Psychology as a Science (2)
Terms in this set (36)
Does correlation mean causation?
What are some examples of causation?
1. Low self-esteem could cause depression
2. Depressions could cause low self-esteem
3. Or distressing events or biological predisposition could cause low self-esteem or depression
can be a third variable that could be moving both variables
How do we find out about causation?
-can not get results with a correlational study
-must use experimentation
What is experimentation?
-manipulating one factor in a situation to determine its effect
If we manipulate a variable in an experimental group of people, and then we see an effect, how do we know the change wouldn't have happened anyway?
-by using a control group
What is a control group?
a group that is the same in every way except the one variable we are changing
How do we make sure that the control group is really identical in every way to the experimental group?
-by using random assignment
What is random assignment?
-randomly selecting some study participants to be assigned to the control group or the experimental group.
What is random sampling?
-how you get a pool of research participants that represents
the population you're trying to learn about
What is random assignment?
of participants to control to experimental groups is how you
control all variables except the one you're manipulating
Sample then sort
What is the placebo effect?
experimental effects that are caused by expectations about
How do you work with the placebo effect?
-control groups may be given a placebo-an inactive substance or other fake treatment in place of the experimental treatment
-the control group is ideally "blind" to whether they are getting real or fake treatment
-many studies are double-blind-neither participants nor research staff knows which participants are participating in the study
What is an independent variable?
factor that is experimentally manipulated
What is a dependent variable?
-factor that is measured; variable that might change when the IV is manipulated
What are confounding variables?
-any other variables that might have an effect on the dependent variable
-anything els that caused a change in the dependent variable that wasn't the independent variable
How do we protect against the confounding variable?
-use random assignment
What is purpose of descriptive research?
to observe and record behavior
What is manipulated in descriptive research?
What is the weakness of descriptive research?
no control of variables; single cases may be misleading
How is descriptive research conducted?
do case studies , naturalistic observations or surveys
What is the purpose of correlational research?
to detect naturally occurring relationships; to assess how well one variable predicts another
What is manipulated in correlational research?
What is a weakness of correlational research?
cannot specify cause and effect
How is correlational research conducted?
-collect data on two or more variables
What is the purpose of experimental research?
to explore cause and effect
What is manipulated with experimental research?
-the independent variables
What is the weakness of experimental research?
sometimes not feasible
-not ethical to manipulate certain variables
-results may not generalize to other contexts
How is experimental research conducted?
-by manipulating one or more factors using random assignment
Can laboratory experiments illuminate everyday life?
-controlled, artificial environments are created in laboratory experiments to test general theoretical principles
-these general principles help explain everyday behaviors
Do the insights from research really apply to all people or do the factors of culture and gender override these "general" principles of behavior?
-research can discover human universals and study how culture and gender influence behavior
-we must be careful not to generalize too much from studies done with subjects who do not represent the population
How are there biases in research?
-bias in what questions are asked
-personal and/or cultural values affect what is studied, how it's studied, and how results are interpreted
What is an example of a bias in a question?
studies look at the effect of mothers working outside the home on child development
-Why don't we ask: what is the effect of fathers working outside the home on child development?
-bias because it presupposes that women should be home to raise kids
Studies exploring whether homosexuality is genetic
-also has value and inherent bias
-why don't we ask if heterosexuality is cultural
-we are presupposing that homosexuality is different and we want to see if that difference is genetic
How is psychology ethical?
-all research studies conducted at universities have to be approved by its institutional review board
How can we make sure that conclusions are valid?
-research studies are subjected to peer review processes before they are published?
What kinds of questions are asked to ensure that conclusions are valid?
-are the results reliable?
-is there a non-biased sample?
-avoid generalizing from few data points
-can methods be replicated?
-is the difference between the experimental and control groups significant?
-can it occur by chance?
-typically only accept results when odd of its occurrence by chance are less than 5%
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