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Research Methods Notes

by: Emily Zok

Research Methods Notes Psyc 303

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Emily Zok

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These notes cover material for the next exam and information from the first exam
Research Methods in Psychology
Dr. Adam Derenne
Psychology, research methods
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This 7 page Bundle was uploaded by Emily Zok on Thursday February 18, 2016. The Bundle belongs to Psyc 303 at University of North Dakota taught by Dr. Adam Derenne in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views.


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Date Created: 02/18/16
Research Methods Exam 1 ­ Ch. 1­3 Biases in Thinking Intuition ­ Heuristic; “Steve the librarian”, disregarding statistical facts, using stereotypes to make a  decision, using intuition to make an assumption Curiosity and Imagination ­ Empiricism; belief in knowledge coming from experience, observation, and experiment,  start of the scientific method From Theory to Testable Hypothesis ­ Testable Hypothesis; framed statement in the form of a prediction, prior to collection of  data ­ Priori; a testable hypothesis developed before observation and/or experimentation ­ Post hoc; hypotheses formed after the collection of data, increase the likelihood of error  and bias  Variables as the Language of Research ­ Variable; any characteristic that can take on different values or that can vary across  research participants  ­ Independent variable; manipulated, changed, or selected by researcher ­ Dependent variable; what is being examined or measured Sampling and Populations ­ Stages in the Research Process Model/theory        Hypothesis         Research design        Pilot research        Data collection       Data analysis        conclusions         Model/Theory Developing a research idea; ­ Sources; personal observation, expert suggestions, the psychological literature ­ Important considerations; precedents, practicality Hypothetical Constructs ­ The research may involve a variable that cannot be directly observed. Ex; emotion,  intelligence, depression, id, creativity, personality, self­esteem, memory, hunger drive,  attitude ­ These are hypothetical constructs ­ Hypothetical constructs may be used to help explain how variables are linked ­ Ex; “memory” bridges the time gap between initial learning and later action ­ Ex; “thirst” links several different events that all serve to increase drinking ­ An operational definition, is a way of framing a hypothetical construct in terms that are  precise and testable ­ Ex; investigating the effects of frustration on aggression in children Conceptual Level   Hypothesized Relationship Concepts            Frustration ­­­­­­­­­­ Aggression Concrete Level Operational        Take away toy ­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Number of times kid hits punching bag  Definitions                                     Observed Relationship Care is needed when selecting operational definitions ­ Can we be sure that in the method the children are frustrated and not depressed? ­ Can we be sure that the children are really fighting and not play­fighting? Pilot Research ­ Works out the bugs in the method (Instructions, difficult level) ­ Suggests likely outcomes Theories and Hypotheses  ­ If theory T is true then hypothesis H must be true ­ Our research shows that hypothesis H is true ­ Does this prove that our theory is correct? No ­ Theories can be confirmed or supported by research, but they can never be proven true ­ Theories can be discredited, but, for all practical purposed they can never be proven false ­ Proof cannot be obtained for logical reasons ­ Disproof cannot be obtained for practical reasons Ex.  ­ A murder occurred at a large party ­ You believe that Robert was the murderer (theory) ­ If Robert was the murderer he must have been at the party (hypothesis) ­ Our conclusion that Robert was not at the party is only as theoas our data  ­ What if our data are flawed? Could Robert have slipped into the party unnoticed?   When Researchers Go Bad ­ Although perhaps everyone agrees on the importance of ethics, not everyone practices  good ethics Basic Research Ethics Beneficence and non­maleficence ­ Psychologists must strive to benefit participants and to do no harm (including no physical harm) ­ People should think as highly of themselves and of others at the end of a study as they did at the beginning Maleficence ­ Milgram’s experiment on social obedience ­ Zimbardo’s on social roles in prisons ­ Wendell Johnson’s research on the origins of stuttering  ­ He proposed that “the affliction is caused by the diagnosis” ­ Laud Humphrey’s research on the motives of men that performed fellatio in public  restrooms Integrity ­ Psychologists seek to promote accuracy, honesty, and truthfulness in science Lack of Integrity ­ Cyril Burt, one of the most famous psychologists to investigate the relationship between  heredity and intelligence, was found to have fabricated his findings after his death Competence ­ Psychologists should recognize and operate within their own limits ­ Psychologists­in­training should obtain experience in a way that does not harm others Research Risks ­ Minimal risk; the risk is greater than that ordinarily encountered in daily life or during  routine physical or psychological exams ­ Naturalistic Observation; a researcher records the interactions of mothers and children at  a local playground in a manner that does not attract attention  ­ Correlational Research; college students complete an anonymous survey to determine  how underage drinking is related to personality ­ Experiment; an experiment requires that subjects engage in a physically­demanding task;  the goal is to determine how physiological arousal affects performance on a subsequent  task ­ Experiment; some participants are given a drug that is supposed to reduce depression  others are given a placebo ­ Vulnerability to risk is highest in persons with medical problems, older persons, minors,  pregnant women, prisoners, students that must participate as a part of a course  requirement, or anyone who’s ability to say no is compromised ­ Researchers must achieve the approval of the IRB before the research can proceed ­ If not approved the researcher can alter the research plan or appeal the board’s decision ­ If most or all psychological research involves some degree of risk to participants, what  justification is there for doing psychological research? Weighing the Risks ­ Utilitarian approach; research is justified if the benefits to the participants exceed the  costs and risks Exam 2 ­ Ch. 4­6 Conceptualization and Measurement ­ Theoretical construct; an abstraction or concept use to describe or explain a set of  empirical observations  Memories,  Five Factor Theory ­ Agreeableness        conscientiousness     extraversion      openness    emotional stability ­ Are there differences across persons, groups, cultures? ­ Do different tests produce different conclusions? ­ Are there differences within individuals across tests/over time Conceptualization and Measurement ­    Measuring and testing theoretical constructs requires operational definitions ­    Decisions also have to be made on what kind of data to collect, how the data will be  aggregated Three Box Model of Memory ­     ­ Are there differences across persons, groups, cultures? ­ Do different tests produce different conclusions? ­ Are there differences within individuals across tests/over time Conceptualization and Measurement ­ Not all theories have empirically­grounded  Psychodynamic Theory Measurement Scales ­ Nominal Scales; data are names or categories  What is your gender?  How would you describe yourself? ­ Ordinal Scale; measures rank order  List the following activities in order from most preferred to least preferred ­ Interval Scale; a scale on which equal distances between scores represent equal  differences in the property being measured  Scores on an IQ test  Scores cannot meaningfully be multiplied and divided ­    Ratio Scales; scores possess all the characteristics of real numbers Number of times a patient was hospitalized Amount of salivation produced by a dog Average hours of sleep per night Number of words recalled Measures of Central Tendency ­ Mean; average value ­ Median; middle value ­ Mode; most frequent value ­ Which one should be used depends on the data ­ Frequency Distribution  The bell curve; mean = mode = median   A skewed distribution; all values differ Complications in Research ­ Testing a depression medication  Some people respond differently with symptoms  Some people improve naturally  Expectations can influence outcomes (placebo)  Drugs that are generally effective do not necessarily produce improvement in  every user The True Experiment ­ There are at least 2 levels of the independent variable ­ Must be a comparison that doesn’t have to be a control group ­ Participants are randomly assigned to conditions ­ Randomization controls for potential confounds both known and unknown Problem 1. Some people naturally improve on their own/others don’t benefit even when the drug  works 2. Expectations can influence outcomes (placebo) Solution 1. There is probably no way to identify these people in advance. Through random  assignment, equal proportions should end up in both groups. Works best with a large  sample. 2. Can’t eliminate expectations. It’s not a problems so long as expectations are equivalent  within each group. Groups only need to be equal. Hypotheses ­ Null hypothesis; the groups are not different and the independent variable does not affect  behavior ­ Confound hypothesis; the groups are different, but not because of the independent  variable ­ Research hypothesis; the groups are different because of the independent variable ­ Null; the antidepressant has no effect ­ Confound; the antidepressant falsely appears to have been effective ­ Research; the antidepressant is effective


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