CHAPTER 2 - CHAPTER TWO: The Research Enterprise in...

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CHAPTER TWO: The Research Enterprise in Psychology THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO BEHAVIOUR Goals for Scientific Enterprise : psychologists and other scientists share three interrelated goals… 1. Measurement and Description - develop measurement techniques that make it possible to describe behaviour clearly and precisely 2. Understanding and Prediction - hypothesis - a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables - variables - are any measurable conditions, events, characteristics or behaviours that are controlled or observed in a study 3. Application and Control - once information is gathered, scientists try to understand it that way they gain more control over the phenomenon being examined - today, research is applied to practical problems (school, business, etc) Theory - constructed to build a better understanding of behaviour. A theory is a system of interrelated ideas used to explain a set of observations - develop from a description of behaviour to the understanding of behaviour Scientific Theory - theory used as a commitment to putting ideas to an empirical test (experimental); thus, must be testable. The following are the systematic steps taken in a scientific investigation 1. Formulate a Testable Hypothesis - translate a theory into testable hypothesis (formulated precisely) - variables are clearly defined o operational definition - describes the actions or operation that will be used to measure or control a variable; establishes what is meant by each variable, in the case of the study 2. Select the Research Method and Design the Study - put the hypothesis into an empirical test by examining the pros and cons of various methods, and selecting the strategy most practical 3. Collect the Data - Data Collection Techniques - are procedures for making empirical observations and measurements: o Direct Observation (watch and record behaviour) o Questionnaire (subjects complete written questions designed to get info about opinions, attitudes and specific aspects of their behaviour) o Interview ( face-to-face dialogue, about subject’s behaviour) o Psychological Test (administered a standardized measure to obtain behaviour sample) o Physiological recording (instrument used to monitor and record a physiological process- ex. blood pressure) o Examination of Archival Records (analysis of existing institutional records – ex. census, economic/business work)
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4. Analyze the Data and Draw Conclusions - “raw data” is usually converted into numbers (statistics)
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This note was uploaded on 07/17/2011 for the course PSYCH 101 taught by Professor Brandon during the Spring '11 term at Queens Charlotte.

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CHAPTER 2 - CHAPTER TWO: The Research Enterprise in...

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