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Chapter III.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY240H1
Professor
Martha Mc Kay

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Chapter III: The Research Endeavour Challenges: - Population of interest can be difficult to convince to participate in research - Self-reports of own internal states and experiences can be distorted, observer’s assessments can be biased by stereotypes - Most forms of abnormality probably have multiple causes The Scientific Method: - Basic series of steps designed to obtain and evaluate information relevant to a problem in a systematic way 1. Hypothesis: a testable statement of what we predict will happen in the study  If data supports hypothesis, there is support for the idea, but idea will not be proven correct  Null hypothesis: no relationship between the dependent and independent variablesstudy may not be well designed enoughrevise methodology 2. Research Method:  Variable: a factor that vary within or between individuals a) Dependent variable: factor being predicted in a study b) Independent variable: factor believed to affect the dependent variable  Operationalization: the way a research measures of manipulates the variables 3. Data Collection & Analysis 4. Conclusion 5. Research Report Case Studies: - Detailed histories of individuals with a form of psychological disorder - Individual interviews Pros Cons - Captures the uniqueness of the - Can be published and overlooked individual - Study of an individual may not - Detailed nuances of an individual’s apply to many other individuals or life and experiences, individual’s groups (Generalizability) own words can be used to describe - Lack of objectivity of bother the self-experience individual and the therapist - Only way to study rare problems - Difficulties in replication: one case - Help generate new ideas study may not repeat/replicate the conclusions of another Correlational Studies: - Examines the relationship between and independent variable and a dependent variable without manipulation - Most common in psychology and medicine  Continuous variables study: Study of two or more continuous variables (measured along a continuum); most common in abnormal psychology  Group comparison study: Study of the relationship between people’s membership in a particular group and their scores on some other variable (Ex. Measuring depression in bereaved and non-bereaved group) - Can be cross-sectional (observe people at only one point in time) or longitudinal (observe people on two or more occasions over time)  Ex. Concordia Longitudinal Risk Project: examined relations between early aggressive behaviour in childhood and risk for violent behaviour in adulthood 1. Measuring the Relationship Between Variables: - Correlation Coefficient: statistic used to represent the relationship between variables, denoted with the symbol r, fall between -1.00 and +1.00  Positive correlation: ↑ independent variable, ↑ dependent variable  Negative correlation: ↑ independent variable, ↓ dependent variable  (r)=0: zero correlation, no relationship - Usually in the low to moderate range; some relationship but far from perfect - Magnitude (size): the degree to which the variables move in tandem with each other; how close the correlation coefficient is to either -1.00 or +1.00 - Statistical Significance: an index of how likely it is that result occurred simply by chance  (p) < .05: the probability is less than 5% that the result occurred by chance; typically accept results at this level of significance - Significance at (p) < .05 level determined by the magnitude and the size of the sample - Larger correlations and larger sample sizes increase the likelihood of achieving statistical significance - (r) = 0.30 will be significant if based on a sample of 200+, but not significant if based on a sample of 10- - (r) = 0.90 will be statistically significant even if the sample is 30 people - Correlation v. Causation: - Correlations do not tell us anything about causation; only tells whether a relationship exists or not - Third variable problem: the possibility that variables not measured are the real cause of the relationship between variables measured 2. Selecting a Sample: - A group of people taken from the population that we want to study (Ex. Bereaved) - Representativeness: a representative sample is highly similar to the population of interest in terms of sex, ethnicity, age, and other important variables  More women or people of color in sample than population of interestbias  Important to the generalization - Effective way to obtain a sample is by random - Selection of a comparison group (Ex. Non-bereaved); good idea to match sample group with the comparison group on any variable other than the independent variable Pros Cons - Focus on situations occurring in the - Cannot separate cause and effect real worldgood external validity - Potential for bad timing (extent to which results can be - Longitudinal studies can be generalized to real life) time-consuming and expensive - Longitudinal studies can determine - Suffer from the third variable whether there are differences before problem; seldom can measure all and after the event; can assess both possible influences short and long term reactions Epidemiological Studies: - Study of the frequency and distribution of a disorder in a population; how many people have the disorder and how this number varies across important groups - Focuses on three types of data: 1. Prevalence (%): The proportion of the population that has the disorder at a given point or period in time  Lifetime prevalence: % of people with the disorder sometime in their lives  12-month prevalence: % of people with the disorder in any 12-month period 2. Incidence: The number of new cases of the disorder that develop during a specific period  One year incidence: the number of people who develop the disorder during a one-year period 3. Risk Factors: conditions or variables that are associated with a higher risk of having the disorder - Identify population of interestidentify random sampleuse structure clinical interviews with a specific set of questions to assess symptoms and risk factors Pros Cons - Valuable info on prevalence rate, - Cannot establish a cause incidence rate, and risk factors - Third variable problem - Identify those at high riskcan be used to test hypotheses Experimental Studies: - Study that attempts to control the independent variable and any third variable rather than simply observing them as they naturally occur 1. Human Laboratory Studies/Analogue Studies:  Expose participants to a stressor (Ex. unsolvable puzzle) in a laboratory and determine whether it causes an increase in depressed mood  Also called analogue study because researchers attempt to create lab
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