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Chapter 2

Psych 1000 Chapter 2 Review Notes.docx

4 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
Psychology 1000
Professor
Wolfe/ Quinlan

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Chapter 2: Studying Behaviour Scientifically: - Gathering Evidence: Steps in The Scientific Process: o Two methods of studying behaviour:  Hindsight Understanding: common-sense.  Understanding through prediction control and understanding: scientific method. o The five steps, which reflect how a scientific inquiry often proceeds: 1. Step 1: Identify a Question of interest. 2. Gather Information and form hypothesis.  Hypothesis: a specific prediction about some phenomenon that often takes the form of an “if-then” statement. 3. Test Hypothesis by conducting research. 4. Analyze Data, Draw Tentative Conclusion, and Report Findings. 5. Build a Body of Knowledge (ex. Ask further questions, formulate a new hypothesis, and test it.)  Theory: a set of formal statements that explains how and why certain events are related to one another. - Understanding through Prediction, Control, and Theory Building: o Theory development is the strongest test of scientific understanding because good theories generate an integrated network of predictions. A good theory has several important characteristics:  It incorporates existing facts and observations within a single broad framework. In other words, it organizes information in a meaningful way.  It is testable. It generates new hypothesis and predictions whose accuracy can be evaluated by gathering new evidence.  The predictions made by the theory are supported by the findings of new research.  It conforms to the law of parsimony: if two theories can explain and predict the same phenomena equally well, the simpler theory is the preferred one. - Defining and Measuring Variables: o Variable: any changing characteristic or factor that may vary. Such as, people's sex, height, hair colour, age, income, etc. o Operational definition defines a variable in terms of the specific procedures used to produce or measure it. Operational definitions translate abstract concepts into something observable and measurable. - Self Reports and Reports by Others: o Self-report measures ask people to report on their own knowledge, beliefs, feelings, experiences, or behaviour. o Social desirability bias: the tendency to respond in a socially acceptable manner rather than according to how one truly feels or behaves. - Measures of Overt Behaviour: o In an experiment meant on learning, we might measure how many errors a person makes while performing a task. In an experiment on drug effects, we might measure people's reaction time. o Reaction times: how rapidly people respond to a stimulus. o Observers must be trained to use coding system properly so that their measurements will be reliable - consistent observations. If two observers disagree on their coding, then the data is unreliable. o Humans and animals behave differently, when being observed. o Unobtrusive measures: to record behaviour in a way that keeps participants unaware that certain responses are being measured. o Psychologists also gather information about behaviour by using archival measures, which are records or documents that exist. - Psychological Tests: o Psychologists develop and use specialized tests to measure types of variables (ex, personality tests, intelligence tests, etc.) - Physiological Tests: o Psychologists also record physiological responses to assess what people are experiencing (ex. measures of heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, hormonal secretions, and brain functioning). - Descriptive Research: Recording Events: o Descriptive research: seeks to identify how humans and other animals behave, particularly in a natural setting. - Case Studies: Treating Cases of Failure to Thrive (Starvation) in Human Infants: o Case study: in-depth analysis of an individual, a group, or an event. o Case studies often suggest important ideas for further research, but they are a poor method for establishing cause-effect relations. - Naturalistic Observation: Bullying in Canadian Schoolyards: o In naturalistic observation, the researcher observes behaviour as it occurs in a natural setting, and attempts to avoid influencing that behaviour.
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