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Research Methods

in Psychology
Broad Categories of Research
Methods
Descriptive

Correlational

Experimental
Comparing Research Methods
Research Method Descriptive

Basic Purpose
To observe and record
behavior
How conducted Case studies, surveys,
naturalistic observation

What is manipulated Nothing is changed

Examples?
Comparing Research
Methods
Research Method Correlational

To detect naturally
Basic Purpose
occurring relationships
(assess how one variable
predicts another)
Computing statistical
How conducted associations
(scatterplot)
Nothing is manipulated
What is manipulated

Examples?
Comparing Research
Methods
Research Method Experimental

To explore cause and


Basic Purpose
effect relationships

How conducted Manipulate one or more


factors (variables)
Use random assignment
Eliminate preexisting
conditions
What is manipulated The independent
variable(s)
Examples?
CORRELATION DOES
NOT IMPLY
CAUSATION!!!!
This is important to note.
There is often an AP question
regarding this concept.
Correlation
Correlation (correlation coefficient)
How well does A predict B
Positive versus negative correlation
Strength of the correlation; ranges
from:
-1.0 (negative) to +1.0 (positive)
Scatterplot
Correlational Coefficient
Can range from -1.0 (perfect negative) to
+1.0 (perfect positive).
Reveal the extent to which two things relate.
The closer the score gets to -1 or +1, the

stronger the correlation.


A correlation coefficient of 0 means there is

no relationship.
Positive and Negative Correlation:
A correlation is positive if two sets of scores
tend to rise or fall together.
A correlation is negative if two sets of scores

relate inversely.
Correlation
Correlation
Correlation
Correlation
Correlation
Correlation
Correlation
Correlation
Correlation
Positive or Negative Correlation?
The more children and youth used various
media, the less happy they were with their
lives._____________________
The less sexual content teens saw on TV, the less

likely they were to have sex.____________


The longer children were breast fed, the greater

their later academic achievement.


________________
The more income rose among a sample of poor

families, the fewer psychiatric symptoms their


children experienced. __________________
Positive or Negative Correlation?
The more children and youth used various
media, the less happy they were with their lives.
Negative
The less sexual content teens saw on TV, the

less likely they were to have sex. positive


The longer children were breast fed, the greater

their later academic achievement. positive


The more income rose among a sample of poor

families, the fewer psychiatric symptoms their


children experienced. negative
Correlation
Correlation and Causation
Correlation helps predict
Does not imply cause and effect
Correlation
Illusory Correlations
Illusory Correlation
Perceived non-existent correlation
A random coincidence