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Chapter Two: Where To Start

by: Erin Kaufman

Chapter Two: Where To Start PSY

Marketplace > Mississippi State University > 3314 > PSY > Chapter Two Where To Start
Erin Kaufman
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About this Document

These notes cover where to begin when starting a research project.
Experimental Psychology
Dr. Bradshaw
Class Notes




Popular in Experimental Psychology

Popular in 3314

This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Erin Kaufman on Saturday October 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY at Mississippi State University taught by Dr. Bradshaw in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 46 views. For similar materials see Experimental Psychology in 3314 at Mississippi State University.


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Date Created: 10/08/16
Chapter 2: Where to Start Where to start? -​Theory:​ Today, these are used for the most part in older sciences, such as biology and physics. OR -Observation:​ curiosity of the world around us. How practical is the problem? How relevant is it to the world right now? All science is human curiosity channeled towards the truth. Research Questions:​ Researchers use these to identify and describe the broad topic that they are investigating and then conduct research to answer these. -Hypothesis: a tentative idea or question that is waiting for evidence to support or refute it. Data must be gathered and evaluated in terms of whether the evidence is consistent or inconsistent with the hypothesis ● Prediction: a guess at the outcome of a hypothesis. Predicting a specific direction of the hypothesis. If the prediction is confirmed by the results of the study, it supports the hypothesis. A hypothesis is never proven. It is only supported. Theory:​ consists of a systematic body of ideas about a particular topic or phenomenon. These ideas form a coherent and logically consistent structure that serves two important functions. It can never be proven to be true. We can prove that it is wrong. -First:​ organize and explain a variety of specific facts or descriptions of behavior. They provide a framework -​Second:​ Theories generate new knowledge. They focus our thinking so we notice new aspects of behavior. They generate new hypotheses about behavior Theories are not just ideas that may or may not be true. Theories are statements based on evidence, generated by testable experiments.​ If you have a theory that can’t be tested, then it’s not a scientific theory. It needs to be consistent with evidence and generate hypotheses. -You need to have knowledge about the theory in order to generate hypotheses and test those. -Knowledge-based -Signs of a mature science: There are a lot of theories one can test on (such as biology or physics). People in research: -Participants: People who participate in research projects. Also known as subjects. -Respondents: People who take part in survey research. -Informants: People who help researchers understand the dynamics of particular cultural and organizational settings -Sometimes, more specific terms may be used in a report. Such as: employees, students, or residents. Source of ideas for research: -Common sense -Observation of the world around us -Theories -Past Research ● Academic Journals ● PsycINFO: much more specialized than Google Scholar, started by the American Psychology Association. ● Science Citation Index and Social Sciences Citation Index: forward searches (will search for other papers that cite one researcher you make look for) ● Google Scholar: free research source ● Literature Reviews: articles that summarize the research in a particular area -Practical problems: Problems that have immediate applications. Anatomy of a Research Article: -Abstract: a summary of the research report and typically runs no more than 120 words in length. -Introduction Section: the researcher outlines the problem that has been investigated. Past research and theories relevant are discussed. -Method Section: divided into: ● Participants ● Materials ● Procedure -Results: Presented findings. -Discussion: reviews research from other perspectives. Do the results support the hypothesis? The author gives all possible explanations for the result. Knowledge-based:​ This research focuses more on established, past research, or theories. Not nearly so much based on observation of the world around. Observation-based:​ One can observe something in the environment. You can generate a hypothesis and an experiment from observations. Or, if you don’t necessarily know much and can’t generate a hypothesis, you can go straight to an experiment. -No knowledge needed. -A frontier science. This is just getting started. Because Psychology is a fairly young science (and the most complicated science), it is ​ knowledge-based ​and observation-based. There are flaws in existing research. “I think they did the experiment wrong, so I’m going to fix it.”


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