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Chapter 2

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PSYC 100
Ryan Curtis

Psychology Notes Chapter 2  Causality vs. correlation: not the same, but often confused or mistakenly interchanged in the media; extremely difficult to establish causality between two correlated events or observances; if one thing causes another, then they ARE correlated, but not necessarily vice versa  Controlled studies: two groups who are comparable in every way are given two DIFFERENT sets of experiences and outcome is compared to determine whether diff. experiences caused diff. outcomes (causality)  Epidemiological (observational) studies: large groups of people are followed over time and behavior/outcome is OBSERVED, hard to weed out causality from mere correlation  Types of correlation: positive, no relationship, negative  Positive: as one increases, the other increases ie: more sleep=higher GPA  None: one has nothing to do with the other ie: sleep and height  Negative: as one increases, the other decreases ie: more sleep=less anxious  Independent variable (manipulated) and dependent variable (measured to see if IV had effect)  Experimental group vs. control group (only ONE difference between them, the IV)  When doing psych research, avoid: o Selection bias: create groups within study that are diff. in some important way; ie. Allow students to volunteer to take test in another room, they could be smartersolution: random assignment (flip coin) o Placebo effect: you experience what you expect, rather than what’s really happening o Rosenthal effect: researcher’s OWN expectations of results could subconsciously influence the way participants are treated (aka Pygmalion Effect, Researcher Bias)solution: double blind procedures (neither researchers nor participants know whether they’ve been assigned to experimental or control group) o Demand characteristics: participants aware of study’s purpose may change behaviorsolution: participants are blind to purpose of study, groups they’re assigned to, or expected results, those proctoring the study treat everyone exactly the same o Social desirability: people reluctant to talk honestly in fear of negative social criticism, instead they give socially desirable response/behaviorstress to participants that data is anonymous or kept confidential  When conducting an experiment with two groups of similar people of similar backgrounds, etc. it must be random assignment, assume that groups are probabilistically equivalent (equivalent within known probabilistic ranges)  Good experiment has strong internal validity (if x, then y. if NOT x, then NOT y)  Hard to carry out experiment because setting up artificial situation, high internal validity but therefore reduced external validity  External validity: the extent to which findings from a study generalize to (are true about) the population  Well-designed experiment has high external validity, ie: the results tell us something REAL about entire population of interest  Random selection (how you draw sample of ppl) vs. random assignment (how you assign sample to diff groups or treatments in study)  Possible to have both in experiment or just one, or neither  Random assignment is most related to INTERNAL validity Research Methods  Naturalistic Observation: unobtrusively collect info w/o participant’s awareness ([+]: no influence on behavior, more representative of real life; [-]: not everything can be observed in natural environment, time- consuming/expensive, interpretations are different, very little known about participants, participants don’t decide whether they want to be studied)  Structured Observation: set up a situation, observe participant’s behavior ([+]: more control over situation/variable
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