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Research Methods

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Title: Research Methods Last modified by: LPS LPS Created Date: 8/4/2011 5:35:43 PM Document presentation format: On-screen Show (4:3) Company: Aurora Public Schools – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Research Methods


1
Research Methods
2
The Scientific Attitude
  • 3 main components
  • Curiosity
  • Skepticism
  • Humility

3
The Scientific Method
  • A way of rigorously testing ideas against
    objective observations.
  • Psychology is a science because it uses the
    scientific method to test ideas empirically.

4
The Scientific Method
  • Empirical Investigation The collecting of
    objective information firsthand by making careful
    measurements based on direct experience.
  • This is the heart of the testing procedure in the
    scientific method.
  • To investigate a question empirically would
    mean to collect evidence yourself.

5
The Goal of Psychological Science?
  • To develop explanations for behavior and mental
    processes based on solid EMPIRICAL SCIENCE!

6
Theories
  • In psychology, theories are explanations for
    behavior and mental processes.
  • Definition A testable explanation for a set of
    facts or observations.
  • Different from a speculation or guess

7
The Steps of the Scientific Method
  • Step 1 Develop a Hypothesis
  • Hypothesis A statement predicting the outcome of
    a scientific study a statement describing the
    relationship among variables in a study.
  • Little Theory

8
The Steps of the Scientific Method
  • Step 1 Forming a Hypothesis (Cont.)
  • Operational definitions Specific descriptions
    of concepts involving the conditions of a
    scientific study.
  • Must be included in the hypothesis.
  • Used to check researcher bias.
  • Also allows others to REPLICATE the study

9
The Steps of the Scientific Method
  • Step 2 Performing a Controlled Test
  • Hypothesis must undergo a controlled test to
    determine whether it passes or fails.
  • Independent Variable Condition that the
    experimenter changes independently of all the
    other carefully controlled experimental
    conditions.
  • The STIMULI you are studying.
  • Random Presentation must also occur.
  • Change independent variable randomly so it is
    unpredictable.

10
The Steps of the Scientific Method
  • Step 3 Gathering Objective Data
  • Data- Information gathered by direct observation.
  • Dependent Variable The measured outcome of a
    study the responses of the subjects in a study.
  • Comes from the assumption that the responses of
    participants in an experiment depend directly on
    the conditions to which they have been exposed.
  • The RESPONSE made by the participants in the
    experiement.

11
The Steps of the Scientific Method
  • Step 4 Analyzing the Results and Accepting or
    Rejecting the Hypothesis.
  • Pretty self explanatory right???
  • Have to take into consideration the probability
    of right answers when guessing

12
The Steps of the Scientific Method
  • Step 5 Publishing, Criticizing, and Replicating
    the Results.
  • Often, people try to publish scientific research,
    but before being published it must be critiqued
    and criticized by experts.
  • Fewer than 2 of papers on psychological research
    submitted to journals actually get into print
    without major revisions.
  • Some critics who are on the fence may attempt to
    replicate the experiment.

13
Types of Psychological Research
  • Experimental Method Used to determine Cause and
    Effect!
  • Develop a research question
  • Survey the literature (helps for hypothesis)
  • Form Hypothesis
  • Establish Independent Variable (Part that
    changes)
  • Establish Dependent Variable (The measured
    outcome of a study the responses of the subjects
    in a study)
  • Confounding or Extraneous Variable (Other things
    that can affect the outcome).

14
Types of Psychological Research
  • Experimental Method (Cont.)
  • Ensure Controls (Ensure all groups in the
    experiment are treated exactly the same).
  • Choose Sampling / Subjects (Must be random to
    represent population).
  • Procedure
  • Results / Statistics
  • Discussion

15
Control Group vs. Experimental Group
  • Control Group Serves as a standard against
    which other groups can be compared.
  • Experimental Group The group that is
    manipulated by variables in an experiment.

16
Types of Psychological Research
  • Non Experimental Method
  • Lack the control of Experimental Research
    Methods.
  • Used in situations where it may be unethical to
    conduct true experimental research.
  • Ex. Cancer research.
  • Ex Post Facto Research in which we choose
    subjects based on a pre-existing condition.

17
Types of Psychological Research
  • Correlational Studies
  • Mainly statistical in nature.
  • Determine the relationship (or correlation)
    between 2 variables.
  • Example People who smoke are more likely to get
    lung cancer.
  • Use something called the CORRELATION COEFFICIENT
    to summarize the relationship between 2 variables
    in an experiment.

18
Types of Psychological Research
  • Correlational Studies (Cont)
  • Correlation Coefficient
  • Can range from a negative number as low as -1.0
    to a positive number as high as 1.0.
  • Positive Correlation
  • Negative Correlation
  • Zero Correlation

19
Types of Psychological Research
  • Correlational Studies (Cont.)
  • Zero Correlation No relationship between the
    variables.
  • Example There is a zero correlation between
    shoe size and GPA.

20
Types of Psychological Research
  • Correlational Studies (Cont.)
  • Positive Correlation Variables show a
    relationship in which they vary in the same
    direction (as the values of one variable
    increase, so do those of the other).
  • Example There is generally a positive
    correlation of about 0.4 between SAT scores and
    college grades.

21
Types of Psychological Research
  • Correlational Studies (Cont.)
  • Negative Correlation Variables show a
    relationship in which they vary in the opposite
    direction (as the value of one variable goes up,
    the value of the other variable goes down).
  • Example A correlational study on anxiety shows
    a correlation of -0.7 between anxiety and time
    spent studying. In other words, more study is
    associated with less anxiety.
  • A negative correlation can still indicate a very
    strong relationship.

22
Types of Psychological Research
  • Surveys
  • A quasi-experimental method in which questions
    are asked to subjects.
  • Questions cannot be skewed or biased toward a
    particular answer.

23
Types of Psychological Research
  • Naturalistic Observation
  • Subjects are observed in their natural
    environment.
  • Much less control in this
  • Key Must be sure subjects are not aware theyre
    being observed.

24
Types of Psychological Research
  • Longitudinal Study
  • One group of subjects is followed and observed
    for an extended period of time.
  • Good for investigating the long range effects of
    something.

25
Types of Psychological Research
  • Cross-sectional Study
  • Study in which representative cross section of
    the population is tested or surveyed at one
    specific time.
  • Cohort-sequential Study
  • Study in which a cross section of the population
    is chosen and then each cohort is followed for a
    short period of time.
  • Both are similar to longitudinal studies.

26
Bias in Research
  • Personal Bias
  • The researcher allowing personal beliefs to
    affect the outcome of a study.

27
Bias in Research
  • Expectancy Bias
  • The researcher allowing his or her expectations
    to affect the outcome of a study.

28
Combating Bias in Research
  • Double Blind Study
  • An experimental procedure in which both
    researchers and participants are uninformed about
    the nature of the independent variable being
    administered.
  • Placebo involved to keep participants and
    researchers from forming bias.

29
Ethics in Research
  • Institutional Review Board Group that reviews
    and approves all research to ensure no ethical
    violations take place.
  • Deception Allowed under certain circumstances.
  • Participants must be debriefed afterward.
  • Animal Research Studies

30
Organizing Research Data
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Statistical procedures used to describe
    characteristics and responses of groups of
    subjects.

31
Organizing Research Data
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Measure of Central Tendency
  • AKA Averages
  • Help us locate the center of a set of
    measurements.

32
Organizing Research Data
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Measure of Central Tendency has 3 forms
  • Mean The measure of central tendency most often
    used to describe a set of data calculated by
    adding all the scores and dividing by the number
    of scores.
  • Can be distorted by extreme scores.

33
Organizing Research Data
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Measure of Central Tendency has 3 forms
  • Median A measure of central tendency of
    distribution, represented by the score that
    separates the upper half of the scores in a
    distribution from the lower half.
  • The middle score.
  • Not distorted by extreme scores.

34
Organizing Research Data
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Measure of Central Tendency has 3 forms
  • Mode A measure of central tendency for a
    distribution, represented by the score that
    occurs more often than any other.
  • Not effective when test groups are small.

35
Organizing Research Data
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Measures of Variability
  • Allows us to know how well the average represents
    the distribution as a whole.
  • That is, do most of the scores cluster closely
    near the average or are they spread out widely.
  • Low Variability All scores close to the
    average.
  • High Variability Scores widely spread out.

36
Organizing Research Data
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Measures of Variability
  • Range The simplest measure of variability,
    represented by the difference between the highest
    and the lowest values in a frequency
    distribution.
  • Standard Deviation A measure of variability
    that indicates the average difference between the
    scores and their mean.
  • The larger the score the more spread out they
    are.
  • The smaller the score the closer together they
    are.

37
Organizing Research Data
  • Inferential Statistics
  • Statistical techniques used to assess whether the
    results of a study are reliable or whether they
    might be simply the result of chance.
  • Often used to determine whether two or more
    groups are essentially the same or different.

38
Organizing Research Data
  • Inferential Statistics
  • To ensure accurate statistics must be sure
    samples are selected in an unbiased manner.
  • Random Sample Sample group of subjects selected
    by chance.
  • Not always practicable.
  • Representative Sample A sample group obtained
    in such a way that it reflects the distribution
    of important variables in the larger population
    in which the researchers are interested.
  • Age, income, ethnicity, and location all
    considered.

39
Organizing Research Data
  • Inferential Statistics
  • Significant Difference Psychologists accept a
    difference between the groups as real, or
    significant, when the probability that it might
    be due to an atypical sample drawn by chance is
    less than 5 in 100.
  • Indicated by the notation plt.05.
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