Module 2 research strategies how psychologists ask and answer questions


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Intro to Psych Module 2

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  • Preview Question 12: Can laboratory experiments illuminate everyday life?
  • Preview Question 13: Does behavior depend on one’s culture and gender?
  • Preview Question 14: Why do psychologists study animals, and is it ethical to experiment on animals?
  • Preview Question 15: Is it ethical to experiment on people?
  • Preview Question 16: Is psychology free of value judgments?
  • Module 2 research strategies how psychologists ask and answer questions

    1. 1. Research Strategies: How Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions <ul><li>Thinking Critically with Psychological Science </li></ul><ul><li>The Scientific Method </li></ul><ul><li>Frequently Asked Questions About Psychology </li></ul>
    2. 2. Why do psychology? <ul><li>“ Psychologists use the science of behavior and mental processes to better understand why people think, feel, and act as they do.” </li></ul><ul><li>How would you go about this? Common sense, intuition or a more scientific approach? </li></ul><ul><li>Some have asked why are the results from a scientific approach more reliable than those based on intuition and common sense? </li></ul>
    3. 3. Intuition and common sense <ul><li>In contrast, intuition and common sense can be highly inaccurate when compared to approaching an issue scientifically. </li></ul><ul><li>Do you think it’s ethical to hire or fire based on an intuitive gut feeling? Hopefully common sense will lead you to use a more structured method of hiring and firing. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Hindsight bias & Overconfidence <ul><li>Hindsight bias and judgmental overconfidence show that we cannot rely on intuition and common sense. Critical thinking must also be employed in order to perceive facts from nonsense. </li></ul><ul><li>Hindsight bias: </li></ul><ul><li>the tendency to believe after learning an outcome that one would have foreseen it. </li></ul><ul><li>Also known as the I knew it all along phenomenon. </li></ul>
    5. 5. How can both be right? <ul><li>Scenario: “sayings” pertaining to romantic attraction: </li></ul><ul><li>out of sight, out of mind AND </li></ul><ul><li>absence makes the heart grow fonder </li></ul><ul><li>This example is why we need a more scientific approach and why we need psychological research. </li></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>Pertaining to romance and attraction, asking how and why individuals felt and acted is not enough. It can be misleading. </li></ul><ul><li>This is because common sense describes what has happened and it is difficult to accurately predict what will happen (one can predict what might happen but not what will happen). </li></ul>
    7. 7. Overconfidence <ul><li>What about overconfidence? How does being overconfident affect our everyday thinking? </li></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>Anagrams </li></ul><ul><li>A word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of another word or phrase. For example, Elvis to Lives . </li></ul>
    9. 9. Anagrams <ul><li>How fast do you think you can solve each one? Write your answer down now, then solve. </li></ul><ul><li>listen = _____________ </li></ul><ul><li>diet = ______________ </li></ul><ul><li>stressed = __________ </li></ul><ul><li>opus = _____________ </li></ul><ul><li>ports = _____________ </li></ul><ul><li>reshow = ___________ </li></ul>
    10. 10. Anagram Answers <ul><li>listen = silent </li></ul><ul><li>diet = edit </li></ul><ul><li>stressed = desserts </li></ul><ul><li>opus = soup </li></ul><ul><li>ports = sport </li></ul><ul><li>reshow = shower </li></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>Was your prediction, about the time it takes to solve the anagram, accurate? </li></ul><ul><li>After seeing the examples and the solution, did you feel that it was going to be easy to solve? </li></ul><ul><li>So, in light of this, do you think that we are any better at predicting our social behavior? </li></ul><ul><li>The bottom line (usually) is that when asked a question, we are usually more confident than we are correct. </li></ul>
    12. 12. <ul><li>The point to remember: hindsight bias and overconfidence often lead us to over estimate our intuition. But scientific inquiry, fed by curious skepticism and by humility, can help us sift reality from illusions. </li></ul>
    13. 13. The Scientific Method <ul><li>The scientific method is a self correcting process for asking questions and observing natures answer. </li></ul><ul><li>It can also be described as a method used to search for cause and effect relationships in nature. </li></ul>
    14. 14. The Scientific Method <ul><li>Steps of the Scientific Method </li></ul><ul><li>The scientific method is a way to ask and answer scientific questions by making observations and doing experiments. </li></ul><ul><li>The steps of the scientific method are to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask a Question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do Background Research </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><ul><li>Construct a Hypothesis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate Your Results </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. The Scientific Method <ul><li>Overview of the Scientific Method </li></ul><ul><li>The scientific method is a process for experimentation that is used to explore observations and answer questions. Scientists use the scientific method to search for cause and effect relationships in nature. In other words, they design an experiment so that changes to one item cause something else to vary in a predictable way. </li></ul>
    17. 17. The Scientific Method <ul><li>Steps of the Scientific Method Detailed Help for Each Step </li></ul><ul><li>Ask a Question: The scientific method starts when you ask a question about something that you observe: How, What, When, Who, Which, Why, or Where? </li></ul><ul><li>And, in order for the scientific method to answer the question it must be about something that you can measure, preferably with a number. Your Question </li></ul>
    18. 18. The Scientific Method <ul><li>Do Background Research: Rather than starting from scratch in putting together a plan for answering your question, you want to be a savvy scientist using library and Internet research to help you find the best way to do things and insure that you don't repeat mistakes from the past. </li></ul>
    19. 19. The Scientific Method <ul><li>Construct a Hypothesis: A hypothesis is an educated guess about how things work: &quot;If _____ [I do this] _____, then _____ [this] _____ will happen.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>You must state your hypothesis in a way that you can easily measure, and of course, your hypothesis should be constructed in a way to help you answer your original question. </li></ul>
    20. 20. The Scientific Method <ul><li>Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment: Your experiment tests whether your hypothesis is true or false. It is important for your experiment to be a fair test. You conduct a fair test by making sure that you change only one factor at a time while keeping all other conditions the same. </li></ul><ul><li>You should also repeat your experiments several times to make sure that the first results weren't just an accident. </li></ul>
    21. 21. The Scientific Method <ul><li>Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion: Once your experiment is complete, you collect your measurements and analyze them to see if your hypothesis is true or false. </li></ul><ul><li>Scientists often find that their hypothesis was false, and in such cases they will construct a new hypothesis starting the entire process of the scientific method over again. Even if they find that their hypothesis was true, they may want to test it again in a new way. </li></ul>
    22. 22. The Scientific Method <ul><li>Communicate Your Results: you will communicate your results to others. Professional scientists do almost exactly the same thing by publishing their final report in a scientific journal or by presenting their results on a poster at a scientific meeting. </li></ul><ul><li>Even though we show the scientific method as a series of steps, keep in mind that new information might cause a scientist to back up and repeat steps at any point during the process. A process like the scientific method that involves such backing up and repeating is called an iterative process . </li></ul>
    23. 23. The Scientific Method: What is a theory? <ul><li>Theory = “mere hunch”. It is linked with observation. </li></ul><ul><li>It is an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and predicts behaviors or events. </li></ul>
    24. 24. The Scientific Method <ul><li>By putting the facts together and associating them with advanced principles, a theory produces a useful summary. (It connects the dots.) </li></ul><ul><li>A good theory must produce testable predictions called hypothesis. </li></ul>
    25. 25. The Scientific Method: What is a hypothesis? <ul><li>Hypothesis – a testable prediction, often implied by a theory. </li></ul><ul><li>It is sometimes what is referred to as an educated guess. </li></ul><ul><li>Hypotheses help give direction to research. It enables the researcher to test, re-test, reject and/or revise the theory. </li></ul><ul><li>A hypothesis can support/confirm a theory or disconfirm a theory. </li></ul>
    26. 26. Bias <ul><li>Bias can creep in and alter expectations in favor for the hypothesis. </li></ul><ul><li>When testing a theory one must be careful not to allow bias to alter the outcome in favor of or against the hypothesis. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Having theorized that depression springs from low self-esteem, we may see what we expect. We may perceive depressed people’s neutral comments as self-disparaging.” </li></ul>
    27. 27. The Scientific Method: What are Operational Definitions? <ul><li>Operational definitions (OD) – a statement of the procedures (operations) used to define research variables. For example, human intelligence may be operationally defined as what an intelligence test measures. </li></ul>
    28. 28. The Scientific Method <ul><li>Clear, concise OD allow other researchers to replicate a scientific study. </li></ul><ul><li>If upon replication, similar results are gained, reliability increases. </li></ul><ul><li>Reliability is the extent to which a test yields consistent results. </li></ul><ul><li>In the end, a theory is useful if it (1) effectively organizes a range of self reports and observations and (2) implies clear predictions that anyone can use to check the theory or to derive practical applications. </li></ul>
    29. 29. How to observe and describe behavior <ul><li>First, one must begin with description. As you go throughout your day you may often observe and describe others and come to conclusions about their behavior based on your observations. </li></ul><ul><li>This process can be applied more systematically and objectively. </li></ul>
    30. 30. How to observe and describe behavior <ul><li>How to systematically and objectively observe behavior: </li></ul><ul><li>Case study </li></ul><ul><li>Survey </li></ul><ul><li>Naturalist observation </li></ul><ul><li>How to systematically and objectively describe behavior: </li></ul><ul><li>Correlation </li></ul><ul><li>Correlation and causation </li></ul><ul><li>Illusory correlations </li></ul><ul><li>Perceiving order in randomness </li></ul>
    31. 31. How to systematically and objectively observe behavior: <ul><li>Case study – “an observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles.” </li></ul><ul><li>Survey – “a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of people, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of them.” </li></ul><ul><li>random sample – “a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion.” </li></ul>
    32. 32. <ul><li>Naturalistic Observation – “observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation.” </li></ul>
    33. 33. How to systematically and objectively describe behavior: <ul><li>Correlation – is the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other. The correlation coefficient is the mathematical expression of the relationship, ranging from -1 to +1. </li></ul><ul><li>Correlation and Causation – Correlations point us toward predictions, but usually imperfect ones. Correlation does not necessarily mean causation. Ex: Length of marriage correlates positively with hair loss in men. Does this mean that marriage causes men to lose their hair? </li></ul><ul><li>Usually there is a third factor for this and many other cases. </li></ul>
    34. 34. How to systematically and objectively describe behavior: <ul><li>Illusory Correlations - </li></ul><ul><li>A perceived non existent relationship (you perceive a relationship but in reality none really exists.) </li></ul><ul><li>Explains superstitions, beliefs. </li></ul><ul><li>More likely to notice and remember the occurrence of two events in sequence </li></ul><ul><li>Can be easily deceived by estimating that there is a correlation amidst random events. </li></ul><ul><li>Bottom line: When we notice random coincidences, we may forget that they are random and instead see them as correlated. Thus, we can easily deceive ourselves by seeing what is not there. </li></ul>
    35. 35. <ul><li>Perceiving order in random events - </li></ul><ul><li>Random sequences often don’t look random </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Flipping coins – 50% of getting each side </li></ul><ul><li>Streaks may be found in any random data </li></ul><ul><li>Patterns or sequences occur naturally in random data </li></ul>
    36. 36. <ul><li>FAQs About Psychology </li></ul>
    37. 37. FAQ <ul><li>Q1. Can laboratory experiments illuminate everyday life? </li></ul><ul><li>Ans: Artificial laboratory conditions are created to study behavior in simplistic terms. The goal is to find underlying principles that govern behavior. </li></ul>
    38. 38. FAQ <ul><li>Q2 . Does behavior depend on one’s culture and gender? </li></ul><ul><li>Ans : Even when specific attitudes and behaviors vary across cultures, as they often do, the underlying processes are much the same. Biology determines our sex, and culture further bends the genders. However, in many ways woman and man are similarly human. </li></ul>Ami Vitale/ Getty Images
    39. 39. FAQ <ul><li>Q3. Why do psychologists study animals, and is it ethical to experiment on animals? </li></ul><ul><li>Ans : Studying animals gives us the understanding of many behaviors that may have common biology across animals and humans. From animal studies, we have gained insights to devastating and fatal diseases. All researchers who deal with animal research are required to follow ethical guidelines in caring for these animals. </li></ul>D. Shapiro, © Wildlife Conservation Society
    40. 40. FAQ <ul><li>Q4. Is it ethical to experiment on people? </li></ul><ul><li>Ans : Yes. Experiments that do not involve any kind of physical or psychological harm beyond normal levels encountered in daily life may be carried out. </li></ul>
    41. 41. FAQ <ul><li>Q5. Is psychology free of value judgments? </li></ul><ul><li>Ans : No. Psychology emerges from people who subscribe to a set of values and judgments. </li></ul>© Roger Shepard
    42. 42. FAQ: Is psychology potentially dangerous? <ul><li>Q6. Some question that psychology can be used as a tool to manipulate others. </li></ul><ul><li>Ans: Power (no matter what kind: knowledge, status, wealth, etc.) can be used for both good and evil. </li></ul><ul><li>However it is a choice that one makes as to how he/she will use that power. It can be used to deceive others, but although psychology can be used as a tool of deception, its main purpose is to enlighten. </li></ul>