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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Research Methods

4 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY100H1
Professor
Michael Inzlicht

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1
Chapter 2 The Research Enterprise in Psychology
The Scientific Approach to Behavior
Goals of the Scientific Enterprise
Psychologists and scientists share 3 goals:
1.
Measurement and description
develop measurement techniques to describe behavior.
2.
Understanding and prediction
able to explain the reason why something happened, using
hypothesis
(uncertain statement about the relationship b/n variables) and
variables
(measurable
conditions, events, characteristics, or behaviors that are controlled or observed in the study).
3.
Application and
control
info gathered are used to help/improve/treat the community.
Theory (a logical network of explanatory ideas)
Æ
Hypotheses (specific predictions derived from theory)
Æ
Empirical Research (conduct study to test hypotheses):
x
Findings support H
Æ
Increase in confidence of the theory
x
Findings dont support H
Æ
decrease in confidence of the theory
Æ
revise or discard theory
Steps in a Scientific Investigation
1)
Formulate a Testable Hypothesis formulate H + define V through
operational definition
(describes action/operation that will be used to measure/control variable).
2)
Select the Research Method and Design the Study research methods [such as experiments,
case studies, surveys, naturalistic observation, etc] depends on the nature of question under the
study, which is the most appropriate and practical. Then make detailed plans [what kind of
experiment, who are the participants, how many, where].
Participants/subjects
are the
persons/animals whose behavior is systematically observed in a study.
3)
Collect the Data procedures for making empirical observations and measurements.
4)
Analyze the Data and Draw Conclusions observation results are converted to numbers, use
statistics to analyze data, decide whether H is supported or not.
5)
Report the Findings write a concise summary of the study and its findings, submit the report to
a
journal
(publishes technical and scholarly material) for publication.
Advantages of the Scientific Approach
CLARITY and PRECISION
; scientific approach allows communication about important ideas.
RELATIVE INTOLERANCE OF ERROR
; yields more accurate and dependable info.
Research Method
(strategies for conducting studies)
Æ
approaches to the observation,
measurement, manipulation, and control of variables in empirical studies.
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Description
1 Chapter 2 –The Research Enterprise in Psychology TheScientificApproachtoBehavior Goalsof theScientificEnterprise Psychologistsandscientistsshare3goals: 1. Measurement anddescription–developmeasurement techniquestodescribebehavior. 2. Understandingandprediction–abletoexplainthereasonwhysomethinghappened,using hypothesis(uncertainstatement about therelationshipb/nvariables)andvariables(measurable conditions,events, characteristics,or behaviorsthat arecontrolledor observedinthestudy). 3. Applicationandcontrol–infogatheredareusedto help/improve/treatthecommunity. Theory(alogicalnetworkof explanatoryideas)Æ Hypotheses(specificpredictionsderivedfromtheory) Æ EmpiricalResearch(conduct studyto test hypotheses): N Findingssupport HÆ Increaseinconfidenceof thetheory N Findingsdon’t support HÆ decreaseinconfidenceof thetheoryÆ reviseor discardtheory StepsinaScientificInvestigation 1) FormulateaTestableHypothesis–formulateH+defineVthroughoperational definition (describesaction/operationthatwillbeusedtomeasure/control variable). 2) Select theResearchMethodand DesigntheStudy–researchmethods[such asexperiments, casestudies,surveys,naturalisticobservation,etc] dependsonthenatureof questionunder the study,whichisthemost appropriateand practical. Thenmakedetailedplans[whatkindof experiment,whoaretheparticipants, how many,where]. Participants/subjectsarethe persons/animalswhosebehavior issystematicallyobservedinastudy. 3) Collect theData–proceduresfor makingempirical observationsandmeasurements. 4) AnalyzetheDataandDrawConclusions–observation resultsareconvertedto numbers,use statisticstoanalyzedata,decidewhether Hissupportedor not. 5) Report theFindings–writeaconcisesummaryof thestudyanditsfindings,submit thereport to ajournal (publishestechnicalandscholarlymaterial)for publication. Advantagesof theScientificApproach CLARITYandPRECISION; scientificapproachallowscommunicationabout important ideas. RELATIVEINTOLERANCEOFERROR; yieldsmoreaccurateanddependableinfo. ResearchMethod(strategiesfor conductingstudies)Æ approachesto theobservation, measurement,manipulation,andcontrol of variablesinempiricalstudies. www.notesolution.com 2 Lookingfor Causes:Experimental Research Experiment isaresearchmethodinwhichtheinvestigator manipulatesavariableunder carefully controlledconditionsand observeswhether anychangesoccur inasecondvariableasaresult. (Useful todetect cause-and-effect relationships). Independent/Dependent Variables, Experimental/ControlGroup, andExtraneousVariables Independent variable =condition/event thatanexperimenter variesinorder toseeitsimpact on another variable. Dependent variable=variablethatisthought tobeaffectedbymanipulationof the independent variable. ExperimentalgroupÆ consistsof thesubjectswho receivesomespecialtreatment inregardtothe independent variable. Control groupÆ consistsof thosesimilarsubjectswhodonot receivethespecial treatment giventotheexperimentalgroup. ™ If thetwogroupsarealikeinall respectsexcept for thevariationcreatedbythe manipulationof theindependent variable,anydifferencesbetweenthetwogroupson the dependent variablemust beduetothemanipulationof theindependent variable . Extraneousvariables=anyvariablesother thantheindependent variablethatseemlikelytoinfluence thedependent variableinaspecificstudy. Confoundingof variables=whentwovariablesarelinked together inawaythat makesit difficult toisolatetheeffect of theindependent variableonthe dependent variable. Randomassignment of subjects=all subjectshaveanequalchanceof being assignedtoanygroupor conditioninthestudy. VariationsinDesigningExperiments 1) Usingonegroupof subjectsasbothexperimentalandcontrol group(eliminatesanyextraneous variablesinvolvingpersonal characteristics,etc) 2) Manipulatemorethanoneindependent variableinasingleexperiment. 3) Usemorethanonedependent variable. Anexperiment isapowerful researchmethodthat permits conclusionsabout cause-and-effect relationshipsbetweenvariables. However,theexperimentalmethodisoftennot usablefor aspecific problem,andmanyexperimentstendtobeartificial(fake) . Lookingfor links:Descriptive/Correlational Research Psychologistscannot exert experimentalcontrol over somevariablestheywant tostudyfor either ethicalor practicalreasons(ie. effectsof nutritiousandnon-nutritiousmaternaldietsonthe healthof babies). Therefore,investigatorsmust relyondescriptive/correlationalresearchmethods (naturalisticobservation,casestudies,and surveys)–researcherscannot manipulatethevariables under thestudy . Descriptive/correlationalmethodspermit investigatorstoonlydescribepatternsof behavior anddiscover linksor associationsbetweenvariables. www.notesolution.com 3 NaturalisticObservation, CaseStudies, andSurveys ™ Innaturalisticobservation,aresearcher engagesincareful observationof behavior without interveningdirectlywiththesubjects. o A: minimizesartificiality; canbeagoodplacetostart whenlittleisknownabout phenomenaunder study o DA: oftendifficult to remainunobtrusive; can’t explainwhycertainpatternsof behavior wereobserved. ™ Acasestudyisanin-depthinvestigationof anindividualsubject usingdirect int
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