Chapter2,7

Chapter2,7 - Chapter 2: Tools for studying intimate...

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Chapter 2: Tools for studying intimate relationships 1. How do we decide which claims to take seriously? Relationship science: set of tools to determine which claims about how relationships work are true for most people and which are not. Social scientists observe then identify claims that best describes what actually happens in a systematic way. Scientific method: a set of procedures for making predictions, gathering data, and comparing the validity of competing claims about the world. 2. How do we ask good questions? Good questions can come directly from our own experiences. They can also come from thoughtful, even skeptical consideration of popular wisdom (absence makes the heart grow fonder?). Thirdly, they may come from previous research that raised more questions. Generally, the question should be interesting and answerable only through research. 3. What are the 3 kinds of questions? The first is what kind of question —description. (Who initiates breakups—men or women?) Good description is the framework for further research. The second is prediction : When does it happen? (when are first signs of unhappiness in marriage?) Third is explanation : Why does it happen? Can help point out specific behaviors and situations leading couples to be closer to or more distant from each other. Great for intervention. Multiple questions could be posed at once. 4. What does it mean to focus research on explanation rather than simple description and prediction? It’s important to dig deeper than description and prediction to understand, for example, what it is about low socioeconomics and higher divorce. Does the added stress make it more difficult to maintain intimacy, regardless of relationship skills? This could help create effective intervention. 5. What constitutes a theory? A hypothesis? Theory: a general explanation of a phenomenon. A starting point, directing researchers toward considering aspects of the world that may help them answer their question. Variables: elements of a theory that can vary (height, age). A good theory is falsifiable: it can be confirmed or disconfirmed through systematic observation. Hypothesis: a concrete prediction arising from the theory, about how different variables are likely to be associated. Hypotheses are useful because they are falsifiable. Therefore, theories can be strengthened if hypotheses are correct. Replication: research that examines the same question multiple times. 6. How do we choose a measurement strategy?
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Psychology uses psychological constructs: abstract ideas like love, conflict, support, and trust, that are central to intimate relationships and are products of human thought. Operationalization: linking abstract ideas to something concrete that can be observed or measured (Love Scale). Research can only measure operationalizations of constructs. Therefore
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This note was uploaded on 06/30/2010 for the course PSYCH 129B taught by Professor Kupper during the Spring '07 term at UCLA.

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Chapter2,7 - Chapter 2: Tools for studying intimate...

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