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Chapter 2

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York University
PSYC 1010
Kendra Thomson

Chapter 2:  Sept. 17/13 The Scientific Processes: • Understanding research o Important for critical thinking o Necessary to be a sophisticated consumer of psychological information Scientific Investigation: 1. Formulate a hypothesis o A tentative statement about the relationship between 2 or more variables o You come up with this statement by basing it on previous research, casual observation, or an existing theory 2. Design the study (after you pick a research method) 3. Collect data (conducting the actual study) 4. Analyze data & draw conclusions 5. Report the findings Sample Sci. Investigation Hypothesis: Valium impairs memory Study Design: Experimental design: Randomly assign participants to valium or placebo group & compare memory abilities Collect Data: Administer memory tests to 24 participants on Valium & 24 participants on placebo Analyze & Interpret data: memory performance is worse in valium group than placebo group. Interpretation: valium impairs memory Report Findings: Publish in a journal (ex: Psychopharmacology) Principles of Research: o Operational Definition o What’s the construct that you’re analyzing in the study? o Specifies the procedures used in a study to measure or control a variable (in ex above the operational definition was the # of words remembered from the list) o Can it be counted or scored? If it be counted or scored then you have achieved an operational definition  Ex: teacher wants Timmy to be friendlier to other students.. What can she measure that she could look at & then introduce some change to see if she can get him to be friendlier? o Representative Sample o The sample selected resembles the general population on the selected variables for study o Random Sample o Everyone in the population has an equal chance of being selected o Single-Blind vs. Double-Blind vs. Unblinded Study o Talking about whether people know what group they’re in in the study (look @ pic below)  Single-Blind study (experimenter doesn’t know but participants do know): Line on the bottom  Also Single-Blind: Middle line – experimenter knows & participants don’t  Double-Blind study: Top line- none of them know  Unblinded Study: experiment dealing with old people: the participants know what the condition is & so does the researcher Research Designs o Case study: o Man who got surgery b/c of seizures, cut of part of his brain but because amnesic and could never learn any new information for rest of his life o Most studied man in psych for his condition – this is the case study method- studying an individual for a certain disease or cause o Problem with this method is doesn’t generally relate to rest of population o Naturalistic observation o Experimenter observes and records behaviour – doesn’t interfere with behaviour that they’re observing  Sometimes developmental psychologist
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