# Lesson Plan 2010

```Lesson Plan – week of November 8, 2010
Monday: – no class (speaker)
Tuesday:
Review: importance of research and developing a research question, hypothesis
Discuss:
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Steps
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Identify questions of interest
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Formulating an explanation
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Hypothesis: prediction stated in a way that it can be tested
Carrying out research designed to support or refute
Who participates in the study?
Representative sample
How do psychologists study behavior?
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Descriptive studies – recording of behaviors that have been recorded systematically
o Simplest method of scientific inquiry
o Describe behavior and mental processes
o Most widely used
o Survey method – ask people’s opinions
 Case study – one individual
 Naturalistic observation – watch, describe
 Archival research – using already collected data - newspapers
 Clinical method – observe in clinic setting
Correlational Studies
– Correlational method: measure two variables for statistical relationship
– Variable: anything that can be assigned a numerical value
– Uses quantitative measures
Correlational Studies
– Correlation coefficient
• Measures each variable
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Indicates strength ( - 1 to 0 to 1) and direction (negative or positive) of
relationship
Correlation does not mean causation – could be a third factor involved
• Positive correlation – both factors increase
• Negative correlation – as one factor increases, the second factor decreases
• More study, less recreation
• No relationship (close to zero) – number of hours studied and height
CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION
• Lack of interest could be affecting test performance not hours studied
Wednesday:
Experimental research:
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Tests relationship of two or more variables
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Quantitative measures of behavior compared in different conditions created by
researchers
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Evidence supports or rejects hypothesis
Elements
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Independent variable – gets manipulated
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Dependent variable – amount of change
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Experimental group – exposed to independent variable or conditions expected to create
change
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Control group – presents normal behavior used for comparison
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Random assignment
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Experimental control
Summarize the four types of research and discuss the advantages and disadvantages
Experimental: Manipulation and control of variables
Purpose: identify cause and effect
Allows researchers precise control over variables
Can identify cause and effect
Ethical concerns, practical limitations, artificiality of lab condition, uncontrolled variables
confound results, researcher and participant biases
Descriptive Research: naturalistic observation, case studies, surveys
Purpose: observe, collect and record data
Minimizes artificiality, easier to collect data, allows description of behavior and mental
processes as they occur
Little or no control over variables,
researcher and participant biases
cannot explain cause and effect
Correlational research: statistical analyses of relationships between variables
Purpose: identify relationships and how well one variable predicts another
Advantages: helps clarify relationships between variables that cannot be examined by other methods
and allows prediction
Disadvantages: researchers cannot identify cause and effect
Biological research: Studies the brain and other parts of the nervous system
Purpose: identify causation as well as description and prediction
Hand out article and worksheet – for Tuesday
Thursday:
Spend period reviewing for exam – go into computer lab and using quizlet.com (a flashcard and study
game website) go over the material for the exam
Friday:
Exam – Units 1-4
Monday: November 15, 2010
Watch video on Intelligence Unit – learner.org
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Discuss experimenter and subject biases:
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Internal validity – the extent to which changes in the dependent variable can be attributed to
the independent variable
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Confounding variable – a variable whose unwanted effect on the dependent variable might be
confused with that of the independent variable
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Subject bias – what the subject expects the study to be about
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Experimenter bias – what the researcher expects
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Experimenter effects – the personality, dress
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Pygmalion effect – the subject performs better because of experimenter
Double blind technique
Types of Random Assignment
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Placebo control
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Placebo effect: provides no active effect
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Use in identical conditions for control and experimental groups
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Blind experiment
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Researchers blind to group membership of participants to rule out experimenter bias
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Strongest experiments – double blind
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Researchers and participants kept blind
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Descriptive statistics – how do we understand the data?
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Central tendency asks what the average score is like in the distribution of scores
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Mean: Statistical average of all scores
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Median: The fiftieth percentile (half of the scores are above this score, half are below)
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Mode: The most frequent score
Variability asks how dispersed the scores are relative to the average score or mean
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Standard deviation: How far the average participant score deviates from the average
(square root of the variance)
Standard score – (z score)
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scores on a normal curve can be described as their distance from the mean of the
distribution using SD units
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It allows you to compare scores from different distributions
Percentile
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The score at or below which a particular percentage of scores fall
Friday, November 19
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Skewness - when scores are bunched up on either side of the bell curve
LOOK AT THE TAIL OF THE SKEW
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Scores bunched at the high end = negative skew
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Test is too easy
Scores bunched at the low end = positive skew
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Test is too hard
Is the difference between the two groups caused by our manipulation or by chance?
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We test the null hypothesis – we predict that there will be no effect of the independent variable
No difference btw the groups – fail to reject the null hypothesis
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Difference between the two groups – reject the null hypothesis
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BUT IS THIS BY CHANCE OR FOR REAL?
We are looking for true difference between groups – a statement of probability
the larger the difference between the groups, the more likely it is not by chance.
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Psychologists accept .05 as being statistically significant
A probability of less than 5% that the results occurred by chance
The results are more likely to be statistically significant if:
Samples are large
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The differences between the two means is large
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The variability within the groups is small
Internal validity – the extent to which changes in the dependent variable can be attributed to
the independent variable rather than a confounding variable
External validity – the extent to which the results of a research study can be generalized
Reliable – safe to generalize from a sample
Representative sample
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More cases are better than fewer
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