Basic Research Methods Aim: What are some of the research methods psychologists use in their work? Homework :
In a paragraph or two answer the following questions: 1. If you were conducting a study on the use of cell phones (texting) while driving, which research method would you use and why? 2. Which method would you be most likely to stay away from and why? Types of Research 1. Descriptive Research characterizes the who, what, when, where, and how about a
certain population or phenomenon To observe and record behavior 2. Correlational Research To detect naturally occurring relationships To assess how well one variable predicts another a correlational study is a quantitative method of research in which you have 2 or more quantitative variables from the same group of subjects, & you are trying to determine if
there is a relationship between the 2 variables 3. Experimental Research Experimental research involves manipulating the independent variable in some type of controlled situation (preferably a laboratory) so that precise measurements can be taken. It is used to advance our knowledge to give us a better understanding of behavior. Case Study (Descriptive)
An observation technique in which one person is studied in depth sometimes used to reveal universal principles typically used to examine exceptional or rare instances of a certain phenomenon Examples: Dramatic stories, personal experiences, School violence
Case Study Pros: Allow for detailed understanding of an individuals psychology Can suggest ideas for future research Cons: Any given individual may be atypical,
nonrepresentative of the general population Surveys (Descriptive) A set of questions, typically about beliefs, attitudes, preferences, or behaviors Intended to draw conclusions about the opinions or behaviors of a certain population by surveying a sample from that population
population: the entire group of interest sample: a smaller subset of the population that participates in the research random sample: every member of the population has an equal chance of inclusion Surveys Pros: inexpensive
easy to do quickly If the sample is truly random, surveys can provide a representative depiction of the population as a whole. Cons: sources of bias social desirability unintentional incorrect answers wording effects (e.g. restrictions vs. censorship)
Naturalistic Observation Watching and recording the behavior of organisms in their natural environment unobtrusive measure, no intervention by researcher
e.x. Jane Goodalls studies of chimpanzees in the wild use of tools http:// www.youtube.com/watc h?v=LKyrLFyOi04 Naturalistic Observation Pros: allows understanding of behavior in a natural
setting (avoids artificiality of laboratories) Cons: Like other descriptive research, observation describes behavior rather than explaining it. can be difficult to be unobtrusive in some cases ethical concerns Correlational Research
Correlation: a measure of how closely interrelated two sets of measured variables are related. Measures how much two variables correlate with each other Does a change in the value of one variable predict a change in the value of the other? Ex: Does exposure to media violence and
aggressive behavior co-occur? How likely are you to see one when you see the other? Correlational Research Direction: Is the correlation positive or negative? Positive (between 0 and +1): an increase in one variable predicts an increase in the other e.g. height and weight
Negative (between 0 and -1): an increase in one variable predicts a decrease in the other e.g. self-esteem and depression Correlation of 0: no relationship between the variables
Correlational Research Correlational Research Correlational Research Correlational Research Correlational Research Pros:
Cheap and easy to do They point to possible causes of behavior and they predict behavior Correlational Research Cons: Correlation does not imply causation (VERY IMPORTANT)
? Experimental Research Experimental research involves manipulating the independent variable in some type of controlled situation (preferably a laboratory) so that precise measurements can be taken. It is used to advance our knowledge to give us a better understanding of behavior.
Experimental Research Pros Can carefully control and manipulate one or more treatment conditions while preventing interference from other factors Cons Setting may be so controlled or artificial that its results dont translate to real-life situations Being a Critical Consumer of Psychology
Psychologists strive to conduct research that is reliable, valid, and bias-free. reliability: finding the same results in repeated experiments (consistency) validity: the extent to which a test measures what it is supposed to Internal Validity: the extent to which a study is methodologically adequate External Validity: the extent to which the findings of a study can be generalized to situations outside the laboratory Are the findings from the study applicable to other groups?
In a paragraph or two, answer the following questions: 1. If you were conducting a study on the use of cell phones (texting) while driving, which research method would you use and why?
2. Which method would you be most likely to stay away from and why? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO0BheVXTmo http://www.today.com/video/today/54994931
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