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Class notes

by: Taylor Winchester

Class notes PSY300

Taylor Winchester
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About this Document

Week one notes for PSY 300.
Research Methods in Psychology
Dr. Brent Steffens
Class Notes
Psychology, 300, research, methods




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Taylor Winchester on Wednesday September 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY300 at Grand Valley State University taught by Dr. Brent Steffens in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Research Methods in Psychology in Psychology at Grand Valley State University.


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Date Created: 09/07/16
PSY 300­16 Week One Notes Scientific Inquiry:  We need methods to answer questions about the world  Guessing and speculating is essential Scientific Method: Come up with logical questions and develop expectations about behavior Design a study to test these questions Collect data Interpret findings in context Add empiricism­learning through observation:  Psychology vs. Common Sense Where to start? Psych research is performed for different purposes o Describe the behavior o Identify causes and explain behavior o Predict behavior o Modify/control behavior Description:   Identify phenomenon, influential variables and their impact Critical first step of research:  We cannot expand upon something we haven’t examined yet Description example:  Cognitive Dissonance   Discomfort/stress with inconsistent beliefs Study that aims to describe phenomenon:  Let us know it’s actually there (common sense isn’t enough)   Gives us a way to measure it Look at the factors:  Impact on school performance  Impact on social performance Identify causes and explain behavior:  Learn what brings about phenomenon  o Certain stimuli, antecedent conditions  James­Lange Theory:     S → PER → AR → E S = Stimuli P = Perception AR = Arousal E = Emotion Not limited to one cause­ can be a chain of events/processes: (Ex: Deceiver’s distrust) Intervening events/processes critical but people often look for the first cause only Cannot always test identify and test condition in one experiment Prediction:  Anticipating when phenomenon will occur  Need to know conditions or stimuli that causes the phenomenon   (Ex: predicting who will face failure)    Fixed mindset: people who are born with the ability to do some things and not do others Failure → thinking you don’t possess ability → low perseverance     Growth mindset: may not have skill yet, but with time, focus, and practice, you will gain  skill Failure → thinking you just need to practice and focus → high perseverance  Change and control behaviors:  Produce desired outcome by manipulating antecedent conditions  Sometimes you will want to influence behaviors  People can read, but how can we make them read more effectively? o Self­explanation o Sometimes we will want to change behaviors completely Two outcomes of research:  Basic research (blue print of what a system is doing) o (Ex: At what age do children develop a theory of mind?  Applied research (research that aims to solve a problem) Step 1: Find a Question  This may seem difficult  Experts have journals of ideas and more questions   These questions come from different places o Sources: Common sense and ourselves Observations:  What do we notice in the world around us? Political problems: Issues that arise in the real world: o Employee morale, treating mental illnesses  o Does games such as “Lumosity” work to stimulate brain activity? Answer: NO! Theory:  Framework of ideas, facts, descriptions that are supported by data Hypothesis, predictions and writing up the results: Developing the study: o We have a question      Literature review: See what has been looked at in the area o Critical step­ avoid redundancy  o If replicated, replicate and add new condition or variable (extend) o Helps us develop a hypothesis (Ex: There are two groups. Group one has to read to understand (abbreviated to RtU).  Group two needs to identify the main points and the critical ideas and connect details  (abbreviated to MI)).      H1: Mindful reading → organized in memory      H2: Wrong focus/distraction → less stored in memory      Ho: The task provides no benefit The hypothesis is testable – do not tie the hypothesis to the design After reading, ask participants to question as much of the text as possible Which group do you think will do better?  H1 and H2 is where you are determining the theory P1: Recall: main idea task > reading to understand P2: Recall: MI < RtU Ho: =  Hypotheses are theories and predictions are reality  Choosing a design: Decision based on hypotheses o What study allows you to address the questions you have? Different options: **know for exam** observational/correlational **know for exam** experimental  Quasi and experimental Single case Writing up findings:  Several components to a journal articles  Title page  Abstract (120 words)  Introduction (5 articles, 2­3 pages)  Gaps in literature  Hypotheses and predictions  Methods (1­2 pages)  Results (1 page)  Discussion (2­3 pages)  References (APA format) Introduction 1:  Introduce research problem  First paragraph: o Generate interest o Non­technical language 1. Rhetorical questions 2. Everyday experience 3. Analogy, metaphor 4. Striking statistics/facts 5. Historical facts 6. Lack of previous research Introduction 2:   Review of related languages  Define acronyms and terms, general constructs Describe a specific study you’re reviewing: Set out aim, method, results and conclusions in sufficient detail to introduce critique    Critique: Present critique  Draw implications: Summarize preceding discussion Introduction 3:  Paragraphs are NOT: Summary 1, summary 2, summary 3  Instead… “Research on driving using cell phones has found….” (main sentence of  paragraph)  Could also have… “This does not show..”  **Need 5 articles for research paper Introduction 4:  Gap in literature – why your question hasn’t been examined yet  Hypothesis and predictions – 2 conditions and correlation   (Ex: in gaps in literature)      Problem: no research on topic      Solution: empirical research is required  Methods:  Main goal: describe the details of your study o Can vary based on study   Methods usually contain:  o Participants: Does it have people? Demographics? o Design: Are there any conditions? o Materials: What apparatuses and stimuli did you use? o Procedure: Step­by­step lesson of session


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