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The Scientific Process

- We need an agreed upon method to study the mind.
- We create the Scientific Method to study the mind and behaviour objectively.


How can we hope to build our knowledge? (3)

- Knowledge needs to be evidence based
- Evidence must be reproducible
- Evidence needs to be objective (scientific method)


What are the goals of Science (4)

- Describe
- Predict
- Determine Cause
- Explain


Science is Based on Evidence

- We collect Data
- We analyse data
- This produces evidence for us


There are different types of Science

- Medical - is a certain pill useful or not?


What determines good Scientific Research (8)

- Based on the work of others
- Can be replicated
- Is generalisable to other settings
- Is based on logical rationale and tie to theory
- Is doable
- Generates new questions
- Is incremental
- Is an apolitical activity


Good Scientific Methodology can be replicated

- can be mirrored by others
- also replicates the work of others


Good Scientific Methodology is generalisable

- allows room for the assumption that if a finding is so in a small population then this finding can be assumed to reflect the greater population


Good Scientific Methodology is logical and tied to theory

- We need to understand why something works so that we can apply these theories in other contexts


How to recognise good research

- The scientific process is used to seek the truth
- if the process is sound, then the conclusion is sound


Can we ever know the real truth?

- Karl Popper said we can never really 'Know' that something is true
- We can attempt to falsify a theory until it is no longer able to be falsified
- It is then considered accepted but not true.
- A hypothesis is tested not proven
- Being wrong is not bad; it just leads to more questions


what are important factor in the Scientific Process

- Parameters
- What are we looking for
- What factors should we consider?
Factors should
- Not have been investigated previously
- contribute to understanding
- available to investigate
- be interesting personally or professionally
- Lead to other questions


What is a Hypothesis

- an educated guess that is declarative
- "if, then else"
- reflects Theory and literature
- brief to the point


Inferential Statistics

- Allow us to assign a probability level to a finding
- empowers us to make inference on whether an effect is real, due to chance or influenced by something else.
- Helps to assess differences


Testing a Hypothesis

- ensure that the data we are measuring is accurately reflecting what we are trying to deduce
- Assess whether the data is random or as a result of our mediation


Steps in the Scientific Process (8)

- Asking a question
- Identifying Important Factors
- Formulating a Hypothesis
- Collect relevant information
- Testing the hypothesis
- Working with the hypothesis
- Reconsider the theory
- Asking a new question


Null Hypothesis

- says there is no statistical significance between the two variables
- often a hypothesis that researcher or experimenter will try to disprove or discredit
- Finding nothing or null results is important, but does not get published.


Important points about the Scientific Process (6)

- Theories are tentative and they evolve over time.
- Observations must be replicable
- Science acknowledges it is fallible
- Nothing is ever proved absolutely
- Scientists remain sceptical and alert to alternative explanations
- Science is a based on a genuine desire to understand the way things are


Basic Research

- Answers fundamental questions about behaviour
- often address theoretical issues about cognition, mental processes and behaviour
- Doesn't try to solve problems and has no specific application
- Has high degree of control
- emphasises refuting or supporting theories that explain how the world works.


Applied Research

- practical in nature
- trying to resolve problems
- takes place in the real world
- strict protocols may need to be relaxed
- Applied research is often guided by Basic Research findings