Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Social Desirability Bias, Internal Validity, Habituation
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Studying Behaviour Scientifically
Chapter 2: September 16, 2017
1. Identify the problem and formulate hypothesis
a. Hypothesis: tentative statement about a relation between 2 or more events.
b. Theories: collection of hypothesis, an organizing system that is more general and
i. Good theories generate testable (good) hypothesis.
2. Design and execute the experiment
a. Identify variables. Independent variables are manipulated by the experimenter and
dependent variables are measured.
b. We want to conclude that the independent variable causes dependent variable.
c. Without proper controls, the experiment is said to be confounded.
3. Determine the truth
a. Do your results support the hypothesis?
b. Are there any real, or significant differences?
i. The results are statically analyzed to see if the difference is random or due to the
4. Communicate the results
a. Publish a report or journal, or or discuss several related experiments in a book chapter.
b. Present a verbal description of results,
Methods of Research
● Descriptive research seeks to identify how humans and other animals behave, particularly in
● It provides a lot of information that is then tested experimentally.
● The research methods used to describe behaviour are:
■ In depth analysis of an individual, group or an event.
■ By studying a single case in detail, one can discover principles of behaviour that
are true for people or situations in general.
■ Data can be gathered through observations, interviews, psychological tests,
physiological recordings, task performance or archival records.
■ Advantages of case studies:
● Enables scientists to study rare phenomenons closely
● Challenges the validity of a theory or widely held belief.
● Can be a vibrant source of new ideas and hypotheses.
■ Limitations of case studies:
● Poor method for determining cause-effect relations.
● May not generalize, or be applicable to other people or situations.
● Observers may not be objective in gathering or interpreting data.
○ This is known as measurement bias, or objective bias.
■ Researchers observe behaviour as it occurs in a natural setting, and attempts to
avoid influencing that behaviour.
■ Like case studies, naturalistic observation does not permit clear causal
conclusions because many behaviours.
● Bias in how researchers interpret observations what they observe is also
● The mere presence of an observer may disrupt a person’s or animal’s
● Habituation is the process by which people and other animals adapt to
and ignore the presence of an observer as time passes.
■ In survey research, information about a topic is obtained by administering
questionnaires or interviews.
■ Population consists of all the individuals about whom we are interested in
drawing a conclusion.
■ A sample is a subset of individuals drawn from the larger population of interest.
■ To draw valid conclusions about a population, you have to survey a
● A representative sample is one that reflects the important characteristics
of the population.
■ To obtain a representative sample, survey researchers use a procedure called
random sampling, in which every member of the population has an equal
probability of being chosen to participate.
■ Internet questionnaires can be problematic because researchers don’t have
much control over data quality and validity
● Cannot be used to draw conclusions about cause and effect.
● Rely on participant’s self-reports which are influenced by social
desirability bias, interview bias or inaccurate perception of one’s
● Can lead to faulty generalizations about how entire populations behave.
● Scientists conduct correlational research to examine the associations between naturally
occurring events or variables.
○ Is monetary wealth related to happiness? Do first-born children differ in personality from
● Three components:
○ The researcher measures one variable.
○ The researcher measures a second variable.
○ Then statistically determines whether both of the measured variables are related.
● This research type measures variable, but it does not manipulate them.
○ In this research type, you must consider that variable X has caused variable Y, or that Y
caused variable X, or that both variables have influenced each other.
■ This is known as the bidirectionality, or two-way causality, problem.
○ The association between both variables may also be artificial, or spurious.
Identify the problem and formulate hypothesis: hypothesis: tentative statement about a relation between 2 or more events, theories: collection of hypothesis, an organizing system that is more general and elaborate. i. Descriptive research seeks to identify how humans and other animals behave, particularly in. It provides a lot of information that is then tested experimentally. The research methods used to describe behaviour are: Data can be gathered through observations, interviews, psychological tests, Advantages of case studies: are true for people or situations in general. physiological recordings, task performance or archival records. Challenges the validity of a theory or widely held belief. Can be a vibrant source of new ideas and hypotheses. May not generalize, or be applicable to other people or situations. This is known as measurement bias, or objective bias. The mere presence of an observer may disrupt a person"s or animal"s.