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Chapter 2

Psychologys Scientific Methods


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Scientific Research

Research that is:


Objective Systematic Testable

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The Scientific Method

The Scientific Method

Used to discover accurate information about phenomena, including mind and behavior

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The Scientific Method

Conceptualize a problem Operational definition

A description that is as precise as possible about the aspects of problem and how it is to be studied in terms of observable events that can be measured

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The Scientific Method

Theory

A coherent set of interrelated ideas that helps to make predictions and explain data Specific assumptions or predictions that can be tested to determine their accuracy

Hypothesis

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The Scientific Method

Collect information (data) Draw conclusions Revise research conclusions or theory

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Who Will the Participants Be?

Population

The entire group which the investigator wants to draw conclusions The subset of the population chosen by investigator for study

Sample

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Who Will the Participants Be?

Random sample

A sample in which every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected

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Research Methods: Observation

Laboratory observation

Observations of behavior in a controlled setting with many of the complex factors of the real world removed

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Observation

Naturalistic observation

Observations of behavior in real-world setting with no effort made to manipulate or control the situation

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Interviews

Interview

Asking questions to find out about a persons experiences and attitudes The tendency of participants to tell the interviewer what they think is socially acceptable or desirable rather than what they truly feel or think

Social desirability

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Interviews

Questionnaires (surveys)

Similar to structured interviews except that the respondents read the questions and mark their answers on paper rather than verbally responding to an interviewer

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Case Studies

Case study

An in-depth look at a single individual, used mainly by clinical psychologists when the unique aspects of an individuals life cannot be duplicated

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StandardizedTests

Standardized tests

Tests that require people to answer a series of written and/or oral questions Individuals test score is totaled to yield a single score Individuals score is compared with the scores of a large group of similar people

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Correlational Research

Correlational Research

Research with the goal of describing the strength of the relationship between two or more events or characteristics

Variable 2

Variable 1

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Experimental Research

Experimental research

Allows psychologists to discover behaviors causes A carefully regulated procedure in which one or more factors believed to influence the behavior being studied are manipulated and all other factors are held constant

Experiment

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Experimental Research

Independent variable

The manipulated, influential, experimental factor in an experiment The factor that is measured in an experiment Can change as the independent variable is manipulated

Dependent variable

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Experimental Research

Experimental group

The group who experience is manipulated

Control group

A comparison group that is treated in every way like the experimental group except for the manipulated factor Assignment of participants to experimental and control groups by chance

Random assignment

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Random Assignment

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Experimental Research Cautions

Experimenter bias

The influence of the experimenters own expectations on the outcome of the research The influence of research participants belief

Research participant bias

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Experimental Research Cautions

Placebo effect

Occurs when participants expectations, rather than the experimental treatment, produce the desired outcome Neither the experimenter nor the participants are aware of which participants are in the experimental group

Double-blind experiment

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Ethics and Values

Informed consent

Participants must know what their participation will involve and any risks that might develop Researchers are responsible for keeping all of the data they gather on individuals completely confidential and, when possible, completely anonymous

Confidentiality

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Ethics and Values

Debriefing

Informing participants of the purpose and methods used in a study after the study has been completed

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Ethical Research with Animals

How ethical is research with animals? Human applications


Psychotherapy and behavioral medicine Rehabilitation of neuromuscular disorders Understanding and alleviating effects of stress and pain Discovery and testing of drugs to treat anxiety and severe mental illness

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Ethical Research with Animals

Human applications

Knowledge about drug addiction and relapse Treatment to help premature infants gain weight so they can leave the hospital sooner Knowledge about memory used to alleviate deficits of memory in old age

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Gender, Culture, and Ethnicity

Gender bias Cultural bias Ethnic bias

Ethnic gloss: Using an ethnic label in a superficial way that portrays an ethnic group as being more homogeneous than it actually is

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Being a Wise Consumer

Research on groups vs. the individual needs of the consumer Overgeneralization based on a small sample A single study usually is not the defining word about an issue or problem

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Being a Wise Consumer

Causal conclusions cannot be drawn from correlational studies Always consider the source of the psychological information and evaluate its credibility

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End of Chapter 2 To proceed to the next chapter, click button

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