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PSY201H - Chapter 2 Conducting Research in Psychology

by: Brandon Harvey

PSY201H - Chapter 2 Conducting Research in Psychology PSY 201H

Marketplace > Marshall University > Psychology > PSY 201H > PSY201H Chapter 2 Conducting Research in Psychology
Brandon Harvey
GPA 4.0

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Topics of general science and its relation to psychology. Chapters 1-4 are on the first exam.
General Psychology Honors
Dr. Fugett
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Brandon Harvey on Sunday October 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 201H at Marshall University taught by Dr. Fugett in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see General Psychology Honors in Psychology at Marshall University.

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Date Created: 10/16/16
Chapter 2: Conducting Research in Psychology Common Sense and Logic  Common sense: Intuitive ability to understand world o Informal, casual, superficial, haphazard o Often wrong or even self-contradictory in psychology o What sounds logical or sensible is often the opposite of what is actual or true  Science seeks to overcome these limitations through rigorous methods.  Logic tells us only how the world should work, not how it actually works.  Science combines logic with research and experimentation  Aristotle “heavier objects fall to ground faster”, Galileo proved this wrong Limits of observation  Senses can be easily fooled  One person does not always see what another person sees  What you can see at a glance different than what you see with tools  Should not generalize from a limited set of observations o Visiting another country and believing all people there are rude after two interactions What is Science?  Scientific thinking: the cognitive skills required to generate, test, and revise theories  Three distinct flavors o Social  Economics  Anthropology  Psychology  Sociology o Physical  Chemistry  Geology  Physics  Astronomy o Biological  Biology  Botany  Genetics  Zoology  Attitudes inherent to science o Questions authority (ask for evidence)  Don’t believe everything you think/read/hear o Open skepticism  Electrical stimulator deep in brain to “turn off” depression? o Intellectual honesty (unbiased, peer reviewed)  For science to be accepted, it must be duplicable.  1998 autism/vaccine link deemed fraudulent  Activity of science: research; how and why? Scientific Method  The procedures by which scientists conduct research  O.P.T.I.C. o Observe o Predict  Researchers develop expectations about observed phenomenon often stemming from reading and reviewing current and past scientific literature  Express expectations as a theory  Theory: set of related assumptions from which testable predictions can be made. Explanation for past facts; expectations of future facts o Test  Hypothesis: specific, informed, testable prediction of outcome under particular conditions  Test hypothesis via measurement  Caffeine and sex drive in female rats  A good hypothesis predicts: A particular form of behavior, within a specific group, under particular conditions o Interpret  Are results significant? Mere coincidence? Theory/hypothesis need of revision? Further ramifications? o Communicate  Publish in peer-reviewed journals  Advancement of science hinges on replication o Replication: repetition of a study to confirm or disconfirm the results o If it cannot be replicated, it wasn’t real o Science is cumulative – current knowledge builds on past knowledge What Science is Not: Pseudoscience  Pseudoscience: presented as scientific but lacks qualities of science o No real advances in knowledge o Disregards established facts that contradict claims o Does not challenge its own assumptions o Offers vague or incomplete explanations o Uses unsound logic  Astrology using the positions of the sun, moon, and planets to explain an individual’s personality traits and to predict future Research Design  Plans for how a study is to be conducted o Be wary of variables: any characteristic(s) that changes  Population: entire group about whom you have a research question  Sample: portion of population actually observed Descriptive Studies  Creative ideas for studies start with specific experiences or events  Descriptive designs: study designs in which the researcher defines a problem and variable of interest by makes no prediction and does not control of manipulate anything. o What is variable x?  Usually occur during the exploratory phase of research  Do not involve testing hypotheses  Three most common kinds are: o Case study  Psychologist, often therapist, observes one person over a long period of time  Psychobiography o Naturalistic observation  Researcher observes and records behavior in the real world  As unobtrusive as possible so not to influence behavior  Comparative psychology  Efe people of Zaire – primary vs. communal caregivers produce similar outcome  Real behavior, not “lab behavior”  Conditions cannot be controlled  Cause and effect relationships between variable cannot be demonstrated o Interview and Survey  Two obvious pitfalls:  Inclusion of people who are not representative of the group at large  Biased responses  Representative sample: research sample that accurately reflects the population of people one is studying; opposite of “biased sample” Meta-Analysis  A quantitative method for combining the results of all the published and even unpublished results on one question and drawing a conclusion based on the entire set of studies on the topic.  Effect size: a measure of the strength of the relationship between two variable or the magnitude of an experimental effect  Meta-analysis tells us whether research has or has not led to consistent findings and the effect size Correlational studies  Correlation designs: measure two or more variables and their relationship o Is x related to y?  Useful when experimenter cannot manipulate or control variables  Questions in developmental, personality, and clinical psychology are examined with correlation techniques  Most suitable methods o Questionnaire o Natural observation o Random assignment o Controlled conditions  Best use for such a study o When variables cannot be manipulated o Predicting one thing from another o Inferring cause  Main limitation o Cannot investigate cause/effect o Cannot always be applied to real world (placebo effect in lab)  Psychologists use correlation coefficient to identify relationships/draw conclusions o Correlation coefficient: r, tell us whether two variable relate to each other and the direction of the relationship  Ranges from -1.00 < r < 1.00, r=0 no correlation  Strength of relationship: zero to one (|r|)  Direction of relationship: +/-  Positive: height and weight  Negative: alcohol consumption and motor skills  Correlations is necessary but not sufficient for causation Experimental studies  Experiment: research design that includes variables and random assignment; determine causation. Two crucial characteristics: o Experimental manipulation of independent variable, and measurement of dependent variable o Random group assignments: assign participants to different research conditions to guarantee that each person has the same chance of being in one group as another  Experimental group: those who do receive the treatment being investigated; hypothesized cause is manipulated o independent variable  Control group: those who do not receive the treatment; treated equally with no manipulation o Observe/measure any effect o Effect = difference between groups o dependent variable  Placebo: substance or treatment that appears identical to actual treatment but lacks active substance  Confounding variable: additional variable whose influence cannot be separated from the independent variable being examined  Single-blind studies: participants do not know the experimental condition to which they have been assigned  Double-blind studies: neither the participants nor the researchers (those administering) know who has been assigned to which conditions  Experimenter expectancy effects: result that occurs when the behavior of the participants is influenced the experimenter’s knowledge of who is in the control group and who is in the experimental group  Self-fulfilling prophecy: statement that changes events to cause a belief or prediction to become true o “I’m going to fail this exam” and not studying Commonly Used Measure of Research  Measures: tools and techniques to assess thought and behavior  Three categories: o Self-reports  Participant’s written or oral accounts of thoughts, actions, feelings  Interviews and questionnaires  social desirability bias: tendency towards self-presentation that could lead to inaccurate self-reports  Lack of clear insight into one’s own behavior o Behavioral measures  Objective observation of actions in either natural or lab settings  Small scale studies on behavior  Time required to train coders and conduct coding  Participants may modify behavior o Physiological measures  Data collection of bodily responses under certain conditions  Studies to determine the magnitude of physiological change  Specialized training on expensive equipment, on how to collect measurements, and on data interpretation o Multiple measures  Several measures combined to acquire data on one aspect of behavior  Offset limitation of any single measurement  Complex behaviors to study  Expensive and time consuming Descriptive Statistics  Statistics: mathematical procedures for collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting numeric data  Descriptive statistics: tell researchers the rang, average, and variability of the scores  Standard deviation: statistical measure of how much scores in a sample vary around the mean Inferential Statistics  Analyses of data that allow us to test hypotheses and make an inference as to how likely a sample score is to occur in a population  5% probability level  T-test: a statistic that compares two means to see whether they could come from the same population o test hypothesis and rule out chance as an explanation Research Ethics with Humans  Informed consent  Respect for Persons  Beneficence o Minimize cost, maximize benefits to participants o Debriefing (to minimize negative effects of deception): inform participants of exact purposes, revealing any and all deceptive practices and explaining why they were necessary to conduct the study and ultimately what the results of the study were  Privacy and Confidentiality  Justice o equity in distribution of costs and benefits among participants  IRB – international review board; determines if research is safe Ethical Research with Animals  Very controversial o No such thing as informed consent for animals o Opponents argue that no research on animals is ethical unless it benefits the animals  Core principle: Human Treatment  Strict laws and standards govern treatment o Housing and care, comfort and health o Pain and suffering must be kept to absolute minimum  Review board specific to animals and is much stricter because we can say no but animals can’t. o Full board reviews (9 members must reach unanimous consensus)  Quasi-experimental design: makes use of naturally occurring groups rather than randomly assigning subjects to groups


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