Chapter 2: Methods Flashcards
People’s tendency to cling to their beliefs and assumptions
Belief that accurate knowledge can be acquired through observation; Backbone of the scientific method
A procedure for using empirical evidence to establish facts
Hypothetical explanations of natural phenomena
A falsifiable prediction made by a theory
Why are hypotheses falsifiable?
Observations we make can prove hypotheses wrong. There are certain theories that we cannot test using the scientific method, thus we cannot evaluate its veracity (doesn’t mean it’s wrong).
Theories can never be proved right. Why?
Observations that are consistent with out theory can increase our confidence that it is right, however we can never be absolutely sure that it is because future observations may prove it wrong.
Set of rules and techniques for observation
3 qualities that make human beings difficult to study
We are highly complex, variable, and reactive
Limitations of everyday observations
Incomplete and inconsistent
Two steps in the measurement of a property
- Define the property- generate an operational definition with construct validity
- Detect the property- design an instrument with reliability and power
A description of a property in measurable terms
Extent to which operational definition adequately characterises the property
What makes a good detector?
- Power- ability to detect the presence of differences/changes in the property’s magnitude
- Reliability- ability to detect the absence of differences/changes in property’s magnitude
Aspects of an observational setting that cause people to behave as they think someone else wants or expects
Technique for gathering scientific information by unobtrusively observing people in their natural environments
Techniques for avoiding demand characteristics
Privacy and anonymity, measuring behaviour that is not under a person’s voluntary control, unawareness of the true purpose of the observation
Expectations can influence…
Observations and reality
Tendency for observers’ expectations to influence both what they believe they observed and what they actually observed
Technique to avoid observer bias; a study in which neither the researcher nor the participant knows how the participants are expected to behave
Population vs. Sample
A complete collection of people vs. A partial collection of people/animals/things drawn from a population
2 techniques for making sense out of big spreadsheets
Graphic representations and descriptive statistics
Graphic representation showing the number of times in which the measurement of a property takes on each of its possible values
Negatively skewed vs. Positively skewed distribution
Leans to the right vs. Leans to the left