Presentation on theme: "How Do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions?"— Presentation transcript:
1 Research Strategies: How Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions Module 2
2 How Do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions? The Scientific MethodGoals and Tools of PsychologyDescriptionCorrelationExperimentation
3 Why Do Psychology?How can we differentiate between uniformed opinions and examined conclusions?The science of psychology helps make these examined conclusions, which leads to our understanding of how people feel, think, and act as they do!
4 What About Intuition & Common Sense? Many people believe that intuition and common sense are enough to bring forth answers regarding human nature.Intuition and common sense may aid queries, but they are not free of error.Taxi/ Getty ImagesPersonal interviewers may rely too much on their “gut feelings” when meeting with job applicants.
5 Hindsight Bias and Overconfidence Hindsight Bias is the “I-knew-it-all-along” phenomenon. After learning the outcome of an event, many people believe they could have predicted that very outcome. Anything seems commonplace once explained. Overconfidence: Sometimes we think we know more than we actually know. Both hindsight bias and overconfidence lead us to overestimate our intuition.“Anything seems commonplace, once explained.” Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes.Two phenomena – hindsight bias and judgmental overconfidence – illustrate why we cannot rely solely on intuition and common sense.
6 The Scientific Attitude The scientific attitude is composed ofcuriosity (passion for exploration),skepticism (doubting and questioning) andhumility (ability to accept responsibility when wrong).Critical thinking does not accept arguments and conclusions blindly. It examines assumptions, evaluates evidence and assesses conclusions.Preview Question 6: What attitudes characterize scientific inquiry?
7 The Scientific Approach Most people have greater difficulty thinking of psychology and other behavioral sciences as science. In part this is because many people misunderstand what science is. Research involving molecules and chromosomes seems more scientific than research involving emotions, memories, or social interactions, for example.Whether an area of study is scientific has little to do with the topics it studies. Rather science is defined in terms of the approaches used to study the topic.
8 Can we study EVERYTHING scientifically? Is there life after death?Are there angels?
9 Solvable ProblemsScience only deals with solvable problems. Researchers can investigate only those questions that are answerable, given current knowledge and research techniques.In sum, to be considered scientific:the questions addressed must be potentially solvableobservations must be systematic and empiricalresearch must be conducted in a manner that is publicly verifiablePseudoscience involves evidence that masquerades as science but that fails to meet one or more of the three criteria used to define science.
10 How Do Psychologists Ask & Answer Questions? Psychologists, like all scientists, use the scientific method to construct theories that organize, summarize and simplify observations.
11 TheoryA theory is an explanation that integrates principles and organizes and predicts behavior or events. For example: Social Learning Theory People learn through observing others' behavior.If we were to observe that depressed people talk about their past, present, and future in a gloomy manner, we may theorize that low-self-esteem contributes to depression.
12 Hypothesis For example: A hypothesis is a testable prediction, often prompted by a theory, to enable us to accept, reject or revise the theory.For example:One hypothesis from the Social Learning Theory:People who watch violent films display more aggressive behavior.
13 Research would require us to administer surveys or experiments. For example:Conduct a research study to examine if there is a relationship between frequency of watching violent films and aggressive behaviors.
14 The Scientific Method Operational Definition a statement of procedures (operations) used to define research variablesHow you are going to measure aggression is your operational definition for aggression.Operational definition for violent films.
15 Example violent movies and aggression Hypothesis? There is a relationship between frequency of watching violent films and aggressive behaviorsOperational definition of variables?Exposure to violent movies: number of times a person watches violent movies in a week in the last 3 monthsAggression: Frequency of behavior that aims to harm other people.
16 Research Process (1) Theory: Social learning theory People learn through observing others' behavior.(3) Research and observations:Is there a relation between frequency of watching violent films and aggressive behaviors(2) Hypothesis:People who watch violent films display more aggressive behavior.
17 The Scientific Method Replication repeating the essence of a research study to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstancesusually with different participants in different situationsExample
18 Goals of Psychology To describe behavior and mental processes To predict behavior and mental processesTo explain and understand behavior and mental processesTo influence/control behavior and mental processes
19 Goals and Tools of Psychology Descriptive MethodsTo describe human and animal behavior and mental processesCase studySurveysObservations (naturalistic or lab)
20 Example: Is language uniquely human? Descriptive MethodsCase StudyA technique in which one person is studied in depth to reveal underlying behavioral principles.Preview Question 8: How do psychologists observe and describe behavior?Susan Kuklin/ Photo ResearchersExample: Is language uniquely human?
21 Descriptive MethodsCase StudyResearchers make case studies to examine rare cases:Example: school shootingCase studies can suggest hypotheses for further studies.Problems: Cannot make generalizations. Conclusions can be misleading.Preview Question 8: How do psychologists observe and describe behavior?
22 Descriptive Methods Survey A technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes, opinions or behaviors of people(usually done by questioning a representative, random sample of people)Examples:Media surveysKoç University student satisfaction survey
23 Survey Wording Effects Wording can change the results of a survey. Q: Should cigarette ads be allowed on television?Q: Should cigarette ads be forbidden on television?(allowed vs. forbid)
24 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 not random, the results may not be representative.Examples:Media surveysKoç University student satisfaction survey
25 Random Sampling Population Random Sample all the cases in a group, from which samples may be drawn for a studyRandom Samplea sample that (fairly) represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusionRandomly pick from the student list
27 Naturalistic Observation Descriptive MethodsNaturalistic Observationobserving and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations (or in more controlled environments) without trying to manipulate and control the situationExamples:Observing and recording the behavior of animals in the wildObserving preschool children’s social behaviorsRecording self-seating patterns in a multi-racial school lunch room.
28 Descriptive Methods Summary To describe human and animal behavior and mental processesCase studySurveysObservations (naturalistic/lab)
29 Goals of Psychology2. To predict behaviors, thoughts, feelings, change and so on…Mainly by way of assessing the relationship between two or more variablesCorrelational studies
30 Definition of Variable Any characteristic or attribute that varies in amount and kindExamples:AgeWeightHeightSelf-esteemReaction time in a learning experimentStress levelAchievement motivation
31 (positive or negative) PredictionCorrelationWhen one trait or behavior accompanies another, we say the two correlate.Indicates strengthof relationship(0.00 to 1.00)Correlationcoefficientr =+0.37Correlation Coefficient is a statistical measure of the relationship between two variables.Indicates directionof relationship(positive or negative)
32 Prediction Correlation Positive correlation: one variable incerases, the other one also increases, or vice versa.Example: r = (age and intelligence)Negative correlation: one variable decreases, the other one increases.Example: r = (self-esteem and depression)32
36 Correlation does not mean causation! Inferring CausalityIf we know that two variables are highly correlated, can we determine the causal relationship between them?Violence viewingActualized violenceORViolence viewingActualized violenceCorrelation does not mean causation!36
37 A third variable could cause A and B: Instability at homeViolence viewingActualized violence37
39 CORRELATION DOES NOT IMPLY CAUSATION In order to determine causality we must turn to experimental methods.39
40 Goals of Psychology3. To explain and understand behavior and mental processesExperimentationLike other sciences, experimentation is the backbone of psychological research.Experiments isolate causes and their effects.40
41 Experimentation Experiment an investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) to observe their effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variable).41
42 Experimentation Independent Variable (IV) the experimental factor that is manipulatedthe variable whose effect is being studiedDependent Variable (DV)the experimental factor that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable42
44 Experimentation Experimental Condition the condition of an experiment that exposes participants to the treatment (to one version of the independent variable)Control Conditionthe condition of an experiment that does not expose participants to the treatmentserves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment44
45 The Bobo Doll Experiment Example:The Bobo Doll ExperimentParticipants: and 6-year-old children.The total of 72 children were split in to 2 groups.One group was put into an aggressive model scenario: the adult attacked the Bobo doll by hitting it.Another group was used as a control group and not exposed to any adult model at all.45
46 The Bobo Doll Experiment Example:The Bobo Doll ExperimentMeasure: The final stage of the experiment took place in a room in which the child was left alone for 20 min. with a series of aggressive and non-aggressive toys to play with.Results: Children exposed to the aggressive model were more likely to act in physically aggressive ways than those who were not exposed to the aggressive model.46
48 Exploring Cause & Effect 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.by random assignment of participants the experiment controls other relevant factors48
49 Experimental Condition Measure aggressive behaviors Control ConditionWatch nothingWatch violent movieMeasure aggressive behaviorsFigure 7.1Other variables here can be:socioeconomic background (income)49
50 Experimentation Random Assignment assigning participants to experimental and control conditions by chanceminimizes pre-existing differences between those assigned to the different groups50
51 Experimentation Single-Blind Procedure the research participants are uninformed (blind) about what treatment, if any, they are receiving.Do antidepressant drugs really work?Placebos can have significant antidepressant effectsTo show superior efficacy to placebo51
52 Experimentation Placebo an inert substance or condition that may be administered instead of a presumed active agent, to see if it triggers the effects believed to characterize the active agent.52
53 Experimentation 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 placebocommonly used in drug-evaluation studies53
54 Another ExampleStudy: One of the factors for prejudice is lack of knowledge about members of the other groupHypothesis: Watching a documentary film about the history of the outgroup will result in change in prejudice (reduce prejudice)IVDVManipulation (Experimental stimulus)54