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Chapter 2

Kinesiology 3388A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Precognition, Operational Definition

Course Code
Kinesiology 3388A/B

of 3
Chapter 2: The Study of Groups
What do you know about the following and how do you know it?
Is there a home advantage in baseball?
Does team cohesion contribute to team success?
All things being equal (i.e., type of sport, age, team success, etc.), are female teams
more socially cohesive than male teams?
How do we KNOW something?
Four Ways of Knowing
1. Method of Tenacity
Example: it’s always been so – e.g., Exercise after a coronary attack can kill
Can sometimes be incorrect
2. Method of Authority
Example: "my prof says..." - e.g., global warming is a severe enviromental
3. Method of Commonsense
Example: "this conclusion is logical" - birds can fly so turkeys can fly
4. Method of Science
Example: "all of us see the evidence the same way" - smoking is harmful
Commonsense vs. Science
- science is better if you can access it
1. Building of Theories
Common Sense
Biased, sometimes illogical explanations
Systematically developed on basis of
repeated observations
2. Testing of Theories
Common Sense
Often tested in a selective fashion
Tested in a systematic empirical fashion
3. Concept of Control
Common Sense
Often confuse correlates with causes
Research design leads to confidence
about test results
4. Search for Relationships
Commen Sense
Generally satisfied with simple
Reoccupied with search for complex
interrelationships (moderators and
- gender is a moderator, something that
modifies the basic relationship (could be
moderator - changes basic relationship (e.g., gender, demographic variables)
mediator - something in between (e.g., cohesion leads to communication, which then leads
to team success)
5. Explanations Used
Common Sense
Tendency to use metaphysical
explanations (God’s will, all luck)
Interest is solely in testable propositions
Scientific Process
- the greatest virtue of [humankind] is perhaps curiosity - France, 1921
Stage 1: Idea Generation (curiosity)
- Curiosity is the foundation of science
Example: Mother “There are 25 people on my daughter’s minor hockey team. I
wonder if there are too many?”
Stage 2: Hypothesis Generation
- (closely linked to idea generation) Scientists rarely, if ever, move from an idea to a
hypothesis without some hunch, intuition, premonition, feeling, sixth sense about the
relationship between the variables
Example: mother “I predict/expect/hypothesize that my daughter is not going to
enjoy hockey.”
Stage 3: Hypothesis Testing
- (developing an operational definition for the main variables) Operational definition gives
meaning to a variable by outlining how the researcher intends to measure it
Example: Team size - count number of team members on a number of different
Enjoyment - ask athletes on those teams to rate their enjoyment on a 9-point scale
(smaller team = more enjoyment)
Stage 4: Replication
- (testing hypothesis again with same sample or other samples) Due to mistakes, academic
fraud, etc.
Example: test 20 year old athletes; test with other skill levels
Research Protocols for Sport Groups
Non-Experimental Protocols
- No attempt to influence participant response
Experimental Protocols
- Participants assigned to experimental and control groups and former receives a
Non-Experimental Protocols
1. Archival Studies: researcher uses data already collected and stored, e.g., home
advantage research
2. Participant Observation Studies: researcher (as part of the group) records group’s
dynamics, data is gathered in a natural environment where the focus is on natural
3. In-Depth Interviews: researcher presents participants with series of open-ended
questions (participants as active observers); e.g., sources of conflict in sport teams
4. Field Studies: researcher makes observations in a natural environment; e.g., John
Wooden as coach
5. Correlational Studies: participants complete two types of questionnaires and
relationship between them examined; e.g., role clarity and satisfaction
Experimental Protocols
1. Lab Studies: researcher uses experimental and control groups in lab; e.g.,
attributions in groups where success/failure manipulated
Participants are recruited and then randomly assigned to a control and an
experimental condition
Take responsibility for success and deny responsibility for failure
2. Field Experiments: researcher subdivides real teams into control and
experimental; e.g., team building in a league
Protocol is identical to lab study