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1-2 Scientific Method & Descriptive Research Methods: Hindsight Bias, Scientific Attitude, Scientific Method, Operational Definitions, Case Study, Survey,

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Presentation on theme: "1-2 Scientific Method & Descriptive Research Methods: Hindsight Bias, Scientific Attitude, Scientific Method, Operational Definitions, Case Study, Survey,"— Presentation transcript:


2 1-2 Scientific Method & Descriptive Research Methods: Hindsight Bias, Scientific Attitude, Scientific Method, Operational Definitions, Case Study, Survey, Naturalistic Observation, False Consensus Effect, Sampling & Assignment Techniques and Issues 1. Describe the hindsight bias, and explain how it often leads us to perceive psychological research as merely common sense. 2. Discuss how overconfidence contaminates our everyday judgments. 3. Explain how the scientific attitude encourages critical thinking. 4. Describe the relationship between psychological theories and scientific research. 5. Compare and contrast case studies, surveys, and naturalistic observation, and explain the importance of proper sampling.

3 Thinking Critically w/ Psychological Science Intuition and Common Sense are limited:a lot of psychology seems like common sense when you hear it, but true psychological research has to be confirmed thru research y -hindsight is 20/20 (H.B.) y Hindsight bias (I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon)- After learning the outcome of an event, many people believe they could have predicted that very outcome. y prevent H.B. w/ hypothesis) yEg. Of H.B.: We only knew the stocks would plummet after they actually did plummet y -overconfidence: in other words we overestimate the accuracy of our own judgments and beliefs

4 Thinking Critically w/ Psychological Science ex. Only 2% of college freshmen say there is a good chance they will drop out. 98% say will never drop out even temporarily – After 5 years 50% of them still have not earned a degree

5 Thinking Critically w/ Psychological Science ye.g., suppose a study tells us that ‘separation weakens romantic attraction’ ycommon sense may tell us - “out of sight, out of mind” yor common sense may say the opposite - “absence makes the heart grow fonder” zCommon sense can be inconsistent and based on hindsight

6 5 Overconfidence Sometimes we think we know more than we actually know. Anagram BARGEGRABE ENTRYETYRN WATERWREAT How long do you think it would take to unscramble these anagrams? People said it would take about 10 seconds, yet on average they took about 3 minutes (Goranson, 1978).

7 6 The Scientific Attitude The scientific attitude is composed of curiosity (passion for exploration), skepticism (doubting and questioning) and humility (ability to accept responsibility when wrong).

8 7 Scientific Method Psychologists, like all scientists, use the scientific method to construct: theories that organize, summarize and simplify observations.

9 The Need for Psychological Science  Critical Thinking  thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions  examines assumptions  discerns hidden values  evaluates evidence The Amazing Randi—Skeptic ($ 1 mil challenge)

10 9 Scientific Method Psychologists, like all scientists, use the scientific method to construct theories that organize, summarize and simplify observations.

11 10 A Theory is an explanation that integrates principles and organizes and predicts behavior or events. For example, low self-esteem contributes to depression. theories must imply testable predictions, a.k.a hypotheses -hypotheses allow us to test and reject or revise the theory, ultimately giving direction to the research Eg. People with low self-esteem are apt to feel more depressed. Theory

12 11 Research would require us to administer tests of self-esteem and depression. Individuals who score low on a self-esteem test and high on a depression test would confirm our hypothesis. Research Observations

13 12 Research Process

14 The Need for Psychological Science -theories must imply testable predictions, a.k.a hypotheses -hypotheses allow us to test and reject or revise the theory, ultimately giving direction to the research

15 The Need for Psychological Science

16  Operational Definition  a statement of procedures (operations) used to define research variables for measurement  Example-  intelligence may be operationally defined as what an intelligence test measures (score on IQ test)

17 The Need for Psychological Science  Replication  repeating the essence of a research study to see whether the basic finding generalizes to other participants and circumstances  usually with different participants in different situations >

18 Research Methods in Psych zSetting - field vs. laboratory zMethods of data collection yself-report vs. observational zResearch plan or design – 5 Methods yDescriptive (3) – describe, don’t explain behavior (1. case study, 2. survey, 3. naturalistic observation) y4. correlational y5. experimental

19 Descriptive Research Case Study  Psychologists study one or more individuals in great depth in the hope of revealing things true of us all Is language uniquely human?

20 Descriptive Research CASE STUDIES: An observation technique in which one or more individuals are studied in depth in the hope of revealing things true to us all Ex. Genie in “Secrets of a Wild Child” -locked in a closet at 20 months old,no one ever spoke to her, rescued at age 13; Genie never learned to use language as well as most people; believed she missed the critical period for language development when she was locked up

21 Descriptive Research - WARNING ---- WARNING: case studies may be misleading (use caution not to overgeneralize)  person being studied may be abnormal/ atypical -also people behave differently when they know they are being studied >

22 21 Case Study A clinical study is a form of case study in which the therapist investigates the problems associated with a client. Clinical Study

23 Descriptive Research  Survey  technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of people  usually by questioning a representative, random sample of people  Survey activity!!  don’t want to ask loaded questions or be to ambiguous – potential wording effects  Possibility of “response bias” – respondents telling researcher what they want to hear

24 Descriptive Research  Sampling  -how you choose to include in your survey  -we usually associate with people who have similar attitudes and beliefs as us  -false consensus effect - the tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors  -therefore, we must make sure our sample is representative(we can’t just poll our friends)

25 Descriptive Research population -all the cases in a group from which we may draw our sample random sample - sample that represents a population because each member of the target population has the same chance of inclusion (fyi: -It only takes a random sample of 1500 people to represent the entire population of the US if they are randomly chosen from different geographic areas *random samples are representative Another type of representative sample is a stratified sample

26 25 Survey Random Sampling If each member of a population has an equal chance of inclusion into a sample, it is called a random sample (unbiased). If the survey sample is biased, its results are not valid. The fastest way to know about the marble color ratio is to blindly transfer a few into a smaller jar and count them.

27 Descriptive Research -before you believe a poll or survey- find out what kind of sample was used ex. Women and Love Article - stated 70% of women married more than 5 years were having affairs - 95% of women felt emotionally harassed by the men they love -She sent the survey to 100,000 women who belonged to women’s organizations -Only got 4500 returns -an actual scientific survey revealed only 1 in 7 women had had affairs

28 Descriptive Research  Naturalistic Observation  descriptive research method where organisms are watched and their behavior recorded while in their natural environment  -a.k.a. field study  -just like case studies and surveys, naturalistic observation only describes behavior it does not explain it

29 28 Naturalistic Observation Cont’d Observing and recording the behavior of animals in the wild and recording self-seating patterns in a multiracial school lunch room constitute naturalistic observation.

30 29 Descriptive Methods Case studies, surveys, and naturalistic observation describe behaviors. They are descriptive research methods and don’t explain behaviors. **Strengths and weaknesses of each???? Summary

31 1-3 1-3 30-39 Correlational Method & Experimental Method : Scatterplots, Correlation Coefficients (r-value), Correlation v. Causation, Illusory Corrleations, Double-Blind Studies, Placebo, Control v Experimental Conditions, Random Assignment, Independent Variable, Dependent Variable 1. Describe both positive and negative correlations, and explain how correlational research can aid the process of prediction. 2. Explain why correlational research fails to provide evidence of cause-effect relationships. 3. Discuss how people form illusory correlations and perceive order in random sequences. 4. Identify the basic elements of an experiment, and discuss how experimental control contributes to causal explanation.

32 Correlation  Correlation Coefficient  a statistical measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus how well either factor predicts the other Correlation coefficient Indicates direction of relationship (positive or negative) Indicates strength of relationship (0.00 to 1.00) r = +.37

33 Correlation  Scatterplot  a graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables  the slope of the points suggests the direction of the relationship  the amount of scatter suggests the strength of the correlation  little scatter indicates high correlation  also called a scattergram or scatter diagram or correlation graph

34 Correlation Perfect positive correlation (+1.00) No relationship (0.00)Perfect negative correlation (-1.00) Scatterplots, showing patterns of correlations Note: The closer to 1 or –1 you get, the stronger the correlation

35 Correlation Ht and Temper of 20 Men (0=Calm, 100=volatile) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 80 63 61 79 74 69 62 75 77 60 64 76 71 66 73 70 63 71 68 70 75 66 60 90 60 42 60 81 39 48 69 72 57 63 75 30 57 84 39 Subject Height in Inches Temperament Subject Height in Inches Temperament

36 35 Scatterplot (Correlation Graph) The Scatterplot below shows the relationship between height and temperament in people. There is a moderate positive correlation of r = +0.63.

37 Correlation Three Possible Cause-Effect Relationships (1) Low self-esteem Depression (2) Depression Low self-esteem Depression (3) Distressing events or biological predisposition could cause or and

38 Illusory Correlation  Illusory Correlation  the perception of a relationship where none exists  sometimes random occurrences are just that – random  Ie. Damp Weather causes joint soreness  Can you think of any examples?

39 38 Illusory Correlation The perception of a relationship where no relationship actually exists. Parents conceive children after adoption. Confirming evidence Disconfirming evidence Do not adopt Disconfirming evidence Confirming evidence Adopt Do not conceive Conceive Michael Newman Jr./ Photo Edit

40 39 Given random data, we look for order and meaningful patterns. Order in Random Events – 2 Random Sequences Your chances of being dealt either of these hands is precisely the same: 1 in 2,598,960.

41 40 Order in Random Events Given large numbers of random outcomes, a few are likely to express order. Angelo and Maria Gallina won two California lottery games on the same day. Jerry Telfer/ San Francisco Chronicle

42 41 Experimentation Like other sciences, experimentation is the backbone of psychology research. Experiments isolate causes and their effects. (shows causation) Exploring Cause and Effect

43 Experimentation  Experiment  an investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) to observe their effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variable)  by random assignment of participants the experiment controls other relevant factors

44 43 Many factors influence our behavior. Experiments (1) manipulate factors that interest us, while other factors are kept under (2) control. Effects generated by manipulated factors isolate cause and effect relationships. Exploring Cause & Effect

45 44 An Independent Variable is a factor manipulated by the experimenter. The effect of the independent variable is the focus of the study. For example, when examining the effects of breast feeding upon intelligence, breast feeding is the independent variable. Independent Variable

46 45 A Dependent Variable is a factor that may change in response to an independent variable. In psychology, it is usually a behavior or a mental process. For example, in our study on the effect of breast feeding upon intelligence, intelligence is the dependent variable. Note: In a hypothesis, the IV precedes the DV. Eg. Babies that are breastfed (IV) will have higher intelligence rates. (DV) Dependent Variable

47 46 Assigning participants to experimental (Breast- fed) and control (formula-fed) conditions by random assignment minimizes pre-existing differences between the two groups. Evaluating Therapies Random Assignment

48 47 Experimentation A summary of steps during experimentation.

49 Experimentation  Placebo  an inert substance or condition that may be administered instead of a presumed active agent, such as a drug, to see if it triggers the effects believed to characterize the active agent (ie. Sugar Pill)  Double-blind Procedure  both the research participants and the research staff are ignorant (blind) about whether the research participants have received the treatment or a placebo  commonly used in drug-evaluation studies  required by FDA in new drug studies  helps guard against the placebo effect and researcher bias  Q: What then is a Single – blind Procedure?

50 Experimentation  Experimental Condition  the condition of an experiment that exposes participants to the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable  Control Condition  the condition of an experiment that contrasts with the experimental treatment  serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment

51 Experimentation  Random Assignment  assigning participants to experimental and control conditions by chance  minimizes pre-existing differences between those assigned to the different groups  Can easily perform with flip of a coin


53 Experimentation

54 Research Strategies DYOE- An example of what I want is something like: Third graders who wear purple socks are more likely to blow their noses. When you have finished creating your experiment, identify the following: The hypothesis = The control group = The experimental group = The independent variable = The dependent variable = A potentially confounding variable = Three control procedures = A specific description of how you would use statistics to validate your results: Note: Three bonus points on the first test will be awarded to the members of the group with the most creative design. You must also have each term listed above applied correctly in your evaluation to receive the bonus.

55 Experimentation  Independent Variable  the experimental factor that is manipulated  the variable whose effect is being studied  Dependent Variable  the experimental factor that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable  in psychology it is usually a behavior or mental process

56 1-4 1-442-55 Descriptive Statistics & Ethics: Measures of Central Tendency (Mean, Median, Mode), Measures of Variation/ Dispersion (Range, Standard Deviation), Skewed Distributions, Statistical Significance, Ecological Validity, Culture, Gender Differences, Animal Experimentation, APA & Ethical Guidelines, Justified Deception 10. Explain how bar graphs can be designed to make a small difference appear to be large. 11. Describe the three measures of central tendency and the two measures of variation 12. Discuss three important principles in making generalizations from samples, and describe how psychologists make inferences about differences between groups. 14. Explain why psychologists study animals, and discuss the ethics of experimentation with both animals and humans.

57 Research Strategies  Do subliminal messages work?  Can a subliminal memory imp tape boost your memory?  Design of the subliminal tapes experiment Subliminal tape content Self-esteemMemory Self-esteem Tape label

58 Graphical Analysis – Note Scales Our Brand Brand Brand Brand X Y Z 100% 99 98 97 96 95 Percentage still functioning after 10 years Brand of truck

59 Graphical Analysis – Note Scales Our Brand Brand Brand Brand X Y Z 100% 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Percentage still functioning after 10 years Brand of truck

60 Statistical Reasoning  Histogram - bar graph  Mode  the most frequently occurring score in a distribution  Mean  the arithmetic average of a distribution  obtained by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores  Median  the middle score in a distribution  half the scores are above it and half are below it

61 Statistical Reasoning A Skewed Distribution 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 90 475710 70 Mode Median Mean One Family Income per family in thousands of dollars

62 Statistical Reasoning  Range  the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution  Standard Deviation  a computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean such that 2/3 of the population fall b/w 1 SD to the right or left of the mean  Statistical Significance  a statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance

63 The Normal Curve

64 63 Measures of Variation

65 64 Standard Deviation

66 65 Making Inferences Statistical Significance A statistical statement of how frequently an obtained result occurred by experimental manipulation or by chance.

67 66 Making Inferences 1.Representative samples are better than biased samples. 2.Less variable observations are more reliable than more variable ones. 3.More cases are better than fewer cases. When is an Observed Difference Reliable?

68 67 Making Inferences When sample averages are reliable and the difference between them is relatively large, we say the difference has statistical significance. For psychologists this difference is measured through alpha level set at 5 percent. When is a Difference Significant?

69 ETHICS APA + BPS ETHICS 1. Informed Consent 2. Protect from Harm & Disc 3. Confidentiality 4. Debrief – Fully Explain Research Afterwards 5. Participants free to leave at anytime/ quit study

70 Frequently Asked Questions about Psychology Informed consent yuse of deception- Is it justified? zAnimal rights yIs there justification for discomfort or harm a research procedure may produce? zAPA publishes ethical guidelines

71 70 FAQ Q1. Can laboratory experiments illuminate everyday life? Ans: Artificial laboratory conditions are created to study behavior in simplistic terms. The goal is to find underlying principles that govern behavior.

72 71 FAQ Q2. Does behavior depend on one’s culture? Ans: Even when specific attitudes and behaviors vary across cultures, as they often do, the underlying processes are much the same. Ami Vitale/ Getty Images

73 Frequently Asked Questions about Psychology  Culture--the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next

74 73 FAQ Q3. Does behavior vary with gender? Ans: Yes. Biology determines our sex, and culture further bends the genders. However, in many ways woman and man are similarly human.

75 74 FAQ Q4. Why do psychologists study animals? Ans: Studying animals gives us the understanding of many behaviors that may have common biology across animals and humans. D. Shapiro, © Wildlife Conservation Society

76 75 FAQ Q5. Is it ethical to experiment on animals? Ans: Yes. To gain insights to devastating and fatal diseases. All researchers who deal with animal research are required to follow ethical guidelines in caring for these animals.

77 76 FAQ Q6. Is it ethical to experiment on people? Ans: Yes. Experiments that do not involve any kind of physical or psychological harm beyond normal levels encountered in daily life may be carried out.

78 77 FAQ Q7. Is psychology free of value judgments? Ans: No. Psychology emerges from people who subscribe to a set of values and judgments. © Roger Shepard

79 78 FAQ Q8. Is psychology potentially dangerous? Ans: It can be, but it is not. The purpose of psychology is to help humanity with problems such as war, hunger, prejudice, crime, family dysfunction, etc.

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