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Psychology 3980 lecture notes, week 2

by: Britney Beckett

Psychology 3980 lecture notes, week 2 Psych 3980

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Britney Beckett
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These notes cover week 2 of lecture as well as chapter 2 reading notes from the textbook.
Research Methods in Psychology
Trina Cyterski
Class Notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Britney Beckett on Sunday August 28, 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 49 views.


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Date Created: 08/28/16
Chapter 2 lecture and reading notes: Steps in research process: 1. Choosing a research question 2. Conducting a literature review 3. Make a formal hypothesis 4. Designing study 5. Conducting the study 6. Analyzing data 7. Reporting the results Choosing a research question: Help us gain new knowledge in the field o Where questions come from?  Research’s interests  Testing theory/explanation For basic or applied research Question can be descriptive, predictive, causal Example of descriptive: What is the prevalence of eating disorders among college aged girls? Example of predictive: Is age related to eating disorder? Example of causal: Do perfectionism causes eating disorders?  Answerable with the scientific method o Ways of knowing things:  Intuition  Can be biased o Illusory correlations-assuming correlation because “shocking” events are more easily remembered Example: People think that adoption increases likelihood of pregnancy among couples that are having difficulty conceiving. There is not a correlation but people remember times when a couple adopted due to fertility issues and then conceived a child. They remember these instances because it is unexpected/shocking. People do not often remember all the times couples adopted and then did not conceive a child because that is what is expected to happen. o Confirmation bias-we search our memory for events/experiences that confirm previous beliefs  Intuition does not involve a comparison group in which variable is not present, so you do not really know what variable is causing the outcome.  Deduction –rationalizing  Authority-listening to authority figure  Authority figures with scientific degree can be good sources of information. i.e. psychologists, doctors, etc  Claims by authority should be support by research.  Observation- scientific or casual  Observation is what sets psychology apart from pseudo-science or non-science disciplines  Importance of Empirical research: o The present bias  We are most likely to notice the times when both the Treatment Treatment present absent Expected * People pay outcome most attention to these instances Unexpected outcome treatment and the outcome are present. Present matrix: o Availability heuristic/Pop up principle  If you are asked a question you don’t know the answer to you will search your brain and whatever examples “pop-up” will most heavily influence your answer.  Memories that you have strong emotional ties to will also heavily effect your answer because they have a higher availability (easier to remember) in the brain.  Basically, what comes to mind easily can bias our thinking. Conducting a literature Review: o Search and review of studies that we have already been conducted in an area of research o Sources:  Journals articles  Journals are published in volumes by year (volume 1, 2016)  Books on topic  Conferences  Edited books- collection of chapters from various books on a specific topic  Primary source of information: scientist completed research and wrote the source  Empirical journal articles: report, for the first time, the results of an empirical research study o Where to find sources?  PsycINFO and other databases vs. Google  PsycINFO o Contains peer-reviewed sources. o Subscription site but UGA pays for it for students o Not a website. Go to UGA library website articles/databases”p”psycINFO  Social Science citation index (SSCI) o Provides bibliography for articles in which source was cited so you can find other articles on the same topic  Psychological bulletin o A journal o Review articles: researcher studied a topic through multiple sources and wrote a summary of the topic. o Not a primary source o Meta-analysis: statistical analysis that shows weight of evidence (effect size).  Google scholar o Better than regular Google search o Not recommend because search results will be too broad o Structure/ Areas of a journal  Abstract  Introduction  Background  Hypothesis  What has been done on the topic before  Method  Participants  Materials/Apparatus  Design  Procedure *Participants and procedure must be present under methods according to APA format  Results  Discussion  Reference Writing a formalized hypothesis: A theory is a general explanation Hypothesis is a testable statement Correlation/prediction study: o If ___________is related to ___________, then ______________. o Contains two variables- predictor variable and outcome variable Casual: o If ______________is caused by ______________, then ________________. o Contains two variables – independent variable and dependent variable Example: o If acting aggressively serves a cathartic function and causes one to act less aggressively in the future, then people who act aggressively at one point will be less aggressive at a future date than those who had not previously acted aggressively. **Comparison group must be talked about in hypothesis Reading notes:  Alternative explanations for an outcome are known as confounds  Confederate: actor playing a specific role for the experimenter.  2 types of bias: cognitive and motivational o Cognitive:  Accepting a conclusion because it “makes sense”  Availability heuristic  Present bias  Bias blind spot: belief that we are unlikely to fall prey to cognitive biases. o Motivational  Confirmation bias- we look for evidence to support our beliefs because we don’t want to change them.  Asking bias question to get desired answer  Confirmatory hypothesis testing- testing hypothesis in such a way that the data will be skewed to support the hypothesis.


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