Unit 1: Methods of Studying Psychology Essential Question: What is the difference between “scientific” and “non-scientific” study of Psychology
Nonscientific Approach to Psychology Makes broad, sweeping statements about human nature, like “Nobody ever blames himself for anything.” or “People are afraid of change.” Relies on historical events and personal experiences to support our views. Do you believe our planet has been visited by extraterrestrial life?
Problems with a Nonscientific Approach to Psychology Hindsight Bias: “I knew it all along phenomenon.” Bias: “we see what we want to see” Overconfidence: “it’s just common sense” Example: How long do you think it would take you to figure out a simple anagram like this? WREAT WATER
Scientific Approach to Psychology Scientific Method: 1.Hypotheses:; "Students who eat breakfast will perform better on a math exam than students who do not eat breakfast.“ 2.Theory: “People with low self esteem score higher on a depression scale” 3.Research and Observation…
Research and Observation Methods The Case Study –Studying one to find what is true in all The Survey –Looks at many cases and asks for reports on behavior or opinions Naturalistic Observation –Recording things in their natural environment What are positives and negatives with using each of these methods?
Variable A variable is anything in the experiment that can change, or vary. Example: Increasing the amount of violence teens watch to see what will happen to grades. The independent variable is the variable that is controlled and manipulated by the experimenter. The dependent variable is the variable that is measured by the experimenter.
Correlation A correlation is a relationship between two variables where changes in one variable go along with changes in the other variable. Example: As height increases, weight also tends to increase.
Two Basic Kinds of Correlations: Positive Correlation: as one variable goes up, so does the other. Example: as teens see more sexual images, there is an increase in teen sex Negative Correlation: as one variable goes up or down, the other will do the opposite. Example: as students watch more tv, their grades tend to go down
BEWARE! “Correlation is not causation.” Teens who report not feeling loved by their parents often drink more, skip school more frequently, and exhibit disruptive behaviors in class.