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RESEARCH METHODS 2 Ruling out rival hypotheses: It was once thought that prefrontal lobotomy was a cure for schizophrenia and many other mental disorders. However, prefrontal lobotomy is surgical procedure that severs fibers connecting the frontal lobes of the brain from the underlying thalamus. This shows the lack attention to concluding alternative explanations to an experiment. This is why research design is important! Heuristics Biases Heuristic mental shortcut that helps us to streamline our thinking and make sense of our world o To get from Reno to San Diego Representativeness heuristic involves judging the probability of an event by its superficial similarity to a prototype o stereotypic view; judging a book by its cover Base rate is how common a characteristic or behavior is in the general population o We commit the base rate fallacy when we neglect to consider base rates (equal percentage of each type of subject), of people that fall under a category Availability heuristic is an estimate of the likelihood of an occurrence based on the ease with which it comes to our minds Cognitive Biases Hindsight bias the tendency to overestimate how well we could have successfully forecasted known outcomes; “I knew it all along.” o However, once an event has occurred it is to predict what could have been done to prevent it. Overconfidence is the tendency to overestimate our ability to make correct predictions. Scientific Methods Naturalistic Observation: watching behavior in real-world settings without trying to manipulate the situation. o Pros: High in external validity – the extent to which we can generalize our findings to real-world settings. Subjects are unaware that they are being observed, resulting in honest data. o Cons: Low in i nternal validity the extent to which we can draw cause-and- effect inferences. In other words, it doesn’t allow us to infer causation/ have control over certain variables.
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Case Studies: research design that examines one person or a small number of people in depth, often over an extended time period. o Pros: Can provide existence proofs – demonstration that a given psychological phenomenon can occur. Allows us to study rare or unusual phenomena that are difficult/impossible to recreate in the lab (i.e., brain damage).
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