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Unit 2: Research Methods and Statistics

Unit 2: Research Methods and Statistics

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Unit 2: Research Methods and Statistics

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  1. Unit 2: Research Methods and Statistics 8-10% of AP Exam

  2. Test taking tip: using key words • For any question—identify key words based on the context. • For example: Each perspective should bring to mind specific terms/people • Behavioral • Conditioning, learning, behavior, observable • Watson, Pavlov, Skinner • Psychodynamic • Unconscious, inner drives, past behavior • Freud • Cognitive • Thoughts, thinking, perceptions • Evolutionary • Adaptation, survival

  3. Example question • Identify Content/Topic • Psychoanalytic • Sigmund Freud • Review Answer Options • Can any of these be cancelled out? • Trephining? • Structuralism? • Compare Remaining Options • Key Terms • Unconscious Mind • Past experiences • Select your BEST answer based on your knowledge • C. The Unconscious Mind • Which of the following concepts is most integral to Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory? • a. Trephining • b. Structuralism • c. The Unconscious Mind • d. The concept of Gestalt • e. Behaviorism

  4. Vocabulary practice—Due Tuesday • Experimental, developmental, clinical • Conditioning • Industrial/Organizational, counseling, • Natural selection • Learning, Free Will, unconscious processes • Perspective, social-cultural, cognitive, psychodynamic, behavior genetics, neuroscience • Psychoanalytic • Evolutionary, behavioral • Humanistic, biological • Existentialism, structuralism, humanism, gestalt, behaviorism

  5. Research Methods • Naturalistic Observation • Study behavior in its natural context • Advantages • Observed behavior will be more natural, spontaneous and varied • Disadvantages • No control over behavior/situation • Observer Bias • Expectations influence what was seen • Ignore seemingly “non-relevant” behavior

  6. Research Methods • Surveys • Questionnaires or interviews are given to a select group • Advantages • Cost-effective • Lots of data • Can measure attitudes • Disadvantages • Wording effect • Wording may influence answers • Dishonesty • Small rate of return—not likely to be representative

  7. Research Methods • Correlational Research • Based on the naturally occurring relationship between 2 or more variables • Advantages • Make Predictions • Suggests connections/strength of relationships • Disadvantages • Does NOT explain CAUSE and EFFECT

  8. Research Methods • Experimental Research • Manipulates variables and measures their effects on subsequent behavior. • Advantages • Describes CAUSE and EFFECT • Control of variables • Disadvantages • Hard to measure some things (love, hatred, grief) • Ethical issues • Artificial setting-behavior may change

  9. Operational definitions • Identifies one or more specific, observable events or conditions such that any other researcher can independently measure and/or test for them. • Example: • A researcher is measuring happiness and depression in college students. • Ten question happiness scale to measure positive outlook • Operational definition of happiness in this case—is the subject’s score on the test.

  10. Operational definitions • So basically….. • Precise description of WHAT we are measuring Let’s practice!

  11. Operational definitions • What would be our operational definition for each? • Correlational Study • Relationship between • hair length • shoe size • height

  12. Experimental research • Independent Variable • Variable manipulated by researcher • Dependent Variable • Variable measured by researcher • Experimental Group • Experiences the manipulated variable • Control Group • Receives no treatment, serves as the baseline for comparison

  13. Knowing the Difference • Use an If/Then Statement • If this (independent variable) THEN this happens (dependent variable). • If my subject drinks an energy drink (Ind. Variable) THEN they should get a surge in energy (Dep. Variable) OR • They are testing the effect of (IV) on (DV). • Good Way to Remember: An IV in your arm causes something to happen (DV)

  14. Flaws in Experimental research • Confounding Variables=Uncontrolled Factors • Could affect dv • Could confuse interpretation of data

  15. Confounding Variables • Random Variables • Uncontrolled factors • Ex: differences in subjects’ backgrounds, personalities, health, etc • Use random assignment to reduce impact

  16. Confounding Variables • Participants’ Expectations • Placebo=treatment with no active ingredient. • Produces a change because the subject believes it will

  17. Confounding Variables • Experimenter Bias • Exp. Unintentionally affect the DV based on their expectations of results • To prevent—Use a Double Blind Study • Neither the experimenter nor the participants know which group received the IV

  18. Selecting participants • Sampling—selecting a group of participants out of a target population • Representative Sample • Used when random samples are not possible • Participants selected to represent the characteristics of the population • Ex: if 38% of population-male, then 38% of sample=male • Random Sample: • Every member of the population has an equal chance of being chosen • Ex: Shopping Survey

  19. Sources of Bias • Demand characteristics—subtle cues or signals by the researcher that communicate type of responses that is expected. • Form of Researcher Bias • Also helps to guard against the Clever Hans Effect • Hawthorne Effect - refers to a change in behavior of the subject because they have a great deal of attention focused on them. • Usually a spurt or elevation in performance or physical phenomenon is measured.

  20. Control of Bias • Placebo control group—exposed to a fake IV (placebo), the effects of which are compared to group receiving the actual IV.