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PSYC 303 Exam 1 Notes

by: Miranda Bostad

PSYC 303 Exam 1 Notes Psyc 303

Miranda Bostad
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Exam 1
Research Methods in Psychology
Dr. Adam Derenne
75 ?




Popular in Research Methods in Psychology

Popular in Psychlogy

This 16 page Bundle was uploaded by Miranda Bostad on Thursday September 22, 2016. The Bundle belongs to Psyc 303 at University of North Dakota taught by Dr. Adam Derenne in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Research Methods in Psychology in Psychlogy at University of North Dakota.


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Date Created: 09/22/16
Chapter 3: Ethics in Research When Researchers Go Bad:  Although perhaps everyone agrees on the importance of ethics, not everyone practices good ethics.  Tuskegee Syphilis Study: o 400 poor African Americans were purposely infected with syphilis & falsely informed that they were being treated. o Doctors monitored the natural, untreated progression of the disease from 1932 to 1972, even though a cure was developed for it in the 1950’s.  From the 1930’s to the 1960’s the Department of Energy sponsored thousands of studies examining the effects of radiation on people. Basic Research Ethics  APA has published Ethical Principles of Psychologists and the Code of Conduct.  Beneficence & Non-maleficence o Psychologist must strive to benefit participants and to do no harm (including psychological harm) o People should think as highly of themselves and of others at the end of a study as they did at the beginning.  Maleficence o Milgram’s experiment on social obedience. o Zimbardo’s on social roles in prisons. o Wendell Johnson’s research on the origins of stuttering.  He proposed, “The affliction is caused by the diagnosis.”  22 children selected at Iowa orphanage; 10 were stutterers.  ½ of the children served as a control group; they other ½ received negative therapy – they were stopped and lectured whenever they repeated a word. o Laud Humphreys’ research on the motives of men that performed fellatio in public restrooms.  Integrity o Psychologists seek to promote accuracy, honesty, and truthfulness in science. o 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 Chapter 3: Ethics in Research o Psychologists should recognize and operate within their own limits. o Psychologists-in-training should obtain experience in a way that does not harm others. Research Risks  Minimal risk: The risk is not greater than that ordinarily encountered in daily life or during routine physical or psychological examinations.  Examples What are the risks to participants? o Naturalistic Observation: A researcher records the interactions of mothers and children at a local playground in a manner that does not attract attention.  Parent does not feel safe—psychological distress o Correlational Research: College students complete an anonymous survey to determine how underage drinking is related to personality.  What if surveys are not perfectly anonymous o Experiment: An experiment requires that subjects engage in a physically demanding task (riding an exercise bike); the goal is to determine how physiological arousal affects performance on a subsequent task.  Depends on fitness—Health issues—confidence? o Experiment: Some participants are given a drug that is supposed to reduce depression; others are given a placebo.  Drug side effects  Control group is not being treated  Vulnerability to risk is highest in person with medical problems, older persons, minors, pregnant women, prisoners, students that must participate as a part of a course requirement, or anyone whose ability to say “no” is compromised.  Researchers must achieve the approval of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) before the research can proceed.  If not approved, the researchers can alter the research plan or appeal the board’s decision.  What is to prevent researchers from describing an ethical version of their research to the IRB, while behaving unethically in practice? o Complaints may be brought before professional organizations (e.g., APA) or the researcher’s institution Chapter 3: Ethics in Research o Ultimately, the researcher is the best guarantor of good research practices  If most or all psychological research involves some degree of risk to participants, what justification is there for doing psychological research? Weighing the risks o Utilitarian approach: Research is justified if the benefits to the participants exceed the costs and risks.  Ex: Payment to participants o What are the benefits to participants?  Monetary payment & extra credit are common.  Applied research (e.g., the drug study) may have built-in benefits.  Free Medication?  Participants may benefit from the advancement of knowledge.  College students may learn about research from participation. o The researcher should:  Check with someone who can give an impartial option.  Screen out participants most at risk.  Health conditions/age/pregnancy  Provide sufficient information to allow people to make an informed decision about participation.  Informed consent form:  Participants are informed of the benefits and risks associated with the research and can decline to participate. o Includes anything that applies to them  Time/Procedure/# of people/Risks/Benefits/There rights o Not theories, etc./What does not apply to them  Animal Research: o Provides convenient, highly controlled models of humans and other animals. o Allows researchers to examine issues that can’t be addressed with people, other because of ethical or practical issues. o Animal Research is highly regulated:  Pain, discomfort, and illness of animal subjects must be minimized.  If life must be terminated, if must occur rapidly and painlessly.  All procedures must be lawful and supervised by trained psychologists. Chapter 3: Ethics in Research o But is animal research ethical?  Animals cannot consent to research.  Killing or harming living things is wrong; destroying any living thing is dehumanizing to the scientist. o Animal research has greatly benefited people: behavior therapy, neurosurgery, and psycho-medication are based on animal research. o Research is conducted when benefits to society exceed the harm to the animals.  REVIEW:  Students in a research methods class see a man enter their classroom in the middle of the class period, talk loudly with the instructor, and then leave.  The students are then asked to describe the intruder, for what, it turns out, is part of a study on eye witness behavior. o What are the ethics issues in this case?  No informed consent  Might be distressful  Waste of time for class (students not learning  College students are asked to complete and adjective checklist describing their mood on a typical day.  The researcher uses this information to identify students who may be depressed so they can be asked later to participate in a study examining cognitive deficits associated with depression. o What are the ethics issues in this case?  Document with names & personal infoshould be confidential  A researcher offers $5 per hour to homeless persons to serve as participants in an experiment on self-control and learning  The participants will be required to report to a laboratory once a day for the next 3 weeks. o What are the ethics issues in this case?  Taking advantage of homeless people/exploited Chapter 3: Ethics in Research  A research offers extra credit to the students’ in her introduction to psychology course if they participate in survey research she is conducting on dating violence. o What are the ethics issues in this case?  Feel like they cant say no/pressured to participate  They should have two options of doing it or not  Naturalistic observation is a scientific approach that: o A-Psychometric o B-CORRECT o C-Experimental o D-Correlational  Experimental research is a scientific approach that o C-CORRECT  Which of the following statements about experiments is FALSE? o C-Well-designed experiments always resemble real-world situations  Reasoning from the particular to the general: o A.) Validity o B.) Induction o C.) Confounding o D.) Deduction o B?  A good theory does NOT necessarily have which of the following: o A.) A high degree of parsimony (preferred) o B.) A high degree of complexity o C.) The ability to generate precise hypotheses o D.) The ability to generate testable hypotheses Chapter 1 Types of Research: Basic research (relates to theories) o Understanding o Framework o Why is this happening Applied research (solve a problem) o Ex: Autistic child making eye contact  Treatment that will solve problem Samples and Populations:  Researchers typically use a sample of participants drawn from the population, because the population is usually too large. o Population can be specialized  Younger/gender  Having a representative sample of the population helps research to have generalizability o Has to be accurate/comparable  How can we tell if we have a representative sample? o Know your population  What types of attributes?  Important o Ex: Autism severity  Variety of characteristics? Average? General Concerns:  Do the methods allow replication (i.e., can others reproduce the method and findings?) o Not exactly the same should be replicated  Do the methods have good validity (i.e., accurately measure what is supposed to be measured?) o Truthfulness  True understanding of what is taking place o Ex: Asking questions—gain insight  Do the results have good reliability? o Relates to replication Research Designs:  Descriptive Research (finding patterns in nature/observing and describing what is going on in the world around us) o Naturalistic Observation o Correlational Research o Quasi-Experiments Chapter 1  True Experiments o Putting something unknown to the test (e.g., treatments) Naturalistic Observation:  Observation of behavior as it occurs naturally with no intrusion or intervention by the researcher o Ex: The study of children’s play behavior o Ex: Animal Behavior (among species)  Observations can be made in a laboratory or in the natural environment. o Natural environment is more beneficial  Observer may be disguised or not.  Can describe behavior as it naturally occurs in some situation  Can’t explain the cause of the observed behavior. Correlational Research:  Research that examines relationships between two or more quantitative variables  Often the data are obtained through survey research. o Ex: Problem drinking behavior survey  Income & Drinks/week o 100’s-1000’s of people are usually needed for surveys  Creates a visual representation of the data (easier to analyze data) o Scatter Plot o Graphs  Can describe how variables are related (e.g., there is a tendency for people with higher incomes to drink less often.)  Can’t explain why variables are related. (Third variable present?) Experimental Research:  One or more variables is manipulated by the researcher.  The goal is to test whether the variables have a “causal” effect on behavior. Experiment Basics: o There must be at least on Independent variable (IV) and one Dependent variable (DV) o The IV must have at least two levels (conditions) o IV has effect on DV Chapter 1  Example: An experiment is conducted to determine whether a newly- created antidepressant is effective. o IV: Drug o DV: Depression o One Possibility:  Treatment Group:  Receives Drug A  Control Group:  Receives a placebo o Another Possibility:  Group 1:  Receives Drug A  Group 2:  Receives Drug B  Confounding Variables: Any other differences between conditions. o Are the groups different because the different drugs have different effects? o Or are the groups different because there are different people in each group?  To control for the potential confound, participants must be randomly assigned to the different groups Quasi-Experimental Research  True experiments include random assignment; quasi-experiments may not.  True experiments involve a high degree of control; quasi-experiments generally do not. The Scientific Method Actively seeks out “truth,” rather than accepts if from guesswork or authority Beliefs are based on direct observation (publicly verifiable; repeatable). Actively encourages self-correction, rather than tries to make the facts fit an established framework. o Geocentric View Example—helped develop the scientific method  The ancients believed that the Earth was motionless and that the heavenly bodies moved around it.  The conclusion was shaped by logic: One does not feel the Earth move. If the Earth moved, it would not be stable. Objects thrown up should land in some other place.  And confirmed by authoritative works:  However, it was also realized that the geocentric view of the universe had trouble explaining the exact motion of the planets. Beginning with Copernicus, a heliocentric interpretation was first seriously considered.  Galileo realized that the newly invented telescope provided a means of determining which view is correct. Use of scientific method, compared to others. Went out to actually get information. Uses all 3 components to Scientific Method (above)  Thus, Copernicus & Galileo were not elevated to new, unquestioned authorities. The goal is to get progressively closer to the truth. Daniel Boorstin (1983) The Discoverers---Quote The Scientific Method (Cont.) Direct observation can include clues in the present that shed light on the past. o Example: Police officer viewing a car accident—can infer whose fault it was but wasn’t present when event occurred. Much of psychology is concerned with phenomena that are difficult to observe (e.g., attitudes, memory, motivation, emotion, expectations, past behavior, etc.) But observation is still possible o Ex: Surveys, PET Scan o “A scientist… puts forward statements, or systems of statements, and tests them step by step” Karl Popper (1959) Logic of Scientific Discovery Through this process, theories are created. A scientific theory is a collection of ideas about how and why variable are related to one another o How and why things are happening, framework Good Theories are an accurate description of the facts as we understand them. Good theories are the goal of scientific research. o We can’t know if theories are accurate and adequate without rigorous testing. o TheoryHypothesis (statements/predictions)Empirical Research  Is finding accurate? No Revise theory, make changes In some cases, the research is so extensive and the conclusions are so consistent there is no meaningful distinction to be made between “theory” and “fact.” o Motion of the planets Important considerations: o The quality of the studies used to examine the theory o The amount of support a theory has obtained (Quantity) o The variety of support a theory has obtained *have different researchers using different methods obtained results pointing to the same conclusion?) o Studies that test opposing predictions from competing theories carry special weight Good Theories: o Suggest testable predictions o Make precise predictions o Have high explanatory power, but are not overly complicated (parsimony) o Agree with the facts Phrenology: (Old Theory) o The study of personality traits based on bumps in the skull.  Does it suggest Testable predictions? Yes  Does it make precise predictions? Bump map  Is it parsimonious? Simple, straightforward  Does it agree with the facts?  No, no correspondence  Psychodynamic Theory (FREUD) o Unconscious parts of mind (Id, Ego, Superego)  Not precise, people who describe theories can’t agree on symptoms themselves involved in the theory—how is someone supposed to test?  Phrenology is a dead field but many psychologists continue to identify as psychodynamic orientations. Chapter 2 Validity  Validity: The degree to which observations or methods are sound and reveal “the truth.”  Predictive Validity: The measure can accurately predict certain outcomes. o Example: College Admissions  Look at GPA, ACT Scores to determine admission or not  Certain amount of information to look at individual  Ecological Validity: The method used to study a phenomenon resembles what naturally occurs. o Example: Study of memory  Not a real test of this ecological validity—don’t have consequences like in the real world  Internal Validity: Changes in the dependent variable can be clearly attributed to the independent variable. o Example: Study showing how technology can improve math scores.  Can you say for sure that it’s the technology?  Maybe the teacher is more motivated/invested with the class.  External Validity: The findings generalize to other groups and situations. o Example: Study showing how technology can improve math scores.  Does it work in every school/teacher/state?  Might not work with every setting/age/etc.  How confident can we be that what we are finding in this particular data set can be used in other places?  Example: You have developed a pill that you believe will alleviate people’s depressive symptoms.  Participants in a control group receive a placebo  Participants in a treatment group receive an actual drug o Internal Validity is achieved through strong experimental control/absence of cofounding.  HIGH INTERNAL VALIDITY  2 IDENTICAL groups of participants/Same size/shape pills (different contents)  One shows improvement then there is a clear understanding o External Validity is achieved through a diverse body of participants, a natural setting, etc.  HIGH EXTERNAL VALIDITY  Sample of varying participants (Lots of variation/comparable to population)  Internal vs. External Validity o Experimenter’s dilemma Chapter 2  Improving internal validity usually means reducing external validity (& vice verse)  Internal is Preferred o Reason #1: Low internal validity means that clear conclusions cannot be reached. Unclear findings prohibit generalization, even if external validity seems to be high. o Reason #2: The ability to generalize findings is better established through systematic replication than high external validity. o Reason #3: The goal of basic research is to test theories (which requires validity). Good theories allow researchers to make generalizations. Stages in the Research Process: Model/TheoryHypothesisResearch Design Pilot ResearchData CollectionData Analysis Conclusions Model/Theory o (Circle/Continues) Example: o Edward Thorndike (1898)  “Of several responses made…. weakening of the bond.”  Cat in wooden crate/try to escape  Trial after trial Cat gradually got more efficient at escaping (takes less time) NOT INSTANT LAW OF EFFECT? Induction & Deduction: o Induction: Reasoning from specific instances to a general proposition Specific findings and generalizing them  ConclusionMODEL/THEORY o Deduction: Reasoning from a general proposition to a specific implication of that proposition. General to Specific If the theory is true… What else must be true to further our understanding of this phenomenon?  Model/Theory HYPOTHESIS o Generalizations are not precise enough to be tested  Model/theory Generalization (doesn’t clearly point a way to do another study)  Hypothesis (specific enough to facilitate research—can be proved true or false)  Speed of cognitive processing declines with age; speed of cognitive processing affects driver safely (Model) Chapter 2  Drivers above the age of 65 will be slower to respond to threats than younger drivers in a driving simulator (Hypothesis) o Some theories lend themselves chiefly to the production of generalizations, not hypotheses.  Freud (Psychodynamic theoryId, Ego, Superego) Do not create specific testable hypothesis o How do you test if there is a presence of an Id?  Hypothesis: o Proposition: People repress anxiety-producing thoughts (i.e., push them into the unconscious mind). o Cannot be tested because people cannot report on their anxiety- producing thoughts (they are unconscious); if they could, they would not be truly anxiety-producing. o Theories that do not generate many testable hypotheses are not necessary wrong, but they have dubious scientific value. How can the following statement be transformed into a testable hypothesis? o You can’t teach an old dog new tricks  Need something specific  Limited  Good internal / Poor external validity? 1/28Stages of the Research Process (Cont.): HypothesisResearch DesignPilot ResearchData CollectionData AnalysisConclusionsModel/Theory  Developing a research idea: o Sources: Personal observation, expert suggestions, the psychological literature o Important considerations: Precedents, practicality The researcher may involve a variable that cannot be directly observed. o Examples: Emotion, intelligence, depression, id, creativity, personality, self- esteem, memory, hunger drive, attitude o These are termed hypothetical constructs Hypothetical Constructs o Hypothetical constructs may be used to help explain how variables are linked  Example: “Memory” bridges the time gap between initial learning and later action  Example: “Thirst” links several different events that all serve to increase drinking o An operational definition, is a way of framing a hypothetical construct in terms that are precise and testable.  Example: Investigating the effects of frustration on aggression in children o Care is needed when selecting operational definitions. Chapter 2  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 non play-fighting? o Another Example:  “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” can become… When 2 adults have been dating for 6 months, and have been separated for 2 weeks w/o the ability to communicate w/ each other, then both will report a statistically significant increase in their feelings for each other as measured by the L scale of romantic attachment.  But is this description too specific? Maybe the results would be different if we looked at different types of couples Maybe the results would be different if the separation period was different Maybe the results would be different if we measured feelings in some other way Pilot Research o Works out the bugs in the method (e.g., instructions, difficulty level). o Suggests likely outcomes  Ex: New software on computer has a few bugs in it sometimes Theories & Hypotheses o If Theory T is true then Hypothesis H must also be true o Our research shows that Hypothesis H is true. o Does this prove that our theory is correct?  NO!  Theories can be confirmed or supported by research, but they can never be proven true. o Example:  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).  Upon further checking, you find that Robert was at the party (hypothesis has been confirmed).  Have you proved that Robert was the murderer? o Proposition: People that are depressed have recently had an upsetting event take place in their life  Your research shows that people recently diagnosed with depression indeed are more likely that other people to have recently experienced an upsetting event. (Hypothesis confirmed).  Have you proved that the theory of depression is correct? o NO, you also would have to prove that all aspects of theory is correct. o Can we disprove scientific theories?  If Theory T is true then Hypothesis H must also be true. Chapter 2  Our research shows that Hypothesis H is false.  Can we conclude that Theory T is also false?  NO!  Theories can be discredited, but, for all practical purposes they can never be proven false.  Example:  You theorize that Robert was  Upon further checking, you find that Robert was not at the party  How could Robert have committed the murder if he wasn’t there?  Our conclusion that Robert was not at the party is only as good as our data  What if our data are flawed? Could Robert have slipped into the party unnoticed?  Example:  You theorize that depression results from an upsetting event.  Your research shows that people recently diagnosed with depression were not more likely to have recently experienced an upsetting event than other people.  However, maybe the method was flawed. o Perhaps an inappropriate operational definition was used for “upsetting event”. o Maybe depressed people are less willing to talk about their problems. o Proof cannot be obtained for logical reasons o Disproof cannot be obtained for practical reasons o How then does science advance? Degrees of confidence vary


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