PSC ch. 2
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What are the 4 canons that guide scientific research?
the world is orderly and all events have meaningful, systematic causes
knowledge is based on observation
the simplest explanation is preferable to more complex ones
theories should be testable
What is deductive reasoning?
Reasoning from general principles to specific instances
What is inductive reasoning?
Reasoning from specific instances to general principles
What is a conceptual variable?
Conceptual variables are broad and abstract
(depression, interpersonal attraction, prejudice)
What is an operational variable?
The process of transforming abstract concepts into concrete, observable terms
represent the conceptual variables
What are the 3 types of research design?
What are the advantages of descriptive research?
Provides detailed portrait of a phenomenon or population
Allows for further investigation using correlational or experimental designs.
What are the disadvantages of descriptive research?
Does not tell us anything about what caused the phenomenon
Observer bias & expectancy effects
What are the advantages of correlational research?
study the associations of naturally occurring variables
study variables that we cannot manipulate (gender, age, socio-economic status, depression)
What are the disadvantages of correlational research?
Correlation does not equal causation
There may be a third variable driving the correlation
What are the advantages of experimental research?
Experiments are the only research design that allow us make causal inferences
What are the disadvantages of experimental research?
Some variables can not be manipulated (gender)
other variables are unethical to manipulate (discrimination)
What two components are required to be considered experimental research?
Manipulate the IV in order to produce different levels (conditions) that will affect the DV
The DV is the variable the IV is expected to change
The DV depends on the IV
placing people in conditions on a completely arbitrary basis (coin-flip).
Random assignment solves the problem of individual differences
It equalized groups on every dimension imaginable (assuming the sample size is large).
IV cause a change in the DV.
Why is it important to use random sampling when choosing research participants?
Observational studies and studies using random sampling tend have high external validity
What are the 3 types of validity?
What does internal validity evaluate?
research provides compelling information about causation (process of causing something to happen or exist)
What does external validity evaluate?
research provides an accurate description of what happens in the real world
What does construct validity evaluate?
The extent to which the operational variables represent the conceptual variables
What are the 3 types of reliability?
Test-retest reliability (temporal consistency)
What does inter-rater reliability measure?
The degree to which different judges independently agree on an observation or judgment
What does internal reliability measure?
The degree to which items in a scale measure the same concept
What does test-retest reliability measure?
measuring the same person on two (or more) occasions to assess the degree to which a scale correlates positively with itself over time
What are the 3 areas of concern when thinking about the ethics of conducting research?
The ethics of data collection and analysis
The ethical treatment of participants
The ethics of responsibility to society
What regulatory board reviews research proposals using human subjects? Animal subjects?
Institutional Review Boards (IRB)
Institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC)
PSC ch. 2
research types and methods