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MSU - PSY 100 - Class Notes - Week 4

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MSU - PSY 100 - Class Notes - Week 4

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background image The Methods of Psychology Griggs Ch. 1 Vocab: Fact: objective statement, can be based on direct observation, we can never 
be completely confident in any scientific fact.
Theory: an idea or model that explains existing facts and/or makes 
predictions about new facts that could be discovered.
Hypothesis: a prediction about new facts based on a theory Experimental Method: Developed in 1944 at Harvard by Keyslar. He interviewed scientists and asked
them what they did when they conducted research. Compiled the 7 most 
common steps.
Step 1: observation
Step 2: define problem
Step 3: hypothesis
Step 4: gather evidence, test hypothesis
Step 5: either reject or retain hypothesis, depending on evidence
Step 6: publish results
Step 7: theory building
Doesn’t always happen this way, “dumb luck” can lead to valuable findings 
There is no “proving” or “disproving” in science, we become confident in a 
result through replication and getting the same result.
Truths of scientific method: Scientific method varies over time and b/w disciplines
Science never proves things
A theory is a type of explanatory hypothesis
A theory never becomes a law and a law never becomes a theory. Research Designs Experiments: a researcher manipulates an independent variable (IV) and 
looks for change in a dependent variable (DV). This gives researcher control 
over IV and confounding variables.
Independent variable (IV): manipulated by researcher, hypothesized to  affect dependent variable (DV) Dependent Variable (DV): measured by researcher, hypothesized to be  dependent on IV, carefully monitored to see effect of IV on DV Experiments sometimes have blind observers, this person doesn’t  know which condition the subjects are in. this prevents influence of 
bias when recording and/or reporting results.
Extraneous variables: vary b/w subjects but is not IV or DV. If you fail to control for extraneous variables when conducting an experiment, it 
becomes a confounding variable. A single confounding variable, ruins 
the entire experiments, results mean nothing!
background image Descriptive Study: a researcher wants to describe something without 
investigating any relationship b/w any variables. These types of studies tell us
what is going on, but they do not tell us why things are the way they are.
Nothing is being manipulated. Correlational Study: a researcher observes, or measures 2 or more variables. 
This can help identify lawful relationships b/w variables. These types of 
studies tell us nothing about cause.
Helpful when making predictions.
Nothing is being manipulated.
Experiments are the only method with an IV and manipulation. Only 
experiments can tell us about cause and effect.
Research Settings Lab study: participants are tested/observed in a specially designed area. o Pro: control for extraneous variables.
o Con: behavior may not be natural, or as it normally would be because 
of the artificial setting. Field study: any research not conducted in a lab. o Pro: participants observed in their natural environment, behaving as  they normally would. o Con: can’t control for extraneous variables. Data Collection Methods Observational methods: researcher observes and records behavior o Tests: researcher gives subject stimuli or problems to deal with The key thing of a test is that the researcher presents the 
subject w/ a problem and watches their response.
o Naturalistic observation: researcher doesn’t interfere with subject. Pro: avoids artificial nature associated with tests. Self-report methods: people are asked to describe their own behaviors, this is 
often done via survey or interview
o Con: people may lie
o Pro: sometimes this is the only way you can collect data because 
observational methods may not be ethical or practical. o People are most likely to lie about sensitive subjects such as felony  crimes, socially unacceptable sexual behaviors, etc. However, 
dishonesty is usually fairly low if people believe they have anonymity. 
o Most surveys are designed to catch liars by asking the same question  more than once with different wording. Math Statistics o Descriptive stats: used to summarize sets of data
o Inferential stats: tells us how much of the result we saw was due to 
chance. Answers the question, “how confident can we be that effect 
seen in the sample is true in the population?”
Statistical significance: 

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School: Montana State University
Department: Psychology
Course: Intro to Psychology
Professor: Ralph Barnes
Term: Fall 2015
Name: Methods of Psychology
Description: Professor Ralph Barnes' lecture on methods of psychology. SP17
Uploaded: 01/29/2017
3 Pages 23 Views 18 Unlocks
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