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									                                               CHAPTER 4
                               Nonexperimental Methods I:
                        Descriptive Methods, Qualitative Research,
                                And Correlational Studies

Expanded Chapter Outline

Descriptive Methods

    Archival and Previously Recorded Sources of Data

              Potential Problems

              Comparisons with the Experimental Method

    Observational Techniques

              Case Studies

              Naturalistic Observation

              Participant Observation

              Clinical Perspective

              Choosing Behaviors and Recording Techniques

              Using More Than One Observer: Interobserver Reliability

Qualitative Research

    Grounded Theory

Correlational Studies

    The Nature of Correlations

    Correlational Research

Review Summary

Study Break

Looking Ahead

                                     CHAPTER IN PERSPECTIVE
     Because the initial research projects of many students involve non-experimental methods, chapters 4
and 5 describe these procedures in some depth. Chapter 4 begins with the presentation of such descriptive
methods as the use of archival sources and the various types of observational techniques. The presentation
of these techniques prompts students to evaluate such issues as when (time sampling), where (situation
sampling), and by whom (use of one or more observers) the behavior of interest will be observed and
recorded. The consideration of grounded theory introduces students to a qualitative research procedure.


                                             Ch 4 - 22
Finally the chapter presents information concerning correlational studies including an overview of the
nature of correlations and the correlational research strategy.


               LECTURE ENHANCERS - CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Identify the Project
     As you peruse the psychological literature, we encourage you to jot down a brief description of the
nature of the study and the type of research method used. If you keep these notes handy, you have an
excellent set of materials to stimulate class discussion. Provide your students with a brief description of a
study and then have them decide which approach it exemplifies (e.g., archival, case study, naturalistic
observation, participant observation). The use of examples using a variety of research approaches drawn
from a variety of areas will add spice to your class discussions. Obviously, this activity is not limited to just
the types of research described in this chapter; it works well with all chapters. When done in a cumulative
manner, this activity provides students with an excellent review.

2. Applying Qualitative Research to an Experimental Question
     Inform your class that there is a wealth of experimental information dealing with the antecedents of
aggression. For example, you could mention the frustration-aggression hypothesis, studies of conflict, the
relationship of temperature and riots, and so on. Challenge your students to develop a one-paragraph
description of how each qualitative approach covered in the text would attempt to study aggression. How
would ethnography, the clinical approach, and grounded theory differ in their approaches? How would
they be similar? How would each differ from the experimental approach? (You can substitute almost any
topic for aggression in this example--choose a topic that will be interesting for you to talk about.)

                         HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES FOR STUDENTS

1. Archival Research
Archival research can be done in your college library. For example, try answering the question “Is
psychology the science of the college student?” by consulting the journals in your library that publish
research using human participants. Pick one or two of these journals and check all the articles that were
published during a one- or two-year period. What percentage of these articles used college student
participants? What percentage used non-college student participants?

2. Case Study
Select an elderly member of your community; this individual can be a grandparent, friend at church,
someone at a senior citizen center, and so on. Plan to interview this individual several times over an
extended period of time (i.e., four or five weeks). Your objective is to produce a case study of the
individual you select. What unique trends characterize his or her life? What recurrent aspirations, motives,
and/or problems are expressed? In short, you want to be as complete as possible in your description of this
individual.

3. Naturalistic Observation
Select a specific animal or group of animals at the local zoo or nearby wildlife refuge and observe the
behaviors that occur during a set period of time (e.g., one or two hours). Establish different categories for
the behaviors you observe. Once you have established these categories, conduct a second observation
session. Did your categories help with the second observation? What conclusions did you draw about the
behavior(s) you observed? How valid are these conclusions? Was your observation unobtrusive? Explain.
Was time sampling or situation sampling involved? Explain.




                                                Ch 4 - 23
                                             CHAPTER 4 TEST ITEMS
F 1.   Which of the following best describes descriptive research methods?
        a. do not involve the manipulation of an independent variable
        b. cannot establish cause and effect
        c. researcher may use historical data
       *d. all of the above
        e. none of the above

A 2. You want to write a history of the psychology department at your school, so you look through old catalogs,
     department correspondence, and musty file folders you find in the basement. You are conducting
     *a. archival research
      b. a case study
      c. an experiment
      d. a participant observation study

F 3.   Archival research is characterized by:
        a. independent variable manipulation
       *b. using data recorded by other individuals
        c. cause-and-effect statements
        d. control of extraneous variables

F 4.   Which of the following is a problem associated particularly with archival research?
        a. small amounts of data
        b. the ability to remain unobtrusive
        c. ability to record data for a small segment of time
       *d. selective deposit

F 5.   When certain details or information are not included in a record, document, or other data source, this
       omission is called
        a. biased recollection
        b. partial data collection
       *c. selective deposit
        d. pilot testing

A 6. H.M. is a famous patient who lost his ability to form new long-term memories. Psychologists have spent
     many years studying him and his problem. This research approach exemplifies
      a. archival research
     *b. case study
      c. naturalistic observation
      d. participant observation

F 7.   The reactance or reactivity effect refers to:
        a. the experimenter's personal reaction to archival data
       *b. the reactions of participants when they know they are being observed
        c. the data gathered from an extended case study
        d. the loss of data due to an error in recording

F 8.   The study conducted in the bars in Little Rock to determine beverage preference was:
        a. a case study
        b. an archival study
       *c. naturalistic observation
        d. a true experiment




                                                      Ch 4 - 24
 A 9. If I stood in a grocery store, hidden behind a display of oranges, and gathered data on the kind of people
      who read the "National Enquirer." What type of descriptive research would I be performing?
       a. participant observation
       b. case study
       c. survey research
      *d. naturalistic observation

F 10.   Naturalistic observation suffers from all of the following problems except
         a. inability to make cause-and-effect statements
         b. potential reactance effects
         c. lack of knowledge about the participants
        *d. inability to make detailed data recordings

A 11. Imagine that a reporter infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan to learn about its inner workings. This would be
      classified as what type of descriptive method?
       a. case study
       b. archival study
       c. naturalistic observation
      *d. participant observation

A 12. A friend tells you that she is frustrated with an experimental approach that focuses on small issues and that
      she wants to get a more global perspective on an issue. What approach might you advise her to use?
       a. single-case
       b. quasi-experimental
      *c. qualitative
       d. analysis of variance

F 13.   Which of the following would involve an immersion in "culture"?
        *a. ethnography
         b. educational criticism
         c. ecological psychology
         d. phenomenology

A 14. In an attempt to gain a better understanding of first generation Mexican students, a teacher decides to live
      in with a family in Mexico for one year in an attempt to gain knowledge of the culture. Which approach
      does this exemplify?
       a. clinical perspective
      *b. ethnography
       c. grounded theory
       d. ecological psychology

F 15.   Which of the following is NOT true of the clinical perspective?
         a. A client chooses the clinician.
         b. Clinicians cannot be unobtrusive.
         c. Clinicians must intervene rather than being passive.
        *d. The clinician's goal is understanding.

A 16. An acquaintance argues that the clinical perspective has nothing approaching a cause-and-effect
      relationship. You should disagree and cite which of the following?
      *a. predicting the outcome of an intervention is similar to cause-and-effect
       b. being unobtrusive gives clinicians special insight and predictive ability
       c. the ethnographic clinical approach yields cause-and-effect explanations
       d. none of the above--your acquaintance is correct




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F 17.   The ultimate goal of the grounded theory approach is ________________.
         a. to gather descriptive information about a phenomenon
         b. to discover unknown phenomena
        *c. the development of a theory
         d. the development of a hypothesis

F 18.   Which of the following is associated with grounded theory?
         a. use of interviews and observations
         b. creativity in finding new formulations
         c. intentional incomplete knowledge of the research literature
        *d. all of the above
         e. none of the above

F 19.   The heart of grounded theory is:
        *a. coding
         b. variable manipulation
         c. the structured interview
         d. the forced-choice questionnaire

F 20.   Labeling and categorizing phenomena are associated with _______ coding.
        *a. open
         b. axial
         c. selective
         d. transactional

F 21.   The linking of actions and interactions that result in an outcome is best associated with:
        *a. transactional system
         b. ethnography
         c. phenomenology
         d. ecological psychology

F 22.   The grounded theory process is associated with which of the following?
         a. positive valence
        *b. conditional matrix
         c. modified field theory
         d. time and relative distance in space

A 23. Someone who has not taken a research course asks you to recommend a technique that provides a broad
      overview of an area and can pull disparate findings together in a unified whole. Which of the following
      would be your best answer?
       a. single-case designs
       b. ethnography
       c. clinical perspective
      *d. grounded theory

F 24.   "Rules by which symbols are assigned to events" best describes:
        *a. measurement
         b. participant observation
         c. time sampling
         d. situation sampling




                                                       Ch 4 - 26
A 25. If you measured people's reactions to works of art in New York, California, Kansas, and Arkansas, you
      would be using
       a. naturalistic observation
       b. time sampling
      *c. situation sampling
       d. interobserver reliability

F 26.   The extent to which experimenters agree about a particular bit of data best describes:
         a. archival symmetry
        *b. interobserver reliability
         c. concordance of naturalistic observation
         d. participant-observer ratio

F 27.   Vitacco and Schmidt's study dealing with self-esteem and death anxiety was an example of:
         a. participant observation
         b. a case study
        *c. a correlational study
         d. naturalistic observation

A 28. Which of the following would probably be negatively correlated?
       a. number of days present in class and exam grades
       b. height and weight of college students
      *c. number of difficult classes taken and semester GPA
       d. overall college GPA and graduate school GPA


                                             Short-Answer/Essay Questions
   1.   What is meant by the term "descriptive research methods?"
   2.   Why is it important for the observer to be unobtrusive in a project using naturalistic observation? What are
        (describe) the drawbacks associated with the use of naturalistic observation? Why is this procedure used?
   3.   Describe the research technique known as participant observation. What drawbacks are associated with
        this procedure?
   4.   What are "time sampling" and "situation sampling?" With which research strategy are these procedures
        used? When should each be used?
   5.   According to Glesne, how are quantitative and qualitative research distinguished from each other?
   6.   Describe the use of ethnography as a research approach.
   7.   What reasons are there to suggest that the clinical perspective or model should be considered as a separate
        research approach?
   8.   Describe the nature, use, techniques, and goals of grounded theory.
   9.   Distinguish among the scales of measurement.
  10.   What is interobserver reliability? How is it calculated? Why is it important?
  11.   What is a "correlational study?" Distinguish between perfect positive and perfect negative correlation.




                                                      Ch 4 - 27

								
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