PSYC 3600 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Continuous Testing, Sociological Theory, External Validity

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7 Feb 2016
Chapter 2
Empiricism: experiences help to determine what is true and real
A major intervention strategy in the field of community psychology is to create or engage
in some form of social change so that individuals and communities can benefit.
Price (1983) pointed to areas in which community psychologist would need to do
1) Problems or areas of concern must be identified and described
2) The factors related to these problems and created must be articulated. Based on this
articulation, possible interventions or solutions can be constructed and tested. Once a
program has been found to be effective, it must still be determined whether the
intervention can be successfully implemented in particular community contexts. If the
implementation succeeds, then the issue of successfully launching the program on a
broader scale needs to be studied.
Theory: a set of interrelated constructs (concepts), definitions, and propositions that present a
systematic view of phenomena by specifying relations among variables, with the purpose of
explaining or predicting the phenomena
The goal is to allow researchers to describe, predict, and control for why and how a
variable or variables relate to events pertaining to an issue
Analysis>Theory>Design> Analysis>Theory
Model: a working blueprint of how a theory works
Paradigm: smaller component from within the model that guides researchers to conceptualize
specific event sequences
Kuhn had two meanings:
1) To describe a set or collection of ideas, values, and theories that are
commonly agreed on in a sociological way to guide the direction and
conduction of scientific inquiry
2) “Concrete puzzle solution” to a given problem
Paradigm in psychology is the sociologically based collective and group-oriented
definition of the term
Popper stated that science is continuous testing of a theory.
Falsifability calls for a reliance on observable events to help support or reject any given
A crisis may cause a shift in thinking; such a sociological paradigm shift may shape the
development of a new theory
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Reliability: the extent to which measurable features of a theory are trustworthy or dependable
Inter-rater or observer reliability: when a question is asked twice, it gets the same or similar
Test-retest reliability: the question is asked twice at two separate occasions across time
Internal reliability: if the question is asked within the same set of questions
Internal validity: the degree to which we believe the results of a study truly describe what
happens in a given set of research circumstances
Confunding effects: extraneous variables that influence the dependent variable and invalidate the
conclusions drawn from the research
External validity: the generalizability of results from one study to other settings and outside the
To achieve representativeness is through random sampling, where all potential
participants have an equal chance of being selected for a study
A consequence of biased sampling is diffusion of treatment, meaning that it is difficult to
draw definitive conclusions about the respective efficiency and effectiveness of a
program because the program is not pure
Experimental morality: enrollment in such programs is no guarantee that participants’ subsequent
abstinence or recovery is solely due to components of the program
Hypothesis: tentative assumption made to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences
Design: systematic plan to test this hypothesis
Population: the group of people that the research is attempting to understand
Sample: a subset of the population that is supposed to represent that population
Random sample: a sample in which every member of a population has an equal chance of being
Convenience sample: chosen for no other reason that is available
Stratified sample: tries to match the known characteristics of the population
Purposive sample: chosen for a specific reason
Correlational methods: includes a class of designs and measurement procedures, that allow one
to examine the associations or relationships between two or more variables
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