Psychology - Experiments and Hypotheses

Notes from my textbook for my own learning, that i'm sharing with you.

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Reianna Shakil L6EF Psychology
Experiments and hypotheses
An experiment is a way of conducting research in which:
One variable is made to change (by the experimenter). This is called the
independent variable/IV.
The effects of the IV on another variable are observed or measured ­ this is
the dependent variable/DV.
The first step of conducting a study is to decide on research aims, then to
develop a hypothesis, focusing on one specific expectation.
A hypothesis states what you believe to be true. It is a precise and testable
statement of the relationship between two variables.
Levels of the IV
The IV is "study in short bursts". To test this, another condition needs to exist
for comparison, such as "studying in short bursts versus studying for longer
A good study and hypothesis should have 2+ levels of the IV, or an IV condition
absent. Therefore, the hypothesis should be: "People remember more when they
study in short bursts than when studying for longer sessions."
A good hypothesis must be written in a testable form, i.e. specific to the
experiment testing it. The IV and DV need to be operationalised.
In order to test this hypothesis we need to specify a set of behaviours or
operations that can be measured or manipulated for the IV and DV.
IV op ­ "Short bursts" of study can be operationalised as 10-minute study
sessions 3x over 3 hours. "Longer sessions" can be operationalised as one
30-minute session.
DV op ­ "Remember more" can be operationalised by deciding how to assess
memory recall, e.g. an end-of-chapter summary test.
The final fully operationalised hypothesis should be:
"People get more questions right on a test of recall when they study in short bursts
(10-minute study sessions 3x over 3 hours) than when studying for long sessions
(one 30-minute session)."
Directional and non-directional hypothesis

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Reianna Shakil L6EF Psychology
Directional hypothesis ­ states the direction of the predicted difference between
two conditions or two groups of participants.
"People who do homework without the TV on, produce better results than
those who do homework with the TV on."
Non-directional hypothesis - predicts simply that there will be a difference
between two conditions or two groups of participants, without stating the direction
of the difference.…read more


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