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Scientific Research

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Shelby Linstrom

on 30 September 2016

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Transcript of Scientific Research

General Psychology
Scientific Aspects: Basic

Professor, Clinical Neuropsychologist
i. Surveys – researchers will ask a series of questions about the topic under study.
Given to a
representative sample
- randomly selected sample of subjects from a larger population of subjects.
Population - the entire group of people or animals in which the researcher is interested.
a. Advantages:
Data from large numbers of people.
Study covert behaviors.
b. Disadvantages:
Have to ensure representative sample (or results not meaningful).
People are not always accurate
(courtesy bias)
.

Social desirability
.

V. Data Collection

C. Standardized tests
Verbal, written or “hands-on” in format.
Scores
supposedly reflective of
individual.
Score often compared to
norm/reference group.
WAIS-IV/WMS-IV & MMPI-2 as examples. (
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - 4th edition
;
Wechsler Memory Scale - 4th edition
;
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - 2nd edition
)
Helpful for
individual differences.
May not predict behavior in
non-testing situations
.
Problematic in some
minority groups
(bias!).

V. Data Collection

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General considerations about observation:
Observation requires
training
Observation needs
to be systematic
Observations need to be
recorded

IV. Data collection

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A.
Theory
:
interrelated set of ideas
that help
predict & explain behavior
{OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND}
B.
Hypothesis
:
specific assumption
that can be
tested
for accuracy
{60% of incoming freshmen with s/o will be disengaged by 4 months}

III. Key terms

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The Scientific Method

E. Case study - study of one individual in great detail.
Advantage: tremendous amount of detail.
Disadvantage: cannot apply to others.
Famous case study: Phineas Gage.
(watch clip for details).
V. Data Collection
D. Case study
In-depth look at a
single individual.
Not to be generalized
unless
combined with
similar
case studies.
Useful when
ethics or rareness
of case demand it.

V. Data Collection

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B. Questionnaires & surveys
1. Questionnaires
Participants’ responses noted on paper.
Can be given to large groups.
If well-constructed, can be
cost effective & valuable.

V. Data Collection

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V. Data Collection

ii. Naturalistic observation (cont.)
a. Major advantage:
Realistic picture of behavior
.
b. Disadvantages:
Observer effect
- tendency of people or animals to behave differently from normal
when they know they are being observed.
Participant observation
- a naturalistic observation in which the observer becomes a participant in the group being observed (to reduce observer effect).
Observer bias
- tendency of observers to see what they expect to see.
Blind observers
– people who do not know what the research question is (to reduce observer bias).
Each naturalistic setting is unique and observations may not hold.

A. Observation
ii.
Naturalistic observation
- watching animals or humans behave in their normal environment.
Real world setting with
no manipulation.
Investigator has
less control
over study’s
conditions.
Participants
often know they are under
observation.

V. Data Collection

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A. Observation:
i.
Laboratory observation

– watching animals or humans behave in a laboratory setting.
a. Advantages:
Control over environment.
Allows use of specialized equipment.
b. Disadvantages:
Controlled setting
, few real world factors.
Unnatural
setting
creates unnatural behavior.
People
know
they are
being observed
.
Participants often
lack diversity
.
Some aspects of
mind & behavior
are difficult to
examine in laboratory
.

V. Data Collection
OBJECTIVE: Explain scientific methods & types of research

INFERENCE


SAMPLE

POPULATION

Random Sampling from Population

PERSONAL
EXPERIENCES
PAST RESEARCH
FINDINGS
LOGIC AND
COMMON SENSE
THEORY
WORLD EVENTS
HYPOTHESIS
EMPIRICAL RESEARCH

DESIGN A STUDY
COLLECT THE DATA
ANALYZE THE RESULTS
DRAW CONCLUSIONS
THEORY IS SUPPORTED, DISCARDED, OR REVISED AND RETESTED
A.
Scientific method
- system of gathering data so that bias and error in measurement are reduced.
B.
Steps in the scientific method
:
1. Perceive the question.
2. Form a
hypothesis
– tentative explanation of a phenomenon based on observations.
3. Test the hypothesis.
4. Draw conclusions.
5. Report your results so that others can try to
replicate
- repeat the study or experiment to see if the same results will be obtained in an
effort to demonstrate reliability of results.

II. Steps in the scientific method

Part One
B.
Placebo effect
- the phenomenon in which the expectations of the participants in a study can influence their behavior.
Single-blind study

- subjects do not know if they are in the experimental or the control group (reduces placebo effect).

Experimenter effect
- tendency of the experimenter’s expectations for a study to unintentionally influence the results of the study.

Double-blind study
- neither the experimenter nor the subjects knows if the subjects are in the experimental or control group (reduces placebo effect and experimenter effect).

Quasiexperimental designs
- not considered true experiments because of the inability to randomly assign participants to the experimental and control groups (for example, if age is the variable of interest).

II. The Causal Relationship

The Experiment

ii. Correlation coefficient ranges from
–1.00 to +1.00
.
The closer to 1.00 or -1.00, the
stronger the relationship
between the variables.
No correlation =
0.0
Perfect correlation = -
1.00 or +1.00
iii.
Positive correlation
– variables are related in the
same direction
.
As one increases, the other increases; as one decreases, the other decreases.
iv.
Negative correlation
– variables are related in
opposite direction
.
As one increases, the other decreases.
CORRELATION DOES NOT PROVE CAUSATION!!!

I. The simple relationship

A.
Correlation
- a measure of the relationship between two variables.

i.
Variable
- anything that can change or vary.
Measures of two variables go into a mathematical formula and produce a
correlation coefficient (r)
, which represents two things:
direction of the relationship.
strength of the relationship.
Knowing the value of one variable allows researchers to
predict
the value of the other variable.

I. The simple relationship

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OBJECTIVE:

Explain Relationships and Implications

Critical thinking
- making reasoned judgments about claims.
A. Four basic criteria:
1. There are very few “truths” that do not need to be subjected to testing.
2. All evidence is not equal in quality.
3. Just because someone is considered to be an authority or to have a lot of expertise does not make everything that person claims automatically true.
4. Critical thinking requires an open mind.

IV. Critical Thinking

A.
Ethics committees
- groups of psychologists or other professionals who look over each
proposed research study and judge it according to its safety and consideration for the
participants in the study.
B.
Common ethical guidelines
:
1. Rights and well-being of participants must be weighed against the study’s value to science.
2. Participants must be allowed to make an informed decision about participation.
3. Deception must be justified.
4. Participants may withdraw from the study at any time.
5. Participants must be protected from risks or told explicitly of risks.
6. Investigator must debrief participants, telling the true nature of the study
and expectations of results.
7. Data must remain confidential.

III. Ethics in Psychological Research

II. The Causal Relationship

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C. Analyzing and interpreting data
1. Three measures of
central tendency
:
Mean
: mathematical
average
Median
:
central most
unit
Mode
: most
occurring
number
(watch 2 minute clip for details)
2. Two measures of
variability
:
Range
: complete
spread of scores
(44-98)
Standard deviation
: how much scores vary around the sample mean

Possible Explanations of Correlational Data

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Correlation does NOT prove causation

Menu

Possible Explanations of Correlational Data

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Permission required for reproduction or display.

Interpreting Correlational Numbers

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These rabbits are part of a drug-testing study. Their bodies are enclosed in the metal cases to prevent
movement during the test. What steps might the researchers using these animals take to
treat the animals ethically?

C. Animal research – answers questions we could never do with human research.

1. Focus is on avoiding exposing them to unnecessary pain or suffering.

2. Animals are used in approximately 7% of psychological studies.

III. Ethics in Psychological Research

Hypothesis
Independent variable

Dependent variable
Experimental group

Control group

Results (support or not support) hypothesis

II. The Causal Relationship
Positive and Negative Correlations

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Control Group: No TV

Exp Group: Watch TV

II. The Causal Relationship

Experimental group
- subjects in an experiment who are subjected to the independent variable.
Control group
- subjects in an experiment who are not subjected to the independent variable and who may receive a placebo treatment (controls for
confounding
variables).
Random assignment
- process of assigning subjects to the experimental or control groups randomly, so that each subject has an equal chance of being in either group.
Controls for confounding (extraneous,
interfering) variables.

Definition: Aggressive play

IV: Violent TV

II. The Causal Relationship

A.
Experiment
- a
deliberate manipulation of a variable
to see if corresponding changes in behavior result, allowing the determination of cause-and-effect relationships.
Operational definition
- definition of a variable of interest that allows it to be directly measured.

Independent variable (IV)
- variable in an experiment that is
manipulated
by the experimenter.

Dependent variable (DV)
- variable in an experiment that
represents the measurable response or behavior
of the subjects in the experiment.

.76 - .99
Very strong relationship! The two factors occur together very often.
.51 - .75
Strong relationship! The two factors occur together frequently.
.26 - .50
Moderate relationship! The two factors occur together occasionally.
.01 - .25
Weak relationship! The two factors seldom occur together.
0.00
No relationship exists!!
1.00
Perfect relationship! Two factors
always occurring together.
Part Two
1. Provide a rationale for
the study
2. Conduct the study
3. Analyze the data
4. Communicate the results
5. Replicate the study
SUMMARY
DV: Aggressive play

Class experiment time!
Freeman M. Chakara
PsyD, ABPP-CN

Descriptive methods lead to the formation of testable hypotheses.
Full transcript