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June 19, 2019, 09:29:34 am

Author Topic: A summary of changes to the 2017+ study design  (Read 4258 times)  Share 

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Joseph41

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A summary of changes to the 2017+ study design
« on: December 16, 2016, 11:36:34 am »
+10
Okay, friends. Real talk.

The Psych study design has changed (boo), which means that 2017 is the very first year of the new study design.

It’s not a huge deal, I promise, but it does make things slightly less convenient for you (due to resources being out-dated etc.). And my understanding is that there is some difficulty in acquiring the new textbook at this stage, meaning that effective revision at this stage of the year is quite difficult.

Luckily, however, the study design is not entirely new. In fact, there is actually quite a lot of overlap from the previous study design(s); a lot of existing resources would still be very helpful! So fear not!

Now, I understand that it’s a) a little overwhelming, and b) quite tricky to accurately identify what is still relevant from previous study designs, but don’t worry: I’ve done the work for you.

Below is a summary of everything that:
(1)   Was on the previous study design and is still on the current study design
(2)   Was not on the previous study design but is on the current study design
(3)   Was on the previous study design but is not on the current study design

A slight disclaimer: there may have been small changes (wording or otherwise) that I have either intentionally bypassed or missed. I’m trying to look at the bigger picture, and I’m happy to be corrected with things.

Section 1: Still relevant from previous study design

Spoiler
Across both Unit 3 and Unit 4:

-   Constructing a research hypothesis
-   Identifying and operationalising independent and dependent variables
-   Types of experiment/investigation (case studies, observational studies, self reports, questionnaires, interviews
-   Control and experimental groups
-   Experimental research design (independent groups, matched participants, repeated measures, cross-sectional studies (although I think that last one may have moved from elsewhere)
-   Confounding and extraneous variables
-   Minimising confounding and extraneous variables through sampling procedures, type of experiment, counterbalancing, single and double blind procedures, placebos, and standardised instructions and procedures
-   Sampling procedures and allocation of participants (random sampling, stratified sampling, convenience sampling; allocation to groups)
-   Ethical principles (role of the experimenter, participants’ right (renamed to “protection and security of participants’ information”? Not 100% if the same thing), confidentiality, voluntary participation, withdrawal rights, informed consent, deception and debriefing)
-   Qualitative and quantitative data
-   Interpretation of data (tables, bar charts, line graphs, percentages (not sure if these were explicitly listed previously but will check), mean as a measure of central tendency, standard deviation)
-   Descriptive and inferential statistics
-   Reliability and validity
-   Possible sources of bias (participant differences, non-standardised instructions and procedures, order effects, experimenter effect and placebo effects)
-   Consistency with Psychology writing, data and reference standards

Unit 3:

Area of Study 1:

-   Divisions of the nervous system (central, peripheral)
-   The role of the neuron (dendrites, axon, myelin and axon terminals) as the primary cell involved in the reception and transmission of information across the synapse
-   The role of neurotransmitters (but more specific things have been added, as below)
-   Stress and eustress (more specific things now explicitly listed, as below)
-   Models of stress as a psychological process (namely Lazarus and Folkman’s Transactional Model of Stress and Coping)

Area of Study 2:

-   Neural plasticity and changes to neural connections: long-term potentiation
-   Classical conditioning as a three-phase process (including specific terminology, and stimulus generalisation, stimulus discrimination, extinction and spontaneous recovery)
-   Operant conditioning as a three-phase model (including specific terminology, and stimulus generalisation, stimulus discrimination, extinction and spontaneous recovery)
-   Observational learning and its stages
-   The Little Albert experiment (and ethical implications)
-   The multi-store model of memory (Atkinson-Shiffrin)
-   Specific regions of the brain in memory, and implicit/explicit memory formation
-   Measures of retention: recall, recognition, relearning (and one added one)
-   The effects of brain trauma (brain surgery, anterograde amnesia, Alzheimer’s disease)
-   Factors influencing memory: cues, rehearsal, serial position effect
-   Reconstruction of memories (with reference to Loftus)

Unit 4:

Area of Study 1:

-   Consciousness (NWC and ASC)
-   Measurement of physiological responses to indicate level of consciousness: EEG, EMG, EOG
-   Techniques to investigate consciousness: subjective reporting, video monitoring
-   Changes in psychological state (levels of awareness, controlled/automatic processes, content limitations, perceptual/cognitive distortions, emotional awareness, self-control, time orientation)
-   Sleep: REM and NREM stages 1-4
-   Differences in sleep across the lifespan
-   Sleep-wake cycles: shifts in adolescence
-   Effects of partial sleep deprivation

Area of Study 2:

-   Stress/phobia/anxiety
-   Variation for individuals with stress/phobia/anxiety on a mental health continuum

Area of Study 3:

-   Independent and dependent variables and operationalisation of variables
-   Characteristics of scientific research methodologies
-   Techniques of primary qualitative and quantitative data collection
-   Ethics
-   The nature of evidence that supports or refutes a hypothesis, model or theory
-   Generability of statistics from samples to the populations from which the sample was derived
-   Conventions of psychological report writing and scientific poster presentation



Section 2: Added to the new study design

Spoiler
Across both Unit 3 and Unit 4:

-   Types of experiment/investigation (rating scales, access to secondary data otherwise unavailable)
-   Ethical principles (seem to now explicitly list the use of animals in research)
-   Pretty sure this has been added: “explain the merit of replicating procedures and the effects of sample sizes in obtaining reliable data”
-   Distinguishing between scientific and non-scientific ideas

Unit 3:

Area of Study 1:

-   Distinction between conscious and unconscious responses by the nervous system to sensory stimuli, including the role of the spinal reflex (was part of the previous study design, really, but don’t think it was explicitly listed)
-   The role of neurotransmitters specifically in the transmission of neural information between neurons (lock-and-key process) to produce excitatory effects (as with glutamate) or inhibitory effects (as with gamma amino butyric acid [GABA])
-   The effects of chronic changes to the functioning of the nervous system due to interference to neurotransmitter function, illustrated by the role of GABA in Parkinson’s disease
-   Specific sources of stress and eustress, including daily pressures, life events, acculturative stress, major stress and catastrophes that disrupt whole communities
-   Models of stress as a biological process, with reference to Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome of alarm reacton (shock/counter shock), resistance and exhaustion, including the ‘fight-flight-freeze’ response and the role of cortisol (this (the GAS model) was actually in a study design back in the day (2012ish?), so there will be VCAA resources on it floating around)
-   Context-specific effectiveness, coping flexibility and use of particular strategies (exercise and approach and avoidance strategies) for coping with stress

Area of Study 2:

-   Neural plasticity and changes to neural connections: long-term depression
-   The role of neurotransmitters and neurohormones in the neural basis of memory and learning (including the role of glutamate in synaptic plasticity and the role of adrenaline in the consolidation of emotionally arousing experiences)
-   Measures of retention: reconstruction

Unit 4:

Area of Study 1:

-   Techniques to investigate consciousness: measurement of speed and accuracy on cognitive tasks
-   Changes in levels of alertness as indicated by brain wave patterns (beta, alpha, theta, delta) due to drug-induced altered states of consciousness (stimulants and depressants)
-   The effects of consciousness (cognition, concentration and mood) of one night of full sleep deprivation as a comparison with effects of legal blood-alcohol concentrations
-   Circadian and ultradian rhythms of sleep (again, was in a previous study design back in the day)
-   Theories of the purpose/function of sleep (as above)
-   Sleep-wake cycles: circadian phase disorder, shift work, jet lag
-   Distinction between dysomnias and parasomnias
-   Interventions to treat sleep disorders (cognitive behavioural therapy, bright light therapy)

Area of Study 2:

-   Mental health as a continuum
-   Typical characteristics of a mentally healthy person
-   Ethical implications in the study of mental health
-   Distinction between predisposing risk factors, precipitating risk factors, perpetuating risk factors and protective risk factors
-   Influence of biological risk factors
-   Influence of psychological risk factors
-   Influence of social risk factors (these three were sort of covered but not really, and not specifically listed as they are now)
-   The concept of cumulative risk
-   Role of specific factors in development of specific phobia
-   Evidence-based interventions for specific phobia
-   Relative influence of resilience/protective factors (biological, psychological, social)
-   Models of behaviour change with reference to the transtheoretical model including the stages of pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance/relapse

Area of Study 3:



Section 3: Removed from previous study design

Spoiler
Across both Unit 3 and Unit 4:

-   In sampling procedures, random stratified sampling no longer seems to be explicitly listed (though it may come under stratified sampling more generally)
-   Interpretation of p-values (though I assume this would still come under inferential statistics)

Unit 3:

Area of Study 1:

-   Altered states of consciousness of daydreaming and alcohol-induced (no longer explicitly listed, at least)
-   Characteristics and patterns of the stages of sleep
-   Methods used to study sleep: heart rate, body temperature, galvanic skin response
-   The use of sleep laboratories
-   The loss specifically of REM and NREM sleep
-   REM rebound and microsleeps
-   Hemispheric specialisation
-   Broca’s aphasia and Wenicke’s aphasia
-   Spatial neglect
-   Split-brain studies

Area of Study 2:

-   Consolidation theory
-   Memory decline
-   Baddeley & Hitch’s working memory
-   Craik & Lockhart’s levels of processing
-   Organisation of long-term memory (including semantic network theory)
-   Theories of forgetting: Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve; retrieval failure theory; interference theory; motivated forgetting (Freud); decay theory
-   Mnemonic devices

Unit 4:

Area of Study 1:

-   Behaviours not dependent on learning
-   Trial-and-error learning
-   Schedules of reinforcement (I think)

Area of Study 2:

-   Concepts of normality
-   Systems of classification of mental conditions and disorders (DSM-IV, ICD-10)
-   Allostasis and homeostasis
-   Application of biopsychosocial framework to one of specific phobia, major depression, gambling, schizophrenia

Area of Study 3:

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Mintk

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Re: A summary of changes to the 2017+ study design
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2016, 05:44:10 pm »
+1
Thank you Joseph!! I was wondering what you mean by "participant's right" (renamed to "protection and security of participant's information)? And how is it different to confidentiality? (it is under the title "still relevant from previous study design")
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Joseph41

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Re: A summary of changes to the 2017+ study design
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2016, 05:52:15 pm »
+1
Thank you Joseph!! I was wondering what you mean by "participant's right" (renamed to "protection and security of participant's information)? And how is it different to confidentiality? (it is under the title "still relevant from previous study design")

No problem!

And that's a great question. You're right; it does sound like confidentiality, and that may very well be the case. As such, participants' rights may have been removed entirely. :)

Good pickup!
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psychologie

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Re: A summary of changes to the 2017+ study design
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2017, 05:07:44 pm »
+1
This was so helpful! I was wondering if you could clarify the following points you mentioned:

-distinguish between scientific and non-scientific ideas (what are these and how are they different?)
-explain the merit of replicating procedures and the effects of sample size in obtaining reliable data (what are the merits/effects of these? could not find in textbook)

Help would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

Joseph41

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Re: A summary of changes to the 2017+ study design
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2017, 09:47:58 am »
+1
This was so helpful! I was wondering if you could clarify the following points you mentioned:

-distinguish between scientific and non-scientific ideas (what are these and how are they different?)
-explain the merit of replicating procedures and the effects of sample size in obtaining reliable data (what are the merits/effects of these? could not find in textbook)

Help would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

Hey, psychologie. Welcome to ATAR Notes. :D Good questions. I'll present my understanding here, but hopefully others can build on it, or contribute their thoughts, too.

So scientific ideas are essentially those based on due process (like, a solid research method, effective procedure, controlled variables and the like). When ideas and research studies are scientific, they can be reproduced and falsified (proven to be wrong). Non-scientific ideas, on the other hand, are accrued through non-scientific means (perhaps something like intuition?). As I say, I'm actually not 100% sure what you need to know here, so other input would be appreciated.

Replicating procedures can be extremely important. Firstly, that a study is replicable in the first place is a good thing (as per earlier, it means that it can be falsified, which is good). If you can't replicate a study, then you have to take the results with a grain of salt (it's difficult to confirm or challenge the results - the study could be accurate, but we don't know).

And the sample size thing is also huge in obtaining reliable data. A study based on a sample of one is likely to show very different results to a similar study based on a sample of 1,000,000. The idea is that, generally, a larger sample reduces potentially confounding variables, and limits participant effects - that is, individual differences of the participants. You can imagine that if you had a sample of just one person, it would be difficult to generalise those results to the wider population, just because characteristics vary fairly dramatically from person to person.

Does that answer your questions? :-\
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-273.15

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Re: A summary of changes to the 2017+ study design
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2017, 02:40:27 pm »
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My teacher told us that inferential statistics was no longer on the course? is this true