Lecture1 - Chapter 1 - Intro and Research Methods...

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Chapter 1 - Intro and Research Methods PSYCHOLOGY - human mind and behavior (thoughts, motivations, perceptions, sensations, behavior, human interaction) Assumptions of science- 1. ORDER in the universe, things happen for a reason, lawful and not haphazard relationships 2. DETERMINISM - every event has a physical, potentially measurable cause. Causes two problems. a. FREE WILL b. 3. SKEPTICISM – doubts all claims not supported by solid research evidence. Especially important in psychology- many of our findings are tentative and subject to change with time. We are surrounded and affected by culture. 4. ACCURACY – evaluate info as carefully as possible 5. OBJECTIVITY -- science has the duty to be free of bias 6. OPEN MINDEDNESS - willingness to change if they are given suitable data Goals of scientific research- 1. DESCRIPTION – citing of observable characteristics a. SYSTEMATIC – describe only relevant items. Example, if I’m writing about social interaction in a classroom setting, I do not need to tell you what the teacher is wearing. b. PRECISE – concrete descriptions – measurement – use of numbers. c. OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS – definitions in terms of the procedures used to measure or produce. Example – drunk is having a BAC of .08 or above. 2. PREDICTION – Based on what I’ve seen in the past, what will happen next? a. HYPOTHESIS – testable prediction about relationship between two or more factors b. THEORY – statements that summarize / explain research findings and from which hypotheses are derived. An overview of what we know so far about a topic. c. PREDICTIONS about human behavior are more accurate in regard to people in general than to a specific person (better applied to groups than individuals) This means on average, people in situation A respond with reaction B, but I cannot say precisely what one of you will do.
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3. CONTROL – manipulating factors that affect thought / behavior. a. EXPERIMENTAL CONTROL – in research, controlling as many factors as possible. Example, if I’m testing mood, I want to test them all on the same day of the week. It’s 6:30 on Monday- how you feeling? This could differ from 6:30 on Friday. The same experiment proctor should be used – you don’t like everyone around you equally. b. EVERYDAY CONTROL – application of research findings to control of behavior. This is applying research findings to controlled behavior in everyday life. c. EXPLANATION – discovering the causes of changes in behavior, thought and emotion. Particularly difficult in psychology. We think antidepressants affect certain parts of the brain, but we’re not sure. They were discovered trying to cure tuberculosis – they didn’t help but people felt better about having tuberculosis. Electroshock therapy shocks the depression out of you – we can control it, but we
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Lecture1 - Chapter 1 - Intro and Research Methods...

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