By Peter O. Gray
The hot variation of Gray's acclaimed textual content, that includes dramatic new assurance of sensation and belief and new media instruments that actively contain scholars in mental study.
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Additional resources for Psychology, 4th Edition
Qxp 32 PART 1 ■ 10/13/05 2:06 PM Page 32 THE ADAPTIVENESS OF BEHAVIOR In some correlational studies, one causal hypothesis may be deemed to be more plausible than others, but that is a judgment based on logical thought about possible causal mechanisms or on evidence from other sources, not from the correlation itself. For example, if I found a correlation between brain damage to a certain part of the brain, due to accidents, and the onset of a certain type of mental disorder immediately following the accident, I would probably be correct in inferring that the brain damage caused the mental disorder rather than the other way around.
Each data-collection method has advantages and disadvantages. qxp 10/13/05 2:06 PM Page 35 CHAPTER 2 ■ METHODS OF PSYCHOLOGY 35 Statistical Methods in Psychology In order to make sense of the data collected in a research study, one must have some way of summarizing and analyzing the data to see if there are patterns that are not likely to be the result simply of chance. The statistical procedures used for these purposes can be divided into two categories: (1) descriptive statistics, which are used to summarize sets of data, and (2) inferential statistics, which help researchers decide how confident they can be in judging that the results observed are not due to chance.
A sample is biased when those in it are not representative of the larger population that the researchers are trying to describe. S. voters in 1936, which led the Digest to announce that Alf Landon would beat Franklin D. Roosevelt in the presidential election that year by a margin of 2 to 1 (Huff, 1954). It turned out that the publication’s conclusion could not have been more mistaken—Roosevelt won by a landslide. The Digest had conducted its poll by telephoning its subscribers. In 1936, in the midst of the Great Depression, people who could afford magazine subscriptions and telephones may indeed have favored Landon, but the great majority of voters, as the election showed, did not.