Research Methods in Psychology Research I. Theory testing 1. Solve practical A. The goal of research in psychology is to develop theories problems
1. Scientific theory: an explanation for a phenomenon that can be
falsified and that involves entities
2. develop theories
that cannot be directly observed 2. A theory is an explanation which means that it describes how EX: cafe serves some phenomenon happens rather than just We also discuss several other topics like What are the 2 universal taboos?
e hamburgers stating the relationship between variables on Tuesday Don't forget about the age old question of What are the four criteria for revenue recognition?
has to have a
3. In order to be a scientific theory, the explanation must be
falsifiable meaning that there must be some hypothetical facts that Don't forget about the age old question of What is the difference between structural and constitutional isomers?
possible fact that would prove the theory false
a. An explanation that cannot be falsified cannot generate any
predictions and therefore cannot be tested
e cant test
4. A theory must involve entities that cannot be directly observed
because otherwise the explanation can be verified by direct
observation and a theory is unnecessary. We also discuss several other topics like What is the meaning of agassiz?
B. Theory testing works by using the theory to generate
predictions about observable events. 1. The theory is used to generate a prediction about observable
events called a is hypothesis 2. If the hypothesis generated by the theory fails to come out, then has to be the theory is falsified
modified 3. If the hypothesis generated by the theory is true, then it increases our belief in
more true pre
theory, come closer the theory a little bit
dictions - more We also discuss several other topics like Who is the first woman in greek mythology?
to truth B. Major Research Techniques in Psychology
belief A. Case studies: a description of the behavior or abilities of a single individual. Worst way to do research
because hard to be falsified
1. The theories of the Psychoanalysts were based on case studies. We also discuss several other topics like What is the meaning of diffusion in biology?
Case studies are subject to confirmation bias: people favor information that
Confirms their beliefs
2. Case studies are good for generating research ideas, but
poor for testing theories B. Naturalistic observation: a research technique in which the Jane 1st to researcher observes and describes behavior.
observe 1. Example of a good naturalistic observation: Jane Goodall and the chimps using chimpanzees.
Tools + hunting
2. Naturalistic observations are good at
answering simple questions 3. Naturalistic observations do not allow sufficient control to pit onctiviar determine
abies the relationships between variables.
ishin technique C. The correlational approach: attempts to determine the relationship Ex relationship between variables without manipulating the variables. between ACT Score 1. The correlational approach is best used when manipulating and college GPA
the variables being studied would be:
a impossible or very difficult to manipulate relationship between b. Unethical
2. The correlational approach can be used to determine if two
variables are related, but it cannot be used to determine if there is a
causal relationship between variables. a. Causation: a causal relationship exists if a change in one ex price of
variable results ALT + College GPA in a change in the other product and
3. The direction and strength of the relationship between two variables can be measured by the correlation co-efficient
not causal relationship
college tPA to be higher ve
relationship between a. The correlation co-efficient varies between +1 (meaning a perfect positive relationship) to -1 (meaning a perfect
height + weight: 1.8
negative relationship) b. The closer the correlation co-efficient is to 0,
the weaker the relationship is
2013 = weak 0.3-0.6 moderated. Experiments: studies in which the researcher manipulates the
(good) independent variable and which have Tandom assignment. ↑ 0,6 = strong
1. Independent variable: the variable the researcher
manipulates in an experiment 2. Levels of the independent variable: the specific values of
the independent variable that a researcher chooses to use
in an experiment. dependent 3. Dependent variable: the variable the researcher measures
to determine the
effects of the independent variable.
4. Random assignment: occurs when every person in the experiment has an equally likely chance of being assigned
to each level of the independent variable. 5. In contrast to all other research techniques, experiments
allow researchers to infer a causal relationship between the
independent and dependent variables. 6. Because random assignment is done in an experiment,
statistical tests can be used to determine the exact probability some variable other than the independent variable caused
the change in the dependent variable. C. Is Psychology a Science? A. Psychology attempts to make its measurements of concepts objective
by using operational definition
psych isnt science a
Cren B. Operational definition: a concept is defined in terms of the variables doesnt meets basic used to measure it (e.g., hunger could be defined as “hours without requirements food ).
C. There are limits to what psychology can study because some variables cant manipulate cannot be manipulated which makes establishing age
some casual relationships impossible.
D. However, for the questions that are answerable, psychology uses the psych will never scientific method as much as any other science. be like physics b/ cant experiment with
some questions (experiments with people)
EX: how relationship with your mom affects adult life (cant manipulate relationship