Research Methods

Research Methods - Research Methods - Assumptions of...

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Research Methods - Assumptions of science - Walkthrough of scientific method in psychology o Varieties of research format - Issues important in all psychological research Why research? - “One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little every day.” – Albert Einstein - Goals o Description/Prediction of what people generally do Describe something predict o Causal explanation/control – need to experiment Understand causes control 4 Canons of Science - Determinism : the universe is orderly, effects have causes - Empiricism : importance of observation—theories should be based on data, not intuition or logic o “Doubting Thomas” should be patron saint of science. - Parsimony : simpler is better o “Occam’s Razor” – shave off unnecessary entities in explanations if – two competing theories predict the same phenomena equally well – choose the simpler - *Testability : importance of falsifiability o “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” – Albert Einstein Everyone is a psychologist; therefore everyone knows what is “true” about human nature - “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” - “Or potentially, out of sight, out of mind…” The Scientific Method in Psychology - Observation of psychological association - Hypothesis of a relationship among the variables o Variables : measureable conditions, events, characteristics or behaviors of interest (anything that “varies”) Absence, Fondness o Hypothesis : a “guess” about relationships among variables Absence makes the heart grow fonder - Translation of the hypothesized variables into specifics o Operationalization : the concrete measurable or manipulable definition of the variable of interest
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Research Methods - Research Methods - Assumptions of...

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