PSYC-152 Notes ? 9/22/10 Research Methods in the Study of Abnormal Behavior (just kill me) What? Description, frequency, epidemiology Why? Cause (etiology) How can we help? Treatment The Objective of Science Science ? pursuit of systematized knowledge through observation Description Explanation Prediction Control The Scientific Method Testability Hypothesis ? scientific proposition stated clearly Data support or disconfirm Replicability Reproducible by others Guided by theory ? set of propositions meant to explain a phenomenon Research Methods of Abnormal Psychology Case study Historical/biological information on a single person Uses: Detailed description of rare phenomenon Disconfirm ?universal ? aspects of theory Generate new hypotheses Correlational study Examines the relationship between two or more variables Variables assessed as they exist in nature (no experimental manipulation) Directionality problem ? correlation does not mean causation Correlation Coefficient (r) Quantifies the relationship between two variables Value between +1.0 and -1.0 Sign = direction of relationship Size = strength of relationship Epidemiological study Study the frequency and distribution of a problem in a population Prevalence ? proportion of population that has a problem at any given time Incidence = number of new cases during some time period Risk factors = conditions that increase likelihood of developing the problem Experiment ? examines a causal relation between two variables (IV: believed to be causal and DV: assumed to be controlled by the IV) Balancing Internal vs. External Validity Internal validity ? Did the IV produce the outcomes? Increased by minimizing confounds Control groups Random assignment External validity ? Are the findings generalizable? Group design Single-subject experiment Analogue experiment Some true experiments are not ethical or cannot be done Analogue studies examine a related phenomenon in the laboratory Analogue is related to disorder of interest Participants similar to those with disorder Mixed design Longitudinal study ? evaluate the same individuals over time Cross-sectional design ? compare different age groups (cohorts) Sequential design ? combines cross-sectional and longitudinal
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