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PSY 250 (13)
Chapter 4 and 6

PSY 250 Chapter 4 and 6: Chapter 4&6

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PSY 250
Boomer Joseph

Chapter 4: how psychologists use the scientific method data collection techniques and research designs the methods psychologists use to learn about behavior ❖ How do psychologists observe behavior? ➢ External validity is the degree to which the behavior observed in the study is realistic, would occur naturally, and can be generalized beyond the boundaries of the study to other individuals and situations. ➢ How much external validity a study has is important because the goal of research is the conclusions need to generalize beyond the study itself ➢ Internal validity is the degree to which a study provides a good test of a causal hypothesis, where alternative explanations of the data can be ruled out. A study with high internal validity provides causal information about behavior ➢ A researcher controls for extraneous factors that can affect the observations. With more control over the factors in a study, internal validity increases, but behavior may become more artificial and lower the external validity of that study ▪ the higher the external validity in a study, the lower the internal validity. ➢ When observing behavior, we need to make sure the observations are reliable ▪ the degree to which the results of a study can be replicated under similar conditions ▪ Making certain that different items on a survey or questionnaire designed to measure a specific behavior all provoke similar responses from the research participants ▪ Depends on observation technique ❖ What are some common techniques for observing and recording behavior? ➢ naturalistic observations, surveys/questionnaires, systematic observations, and archival data. ➢ Operational definition: allow researcher to define the concept for the purpose of measurement and data collection, a definition of an abstract concept that makes it concrete for the purpose of the research study Technique Definition Realism (EV) Naturalistic observation Observe one’s behavior in High, decrease if observers their normal environments are obtrusive Surveys/questionnaires Individuals respond to items Moderate, decrease with in written form or on the inaccurate self-reports Internet phrasing of the questions and the scale used to collect responses Systematic observation Collection of systematic Low, because researcher behavior in controlled tasks control the task Archival data Using available record to varies collect observations ➢ Naturalistic observation ▪ Definition: data collection technique involving noninvasive observation of individuals in their natural environments ▪ Need to develop a coding scheme to categorize the exhibited behaviors of participants • So that researchers can quantify indicate the frequency • Need clear categoriesguided by operational definitionincrease consistency between observers ▪ Inter-observer/Inter-rater Reliability: a measure of the degree to which different observers observe or code behaviors in similar ways ➢ Surveys or Questionnaires ▪ Closed-ended response scale: quantitative, no coding schemes needed ▪ Open-ended response scale: qualitative ▪ Check validity (questions) and reliability (participants) ▪ Interview: involve direct questioning ➢ Systematic observation ▪ Example: implicit association test ➢ Archival data ▪ Collected on a periodic basis by agencies or institution ▪ A way to collect data quickly and few sources are needed ▪ Content analysis: an archival data collection technique that involves analysis of the content of an individual’s spoken or written record • Dependent/response variable: observations of behavior ❖ How do psychologists use observations to learn about behavior? ➢ Each technique can be used in different research designs to allow psychologists to answer different types of questions about behavior. ❖ Types of research design ➢ Case study: intensive study of particular individuals and their naturalistic behaviors ▪ Small-n Design: an experiment conducted with one or a few
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