Wk 1:Introduction: Psychology as a Science (Perspectives on Psychology/ Research Methods) Learning Objectives:: Wk 1: Introduction: Psychology as a Science (Perspectives on Psychology/ Research Methods) Learning Objectives: Be able to explain how psychological questions can be approached from different perspectives.
Be able to describe different research methods used in psychology
Be able to explain the difference between causation and correlation
Slide2: Psychology aims to answer questions relating to the mind AIMS of Psychology Usually this is done by:
1. Formulating hypotheses (theories)
2. Collecting data (information) and using that information to test hypotheses All sciences work in this way Slide3: Be able to explain how psychological questions can be approached from different perspectives. e.g. EMOTIONS Psychology aims to answer questions relating to the mind Slide4: Behavioral Developmental Psychodynamic Cultural/Multicultural Biological Evolutionary Cognitive Different ways so answer psychological questions Behavioral : Focus is on overt behavior : Behavioral : Focus is on overt behavior q Biological: Focus on biological processes that underlie behavior : Biological: Focus on biological processes that underlie behavior Evolutionary Focus on the possible role of evolved psychological mechanisms (inherited tendencies caused by evolution) in human behavior : Evolutionary Focus on the possible role of evolved psychological mechanisms (inherited tendencies caused by evolution) in human behavior Developmental: Focus on changes in behavior and cognitive processes over life span : Developmental: Focus on changes in behavior and cognitive processes over life span Psychodynamic: Focuses on the role of hidden, often unconscious processes. : Psychodynamic: Focuses on the role of hidden, often unconscious processes. Cultural Multicultural: Focus is on the role of social and cultural factors and especially on differences between cultural, ethnic, gender, sexual preference and racial groups. : Cultural Multicultural: Focus is on the role of social and cultural factors and especially on differences between cultural, ethnic, gender, sexual preference and racial groups. Cognitive: Focus on cognitive processes such as memory, thought, reasoning : Cognitive: Focus on cognitive processes such as memory, thought, reasoning 3 Major Perspectives in Modern Psychology : Major Perspectives in Modern Psychology Some Research Methods Used in Psychology: Some Research Methods Used in Psychology Observation*, Correlation Experimentation Be able to explain different research methods used in psychology Slide14: Observation Slide15: Observation Often what you are interested in studying cannot be studied in the laboratory – it has to be studied in natural locations.
In these situations data can be collected by observation.
For example if you wanted to investigate the behavior of people in a shopping center.
Slide16: Correlational studies Correlational studies show that two variables are related: Knowing what things are related is really useful to psychologists.
Data is quite easy to collect.
Correlations are usually shown as graphs. (A variable is anything that changes – for example: age is a variable, level of social skills, reaction time, amount of testosterone.) Some variables: Some variables Slide18: CORRELATION Correlation can show that two events are related. e.g When X happens (or increases), Y happens (or increases)
When A increases, B decreases Positive correlation Negative correlation No correlation Different Kinds of Correlation Strong and Weak correlations: Strong and Weak correlations Variable y Variable y Variable x Variable x A B graphs A and B both show positively correlated variables, but the correlation is stronger in B – Why is this? Correlations: Correlations show variables are related.
Correlations do not show that one variable causes another
Correlations Lots of variables are related, but not causally related.
Psychology is interested in knowing what causes what to happen – you cannot answer this question using only correlations Slide21: Investigate relationship between variables – like correlational studies.
Experimental studies Usually take place in laboratories – this allows more control over conditions and variables than in correlational studies.
Having control over variables and conditions is very useful. If you do this causal relationships can be investigated
Experimentation: Experimentation How it works
The presence or strength of one variable believed to affect another is systematically altered.
(a variable is something that changes)
The effects of such alterations are carefully measured. Experimentation IIVariables: Experimentation II Variables Independent Variable: the variable that is systematically changed
Dependant Variable: the variable that is measured in an experiment Experimentation IVRequirements for success: Experimentation IV Requirements for success Random assignment of participants to experimental conditions.
All factors that might affect behavior, other than independent variable, are held constant. Experiments: Experiments Research Question: Does listening to classical music cause IQ to increase. There seems to be a correlation between classical music listening and IQ In an experiment, what is the Independent variable and what is the Dependent Variable? Slide26: Research Question: Does listening to classical music cause IQ to increase. Compare IQ of the 2 groups Experimental question: Experimental question Does watching violent cartoons increase the level of aggression in children? What experiment could you do to investigate this question? Slide29: There is a relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked and the chance of getting cancer
There is a relationship between the amount of water people drink and the amount of clothes they wear Relationship between Causation and Correlation Slide30: Relationship between Causation and Correlation All causal relations are correlated. But not all correlated events are causal. Events that are correlated. Events with causal relationship a. b. c. d. Which diagram best describes the relationship? Slide31: Correlation and Causation How can we understand which correlated events have a causal relationship? Correlated Causal By doing experiments… There is a correlation between number of ashtrays owned and cancer.
There is a correlation between number of cigarettes smoked and cancer. Questions: Questions Why does psychology need different perspectives (e.g. biological, cognitive etc)?
Why do psychologists need to use different research methods? (Why not always use experimental method?)
Why are correlations between variables often mistaken for causal relationships?
What problems might happen if correlation is confused with causation?