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PSYB01H3 (581)
Chapter 2

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Connie Boudens

Methods in Behavioral Research – 11 edition Chapter 2 – Where to Start Hypotheses and Predictions - Hypothesis: tentative idea or question that is waiting for evidence to support or refute it; makes a statement about something that may be true; sometimes stated as informal research questions; puts forth the idea that two variables may be related - Once the hypothesis is proposed, data has to be gathered and evaluated in terms of whether it is consistent or inconsistent with the hypothesis - After a study has been designed to test the hypothesis, the researcher makes a prediction about the outcome of the experiment - The results of the study either confirm or reject the hypothesis or lead to further research using different methods to study the hypothesis - When the results of a study confirm a prediction, the hypothesis is supported, not proven Who We Study: A Note on Terminology - „participants‟ or „subjects‟ can be used to describe the humans who take part in psychological research - Respondents: individuals who take part in survey research - Informants: people who help researchers understand the dynamics of particular cultural and organizational settings - Sometimes specific terminology is used, such as employees in an organization or students in the classroom Sources of Ideas - Common Sense o The things we all believe to be true o Common sense ideas are not always true, so testing them can be valuable - Observation of the World Around Us o Curiosity sparked by observations and experiences can lead to questions about many sorts of phenomena o Taking a scientific approach to a problem can lead to new discoveries and important applications (ex. Michael Lynn – tipping behaviours in restaurants and hotels) o Sometimes discoveries are the result of accident or luck (ex. Pavlov‟s classical condition) - Theories o Theory: consists of a systematic body of ideas about a particular topic or phenomena o Organize and explain a variety of specific facts or descriptions of behaviours o Provide a framework for facts or descriptions of behaviours as they do not have much meaning by themselves o Generate new knowledge by focusing our thinking o Theory ≠ hypothesis o A scientific theory is grounded in actual data from prior research as well as numerous hypotheses that are consistent with the theory o Research may reveal a weakness in a theory when a hypothesis generated by the theory is not supported - Past Research o Best way to generate ideas for new research is by becoming familiar with research on a particular topic o Almost every study raises questions that can be addressed in subsequent research o Inconsistencies in research results may be found that need to be looked into - Practical Problems o Research can stem from practical problems (i.e. obesity) that can have immediate implications Library Research - Investigators must have thorough knowledge of previous research findings - Review of past studies will help to clarify ideas and design the study - The Nature of Journals o Journals hold published results of investigations o After completing a research project, a report is written and submitted to an editor of a journal, the editor gets
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