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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Notes This is for Psych 2060, taken online, for the Muchinsky 9th Ed. textbook. These are very detailed and easy to understand notes on Chapter 2 that I made myself. Headings and bullets make it easy to read, and I assure you there is enough


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 2060
Professor
Hayden Woodley
Chapter
2

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Chapter 2 – Research methods in I/O Psychology
-research: a formal process by which knowledge is produced and
understood
-generalizability: the extent to which conclusions drawn from
one research study spread or apply to a larger population
- science aims to describe, predict, and explain phenomena
oe.g. why employees quit, why employees are dissatisfied,
etc.
- 5 steps to the empirical research process
ostatement of the problem what question needs to be
answered?
odesign of the research study how do you design a study
to answer the question?
omeasurement of variables
oanalysis of data how do you make sense of all the
information collected?
oconclusions from research this step influences the first
step in future research studies
Statement of the Problem
-theory: a statement that proposes to explain relationships
among phenomena of interest
-inductive method: a research process that starts with data and
culminates in a theory
-deductive method: a research process where a researcher
starts with a theory, then tests it
- people are far too variable across individuals and within one
person to be defined by a single formula or equation
- Lewin said that a theory is useful in conducting research as it
synthesizes information, organizes it into logical components,
and directs the researcher’s efforts in future studies
- theories must be fine-tuned after rigorous testing
- think of theories in terms of usefulness, whether or not it gives
meaning to the problem
Design of the Research Study
-research design: a plan for conducting scientific research for
the purpose of learning about a phenomenon of interest
- two dimensions are most important in a research strategy
onaturalness of the research setting
don’t want research strategy to destroy of distort the
phenomenon under study
othe investigator’s degree of control over the study

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e.g. in the Hawthorne studies researchers could
remove or install lights, they had a high degree of
control
-internal validity: the degree to which the relationships
evidenced among variables in a particular research study are
accurate or true
-external validity: generalizability
Primary Research Methods
-primary research method: a class of research methods that
generates new information on a particular research question
-laboratory experiment: a type of research method in which
the investigator manipulates independent variables and assigns
subjects to experimental and control conditions
olow realism, not a natural setting
ohigh degree of control, especially over the conditions
associated with the observations of behaviour
omust mirror certain dimensions of where the phenomenon
would actually occur
ocan be used to address highly specific research questions
and results can be interpreted with a high degree of clarity
omust control for all other factors to determine causal link
e.g. wanted to test the link between alcohol
consumption and visual-motor skills, sprayed non
alcoholic beverage with mild ethanol spray so that
test subjects could not tell the difference between
the alcohol and the water, ensuring that difference in
performance at the video game was a result of
alcohol consumption and not a placebo effect
-quasi-experiment: a type of research method for conducting
studies in field situations where the researcher may be able to
manipulate some independent variables
ohigh realism
omoderate control, as variables that occur In the field are
part of the investigation
omay not be able to rule out competing explanations for the
observed behaviour
omany companies are unwilling to change its work
operations for research purposes
-questionnaire: a type of research method in which subjects
respond to written questions posed by the investigator
omoderate realism
olow control
ois a way of maintaining anonymity if subject matter is
sensitive
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oa 50% return rate is considered adequate, however often
the return rate is less than this
ohigher response rate for internet surveys than mail surveys
omay not be able to generalize results because often only
people with negative views respond
otruthfulness is an issue
-observation: a type of research method in which the
investigator monitors the subjects for the purpose of
understanding their behaviour and culture
ohigh realism
olow control
onot used frequently in IO psychology because it takes lots
of time and energy
ouseful for generating ideas that can be further tested with
other research methods
ocannot control for other variables that might account for
results
oe.g. Komaki observed the behaviour of 24 managers, half
were considered effective in motivating others and the
other half ineffective, effective managers spent more time
sampling employee work, managers being observed could
have altered their behaviour or the results could have been
attributed to another factor such as effective managers are
more attuned to social cues
Secondary Research Methods
-secondary research methods: a class of research methods
that examines existing information from research studies that
used primary methods
-meta-analysis: a quantitative secondary research method for
summarizing and integrating the findings from original empirical
research studies
oincreases the likelihood of achieving more accurate
conclusions than could be reached in an individual study
osubjective decisions must be made
number of studies to use
“file drawer effect” where studies that produced
negative outcomes are not published, therefore
studies that are included in meta-analysis are biased
towards positive outcomes
level of analysis: the unit or level (individuals,
teams, nations, organizations, etc) that is the object
of the researchers’ interest and about which
conclusions are drawn from research
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