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A2 Psychology research methods lesson 3

The scientific process

Amanda Lane

on 18 September 2013

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Transcript of A2 Psychology research methods lesson 3

To understand the components of the scientific process in relation to investigative study. Lesson Objective: What are the main differences between scientific knowledge and common-sense understanding? Scientific knowledge is... Objective
Can't be contradicted
Empirical Common-sense understanding is..... Subjective
Cannot be replicated
Insufficient evidence Theory construction: A theory is a way of explaining situations or occurrences by relating them to other situations.
Theories that relate to everyday life are known as
Scientific theories are constructed to explain occurrences that have been observed over a period of time.
Theories are tested and scrutinised to ensure that they either confirm or challenge the occurrence that is being observed.
All the factors that are concerned with the occurrence need to be considered when formulating a theory.
In order to theorise effectively, existing literature needs to consulted. 'Implicit Theories' Testing Theories Theories are systematically tested to ensure that the right outcome is obtained.
Theories can be validated, modified, or rejected on the basis of the research conducted.
Testing theories can either confirm or reject how key elements relate to each other.
Scientific knowledge provides the most accurate theories at that moment in time. This is not to say that they are the ultimately true, as some theories can become outdated through advancement in technology and new scientific discoveries.
Theoretical framework is essential to obtain maximum objectivity. Testing Hypotheses Hypotheses are obtained through theory using a process of deduction.
Hypotheses provide a testable statement in which an outcome is predicted.
A hypothesis can either support of refute a theory.
When the research confirms the expectations of the hypothesis, the theory becomes valid.
The testing of hypotheses can be done through induction and deduction methods.
The inductive process is more useful for new fields of research. Empirical methods Empiricism = Observation and measurement.
Only occurrences that can observed can be measured.
All scientific knowledge must be based on evidence received via our senses through direct observations and measurement.
Knowledge is gained through experience. Laws and Principles Scientific knowledge gained through research is used in order to generalise to the population as a whole.
However, Psychologists do not refer to laws and principles, but theoretical explanations.
Laws and principles are used to explain occurrences that happen at all times under all circumstances.
Laws and principles cannot be applied to the observation of behaviour.
ONE exception however is Thorndike's theory of operant conditioning: 'Law of effect'
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