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Unformatted text preview: CHAPTER 2 THE RESEARCH ENTERPRISE IN PSYCHOLOGY IN The Need for Science The The Science is to discover the reality by developing questions, collecting data and reaching certain conclusions. Characteristics of Scientific Characteristics Research :-understanding the “reality / truth” Research – must be empirical (i.e. based on direct must observations) – must be objective – Self-correcting – Progressive – Tentative – Parsimonious – Replicable – Clarity, Precision and Confidence – Falsifiable and Falsifiable – Generalizability What is a theory? What A theory is a statement or set of theory statements about relationships among variables. Goal of theory is to find support Goal OR disprove it OR –We can prove or disprove it !! Types of Research Methods Types The goals of Psychology are to describe, explain, predict The and control behavior and mental processes. Pursuing these goals two types of information is required Pursuing i.e. what & why of a behavior. Non-experimental or descriptive methods describes Non-experimental behavior and do not let us identify causes or reasons for the behavior. Experimental method on the other hand allow us to Experimental determine the causation. Co-relational methods on the other hand describe and Co-relational suggest causal hypotheses which are to be further tested in experiments. Descriptive Methods which describe behavior may include describe Naturalistic and Participant observation Intensive individual case study Surveys / tests / questionnaires / Interviews Surveys & Archival Records Psychological Tests Description Description Naturalistic Naturalistic Observation Observation observing and recording observing behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation control Method is less artificial and Method close to reality because of unawareness of subjects unawareness Problems with this method Impossible to observe thoughts or other inner mental Impossible processes. processes. In certain situations impractical e.g. observation of a In robbery. Can be unethical if spying. Can Does not permit clear casual conclusions / relationships Does about relations between variables. Possibility of bias the way the researcher interpret the Possibility behavior they observe. A challenge for a researcher to get a clear view of events challenge and try not to influence the participants being studied. Description Description Participant Observation Investigators participate in naturally occurring groups and Investigators record their observations. record Useful only in situations when little is known about them Useful or when activities of that group not generally known to the public e.g. studying criminals, terrorists, suicide killers movements etc or gays. movements Problems with this method Problems Danger implicit here i.e. researcher must not only be able Danger to gain access but build trust, confidence with the group and guard himself against odds. In this case researcher might have to hide his identity. might In other instances researcher might have to acquire a In particular skill in order to identify with the group. particular Natural and Participant Observation are also often known Natural as “Observational Research”. “Observational Activity on the method of Observation Observation of Other & Observation Data recording experience Find a place you can observe another Human Find Watch them and write down each behavior they emit Watch – The time The – The behavior The NOTE : Only write down what you can SEE not what you think they are thinking or what you think they are doing just what you can see them do. Watch and record for 30 minutes Watch Do not "get caught." If you do it will change their behavior. Do – Don't watch in a way that you get caught Don't – If you DO get caught after 10 minutes or less abandon and If find another person. If you get caught after 20 minutes it’s ok. After completed After – Write down the setting - where the observation took place. Write – Write down any insights or conclusions. Description Description Case Study Psychologists Psychologists study one or more individuals, animals, situation, event, group or institution. It is the individuality of the above that characterizes this method Is language uniquely human? Description Description Case Studies variety of data collection techniques used in case variety studies such as interviewing the subject, direct interviewing observation of the subject, examination of records, and observation examination psychological testing. Medical doctors / Clinical psychological Medical psychologists to diagnose and treat psychological problems rely on this method. problems Researcher by using this method look for consistency. Researcher However using a small non random sample it becomes difficult to generalize the findings. The method is ineffective to determine cause and effect The relationship. relationship. Descriptive Research Surveys In a survey researchers use questionnaires, tests or interviews to gather information about tests interviews specific aspects of subjects’ behavior. The major problem with the method of The questionnaire is that it depends on self-report data. Problems with self report data are data – Intentional deception, wishful thinking, memory Intentional lapses, social desirability bias, obeying demand characteristics, not knowing why they do certain things and last but not the least poorly worded questions. Two types of bad questions can be there in a Two questionnaire which are leading and confusing questions. questions. Surveys are good if you have a good sample i.e. Surveys large and importantly a random one. Surveys also make it easier to collect data on Surveys attitudes, impressions and opinions from large samples of subjects. Descriptive Research 5. Archival Records It’s a type of research where there is no data It’s collection on the part of a researcher. In other words it means gaining factual information from the already existing data, records or archives. The researcher simply examines or selects the data for analysis. It is also called as secondary data. secondary This research is appropriate when data on the This hypothesis already exist and collecting some new data would be wasteful e.g. research on suicides terrorists attacks or crimes etc. Some secondary sources of data are statistical Some secondary bulletins, government publications, information published or unpublished and available from either within or outside the organization, library records, data available from previous research, online data, web sites, and the Internet. Psychological tests Psychological Psychological tests can also be used to Psychological collect information about personality traits, emotional states, aptitudes, interests, abilities, values or behavior etc. However these tests should be standardized with established reliability and validity. Co relational Research Co The correlation technique The indicates the degree of association between 2 variables Correlations vary in direction: – Positive association: increases in the Positive value of variable 1 are associated with increases in the value of variable 2 increases – Negative association: increases in the value of variable 1 are associated with decreases in the value of variable 2 decreases – No relation: values of variable 1 are not No related to variable 2 values related Co relational Research (Measuring Associations Between Events) (Measuring Here the researcher measures one variable (x) Here such as frustration and another variable (y) such as aggression and then determine whether x and y are related or not statistically . However it is never a proof of causality. Co relational research involves only studying and Co measuring variables only naturally and not manipulating them. Naturalistic Observation and Surveys are often Naturalistic used not only to describe events but also to study associations between variables. Correlation Correlation Correlation Coefficient a statistical measure of the extent to which two statistical factors vary together, and thus how well either factor predicts the other predicts Indicates direction of relationship (positive or negative) Correlation coefficient r = +.37 Indicates strength of relationship (0.00 to 1.00) Correlation Correlation Scatterplots, showing patterns of correlations Perfect positive correlation (+1.00) No relationship (0.00) Perfect negative correlation (-1.00) Correlation Difficulties Correlation Experimental Methods Experimental The goal of this method or research is to The find the causes of behavior so that we can predict and control it. Its a method in which the investigator Its manipulates a variable under carefully controlled conditions and observes whether any changes occur in a second variable as a result. Its a relatively powerful procedure that allows researchers to detect cause-and-effect relationships. Experimentation Experimentation Independent Variable Independent the experimental factor that is manipulated the variable whose effect is being studied Dependent Variable Dependent the experimental factor that may change in the response to manipulations of the independent variable iin psychology it is usually a behavior or mental n process Experimentation (between Experimentation subjects design) Experimental Group the condition of an experiment that exposes the participants to the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable version Control Group the condition of an experiment that contrasts with the the experimental treatment serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect serves of the treatment of Extraneous Variables Extraneous variables can cloud the Extraneous situation and make it impossible to draw conclusion. conclusion. Random assignment of the subjects should be done when all subjects have an equal chance of being assigned to any group of condition in the study. Tests of statistical significance is also to be Tests carried out to determine if there exists real difference or due to chance only between the two groups. the Experimentation Experimentation Random Assignment assigning participants to assigning experimental and control conditions by chance by minimizes pre-existing differences minimizes between those assigned to the different groups Within-subjects or repeated-measures Within-subjects experimental design experimental In this type of experimental method every In participant in the sample is measured several times in a course of a study. several Advantage is fewer subjects need to be Advantage recruited. recruited. Disadvantage is the sequence or order Disadvantage effect also known as progressive or carryover effect. Advantages and Disadvantage of Descriptive / Co relational Research Co Its a way to explore questions that could not Its be examined with experimental procedures. Disadvantage is investigators cannot control Disadvantage events to isolate cause and effect. Advantages and Disadvantages of Experimental Research Experimental The experiment is a powerful research The method which permits conclusions about cause-and-effect relationships between variables while neutralizing the effects of extraneous variables. One problem is that experiments are One often artificial which require greater control over proceedings, therefore complex issues cannot be studies. Psychologists are frequently Psychologists interested in the effects of factors that cannot be manipulated as independent variables because of ethical concerns or practical realities. ethical Abstract No 1 Abstract This research examined children's questions and the This reactions to the answers they receive in conversations with adults. If children actively seek explanatory knowledge, they should react differently depending on whether they receive a causal explanation. The study examined conversations among 6 preschoolers' (ages 2-4 years) in naturalistic situations. Children's reactions following explanatory versus non explanatory information confirm that young children are motivated to seek causal information actively and use specific conversational strategies to obtain it. specific Abstract No 2 The study was undertaken to assess the perceived problems of students of four of NUST constituent colleges and Institute using “The Mooney Problem Checklist - Revised” Form C. The Form comprising 330 items in total, 30 in each of 11 problem areas was administered to 102 and 94 high and low achiever students respectively. It was hypothesized that low achievers will score higher than high achievers in all the 11 problem areas of the checklist. The descriptive statistics and correlation coefficient was applied to the data. Results indicate that significant difference exist between the two groups only on the C type of responses (indicating serious problem) on “Adjustment to College Work” (ACW) of the questionnaire. In contrast to the hypotheses significant negative correlation coefficient exist between the low achievement and perceived problems in some areas of the questionnaire. Implications for the University are discussed. Abstract No 3 Positive psychology focuses on the benefits of both Positive possessing and using personal strengths, however existing research has focused exclusively on having rather than using strengths. This study validates the test whether strength leads to improved well-being. A community sample (N = 207) completed measures at baseline and a year follow-up. The scale has high internal consistency (a = . follow-up. 94–.97), and impressive year stability (r = .84). Strengths 94–.97), use led to less stress, and greater self-esteem, vitality and positive affect over both longitudinal assessment periods. Strengths use is an important longitudinal predictor of wellStrengths being, and the new scale is a reliable and valid being, measurement tool. Steps in a Scientific Investigation Steps The Steps of the Research The Process Process 37 37 Steps 1 to 3 The broad problem area Preliminary data gathering Problem definition 38 38 Broad Problem Area The broad problem area refers to the The entire situation where one sees a possible need for research and problem solving. 39 39 Preliminary data gathering (Literature Survey) Literature survey is the survey of the documented published and unpublished work from secondary sources of data in the from areas of specific interest to the researcher. areas The library is a rich storage base for The secondary data through books, journals, newspapers, magazines, conference proceedings, doctoral dissertations, master’s theses, government publications, and financial marketing, and other reports. marketing, 40 40 Conducting the Literature Conducting Survey Survey The literature review needs to be done on the The specific issues of concern to the researcher and the factors identified during the interview process. the The first step in this process involves identifying The first the various published and unpublished materials that are available on the topics of interest, and gaining access to these. gaining 41 41 Conducting the Literature Conducting Survey Survey The second step is gathering the relevant The second information either by going through the necessary materials in a library or by getting access to online sources. access The third step is writing up the literature The third review. review. 42 42 Identifying the Relevant Sources There are three forms of databases: There three 1. The references databases, which display The references only the references citations, that is, the name of the author, the title of the article (book), source of publication, year, volume, and page numbers. volume, 43 43 Identifying the Relevant Sources 2. The abstract databases, which in addition The abstract which provide an abstract or summary of the articles. provide 3. The full-text databases, which provide the full The full-text which text of the article. text 44 44 Extracting the Relevant Extracting Information Information From the bibliography on the subject, the From researcher should do the followings: researcher A llook at the titles of the articles or books will ook indicate which of these may be important. indicate The abstract of such articles that seem to be The relevant will give an idea of the article that need to be looked into in depth. be The full text of which can then be printed out. 45 45 Extracting the Relevant Extracting Information Information While reading these articles, take notes take about the problem that was researched, the problem design details of the study (such as the design sample size and data collection methods), and the ultimate findings of the study. of These notes will facilitates the writing up of the literature review with maximum efficiency. efficiency. 46 46 Accepted methods of citing Accepted references in the literature survey section section There are several accepted methods of There citing references in the literature survey section and using quotation. section The Publication Manual of the American The Psychological Association (APA) (2001) Psychological offers detailed information regarding citations, quotations, references and so on. citations, 47 47 Referencing Referencing There are four main types of references you are likely to There four use i.e. books, book chapters, journal articles and electronic sources. References generally consists of three parts, which are 1. Author’s(s) names, year in brackets 2. Title and 3. Publication Data. Each of the above is separated from the others by periods. Each References must be in alphabetical order of first author’s last References name then initials. Separate last names from initials with a comma. Separate initials with a space. Separate different authors names with a comma. Do not use et al. in the reference list. If there is no author use the title. reference With respect to year give the year of publication of the With references in brackets followed by a period. references Next give the title of reference exactly as it appears in the Next original, including the original spellings. Capitalize the first letter only of book, journal article and book titles. letter Book Reference – Author, I. N. (year). Book title italicized (information about Author, specific edition). Place of publication: Publisher. (Explanatory material) (Explanatory – Example: Strunk, W., J., & White, E. B. (1972). The Example: elements of style (2nd ed.). New York: Macmillan. (2 Journal-article reference – Author, I. N. (year). Article title. Journal Titles Italicized Author, and Capitalized, volume number italicized (issue number if so), start page-finish page. – Example: Aitken, J. (1978). On a new variety of ocular Example: spectrum. Scientific American, 10, 40-44. Scientific Journal article abstract reference – Author, I. N. (year). Article title (Abstract). Journal Title Author, Italicised and Capitalised, volume number italicised (issue Italicised number if so), start page-finish page. Abstract from: Source. – Lo, T. Y. (1968). Correlation of name and fame (Abstract). Lo, Chinese journal of Psychology, 3, 701. Abstract from: Psychological Abstracts. Psychological Problem Definition A problem does not necessarily mean problem that something is seriously wrong with a current situation that needs to with be solved immediately. be 51 51 Problem Definition A problem is any situation where a gap problem exists between the actual and the desired ideal states. It could pertain to: ideal 1. Existing problems where a solution is solution 1. required. 52 52 Problem Definition 2. Situations that may not pose any current problems Situations but need for an improvement is felt. improvement 3. Areas where some conceptual clarity is needed 3. Areas for better theory building. for 4. Situations in which a researcher is trying to answer Situations a research question empirically because of interest in the topic. interest 53 53 Example of a Well-Defined Example Problem Problem To what an extent occupational stress To plays a role in the disease of heart attack? attack? 54 54 Steps in a Scientific Investigation Steps Step 1: Formulate a Testable Hypothesis Step if a study is not an exploratory one if The first step in a scientific investigation is to translate a The theory or an idea into a testable hypothesis. Hypotheses normally are expressed as predictions. They spell out how changes in one variable will be related to changes in another variable. variable. To be testable researchers provide operational definitions of To the relevant variables. An operational definition describes the actions or operations that will be used to measure or control a variable. Operational definitions – which may be quite different from concepts’ dictionary definitions – establish precisely what is meant by each variable in the context of a study. With reference to the already stated problem With the following hypotheses and many more can be formulated:be – The heart infarct patients will report higher work The overload at jobs as compared to the normal persons. – The heart infarct patients will report higher The unfavorable working conditions at jobs as compared to the normal persons. – The heart infarct patients will work longer at jobs as The compared to the normal persons. Step 2: Select the Research Step Method and Design the Study The second step in a scientific investigation is The to figure out how to put the hypothesis to an how empirical test. The research method chosen depends to a large degree on the nature of the question under study. The researcher has to ponder the pros and cons of various research methods and to select the strategy that appears to be the most appropriate and practical. Step 3: Collect the Data A variety of data collection techniques or variety measurements include direct observation, questionnaires, interviews, psychological tests, physiological recordings, and examination of archival records. Step 4: Analyze the Data and Draw Step Conclusions The observations made in a study are The usually converted into numbers and then statistics is applied to analyze the then data and decide whether the hypotheses have been supported or not. Statistics play an essential role in any scientific enterprises. Step 5: Report the Findings Scientific Research is to be shared, therefore the Scientific final step in a scientific investigation is to write up a concise summary of the study and its findings. Typically, researchers prepare a report that is Typically, delivered at a scientific meeting and submitted to a journal for publication. A journal is a periodical journal that publishes technical and scholarly material, usually in a narrowly defined area of inquiry. Looking for flaws: Evaluating Research Looking Scientific research is a more reliable source of information than Scientific casual observation or popular belief. However, it would be wrong to conclude that all published research is free of errors. to scientists are fallible human beings who do not conduct flawless scientists research. Their personal biases in designing and interpreting studies can also distort research results. For these reasons, researchers are reluctant to settle scientific For questions on the basis of just one empirical study. questions Replication is the answer to the above problem and it is repetition repetition of a study to see whether the earlier results are duplicated or not. of Of course, the replication process sometimes leads to contradictory results. 1.Meta-analysis In their efforts to make sense of In inconsistent research results, psychologists are increasingly depending on a technique called metadepending analysis, which came into vogue in the analysis, 1980s (Cooper, 1990). Meta-analysis combines the statistical results of many studies of the same question, yielding an estimate of the size and consistency of a variable’s effects. 2. Sampling Bias Sampling bias exists when a sample is not representative of the population from which it was drawn. which 3. Subject Bias Subject It is the participants expectations which can It affect and change the subjects behavior. It can manifest in two ways. can – – – – – Social Desirability bias Obeying Demand Characteristics Memory Lapses Intentional Deception Intentional Placebo effect etc 4. Experimenter Bias Experimenter bias occurs when a Experimenter researcher’s expectations or preferences about the outcome of a study influence the results obtained. The problems associated with experimenter The bias can be neutralized by using a doublebias blind procedure. The double-blind procedure blind is a research strategy in which neither subjects nor experimenters know which subjects are in the experimental or control groups. Overview of the Scientific Method Method Writing in Psychology The Parts of a Report / Paper (1) Title (2) Authors and their affiliations (3) Abstract in case of a paper (4) Introduction (5) Method:-It may contain the following Participant or Participants Apparatus / Instruments / or name of the Apparatus Psychological Test Psychological Procedure (6) Result:- The main function of this section is to state “What did you Result:find”. You can refer the reader to a table or graph. find”. In your results apart from the others especially focus on those aspects In which you find significant. (7) Discussion:-The discussion session is built on the results. Here your Discussion:-The interpret the results / scores (of the psychological tests which you will being). (8) References:- Be sure to reference all sources that you have drawn on References:to mention any idea. to (9) Footnotes:- It explains features that may not be obvious. (9) Footnotes:(10) Internet Resources:-The APA guidelines for electronic sources are Internet given at given Be careful of the Following – – – Avoid Plagiarism Don’t cite a source you have not read Give credit to other’s ideas, show where your ideas fit into a Give larger framework larger Looking at Ethics Looking A subject’s participation in research should be voluntary and based subject’s on informed consent. Participants should not be exposed to harmful or dangerous Participants research procedures. research If an investigation requires some deception of participants (about If matters that do not involve risks), the researcher is required to explain and correct any misunderstandings as soon as possible. Subjects’ rights to privacy should never be violated. Information about a Subjects’ subject that might be acquired during a study must be treated as highly confidential and should never be made available to others without the consent of the participant. Harmful or painful procedures imposed upon animals must be thoroughly Harmful justified in terms of the knowledge to be gained from the study. ...
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