Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - Chapter 2 Studying Behaviour Scientifically Why...

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Chapter 2 – Studying Behaviour Scientifically Why do bystanders sometimes risk injury and death to assist a complet  stranger, yet other times fail to intervene – even when providing help or  calling the police entails little potential risk? Diffusion of responsibility : psychological state in which each person  feels decreased personal responsibility for intervening o Produced by presence of multiple bystanders Hypothesis : tentative explanation or prediction about some phenomenon o Developed by gathering clues and analyzing them Theory : set of formal statements that explains how and why certain  events are related to one another o Broader than hypotheses o Simply stated o Good ones generate an integrated network of predictions and have  these characteristics: Incorporates existing facts and observations Testable Supported by the findings of new research Conforms to  law of parsimony : simpler theory is preferred o Never regarded as the absolute truth The Scientific Process Initial Observation / Question Form hypothesis Test Hypothesis (conduct research) o Hypothesis usually converted to an ‘if-then’ statement o Evidence is gathered Analyze data o Collect and draw tentative conclusions Further Research and Theory Building New Hypothesis Derived from Theory Two Approaches to Understanding Behaviour Hindsight : after the fact explanation
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o Most common method of trying to understand behaviour o Soren Kierkegaard: ‘Life is lived forwards, but understood  backwards.’ o Past events can be explained in many ways, no sure way to  determine which (if any) are correct Prediction, Control and Theory Building Defining and Measuring Variables Variable : any characteristic that can differ Operational definition : defines a variable in terms of the specific  procedures used to produce or measure it Self-report Measures : ask people to report own knowledge, beliefs,  feelings, experiences or behaviour o Hinges on people’s ability and willingness to respond honestly o Accuracy of self-reports also influenced by interviewer’s behaviour
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2009 for the course PSYCH 1000 taught by Professor Atkinson during the Spring '09 term at UWO.

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Chapter 2 - Chapter 2 Studying Behaviour Scientifically Why...

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