Presentation on theme: "Research Methods Key Points What is empirical research? What is the scientific method? How do psychologists conduct research? What are some important."— Presentation transcript:
Key Points What is empirical research? What is the scientific method? How do psychologists conduct research? What are some important ethical considerations in conducting psychological research?
The Scientific Method Step by step process for guiding research Provides an objective, systematic framework for research Cyclical
Steps of the Scientific Method 1.Review the literature 2.Formulate a testable hypothesis 3.Design the study and collect the data 4.Analyze the data and accept or reject the hypothesis 5.Publish, replicate and seek scientific review 6.Theory building
Step 1:Reviewing the literature What research has been done in this area? What are the current theories? Consult scientific journals only. What can my research add to the current knowledge?
Step 2: Formulate a testable hypothesis Develop a specific prediction related to the area of interest Must be “testable”
Step 3: Design the study and collect the data How can you test your hypothesis? What type of study can be done? Collect data
Step 4: Analyze the data and accept or reject hypothesis Depending on the type of study conducted, you may use statistics to analyze the data Does data support or negate the hypothesis? Proving the hypothesis incorrect is not a failure
Step 5: Publish, replicate and seek scientific review Share data to expand current knowledge Conduct the experiment again to see if results are consistent Seek critical evaluation from professional peers
Step 6: Theory Building The Cycle continues Good research stimulates additional research Encourages growth in our knowledge
Scientific Method vs. research design The scientific method outlines the steps used in any type of study The research design describes the type of study conducted
Research Designs The range of research questions in psychology requires a range of options for conducting research You are not always in a position to control the variables of interest Every design has advantages and disadvantages
Who will be in the study? Population - the entire group of people of interest to the researcher (who should the results apply to?) Sample - the actual participants in the study, representative of the population
Types of Research Designs Experimental research Correlational research Surveys, questionnaires Observations Case Studies
The Experiment Only type of study that allows for statement of cause and effect Experimenter has degree of control over key variables not possible in other research designs
Characteristics of experimental research Independent and dependent variables Experimental and control groups Random assignment to groups
Independent and dependent variables Dependent Variable - what is being measured in the experiment to determine the effect of the independent variable? Independent variable - what is the experimenter manipulating in the experiment?
Experimental and control groups Experimental group - participants in the study who are exposed to the independent variable Control group - “comparison group”, participants in the study who do not experience the independent variable NOTE: participants are randomly assigned to these groups
Experimental Research Cautions Experimenter Bias - occurs when the experimenter’s own expectations influence the outcome of the research Research Participant Bias - reflects research participants’ beliefs about how they are expected to behave
Correlational Research Examines the relationship between two variables Cannot establish that one variable causes the other, just that they are related Relies on statistical analysis Strength of relationship measured from -1.0 to +1.0 Positive, negative or zero?
Case studies Descriptive data about an individual Helpful in obtaining data about rare cases Generalization is limited
Observations Naturalistic - occurs in the natural setting Laboratory - occurs in a controlled setting
Surveys/questionnaires Very common form of research Capable of collecting large amounts of data Measures people’s behaviors or attitudes
Ethical Considerations APA guidelines for ethical research Informed consent( can be withdrawn) Confidentiality Debriefing/use of deception