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Exam 2 Review

by: Alison Notetaker

Exam 2 Review PSYC 301

Alison Notetaker
GPA 4.0

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filled-in review for the second exam
Research Methods in Psychology
Sam Monfort
Study Guide
Psychology, research methods, psych, psyc301
50 ?




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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by Alison Notetaker on Thursday February 25, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PSYC 301 at George Mason University taught by Sam Monfort in Fall 2014. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Research Methods in Psychology in Psychlogy at George Mason University.


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Date Created: 02/25/16
Exam 2 Review Sheet Psyc 301: Research Methods *Correction about Convergent and Divergent validity Understand the importance of external validity and internal validity, the pros and cons, how they  relate, and how they differ. ­ External validity is the generalizability ­ Internal validity is the extent to which you know why you got the results you got; isolated variable, testing what you want to test, etc ­ Generally, increasing one decreases the other o Increase external validity by making the study more naturalistic, decrease internal  because less control o Increase internal validity by controlling the study, decrease external because less  natural ­ Not always a tradeoff: in stratified random sampling, both are increased (int bc more  random, ext bc across larger, more diverse sample) Know the different ways to sample behavior, and the pros and cons of each. ­ Observation: monitor in order to obtain information o Time: consistent or random time intervals (eg 8 am, or every 3 hours) o Event: during specific moments (eg n class) ­ Situation: variety of locations and conditions ­ Subject: select participants from each set population ­ Nonprobability: not each has an equal chance of selection o Convenience: whoever is available  Pro: easy, fast  Con: why they’re available is a bias ­ Probability: each has an equal chance of selection o Simple random: exactly what it sounds like  Pro: increases external validity  Con: may work against you o Stratified random: divide population into strata, and randomly choose from each  stratum  Pro: decreases chances of randomness working against you, increases  external validity bc broader sample  Con: could introduce another variable because it’s decreasing the  randomness once you interfere Know the methods of direct and indirect observation, and how they differ in terms of external  validity and potential threats to validity. Direct ­ Naturalistic: just observe o Pro: very as­is. Get least amount of error in terms of interference o Con: no control; could have tons of variables ­ Structured: insert a stimulus and see what happens. Eg SpiderDog o Pro: better for rare events bc of time concerns o Con: changing something about the environment makes the reactions potentially  less natural­ demand characteristics, expectancy effects ­ Participant: observer participates in the activity they’re observing o Pro: can manipulate variables from inside, can get different perspective (disguised [this way, they may act most naturally bc think you’re one of them] or  undisguised) o Con: reactivity (undisguised), observer effects (disguised) ­ Field Experiment: assign people to groups while you’re out in the natural environment.  Eg day/night, on campus/off campus, dress of confederate in wallet­dropping example) o Pro: introduce an IV o Con: may be tempted to draw a causal inference when there is a spurious  relationship Indirect ­ Physical traces: evidence of behavior as well as items (bought/consumed) and products  (created). Eg tattoos, bumper stickers o Pro: objective o Con: may just see what they want you to see, or interpret incorrectly ­ Use traces: evidence from use (or lack thereof) eg drug testing, food left uneaten o Pro: objective o Con: bias inclusion opportunity­ low internal validity (Coke vs Pepsi cans in  trash example) ­ Archival records: docs describing past activities of individuals (eg voting records) o Pro: track changes over time, refer to past o Con: selective deposit, selective survival Know and be able to recognize the four levels of measurement. ­ Nominal o Categories. Gender, team, pant color ­ Ordinal o Ordered. Difference between places not necessarily the same. Place order,  ranking. ­ Interval o Ordered w even difference between each place. No true zero. Ruler  ­ Ratio o Ordered w even difference between each place. True zero. Number of kids. Understand qualitative and quantitative data analysis methods and the pros and cons of each. ­ Qualitative: not numerical o Pro: get more holistic view/information; can quantify it o Con: hard to work with/manipulate/compare; subjective ­ Quantitative: numerical o Pro: easy to work with/manipulate/compare; objective o Con: can’t change to qualitative; only get certain aspects of scenario Understand threats to validity – observer biases and participant biases. ­ Observer bias o Expectancy effects: notice what you want to notice o Selective deposit: only some things are chosen to remain o Selective survival: only some things make it through time ­ Participant bias o Demand characteristics: how they think you want them to act o Reactivity: behave differently because being observed Know what a representative sample is, and how we try to ensure we have one. ­ Representative sample is highly generalizable; incl portions of people from every group ­ Try to ensure via randomization­ random sample to the extent that it’s possible ­ Key tenant for randomization: everyone in population has equal chance of selection ­ Convenience sampling is ok when a) the process is universal enough to reduce the  confound (eg reaction time) or b) the population is already randomized (eg conference w  ppl from each major) ­ Stratified random sampling helps to eliminate confounds­ maybe it’s something about  this particular group of people, so sample others as well Know the four types of surveys, and pros and cons of each. ­ In person o Pro: most control, most holistic o Con: expectancy effects, demand characteristics, interviewer bias ­ Mail o Pro: collect tangible items, anonymity o Con: return rate, fairly low control ­ Phone o Pro: hear inflections o Con: not everyone has a phone ­ Internet o Pro: quick, easy, cheap o Con: very low control, low validity bc not necessarily taking it seriously Know the different correlational research designs discussed, pros and cons of each, how they are  related, and what threatens validity in each. ­ Cross­sectional: what’s happening right now o Pro: easiest. Most common o Con: truly correlational; cannot draw inferences. Cannot track changes o Validity: external not necessarily high bc don’t know how applies across a  situation ­ Successive independent: same questions over time with different people o Pro: study population changes over time o Con: can’t study individual changes over time ­­ confound o Validity: since the sample changes, there’s a confound ­ Longitudinal: follow one sample over time o Pro: truly understand the sample. Causal effects. o Con: hardest. Attrition rate. Learning/priming o Validity: learning/priming affects internal. By nature it has low external validity  bc largely ideographic. Know techniques for constructing a good questionnaire. ­ Choose open/close ended questions ­ Simple, direct, understandable: minimize noise ­ Avoid leading/loaded questions and double­barreled questions ­ Avoid “not” ­ Use reverse­coded questions ­ Likert scale: mirrored, balanced scale w neutral midpoint and w anchor cues Know the pitfalls of assuming correlation equals causation. ­ Draw relationship where it’s actually spurious, applications suffer Know how and why we randomize participants in experiments, and how and why we sometimes  choose not to completely randomize participants. ­ Simple: what it sounds like ­ Block: create sections from your sample, and create groups that way ­ Not completely: keep randomness from working against you ­ Randomize to increase external validity, decrease confounds Understand what a confound is, and how it threatens validity in both correlational and  experimental research. ­ Confound: additional variable affecting the outcome of the study. If you truly don’t care  at all about causation then it’s okay in correlational research, but otherwise it affects both  bc it throws a different IV that’s not accounted for. Terms Time sampling­ at consistent or random intervals (eg 8 pm, or every 3 hours)  Situation sampling­ variety of locations and conditions  Naturalistic observation­ noninterference Participant observation­ observer participates in the activity they’re observing Structured observation­ insert a stimulus into the environment and see what happens (SpiderDog) Field experiment­ create groups. Eg weekday vs weekend, whether the confederate was wearing  jeans or a suit Habituation­ decrease in response to stimulus after repeated presentation Desensitization­ decrease in emotional response to negative stimulus after repeated presentation Physical traces­ evidence of people’s behavior, to include items (bought/consumed) and  products (created) Archival records­ docs describing past activities of individuals Selective deposit­ only some info is recorded Selective survival­ pieces of info go missing over time Narrative records­ detailed account of what happens within an observation Reactivity­ behave differently when being observed Coding­ recording something symbolically Interobserver (interrater) reliability­ same response between multiple observers or raters Correlation coefficient­ r is between ­1 and 1 Demand characteristics­ how the participant thinks they’re supposed to act Correlational research­ covariance. Not causal Population­ to whom you’re interested in generalizing the results of your study Sample­ who you’re actually testing Element – of a sample­ each member/person Representativeness­ how well the sample represents the population Selection Bias­ skewing how people are selected Nonprobability sampling­ each person does not have an equal chance of being selected Probability sampling­ each person has an equal chance of being selected Stratified random sampling­ create strata, sample randomly across strata Convenience Sampling­ whoever’s available Likert scale­ 5­point, mirrored, neutral in middle, anchor cues Response bias­ who’s going to respond Social desirability­ what people think is or is not okay socially Spurious relationship­ seem related/causal but really it’s a 3  variable causing the covariance Cross­sectional design­ question at one time Successive independent samples design­ same questions across time w different sample Longitudinal design­ same questions across time with same sample Convergent validity­ is the construct measured similarly by similar scales? Divergent validity­ is the construct measured differently by different scales? Random assignment­ what it sounds like Block randomization­ split sample into strata (basically) and assign to groups across these  sections Placebo­ removes some threats to internal validity; reduces demand characteristics and  expectancy effects Double­blind­ neither observer nor participant is in on it Replication­ helps w external validity. Helps to correct randomization problems when done w the same population. With a different population (variations in conditions, setting, sample  characteristics) maybe one of those is causing the same results in basic replication Matched groups design­ match participants by variable then randomize. Like blocked but  compare evenly. So in blocked, groups would be xxyy, xxyy and compared however. In matched  groups, groups are xxyy, xxyy, and xs are compared to xs and ys to ys. Natural groups design­ differences already exist. Choose groups and measure dependent  variable increases external validity, decreases internal validity (causal inference) Confound­ unforeseen, causes an effect on the study                                                                                                                                                                                      * NOTE.  There may be terms used on the test which are not directly represented here in this  review sheet.  This covers most of the important concepts and terms, but I cannot guarantee you  won’t need to know the definitions of other words in order to understand every question.


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