Understanding the research_process
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  • 1. Understanding the Research Process
    Based on:
    Psychology Course Companion; John Crane, Jette Hannibal
  • 2. How do psychologistsprove their theories?
    You decide that you are going to prove that:
    being an organized student has NO or a BIG impact on students’ grades.
    How would you go about proving this theory?
    Brainstorm with two or three other students.
  • 3. Researchers Need
    A plan
    People willing to participate in the study
    A method for collecting and analyzing the data
  • 4. Aim
    Target population
  • 5. Aim – the purpose of the study. It indicates which behavior or mental process will be studied
    Target population – these are the group who is being investigated
  • 6. Procedure – the step-by-step process used by the researcherto carry out the study.
    Proceduremustbe carefully written so that it is replicable.
    Findings – states how the researcher interpreted the data that were collected.
    Must be interpret in terms of the culture in which it was conducted.
  • 7. A Classic Study: The Pygmalion effect Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968
    State the aim, procedure and findings of this study undertaken by Rosenthal and Jacobson
    (giveanexemple of it from yourexperience)
  • 8. Participants who should be in the study?
    Participants – peoplewho take part in a psychological study
    Target population –specific group group, which psychologists are interested in
    Representative sampling – is a samplewhichrepresentwholepopulation
  • 9. Pick your participants
    You want to replicate the Pygmalion effect experiment. How would you go about picking your participants?
  • 10. Kinds of Sampling
    Opportunity sampling– whoeverbe there and agrees toparticipate. Easy to get them, but often lead to biased results
    Sampling bias – 2/3 of research done at universities uses exclusively students to participate!
    Can you see a problem?
  • 11. Kinds of Sampling
    Self-selected sample –volunteers. Easy to obtain and usually highly motivated, but don’t always reflect whole population.
    the example:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br9goVGNPzc
    Snowball sampling– Participants recruit other participants from among their friends and acquaintances.
    Self- selectedsample
  • 12. Random Sampling – sampling where every member of the target population has an equal chance of being selected.
    Draw names out of a hat
    Stratified Sample- draws random samples from each subpopulation in the group
    If school has 20% Roma students, then the sample must include 20% of thissubpopulation– so the sample is the most accurate reflection of the actual distribution of the school population.
  • 13. Your Turn: Be a researcher
    You want to make a study of people’s motivation to engage in exercise. You decide to go to the local fitness center and conduct some interviews. Discuss the following:
    If you use an opportunity sample at a local fitness center, which group of people would be overrepresented?
    Which group would be underrepresented?
    Would you get a more representative sample if you advertised for participants in your school?
  • 14.
  • 15. Ethics in Research
    Informed Consent
    Withdrawal from a study
    Protection from physical or mental harm
  • 16. Check it out
    Review the research carried out by Rosenthal and Jacobson- the Pygmalioneffect.
    Was this study ethical?
    Discuss your reasons.
  • 17. Evaluating Findings
    Interpretingfindingisanessentialskill for a psychologist.
    One waythat a studycan be evaluatedis to assesswhetherithasanypracticalapplications.
    Application – how the theory or empirical studyisused
    Studies of neurotransmitters are used to develop drugs to treat depression, schizophrenia
    Research on effect of light on mood
    Use of memory research improves how we take evidence from eyewitness testimony
  • 18. Validity and Reliability
  • 19. Validity and Reliability
    Doesit show 36,6 degreewhenyouarehealthy?
    Doesitproduce the same readings in the same circumstances?
  • 20. Validity- the researchismeasuringwhatitissupposed to measure
    Ecological Validity
    the study representswhat happens in real life
    If took place in a laboratory may lack e.v.
    If it was so well controlled (in lab) that normal influences were eliminated, may lack e.v.
    If stydylacks ofe.v. it may not predict what will happen outside of lab
    Cross-cultural Validity
    Is studyrelevantto other cultures? If not, it may be ethnocentric and based on values and beliefs of one culture
  • 21. Reliability – questionariesproducethe same resultswhen re-testedon the same peopleatdifferenttimes
    results canbe replicated
    if another research uses the exact same procedure, it should give the same results
  • 22. Points to Consider with Empirical Studies
    Is the study based on a representative group of people (sample)?
    Is there a bias in the sample? Is one group overrepresented?
    Was the study conducted in a lab or in a natural setting?
    Lab setting is artificial. It isn’t possible to be certain that participants act as they would in real life
    Were the participants asked to do things that are far from real life?
    Remembering nonsense syllables? Lacks ecological validity
  • 23. Points to Consider with Empirical Studies
    4. Are the findings of the studysupported/questioned by the findings of other studies?
    Consider in what ways the findings are different and try to explain how and why. Maybe you can suggest which study was better designed and showwhich results seem to be more valid
    5. Do the findings have practical relevance?
    Consider how the study is applied to real life situations
    6. Ethical considerations