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Lecture 2 The Science of Psychology

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1 Lecture 2 The Science of Psychology

2 Today’s Outline Critical Thinking & Science Psychological Methods
Types of data Self report Observation Research Design Archival Correlational Longitudinal Experimental

3 Methods of Psychology: Scientific Method
Science starts with an attitude and a desire for the truth Systematic empirical study of phenomena __________: keep the bias out, include all data and information even if it doesn’t “fit” __________: based on observable events __________: must be measurable

4 Short Video What was the study? Did people believe it?
What’s a placebo? Why do placebos work?

5 Problems with Common Sense
People see some parts of the world and miss others due to preconceptions, ability, attention, etc.) People notice those things that fit preconceptions People often believe to be true whatever feels good

6 The Scientific Method To develop theories about the world and to test those theories using observations Theory: An explanation Scientific theory is backed by data The scientific process Is self correcting (theories are tested, then revised, then tested) Theories are _________ The process is objective and public

7 The Science of Psychology
Separating anecdotes, folk wisdom and advice from data and conclusions! Scientific Research is… Formulating _______________ Testing __________ using the scientific method Interpreting the results Communicating the results --- realistically

8 The goals of science Description: What happens?
Prediction: When does it happen? Explanation: Why does it happen? Theory Causal Inferences Intervention/Application: What could be done to help? These all build on each other

9 Self Report Self-report methods: ask participants to tell you
Interviews Questionnaires Daily diary methods

10 Observational Data Observational Data Observations in natural settings
Laboratory-based observation

11 Research Designs Archival – digging through the vaults…
Correlational research – when one goes up, what happens to the other? Longitudinal research – how do things relate over time? Experimental research – if one is changed, what happens to the other?

12 Archival Research Researchers examine existing data that may or may not have been intended for research Harker and Keltner (2001) used yearbook pictures to predict marital outcomes 30 years later

13 Archival Results Smiling at age 20 predicted:

14 Correlational Research
Assess the naturally occurring associations among two variables Positive correlation rewards are positively associated with satisfaction Negative correlation conflicts are negatively associated with satisfaction

15 Correlational research
The statistical concept of a “correlation coefficient (r)” Perfect positive correlation (+1.00) No relationship (0.00) Perfect negative correlation (-1.00)

16 Correlation does not imply causation!
Three possible interpretations of any correlation

17 Pros and Cons of Correlational Research (descriptive)
Advantages Disadvantages

18 Longitudinal Research
Data collected at 2 or more time points Associations among variables across time How are feelings of love across time associated with divorce?

19 Longitudinal Research
Associations among variables within a day How does a partner’s behavior during the day influence feelings of commitment at night?

20 Pros and Cons of Longitudinal
Advantages Disadvantages

21 Experimental Research
Manipulate one variable to see if it causes changes in another variable. Does arousal lead to greater liking? A B

22 Testing the WHATs and WHYs
1:1 correspondence If you pour x into y, you know x caused the explosion If you pour x and z into y, you don’t know what caused the explosion Random Assignment In large enough samples, characteristics will be equally distributed

23 Experimental: Video Games & Violence
What is an independent variable? What is a dependent variable? What is the point of experiments? What is random assignment? How are differences controlled?

24 Pros and Cons of Experimental
Advantages Disadvantages

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