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PSYC 2010: Chapter 2 (Week 3)

by: Ashleigh McClure

PSYC 2010: Chapter 2 (Week 3) PSYC 2010

Marketplace > Auburn University > Psychology > PSYC 2010 > PSYC 2010 Chapter 2 Week 3
Ashleigh McClure

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Chapter 2: Research Methods Notes taken during the following days: August 24- August 29 Concepts: -Scientific Method -Variables -Studies -Experiments -Correlations
Introduction to Psychology
Lucia Lazarowski
Class Notes
#Psychology, #psychology2010, #Lazarowski
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This 1 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ashleigh McClure on Thursday September 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 2010 at Auburn University taught by Lucia Lazarowski in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 26 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Psychology in Psychology at Auburn University.

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Date Created: 09/08/16
Chapter 2: ResearchMethods • Bad Science ○ Harmful § The Mozart effect One small study, failed to replicate § § MMR vaccine/ Autism scandal § Falsified data § Therapeutic touch § No scientific basis, placebo effect • Good Science ○ Well-supported evidence § Allows us to confirm claims ○ Understanding how to interpret evidence will make you a better consumer of information • Goals of Science ○ Describe What a phenomenon is § ○ Predict § When will it occur ○ Control § How it occurs (causes) ○ Explain § Why it happens • The Scientific Method ○ Theory § About some observed phenomenon § Example: "Therapeutic touch helps people by altering and detecting energy fields" § A good theory: § Has many observations § Makes clear predictions § Generates several hypotheses § A bad theory: § Is difficult to falsify § Limited findings Difficult to replicate § ○ Hypotheses § Testable prediction related to a theory § Example: "Therapeutic touch practitioners should be able to detect the presence of a person's hand" ○ Research § Test hypotheses Does the data support the theory? § § Share results § Replication ○ Form a hypothesis ○ Design a study Conduct the study ○ ○ Analyze the data ○ Report the results • Variables All research involves variables ○ § The behavior of interest § Driving, memory, speed, mood ○ Potential factors § Cell phone use, alcohol consumption, age, gender ○ Variables must be measurable § Blood pressure, pulse rate, body temperature, height, weight, age, ect. ○ How are psychological variables measured? § Intelligence, anxiety, love, aggression, guilt, frustration ○ Hypothesis § Example: Students enjoy class more if they have a friendly professor § How could we measure enjoyment? □ Facial expressions, count how often people smile § Example: Violence on TV causes aggression in children? § What is "violence?" ○ Operational Definition § Precisely defines a variable by how it is measured § Consistency and objectivity in measurement § Reduces ambiguity § Replication § How could you operationally define intelligence? § IQ tests § Mental processing § Reaction time § Sleep § Brain waves § Anxiety § Heart rate, sweaty palms • Methods For Testing Hypotheses ○ Descriptive Observing behavior in order to describe it § § Variables are measured but not manipulated □ Example: What is the prevalence of texting and driving? □ Do males or females text and drive more? □ Do drivers that are texting drive more recklessly? § Case Studies Intensive examination of one case § § Unusual circumstances □ Example: Phineas Gage (railroad rod through the head guy) □ Example: HM § Advantage gives detailed info on what can happen § Problems § Observational Studies § Observing subject's behavior in an environment □ Laboratory ® Advantages: ◊ Control ® Disadvantages: ◊ Artificial □ Naturalistic observation ® Watch and record organisms in their environment ◊ Example: Jane Goodall } Advantages: – Realistic – Generalizable Disadvantages: } – Reactivity w Subject's behavior changes when watched – Observer Bias w Experimenter observations are biased – Experimenter Expectancy Effect w Observer's expectations affects subjects } How can this be prevented? – "blind" studies □ Self-Report ® Surveys, interviews, questionnaires to assess attitudes/behaviors ◊ Advantages: } Easily get large amount of data ◊ Disadvantages: } People are unreliable, inconsistent, and biased ("socially desirable responding") – Example: Dr. Lazarowski asks if we plan on partying this wee- we would probably say no ○ Correlational § Describe the relationship between two variables § Is there a correlation between attendance and exam scores? § Predict relationships § If so, higher attendance should predict higher scores. § Sometimes the only way to study a topic § Example: records that need to be analyzed § Different ways that variables are related § Positive Correlation □ Variables move in the same direction ® As one increases, the other increases ® As one decreases, the other decreases § Negative Correlation □ Variables move in the opposite direction ® As one increases, the other decreases ® As one decreases, the other increases § No Relationship □ No pattern in the study ® Example: height and GPA § Third Variable Problem § A and B can be correlated, but one does not cause the other § Another variable C causes both § Correlation does not equal causation □ Example: The more a person weighs, the larger his/her vocabulary is ® The third variable is age § Issues with correlations § Sleep and stress are negatively correlated □ Does higher stress lead to trouble sleeping? □ Or does trouble sleeping lead to higher stress? § Directionality Problem Unsure about which variable affects the other § § Descriptive and Correlational do NOT identify cause § Manipulation is necessary § Why □ Control! ○ Experiment § Variables are manipulated to measure effects on behavior § All other variables are held constant § Only method to determine cause of behavior, because other potential factors are eliminated § **Test Question: scenario and asks if there is a causation, can only say yes if there is an experiment and it **oughs th § Dependent Variable § The variable that is measured § The behavior of interest □ Driving accuracy, memory, speed and mood § Independent Variable § What the researcher is manipulating □ Potential factors ® Cell phone use, alcohol consumption, age, gender § Experimental Group: IV § Texting § Control Group: no IV § No texting § DV is measured in both groups § If experimental group differs from control, we conclude that the IV caused the difference □ Why not? § Placebo Effect § Expectations or biases of participants can influence their behavior □ How to prevent? ® Participants should be blindto conditions ® In studies in which IV is a treatment/drug control group is given a placebo § Confound □ Other factors that may unintentionally vary between groups, causing differences ® Example: differences in cars, weather conditions, participant differences (age) § The IV should be the only difference between groups, and everything else should be constant § How can a researcher control for participant differences? □ Random Assignment ® Participants are randomly assigned to the experimental or control group ® Balances out other factors, increasing the likelihood that the groups are equivalent ◊ How can we ensure the results will generalize? } Random sampling – Sample chosen at random from the population


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