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Chapter 2 AP Psychology Outline

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1 Chapter 2 AP Psychology Outline
The Tactics of Psychological Research

2 I. Observing and Describing Behavior
A. Empirical knowledge and the scientific method 1. Systematic Observation (Operationally Define all Behaviors ) 2. Search for Regularities or Patterns of Behavior 3. Form a Hypothesis (Make a Prediction) 4. Evaluate the Hypothesis Based Upon Data and Observations 5. Confirm Hypothesis or Refine Hypothesis for Further Research

3 B. Descriptive Research – Tactics and methods underlying the direct observation and description of behavior 1. Reactivity – Occurs when behavior changes as a result of observing it. Reactivity threatens “external validity” or generalizability to real life situations. C. Naturalistic Observation – Observing human behavior in its natural setting (Ex. Observing children playing on a playground) or “ethologists” studying the behavior of animals in the wild. 1. Participant observation – The observer becomes a part of what they are studying or observing

4 D. Case Studies – Focus on a single case to get detailed information about a specific issue (Ex. Sybil) E. Survey Research – Used to get a broad sample of reported behavior using responses from many people. Surveys must get a representative sample of the population being studied to be accurate (Ex. Nielsen Poll) 1. Problems with surveys – surveys are a good source of general information, but not in-depth knowledge. Self report bias is a problem (Ex. Teen Drug Use Survey) F. Psychological Tests – Used to assess individual differences. Useful for prediction and placement 1. Achievement Tests – Measure the level of competence or knowledge in some area(s) (Ex. PSSA, CAT5) 2. Aptitude Tests – Measure or predict potential for success in a profession or area of study (Ex. SAT)

5 G. Statistics: Summarizing and Interpreting Data
1. Central Tendencies – Statistical values around which scores tend to cluster a. Mean – the arithmetic average of a set of scores b. Mode – the most frequent score in a data set c. Median – the middle score in a data set 2. Variability – gives an idea of how much scores in a data set differ from one another a. Range – the difference between the lowest score and the highest score b. Standard Deviation – (variability) a measure of how much individual scores differ from the mean 3. Descriptive Statistics – Area of statistics that includes measures of central tendencies and variability 4. Inferential Statistics – Area of statistics based on the laws of probability. Used to determine whether data is representative of a larger population and/or “Statistically Significant” (Beyond the likelihood of chance i.e. < 5% chance)

6 II. Correlational Research
Predicting Behavior – Correlational research is used to show relationships between data and predict future performance Correlations – statistics that indicate whether 2 variables are related or vary together in a systematic way 1. Positive Correlation – shows mathematically that 2 measures vary together in the same direction [ or ] (Ex. In a daycare; Number of diapers changed : Number of times staff wash their hands = . 75 ) 2. Negative Correlation – shows mathematically that 2 measures vary together in opposite directions [] (Ex. Practicing the piano; Number of hours practicing : Number of errors made playing piano in a performance = -.75)

7 3. Correlation coefficients – Range from
(100% positive relationship) to – 1.00 (100% Negative or Inverse relationship) The higher the number (absolute value), the stronger the relationship A “0” correlation = uncorrelated or no relationship exists C. Causality – Correlations do not indicate causality or why behaviors occur. Only experimental research can demonstrate cause - effect relationships.

8 III. Experimental Research
A. Variables – something that can take on more than one value 1. Independent Variable – the aspect of the environment that that the experimenter manipulates (Ex. Whether a medication is administered or not) 2. Dependent Variable – the behavior that is being measured in the experiment (Ex. Observable compulsive checking behavior) B. Experimental Control – the experimenter must make sure that only the independent variable is being tested and that no “confounding” (uncontrolled) variables exist that might affect the outcome of the experiment. 1. Experimental group – (or Experimental setting) the group that gets the treatment in an experiment 2. Control group – (or Control setting) the group that does not get treatment or receives a placebo 3. Internal validity – means that all variables are effectively controlled and only the independent variable is being tested 4. Random assignment – assures that each participant in an experiment has an equal chance of being selected for the control group or the experimental group. Also makes sure that the control group and the experimental group are similar

9 C. Expectancies and Bias – Experimenters and participants may have expectations regarding the roles or outcomes of an experiment. Experimenters may use deception to avoid expectancy bias. 1. Placebo – an inactive or inert substance that resembles an experimental substance to deceive an experiment’s participants (Ex. A pill that resembles a medication, but contains no medication) 2. Single-blind studies – ones in which the subjects (participants) in an experiment do not know if they are in the experimental group or the control group 3. Double-blind studies – ones in which neither the subjects (participants) nor the experimenters know which group is receiving treatment until the experiment is concluded

10 IV. Treating Research Participants Ethically: Human and Animal Studies
A. Ethical Questions – 1. Is it appropriate to deceive the subjects in an experiment by using a placebo or not explaining the true nature of an experiment? 2. Is it appropriate to withhold treatment from some subjects in an experiment (the control group) to reduce expectancy bias? B. APA Guidelines – the American Psychological Association has developed ethical guidelines and codes of conduct for experimentation 1. Informed Consent – Participants in research must be informed of all the factors affecting participation in an experimental study and consent must be in writing. 2. Debriefing – Subjects in an experimental study must be told of the general purposes of the research and of any deception used after the conclusion of the experiment. 3. Confidentiality - The participant’s right to privacy must be protected and personal information may not be revealed without the participant’s permission. C. The Ethics of Animal research Animals are used in less than 10% of all psychological studies Animals are used because it allows more experimental control The APA has strict guidelines governing animal care in research Justifiable use of animals in research is controversial.

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