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Psych September 9 - PSY 101 September 9 2008 Research...

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PSY 101 September 9, 2008 Research Methods : Key Questions: 1. What is the theory, hypothesis? Theory: an idea, or conceptual model, that is designed to explain existing facts and make predictions about new facts Hypothesis: any prediction about new facts that is made from a theory 2. What type of evidence? o Anecdotal vs. Systematic (a.k.a scientific vs. nonscientific) The case of Clever Hans (pg. 25-27) experiment with horse who could do simple arithmetic o need for systematic evidence to rule out alternative explanations Steps In Systematic Data Collection: 1. Define variables (pg. 29) Operational definition: a means of specifying exactly how to test or measure the particular phenomenon being studied Why do we need operational definitions? o It could be invalidated Variable —A characteristic of a situation or person that fluctuates Independent variable —An aspect of the situation, or a stable aspect of individuals, that is hypothesized to cause an effect on another variable Dependent variable —some measurable aspect of psychological functioning that is hypothesized to be affected by the independent variable(s) Confounding —Some measurable aspect of psychological functioning that is not controlled but which may affect the dependent variable Select a research strategy Experiment—a procedure in which a researcher varies one or more independent variables and looks for changes in one or more dependent variables Issues in experimental design Use of a control group (pg. 30), two examples: 1. Hypothesis: Listening to music with hidden messages in the form of speech reversals can influence behavior Research Design:
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PSY 101 September 9, 2008 -Participants listen to the Mary Poppins soundtrack, which contains the speech reversal “drinking all night long.” -Participants are given the opportunity to drink alcohol. -50% of participants drank 2. Hypothesis: Psychotherapy is an effective treatment for depression -Participants receive psychotherapy for 6 months -Participants are assessed for depression -50% show reduced depression Random Assignment (pg. 30) 1. Hypothesis: psychotherapy is more effective as a treatment for depression than medication Research Design -Participants receive either psychotherapy, medication, or nothing for six months -Participants are assessed for depression -Psychotherapy group shows greater reduction in depression than medication or control groups, which do not differ Sampling (pg 39-40) -Representative sample: a sample that accurately portrays the population of interest Research Methods Steps In Systematic Data Collection Analyzing data from an experiment The Experiment Between-subjects: each subject is exposed to one side of the experiment (pg. 29- 30) Within-subjects: each subject is exposed to all of the versions of the experiment Conduct a correlational study—a study in which the researcher does not manipulate any variable but observes or measures two or more variables to find relationships between them (pg. 31)
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