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Science and Psychology Psych 231: Research Methods in Psychology.

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Presentation on theme: "Science and Psychology Psych 231: Research Methods in Psychology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Science and Psychology Psych 231: Research Methods in Psychology

2 Announcements Blackboard accounts should now work Office hours are now posted Dr. Cutting: M 11-12, W 2-3 Degarmo 435D Kevin Wallpe: Tu 9-10 Degarmo 12 JD Hogue: W 9-10 Degarmo 12C

3 Exercise: How do we know? Write down two things that you “know”. Write down HOW you “know” those things.

4 Methods of Inquiry ObjectiveSubjective Analysis Acceptance Authority Instruction Regulation (rules & laws) Tenacity Faith Intuition Type of knowledge Ways of knowing having existence outside of a person’s mind (“real”) existing in a person’s mind Persuasion Rationalism Deduction Logical reasoning Empiricism Scientific Method Our focus Experience Observation

5 Methods of Inquiry The Scientific Method A method used to test and analyze claims about behavior Uses systematic observation and experimentation 4 Cannons of the Scientific method: Empiricism, Determinism, Parsimony, Testability A 6 step process (your book breaks it into 7 slightly different steps)

6 Scientific Method Step 1: Observation (Empiricism) Pay attention to the world around you, look for generalizations write down two generalizations that you have observed about people’s behavior Two classes of generalizations Descriptive generalizations – just describe how it is/what was seen, how frequent, without making predictions Cause and effect generalizations – makes predictions about the observed relationship between two (or more) things. (Determinism: phenomenon have identifiable causes)

7 Scientific Method Step 2: Develop a theory or hypothesis Identify the variables associated with your observations Variables The characteristics of the behavior and the surrounding context An explanation for the observed behavior(s) How are the variables related to one another? May be based on past research, common sense, intuition, logic, etc.

8 Scientific Method Step 3: Generate a testable prediction Testability: Need to specify how your hypothesis can be tested through observation. The relevant variables must be defined and observable. Falsification is at the heart of the scientific method Scientists don’t try to prove a theory, but rather set out to refute (“disprove”) theories Refutable hypotheses - must be stated in a way that allows the potential for it to be wrong Karl PopperKarl Popper wiki

9 Scientific Method Step 4: Make systematic observations Observational and experimental methods Which variables will we examine? How do we measure these variables? Which variables can we systematically manipulate? What variables need to be controlled? Were (from whom) will we collect the observations?

10 Scientific Method Step 5: Evaluate your evidence Refutes theory Supports theory (not “proves the theory”) Leads to the revision of the theory Consider alternative theories There are always alternative explanations Parsimony: Simple explanations are preferred over more complex onesParsimony

11 Scientific Method Step 6: Repeat observations hypotheses predictions systematic observations new hypotheses predictions systematic observations new hypotheses

12 Psychology as a science Write down the names of three scientists What field of science do they belong to? Write down the name of a famous psychologistfamous psychologist Do they represent the standard psychologist? NO! Psychology is a diverse discipline ISU’s Psych Dept has 6 different groupsISU’s Psych Dept APA has 54 different divisions of psychology Dr. Sigmund Freud Dr. Phil (McGraw)

13 Psychology as a science What is science? What are the goals of science? Is psychology a science? Yes Studies the full range of human behavior using scientific methods Applications derived from this knowledge is scientifically based

14 Psychology as a science Psychology’s goals are similar to the goals of the physical sciences (e.g., physics and chemistry) Psychologists are concerned with the behavior of people (and animals) rather than the physical world. How is psychology different from the physical sciences? Human (and animal) behavior is typically much more variable than most physical systems. Statistical control Methodological control Often the thing of interest requires indirect measurement (and thus underlying assumptions)

15 5 Goals of psychology Description of behavior Describe events, what changes what might affect change, what might be related to what, etc. Prediction of behavior Given X what will likely happen Control of behavior For the purpose of interventions (e.g., how do we prevent violence in schools) Causes of behavior Sometimes predictions aren’t enough, want to know how the X and the outcome are related Develop specific theories Explanation of behavior A complete theory of the how’s and why’s Simplest Complex

16 Next time Developing your research ideas Reviewing the literature Moving from ideas to hypotheses Chapter 2


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