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Research in Psychology


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Research in Psychology

  1. 1. Research in Psychology A Scientific Endeavor
  2. 2. Goals of Psychological Research Description of social behavior  Are people who grow up in warm climates different from those in cold climates? Establish a relationship between cause & effect  Does heat cause higher amounts of aggression? Develop theories about why people behave the way that they do  We dislike Duke students to feel better about ourselves Application  Creating effective therapeutic treatments, more successful negotiation tactics, and greater understanding amongst groups of people
  3. 3. Empirical Research Empirical  Knowledge based on direct observation Theory  Set of ideas which try to explain what we observe  Goal is to find support OR disprove We can never prove!!  Theoretical diversity
  4. 4. The Process of Doing Research First, select a topic  Good theory:  Has predictive power  Is simple & straightforward Then, search the literature  Find out what others have done that may be applicable to your area of interest
  5. 5. The Process of Doing Research Next, formulate hypotheses  Hypothesis: specific statement of expectation derived from theory  State the relationship between two variables  Variable: can be any event, characteristic, condition, or behavior
  6. 6. The Process of Doing Research Then pick your research method  Experimental vs. correlational (DesignDesign)  Field vs. laboratory (SettingSetting) Finally, collect & analyze your data
  7. 7. Let’s take a closer look . . .at variables Dependent variable (outcome variable)  Dependent on the influence of other factor(s)  How do we operationalize? Independent variable (predictor variable)  Factor(s) that change the outcome variable  How do we operationalize & manipulate?  Control group
  8. 8. Let’s take a closer look . . . at research methods Experimental vs. correlational designs  Correlational: observe the relationship between two variables  Describe patterns of behavior  Types include  Naturalistic observation  Case studies  Surveys
  9. 9. Correlational research Advantages  Sometimes manipulation of variables is impossible or unethical  Efficient – look at lots of data Disadvantages  CANNOT DETERMINE CAUSATION  Could be a lurking variable
  10. 10. Experimental Research Researcher manipulates one variable (IV) to see effect on other variable (DV)  Try to hold everything else constant True experiments have  Random sampling: selecting Ps randomly from population  Random assignment: chance assignment to condition
  11. 11. Ethics in Research Should the study be done?  Value vs. potential cost  APA guidelines, IRB, colleagues How do we protect Ps?  Informed consent  Confidentiality & anonymity  Debriefing