Chap 2 lecture notes NO PPT

Chap 2 lecture notes NO PPT - Chapter 2- Research Methods...

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Chapter 2- Research Methods Psychology is a science- science requires direct observation and measurement to support theories and replicate experiments This chapter focuses on methods of empirical or scientific investigation (several methods are employed) Why review this??? To improve understanding of the rest of the text, to improve critical thinking, and to introduce and prepare you for future study and work in psychology (ALL psychology majors must take a semester-long Research Methods course) Empiricism: How to Know Things Originally, there were two kinds of Greek doctors: Dogmatists and Empiricists 1. Dogmatists attempted to treat illnesses by developing theories about the body’s functions. Dogmatism – the tendency for people to cling to their assumptions 2. Empiricists attempted to treat illnesses by understanding the illness through the observation of sick people. Empiricism – the belief that accurate knowledge of the world requires observation of it Only in the last 300 years have people trusted observation over elders, laying the foundation for modern science. Empiricism is not infallible, however Understanding natural phenomena through empiricism requires a Method – a set of rules and techniques for observation that allow observers to avoid the illusions, mistakes, and erroneous conclusions that simple observation can produce Three things make human behavior especially difficult to study 1. Complexity : the brain is nearly infinitely complex as a structure and it is responsible for producing thoughts, feelings, and actions that are the core of psychology’s concerns 2. Variability : no two people ever do, say, think, or feel exactly the same thing under exactly the same conditions 3. Reactivity : people often react differently when they are being watched compared to when they are not, and each individual may have a unique reaction to being observed The Science of Observation: Saying What You have to know what people are doing before you can say why they do it Observing something means using your senses to learn about the thing’s properties 1. Casual observations are notoriously unstable 1
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2. Casual observation can’t tell you about many of the properties of something that you might be interested in Measurement To know and understand the properties of interest of anything, you must measure In order to measure something you must first define the property to measure and then find a way to detect it Definition and Detection Step One-Definition: Operational Definition – a description of an abstract property in terms of a concrete condition that can be measured. These definitions specify concrete events that count as an instance of some property we’re interested in. Example: The operational definition of length = the change in the location of light over time Step Two- Detection: Measure – a device that can detect the events to which an operational definition refers. Example: You can detect the changes in the location of light over time (length)
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Chap 2 lecture notes NO PPT - Chapter 2- Research Methods...

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