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Chapter 2

2. Sept 25-Chapter two- research methodology.docx

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Psychology 1000
Lynn Jackson

Chapter two: Research Methodology September 28, 2012  Systematic –it processed in orderly steps that are carefully planned  Phenomena –things that can be observed Key Questions:  What are the goals of research?  What are the steps for conducting a research study?  What kinds of ethical issues are involved in conducting research?  How well does the data support the conclusion?  Are there alternate conclusions? -Scientific Inquiry is a way of finding answers to empirical questions (questions that can be answered by observing the world and measuring the aspects of it) 4 Goals of Scientific Inquiry  Describing what happens  Predicting when it happens  Controlling what causes it to happen  Explaining why it happens -Scientific Method reflects a dynamic interaction among three essential elements: theories, hypotheses, and research. (answers the 4 questions above)  Theory –model of interconnected ideas and concepts that explains what is observed and makes predictions about future events (broad set of ideas about how something works)  A good theory should generate one or more HYPOTHESES-a specific prediction of what should be observed in the world if a theory is correct (uses operational definitions)  Research –a scientific process that involves the systematic and careful collection of data  Data –objective observations or measurements  Replication –repetition of an experiment to confirm the results  SCIENTIFIC METHOD DIAGRAM WRITTEN IN NOTEBOOK  A good theory produces a wide variety of testable hypothesis  Many significant findings are the result of SERENDIPITY- unexpected discoveries of something important WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF STUDIES IN PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH  Three types of study designs o Descriptive, correlation, and experimental  Variable –anything that can be measured and that can vary  Operational definitions –identify and quantify variables so they can be measured DECRIPTIVE STUDIES  Data is collected by observing and noting behaviour to analyze it objectively  Advantages –valuable in start of research when trying to determine whether a phenomenon exists; takes place in real world setting  Disadvantages –errors in observation can occur because of observers bias; observer’s presence can change the behaviour being witnessed (reactivity)  Naturalistic observation –a passive descriptive study in which observers do not change or alter ongoing behaviour  Participant observation –a type of descriptive study in which the researcher is actively involved in the situation  Longitudinal studies –observing and classifying developmental changes that occur in the same people over time, either with or without intervention by the observer o Advantages –provide information about the effects of age on the same people, allowing researchers to see developmental changes o Disadvantages –expensive, takes time, may lose participants over time  Cross Sectional Studies –observing and classifying developmental changes that occur in DIFFERENT groups of people over time o Advantages –faster, less expensive than longitudinal o Disadvantages –unidentified variables may be involved CORRELATIONAL STUDIES (second most common)  Examines how variables are naturally related in the real word without any attempt by the researcher to alter them  This kind of study is better for ethical reasons o Ie you cannot induce trauma to test for how it affects soldiers  Advantages –rely on naturally occurring relationships in real world situations  Cannot prove that one thing happened because of the other; cannot show the direction of the cause/affect relationship between variables (DIRECTIONALITY PROBLEM). Unidentified variable may be involved (THIRD VARIABLE PROBLEM)  Directionality problem- o No way to determine which variable causes the other, only that they are correlated o Sleep (A) and Stress (B) are correlated Does less sleep cause more stress? ( A  B) OR Does high stress cause less sleep? ( B  A)  Third Variable Problem o Working Long Hours (A) is correlated with wanting to have fun after work (B) Having high energy (C) causes working long hours. ( C  A) AND Having high energy (C) causes wanting to have fun after work ( C B)  Correlations coefficient –number that predicts the degree of relationship between variables (r = represents correlation coefficient) o The correlations coefficient squared is the percentage o Always range between -1.0 and +1.0 o Vary in direction (positive or negative number) and strength (how close the number is to the value of 1, negative or positive)  If the number is close to 0, it is weak, but as it gets closer to +1 OR -1, it gets stronger o POSITIVE CORRELATION --Ie people who use facebook more often tend to be more narcissistic that people who use it less. (positive correlation-------positive doesn’t always mean GOOD) moving in the same direction (ie roller coaster) o NEGATIVE CORRELATION –ie people who use facebook more often are less conscientious than people who use it less. Moving in opposite directions (ie teeter totter) o Strength of correlation –how well you can predict one variable from the other o Many of the psychological studies involve very weak correlation as there are many other factors that can influence either variable. o The size of the sample, the size of the correlation and the variability determine the significance of research. o Level of statistical significance –probability findings due to chance EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES (most common)  A study that tests casual hypotheses by measuring and manipulating variables  Advantages –demonstrate casual relationships, avoid directionality problem  Disadvantages –often in an artificial setting  Control (comparison) group –participants that receive no intervention or a different intervention than the one being studied  Manipulate the factor that they believe is the causal effect  Experimental
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