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CH 5.docx

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Konstantine Zakzanis

CH.5 Research Methods in Abnormal Psychology Science and Scientific Methods - Science is the pursuit of systemized knowledge through observation. Scientific observations and explanations must be testable and reliable. Testability and Replicability - Scientific approach requires first that propositions and ideas be stated in a clear and precise way. - Statements, theories, and assertions must be testable. It must also be replicable and reliable and must occur in prescribed circumstances repeatedly. The Role of Theory - Theory: a set of propositions meant to explain a class of phenomena. - Hypothesis: expectations about what should occur if a theory is true. - Theories are constructions put together by scientists. Sometimes theyre formulated by considering previously collected data - Operationism: each concept take as its meaning a single observable and measurable operation. Research Methods of Abnormal Psychology The Case Study - Case study: studying them one at a time and record detailed information about them. Clinicians prepare a case study by collecting detailed historical and biographical information on a single individual often including experiences during therapy sessions. Ex; 3 faces of eve- dissociative identity disorder Epidemiological Research - Epidemiology: study of the frequency and distribution of a disorder in a population. - in epidemiological research, data are gathered about the rates of a disorder and its possible correlates in a large sample or population. - Epidemiological research focuses on determining 3 features of a disorder: 1) Prevalence: proportion of a population that has the disorder at a given point or period of time. 2) Incidence: number of new cases of the disorder that occur in some period usually a year 3) Risk factors: conditions or variables that if present increase the likelihood of developing the disorder. CDN perspectives: The Role of Abuse - Parental mental disorder and severe abuse are the strongest risk factors - Being raped had higher predictive value for psychosis in male participants - Abuse is higher among first nation children The Correlation Method - This method establishes whether there is a relationship between or among two or more variables. - Measuring correlation: first step is to obtain pairs of observations of the variables in question such as height and weight for each member of a group of participants. Then the strength of the relationship between the 2 sets of observation is calculated to determine correlation coefficient (r). - The stats are -1.00 to +1.00 which measures both magnitude and direction of a relationship. An r of 0.00 indicates variables are unrelated. - The higher the absolute value of r, the larger or stronger the relationship between the 2 variables. - Positively related; r is positive, if X increase so does Y - Negatively related; r is negative, if X increase and Y decreases - Perfect relationship is when all points fall on a straight line - Statistical significance: the likelihood that the results of an investigation are due to chance. As the size of the correlation coefficient increases, the result is more and more likely to be statistically significant. The greater number of observations, the smaller r needs to be to reach statistical significance. - Classificatory variables: naturally occurring patterns and are not manipulated by the researcher such as age, sex, social class and body build. - Directionality problem: it is present in many correlational research designs. - High risk method: a research technique involving the intensive examination of people who have a high probability of later becoming abnormal. - Third variable problem: correlation may have been produced by a third unforeseen factor. The Experiment - It is the most powerful research technique for determining causal relationships, requiring the manipulation of an independent variable, the measurement of a dependent variable, and the random assignment of participants to the several different conditions being investigated. - Basic features of experimental design: 1) Experimental hypothesis; assumption of what will happen if a variable is manipulated. 2) Independent variable; can be manipulate, some factor that will be under the experimenters control. 3) Random assignment; every participant has an equal chance of being in each condition. 4) Dependent variable; something that is expected to depend on or vary with manipulations of the independent variable. 5) Experimental effect; when differences between groups are found to be a function of variables in the independent variable - The difference between group variance is the experimental effect which has been caused by the independent variable. Individual participants within each group vary considerably which is called within group variance. Statistical significance is tested by dividing the between group variance by a measure of the within group variance. When the avgdifference btwn 2 groups are large relative to within group variance, the result is more likely to be statistically significant. - Control group: doesnt receive the experimental treatment. - Confounds: variables such as the passage of time. - Internal validity: when the effect can be confidently attributed to the manipulation of the independent variable. - Control groups and experimental groups are affected equally by environmental events - The placebo effect: an improvement in a physical or psychological condition that is attributable to a clients expectations of help rather than to any specific active ingredient in a treatment. - Placebo control groups: clients in such groups typically have regular contact with a therapist and receive support and encouragement but they dont receive what is regarded as the active ingredient in the kind of therapy under study. - Double blind procedure: when the placebo control group design is used, clients are randomly designed to either the treatment or the placebo group; to reduce the possibility of bias, neither the researchers nor the clients are allowed to know to which group any specific individual is assigned because neither the researchers nor the clients are aware of who has been placed in the treatment and placebo control groups. - Using a placebo control group involves several problems such as ethical issues and the double blind placebo control group study is dif
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