Session 3: Research Strategies (Mod. 2,3)

Critical Thinking
thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 024)
an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts observations. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 024)
testable predictions (Myers Psychology 8e p. 021)
Operational Definitions
clear, precise definitions and instructions about how to observe and measure concepts and variables
to repeat a research study, usually with different participants and in different situations, to confirm the results of the original study
the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 045)
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In an effort to prevent participants in an experiment from trying to confirm the researchers’ predictions, psychologists sometimes

1. deceive participants about the true purpose of an experiment.
2. allow people to decide for themselves whether they want to participate in an experiment.
3. treat information about individual participants confidentially.
4. obtain written promises from participants to respond honestly.

1. deceive participants about the true purpose of an experiment.
The hindsight bias refers to people’s tendency to

2. reject any ideas that can’t be scientifically tested.
3. overestimate the extent to which others share their opinions.
4. dismiss the value of skepticism.

1. exaggerate their ability to have foreseen an outcome.
Potential research participants are told enough about an upcoming study to enable them to choose whether they wish to participate. This illustrates the practice of seeking
1. a representative sample.
2. an operational definition.
3. a placebo effect.
4. informed consent.
4. informed consent.
By testing their predictions with the observational method of science, psychologists are using
1. critical thinking.
2. their intuition.
3. an empirical approach.
4. common sense.
3. an empirical approach.
Psychological differences between the genders are
1. no longer evident in contemporary Western societies.
2. of little interest to contemporary psychologists.
3. far outweighed by gender similarities.

4. simply reflections of biological differences between the sexes.

3. far outweighed by gender similarities.
Which of the following methods is most helpful for clarifying cause-effect relationships?
1. the experiment
2. the survey
3. naturalistic observation
4. correlational research
1. the experiment
Mr. and Mrs. Klostreich have six children ages 5, 6, 6, 7, 8, and 16. The mean age of the Klostreich children is
1. 5.
2. 7.
3. 6.
4. 8.
4. 8.
In which type of research would an investigator manipulate one factor and observe its effect on some behavior or mental process?
1. the case study
2. experimentation
3. naturalistic observation
4. the survey
2. experimentation
A statement describing the exact procedures for measuring an anticipated experimental outcome is known as a(n)
1. operational definition
2. hypothesis.
3. control condition.
4. replication.
1. operational definition
For which of the following distributions of scores would the median most clearly be a more appropriate measure of central tendency than the mean?
1. 12, 15, 12, 9, 12
2. 12, 6, 8, 5, 4
3. 23, 7, 3, 27, 16
4. 10, 22, 8, 9, 6
4. 10, 22, 8, 9, 6
Which of the following is a statistical measure of both the direction and the strength of a relationship between two variables?
1. mean
2. correlation coefficient
3. standard deviation
4. range
2. correlation coefficient
Professor Ober carefully observes and records the behaviors of children in their classrooms in order to track the development of their social and intellectual skills. Professor Ober is most clearly engaged in
1. replication.
2. survey research.
3. experimentation.
4. naturalistic observation.
4. naturalistic observation.
University of Texas students were fitted with belt-worn tape recorders for up to four days so that researchers could sample their daily activities. The researchers employed a scientific method known as
1. the double-blind procedure.
2. the case study.
3. the standard deviation.
4. naturalistic observation.
4. naturalistic observation.
An extensive survey revealed that children with relatively high self-esteem tend to picture God as kind and loving, whereas those with lower self-esteem tend to perceive God as angry. The researchers concluded that the children’s self-esteem had apparently influenced their views of God. This conclusion best illustrates the danger of
1. generalizing from extreme examples.
2. reaching conclusions based on an unreprepresentative group.
3. assuming that association proves causation.
4. being influenced by a confounding variable.
3. assuming that association proves causation.
Central tendency is to variation as ________ is to ________.
1. range; skewed distribution
2. scatterplot; correlation
3. mean; standard deviation
4. median; mode
3. mean; standard deviation
descriptive research
systematic objective observation of people to provide record of beh.(case study, naturalistic obs., surveys/ interviews)
case study
examine ind. in depth; can be source of ideas about gen. human nature or overgeneralize from 1 example
naturalistic observation
observing natural behavior; can apply to broader population
gather info about many ppls thoughts thru self report; must carefully word Qs and use random sampling
random sampling
make sure every ind in pop has equal chance of bring in sample
2 traits/ attributes related to each other; how closely 2 factors vary together or predict each other (doesnt give causation!)
direction of correlation
neg: one number goes up, other goes down
pos: both increase together
no: no relationship
correlation coefficient
number representing strength and direction of correlation; strength refers to how close in straight line they are (perfect pos=+1)
manipulating factor in situation to determine its effect
random assignment
assign part. to control or experimental grps to control all variables except one manipulating
placebo effect
experimental effects caused by expectations about intervention
double blind
neither part. or researchers know whose in control or experimental groups
control group
ind variable doesnt change; use random assgnment
independent vs. dependent variable
variable able to manipulate; variable experience change depending on manipulation
confounding variable
other variables that may effect dependent variable
manipulate limited # of factors (IV) and measure impact on other factors (DV); must follow ethical rules
org.,present, jnterpret data; present more accurate pic and help reach valid conclusions; critical thinking tool
measures of central tendency
mode: most common #
mean: mathematical avg.
median: middle score/ 50th percentile
measures of variation
range: dif b/w highest and lowest scores
standard deviation: calculation of avg. distance of scores from mean
skewed: a few large numbers greatly raise mean (income)
normal: symmetric bell curve (test scores)
reliable data
have non-biased sampling that represents pop; data isnt widely varied and there is a lot of data to draw from
statistically significant difference
when data is reliable and can generalize beh of broad pop; difference b/w the groups are large and dont overlap
hindsight bias
mind builds wisdom off of what we have already been told
overestimate performance skills and accuracy of knowledge
perceive order
think can make predictions from random series
scientific attitude
curiosity: ask Qs
skepticism: challenge facts
humility: accept being wrong