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Ryan's psy ch02
Ryan's psy ch02
Ryan's psy ch02
Ryan's psy ch02
Ryan's psy ch02
Ryan's psy ch02
Ryan's psy ch02
Ryan's psy ch02
Ryan's psy ch02
Ryan's psy ch02
Ryan's psy ch02
Ryan's psy ch02
Ryan's psy ch02
Ryan's psy ch02
Ryan's psy ch02
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Ryan's psy ch02


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  • 1. Chapter 2 PSYCHOLOGICAL METHODS Section 1: Conducting Research Section 2: Surveys, Samples, and Populations Section 3: Methods of Observation Section 4: The Experimental Method Section 5: Ethical Issues
  • 2. Conducting Research (general info)
    • Psychology is an experimental science
    • Assumptions must be supported by evidence
    • Procedures consists of five steps:
      • Forming a research question
      • Forming a hypothesis
      • Testing the hypothesis
      • Analyzing the results
      • Drawing conclusions
  • 3. Form a question (posing a question based on daily experience, psychological theory or common knowledge)
    • Form a question from daily experience
    • Questions should be based on behavior
    • People learn from observing others
    • Some questions come from folklore and common knowledge
      • “ Two heads are better than one” “Opposites attract” “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.”
    Section 1: Conducting Research
  • 4. Form a hypothesis (making an educated guess)
    • An educated guess
    • A hypothesis in the form of an “if-then” statement
    • “If-then” reasoning is an example of social scientific reasoning
  • 5. Test the hypothesis (examining the evidence through any of a variety of means)
    • Psychological knowledge rests on carefully examined human experience
    • A hypothesis cannot be considered to be correct until it has been scientifically tested and proved to be right
    • Psychologists do not rely on people’s opinion
    • Answer research questions or test hypotheses through a variety of methods.
  • 6. Analyze Results (looking for patterns or relationships in the evidence)
    • What the findings mean
    • Have to figure out how to interpret the reaction
    • Psychologists collect a great deal more data than needed
    • Look for patterns and relationships in the data
    • They must decide which data support their hypothesis and which data do not.
    Section 1: Conducting Research
  • 7. Draw a conclusion (determining whether the findings support the hypothesis and adjusting it if they do not)
    • They draw conclusions about their questions and their hypotheses
    • When observations do not support hypotheses they often change the theories or beliefs from which the hypotheses were derived
    • Psychologists need to keep an open mind
    • Be willing to adjust or modify their hypotheses if their findings make it necessary to do so
  • 8. Replication
    • Findings may represent a random occurrence
    • For a study to be confirmed it must be replicated (repeated) to show the same results
    • If the studies are repeated and obtain different results, the findings of the first study are questioned
    • It is important to study both males and females if the goal is to make generalizations about all members of the species.
  • 9. Does this lead to new questions?
    • Whether the findings of the research study support or contradict the hypothesis, they are likely to lead to new research questions.
    • Once new questions are asked, the process begins all over again.
  • 10.  
  • 11. Question: Why are proper sampling techniques important?
    • Surveys are taken to find out about people’s attitudes and behaviors directly.
    • Two survey methods—written questionnaires and interviewing
    • The findings of interviews and questionnaires are not completely accurate.
      • People may not answer honestly about their attitudes or behavior
    Section 2: Surveys, Samples, and Populations
  • 12. Populations and Samples
    • Must decide what group or groups of people they wish to examine and how they will be selected.
    • Target population—is the whole group you want to study or describe.
    • Researchers study a sample of the target population
  • 13. Selecting Samples
    • Samples must be selected scientifically to ensure that the samples accurately represent the populations they are supposed to represent.
    • Random Sample—individuals are selected by chance from the target population
    • Stratified sample—subgroups in the population are represented proportionally in the sample.
    • A random sample of 1,000 to 1,500 people will usually represent the general American population reasonably well.
  • 14. Generalizing Results
    • Researchers do not use a sample that represents an entire population
    • Researchers want to know about only one group within the population
    • Researchers are cautious about generalizing their findings to groups other than those from which their samples were drawn
    • Researchers cannot learn about the preferences of all people by studying only one group of people, such as men.
    • The gender of the individuals in the sample is not the only characteristic that researchers must take into account.
  • 15. Volunteer Bias
    • Researchers have little control over who responds to surveys or participates in research studies.
    • They cannot force people to complete the questionnaires.
    • Bias—a predisposition to a certain point of view.
    • People who volunteer to participate in studies often bring with them a volunteer bias.
    • They often have a different outlook from people who do not volunteer for research studies.
    • Volunteers may: be more interested, have more spare time.
    • Depending on what the study is about, any or all of the factors could skew the results.