Unit 2: Research Methods

Unit 2: Research Methods

UNIT 2: RESEARCH METHODS Thinking critically with psychological science CAN YOU REMEMBER Where were you on September 11 th, 2001? Should we have expected this attack? Did the government know? Those people in the South Tower (2 nd one to fall) waited to

evacuate why? HINDSIGHT BIAS I-KNEW-IT-ALL-ALONG PHENOMENON Out of sight, out of mind OR Absence makes the heart grow fonder You can observe a lot by watching Because were all behavior watchers, it would be surprising if many of psychologys findings had NOT been foreseen.

Good ideas are like good inventions; once created, they seem obvious. But sometimes our intuition, informed by countless casual observations, has it wrong. TRUE OR FALSE. 1. If you want to teach a habit that persists, reward the desired behavior every time, not just intermittently.

2. Patients whose brains are surgically split down the middle survive and function much as they did before the surgery. 3. Traumatic experiences, such as sexual abuse or surviving the Holocaust, are typically repressed from memory. 4. Most abused children do not become abusive adults. 5. Most infants recognize their own reflection in a mirror by the end of their first year. TRUE OR FALSE

6. Adopted siblings usually do not develop similar personalities, even though they are reared by the same parents. 7. Fears of harmless objects, such as flower, are just easy to acquire as fears of potentially dangerous objects, such as snakes. 8. Lie detection tests often lie. 9. Most of us use only about 10% of our brains. 10. The brain remains active during sleep.

OVERCONFIDENCE As humans, we tend to think we know more than we do. Complete these Anagrams (use the same letters and create a new word that relates to the original word) Elvis Dormitory Slot machines

UNSCRAMBLE LIVES DIRTY ROOM CASH LOST IN EM LIGHT BULB Once people know the answer, hindsight makes it seem obvious, so much that you become overconfident.

Are we any better at predicting social behavior? The point to remember hindsight bias and overconfidence often lead us to overestimate our intuition. But scientific inquiry can help us sift reality from illusion. THE SCIENTIFIC ATTITUDE We must begin by doubting

Historians of science say that there are three attitudes Curiosity Skepticism Humility CRITICAL THINKING SMART THINKING Examines assumptions, discerns hidden values,

evaluates evidence and assesses conclusions THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD Theory Explains an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and predicts behaviors or events. By organizing isolated facts, a theory simplifies. By linking facts and bridging them to a deeper principles, a theory offers a useful summary.

As we connect the observed dots, a coherent picture emerges. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD Hypotheses A good theory produces testable predictions called. By enabling us to test and to reject or revise the theory, such predictions give direction to research.

They specify what results would support the theory and what results would disconfirm it. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD Theories (low self-esteem feeds depression) LEAD TO: Hypothesis: (people with low self-esteem will score higher on a depression scale)

LEAD TO: Research and Observation: (administration tests of low self-esteem and depression, see if a low score on one predicts a high score on the other) REPORT RESEARCH WITH OPERATIONAL DEFINITION: A statement of the procedures (operations) used to define research variables.

For example, human intelligence may be operationally defined as what an intelligence measures. PRECISE PROCEDURES & MEASUREMENTS Hunger, for example might be defined as hours without eating Generosity as money contributed REPLICATION: repeating the essence of a

research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances. IN THE END Our theory will be useful if it 1. Effectively organizes a range of self-reports and observations 2. 2. implies clear predictions that anyone can

use to check the theory or to derive practical applications (if we boost peoples self esteem, will their depression lift?) Eventually, our research will probably lead to a revised theory that better organizes and predicts what we know about depression. DESCRIPTION How do psychologists observe and describe

behavior? In everyday life all of us observe and describe people, often drawing conclusions about why they behave the way they do. Professionals do the same, just more objectively and systematically. THE CASE STUDY Among the oldest research methods, the case study examines one individual in depth

in hopes of revealing things true of us all. Example: Jean Piaget taught us about childrens thinking after carefully observing and questioning only a few children. ALWAYS RIGHT? Individual cases can suggest fruitful ideas. Whats true of all of us can be glimpsed in any one of us. But to discern the general

truths that cover individual cases, we must answer questions with other research methods. SURVEY The survey method looks at many cases in less depth. Researchers do surveys when wanting to estimate, from a representative sample of people, the attitudes or reported behaviors of a whole

population. WORDING EFFECTS Even subtle changes in the order or wording of questions can have major effects. Should cigarette ads or porn be allowed on TV? Only 27% of Americans approved of government censorship of media sex and violence, though 66% approved of more

restrictions on what is shown on TV RANDOM SAMPLING We can describe human experience by drawing on personal experience. But for an accurate picture if a whole populations attitudes and experience, theres only one game in town the representative sample. The point to remember: the best basis for generalizing is from a representative sample of

cases. Population- all the cases in a group being studied from which samples may be drawn RANDOM SAMPLE RS In which every person in the entire group has an equal chance of participating This means you would not send each student a questionnaire. Rather, you might number the names in the general student listing and then use

a random number generator to pick the participants for your survey. Large representative samples are better than small ones, but a small representative sample of 100 is better than an unrepresentative sample of

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