The Scientific Method The six steps of the scientific method o Forming a

The scientific method the six steps of the scientific

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The Scientific Method The six steps of the scientific method o Forming a hypothesis o Conduct a literature review o Design a study o Conduct the study o Analyze the data o Report the results Theories and Hypotheses Theory – a model of interconnected ideas or concepts that explains what is observed, makes predications about future events, and is based on empirical evidence Hypothesis – a specific, testable prediction, narrower than the theory it is based on What makes a Good Theory? Falsifiable – a good theory should be able to be proven wrong. Many testable hypotheses – a wide range of things can be studied. Parsimonious tend to be simple.
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Replication of Studies Replication is simply repeating the study to see if the same results happen again. Replications are important because it rules out the possibility that the original setting may have contributed to the findings. Basically, a do-over lets us know if what we have found is real or not. Serendipity Many significant scientific findings are the result of serendipity o Serendipity means unexpectedly finding things that are valuable or agreeable. Components of Research Variable – Something in the world the researchers can manipulate or measure (or both) Independent Variable – The variable that gets manipulated. Dependent Variable – The variable that gets measured. “depends” on the independent variable Operational definition – A definition that qualifies and quantifies a variable so it can be understood completely. Three Main Types of Studies Descriptive – Rely on observation Correlational – Describes and predicts natural phenomena Experimental Tests causal relationships by manipulation and measurement of variables. Problems with Descriptive Research Reactivity – When the knowledge that one is being observed alters the behavior being observed. Hawthorne Effect - the alteration of behavior by the subjects of a study due to their awareness of being observed. Observer Bias – Systematic errors in observation that occur because of an observer’s expectations. Experimenter Expectancy Effect – Actual change in the behavior of the people or nonhuman animals being observed that is due to the expectations of the observer. Self-report Methods – Methods of data collection in which people are asked to provide information about themselves, such as in questionnaires or surveys. Types of Correlations Positive Correlation – A relationship between two variables in which both variables either increase or decrease together. Negative Correlation – A relationship between two variables in which one variable increases when the other decreases No Correlation – A relationship between two variables in which one variable is not predictably related to the other.
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  • Spring '12
  • BORIDERI
  • Psychology, research participants, monoamine neurotransmitter

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