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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - The Research Enterprise in Psychology.docx

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PSYC 1010
Jennifer Steeves

The Research Enterprise in Psychology The Scientific Approach Goals • Measurement and Description • Understanding and Prediction • Application and control Steps in an Investigation 1. Formulate a testable hypothesis 2. Select the method and design the study 3. Collect the date 4. Analyse the data and draw conclusions 5. Report the findings Advantages • Clarity and precision yield better communication • Intolerance of error yields more reliable data Research Approaches 1. Quantitative Methods 2. Qualitative Methods Types of Research 1. Self-Report • People describe their own behaviour  Questionnaire  Interview • People may not give accurate responses 2. Observation • Researchers record behaviour  Naturalistic observation  Tests (e.g. reaction time) • Need to measure the right thing Experimental Research Elements • Independent Variable (IV) – Condition or event manipulated by the experimenter • Dependant Variable (DV) – Aspect of behaviour thought to be affected by the IV • Control Group – Similar subjects who do not receive treatment given to experimental group • Extraneous Variable – Factors besides IV that might affect DV, hence they need to be controlled Variations • Can have one group of subjects serve as their own control group • Can manipulate more than one independent variable in a study • Can use multiple dependant variables in a study Advantages and Disadvantages + Permits conclusions about cause and effect relationships (if done right) - Manipulations and control often make experiments artificial - Practical realities and ethical concerns make it impossible to conduct experiments on many issues Descriptive/Correlation Research Examples of Specific Methods • Naturalistic Observation – Careful , systematic observation, but no intervention with subjects • Case Study - In-depth investigation of single participant, typically involving data form many sources • Survey – Questionnaires and interviews are used to gather information about specific aspects of participants’ behaviour Advantages and Disadvantages + Broadens the scope of phenomena that psychologists can study (can explore issues that could not be examined with experimental methods) - Cannot demonstrate that two variables are causally related Correlation • Correlation exists when two variables are related to each other • Types – Positive (variables co-vary in the same direction) or negative (co-vary in the opposite direction) • Correlation coefficient – Numerical index of degree of relationship between two variables • Strength – The closer the correlation to either -1.00 or +1.00, the stronger the relationship • Prediction – The stronger the correlation, the better one can predict • Causation – Correlation is not equivalent to causation; could also have a third variable Setting • Field Study • Laboratory Data • Self-Report • Observation Design • Descriptive Study • Correlational Study • Experimental Meta-Analysis • Combines statistical results of many studies of the same question • Results yield an estimate of the size and consistency of a variable’s effects Common Flaws in Research • Sampling Bias – Exists when a sam
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