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Research & Statistics Different ways to study the mind 8 – 10 %
Understanding Research Annenberg learner.org Video on demand – discovering psychology: Updated Edition Understanding Research, 27 minutes Video on Demand
Critical Thinking Thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions examines assumptions discerns hidden values evaluates evidence
vs. talk-radio counselors, intuition, common sense, gut feelings, and psychics not free from error
the “I-knew-it-all-along” phenomenon Hindsight Bias Overconfidence “we think we know more than we actually know”
GRABE ETYRN WREAT How long do you think it would take to unscramble these anagrams?
GRABE ETYRN WREAT How long do you think it would take to unscramble these anagrams? People said it would take about 10 seconds, on average they took about 3 minutes. WATER ENTRY BARGE
Scientific Approach the need for the Scientific Approach to Behavior
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). Critical thinking does not accept arguments and conclusions blindly.
Using science, we can differentiate between uniformed opinions and examined conclusions Examined conclusions lead to our understanding of how people feel, think, and act as they do!
11 A Theory is an explanation that integrates principles and organizes and predicts behavior or events. An example: low self-esteem contributes to depression. Psychologists develop theories to explain behavior; they apply theories to solve behavior problems
Theory system of interrelated ideas used to explain a set of observations
Goals of a scientific investigation Measurement techniques that enable clear description of behavior Understanding and prediction (hypothesis) Application and control
the phenomenon a researcher is attempting to understand will determine the research method used in the investigation (e.g. experiments are useful for determining cause and effect; the use of experimental controls reduces alternative explanations)
Experimentation the backbone of psychology research. It is the ONLY research method capable of showing cause and effect
What are the key steps in scientific investigation 1.Develop a Hypothesis 2.Design – which research method? 3.Gather objective data 4.Analysis and conclusions (refine hypothesis and retest) 5.Report, publish, criticize, replicate the results
17 A Hypothesis is a testable prediction, often prompted by a theory, to enable us to accept, reject or revise the theory. i.e. People with low self-esteem are apt to feel more depressed. Step 1: Hypothesis
18 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
Formulating a testable hypothesis Provide operational definitions of the relevant variables Operational definitions describe the actions or operations that will be used to measure or control a variable Precisely what is meant by each variable in the study
People said it would take about 10 seconds to unscramble the 3 anagrams, yet on average they took about 3 minutes ( Goranson, 1978 ) Hypothesis: people think they know more than they really do What would be the best method to test this?
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 smoking upon intelligence, smoking is the independent variable. Independent Variable
22 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 of the effect of smoking upon intelligence, intelligence is the dependent variable. Dependent Variable
the experiment controls other relevant factors by random assignment of participants and double-blind procedure This increases confidence in the research findings
24 Assigning participants to experimental (smoking) and control (non-smoking) conditions by random assignment minimizes pre-existing differences between the two groups. Random Assignment
25 In evaluating drug therapies, patients and experimenter’s assistants should remain unaware of which patients had the real treatment and which patients had the placebo treatment. Double-blind Procedure
26 summary of Experimentation smoking Non- smoking
2. Design the study Participants or subjects – persons or animals whose behavior is systematically observed in a study
Select a research method Experimental Methods – Experimentation Descriptive Methods – Case study – Survey – Naturalistic observation
Experimental Research Experiment – research method in which the investigator manipulates a variable under carefully controlled conditions and observes whether any changes occur in a second variable as a result The only method that can determine cause and effect relationships
Hypothesis a tentative statement about the relationship between 2 or more variables measurable conditions, events, characteristics, behaviors that are controlled or observed Variables
Independent Variable (IV) Dependent Variable (DV) Researchers need two variables because they want to be able to examine if one thing (a drug, therapy, teaching technique…) has an effect on another (person, people, animals...). They need to have something to examine and manipulate, the variable of interest (IV) And they need to have some way to measure the effect, the dependent variable (DV)
Does a change in one variable cause a change in another? IV: Independent variable – something the experimenter changes or manipulates to see if it has an impact (it is free to be varied) DV: Dependent variable – the variable that will be affected by the change (it depends on the manipulation)
The independent variable is the experimental variable It is the variable that is manipulated by the research and has an effect on the DV. If there is a change or effect, we may conclude that the IV affected the DV. The will establish that the IV caused the change in the DV (this is the magical "cause & effect")
if you want to study the effect of drinking 12 ounces of beer on exam performance, the beer would be the IV and the performance on the exam would be the DV. The performance on the exam is dependent on the beer we might have one treatment group whose participants drink the beer and one control group whose participants do not drink the beer
Groups Experimental group – they will receive some special treatment (drink beer) Control groups – they will not receive special treatment (won’t drink beer) The two groups must be alike in every way EXCEPT for the variation created by the manipulation of the independent variable
Independent and Dependent Variables Worksheet Part I Practice Time
Variables Extraneous variables – other things that can affect the outcome of the experiment – any variables other than the independent variable that are likely to influence the dependent variable in a specific study Confounding variables – confounding occurs when two variables are linked together in a way that makes it difficult to sort out their specific effects
Controls and Safeguards Ensure that all groups in the experiment are treated equally except for the manipulation of the independent variable. To control for extraneous variables Random assignment – an equal chance to be assigned to either group or condition in the study
Variations in designing experiments 1.One group of subjects serves as their own control group exposed to both – Experimental condition – A control condition
Variations in designing experiments 2.Manipulation of more than one independent variable in a single experiment, adding the possibility of an interaction
Variations in designing experiments 3.More than one dependent variable is used in a single study, adding a more complete picture of how a manipulation affects a given behavior
Step 3: Collect the data Procedures for making empirical observations and measurements
People said it would take about 10 seconds to unscramble the 3 anagrams, yet on average they took about 3 minutes (Goranson, 1978) Design: ask people how long it would take to unscramble the anagrams, record their answer, give them the anagrams, record the time is takes them, compare the two
4. Analysis and conclusions Data is converted into numbers Numbers are analyzed using statistics
5. Report the findings Journal – periodical that publishes technical and scholarly material, usually in a narrowly defined area of inquiry Peer review
The advantages to the scientific approach Clarity and precision Intolerance for error
Strengths and Weaknesses of the Experimental Method Advantages Permits conclusions about cause and effect Precise control Disadvantages Often artificial, contrived situations Limited by ethical concerns Some manipulation of variables would be impossible
Advantages of Experimental Method *cause-and-effect *operationalization of variables *stresses the control of variables *can implement double- blind or blind procedures *high internal validity *may be replicated Disadvantages of Experimental Method *reduce external validity *difficult to establish adequate control conditions *statistical probability of bias
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