PSYC 325 Research Test 1

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1

Scientific inductivism

one observes nature, proposes a law to generalise an observed pattern, confirms it by many observations, while discarding disconfirmed laws

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According to scientific inductivism...

science is based on observation, and the acceptance and rejection of possible hypotheses based on these observations

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Inductive reasoning makes

broad generalisations from specific observations ie. there are data, then conclusions are drawn from the data

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Example of inductivism

Swans I've seen are white, so I draw the conclusion that all swans are white (jump in logic)

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Falsificationism is based on...

based on deduction: you are trying to reject something

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Falsificationism

we cannot confirm hypotheses, only falsify them

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Deductive inference

hold a theory and based on it we make a prediction of its consequences (we predict what the observations should be if the theory were correct). From general (theory) to specific (the observations)

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Inductive inference

from specific (data) to general (theory)

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Deductive hypothesis testing

Begin with a hypothesis (eg. all swans are white), and then collect data. Data can falsify (eg. run across black swan).

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Hypothesis testing t-test

P-value is below .05

We "reject the null hypothesis that there is no difference between the two groups"

Falsificationism: we have "failed to falsify our hypothesis" ie. "we have found support for our hypothesis"

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Null hypothesis:

no difference between groups

if our hypothesis is supported: we want to reject this

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P-value is above .05
We "fail to reject to the null hypothesis"

Isn't significant, so can't prove that we reject (our hypothesis is supported) or fail to reject null hypothesis

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Cyclical process

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Cyclical process: general priciple

you create a formal inductive rule

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Cyclical process: deduction

you recognise that your informal observations aren't rooted in science, so you desire to test your hypothesis

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Cyclical process: prediction

you make a formal deductive hypothesis

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Cyclical process: specific instances: individual events

you systematically collect data in an effort to falsify your hypothesis. Based on your findings, you will probably revise your hypothesis

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Cyclical process: Observations

you casually notice lots of white swans at a nearby lake

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Cyclical process: induction

your use of logic leads you to believe that swans are white

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Deductive/inductive hypothesis testing cycle

1. observations

2. induction

3. general principle

4. deduction

5. prediction

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Descriptive statistics

eg. frequencies, means, and SDs Aligned with inductive purposes because one can discern patterns

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Inferential statistics

eg. t-tests, manovas

Does statistical test reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis

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What is the role of insights, observations, and theories in setting up a study?

They can play a large role in constructing inductive theories or hypotheses. Qualitative research can fulfil this role.

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How do we collect data that will be useful in elucidating a hypothesis?

Design a good study using strong methodology that prevents threats to internal validity (i.e., biases such as social desirability)

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How do we analyse that data so that we end up with good evidence?

Statistical methods that illuminate associations between variables or differences between groups. If performed with inferential statistics, these results can be considered reliable and valid.

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How do we combine and collect the results of numerous studies in irder to make good conclusions?

Meta-analyses: combination of numerous studies by independent researchers, to make valid conclusions about the data. eg. most studies rejected the null hypothesis, or most studies accepted the null hypothesis

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Essential goal of ethics:

don't harm people who are helping you

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Essential concepts of ethics

  • stress and psychological harm
  • deception
  • informed consent
  • debriefing
  • privacy and confidentiality
  • care of animals
  • costs and benefits
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Physical harm

One should warn the participants, and he/she has the right to refuse, or to stop participation

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Psychological harm

stress that is above that experiences on a daily basis is considered to be too much (eg. seeing pictures of dead bodies; finding oneself in a possible building fire; seeing explicit sexual images)

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Stress and psychological harm

One can use these manipulations, but one should forewarn participants of excessive stress to allow them to withdraw. As long as you gain informed consent, ethics committees can approve that study. Participants must know all details in order to give informed consent.

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Deception

telling someone something that is not true, or leaving out something that they should know

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Harmless/ful deception

these photos are of convicted murderers vs. false feedback that tells a subject that they are deficient, flawed, or abnormal.

Must only be harmless deception in psychological research

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Even if you tell the subject later that you deceived them...

the manipulation may still have an unintended lasting effect. Person may distrust psychologists afterwards, and form a bad opinion of research.

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Informed consent

All participants should ideally be given an accurate description of what they will experience in the study, and have the opportunity to decide whether they wish to participate or not.

Must also be told that they can cease participation at any time without penalty.

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Informed consent + deception

You cannot describe the study accurately if you are performing deception. Researchers usually deceive by omitting information or being vague

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Anonymity

Anonymous: one need not sign a consent form, participation is taken as consent

Not anonymous: mandatory to obtain informed consent

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Debriefing

Participant should be debriefed: told about the precise nature of the study

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Why debrief?

-Gives person satisfaction of knowing exactly what they participated in

-If there was deception, debriefing must be thorough and complete

-Gives participant chance to talk to the experimenter, give feedback, complain etc.

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Anonymous:

the experimenter doesn't know who contributed data

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Confidential:

the experimenter knows who contributed data, but will not tell anyone else. Experimenter protects identities

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Why not make everything anonymous?

Not always feasible eg. interviewing families over time-- get to know them intimately. Can store the data separately from the list of names, and then destroy the list after it is no longer needed.

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Aggregated data (grouped)

No identification of specific individuals

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Pseudonyms

Used for individuals who are quoted or described. Or initials.

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Special populations:

anyone younger than 16 years of age, elderly persons or anyone with a cognitive deficit/ mental disorder should have a guardian sign for them

prisoners are a special case too

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Who speaks for special populations?

IRB (Institutional Review Board) in U.S

Ethics Committees in NZ

Review applications to determine whether individuals are sufficiently protected

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NZ ethics

New Zealand Psychological Society's Ethics Code

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Animal Research

All universities have an "ethical treatment of lab animals" code of ethics- must be treated in a "humane" fashion, no unnecessary suffering

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Costs v benefits

Each researcher must consider the balance of costs to participants vs. benefits to society

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Fraud in research

Changing data to get predicted results (replications expose the truth)

Plagiarism

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Theory is made up of ... whereas observations are based on ...

constructs, data

We understand constructs through capturing data that represents constructs

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Operationalisation

Formal representation of constructs

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Conceptual variables and operationalizations

Can't measure constructs directly because they are hypothetical, so have to measure them indirectly through variables

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Conceptual variables and operationalizations example

Wellbeing (construct): (operationalizations) 5-item scale, no. of smiles, brain scan

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Three types of operationalization

1. self-report

2. observational

3. physiolo

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Conceptual variables and operationalizations example

Does savouring predict wellbeing?

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We want to conduct research based on variables that are...

reliable and valid

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We want to conduct research based on variables that are reliable and valid. Why?

Then we have confidence that they are fairly representing the construct and not something else.

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Reliability

a measurement tool that consistently generates a similar empirical estimate

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Most-least reliable variables:

stable demographic variables: most

psychological variables rooted in personality: mood

quickly changing and highly variable variables such as mood: lowest

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How do we assess reliability?

most measures of test-retest reliability are simply correlations of scores for the same individuals at two or more points-in-time

value depends on situation eg. you don't want mood measure to yield high correlation but you you want gender to be very high

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Types of reliability

-test-retest variability: correlation over time for the same individuals

-internal reliability (Cronbach's Alpha): average level of intercorrelation among all of the items

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Cronbach's alpha

close to 1: excellent

below 0.5: unacceptable

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How to find a Cronbach's a

Algebraic equation that combines number of items, average variance, and average covariance to come up with final numerical value

More items increases alpha. Higher average increases alpha.

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Improving internal reliability?

You can remove items if they improve the overall alpha, esp. to shorten the scale

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Test-retest reliability

whether the scale yields similar numerical values for the SAME INDIVIDUALS over time

low reliability: might mean scale is psychometrically poor, or that your phenomenon is just inherently unstable

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Internal reliability

how internally consistent the items of the measure are.

high cronbach's alpha: indicates that the items on the scale tend to correlate with each other to a high degree

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A good scale:

will evidence reasonable stability over time, and it will be internally consistent

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Validity

our scale measures what we intend it to measure

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Types of validity

content validity

criterion validity

construct validity

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Content validity

Do the items on the scale relate to or tap the overall construct? Does the following item assess what you are measuring

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Criterion validity

to what extent does the scale predict expected outcomes?

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Construct validity

to what extent does the scale measure the intended hypothetical construct
(scale, not indiv. items. pay attention to definition of construct)

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More types of validity

Convergent validity, discriminant validity

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Convergent validity

measures the extent to which the scale in question correlates with scales that assess something similar

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Discriminant validity

extent to which a scale does NOT correlate with scales that are expected to be unrelated

looking for NON-significance, not a negative correlation (eg. comparing to an opposite scale would be convergent validity)

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Why are reliability and validity good?

We want "good scales," and these are defined as scales possessing reliability and validity

-we want our scales to RELIABLY produce a similar score for the same individuals for attributes that don't change much and those that change moderately

-we want our scales to measure what they are intended to measure, and nothing else.

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If you are using a pre-existing scale, you need to be assured that:

  • internal reliability is acceptable
  • test-retest reliability is good
  • the items of the scale seem to capture the intended construct (content validity)
  • it has been shown to predict expected outcomes (criterion validity)
  • it has been shown to correlate with similar scales (convergent validity)
  • it does not correlate with dissimilar scales
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Construct validity is the...

highest order, most abstract type of validity, and can only be demonstrated through repeated demonstrations that the scale represents the intended construct in numerous and various contexts-- the real world

good construct validity if numerous studies evidence all of the above-mentioned types of validity

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Types of variables/ scales of measurement

Nominal variables (categorical: classical nominal, ordinal variables, interval (continuous variables), ratio variable

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nominal variables

numerical variables that indicate membership within a particular group eg. men= 0, women= 1, other= 2

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ordinal variables

based on rankings- only feasible with relatively small groups of comparisons

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interval (continuous) variables

variables with numerous obtained numerical values between the maximum and minimum

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ratio variable

like interval variables, but has a true zero point.

minimum numerical value has a special meaning

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In psychology, the most common type of variable is... Why?

Continuous/interval. Many statistical tests (t-test, ANOVA, regression, etc.) rely on assumptions of equal spacing between points on a scale and normal distributions. Interval and ratio data are more likely to achieve normality than other types (it is impossible for nominal and ordinal

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Other types of analyses must be used if your outcome variable is...

nominal or ordinal

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nominal or ordinal variables use:

non-parametric tests (can use parametric but only as predictors or IVs)

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Ratio and interval variables use:

parametric tests

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parametric test

based on normality

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Self report measures advantages

-who knows better than the individual in question?

particularly useful for internal beliefs, attitudes, and emotions that are not evident to other people (eg. depression, anxiety, mindfulness, intentions)

-easier and more efficient

and maybe more accurate than obtaining observations of the person, other people's reports, or neuropsycological indices

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self-report measures problems

  • awareness/memory
  • response set/bias
  • format of the question
  • questions tailored for samples
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levels of measurement

Categorical/ nominal, ordinal/ ranked, continuous: interval, ratio

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Yes/no binary pros and cons

good for children/ simple, very restrictive, lacks richness that other data can give you, limits participant responses

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fill-in-the-blank

gives participants lots of freedom and range, doesn't constrain anything, good for qualitative studies: when you're not worried about numbers, not good for children: creative answers not useful sometimes, wording must give you some sort of data that is useful to you

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Fill-in-the-blank produces... data

categorical data in more of a variable form

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Likert produces... data

interval/ ordinal?

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Multiple choice pros and cons

gives participants options, but don't give them all of the options, must be mindful of what answers you offer

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Multiple choice produces... data

categorical

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Yes/no binary produces... data

categorical

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response scales

  • yes/no (binary)
  • fill-in-the-blank
  • multiple choice
  • Likert
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Use of "don't know" in a survey

Must weigh up need for data because it is nice to give option

Sometimes "don't know" response is just as useful

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Graded boxes

good for kids who aren't good with putting emotions into words

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Smiley/frowny faces scale

commonly used to asses liking/disliking

also use to assess pain

easy for participants to respond to this because they're relevant to lots of people: everyone knows what a smiley/frowny face is

BUT there is still ambiguity: guy in middle

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"Creative" formats:

good for unique populations (children, low literacy)

veg. visual analogues: good for pain- blank line, cursor along line

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Problems with digital administration

  • Can't skim forward and backward quickly and easily
  • Can't quickly determine how far through the survey you are
  • Fonts can be small and hard to read
  • Tied to a screen (typically a desk computer or laptop, although tablets and smartphones can work well depending on the survey platform)
  • Computers can die and data can be lost
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Why digital administration?

  • Point-an-click is easier and faster than using pen or pencil on paper
  • Can compile data (in Excel or SPSS formats) very quickly and without error
  • Can create a survey (a set of self-report questionnaires) more easily, and can edit it more easily
  • Almost everyone has a screen to read the questions (although smartphones have small screens)
  • Can enact "skip and branched" more easily than in paper surveys
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Item wording: what to avoid (examples?)

  • complexity
  • technical terms
  • ambiguity
  • double-barreled questions
  • double-negatives
  • emotive language
  • leading questions
  • invasion of privacy
  • sensitive topics with young people
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Why sample?

It's usually not practical to obtain data from your entire population, so take data from representative population and generalise outwards

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External validity

to what degree can you generalise the findings to a larger group?

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Sampling frame

If you can't afford to sample everyone in your population, focus on a subset of the population to draw your sample

eg: population: children in NZ

sampling frame: children in Wellington

sample: a subset of children in Wellington

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Population and sample examples

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Probability Sampling tends to be...

expensive, time-consuming, but it's better than non-probability sampling

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types of probability sampling

simple random, stratified random, cluster

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Simple random sampling:

every person in the population has an equal chance of being sampled

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stratified random sampling:

divide population along dimensions (eg. gender, SES, ethnicity, etc.) and be sure that you sample proportionately across these dimensions

116

cluster sampling:

obtain participants from pre-existing groups or clusters. Try to get a random sample of clusters

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Non-probability sampling tends to be...

cheaper and easier, but you worry about representativeness

118

Types of nonprobability sampling:

convenience

quota

purposive

snowball

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convenience sampling:

sample from readily available sources. handy for the researcher. biases are introduced.

120

quota sampling:

obtain appropriate percentages of different types of participants (eg. gender, ethnicity(, but one is still obtaining these participants from readily available sources

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purposive sampling

you select individuals who fit within a particular category to fit a purpose

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snowball sampling

recruit an initial group of participants, and then you obtain referrals from them to obtain data from their friends and acquaintances. Useful for rare types of participants (e.g surfers).

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Most research psychologists use... because...

non-probability sampling, because it costs a lot of money, time, and effort to obtain probability samples

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What to pay attention to samples when you read research:

who is the most commonly sampled population in psychology research?

are we missing out?

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Who is the most commonly sampled population in Psychology research?

WEIRD:

western educated industrial rich democratic

(+ lots of uni students)

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Ethics bias

if you're studying children and adolescents and only obtain about 60% parental permissions, what are the other 40% like?

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self-selection bias

When you have a low response rate, who are the participants you get?

128

Nonrepresentativeness of the sample bias

when the sampling frame significantly differs from the population, you have introduced biases

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Biases

nonrepresentativeness of the sample, self-selection bias, ethics

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creative approaches

  • passive ethical consent for children and adolescents
  • compensation and inducements
  • interesting ways to collect data: laptops or iPads; internet; testing on cell phones; diary studies; etc.
  • interviews
  • underutilised samples: eg. from school to after-school program, to avoid survey fatigue (people don't want to answer lots of surveys) and increase motivation
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The role of technology

increases our access to information:

-surveys over internet

-observations of naturally occurring behaviour

-through cell phones and tablets (multi-media portable computers)

-through surveillance of one's use of technological devices

**ETHICS IMPT**

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Event Sampling Method (ESM)

  • captures data on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis
  • good for rapidly changing variables on relatively small samples

"the experience sampling methods, also referred to as daily diary method, is an intensive longitudinal research methodology that onvolves asking participants to report on their thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and/or environment on multiple occasions over time"

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Advantages of ESM

  • capturing phenomena nearer the time that they occur: better memory for events, feelings, and thoughts
  • obtaining multiple assessments of variables of interest, and more assessments of a construct yield better reliability and validity
  • can identify contexts for important psychological states
134

Problems with ESM:

  • difficult to recruit and retain individuals who don't mind that their day is interrupted by signals to report states
  • participants must be comfortable with the recording device
  • lots of missing data
  • difficult to analyse this type of data: numerous repeated measures
135

Statistical power

Probability of not making a Type 2 error

The more statistical power we have in our design, the better our decision making

136

Type 1 error (alpha)

Incorrect decision: we reject null hypothesis, but null hypotheses was true

137

Type 2 error (beta)

Incorrect decision: we do not reject null hypothesis, but null hypothesis is not true

138

Values of beta

from 1 (perfect ability to avoid this error) to 0 (totally wrong all of the time). Ideally power is on high side (.80 or so)

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Type 2: Not rejecting null hypothesis when it is false: Null hypothesis is false

this means that there probably actually is a difference between your means- you'd find a difference most of the time. Your test is one of the only times you didn't find a difference.

140

Type 2: Do not reject null hypothesis when it is false: fail to reject

We accept the null hypothesis, and say that there is no difference between the means (our p-value is non-significant: above .05), when in fact there is a difference (null hypothesis is false)

141

A type 2 error is "not rejecting the null hypothesis when it is false."
Translation

in the world, there is a true difference but your statistical test yielded a p-value greater than .05, so you mistakingly do NOT reject the null hypothesis.

142

Greater statistical power comes from...

larger sample sizes

143

Options for missing values in a dataset

Ignore the missing values and allow SPSS to perform listwise or pairwise deletions

Impute the missing value with a proper method

144

Listwise deletion

an analysis drops only those participants that have a missing value for a variable involved in the analysis

145

Pairwise deletion

If you conduct correlations on a variety of variables that are missing different value, you get different Ns.

146

Types of imputation

MI (multiple imputation), EM (expectation maximisation), and FIML, (full information maximum likelihood)

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MI (multiple imputation)

can be computed in SPSS but it is unwieldy because it generates only a single dataset

148

EM (expectation maximisation)

also can be computed in SPSS, and generates only a single dataset

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FIML (full information maximum likelihood)

used in structural equation modelling

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Why is imputation good?

it increases the number of participants who have complete data, so your sample size reaches its maximum: it increases power

More power= decreases chance that you'll mistakenly accept the null hypothesis