Unit 2: Research Methods

Psychological Science

A scientific theory explains through an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and predicts behaviors or events. By linking facts and bridging then to deeper principles, a theory offers a useful summary.

A theory contains a hypothesis, experiment, observation, data collection, and analysis.

  • Hypothesis: Allows us to test, revise, and/or reject a new theory.
  • Experiment: Helps us test our hypothesis                                                                       - In psychology, psychologist observe and describe behaviors using case studies and surveys. Case studies examine one individual in depth while surveys look at many individuals in less depth.
  • Observation: A method that records behavior shown during the experiment.         -Naturalistic Observation is when a researcher observes and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations, without trying to manipulate and control the situation
  • Data Collection: Aims to present acquired information in a neat and organize fashion.                                                                                                                                       - Psychologists see the correlation between data acquired during the experiment and observation. Correlation is a positive and negative comparison of one thing to another and therefore helps psychologists assume how well one predicts the other.                                                                                                                                           -Mean: Average Score                                                                                                             -Median: Middle Score                                                                                                           -Mode: Most Frequent Score                                                                                                 -Range: Difference between the Greatest and Lowest Score                                         -Standard Deviation: Calculated Measure of How Much Scores Vary From the Mean                                                                                                                                       -Independent Variable: The Experimental Factor that is Manipulated, the Variable Who's Affect is being Studied.                                                                                   -Dependent Variable: The Experimental Factor being measured                                   -Confounding Variables: Other Factors that Could Affect the experiment                 To prevent confounding variables from influencing test result... researchers must use random assignment, placebos and the double blind procedure.
  • Data Analysis:  process of inspecting, cleaning, transforming, and modeling data with the goal of discovering useful information, suggesting conclusions, and supporting decision-making.

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