4.outline.abnormal.lsu.f.09 - CHAPTER FOUR RESEARCH METHODS...

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CHAPTER FOUR RESEARCH METHODS I. Examining Abnormal Behavior A. The following research questions are addressed throughout the textbook and specifically, in terms of research design and methodology: 1. What problems cause distress and impair functioning? (i.e., address the nature of abnormal behavior) 2. Why do people behave in unusual ways? (i.e., address the causes or etiology of abnormal behavior) 3. How do we help people behave in more adaptive ways? (i.e., develop better and more effective treatments and better treatment outcomes) B. The basic components of a research study include: 1. A hypothesis , or educated guess, about what is to be studied and what one expects to find. Research design – method used to evaluate and test the hypothesis. 2. When you want to test the hypothesis, you formulate a research design that includes specifying the independent variable(s) that you believe will influence aspects of the person’s behavior you are interested in (the dependent variable[s] ). -Independent variable (IV) = introduced, manipulated by researcher -Dependent variable (DV) = shows any affects of IV 3. When developing a research design to test a hypothesis, researchers attempt to balance internal and external validity. a. Internal validity – extent to which we are confident that the IV caused the DV to change. You can increase your internal validity by controlling more of the process. b. External validity – how well the results of the study relate to the aspects of the real world beyond the study, or how does the finding generalize to people who were not part of the research study. 4. Confounds are contaminating factors in a research study, or uncontrolled alternative explanations for the changes observed in our dependent variable. Experimenter bias – experimenter may accidentally signal to the participant how they are expected to respond 1
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You can get around bias by double blind designs and placebos Participant bias – AKA social desirability response - participants may lie to researchers, because they want to present themselves in the most positive light possible. 5. Three strategies are used by researchers to avoid confounds and to ensure that a study retains a high degree of internal validity. a. A control group – similar to the experimental group in every way, but are not exposed to the independent variable. b. Randomization – process of randomly assigning people to different experimental conditions in such a way that each person has an equal chance of being placed in any condition (e.g., random numbers, coin toss). c. Analog models – recreating aspects of real world phenomena in the laboratory so that they closely approximate the real world. 6.
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4.outline.abnormal.lsu.f.09 - CHAPTER FOUR RESEARCH METHODS...

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