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CH2 – RESEARCH METHODOLOGY (textbook notes)

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Ashley Waggoner Denton

CH2 – RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Scientific inquiry  SCIENTIFIC METHOD – a systematic procedure of observing and Types of Psychological Research measuring phenomena to answer questions (4 goals) about what  Common Characteristics of All Types happens, when it happen, what causes it, and why. o VARIABLE – something in the world that can be measured and that o More objective than causal observations can vary, also be manipulated by experimenter o Three essential elements: o Operational definitions – ID & quantify variables for measurement  THEORY – a model of interconnected ideas and concepts that  Constructs – internal attributes/characteristics that cannot be explains what is observed and makes predictions about future directly observed; but useful describing and explaining behavior events; good theory generate (multiple) testable hypothesis  DESCRIPTIVE STUDY (Observational study) – involve observing and  Falsifiability – must be possible, in principle, make classifying behavior observation show hypothesis/theory to be false o valued early in research process  see whether a phenomenon  HYPOTHESIS – A specific prediction of what should be observed exists, expand later w/ diff research in the world if a theory is correct; o Observer Intervention  RESEARCH – scientific process that involves the systematic and  NATURALISTIC OBSERVATION – a passive descriptive study in careful collection of data which observers do not change or alter ongoing behavior  DATA – objective observations or measurements  PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION – a type of descriptive study in  findings support theory or req. theory modified/rejected which the researcher is actively involved in the situation  human behaviors req. >1 theory  no single study  Problem: participants change behavior when observed provide definite answer  Req. observer keep objectivity, minimize impact on o Cyclic processes: new hypothesis  new research methods test  situation –ex experimenter join cult, study dooms day re-evaluates, refines theory  again o Developmental Designs  REPLICATION – repetition of an experiment to confirm the  LONGITUDINAL STUDIES – involve observing and classifying results; 2+ studies same conclusion, increase finding confidence developmental changes that occur in the same people over time o Serendipity – discover valuable unexpected findings  Advantages: provide information of age effects on the o [HOMER] Hypothesize  Operationalize  Measure  Evaluated  same people to see developmental changes Replicate/Revise/Report  Disadvantages: expensive, time consuming, may lose ppl  CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDIES – involve observing and classifying developmental changes that occur in different groups of people at the same time  Advantages: faster, less expensive  Disadvantages = unidentified variables may be involved (3 variable problem) o OBSERVER BIAS (issue) – systematic errors in observation that occur because of an observer’s expectations  cultural norms suggest inhibiting/expressing certain behaviors  subjective indicator observations affected  ex. Facial expressions, likely rate women more emotional  EXPERIMENTER EXPECTANCY EFFECT – actual change in the behavior of the people or animals being observed that is due to observer bias  ex. same rats raised w/ diff expectations = diff results; trainers’ beliefs unconsciously affected trainers’ behavior  Solution: use of blind experimenters  CORRELATIONAL STUDY – examines how variables are naturally related in the real world, w/o researcher/observer intervention to alter them o Advantage: reply on naturally occurring relationships  May take place in real world settings o Disadvantage: Doesn’t support causal relationships btwn variables  DIRECTIONALITY PROBLEM – correlational relationships btwn two variables, cannot determine which cause which  ex. Less sleep (A), More Stress (B); AB or BA  THIRD VARIABLE PROBLEM – the experimenter cannot directly manipulate the independent variable, therefore possibly an unmeasured variable actually influences the dependent variable  ex. Places w/ more churches, also higher crime rates; third variable = urban center/population  may use statistical procedures rule out potential 3 variables and directionality problem  more confidence in findings o Ethics reason force some research question to correlational studies  Involve unethical factors (trauma) can’t induce/control  EXPERIMENTAL STUDY (Experiment) – a study that tests casual hypotheses by measuring and manipulating variables, seeing effects o Advantage: can determine causal relationships btwn 2 variables o Disadvantage: often takes place in an artificial setting  Sampling processes o CONTROL GROUP (Comparison group) – participants receive no o POPULATION – the entire group the experimenter is interested in intervention or an intervention different from the one being studied  SAMPLE – a subset of a population who are studied o EXPERIMENTAL GROUP (Treatment group) – the participants in a o Sampling – process people from population selected for the sample study that receive the desired intervention  Sample should represent the population o INDEPENDENT VARIABLE (IV) – the condition that is manipulated by  Random sampling – each population member equal chance the experimenter to examine its impact on the dependent variable being chosen to participate o DEPENDENT VARIABLE (DV) – the measure that is affected by  Convenience sample – ppl conveniently available for the study manipulation of the independent variable o SELECTION BIAS – when participants in different groups in an o Establishing causality experiment differ systematically in unexpected ways  CONFOUND – anything that affects a dependent variable and o RANDOM ASSIGNMENT – each research participant has an equal may unintentionally vary between the experimental conditions chance of being assigned to any level of the independent variable of a study, allows alternative explanations for observed data  Diff. btwn groups tends average out when assignment random  Req. makes sure only variances = IV; need rigorous control,  On average groups are equivalent minimize possibility of confounds, alternative explanations  META-ANALYSIS – A “study of studies” that combines the findings of multiple studies addressing same issue to arrive at a conclusion o Weigh heavier studies w/ larger samples o Examine effect size: large-medium-small-no differences o Replication concept built into meta-analysis Methods of Data Collection in Psychological Research  Levels of analysis o Disadvantages: subjective: If a researcher has a causal theory, this o Biological – measure brain process, hormone levels theory can bias what is observed and recorded  Ex. whether men secrete more testosterone when X
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