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Chapter Three.docx

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PSYC 3140
Joel Goldberg

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Chapter Three  Multi-method approach uses a variety of methodologies  Scientific Method: steps designed to obtain and evaluate information relevant to a problem in a systematic way. 1. Select and define a problem 2. Testable statement of what is predicted to happen must be formulated 3. Method for testing the prediction must be chosen and implemented 4. Once data has been collected and analyzed, draw conclusions 5. Results are written in a research report  Hypothesis: testable statement of what we predict will happen in the study  Null hypothesis: the expectation that no relationship exists between the phenomena being studied.  Variable: a factor or characteristic that can vary within an individual or between individuals o Dependent variable: is the factor being predicted in a study o Independent variable: the factor that is believe to affect the dependent variable  A stressor is an event that is uncontrollable, unpredictable and challenges one’s coping abilities  Stress, on the other hand, has been used to refer to people’s emotions and behaviours in response to such stressful events  Operationalization is the way a researcher measures or manipulates the variables in a study. Our definitions of depression and stress will influence how we operationalize these variables. Example: if we define depression as symptoms meeting criteria for a depressive disorder, then we will operationalize depression as diagnoses. If we define depression as symptoms along the entire range of severity, then we might operationalize depression as scores on a depression questionnaire  In operationalizing stress, first it needs to be decided whether to focus on stressful events or on people’s stress reactions to these events. Then devise a measure of what we define as stress or a way of manipulating or creating stress.  Case Studies: detailed histories of individuals who have a form of psychological disorder. It’s a way of trying to understand the experiences of individuals and to make more general inferences about the source of psychopathology  To use a case study, you interview the person at length, interview friends and family, and based on the information create a detailed description of the causes of his or her depressive episodes with emphasis on the role of stressful events in these episodes  Case studies are sometimes the only way to study rare problems, because there aren’t enough people with that problem  Case studies can be invaluable to generate new ideas  Freud’s theories came from his case studies of people he treated. He’d listen to them talk about their problems, lives, and dreams for hours  Case studies can sometimes be published and overlooked for years, only to be detected as important years later  Case studies have drawbacks like generalizability: the ability to apply what has been learned to other individuals or groups  Example: Kurt Cobain’s death is interesting but tells us nothing about why other people commit suicide  They also lack objectivity, the people telling the stories and the one writing it may be biased or may filter stuff based on their own beliefs and assumptions  Researchers bring their own perspective into a study so one case study may not replicate or repeat the conclusions of another  Replication is a key feature in scientific method, failure to do so is a major drawback of case studies  Correlational studies: examine the relationship between and independent and dependent variable without manipulating either one. They’re the most common type of study in psychology and medicine  Continuous variable: most common type of correlational study. They are measured along a continuum or a scale. Example: depression on a scale of 0-100  Group comparison study: is another type of correlational. Interest in people’s membership in a particular group and their scores on some other variable  Cross-sectional: observe people at only one point in time. Both continuous and group comparison can be either this or  Longitudinal: observe people on two more occasions over time. These have a major advantage over cross-sectional because they show that the independent variable precedes and predicts changes in the dependent variable. These are time consuming and pricey though  Correlation coefficient: a statistic used to represent the relationship between variables and it is usually denoted with the symbol r. it can fall from -1.00 and +1.00. a positive value means as value of independent variable increases so does the value of the dependent value  Negatively valued correlation means as value of independent variable increases, va
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