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Chapter 2

PS101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Standard Deviation, Statistical Inference, Naturalistic Observation

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Lawrence Murphy

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Chapter Two: The Research enterprise in Psychology
A Scientific Approach: A search for Laws
Basic assumption: events are governed by some lawful order (nothing is random or predictable)
there is an order for things. We can establish an understanding of human beings
o Measurement and description intelligence and school)
o Understanding and prediction
o Application and control (certain people get to do things while others don’t)
Evolution predicts certain things (have a hypothesis) if rocks are a certain size or age in the
Atlantic Ocean bottom we should find this and this. -> Then you go look
Scientific Method: Terminology
o Operational definitions are used to clarify precisely what is meant by each variable..
o Participants or subjects are the organisms whose behavior is systematically observed in
a study (asking questions, heart rate)
o Data collection techniques allow for empirical………………………………..
o Challenge with measuring intelligence: we don’t exactly know what it is and how to
describe it.
o Statistics are used to analyze data and decide whether hypotheses were supported
Findings are shared through reports at scientific meetings and in scientific
journals- periodicals that publish technical and scholarly material
Advantages of the scientific method: clarity of communication and
relative intolerance of error
** empirical: derived from or guided by experience or experiment
o Research methods: general strategies for conducting scientific studies
Steps in a Scientific Investigation
o 1) Formulate a testable hypothesis (students who use computers)
o 2) Select the research method and design (observe the students take down names)
o 3) Collect the data (count the amount in students)
o 4) Analyze the data and draw conclusions (quality if you allow every possible chance for
any outcome to be true)
o 5) Report finding (not trying to prove things true)
Experiment Research Expirimental Group -> people who get the asprin
o Experiment: manipulation of one variable under controlled conditions so that resulting
changes in another variable can be observed
Detection of cause and effect relationships
o Independent variable (IV)= variable manipulated
o Dependent Variable (DV) = variable affected by manipulation
How does X affect Y (how do strict parents affect students grades?)
How does (IV) affect (DV
Control Group: similar subjects who do not receive special treatment -> people who don’t get
o The Logic
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