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Psychology 3980 lecture notes, week 1

by: Britney Beckett

Psychology 3980 lecture notes, week 1 Psych 3980

Marketplace > University of Georgia > Psych 3980 > Psychology 3980 lecture notes week 1
Britney Beckett
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About this Document

These notes cover lecture notes from the first full week of class as well as notes from chapter 1 in the textbook.
Research Methods in Psychology
Trina Cyterski
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Britney Beckett on Sunday August 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psych 3980 at University of Georgia taught by Trina Cyterski in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 62 views.


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Date Created: 08/21/16
Chapter 1: Why take PSYC 3980?  3980 is a process course not a content course  Process vs. content course o Process: design and methods (how to) o Content: specific examples and topics  Experiment vs. study o Experiment: used to find causality through the manipulation of a variable to see if it has an effect on another variable. o Study: observing subject without manipulating any variables  Be a critical consumer o 3980 has been experimentally proven to increase scientific thinking skills  Important for graduate school Scientific method:  Psychological research relies on scientific method 1. Theory: statement explaining general principle about how variables relate to one another. Good theories are: a. Supported by data b. Falsifiable –able to be proven false through experiments/studies c. Parsimony-simpler explanation/conclusion is best **Theories are supported by data; theories are NOT proven 2. Research question: central question research is trying to answer 3. Research design: design of experiment/ study 4. Hypothesis: prediction about the outcome of an experiment/study if the theory is true. 5. Data: observations. (qualitative or quantitative) *If data supports the theory the theory is strengthened *If data DOES NOT support the theory then research design is revised or theory is revised. Canons (principles/rules) of Scientific Method: 1. Empiricism: knowledge about behavior can be gained by systematic observation. a. Surveys b. Self-corrective mechanisms of science c. Necessary for being able to falsifying theories d. Marker Variables: i. Used to measure variables that can not be measured directly such as thought processes an other internal, cognitive processes ii. Macleod, Mathews, Tata study 1. Participants sat in front of a computer on which words quickly flashed on the screen, some threatening others nonthreatening. Participants were instructed to press the space bar when a dot appeared on the screen. The dot may appear on the screen close to where the word was or on the other side of the screen. The study found that reaction time (pressing the space bar) among participants who were inclined to anxiety was shorter when dot appeared close to threatening word. Data suggests that people inclined to anxiety pay more attention to threatening things. ** Reaction time was used as a marker variable to study tendencies of people inclined to anxiety. 2. Determination a. Everything is caused by something b. The purpose of research is to find what variable(s) cause another variable. 3. Parsimony: simpler explanation is more likely to be correct a. More complex explanations contain many assumptions and variables. b. Only true is data supports simpler explanation 4. Testability: a. able to be tested and falsified/ researchable under scientific method. *Beware of Pseudo- science: Beliefs, processes, or practices that are believed to be or are portrayed as science. Peer Review Cycle:  Publishing process a. Study is completed by scientist then written and submitted to journal for publication b. Journal sends piece to other scientist (peers) who work in the same field c. Peers provide commentary and tell journal if they think the piece is ready for publication. Feedback can call for minor or major revisions. d. Author scientist can then make revisions and resubmit piece and begin the process over until piece is ready for publication  Scientific journals contain peer-reviewed articles so are therefore reliable sources Journal to Journalism cycle:  Process of scientific studies being misconstrued by the public. A researcher may conclude there is a correlation between 2 variables under specific conditions. As the information is passed from one information source to another (scientific journal  News organization  internet  media  general public) the explanation is simplified and misconstrued. o i.e. Mozart Effect: People believe that having unborn children listen Mozart will increase IQ. However, the original study was done on college students and did not test IQ. Students were given a spacial test. The study found that having students listen to Mozart had a minor effect on student’s ability to complete spacial tasks and the effects were not permanent. Basic research vs. applied research:  Basic: o Used to understand fundamental process of behavior o Main focus is gaining general knowledge on a subject  Applied: o Research done in hopes of solving everyday problems  Translational: o Bridge between basic and applied research o Uses basic research to develop and test applications in real world environments (health care, psychotherapy) Goals of Research in psychology: o Description  Observational research o Prediction  Correlational research/correlational studies o Explanation  Experimental research o Control  How can it be changed? Reading Notes: Notes from the textbook have been added in with lecture notes above, so this section is other information that I was not able to fit in with the lecture notes.  Research Producers vs. consumers o Producers: engage in research process through activities such as studying the brain anatomy, observational studies, and analyzing data. o Consumer: Read about research that has been done and apply it to everyday life through jobs such as guidance counselors, therapists, or teachers.  Evidence based treatment: treatments supported by research.


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