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Research Psychology, Exam 1 Notes

by: Logan Mehalic

Research Psychology, Exam 1 Notes 1094

Logan Mehalic
Virginia Tech
GPA 3.5

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About this Document

These notes cover all the material that will be on exam 1.
Principles Psychology Research
Robert J. Harvey
Class Notes
research, Psychology, curiosity, Creativity, commitment
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Logan Mehalic on Wednesday September 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 1094 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University taught by Robert J. Harvey in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Principles Psychology Research in Psychology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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Date Created: 09/07/16
Curiosity, Creativity, and Commitment Chapter 1 -Psychologists like to think of themselves as scientist -Science is NOT technology or its accomplishments or histories or ways we have done research -Science IS about how we go about asking questions, answering questions, and collecting evidence to get answers to the questions that we want answered -Kinds of questions vary all over the place, virtually anything -Got to tolerate uncertainty and ambiguity -Don’t prove things, we gather more and more data to gain more and more confidence -Ways to acquire knowledge -Tenacity “it has always been that way” -This is the way things have always been done, or the traditional approach. Many orgs function this way. (Not a good way in the context of science) -Intuition “it feels true” -How do you feel about what the correct answer should be, relies heavily on feelings (Not a good way in the context of science, different people have different views) -Authority “the boss says it is true” -Involves appeal to authority, what do they think is correct? Businesses rely heavily on this (Not a good way in the context of science, different people have different views) -Rationalism “it makes sense logically” -The logical part, the theories, how to make sense of reality -Empiricism “I observed it to be true” -One that’s focused on data, using data to answer questions -Science is a combination of rationalism and empiricism, but you can’t just have one on its own and effectively have science. Theories without data are useless; data without a theory is also useless. -You do see traces of some of the others at times under the guise of “science” -Modern Science -Science has been evolving over time -Modern science is a vast enterprise, heavily supported by governments -Tremendous growth in the last century -Remarkably new discoveries virtually every day from scientific labs -New discoveries lead to new technology, which often leads to yes more new discoveries However, it’s not nirvana: -Fraud in conduct, reporting of results -Lack of women, minorities on faculty -Grant-dollars valued much more highly than contributions of “unfunded research” (ex. Tech top 30 goal) -Do whatever it took to get VT into the top 30 research institutes in the next decade -This was measured by how much money was brought in “sponsored research” -The science of psychology is the systematic, objective study of human behavior -Unfortunately, many pseudoscientific ideas have masqueraded as scientific psychology -Pseudoscientific ideas have often created great harm even though the motives of the proponents may have been good -Only solid theories can withstand the rigors of scientific scrutiny -Problem: one person’s pseudo-science is another’s good science; there is a lot of disagreement -The MBTI: Pseudoscience -Myers-Briggs type indicator -Personality test based loosely on Carl Jung’s theory that received a lot of research interest -Some people feel its pseudoscience, however the bottom line is if you collect empirical data its just as good as any other “mainstream: personality assessment tools Research is a Process of Inquiry Chapter 2 -Assumptions: accepted without proof -Assumptions of science -True, physical universe exists -Universe is primarily orderly -The principles that define the functioning of the universe can be discovered -All ideas are tentative, potentially changed by new information -Form the basis of all scientific thinking -We never definitively prove anything; they are tentative and subject to change -Facts: those events that can be observed -Most “facts” of psychology are behaviors -Constructs: inferred from observations -Constructs are NOT real they are made up, hypothetical, inferences we use in our theories to try to explain the facts that we can directly observe -Constructed to explain the observations -Examples: memory, emotion, personality -Used “as if” they really existed -Reification of a construct: believing it is a fact -They exist because a theory says they exist -Inductive thinking: from the specific instance to the general theory -Deductive thinking: from the general theory to predict specific instance -Science develops theories through inductive logic and then tests theories by generating predictions through deductive logic and verifying empirically those predictions -Sharp difference exist between researches in terms of how they view a role of theory: -An end to unto itself -A tool to lead to greater understanding, explain known universe of facts -What’s a good theory? -Testable: must make predictions, ideally novel ones -Falsifiable: Karl popper – cannot prove something is true, but you can prove it’s false (inconsistent with data) -Repeatable: others get similar results, data are not faked -Stable: Theory doesn’t keep constantly changing as new facts are identified -Parsimony: Occam’s Razor: if 2 hypotheses explain the facts, choose the most simple -Data-based: explains existing facts, supported by convergence of independent evidence -A good theory makes predictions that can be tested -Psychological research methods -A complex set of approaches to answering questions about behavior -A two-dimensional model of psychological research -Phases or research: the successive, overlapping steps of a research project -Levels of constraint: the degree of specificity, control, and precision of the research -The more constraint the better -Phases for the research -Idea-generating phase -Problem-definition phase -Procedures-design phase -Observation phase -Data-analysis phase -Interpretation phase -Communication phase -The ordering of these steps is important -Levels of constraint -Naturalistic observation -Case-study method -Correlational research -Differential research -Experimental research The Starting Point: Asking Questions Chapter 3 -Whole point of the scientific process is asking questions and answering them -Questions can be basically anything -Things that come up to the individual researcher -Difficult to find a research topic that no one has ever looked at before, usually this is the second source of questions based on another study -Studies usually answer a few questions and pose even more questions -Research always starts with questions -Fueled by the curiosity of the scientist -Sources of questions: -Personal interests and observations -Theories and research of others -Most research is stimulated by other research -Theories and research build on each other -Seeking solutions to practical problems -Termed applied research -There isn’t a single research question asked, there is a series as them -The general research question is too vague to be directly answered; it needs to be narrowed down to more specific questions -The initial vague phrase question is the general research question or problem statement -Initial question may be vague -You cannot answer a vague question -Refine the question so that specific variables are defined as well as their expected relationship -Further refined into a “statement of the problem” and then one or more “research hypotheses” (covered in detail in chapter 8) -Variables defined by their use in research -Independent variable (causal) -The variable that is manipulated by the research in experimental research -Dependent variable (outcome/result/consequence) -Measured by the researcher, which is expected to change as a result of the independent variable manipulation -Constants -Variables that are not allowed to vary -Why? Some things should not change after manipulations (i.e., ones not caused by IV) -Validity and control -Validity: how well a study, procedure, or measure does what it is supposed to do -Validity is enhanced when the researcher controls variables that could affect the dependent measure -Such variables are called extraneous variables -The course is devoted to the procedures require to control extraneous variables -Research ethics -Ethical principles apply to all activity, including research -Ethical guidelines -For human research -Focused on protecting the rights of participants -Stimulated by the atrocities committed by some Nazi scientists in the name of research -For animal research -Focused on proper care and minimizing pain -Key concept is the welfare of the participant/right of those participating -Human research ethics -Formalized guidelines that must be followed in any research with humans -All research proposals must be approved by an institutional review board (IRB) -First safeguard is “informed consent” -The greater the potential risk to participants, the more responsibility the researcher has to protect participants from harm -IRB must be present on location, charged with responsibility for making sure ethical research is conducted and that researchers perform within the ethical guidelines -Informed consent form -Statement of the purpose of the study -Risks/discomforts -Benefits to the subjects -Alternative procedures -Confidentiality -Potential complications if more than minimal risk -Contact information of whom to contact if injured -Statement that participation is voluntary


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