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Chapter 2

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Don Morgenson

Chapter 2September 30 20131240 PM The Scientific Approach to BehaviourGoals of the Scientific Enterprise Psychologists and other scientists share three sets of goals1Measurement and description commitment to observation requires that an investigator figure out a way to measure the phenomenon under study 2Understanding and Prediction a higherlevel goal of science is understanding Scientists believe that they understand events when they can explain the reasons for the occurring of the event Hypothesis a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables Variables any measurable conditions events characteristics or behaviour that are controlled or observed in a study3Application and Control scientists hope that the information they gather will be of some practical value in helping to solve every day problems Theory a system of interrelated ideas used to explain a set of observationsTheories permit psychologists to make a leap from the description of behaviour to the understanding of behaviourA scientific theory must be testableSteps in a Scientific Investigation1Formulate a testable hypothesis oTranslate a theory or intuitive idea into a testable hypothesis oTo be testable scientific hypotheses must be formulated precisely and the variables under the study must be clearly definedoOperational Definition describes the actions or operations that will be used to measure or control the variable2Select the research method and design the studyoFigure out how to put the hypothesis to the empirical testoResearch method depends of the nature of the question under the study oParticipantssubjects the persons or animals whose behaviour is systematically observed in a study 3Collect the DataoData collection technologies procedures for making empirical observations and measurements4Analyze the data and draw conclusionsoObservations in the study are usually converted into numbersoResearchers use statistics to analyze their data 5Report the FindingsoScientific progress can only happen if researchers share their findingsoJournal a periodical that publishes technical and scholarly material usually in a narrowly defined area of inquiry Advantages of the Scientific ApproachThe scientific approach offers two major advantages
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