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Abnormal Psych chapter 2
Terms in this set (101)
The systematic search for facts through the use of careful observations and investigations
A general understanding of the nature, causes, and treatments of abnormal psychological functioning in the form of laws or principles.
Clinical Researchers do not
assess, diagnose, or treat.
seek an idiographic or individualistic understanding of abnormal behavior
The process of systematically gathering and evaluating info through careful observations to gain an understanding of a phenomenon
The Scientific Method enables researchers to pinpoint and explain relationships between
Any characteristic or event that can vary, whether from time to time, place to place, or person to person
examples of human variables
Age, Sex, and Race; also, eye color, occupation, and social status
What variables might clinical researchers be interested in?
Childhood upsets;Present life experiences; moods; social functioning; and responses to treatment
Three methods of Investigation that Clinician Researchers depend on
1. Case Study
2. Correlational method
3. Experimental Method
Definition: Typically a detailed account of a person's life and psychological problems
A hunch/prediction that certain variables are related in certain ways; it is also described as being a tentative explanation offered to provide a basis for an investigation
What does a case study describe?
a person's history, present circumstances, and symptoms; also, why the problems developed, and it may describe the person's treatment
How are case studies Helpful?
- they can be a source of new ideas and discoveries;
-It may offer tentative support for a theory;
-They serve to challenge a theory's assumptions;
-Also may show the value of new therapeutic techniques/unique applications to existing techniques
-Finally, it may offer opportunities to study unusual/rare occurring cases
The accuracy with which a study can pinpoint one of various possible factors as the cause of a phenomenon
The degree to which the results of a study may be generalized beyond that study
The degree to which events or characteristics vary along with each other
A research procedure used to determine how much events or characteristics vary along with each other
Limitations of Case Studies
-First, the case studies are reported by biased observers;
-Second, case studies rely on subjective evidence;
-Third, they provide little basis for generalization
When investigators are able to rule out all possible causes except one, a study is said to have
Internal Accuracy, or Internal validity
When findings of an investigation can be generalized beyond the immediate study, the investigation is said to have
External Accuracy, or External Validity
Case studies typically rate low on
How are the limitations of the case studies addressed (within methods of investigation)?
1. use of the correlational method
2. experimental method
What are three features of the correlational and experimental methods which enable clinical investigators to gain general(nomoethic) insights?
1. Researchers typically observe many individuals which allows them to collect enough info to support a conclusion.
2. Researchers apply procedures uniformly that others can repeat to see whether findings are consistent
3. Researchers use Statistical tests to analyze results of a study.
The participants in a given study are collectively called its
A Sample must be
representative of the larger part of a population researchers wish to investigate
When Variables change the same way and has a positive direction
The value of one variable increases as the value of the other variable decreases
As the measures of one variable increase, those of the other variable sometimes increase and sometimes decrease
When looking at graphs, what do researchers consider?
Direction and Magnitude of a correlation are:
Often calculated numerically; Expressed by a Statistical Term which is called the Correlation Coefficient
is symbolized by the letter "r"
Variations of correlation coefficient
+1.00 to -1.00
indicates a positive correlation between two variables
indicates perfect negative correlation
The sign of the coefficient(+ or -)
signifies the direction of the correlation
The Number of the coefficient signifies the
An r of 0.00 reflects a
zero correlation or no relationship to variables
the closer r is to .00, the
weaker, or lower in magnitude the correlation
If there is less than a 5 percent probability that a study's findings are due to chance(signified as p<.05)
The findings are statistically significant
Advantages of Correlational Method
1. It possesses High External Validity
2. Researchers can easily repeat correlational studies using new samples of participants
Disadvantages of Correlational Method
1. Lack Internal Validity
2. They Do Not explain the relationships between variables
Correlation does not equal
A study that measures the incidence and prevalence of a disorder in a given population
The number of new cases of a disorder occurring in a population over a specific period of time
The total number of cases of a disorder occurring in a population over a specific period fo time
A study that observes that same participants on many occasions over a long period of time.
Two kinds of correlational research used widely by clinical investigators
Epidemiological Studies & Longitudinal Studies
Epidemiological studies are also called
Longitudinal studies are also called
High-Risk or Developmental Studies
A research procedure in which a variable is manipulated and the effect of the manipulation is observed
The variable in an experiment that is manipulated to determine whether it has an effect on another variable
The variable in an experiment that is expected to change as the independent variable is manipulated
In an experiment, A variable other than the independent variable that is also acting on the dependent variable
The Independent Variable is the
Manipulated variable in scientific experiments
The Dependent Variable is the
Variable that is being observed in an experiment.
In an experiment, a group of participants who are not exposed to the independent variable
In an experiment, the participants who are exposed to the independent variable under investigation.
When likelihood is low, less than 5 percent or (p< .05),
its considered statistically significant
As a general rule, when is an experiment likely to be statistically significant?
- If the sample of participants is large;
-If the Difference Observed between groups is great; - If the range of scores within each group is small
It is important to distinguish b/w
Statistical Significance and Clinical Significance
Indicates whether a participant's improvement in functioning--whether large or small-- occurred because of treatment.
indicates whether the amount of improvement is meaningful in the individual's life.
A selection procedure that ensures that participants are randomly placed either in the control group or in the experimental group
An experiment in which participants do not know whether they are in the experimental or control condition
A sham treatment that the participant in an experiment believes to be genuine.
Experimental procedure in which neither the participant nor the experimenter knows whether the participant has received the experimental treatment or a placebo.
is a type of experimenter's bias
Most common forms of Alternative Experimental Designs
-The Natural Experiment;
-The Analogue Experiment;
-The Single-Subject Experiment
Quasi Experiments(or mixed designs)
An Experiment in which investigators make use of control and experimental groups that already exist in the world at large
In this type of experiment, investigators do not randomly assign participants to control, but instead make use of groups that
already exist in the world at large
Researchers often try to address confound problems of quasi-experiments by using
Matched Control Participants ( which match the experimental participants with control participants who are similar in age, sex, race, etc.)
An experiment in which nature, rather than the experimenter, manipulates an independent variable.
Natural experiments must be used for
studying psych effects of unusual/unpredictable events such as floods, crashes, earthquakes,etc.
A research method in which the experimenter produces abnormal-like behavior in lab participants and then conducts experiments on the participants
Single-Subject Experimental Design
A research method in which a single participant is observed and measured both before and after the manipulation of an independent variable.
A research method in which the experimenter produces abnormal-like behavior in lab participants and then conducts experiments on the participants; these studies often use animals as participants
Single-Subject Experimental Design
A research method in which a single participant is observed and measured both before and after the manipulation of an independent variable
Major Limitation of analogous studies
Researchers can never be certain that the phenomena they see in the lab are the same as the psych disorders they're investigating
Info gathered prior to any manipulations
ABAB or Reversal design
A participant's reactions are measured & compared not only during a baseline period(condition A) and after the intro of the independent variable(condition B), but ALSO after the independent variable has been removed(Condition A again) and after it has been reintroduced one more time(Condition B Again)
In an ABAB design, a participant:
is compared with himself or herself under different conditions rather than with control participants. The individual actually serves as his/her own control
Case studies allow
investigators to consider a broader range of causes
Correlational studies allow
What do Clinical Researchers do?
Use the scientific method to uncover nomothetic principles of abnormal psych functioning and attempt to identify and examine relationships b/w variables & depend on three methods of investigation: Case Study, Correlational Method, and Experimental Method
What can a case study serve as?
A source of new ideas about behavior; provide support for theories; challenge those theories; clarify new treatment techniques; or offer an opportunity to study an unusual problem.
Case studies tend to have
low internal validity and Low external validity
systematically observe the degree to which events or characteristics vary together
What do Correlational Studies allow researchers to do?
Draw broad conclusions about abnormality in the population at large
may have a positive or negative direction; and it may be high or low in magnitude
How is correlation calculated?
It is calculated numerically and is expressed by the correlation coefficient( which is r)
What do researchers perform to determine whether the correlation found in a study is truly characteristic of the larger population or due to chance?
Correlational Studies generally have
high external validity, but they LACK internal validity
Two widely used forms of the correlation method are
Epidemiological Studies and Longitudinal Studies
Researchers manipulate suspected causes to see whether expected effects will result.
Variable that is manipulated
Variable that is expected to change
Variables other than the independent variable that are also acting on the dependent variable
What do experimenters do to minimize possible influence in experiments?
Use control groups, random assignments, and blind designs
What type of Alternative Experimental Designs are there?
Quasi- Experiment; The Natural Experiment; The Analogue Experiment; and the Single-Subject Experiment
Why might it be difficult to assess the findings of clinical research?
-Research participants have rights that must be respected
-The origins of behavior are complex
-The very act of observing an individuals behavior influences that behavior
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