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Lecture 2 - Research Methods

by: Leslie Ogu

Lecture 2 - Research Methods PSYC 2012

Marketplace > George Washington University > Psychlogy > PSYC 2012 > Lecture 2 Research Methods
Leslie Ogu
GPA 3.01

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About this Document

Notes on the different methods used by psychologists to understand how people act or are the way they are
Social Psychology
Stock, M
Class Notes
research methods, psychologists, social psychology
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Leslie Ogu on Thursday February 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 2012 at George Washington University taught by Stock, M in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 22 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychlogy at George Washington University.


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Date Created: 02/04/16
Leslie Ogu PSYC 2012  01/13/2016​ ​Research Methods    Correlational Research  ★ Identifying the relationship between variables  ○ Ex: What’s the relationship between smoking and lung cancer?  ★ Variables are measured as they naturally occur  ○ The researcher doesn’t interfere with them  ○ Ex: Survey Methods    Survey Methods  ★ Usually given to groups of people, rather than individuals  ○ Ex(s): seniors in high school, individuals who practice a certain religion  ★ Strength(s):  ○ Can collect information on many variables  ○ Can have numerous participants  ★ Weakness(es):  ○ Question effects  ○ The samples may not represent the population as whole  ○ Responses may not be realistic due to things like social desirability  (answering in ways that seem favorable to others)    Question Effects  ★ The way a question is asked or worded can influence a person’s response    Representative Samples  ★ Is your sample representative of the larger population?  ○ all the cases in a group, from which samples can be drawn for a study  ★ One solution ­ Random Sampling/Selection so everyone in a particular  population has an equal chance of being chosen for the sample  ★ Problem ­ difficulty  ○ Usually rely on convenience samples  ○ Ex: The College Sophomore Problem where most people a study is done  on are college sophomores    The Importance of Random Sampling  ★ Ensures the sample reflects the population of interest    Correlation Coefficient (​r)  ★  A statistical measure that shows the extent to which two factors vary together  and thus how well either factor predicts the other  ★ The sign (­ or +) indicates the direction of the relationship:  ○ Positive = both variables move in the ​SAME DIRECTION ​ (as x ↑, y ↓)  ■ r = .01 to 1  ○ Negative = both variables move in the ​OPPOSITE DIRECTION  (as x ↓, y  ↑)  ■ r = ­.01 to ­1  ○ r​ ranges from ­1.00 (perfect negative relationship) to +1.00 (perfect  positive relationship)    Correlation Methods  ★ Other explanations for correlation include some third variable that has some  outside influence or effect, and reverse direction    Experiments  ★ Random Assignment  ★ Manipulation of the Independent Variable  ○ The manipulated variable  ○ Has 2 levels minimum  ○ Its effects are the ones being studied  ★ Measure of the Outcome (Dependent Variable)  ○ The measurable variable  ○ Hypothesized to change when the IV is changed, whose outcome the  experimenter wants to study  ★ Control over the Research Environment  ★ Potential to Assess Causation    Experimental Research  ★ Used to determine cause and effect relationships  ★ Two key aspects of it are that the variables are manipulated by the experimenter,  and extraneous variables are controlled random assignment  ★ Establishing causality requires control over the environment  ○ Control for factors that affect the DV, that aren’t the DV  ○ Prevent other condition/factors from affecting the outcomes of the  experiment (e.g., the number of hours slept before an experiment)  ★ Everything ​ except the IV is the same for different conditions      Operationalization  ★ To be able to measure the variables, we have to have ​ operational definitions:  specific procedures for manipulating or measuring a conceptual variable  ○ E.g., Mood:  ■ Manipulating things like music  ■ Measuring things like mood rating scales  ○ How will the variables be measured in “real life” terms  ○ How you operationalize the variables will tell us if the study is valid and  reliable    Random Assignment  ★ Participants have equal chance of being in any experimental condition  ○ this will ensure that there are differences in participants’ personalities or  backgrounds are distributed evenly across conditions  ★ Why? ​ Confounding Variables  ○ Pre­existing variables that could possibly affect the results of the  experiment (Ex: intelligence, hunger, bias)  ○ Minimizes differences between the people assigned to the different groups    Experimenter Control  ★ “Blind” Studies  ○ Single­blind  ■ participant doesn’t know which group they are in  ○ Double­blind  ■ neither the participant nor experimenter knows which group the  person is in (until after the DV is measured)  ★ Experimenter Expectancy Effects  ○ effects that are produced when an experimenter’s expectations about the  results of an experiment affect his or her behavior toward a participant and  will thereby influence the participant’s responses    Quasi­Experiments  ★ Two or more groups are exposed to an IV and differences in a DV are examined  ★ No or partial random assignment (usually self­selection)  ★  Can’t make causal claims    Statistical Significance  ★ When we find that two or more groups differ from each other on our DV, we must  figure out whether or not the difference is meaningful, or to have occurred by  chance  ★ An effect is “significantly signific” is an effect that would occur by chance < 5%  of the time    Design  ★ Between­Subjects  ​Design  ○ each person participates in only one group/treatment  ○ results from each group are compared to each other to study the  differences and effects of the IV  ★ Within­Subjects  Design  ○ each person participates in more than one group/treatment    Strengths & Limitations of Experimental Method  ★ Strength(s):  ○ Researcher has control  ○ Can study causal relationships  ★ Weakness(es):  ○ Some variables can’t be manipulated  ○ It is unethical to manipulate some variables  ○ Controlled procedures may not be realistic    Evaluating Experimental Research: Validity  ★ Internal Validity: the extent to which we can draw conclusions about cause and  effect  ○ Good Design ­ Random Assignment  ○ Control for confounds  ★ External Validity: the extent to which findings generalize to other people, settings,  IVs, and DVs  ○ Representative Sample  ○ Replication  ○ Field Experiments    Random Sampling v. Random Assignment  ★ Random Sampling  ○ used when choosing people to be in the study  ○ purpose: to be able to generalize to the population  ○ importance: external validity  ★ Random Assignment  ○ used when assigning people to conditions  ○ purpose: to avoid confounds by averaging out extraneous variables  between conditions  ○ importance: interval validity    Some Guidelines for Evaluating Media Reports  ★ Making causal statements w/ correlational data  ★ Unrepresentative or small samples sizes  ★ Non­random assignment or selection  ★ Missing Comparison Groups  ★ Lack of study details  ★ Broad Implications  ★ Poor Questionnaire Design       


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