Unit 2:Research Methods: Thinking Critically with Psychological Science
What limits our intuition? • An anagram is a word made by using letters of another word in a different order. Elvis = Lives • Find a partner. One person turns back to the screen.
What limits our intuition? • Find a partner. • Get a piece of paper and a pencil. • Stand with one person facing the screen and one person facing the back of the room. • The person facing the screen should be holding the paper/pencil.
What is limits our intuition? • How many seconds do you think it will take your partner to unscramble the anagram below when given the first word? • Write your answer on the back of the paper. ocean=canoe
What limits our intuition? • Unscramble the anagram below. (Make a new word using the letters in ocean.) ocean = _ _ _ _ _
What limits our intuition? • ocean=canoe • Switch with your partner
What is limits our intuition? • You will time your partner as they solve the anagram. • Give your partner the paper and pencil. • On your mark, get set …
What limits our intuition? • How many seconds do you think it will take your partner to unscramble the anagram below when given the first word? • Write your answer on the back of the paper. hatred = thread
What limits our intuition? • Unscramble the anagram below. (Make a new word using the letters in hatred.) hatred= _ _ _ _ _ _
What limits our intuition? • hatred = thread • One more? Make 4 words out of Listen = _ _ _ _ _ _
What limits our intuition? • Listen = silent enlist tinsel inlets
What limits our intuition? Hindsight Bias • Hindsight Bias • “I knew it all along” phenomenon • Common sense can explain what has happened but not what will happen. • Example: “Out of sight, out of mind” & “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” are contradictions but both seem to have some truth.
Did We Know It All Along? Hindsight Bias • Hindsight Bias • Good ideas are like good inventions; once created, they seem obvious. Example: Research has proven that love breeds happiness because of our need to belong. • However, sometimes our intuition, memory and critical thinking make conclusions based on casual observations and are wrong. Example: Research has proven that dreams do not predict the future.
What else limits our intuition?Overconfidence • Overconfidence • Together with hindsight bias, can lead to misconceptions. • We have a tendency to overestimate our current knowledge. • Stems partly from our tendency to search for and remember information that confirms our preconceptions (confirmation bias).
The Scientific Attitude • Curiosity • Desire to understand/learn • Skepticism • Open to ideas but not gullible • Cynical/doubtful • Humility • Awareness of vulnerability to error • openness to surprises and new perspectives • Critical Thinking • Willingness to examine assumptions, evaluate evidence, ask questions, wonder
The Scientific Method • Theory (question) • “mere hunch” based on observation • Hypothesis (possible answer/explanation) • Can be confirmed or refuted • Operational Definition • a statement to clearly define research variables and steps to be used to measure them. • If you deliberately change one variable does the behavior being observed change? • How will results be calculated? (data) • Replication (repeat) • Analyze Data • Draw a conclusion
Psychology and the Scientific Method • Why is scientific research necessary in the field of psychology? • Many of our preconceived ideas about behavior are based on intuition. • Misconceptions and errors in critical thinking based on intuition rather than empirical knowledge can lead us to the wrong conclusions. • What causes our intuition to be flawed?
What limits our intuition? • Anagram Challenge Round 2 • Find a partner to time you.
What limits our intuition? • Anagram Challenge Angered…
What limits our intuition? • Anagram Challenge Angered… Enraged
What limits our intuition? Switch with partner
What limits our intuition? • Anagram Challenge Admirer… Married
What limits our intuition? • Anagram Challenge Admirer…
What limits our intuition? • Anagram Challenge Admirer… Married
What limits our intuition? Last one … Partner competition Who can get it 1st?
What limits our intuition? • Anagram Challenge Parsley… 2 anagrams
What limits our intuition? Parsley… Replays or Players
Observation Methods used in Psychological Research Descriptive Methods (observe & record behaviors) • Case Study • one person studied in depth • Misleading conclusions if person is atypical • Maybe lead to an anecdote (example) but not evidence • cannot discern general truths but can suggest direction for further study. • Phineas Gage • Tuskegee Experiment
Observation Research Methods Descriptive Methods (observe & record behaviors) • Survey – looks at many cases • Key to accuracy: must use a randomsample to get participants who are representative of the larger population (everyone in population has equal chance of being selected for the sample) • Having more participants does NOT compensate for unrepresentative sample • Over 2 million responses were given in a public opinion of who people would vote for in 1936. The poll predicted Republican Alf Landon would win. To include as many responses as possible, the poll drew names from telephone books and motor vehicle records. During the Great Depression, only the wealthier people had phones and cars, and they were more likely to vote Republican. Obviously, Landon lost … FDR won. • wording can affect results (aid to needy vs. welfare)
Observation Methods used in Psychological Research • Naturalistic Observation • Unobtrusively observing behavior in natural setting for analysis later so that people do not know they are being watched • Describes – does NOT EXPLAIN – behavior • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKyrLFyOi04 • Correlational Studies • look for relationships between variables • measure the extent to which 2 factors vary together and how well either factor predicts the other. • Reported as a positive or negative correlation coefficient
Correlation • Correlational studies • Detect relationships between 2 things • How well does A predict B • Does eating breakfast predict body fat? • Data is graphed on a scatterplot to determine relationship/correlation
Correlation • Correlational studies • Positive correlation (up to +1 coefficient) • As one variable goes up, the other variable goes up too (Ex: as exercise increases and life expectancy increases) • Negative correlation (up to -1 coefficient) • As one variable increases, the other decreases. (Ex: as # of cigarettes increases and life expectancy decreases)
CorrelationCorrelation and Causation • Correlation helps predict • Does not imply cause and effect • Teens who feel loved are less likely to act in unhealthy ways OR Well-behaved teens feel their parents love them.
Illusory CorrelationPerceiving Order in Random Events • Comes from our need to make sense out of the world but have an equal chance at a coin flip or either of these poker hands.
Illusory CorrelationPerceiving Order in Random Events • Likely to occur when we believe there is a relationship because we • notice and recall instances that confirm our belief. (confirmation bias) • are unaware or ignore contradictions.
Experimentation Experiment • Can isolate cause and effect by controlling of factors • manipulating of independent variable • choosing a control group by random assignment to minimize pre-existing differences • using double blind procedure in which neither participants or researchers know which group is the control • Controlling placebo effect – people believe they are getting treatment and get better even though the treatment was not real
ExperimentationRandom Assignment • Groups • Experimental Group • Receives the treatment (independent variable manipulated) • Control Group • Does not receive the treatment/are not subject to the independent variable (may receive placebo)
Experimentation Random Selection vs. Sample • Random Assignment – used in experiments to assign participants to control & experimental groups by chance. • Random Sample (selection) – used in surveys to ensure that everyone in the population being surveyed as an equal chance of being selected
ExperimentationIndependent and Dependent Variables • Independent Variable • Is being manipulated (giving cookies to students) • Confounding variable • Factors that may influence results but can be controlled by random assignment (teacher could be different) • Dependent Variable • What is being measured (grades); response of • the participants
Reliable Research Must Safeguard against: • Illusory correlations – • must be avoided & beware of confirmation bias – should not look for expected patterns and unintentionally dismiss ideas that contradict expectations • Remember correlation doesn’t = causation • Research participants bias - use random • assignment of research participants • Research assistant bias/experimenter bias - use • double blind studies • Research design flaws - use a control group & • be aware of possible placebo effect
Describing DataMeasures of Central Tendency • Mean (arithmetic average) • Most susceptible to extremes in data when distribution is skewed (lopsided) • Median (middle score) • Mode (occurs the most)