Research Methods - Psychology - Study Guide

Topics: Null hypothesis, Confounding, Experimental design Pages: 7 (2037 words) Published: October 11, 2013
Exam 1 Lecture Review
Research Methods II, Spring 2010

The first exam in this course will be on Tuesday, February 16th, and will cover Leary Chapters 2, 8, 9, and 10. It will include material from both the lectures and the text; items will be drawn roughly equally from the two sources. Please note that you are responsible for ALL material in these readings, whether it was covered in lecture or not (hint: don’t ignore the little “side boxes”). The exam will include a variety of question formats, including multiple-choice questions, definition/fill-in-the-blank questions, and some short answer questions. These formats are used in order to be fair to all students, some of whom are better at one type of question than another (i.e., so no one is penalized because they have trouble with a particular question format). Please come to the exam a little early if at all possible so we can get started right away—an hour and 15 minutes goes by quickly, and you will need all of that time to work on the exam.

When studying, concentrate both on mastering the terms and concepts in the various chapters (i.e., knowing definitions, knowing similarities and differences among terms) and on applying the terms and concepts (i.e., propose thought questions to yourself and try to answer them following the concepts in the chapters; e.g., "What are the steps in conducting a matched-subjects design?", "What are possible sources of error and confound variance in an experiment?"). Be sure to encode concepts completely; you should know them so clearly that you can recall them with ease (in other words, don’t count on being able to recognize them). Also, you should be able to give unambiguous, detailed definitions that are acceptable to psychologists, rather than a layperson’s definition. For example, if you are asked to define “internal validity”, saying “the opposite of external validity” or “important to achieve in an experiment” or “getting true results” would not earn as many points as would saying “the degree to which you can be confident that your obtained results are actually due to the independent variable (and not some other factor); this is achieved by controlling extraneous variables, and specifically by eliminating confounds.” Definition questions (like this one) require both that you define the concept AND put it into context so I know you know what you’re talking about (either by giving an example, saying why it’s important, or what it’s relevant to).

For extra practice, you should work through the review questions at the end of each chapter in the Leary text. You should also rework all the homework exercises I’ve given out (e.g., Type I and II error, confounds, factorial designs, critical evaluation of designs, etc.). The lab assistant will hold a review session on Sunday or Monday evening and will have some practice problems for you; she will also answer any questions you have or clarify any material you find confusing. To get the most out of the review session, you should be finished (or nearly finished) with your studying, and you should come with questions. Feel free to pose questions to the class via the listserve as well.

This lecture review is meant as a supplement to your normal studying. It is not intended to be comprehensive, nor is it intended to be the only thing to study for this exam. Rather, you should use this review to help clarify your lecture notes, to organize your studying, and to fill gaps in your understanding. Please see me (or email me) if you have any questions about material from the book, the lectures, or this review.

**Don’t forget to bring your calculator to the exam, along with your Tukey table and Leary textbook.

I. Variability as a Framework for Doing Research

A. Why is variability important?
1. psychology is the study of behavioral variability (i.e., change) - across situations, among individuals, across time
2. research is designed to describe & understand...
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