UNIT 3: QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODSQUESTION #3.1: What does primary psychological research study?Ais
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outcomes).In psychology, whenever we are talking about actions, decisions, choices, attitudes,performance, or scores on tests, we are talking about dependent variables. Of course, each ofthese variables could also be seen as a cause of some other event further down the causal chainof events. The rat may receive a reward for running the maze quickly, the worker might getfired for his absenteeism. However, in psychology, the dependent variables are the behaviors,not the later consequences of the behaviors.Independent variables are the potential influencesupon behavior. Some independentvariables arestimulicoming in from the environment. Here are some examples of suchindependent variables.ORGANISMINDEPENDENTVARIABLE(stimulus factor)DEPENDENT VARIABLE(influenced by theindependent variable)RatShape of the mazePerformance running the mazeVoterCampaign materialsAttitude about political candidateConsumerAdvertisementDecision to purchase a productWorkerThe weather reportAbsenteeismPatientDeath of his wifethree months agoDepressionAll stimuli are independent variables, but not all independent variables are stimuli. Anothertype of independent variable would be something in the organism's background that alsoinfluences the organism's behavior. This can include hereditary factors or experiences during aformative time in the organism's life, such as early childhood, or cultural factors.