AP Psych – Ch 2 – Research Methods

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Research Methods
AP Psych – Chapter 2
Psychology’s Scientific Method
Alice F. Short
Hilliard Davidson High School
Psychology Majors
• 2 Most Commonly Required Classes:
– Research
– Statistics
A SHORT Time to Ponder
Why would these be the two most required
classes for psychology majors across the
country?
Chapter Preview
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Psychology’s Scientific Method
Types of Psychological Research
Research Samples and Settings
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Conducting Ethical Research
Thinking Critically About Research
Scientific Method and Health and Wellness
A SHORT Time to Ponder
• As a society, do we value critical thinking?
• Is critical thinking uncomfortable sometimes?
Scientific Method
• Science is a method.
• (It’s a VERB)
• It’s not what you study, but how you study it.
– any objective person can use the scientific method
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
observe some phenomenon
formulate hypothesis and predictions
test through empirical research
draw conclusions
evaluate the theory
Scientific Method – 1. Observe
• Step 1: Observe some phenomenon
– curiosity
– variables
– theory
Scientific Method – 2. Hypothesize
• Step 2: Formulate hypotheses and predictions
– testable prediction
– derived from theory
Scientific Method – 3. Research
• Step 3: Test through empirical research
– operational definition of variables
– analyze data using statistical procedures
Scientific Method – 4. Conclusions
• Step 4: Draw conclusions
– replication of results → reliability
– If other people cannot replicate your study, then
your result are unreliable.
– What could this potentially mean for your study?
(Think critically!)
Scientific Method – 5. Evaluate
• Step 5: Evaluate the theory
– change the theory?
– peer review and publication
• publish or perish
– meta-analysis – method by which researchers
combine results across studies to establish the
strength of an effect
– theory = broad umbrella category which can either be
supported or refuted by testable hypotheses
Descriptive Research
• Goal: Describing a phenomenon
– observation
– surveys and interviews
– case studies
• Descriptive research does not answer
questions about how and why things are the
way they are
Correlational Research
• Goal: Identify relationships (does not mean
there is a causal relationships)
– correlation coefficient: r
• -1.00 ≤ r ≤ 1.00
– strength of relationship: magnitude
– direction of relationship: + / -
Correlational
Coefficients
Scatter
Plots
Correlational Research
• Positive Correlations
– factors vary in same direction
– ↑ and ↑ … or … ↓ and ↓
• Negative Correlations
– factors vary in opposite direction
– ↑ and ↓ … or … ↑ and ↓
Correlation and Causation
• correlation does not equal causation
• third variable problem
– Why would some people not WANT to consider a
third variable problem?
• longitudinal design
Experimental Research
• Goal: Determine causation
– random assignment – extremely important in
experimental design
– independent variable(s) – manipulation
– dependent variable(s) – measurement
• All of these vocabulary terms are very
important to KNOW!
Experimental Research
• Experimental Group
– independent variable is manipulated
• Control Group
– treated equally, except no manipulation of
independent variable
Validity
• External Validity
– representative of real world issues?
– do results generalize to the real world?
• Internal Validity
– are dependent variable changes the result of
independent variable manipulation?
– bias? logical errors?
Bias and Expectations
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experimenter bias
demand characteristics
research participant bias
placebo effect
double-blind experiment
Example of Experimental Research:
Self Esteem
• Baumeister’s research findings:
– “high self esteem leads to aggression”
• Donnellan & Trzesniewski’s research findings:
– “low self esteem leads to aggression”
• What accounts for these different findings?
– lab-only aggression?
– type of self esteem?
Applying Different Research Methods
to the Same Phenomenon
• Example: Election of President Barack Obama
• Possible Research Methods:
–
–
–
–
–
observation
survey and interview
case studies
correlational research
experimental research
Research Sample
• Population
– entire group about whom conclusion drawn
• Sample
– portion of population actually observed
• Representative Sample
– characteristics similar to population
– opposite of “biased sample”
• Random Sample
– equal chance of being selected
Research Settings
• “Artificial” world – laboratory setting
– controlled setting
• Real world - natural setting
– naturalistic observation
• DISCUSSION: What are the advantages and
disadvantages of each setting?
Analyzing and
Interpreting
Data
• Statistics
– mathematical methods used to
report data
• Descriptive Statistics
– describe and summarize data
– Measures of Central Tendency
• mean
• median
• mode
– Measures of Dispersion
• range
• standard deviation
• Inferential Statistics
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–
–
–
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draw conclusions about data
does data confirm the hypothesis?
statistical significance
α = 0.05 (confidence level)
bridge between sample and
population
A SHORT Time to Ponder
• What is the difference between descriptive
statistics and inferential statistics?
Research Ethics
• research participants have rights
• Institutional Review Board (IRB)
• APA Guidelines
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informed consent
confidentiality
debriefing
deception
Animal Research in Psychology
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animal research has benefited humans
used by 5% of researchers
rats and mice used 90% of time
standards of care in animal research
– housing
– feeding
– psychological and physical well being
Reality TV – Ethical Issues?
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•
•
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informed consent?
Deception?
psychological and/or physical risk?
is the behavior real?
• DISCUSSION: What do YOU think?
A Wise Consumer…
is skeptical yet open-minded!
• Cautions
– exercise caution in applying group trends to
individual experience
– avoid overgeneralizing results
– look for converging evidence
– question causal inferences
– consider the source
Expressive Writing and Health
• Results of study on suicide v. accidental death
– different survivor health
– different survivor rate of talking about the loss
• Results lead to study on writing
– those assigned to write about a trauma
experienced better physical health
Chapter Summary
• Explain what makes psychology a science.
• Discuss common research settings and the main
types of research that are used in psychology.
• Distinguish between descriptive statistics and
inferential statistics.
• Discuss some challenges that involve ethics, bias,
and information.
• Discuss scientific studies on the effect of writing
about ones trauma.
Chapter Summary
• Steps of the Scientific Method
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
observe
hypothesize
research
conclude
evaluate
• Research Methods and Settings
– descriptive, correlational, and experimental
studies conducted in natural settings or the lab
Chapter Summary
• Data Analysis and Interpretation
– descriptive and inferential statistics
• Challenges: Research Ethics and Bias
– APA guidelines and the IRB
• Expressive Writing and Health and Wellness
– benefits of writing about trauma
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