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Presentation on theme: "THE SCIENCE OF PSYCHOLOGY"— Presentation transcript:


2 SCIENTIFIC METHOD: a system for reducing bias and error in the measurement of data
1. PERCEIVING THE QUESTION What do you want to know about? 2. FORMING A HYPOTHESIS What is my educated guess? 3. TESTING THE HYPOTHESIS What method of research should I use? 4. DRAWING CONCLUSIONS How do I use statistics to draw conclusions? 5. REPORT YOUR RESULTS Share with others, allow for replication Psychology is a science. It is interested in exploring human behavior and mental processes using empirical methods. All psychological research follows the scientific method. First, you start with the question you want to investigate. Next you form your hypothesis, or educated guess, on the answer to the question. A hypothesis is always in the form of a statement. Next, you choose the best research method to investigate your research question. From the statistical data you collect you make conclusions about the validity of your hypothesis. Finally, you share your results so that your study can be evaluated by others and can replicated by others to increase the validity of your findings.

3 Do birds of a feather flock together?
Do opposites attract? OR, Do birds of a feather flock together? For example, a psychologist might look to common sayings for a research question. Are we attracted to our opposites or do we like to be with people who are like us? A psychologist might want to investigate which is actually true. metrue /

4 DESCRIPTIVE METHODS: Simply wants to gather information
Gives a detailed description Observes and records Does not seek to show relationships One type of research are descriptive methods. They want only to describe and gather information.

5 Naturalistic Observation:
Best way to look at behavior of animals or people In natural environment Advantage: realistic picture of behavior because you are seeing it happen Disadvantages: -observer bias: see what expect to -observer effect: act differently because being watched Arvind Balaraman Naturalistic observation is good for any research that involves real behavior. For example, if a psychologist wanted to understand people’s behavior in prison. You can’t ethically or naturalistically create that behavior, though psychologists have tried. So a psychologist might go into a prison as a guard to see how people really behave in that environment.

6 Laboratory Observation:
When observation in a natural setting is not practical NOT AN EXPERIMENT Advantages: gives more control to researcher Disadvantages: artificial setting means may not reflect behavior in “real world” Laboratory observation is good for behavior that can’t be observed in a natural environment easily. Research into sleep is usually done in a laboratory. Ambro /

7 Case Study: One individual/small group are studied in great detail
Uses all other methods of research Usually unusual/rare cases Advantage: lots of detail/information Disadvantage: low generalizability-can’t really be applied to others Case studies are for unusual cases. For example, the case of Phineas Gage, a railroad worker who had a metal tamping rod go through his frontal lobe and got up and walked away. The changes in his behavior after the accident gave psychologists evidence that certain behaviors are localized to specific parts of the brain

8 Survey: Ask questions about topic you are studying
Questionnaires, interviews, on internet Can ask about embarrassing/personal info Advantages: lots of information from large group of people, quick results, inexpensive Disadvantages: Social desirability bias: people want to look good Volunteer bias: people who participate are different Framing: way word questions can affect answers The survey is the most commonly used research method because you can collect so much information in such a cost effective way. This is the method that psychologists would probably use to investigate the question about attraction. Asking couples about interests that they share could allow you to see if they have a lot in common or not.

9 Sampling: When choosing participants, can’t survey everyone from population Must choose people to be representative of whole group Random sample: everyone in the population has an equal chance to be in study More people, randomly chosen means more likely to be representative Generalizability: how well sample represents target population, do results apply to all? Your target population is the group you want to study for your research. For our research on attraction our target population would be couples. We can’t survey every couple but we want to have as many different types of couples as possible to make our research apply to more couples. Who you collect data from affects who you can say the results generalize to. If you only collect data from high school couples then you cannot apply your data to married couples.

Seeks relationship between 2 variables Does NOT want to prove cause/effect Positive correlation: variables increase in the same direction more studying, better grades Negative correlation: variables have an inverse relationship more smoking, worse health Illusory correlation: no real relationship exists sugar and hyperactivity A survey can also be correlational research. It could show that there is a relationship between the number of similarities and level of attraction. A survey, however, couldn’t show that similarities cause people to be attracted because there are too many other factors that a survey can’t account for that could affect attraction.

11 Correlation coefficients:
Statistics that show strength of the relationship between variables Perfect positive correlation = +1 Perfect negative correlation = -1 No correlation = 0 Further from 0 = stronger the relationship So the closer the number is to 1, positive or negative, the stronger the relationship.

12 Scatter plots: Graph to show correlations
Scatter plots are a way to see the relationship between 2 variables on a graph. This scatter plot shows a positive correlation between number of hours of exercise and amount of weight loss. If the dots go in a straight line, the stronger the relationship.

13 EXPERIMENTAL METHOD: IT IS THE ONLY METHOD THAT CAN SHOW A CAUSE AND EFFECT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN 2 VARIABLES The experiment is unique because it is the only research method that is capable of showing that one variable can cause a change in the other variable. Every other method can only say that the variable is somehow related to the other variable.

14 HOW? Researchers manipulate the variable they think is causing the change and then they CONTROL everything else but that variable, IF the other variable changes then they know it was due to their manipulation. CAUSE AND EFFECT Controls are what separate an experiment from other methods of research, and also what make an experiment harder to do.

15 EXAMPLE: Do violent cartoon shows cause children to be more

16 Variables: Independent variable: the variable being manipulated by the researcher Dependent variable: the variable that is being measured for change Operational Definitions: how the variables are going to be measured and quantified so that the research can be replicated Operational definitions are important because for research to be valid it must be quantified-I need you to show me HOW you know that kids are more/less violent. You can’t just say that you think they are. Statistics make research quantifiable. Also, to be valid, research has to be replicated. Scientists need to see the same results over and over again with all kinds of people. Your research can’t be replicated if you aren’t clear on what you to did in your experiment.

17 IV: violent cartoons (what the researchers will control and manipulate)
Operational definition: What makes a cartoon violent? How many acts of violence? Must quantify. DV: aggressive behavior (what they want to measure) Operational definition : What is an aggressive act? How will they know if a kid is more aggressive or less?

18 Confounding variables:
Other factors that can affect the Independent Variable OTHER THAN the Dependent Variable Don’t allow for Cause-Effect conclusion Exs.: kid’s home-life, natural temperament, grumpy that day, hungry, tired, don’t like cartoons, mad they have to be in an experiment How to control for these?? So removing these other factors allow you to show that the IV is the thing that made the DV change. Can you ever remove all confounding variables? No. Which is another reason research must be replicated.

19 Groups: Experimental group: get the experimental manipulation (watch the violent cartoon) Control group: don’t get the manipulation, there only for comparison (watch a nonviolent cartoon) MUST BE ALIKE IN EVERY OTHER WAY Random assignment: must have an equal chance of being in the control or experimental groups

20 Some Other controls: Placebos: fake treatments
-placebo effect: expectations of participants can influence their behavior Single-blind: participant doesn’t know if in control or experimental group -subject bias: tendency to act how they think they are supposed to act Double-blind: neither participant nor researcher knows the group -experimenter bias: researcher unintentionally influences the study

21 Ethical concerns: Participants in research have the right to expect that no physical or psychological harm will come to them. Guidelines are established by the American Psychological Association Institutional Review Boards: check over the proposed research for ethical concerns and for any flaws in the design Psychologists haven’t always had such strict regulations on how to protect their participants as you will discover as you learn more psychology.

22 Animal research: Why use animals?
Shorter lives = long-term effects sooner Easier to control Simpler behavior=easier to see manipulations Can do things to animals can’t do to humans Least amount of harm possible

23 Research with people: 1. informed consent
2. deception must be limited and justified 3. participants can withdraw at any time 4. confidentiality must be maintained 5. no long-term mental risk 6. no physical risk 7. debriefing


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