LECTURE OUTLINE 3.1

DEVELOPING RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

I. Two major barriers to idea generation

A. Emotional barriers:
1.Yerkes-Dodson Law
2. Fear offailure

B. Learned barriers--Set

II. Sources of research ideas:

A. Research literature (see Handout 3.2):

1. Seeing apparent contradictions in the literature

2. Extending someone's research

B. Common sense and intuition (see Handout 3.1)

C. Theory:

1. Broaden the theory.

2. Take it to the limit.

3. Improve its accuracy.

4. Go for the jugular.

5. Put two theories in competition:
Crucial experiments.

III. Ensuring that your idea can and should be tested

A. Literature review

1. To avoid doing a study that has already been done

2. To learn from others' mistakes and successes

B. Ethical concerns

1. Assessing potential gain:

a. Is it a test of theory?

b. Does it address a practical problem?

c. Does it open up new lines of inquiry?

d. Be sure you're not trying to prove the null hypothesis or unwittingly replicating a study that has been done before.

e. Peer review

2. Assessing potential harm:

a. Are ethical principles compromised?

b. Peer review

c. Review by professor

d. Review by ethics committee

C. Practical concerns


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