Psychology Unit 3 - Research Methods

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Published on January 29, 2009

Author: derekspalla

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Unit 3 – Research Methods & Approaches : Unit 3 – Research Methods & Approaches AP® Psychology From A Christian Worldview Week 3 – January 19-23 Slide 2: “The naked intellect is an extraordinarily inaccurate instrument.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle “Life is lived forwards, but understood backwards.” ~ Søren Kierkegaard Thinking Critically With Psychology : Thinking Critically With Psychology E.Q. “Why are the answers that flow from the scientific approach more reliable than those based on intuition and common sense?” Thinking Critically With Psychology : Thinking Critically With Psychology Hindsight: Finding that something has happened makes it seem inevitable. This 20/20 hindsight vision is called hindsight bias. Also known as the I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon. Thinking Critically With Psychology : Thinking Critically With Psychology Common Sense: Common sense describes what has happened rather than what will happen. “You can observe a lot by watching” ~ Yogi Berra “Anything seems commonplace, once explained.” ~ Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes Thinking Critically With Psychology : Thinking Critically With Psychology Overconfidence: “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” ~ General John Sedgewick just before being killed during a battle in the U.S. Civil War, 1864 Thinking Critically With Psychology : Thinking Critically With Psychology Overconfidence cont: Our everyday thinking is also limited by our human tendency to be overly confident. WREAT WATER ETRYN ENTRY GRABE BARGE Thinking Critically With Psychology : Thinking Critically With Psychology OCHSA ELVIS DORMITORY SLOT MACHINES CHAOS LIVES DIRTY ROOM CASH LOST IN ’EM Thinking Critically With Psychology : Thinking Critically With Psychology Point To Remember: Hindsight bias and overconfidence often lead us to overestimate our intuition. Scientific inquiry, fed by curious skepticism and by humility, can help us sift reality from illusions. Scientific Attitude : Scientific Attitude E.Q. “What attitudes characterize scientific inquiry?” Scientific Attitude : Scientific Attitude Underlying all science is: Curiosity A passion to explore To understand without misleading or being mislead Scientific Attitude: Being skeptical but not cynical Open but not gullible Scientific Attitude : Scientific Attitude Critical Thinking: The scientific attitude prepares us to think smarter. Smart thinking is called critical thinking. Consider the following: Massive losses of brain tissue early in life may have minimal long-term affects. Within day, newborns can recognize their mother’s odor and voice. Brain damage can leave a person able to learn new skills, yet be unaware of such learning. Scientific Attitude : Scientific Attitude Consider the following cont: Electroconvulsive therapy is often a very effective treatment for severe depression. Sleepwalkers are not acting out their dreams and sleeptalkers are not verbalizing their dreams. Most people do not suffer from unrealistically low self-esteem, and high self-esteem is not all good. Opposites do not generally attract. The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method E.Q. “How do psychologists use the scientific method to construct theories?” The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Constructing Theories: Theory is linked with observation. A scientific theory explains through an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts behaviors or events. A theory simplifies things. A theory offers a useful summary. A good theory produces testable predictions, called a hypothesis. The Scientific Method – A self-correcting process for asking questions and observing nature’s answer. : The Scientific Method – A self-correcting process for asking questions and observing nature’s answer. Theories Example: Low self-esteem feeds depression. (2) Hypotheses Example: People with low self-esteem score higher on a depression scale. (3) Research & Observations Example: Administer tests of self-esteem and depression. The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Constructing Theories cont: As a check on their biases, psychologists use operational definitions of concepts that allow anyone to replicate (repeat) their observations. The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Description: E.Q. “How do psychologists observe and describe behavior?” The starting point of any science is description. The Case Study The Survey Naturalistic Observation The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method The Case Study: Studying one individual in great depth. Hopes to reveal things true of all of us. Can suggest hypotheses for further study. Note: An individual may be atypical. Point to remember: Individual cases can suggest fruitful ideas. What’s true of all of us can be glimpsed in any one of us. The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method The Survey: A method that looks at many cases in less depth. Note: Asking questions can be tricky. Answers may depend on wording and choice of respondents. Wording Effects – Subtle changes in the order and wording can have major effects. Random Sampling – or representative sample. Large samples are better than small ones. The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Random Sampling Example: E is estimated to represent 12.7% of letters written in English. 12.3% of the 925,141 letters in Moby Dick 12.4% of the 586,747 letters in A Tale of Two Cities 12.1% of the 3,901,021 letters in 12 of Mark Twain’s works The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Naturalistic Observation: Watching and recording the behavior of organisms in their natural environment. Does not explain behavior, but describes it. The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Correlation: E.Q. “Why do correlations permit prediction but not explanation?” Positive correlation Between 0 and +1.00 A direct relationship = two things increase or decrease together Negative correlation Between 0 and -1.00 An inverse relationship = as one thing increases the other decreases Correlations: : Correlations: The more TV is on in the homes of young children, the less time they spend reading. The more sexual content teens see on TV, the more likely they are to have sex. The longer children are breast-fed, the greater their later academic achievement. The more income rose among a sample of poor families, the fewer psychiatric symptoms their children experienced. Negative Positive Positive Negative The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Correlation cont: Correlations point us toward predictions, but usually imperfect ones. The point to remember: A correlation coefficient helps us see the world more clearly by revealing the extent to which two things relate. The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Correlation and Causation: Correlations help us predict. Low self-esteem correlates with and therefore predicts depression. But does that mean low self-esteem causes depression? Correlation does not prove causation. The point to remember: Correlation indicates the possibility of a cause-effect relationship Slide 27: Correlation Cause and Effect (1) Low self-esteem Depression (2) Depression Low self-esteem (3) Distressing events or biological predisposition Low self-esteem Depression The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Illusory Correlation: E.Q. “How accurately does the naked eye detect correlations? A perceived but nonexistent correlation When we believe there is a relationship between two things We are likely to notice and recall instances that confirm our belief. Point to remember: When we notice random coincidences, we may forget they are random. The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Illusory Correlation Example: If someone flipped a coin six times, which of the following sequences of heads (H) and tails (T) would be most likely? HHHTTT HTTHTH HHHHHH Most people believe that #2 is the most likely. All three are equally likely or equally unlikely. The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Illusory Correlation Cont: Given enough random events, something weird will happen. With a large enough sample, any outrageous thing is likely to happen. An event that happens to one in 1 billion people every day occurs about six times a day, 2000 times a year. The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Experimentation: E.Q. “How do experiments clarify or reveal cause-effect relationships?” Many factors influence our everyday behavior. To isolate cause and effect psychologists statistically control for other factors. The clearest and cleanest way to isolate cause and effect is to experiment. The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Experimentation cont: Experiments enable a researcher to focus on the possible effects of one or more factors by – Manipulating the factors of interest and Holding constant (controlling) other factors. Point to Remember: No single experiment is conclusive. The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Experimentation cont: If a behavior (such as test performance) changes when we vary an experimental factor (infant nutrition) then we know the factor is having an effect. Point to remember: Unlike correlational studies, which uncover naturally occurring relationships, an experiment manipulates a factor to determine its effect. The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Experimentation cont: Evaluating Therapies To find out whether a treatment is actually effective, we must experiment. Double-blind procedure – neither the participant nor the research assistant collecting the data knows whether the participant’s group is receiving the treatment. Placebo effect – just thinking you are getting a treatment can boost your spirits, relax your body, and relieve symptoms. The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Experimentation cont: Evaluating Therapies The double-blind procedure is one way to create an experimental group, the ones who receive the treatment, and a contrasting control group without the treatment. Random assignment roughly equalizes the two groups in age, attitudes, and every other characteristic. The Scientific Method : The Scientific Method Experimental Control Breast Milk Formula Intelligence score, age 8 Intelligence score, age 8 Condition Independent Dependent Random Assignment Comparing Research Methods : Comparing Research Methods

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