(PS 371) Chapter 4 Notes

(PS 371) Chapter 4 Notes - Chapter 4: Research Methods I....

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Chapter 4: Research Methods I. Examining Abnormal Behavior A. Important Concepts Different research strategies address questions about various facets of abnormal behavior: 1.) What problems cause distress and impair functioning? o About nature of the problems people report 2.) Why do people behave in unusual ways? o Considers the causes, or etiology , of abnormal behavior Etiology- cause or source of a disorder 3.) How do we help them behave in more adaptive ways? o How researchers evaluate treatments B. Basic Components of a Research Study Basic Research process: o Hypothesis Educated guess or statement to be tested by research o Research Design Plan of experimentation used to test a hypothesis 1. Dependent Variable In an experimental study, the phenomenon that is measured and expected to be influenced 2. Independent Variable Phenomenon manipulated by the experimenter in a study and expected to influence the Dependent Variable o Validity 1. Internal Validity Extent to which the results of a study can be attributed to the independent variable after confounding alternative explanations have been ruled out. 2. External Validity Extent to which research findings generalize or apply, to people and settings not involved in the study. 1. Hypothesis Educated guess about the world Once a scientist decides what to study, the next step is to put it in words that are unambiguous and in a form that is testable o Testability- Ability of a hypothesis, for example, to be subjected to scientific scrutiny and to be accepted or rejected, a necessary condition for the hypothesis to be useful
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Experimental hypotheses also identify dependent and independent variables. o Psychologists studying abnormal behavior typically measure an aspect of the disorder, such as overt behaviors, thoughts, and feelings, or biological symptoms 2. Internal and External Validity Confound- Any factor occurring in a study that makes the results un-interpretable because its effects cannot be separated from those of the variable being studied. ( Issue relating to internal validity ) o Confounding variable - Variable in a research study that was not part of the intended design and that may contribute to changes in the dependent variable Strategies used to ensure internal validity: a) Control Groups Group of individuals in a study who are similar to the experimental subjects in every way but are not exposed to the treatment received by the experimental group. Their presence allows for a comparison of the differential effects of the treatment. o Because researchers cant prevent people from exposure to things around them that could affect outcomes of a study, they try to compare them with people who go through similar experiences except for the treatment Control groups help rule out alternative explanations for results thereby strengthening internal validity b) Randomization Method for placing individuals into research groups that assures each
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(PS 371) Chapter 4 Notes - Chapter 4: Research Methods I....

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