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Research Methods

by: Cydney Tinsley

Research Methods PSYC 1000

Cydney Tinsley
CU Denver
GPA 3.2

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About this Document

These notes cover the three different research methods psychologists use and their pros and cons.
Introduction to Psychology
Alex Northcutt
Class Notes
Psychology, research methods
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Cydney Tinsley on Thursday September 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 1000 at University of Colorado Denver taught by Alex Northcutt in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 71 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Psychology in Psychology (PSYC) at University of Colorado Denver.

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Date Created: 09/01/16
Cydney Tinsley Psychology Week 2, Day 4: Research Methods Research Methods 1. Correlation Research a. Correlation: The degree to which two variables are related. b. Positive Correlation: As one variable increases, the other variable increases. c. Negative Correlation: As one variable increases, the other variable decreases. d. Illusory Correlation: When there appears to be a correlation, but the two variables don’t actually influence each other. i. Example: In June, July, and August, the number of ice cream sales goes up, as does the number of murders. In actuality, these are both most likely caused due to the increase in weather. When the weather is hot, people like to eat cold things. Additionally, hot weather can make people more aggressive and angry. ii. Example: Pirate shortages cause Global Warming. Obviously, the fact that pirates are becoming fewer has nothing to do with the Earth getting hotter. e. Pros of Correlation Research: i. Helps you to predict behaviors. ii. It’s a good stepping-stone for research. f. Cons of Correlation Research: i. It can lead you astray. ii. You cannot infer causality. 2. Descriptive Research a. Naturalistic Observation: A scientist, or team of scientists, who observe organisms in their natural environment. b. Case Study: When a scientist, or team of scientists, ‘zoom in’ and study only one individual. c. Validity: Does this measure what it’s supposed to measure? i. External Validity: How true to real life circumstances is this study designed? ii. Internal Validity: Ability to control variables. 1. Naturalistic Observation is high in External Validity and low in Internal Validity. 2. Case Studies are high in Internal Validity and low in External Validity. d. Generalizability: To what degree does this apply to the population? e. Pros of Descriptive Research: i. Able to study unusual circumstances or phenomenon. ii. Able to study scenarios you can’t typically study in a laboratory. f. Cons of Descriptive Research: i. Anecdotal. ii. Subjective to bias. iii. Cannot infer causality. 3. Experimental Design a. Must have: i. Independent Variable: A thing that you can change. Cydney Tinsley Psychology Week 2, Day 4: Research Methods ii. Dependent Variable: Thing that you measure. 1. Example: In a study of the effects of sleep on the scores of exams, hours of sleep would be the independent variable and the test scores would be the dependent variable. iii. Control Group: A group that you can use in comparison to your independent variable. iv. Random Assignment (whenever possible): A group chosen by random. By doing this, you should be able to cancel out any pre- existing variables that may influence your study. Additionally, it helps psychologist to understand the Placebo Effect (when someone gets an effect solely because it is the effect they expected to get.). b. Experiementor Bias: When the person performing the study is expecting a certain outcome and that expectation influences their interpretation of the results. c. Double Blinded: When both the experimentor and the subject(s) are blind to the treatment conditions. This is preferred in experiments because it helps to eliminate the Placebo Effect and Experimenter Bias. d. Pros of Experimental Design: i. The only research method of which you CAN infer causality. ii. High internal validity. e. Cons of Experimental Design: i. Difficult because of ethics. (Can’t test the effects of cocaine on the brain by assigning one group to do cocaine for three years, for example). ii. Low external validity.


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