researchmethods - Psyc 001 Introduction to Psychology...

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1 Psyc 001 Introduction to Psychology Research Methods Psychology in the Media: How do you know what to believe? ± It is almost impossible to read a newspaper or watch TV news without being presented with new “psychological truths”. How can you judge the validity of these claims? ± Content: By knowing what psychological findings have been firmly established ± Research Methods: By knowing what kind of evidence is necessary to support a new discovery Content: What do you know about psychology? ± Facts About Psychology Quiz
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2 What Makes Psychological Research Scientific? ± Precision. ± Skepticism. ± Reliance on empirical evidence. ± Willingness to make risky predictions. ± Openness. Precision ± Theories ± organized systems of assumptions that purport to explain phenomena and their interrelationships. ± Hypotheses ± attempt to predict or account for a set of phenomena; specify relationships among variables; and, are empirically tested. ± Operational definitions ± define terms in hypotheses by specifying the operations for observing and measuring behavior.
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3 Skepticism ± Scientists do not accept ideas on faith or authority. ± Skepticism means treating conclusions, both old and new with caution. Reliance on Empirical Evidence ± A scientist relies on empirical evidence to determine whether a hypothesis is true. Willingness to make “risky predictions” ± Principle of Falsifiability. ± A scientific theory must make predictions specific enough to confirm and or disconfirm the theory; that is, ± the theory must predict not only what will happen, but also what will not happen.
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4 Openness ± Scientists must be willing to tell others where they got their ideas, how they tested them and what the results were. ± Peer review, publishing and replicating research gives science a built in system of checks and balances. Steps in Scientific Investigation Formulate Hypothesis Design the Study Collect Data Analyze the Data Draw Conclusions Report the Findings
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5 Methods of Gathering Data ± I. DESCRIPTIVE STUDIES: “Finding out the Facts” ± II. CORRELATIONAL STUDIES: “Looking for Links” ± III. EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH: “Looking for Causes” Goals of Descriptive Studies ± Goal: Observe and describe behavior ± Not: Explain causes ± Concerns: ± Reactivity ± Did individuals change their normal behavior because they were being observed? ± External validity ± Do your observations apply to real life? Descriptive Methods ± Case Study ± Natural Observation ± Laboratory Observation ± Surveys ± Tests
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6 Case Study ± Observe one or a very few subjects in great depth, usually over a long period of time ± Usually involves gathering a lot of information on background, behavior of that individual ± A detailed description of a particular individual may be used to formulate broader research hypotheses ± Advantage: The only method appropriate for very unusual cases ± Potential problems: ± External validity: Is that one individual representative? ± Verification: How do you know that one individual is
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course PSYCH 1 taught by Professor Hyland during the Spring '08 term at Lehigh University .

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researchmethods - Psyc 001 Introduction to Psychology...

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