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Psychology (2,971)
PSY220H1 (200)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2 The Scientific Method.doc

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Jennifer Fortune

Chapter 2 The Scientific Method Theories and Hypotheses Theory: an explanation of why an event or outcome occurs; it identifies the underlying causes of an event or phenomenon - in psy, theories typically focus on psychological processes to explain events - it is a scientist’s explanation of why an event or outcome occurs Hypothesis: a specific predication about what should occur if a theory is valid; it provides the means by which a theory can be tested - predications, where as theories are explanations - hypotheses are derived from a theory and therefore provide a means for testing the theory Just world theory - Melvin Lerner - Suggested that humans need to believe that the world is a fair and “just” place - Lerner proposed that we are all motivated to believe that ppl usually receive what they deserve ie hard work = rewards vs laziness = shit - Lerner argued that if we did not believe that the world is just, then we would fear that our own efforts would be in vain ie threatening and anxiety provoking Hypothesis WRT to Just world theory - we blame victims to protect the just world theory - victims must have been lazy or dishonest for them to arrive at their negative circumstances, by reinforcing the belief that hard work = rewards and lazyness = shit, we protect our own efforts and the belief that it will bring rewards ie they deserved that - Lerner’s hypothesis seems consistent with ppl’s devaluation of victims Operational Definition: a specific, observable response that is used to measure a concept ex my attitude toward religion is a 7 (favourable) - the concept is attitude toward religion, the operational definition is scores from 0 to 10 on a scale two types of measure are most common in social psychology ie self-report measures and behavioural measures. Self report measures: asking ppl directly - so long as a concept is something that ppl are able and willing to report - the question asked should be clear in order to receive a honest response - hit vs smashed into each other, hit = lower speed, smashed = higher speed ie wording of question matters With self reports, beware of socially desirable responding Socially desirable responding: a form of responding that involves giving answers that portray the respondent in a positiv
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