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Chapter 3


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PSYC 3140
Joel Goldberg

Chapter 3 most forms of abnormality probably have multiple causes, rarely single study can accomplish so much overcome challenges by using multimethod approach,meaning they use variety of methodologies each method may have some limitations, but taken together, the various methods can provide convincing evidence concerning an abnormality The Scientific Method steps are designed to obtain and evaluate information relevant to a problem in a systematic way a process often called the scientific method The first step is to select and define a problem Then, a testable statement of what is predicted to happen in the study must be formulated Next, the method for testing the prediction must be chosen and implemented Once the data have been collected and analyzed, the researcher draws the appropriate conclusions and the results are written in a research report Defining a Problem and Stating a Hypothesis hypothesis is a testable statement of what we predict will happen in the study this expectation, that no relationship exists between the phenomena being studied is called the null hypothesis The null hypothesis can be supported for many reasons. Most important, the study may not be designed well enough to provide support for the primary hypothesis If the null hypothesis continues to get much more support than the primary hypothesis, they eventually either modify or drop the primary hypothesis Choosing and Implementing a Research Method Avariable is a factor or characteristic that can vary within an individual or between individuals Adependent variable is the factor being predicted in a study. An independent variable is the factor that is believed to affect the dependent variable depression is a syndrome or collection of the following symptoms: sadness, loss of interest in activities, weight loss or gain, changes in sleep, agitation or slowing down, fatigue and loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt, problems in concentration or indecisiveness, and suicidal thoughts Astressor is an event that is uncontrollable, is unpredictable, and challenges the limits of people's abilities to cope Stress 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 Case Studies case studiesdetailed histories of individuals who have a form of psychological disorder. Kurt Cobain of the 1990s grunge rock band Nirvana fragile construction, subject to bronchitis recurrent stomach pains drove him to heroin addiction parents divorce destroyed his life, he held everything in, drugs and dropped out of school grown up as angry outsider, by 1982 personal life was tangled and troubling as his music married Courtney Love, used heroin when she was pregnant with daughter Frances Bean, they were forced to surrender the custody to Courney's sister Exploring the unique experiences of individuals and honouring their own perspectives on these experiences are important goals for many researchers, and in-depth case studies of individual lives have become more popular in recent years case studies are sometimes the only was to study rare problems Case studies can be invaluable in helping generate new ideas and provide tentative support for those ideas Most of Freud's theories came from his case studies of people he treated; listen for hours to his patients' descriptions of their lives, their dreams, and their memories and would notice themes in these reports, which he speculated were related to the psychological symptoms his patients were suffering One example is a case study published byAaron Beck, the founder of cognitive therapy. Unknown to many and published 15 years before his seminal writings on the cognitive theory of depression, Beck had written about the cognitive treatment of paranoid delusions described the treatment of a man with a seven-year paranoid delusion. The patient was a 28-year- old World War II veteran, who, on returning home from the war, had come to believe that former members of his military unit were working in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to monitor his activities the repeated gentle questioning of evidence and attempts to find alternative explanations led to significant reduction in the belief and associated distress. it took another 40 years before clinical researchers became active in developing and formally testing the effectiveness of cognitive therapy interventions for people suffering from psychosis Today one of the most common uses of case studies is in drug treatment research to report unusual reactions patients have had to certain drugs Evaluating Case Studies generalizabilitythe ability to apply what has been learned to other individuals or groups Case studies also suffer from a lack of objectivity on the part of both the people telling their stories and the therapists or researchers listening to the stories people telling their stories might have biased recollections of their pasts and may selectively report events that happen to them in the present; Researchers bring their own perspectives to a case study; as a result, one case study may replicate repeat the conclusions ofanother Replication is a key feature of the scientific method. Difficulties in replication are one of the major drawbacks of case studies Correlational Studies Correlational studies examine the relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable without manipulating either variable most common type of study in psychology and medicine most common type in abnormal psychology is a study of two or more continuous variables.A continuous variable is measured along a continuum, ei. Measuring on scale group comparison study- researchers are interested in the relationship between people's membership in a particular group and their scores on some other variable Both continuous variable studies and group comparison studies can be either cross-sectional they observe people at only one point in timeor longitudinalthey observe people on two more occasions over time Longitudinal studies have a major advantage over cross-sectional studies, because they can show that the independent variable precedes and predicts changes in the dependent variable over time Concordia Longitudinal Risk Project, recruited children in the 1970s from inner-city schools in Montreal to examine relations between early aggressive behaviour in childhood and risk forviolent behaviour in adulthood childhood aggression directly correlated to self-reported violence toward a spouse and children in male and female participants; for women, educational attainment and absence of the biological father from the home during childhood also played important roles in predicting their violence toward their own children Measuring the Relationship between Variables In most correlational studies, the relationship between the variables is indicated by a correlation coefficient Correlation Coefficient Acorrelation coefficient is a statistic used to represent the relationship between variables, and it is usually denoted with the symbol r can fall between 1.00 and +1.00 positively valued correlation coefficient indicates that as values of the independent variable increase, values of the dependent variable increase Anegatively valued correlation coefficient indicates that as values of the independent variable increase, values of the dependent variable decrease The magnitude (size) of a correlation is the degree to which the variables move in tandem with each other. It is indicated by how close the correlation coefficient is to either 1.00 or +1.00 correlation (r) of 0, a zero correlation, indicates no relationship between the variables n r of 1.00 or +1.00 indicates a perfect relationship between the two variables Scientists evaluate the importance of correlation coefficient by examining its statistical significance Statistical Sig
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