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1

What Makes Research Scientific?

Precision
2. Scepticism
3. Reliance on Empirical Evidence
4. Willingness to Make “Risky Predictions”
5. Openness

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. Precision

The scientific method is used to
explore observations and answer
questions.
Systematic process- follows an
orderly pattern of action.

Theory
System of principles that aim to explain
certain phenomena and how they are
related.
Hypothesis
States the relationship between
variables.
Operational Definitions
How variables are practically defined.

THEORYS make hypothesis that makes experiments

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Theory

System of principles that aim to explain
certain phenomena and how they are
related.

4

Hypothesis

States the relationship between
variables.

5

Operational Definitions

How variables are practically defined.
example anxiety- a description of what it is

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2. Scepticism

Ideas are not accepted based on faith or
authority.
All conclusions are treated with caution.

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3. Reliance on Empirical Evidence

A scientist relies on empirical evidence to
determine whether a hypothesis is true.
Empirical Evidence is based on direct
experience or observation.

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4. Willingness to make “Risky Predictions”

Confirmation Bias
Only pay attention to information which confirms our belief.
Principle of Falsifiability
Scientific theory must be specific enough that is possible to
disconfirm it.

must preditc what will and what will not hapen

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5. Openness

Scientists must be willing to tell
others where they got their ideas,
how they tested them and what the
results were.
Peer review, publishing, and
replicating research gives science a
built in system of checks and
balances.

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Descriptive studies
what do they allow us to do

what do they include

Descriptive studies allow researchers to describe and predict
behaviour. Descriptive studies include:
1. Case Studies
2. Observational Studies
3. Psychological Tests
4. Surveys

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1. Case Study

Detailed description of an individual
being studied or treated.
Based on careful observation or on
formal psychological testing.

example childhood, dreams, etc. anything that provides insight in behaviror
Commonly used by clinicians.

purpose: To understand the development
of aggressive behaviour in a
particular individual; to
formulate research hypotheses
about the origins of
aggressiveness.

Example: Developmental history of serial
killer.

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Disadvantages of Case Studies

Difficult to interpret - might miss things
Observer Bias- influences which facts are noticed
Participant Bias- inacurate memory
Unrepresentative sample- cant be generalized

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2. Observational Studies

what are the 2 types

Carefully and systematically observing
and recording behaviour.- dont intrude

The two types include:
Naturalistic Observation (example jane goodall 35years of observing chimps, also like anthropologists- participant observation) , hidden camera/microphone- because dont want to influence the study- dont want them to notice, what people do in real life world)


Laboratory Observation (people watching taking notes in a lab/make fake situation, researchers only observe and record- they get more control, )

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drawbacks on observational studies

- observer bias: when researchers expectation/biases
distorts/influence how they can record - take videos for others to observe

cannot make conclusision generalized

dont do cause and effect- they look at it , not explain it

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reactivity

change behaviro when they know they are being filmed

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3. Psychological Tests

what do they include

Used to measure and evaluate
personality traits, emotional states,
aptitudes, interests, abilities, and values.
Include personality tests, achievement
tests, and vocational aptitude tests.

give scores

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Two types of Psychological Tests:

a) Objective tests
Measure beliefs, feelings or
behaviours of which a participant is
aware of.-
m/c , t/f, rating scales


b) Projective tests
Measure participant’s unconscious
feelings or motives or conflicts.
interpret weird looking pictures, uncouncious thoughts explained by answers

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Test Construction

Standardized:
Uniform procedures for test
construction.

for example all participants get same instruction and same amount of time

develop Norms:
Established standards of
performance.- determine which scores are high, low or average

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Psychological tests must be reliable.

must be able to get same results from one time and place to the next

can measure by test- retest to see if they are similar

but ppl tend to do better the second time . its better to give variations of the thest:

Alternat-form reliability- not identical- this way they are not familiar with the test, but still may do better because learned procedure

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To be useful, psychological tests
must be valid

must measure what they want to measure

content validity: broadly represent the trait in question. for example only ask 1 questions rather than the other factors

criterion validity: do the test results prodict other measures of the trait. - go back and see if the results where accurate and could predict what could happen

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4. Surveys

Questionnaires or interviews that
ask participants about their
experiences, attitudes, or
opinions.
Generate a large amount of
information about.

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Challenges of Surveys:

Representative Sample (group that accurately represent the larger sample)

Volunteer Bias (people who want to share their opinion might be different from those who dont)

Social Desirability Bias (may lie when they think others will judge them)

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Media for Representative Sample

take small sample and it be representative- sex, age, culture

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Representative Sample

makes computer system that randomly selects participants

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Positive Correlation

correlation: how one thing relates to another

Increase in one variable is associated with an increase in another variable.
Decrease in one variable is associated with a decrease in another variable

both go the same direction , either up or down

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Negative Correlation

Increase in one variable is associated with decreases in another variable.


Correlations may be represented by scatterplots

correlation coefficient r: -1 to +1: determine strenght by how close to 1

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Experiment:


what do they include

Controlled test of a hypothesis in which the researcher
manipulates one variable to discover its effect on another.
Includes:
1. Variables of interest
2. Experimental and Control conditions
3. Random assignment

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experimental values

indipedant variable X violent video games- is the manipulated variable by the researcher

dependant variable Y: being aggresive: measured for change

“If the Experimenter does X, the Participants will do Y”

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Experimenter Effects:

Unintended changes in participants’
behaviour due to cues inadvertently
given by the experimenter.
Single-blind and Double-blind Studies
are used to prevent experimenter
effects.

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Single-blind Study

participants are not told

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Double-blind Study

both researcher and participant dont know who is assigned to what

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Bobo Doll Experiment

children who observed adults models behaving aggressively would be more likely to imitate the adult and engage in similar aggressive behaviro than children who were not exposed to the aggressive model

dependant v: how many time the kids kicked the doll
- the kids who watched a parent kick a doll where they then had the opportunity to play with the doll- they were more agressive

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Naturalistic
Observation

purpose and example

To describe the nature of
aggressive acts in early
childhood.

Observation tallying, and
description of hitting, kicking
etc., during free play periods in
preschool.

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Correlational
Study

To examine the relation
between aggressiveness and
television viewing.


Example: Administration to university
students of a paper and pencil
test of aggressiveness and a
questionnaire on number of
hours spent watching TV
weekly; computation of
correlation coefficient.

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Experiment

purpose and example

To find out whether high air
temperatures elicit aggressive
behaviour.

Arrangement for individuals to
“shock” a “Learner” (actually a
confederate of the
experimenter) while seated in
a room heated to either 200C
or 300C.

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Laboratory
Observation

To find out whether
aggressiveness in pairs of
same- sex and different-sex
children differs in frequency or
intensity.

Observation through a one-way
window of same-sex and
different-sex pairs of
preschoolers, pairs must
negotiate who gets to play with
an attractive toy that has been
promised to each child.

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Test

To Compare the personality
traits of aggressive and nonaggressive
persons.

Administration of personality
tests to violent and non-violent
prisoners.

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Survey

To find out how domestic
violence is in the general
population.

Questionnaire asking
anonymous respondents (in
sample representative of the
population) about the
occurrence of slapping, hitting
etc., in their homes.

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Advantages Disadvantages
of case studies

ad
Good source of hypotheses.
Provides in-depth information
of individuals.
Unusual cases can shed light
on situations or problems that
are unethical or impractical to
study in other ways.

dis
Vital information may be
missing, making the case hard
to interpret.
The person’s memory may be
selective or inaccurate.
The individual may not be
representative or typical

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Naturalistic
Observation
ad/dis

Allows description of behaviour
as it occurs in the natural
environment. Often useful in
the first stages of the research
program.


Allows researcher little or no
control of the situation.
Observations may be biased.
Does not allow firm conclusion
about cause and effect.

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Laboratory
Observation

Advantages Disadvantages

ad: Allows more control than
naturalistic observation.
Allows use of sophisticated
equipment.


dis:
Allows researcher only limited
control of the situation.
Observations may be biased.
Does not allow firm conclusions
about cause and effect.
Behaviour may differ from
behaviour in th

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Test Advantages Disadvantages

Yields information on
personality traits, emotional
states, aptitudes and abilities.


Difficult to construct tests that
are reliable and valid.

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Survey ad/dis

ad/dis
Provides large amount of
information on large numbers
of people.
If sample is non-representative
or biased, it may be impossible
to generalize from the results.
Responses may be inaccurate
or untrue.

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Correlational
Study

ad/dis

Shows whether two or more
variables are related.
Allows general predictions


Does not permit identification
of cause and effect.

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Experiment

Allows researchers to control
the situation.
Permits researcher to identify
cause and effect, and to
distinguish placebo effect from
treatment effects.


Situation is artificial and may
not generalize well to the real
world.
Sometimes difficult to avoid
experimenter effects.

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Descriptive Statistics:

Statistical procedures that summarize behavioural observations

Examples Include:
mean, median, and mode
standard deviation

1) Introduces variability, range and standard deviation
2) Range Defined
3) Range - Disadvantage
4) Standard Deviation
5) Standard Deviation (Interactive)
6) Standard Deviation Formula
7) Standard Deviation and Normal Distribution

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Central Tendency: Representative Scores

Mean : Arithmetic average
Median : Middle value of scores
Mode : Most frequent score

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Normal Distribution

Scores clustered around the mean in the
form of a bell-shaped curve

mean median and mode are all the same number

bimodal distribution is when there are 2 modes and the gragh is shapped like an M
for example taking the grades of people who come to class and those who dont

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Variability

Degree to which a group of scores are clustered or distributed.

lots of spread- highly variable

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Range

Difference between the largest and smallest scores in a distribution.


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Standard Deviation:

Indicates average difference between scores in a distribution and their
mean.

the further the scores from the means the higher the SD

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Inferential Statistics

Allow researchers to draw
inferences about how statistically
meaningful a study’s results are

Inferential Statistics: math procedure used to make inferences abouit a population from a sample-

Inferential Statistics
Significance Tests: tell researches how likely a result was to have occured merely by chance. can same results be obtained with different participants

Null Hypothesis:

Statistical Sig: if happend 5 or fewwer times in repetition of the same study

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Effect size:

The amount of variance among scores in a study accounted for by the
independent variable.

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Meta-analysis:

A procedure for combining and analyzing data from many studies.
Determines how much variance in scores across all studies can be
explained by a particular variable.

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Interpretation of results depends on how the research was conducted.

Cross-selctional study: looks at old and younger groups at a given time

longitudinal study: follows same people over time and reassess at regular interval

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Three Levels of Monitoring Ehtical gUIDELINES

1. Federal Level
2. Institutional Level
3. Individual Level

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federal gove: The Tri-Council

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR)

need research ethics boards- make sure they conform to the guidelines

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Tri-Council’s Eight Main Principles

1. Respect for Human Dignity
2. Respect for Free and Informed Consent
3. Respect for Vulnerable Persons
4. Respect for Privacy and Confidentiality
5. Respect for Justice and Inclusiveness
6. Balancing harms and benefits
7. Minimizing harm
8. Maximizing Benefit


must be able to make informed consent and withdraw, must be able to make proper decisions

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Animals are used in studies to:

Conduct basic research
Discover practical applications
Clarify theoretical questions
Improve the welfare of both humans and animals
Study issues that cannot be studied experimentally with human
beings

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2.1 What Makes Research Scientific?

The five characteristics of the ideal scientist are: 1) Precision, 2) Scepticism, 3)
reliance on empirical evidence, 4) willingness to make “risky predictions”, and 5)
openness

61

2.2 Descriptive Studies

Descriptive studies allow researchers to describe and predict behaviour.
Four types of descriptive studies include case studies, observational studies,
psychological tests, and surveys.

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2.3 Correlational Studies

Correlational studies reveal the strength of the relation between two variables.
A correlation does not show causation.