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Unformatted text preview: Intro to Psychology Second Day (first day is written down on outline)- Research Methods in Psych I. Psychology, Science, and Truth The goal of science: To discover truth Truth- that which corresponds to reality Some methods of discovering truth Intuition- it just feels true Metaphysics- religion, mythology, etc. Logic- basic assumptions, if-then reasoning, etc. Science- based on evidence (psychologists) Applications: Is the earth flat? Is it the center of the universe? If an expert says something is true, should we believe them? (insights should be viewed as testable hypotheses rather than facts) II. Some Basics A. Hypotheses and operationalizations a. Hypothesi s- a testable prediction made by a theory b. Operational definitions- quantified, measurable definitions of abstract conditions b.i. Practice b.i.1. Does smoking cause lung cancer? Abstract condition: smoking Operational definitions: 10 cigs a day b.i.2. Is chocolate an aphrodisiac? B. Reliability and validity a. Reliability- the tendency for a measure to produce the same result whenever it is used to measure the same thing a.i. Think: Consistent a.ii. A ruler, a scale, a self-report measure of happiness, etc. b. Validity- the characteristic of an observation that allows one to draw accurate inferences from it b.i. Think: Accurate C. Frequency distributions- Graphical representations of the measurement of a sample (check graph in book) a. A mean difference does not mean all people in one group differ from all people in the other! III. Experimental + Correlational Studies A. Experiments (very powerful-allow for causal conclusions_ a. Independent and dependent variables a.i. The independent variable (IV) is deliberately manipulated Ex. Assign people to smoke 10 vs. 0 cigs a day a.ii. The dependent variable (DV) is measured to see if the IV affects it b. Random assignment b.i. Each P has an equal chance of being assigned to any condition of the IV (e.g smoking vs. no smoking) c. Practice: IV and DV c.i. To test whether a new miracle diet pill works, a scientist gives the pill to 40 randomly selected obese people. Forty additional randomly selected obese people are given a placebo pill. At the end of six months all 80 Ps are weighed d. Practice: Design an experiment d.i. Imagine that you work for an online dating service and that you want to demonstrate that your service is better than the competition for generating successful romance e. Curly vs. straight hair f. What can we do to improve it? (samples, similarities) B. Correlational studies a. Correlation- the association between two variables b. Useful when one cannot manipulate the IV f.i. Ethical or practical limitations b. Ex. Is parental divorce associated with behavior problems?...
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- Fall '08