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Research in Psychology. Psychology is defined as the scientific study of ……. Introducing Research. 1.What does it mean to say that someone has a scientific attitude? What’s the difference between a correlational study and an experiment? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Research in PsychologyPsychology is defined as the scientific study of

  • Introducing Research

    1.What does it mean to say that someone has a scientific attitude?

    Whats the difference between a correlational study and an experiment?

    3.Identify three types of correlational studies and provide some strengths and weaknesses of each.

    4.What role do confounding variables play in an experimental study? Provide some examples.

    5. What role do controls play in a research study? (Provide some examples.)

  • Why do we need research?The Dangers of Common SenseHindsight Bias or I-knew-it-all-alongtendency people have to view events as more predictable than they really were. Intuition : sensing without the use of rational processFalse Consensus effect tendency to overestimate others agreement with us

  • Overconfidence

    Confidence level is not a consistent predictor of accuracy

  • The Limits of Common SenseRemember Hindsight bias and overconfidence often lead us to overestimate our intuition.

    We tend to remember our correct predictions and disregard our wrong ones.

  • Thinking Critically with Psychological ScienceCritical Thinking thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusionsexamines assumptionsdiscerns hidden valuesevaluates evidence

  • The Scientific AttitudeCuriositySkepticism HumilitySmart Thinking=Critical Thinking

  • Research StrategiesTheoryan explanation that organizes and predicts observationsHypothesis (If, then)a testable prediction often implied by a theoryOperational Definitions the specific procedures or steps used in the research study

  • Scientific MethodState the ProblemGather InformationForm a HypothesisTest the HypothesisRecord and Analyze DataState the ConclusionRepeat the Work

  • Scientific MethodMemory tool!SG HTDSR

  • Scientific MethodStevenGotHypothermiaTestingData andSeeing itReplicated

  • Types of Research Correlational Studies

    Explores the strength of a relationship between two or more variablesCan make predictions, but cannot explain cause and effectIOW: Does not explain behavior, only describes it

  • Types of Correlational StudiesCase StudyAn in-depth study of one person.Strength: Can provide valuable insight on an issue / condition Weakness: findings can rarely be generalized to a populationExceptions: Phineas Gage / brain injury, Piagets study of childhood development, and chimpanzees and language.

  • Correlational Studies.Survey MethodUsed to research the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of peopleQuestionnaire / Survey / interview...Strength: can be generalized to a larger population (if sample is random)Weakness: No cause and effectWording of survey can bias the research

  • Correlational MethodsRandom SamplesRandom Sample when every person in the entire group has an equal chance of participating.The larger the sample size the more likely to represent the wholeEx. Computer generated list of every 5th person. Why not send survey to entire school?

  • Correlational MethodsNaturalistic ObservationObserving subjects in their natural habitats / no interaction between researcher and subjectsStrength: valuable insight into natural behaviorWeakness: no cause and effect

  • Bias in Naturalistic ObservationObserver Effect: Behavior is changed because the subject knows its being watched (animals or humans)

    Observer Bias: When researchers notice what they want to see and ignore what doesnt support their theory

    Anthropomorphic Fallacy: Attributing human thoughts, feelings, or motives to animals during research (especially when explaining behavior)

  • Bias in researchExperimenter Effects: Changes in behavior caused by the unintended influence of the experimenterSelf-Fulfilling Prophecy: Negative or positive beliefs / attitudes predict negative or positive outcomes (teacher hears a new student is a troublemaker)

  • Correlational Research Analyzing DataCorrelation Coefficient: measures the strength of a relationship.A Positive correlation means the presence of one thing predicts the presence of the other thing. (2 sets of scores rise or fall together: +1=perfect correlation)A Negative correlation means the presence of one thing predicts the absence of the other thing. (one goes up, the other down: ---1= perfect negative 0 no correlation

  • Correlations: Statistical AnalysisScatterplot (aka scattergram, scatter diagram)Graphed data that shows the strength of a correlationThe more the data forms a line, the stronger the correlation, IOW:little scatter indicates high correlationextensive scatter = little or no correlationthe slope of the line suggests a positive or negative correlation

  • Research Methods

  • Fig. 1.9 The relationship between years of college completed and personal income (hypothetical data).

  • Research StrategiesScatter plot of Height and Temperament55 60 65 70 75 80 85

  • RememberCorrelations do not prove causation.Correlations only make predictions about the relationship between two variables

    Example: There is a positive correlation between a child watching violent TV and that child displaying violent behavior. Why can we not claim that violent TV causes violent behavior?

  • Three Possible Cause-Effect Relationships(1)Low self-esteemDepression(2)DepressionLow self-esteemLow self-esteemDepression(3)Distressing eventsor biologicalpredispositioncould causecould causecould causeororand

  • SoCorrelation indicates the possibility of a cause-effect relationship, but it cannot prove causation

  • Illusionary CorrelationIllusionary Correlation If we believe there is a relationship between two things, we are likely to notice and recall instances that confirm our belief.Examples: More babies born during a full moon, infertile couples who conceive after they adopt, premonition of a phone call followed by the phone call

  • RememberCorrelational methods can be used in case studies, surveys, and field experiences.

  • Experimentation: Cause and EffectThe experiment: the clearest, cleanest way to isolate cause & effect Experiments manipulate variables to test the results

  • Know the DifferenceCorrelational studies uncover naturally occurring relationships. experiments manipulates a setting to determine its effect.

  • Key Experimental PrinciplesExperimental group Group that receives the treatmentControl group Group that does not receive the treatment (placebo)

    Each group must be from a random sample, and randomly assigned

  • Variables (Anything that can vary)Independent Variable (IV) the variable that is manipulated (example, the drug)Dependent Variable (DV) the variable that is measured (example: behavior, or memory)

  • .VariablesDetermine the IV and DV in the following hypothesis:If you give a child sugar, then the childs activity level increases.

  • Confounding Variables Inconsistencies between experimental and control groups that can skew the results (bias!)Examples: Time, place, frequency, amount etc.

  • Confounding VariablesIf you give a child sugar, then the childs activity level increases.What confounding principles might affect this experiment?Scheduled activities after the experimentLocation of observed behaviorPeer group during experimentSize of peer group during experimentAmount and type of sugar ingestedTime of the experimentConditions prior to the experiment

  • Controls (prevent confounding variables)Placebos sugar pills or any inert substance given to the control group for a measured comparative basis against the experimental groupSingle blind procedure: Subjects dont know which group they are inDouble-blind procedure neither the subjects nor the experimenter know if the per subjects are in the experimental group or the control groupRandom sample and random assignment

  • RememberExperiments aim to manipulate an independent variable, measure a dependent variable, and control all other variables.

  • Beware!

    False Consensus effect tendency to overestimate others agreement with us

  • Good Research isValid when it measures what the researcher set out to measure and is accurateReliable when replication , with same operational definitions, results in the same outcome.

    **Water in glass example*********Students create survey designed to ask same question but illicit different results.************Self- fulfilling and/or Hindsight bias********


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