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Chapter 2

Chapter 2

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Dan Dolderman

Chapter 2 The Research Enterprise in PsychologyThe Scientific Approach to BehaviourGoals of the Scientific Enterprise1 Measurement and descriptionfind a way to measure the phenomenon under study develop measurement techniques that make it possible to describe behaviour clearly and precisely 2 Understanding and predictionscientists maketest hypotheses hypothesisa tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variablesvariablesany measurable conditionseventscharacteristicsbehaviours that are controlledobserved in a study3 Application and controlpsychology attempts to apply research findings to practical problems in schools businesses factories and mental hospitals By integrating apparently unrelated facts and principles into a coherent whole theories permit psychologists to make the leap from the description of behaviour to the understanding of it Theory construction is a gradual iterative process that is always subject to revisionone or two hypotheses from the theory are tested because theories are too complex to test all at once Steps in a Scientific InvestigationStep 1 Formulate a Testable Hypothesiscreate a hypothesis where variables are defined with operational definitionsdescribes actionsoperations used to measurecontrol a variable Step 2 Select the Research Method and Design the Studyresearcher selects the research method experiment case study etc thats the most appropriatepractical then makes detailed plans for executing their study ex who are the participants etcStep 3 Collect the Dataresearchers use a variety of data collection techniques Technique Description Direct Observers watch and record behaviour as objectively and precisely as possible Observation They may use some instrumentation such as a stopwatch or video recorder Questionnaire Subjects are administered to a series of written questions designed to obtain information about attitudes opinions and specific aspects of their behaviour Interview Facetoface dialogue is conducted to obtain information about specific aspects of a subjects behaviour Psychological Subjects are administered a standardized measure to obtain a sample of their Test behaviour Tests are usually used to assess mental abilities or personality traits Psychological An instrument is used to monitor and record a specific physiological process in Recording a subject ex measures of blood pressure heart rate and muscle tensionExam Archival The researcher analyzes existing institutional records the archives such as Records census economic medical legal educational and business recordsStep 4 Analyze the Data and Draw Conclusionsobservations usually converted into numbers constitute the raw data of the studyresearchers use statistics to analyze their data and to decide whether their hypotheses have been supportedStep 5 Report the Findingswrite a concise summary of the study and its findings to share with other researchers and the general public
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