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Psychology

27-8-12 Syllabus Draft Plan 1. Methodology and ethics in empirical research : September 2. Biological level of analysis : September and October 3. Cognitive level of analysis : November and December 4. Health psychology : January 5. Qualitative research in psychology : February 6. Internal assessment : Simple Experiment

Coursework 1. Tests : 80% 2. Homework : 10% 3. Projects, research and presentations : 5% 4. Quizzes : 5% 5. Exam Grade : 100%

27-8-12 Strategies for studying 1. Pre read every chapter 2. Keep notes well organized 3. Review work at home Note taking 1. Take notes while discussing 2. Write essays at home Instead of saying proof........... Say Demonstrates Supports Substantiates the claim When evaluating a study, rst nd the Aim Method Conclusion 28-8-12 Why is psychology a scientic study? You do some experiments to nd some results and as a result of the experiment, we collect data You analyze the data to check anything you want to know Systematic conducting of experiments Data is used to prove claims

Advantages and Disadvantages of psychology being a multi disciplinary science A more comprehensive/wide view of the subject It lls up gaps as it has a wide variety of subjects associated to it However, it may lead to confusion

Why is psychology a systematic study? Data collection in a systematic way Various research methods, qualitative, quantitative, or both Theories to explain psychological phenomenon Empirical research based on a research hypothesis

Research Hypothesis A precise and testable statement Predicts the outcome of the research on the variables Usually based on the prediction of a theory, not always Either accepted or rejected based on the result of empirical ndings Empirical Research Study Organized collection and analysis of empirical study Research decides the methodology to be used; qualitative or quantitative Quantitative Research Study Numerical information: experiments, surveys, etc. Use of statistics(mean, standard deviation, or percentage) to analyze data Qualitative Research Study Information in the meaning of the data(diary entries, interview data) Data analysis in the form of interpretation of the data to see what the data reveals The research process in experimental research 1. Observation of and theorizing about a phenomenon 2. Formulation of a research hypothesis 3. Collection of empirical data using a scientic method 4. Analysis of data and discussion of results 5. Acceptance or rejection of the research hypothesis

Evaluation of empirical research studies Methodical considerations: appropriateness Ethical considerations: safety Cultural considerations: sensitivity, respect

Gender considerations: sensitivity, respect

29-8-12 Evaluation of Research Studies 1. Has the study been conducted in an ethical way? Safety of the participants? 2. Privacy of the participants? Protected, invaded or violated? Condentiality? 3. Safety of animals? 4. Use of a representative group of people; sampling bias. Only males or females? 5. Experiment in a natural surrounding or in an articial surrounding? 6. Tasks similar to real life tasks? Risks of doing tasks that doesn't represent real life? 7. Are the results supported or challenged by another study? Same phenomenon, different results, need to look at validity 8. Results socially sensitive? Controversial topics such as homosexuality, genetics, deprivation studies, etc. 9. Informed consent from the participants 10. Debrieng is a must 11. Deception to be avoided 12. Participants right to withdraw 13. Fabrication of data unacceptable

30-8-12 Some key terms

Independent variable(IV): The variable that causes some change in the other variable (sound). Dependent variable(DV): The variable that is measured after manipulating the IV(recall of information) Variables need to be operationalised; meaning one needs to specify if there was sound or no sound, and how many words recalled from a list of twenty words as per the experiment Experimental hypothesis: Noise will decrease the number of sods recalled by an individual from a list of words Null hypothesis: Noise has no effect on the recall of words from a list; either disprove or refute a null hypothesis Demand Characteristics: Participants act according to the aims of a study due to awareness of the aims(Hawthorne Effect); single blind control where they do not know the aim

Page 27, old book Be a thinker 1. IV- the group of people or alone, DV- the likeliness of choosing the risky decision 2. IV- the amount of carbohydrates, DV- one's concentration ability 3. IV- auditory or visual stimulus, DV- speed of the reaction of a person 4. IV- amount of sleep, DV- ability to learn new words 5. IV- watching a lm with a model hitting a blow up doll, DV- the level of aggression of a child

31-8-12 Characteristics of a psychological research as a scientic study 1. Empiricism: the acquisition of knowledge through direct sensory information 2. Objectivity: being unbiased 3. Operational denitions: clearly dene what form of behavior is being measured; example aggression. 4. Reliability: if more than one person performed the experiment and agrees with the result; if the method is replicable and produce the same result; test-retest 5. Validity: a. Internal Validity: quality of the research itself; researcher should study what they claim to be studying and measuring what the claim to be measuring; demand characteristics: prior information of what is being tested make participants behave in a way that meets the expectations of the research(Hawthorne effect). The opposite is screw you effect, participants act in a way to sabotage the researchers aims. b. External validity: appropriateness to apply the results to the intended population; ecological validity; the articiality of an experiment items of the environment or task. Methods used in research studies Experimental methods: Quantitative experiments Laboratory experiments (true experiments) Field experiments (quasi experiments) Natural experiments (quasi experiments) Non-experimental methods: Qualitative experiments Interviews Observations Case studies

True experiments: control over variables and possibility of random allocation of experimental conditions. Quasi experiments: no control over variables, no possibility of random allocation of environmental conditions.

Laboratory experiments In the lab; articial environment Manipulation of independent variables such as sound or no sound Controlled environment and standardized procedures Strengths Can establish cause-effect relationships Variable control and accuracy of experiments;objectivity Easy to replicate(increase reliability of results) Weaknesses Articiality Results may be biased due to demand characteristics and experimenter effects Sometimes deception is necessary

Field experiments Happens in natural environment Impossible to control variables Researcher manipulates the independent characteristics. Strengths More ecological validity because it occurs in natural environment Weaknesses Risk of bias because of less control over variables

Fewer demand characteristics(if Impossible to replicate exactly participants are unaware of being observed More difcult to record data accurately Ethical issues likely; problems with informed consent, exposure to unpleasant situations, condentiality Example of a eld experiment Piliavin and Rodin (1969) helping behavior in the NY subway; employed a confederate, lame state(90%), drunken state(10%); in line with their predictions, ecological validity.

Natural experiments Independent variable occurs naturally No manipulation of variables Only observation of effects of one on the other Examples of natural experiment 1. Research on children who have been kept in isolation by their parents/research on stroke victims

2. Levels of aggression in children before and after the introduction of television(Charlton 1997) Strengths Ecological validity, natural behavior,natural environment Very less bias from participants, especially if they are unaware if they are being observed Weaknesses Impossible to establish cause-effect relationship Impossible to replicate, often case studies

Ethical issues of consent, deception, condentiality

4-9-12 Non experimental methods Interviews Data collecting by asking questions (self-report methods), mostly face to face situations Qualitative approach to research, collecting subjective data, researcher interprets the data No cause effect relationships, but perceptions and subjective understanding of situations and events Structured Interviews Highly structured, interview schedule states questions and the order in which they should be asked, close ended questions, exibility of interviewer possible. Unstructured Interviews Specication of interview and allocation of time, strength: open to the respondent's own ideas but difcult to analyze data because interview may take many directions Semi Structured Interviews Interview schedule with specied questions, but more informal and exible; possible to maintain focus of interview, but exible, gives respondent opportunity to talk freely but data analysis is time consuming.

5-9-12 Sampling Techniques in Qualitative Research ~For a research study to have accurate results that apply to the entire human population, it needs to be carried out on the entire population. Seeing as this is impossible a representative population is chosen. Considerations for Sampling: Target Population: Ideally should include all, but differences such as culture and gender affect results. Target population is narrowed down to specic groups such as the students of a particular school, users of a particular brand of mobile phone, etc Random sampling is done to avoid sampling bias The objective of the research study and the characteristics of the population of interest will inuence the choice of sampling technique

Possible ways to sample participants in qualitative research: random sampling, puposive sampling, snowball sampling, convenience sampling

Sampling Techniques:

Random Sampling: From a list of a target population, random picking of participants Risk of differences between participants; willing or unwilling to participate, may affect research results Not possible to obtain truly random sample 1.Purposive Sampling: Characteristics of individuals used as criteria for selection (diverse sample) Number of participants may not be decided in advance participants added as research proceeds until enough data is generated (data saturation) Participant selection based on salient features relevant to research study, such as: Socio-economic status, gender, age, attitudes, social roles (mother, father, etc) Strength: Participants represent research topic, specic selection, relatively easy to select sample that may be supplemented with more participants Weakness: Sampling bias, difcult to generalize from purpose group

2. Snowball Sampling: Type of purposive sampling Participants already involved in research help recruit more through social networks Helpful when recruitment becomes difcult Strength: Cost-efcient, useful in sensitive research when participants are not easily accessible (drug/child abuse, etc) Weakness: Bias possible as participants know each other, may have same attitudes Ethical issues such as condentiality because participants know each other

Exam Hint:Know the types of sampling very well, and the differences between them, as it can be expected of you to write short answers or identify them in research studies. 6-9-12 Effects of participant expectations and researcher bias in qualitative research Participant factor: perception of the research objectives, behaviour and gain in participating it he experiment... perceptions vary, affect research results Researcher bias: expectation bias, researchers beliefs or values Strauss and Corbin(1998): bias in qualitative research not only inevitable but desirable too; variety of ideas enriches knowledge PARTICIPANT EXPECTATIONS 1. Participants behave in ways that are not natural so as to please the researcher or their gain in participating in the . 2. Non acceptance of the researcher's interpretation of the data (self preservation, sensitive issues) RESEARCHER BIAS 1. Own ideas, perceptions, attitudes; research reects researcher's subjective expectations, not participants' ideas. 2. Researcher needs to be aware of subjectivity in research and apply reexivity (self awareness of potential biases in the research process.

PARTICIPANT EXPECTATIONS 3. Participant perceptions and ideas affect research process and results.

RESEARCHER BIAS 3. Ignoring the participants experiences and the social process (participants inuence each other)

4. Participants demonstrate socially 4. Researcher's attitude towards the acceptable behaviour (may not be the real participants may change if the research behaviour) or conform to the group takes a long time. behaviour..... Asch's conformity experiment. 5. Credibility of participant responses: may give consistent answers, sometimes inuenced by a previous statement.....researcher must cross check responses. 5. Researcher body language may inuence participant responses.

Credibility in qualitative experience -true picture, trustworthiness What is credibility? Equivalent to internal validity in quantitative research Must present a true picture of the phenomenon under study and of those who are studied The researcher must apply reexivity; be aware of personal biases that might affect the results Credibility depends on factors such as 1. Triangulation: use of a variety of data collection and interpretation methods, if they yield the same results, the research is said to be credible 2. Researcher reexivity 3. Cross checking facts an discrepancies in the participants accounts 4. Peer review or consulting the participants in the study 5. Documentation of every decision taken during the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data, leaving a 'decision trail'

The effect of triangulation on the credibility of a qualitative research Use of different methods or sources to collect, analyse and interpret data on the assumption that comparing data obtained from different methods/sources may help eliminate potential biases from using a single method or researcher bias Why? Establish credibility, give a true picture Evaluate whether the researcher's interpretation represents the true picture of the participants original data.

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Method of triangulation How? Triangulation Use of different methods for the same study. Data Triangulation Use of data from different sources Researcher Triangulation Use of data from different researchers Theoretical Triangulation Use of multiple theories to approach a single situation Methodologica l Triangulation Use of multiple testing methods

Method of triangulation Effect?

Triangulation -reduces bias -increases credibility -compensates for methodical limitations

Data Triangulation -more trustworthy -more reliable -larger variety of information

Researcher Triangulation -increases credibility -reduces researcher bias

Theoretical Triangulation -makes researcher look at phenomenon with different viewpoints/ perspectives -increases credibility -no room for bias

Methodologica l Triangulation -helps construct a more fuller picture of the phenomena under investigation -increases credibility -collection of a variety of qualitative and quantitative data

10-9-12 Evaluation of interviews Semi structured interviews Focus group interviews Narrative interviews Exam tip: You may be given an interview and asked what kind of interview it is, what the strengths are, what the weaknesses are, etc. or we may be asked to evaluate an interview. Semi Structured Interview Most widely used methods of qualitative data collection An interview guide that give themes to explore during the interview (checklist) Ensure standardization of interviews Open and close ended questions Informal and conversational Face to face interviews

Strengths Themes to explore are noted beforehand and noted in the interview guide Interviewers are given a chance to elaborate and provide more in depth information to the researcher Useful in socially sensitive issues because themes can be fully explored

Weaknesses Limited space to explore themes that have not been planned beforehand The one to one situation may be somewhat articial and ecological validity issues may arise Data analysis is very time consuming

Focus Group Interviews Focus is on a group of participants to understand their views on issues such as parenting, health behavior, etc. A focus group is interviewed at the same time A facilitator introduces the members to each other Participants are expected to behave as they would in real life Participants discuss and respond to each others statements; generate rich data


Strengths Quick way to collect data Weaknesses Ethical concerns if it happens when participants are not free, example in prison, nosing homes, rehabilitation centers, etc. May lead to group dynamics due to reasons due to reasons of conformity Participants may be unwilling to share private details if the interview is on a socially sensitive issue

Natural setting, better ecological validity People are more willing to share ideas

Narrative Interview Individual interpretations of the world and it's effect on behavior Mix of facts and interpretation of experiences Often constructed like a real story: opening, middle and end Interviewer stimulates narratives by prompting questions Interviewer does not interrupt during the narrative; may show some interest through bady language

Strengths In depth understanding of how people construct meaning in their lives Can be demonstrated on all people because they can talk freely in their own language Useful on exploring socially sensitive issues, get insight into how people think and why

Weaknesses Time consuming to transcribe and analyze huge amounts of data from narrative interviews Narrative participant dependent, may take any direction, not all data is relevant Ethical concerns if dealing with sensitive issues such as a traumatic experience

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Considerations, Before, After and During an Interview

Why?

Before the Interview The Sample How to obtain the sample of people? How many people? Only that many that the researcher can manage; data generated can be huge Structured Interviews are for larger groups Semi structured interviews for smaller groups Purposive sampling technique; specic group to generate specic data,can't be random; deliberate and ethically careful approach

Ethical Concerns Sensitive Issues Not offend the interviewees The extent of condentiality that can be maintained needs to be informed to the participants Participants have the right to not answer any question; know about it Gender, age, ethnicity; Rosenthal(1966): men and women interviewers; Walker(2005): interviewed black South African men to investigate changes in notion regarding

masculinity since Apartheid; trained a black male research assistant, enhanced the richness of the data obtained(an outsider)