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PSY 2012- Chapter 2 Outline

by: Amanda Martinez

PSY 2012- Chapter 2 Outline PSY 2012

Marketplace > University of Florida > Psychlogy > PSY 2012 > PSY 2012 Chapter 2 Outline
Amanda Martinez
GPA 3.78

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These notes cover chapter 2 of Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding 3rd Edition
General Psychology
Class Notes
PSY 2012, General Psychology, chapter 2
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This 18 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amanda Martinez on Friday February 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 2012 at University of Florida taught by in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 82 views. For similar materials see General Psychology in Psychlogy at University of Florida.


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Date Created: 02/05/16
Chapter  2:  Research  Methods   The  Beauty  and  Necessity  of  Good  Research  Design   •   Research  design  matters   Why  We  Need  Research  Designs   •   Without  research  design,  even  intelligent  and  well-­‐trained  people  can  be  fooled   o   Naïve  realism  and  confirmation  bias   •   Prefrontal  Lobotomy-­‐  surgical  procedure  that  severs  fibers  connecting  the  frontal  lobes   of  the  brain  from  the  underlying  thalamus   o   The  practice  of  slicing  the  front  lobe  didn’t  cure  schizophrenia   How  We  Can  Be  Fooled:  Two  Modes  of  Thinking   •   EVERYONE  can  be  easily  fooled   •   We’re  easily  fooled  because  the  same  psychological  processes  that  serve  us  well  in  most   situations  also  predispose  us  to  errors  in  thinking   o   Most  mistaken  thinking  is  cut  from  the  same  cloth  as  useful  thinking   •   2  types  of  thinking   o   1-­‐  System  1  Thinking  (intuitive  thinking)     §   Our  first  impressions  are  surprisingly  accurate   §   Quick  and  reflexive   §   Output  consists  of  “gut  hunches”   §   Doesn’t  require  much  mental  effort   §   Brains  are  on  autopilot   §   Use  it  for  snap  decisions   •   When  we  meet  someone  new  and  form  a  first  impression   •   When  we  see  an  oncoming  car   §   Heuristic-­‐  mental  shortcut  or  rule  of  thumb  that  helps  us  streamline  our   thinking  and  make  sense  of  our  world   •   When  I’ve  heard  of  a  city  I’ll  assume  it’s  larger  in  population  than   a  city  I’ve  never  heard  of   •   Often  leads  us  to  make  mistakes   o   2-­‐  System  2  Thinking  (analytical  thinking)   §   Slow  and  reflective   §   Takes  mental  effort   §   When  we’re  trying  to  reason  through  a  problem   §   Figure  out  a  complicated  concept     §   Allows  us  to  override  intuitive  thinking  and  reject  our  gut  hunches  when   they  seem  wrong   §   Use  it  when  we  dislike  someone  and  change  our  minds  after  speaking  to   them   •   Research  designs:   o   Help  us  avoid  the  pitfalls  that  can  result  from  an  overreliance  on  intuitive   thinking  and  an  uncritical  use  of  heuristics   o   Systematic  techniques  developed  by  scientists  in  psychology  and  other  fields  to   harness  the  power  of  other  type  of  thinking   §   Analytical  thinking   o   Force  us  to  consider  alternative  explanations  for  findings  that  intuitive  thinking   overlooks   o   Protect  us  from  misguided  snap  judgments   The  Scientific  Method:  Toolbox  of  Skills   •   Hypothesis  are  confirmed-­‐  justified  in  having  more  confidence  in  a  theory   •   Hypothesis  is  disconfirmed-­‐  theory  is  revised  or  abandoned  altogether   Naturalistic  Observation:  Studying  Humans  “In  the  Wild”   •   Naturalistic  observation-­‐  watching  behavior  in  real-­‐world  settings  without  trying  to   manipulate  the  situation   •   We  watch  behavior  unfold  “naturally”  without  intervening     •   We  can  better  understand  the  range  of  behaviors  displayed  by  individuals  in  the  “real   world”   •   External  validity-­‐  extent  to  which  we  can  generalize  findings  to  real-­‐world  settings   o   Since  psychologists  apply  these  designs  to  organisms  as  they  go  about  their  daily   business,  their  findings  are  often  relevant  to  the  real  world   •   Disadvantages   o   Low  on  internal  validity-­‐  extent  to  which  we  can  draw  cause-­‐and-­‐effect   inferences  from  a  study   §   Laboratory  experiments  are  high  on  internal  validity  because  we  can   manipulate  key  variables  ourselves   o   People  can  know  they’re  being  observed   §   Can  affect  their  behavior   Case  Study  Designs:  Getting  to  Know  You   •   Case  study-­‐  research  design  that  examines  one  person  over  a  small  number  of  people  in   depth,  often  over  an  extended  time  period   o   Researcher  spending  10-­‐20  years  studying  someone  with  schizophrenia   o   Helpful  in  proving  existence  proofs-­‐  demonstration  that  a  given  psychological   phenomenon  can  occur   §   Recovered  memories  of  child  abuse   o   Provide  a  valuable  opportunity  to  study  rare  or  unusual  phenomena  that  are   difficult  to  recreate  in  a  lab   o   Offer  insights  that  researches  can  follow  up  on  and  test  in  systematic   investigations   §   Enormously  helpful  for  generating  hypothesis   o   If  we’re  not  careful  they  can  lead  to  misleading  conclusions   Self-­‐Report  Measures  and  Surveys:  Asking  People  about  Themselves  and  Others   •   Psychologists  frequently  use  self  report  measures  (questionnaires)  to  assess  a  variety  of   characteristics   o   Personality  trait   o   Mental  illnesses     o   Interests   •   Use  surveys  to  measure  people’s  opinions  and  attitudes   o   Tricky  to  interpret   o   Can  also  learn  a  lot  from  them  if  we  design  and  administer  them  well   •   Random  Selection:  The  Key  to  Generalizability   o   Administer  a  representative  sample  of  a  population  and  perform  the  survey  to   people  from  that  sample   o   Random  selection-­‐  procedure  that  ensures  every  person  in  a  population  has  an   equal  chance  of  being  chosen  to  participate   o   If  the  selection  isn’t  random  their  election  forecasts  are  inaccurate   o   Bigger  isn’t  always  better   •   Evaluating  Measures   o   Reliability-­‐  consistency  of  measurement   o   Test-­‐retest  reliability:  yielding  similar  scores  for  a  reliable  test   o   Interrater  reliability:  extent  to  which  different  people  who  conduct  an  interview   agree  on  the  characteristics  they’re  measuring   o   Validity-­‐  extent  to  which  a  measure  assesses  what  it  purports  to  measure   §   Truth  in  advertising   o   Reliability  and  validity  are  2  different  things   o   Reliability  is  necessary  for  validity   §   We  need  to  measure  something  consistently  before  we  can  measure  it   well   o   Reliability  doesn’t  guarantee  validity   §   A  reliable  test  can  be  completely  invalid   •   Advantages/Disadvantages  of  Self-­‐Report  Measures   o   Easy  to  administer   o   Typically  assume  that  respondents  possess  enough  insight  on  their  personality   characteristics  to  report  them  accurately   o   Assume  that  participants  are  honest  in  their  answers   o   Response  sets-­‐  tendency  of  research  participants  to  distort  their  responses  to   questionnaire  items   o   Malingering-­‐  the  tendency  to  make  ourselves  appear  psychologically  disturbed   with  the  aim  of  achieving  a  clear-­‐cut  personal  goal   •   Rating  Data:  How  Do  They  Rate?   o   Alternative  to  asking  people  about  themselves  is  asking  others  who  know  them   well  to  provide  ratings  on  them   o   Rating  data  can  circumvent  some  problems  from  self-­‐report  data   §   Observers  might  not  have  the  same  “blind  spots”  as  the  people  they’re   rating   o   Have  their  drawbacks   §   Halo  effect-­‐  tendency  of  ratings  of  one  positive  characteristic  to  “spill   over”  to  influence  the  ratings  of  other  positive  characteristics   •   Attractive  people  are  perceived  as  more  successful,  confident,   assertive  and  intelligent   Correlation  Designs   •   Correlation  design-­‐  research  design  that  examines  the  extent  to  which  two  variables  are   associated   •   If  two  things  are  correlated,  they  relate  to  each  other  statistically   •   Allow  us  to  generate  predictions  about  the  future   •   Identifying  Correlational  Designs   o   Often  use  terms  like  associated,  related,  linked  or  went  together   o   Travel  together  =  correlational   •   Correlations:  A  Beginner’s  Guide   o   Correlations  can  be  positive,  zero  or  negative   §   Positive-­‐  as  the  value  of  one  variable  changes,  the  other  goes  in  the  same   direction   •   If  one  goes  up,  the  other  goes  up   •   If  one  goes  down,  the  other  goes  down   §   Zero-­‐  the  variables  don’t  go  together  at  all   •   Knowing  someone  is  good  at  math  tells  us  nothing  about  their   singing  ability   §   Negative-­‐  as  the  value  of  one  variable  changes,  the  other  goes  in  the   opposite  direction   •   As  one  goes  up,  the  other  goes  down   o   Correlation  coefficients  range  in  value  from  -­‐1.0  to1.0   §   -­‐1.0  is  a  perfect  negative  correlation   §   +1.0  is  a  perfect  positive  correlation   §   >1.0  are  less-­‐than-­‐perfect  correlation  coefficients   §   To  find  how  strong  a  correlation  coefficient  is  we  need  to  find  its  absolute   value   •   The  Scatterplot   o   Scatterplot-­‐  grouping  of  points  on  a  two-­‐dimensional  graph  in  which  each  dot   represents  a  single  person’s  data   o   Each  point  on  a  scatterplot  depicts  a  person   o   Slope  of  graph  states  correlation  of  graph   •   Illusory  Correlation   o   Illusory  Correlation-­‐  perception  of  a  statistical  association  between  two  variables   where  none  exists   §   Statistical  mirage   o   Full  moon  causing  strange  occurrences  à  more  police  are  on  call  to  work  and   nurses  say  more  babies  are  born   o   Full  moon  isn’t  correlated  with  any  of  these  events   o   Joint  pain  and  rainy  weather   •   Illusory  Correlation  and  Superstition   o   Form  the  basis  of  many  superstitions   o   Keeping  a  rabbit’s  foot   o   Not  walking  under  ladders   •   Why  We  Fall  Prey  to  Illusory  Correlation   o   We’re  all  susceptible  to  illusory  correlation   o   Tend  to  focus  on  upper  left  hand  corner  of  fourfold  table   §   Fits  what  we  expect  to  see   §   Causes  confirmation  bias  to  kick  in   o   Our  minds  don’t  remember  nonevents-­‐  things  that  don’t  happen   o   Minimize  our  tendencies  toward  illusory  correlation   §   Give  the  other  3  cells  more  time  and  attention   •   Correlation  vs.  Causation:  Jumping  the  Gun   o   We  shouln’t  confuse  correlation  vs  causation  fallacy  with  illusory  correlation   §   Illusory-­‐  perceiving  a  correlation  where  none  exists   §   Correlation  vs  causation  fallacy-­‐  correlation  exists  but  we  mistakenly   interpret  it  as  implying  a  casual  association   Experimental  Designs   •   Known  as  experiments   •   When  performed  correctly  they  permit  cause  and  effect  inferences   •   Researchers  manipulate  variables  to  see  whether  these  manipulations  produce   differences  in  participant’s  behavior   •   The  differences  among  participants  are  measured  in  correlational  designs   •   In  experimental  designs,  they’re  created   •   Experiment-­‐  research  design  characterized  by  random  assignment  of  participants  to   conditions  and  manipulation  of  an  independent  variable   •   Experiments  consist  of  2  ingredients     o   Random  assignment  of  participants  to  conditions   §   Random  assignment-­‐  randomly  sorting  participants  into  2  groups   §   Tend  to  cancel  out  preexisting  differences  between  two  groups   •   Gender   •   Race   •   Personality  traits   §   One  of  these  two  groups  is  the  experimental  group-­‐  the  group  of   participants  that  receives  the  manipulation   §   The  other  is  the  control  group-­‐  the  group  of  participants  that  doesn’t   receive  the  manipulation   §   Shouldn’t  confuse  random  assignment  with  random  selection-­‐  procedure   that  allows  every  person  an  equal  chance  to  participate   §   Random  selection-­‐  how  we  initially  choose  our  participants   §   Random  assignment-­‐  how  we  assign  our  participants  after  we’ve  already   chosen  them   o   Manipulation  of  an  independent  variable   §   Independent  variable-­‐  variable  that  an  experimenter  manipulates   •   What  we’re  changing   §   Dependent  variable-­‐  variable  that  an  experimenter  measures  to  see   whether  the  manipulation  has  an  effect   •   What  we’re  measuring;  data   •   Dependent  on  the  level  of  the  independent  variable   §   Operational  definition-­‐  a  working  definition  of  what  a  researcher  is   measuring   •   Important  to  specify  how  we’re  measuring  our  variables  because   different  researchers  may  define  the  same  variables  in  different   ways  and  end  up  with  different  conclusions   •   Operational  definitions  aren’t  like  dictionary  definitions     •   In  order  to  draw  cause  and  effect  conclusions  (internal  validity),  the  independent   variable  must  be  the  only  difference  between  the  experimental  and  control  groups   •   Confounding  variable-­‐  any  variable  that  differs  between  the  experimental  and  control   groups  other  than  the  independent  variable   •   The  2  major  features  of  an  experiment  allow  us  to  infer  cause-­‐and-­‐effect  relations   •   How  to  decide  whether  to  infer  cause-­‐and-­‐effect  relations  from  a  study   o   Ask  yourself  if  a  study  is  an  experiment   o   If  it  isn’t  an  experiment,  don’t  draw  casual  conclusions  from  it,  no  matter  how   tempting  it  might  be   •   Placebo  effect-­‐  improvement  resulting  from  the  mere  expectation  of  improvement   o   Participants  may  improve  because  they  know  they’re  receiving  a  treatment   o   Can  instill  confidence  and  hope  or  exerted  a  calming  influence   o   Reminder  that  expectations  can  create  reality   o   Control  for  placebo  by  administering  a  sugar  pill   §   Patients  in  both  experimental  and  control  groups  don’t  know  whether   they’re  taking  the  actual  medication  or  placebo   §   Equated  in  their  expectations  of  improvement   o   Patients  must  remain  blind  to  the  condition  they’ve  been  assigned  (control  or   experimental)   o   Blind-­‐  unaware  of  whether  one  is  in  the  experimental  or  control  group   o   2  things  can  happen  if  the  blind  is  broken   §   patients  in  the  experimental  group  might  improve  more  than  patients  in   the  control  group  because  they  know  their  treatment  is  real   §   patients  in  the  control  group  might  become  resentful  that  they’re   receiving  a  placebo  and  try  to  “beat  out”  the  patients  in  the  experimental   group   o   Placebo  effects  are  just  as  real  as  those  of  actual  drugs  and  worthy  of   psychological  investigation     o   May  show  some  of  the  same  characteristics  as  real  drugs   §   Ex.  Having  a  more  powerful  effect  at  higher  doses   •   The  Nocebo  effect   o   Evil  twin  of  the  placebo  effect   o   Harm  resulting  from  the  mere  expectation  of  harm   §   Ex.  Voodoo   §   People  believed  that  others  were  causing  them  pain  by  sticking  needles   in  a  doll   •   Experimenter  expectancy  effect-­‐  phenomenon  in  which  researchers’  hypotheses  lead   them  to  unintentionally  bias  the  outcome  of  a  study   o   Rosenthal  effect   o   Researchers’  biases  affect  the  results  in  subtle  ways   o   Researchers  may  end  up  falling  prey  to  confirmation  bias   o   Psychological  investigators  try  to  conduct  their  experiments  double  blind-­‐   neither  researchers  nor  participants  are  aware  of  who’s  in  the  experimental  or   control  group   §   Guarding  themselves  against  confirmation  bias   §   Show  how  good  scientists  take  special  precautions  to  avoid  fooling   themselves  and  others   o   Experimenters  need  to  be  kept  blind  to  which  condition  is  which  so  they  don’t   unintentionally  influence  the  results   •   Demand  characteristics-­‐  cues  that  participants  pick  up  from  a  study  that  allows  them  to   generate  guesses  regarding  the  researcher’s  hypothesis   o   Guesses  may  be  correct  or  not   o   When  the  participants  think  they  know  how  the  experimenter  wants  them  to   act,  they  may  alter  their  behavior   o   Can  prevent  researchers  from  getting  unbiased  views  of  participants’  thoughts   and  behaviors   o   To  fight  it  researchers  may  disguise  the  purpose  of  the  study   §   Give  participants  a  cover  story   §   May  include  distractor  tasks  or  filler  items   §   Help  prevent  participants  from  altering  their  responses  in  ways  they  think   the  experimenters  are  looking  for   Ethical  Issues  in  Research  Design   •   Psychologists  believe  that  science  itself  is  value-­‐neutral   •   Because  science  is  a  search  for  truth,  it  is  neither  inherently  good  nor  bad   •   Doesn’t  imply  that  research  is  value-­‐neutral   o   Ethical  and  unethical  ways  of  searching  for  the  truth   •   We  may  not  all  agree  on  the  ways  of  searching  for  the  truth   Ethical  Guidelines  for  Human  Research   •   Every  major  American  research  college  and  university  has  at  least  1  Institutional  Review   Board  (IRB)  that  reviews  all  research  carefully   o   Faculty  members  drawn  from  various  departments  within  a  college  and  outside   members   •   Informed  consent-­‐  informing  research  participants  of  what  is  involved  in  a  study  before   asking  them  to  participate   o   Participants  can  ask  questions  and  learn  more  about  the  study   o   IRB’s  might  allow  researchers  to  forgo  certain  elements  of  informed  consent   when  it’s  deemed  essential   §   Some  research  entails  deception-­‐  deliberately  mislead  participants  about   the  study’s  design  or  purpose   §   Deception  is  justified  only  when   •   Researchers  couldn’t  have  performed  the  study  without   deception   •   The  scientific  knowledge  gained  from  the  study  outweighs  its  cost   o   Up  to  researchers  and  IRB  to  determine  if  scientific   benefits  justify  deception   •   IRBs  may  request  that  a  full  debriefing  be  performed  at  the  end  of  the  research  session   o   Debriefing-­‐  the  process  whereby  researchers  inform  participants  what  the  study   was  about   o   Use  debriefing  to  explain  their  hypotheses  in  nontechnical  language   o   Becomes  a  learning  experience  for  the  investigator  and  subject   Ethical  Issues  in  Animal  Research   •   Animal  research  generates  much  anger  and  discomfort   •   Invasive  research-­‐  investigators  cause  harm  to  animals   •   7-­‐8%  of  published  psychological  research  relies  on  animals,  mostly  rodents   •   Goal  is  to  generate  ideas  about  how  the  brain  relates  to  behavior  in  animals  and  how   these  findings  generalize  to  humans  without  harming  people   •   Animal  rights  activists  have  raised  concerns  regarding  the  ethical  treatment  of  animals     o   Have  also  underscored  the  need  for  adequate  housing  and  feeding  conditions   •   Others  have  gone  to  extremes   o   Ransacking  labs  and  liberating  animals   •   Individuals  on  both  sides  of  the  argument  agree  that  liberating  the  animals  is  bad   o   Animals  die  shortly  after  being  released   •   Some  commentators  maintain  that  the  deaths  of  20  million  lab  animals/year  aren’t   worth  the  costs   •   Many  critics  say  the  knowledge  gained  on  aggression,  fear,  learning,  memory,  etc.  is   doubtful  external  validity  to  humans  and  is  virtually  useless   •   Some  animal  research  has  led  to  direct  benefits  to  humans   •   Without  animal  research,  we’d  know  little  about  the  physiology  of  the  brain   •   No  good  alternatives  to  using  animals   o   Without  animals  we’d  be  unable  to  test  the  safety  and  effectiveness  of  many   medications   Statistics:  The  Language  of  Psychological  Research   •   Statistics-­‐  application  of  math  to  describing  and  analyzing  data   •   2  kinds  of  stats   o   Descriptive  stats-­‐  numerical  characterizations  that  describe  data   §   Central  tendency-­‐  measure  of  the  “central”  scores  in  a  data  set,  or  where   the  group  tends  to  cluster   •   3  measures  of  central  tendency:   o   Mean-­‐  average   o   Median-­‐  middle  score   o   Mode-­‐  most  frequent  score  in  a  data  set   §   Variability-­‐  measure  of  how  loosely  or  tightly  bunched  scores  are     •   Range-­‐  difference  between  the  highest  and  lowest  scores   •   Standard  deviation-­‐  measure  of  variability  that  takes  into  account   how  far  each  data  point  is  from  the  mean   Inferential  Statistics-­‐  Testing  Hypotheses   •   Inferential  statistics-­‐  mathematical  methods  that  allow  us  to  determine  whether  we  can   generalize  findings  from  our  sample  to  the  full  population   o   Asking  whether  we  can  draw  inferences   o   Statistically  significant  results  are  believable   o   Practical  significance-­‐  real  world  importance   Evaluating  Psychological  Research   Becoming  a  Peer  Reviewer   •   Psychological  journals  send  submitted  articles  to  outside  reviewers  who  screen  articles   carefully  for  quality  control   •   Called  peer  review-­‐  identify  flaws  that  could  undermine  a  study’s  findings  and   conclusions   •   Tell  researchers  how  to  do  the  study  better  next  time   Most  Reporters  Aren’t  Scientists:  Evaluating  Psychology  in  the  Media   •   Few  newspapers  hire  reporters  with  any  formal  psychology  training  so  we  shouldn’t   assume  that  people  who  write  news  stories  about  psych  are  trained  to  distinguish   psychological  fact  from  fiction   •   News  stories  are  prone  to  faulty  conclusions   •   Important  tips  to  keep  in  mind  when  evaluating  the  accuracy  of  psychological  reports  in   the  media   o   We  should  consider  the  source   §   Place  more  confidence  in  reputable  sources   o   Be  on  the  lookout  for  excessive  sharpening  and  leveling   §   Sharpening-­‐  tendency  to  exaggerate  the  central  message   §   Leveling-­‐  tendency  to  minimize  the  less  central  details  of  study   §   Result  in  a  good  story   o   Can  easily  be  misled  by  “balanced”  coverage  of  a  story   §   Crucial  difference  between  genuine  scientific  controversy  and  the  kind  of   balanced  coverage  the  news  reporters  create  by  ensuring  that   representatives  from  both  sides  receive  equal  air  time   §   Usually  tries  to  include  comments  from  “experts”  on  opposing  sides  to   make  the  story  appear  more  balanced   §   Creates  pseudosymmetry-­‐  the  appearance  of  scientific  controversy   where  none  exists    


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