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16- Reasearch in Class Notes

16- Reasearch in Class Notes - Methods of Psychological...

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Methods of Psychological Research: Inference and Knowledge in Society and Science Caton Roberts, Ph.D. What Is Scientific “Knowledge”? Science- something you can rely on. Objective- the idea that theories lead to hypothesis that can be tested and revised over time so depends on revision. Proven. Systematic and Controlled Observation, Inference, Tentative Conclusions Knowledge is based on particular observations where they have been set up to be evaluated and assessed to be tested. Systematic process that leads empirical information and then test- scientist leads tentative conclusions. Difference from naïve/everyday knowledge: Conclusions are continually revised/revisited with fresh observations and re-examination of knowledge claims in light of current scientific theories. We rarely revise our opinions. We all have things we believe we know. Critical Thinking: At one point of time the world was “known” to be flat. So our opinions are subjective to what we “know.” There is continual revision based on the new things we learn. Science is a method where in the approach to knowledge is explicitly acknowledging what one sees and thinking, “Is it true?” WE SHOULD BE CRITICAL OF OUR CERTAINTY. HOPEFULLY GAIN A HUMBLE AND FRESHER APPRECIATION OF WHAT IS NEW. Scientists try to prove themselves wrong in order to see things more clearly and reach a truer conclusion. “I can find no evidence that the intensity of a belief is any measure of its validity” Sir Francis Bacon Ideas, theories, and “knowledge” are put at risk of “falsification” through rules of scientific method
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The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking Albert Einstein Common Research Methods in Psychology: Descriptive Research Methods (4 types, below) Experimental Methods Descriptive Research Methods Case Studies Careful Description based on repeated observations: Freud, Sacks, Clinical studies You look at the particulars of cases and build knowledge of what is going on- what’s true? Can provide the framework for looking deeply into what is true across cases. We need to see how they generalize in order to conclude something. Naturalistic Observation: Ethology Researchers (study animal behavior) “Ecological Validity” People who study in an animal’s environment. We can see the truth of what we’ve learned because it exists in its actual eco- system. To learn about a gang you must experience one. Surveys (see Hite example below, and discussion of class survey experience). It is systematic and controlled. Correlational Methods- Quantitative index of the degree to which two variables are related to one another. See how closely they co- very. That degree of variation can be expressed as a number. SEE BELOW Correlational Methods as Description A correlation is an association between two variables, expressed as a coefficient of association (r) which varies from +1 to –1 Visualizing associated scatter plots (figure 2.16 page 66)
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  • Fall '10
  • Roberts
  • descriptive research methods, Correlational Methods, Multivariate Correlational Research, Correlational Methods- Quantitative

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