Psych 300 Introduction to Research Methods Introduction Syllabus Available on Carmen Case Study, p. 5 Psychological inquiry What is Psychology? ?Data-based scientific study of behavior? (Stanovich, p. 7) What is science? Three defining features Use of systematic empiricism Exercise: write down every observation you make from the time you get up in the morning to the time you go to bed on a given day (Stanovich, p. 10). Production of public knowledge Through peer review and replications, giving way to public verifiability Examination of solvable problems (testable predictions) Case Study, p. 6-7 Doing Research Right Why should you care? If you don't do research, you will still consume it For critical thinking Basic questions to ask How to gain knowledge about X? How to get an effective answer to a question? How might I go wrong and get a misleading answer? How to prevent mistakes? Is research really necessary? Isn?t much of it ?common sense?? Why we cannot rely on folk wisdom Absence makes the heart grow fonder Better safe than sorry Opposites attract Two heads are better than one Out of sight, out of mind Nothing ventured, nothing gained Birds of a feather flock together Too many cooks spoil the broth Where did folk go wrong? If contradictory statements are both believed to be the explanation of a behavior, this explanation cannot be refuted. Violation of falsifiability If we already believe in certain assertions, we WILL find evidence to support them. Observer bias Should you believe in everything you hear? TRUE or FALSE: Your feelings never lie Separating facts from fads How do we know something is true? Measured/identified through senses (even if aided by machines) Verifiable by others Facts are what one needs to use to arrive at a valid conclusion Theories, laws, speculations Tested explanations for why things are how they are Repeatedly tested (and supported) theories Guesses about how things work. If they can be tested, we can call them hypotheses, or else they will remain speculations. The scientific method Established on two principles Scientific observations are based on sensory experiences Results from observations are organized logically into a knowledge structure Often a model, which could become the basis of a theory Controlled observation: scientific experiment A model provides predictions/inferences An experiment is designed to test hypotheses Independent variable(s) Dependent variable(s) Model Testable hypotheses Data Experimental design Assumptions re: physical & psychological universe Order Systematicity: empirical observation and description, allowing predictions Determinism Events under study are caused by knowable factors Taking care not to attribute illogical or unrelated causes Empiricism Reliably collecting valid data Parsimony Prefer less complex logical explanations Case study p. 16-17 About Assignment 1 On Carmen Due on Wednesday, April 15 For next time Read entire Ch. 2 (very short chapter!)
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