Chapter_1 - PSYC 310 Strategies of Inquiry in Psychology...

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Unformatted text preview: PSYC 310 Strategies of Inquiry in Psychology WHY STUDY RESEARCH METHODS? 1. To be able to conduct research and evaluate the work of others. WHY STUDY RESEARCH METHODS? 2. To be able to distinguish between science (fact) and pseudoscience (fiction). WHY STUDY RESEARCH METHODS? 3. To learn to think like a scientist develop a systematic way of asking questions.... ....and determining if the findings support the conclusions.t SOURCES OF KNOWLEDGE 1. THE METHOD OF TENACITY: Ideas are accepted as truth because (1) they've been around for a long time and/or (2) based on superstition. SOURCES OF KNOWLEDGE 2. THE METHOD OF INTUITION: Information is accepted as being true because it makes sense, seems plausible, feels right, etc. + = SOURCES OF KNOWLEDGE 3. THE METHOD OF AUTHORITY: Knowledge obtained from an authority figure or expert in a given area. SOURCES OF KNOWLEDGE 3B. THE METHOD OF FAITH: Knowledge obtained from an authority figure and based on complete trust parents, teachers, clergy, spiritual leaders. SOURCES OF KNOWLEDGE 4. THE RATIONAL METHOD: Knowledge acquired through logical reasoning. Begin with known facts or assumptions (premise statements) and use logic (arguments) to arrive at an answer (conclusion). SOURCES OF KNOWLEDGE 5. EMPIRICISM: Knowledge acquired through direct observation or personal experience. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD A systematic way of examining a specific issue or problem. Series of techniques for acquiring new knowledge and also for correcting previous knowledge. Knowledge is constantly evolving what is true today may be proven false tomorrow. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD Fundamental assumption: The world is orderly and governed by natural laws. There are links between events cause and effect relationships. The scientific method allows us to uncover these laws. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD The Importance of Logic: We discover the laws of nature through a process of logical thinking. Helps us arrive at an understanding of various cause-effect relationships. If A... If no A... ... then B ... then no B GOALS OF RESEARCH Observe Describe Explain Predict RESEARCH APPROACHES Basic Understand a particular phenomena, e.g., how alcohol affects coordination Applied Solve a particular problem, e.g., alcoholism THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD Step 1: Observation Observe a phenomenon and reach a conclusion develop a theory. Inductive reasoning: make a generalization based on a few observations. THEORY Through observing events, we arrive at an explanation about the cause and effect relationship between them. A theory is a statement or series of statements that: -organizes our observations and ideas, -explains our observations, and -predicts events not yet observed. THEORY - CONDITIONS Parsimony: Theories gain power when they can explain many results with few concepts. Precision: A theory must be precise enough so that different investigators can agree about its predictions. Testability: A theory must make predictions that can be tested empirically. (falsifiability) THEORY No single confirming finding can prove a theory correct. Findings support a theory. The more data that supports a theory, the more confidence we have in that theory (e.g., relativity & evolution). No single disconfirming finding leads to theory rejection. It will lead to further testing, or to an adjustment of the theory. ACCUMULATION OF EVIDENCE Data supporting theory Data disconfirming theory SELF-EFFICACY THEORY Motivation is determined, in part, by the belief that: a) one has the skills necessary to perform a given task b) one's actions will lead to success. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD Step 2: Formulating a general hypothesis Attempt to find an explanation for what you have observed. Hypothesis: proposed relationship between variables - tentative answer that must be tested and critically evaluated. FORMULATING HYPOTHESES There's a specific way of expressing a hypothesis (what you expect will happen). We don't use the terms cause and effect but rather we talk about the relationship between variables. VARIABLES Two major types: independent & dependent. Independent variable: can be thought of as the cause and is manipulated by the experimenter. Dependent variable: can be thought of as the effect that results from the manipulation of the independent variable. VARIABLES Independent variable Dependent variable Alcohol consumption Visual acuity THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD Step 3: Generating a research hypothesis A specific statement about the expected relationship between variables on a given situation. Deductive reasoning: begin with a general observation to make a prediction about a specific situation. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD Step 4: Making systematic, planned observations Collect and analyze data. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD Step 5: Evaluating the research hypothesis Based on observations, support, refute or refine the research hypothesis. REASONING Inductive: from data (observations) you develop theories. Deductive: from theories you develop hypotheses to test. THEORY DATA CYCLE THEORY INDUCTION (theory) DEDUCTION (hypothesis) DATA THEORY DATA CYCLE Continuous back & forth cycle between theories and data (a circular relationship). Cycling through a continuous process of testing and correcting based on how data fits predictions. Even a theory that is known to have problems may continue to be used and useful. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD 3 important principles: Empirical: A phenomenon must be systematically observed in order to be accepted. Public: The methods used must be available to others (transparency) to allow for verification and replication. Objective: Observations and conclusions must be free of bias and personal opinions. THE RESEARCH PROCESS Choose your topic Communicate findings Identify a specific problem Formulate conclusion Research the problem Analyze results Develop a hypothesis Collect data Design an experiment THE RESEARCH PROCESS ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2010 for the course PSYCH 310 taught by Professor T.bianco during the Winter '10 term at Concordia Canada.

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