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What is the cycle of enquiry?
A summary of how theories are developed
What are the four categories in the cycle of enquiry?
Where do psychologists start their research from?
- Ordinary knowledge
- Existing body of evidence (literature)
- Evidence based-research of colleagues and co-workers
Who are the four founders of psychology?
- Charles Darwin
- Wilhelm Wundt
- William James
- Sigmund Freud
Who was Charles Darwin?
- Conducted first scientific infant-observation study on his son
- Developed theory of evolution through painstaking information collection and recording
Who was Wilhelm Wundt?
- Widely considered to have been the founder of psychology as a formal discipline when he opened first psych lab (1879), Germany.
- Advocated range of methodological approaches, including scientific experimentation, introspection, ethnography
Who was William James?
- American Professor
- Trained in philosophy, medicine and physiology
- Author of influential ‘Principles of Psychology’, 1890.
- Advocated a multi-method approach, including introspection and observation
Who was Sigmund Freud?
- First psychoanalyst
- Medical doctor and research physiologist
- Opened psychology consulting room in Vienna, 1886
- Pioneered psychoanalysis, listening closely to a person’s personal account, asking insightful questions and taking care to observe language use and unconscious phenomena
- What is psychology?
- Evidence-based and the result of systematic research
What different kinds of data are there in psychology?
- Inner experiences
- Material data
- Symbolic data
What are behaviour data?
- Observable behaviour.
- For many decades the dominant evidence.
- Can be either quantitative or qualitative research
What are inner experiences data?
- Experiences that can’t be externally observed.
- Only accessible to others via verbal or written reports or as inferred from behaviours such as non-verbal communication.
- Relies on people’s ability to convey what they are experiencing
- Can be problematic to observe and measure (very subjective)
What are material data?
More direct evidence form bodies or brains. Enables links to be made with behaviours and mental processes.
What are symbolic data?
- The symbolic creations of minds i.e. authored texts, art, the way someone uses language.
- Original data is product of a mind but once created can be studied and analysed separately.
- Analysed from outsider viewpoint, although it attempts to take insider viewpoint seriously without privileging it.
What is the code of ethics?
BPS (British Psychological Society) Code of Human Research Ethics
What four principles are the code of ethics based on?
What case studies can be used to illustrate ethical issues?
- Henry Murray, Harvard, interrogation research
- Philip Zimbardo, Stanford, prison experiment
- Stanley Milgram, Yale, electric shock experiment
What is a summary of the Murray Harvard interrogation research?
- Henry Murray, personality theorist, Harvard
- 1959– 1962
- Testing responses to stressful interpersonal confrontations
- Undergrad volunteers placed in brightly lit rooms, and debated with a peer (actually a more advanced opponent who belittled them)
- Participants were still affected by research 25 years later.
- Theodore Kaczynski (Unabomber) went on to send parcel bombs to scientists, academics etc, expressing resentment against scientists for trying to control behaviour.
What is a summary of the Zimbardo Stanford prison experiment research?
- Philip Zimbardo, US psychologist, Stanford Uni
- Research funded by US navy
- Research into effects of being assigned role of either prison guard or prisoner
- Mock prison built, volunteers assigned to roles
- Participants and organisers consumed by experiment
- Experiment concluded early
- Ethically questionable but invaluable insight
- Demonstrated that behaviour in prisons is due to situational attribution
What is a summary of the Milgram Yale electric shock research?
- Stanley Milgram, Social Psychologist, Yale University
- Researching relationship between obedience to authority and aggression
- Informed by WW2 atrocities
- Volunteers were asked to give increasing shocks to unseen partner, as instructed by a researcher in a white coat
What are the most commonly used psychological research methods?
- Psychological tests
- Meaning and language-based methods
What does the research process start with?
By isolating a sufficiently specific and answerable question
What are some of the constraints researchers face before they embark on research?
- Personal concerns
- Topic already set (i.e. by an employing organization)
- Joining a group where the research has commenced
- Environment dictating theoretical assumptions (i.e. era, culture, society, a particular university, a particular interest group)
- Some questions attract more funding than others
- Researcher preconceptions
What are experiments?
The most common psychological research method
What do experiments ascertain?
The causal relationship between variables
What variables do experiments need?
Independent and dependent variables
What groups are commonly used in experiments?
Control and experimental groups
How are participants often assigned to experiments?
Which method is a variant on introspection?
Questionnaires and interviews
What kind of analysis can be used with questionnaires?
How can interviews be analysed?
Both quantitively and qualitatively
What are questionnaires?
- Written questions, designed to elicit short answers or option choices
- Tightly structured
- Asked in a certain order
- Range of possible answers often already designed so that data can be entered for electronic analysis
What are psychological tests?
- A highly structured form of self-report
- Participants have to solve problems or choose from fixed alternatives on a questionnaire (i.e. intelligence or personality tests)
- A score can then be calculated which gives researcher information about the participant (i.e. Belbin)
- Tried on large numbers of people before being used as a diagnostic tool
- It is then possible to compare individual results against averages across population/groups etc
What is an example of observation method case study?
- ROSENHAN, 1973
- Rosenhan and seven collaborators feigned mental illness and were admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Once there they acted normally and kept notes of their observations (outsider viewpoint) and what they experienced (insider viewpoint) including their difficulty in getting discharged due to the interpretation of their normal behaviour as being evidence of mental illness.
What are two types of meaning and language based methods?
Content analysis is mainly a quantitative method which involves counting up the prevalence and sequencing of such things as certain words, sentences, expressions, metaphors in such text as an interview transcript, newspaper article
What is discourse analysis?
Discourse analysts are interested in the processes by which people construct meanings socially and individually
What is the hermeneutic approach?
A focus on meaning-making, the work of interpretation