1 - introduction to research

1 introduction to - Behavioral Research 19:31 The goal is to discover among other things how people perceive their world how they think and feel

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Behavioral Research 19:31 The goal is to discover, among other things, how people perceive their world, how  they think and feel, how they change over time, how they learn and make  decisions, and how they interact with others Study behavior both because they want to understand it and also because  they want to contribute to creating solutions to the everyday problems that  face human beings Behavioral scientists believe that personal and social behavior can be  understood, and potentially improved, through the application of scientific  research methods  Empirical: Statements made are based on systematic collection and analysis  of data o Data: Information collected through formal observation or measurement  Believe that research is the best tool for understanding human beings and their  relationships with others 
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Everyday Science Versus Empirical Research 19:31 Much behavioral research involves the scientific study of everyday behavior Relying on Our Intuition Many people believe that they can find answers to questions about human  behavior by using their own intuition  o Many may believe that behavioral research is basically “common sense” o Because observations are conducted informally, they may lead us to draw  unwarranted or incorrect conclusions  The problem with the way people collect and interpret data in their everyday  lives is that they are not always particularly thorough  There are a variety of cognitive and motivational biases that frequently bias  our perceptions and lead us to draw erroneous conclusions  Discovering the Limitations of Using Intuition Once we learn about the outcome of a given event, we frequently believe that  we would have been able to predict the outcome ahead of time  o Hindsight bias: The tendency to think that we could have predicted  something that we probably could not have predicted  Scientists frequently rely on their intuition to help them solve problems  o They always back up their intuition empirically 
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The Scientific Method 19:31 Scientific method: The set of assumptions, rules, and procedures that scientists  use to conduct research  Objective: Free from the personal bias or emotions of the scientist  The scientific method increases objectivity by placing data under scrutiny by 
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This note was uploaded on 11/16/2010 for the course PSYC 420 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Maryland.

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1 introduction to - Behavioral Research 19:31 The goal is to discover among other things how people perceive their world how they think and feel

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