Presentation on theme: "Overview of Research Outline"— Presentation transcript:
1 Overview of Research Outline Ways of KnowingThe Scientific ApproachWhat is Research?Scientific Method: The Research LoopGoals of ScienceTypes of Research4 Types of Research DesignsTypes of VariablesHypotheses and TheoryWhich Design to Use?Evaluating Research
2 Intuitive vs. Empirical Sources of Knowledge IntuitionTenacity (e.g., habit, repeated exposure, superstition)Authority (e.g., moral, psychological, intellectual leaders)Reason (i.e., logical syllogisms)Serendipity (e.g., Columbus’ & India)Empiricism (relies on formal methods of observation)
3 THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH Limitations of IntuitionIntuition relies unquestioningly on personal judgmentInvolves cognitive and motivational biasesErroneous conclusions about cause and effect(e.g., Fundamental Attribution Error)
4 THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH Skepticism, Science, and the Empirical ApproachEmpiricismFalsifiabilityPeer reviewIntegrating Intuition, Skepticism, and Authority
5 Elements of Goodstein’s Evolved Theory of Science Observations accurately reported to others+Search for discovery and verification of ideasOpen exchange and competition among ideasPeer review of research
6 THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH Characteristics of pseudoscienceHypotheses generated are not typically testableIf scientific tests are reported, methodology is not scientific and validity of data is questionableSupportive evidence is anecdotal and does not cite scientific referencesClaims ignore conflicting evidenceClaims tend to be vague, and appeal to pre-conceived ideasClaims are never revised
7 What is Research?A systematic process of asking and attempting to answer questions about the world.
8 Scientific Method: 5 Steps Identify a Research Problem or QuestionDevelop Hypotheses and Research DesignConduct the StudyTest the HypothesesCommunicate Results**-File Drawer ProblemResearch findings often create new research questions which result in a “Research Loop”
11 Goals of Science Description: Prediction: Causation & Explanation: -What is the relationship found between alcohol consumption and aggression?Prediction:-How many aggressive acts will a person exhibit if he/she were to consume 3 beers?Causation & Explanation:-Does alcohol intoxication and/or social expectations about drinking behavior increase aggression?
12 Determining Causality Temporal Precedence: The cause must precede the effectCovariation Principle: The effect occurswhen the cause is present, but does notoccur when the cause is not present3. Elimination of Alternative Explanations:Plausible explanations for the causalrelationship are ruled out.
13 Types of Research Approaches Basic Science vs. Applied ApproachesQualitative vs. Quantitative Approaches
14 Basic Science vs. Applied Approaches Further an understanding of psychological functioning (e.g., What is the nature or basis of people’s self-esteem?)Applied Research:-Provide practical solutions to optimize psychological functioning (e.g., How do we increase people’s self-esteem?)
15 Qualitative vs. Quantitative Approaches Qualitative Approach:Collects and examines responses from people without translating the responses into numbers; Emphasis on Broad Themes of phenomena of interest.Quantitative Approach:Similar to qualitative but does rely on numbers to represent phenomena. Emphasis on Specific Tests of phenomena of interest.
16 3 Basic Types of Research Designs Non Experimental DesignsArchival -CorrelationalObservational -Program EvaluationTrue Experimental DesignsManipulation –Randomization -Control GroupQuasi-Experimental DesignsSimilar to true experimental method but lacks 1 or more of its core features
17 Psychological Variables & The “Soft Science” A Variable = any observable characteristic that is not constantPsychological variables = characteristics of psychologicalfunctioning (i.e., thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and theprocesses that regulate them) that vary in people.-”Hypothetical Constructs” that by nature are abstract ideas/concepts-Often are ambiguous,-Difficult to define and measurePsychology is considered a “soft science” because of theinherent qualities of the variables that are examined.-To scientifically examine research questions involving psychologicalvariables they must be precisely defined and measured.
18 Conceptual and Operational Definitions of Variables Empirical examination of psychological variables, requires that they be (1) conceptually defined, and (2) translated into concrete, observable forms.Conceptual Definitions = broadly based dictionary like descriptions of a variable (e.g., Self-Esteem = The general extent to which a person has positive or negative feelings of self-worth).2. Operational Definition of variables = the specific way that a variable is measured, manipulated, or “operating” within the context of a study (e.g., Self-Esteem = the score a person gets on a self- esteem questionnaire that he/she had completed).
19 The Basic Structure of a Study Studies examine the pattern of relationships among variables:IVDVIndependent Variables (IVs)In general, an IV is theorized to exert meaningful influence on a particular outcome (i.e., DV).Within true-experiments an IV is systematically manipulated to cause changes in the DV.Dependent Variables (DVs)In general, a DV reflects the characteristic that researchers are seeking to describe, predict, or explain.Reflects the outcome that emerges in response to the IVs.Differences in the DV are attributed to (or are caused by) the varying amounts or levels of the IV (i.e., the values of the DV depend upon the levels of the IV)
21 Assessing Variables: 4 Types of Measures Self-ReportBehavioralBehavioroidPhysiological
22 Issues of Interpreting IV and DV Relationships Longevity(Y)Exercise(X)3rd Variable(Z)Limits often exist when interpreting the relationship between IVs and DVs, particularly “causal” relations.Directionality problemX Y; Y X; or bi-directionality?The Third variable problemWhen the IV & DV relationship is attributable to another variable (Z)
23 Systematic vs. Random Influences Upon the IV and DV Relationships Confounding VariableReasoned to exert meaningful influence on the IV & DV relationshipIS NOT measuredBecause its value is unknown, its influence is also unknownreflects random error, or (uncontrolled) influence.Blurs, distorts, or obscures the true IV & DV relationships, complicates theoretical understanding of them.Control VariableReasoned to exert meaningful influence on the IV & DV relationshipIS intentionally measuredBecause its value is known, its influence is detectable and systematically observed.i.e., Determining the IV & DV relationship after having controlled for (kept constant) the influence of the 3rd variable.Helps to more clearly illustrate the IV & DV relationships and a theoretical understanding of them.
24 Hypotheses and Theories Hypothesis = a formally stated testable prediction about the pattern of relationships to be found among variablesTheory = A set of interrelated statements proposed to explain phenomena
25 Interplay Between Theory and Research Theory guides researchTHEORYResearch tests theory-verifies-suggests changesRESEARCH
26 Approaches to Research Development Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up ApproachesHypotheses may be used to create or broaden theories by inductive reasoning(Bottom-Up)orTheories may be used to test hypotheses by deductive reasoning (Top-Down)
27 Bottom-Up/Inductive Reasoning Reasoning that proceeds from specific cases to general conclusions or theories.Used in early stages of development of studying a phenomenon.Relies on observations or data to help create or extend prior ideas or theories about relationships that exist in the world
28 Top-Down: Deductive Reasoning Reasoning that proceeds from general theories to specific cases.Used when there is a well-established theory that predicts certain observable outcomes.Once a comprehensive theory is established specific predictions may be made from the theory and tested through experimentation
29 Which Design to Use? It depends on your particular goals, but… Begin with non experimental methods that capitalize on identifying and describing relationships between variables. -For example, first observe behaviors in natural settings (i.e.,field studies), and then utilize interviews or survey research (i.e., correlational studies).Then, use Quasi-Experimental and True-Experimental Designs to help explain the relationships between variables.For example, determine the causal relationships between variables or how much change occurs in a DV in response to manipulated levels of an IVUltimately, Convergence (similarity) in the pattern of findings across multiple methods is best!
30 Evaluating ResearchA variety of standards exist for assessing the quality of a theory and research findings.1. Reliability = consistency in measurement2. Validity = accuracy of constructs and measures-internal -external -construct validity3. Replication = consistency in research findings when comparing equivalent or similarly conducted studies
31 Distinguishing Reliability and Validity Not Reliable,Not ValidReliable butReliableandValid