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Chapter 1 (cont) Psychology & Science

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Research Method l Tool for answering questions l 3 Types n Survey n Case study n Experiment

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Research Method #1 - Surveys l Asking many individuals to answer a fixed set of questions l Advantages n Obtain information from a large group quickly n Compare answers from different groups (age, SES, culture) l Disadvantages n Responses may be influenced by m phrasing of the question m who asks the question n People may not answer truthfully

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Research Method #2 - Case Study l In-depth analysis of a persons thoughts, feelings, beliefs, or behaviors l Advantage n Provides rich, descriptive detail l Disadvantage n Bias & error related to testimonials

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Testimonial l Statement in support of a particular viewpoint based on detailed observations of an individuals personal experience l Problems with Testimonials n Biased personal beliefs n Self-fulfilling prophecy n Placebos & placebo effects

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Statistical Procedure - Correlation l A relationship/association between 2 or more events l Advantage n Study variables as they are l Disadvantage n Cant determine cause-and-effect relationships

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Correlation Coefficient l Numerical measure of the strength of the relationship l 2 Areas to consider n Size m ranges from 0 to +/ n Sign (positive or negative) m indicates the direction of association

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5 Types of Correlation Coefficients l Perfect Positive Correlation (+1.00) n Increase in 1 event is matched by an equal increase in a 2nd event l Positive Correlation n As one event tends to increase, the 2nd event tends to increase l Zero Correlation n No relationship between the occurrence of one event and the occurrence of a 2nd event l Perfect Negative Correlation (-1.00) n Increase in 1 event is matched by an equal decrease in a 2nd event l Negative Correlation n As one event tends to increase, the 2nd event tends to decrease

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Research Method #3 - Experiment l Following rules and guidelines that minimize the possibility of error and bias in order to identify cause-and-effect relationships l Advantages n Can identify cause-and-effect relationships n Minimizes error and bias

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Conducting Experiments - 7 Rules to Reduce Error & Bias l Rule 1: Ask a question in the form of a hypothesis n Hypothesis = educated guess l Rule 2: Identify the Independent Variable (IV) & Dependent Variable (DV) n IV = Treatment n DV = Outcome measure Source: Long Beach, CA. United School District, versus

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l Rule 3: Choose subjects who are representative of the population by using random selection n Random selection m each subject has an equal chance of being selected to participate Conducting Experiments - 7 Rules to Reduce Error & Bias

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l Rule 4: Randomly assign subjects to experimental and control groups n Experimental group m receives the treatment n Control group m does not receive the treatment Conducting Experiments - 7 Rules to Reduce Error & Bias

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l Rule 5: Manipulate the IV by administering the treatment to the experimental group n Double blind procedure m neither the experimenter nor the subject knows which group is receiving the treatment Conducting Experiments - 7 Rules to Reduce Error & Bias

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l Rule 6: Measure effect of the IV on the DV l Rule 7: Analyze results using statistical procedures n Statistical procedures are used to determine whether observed differences in the DV are due to the IV or to chance Conducting Experiments - 7 Rules to Reduce Error & Bias

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Placebos & Placebo Effects l Placebo n Treatment that resembles medical therapy, but has no medical effects n Example m taking a sugar pill l Placebo Effect n Change in the patients illness that is attributable to an imagined treatment n Example m taking a sugar pill alleviates patients symptoms

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Research Method #4: Naturalistic Observation l Allows you to view psychological phenomenon in its naturally occurring environment l Researcher does not have to attempt to control or change the situation l Problem: Own biases may influence what is seen!

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Research Concerns l Code of Ethics n Developed by APA n Specifies the researchers responsibilities & participants rights l Deception n Must satisfy the APAs code of ethics n Sometimes used to control for subjects expectations l Debriefing n Explaining the purpose & method of the experiment n Answering any questions or discussing problems subjects may have with the study

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