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Experimental Psychology
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2005-02-09 04:37:28 (UTC)

HILL 2-7

Developing ideas for research in psychology
Types of research
Operational definition
Sources for ideas

TYPES OF RESEARCH

- Research purpose – Basic vs. Applied
- Basic – attempts to address fundamental principle
- E.g., learning, memory, cognition – divided attention
task
- Applied - directly focused on real-world problem
- E.g. cell-phone conservation & driving ability
- Research “Setting” – Lab vs. Field
- Lab – greater control, but more artificial, better for
ethics
- Field – More realistic, generalizable, problem with
ethics
- Experimental Vs. Mundane Realism –
- Experimental realism - how close does that setting
replicate the real world
- Mundane realism – the fact that it is what you would
find in real life
- Research Nature – Quantitative vs. Qualitative
- Quantitative – collect & report data in terms of numbers
- Qualitative – detailed interviews, data, case studies,
observation, studies

EMPIRICAL QUESTIONS

- Always begins an experiment
- Must be answerable with data
- Must precisely describe term/constructs (theoretical
topic of interest)[operational definition(is the way
the construct is measured)]
- Phenomena must be observable (empirical)
- Most behaviors are
- Mental events are not, so need to define in
terms of observable event
- E.g., What is the effect of having an altruistic
sibling (IV) on one’s tendency to donate blood (DV)

OPERATIONAL DEFINTIONS

- Define constructs in terms of operations to be performed
- Alternatives
- Define in terms of a procedure (e.g., don’t
feed subject for 24 hours  hunger)
- Define in terms of a behavior (e.g., # of times
stomach growls  hunger)
- Must define both independent variables (IVs) and
dependant variables (DVs)
- Critical replication

independent is being measured
independent is being manipulated to measure the depenant

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