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Chapter 2

Chapter 2.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Connie Boudens

Chapter 2: Where to Start  Curiosity of wonder usually leads people to do research on something they do not know about Hypothesis and Predictions  Most research studies are the attempt to test a hypothesis formulated by the researcher  a hypothesis is a tentative idea or question that is waiting for evidence to support or refute it  after hypothesis data must be gathered and evaluated in terms of whether the evidence is consistent or inconsistent with the hypothesis (need to test the hypothesis)  can be called informal research questions  putting forth the idea that two variables (or ideas) may be related  after designing a study, researcher would make a prediction concerning the outcome of the experiment  if prediction is same with the results, then hypothesis is supported (not proven), if different results, researcher will reject hypothesis or conduct further research to study hypothesis  still use a variety of methods to keep testing hypothesis Who we study, a note on Terminology  participants or subjects participate in research projects  The individuals who take part in survey research are usually called respondents  Informants are the people who help researchers understand the dynamics of particular cultural and organizational settings Sources of Ideas  five sources of ideas: common sense, observation of the world around us, theories, past research, and practical problems Common Sense  common sense, the things we all believe to be true  can be tested  Ex. do opposites attract?  Testing common sense does not always turn out to be correct, or it might show real world is more complicated then common sense (valuable info) – forces us to go beyond common sense theory of behaviour Observation of the World Around Us  Observations of personal and social events an provide ideas for research  Winograd and Soloway (1986) conducted a series of experiments on this very topic. Their research demonstrated that people are likely to forget where something is placed when two conditions are present: (1) The location where the object is placed is judged to be highly memorable and (2) the location is considered a very unlikely place for the object.  Storing things in unusual places is not a good idea  Pavlov accidently discovered classical conditioning when he was trying to learn about the digestive system in dogs and how they salivate when given food Theories  Research in behavioural sciences test theories of behavior  A theory consists of a systematic body of ideas about a particular topic or phenomenon  There are different theories of behavior, learning, etc  Theories organize and explain a variety of specific facts or descriptions of behavior  theories generate new knowledge by focusing our thinking so that we notice new aspects of behavior—theories guide our observations of the world  A scientific theory consists of much more than a simple ―idea.‖ A scientific theory is grounded in actual data from prior research as well as numerous hypotheses that are consistent with the theory  Such testable hypotheses are falsifiable—the data can either support or refute the hypotheses  Can expand a theory with adding new knowledge and ideas to existing information  Some theories are more complex than others, some theories are required to be modified with time, or when new information/research arises Past Research  Becoming familiar with older information/research on a topic, is the best way to develop ideas and find new research about something or improve it  Can replicate past experiments, or use old research in which the researcher can study it or try to further investigate it (either proven or un proven research), or want to find alternative explanations for the results  facilitated communication —intended to help children who are diagnosed with autism. Childhood autism is characterized by a number of symptoms including severe impairments in language and communication ability (effective research)- consistent with the hypothesis, the facilitator was controlling the child’s responses Practical Problems  research is also stimulate by practical problems that can have immediate applications Library Research  before conducting a research project, need to have thorough knowledge of previous research findings  can help design the study  important to know how to read research reports in professional journals  ask a librarian how to do library research or search the Internet for help The Nature of Journals  in professional journals in the library, researches publish their results of their investigation  all are peer reviewed and published if thought it is good enough research/findings Online Scholarly Research Databases: PsycINFO  Today, the abstracts are maintained in a computer database called PsycINFO, which is accessed via the Internet and is updated weekly Conducting a PsycINFO Search  Depends on your library website  Your most important task is to specify the search terms that you want the database to use. These are typed into a search box  ―Thesaurus of Psy
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