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chapter 4 notes

by: Gabriela Saint-Louis

chapter 4 notes Psych 2101

Marketplace > Psychlogy > Psych 2101 > chapter 4 notes
Gabriela Saint-Louis
GPA 3.04
Research Methods
Prof. Rutz

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Research Methods
Prof. Rutz
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Gabriela Saint-Louis on Sunday February 8, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Psych 2101 at a university taught by Prof. Rutz in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 528 views.


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Date Created: 02/08/15
Chapter 4 Fundamental Research Issues Learning Objectives define Variable and describe the operational de nition of a variable Describe the different relationships between variables Positive negative curvilinear and no relationship compare and contrast nonexperimental and experimental research methods distinguish between an independent variable and a dependent variable discuss the limitations of laboratory experiments and the advantage of using multiple methods of research distinguish between construct validity internal validity and external validity Validit refers to truth or accuracy three key types of validity 0 construct validity concerns whether our methods of studying variables are accurate 0 internal validity refers to the accuracy of conclusions about cause and effect 0 external validity concerns whether we can generalize the findings of a study to other populations and settings Variables any event situation behavior or individual characteristic that varies any variable must have two or more levels or values Operational Definitions of Variables operational definition of a variable is the set of a procedures used to measure or manipulate it a variable must have an operational definition to be studied empirically 0 ex the variable bowling skill could be operationalized as a person s average bowling score over the past 20 games or it courld be operationalized as the number of pins knocked down in a single role 0 concrete variable two important benefits in operationally defining a variable 0 the task of developing an operational definition of a variable forces scientists to discuss abstract concepts in concrete terms I process can result in the realization that the variable is too vague to study 0 Operational definitions also help researchers communicate their ideas with others once a variable is operationally defined one must answer these important questions 0 how good is the operational definition 0 how well does it match up with reality how well does my average bowling score really represent my skill Construct Valididtv 0 refers to the adequacy of the operational definition of variables I Does the operational definition of a variable actually re ect the true theoretical meaning of the variable I IF you wish to scientifically study the variable of extraversion you need some way to measure extraversion I ex if you are studying anger will telling male college students that females had rated them unattractive create feelings of anger Relationships between Variables Do the levels of the two variables vary systematically together 0 ex does playing violent video games result in greater aggressiveness some variables have true numeric values whereas the levels of other variables are simply different categories When both variables have values along a numeric scale many different shapes can describe their relationship 0 Positive linear relationship I increases in the values of one variable are accompanied by increases I the values of the second variable I values of the first variable are placed on the horizontal axis values of the second variable are placed on the vertical axis B 0 negative linear relationship I variables are negatively related I increases in the values of one variable are accompanied by decreases in the values of the other variable I ex as the size of the group increased the amount of noise made by each individual decreased 0 curvlienear relationship I increases in the values of one variable are accompanied by systematic increases and decreases in the values of the other variable I direction of the relationship changes at least once inverted U or a U shaped relationship I ex research on the relationship between age and happiness indicates that adults in their 40s are less happy than younger and older adults my Interest Romance in Your Novel 0 No relationship I no relationship between the two variables graph is a at line I unrelated variables vary independently of one another these are general patters Even if in general a positive linear relationship exists it does not necessarily meant that everyone who scores high on one variable will also score high on the second variable need to also know the size of the correlation between variables 0 correlation coefficient numerical index of the strength of relationship between variables Relationships and Reduction of Uncertainty relationship between variables reduce uncertainty Uncertainty randomness in events I referred to as random variability 0 ex 50 students are fb users and 50 are not variability in people s use of fb random variability 0 if we could explain the variability it would no longer be random 0 random variability can be reduced add gender reduced variability but there is still random variability Nonexperimental Versus Experimental Methods 2 general approaches used to determine whether variables are related 1 nonexperimental method relationships are studied by making observations or measures of the variables of interest 0 directly observing behavior asking people tod escribe their behavior etc 0 ex relationship between class attendance and course grades 0 ex researcher is interested in the relationship between exercise and anxiety would use nonexperimental method devise operational definitions to measure both the amount of exercise people engage in and their level of anxiety found exercise to be negatively related to anxiety more exercise equals less anxiety 0 correlational method examine whether the variables correlate or vary together 0 method not ideal when asking questions about cause and effect i 2 problems when making casual statement s when using the nonexperimental method 1 can be difficult to determine the direction of cause and effect 2 thirdvariable problem 0 Direction of Cause and Effect i with nonexperimental method difficult to determine which variable causes the other ii direction of cause and effect Is often not curcial because for some pairs of variables the causal pattern may operate in both directions 1 ex similarity causes people to like each other and liking causes people to become more similar 2 thirdvariable problem is a much more serious fault of the nonexperimental method 0 the thirdvariable problem i when using the nonexperimental method is used there is the danger that no direct causal relationship exists between the two variables ii using the exercise anxiety example there may be a relationship between the two variables because some other variable causes both exercise AND anxiety third variable problem iii third variable is any variable that is extraneous to the two variables being studied iv third variable is an alternative explanation for the observed relationship between the variables reduce the overall validity of the study V when we know that an uncontrolled third variable is operating we can all the third variable a confounding variable 2 experimental method involves direct manipulation and control of variables 0 researcher manipulates the first variable of interest and then observes the response 0 reduces ambiguity in the interpretation of results 0 one variable is manipulated independent and the other is then measured dependant Experimental control 0 all extraneous variables are kept constant 0 accomplished by treating participants in all groups in the experiment identically only difference is the manipulated variable Randomnization 0 used in the experimental method to eliminate in uence of other variables 0 Ensures that an extraneous variable is just as likely to affect one experimental group as it is to affect the other group 0 to eliminate in uence of individual characteristics researcher assigns participants to the two groups in a random fashion 0 any other variable that cannot be held constant is also controlled by randomization 0 Direct experimental control and randomization eliminate the in uence of any extraneous variables keeping variables constant across conditions 0 Allows for a relatively unambiguous interpretation of the results Internal Validity and the Experimental Method internal validity ability to draw conclusions about causal relationships from the results of a study strong internal validity requires an analysis of these three elements 0 must be temporal procedure causal variable should come first in the temporal order of events and be followed by the effect 0 there must be covariation between the two variables participants in an experimental condition show the effect whereas participants in a control condition do not show effect 0 eliminate plausible alternative explations for observed relationship Choosing a Method External validitv and the Artificialitv of Experiments external validity extent to which the results can be generalized to other populations and settings researcher interested in establishing that there is a causal relationship between variables is most interested in internal validity laboratory experimentation valuable way to study many problems but the high degree of control may create an artificial atmosphere that may limit the external validity of results field experiment independent variable is manipulated in a natural setting advantages of field experiment the independent variable is investigated in a natural context 0 disadvantage researcher loses the ability to directly control many aspects of the s1tuation Ethical and Practical Considerations sometimes the experimental method is not a feasible alternative because experimentation would be either unethical or impractical certain problems need to be studied and generally the only techniques possible are nonexperimental ex postfacto design after the fact term coined to describe research in Which groups are formed on the basis of some actual difference rather than through random assignment as in an experiment 0 nonexperimental due to there being no random assignment to the groups and manipulation of an independent variable participant variable also called subject variables and personal attributes characteristics of individuals nonexperimental must be measured description of behavior major goal of science is to provide an accurate description of events goal of much research is to describe behavior 0 ex piaget Who observed behavior of his own children as they matured Which resulted in an important theory of cognitive development 0 in this case primary goal was to describe behavior rather than to understand its causes successful predictions of future behavior no need to be concerned about issues of cause and effect these types of measures can lead to better decisions for many people researchers must conduct research to demonstrate that the measure does relate to the behavior in question Advantages of Multiple Methods while no study is a perfect test of a hypothesis however when multiple studies using multiple methods all lead to the same conclusion our confidence in the findings and our understanding of the phenomenon are greatly increased Review of three validities 0 construct validity refers to the adequacy of the operational definitions of variables 0 internal validity refers to our ability to accurately draw conclusions about causal relationships 0 External validity the extent to which results of a study can be generalized to other populations and settings


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