Chapter 2: Research Methods
Chapter 2: Research Methods PSYC 1000
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by madisoncasey3 on Monday October 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 1000 at University of Colorado Denver taught by Megan Littrell-Baez in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Psychology I in Psychology (PSYC) at University of Colorado Denver.
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Date Created: 10/03/16
Psych 9/1/16 Lecture Notes Chapter 2 Research Methods: Safeguards Against Bias Two Modes of Thinking: System 1: Intuitive Thinking Quick, reflexive, almost automatic Relies on heuristics; mental shortcuts, background knowledge, prior experiences Can sometimes lead to error, bias Reduces cognitive energy required to solve problems, but we oversimplify reality System 2: Analytical Thinking Slow & effortful Involves extra steps of thinking Heuristics and Biases: How Can We Be Fooled? Cognitive Bias: Systematic errors in thinking Hindsight bias “I knew it all along!” “This was so obvious” Overconfidence The Scientific Method: A logical systematic approach to investigate a testable question Allows us to test specific hypotheses derived from broader theories Helps protect against biases Encourages System 2: Analytical Thinking Step 1: Generate a research question Step 2: Identify a theory to explain your question Step 3: Develop a testable hypothesis, also falsifiable Step 4: Design a research study; using research methods Step 5: Collect your data Step 6: Evaluate & interpret the data collected Step 7: REPEAT! Replicability Step 8: Share your data with the public! Scientific Method Toolbox A toolbox of skills designed to counteract our tendency to fool ourselves Descriptive Research: A systematic, objective observation of people Its goal is to provide a clear, accurate picture of people's behaviors, thoughts, and attributes Strategies for gathering this information; naturalistic observation, case study, self report/survey Naturalistic Observation Observing 'natural behavior' Watching & taking notes NOT trying to change anything or intervene Strengths; flexibility, deeper understanding of something in a quick fashion, can be modified over time, potentially unobtrusive Limitations; expensiveness, time consuming, encounter multiple barriers, biased, subjective Case Study Examining one individual or a small group in depth Ex) Cases of brain damage have suggested the function of different parts of the brain; different personality (Phineas Gage accident circa 1848) Strengths; inexpensive, not time consuming, easy corrections, unobtrusive, can obtain specific data over time (not time conscious) Limitations; labor intensive, coding may be subjective, reflects social class bias Self Report & Surveys A method of gathering information about many people's thoughts/behaviors through self report rather than observation Keys to getting useful information Be careful of the wording of the questions Only question randomly sampled people Surveys offer many advantages; inexpensive, easy to administer, have a fast turnaround rate, usually gets more honesty than most because identities are kept confidential Limitations; people lie/answer how they think they should, a lot of mail/phone surveys get ignored, biased survey sponsorships, and sometimes very expensive Possible Result of Many Descriptive Studies Discovering a correlation In a case study: Fewer hours of sleep makes more aggressive episodes In a naturalistic observation: Children wearing 'warmer' clothes were more likely to fall asleep than children wearing 'lighter' clothes In a survey: The greater number of friends someone has on FB, makes their study hours lessen Correlational Designs Research design that examines the extent to which two variables are associated Variables: Anything that can vary Negative Correlation As the value or one variable changes, the other goes in the opposite direction Ex) Increasing cigarettes consumed results in decrease in exercise (More/Less) Positive Correlation As the value of one variable changes the other variable is going in the same direction Ex) Greater income is because of a lot of education Ex) Lower income is because of lower levels of education What Conclusions Can We Draw from Correlations??? There might be a variable youre not considering How Do We Find Out About Causation? Experimentation Treatment vs. Control groups Treatment (Experimental) Group: Recieves a variable manipulated by the experimenter, to show the effects Control Group: The same in every way except the one variable we are changing Benefit: Allows us to establish a causal relationship between variables Experimental Variables Independent Variable: The variable being changed Dependent Variable: Measured by the experimenter Confounding Variables: Other variables that might have an (unintended) effect on the dependent variable Placebo Effect Placebo Effect: Experimental effects that are caused by expectations about the intervention Placebo: An inactive substance/fake treatment in place of the experimental treatment; given to the control group Ideal Design Conditions: Blind Design: Participants do not know what theyre getting Doubleblind Design: Neither participants nor research staff knows which participants are in the experimental/control groups; prevents bias from researcher Random Selection: The Key to Generalizability Goal of research is to make conclusions that can be generalized to a larger population Random selection ensures every person in a population has an equal chance of being chosen to participate Representative Sample: Randomly selected sample of subjects from a larger population of subjects Random selection is how you get a pool of participants that represent the population you're aiming to learn about VS. Random assignment of participants to conditions of an experiment, is how you control all of the variables except the one you're manipulating; assigning to experimental/control group FIRST you sample, THEN you assign Evaluating Measures Reliability: The consistency of a measure Ex) When you step on the scale 3 times in a row, is your weight the same? Validity: The extent to which you are measuring what is intended Ex) Does the survey actually asses job satisfaction? Ethical Issues in Research Design Ethical Issues in Research Tuskegee Study (19321972) Shameful part of psychology's history Lacked clear ethical guidelines for research with human and animal subjects in U.S 399 African American men in Tuskegee, Alabama who were diagnosed with syphilis Control Group: Denied treatment They were unaware of their participation in the study Many died or had children with syphilis American Psychological Association developed ethical guidelines for research with humans & animals Universities have an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to evaluate research protocols before studies begin Ethical Guidelines for Human Research APA Ethical Guidelines for Human Research Protection from harm and discomfort Informed consent Deception and debriefing; let them know as much as possible about the study, break it down to them as much as possible and include context for how past reactions went, could be an information sheet Ethical Issues in Animal Research Researchers must weigh carefully both of the following Potential scientific gains of their inquiries The costs in death and suffering they produce; how valuable are the outcomes? Statistics: The Language of Psychological Research Statistics The application of mathematics to describe and analyze data Descriptive Statistics: Numerical information that describes data Central Tendency; the average of people's response; looking for what most people tend to do Variability; how different individuals are from each other; looking for differences in groups Inferential Statistics: Mathematical methods used to determing the generalizability of findings Descriptive Statistics: Central Tendency Mean; average Median; middle score Mode; most frequent score Distribution Curves Normal distribution; bell shaped Negatively skewed distribution; slanting to the right Positively skewed distribution; slanting to the left Descriptive Statistics: Variability Measure of how loosely or tightly bunched scores are Range; difference between highest and lowest score Standard deviation; how far each data point is from the mean Inferential Statistics: Testing Hypotheses Mathematical methods that allow us to determine whether we can generalize findings from our sample to the full population Statistical significance; result is believable Practical significance; Result has real world importance Becoming a Peer Reviewer Peer reviewers look for characteristics of good experimental design, including: Random assignment and manipulation of an independent variable Inclusion of an appropriate control condition to rule out placebo effects Careful attention to the possibility of alternate explanations of observed effects Evaluating a Claim: “A recent article published in Science reports that the drug ABC has amazing healing powers for people with chronic health problems. 80% of patients surveyed reported improvements in their overall health, discomfort levels, and mood after receiving this type of treatment. The research was funded by XYZ pharmaceutical company as part of a larger project to identify effective drug treatments.” What claims are being made? The drug ABC heals chronic health problems What factors suggest that you should believe this claim? Numerical findings of 80% of people surveyed reported improvements in overall health, discomfort levels, and mood Published in fancy “Science” What factors would lead you to criticize the claim? Funded by a pharmaceutical company that wants drugs to succeed and be effective.. has confirmation bias. “Amazing healing powers” overexaggeration What are considered and not considered “chronic health” problems?
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