Psych 301 - Chapter 1 Research in the behavioral sciences...

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Chapter 1 Research in the behavioral sciences Science and the Scientific Method Key Terms theory variable concept construct conceptual definition operational definition the scientific method planned empiricism falsifiability hypotheses deduction induction a priori post hoc methodological pluralism strong inference descriptive research correlational research experimental research
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Goals of Behavioral Research Describe behavior Predict behavior Explain behavior – done with theories or models The Scientific Approach Although people are pretty smart, different people will disagree about whether something occurred, or about how to accurately describe what occurred, or about why something occurred. The scientific method is so far the best way we have to avoid and resolve those disagreements. The scientific method requires that everyone play the game of science by the same rules. Rules of Science 1. Systematic empiricism – this means that your conclusions or arguments should be based on data gathered from actual observations of the natural world, and that these data should be collected in a planned, organized, and systematic fashion so that they are maximally informative. 2. Public verification – data, analyses, and procedures must be available for others to inspect so that they can truly check and evaluate the basis of your argument. Scientists are skeptical and should not automatically trust someone else’s conclusions. 3. Solvable problems – this corresponds to the analogy used in class that the “gameboard” of science is the natural world. Science does not attempt to address questions or problems that can not be investigated by observing the natural world, like “Is there life after death?”, “Is God (are Gods) merciful?”, “If the Hulk and Aquaman had a fight, who would win?”. That last question can not be answered because we don’t know whether the fight takes place in the water or not. Theories Theories are used to predict and explain behavior. They specify the relationships and effects that exist between concepts. For example (just making this up), a theory might say that harsh parenting practices cause children so see the world as a hostile and unwelcoming place, and that this view of the world causes them to be suspicious and defensive as adults which causes them to have less satisfactory personal relationships. Harsh parenting
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Psych 301 - Chapter 1 Research in the behavioral sciences...

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