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Chapter #2 Notes
Steps in research
•Formulate a hypothesis
oEx. People who are intoxicated will show less motor coordination
than people who have not drink alcohol
o– Plan experiment – where you have a variable group and a
oGive half the people alcohol and measure motor control and
oUse stats to assess whether the results are genuine or due to
•Disseminate the results
oReport on finding.
What is Scientific Inquiry?
•All sciences are different, but generally all use the Scientific Method.
(an objective examination of the naturl world)
•Four basic goals – what happens? What causes it? When it happened?
And why it happened.
•Causal Control – the third goal – what causes it?
Scientific Questions Can Be Objectively Answered
•A researchers opinion is irrelevant. An empirical question is something
that can be answed using scientific research.
•Replication is to repeat an experiment to conform the results.
The Empirical Process depends on Theories, Hypotheses and
•Theory – the model of how something in the world works
•Hypothesis – a specific prediction of what should be obsevered (if the
theory is correct)
•Research – which involves the collections of Data (objective
observations or measurements.
Theories should generate Hypotheses
•A good theory produces a variety of testable hypotheses
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The Value of Unexpected Findings
•Serendipity – the unexpected stumbling upon something important.
What are the Types of Studies in Psychological Research?
•3 types of study
oexperimental, correlation and descriptive.
•Variable is the thing in the experiment which you change or
•Researchers define variables by using “operational definitions” – the
quantification of a variable that allows it to be measured.
An Experiment Involves Manipulating Conditions
•Independent Variable – the variable that gets manipulated by the
•Dependent Variable – the measure that is affected by manipulation of
•Confound – anything that affects a dependent variable that may
unintentionally very between the different experimental conditions of a
•a properly preformed experiment depends on ultimate control
Random Assignment is used to Establish Equivalent Groups
•Random Assignment – the procedure for placing research participants
into the condition of an experiment in which each participant has an
equal chance of being assigned to any level of independent variable.
Descriptive studies observe and classify Behavior.
•Descriptive studies are a research method that involves observing and
noting behavior of people or other animals in order to provide a
systematic and objective analysis of behavior
oNaturalistic observation – the observer does not change or alter
oParticipant observation – a type of descriptive study in which
the researcher is actively involved in the situation.
What are the Data Collection Methods of Physiological Science?
Observing is an Unobtrusive Strategy.
•Observational Techniques – careful and systematic assessment and
coding of overt behavior.
•Major data collector for descriptive studies. – Also for correlation
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