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Chapter 2

Research Methods in
Industrial/Organizational Psychology

INP3004/MAN3360

Dr. Steve
Scientific Method

Observe
Hypothesize
Test
Replicate
Conclude
Goals of Science

Description
Prediction
Explanation
Research Steps
1. Statement of Problem

2. Design Research Study


Replicate

3. Measurement

4. Data Analysis

5. Conclusions
Research Steps
Step 1. Statement of Problem

Observe behavior, then state problem


ex: Absenteeism greatest on Fridays
Develop theory to explain behavior
Inductive Data to Theory
Deductive Theory to Data
Purpose of theory to synthesize and organize
information, direct researchers effort
Not always necessary to have theory, but helps
Research Steps
Step 2. Design Research Study

Research Setting
Laboratory (artificial) vs. Field (natural)
Degree of Control
Less control in field more realism
More control in lab less realism
Research Steps
Step 2. Design Research Study
Methods:
Lab Experiment
Field Experiment
Questionnaire/Survey
Naturalistic Observation
Simulation
Case Study
Research Methods
Laboratory Experiment
Study conducted in a contrived environment
Benefits:
Provides more safety
Address specific questions
Cause and effect relationships
Manipulate I.V., measure D.V.
Disadvantages:
Time consuming
Example: What are the effects of sleep loss on
ones ability to operate heavy equipment?
Control: High
Realism: Low
Research Methods
Field Experiment
Study conducted in the natural setting using actual
employees
Benefits:
Cause and effect relationships
Manipulate I.V., measure D.V.
Disadvantages:
Interference with work activity (e.g., ethics, Hawthorne
effect)
Example: What is the effect of orientation training
on turnover and performance?
Control: Moderate
Realism: High
Research Methods
Questionnaire/Survey
Self-report to obtain data on attitudes/behaviors
conducted by phone, mail, interviews, electronically
Benefits:
Can collect a large quantity of data
Disadvantages:
Accuracy of reporting
Representativeness of sample
Return rate
Example: How satisfied are employees with their
jobs?
Control: Low
Realism: High
Research Methods
Naturalistic Observation
Observe overt behaviors over time
Benefits:
Use to generate hypotheses
Disadvantages:
Experimenter bias
Obtrusiveness
Frequency of behavior occurring
Example: Do smokers take more rest-breaks than
non-smokers?
Control: Low
Realism: High
Research Methods
Computer Simulation
Approximate realistic scenarios in a laboratory setting
Benefits:
Useful for dangerous environments
Great experimental control of environment
Disadvantages:
Greater fidelity (realism) is expensive
Example: Can police officers tell the difference
between criminal and hostage under stressful
conditions?
Control: High
Realism: Moderate
Research Methods
Case Study
In depth view of past events using interviews and
archival records
Benefits:
Detailed account of why particular event occurred
Disadvantages:
Little generalizability
Example: What human errors were involved in the
Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident?
Control: Low
Realism: High
Research Steps
Step 3. Measurement

Types of Variables
Quantitative things you measure
Examples: (age, time, scores, etc.)
How much does a book weigh?
Qualitative things you categorize
Examples: (gender, race, class standing, etc.)
What color is the book?
Research Steps
Step 3. Measurement
Experimental Variables
Independent Variable variable manipulated by the
researcher (assigned randomly or by matching)
Example: training strategy, lighting levels, drug treatment,
etc.
Dependent Variable variable that is measured
(outcome)
Example: productivity, time, sales, weight loss
Extraneous Variable variables outside the control
of the researcher that may confound the results
Example: participant experience, time of day, outside
activities, etc.
Research Steps
Step 3. Measurement
Regression Variables (used for prediction)
= a + bX
Predictor Variable (X) measure used to predict
an outcome (similar to independent variable)
Example: selection test scores, years of experience,
education level
Criterion Variable () outcome to be predicted
Example: work performance, turnover, sales,
absenteeism, promotion, etc.
Example: SAT scores and HS GPA as predictors
of college success
Research Steps
Step 3. Measurement

Measurement Scales
Nominal Classify into categories no order
Example: personality type, religion, gender
Ordinal Order objects along a dimension (ranking)
Example: Top 10 movies
Interval Meaningful distances between rankings
Example: thermometer
Ratio Interval with true zero point (most precise)
Example: Bathroom scale
Research Steps
Step 4. Data Analysis

Descriptive vs. Inferential Statistics


Descriptive stats merely describe data
Frequency
Central tendency
Variability
Inferential stats used to test hypotheses
Analysis of variance
Correlation
Regression
Meta-analysis
Data Analysis
Frequency Distribution

20
18
16
14
Frequency

12
10
8
6
4
2
0
65- 75- 85- 95- 105- 115- 125- 135- 145- 155-
74 84 94 104 114 124 134 144 154 164
IQ Scores
Data Analysis
Skewed Frequency Distributions
20
18
16
14

Frequency
12
Normal or 10
8
Bell-shaped 6
4
Distribution 2
0
65- 75- 85- 95- 105- 115- 125- 135- 145- 155-
74 84 94 104 114 124 134 144 154 164
IQ Scores

Positively Skewed Distribution Negatively Skewed Distribution


20 30
18
25
16
14 20
Frequency

Frequency
12
10 15
8
6 10
4
2 5
0
0
65- 67- 69- 71- 73- 75- 77- 79- 81- 82- 84-
250- 260- 270- 280- 290- 300- 310- 320- 330- 340-
66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 83 85 259 269 279 289 299 309 319 329 339 349
Professional Golf Scores Weight (lbs) of NFL Lineman
Data Analysis
Central Tendency
example scores = 5, 6, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 17
_
1. Mean average: X = X / N
Mean = 72 / 8 = 9

2. Median middle score (when placed in order)


- use when outliers exaggerate the mean
Median = 8.5

3. Mode most often occurring score


Mode = 6
* In a normal distribution, Mean = Median = Mode
Data Analysis
Variability
Variability how spread out the scores are on
the distribution
50

40

30

20

10

0
50 60 70 80 90 100
scores
Data Analysis
Variability
Range - distance between highest and lowest
score
(Range = High score Low score)
Range = 17 5 = 12

Standard Deviation average distance from the


mean
S= (x x)2 / n 1

S = (5-9) 2 + (6-9) 2 + (6-9) 2 + (8-9) 2 + (9-9) 2 + (10-9) 2 + (11-9) 2 + (17-9) 2 / 7


S = 3.85
Standard Deviation
Normal Distribution
95% of scores
1000
900 68% of scores

800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
S = 16 -2 s -1 s 0s 1s 2s
Mean = 100 68 84 100 116 132
IQ Scores
Data Analysis
Correlation
Correlation ( r ) Degree of relationship
between two variables
Used for prediction
Cannot be used to infer causation
Range from 1 to +1
Negative r as one variable increases the other
decreases
Positive r as one variable increases so does the
other
Zero r no relationship between the two variables
Data Analysis
Correlation
600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 60 80 100 120
4 20
* ** **
3.5 **** **
* **
* * *** **
******** * *
**
*** *** *

Years of Practice
3 **
* * *****
*** 15
*
*** *** *
*** *
College GPA

**
** *
* * **** **
***** *** ** *
2.5 * *
* * *
** * *
**
******* * *
2 ** 10
*
**** **
1.5 * *
** * *
*
* ***** ** * * *
1 * * 5
* ** * **
0.5 * **

0 0

GRE Scores Golf Scores

Positive Correlation Negative Correlation


Correlation Examples

IQ scores of identical twins: r = +.86


Phases of the moon & # acts of violence: r = .00
Economic conditions & # lynchings: r = -.43
Amount of ice cream sold & # drownings: r = +.60
Price of rum in Cuba & priests salaries in New England: r
= +.38
Number of firetrucks on the scene is highly correlated with
the amount of damage: r = +.80

Note. The correlation coefficients for the majority of these examples are fictitious.
Data Analysis
Meta-analysis
Meta-analysis statistical procedure that
combines the results of many independent
research findings on a single topic
Used to estimate true relationship
Measures effect size of findings
Uses archival data
Research Steps
Step 5. Conclusions

Always think critically about the research you


read
Who were the participants in the study?
How strong of a relationship was found?
Was it causal or correlational?
Was it a field study or laboratory study?
How was data collected and analyzed?
Do you agree with the conclusions based on the
analyses provided?
Ethical Principles
of Research
Informed consent:
Participants must be given information about the research
before it begins in order to make an informed decision
whether to participate and must be allowed to withdraw from
experiment without penalty
Minimal risk:
Participants should not be exposed to risks that are greater
than any risks ordinarily encountered in daily life
Debriefing:
Participants must be told the purposes of the research after it
is concluded, and any deceptive procedures explained
Any questions about participation should be answered
Participants should learn or benefit from experience
Research Methods
Exercises
1. Available data still suggest that on average, women receive
lower pay than men. A professor decided to design a
program to train college women to negotiate higher salaries.
To assess the effectiveness of the program, 30 college
women were randomly assigned to attend either a 12-hour
salary negotiation skill training course or to be on a waiting
list for the course. After the first group attended the training,
both groups were tested on their negotiation skills by a
trained individual(a grad student) role-playing as an
employer making a job offer. The individuals that had salary
negotiation training negotiated a higher salary in the role-
playing exercise.
Research Methods
Exercises
Exercise 1.
Research method?
Answer: Lab experiment
Independent variable?
Answer: Training group
Dependent variable?
Answer: Salary negotiated
Confounds?
Answer: Did negotiator know intent of study?
Research Methods
Exercises
2. A researcher wants to understand to what extent
variables such as financial difficulties, employment
commitment (how much work means to a person),
social support, and an individuals ability to structure
his or her time and keep busy have an impact on
mental and physical health during unemployment. In
order to answer this question, 100 unemployed
executives are asked to complete a questionnaire
that asks questions about financial difficulties,
employment commitment, social support, time
structure, mental health, and physical health. Forty
of the 100 questionnaires given out are returned.
Research Methods
Exercises
Exercise 2.
Research method?
Answer: Survey
Independent variable(s)?
Answer: Financial difficulties, employment
commitment, social support, and time structure
Dependent variable?
Answer: Mental and physical health
Confounds?
Answer: Are the 40% who returned the surveys
representative of that population?
Research Methods
Exercises
3. The Scandinavian Sweets Factory recently
implemented shift work. The factory is now open 24
hours a day, and employees either work an early
shift, a late shift, or a night shift. The manager plans
to compare each shift in six months to assess
whether there are differences in the groups on
productivity and turnover.
Research Methods
Exercises
Exercise 3.
Research method?
Answer: Field experiment
Independent variable(s)?
Answer: Shift worked
Dependent variable?
Answer: Productivity and turnover
Confounds?
Answer: How were shifts assigned?
Research Methods
Exercises
4. A researcher wanted to examine whether anew
machine would lead to increased productivity on an
assembly line at Sams Office Supply Factory. He
randomly assigned ten workers to the new machine
and ten workers to the old machine. The workers in
the two groups were carefully matched in terms of
their ability and experience. The researcher
monitored the total number of products produced and
the amount of product rejects on the two machines
over a period of two weeks. Results showed the
workers on the new machine had higher levels of
productivity.
Research Methods
Exercises
Exercise 4.
Research method?
Answer: Field experiment
Independent variable(s)?
Answer: Machine
Dependent variable?
Answer: Products produced and rejects
Confounds?
Answer: Hawthorne Effect?
Research Methods
Exercises
5. In a study of bias in work performance ratings, black
and white undergraduate psychology students were
assigned the task of providing work performance
ratings for videotaped employees (really grad
students pretending to be employees) who differed in
terms of their race (black or white). Level of
performance was held constant on the videotape.
Results showed that white raters tended to give slightly
higher work performance ratings to the white
employees on the videotape. Black raters, on the other
hand, tended to give slightly higher work performance
ratings to the black employees on the videotape.
Research Methods
Exercises
Exercise 5.
Research method?
Answer: Laboratory experiment
Independent variable(s)?
Answer: Race of rater and ratee
Dependent variable?
Answer: Work performance ratings
Confounds?
Answer: Was gender a factor or experience of
raters?