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Research Methods in Psychology - week 3 notes

by: Jessica Twehous

Research Methods in Psychology - week 3 notes PSYCH 3010-02

Marketplace > University of Missouri - Columbia > Psychlogy > PSYCH 3010-02 > Research Methods in Psychology week 3 notes
Jessica Twehous
GPA 3.8

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These notes are exactly from the week 3 lecture!
Research Methods in Psychology I
Lisa Bauer
Class Notes
Psychology, research, methods
25 ?




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jessica Twehous on Friday February 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYCH 3010-02 at University of Missouri - Columbia taught by Lisa Bauer in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Research Methods in Psychology I in Psychlogy at University of Missouri - Columbia.


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Date Created: 02/05/16
Chapter 2  Sources of Information: Why research is best and how to find it  ● Sources of Information  ○ Empirical  ○ Non­empirical  ● Finding and Reading Research  Empirical Research ....cont'd  ● Define a problem  ● Form a testable hypothesis  ● Identify and operationally define variables  ● Design the study  ○ Ensure that the hypothesis formed is the one being tested  ○ Control extraneous variables (randomizing, matching, counterbalancing)  ● Consider ethical issues/obtain IRB approval  ● Collect data  ● Conduct appropriate statistical analyses  ● Draw conclusion  ● Communicate findings    Paivio's Study:  ● Do people remember more concrete words or abstract words?  ○ IV : type of word: concrete or abstract  ○ DV: # or % correctly recalled  ○ Hypothesized that people will recall more concrete items than abstract  ○ Operational definition of concrete or abstract:  ■ concrete = something you could see, touch, or feel physically  ■ abstract = something you could NOT see, touch, or feel physically  ○ Presented a list of 10 concrete words and 10 abstract words  ○ Test: Recall the Words  ○ Scoring: Total concrete words correctly recalled & Total abstract words correclty  recalled  Paivio's (1969) Dual Code Hypothesis          Verbal ­ Tiger = Image of Tiger          Verbal ­ Fact = Image: ?    Empirical Research Example          Gallup (1970)  ­ how many times the chimpanzee touched the area on their face had that had been dyed          Non­Empirical Research: Personal Experience  ● "I need a hot drink in order to feel alert in the morning"  ● Dr. Benjamin Ruush (example in text) used bloodletting as a cure for illness  ○ If patient recovered from yellow fever ­ supported his method  ○ If patient died after bloodletting ­ patient was too sick to recover  ● Dr. Rush used bloodletting because it seemed to work based on personal experience  ● Problems with personal experience:  1. No Comparison Group  2. Experience is Confounded  1. No Comparison Group  ○ To testempiricall you would count survival and death rates for those who bled  as well as those who did not  2. Experience is Confounded  ○ Dr. Rush's patients who survived may have been trying other treatments (e.g.  drinking lots of fluids, eating special foods, spiritual rituals)  ○ To testempiricall you would change one factor at a time (holding confounding  variables constant)  ● "I have found that physically venting my anger such as punching a punching bag  reduces my anger"  ● Does this mean that people who are angry punch a pillow?      Research is Better Than Experience  ● Bushman (2002)  ○ 600 undergraduate participants wrote a political essay  ○ Steve (a confederate) read the essay and made several unflattering comments  and stated that the essay was the "worst essay I've ever read"  ○ Participants were randomly placed into 1 of 3 groups  ■ Sit quietly (2 mins)  ■ Punch a punching bag as a form of exercise (2 mins)  ■ Punch a punching bad while imagining Steve's face on it (2 mins)  ○ Quiz game  ■ Could punish opponent (Steve) by blasting a loud noise  ○ Researchers include a comparison group, control for confounds, and strive to  evaluate information without bias    Non­Empiricall Research: Personal Experience  ● "I know that talking on a phone doesn't interfere with driving because I do it all the time  and I've never had an accident"  ● Strayer & Drews (2006, 2007)  ○ 17% slower reaction to highway conditions  ● 100­Car Naturalistic Driving Study (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,  2006)  ○ Risk of accident is four times higher when using a cell phone  ■ Found: 4x more likely to be in an accident if on your cell phone while  driving  ■ More likely to miss red lights, & reaction time was slower  ● Empirical research results are based on statistical probability      Research vs. Your Intuition  ● Biased by Faulty Thinking  ○ The good story  ○ The availability heuristic  ○ The present/present bias  ● Biased by Motivation  ○ Cherry­picking  ○ Asking biased questions  ○ Biased about being biased (the biased blindspot)    Intuition is Biased by Faulty Thinking  ● Being swayed by a good story  1. Good story​  ­ "makes sense"  ● Being persuaded by what comes to mind easily             Availability Heuristi (aka pop­up principle) ­ tendency to rely on evidence that  easily comes to mind rather than use all possible evidence in evaluating some conclusion    Example  ● Which of the following causes more deaths in the United States, shark attacks or falling  plane parts? ­ people thought that it's sharks, but it's actually falling plane parts   ● Failing to think about what we cannot see             Present/present bias ­ the tendency to rely only on what is present (e.g., instances  in which both a treatment and a desired outcome are present) and to ignore what is absent  (e.g., the instances in which a treatment is absent or the desired outcome is absent) when  evaluating evidence for a conclusion      Intuition is Biased by Motivation  ● Thinking What We Want  ○ Cherry­picking the evidence​­ we seek and accept only the evidence that  supports what we already think  ○ Asking biased questions ­ we ask questions that are more likely to give the  desired answers  ○ Bias blindspot­ belief that we are unlikely to fall prey to cognitive biases  ■ We believe we are less biased than others  Confirmatory Hypothesis testing ­ therapist thinks her client has  an anxiety disorder. What kinds  of questions should she be asking that would both potentially confirm and potentially disconfirm  her hypothesis?    The Intuitive Thinker vs. Scientific Reasoner  ● Empirical Research  ○ Ask objective questions  ○ State hypthesis (must be testable and falsifiable)  ○ Collect potentially disconfirming evidence  ○ Revise theories    Non­Empirical Research  ● John Lee (example from book)  ○ Self­help author, states that rather than holding in anger, you should punch a  pillow or a punching bag  ○ Remember, this is inconsistent with what results from scientific studies would  suggest  ● Things to keep in mind:  ○ Be particularly skeptical of the media as a source of evidence  ○ Is the person asked an expert in that particular field?  ○ Be open to questioning the accuracy of authority figures  ○ You can be more confident in an answer if several experts provide the same  answer  ○ If authorities base their advice on research, it is more trustworthy than if they  base it on personal experience or intuition  ● How would you choose a therapist?  ○ Personal experience  ○ Intuition  ○ Authority  ○ Empirical Support  ● Just because a therapisit offers a treatment and thinks a technique works (personal  experience), does not mean that the therapy is effective  ● Evaluating Therapies  ○ Evidence­based treatment (aka empirically supported therapies)  ■ Supported by rigorous scientific testing  ○ How do you know if the therapy is supported by scientific research?    ● Consulting Scientific Sources  ○ Peer­reviewed journal articles  ■ Empirical journal article  ■ Review journal article  ■ Meta­analysis (combines the results of many studies and provides  an effect size  ○ Chapters in Edited Books  ○ Books  ■ scientific vs. trade    ● Finding Scientific Sources  ○ PyscINFO  ○ ERIC  ○ PubMed  ○ Google Scholar ?               


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