Module 2
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Module 2. Research Strategies. Scientific Method. A method of learning about the world through the application of critical thinking and tools such as observation, experimentation, and statistical analysis. Scientific Method. Formulating the Question Developing a Hypothesis

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Module 2

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Module 2

Module 2

Research Strategies

Scientific method

Scientific Method

A method of learning about the world through the application of critical thinking and tools such as observation, experimentation, and statistical analysis

Scientific method1

Scientific Method

  • Formulating the Question

  • Developing a Hypothesis

    • Hypothesis: A statement of the results that the experimenter expects.

  • Testing the Hypothesis

  • Drawing Conclusions

  • Report Your Results



  • Method of conducting research in a controlled environment

    • Subjects: People or animals on whom a study is conducted.

    • Placebo: A “medicine” that has no active ingredients and works by the power of suggestion.

    • Double-blind Study: A study during which neither participants nor researchers know to which group any subject belongs.

Module 2


Research Bias: A tendency for researchers to engage in behaviors and selectively notice evidence that supports their hypothesis or expectations.

Participant Bias: A tendency for research participants to respond in a certain way because they know they are being observed or they believe they know what the researcher wants.



  • Independent: The factor that the experimenter manipulates or changes in a study.

    • IF refers to the independent variable (what is controlled)

  • Dependent: The factor in a study that changes or varies as a result of changes in the independent variable.

    • THEN refers to the dependent variable (what is measured)

Field studies

Field Studies

  • Field study: research that takes place outside the laboratory.

    • Experimental Group: the group on which the critical part of the experiment is performed.

    • Control Group: the group that does not participate in the critical part of the experiment.

      • Example: Jet Lag

Fighting insomnia

Fighting Insomnia

  • Hypothesis

    • X amount of sleeping pills helps the otherwise healthy person with insomnia sleep better,

  • Subjects

    • The subjects of the experiment are two groups of people in similar physical health, within the same age range, and with similar sleep problems.



  • Independent Variable (this is the variable that the experimenter changes)

    • The experimenter regulate the “medicine,” with one group receiving genuine sleeping pills while the other receives a placebo.

  • Dependent Variable (this is what results from the experimenter’s varying or changing the independent variable)

    • The results can vary among better sleep, worse sleep, and about the same amount of sleep.



  • Control(this is the removal of factors other than the independent variable that might cause the results)

    • The experiment will not use people that are sick, people with sever allergies, or people who are very old. Anyone of these factors could alter the real effects of the medicine in the average person with insomnia.



  • Control Group (this croup consists of subjects who are like those in the experimental group except that they do not participate in the crucial part of the study)

    • The control group in this study consists of those subjects who receive placebo, thinking it is a sleeping pill.



  • Experimental Group (These are the people who participate in the crucial part of the study.)

    • The experimental group consists of those subjects who get X amount of sleeping pills.



  • Results

    • The hypothesis turns out to be incorrect in a real-life study. Thus, we reject the hypothesis that those who receive the sleeping pill will sleep better. What is found is that subjects taking the sleeping pill over a period to days will still have insomnia, only worse. And the sleep they do get is less restful than the sleep the control group gets.

Other methods of studying behavior

Other Methods of Studying Behavior

  • Survey Method: A method of research that involves asking subjects questions about their feeling, opinions, or behavior patterns.

    • Sample: A group that represents a larger group.

    • Random sample: a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion.

  • Need to make sure a good sample group is gotten. Questions need to be stated or asked to not persuade toward one particular thing

Other methods

Other Methods

Naturalistic Observation - Studying subjects without their being ware that they are being watched.

Correlation Study: A research project designed to discover the degree to which tow variables are related to each other.

Interviews - Studying people face to face and asking questions.

Case Study Method - Research that collects lengthy, detailed information about a person’s background, usually for psychological treatment.

Other methods1

Other Methods

Psychological testing - Objective method for observation and measurement of subjects in various areas, such as intelligence. (IQ test)

Cross-sectional Method - Looks at different age groups at the same time in order to understand changes that occur during the life span.

Longitudinal Method - Studies the same group of people over an extended period of time.

Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Advantages

    • Field:

      • Setting is more realistic

    • Laboratory:

      • Completely objective accurate information

    • Survey:

      • Gather info. On feelings, opinions, and behavior patterns. Accurate Results

  • Disadvantages

    • Difficult to control all variables

    • Artificial setting may not reflect “real world”

    • Questions may not be objective. Interpretation of results maybe distorted. Sample may not be representative of the population as a whole.

Advantages and disadvantages1

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Advantage

    • Naturalistic Observation:

      • Completely natural

    • Interview:

      • Obtain personal detailed information

  • Disadvantage

    • Researcher cannot interact with subjects and may be interpret subject’s responses incorrectly

    • Responses may not be completely honest biases can influence behavior.

Advantages and disadvantages2

Advantages And Disadvantages

  • Advantage

    • Psychological Tests:

      • Tests provide accurate objective information, there is little change or distorting results

    • Case study:

      • Background info. That may shed light on present behavior.

  • Disadvantage

    • Tests are limited to the amount of info. They can obtain.

    • Responses not honest, biases can influence

Advantages and disadvantages3

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Advantage

    • Longitudinal Method:

      • Provides info needed for certain kinds of research. Ex. Developmental

    • Cross-sectional Method:

      • Representative of population as a whole less expensive and time consuming

  • Disadvantage

    • Expensive and time consuming

    • Not appropriate for some types of research. Ex. Developmental

Basic ethical guidelines for psychological research

Basic Ethical Guidelines for Psychological Research.

Do no harm

Ensure that participation is voluntary

Remove any misconceptions caused by deception (debrief)

Provide results and interpretations to participants

Accurately describe risks to potential subjects

Maintain Confidentiality

Why do researchers sometimes use animals for their research

Why do researchers sometimes use animals for their research?

Many psychologist are simply interested in animal behavior.

There are biological and behavioral similarities between animals and humans.

Since many species of animals develop more rapidly and there for have shorter life spans than humans do, we can study genetic effects over generations much more rapidly in animals than in humans.

It is often possible to exercise more control over experiments with animals than is the case with humans

Procedures that are not ethical to perform on humans may be considered acceptable when performed on animals

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