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PSYCHOLOGICAL METHODS

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					         PSYCHOLOGICAL
            METHODS
    1.    List and explain the steps scientist follow in
                  conducting scientific research
  2.    Explain the survey method and the importance of
                   proper sampling techniques
     3.    Compare and contrast various methods of
        observation, and discuss the use of correlation in
                        analyzing results
     4.    Describe the purpose and elements of an
                           experiment
5.   Evaluate the ethical issues involved in psychological
                            research
           Conducting Research
• Psychology, like chemistry and biology, is an experimental
  science. In an experimental science, assumptions (such
  as about the behavior of chemical compounds, cells, or
  people) must be supported by evidence. It is not enough
  to argue that something is true just because someone
  says it is. Psychologists and other scientist make it their
  business to be skeptical. It is part of their job to doubt
  claims that are not supported by actual scientific evidence.
• Psychologists use a variety of research methods to study
  behavior and mental processes. These methods differ
  from each other in a variety of ways. But regardless of
  what method psychologist are using, they tend to follow
  the same general procedure in conducting their research.
  This procedure consists of five steps: forming a research
  question, forming a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis,
  analyzing the results, and drawing a conclusion.
 Forming a Research Question
• The 1st step in
  beginning a study
• Come from:
  – Daily experiences
  – Psychological Theory
  – Folklore
       Forming a Hypothesis
• An educated guess
• Hypothesis requires more work by the
  researcher in order to either confirm or
  disprove it
• Two types
  – “A cause B”
  – “A is related to B”
       Testing the Hypothesis
• A hypothesis cannot be considered to b
  correct until it has been scientifically tested
  and proven to be right
• Many ways of testing a hypothesis
Analyzing the Results
           • What do the findings
             mean?
           • The more information
             collected the more
             complex the analysis,
             but the more reliable
             the findings
       Drawing a Conclusion
• After analyzing their data psychologists
  draw a conclusion about their hypothesis
• When their data does not support their
  hypothesis, they have to change their
  theory or throw it out and start all over
  again
• It is important for psychologists to be
  patient and keep an open mind
              Replication
• For findings to be confirmed they must be
  replicated
• Sometimes the study is done again slightly
  differently to show that results an be
  generalized
New Question
      • If a hypothesis is
        proven it will likely
        lead to new research
        questions
      • If it is disproved then
        the researcher must
        start over again with a
        new question
             Quick Quiz 1
1. List and describe the five steps that
   scientist follow in conducting research.
2. Why is replication of a research study
   important?
3. CRITICAL THINKING: How many times
   do you think research should be
   duplicated before the findings are
   considered valid? Explain your answer.
Survey, Samples, and Populations
• When psychologists want to find out what
  people are thinking, the best usual way to
  find out is to directly ask them.
          The Survey Method
• Questionnaire
• Oral interview
• Honesty is a factor
    Populations and Samples
• To get the most accurate results you want
  to study a group that represents the target
  population
• Since it is too hard to study the entire
  target population you can only usually
  study a sample population, which is a
  portion of the target population
         Selecting Samples
•Make it accurate to the target population
•Random and Stratified samples
         Generalizing Results
• Cannot learn about all
  by studying some
Volunteer Bias
       • You can’t control the
         volunteers
       • They are more willing
         to be open; they have
         more time
       • They can skew the
         results
              Quick Quiz 2
1. What are two different ways by which surveys
   are conducted?
2. Explain the importance of random and
   stratified sampling.
3. CRITICAL THINKING: Give an example of a
   survey that might produce different results
   depending on whether participants volunteered
   or were selected randomly. How might the
   results differ, and what would account for the
   difference?
       Methods of Observation
• Based on our observations of other people and of
  ourselves, we tend to make generalizations about
  human behavior.
• Our observations and generalizations usually serve us
  fairly well in our daily lives. But no matter how many
  experiences we have had, most of our personal
  observations are fleeting, and haphazard. We tent to
  notice only what we want to notice.
• Most psychologist start with observations for their
  hypothesis. Other methods of observation include the
  testing, case-study, longitudinal, cross-sectional,
  naturalistic-observation, and laboratory-observation
  methods.
           The Testing Method
• Several types of tests
  measure various
  elements of human
  behavior such as abilities,
  interests, and personality
• Enables researchers to
  gain insight to certain
  aspects of an individual's
  abilities or behavior
• Does not always provide
  a complete or accurate
  representation of an
  individual's true
  personality
      The Case-Study Method
• Researchers conduct in-depth investigations of
  individuals or small groups
• Provides insight to specific cases
• May focus on isolated circumstances or events
  that cannot be replicated
• People interviewed in case studies may distort
  their past experiences
• Researchers may unintentionally encourage
  people to answer questions a certain way
 Longitudinal and Cross-Sectional
             Methods
• Longitudinal Method         • Cross-Sectional Method
  – A group of participants     – Researchers compare the
    are observed at               differences and similarities
    intervals over an             among people in different
    extended period of time       age groups at a given time
  – Enables researchers to      – Less time-consuming than
    see how individuals           longitudinal studies
    change over time            – Difference between the
  – Time consuming and            members of the sample
    expensive                     cannot necessarily be
  – Participants may not be       attributed to age or
    available for the             development
    duration of the study
      The Naturalistic-Observation
               Method
• Researchers observe the
  behavior of peole or
  animals in their natural
  habitats, least amount of
  bias
• Enables researchers to
  witness the behavior in a
  setting that is not artificial
• Researchers have no
  control over the setting or
  events that occur
The Laboratory-Observation
         Method
             • Participants are
               observed in a
               laboratory setting
             • Enables researchers
               to control certain
               aspects of the study
             • Laboratories cannot
               duplicate real-life
               environments
      Analyzing Observations
• Positive Correlation
  – One factor goes up the other goes up
• Negative Correlation
  – One factor goes up the other goes down
• Limits of Correlation
  – Does not look at all the factors that influence
    the results
               Quick Quiz 3
1. What is a case study? Name one drawback of
   the case-study method.
2. What is the difference between the naturalistic-
   observation method and the laboratory-
   observation method?
3. CRITICAL THINKING: Suppose you wanted to
   find out if there was a correlation between age
   and volume level for listening to music for
   people between the ages of 15 and 55. Which
   observational methods might you use to study
   this? Explain your answer. Do you think your
   correlation would be negative or positive?
      The Experimental Method
• The method researchers use to answer questions about
  cause and effect is the experiment. In an experiment
  participants receive what is called a treatment, such as a
  change in room temperature or a new drug. Researchers
  then carefully observe the participants to determine how
  the treatment influences their behavior (if at all)
• As with other research methods, the experimental method
  has some limitations. For example, the conditions created
  in an experiment may not accurately reflect conditions in
  real life. Almost by their very nature, experiments must
  simplify things somewhat in order to yield useful
  information about cause and effect. Nevertheless,
  experiments do yield useful information much of the time,
  and for that reason, psychologists frequently turn to the
  experimental method in their research.
    Independent and Dependent
            Variables
• Independent                     • Dependent Variable
  Variable                          – The thing that
  – The factor that                   depends on the
    researchers                       independent variable
    manipulate so that
    they can determine its
    effect




        IV Fertilizer DV Growth
 Experimental and Control Groups
• Experimental Group    • Controlled Group
  – Receive treatment     – Does not receive the
                            treatment



        When both types of groups
          are used it is called a
         controlled experiment
          The Placebo Effect
• Placebo is something
  that has no effect
  apart form a persons
  belief in it
• People often believe if
  they receive
  treatment they will get
  better
 Single Blind Study v. Double Blind
               Study
• Single-Blind Study         • Double-Blind Study
  – Participants do not        – Experimenters and
    know if they are             participants are
    receiving treatment or       unaware of who has
    not – they don’t know        obtained the treatment
    if they are in the           – since experimenters
    experimental group or        can unwillingly show
    the controlled group         bias towards the
                                 groups
             Quick Quiz 4
1. Define independent variable and
   dependent variable. Give examples of
   each.
2. What is a controlled experiment? What is
   the difference between an experimental
   group and a control group?
3. CRITICAL THINKING: Design an
   experiment that uses an double-blind
   procedure.
              Ethical Issues
• Ethics are standards for proper and responsible
  behavior. Psychologists follow ethical standards
  to promote the dignity of the individual, foster
  human welfare, and maintain scientific integrity.
  Ethical standards prevent scientist from
  undertaking research or treatments that will be
  harmful to human participants. Specific ethical
  guidelines have been established by the
  American Psychological Association (APA). The
  APA is a scientific and professional organization
  of psychologists.
      Research with People
• Confidentiality
• Informed Consent
• Deception
Research with Animals
           • Experiments that cannot
             be conducted ethically on
             humans are often done to
             animals
           • The animals are only
             used when there is no
             alternative and when the
             benefits outweigh the
             harm
           • This is a very
             controversial topic
        Ethics in Using Data
• Researchers must stay objective and
  eliminate bias when conducting research
• If a hypothesis is proven to be wrong the
  researcher must be willing to throw it out
             Quick Quiz 5
1. Explain the purpose of ethical standards
   in the profession of psychology.
2. Why are confidentiality and informed
   consent important to psychological
   research?
3. CRITICAL THINKING: Do you believe
   that it is ethical or unethical to deceive
   people about the purpose of research?
   Explain your answer.

				
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posted:2/27/2012
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