Overview - UNCW Faculty and Staff Web Pages

Overview - UNCW Faculty and Staff Web Pages

Overview Assumptions Intro: fact andoffiction science

Empricism What is science? Determinism What Science is not parsimony Stereotypes

Myths Methods of Science Objectivity control Operational definition THE PROCESS OF SCIENCE

Ideas Problem Formation Goal or Hypothesis Design Conduct/Collect Analysis Interpretation Report FEEDBACK

Which technique would you choose to studysay Human sexual intimacy? Psychological Phenomena that are:

Private Sensitive Rare internal SELF-REPORT approaches.SURVEYS

What do we want to know Construction Questions responses Who do we want to know about -Administration sampling

Survey construction and reactivity Topic areas Confidential and Anonymous Instructions-honest and accurate

Inclusion of lie-detectors? Reverse ordered questions Catch questions etc Other factors that may affect reactive responses Length Clarity of questions/grammar

Jargon, acronyms, how effective is the SSC in meeting your campus needs? Does the student newspaper obfuscate the truth? Avoid Leading Questions do you agree that grades should be abolished in public schools?

Most doctors feel that a high fiber diet is healthy. How strongly do you agree or disagree? Avoid emotionally loaded or charged words or biased wording should junkies be sent to jail or given treatment? charged words?.....Lie, hate, jealous,

promiscuous, etc Do you think pornography is vile and disgusting? Avoid appeals to prestige. Lower, middle or upper class Avoid double-barreled questions; 2 questions in one

Ham and eggs? Sent to jail and given therapy? etc Dont assume knowledge Should society adopt the medical or the moral model to deal with drug addicts? SURVEY RESPONSES

Closed vs open DO you think marijuana use is harmful Yes No What is the problem here?

Rating scales Number of points? Anchors Odd or even?...forced choices

Likert type Psychological scales Sets of questions that collectively measure an attribute, attitude, disposition, etc Population vs. sample Sampling: representation vs bias Identification of target population?

Approach and demeanor of researcher Simple random sampling Stratified random sampling Proportionate sampling Sample Size? Survey Administration

Paper Interview Telephone Mail

Computer Return rate issues? Final comments on Self-report studies ISSUES OF Reactivity vs Control Knowledge Accuracy

Motivation Interpretationrelationship to behavior??? Descriptive approaches: CORRELATION Relatedness of different measures Allows prediction Correlational studies may reveal interesting

relationships between different variables E.G. Traffic Accidents and time of day?

Age and Aggression Internet Dating and Personality factors Drug use and social attitudes Eye contact and liking The Limits of correlation: 3rd Variables Lets consider these ideas: Does Nicotine cause addiction?

Does Nutra-sweet cause cancer? Does Social romantic attraction cause/lead to social affiliation? 3rd variables Does Nicotine cause addiction? -personality? Stress? Does Nutra-sweet cause cancer? -Other food substances, genetics, exposure to

environmental hazards etc.. Does Social romantic attraction cause/lead to social affiliation? -liking? Loneliness? Politeness? Intellectual interest? Other motivations Directionality is another problem in this respect Does Nicotine cause addiction?

-could addictive personalities lead to tobacco use Does Nutra-sweet cause cancer? -Could predisposition for cancer lead to higher use of certain substances? Does Social romantic attraction cause/lead to social affiliation? Could affiliation lead to attraction? -

Correlations are Descriptive they do not control for 3rd Variables or Directionality Therefore Scientists refrain from making causal conclusions based on Correlation evidence.

The Aspartame Controversy

While questions about saccharin may persist, the safety of another artificial sweetener, aspartame, is clear cut, say FDA officials. FDA calls aspartame, sold under trade names such as NutraSweet and Equal, one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved. The agency says the more than 100 toxicological and clinical studies it has reviewed confirm that aspartame is safe for the general population. This message would not necessarily be apparent to consumers surfing the Internet, especially those who use Web-based search engines to find information about sugar substitutes or artificial sweeteners. Websites with screaming headlines and wellwritten text attempt to link aspartame consumption to systemic lupus, multiple

sclerosis, vision problems, headaches, fatigue, and even Alzheimer's disease. One report distributed nationally over e-mail systems claims that aspartame-sweetened soft drinks delivered to military personnel during the Persian Gulf War may have prompted Gulf War syndrome. No way, says FDA, along with many other health organizations such as the American Medical Association. David Hattan, Ph.D., acting director of FDA's division of health effects evaluation, says there is no "credible evidence," to support, for example, a link between aspartame and multiple sclerosis or systemic lupus. Some Internet reports claim that patients suffering from both conditions went into remission after

discontinuing aspartame use. "Both of these disorders are subject to spontaneous remissions and exacerbation," says Hattan. "So it is entirely possible that when patients stopped using aspartame they might also coincidentally have had remission of their symptoms." It is true, says Hattan, that aspartame ingestion results in the production of methanol, formaldehyde and formate--substances that could be considered toxic at high doses. But the levels formed are modest, and substances such as methanol are found in higher amounts in common food products such as citrus juices and tomatoes.

So why use correlation rather than experimentation? Allows study of non-manipulatable variables Gender, drug use, etc May identify or discover new relationships Suggests possible causal relationships

WRTING LAB REPORTS Overview Writing Lab Reports

Descriptive Research Approaches Descriptive Stats Research Ideas Overview

Issues The experimental in Experimental approach design Variables and Inferential

Stats terminiology Between vs Reliability and Within Validity Designs Experimental Control

Overview Factorial Ethics Designs Single-subject Designs

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