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Chapter 2

by: Sydney Mills
Sydney Mills
Intimate Relationships and Marriage
Ashton Chapman

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About this Document

Tools of Relationship Science
Intimate Relationships and Marriage
Ashton Chapman
Class Notes
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Popular in Intimate Relationships and Marriage

Popular in Human Development

This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sydney Mills on Thursday September 10, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to H_D_FS 1610 - 01 at University of Missouri - Columbia taught by Ashton Chapman in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see Intimate Relationships and Marriage in Human Development at University of Missouri - Columbia.


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Date Created: 09/10/15
HDFS 1610 Chapter 2 Tools of Relationship Science 09022015 Asking and answering questions 0 Relationship science is essentially a set of tools for answering these ques ons 0 Primary tool for evaluating competing claims to the truth scienti c method 0 Set of procedures for making predictions gathering data and comparing the validity of competing claims about the world Three kinds of questions Focuses on descriptions o What happens Focuses on predictions 0 When does it happen Focuses on explanation O 0 Why does it happen Predicting whether a relationship will stay happy is not the same thing as understanding why relationships deteriorate or remain satisfying Theories and hypotheses Identifying the possible answers to be evaluated requires a theory 0 0 Or general explanation of a phenomenon Elements of a theory are often referred to as variables because scientists tend to theorize about aspects of the world that vary across individuals or across time One measure of a good theory is that it is falsi able Suggests testable predictions that can be con rmed or discon rmed through systematic observation Consider theory that intimate relationships work out if two people are destined to be together No conceivable observation would be able to falsify this theory If two people stay together theory explains that they were indeed destine to do so I And if the same two people break up the theory explains that they were not What makes hypotheses useful Can be con rmed or discon rmed through systematic observations are falsi able Scienti c method requires replication Repetition of research that examines the same questions multiple times Choosing a measurement strategy 0 One difference between theories in the social sciences and theories in physical sciences 0 Central to thinking are known as psychological constructs Love lacks measurable physical attributes o This step of the scienti c method is operationalization Translation of an abstract construct into concrete terms in order to test predictions about that construct 0 Construct validity Describe how well an operationalization represents a particular construct Self report measures 0 Self repots from partners their own descriptions and evaluations of their experiences are the most commonly used source data in research on intimate relationships Simplest type of self report is a direct question 0 People vary in their willingness to contemplate sec outside the context of a committed intimate relationship Sociosexuality 0 Positive phrased questions tend to bring to mind positive aspects of the relationship thus leading to more positive responses Same with negative phrased questions 0 Self reports can be problematic because the kinds of answers people provide People cannot describe what they do not remember Self reports about behavior may be unreliable People cannot provide meaningful answers if they misunderstand the questions 0 Social desirability effect the possibility that research participants are giving answer they think will make them look god to researchers rather than describing what they actually know Observational measures gather data about relationship events without having to ask the people who are experiencing the events 0 Researcher must decide who will do the observing Partners general feelings about the relationship frequently overwhelm their perceptions of speci c aspect of the relationship a process called the sentiment override a Relies on observers who are completely independent of the relationship such strained assistants to avoid sentiment override O 0 Must decide what to observe Physiological responses body s involuntary reactions to expedences 0 Where to do the observing Researchers who use home based observation hope couples will act more naturally in their own environments and their observes behaviors really will represent what they do when not being observes Laboratory based observation eliminates any outside factors that may alter couples behavior while they are at home but it also removes couples from the environment where their behaviors usually take place Reliability the extend to which different observers agree that a specifies behavior has or has not occurred When used appropriately observations directly assess behaviors of great interest to relationship research Avoid some speci c problems associated with self reports of behavior Possibility of reactivity sometimes the act of observing someone changes the behavior being observed Which measurement strategy is best 0 Best research adopts a multiple method approach operationalizing the constructs of interest in different ways so the limitations of each measurement strategy will eventually cancel each other out thereby the effect the researcher is most focused on emerge clearly Designing the study Correlational research study to study naturally occurring associations among variables aimed primarily at answering descriptive questions Each of these questions asks how differences in one variable may be associated with differences in another variable Valuable for studying variables that cannot be manipulated or studied in other ways Correlational data can support only certain kinds of conclusions 0 Correlational data cannot be used to support statements about causation the idea that on event or circumstance is the direct result of another Correlation does NOT equal causation 1 X may cause y 2 Y may cause x 3both x and y may be the result of some other cause 0 their signi cant correlation may be entirely the result of an unmeasured third variable Cross Sectional Data data that has been collected from individuals at one assessment the data describe a cross section or a snapshot of a single moment Longitudinal Research address two kinds of questions descriptions and prediction Daily Diary Approach asks people to ll out a questionnaire every day at about the same time Experience sampling gathering data from people throughout the day literally sampling from the totality of their daily experiences 0 Longitudinal is the most direct and appropriate approach 0 Attribution bias bias caused by participants dropping out leading to a nal sample that differs from the initial sample in important ways Experimental research more active role by manipulating one element of a phenomenon to determine its effects on the rest of the phenomenon 4 elements to an experiment 0 dependent variable 0 independent variable 0 control 0 random assignment enables researchers to move beyond description and prediction to address explanatory questions about intimate relationships External validity whether the results of an experiment apply in other situations Archival research researcher examines existing data that have already been gathered usually for an unrelated purpose by someone else Content analysis coding their materials in such a way that they can quantify difference between units Representative samples samples consisting of people who are demonstrably similar to the population to which the researchers would like to generalize Convenience samples recruited solely because they are easy to nd Statistical Analysis To determine the probability of obtaining a particular result given a particular set of conditions Statistically signi cant effects effect large enough to occur less than 5 of the time if the null hypothesis were true Metaanalysis set of statistical techniques speci cally designed to combine results across studies and reveal the overall effects observed by a body of scienti c research Ethical Issues 0 Con dentiality o Anonymity Informed consent


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