GenPsychScientificMethodsPart2 - Class Outline Operational...

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Class Outline Operational definitions. Sampling. Drawing conclusions. Research methods in psychology. Describing and interpreting data. Making Observations An operational definition specifies the operations used to measure something. For example: Variable Measure(s) Stress 1) Heart and respiration rates. 2) Self-ratings of tension and anxiety. Hunger Number of hours since eating A measure must be: Reliable : Produces consistent measurements. Valid: Actually measures the variable Sampling: Selective Observation Usually, research studies take samples from a limited portion of the entire population. The sample must be representative of the population in order for the results to be generalizable to the entire population of interest. Drawing Conclusions Consider other interpretations. If the observations are inconsistent with the hypothesis: Then the hypothesis can be rejected. If the observations are consistent with the predictions of the hypothesis: Then the hypothesis might be true, but there may be other explanations that are just as good or even better.
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Research Methods Used in Psychology Descriptive research. Correlational research. Experimentation. Techniques for examining the physical structure and processing of the brain. Next lecture, when we discuss the brain. Descriptive Research Descriptive research involves carefully observing and describing phenomena. It is a first step that provides data and possibly ideas for further scientific work. Disadvantages: The presence of an observer can alter the behavior of the observed persons or animals. Observational techniques cannot infer the cause(s) of behavior. Methods of descriptive research: Naturalistic observation. Case histories. Survey research.
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2008 for the course PSYCH 101 taught by Professor Brill during the Fall '07 term at Rutgers.

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GenPsychScientificMethodsPart2 - Class Outline Operational...

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