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Chapter 2

Chapter 2- Scientific Inquiry .docx

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Ashley Waggoner Denton

Chapter 2- Scientific Inquiry 9/27/2012 6:44:00 PM • Scientific Inquiry is a way of finding answers to empirical questions • empirical questions are questions that can be answered by observing the world and measuring aspects of it • 4 major goals of psychological science: describing, predicting, controlling and explaining behavior and mental activity • researchers in science use the scientific method to draw firm and accurate conclusions to their observations, which is more objective than casual observation • The Scientific Method • the scientific method consists of a theory, hypothesis, and research • theory is a model of how something works, consisting of interconnected ideas and concepts • a hypothesis is required for a good theory- a prediction of the outcome that supports a theory and is falsifiable • Research is the process of collecting data in a careful, systematic way • data is information that would test if the hypothesis and theory is to be supported • no single study can be definitive; therefore studies have to be replicated- repeated the study and getting the same answers • Example: • Theory: Working women want to have fun to relieve stress from work • Hypothesis: Women that have more fun at work will spend less leisure time after work compared to those that have boring jobs • Research: Select research method- rating how much fun they have at and after work • Support or Refute: draw conclusions based on the data. Discard theory or revise it if data does not support original claims. • Further Inquiry: share results with the scientific community and then refine theory with further predictions and research • Good theories generate many testable hypotheses, and data that supports it; ex. Jean Piaget: cognitive development at different stages (infants) • Unexpected Findings can be valuable and suggest new theories; ex. Wiesel, Hubel, rapid firing of brain cells in response to straight lines • Types of Studies in Psychological Science • after hypothesis formed, researchers must decide type of study design • 3 types of studies: descriptive, correlational, experimental • differ in control of variables and extent to conclusions on causations • variable is something that can be measured and manipulated; varies • operational definitions measure variables by identifying and quantifying • ex. rating fun factor after work, or inferring based on questions • Descriptive Studies • desc. studies: observing and noting behaviour to analyze objectively • naturalistic observation: no intervention from observer in situation change situation • participant observation: researcher is involved in situation •observers should keep objectivity & minimize impact on situation
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