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Psychology (2,971)
PSY210H1 (44)
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Chapter 2

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Research Methods Scientific Research  The Role of Theory o Theory = a broad set of statements describing the relation between a phenomenon and the factors assumed to affect it o Law/principle = a predicted relation between a phenomenon and a factor assumed to affect it that is supported by a good deal of scientific evidence o Hypothesis = a predicted relation between a phenomenon and a factor assumed to affect it that is not yet supported by a great deal of evidence. Hypotheses are tested in experimental investigations. o Theories organize research findings and guide new research  Objectivity and Measurement o To achieve objectivity:  Focus on observable behaviours  Accurately define them so they can be measured  Find a way to quantify them Types of Research  Three types – descriptive, correlational, and experimental  Descriptive Research o Research based solely on observations, with no attempt to determine systematic relations among the variables o Observational Methods  Minimizing observer bias – clearly identify and define behaviours, have multiple independent observers view same behaviour  Observer influence = the effects of knowing you are being observed  Structured observation = observation of behaviour in settings that are controlled by the investigator o Interview Methods  Open-ended or structured  Open-ended interviews can be studied qualitatively for themes that emerge  Also, some researchers use a questionnaire o Case studies  A research method that involves only a single individual, often with a focus on a clinical issue  Correlational Research o Attempts to identify correlations among variables o Correlation = relation between two variables  Positive correlation = two variables changes in the same direction  Negative correlation = two variables change in opposite directions  Correlation is not causation – further research is required  Experimental research o This is where causation can be determined o Group studies  Expose different groups to different manipulations of independent variable o Reversal-replication studies (also called ABAB design)  An experimental design in which the independent variable is systematically presented and removed several time. Can be used in studies involving very few research participants.  But, not always possible or ethical to remove the variable o Additional Considerations  Quasi-experimental studies = comparison of groups differing on some important characteristic  Ie, a divorce study – comparing groups of parents who are divorced and together. Experimenter has limited control over independent variable, so no causal conclusions can be drawn  Beware of generalizability of experiments Studying Development  Four methods: longitudinal study, cross-sectional study, combination, and microgenetic technique  Longitudinal research o Same individuals studied repeatedly over time o Can be correlational or experimental  Correlational – measures behaviours at one age, again at a later age, and determines correlation  Experimental – introduces a manipulation and later observes its effect o Two research questions well-suited to longitudinal research  Stability of behaviours  Effects of early experiences on later behaviours o Disadvantag
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