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Chapter 2

Psychology 2660A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Dependent And Independent Variables, Smoking Cessation, Meta-Analysis


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 2660A/B
Professor
Natalie J Allen
Chapter
2

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Chapter 2
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
Three Goals of Science
Description picture of a state of events; researchers may describe levels of job satisfaction,
productivity, employees who are quitting throughout the year
Prediction researchers try to predict which employees will be productive, which ones are likely
to quit, and which will be dissatisfied; information is used to select applicants who will be better
employees
Explanatory why events occur when they do, tries to find causes
The Empirical Research Cycle
Statement of the problem
o Problems arise from existing knowledge such as experience with the problem, personal
intuition, or theory
o Theory a statement that proposes to explain relationships among phenomena of
interest
o Inductive method starts as data and culminates in to a theory
o Deductive method researchers first form a theory and then test the theory by
collecting data; come up with theory from intuition or from studying research; if theory
is accurate data will be supportive of it
Design research study
o research design plan for conducting a study; choice of method depends on the nature
of the problem being studied as well as on cost and feasibility
compared along two important dimensions: the naturalness of the research
setting (some studies need to be done in a natural environment and others do
not) and the investigator’s degree of control over the study (manipulation
possible?)
o internal validity results of research can be attributed to the variables investigated
rather than to other possible explanations for the results
o external validity extent to which findings from a research study are relevant to
individuals and settings beyond those in just the study
Measurement of variables
Analysis of data
Conclusions from research
Primary Research Methods

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Primary research method provides an original or principle source of data that bears on a
particular research question
4 types
o Laboratory experiment conducted and contrived settings as opposed to naturally
occurring organizational settings
high degree of control of researcher
streufert et al experiment
tested men in a driving simulation with alcohol in their system or
mineral water disguised as alcohol
error rates were dramatically higher in the alcohol condition
slower reaction times
o quasi-experiment ‘quasi means seemingly but not actually’; resembles an experiment
but actually provides less control over the variables in the investigation
independent variables are manipulated in a field setting
less control over variables, random assignment is often not possible
Latham and Kinne experiment
Studied logging crew
One group was given a one day presentation on how to set production
goals and the other was not
Studied these groups over the next 3 months and found that the group
that had the intervention performed significantly better
o Questionnaire rely on an individual’s self-reports as the basis for obtaining
information; non-experimental research
Mostly used in IO psychology
Not a high rate of returned questionnaires usually; about 50% or less for mailed
in surveys
Maintains anonymity of responders
Some people still give favourable response, ex: when it comes to illegal drug use
o Observation method that can be used when the research is examining overt
behaviours; requires substantial amount of time and energy
not popular in IO psychology
Komaki study
Found that more attentive managers who spent more time sampling
their employees work were more effective
Secondary Research Methods
Secondary research method- looks at existing information from studies that used primary
research methods
Meta-analysis a statistical procedure designed to combine the results of many individual,
independently conducted empirical studies into a single result or outcome; a study of studies
o Reduces errors in measurement by looking at multiple studies
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