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Chapter one: Chapters 1-4

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by: Jessica Garcia

Chapter one: Chapters 1-4 PSY 290

Marketplace > University of Miami > Psychlogy > PSY 290 > Chapter one Chapters 1 4
Jessica Garcia
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I am sharing with you all my comprehensive notes on Chapters 1-4 (the material covered on the first test). I have gone back and edited every chapter. I have also included a practice questions from ...
Intro to Research Methods
Dr. Stuetzle
Study Guide
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This 32 page Study Guide was uploaded by Jessica Garcia on Friday December 11, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to PSY 290 at University of Miami taught by Dr. Stuetzle in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 41 views. For similar materials see Intro to Research Methods in Psychlogy at University of Miami.


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Date Created: 12/11/15
Chapter 1: Scientific Thinking in Psychology Ways of knowing: 1. Authority: a. Whenever we accept the validity of information from a source we judge to be expert, then we are relying on authority as a source of our knowledge. b. Drawback: Authority figures may be wrong or biased. (AKA: my dad’s views on politics) 2. Use of reason=Logic a. We sometimes arrive at conclusion by using logic and reason. The logic of the premises may be correct, but the conclusion depends on the truth of the first two statements. b. In other words, the value of a logically drawn conclusion depends on the truth of the premises, and it takes more than logic to determine whether or not the premises have merit. c. It can also be used to reach opposing conclusions. Charles Pierre labeled the use of reason, and a developing consensus among those debating the merits of one belief over another, a priori method for acquiring knowledge. d. Beliefs are deduced from statements about what is thought to be true according to the rules of logic—that is, a belief develops as the result of logical argument, before a person has direct experience with the phenomenon at hand. 3. Experience=empiricism a. Empiricism is the process of learning things through direct observation or experience, and reflection on those experiences. b. Limitation: Our experiences are limited, and our interpretations of our experiences can be influenced by a number of what social psychologists refer to as social cognition bias. i. One of these biases is belief perseverance: motived by a desire to be certain about one’s knowledge, it is a tendency to hold on doggedly to a belief, even in the face of evidence that would convince most people the belief is false. ii. Belief perseverance often combines with another preconception called a confirmation bias: a tendency to search out and pay special attention to information that supports one’s beliefs while ignoring information that contradicts a belief. iii. Another social cognition bias is called the availability heuristic, and it occurs when we experience unusual or very memorable events and then overestimate how often such events typically occur.  Example: Plane crashes are given more attention in the media than car accidents; some people cannot believe that air travel is considerably safer than travel by car.  Many students believe the most frequent outcome of answer changing is that an initially correct answer will be changed to a wrong answer. Students tend to hold this belief because when such an event does occur, it is painful and hence memorable. Also, once the belief starts to develop, it is strengthened whenever the same kind of outcome does occur (confirmation bias), and it doesn’t take too many instances before a strong belief about answer changing develops (belief perseverance begins). BTW, changing from wrong to right is effective 51% of the time. The ways of knowing and science:  Charles Peirce believed the chief advantage of science lies in its objectivity, and for Pierce, to be objective meant to avoid completely any human bias or preconception.  The way of knowing that constitutes science in general involves a number of interrelated assumptions and characteristics.  First, researchers assume determinism and discoverability. o Determinism: events, including psychological ones, have causes o Discoverability: Using agreed-upon scientific methods, these causes can be discovered with some degree of confidence. o Important to note: statistical determinism: this approach argues that events can be predicted, but only with a probability greater than chance. o Science basis its findings on observations that are made as systematic as possible. In order for observations to be systematic: 1. Precise definitions of the phenomena being measured 2. Reliable and valid measuring tools that yield useful and interpretable data 3. Generally accepted research methodologies 4. A system of logic for drawing conclusions and fitting those conclusions into general theories. Science Produces Public Knowledge:  Another important characteristic of science as a way of knowing is that its procedures result in knowledge that can publicly verified=objectivity. Objectivity means eliminating such human factors as expectation and bias.  The process of reproducing a study to determine if its results are reliable is called replication.  Introspection as it was first used by Wilhem Wundt= participants in an experiment would perform some task and then provide a detailed description of their conscious experience of the task. However, it was inherently flawed because it is necessary subjective; other’s interpretation of events cannot be verified. Science Produces Data-Based Conclusions:  Science is data-driven, this means that research psychologists expect conclusions about behavior to be supported by evidence gathered through a systematic procedure.  Another important note: there is the recognition among the scientific community that conclusions drawn from data are always tentative and subject to revision based on future research. That is, science is a self-correcting enterprise and its conclusions are not absolute, yet scientists are confident research will eventually get them closer to the truth. Science Asks Answerable Questions:  As mentioned earlier, empiricism refers to the process of learning things through direct observation or experience. Empirical questions are those that can be answered through the systematic observations and techniques that characterize scientific methodology. They are questions precise enough to allow specific predictions to be made.  When designing research studies, an early step in the process is to reshape the empirical question into a hypothesis, which is a prediction about the study’s outcome. o Hypotheses often develop as logical deductions from theories, which is a set of statements that summarizes what is known about some phenomena and propose working explanations for those phenomena. o A critical aspect of a good theory is that is must be precise enough to be disproven=falsification; that is, theories must generate hypotheses producing research results that could come out as the hypothesis predicts or could come out differently. Psychological Science and Pseudoscience:  Pseudoscience is applied to any field of inquiry that appears to use scientific methods and tried hard to give that impression but is actually based on inadequate, unscientific methods and makes claims that generally false, or at best, simplistic. o Example: Phrenology Phrenology originated in legitimate attempts to demonstrate that different parts of the brain had identifiable distinct functions, and it is considered one of the first systematic theories about the localization of brain function. Phrenologists believed that (a) different personality and intellectual attributes were associated with different parts of the brain, (b) particularly strong faculties in larger brain areas, and (c) skull measurements yielded estimates of the relative strengths of faculties. o Another example is graphology, or the study of handwriting as making personality assertions based on a person’s handwriting.  Another feature of pseudoscience is its reliance on and uncritical acceptance of anecdotal evidence. The problem occurs when one relies heavily on anecdotes or makes more of them than is warranted. The difficulty is that anecdotal evidence is selective; examples that don’t fit are ignored (confirmation bias).  One other reason to distrust a glowing testimonial is that it often results from a phenomenon familiar to social psychologists: effort justification. o Example of effort justification: Leon Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance: the idea is that after people expend significant effort, they feel compelled to convince themselves the effort was worthwhile. To reduce the discomfort associated with the possibility we’ve been had, we convince ourselves the investment of time and money was a good one.  Another problem with pseudoscience: it is not falsifiable! Advocates of pseudoscience sidestep the problem of falsification by rearranging the theory a bit or adding elements to accommodate the anomaly. Consequently, the apparent falsification winds up being touted as further evidence in support of the theory!  Another way falsification is sidestepped by pseudoscience is that research reports in pseudoscientific areas are notoriously vague and are never submitted to reputable journals with stringent peer review systems in place. Reduces Complex Phenomena to Simplistic concepts:  A final characteristic of pseudoscience worth noting is that these doctrines take what is actually a very complicated phenomenon (the nature of human personality) and reduce it to simplistic concepts. This, of course, has great consumer appeal.  In sum, pseudoscience is characterized by (a) a false association with true science, (b) a misuse of the rules of evidence by relying excessively on anecdotal data, (c) a lack of specificity that avoids a test of the theory, and (d) an over-simplification of complex processes. The Goals of Research in Psychology: 1. Description: to provide a good description in psychology is to identify regularly occurring sequences of events, including both stimuli or environmental events responses or behavioral events. 2. Prediction: to say that behavior follows laws is to say that regular and predictable relationships exist for psychological phenomena. The strength of these relationships allows predictions to be made with some degree of confidence. 3. The third goal of the experimenter is explanation. To explain a behavior is to know what caused it. The concept of causality is very complex. Experimental psychologists recognize the tentative nature of explanations for behavior, but they are generally willing to conclude that X is causing Y to occur if they conduct an experiment in which they systematically vary X, control all other factors that could affect the results, and observe that Y occurs with some probability than chance and that variations of Y can be predicted from the variation in X. 4. The final goal is application, which simply refers to the ways applying principles of behavior learned through research. Chapter 2: Ethics in Psychological Research  System of ethics is a set of “standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession.”  Research psychologists must o (a) treat human research participants with respect and in a way that maintains their rights and dignity, o (b) care for the welfare of animals when they are the subjects of research, and o (c) be scrupulously honest in the treatment of data. Developing the APA Code of Ethics:  Psychologists in the U.S. published their first formal code of ethics in 1953. In 1948 (5 years before the publishing), a committee gathered to form the code of ethics under the leadership of Nicholas Hobbs. Using a procedure called the critical incidents technique, the committee survey the entire membership of the APA, asking them to provide examples of “incidents” of unethical conduct they knew about and “to indicate what they perceived as being the ethical issue solved”  The five general principles reflect the philosophical basis for the code as a whole. 1. Beneficence and nonmalificence establishes the principle that psychologists must constantly weigh the benefits and the costs of the research they conduct and seek to achieve the greatest good in their research. 2. Fidelity and responsibility obligates researchers to be constantly aware of their responsibility to society and reminds them always to exemplify the highest standards of professional behavior in their role as researchers. 3. Integrity compels researchers to be scrupulously honest in all aspects of the research enterprise. 4. Justice obligates researchers to treat everyone involved in the research enterprise with fairness and to maintain a level of expertise that reduces the chances of their work showing any form of bias. 5. Respect for people’s rights and dignity translates into a special need for research psychologists to be vigorous in their efforts to safeguard the welfare and protect the rights of those volunteering as research participants. Ethical Guidelines for Research with Humans  The standards for research with human participants include making a judgment that the benefits of the research outweigh the costs, gaining the informed consent of those participating in the study, and treating the research volunteers well during the course of the study and after is has been completed.  An integral part of the process of planning a study involves consulting with others. A good first step is to ask a researcher colleague whether your study has any ethical pitfalls. A formal process also exists: IRB= Institutional Review Board: a group that consists of at least 5 people, usually faculty members from several department and including at least one member of the outside community and a minimum of one nonscientist.  IRBs distinguish between proposals that are exempt from full review, those eligible for expedited review, and those requiring a full review.  An important component of an IRB’s decision about a proposal involves determining the degree of risk to be encountered by participants.  One final point about IRB approval is that when conducting research outside of the university environment, a research might have to satisfy more than a single review board. Four controversies surrounding IRBs 1. One issue is the extent to which IRBs should be judging the details of research procedures and designs. At least one prominent has suggested that IRBs should include methodology experts. 2. The perception among some researchers that it is difficult to win IRB approval of “basic” research. IRB members unfamiliar with a specific research area might fail to see the relevance of a proposed study in basic science yet might easily be able to comprehend an applied research study. 3. Some researchers also complain that IRBs are overzealous in their concern about risk, weighing it more heavily than warranted, relative to the scientific value of a study. 4. One consequence of IRBs being overly conservative, according to social psychologist Roy Baumeister, is that psychology is rapidly becoming the science of self-reports and finger movements instead of the science of overt behavior. a. Measuring meaningful social behavior usually means using deception, and it therefore places more of a burden on researchers to show their participants will be protected. b. Several studies have shown that identical IRB proposals have fared differently with different IRBs. Informed Consent and Deception in Research  Informed consent: the notion that in deciding whether to participate in psychological research, human participants should be given enough information about the study’s purpose and procedures to decide if they wish to volunteer.  On the other hand, subjects might experience deception in a study if the researcher determines it, and agreed to by the IRB, that the study could not be done in any other fashion.  There is evidence that participants who are fully informed ahead of time about the purpose of an experiment behave differently from those who aren’t informed.  Although subjects might not be told everything about the study during the consent procedure, it needs to be made clear to them that they can discontinue their participation at any time.  Consent procedures evolved from the aftermath of historical abuses, most notably the medical research conducted in Germany during WWII that used concentration camp inmates as human guinea pigs. In the name of medical science, Nazi doctors and scientists such as Josef Mengele completed horrific studies. Later came to be known as the Nuremberg Code. Informed consent and special populations:  Not all research participants are capable of giving consent, due to such factors are age or disability, and some persons might experience undue coercion to volunteer for research. In these circumstances, additional procedures apply.  Researchers are obligated to inform the child about the study and to gain what is referred to as assent. That is, researchers give the child as much information as possible to gauge whether the child is willing to participate.  Assent also means that the researcher has a responsibility to monitor experiments with children and to stop them if it appears that undue stress is being experienced.  The code also cautions researchers about incentives that might be used either to induce a willingness to participate or as rewards for tasks completed. The rewards “must not unduly exceed the range of incentives that the child normally receives”. Treating participants well  After the experiment is over, the researcher has an additional task, called debriefing, during which the experimenter answers questions that the participants might have and fill them in about the purpose(s) of the study.  It is not absolutely essential that participants be informed about all aspects of the study immediately after their participation… especially in order to avoid participant crosstalk.  In general, debriefing serves two related purposes: dehoaxing and desensitizing. 1. Dehoaxing means revealing to participants the purpose of the experiment and the hypothesis being tests 2. Desensitizing refers to the process of reducing stress or other negative feelings that might have been experienced in the session.  One last aspect of treating participants well concerns privacy and confidentiality. Research participants should be confident their identities will not be known by anyone other that the experimenter and that only group or disguised (coded) data will be reported. Research ethics and the Internet  Electronic research (e-research) of interest to psychologists falls into two broad categories: 1. Some websites are designed to collect data from those logging into the sites. This happens most frequently in the form of online surveys and questionnaires but can involve other forms of data collection as well… 2. Studying the behavior of Internet users. This research ranges from examining the frequency of usage of selected websites to analyses of the content of web-based interactions. Relevant problems relating to informed consent and debriefing: 1. Consent forms can be used easily enough in e-research but there is no opportunity for researchers to answers questions and no way to know if the consent form has been read. 2. Age: researchers can post warnings that participants need parental consent if they are under 18, but it is impossible to monitor compliance. 3. Debriefing: A good debriefing session is interactive, with questions asked and answered, but with e-research, there is no guarantee participants will even be there to read the debriefing information.  Another major issue concerns privacy and confidentiality: the interesting and yet unresolved question is whether such activities as tweets, Facebook posts, chat rooms, discussion boards, etc are public forums or private discussions. Ethical Guidelines for Research with Animals  Animals are used in psychological research for several reasons. Methodologically, their environmental, genetic, and developmental histories can be easily controlled.  Ethically, most experimental psychologists take the position that, with certain safeguards in place, animals can be subjected to procedures that could not be used with humans.  However, some argue that humans have no right to consider themselves superior to any other sentient species—that is, any species capable of experiencing pain.  Others argue that humans may have dominion over animals, but they also have a responsibility to protect them. Using Animals in Psychological Research:  Psychologist believe humans can be distinguished from nonhumans because of our degree of awareness, our ability to develop culture and understand history, and especially our ability to make moral judgments.  Also, they argue that the use of animals in research does not constitute exploitation and that the net effect of such research is beneficial rather than costly for both humans and animals.  Anthrozoology: the study of human-animal interactions. The topics they study include the use of pets in psychotherapy, the effects of pets on the everyday lives of humans, and the training of both animals and humans to improve human-animal relationships. The APA code for Animal Research:  The guidelines for using animals deal with:  (a) the need to justify the study when the potential harm to the animals exists;  (b) the proper acquisition and care of animals, both during and after the study, and  (c) the use of animals for educational rather than research purposes. Scientific Fraud:  The American Heritage Dictionary defines fraud as a “deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain”. The two major types of fraud in science are (1) plagiarism, deliberately taking the ideas of someone else and claiming them as one’s own, and (2) falsifying data, this type of fraud can take several forms. o A scientist fails to collect any data at all and simply manufactures it. o Some of the collected data are altered or omitted to make the overall results look better o Some data are collected, but “missing” data are guessed at and created in a way that produces a data set congenial to the researcher’s expectations. o An entire study is suppressed because its results fail to come out as expected.  One hint of this kind of problem occurs if a researcher attempting to replicate a study suspects something is odd about the original study and asks to see the raw data collected in it. Scientists in psychology and other disciplines have a long history of willingness to share data, and a refusal to do so would create suspicion about new findings.  Fraud may also be detected during the normal peer review process. Whenever a research article is submitted for journal publication or a grant is submitted to an agency, it is reviewed by several experts whose recommendations help determine whether the article will be published, or a grant funded.  A third way of detecting Fraud is when a researcher’s collaborators suspect a problem…  One of the great strengths of science is the self- correction resulting from the replication process, peer review, and the honesty of colleagues. o It is worth noting that some commentators believe that while falsified data may go undetected because they replicate “good” data, they may not be detected for two other reasons as well. 1. The sheer number of studies being published today makes it easier for a bad study to slip through the cracks, especially if it isn’t reporting a notable discovery that attracts widespread attention. 2. The reward system in science is structured so that new discoveries pay off, but scientists who spend their time “merely” replicating other work aren’t seen as creative. Chapter 3: Developing Ideas for Research in Psychology Research can be classified as (a) Basic or applied research, (b) Laboratory or field research, and (c) Quantitative and qualitative. Basic verses Applied Research:  Some research in psychology concerns describing, predicting, and explaining the fundamental principles of behavior and mental processes; this is referred to as basic research. Think of topics like sensation and perception, learning, memory and cognition, etc.  On the other hand, applied research is so named because it has direct and immediate relevance to the solution of real-world problems.  Note: In some cases, what is learned from basic research can be useful in an applied project from a completely different topic area. The setting: Lab vs. Field research  Laboratory research: Allows the researcher greater control; conditions of the study can be specified more precisely, and participants can be selected and placed in the different conditions of the study more systematically.  In field research, the environment more closely matches the situations we encounter in daily living. Although field research is often applied research is often applied research and laboratory- basic research, you should know that some basic research takes place in the field and some applied research takes place in the lab.  Lab research is criticized for being “artificial” and far removed from everyday life.  Mundane realism refers to how closely a study mirrors real-life experiences.  Experimental realism concerns the extent to which a research study “has an impact on the subjects, forces them to take the matter seriously, and involves them in the procedures.”  Proximity to everyday life is the strength of field research, but there are other reasons for conducting research away from the lab. First, conditions in the field often cannot be duplicated in a laboratory.  A second reason to do field research is to confirm the findings of lab studies and perhaps to correct misconceptions or oversimplifications that might be derived from the safe confines of a lab.  3 reason: to make discoveries that could result in an immediate dthference in the lives of people being studied.  4 : although field research is ordinarily associated with applied research, it is also a good setting in which to do basic research.  Confederate: someone who appears to be part of the normal environment but is actually part of the study.  Manipulation check: a procedure often used to be sure the intended manipulations in a study have the desired effect.  Pilot study: studies are often used to test aspects of the procedure to be sure the methodology is sound.  One last point about lab vs field research is informed consent and privacy. In lab research, it is relatively easy to stick closely to the ethics code. In the field, however, is it difficult, if not impossible to provide informed consent or debriefing with field research. Quantitative vs. qualitative research:  Quantitative research: the data are collected and presented in the form of numbers—average scores for different groups on some task, percentages, etc.  Qualitative: it often includes studies that collect interview information; it sometimes involves detailed case studies; or might involve carefully designed observational studies. Operational definitions:  The term operationism originated in the 1920s in physics with the publication of “the logic of modern physics” by Harvard physicist Percy Bridgman. He argued that all terminology of science must be totally objective and precise, and that all concepts should be defined in terms of a set of “operations” or procedures to be performed= operational definitions.  One important outcome of the precision resulting from operational definitions is that it allows experiments to be repeated.  Converging operations: the idea that our understanding of some behavioral phenomenon is increased when a series of investigations, all using slightly different operational definitions and experimental procedures, nonetheless converge on a common conclusion. Developing Research from Observations of Behavior and Serendipity:  Psychologist Bulma Zeigarnik discovered that interrupted tasks were about twice as likely to be recalled as the uninterrupted ones. This phenomenon—memory is better for incomplete rather than completed tasks—is today called the Zeigarnik effect.  The Kitty Genovese case led Darley and Latené to conduct a series of experiments showing that unresponsive bystanders aren’t simply uncaring; they often assume someone else will help is other people are around (diffusion of responsibility).  Serendipity: discovering something while looking something else entirely. Developing Research from Theory:  A theory is a set of logically consistent statements about some phenomenon that o (a) best summarizes existing empirical knowledge of the phenomenon, o (b) organizing this knowledge in the form of precise statements of relationships among variables, o (c) proposes an explanation for the phenomenon, and o (d) serves as the basis for making predictions about behavior. These predictions are then tested with research. A theory is considered to be a working truth, always subject to revision pending the outcome of empirical studies.  Theories differ in scope. Some cover broad expanses of behavior and are general theories; more frequently, however, a theory is more focused on a specific aspect of behavior.  Example: Leon Festinger developed a theory that helps explain why and how people rationalize the decisions they make, how attitudes and behaviors related and how people justify the contradictions in their lives. The essence of the theory is the proposal that whenever people hold two opposing cognitions at the same time, a state of discomfort, called cognitive dissonance, is created. Cognitive dissonance is an example of what psychologists refer to as a construct. A construct is a hypothetical factor that is not observed directly; its existence is inferred from certain behaviors and assumed to follow from certain circumstances. The relationship between theory and research:  Deduction: reasoning from a set of general statements toward the prediction of a specific event.  The prediction about outcomes that is derived from a theory is a hypothesis, which in general can be considered a reasoned prediction about an empirical result that should occur under certain circumstances.  If the theory is supported by a large body of research, a researcher’s confidence is high that the theory is a good one; to put it another way, we could say that inductive support for the theory increases when individual studies keep producing the results as predicted form the theory. Induction is the logical process of reasoning from specific events to the general. Attributes of Good theories:  Productivity: good theories advance knowledge by generating a great deal of research, an attribute that clearly can be applied to dissonance theory.  A theory that appears to explain everything is seriously flawed. Theories that continually resistant to falsification are accepted as possibly true. The confidence never becomes absolute, however, because of the limits of induction. Replication and Extension:  Replication refers to a study that duplicates some or all of the procedures of a prior study.  Extension resembles a prior study and usually replicates part of it, but it foes further and adds at least one new feature.  Partial replication: refers to that part of the study that replicated a portion of the earlier work. Sometimes the terms exact-replication or direct replication is used to describe a point- for-point duplication of a study. Chapter 4: Measurement and Data Analysis Developing measures from constructs:  Researchers know what to measure because they know the literature in their area of expertise, and so they know what measures other investigators have used. They also develop ideas for new measures by modifying commonly used measures, or perhaps by creatively seeing a new use for an old measure. Finally they develop measures out of the process of refining the constructs of interest in the study. Habituation:  Habituation means the gradual decrease in responding to repeated stimuli. Reaction time:  How long it takes subjects to make a decision Reliability vs. validity:  In general, a measure of behavior is reliable if its results are repeatable when the behaviors are re-measured.  A behavioral measure’s reliability is a direct function of the amount of measurement error present. If there is a great deal of error, reliability it low… and vice versa.  When scores are reliable, the researcher can assign some meaning to their magnitude.  A behavioral measure is said to be valid if it measures what it is designed to measure.  The simplest level of validity is content validity: whether or not the actual content of the items on a test makes sense in terms of the construct being measured.  With a complex construct of many attributes, such as intelligence, content validity also concerns whether the measure includes items that assess each of the attributes.  Content validity is sometimes confused with face validity, which is not actually a “valid” form of validity at all. Face validity simply concerns whether the measure seems valid to those who are taking it, and it is important only in the sense that we want those who are taking it, and it is important only in the sense that we want those taking out tests to treat the task seriously.  A more critical test of validity is called criterion validity: whether the measure can (a) accurately forecast some future behavior or (b) is meaningfully related to some other measure of behavior. The term criterion validity is used because the measure of in question is related to some outcome or criterion.  A third form of validity is construct validity: concerns whether a test adequately measures some construct, and it connects directly with the operational definition.  Construct validity refers to whether a particular measurement truly measures the construct as a whole; it is similar to theory in the sense that is it never established or destroyed with a single study, and it is never proven for the same reason theories are never proven.  Research establishing criterion validity helps establish construct validity as well, but construct validity research includes additional procedures said to establish convergent and discriminate validity. o Scores on a test measuring some construct should relate to scores on other tests that are theoretically related to the construct (convergent validity) but not to scores on other tests that are theoretically unrelated to the construct (discriminant validity).  Note: validity assumes reliability, but the converse is not true!  Measures can be reliable but not valid, valid measures MUST be reliable, however. Scales of Measurement:  Nominal scales,  ordinal scales,  interval scales,  ratio scales (you know this from stats!) Descriptive vs. inferential statistics o Descriptive= summarizes the data collected from the sample of participants in your study, and inferential statistics allow you to draw conclusions about your data that can be applied to the wider population.  Measures of central tendency= mean, median, mode  Variability=range, standard deviation, variance Null Hypothesis:  The first step in significance testing is to assume there is no difference in performance between the conditions that you are studying=null hypothesis, symbolized by H and pronounced “h 0 sub oh”.  The research hypothesis (your hypothesis as the experimenter), the outcome you are hoping to find is called the alternative hypothesis, or sometimes referred to as research hypothesis.  Thus, in your study you are trying to disprove or reject the null hypothesis (H )0thereby supporting (but not necessarily proving) H 1,e hypothesis you are believe is true.  An inferential analysis can have only two outcomes: the differences you find between the two groups of rats could be due to a genuine, real, honest-to-goodness effect, or to chance (whomp, whomp). So the sample difference might mirror a true difference—or they might not. Hence, you can either: 1. Reject H O0 fail to reject it. a. Rejecting H o0 the null hypothesis means you believe an effect truly happened in your study and the results can be generalized. AKA…you rejected H 0 because the results were statistically significant. b. You can fail to reject H if you believe that the results 0 from the experiment were non-significant or simply a result chance. AKA you failed to find a genuine effect that can be generalized. 2. The researcher’s hypothesis (H ) is never proven true in 1 an absolute sense. (Guilt is said to be proven only beyond a reasonable doubt—there is still a miniscule chance that the person is NOT guilty) a. H0 can only be rejected with some degree of confidence, which is set by what is called the alpha level (). b. By convention, alpha is set at .05 3. Type I and Type II errors: a. Type I error is when you reject H (you0believe your research results are significant), but are in fact wrong. In other words, you should have not rejected H 0. b. Type II error is when you failed to reject H You’0. results are in fact significant, but you didn’t catch on and accepted H . 0 Inferential Analysis:  Systematic variance: the result of an identifiable factor, either the variable of interest or some factor you’ve failed to control adequately.  Error variance: nonsystematic variability due to individual differences; unpredictable effects that might have occurred during the study. Inferential statistic=variability between conditions (systematic + error) Variability within each condition (error)  The ideal outcome is to find that variability between conditions is large and variability within each condition is small. Note: File drawer effect: studies finding no differences are less likely to be published and wind up being stored away in someone’s file (oh, how lonely!) HERE’S THE PROBLEM: If 10 published studies show “males outperform females on X,” and no published studies show the opposite effect (because they are locked away inside a drawer somewhere), it may really skew the reality of a phenomenon. Effect Size:  Provides an estimate of the amount of the magnitude of the difference among sets of scores while taking into account the amount of variability in the scores. All yield a statistic that enables the researcher to decide if the study produced a small, medium, or large effect size.  Major advantage of calculating effect sizes is that it enables researchers to arrive at a common metric for evaluating diverse experiments. Lets say you want to examine 20 studies on frustration-aggression, but each has different operational definitions, procedures, etc…an effect size can be calculated for each study and these effect sizes can be combined to yield an overall statistical conclusion about the generality of the relationship between these two variables.  This is what is done in a type of study known as meta-analysis. A meta-analysis uses effect size analyses to combine the results from several (many!) experiments… the outcome of a meta- analysis relates to the concept of converging operations. o In general, confidence in the generality of a conclusion increases when similar results occur even though a variety of methods and definitions of terms have been used.  Confidence interval: is a range of values expected to include a population value with a certain degree of confidence. What a confidence interval tells us is that based on the data for a sample; we can be 95% confident the calculated interval captures the population mean.  Power: when completing a null hypothesis significant test, one hopes to be able to reject H , w0en it is, in fact, false. The chances of this happening is referred to as power. o That is, a test is said to have a high power if it results in a high probability that a real difference will be found in a particular study. Test your knowledge with the following questions: Chapters 1-4 CHAPTER ONE Concept Review  Why Take This Course? o Why is the methods course believed to provide a “foundation” for other psychology courses? Hint: process vs. content. o Why will a research methods course help (a) the student hoping to go to graduate school in psychology, and (b) the student planning to work right after college?  Ways of Knowing o As a way of arriving at truth, what are the advantages and disadvantages with Peirce’s method of authority? o As a way of arriving at truth, what are the advantages and disadvantages with Peirce’s a priori method? o There is some truth in the saying that experience is the best teacher, but what are some the problems with this old adage? Hint: think of two social cognition biases. o How might a belief in UFOs illustrate the social cognition biases of belief perseverance, confirmation bias, and the availability heuristic? o Scientists sometimes cling to theories obstinately. In what sense can this be a good thing?  Science as a Way of Knowing o How do research psychologists use the term determinism? o How do scientific observations differ from everyday observations? o How does the modern view of objectivity differ from Peirce’s view of the concept? o How does objectivity relate to replication and why was objectivity a problem for early introspective psychologists? Hint: think of the quotes in Box 1.1. o How does Sir Francis Galton illustrate the tendency for researchers to be data-driven? o The general public often seems frustrated with science, especially when it seems that one result is reported on Monday and the opposite result from a different study appears on Tuesday. Explain how this frustration reflects a misunderstanding of the nature of scientific inquiry and scientific thinking. o Why isn’t this an empirical question? “Are people basically good or evil?” Create an empirical question that would relate to the issue of good and bad behavior. o What is the difference between a hypothesis and a theory? o What is meant by the concept of falsification? o What are the features of scientific thinking that go into making someone a “skeptical optimist?”  Psychological Science and Pseudoscience o What is the point of the Harris cartoon on page -? o Consider phrenology and graphology. How has each been associated with legitimate science? o What is the problem with using anecdotal data to draw firm conclusions? o How did phrenologists get around the problem that not all killers had bumps in their “destructiveness” area? What’s wrong with this strategy? o In what way does graphology illustrate the fourth and final attribute of pseudoscientific thinking (complexity reduced to simplicity)?  The Goals of Research in Psychology o Describe the four main goals of scientific psychology.  A Passion for Research in Psychology (Part I) o What does the work of Eleanor Gibson and B. F. Skinner have in common? Terms in the left­hand column are from the list of key terms. For each term, find the correct  matching example or concept description or example, and type in the letter of the term in the  blank space. A.  belief perseverance _____  enables predictions to be made  B.  availability heuristic _____  Galton and the effectiveness of prayer  C.  objectivity _____ overestimating based on vivid memory D.  empiricism _____  prediction E. data driven _____ observable to more than one person F.  anecdotal evidence _____  only recalls events consistent with one’s opinion G. law _____ “I know it’s true. End of discussion.” H. authority _____ experience is the best teacher I.   hypothesis _____  questionable due to effort justification J. confirmation bias _____ “I don’t know. What does the book say?” Answers From top to bottom, the correct letter sequence is: G E B I C J A D F H Multiple Choice 1.  What is the most important way in which a research methods course differs from a course in  social psychology? a. the methods course will have a focus on ethics, while the social psychology course will not consider ethics b. the social psychology course will have a greater emphasis on statistics c. the methods course will emphasize how research occurs, while the social psychology course will focus on the research outcomes themselves d. the social psychology course will emphasize process, while the research methods course will emphasize content 2. Which of the following is true about belief perseverance? a. it is the basis for Peirce’s way of knowing called the “a priori” method b. it is a tendency for events to stand out in our minds because we keep seeing them on the news c. it refers to the fact that most of our strong beliefs are formed in childhood, and last throughout adulthood d. it refers to an unwillingness have one’s opinions changed, even by solid scientific evidence 3. To illustrate the weakness of _____________ as a way of knowing, Peirce pointed out that philosophers have been debating different sides of the mind-body question for hundreds of years. a. confirmation bias b. the a priori method c. the method of authority d. empiricism 4. Ed believes he is in telepathic communication with Sally because it seems like every time he thinks of her, she calls him on the phone. He ignores all the times he is thinking of her and she doesn’t call. That is, he is being affected by a. a confirmation bias b. the availability heuristic c. statistical determinism d. belief perseverance 5. One of the main reasons why behaviorism became popular in the United States was that a. it relied on introspection as a means of understanding why we do things b. its way of defining what was being studied met the scientific criterion of objectivity c. it emphasized research, while introspective psychologists were not interested in research d. it took complex concepts and reduced them to simplistic ideas that were easily understood 6. Of the following questions, only one is an empirical question. Which one? a. Can people be truly evil? b. Are people basically good, but corrupted by society? c. Will males or females be more likely to give blood? d. How does the mind exert its influence of the physical body? 7. How do psychological scientists use the concept of determinism? a. they believe that human behavior can be predicted with more than chance probability b. they believe that it means free choice is impossible c. they believe that our behaviors have been predetermined from our births d. they don’t use it – they reject it 8. What does it mean to say that advocates of a pseudoscience “sidestep disproof?” a. they divorce themselves completely from legitimate science, calling scientists “those of little faith” b. apparent falsification can be explained away by proposing additional mechanisms to account for the problem c. they only mention supporting evidence; nonsupporting evidence is forgotten d. they use definitions of terms that are so precise that when apparent disproof occurs, they just say the result must refer to some other phenomenon 9. After research shows that a form of behavior therapy can reduce phobic responses, therapists begin using the technique in their practices. Which of the goals of research in psychology is being reflected here? a. explanation b. prediction c. description d. application 10. When explaining behavior, psychologists are generally willing to say that factor X is causing phenomenon Y to occur when several criteria have been met. Which of the following is not one of those criteria? a. other explanations for Y can be ruled out b. X comes before Y c. in terms of some theory, X “makes” sense as an explanation for Y d. Y always occurs when X is present 11.  What does it mean to say that scientific thinking includes the characteristic of objectivity?  a. it means that scientists do not let human biases affect their work b. it refers only to measurements that are made by some mechanical instrument, thereby eliminating influence c. it refers to observations that can be verified by two or more observers d. it refers to psychologists’ near obsession with the idea of answering questions by referring to data 12.  Ryan has a strong belief that people on welfare are content to receive “free money” and are  not really interested in working. He is especially likely to notice, pay special attention to, and  recall news stories about welfare fraud, thereby illustrating a. a confirmation bias b. his reliance on the authority of experts in forming his opinion c. the availability heuristic d. an effort justification on his part 13.  According to the text, there are four goals of scientific psychology. Which of the following  activity falls under the category of “application?” a. accurately categorizing several varieties of schizophrenia b. establishing laws so that estimates can be made about what people will do in certain circumstances c. placing a higher value on research that takes place in the laboratory d. using the results of eyewitness memory research to train police to interview witnesses more efficiently 14. All of the following are associated with pseudoscience except a. any possible outcome can be “explained” by the theory b. relatively simple phenomena are given extremely complex explanations c. a deliberate attempt is made to associate the pseudoscience with some normal scientific work d. there is a heavy reliance on anecdotal evidence 15.  According to Kuhn, what is the consequence of a researcher’s reluctance to give up on a  theory? a. the researcher will be quickly recognized as a pseudoscientific fraud b. the theory won’t be abandoned by the scientific community until it has been fully tested c. other researchers will become suspicious and the theory will be abandoned before it has been adequately tested d. the researcher’s perseverance will pay off and others will be convinced Answers 1.  a. ethics will be a part of both courses b. the opposite is true c. CORRECT ANSWER – this reflects the process/content distinction d. the opposite is true 2. a. the “a priori” method concerns the use of logic and persuasive argument b. this is the availability heuristic c. overstates the importance of childhood d. CORRECT ANSWER 3. a. has problems as a way of knowing, but not this one b. CORRECT ANSWER – a priori method being Peirce’s label for relying on logical argument c. problematic because authorities can be wrong d. not used by Peirce 4. a. CORRECT ANSWER b. tendency to think that events that stand out in memory occur more often than they really do c. belief that events can be known with greater than chance accuracy d. belief held strongly, even in the face of contradictory evidence 5. a. behaviorists rejected introspection b. CORRECT ANSWER – behaviors can be measured objectively (i.e., two observers can agree that a particular behavior occurred c. introspective psychologists were very interested in research d. this is an attribute of pseudoscience; introspective psychologists were legitimate scientists 6. a. not easily answerable with data b. not easily answerable with data c. CORRECT ANSWER d. not easily answerable with data 7. a. CORRECT ANSWER b. unless events are to some degree predictable, useful choices cannot be made c. this is a form of “predestination” – psychologist reject this d. may be true of some humanistic psychologists, but not true of the majority of psychologists 8. a. they actually try to associate themselves with real science b. CORRECT ANSWER – for instance, when confronted with a murderer with a small area of destructiveness, phrenologists would show how the person could be “explained” by some other combination of faculties c. true enough about pseudoscience, but not the “sidesteps disproof” problem d. their definitions of terms are very imprecise 9. a. explanation would concern why the therapy worked b. prediction would refer to the lawful relationship between the therapy and its outcome c. description would provide a clear narrative account of the therapy d. CORRECT ANSWER – this would be a useful application, based on scientific research 10. a. an important criterion b. also an important criterion c. this one too d. CORRECT ANSWER – it is more accurate to say that Y occurs when X is present “with a greater than chance probability” 11. a. scientists try to avoid bias, but all scientists are human and some degree of bias is inevitable b. measures not using instruments (e.g., observations of behavior) can also achieve objectivity c. CORRECT ANSWER – this is the standard definition d. psychologists might be obsessed with data, but the trait does not define objectivity 12. a. CORRECT ANSWER – he will attend to and recall information that seems to confirm the bias b. news stories aren’t necessary perceived as coming from expert authority c. this would occur if there were several highly publicized stories that would stick in memory d. this is when we expend great effort, then have to convince ourselves that the effort was worth it 13. a. this is the goal of description b. this involves the goal of prediction c. not related to the goals d. CORRECT ANSWER—this would be a useful application of psychological knowledge 14. a. true—illustrates the property of sidestepping disproof b. CORRECT ANSWER—the opposite is true c. this is true d. this is true 15. a. were this to be the case, just about all scientists would be considered frauds b. CORRECT ANSWER—although the scientists must be careful not to confuse perseverance with obsession c. without the researcher’s passion, the theory might be given up too soon d. this could happen, but the wording (“will happen”) implies “all the time” and this is not so Note: the above study guide questions were taken directly from our textbook’s website: action=chapter&bcsId=7688&itemId=1118360028&chapterId=84575  No I did not pay for this material, anyone can access it.  It is meant to be another resource for us! Let’s utilize it!


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