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How Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions
Module 2 Research Strategies How Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions -I-
Our intuition and common sense
Hindsight Bias we tend to believe, after learning an outcome, that we would have foreseen it the “I-knew-it-all-along” phenomenon Overconfidence we tend to think that we know more than we do Perceiving order in random events Our eagerness to make sense of the world We overestimate our own intuition
Thinking Critically With Psychological Science
To believe with certainty, we must begin by doubting Thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions examines assumptions identifies hidden values evaluates evidence assesses conclusions
The Scientific Method The Process of Research Observing a phenomenon
Formulating an idea Testing an idea Generalizing or refining the idea
The Scientific Method Formulating an idea Testing an idea
Initial phase of research, in which observations, beliefs, information, and general knowledge lead to a new idea or a different way of thinking about some phenomenon Testing an idea Organizing countless observations into a theory Formulating testable predictions: hypotheses Testing the hypotheses Using operational definitions of concepts Generalizing or refining the idea
The Scientific Method Theory Hypothesis
an explanation that integrates principles and organizes and predicts behavior or events. Theory explains the underlying reason of the observed phenomenon Produce hypotheses Hypothesis a testable prediction, often prompted by a theory, to enable us to accept, reject or revise the theory.
The Scientific Method Theory explains the underlying reason WHY?
Testing hypotheses using operational definitions
a statement of procedures (operations) used to define research variables Also enables other researchers to replicate example- intelligence may be operationally defined as the score obtained from the intelligence test measures Psychological well-being can be operationally defined as high level of life satisfaction and low depression. Academic success can be operationally defined as GPA.
The Scientific Method Replication
repeating the essence of a research study to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances usually with different participants in different situations the research findings can be generalizable to other samples/situations.
Methods of psychology Description (to describe)
Correlation (to predict) Experimentation (to understand)
Methods of psychology To describe human and animal behavior and mental processes, psychologists conduct: Case studies Surveys Observations (naturalistic / lab)
Description Case Study
observation technique in which on individual (or few incidences) are studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principals Studies of brain damaged individuals Piaget Suggest hypotheses for further studies Problems?? May be unrepresentative cannot be generalizable
Description Survey Looks at many cases with less depth.
Ask people to report thier behaviors or opinions. Market surveys Koç University student satisfaction survey Problems??
Who do we survey? Usually question a representative, random sample of people seleced from a population. Population all the cases in a group, from which samples may be drawn for a study Random Sample a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion
How do we ask questions? If there is a serious fuel shortage this winter, do you think there should be a law requiring people to lower the heat in their homes, or do you oppose such a law? Should be 39.4 % Oppose 60.6 % If there is a serious fuel shortage this winter, do you think there should be a law requiring people to lower the heat in their homes, or do you oppose such a law because it would be too difficult to enforce? Should be 26.0 % Oppose 74.0 %
Description Naturalistic Observation
observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations (or in more controlled environments) without trying to manipulate and control the situation Dating behaviors of Koç University students? Problems?
Methods of psychology 2. To predict human and animal behavior and mental processes, psychologists conduct - Correlational studies: the examination of the quantitative relationships between two or more variables how does one behavior relate to the occurrence of another behavior? if we know one behavior’s pattern can we then, in turn, predict the pattern of occurrence of another behavior?
Variable Defined Any characteristic or attribute that varies in amount and kind Gender Success Weight, Height Self-esteem Reaction time in a learning experiment Intelligence Achievement motivation Any characteristic or attribute of persons, objects, or events that can take on different numerical values. These different values are called attributes So gender: variable female: attribute personality: variable extravert: attribute
(positive or negative)
Correlation Correlation Coefficient a statistical measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus how well either factor predicts the other Indicates direction of relationship (positive or negative) Correlation coefficient r = +.37 Indicates strength of relationship (0.00 to 1.00)
Correlation does not imply causation
Three Possible Cause-Effect Relationships could cause (1) Low self-esteem Depression or (2) Depression could cause Low self-esteem or Low self-esteem (3) Distressing events or biological predisposition could cause and Depression
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