show that nothing other than a causal variable could be responsible for the observed effect o It is impossible for humans to control for all extraneous confounding or so-called third variables that could account for the observed effect PSYB01 Chapter 2 - The Foundations of Psychological Research o Even if we can’t identify causality, a scientific explanation can provide highly useful information that helps specify rules under which a certain phenomenon occurs - Practical Knowledge o Basic Research: Addresses fundamental questions about the nature of abstract psychological processes and ideas such as emotion, intelligence, reasoning and social behaviour o Applied Research: addresses important questions that are thought to be of immediate relevance in solving practical problems  Program Evaluation: studies effects on behaviour of large-scale policy changes, social reforms and innovations occurring in government, schools, courts, prisons, businesses, health care, housing and so on Sources of Research Ideas - Starting with Observation o Observation can serve as a source of both evidence and ideas o Often in research, our observations will need to be broken down into simpler units that allow for more precise quantification and measurement o Serendipity effect: Prepared yet open mind increases chance of accidentally discovering something good - Starting with Theory o Research question flow directly from theory o Darwin, William James, Carl Lange  All theorized that emotions are feelings that come about as a result of physiological changes such as perspiration, rapid heartbeat, muscular tension, dryness of mouth, etc.  All created by the autonomic nervous system (regulates body reactions to stress) *James-Lange Theory o Walter Cannon and Philip Bard  Cannon-Bard Theory: emotions come first, followed by bodily changes o Niedenthal (2007)  Embodiment Theory of Emotion: Perceptual, somatovisceral and motoric re-experiencing of the relevant emotion  When people adopt emotion-specific body postures, they experience the associated emotions  When people make facial expression or emotional gestures, their perception and impressions are affected  Inhibiting people’s motor movements can interfere with their experience of emotion - Literature o Scientific Journals: Empirical articles and review articles PSYB01 Chapter 2 - The Foundations of Psychological Research  Empirical Articles: Reports on a particular study in format with Abstract, Intro, Method, Results and Discussion  Review Articles: Examines several studies of a particular phenomenon o Popular Science Literature: written to explain science for a general audience o Science Journalism: Focuses on recent developments in that are judged newsworthy o Both Popular Science and Science Journals: Lacks critical sense of proportionality, cautiousness and tentativeness, can be oversold o Secondary Sources: Second-hand media accounts of scientific work o Primary Source: the first-hand empirical report published in a peer-reviewed journal - Searching the Literature o Internet opened new doors for researchers and scholars o Internet traveling: Hyperlink to hyperlink  May lead to an online serendipity of stumbling onto an unexpected article o Google Scholar, American Psychological Association, and Association for Psychological Science (PsychINFO and PsycLIT are specialized, non-commercial search engines sponsored by APA), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) includes psych, soc and crim  Proprietary: Open only to subscribers - Let the Searcher Beware (latin: caveat lector) o Elizabeth Kirk: guidelines for evaluating information from the Internet (www.libraryjhu.edu)  Should never use information that cannot be verified by other independent sources  Authority, Publishing Body, Point of View or Bias, Connection to the Scientific Literature, Timelines o Internet affects/shapes scholarship  James Evans: Narrowing effect on thinking and research  Alex Bentley: Academic research a popularity contest (search results may have little to do with scientific merit or impact, selling for advertisements will affect how search engines browse, list and update info) Research Strategies - Two most important elements of all scientific research is o a) theory (a set of propositions that explains a variety of occurrences)  3 major functions: organization, explanation and prediction PSYB01 Chapter 2 - The Foundations
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