6/24/19 1 PSY 10A: Research Methods Instructor: Spencer Mermelstein Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences Lecture 2: Theories, Hypotheses, and Predictions Reflection questions • What is empiricism? • What are features of good scientific explanations? The scientific method Theory Hypotheses Empirical tests (e.g., experiments) Observations (data) Present results (articles) Re-evaluate theory observations non biased must be testable falsibh Valid coherent inflight poisonous
6/24/19 2 Scientific Laws and theories • Law : universally true statements • Not very many in science, and rare in psychology (why?) • Usually mathematically formalized • Theory : interrelated set of concepts that coherently explain and describe a body of evidence, and must generate novel hypotheses • Often, in psychology, are verbally stated • Models : often mathematical formalizations of theories • Composed of abstract theoretical constructs Theory Describe Explain Predict Hypotheses and predictions • Theories must be productive : generate testable and falsifiable hypotheses • Hypotheses : a claim about the state of the world derived from a theory. It is not a question, but rather a statement. • Contain operational definitions : specific, observable phenomena that can be measured à how we translate theoretical constructs into measurable quantities • State the expected relationship between different variables à predictions scientific low law of gravity rn more complex can't simplify to universally the statement psymfh theory is dcufifdoes.net make claim concerned good story must do tm he careful what more experimental the hlfmurayd include performance is copectd to be compare.si on to other group
6/24/19 3 Operational definitions • The translation of theoretical constructs into measurable observations • Consider Depression as a theoretical construct that we must infer through observations • A state of “low mood” • How to measure?
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