Zamary: Research Methods, Week 1, Day 1 (9-1)
Zamary: Research Methods, Week 1, Day 1 (9-1) PSYC-31574-004
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mason McLeod on Sunday September 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC-31574-004 at Kent State University taught by Amanda S. Zamary in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Research Methods in Psychology in Psychology at Kent State University.
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Date Created: 09/04/16
Research Methods in Psychology Notes (September 1 ) st Amanda Zamary (TR 12:30-1:45) Psychology is a Science! (Chapter 1) Questions and answers We all produce and consume both questions and answers. o Most everyone will consume questions and answers. Only a few of us will end up being the producers of questions and answers. Psychologists are scientists, so they need to follow basic principles, like empiricism. o Empiricism: being able to systematically observe things through independent research and verify its accuracy. o It’s the data from empirical observations that create theories about how the world works. Not all questions (like “do ghost exist?” or “is blue the best color ever?”) are empirically testable. Types of research: o Basic research: helpful for generating new knowledge about the world and about expanding what we know as a society. Example: what is memory? How does intelligence work? o Applied research: used to solve practical and specific problems. Example: how can we improve student learning? How can we effective treat anxiety disorders? Basic and applied research feed into each other and generate more questions. o For instance, memory research leads to questions about student learning, which leads to more questions about memory or intelligence. Theory-data cycle: definitions Theory: Statement/set of statements about how and why things are related. Hypothesis: Specific prediction about what facts will be present if a theory is accurate. Data: Set of observations drawn from empirical methods. Theory-data cycle in practice Theories must be investigated through… Research questions: how can this theory be tested and what are we looking for? To answer this question, we need… Research designs: the specific method and tools needed to answer the research question properly. When the research design is complete, it yields… Hypotheses that, when tested, produce… Data, which we use to either lend support to, or reject our initial theory. Example: Harry Harlow’s monkeys Theories: The cupboard theory (young mammals follow mother for the food she provides) vs. the contact-comfort theory (young mammals follow mother for the comfort she provides) Question: Will young mammals (in this case, monkeys) choose an uncomfortable food mom more often than a comfy, foodless mom? Vice-versa? Design: Young monkeys put into cages with two surrogate (fake) mothers: o One with a wire frame and food. o One with a furry body and no food. Hypothesis: Harlow predicted that there would be more time spent with the furry mother than the wire mother (in support of contact- comfort theory). Data: On average, the majority of the day (up to 18 hours) spent with the furry mother. o This confirmed the hypothesis and supported the theory of contact-comfort. Bad words of science: Theories are not proven or disproven, since they are not facts. They are supported or complicated/rejected based upon the weight of the evidence. o Weight of the evidence: conclusions that are drawn from other experiments on the same topic and how many of them are in support of or in disfavor of a particular hypothesis. Good theories are… Supported by the data (as long as it is derived empirically, i.e. from an experiment) Falsifiable: can create a hypothesis that can be tested and found to reject or complicate it. Parsimonious: is simpler rather than more complicated. Science writing and reporting Scientific journals: collections of interest-specific, peer-reviewed, original write-ups of experiments and the results. o Created by scientists, mostly for scientists in that field. o Peer review: Anonymous, rigorous editing and analyzing by people who are considered experts in the field in question. Science journalism: Popular press for the general public. o Includes Internet, newspaper, magazine television reporting. o Created mostly by non-scientists, for non-scientists (or scientists not in that field). Pros: Easy to understand and interpret, widely accepted and widely read. Cons: Easy to misinterpret and warp in the translation of original research to its simpler form.
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