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Research Design & Analysis: Lecture 14

by: Kimberly Notetaker

Research Design & Analysis: Lecture 14 PSY 3392

Marketplace > University of Texas at Dallas > Psychlogy > PSY 3392 > Research Design Analysis Lecture 14
Kimberly Notetaker

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These notes cover the material discussed in lecture (Small Sample Research) for the week of 4/11.
Research Design and Analysis
Noah Sasson
Class Notes
Research Design and Analysis
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kimberly Notetaker on Wednesday April 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 3392 at University of Texas at Dallas taught by Noah Sasson in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Research Design and Analysis in Psychlogy at University of Texas at Dallas.


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Date Created: 04/13/16
SMALL SAMPLE RESEARCH: Case Studies and Experiments  Applied Research o The examination o psychological principles and treatments in real world settings » Case studies » Single subject experiments » Quasi-experimental designs (not quite true experiments) » Clinical trials » Program evaluation  The Case Study o Intensive description and analysis of a single case  Does not use experimental techniques  May include manipulation  But does NOT include control  Based on clinical impressions  Usually qualitative (narrative)  But can include empirical data o Exploratory method o Contribute to development of hypotheses and theories  Cannot test them directly  Can sometimes disprove them - Phineas Gage (most famous example of a case study) - Case studies of Rare Conditions: Example of S.M. o SM has selective amygdala damage. Other brain regions are not impaired.  Advantages: o Very rare events  Brain Injury  Feral children  Can inform broader theories o Trying out new techniques o Theory development  Support a theory – (but not prove one. Why not? Just a single instance)  “Counter instance” – all it takes is a single case to alter a theory! » Example of Genetic Determinism o Intensive detailed information – not usually available in a study of a group o Nomothetic (group) vs. Ideographic (individual) approach  Opposite but complementary  For example: Nomothetic – Change in Depression  Ideographic: Jane Doe (what you would find in a medical journal)  Disadvantages: o Can’t make causal inferences. Why not?  There is manipulation (i.e., the treatment) but there is not control (i.e., a comparison that eliminates confounds). A CASE STUDY IS NOT AN EXPERIMENT. o Bias – observer often intimately involved o Threats to external validity (would this translate to other people in other settings) – is it generalizable?  Sometimes yes  Studies of physical properties usually pretty generalizable  Sometimes no  Effectiveness of treatment may be person-specific  The Danger of the Testimonial o A testimonial is a case study o Anecdotes and testimonials are never proof!  Be a good skeptic; think like a scientist  They are a single data point… and that data point may not be representative of the larger group (any infomercial) o Why are Testimonials so powerful?  Often more persuasive than data  Why? Because data are impersonal… » “If I look at the mass, I will never act” – Mother Teresa » “A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic” – Joseph Stalin (attributed) o People often motivated by their emotional responses  Think of politicians… » “I met Jane Doe on the campaign trail. She’s a mother of two struggling to make ends meet.” - To summarize: When is a case study a good approach? o A rich description of an individual o New, rare, or unstudied phenomena or treatment o To provide counterevidence to a theory o Initial data before a bigger study o Complement the nomothetic approach - When not to use the case study: o To establish causal inferences o To try to make statements about groups o To try to test a hypothesis or prove a theory o To demonstrate the effectiveness of an intervention  Single Subject Experiments o Skinnerian analysis of behavior  “small N designs”  Many famous conditioning studies are small N designs (Little Albert, Pavlov, Skinner, etc.) o Unlike a case study, this is an experiment  Uses manipulation and CONTROL o Apply experimental designs to a single subject or small group of single subjects  Manipulate an IV within the subject  Examine changes in behavior (DV) o Usually used when testing interventions with an expected immediate effect o DV = Behavior change in the individual (think of dancing dog) o IV = Intervention, systematically manipulated o Must begin with stable baseline of DV to be able to detect change  ABAB Design  Reversal design  A = Baseline  B = Intervention  A = Withdraw intervention (return to baseline)  B = Intervention  To make a causal inference: » Behavior must change with 1 intervention » Behavior must revert to baseline when intervention is withdrawn » Behavior must change again when intervention is applied again  Intervention: Reward Dog with Treat for Getting Off the Furniture  Must have reversal to use ABAB » Reversal o Behavior changes with implementation of the IV, reverses back to original state with removal of IV » Reversal may not occur if… o Intervention generalizes o Other variables cause change in behavior (confounds) » Best when testing interventions with an expected immediate effect o But technically, it could be used to test any experimental hypothesis (e.g., superhero t-shirts and aggression)  Multiple Baseline Designs o Can be used in cases where reversal does not occur  Example: learning studies o Can be used when reversal would be unethical  Example: reducing self-injurious behaviors o Compare effect of intervention on multiple baselines  Three types: across individuals, behaviors or situations (have to stagger when you implement (and see a dramatic change) to eliminate confounds)


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