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Chapter 4

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Psychology 2030A/B
David Vollick

Abnormal Psychology Chapter 4 Research MethodsBasic Components of a Research StudyHypothesis An educated guess or statement to be supported by data o The initial phase of a research studyhypothesis formation o Ellery observed gamblers on VLT machines to examine the effects of alcohol on various aspects of gambling behaviour o Alternative statement is called the null hypothesis o Testabilitythe ability to support the hypothesisResearch Design The plan for testing the hypothesis affected by the question addressed the hypothesis and practical considerationsDependent Variable Some aspect of the phenomenon that is measured and it expected to be changed or influenced by the independent variableIndependent Variable The aspect manipulated or thought to influence the change in the dependent variableInternal Validity The extent to which the results of the study can be attributed to the independent variable o Confound Any factor occurring in a study that makes the results uninterpretableo The degree to which confounds are present in a study is a measure of internal validity the extent to which the results can be explained by the independent variableExternal Validity The extent to which the results of the study can be generalized or applied outside the immediate studyIn psychotherapy treatment studies the treatment itself is expected to influence behaviour and is therefore another independent variableStrategies to ensure internal validity are o Control Groups people are similar to the experimental group in every way except that members of the experimental group are exposed to the IV and those in the control group are notControl groups rule out alternative explanations for results thereby strengthening internal validity o Randomization process of assigning people to different research groups in such a way that each person has an equal chance of being placed in any groupFlipping a coin or using a random number table helps improve internal validity by eliminating any systematic bias in assignment o Analogue Models create in the controlled conditioning of the laboratory aspects that are comparable to the phenomenon under studyOne useful type of analogue model is the animal modelIn a research study internal and external validity often seem to be in opposition
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