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Scientific Inquiry

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Scientific Inquiry What is Scientific Inquiry Scientific inquiry is the system or procedure by which we seek to understand and explain behavior or the world around us ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Scientific Inquiry


1
Scientific Inquiry
2
What is Scientific Inquiry
  • Scientific inquiry is the system or procedure by
    which we seek to understand and explain behavior
    or the world around us

3
  • On a scale of 1 (dont agree at all) to 5
    (completely agree), how much do you agree with
    the following statement
  • People should use this product because it will
    be beneficial to their health

4
Science vs Pseudoscience
5
Canons of Science
  • Deterministic
  • events have meaningful causes
  • Empiricism
  • Good and bad ways to determine cause and effect
  • Making observations
  • Law of Parsimony (Occams Razor)
  • If two explanations are equally good, choose the
    simpler one

6
Canons of Science
  • Scientific theories must be
  • Testable
  • Falsifiable
  • Define the circumstances under which your theory
    is wrong
  • Repeatable
  • Given the same set of circumstances, the same
    outcome should occur across observations

7
The Scientific Process
  • We make observations about a specific behavior
  • We develop a theory to account for the behavior
  • Theory ? a testable explanation for a set of
    factors or observations

8
The Scientific Process
  • We come up with a hypothesis based on our theory
  • (a statement that makes predictions about the
    outcome of a scientific study)
  • For Example
  • If my theory is true under this situation, then X
    should happen
  • If, under this situation, X does not happen, then
    my theory is false

9
The Scientific Process
  • We conduct a controlled test of our hypothesis
  • We gather objective data
  • We define the variables of interest
  • We analyze the results
  • We accept or reject our hypothesis

10
Pseudoscience
  • What is it?
  • Presenting something as fact without sufficient
    scientific evidence
  • Not testable
  • How do we recognize it?
  • Use of scientific-sounding terms (e.g., quantum
    vibrational)
  • E.G., ESP, Oxygenated Water, Accupuncture,
    Homeopathy, Feng Shui,

11
The Flying Spaghetti Monster
Taken from www.venganza.org
12
The Scientific Method
  • Good Science

13
Good Science
  • We make observations
  • We observe and describe behavior or event
  • E.G., A man, who was leaving a bar, crashes into
    a parked car on the way home

14
Good Science
  • We develop a theory to explain the behavior or
    event
  • What theories can you come up with to account for
    this behavior and/or outcome?
  • He was drunk
  • Drunk driving causes accidents
  • Alcohol causes impairment of driving abilities
  • Talking on cell phones causes accidents (was he
    on a cell phone?)
  • The brakes on the car malfunctioned
  • The Flying Spaghetti Monster hates people who
    drive after leaving bars

15
Good Science
  • We come up with a hypothesis based on our theory
  • Remember a good theory must generate hypotheses
    that are testable and falsifiable
  • We must be able to operationally define the
    variables of interest

16
Good Science
  • Operational Definitions
  • Define, concretely, how you will measure the
    variables of interest

17
Good Science
  • Theory Alcohol impairs driving ability
  • Hypothesis 1 People who drink alcohol are more
    likely to get into car accidents than those who
    do not drink alcohol
  • Hypothesis 2 Alcohol slows down reaction time
    which causes more accidents
  • Hypothesis 3 Alcohol increases risk-taking while
    driving which causes more accidents

18
Good Science
  • We conduct a controlled test
  • We select a research design
  • We identify the population and select a sample
  • We define the variables of interest

19
Research Design
  • Non-experimental vs Experimental designs
  • Non-experimental observe a single group of
    subjects at one point in time
  • Observational studies
  • Survey Studies
  • Experimental involves multiple groups or
    multiple observations across time
  • Control standard against which the effects of
    the experimental condition is compared

20
Research Design
  • External Validity
  • Can we generalize our findings from the
    experimental context to other people, in other
    places, at other times?

21
External Validity
22
External Validity
  • Random Sampling
  • Identify Population
  • All people
  • All adults
  • All adults who drink alcohol
  • All adults who drive after drinking alcohol
  • Select Sample
  • Select sample from population of interest
  • Random
  • Stratified representative of the population on
    key characteristics

23
Research Design
  • Internal Validity
  • Can we be confident that the observed outcomes
    are due to (caused by) our experimental treatment
    and NOT to some other cause?

24
Internal Validity
  • To help subjects get in the mood, the bartender
    played loud and upbeat music during the drink
    alcohol condition. No music was played during
    the drink water condition.
  • Confound uncontrolled and/or unmeasured
    characteristic(s) that accounts for the observed
    findings

25
Research Design
  • Random Assignment
  • Place subjects at random into different control
    and experimental conditions
  • Goal is to ensure that potential confounds are
    equally represented in both groups
  • Not always possible, so how do we ensure internal
    validity?

26
Testing Hypotheses
  • Independent variable
  • Predictor Variable
  • Variable that is manipulated
  • Dependent Variable
  • Predicted variable
  • Variable that depends on or is affected by the
    independent variable
  • Operational definition
  • Concrete description of how your variables will
    be measured

27
Testing Hypotheses
  • Observation a man leaves a bar and gets into a
    car accident
  • Hypothesis 1 Heavier drinkers take more risks
    while driving than lighter drinkers
  • Hypothesis 2 Individuals who are intoxicated
    take more risks while driving than individuals
    who are sober

28
Testing Hypotheses
  • Hypothesis 1
  • IV level of drinking is defined using the
    quantity frequency index
  • DV Risk-taking is defined as
  • frequency of speeding (i.e., number of days per
    week that the individual drives 10 miles over
    the speed limit)
  • Frequency of tailgating

29
We analyze the data and reject or accept our
hypothesis
30
Statistical Analysis
31
Statistical Analysis
32
Statistical Analysis
33
Statistical Analysis
34
Statistical Analysis
Variance Explained
35
Pirates and Global Warming
36
Testing Hypotheses
  • Hypothesis 2
  • IV Intoxication is defined as a BAC of .08 mg
    or greater
  • DV Risk-taking is defined through use of a
    simulated driving task as
  • amount of time spent speeding and
  • number of times passing cars on a double yellow
    line

37
Statistical Analysis
38
Statistical Analysis
39
Good Science
  • A theory becomes a law when
  • supporting evidence accumulates over multiple
    tests of the associated hypotheses and
  • it has never been proven false
  • E.g., the law of physics
  • Pseudoscientific claims cannot become laws

40
Ethical Issues
  • Informed Consent
  • Subjects must be fully informed about
  • Potential risks and benefits of participation
  • Exactly what the study involves
  • Deception
  • Deception can be used if necessary to test
    hypotheses
  • Participation is voluntary
  • Coercion is not acceptable
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