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AP Psychology. Ms. Simon September 17-24, 2009 Introduction to Research Methods. Hindsight Bias. The tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it. Scientific Theories. Set of principles that organize and predict behaviors or events Link observed facts

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Ap psychology l.jpg

AP Psychology

Ms. Simon

September 17-24, 2009

Introduction to Research Methods


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Hindsight Bias

The tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it


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Scientific Theories

  • Set of principles that organize and predict behaviors or events

  • Link observed facts

  • Imply hypotheses that offer testable predictions


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Subfields of Psychology

  • Basic Psychology- research

  • Applied Psychology- research put into practice as therapist

  • Psychiatry- a medical field- deals with mental disorders- prescribe medication


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There are three main types of research methods in psychology:

Descriptive

Correlational

Experimental


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Descriptive Study psychology::

  • Case Study- psychologists study one individual in great depth in hopes of revealing universal principles


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Case Study Pros psychology:

  • Detailed information

  • Unusual Cases

  • Inexpensive

  • Few ethical considerations


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The Problem with the Case Study psychology::

An individual may be atypical

Cannot generalize results

Difficult to Manipulate Variables

Difficult to quantify data


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Naturalistic Observation psychology:

  • Observe subjects in natural habitats without interacting



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Survey Method psychology:

  • Relies on questions answered by a group of people in interviews or questionnaires


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Survey Method psychology:

  • Experimenter must identify the population to study

  • Random sampling picking members from a population randomly to ensure a representative sample


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Survey Method psychology:


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Wording Effects psychology:

  • In a study by AMNH, 88% of all respondents said that they were interested in plants and trees, but only 39% said they were interested in botany.

  • One out of five Americans (22 percent) doubted that the Holocaust had occurred. 12% said they weren’t sure


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What to Watch for… psychology:

  • Order of choices

  • Is the time frame specified?

  • How personal or direct is the wording?

  • Is there a cultural bias?


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Correlational Studies psychology:

  • Correlational studies assess the association between two or more characteristics of interest without ascribing causes

  • Is a correlational study an experiment?


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Correlation coefficient psychology:

Example: R= + .37




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Illusory Correlation psychology:

  • When we believe there is a relationship between two things, we are likely to notice and recall instances that confirm our belief


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What is the correlation? psychology:

  • 1) good looks/popularity

  • 2) self-esteem/depression

  • 3) brain size/intelligence

  • 4) money/happiness

  • 5) Education/length of life


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Correlation: determining causation psychology:

There is a strong correlation between people who ate oatmeal for breakfast as a child and cancer versus people who ate Frosted Flakes for breakfast as a child


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Friday’s Exam: What to Study psychology:

  • About 40% Historical Approaches, 60% Research Methods

  • Study mostly from Class Discussion!

  • Format: Multiple Choice, One short AP exam style essay question, short answer and/or matching


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Research Methods psychology:


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Experimental Method psychology:

  • Researcher manipulates one variable (independent variable) and observes the effect on another variable (dependent variable)

  • Allows one to show a causal relationship


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Confounding variable group?:

external differences between the experimental group and the control group other than those

resulting from

the independent

variable


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Confounding Variables group?

1) Placebo Effect

experimental results caused by expectations alone


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Confounding Variables group?

  • Demand Characteristics- participants form an interpretation of the experiment's purpose and unconsciously change their behavior accordingly


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How can we control for group?

confounding variables?


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How can we control for confounding variables? group?

1) Random Assignment

method of assigning subjects to groups to minimize pre-existing differences between those groups

This is an example of Between subjects design: Participants in the experimental and control group are different individuals


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How can be control for confounding variables? group?

2) Within subjects design

Technique where subjects serve as control and experimental group.

3) Twin Studies:


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Confounding Variables group?

  • Experimenter bias- researcher’s expectations about the outcome of a study influence the results

    Q: How can we eliminate experimenter bias?


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How can we eliminate experimenter bias? group?

  • Multiple Experimenters

    2. Double blind procedure- research design in which neither the experimenter or the participants know who is in the experimental versus control group


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AP Psychology group?

Ms. Simon

September 24, 2009

Experimental Statistics


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Do Now: group?

  • From your reading: Why do we need operational definitions?


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How do psychologists present data? group?

  • Frequency Distributions


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Statistics group?

  • Statistical significance (p) is the likelihood that the observed difference between groups results from a real difference rather than chance alone

  • What’s a good p value?



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1) Large difference between the two means group?

) Large difference between the two means



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When is data statistically significant? group?

2) Small standard deviations


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But… what’s a standard deviation? group?

A standard deviation is the degree by which a score varies from the mean

You don’t need to know the equation!



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When is data statistically significant? group?

3) Large Sample Size


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Mean, Median, Mode group?

6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 10, 11, 11, 11, 11, 12, 12, 13

What’s the mode?

What’s the median?



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Skewed Data group?


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Homework: group?

  • Activity: design an experiment to see if aggression is related to violent TV watching

    Be sure to address random selection, random assignment, experimental versus control group, confounding variables, and how you will minimize the effects of experimental and observer bias.