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Chapter 2

Textbook Chapter 2- Research Methodology

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University of Toronto St. George
Ashley Waggoner Denton

Scientific inquiry = finding answers to empirical questions through scientific method Scientific Method 1. Theory -Explanation of how something works 2. Hypothesis -Testable prediction of the outcome that would support theory 3. Research -Systematic collection of data/objective information to test hypothesis 4.? Replication -To confirm results Operational definitions identify and quantify variables so they can be used in research. Types of study: 1. Descriptive -Observational, noting behaviour -Naturalistic observation --> Observer separate and does not change situation -Participant observation --> Researcher involved in situation/study -Observer bias and presence can change behaviour being witnessed 2. Longitudinal -Observing behaviours in the same people over a period of time 3. Cross Sectional -Observing developmental changes in different groups at the same time -Beware of experimenter expectancy effect --> due to observer bias 4. Correlational -Examines how variables are naturally related in the real world. -Beware of directionality problem --> what causes what? -Third variable problem --> unmeasured variable may be responsible for differences of dependent variable Experiments and manipulating conditions -Experiment --> Researcher manipulates one variable to examine effect on a second variable. -Control group --> no intervention -Experimental group --> gets intervention -Independent variable --> gets manipulated -Dependent variable --> affected by manipulation -Beware of confounds --> affects a dependent variable and may unintentionally vary between the experimental conditions of a study (much like a third variable, confounds with the independent variable.) Random assignments and groups -Population --> everyone in the experimental group -Sample --> subset of a population -Random sampling is best but convenience sampling is used most often -Beware of selection bias --> participants in different groups differ systematically -To counter, use random assignment --> each participant has equal chance of being assigned to any level of the independent variable. Quasi-experiments --> some independent variables cannot be manipulated Meta-analysis --> “Study of studies” that combines findings of multiple studies to arrive at conclusion. Data co
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