Experimental Psychology

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Experimental Psychology by Mind Map: Experimental Psychology

1. Research Methods

1.1. Survey

1.1.1. Most practical way to gather information and data on attitudes, beliefs, experiences, etc.

1.1.2. Can consist of questionnaires, interviews or both.

1.1.3. Interviews are handy because they permit researchers to observes participants and modify questions should it be necessary.

1.1.4. Questionnaires are good because the questions are the same for everyone and can be administered to a large amount of people. Results are more uniform. Questionnaires also eliminate the possibility for the person giving the interview to influence the results. In contrast, during questionnaires people may answer to make themselves "look good".

1.2. Naturalistic Observation

1.2.1. Psychologist observes subject(s) in a natural setting without interfering.

1.2.2. Great method when the psychologist needs to know how people behave naturally without them being conscious that they are being observed.

1.2.3. The key to naturalistic observation is to not disturb the subject.

1.3. Longitudinal Study

1.3.1. Research is gathered and data is collected about a group of people or an individual over the course of many years at a steady interval. This method is great for seeing how characteristics change over a longer period of time.

1.4. Experimentation

1.4.1. Experimentation allows for control over the variables minimizing the potential for outside influence to the results.

1.5. Case Study

1.5.1. Intensive investigation of one or more participants.

1.5.2. Often, case studies consists of long-term observation along with tests, interviews and/or diaries.

1.5.3. A case study does not in of itself prove or disprove anything - results cannot be generalized to anyone.

1.5.4. Provides a wealth of information that can lead to hypotheses and further research.

1.6. Cross-Sectional Study

1.6.1. Data is collected from groups of different ages in order to determine differences between ages with regards to a particular characteristic, trait, behaviour, etc.

1.7. Correlations

1.7.1. Correlations are when you compare two sets of data or variables and draw relationships between them.

2. Conducting Experiments

2.1. Research Question

2.1.1. The main question that will cover the topic of the research. Ex: "does eating junk food make you less healthy"

2.2. Topic Review

2.2.1. The psychologist will review previous research done by others and read literature on the topic they are going to work on.

2.3. Developing a Hypothesis

2.3.1. The hypothesis of an experiment is an "educated guess" about the outcome - the relationship between two variables. The psychologist will state what he or she expects to find.

2.4. Variables

2.4.1. When developing an experiment, psychologists will use variables - conditions and behaviours that are subject to change. Variables can come in the form of dependant and independent variables, the independent one being the variable that can be altered or changed, and the dependent one will change in relation.

2.5. Data Collection

2.5.1. This is where the research happens and the psychologist collects all the data. Can be done in any of the methods mentioned above, such as surveys, case studies, etc.

2.6. Data Analysis

2.6.1. Once all the data is collected, the psychologist will analyze the data in order to draw conclusions. For the analysis, graphs can be used, reports, etc.

2.7. Conclusion

2.7.1. The psychologist will conclude the experiment with the findings, in relation to the original hypothesis. They may choose to continue research or modify the hypothesis if they continue.

3. Statistics Terminology

3.1. Correlation Coefficient

3.1.1. The correlation coefficient is the measure of the direction and extent of a relationship between two sets of scores.

3.2. Frequency Distribution

3.2.1. Frequency distribution is essentially a breakdown of how results fall into different categories or ranges.

3.3. Central Tendency

3.3.1. Central Tendency is the middle of a data set or where the vast majority of results tend to fall. This tells us the mean, the mode, and the median which together help give a good image of the data.

3.4. Normal Distribution

3.4.1. Statistical term often referred to bell curves - tracks rare occurrences on high and low ends of curve.

3.5. Median

3.5.1. The median is a measure of central tendency that is the midpoint in an array of numbers

3.6. Mode

3.6.1. The mode is a measure of central tendency that is the most common number in an array.

3.7. Mean

3.7.1. The mean is also known as the average in an array of numbers. Also a measure of central tendency.

4. About Experimental Psychology

4.1. Experimental psychology looks at relationships between human behaviour and the mind.

4.2. Centered around fact-based, scientific research and experimentation.

4.3. Experimental psychology rose from the work of many people, but in particular, Wilhelm Wundt.

4.4. Topics (some examples, but not limited to)

4.4.1. Sensation & Perception

4.4.2. Memory

4.4.3. Learning

4.4.4. Motivation

4.4.5. Emotion

4.4.6. Developmental Processes

5. Ethical Considerations

5.1. Psychologists plan to minimize misleading results. Any ethical issues are resolved before the experiment starts. Welfare and confidentiality of participants are to be protected.

5.2. Psychologists are responsible for the dignity and welfare of all participants. Psychologists are responsible for all their research and any research done by others under their supervision.

5.3. Psychologists obey all laws and regulations as well as professional standards governing their research.

5.4. Apart from anonymous surveys and naturalistic observations, psychologists must reach an agreement regarding the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved in the experiment/research.

5.5. If consent is required for any research, psychologists must obtain informed, signed consent from all participants before starting any research.

5.6. Deception is only to be used when no better alternative is available. Under no circumstances should deception be used for a negative aspect that may influence one's willingness to participate in research or an experiment.

6. Conclusion

6.1. In conclusion, Experimental Psychology covers a wide range of phenomenons and can help explain many aspects of our behaviour, the behaviour of others, and offers a basis for continued research and experimentation as humans develop and change. Many principles of experimental psychology can be applied to our lives - at home, at school, in the workplace, etc. and help us understand behaviour to a greater extent.