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Method Research Notes

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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* Aim * Purpose of the study; indicates behavior or mental process that will be studied. * Target population * Group whose behavior the researcher wishes to investigate * Specific group of people whom they are interested in for their study. * Procedure * Step by step process used by the researcher to carry out the study. * Findings * State how the researcher interpreted the data that was collected. * Research findings are always open to discussion and debate. * It is important to interpret findings in terms of the culture in which the research has been conducted, and always to be aware of potential cultural bias. * Participants * People who take part in a psychological study. * Sample * Very important in determining the usefulness of a piece of research. * Obtain a sample that is representative of target population. * Representative sample * Try to obtain a sample that represents a population * The size of the sample matters. * Small groups are more open to distortions than large one. * Small group has an individual that quite influence on the overall result. * Opportunity sampling * A sample of whoever happens to be there and agrees to participate. * Easy way for the researcher to get participants, but one has to question the nature of an opportunity sample. * Can lead to rather biased results, and it is problematic to generalize from studies that use opportunity sampling. * Sampling bias * The data that is collected may not be accurate or represent the group * Consistent error that arises due to the sample selection. * Certain members are underrepresented or overrepresented relative to others in the population. * Self-selected sample * Made up of volunteers * Relatively easy to obtain and almost guaranteed that the sample will be highly motivated * Disadvantage: volunteer samples rarely reflect the more general population which means it is difficult to make generalizations.

* Snowball sampling * Other participants recruit other participants from among their friends and acquaintance. * Often used in social psychology research where it may be difficult to access research participants * Participant variability * To extent to which the participants may share a common set of traits that can bias the outcome of the study. * Random sampling * Defined as one in which every member of the target population has an equal chance of being selected. Most desirable sampling method because it is assumed that if the sample is large enough, it is most likely to contain all the characteristics of the population. Get rid of selection bias but it is not always successful. * Generalize * The behaviors observed in the random sample are subsumed to be representative of those in the larger population. * Stratified sample * Attempts to overcome this problem by drawing random samples from each subpopulation within the target population. * Ethics * Participants should be treated in an ethical manner. Psychologists agree to follow certain ethical standards in order to avoid harming participants. * Informed consent * Participants must be informed about the nature of the study and agree to participate. * Deception * Researcher may not want the participants to know the exact aim of a study because it could affect the results. Deception should generally not be used; however, slight deception which does not cause any stress to the participant may be used in some cases. At the end of the study, any deception must be explained to the participants. * Debriefing * True aims and purpose of the research must be revealed to the participants. Any deception must be revealed and justified. All participants should leave the study without undue stress. * Withdrawal from a study * Participants should be told that they have the right to leave the study any time, and that they can withdraw their data at the end of the study if they wish. * Confidentiality * All of the information that is obtained in a study must be confidential. * Protection from physical or mental harm * Important to make sure that no harm is done to participants. It is not permitted to humiliate a participant or force them to reveal private information. * Evaluate findings * When a study is complete, the researcher will have to represent the findings. * Interpreting findings is an essential skill for a psychologist. * Application * How theory or empirical study is used. * Examples: * The use of memory research to improve how we take evidence from eyewitness testimonies (an application of cognitive theory in forensic psychology) * The use of research on the effect of light on mood in order to improve working conditions in office spaces in Denmark (an application of biological theory in occupational psychology) * Applying findings from decision-making research to improve a football team’s performance on the pitch. * Validity * Consider whether the research does what it claims to do. * Ecological validity * The study represents what happens in real life. * If a study lacks ecological validity, it means that what was observed in the laboratory does not necessarily direct what will happen outside the laboratory. * Cross cultural validity * Is the research relevant to other cultures? * Ethnocentric * Based on the values and beliefs of one cultures. * Reliable * The results can be replicated. * Empirical studies * Is the study based on a representative group of people? * Was the study conducted in a laboratory or in a natural setting? * Were the participants asked to do things that are far from real life? * Are the findings of the study supported/questioned by the findings of other studies? * Do the findings have practical relevance? * Ethical considerations * Independent variable * A variable that the researcher deliberately manipulates, while trying to keep all the variables constant. * Dependent variable * Variable that is measured after the manipulation of the independent variable. * Operationalized * They need to be written in such a way that it is clear what is being measured.

* Experimental hypothesis and null hypothesis * Predicts the exact result of the manipulation of the IV and DV. * Null hypothesis predicts there will be no results or that the result will due to chance. * Control condition * Comparing two conditions. * Laboratory experiments * Strict control of variables in laboratory experiments, which makes it easy to replicate. * Environment is artificial and therefore participants may react differently to how they would in real life. * Lack of ecological validity. * Field experiments * Experiment takes place in a natural environment, but the researcher still manipulates variables. * A good strength of ecological validity * Cannot control all variables. * Natural experiments * No control over the variables * Naturally occurring * Confounding variables * Undesirable variables that influence the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. * Demand characteristics * Participants act differently because they know that they are in an experiment. * May try to guess the purpose of the experiment. * Solved by single blind control. * Hawthorne effect * May try to guess the purpose of the experiment. * Solved by single blind control. * Single blind control * Participants do not know what the study is about. * Researcher bias * Observer bias this is when the experimenter the experimenter sees what he or she is looking for. * The expectation of the researcher consciously or unconsciously affects the findings of the study. * Solved by double blind control. * Double blind control * The participants doesn’t know whether they are in the treatment or control group, the person carrying out the experiment does not know the aim either, nor whether each group is the treatment or control group. * Participant variability * Characteristics of the sample affect the dependent variable. * Solved by random sampling. * Artificiality * The situation created is so unlikely to occur that one has to wonder if there is any validity in the findings. * Positive correlation * Both variables are affected in the same way. * X and y axis increases. * X and y axis decreases. * Negative correlation * One of the variable increase and the other decrease. * X increase and Y decrease. * X decrease and Y increase. * Bidirectional ambiguity * Bidirectional ambiguity is when the researcher cannot control the independent variable, and no cause-and-effect relationship can be determined. * Job burnout * An experiment to see if stress and lack of support and negative self-evaluation affects job. If someone gets too much pressure, they will get sick and or getting to stress. * Placebo effect * In medicine placebo effect is a substance that is like the sugar pill. It has no direct to psychological effect but it can have the therapeutic effect on pain and sickness, and people believe it can work. In history they believe that the placebo effect succeeded. Most of the time it works because they believe that it works, but it is not scientific affect so placebo won’t help your body if they get placebo because it is not scientifically proven. * Psychometric effect * Psychometric Research is to analyze a behavior, and to make the result analyze equal and accurate. The result at the end of the experiment on the psychometric research would be able to be standardized. * Scientific method * Scientific method is for general procedure for gathering interpreted data. The data need to be collected with the same measurement, in order to have an accurate result. It consist on having an observation, measurement and an experiment, formula, testing and a modification of hypothesis in order to make an experiment that would be realistic, and to have a result that is accurate.

* Independent measures design * Design involves using different participants in each condition. * It is also referred to as Between-subjects design or unrelated design. * Advantages: * As participants are only used once, order effects such as fatigue (tired), learning or boredom do not influence the second condition. * Demand characteristics are less of a problem as participants should not be able to guess the hypothesis. * The same test can be used; or example, each group can learn the same words. * It is the quickest and easiest way of allocating people to groups. * Disadvantages: * Need a lot of people. * Problems with statistical test * Repeated measures design * Involves using the same participants in each condition of an experiment. * It is also referred to as a within subjects design or a related design. * Advantages: * As the same people are used, participant variables such as intelligence are kept constant between conditions. * Because is less variation between conditions, more sophisticated statistical tests can be used. * As people are used more than once, fewer participants are required. * Disadvantages: * Order effect * Demand characteristic * Matched pairs design * Involves using different but similar participants in each condition. If there are any important characteristics that might affect performance, researches will try to match participants on those characteristics in each condition. * Advantages: * Participant’s variables are kept more constant between conditions if matched. * More sophisticated statistical tests can be used because of less variation between conditions. * Order effects do not occur. * Demand characteristics should not be a problem. * The same test can be used for each group, for example: all participants can learn the same words.

* Qualitative * Has come to be defined as research whose findings are not arrived at by statistical or other quantitative procedures. * Quantitative * Defined as psychological research which performs mathematical modeling and statistical estimation or statistical inference or a means for testing objective theories by examining the relationship between variables. * Experimental conditions * To determine what effect an independent variable (IV) or treatment may have on some measure, it is necessary to present that IV to members of a group or condition. * Experimental group and control group * The difference between a control group and an experimental group is one group is exposed to the conditions of the experiment and the other is not.…...

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