SOPC - Lecture Notes

  1. Behavioral Neuroscience
    An umbrella term for the scientific examination of how people function (how we behave, think, and feel)
  2. Goals of Behavioral Research
    1. Describe human phenomena

    2. Predict human phenomena

    3. Determining the causes of phenomena

    4. Explain/understand human phenomena

    5. Solve applied problems –derived from 1-4
  3. Types of Behavioral Research
    Rough Distinctions-

    Basic research: designed to understand psychological processes without regard for whether it will be immediately applicable in solving real-world problems.

    Applied research: designed to investiage real-world problems or improve the quality of life.
  4. Methodological Strategies: Descriptive Research
    Tells us how things are.

    Describes in an accurate and systematic fashion the behavior, thoughts, or feelings of a group of participants.
  5. Turnbull (1961)
  6. Rosenhan (1973)
  7. Methodological Strategies: Correlational Research
    Tells us how things are in relation to one another

    Examines the nature of the relationship between two measured variables.

    • •Election days (Redelmeier & Tibshirani, 2008)
    • •Super Bowl Sundays (Redelmeier & Stewart, 2003)
    • •Breakfast and losing your virginity
  8. Methodological Strategies: Experimental research
    •Gets at the causes of phenomena

    Tests whether certian variables cause changes in behavior, thoughts, or feelings.

    • •Independent variable (IV) and dependent variable (DV)
    • •Example: Loftus and Palmer (1974)
  9. “About how fast were the cars going when they […]each other?”
    “smashed into” 40.8 mph

    “collided with” 39.3 mph

    “bumped” 38.1 mph

    “hit” 34.0 mph

    “made contact with”31.8 mph
  10. Methodological Strategies: Quasi-experimental research
    •Examine the effects of variables on people BUT the IV cannot be varied

    or controlled (only naturally occurring)

    Researcher can't assign participants to conditions or manipulate the Independent Variable.

    •Useful when “true”experiment

    is either impossible or unethical
  11. The Scientific Approach
    How do we know things? Properties of scientific inquiry.

    • Four ways:
    • •Intuition
    • •Logic
    • •Authority
    • •Observation
  12. Relative importance of each way of knowing...
    • Religion:
    • 1. authority
    • 2. intuition
    • 3. logic
    • 4. observation

    • Government:
    • 1. authority
    • 2. intuition
    • 3. logic
    • 4. observation

    • Science:
    • 1. observation
    • 2. logic
    • 3. intuition
    • 4. authority
  13. Empiricism
    Relying on observations or direct experience´╗┐ to draw conclusions about the world.

    Example - Galleleo: viewing the sky over time came to the conclusion that we lived in a sun centered universe.
  14. Properties of Scientific Inquiry
    1. Systematic empiricism = relying on careful, organized observations to answer specific questions.

    2. Public verification = public scrutiny, peer review

    3. Testability
  15. Testable and Falsifiable
    •Benjamin Rush and bloodletting

    •The theory of knocking rhythms = predictions of who's knocking - needs to be specific & concret.

    • •An Aquarius horoscope (Sept 12, 2005) - horoscopes very veague.
    • “Working together with a certain colleague seems like a recipe for disaster, but if you restrict yourself to tackling the task at hand, you might just get more done than you'd originally hoped for. Keep that nose to the grindstone.”
  16. Francesco Sizzi
    “There are seven windows in the head: two nostrils, two ears, two eyes and a mouth; so in the heavens there are two favorable stars, two unpropitious, two luminaries, and Mercury…From which and many other similar phenomena of nature such as the seven metals, etc., which it were tedious to enumerate, we gather that the number of planets is necessarily seven....Besides, the Jews and other ancient nations, as well as modern Europeans, have adopted the division of the week into seven days, and have named them from the seven planets. Now if we increase the number of planets, this whole system falls to the ground....Moreover, the satellites are invisible to the naked eye and therefore can have no influence on the earth and therefore would be useless and therefore do not exist.”
  17. Theory
    •A set of propositions that attempt to explain a set of empirical observations

    –How and why concepts are related
  18. Hypothesis
    •A specific proposition derived from a theory
  19. From Theory to Data (and Back)
    • Theory -->
    • Hypotheses -->
    • Predictions (hypotheses applied to specific research settings) -->
    • Data Collection -->
    • Hypotheses
  20. Operational definitions
    • •Specifying how a concept is measured or manipulated in a particular setting
    • –Sports: basketball, rules of the game
    • –Physics
    • –Psychology
    • •Biases in how concepts are defined
    • •Coren(1994)
  21. Intelligence in dogs
    Most Intelligent:

    • 1.Border Collie
    • 2.Poodle
    • 3.German Shepherd
    • 4.Golden Retriever
    • 5.Doberman Pinscher
    • 6.StetlandSheepdog
    • 7.Labrador Retriever

    Least Intelligent:

    • 1.Greyhound
    • 2.Boxer
    • 3.Foxhound
    • 4.Great Dane
    • 5.Chihuahua
    • 6.Beagle
    • 7.Bloodhound
  22. Specific types of designs
    • •What case studies tell us
    • –Therapies
    • –Testimonials - comfort whipe
    • (Case studies - describe things, what do we focus on from here? Very weak!)
  23. A certain town is served by two hospitals. In the larger hospital, about 45 babies are born each day. In the smaller one, about 15 babies are born each day. Although the overall proportion of girls is about 50%, the actual proportion at either hospital may be greater or less on any day. At the end of a year, which hospital will have the greater number of days on which more than 60% of the babies born were girls?
    The small hospital, because the sample size is smaller.
  24. Probabilistic Reasoning
    • •People are generally not good at this
    • •Individual cases influence us strongly
    • •“Person who” statistics
    • •In science, case studies are only useful for exploring possibilities
  25. The vividness effect
    • •We’re overly influenced by vivid memories and events
    • –Airport security measures (recent bombing)
    • –Worrying about negative events (MacDonald, 1990) (Parents worrying more about their kid being kidnapped than being in a car accident)
    • –Purchase decisions
    • –Sincere testimonials
  26. Belief in Pseudoscience
    • (ex. astrology, graphology)
    • Methods not valid-claims it is based on science, but not.
    • •Testimonials are typically the only evidence for the validity of claims
    • •Proportion of Americans who believe in astrology:
    • 31%(Harris Poll, 2003)
    • 25%(Gallup, 2005)
    • 25%(Pew, 2009)
  27. Characteristics of Pseudoscience (Cozby, 2009)
    • •Supporting evidence is heavily anecdotal.
    • •Hypotheses generated are typically not testable.
    • •Genuine scientific references are not cited.
    • •Claims are stated in scientific-sounding terminology.
    • •Claims ignore conflicting evidence.
    • •Claims are never revised (& REAL science is all about revising claims.)
  28. What evidence is good
    • •The burden of proof for any claim rests on the person trying to prove it (claimant.)
    • •Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.
  29. Dahl and Gordon (2003)
    • •In US, parents of a girl are nearly 5% more likely to divorce than parents of a boy
    • •Parents of 3 girls are almost 10% more likely to divorce than parents of 3 boys
    • •Do American parents prefer boys or girls?
    • - Divorced women w/ girls are less likely to marry than divorced women w/ boys.
    • - Parents of girls are more likely to try for another child than parents of boys.
    • - "Shotgun Marriages:" unmarried couples are more likely to marry if child is a boy.
  30. Three key facts-Dahl & Gordom (2003)
    1)Parents of daughters are more likely to divorce than parents of sons

    2)In multi-child families, parents of daughters are more likely to try for another child than parents of sons

    3)Divorced mothers of daughters are less likely to remarry than divorced mothers of sons.
  31. Statistics Recap
    Descriptive statistics = summarize people’s behaviors, thoughts, or feelings in a study
  32. Descriptive Statistics
    • Measures of central tendency
    • Mean: arithmetic average of all scores; communicates what you can expect from typical score
    • Median: the middle score
    • Mode: the most frequent score
  33. Measures of variability
    • how the scores are distributed.
    • Range
    • Variance: tells us how much scores differ from their mean; symbolized by s2
    • Standard deviation: the square root of the variance; symbolized by s (or SDin APA style)
  34. Possible Descriptive Statistics for Paper 1
    • “Frequencies” information for demographic variables
    • --EX: # of males, # of females

    • Descriptive statistics on scales
    • --mean and SD for each variable
    • --range of scores for each variable
  35. Possible Inferential Statistics for Paper 1
    • Student’s t-test
    • –Compares two groups (e.g., M vs. F)

    • Two possible decisions (based on p-values):
    • Significance: when p < .05
    • Nonsignificance: when p > .05

    A t-test revealed a significant difference between these two groups, t(44) = 6.88, p< .001.** Always describe means after reporting significance
  36. Inferential Statistics for Paper 1
    Correlation coefficient (r) = measures strength of association between two continuous variables.

    • Possible range:
    • -1.0 (Perfect inverse relationship) -> 0 (no linear relationship) -> 1.0 (Perfect direct relationship)

    The correlation between these two variables was significant, r(98) = .48, p= .03.
  37. Types of Measures
    • (1) Behavioral measures
    • (2) Physiological measures
    • (3) Self-report measures
    • (4) Archival measures
  38. Assessing the goodness of a measure
    Reliability= consistency, stability, or dependability of a measure

    Validity= is the measure is an accurate representation of the construct we want to measure?
  39. Reliability
    Observed score = true score + measurement error

    • True score...actual score an individual should receive on a measure.
    • Measurement error...result of any factor that makes observed score different from true score.
  40. Three Assessments of Reliability
    • (1) Test-retest reliability...consistency over time
    • -Compare scores from one testing to another (usually 1-12 week delay)
    • -General rule of thumb: correlation > .70
    • -Alternate-form reliability

    • (3) Interrater reliability...consistency across raters/judges-Do different observers agree on ratings?
    • (2) Internal consistency...consistency across items
    • -Do all the items “hang together”?
    • -Item-total correlation = corr. between each item and the sum of all other items; should be > .30
    • -Split-half reliability = corr. between two halves of scale; should be > .70
    • -Cronbach’s alpha coefficient = equivalent to average of all possible split-half reliabilities; should be > .70
    • (3) Interrater reliability...consistency across raters/judges
    • -Do different observers agree on ratings?
    • Correlation between two sets of ratings should be > .70
  41. Validity
    • Is the measure a true representation of the construct we want to measure?
    • We need to specify our intended construct:
    • - Is the SAT a valid measure?
    • - Is the SAT a valid measure of future academic performance?
  42. Reliability and Validity
    • Can we have reliability without validity?
    • Can we have validity without reliability?
  43. Four Assessments of Validity
    • (1) Face validity...Does measure look right?
    • –Items should look like they measure intended measure.

    (2) Content validity...Does measure adequately represent relevant content?

    • (3) Construct validity...Does measure relate to other constructs as it should?
    • Two types of construct validity
    • –Convergent validity
    • –Discriminant validity

    (4) Criterion-related validity...Does measure predict meaningful differences in relevant behaviors?

    • Two types of criterion-related validity:
    • Concurrent validity: Does measure accurately relate to relevant current behavior?
    • Predictive validity: Does measure accurately predict relevant future behavior?
  44. Construct Validity Example
    Which constructs should correlate with Need to Belong? Which should not correlate?

    • Life values:
    • True friendship - .36
    • Mature love - .29
    • Equality - .20
    • Social recognition - .27
    • Self-respect - .7
    • Wisdom - .02
    • Sense of accomplishment - .07

    We need to show a measure is distinct from other established measures.
  45. Levels of Measurement
    (1) Nominal scale: data values are just labels or categories

    (2) Ordinal scale: involves the rank ordering of a set of behaviors or characteristics

    (3) Interval scale: precisely-spaced order of measurement

    (4) Ratio scale: interval scale plus a true zero
  46. Biases of Self-Report Measures
    • Social desirability bias:
    • *Sensitive topics
    • -Finances
    • -Religion
    • -Voting
    • -Sexual habits
    • -Health-related questions
    • -Drug use
    • -Racial attitudes

    • Social desirability bias
    • -Interviews vs. self-administered responses
    • -Bogus pipeline
    • -Pledges and closing questions

    • Knowledge problem:
    • Unfamiliar w/ issue; no strong opinion
  47. Question wording
    • Do you favor or oppose providing taxpayer funded loans to help keep General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler in business? (Rasmussen)
    • 28% favor, 53% oppose, 19% not sure

    • Do you think it is the right thing or the wrong thing for the government to spend billions of dollars In loans to General Motors, Ford and Chrysler to keep them in business. (Pew)
    • 39% right thing, 54% wrong thing, 7% don't know

    • As you may know, the three U.S. automakers --General Motors, Ford and Chrysler --appeared before Congress to say that their companies are on the verge of bankruptcy and to ask for taxpayer-funded loans to help them survive. Do you think the government should or should not rescue the three U.S. automakers? (LA Times/Bloomberg)
    • 57% should rescue, 42% do not rescue, 11% don't know

    • The major U.S. auto companies have asked the government for a program that would provide them with several billion dollars in assistance. The auto companies say they may go into bankruptcy without that assistance. Based on what you have read or heard, do you favor or oppose this program? (CNN/Opinion Res. Corp.)
    • 36% favor, 61% oppose, 2% unsure

    • Do you approve or disapprove of the federal government providing money to the big three U.S. automakers if it would help prevent them from going out of business or declaring bankruptcy? (CBS News)
    • 45% approve, 44% disapprove, 11% don't know
  48. Self-Report Measures - Best Way to Survey
    • Decisions to make:
    • What question format to use?
    • -Open-ended questions - more options
    • -Closed-ended questions - fewer options
    • *Major difference between open/closed ended questions.

    • Decisions when creating questions:
    • (1) Keep it short and simple.
    • (2) Use precise terminology.
    • (3) Avoid unnecessary negatives.
    • (4) Avoid questions that don’t produce variance.
    • (5) Be aware of question order. - G. Bush satisfaction
    • (6) Ask only 1 question at a time.
    • (7) Avoid leading questions.
    • (8) Avoid false choices.
    • (9) Pretest your questions.
  49. Observational Measures
    • Similarities to Self-Report
    • -Need to establish reliability and validity
    • -Participant may distort behavior
    • Differences from Self-Report
    • -Can gather data from people of any age (e.g., infants), or other species
    • -Can capture properties of the dyad or group
    • -Greater generalizability; no memory biases

    • Decisions to make
    • -Where will observation occur?
    • *Naturalistic observation
    • *Contrived observation
    • Example:
    • - Testing whether certain visual skills are innate
    • - Depth perception (Eleanor Gibson) - Baby, Visual Cliff!

    • Decisions to make when designing studies
    • - Will participants know they are being observed?
    • *Undisguised observation
    • --Problem:REACTIVITY
    • *Should try to use unobtrusive measures
    • *Disguised observation
    • --Middlemistet al. (1976)
    • --Dolinski(2000)

    • Decisions to make:
    • - How will participant’s behavior be recorded?
    • *Checklists (tally sheet)
    • *Temporal measures (duration and latency)
    • *Rating scales

    Are observers biased?

    • Decisions to make:
    • How will interraterreliability be maximized?
    • -Coding system must be specific and precise.
    • -Raters should be trained and allowed to practice.
    • -Pilot test coding system with real data.
    • -Check interrateragreement periodically.
  50. Dolinski (2000)
    • -Self-perception theory
    • -The foot-in-the-door effect
    • *Compliance increases after doing someone a favor
    • -What about after trying to do someone a favor, but failing?
    • *Asking directions to a fictitious street (“ZubrzyckiegoStreet”)
  51. Experiment 1 - Foot-in-the-door Effect/Self-perception Theory
    2nd request: agree to watch a bag...

    • People who failed to give directions - 58% agreed to request
    • Control (2nd request only) - 34% agreed to request
  52. Experiment 2 - Foot-in-the-door Effect/Self-perception Theory
    2nd request: agree to watch a bag...

    • People who were shown an illegible address - 54% agreed to request
    • People who were shown a nonexistent address - 62%
    • Control (2nd request only) - 28% agreed to request
  53. Experiment 3 - Foot-in-the-door Effect/Self-perception Theory
    2nd request: agree to watch bike...

    • People who gave directions (foot-in-the-door) - 32% agreed to request
    • People who failed to give (illegible address) - 58%
    • Control (2nd request only) - 36% agreed to request
  54. Experiment 4 - Foot-in-the-door Effect/Self-perception Theory
    2nd request: agree to watch bike...

    • People who gave directions (easy FITD) - 38% agreed to request
    • People who drew map (hard FITD) - 54% agreed to request
    • People who failed to give (illegible address) - 54%
    • Control (2nd request only) - 36% agreed to request
  55. Archival Research
    Analyzing data from records left behind.

    • Advantages:
    • -Inconspicuous; no reactivity
    • -Can study unobservable phenomena
    • -Cost/time effective
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SOPC - Lecture Notes
SOPC - Lecture Notes