Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Social Desirability Bias, Confounding, External Validity

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Published on 19 Apr 2013
School
Western University
Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 1000
Professor
Psychology
Chapter 2: Studying Behaviour Scientifically
SCIENTIFIC PRINICPLES IN PSYCHOLOGY
Steps in the Scientific Process-
1. Identify a question of interest
2. Gather information and form hypothesis
3. Test hypothesis by conducting research
4. Analyze data, draw tentative conclusions, and report findings
5. Building a body of knowledge
Hypothesis
- a specific prediction
Theory
- a set of formal statements that explains how and why certain events are
related to one another
Theories are broader than hypotheses, and specify lawful relations
between certain behaviours and their causes
Hindsight- after-the-fact reasoning
Problems: related past events can be explained in many creative,
reasonable, and sometimes contradictory, ways. There is no sure way to
determine which, if any, of the alternatives is correct
The characteristics of a good theory:
It incorporates existing facts and observations within a single broad
framework. In other words, it organizes information in a meaningful way
It is testable. It generates new hypotheses and predications whose
accuracy can be evaluated by gathering new evidence
The predictions made by the theory are supported by the findings of new
research
It conforms to the law of parsimony: if 2 theories can explain and predict
the same phenomena equally well, the simpler theory is the preferred one
Operational definition: defining a concept or variable in terms of the specific
procedures used to produce or measure it. They translate abstract concepts into
something observable and measureable
Self-report measures ask people to report on their own knowledge, beliefs,
feelings, experiences, or behaviour
Social desirability bias: the tendency to respond in a socially acceptable manner
rather than according to how one truly feels or behaves
Measures of Behaviour
Reaction time- how rapidly something responds to a stimulus
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Document Summary

Steps in the scientific process: identify a question of interest, gather information and form hypothesis, test hypothesis by conducting research, analyze data, draw tentative conclusions, and report findings, building a body of knowledge. Theory- a set of formal statements that explains how and why certain events are related to one another. Theories are broader than hypotheses, and specify lawful relations between certain behaviours and their causes. Problems: related past events can be explained in many creative, reasonable, and sometimes contradictory, ways. There is no sure way to determine which, if any, of the alternatives is correct. It incorporates existing facts and observations within a single broad framework. In other words, it organizes information in a meaningful way. It generates new hypotheses and predications whose accuracy can be evaluated by gathering new evidence. The predictions made by the theory are supported by the findings of new research.

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