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Chapter 2

PS 101 online Chapter 2.doc

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Carolyn Ensley

Psychology- The Enterprise of Scientific Research 22/09/2013 05:21:00 • Red- Definition of Key Terms • Green- Important people and contributions • Blue- Important people • • Goals of Scientific Enterprise - Psychologist and other scientists share three interrelated goals: measurement and description, understanding and predictions, and application and control • Measurement and Description- Commitment to observation requires that an investigator figures out a way to measure the phenomenon under study o E.G effects of different emotion have to develop some means of measuring emotion (describe behaviour clearly and precisely ) • Understanding and prediction- Understanding events when they can explain the reason of the occurrence  To evaluate there understanding scientist come up with an Hypothesis • A tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables. • Variables- any measureable conditions, events, characteristics, or behavior’s that are controlled or observed in a study • Application and Control- that the information they gather will be of some practical value in helping to solve everyday problems - To build toward a better understanding of behaviour, they constructs theories • System of interrelated ideas used to explain a set of observations • Theory construction is a gradual, iterative process that is always subject to revision - Theories permit psychologist to make the leap from the description of behaviour to the understanding of behaviour - Scientific theory must be testable, as to putting ideas to an empirical test Steps in a Scientific Investigation - Scientific investigations are systematic • They follow an orderly pattern • Donald Dutton and Arthur Aron on the affects of fear arousal on sexual attraction-study by UNI of BC o Formulate a Testable Hypothesis  Translate a theory or an intuitive idea into a testable hypothesis  Dutton and Aron predicted increased arousal would heighten the sexual attraction of their research participants to members of the opposite sex to whom they were just introduced  Must be formulated precisely, and the variables under study must be clearly defined  Operational definition- the actions or operations that will be used to measure or control a variable  Select the research method and design the study • Figure out how to put the hypothesis to an empirical test • Researcher has to ponder pros and cons then select the strategy that appears to be the most appropriate and practical • Dutton and Aron decided they uses an experiment • Must make detailed plans for executing their study • Participants are the ones or animals whose behaviour is being systemically observed in a study  Collect the Data • Dutton and aron collected sexual imagery and recorded the number of calls to the confederate after participants crosses one of the bridges • Data collection – are procedures for making empirical observations and measurements  Analyze the data and draw conclusions • Observations in study are usually converted into numbers, which constitutes the raw data • Researchers use statistics play an essential role in scientific enterprise  22/09/2013 05:21:00 o Report the findings • Publication of research results is a fundamental aspect of scientific research • Progress can only be achieved if researchers share their findings with one another and general public • Write a concise summary of the study and its findings • Journal- periodical that publishes technical and scholarly material usually in a narrowly defined are of inquiry • Study of Dutton and Aron was published in the journal of personalities and Social Psychology 1974 o One the most prestigious journals in that area of research • Publishing studies allow experts to evaluate and critique new research findings Advantages to the Scientific Approach - Scientific approach offers two major advantages 1. Clarity and Precision i. Commonsense notions about behavior tend to be vague and ambiguous ii. People should specify exactly what they are talking about when they formulate hypotheses iii. Enhances communication about the important ideas 2. Intolerance of error i. Greatest advantage by scientific approach ii. Scientist are trained to be skeptical and subject their ideas to empirical tests iii. They demand objective data and through documentation before they accept ideas iv. The findings of two studies conflict they figure out why by conducting additional research • Research methods- consists of various approaches to observation, measurements, manipulation, and control of variables in empirical studies  General strategies conducting studies • Looking for Causes: Experimental Research - Experiment- research method in which the investigator manipulates a variable under carefully controlled conditions and observes whether ay changes occur in a second variable as a result • Powerful procedure that allows researcher to detect cause and effect relationship • Fairly complicated technique • Well designed experiment must take in account a number of factors that could affect the clarity of the results • Independent and Dependent Variable - Purpose of an experiment is to find out whether changes in one variable X cause changes in another Y - Want to find out why X affects Y • X is the independent variable  Independent variable is a condition or event that an experimenter varies in order to see it’s impact on another variable • Is the variable that the experimenter controls or manipulates • The experiment is conducted to verify this effect • Its free to be varied by the experimenter • Y is the dependent variable  Is the variable that is thought to be affected by manipulation of the independent variable  Dependent variable usually a measurement of some aspect of participants behaviour  It is thought to be depend on manipulations of the independent variable • • Experimental and control Groups - In an experiment, investigator assembles two groups of subjexts who are treated differently regard to the independent variable - Experimental group- subjects who receive some special treatment in regard to the independent variable - Control groups- similar subjects who do not receive the special treatment given to the experimental group • Wolfe, Jaffe and Crooks at UNI of Western Ontario o Wolfe was interested in the effects of treatment on dating abuse on the part of male and female teens who were at ricks of abusive relationships based on their own history of maltreatment o All participants were teen who suffered from maltreatment as well who were under protection, supervision or ward ship order o Half of the participants were assigned to psych education treatment programs and others received the existing standard CPS program o Teens who receiving standard programming where control group o Researchers found that intervention was effective in reducing the frequency and severity of the teens • 22/09/2013 05:21:00 • Extraneous Variables - Experimenter concentrate on ensuring that the experimental and control groups are alike on limited number of variables that could have a bearing on the results of study • Extraneous variables are any variables other than the independent variable that seem likely to influence the dependent variable in a specific study o Duton and Aron study one extraneous variable would have been the participants personality or risk taking propensity  Different people could have crossed the bridge or men could have crosse d a high or low bridge • Confounding of variables occurs when two variables are linked together in a way that makes it difficult to sort our their specific effects  When an extraneous variable is confounded with an independent variable researches cannot tell which is having what effect on the dependent variable • Random Assignments of subjects occurs when all subjects have an equal chance of being assigned to any group or condition in the study • • Variations in Designing Experiments - Sometimes advantages to use only one group of subjects who serve as their own control group • Affects of the I variable are evaluated by exposing this single group to two different conditions- experimental condition and control o Effects of loud music on typing performance  Group participants work on typing while music was being played (experimental condition) and in absence of music (Control condition)  That participants in experimental and control conditions would be alike on any extraneous variables involving personal characteristics • Subject serve as their own control group it’s a within subject experiment because comparisons are made within the same group • Two or more I groups of subjects are exposed to a manipulation od an I variable it’s a between subjects because comparisons are made between two differen groups - Possible to manipulate more than on independent variable in a single experiment • Researchers manipulate two or three variables to examine their joint effects on the dependent variable - Also possible to use more than on D variable in a single study • Researches frequently use a number of dependent variables to get a more complete picture of how experimental manipulations affect subjects behaviour • • Advantages and Disadvantages of Experimental Research - It’s principal advantage is it permits conclusions about cause and effect relationship between variables - Allows researchers to isolate the relationship between the I and D variable and neutralize the effects of extraneous variables - Experimental has limitations and one problem is that they are often
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