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Chapter 2 Research Methods

Chapter 2 Research Methods. ETHICS IN RESEARCH. APA GUIDELINES: Research must be approved by ethics board or institutional review board (IRB) If research doesn’t meet APA criteria, the researcher will be asked to revise and resubmit work. Animal Research-APA. Clear Scientific Purpose

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Chapter 2 Research Methods

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  1. Chapter 2 Research Methods

  2. ETHICS IN RESEARCH • APA GUIDELINES: • Research must be approved by ethics board or institutional review board (IRB) • If research doesn’t meet APA criteria, the researcher will be asked to revise and resubmit work.

  3. Animal Research-APA • Clear Scientific Purpose • Humane Care • Legal Acquisition • Minimal Suffering in Experiment

  4. Human Research • Informed Consent • Deception • Coercion • Anonymity • Risk • Debriefing

  5. Regardless of the method used, all research is based on the Scientific Method of Psychology • Scientific method(s) • Scientific means systematic, testable, and objective.

  6. Essential Question What are the three main principles that guide the Scientific Method of Psychology?

  7. Simplified Scientific Method • Step 1 – Theory • Step 2 – Hypotheses • Step 3 – Research and Observation

  8. Step 1 • Theories organize known facts and summarizes current research in the field. What do we already know?

  9. Step 2 • A hypothesis is then created as a testable prediction based on what is currently known and what we want to find out. What do we want to know more about?

  10. Step 3 • Research or observation or experiments are generated to collect data, which then goes into evaluating the hypothesis, which may or may not add to the existing theory. What did we find out?

  11. What are some examples of research methods?

  12. I.Naturalistic Observation • Study behavior in its natural context. Spontaneous behavior in a subject’s natural environment. No interaction with the subject.

  13. IE. If you want to study the interactive behavior of a specific breed of gorillas, you would need to go to where the gorillas live in nature (not a zoo). You would need to observe them without their knowledge, and without manipulating anything.

  14. II. Case Study • A case study is one type of observational data collection technique in which one individual is studied in-depth in order to identify behavioral, emotional, and/or cognitive qualities that are universally true, on average, of others. Case studies often include face-to-face interviews, paper and pencil tests, and more. • Why use a case study?

  15. IE. I want to know why Bart killed thirty-five people over a twenty-year period of time. I will examine the police files, observe and interview Bart, talk to his and the victims families, etc.

  16. III. Survey • Questionnaires/ interviews. Getting a large amount of information from a large group of people.

  17. When Creating A Survey • Questions need precise answers • Language and wording must be simple • IE. 77% of New Yorkers were interested in plants and trees, but only 39% were interested in botany; 48% were interested in fossils, but only 39% were interested in paleontology; 42% were interested in rocks and minerals, but 53% were interested in Geology

  18. Wording Is Key • Example: “abortion” or “Pro-Choice” • “unborn child” or “fetus” • Wording must be as neutral as possible • Groups conducting research should be neutral-avoid confirmation bias

  19. When Creating A Survey • Ask questions that won’t embarrass or humiliate • Responders will lie if there is a perceived punishment or reward– Anonymity is key • Don’t ask morally ambiguous questions – keep it simple and to the point • Who the interviewer is will affect the responders answers-gender, affiliation, etc.-expectations?

  20. When Creating A Survey • Shortly phrased questions. • IE. As you know, the term Holocaust usually refers to the killing of millions of Jews in Nazi death camps during WWII. Does it seem possible or does it seem impossible to you that the Nazi extermination of the Jew never happened? • 1 out of 5 Gallup poll responders said that the Holocaust never happened due to the phrasing of the question

  21. When Creating A Survey • Hot Topics/Key Words: • IE. Do you favor an amendment prohibiting abortions? >50% opposed OR Do you favor an amendment protecting the life of an unborn child? <30% opposed it

  22. When Creating A Survey • Limited Answer Options • Order of Questions – easier to more difficult works best • Fright Terms – avoid using terms with big repercussions • IE. Problem V. Crisis, Passed away V. Dead, Dealt With V. Punish

  23. False Consensus Effect • Tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors. Skews the reports by jumping to large conclusions that fit into our pre-conceived ideas.

  24. IV. Experiment • An investigation seeking to understand relations of cause and effect. The experimenter changes a variable (cause), and in turn changes another variable (effect). At the same time the experimenter hopes to hold all of the other variables constant so that they can attribute any changes to the manipulation.

  25. How do I create a valid and reliable experiment?

  26. Step 1: Choose a Hypothesis • A hypothesis expresses a relationship between two variables. • IE. My hypothesis is that watching violent television programs makes people more aggressive.

  27. Step Two: Choose Variables • Variables are things that are measured, controlled, or manipulated in research.

  28. The independent variable is the manipulated variable. • IE. Watching television violence is the independent variable because I can adjust what shows are viewed, for how long, by whom, etc.

  29. The dependent variable is measured for change. • IE. Measuring the change in aggression levels is the dependent variable in our experiment because it changes based on what is viewed, for how long, etc.

  30. Step Three: Operationalize • When you operationalize your variables, you are explaining how you will measure them.

  31. IE. The operational definition of the independent variable (what defines a violent show?) would be shows that have scenes of fighting, bloodshed, use of weapons, injury, kicks, punches, etc. • IE. The operational definition of the dependent variable (what constitutes an increase in aggressive behavior?) would be an increase in agitation or tenseness, increased vocal volume, threats of bodily harm, kicks, punches, throwing objects, etc.

  32. Step Four: Identify Potential Extraneous Variables/Confounding Variables • It is important to make sure that during the experiment as many other factors that are NOT part of the therapy are NOT included. Any factor or variable that causes an effect (or potential affects) other than the variable being studied is considered an extraneous variable.

  33. IE. An extraneous variable in our experiment would be a phone call from a solicitor during a program, the viewer receiving mail including a poor report card, a viewer stubbing their toe during a show, alcohol abuse, etc. All of these could increase aggressiveness, but are not related to viewing violent television.

  34. Step Five: Identify Who You Will Be Testing • The individuals on which the research will be conducted are called subjects (or participants). • A small group of subjects are drawn from a larger potential population. • IE. Our subjects will be drawn from the overall population of 12th grade males at Phoenixville Area High School.

  35. Step Six: How Do We Decide Who Will Be Subjects, and Who Won’t? • Since we can’t realistically test all 12th grade males at Phoenixville Area High School, we have to create a representative sample of the population so that we can generalize our findings to the whole group.

  36. Method 1: Rigorous Control Design • Designing an experiment with specific, hand-picked groups in mind. • IE. Only testing males, 18 years old, in AP Psychology.

  37. Method 2: Sample Design • A sample is a representation of the entire population. • A random sample allows that every member of an overall population has an equal chance to be in the sample. • IE. Drawing names from a hat.

  38. Method 3: Stratified Sample • Subdivide the population into at least two different subpopulations that share the same characteristics, then draw a random sample from each group. • IE. Surveying views on Equal Rights. Split your human population into men and women, and then randomly draw eight men’s and women’s names.

  39. Method 4: Systematic Sample • Select a starting point from your population and then select every ?th participant. • IE. Merck corporation wants test the effectiveness of a new aspirin on their 100,000 employees. Get a roster of employees, start at #1, and then choose every 100th name on the list.

  40. Method 5: Cluster Sampling • Divide your population into multiple subgroups, randomly choose a subgroup to test, and then test the entire population of that subgroup. • IE. Split the country up into geographic regions (East Coast, Midwest, etc.). Randomly choose a region to test, and then test every person in those states.

  41. Method 6: Convenience Sampling • Use a population that is readily available. • IE. Test your neighbors, your family, your co-workers, a passer-by on the street.pd1 stop

  42. Step Seven: Assignment • Once you have chosen your subjects to study, you must assign them to one of two groups; those that will be manipulated, and those that won’t.

  43. Group 1: Experimental Group • The experimental group receives the independent variable and is manipulated throughout the experiment.

  44. Group 2: Control Group • The control group does not receive the independent variable.

  45. IE. In our television violence experiment, those in the experiment group will watch varying degrees of violent program, for varying lengths of time, etc., and their changes in levels of aggression measured.

  46. IE. In our television violence experiment, the control group will be shown a variety of non-violent programming in order to create a baseline to compare the experiment group against.

  47. Steps to follow for an experiment • 1. choose hypothesis • 2. choose variables • 3. operationalize • 4. identify confounding variables • 5. identify subjects/population to be tested • 6. Who will be tested? Sampling • 7. Assignment • 8. Address other issues/bias/flaws

  48. Method 1: Random Assignment • Random assignment means that the subjects have an equal chance of being placed into each group. If we allow subjects to choose their own group, we may have a subject-relevant confounding variable.

  49. Subject-Relevant Confounding Variables • A subject-relevant confounding variable would allow those people that liked violent movies or were prone to violence already to choose to be in the experimental group. We therefore could not accurately find that viewing violence led to aggression.

  50. To help avoid this confounding variable, we prescribe a single-blind design. The subjects do not know whether they have been randomly placed in the control or experiment group.

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