Lec 3 (+4) - methods of inquiry

Lec 3 (+4) - methods of inquiry - Lecture 3- Evidence:...

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Lecture 3- Evidence: methods of inquiry Notes from chapter 18, putting psychology in its place: Measurement has always been central to experimental science. For psychology, quantifying the phenomena it studies has been a perennial problem. For many thinkers, such as KANT , it was the apparent impossibility of doing so which excluded psychology from the natural sciences. Also, as THORNDIKE said; ‘everything which exists must exist in quantity and can therefore be measured’ . There is also the question of the measurement as such and what is being measured, is it possible to measure something without changing it? The nature of measurement raises deep philosophical questions and it’s much more complicated then we assume it to be. The task facing psychology once it moves beyond measuring simple phenomena like reaction times has been identifying overt, publicly ‘measurable’ indices of the essentially inaccessible phenomena it seeks to study such as memory, motivation, thinking, imagery. Psychological measurement is a vast and often highly technical subject. In the 1920’s social psychologists and personality theorists began exploring ways of measuring attitudes and personality. For social psychology, in which attitude measurement was a leading theme, questionnaire design assumed great prominence, with LIKERT and THURSTONE introducing their famous scaling techniques. A primitive rating scale had been used by some phrenologists in the 1840’s, and questionnaires had been used since even earlier, but their were major technical issues that remained to be tackled if questionnaires were to be served as measuring instruments. The result has been a huge variety of questioners, ranging form 7-point likert scales, to open ended questions, as well as statistical procedures for item selection and standardisation. One problem that has raised concern is not with the procedures themselves, but with status of the things they purport to measure. Consider the concept of
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2008 for the course PSYCH 1003 taught by Professor Quigley during the Spring '07 term at Trinity College Dublin.

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Lec 3 (+4) - methods of inquiry - Lecture 3- Evidence:...

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