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Semester's Notes

by: Alison Notetaker

Semester's Notes PSYC 301

Alison Notetaker
GPA 4.0

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About this Document

This is a buttload of notes from the whole semester. I handwrote all my notes then typed them up.
Research Methods in Psychology
Sam Monfort
Psychology, psych, research methods
75 ?




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This 17 page Bundle was uploaded by Alison Notetaker on Thursday February 25, 2016. The Bundle belongs to PSYC 301 at George Mason University taught by Sam Monfort in Fall 2014. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see Research Methods in Psychology in Psychlogy at George Mason University.


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Date Created: 02/25/16
Sam Monfort, hours right after class 25 August “Is it actually, or is that just our perception?” Observation vs inference Accuracy always important, precision sometimes Validity- measure what you’re trying to measure Reliability- repeat trials Hypotheses: specific, measurable Operational definitions- how you define a variable, esp what you’re trying to measure - Clear, concise, indisputable Predictor- IV Criterion- DV 27 August Skepticism- is it really, or just how it is perceived? - Biases: incl/esp confirmation bias Validity- measures what it says it’s measuring Reliability- produces same result over and over Hypotheses- impt, novel, specific, testable Operational definition- define a variable or concept to be super specific (more specific than the following examples) - Winner of 400-m race: person who crosses the finish line in the shortest amount of time - Coolest person: person with the greatest spread of friends across group/class lines - Successful treatment for depression: pt reports return of functionality to life if depression was incapacitating, reports return of hope if not - Improved performance for an air traffic controller: number of communication errors decreases Describing hypothesis- how common is X Predicting hypothesis- correlation. Eg taking prep course predicts better score than not taking prep course Explaining hypothesis- causal. Inc scores produced by knowledge/skills from prep course Applied hypothesis- more general questions. No-suicide contracts alone are ineffective in decreasing chances of committing suicide 3 September Type-I error: alpha. False pos Type-II error: beta. Missed Describing hypothesis - Eg how common I SAD? - Epidemiology research - Describes phenomena - Mean, stand dev, etc. don’t infer/compare, just describe Predicting hypothesis - Eg test scored increase w enrollment in Kaplan - Correlation (r) Explaining hypothesis - Eg increase in test scores due to content + skills of Kaplan - Causation Applied research- opp of basic research - Eg no-suicide contracts alone =/= effective in decreasing pt suicides rd Moderation- “it depends.” One variable affects another, but 3 variable defines how much. X  y, w m affecting the effect Mediator- stands btwn 2 vars, explains effect. X  m  y. x affects y through/via meditator 8 September Explaining hypothesis: include a “because” - Junk food leads to obesity bc x/y biological process Idiographic- studies the individual eg case study. Think idiosyncratic Nomothetic- generalize findings - So much more common than idiographic For exam: basic vs applied; correlation vs causation William James- father of psychology - Was more like philosophy before him - Functional psychology: why things happen, purpose of certain behaviors William Wundt- father of experimental psychology - First to open a psychology lab APS thinks APA too soft; not scientific enough Freud- some ideas no good, some are. Unconscious influences Skinner- Skinner box - Rats trained to push lever, get reward, only when light was on - Eg Harvard prof “trained” to stay center stage - Radical behaviorism Zeitgeist- spirit of the times Zimbardo/Milgram spurred ethical discussion in psychology Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment- zeitgeist-driven. To see how/why ppl could do such things, prompted by WWII/Vietnam Milgram- obedience to authority; shocks. Prompted by Nuremberg trials- is “my superior told me to” a valid excuse? IRB risks kept at minimum - Physical safety o Subjective pain - Emotional/mental health o Social exclusion o Milgram - Social safety o Health records o Confidentiality 10 September Social context drives research- zeitgeist - Zimbardo/Milgram: understanding WWII - Today, video game/social media research Ethnocentrism- culture-focused. Defined by our culture in what we choose to study - Eg individualism/collectivism - 5 basic emotions are universal: disgust, happiness, sadness, anger, fear ETHICS APA guidelines - Cite anything not “common knowledge” Safety of participants - Physical - Emotional - Social Deception - Eg say the gorilla change blindness thing is about movement perception - Can lie, just can’t be harmful - Omission: withholding info - Commission: giving false info - Contradicts informed consent by its nature Informed consent - 18+ - Describe study, costs, benefits, that can withdraw - IRB provides guidelines and template - Assent: from participants under 18 or differently-abled - not needed in public unless reasonable expectation of privacy debriefing - informal - can ask for feedback (be indirect about it, eg “was anything odd”) o esp in pilot study research w animals - acquire, care for, use, dispose of humanely as possible 22 September Observation- monitoring someone/something in order to obtain information Cannot observe entire lives  representative sample Types of observational sampling: - time sampling- consistent or random time intervals (eg daily at 8 pm, or once per day) - event sampling- during specific moments (eg in class) EMA- Ecological Momentary Assessment - like the food cues study? - App sends texts during the day asking survey questions Situation sampling- variety of locations and conditions (eg weekday vs weekend) Subject sampling- select people from each set population (eg one student from each major) Direct observation- view ppl with own eyes - Naturalistic observation- passive recorder of events, no intervention o External validity- how well study results generalize to real-world - Participant observation- observer participates in activity w/ ppl being observed o Undisguised- observer and goal are known to participants  Reactivity: change behavior bc aware of observation o Disguised- don’t know you’re being observed  Observer effects: presence of observer still changes - Structured observation- set up stimuli in natural environment o spiderdog Indirect observation- use evidence of past events - physical traces- evidence of ppl’s behavior as well as items (bought/consumed) and products (created) o products: tattoos, bumper stickers - use traces- evidence from use (or lack thereof) o drug testing, food left uneaten o bias incl opportunity: eg count number of soda cans in trash cans, find mostly coke. Doesn’t mean it’s the most liked by students; what if they just don’t sell pepsi here? Also might not be just students throwing out their cans - archival records- documents describing past activities of individuals (voting records, running times) o bias  selective deposit: only some information recorded (eg yearbook)  selective survival: pieces of information go missing (eg deleted fb photos w ex)\ 24 September Sampling- time vs situation External validity- generalize to population outside of study Direct vs indirect observation Naturalistic observation (passive, no intervention) Participant observation (take part in activity/observation) Structured observation (intervention. Spider dog) Field experiment (assign to groups, eg dropping wallet: what if you say something really nice or really mean beforehand?) Indirect observations: physical traces; use traces, artifacts Demand characteristics- what the participant thinks the experimenter wants Social desirability- change answers/response to fit mold Double-blind- neither participant nor observer is in the loop Levels of Measurement: Nominal- category. Checklist, yes/no Ordinal- rank/order. Place order. Difference btwn places isn’t necessarily the same Interval- rank/order w even difference btwn places. No true zero. Eg ruler Ratio- order w/ even difference btwn places. True zero. Eg weight 29 September Structured observation is better than naturalistic for rare events bc of time concerns Archival data is more common that physical traces in our field Participant bias - demand characteristics: what they think you want from them - reactivity: behave differently because being observed Observer bias - expectancy effects: notice what they want to notice - selective deposit/survival quantitative research is better than qualitative because it’s convincing, easier, and bc it’s possible to code qualitative data as quantitative but the same principle doesn’t apply in the opposite direction nonprobability sampling: convenience sample (eg front row of class) probability sampling: simple random sampling (eg 100 random psych students), or stratified random sampling (eg 10 participants from each psych class) type-I error: false positive type-II error: missed 1 October if people are sitting in the front row by random chance, and your sample is the front row, that’s a simple random sample for simple random vs stratified random, think more about what’s in the sample than the procedure used to obtain the sample 3 survey designs: - cross-sectional o most common, easiest o what’s happening right now o descriptive/predictive research o truly correlational - successive independent samples o not that common o different samples over time, but same questions o study population changes over time, not individual changes over time o eg baby name popularity - longitudinal o hardest, but great! Follow one sample over time. Repeated measures. o Helps make causal claims o Attrition: acceptable/normal loss is 20% o Testing effects: learning/priming Self-Report Measures - Reliability- consistency of responses o Test-retest (what we’ve been talking about) o Multiple questions about the same construct across measures - Validity- truthfulness and intention of measure o Convergent: rate of overlap o Divergent: not overlapping/correlating Tips for Creating Items - Decide on open or close-ended questions - Simple, direct, understandable: minimize noise - Avoid leading/loaded questions - Avoid “not” - Reverse-coded questions - Likert scale: mirrored, balanced w neutral midpoint and w anchor cues 6 October Cross-sectional- one time, many groups tested Can be cross-sectional and longitudinal. More about the question being answered than the design st th - Eg every member of the class of 2020 is tested from 1 to 12 grade, looking at change of boys vs girls over time; examines how they’re doing at each time, and how they’re evolving - Interested in change over time and in individual moments/snapshots Interview pro/con: In-person: control +, cost – Mail: collect tangible items +, return – Phone: inflections +, bias – Internet: speed +, validity – Reliability alpha: two measures for happiness get the same/similar response Construct: something you’re measuring that you can’t directly measure/observe (eg happiness) Reliability test-retest: ask the same question twice, get the same response Convergent validity: scale similar to others like it, eg high scores on happiness scale and on optimism scale - Measure what you say you’re measuring, because it’s similar to what it should be similar to Divergent validity: scale dissimilar to others unlike it, eg high score on happiness scale, low score on pessimism scale - Measure what you say you’re measuring, because it’s dissimilar to what it should be dissimilar to Creating Items Double-barreled question- asks more than one question (eg are the policies clear, fair, and understandable?) AVOID Choose open-ended or close-ended questions Simple, direct, understandable  validity. If there’s confusion in what’s being asked, that’ a confound Avoid leading/loaded questions Experimental groups in class: convenience sampling Blocked design- more accurately group people re: factors we can’t see - Prevents randomness from working against you Internal validity- what’s going on within the sample. Know the mechanism of action for what’s going on- why there’s a difference between groups. Usually increases with control External validity- know that your study can be generalized. Requires accurate reproduction of outside world Increase one, tend to decrease the other (but not always) Independent groups- two groups, random assignment Random groups- equal confound in each group - Block randomization- same goal as random groups, but more deliberate, to ensure that the confounds are the same in each group 8 October Based on observation of how often cars stop for pedestrians on campus What kind of observation? - Naturalistic: no intervention o Participant observation: to add a variable re: the pedestrian o Structured observation: hold a sign/place a “slow” sign o Field experiment: tailgate/don’t tailgate the drivers What kind of sampling? - Convenience: as natural as can be o Simple random: check every 10 car, or choose a random location o Stratified random: 10 drivers leaving each parking deck What kind of study? - Cross-sectional: looking at now, not charges o Longitudinal: track a specific driver around Patriot Circle or throughout the semester o Successive independent: running the study multiple times, over time, to record changes What kind of randomization? - Simple random: they already are! o Block random: can’t do it here. But it creates an equal confound in each group Block random leads to a decrease in external validity because it’s artificially randomizing the sample and therefore creates an error/confound Block : randomization :: stratified : sampling 14 October Placebo- removes some threats to internal validity - Reduce demand characteristics - Reduce expectancy effects To establish external validity: - Replicate study (esp w randomization: help correct randomization problems. Same population) - Variations: change conditions, setting, or sample characteristics o Maybe one of those is causing same results in replication o More common than replication Matched group design Random groups don’t always work - Random fails - Not enough participants Match participants by variable, then randomize - Like blocked, but compare evenly - Blocked has even participants but compares randomly. Matched groups compares like to like 20 October Correlational: observation, surveys - Cheaper - But interpretation is very limited Experimental: random groups, matched groups, natural groups Repeated measures: extension of matched groups - Removes individual differences from equation - Comparing to same sample over time, as opposed to a different element in a group like w longitudinal - Very similar to longitudinal: not a clear difference - Good bc controlling for everything that makes them different - So test same person/group across conditions Good because: - Better at eliminating individual differences o Increase sensitivity - Requires fewer participants - Study changes, not just mean differences o Answers longitudinal questions - Think of it as an error reduction tool Disadvantages: - Only controls for steady variables (eg IQ vs mood) - Attrition - Practice effects To account for practice effects: - Measure construct differently - Counterbalance o W 2 measures and 2 conditions, groups w/in condition so not everyone is primed the same way o So for condition one, group 1 is tested AB, group 2 is BA. In condition two, group 1 is tested AB and group 2 is BA. 27 October Incomplete design- each condition administered to each participant one time. The order of conditions is different across participants. Average  balanced effects - Eg. P1 xyz, p2 yzx, p3 zxy - Each condition presented equally in each place (ex x is 1 once, 2 nd once, etc) - Order is different between participants Complete design- all different combinations are tested by each person - Order is different within participants Block randomization- - Size of each block: number of conditions (each once) - Number of blocks: number of administrations - ABC - ABC - BAC - BCA - CBA - CAB - 6 blocks - Size of each block is 3 - 3 conditions (A, B, and C) complex design:>1 IV - 2 or more IVs with 2 or more levels (outcomes) - Aka factorial design. Each variable = factor 2x2 design: Desert nomad Eskimo Hot Productive Not productive Cold Not productive productive Effects on grades of tests IV1- attendance - All the time - Miss a lot IV2- test type - Multiple choice - Essay Attended all Missed a lot Multiple choice 95 80 Essay 80 50 Drinks until you get drunk Male Female Food 5 3 No food 9 5 Simple effects- of IV on DV at 1 level of another DV - Food vs no food on drunkenness for females only Main effects- of IV on DV irrespective of other IV (averaged across IV) - Difference between IVs o Eg main effect of gender is 7 > 4  7 and 4 are gender averages irrespective of food/no food o Eg main effect of food is 4 < 7 Interactions- unique combinations of effects - Difference in differences. Difference between A and B is greater in condition 1 than in condition 2. - Effect of x on y is different depending on z Why not just run 2 studies? - What if food affects drunkenness differently between genders?


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