Research Methods: Thinking Critically with Psychological Science

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  • Research Methods: Thinking Critically with Psychological Science
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  • The Need for Psychology Science
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  • Do Now Fact or Falsehood Before attempting the quiz, predict how many you will get correct. Complete Handouts 2-2 / 2-5
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  • 4 The Need for Psychological Science Intuition & Common Sense Many people believe that intuition and common sense are enough to bring forth answers regarding human nature. Intuition and common sense may aid queries, but they are not free of error. A bullet is fired from a gun across an open field. A bullet is dropped from a persons hand. Which hits the ground first? A bullet is fired from a gun across an open field. A bullet is dropped from a persons hand. Which hits the ground first?
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  • 5 Errors of Common Sense & Limits of Intuition Try this! Fold a piece of paper (0.1 mm thick) 100 times. How thick will it be? 800,000,000,000,000 times the distance between the sun and the earth. Personal interviewers may rely too much on their gut feelings when meeting with job applicants.
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  • Did We Know It All Along? Hindsight Bias Hindsight Bias I knew it all along Out of sight, out of mind Absence makes the heart grow fonder Examples: Jurors told to ignore information by the judge Vick is obviously a better quarterback than Kolb Handout 2-2
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  • 7 Overconfidence Sometimes we think we know more than we actually know. Anagram BARGEGRABE ENTRYETYRN WATERWREAT How long do you think it would take to unscramble these anagrams? People said it would take about 10 seconds, yet on average they took about 3 minutes (Goranson 1978). Overconfidence, t ogether with hindsight bias, can lead to overestimate our intuition -Do Now Quiz -Handout 2-3 Overconfidence, t ogether with hindsight bias, can lead to overestimate our intuition -Do Now Quiz -Handout 2-3
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  • 8 Psychological Science How can we differentiate between uniformed opinions and examined conclusions? The science of psychology helps make these examined conclusions, which leads to our understanding of how people feel, think, and act as they do!
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  • The Scientific Attitude Three main components: Curiosity (passion for exploration) Skepticism (doubting and questioning competing ideas) Open-Minded Humility (ability to accept responsibility when wrong).
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  • Critical Thinking Smart thinking does not accept arguments and conclusions blindly. Asks: Whats Your Evidence? Do Your Conclusions Match Your Evidence?
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  • How Do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions?
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  • The Scientific Method
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  • explanation that integrates principles and organizes and predicts behavior or events.
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  • The Scientific Method explanation that integrates principles and organizes and predicts behavior or events. A testable prediction of a relationship among variables
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  • The Scientific Method explanation that integrates principles and organizes and predicts behavior or events. A testable prediction of a relationship among variables
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  • 16 1)Must be Replicable - Why? 2)Must be Falsifiable - Hypothesis stated in such a way that it can be rejected (Loch Ness Monster example) 3)Must be Precise - Use of Operational Definitions 4)Must be Parsimonious - Apply simplest explanation to set of observations (i.e. falling asleep in math class) Making Research Scientific
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  • Describing Psychological Research General Terms used: Variables: the events, characteristics, behaviors, or conditions that researchers measure & study Subject (or participant): an individual or animal a researcher studies Sample: collection of subjects researchers study (bc cannot study entire population) Population: collection of people or animals from which researchers draw a sample Study sample & generalize to population 17
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  • Operational Definitions Statement of procedures (operations) used to define research variables Defines what the researcher will be observing and manipulating Examples human intelligence operationally defined as what an intelligence test measures (IQ Score) Academic achievement operationally defined as grade point average Operational Definitions MUST be: Measurable Manageable 18
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  • Operational Definitions With a partner, attempt to operationally define the following: 1)Happiness 2)Aggression 3)Popularity 4)Good Behavior 19
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  • 20 Description Case Study Study 1 person in depth
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  • Case Study AdvantagesDisadvantages Can give incomplete or unrepresentative info Relies on self-report data can be misleading Subjective Usually only 1 investigator may lead to biased results Does NOT explain behavior NO Cause & Effect 21 Generate hypotheses Suggest further study Data other methods cannot Rare phenomena damage to specific brain areas Illustrative anecdotes Concrete examples of concepts & principles
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  • 22 Survey Determining many peoples attitudes, opinions or behaviors (Study many people superficially) - usually done by questioning a representative, random sample of people. Handout 2-5 & Discuss examples Effects of: Wording Range of Responses Order How long is the Mississippi River? What is the population of Argentina? Form A Form B Form AForm B
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  • 23 Survey A tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors. False Consensus Effect President Obama is a good president. Yes or No? Estimate the % of people in class that you think agree with you President Obama is a good president. Yes or No? Estimate the % of people in class that you think agree with you
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  • 24 Survey Random Sampling If each member of a population has an equal chance of inclusion into a sample, it is called a random sample (unbiased). If the survey sample is biased, its results are not valid. Representative Sample (Generalizability) In class Sample m/f? hair color? Coin Flip -Table of Random #s -Potential Problems in Polls? The fastest way to know about the marble color ratio is to blindly transfer a few into a smaller jar and count them.
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  • Survey AdvantagesDisadvantages Self-Report Data Can be misleading Saying vs. Doing behavior cant be observed directly Subjective May lead to Bias Wording? Sample? Does NOT explain behavior NO Cause & Effect conclusions 25 Generate hypotheses Information about many people at once Cheap & relatively easy
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  • 26 Naturalistic Observation Observing and recording the behavior of animals in the wild and recording self-seating patterns in a multiracial school lunch room constitute naturalistic observation.
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  • Naturalistic Observation AdvantagesDisadvantages Sometimes biased results Difficult to do unobtrusively Does NOT explain behavior NO Cause & Effect conclusions Does not control for all factors that may influence behavior 27 Generating hypotheses Info on behavior in natural environment
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  • Correlation Correlation Does NOT mean CausationCorrelation Can be used to predict How is information obtained Surveys Quasi-experiments Examples GPA related to Test Scores? People w/ store credit cards spend more on clothes? Independent Variables that arent Independent (cant be manipulated) i.e. gender, age, height, weight More likely to be used in correlational research
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  • Correlation Correlation Coefficient How well does A predict B Questions to Ask: Is it positive or negative? (+ / ) NOT good or bad Negative Weak What is the strength? (-1.0 to +1.0) 0 = no relationship ScatterplotScatterplot
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  • Correlation
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  • Correlation Correlation and Causation Correlation helps predict Does not imply cause and effect Does not imply directionality
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  • Correlation Directionality Correlation Coefficients Do not indicate directionality, just the existence of relationship A to B or B to A Examples Eye Movement & Reading Ability Poor Readers have more erratic patterns Cereal Eaters Frosted Flakes Cancer rate non cereal eaters Oatmeal Cancer rate 4x non-oatmeal eaters Routine Physicals in past 3 years 2x as likely to report high blood pressure & cholesterol TV & Childhood Obesity Degree of obesity rises 2% for every hour of TV watched
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  • Correlation Illusory Correlations Illusory Correlation Perceived non-existent correlation A random coincidence
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  • Correlation Perceiving Order in Random Events Comes from our need to make sense out of the world Which is most likely sequence? Coin flip Poker hand Gamblers Fallacy
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