Essential Questions • How do psychologists use the scientific method to study behavior and mental processes? • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the different research methods? • How do psychologists draw appropriate conclusions about behavior from research? Growth of Psych Approaches to Psych Careers Ethics Research Methods Sampling Descriptive Correlation Naturalistic Observation Case Study Survey The Science of Psychology We are here Experiment Statistics Descriptive Inferential Growth of Psych Approaches to Psych The Science of Psychology Careers Ethics Research Statistics Methods Sampling Descriptive Correlation Naturalistic Observation Case Study Survey Experiment We are here Descriptive Inferential Research Methods 1. Description – gathering evidence about A and B 2. Correlation – A and B are related 3. Experiment – A causes B Descriptive Research DESCRIBES Descriptive Research • Purpose – To describe what is in reality • Strengths – Certain descriptive research methods can be quick – You can generalize (apply to more than just those from which you sampled) your findings with some descriptive research methods • Weaknesses – Can’t help you predict – Can’t give you cause and effect – Each descriptive research method has their own weaknesses as well Be curious! 1. Does involvement in HS athletics improve academic performance? 2. Does excessive texting impede face-to-face relationships? 3. Does personality influence musical preferences? 4. Do ads portraying unrealistic body types reduce the selfimage of the viewer? 5. Does student consumption of caffeine in the morning improve first period grades? 6. Does gamification of the classroom improve increase student engagement? Be curious! 7. Does a community service requirement positively or negatively impact student opinions of community service? 8. Do teacher websites improve student performance in class? 9. Does focus on minor rules (flip-flops and hats) reduce student adherence to major rules (insubordination or class cutting)? Growth of Psych Approaches to Psych The Science of Psychology Careers Ethics Research Statistics Methods Sampling Descriptive Correlation Naturalistic Observation Case Study Survey Experiment We are here Descriptive Inferential Case Studies • What is it? Study of a single individual or just a few individuals in order to describe their situation. • Purpose? Take advantage of situation that you can not replicate (make happen again) • How? Gather as much evidence as you can: Observation, scores on psychological tests, interviews, medical records etc. Case Studies • Tells us a great story…but is just descriptive research. *The ideal case study is John and Kate. Really interesting, but what does it tell us about families in general? Two most famous case studies in psychology Genie Phineas Gage The Lost Children of Rockdale County • Studied a Syphilis epidemic at a high school in an affluent suburb of Atlanta Growth of Psych Approaches to Psych The Science of Psychology Careers Ethics Research Statistics Methods Sampling Descriptive Correlation Naturalistic Observation Case Study Survey Experiment We are here Descriptive Inferential • Respond to each of the following statements with a number from 1= strongly agree to 7= strongly disagree. _____ 1. I oppose raising taxes. _____ 2. The primary task of the government should be to keep citizens safe from terrorism & crime. _____ 3. I regularly perform routine maintenance on my car. _____ 4. I make it a practice to never lie. _____ 5. Monogamy (not cheating on my significant other) is important to me. _____ 6. How often do you exercise? 1 2 3 Infrequently Occasionally Often • Respond to each of the following statements with a number from 1= strongly agree to 7= strongly disagree. _____ 1. I’d be willing to pay a few extra dollars in taxes to provide high-quality education to all kids. _____ 2. The primary task of the government should be to preserve citizens’ rights & civil liberties. _____ 3. Sometimes I don’t change the oil in my car on time. _____ 4. Like all human beings, I occasionally tell a white lie. _____ 5. Sexual freedom is important to me. _____ 6. In the last 6 months, how often have you engaged in at least 20 minutes of aerobic activity? 1=Almost Never. 2=Less than once/week. 3=once/week 4= 2x/week. 5= 3x/week. 6= 4x/week. 7= +4x/week Survey Wording Effect Wording can change the results of a survey. Q: Should cigarette ads and pornography be allowed on television? (not allowed vs. forbid) Surveys – A technique for ascertaining the selfreported attitudes, opinions or behaviors of people usually by questioning a representative, random sample of people. Strength: Can generate a lot of information for a fairly low cost Weakness: Questions must be constructed carefully so as to not elicit socially appropriate answers or the wording effect. Plus, people could lie! Non-response/Volunteer Bias • Women and Love study done by Shere Hite (1974) • 98% Dissatisfied in their Marriage • 75% Extramarital Affairs • But to all of those who were mailed surveys only 4% responded. When randomly sampled • 93% of women are satisfied in their marriages • Only 7% had affairs Survey Random Sampling From a population if each member has an equal chance of inclusion into a sample, we call that a random sample (unbiased). If the survey sample is biased, its results are questionable. The fastest way to know about the marble color ratio is to blindly transfer a few into a smaller jar and count them. Stratified Sampling • When sub-populations vary considerably, it is advantageous to sample each subpopulation (stratum) independently. Stratification is the process of grouping members of the population into relatively homogeneous subgroups before sampling. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4639vev1R w Ashika (F, athletic, AP student, from Asia) Kale (F, career prep, works after school, Caucasian); Deanna (F, auto-immune disease, homeschooled, Latino); Fred (M, drop-out, Caucasian); Joe (M, depressed, AP student, American Indian); Bob (M, tall, athletic, likes to read, Latino) Donny (M, obsessed with germs, takes vitamins, good student, AfAmer); Tom (M, loves music, hates school, Caucasian) Joy (F, nervous, anxiety disorder, absent from school often, AfAmer); Brenda (F, loves texting to b/f in school, Latino) Lyle (M, comes to school for socializing, hates teachers, Latino); Anthony (M, career-prep student, lazy, Latino) Nate (M, wants to own family business, AP student, AfAmer) Kandy (F, pregnant, might drop-out, Caucasian) Runa (F, AP Student, Quiz Bowl, Asian); River (M, AP Student, Math Bowl, Golf, Caucasian) Levi (M, Honors student, athletic, Caucasian) Layla (F, Honors student, volunteer, AfAmerican) Eli (M, avg. student, likes vo-tech mechanics, Latino) Tessa (F, athletic, unstable home, Asian) Stella (F, loves to dance, avg. student, Caucasian) Nina (F, defiant toward adults, needs special classes, Caucasian) Sampling from a population “The root of the problem is that in real life, all scientists ever observe are samples. And, in real life, all they want to know about is populations” Nancy Darling, Ph.D. Growth of Psych Approaches to Psych The Science of Psychology Careers Ethics Research Statistics Methods Sampling Descriptive Correlation Naturalistic Observation Case Study Survey Experiment We are here Descriptive Inferential Naturalistic Observation • Watch subjects in their natural environment. • Do not manipulate the environment. • Naturalistic Observation – The main drawback is observer bias • (expectations or biases of the observer that might distort or influence the interpretation of what was observed.) – Not replicable so you can’t generalize Hawthorne Effect • Just the fact that you know you are in an experiment can cause change. Whether the lights were brighter or dimmer, production went up in the Hawthorne electric plant. Descriptive Methods Comparison Research Method Advantages Limitations Naturalistic Observation •More accurate than reports after the fact •Behavior is more natural •Hawthorne Effect •Observational Bias •Cannot be generalized Case Studies •Depth •Takes advantage of circumstances that could not be coordinated in an experiment •Not representative •Time consuming and expensive •Observational Bias Surveys • Immense amount of data •Quick and inexpensive • Sampling biases can skew results •Bad Questions can corrupt data •Accuracy depends on the ability and willingness of the participants.