Psychology 101: Chapter2


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  • This slide and the next two relate to APA Outcomes 1.1b and 2.1 as they outline the goals of psychology and provide a general discussion of the nature of psychology as a science.
  • Figure 2.1. 1. Observe. The rat jumps toward the checkerboard panel on the left. 2. Detect regularities in behavior . The researcher notes that the rat, over repeated trials, consistently jumps to the checkerboard on the left. 3. Generate a hypothesis: If I move the checkerboard to the right, the rat will jump to the right. 4. Observe to test the hypothesis . Here the hypothesis turns out to be wrong. The rat jumps left again, instead of following the checkerboard.
  • This slide and the next 27 -- the slides that describe descriptive, correlational, and experimental research -- related to Learning Outcomes 2.2a - 2.2c, involving an understanding of the different research methods used by psychologists.
  • Figure 2.2 . At the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, researchers gauged the popularity of exhibits by noting how quickly the vinyl tiles in front of each display wore out. The chick-hatching exhibit proved to be extremely popular.
  • This slide may inform the achievement of Outcome 2.3: Evaluate the appropriateness of conclusions derived from psychological research . The slide outlines conc epts that would help students evaluate the generality of research findings.
  • This slide applies to Outcome 4.2c, identifying the appropriateness of psychological tests and measurements .
  • This slide and the next 5 relate to Outcome 2.3.
  • Figure 2.4. The top row shows the differences between the mean (arithmetic average), the median (middle point in a set of scores), and the mode (most frequently occurring score) for tips earned per day in a restaurant. The bottom row shows how the mean can be affected by an extreme score, in this case for the day you received $150 in tips. Notice that the extreme score has no effect on the median or mode. This slide is relevant to the quantitative literacy objectives described as a component of Outcome 7.3.
  • Figure 2.5 . Researchers are often interested in variability, the extent to which scores in a set differ from one another. Each of these two distributions has the same average, or mean, but the distribution on the left has more variability. Notice that the difference between the mean and a particular score, such as 83, is the same in the two cases. But scoring 8 points above the mean is highly unusual in the distribution on the right, and more common in the distribution on the left. If you received a score of 83, which class would you rather be in? This slide is relevant to the quantitative literacy objectives described as a component of Outcome 7.3.
  • Figure 2.7 . Each point in the scatterplot shows an individual’s scores on each of the two variables. (a) In a strong positive correlation, the values for both variables move in the same direction; that is, as more hours are worked, more tips are received. (b) In a negative correlation, the values for the two variables move in opposite directions; that is, as more time is spent practicing, fewer errors are made during the recital. This slide is relevant to the quantitative literacy objectives described as a component of Outcome 7.3.
  • This slide, especially, is relevant to Outcome 2.2c, the ability to distinguish between designs that permit causal conclusions from those that do not.
  • Figure 2.9 . The hypothesis is tested by manipulating the independent variable and then assessing its effects on the dependent variable. If the only systematic changes are in the independent variable, the experimenter can assume that they are causing the changes measured by the dependent variable.
  • Figure 2.10. Volunteers are randomly assigned to two levels of the independent variable. Each participant has an equal likelihood of being assigned to any of the groups or conditions in the experiment. Random assignment increases the chances that unique subject characteristics will be represented equally in each condition.
  • This slide and the next four describe ethical considerations involved in psychological research and are therefore relevant to Outcomes 2.5 and 5.1.
  • Psychology 101: Chapter2

    1. 1. Chapter 2 The Tools of Psychological Research
    2. 2. The Scientific Method <ul><li>Recall: Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mind </li></ul><ul><li>Four main steps of scientific investigation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Observe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Detect Regularities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generate Hypothesis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observe </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Also need operational definitions: specify concepts in terms of measurements </li></ul>
    3. 4. What’s It For? Unlocking the Secrets of Behavior and Mind <ul><li>Goals of psychological research: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>observing and describing behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>predicting behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>explaining behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>treating participants ethically </li></ul></ul>
    4. 5. Descriptive Research: Learning Goals <ul><li>Describe the techniques and goals of descriptive research. </li></ul><ul><li>Explain how psychologists conduct naturalistic research. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the gains and costs of case studies and surveys. </li></ul><ul><li>Explain how statistics can summarize and help interpret data. </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the purpose of psychological tests. </li></ul>
    5. 6. Goals of Descriptive Research <ul><li>Goal: Observe and describe behavior </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not: Explain causes (we’ll get to that later!) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Concerns: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reactivity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Did individuals change their normal behavior because they were being observed? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>External validity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do your observations apply to real life? </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 7. Naturalistic Observation: Focusing on Real Life <ul><li>Record naturally occurring behavior in real-life situation (not a laboratory) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.: children playing at a day care center </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can reduce reactivity by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participant observation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measuring behavior indirectly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can verify external validity of experimental research </li></ul><ul><li>Does not allow determination of cause and effect </li></ul>
    7. 9. Case Studies: Focusing on an Individual <ul><li>Focus on a single case, usually an individual </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually involves gathering a lot of information on background, behavior of that individual </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Excellent for generating hypotheses </li></ul><ul><li>Potential problems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>External validity: Is that one individual representative? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Verification: Is that one individual being truthful? </li></ul></ul>
    8. 10. Surveys: Focusing on the Group <ul><li>Gather a limited amount of information from many people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often, but not always, in the form of a questionnaire </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Potential problems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Obtaining a representative sample of participants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t obtain in-depth information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are respondents’ answers accurate? </li></ul></ul>
    9. 11. Sampling From a Population <ul><li>Population: The group the researcher wants to learn about </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: United States residents </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sample: The subset of the population who participates in the survey </li></ul><ul><li>Random sampling: Everyone in population has an equal chance of being selected </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often difficult, but best for ensuring a representative sample </li></ul></ul>
    10. 12. Psychological Tests: Assessing Individual Differences <ul><li>Achievement tests: Measure current level of knowledge or competence in a subject </li></ul><ul><li>Aptitude tests: Measure potential for success in given profession or area of study </li></ul><ul><li>Intelligence and personality tests: Measure ability, or an individual’s tendency to act in certain ways </li></ul>
    11. 13. Statistics: Summarizing and Interpreting the Data <ul><li>Research projects yield observations (data); researchers attempt to draw conclusions based on the data </li></ul><ul><li>Potential problems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How can you avoid introducing own biases? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do you generalize your findings to a larger population? </li></ul></ul>
    12. 14. Measures of Central Tendency <ul><li>Summarizes observations in a single representative number around which scores cluster </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mean: Arithmetic average of set of scores </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mode: Most frequently occurring score in set </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Median: Middle point in set of scores </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Median, mode less affected by extreme scores than the mean is </li></ul>
    13. 16. Variability <ul><li>Variability: How much the scores in a set differ from one another </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Two classes might have the same average exam score, but one set of scores might be much more spread out </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Range: Difference between the lowest score and the highest score </li></ul><ul><li>Standard deviation: Average distance of scores from the mean </li></ul>
    14. 18. Inferential Statistics <ul><li>Help researchers to decide </li></ul><ul><ul><li>whether a sample is representative of a population </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the likelihood that results are due to chance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Does a gender difference in scores mean there’s a “real” gender difference, or is the difference due to chance? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Statistical significance: probability that outcome due to chance is less than .05. </li></ul>
    15. 19. Predicting Behavior: Correlational Research Learning Goals <ul><li>Define correlation and explain how correlations can be used to predict behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Explain why correlations cannot normally be used to determine the cause of behavior. </li></ul>
    16. 20. Correlational Research <ul><li>Correlation coefficient used to summarize whether two measures vary together </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive correlation: One measure goes up, the other tends to go up as well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negative correlation: One measure goes up, the other tends to go down </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zero correlation: Knowing value of one measure does not allow you to predict value of the other measure </li></ul></ul>
    17. 21. Correlation Coefficients <ul><li>Range from -1.00 to +1.00 </li></ul><ul><li>Absolute value: strength of relationship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Closer to |1.00|: stronger relationship, better able to predict one variable from the other </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sign: direction of relationship, positive or negative </li></ul>
    18. 23. Correlations and Causality <ul><li>Measures may be correlated, but that doesn’t mean one caused the other </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Does watching violent television cause a child to become aggressive? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Third variables: A common link that could explain the correlation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Perhaps certain kinds of parents allow violent television and encourage aggression </li></ul></ul>
    19. 24. Experimental Research: Learning Goals <ul><li>Explain how and why experiments are conducted. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the difference between independent and dependent variables. </li></ul><ul><li>Explain what is meant by experimental control, how it allows for determination of causality. </li></ul>
    20. 25. Learning Goals, continued… <ul><li>Describe the problems created by expectancies and biases and how these problems are solved. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the problems associated with generalizing experimental conclusions. </li></ul>
    21. 26. Experimental Research: How and Why <ul><li>Experimenters actively manipulate environment in order to observe effect on behavior </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Deliberately expose one group of children to violent show, another group to nonviolent show, and observe behavior of each group </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Differs from simply recording, observing behavior: Manipulating allows determination of causality </li></ul>
    22. 27. Variables <ul><li>Independent variable: Aspect of the environment that is manipulated or changed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Must involve at least two conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Violent show / nonviolent show </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Dependent variable: Behavior that is measured or observed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Aggressive behavior. Hypothesis tested by observing effect of manipulating independent variable </li></ul></ul>
    23. 28. Experimental Control and Causality <ul><li>Experimental and control groups must be similar except with regard to independent variable </li></ul><ul><li>There must be no confounding variables </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Confounding variables: Uncontrolled variables that change systematically with the independent variable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal validity: confounding variables controlled </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Random assignment: Each participant has equal chance of ending up in any group </li></ul>
    24. 31. Experimental Research: An Illustration <ul><li>Does marijuana impair memory? In this brief description of a research project, the answer is yes. </li></ul>
    25. 32. PLAY VIDEO Does Marijuana Impair Memory?
    26. 33. Expectancies and Biases <ul><li>Participants may guess what the researcher expects to find, change behavior accordingly </li></ul><ul><li>Ways of reducing expectancy effects: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mislead about the purpose of the study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Equate expectations for the experimental and control groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Give placebo to control group </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Single-blind studies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Double-blind studies </li></ul></ul></ul>
    27. 34. Generalizing Experimental Conclusions <ul><li>Must consider: Would participants have behaved the same way outside of the artificial laboratory situation? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Would children in the television study behave the same way at home or school? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>External validity: Do the results generalize to real-world situations? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: Many “lab” findings do appear to be externally valid </li></ul></ul>
    28. 35. Ethical Principles of Psychological Research: Learning Goals <ul><li>Explain the principle of informed consent. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the roles of debriefing and confidentiality in research. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the ethical issues involved in animal research. </li></ul>
    29. 36. Informed Consent <ul><li>Process of gaining permission and providing explanation of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Any risks (physical or emotional) or other factors that might affect decision to participate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What procedures are involved </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Participant must given written consent </li></ul><ul><li>Participant may stop without penalty </li></ul>
    30. 37. Deception in Research <ul><li>May be necessary to guard against reactivity and expectancy </li></ul><ul><li>Only justified if scientific, educational, or applied value is clear, and if there is no other way to answer research question </li></ul><ul><li>Should not cause physical or emotional harm, or affect willingness to participate </li></ul>
    31. 38. Debriefing and Confidentiality <ul><li>Debriefing: After the experimental session is over, telling participant more about the true purpose </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain any deception that took place </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Confidentiality: Researcher does not discuss personal information obtained from the research without permission </li></ul>
    32. 39. Ethics of Animal Research <ul><li>Benefits of animal research: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increases experimental control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increases range of possible projects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ethical issues in animal research: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informed consent can’t be obtained </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May involve injury or death to the animal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ethical guidelines: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Care for animals properly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimize pain and discomfort </li></ul></ul>