Chapter 2 - Research Methods
Chapter 2 - Research Methods PSYC 2130
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rebecca Stewart on Wednesday January 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 2130 at University of North Carolina - Charlotte taught by Kathleen Burke in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 62 views. For similar materials see Intro to Social Psychology in Psychlogy at University of North Carolina - Charlotte.
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Date Created: 01/20/16
January 13, 2016 & January 20, 2016 Class Notes Chapter 2 – Research Methods Why do research? • Research support is the only way to be confident in a claim • Common Sense is often contradictory or wrong Ways of Knowing • Intuition • Logic/reasoning • Appeals to authority • Faith • Personal experience • The Scientific Method How do we conduct research? • Five steps of the scientific method: Hypothesize Operationalize Manipulate/Measure Evaluate Revise/Replicate *Know sequence 1. Hypothesize - Coming up with a testable prediction about the conditions under which an event will occur • Key features: o Must contain at least two concepts and some statement of the relationship b/w them o Must be able to be operationalized, tested, and falsifiable Theories VS. Hypotheses • Theories – organized set of principles offered to explain phenomena o Cannot be directly tested • Hypotheses are more specific • Hypotheses can be testes in order to provide support for a theory • Many hypotheses can be derived from one theory • Theory Example: advertising will make people like products more • Hypothesis Example: o A funny commercial will make people go to the theater o A long advertisement in a newspaper will make people test drive our cars 2. Operationalize • Independent variables – what the experimenter manipulates (“cause”) • Dependent variables – what the experimenter measures (“effect” caused by IV) 1. Conceptual variable – broad concepts being studied • Example: intoxication or aggression (intent to hurt someone) January 13, 2016 & January 20, 2016 Class Notes 2. Operational – specific definition of a concept. Allows us to manipulate and measure the concept (always after conceptual variable) • Example: blood-alcohol concentration (intoxication) • Example: hot sauce or noise blasts (aggression) Operationalizing hypothesis • Hypothesis: people prefer chocolate ice cream to vanilla ice cream • Operational Hypothesis: if you give 50 students Beyer’s chocolate ice cream and Breyer’s vanilla ice cream, they will tend to rate the Breyer’s chocolate ice cream more positively on a 10-point scale (1-dislike and 10- like) Scientific Method Examples: • Conceptual Variable: Intelligence (measure of knowledge, mental capacity) o Operational definitions: testing, problem solving skills, GPA, puzzles, academic success • Conceptual Variable: Fear (physical/biological response to a stimulus) o Operational definitions: heart rate, lucid dreaming 3. Measure • Design a study • Measure variables of interest • Manipulate variables if it is an experimental design only • Study designs: o Observational o Correlational o Experimental Observational Designs • Primarily descriptive o Observations of the nature of some phenomenon o Researcher observes people and records their behavior • Naturalistic observation o Useful to observe people in natural settings o Good for variables we cannot manipulate • Pros and Cons: o Pros: easy to do, can be in a lab or field setting, real world behaviors o Cons: no cause-effect, not all behavior is easily observable, time consuming, is what we observe accurate? Correlational Designs • Correlation – how two variables are related to each other • Allows researchers to know how much one variable can be predicted from the other • Survey/questionnaire methods • Historical data • Are the variables strongly or weakly related? January 13, 2016 & January 20, 2016 Class Notes • What does the relationship look like? • Correlation coefficient r • Size and direction of relationship: o R = -1 to 1 o -1 = strong negative relationship o 0 = no relationship o +1 = strong positive relationship • Example: population is correlated to the amount of bars/churches Correlational Method • Third variable problem – its never clear whether two variables are related to each other because one caused the other, or whether they are only related because they are both associated with a third variable o Three interpretations for correlation: § Variable A causes Variable B § Variable B causes Variable A § Variable C causes Variable B and A • Correlation doesn’t mean causation Experimental research – manipulate one variable to see the effect on another variable • NEEDS to be in an experiments • Does X cause Y? • How? o Assign participants to conditions o Control everything but the variable of interest (Y) o Measure the impact that X has on Y Random Selection vs. Random Assignment Experimental Method • Advantages: o Only way to establish causality • Disadvantages o We cant do everything o Some things cant be randomly assigned • Experiments are the gold standard in social psychology January 13, 2016 & January 20, 2016 Class Notes Research Methods Method Focus Question Answered Observation Description What is the nature of X and Y Correlation Prediction Knowing X, can we predict Y? Experiment Causation Does changing X change Y? 4. Evaluation – examination of data to determine whether or not predictions were supported • What happened in the study? • Was the study designed properly? Four types of validity: • Internal Validity o Did the changes in X cause changes in Y? o Requires the use of random assignment? o Did a different variable cause the effect or was it in the IV? IV • External Validity o Is the result we found in our study able to be applied in real life o Do results generalize to other situations? o Requires use of random selection? • Statistical Conclusion Validity o Is the effect to chance? o Conveys the strength of the effect? o P < .05 o Independent variable • Construct Validity o Do the results depend on the methods used? o Do the methods accurately reflect the concepts? o Example: Does hot sauce indicate aggression? Mundane realism – extent to which an experiment is similar to real-life situations Psychological realism – extent to which the psychological processes triggered in an experiment are similar to psychological processes that occur in everyday life (feeling) 5a. Revise • If you didn’t get the results you hypothesized, figure out why • Confounding variable(s) • Samples were not equivalent across conditions • DV measurements not optimal • Your hypothesis was incorrect January 13, 2016 & January 20, 2016 Class Notes 5b. Replicate • Results support hypothesis • Replicate study o Do it again o Exact replication or conceptional replication o Different population or environment o Research Ethics • Some things we cant do ethically in experiments • Milgram’s experiment on obedience to authority • Ximbardo’s prison experiment • Institutional Review Boards (IRB) o Review panel that considers all potential research and decides whether it meets ethical guidelines o • Preventing ethical abuse: o Informed consent: all participants are informed of a basic description and their rights prior to beginning the study o Participant rights: § The right to withdraw at any time (w/o loss of compensation) § The right to refuse to answer any question § The right to anonymity or confidentially • Ethical considerations o Deception- misleading participants about the true purpose of a study or the events that will transpire o Milgram study o Still allowed under certain circumstances § When it is not feasible to use alternative that don’t involve deception § When the potential findings justify it use because of the scientific, education, or applied value o Debriefing – explaining to participants at the end of the study about the true purpose and what transpired Questions: Scientific method Differences b/w correlation and experimental design 3 types of research designs IV, DV
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