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RESEARCH METHODS Psychology Chapter 2

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Title: RESEARCH METHODS Psychology Chapter 2


1
RESEARCH METHODS Psychology Chapter 2
2
Goals of Psychology
  • Describe
  • Explain
  • Predict
  • Control
  • behavior and mental processes

3
Critical Thinking
  • Thinking that does not blindly accept arguments
    or conclusions but questions their validity
  • The opposite is NOT THINKING (willingly
    accepting the most simple explanation).

4
Why is Research Important?
5
Research and Research Methodology
  1. Method of asking questions then drawing logical
    supported conclusions based on facts
  2. Researchers need to be able to determine if their
    conclusions are reasonable or not (critical
    thinking).

6
Scientific Method
  1. Technique using tools such as observation,
    experimentation, and statistical analysis to
    learn about the world
  2. Through its use, psychology is thereby considered
    a science.

7
Steps to the Scientific Method
  • Form a research question
  • Develop a hypothesis
  • Test hypothesis
  • Analyze data / results
  • Draw a conclusion
  • Report results
  • Publication
  • Replication

8
Theory
  • Tentative explanation for observed findings
  • Uses results from individual studies
  • Tool for explaining observed behavior
  • Theories can change as new scientific evidence is
    found.
  • Analogy Prosecuting Attorney presents their
    theory backed up by evidence to the jury.

9
Common Sense
  1. Conclusions based solely on personal experience
    and sensible logic
  2. Most of the time it is good butcan lead to
    incorrect conclusions

10
Did You Know
  • It is nearly impossible to fold a regular sheet
    of paper in half more than 8 times.
  • Go ahead and try!
  • Mythbusters pulled it off with a piece of paper
    as big as an airplane hanger and a steam roller.

11
Science vs. Common Sense
  • Science helps build explanations that are
    consistent and predictive as opposed to
    conflicting and describing the past (hindsight)
  • Science is based on
  • knowledge of facts
  • developing theories
  • testing hypotheses
  • public and repeatable procedures

12
Hindsight Bias
  • The tendency to exaggerate ones ability to have
    foreseen how something would turn out after
    learning the outcome.
  • The I knew it all along phenomenon.
  • Week before the 1985 Super Bowl, 81 of students
    in a Stanford Psychology class predicted the
    Miami Dolphins would win. 40 said the Dolphins
    would win by 10 or more points.
  • A week after San Francisco 49ers decisive
    victory, he asked the group who picked the 49ers.
  • 58 said they picked the 49ers
  • NO ONE remembered saying the Dolphins would win
    by at least 10 points.

13
Overconfidence
  • Tendency to overestimate the accuracy of our
    current knowledge
  • We are more confident than we are correct.
  • 3. Overconfidence in ourselves can lead us to say
    dumb things
  • Man will never reach the moon, regardless of all
    future scientific advances. - Lee DeForest,
    inventor of vacuum tube, 1957

14
REVIEW QUESTION What is the difference between
Common Sense and Science?
  • ANSWER
  • Common sense relies on the past and may be wrong.
  • Science uses facts to provide consistent
    predictions
  • DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE?

15
Bias A Researchers Worst Enemy WHY????
16
Bias
  • Situation in which a factor unfairly increases
    the likelihood of a researcher reaching a
    particular conclusion
  • Bias should be minimized as much as possible in
    research

17
Confirmation Bias
  • Our tendency to search for information that
    confirms our beliefs and ignore those that dont.

18
Researcher Bias
  • The tendency to notice evidence which supports
    one particular point of view or hypothesis

19
Volunteer Bias
  • People who volunteer to participate in a survey
    differ from those who do not.
  • Those who complete it are often willing to share,
    have similar interests, have spare time (magazine
    surveys).
  • These factors skew or slant the results.
  • Eliminate this by using a random sample where
    everyone has equal chance of being chosen to
    participate.

20
Participant Bias
  • Tendency of research subjects to respond in
    certain ways because they know they are being
    observed
  • Do you act the same in the classroom as you do at
    home?
  • The subjects might try to behave in ways they
    believe the researcher wants them to behave
  • Can be reduced by naturalistic observation

21
Research Strategies
  • Surveys
  • Observations
  • Experiments

22
Research Strategies Fall Into 2 Categories
  • Descriptivestrategies for observing and
    describing behavior
  • Observation
  • Surveys
  • Experimentalstrategies for inferring cause and
    effect relationships among variables

23
Example from August 9 Question Can we make any
determinations about these scores?
  • 2nd Period survey on what you know about
    psychology
  • Average 45.78
  • Low 28
  • High 59
  • 4th Period survey on what you know about
    psychology
  • Average 46.50
  • Low 21
  • High57

24
Longitudinal and Cross-Sectional Studies
25
Developmental Psychologists
  • Psychologists who study how individuals change
    throughout their lifetime
  • These psychologists use longitudinal
    cross-sectional studies

26
Longitudinal Study
  • Researchers study the same group of individuals
    for many years to see how they change.
  • Can be very expensive and difficult to conduct
  • Risky people may drop out

27
Cross-Sectional Study
  • Researchers simultaneously study a number of
    subjects from different age groups and then
    compare the results to see how they are
    different.
  • Cheaper, easier than longitudinal studies, but
    group differences may be due to factors other
    than development. (More variables.)

28
Longitudinal/Cross Sectional Study
29
Naturalistic Observation
  • Method of observation where subjects are observed
    in their natural environment
  • Subjects are not aware they are being watched
    researcher does not interfere
  • Could use hidden cameras or two way mirrors
  • Ex People eating in a restaurant

30
Laboratory Observation
  • Not always a sterile room.
  • Place where the environment can be controlled to
    minimize the number of variables.
  • Negatives are that it may cause the subject to
    act differently than it normally would.
  • Ex Skinner Box, maze, fish tank

31
Case Study
  • In depth study of one individual with the hopes
    of determining universal principles
  • Generally used to investigate rare, unusual, or
    extreme conditions
  • Example Phineas Gage
  • Negatives
  • This technique is very open to bias
  • Difficulty of applying data from one person to
    everyone

32
Survey Method
  • Research method that relies on self-reports uses
    surveys, questionnaires, interviews.
  • Usually a very efficient and inexpensive method
  • Can you guess some limitations of this method of
    research?

33
Survey Limitations
  • Accuracy is a concern people are not always
    honest.
  • They fear confidentiality or want to please the
    researcher.
  • Example Tooth brushing survey in 1960s. If as
    many people actually brushed their teeth as often
    as they claimed to brush their teeth, 33 (?)
    more toothpaste would have been sold that year.

34
Sampling Terms
  • (Target) Populationlarge (potentially infinite)
    group represented by the sample. Findings are
    generalized to this group.
  • Sampleselected segment of the population for the
    study
  • Stratified or Representative sampleclosely
    parallels the target population on relevant
    characteristics sample is proportional to TARGET
    POPULATION
  • Random selectionevery member of larger group has
    equal chance of being selected for the study
    sample

35
Random Sample
  • A sample that represents the target population
  • Each member of the population has an equal chance
    of being included.
  • If a sample is not random it is said to be
    biased.
  • Increase chances of representing population when
    sample is BIG ENOUGH
  • How would you pick a random sample???

36
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37
Generalizing the Results
  • Applying the findings from the research group to
    other groups.
  • Be cautious about generalizing when it isnt a
    random or stratified sample.
  • Example Car preference differs between men,
    women, region, socio-economic background, and
    more.

38
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39
Correlational Study
  • Examine the relationship of how closely one thing
    is related to another
  • Collects a set of facts organized into two or
    more categories
  • measure parents disciplinary style
  • measure childrens behavior
  • Correlation reveals relationships among facts
  • e.g., more democratic parents have children who
    behave better
  • Correlational studies are helpful in making
    predictions.

40
Correlational Study
  • Does NOT determine a cause and effect
    relationship between the variables
  • Correlation CANNOT prove causation
  • Do democratic parents produce better behaved
    children?
  • Do better behaved children encourage parents to
    be democratic?
  • May be an unmeasured common factor
  • e.g., good neighborhoods produce democratic
    adults and well-behaved children
  • Does NOT determine why the two variables are
    related--just that they are related.

41
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42
Zero Correlation
  • There is no relationship at all between the two
    variables.

43
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44
How to Read a Correlation
45
Correlation Causation
  • There is a strong .90 correlation in shoe size
    and IQ.
  • Does this mean that a large shoe size is the
    cause for higher intelligence?
  • What else could explain this?
  • YOUR FEET GROW
  • AS YOU GET OLDER
  • WISER

46
Lets Review
47
Experimental Method
  • The Only Way to Show
  • Cause Effect

48
Experimental Terms
  1. Variable part of experiment that changes
  2. Independent Variable (IV) controlled by
    researcher. This variable causes something to
    happen.
  3. Dependent Variable (DV) watched by the
    researcher to see the impact of the IV. This
    variable is the effect that is caused by the IV.

49
Groups
  • Experimental group receives the treatment
    frequently a drug
  • Control group receives no treatment usually
    receives a placebo (fake drug)
  • Placebo Effect participants react because
    they THINK they are receiving treatment (sugar
    pill)
  • Mind over Matter
  • Nocebo If told a drug wont work, the person
    will feel it doesnt work even if it is a
    legitimate drug.

50
Eliminating Bias
  • Single Blind Study Participants do not know if
    they are receiving the treatment of the placebo
  • Double Blind Study Neither the participants nor
    the researchers know if they are administering
    the treatment or the placebo.

51
Limitations of Experiments
  • Conditions in an experiment may not reflect
    conditions of real life.
  • (Must simplify variables to get useful
    information.)
  • Ethical considerations in creating some more
    real life situations

52
Research Ethics
  • Confidentiality participants are more likely to
    be truthful if they know their privacy is
    protected. Confidentiality can be broken if
    information reveals harm to another person

53
Ethics
  • Informed consent some studies may have long
    term threats or irreversible effects.
  • Participants must be given a choice to
    participate after being informed of the study.
  • Deception is allowable when benefit outweighs
    harm and participants receive full explanation at
    its conclusion

54
Animal Research
  • APA has rules for animals, too.
  • Often used instead of humans when topic could not
    be ethically studied on a human.
  • Ex Early separation studied by Harlow in 1959
    with monkeys.
  • Animal experiments lead to solutions with humans
    eating disorders, drug treatments
  • Still controversial due to the fact that animals
    can be harmed in studies.
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