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Chapter 2

Ch. 2 - Research Methods, Sept 18.docx

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Psychology 1000

Chapter 2: Research Methods Scientific method the method psychologists use to obtain data and results 1) Identify the method 2) Hypothesis suggests a prediction that will happen between 2 or more events 3) Theory - A collection of hypothesis - An organizing system - More general and elaborate - Good theories generate testable hypotheses, a poor theory is not easily testable - Examples: Theory of Relativity and Behaviour Theory are both measurable, therefore testable 4) Design & Execute Experiment - Most important part - Identify variables as independent (manipulated) and dependent (measured) - Independent causes the dependent variable to change under various conditions - Without proper control, the experiment is confounded and therefore useless 5) Determine the “Truth” - Do the results support the hypothesis - Are there any differences? Statistics help determine this 6) Communicate the Results - Publish a report in journal - Present a verbal description of results - Discuss several related experiments in book chapter 1) Survey Research - Involves administering questionnaires/interviews to people - Surveys study a sample of people that is randomly drawn from the larger population - Representative sample reflects the important characteristics of the population - To obtain a representative sample, researchers use random sampling in which every member of the population has an equal opportunity of being chosen to participate in the survey - Stratified random sampling divides the population into subgroups based on characteristics (ie. Gender). For example, 45% of the population is male, then 45% of the sample will be allocated for males Advantages: A properly selected, representative sample typically yields accurate information about the broader population Disadvantages: Unrepresentative samples may yield misleading results. Interviewers bias and social desirability bias (ie. Inaccurate perceptions of behaviour) can distort the results 2) Correlational Research - Method of measuring the degree between two variables - Contains 3 components:  The researcher measure’s one variable (X)  The researcher measure’s a second variable (Y)  The researcher measure’s whether X and Y are statistically related - Correlation does not cause causation - Causal conclusions cannot be drawn from correlational data. Variable X may cause Y and vice versa. A third variable may even be the cause of X and Y. - Correlation coefficient is a statistic that indicates the direction and strength of the relation between 2 variables - Positive correlation high scores on one variable is associated with higher scores on a second variable  Example: More satisfying relationships will equate to more happiness - Negative correlation high scores on one variable is associated with lower scores on a second variable  Example: Higher job satisfaction equals lower job turnover 3) Cause-and-Effect - A well designed experiment is the best way to examine cause-effect relations - Experiments have three essential components:  Independent variables 1 or more variables that are manipulated  Dependent variables A variable affected by independent variables  Extraneous factors are eliminated to avoid confoundi
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