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Research Methods, Week 1 notes

by: Clarissa Hinshaw

Research Methods, Week 1 notes Psych 305

Marketplace > Northern Illinois University > Psychlogy > Psych 305 > Research Methods Week 1 notes
Clarissa Hinshaw
GPA 3.5

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Notes for chapter 9.
Research Methods
Keith Millis
Class Notes
Psychology, research methods
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Clarissa Hinshaw on Sunday March 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psych 305 at Northern Illinois University taught by Keith Millis in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 27 views. For similar materials see Research Methods in Psychlogy at Northern Illinois University.


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Date Created: 03/27/16
Chapter 9  Conducting Experiments  The population includes all people or other animals important to the researcher. The  sample is a small portion of the interested population.   The larger the sample size, the more statistically significant the results are.   The operational definition of a variable must be defined in order to manipulate the  independent variable.   To begin a lab study, experimenters must provide informed consent and explain what the  study is about.   They should not tell the hypothesis to the participants as it can influence their behavior in the lab.    Straightforward manipulations refer to manipulating variables in a simple way through  verbal or written instructions.   Staged or event manipulations refer to staging events which occur in the experiment.  o The research may use this to create a psychological state with their participants or  creating a real­world situation.   Confederate: a participant in the experiment who is part of the manipulation.  o Used in field experiments and lab research. o Sometimes used through subtle communication which can be difficult to interpret.  A strong manipulation maximizes differences between the groups.  This is important especially in the early steps of research.   However, this rarely happens in the real world and there are ethical concerns.   Sometimes research is very costly, so grants are important to receive.   A self­report allows people to rate a behavior or attitude for themselves.  Behavioral measures record behavior for rate, reaction time, and duration.   Physiological measures record bodily responses including galvanic skin response,  electromyogram, and electroencephalogram.  o Measures of temperature and heart rate, as well as blood and urine tests, are also  used o fMRI: a machine used to measure brain activity.   Sensitivity: measures liking.  Ceiling effect: when the independent variable has no effect on the dependent variable.   Floor effect: when the task is too difficult to do well.  Variables can be measured in a variety of ways.   It is important to study whether an independent variable affects some variables and not  others, as well as how it affects different behaviors.  Order comes up when there is more than one dependent measure.   Some measures are more costly than others.  Using a control group helps eliminate other variables causing the outcome.   Demand characteristics: features of an experiment which informs participants about the purpose of the experiment.  Filler items: items to add to a questionnaire.   Placebo group: an experimental group which receives a fake sugar pill in tests for  different drugs.   Experimenter bias or expectancy effects: an experimenter bringing their own opinions  into the study.  o Sometimes bias is unintentional and sometimes there are differences of  interpretation.  Experimenters should be trained in how to behave in the lab, session should be run close  together, and should be unaware of who comes in.   In a single blind test, the participant doesn’t know what condition they are in. In a double  blind test, the experimenter doesn’t know either.   The proposal shows background of the study, the purpose of the study, and how the study will be done. This is useful for grants and ethical reviews.   Pilot study: a trial run with a few participants.   Manipulation check: a check to see if the manipulation has the effect it’s supposed to  have on the participants.  o This can save the expense of running a bad experiment and be advantageous if  you get nonsignificant results.   Debriefing is done in experiments for ethical reasons as well as to find out more about  what the participants were thinking.   Studies are often published or present in meetings.   Studies are presented in the form of a poster or oral presentation.   Journals are submitted for peer review to make sure only the best research is published. 


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