Intro to Research: How Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions Correlation and Description

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Intro to Research: How Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions Correlation and Description

Intro to Research: How Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions

Correlation and Description

*What you need to know by the end of the day.Differentiate types of research with regard to purpose, strengths, and weaknesses.Why use each type of research methodDescribe how research design drives the reasonable conclusions that can be drawn.How can each research method best be used based on their resultsCorrelationPOSITIVE CORRELATIONTwo variables increase together or decrease together

Example: The number of gallons of gas pumped is positively correlated to the amount spent on gas.

NEGATIVE CORRELATIONVariables move in opposite directions

Example: Miles traveled is negatively correlated to the amount of gas left in your tank.The measure of the relationship between two items or variables

*OBJECTIVE 3-4| Describe positive and negative correlations and explain how correlational measures can aid the process of prediction.No relationship (0.00)Perfect negativecorrelation (-1.00)ScatterplotsPerfect positivecorrelation (+1.00)Scatterplot is a graph comprised of points generated by values of two variables. The slope of points depicts the direction, and the amount of scatter the strength of relationship. Correlation CoefficientCorrelation coefficientIndicates directionof relationship(positive or negative)Indicates strengthof relationship(0.00 to 1.00)r =0.37+Statistical measure that shows the degree of relationship between two variablesNumber will always fall between -1.0 and +1.0 The higher the number the stronger the relationshipCorrelation Coefficient Examples- 0.78moderately strong negative + 0.05very weak positive - 0.43moderately weak negative+ 0.92very strong positive

What kind of relationships do the following correlations have?Another example.

Scatterplot showing relationship between height and temperament in people. What kind of relationship is depicted?Moderately positive +.63orCorrelation and Causation

Knowing that two items are correlated does NOT necessarily tell us why or exactly how they are related!!*OBJECTIVE 3-5| Explain why correlational research fails to provide evidence of cause-effect relationships.


3 types of ResearchDescriptive (Observational)- simply describing a behaviorCorrelation- finding the relationship between two variablesExperiment- controlled setting, manipulated variablesNaturalistic ObservationObservation of human or animal behavior in the environment in which it typically occurs

Jane Goodalls study of chimpanzee culture*OBJECTIVE 3-3| Identify the advantages and disadvantages of naturalistic observation in studying behavior and mental processes.Naturalistic ObservationValuable where other methods are likely to be disruptive or misleadingProblems with Naturalistic ObservationIf people know they are being observed, they tend to act differently than they normally wouldEthically you usually must tell people you are observing them, yet can combat by observing for a long period of timeObservations can be distorted if observers expect to see certain behaviorsWhy would this be a problem? How could it be solved?Case StudyIntensive examination of the behavior and mental processes associated with a specific person or situation*OBJECTIVE 3-1| Identify the advantages and disadvantages of case studies in studying behavior and mental processes.Case studyAre useful when something is new, complex or fairly rareOften used in clinical work and neuropsychologyLimitationsMay contain evidence that a certain research thought to be important (why would this be a problem?)Are unlikely to be representative of people in generalYetprovide valuable material for further research and serve as testing ground for new treatment, training programs & other applications of researchSurveyA technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes, opinions or behaviors of people usually by questioning a representative, random sample of people.*OBJECTIVE 3-2| Identify the advantages and disadvantages of surveys in studying behavior and mental processes, and explain the importance of wording effects and random sampling.SurveysValidity of data depends upon:How questions are wordedRepresentativeness of people surveyed (why?)Other limitationsWillingness of people to honestly complete the surveyPeople may say what they believe they should say about an issueStill a great way to gather LARGE amounts of informationQuasi-experimentsStudies that have the same control as experiments yet do not include the random assignment of participantsEXAMPLEResearchers want to test hypothesis that a pregnant womans use of drugs will cause abnormalities in her developing baby.

Could you ethically randomly assign women who are 8 weeks pregnant to a group that will be snorting cocaine 3 times a day? Why or why not?

*Quasi-experimentsConclusions are not as firm as those drawn from true experiments, yet they allow research to be conducted on topics and in settings that would otherwise be impossible*


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