PSYCH 2031: Chapter 2 Textbook Notes: Research Methods
- What Research methods are supposed to do is apply common sense (gathering, interpreting and
concluding data) to learn more about the questions that are being asked
- Chapter 2 focuses on observations (looking at what you want to know about)
Psychology’s Emphasis on Method
- Goal of psychology is the ‘chase’ (methods of research) rather than the goal, or answers.
Consistently improving hypothesis.
- Unlike chemistry which just states “the facts” psychology focuses on how to research the said
facts rather than what they are. Psychology would be like “how did the periodic table of
methods get discovrered” v.s just stating it as a fact like in chemistry
Scientific Education and Technical Training
- Research emphisies thinking over knowledge, because it entails seeking new knowledge
- Scientific education: Finding out new knowledge (Research scientisits, Psychology, question
whats already known)
- Technicial Training: Learning already known facts to be used later (Physics, Medical training)
- Research: Exploration of the unknown, gathering data
- Personality is manifested by all ways a person acts, feels and behaves (Psychological Triad)
- While personality isn’t all observable, it’s the psychologists best clue to a person’s personality,
they can piece these clues together to form a clear and useful portrait of an individuals
personality - Funders Second Law: there are no perfect indicators of personality, there are only clues and
clues are ambiguous
- While some clues can be misleading, they should not be easily dismissed either. Like a detective
seeing a footprint at the scene of a crime, if he were to ignore it it an be a large piece of
evidence ignored, even if it came from a careless police officer on a bad day it would just be
useless, but it should still be taken into account. The only alternative to not gather misleading
info is to not gather any info whatsoever, which isn’t ideal.
- Funder’s Third Law: Something beats nothing, two times out of three
Four Kinds of Clues
- Henrey Murray commented to understand personality you must first look at it. What does this
mean? What do we look at
- Personality Psychologists often have 4 questions, one is about self judgements, second is
judgements from people whom know them, How the person is faring in life, and what the
person does to try to measure their behavior as objectively as possible.
Self reported, S-Data: are self-judgements, the person tells the psychologist (usually via
questionnaire) to the degree of which the person is dominant, friendly, or conscious.
- The way a person describes themselves is usually how others also describe them. So you are the
best expert about your own personality
- S-Data questions often use Face validity (they are intended to measure what they seem to
- Advantages include: Large amount of info, access to thoughts, feelings and intentions. High
reliability of self-esteem (you know your own self esteem the best) Casual Force (How you view yourself is how you would act self-verification). Simple and Easy (Questionnaires are cheap, and
easy to produce)
- Disadvantages: People might not be fully honest (narrsacists often answer questions to make
themselves seem better). Maybe there are things they cannot tell you (fish in water effect, do
fish really know they are in water) Too simple and too easy (can neglect other methods of data
I Data (Ask someone Who knows): Judgments by knowledgeable informants (friends, family) about
general attributes of the individuals personality.
- I data is used in daily life not just psychologist (such as a letter of recommendation)
- Advantages: Large amount of data (ability to get more judgements about a person that is not
available through just s-d