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Exp Psychology notes

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Department
Psychology
Course
46-339
Professor
Blais
Semester
Winter

Description
Unit
6:

Experimental
Psychology
 
 Terminology
 • laboratory
experiments—conducted
in
the
lab
 • field
experiments—conducted
in
the
real
world
 
 Variables
 • independent
variable—what
the
experiment
manipulates;
commonly
the
experimental
and
 control
groups
 • dependent
variable—what
is
being
measured;
should
be
measurable
with
numbers

 • confounding
variables—variables
that
are
unintended
and
throw
off
the
experimental
results
 
 • operational
definition
of
variables—when
an
independent
variable
is
defined
according
to
 the
events
used
to
produce
it
(e.g.
what
constitutes
“low
anxiety”
or
“high
anxiety”);
a
 measured
operational
definition
applies
to
dependent
variables
that
are
defined
in
 operational
terms
 • research
(or
experimental)
hypothesis—a
detailed
explanation
of
a
predicted
relationship
 between
certain
conditions
or
variables;
this
hypothesis
is
not
subject
to
change
 • null
hypothesis—a
detailed
statement
indicating
there
is
no
relationship
between
certain
 conditions
or
variables
 
 Validity
and
Reliability
 • replication—sufficient
detail
in
the
procedure
section
to
duplicate
the
experiment
with
the
 same
materials
and
instructions
 • reliability—the
ability
to
produce
consistent
and
stable
scores
or
results
 • validity—the
ability
of
a
measuring
instrument
or
experiment
to
measure
what
is
intended
 
 • internal
validity—controls
prior
influence,
maturation
processes
and
the
order
effect,
but
not
 the
subjects’
history
with
the
task
 • threats
to
internal
validity
include:

 – unplanned
events
 – differences
between
subjects
 – statistical
regression
 – testing
problems
 – changes
in
a
measuring
instrument
 – natural
changes
in
subjects
over
time
 – experimenter
bias
and
misuse
of
statistical
tests
 
 • external
validity—controls
the
subjects’
history
with
the
task
but
not
the
other
aspects
 • threats
to
external
validity
include:

 – poor
selection
of
subjects
 – limited
characteristics
of
the
subjects
 – limited
operational
definitions
 – multiple
treatment
interference
 – subject
awareness
of
the
study
 – too
limited
a
setting
for
the
experiment
 – a
limited
time
frame
in
obtaining
results
 
 Quantitative
Research
Methods
 • these
methods
are
used
by
psychologists
to
test
hypotheses
under
rigorous,
controlled
 conditions
 • experiments
take
place
in
the
laboratory
or
in
the
field
 • the
aim
is
to
establish
a
cause‐and‐effect
relationship
through
descriptive
and
inferential
 statistics
 • statistics
allow
the
researcher
to
determine
the
level
of
significance
(at
least
at
the
.05
level)
 
 • triangulation—a
multi‐method
approach
to
the
study
of
human
behavior.


 – data—collected
over
time,
in
different
locations,
from
different
persons
or
groups
 – investigator—data
collected
from
different
investigators
 – theories
from
different
perspectives—for
example,
how
the
cause
of
obsessive‐ compulsive
disorder
based
on
the
behavioral,
psychodynamic
or
biological
 perspectives
 – methodological—data
collected
from
within‐subject
designs
and
between‐subject
 designs
on
different
occasions
 
 Samples
 • population—the
total
number
of
people
or
things
from
which
to
draw
a
sample
 • sample—a
small
group
of
people
or
things
selected
to
represent
the
target
population
 • random
selection
of
participants
and
random
assignment
to
groups—helps
to
increase
the
 validity
of
the
results
 
 • random
sampling—selecting
a
sample
from
the
population
purely
at
random
 • representative
sampling—occurs
when
the
population
is
divided
into
subpopulations
and
 then
a
random
sample
is
taken
from
each
subpopulation
 • stratified
sampling—a
sample
that
matches
the
overall
characteristics
of
the
population
from
 which
it
is
drawn
 • systematic
sampling—a
sample
that
is
pulled
from
the
population
using
a
system
or
some
 th criteria,
such
as
every
10 
person
 
 • independent
subjects
design—a
design
in
which
groups
of
subjects
experience
different
 experimental
conditions;
comparing
a
control
group
versus
an
experimental
group
is
a
 common
independent
samples
design;
measures
two
distinct
groups
 • repeated
measures
design
(within‐subjects
design)—a
design
in
which
one
group
is
 measured
before
and
then
after
administration
of
a
variable;
typically
this
involves
a
pretest
 and
a
posttest
 
 Experimental
Method
 • experimental
group—a
group
that
receives
the
experimental
condition;
the
group
that
is
 affected
by
the
independent
variable
 • control
group—a
group
that
does
not
receive
the
experimental
condition;
the
group
is
not
 affected
by
the
independent
variable
 • placebo
group—a
group
that
is
a
control
group
but
receives
a
placebo
to
minimize
subject
 bias
(a
single
blind
experiment)
 
 • single­blind
techniques—an
experimental
design
in
which
subjects
do
not
know
which
group
 they
are
in,
typically
an
experimental
or
control
group;
this
reduces
subject
bias
 • double­blind
techniques—an
experimental
design
in
which
both
the
subjects
and
the
 experimenter
do
not
know
which
group
is
which;
this
reduces
both
subject
and
 experimenter
bias
 
 • research
bias
and
expectancy
(researcher
and
participant
effects)—bias
that
occurs

 • demand
characteristics—a
cuing
in
process
which
insidiously
instructs
subjects
in
an
 experiment
about
what
is
expected
(e.g.
compassionate
behavior,
aggressive
behavior,
etc);
 if
deception
is
used
as
to
the
purpose
of
the
experiment,
such
subject
bias
arising
out
of
 demand
should
not
occur
 
 • participant
and
researcher
expectancies—based
on
the
idea
that
what
the
researcher
expects
 will
alter
the
subject’s
performance;
this
is
known
as
the
Pygmalion
effect;
this
was
shown
 by
Rosenthal’s
study
that
experimenter
expectancies
can
alter
the
performance
of
children
 in
a
classroom
(our
40
Studies
article
“What
You
Expect
Is
What
You
Get”;
this
highlights
the
 need
to
control
experimenter
bias
 
 Questionnaires/Surveys
 • large­scale
and
small­scale
surveys—the
scale
of
the
survey
is
dependent
on
the
number
of
 surveys
collected,
either
a
lot
(large
scale)
or
a
few
from
a
select
group
(small
scale)
 • 
 • use
of
Likert
scale—a
rating
scale
developed
by
R.
Likert
where
respondents
are
asked
to
 indicate
where
they
fall
along
some
dimension
 – this
is
then
converted
into
a
numerical
score
(e.g.
strongly
agree‐1,
agree‐2,
neither
 agree
nor
disagree‐3,
disagree‐4,
strongly
disagree‐5)
 
 • advantages
include:

 – flexibility
in
asking
questions
 – less
time
to
collect
data
 – large
amounts
of
data
can
be
collected
at
once
 • disadvantages
include:

 – question‐bias
 – self‐report
bias
 – erroneous
memories
of
the
subjects
 – social
desirability
bias
 
 Naturalistic
Observation
 • participant
observation—the
observer
is
part
of
the
group
being
observed
 • non‐participant
observation—the
observer
remains
detached
from
the
group;
sometimes
 called
a
complete
observer
 
 • methods
of
recording
data,
including
time,
event
and
point
sampling:
 – duration
recording—the
observer
specifies
the
length
of
time
a
particular
behavior
 will
last
(e.g.
talking
to
other
student;
being
out
of
one’s
set)
 – frequency‐county
method—counting
the
number
of
time
(frequency)
the
behavior
 occurs
 – interval
recording—a
single
subject
is
observed
for
a
set
amount
of
time
and
the
 subject’s
behavior
is
recorded
 – continuous
observation—after
observing
the
subject,
the
observer
gives
a
narrative
 account
of
the
observed
behavior;
it
is
up
to
the
observer
to
determine
which
 behaviors
are
important
to
report
 – time
sampling—the
observer
randomly
selects
time
period
to
observ
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