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Psychology (2,981)
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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 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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