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Research Methods

Research Methods. In Psychology. Defining Psychology. P. Psychology is defined as the “scientific study of mental processes and behaviour in humans” ( Grivas et al (2010; p 4). But how can you study something you can’t see?. Steps in Psychological Research. Experimental Research.

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Research Methods

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  1. Research Methods In Psychology

  2. Defining Psychology P Psychology is defined as the “scientific study of mental processes and behaviour in humans” (Grivas et al (2010; p 4) But how can you study something you can’t see?

  3. Steps in Psychological Research

  4. Experimental Research • Key terms • Experiment – used to test the cause-effect relationship between variables under controlled conditions (p16) • Independent variable – the variable that is deliberately manipulated, changed or varied... by the experimenter in order to assess its effect. • Dependent variable – shows any effects of the independent variable; that is, it is the aspect of a participants behaviour... that is measured and is expected to change as a result of the manipulation of the IV (p17)

  5. Experimental Research Is there a difference in results? Learning Activity: 1.1 REVIEW P.6 & 1.2 INVESTIGATE P1.2

  6. Steps in Psychological Research

  7. The Research Hypothesis • Key Terms • Hypothesis – a tentative and testable prediction of the relationship between two or more events or characteristics. • Operational Hypothesis – a hypothesis that states how the variables being studied will be observed and measured... • Operationalised IV • Operationalised DV • Population • Prediction of relationship OH IPOD?

  8. The Research Hypothesis A hypothesis... An operational hypothesis... Victorian women aged 25-40 who complete 3 hours of aerobic activity a week will report fewer incidents of depression per week than women who do not complete the exercise • Exercise reduces depression Learning Activity: INVESTIGATE 1.1 P6.

  9. Steps in Psychological Research

  10. Extraneous and Confounding variables Any variable other than the IV that may cause a change in the DV There’s a lot to think about when planning an experiment! Any variable other than the IV that does cause a change in the DV Learning Activity 1.5

  11. Identifying unwanted variables Learning Activity 1.6, 1.7 & 1.8

  12. Minimising unwanted variables

  13. Participant Selection Learning Activity 1.9, 1.10 & 1.11

  14. Participant Allocation Learning Activity 1.12 & 1.13

  15. Counterbalancing - between

  16. Counterbalancing - within

  17. Single and Double-blind Single-blind procedure... Double-blind procedures... ... The participants and the researcher/s are unaware of the conditions that participants have been exposed to. • ... The participants are not aware whether they are in the control or the experimental groups, so therefore unaware of the IV.

  18. Placebos To determine if it is the IV or a demand characteristic that causes a change in the DV, we can introduce a placebo. A placebo is a fake treatment introduced to a group so they experience the same demand characteristics as the experimental group. DV

  19. Standardised procedures Learning Activity 1.14 & 1.15

  20. Experimental Research Designs E C Learning Activity 1.16, 1.17 & 1.18

  21. Steps in Psychological Research

  22. Data Collection Techniques

  23. Data Collection Techniques Learning Activity 1.19

  24. Data Collection Methods Learning Activity 1.20, 1.21 & 1.22

  25. Steps in Psychological Research

  26. Analysing Data Descriptive statistics are used for analysing, organising, summarising and describing the results. (p64) Descriptive Statistics

  27. Steps in Psychological Research

  28. Interpreting Data • Inferential Statistics... enable the researcher to draw inferences, or conclusions based on evidence, about the results obtained in the study – particularly regarding whether the results would also occur in the population... (p71) How different do the results have to be to draw a conclusion?

  29. Statistical Significance What if p=0.05? Learning Activity 1.23

  30. Conclusions and Generalisations Learning Activity 1.24

  31. A useful checklist... • To determine if conclusions and generalisations can be made, an experiment needs to tick all the boxes... • Does the experiment use correct sampling methods? • Does the experiment use a correct experimental design that minimises extraneous variables? • Are the results statistically significant?

  32. Steps in Psychological Research

  33. Reporting Conventions Refer to “Writing an Empirical Research Report” sheet

  34. Reliability and Validity Learning Activity 1.25 & 1.26

  35. Ethics Ethics – standards that guide individuals to identify good, desirable or acceptable conduct. (p77) What about the use of animals in experiments? Learning Activity 1.27 & 1.28

  36. Chapter Revision • True/False Quiz page 89 • Chapter 1 Test pages 90-95 Good luck

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