How do psychologists ask and answer questions? Intro to Research ★ Differentiate types of research with regard to purpose, strengths, & weaknesses ■Why use each of the research methods? ★ Describe how research design drives the reasonable conclusions that can be drawn ■How can each research method best drive the conclusions based on their results?
Scientific Method 1.Observe some aspect of the universe. Formulate a question. 2.Invent a theory (hypothesis) that is consistent with what you have observed. 3.Use the theory to make predictions. 4.Test those predictions by experiments or further observations. 5.Modify the theory in the light of your results. 6.Go to step 3, if necessary. 7.Draw conclusions. 8.Report your results.
Pre-Research Psychologists must: – Come up with a hypothesis and asking a specific question – Look for evidence and data – Select a sample: small group out of total population Representative of population Random Stratified
Sampling Identify the population you want to study The sample must be representative of the population you want to study RANDOM SAMPLE Every 20 names on a list Stratified Sampling Strategically choosing people to make sure it is representative
Types of Descriptive Research 1.The Case Study 2.The Survey 3.Naturalistic Observation
Descriptive Research: 1. The Case Study 1 person, group (or situation) is observed in depth. A case study is an intensive analysis or research of an individual unit (e.g., a person, group, or event) stressing developmental factors in relation to context. Ex. Phinaes Gage In a case study, nearly every aspect of the subject's life and history is analyzed to seek patterns and causes for behavior. The hope is that learning gained from studying one case can be generalized to many others. Unfortunately, case studies tend to be highly subjective and it is difficult to generalize results to a larger population.
Descriptive Research: 2. The Survey Method A technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes, opinions or behaviors of people usually by questioning a representative, random sample of people. You give a survey when you want to know how people “feel.” Use Interview, mail, phone, Internet etc… Cheap, anonymous, diverse population, & easy to get random sampling (a sampling that represents your population you want to study).
Descriptive Research: 3. Naturalistic Observation Observing and recording behavior in natural environment. No control or interaction - just observation. Students often confuse naturalistic observation with field experiments. Both involve doing research out in the world. However, N.O. does not impact the behavior of the participants. What are the benefits and detriments of Naturalistic Observation?
Examples of Naturalistic Observation The goal: get a realistic & rich picture of the participants’ behavior. To that end, control is sacrificed. Jane Goodall’s work at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania for 40 years is an example of N.O. By observing chimpanzee behavior she was able to attain a deeper understanding than any human had previously. However, some of very strict scientific protocol were not always used. Goodall was not a natural scientist. Her insights though did lead to an understanding that chimps have personalities, use tools, are not vegetarians, and can behave in a VERY aggressive manner. Pictured to the right: (Top) Jane Goodall at the Houston Zoo in 2012.
Longitudinal Study Study groups of people over long periods of time for changes in behaviors (over months, years, decades) – Ex. Development of a child…”Genie” or effects on the brain/body in determining how old a person should be legally able to consume alcohol.
Cross-Sectional Study How different age groups view same behavior – Study is conducted simultaneously What does simultaneously mean? Ex. Music preferences You guys vs. adults
Correlational Research ★ The measure of the relationship between two items or variables. ★ Does NOT say that one variable causes another. POSITIVE CORRELATION - 2 variables that increase together or decrease together. Example: The number of gallons of gas pumped is positively correlated to the amount spent on gas. GALLONS OF GAS $ ON GAS NEGATIVE CORRELATION - Variables move in opposite directions Example: Miles traveled is negatively correlated to the amount of gas left in your tank. MILES TRAVELED GAS IN TANK
Measured using a correlation coefficient. A statistical measure of the extent to which two factors relate to one another. Positive orNegative? Negative!
Correlation Coefficient + or - ? Positive or Negative? Positive!
Correlational Research There is a positive correlation between ice cream and murder rates. What might account for this correlation? Does that mean that ice cream causes murder?
Experimental Research Explores cause & effect relationships. Famous experiments in Psych: ★ Pavlov’s salivating dogs ★ Milgram’s obedience study Experiments are the only research method that isolates cause and effect! Like other sciences, experimentation forms the backbone of research in psychology.
Experimental Terminology Independent Variable - IV: factor that is manipulated Dependent Variable - DV: factor that is measured Experimental Group: Group exposed to IV Control Group: Group not exposed to IV
So What Now? So I perform a study and what I find is concrete and final? Psychologists do not fully accept results of research until the research has been duplicated by someone else. But Why? Studies can have hidden flaws
Other Things to Remember... ETHICS! – The American Association of Psychology published a set of ethics regarding the collection, storage, and use of psychological data Both for humans and animals.