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Computers in Research

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By expThales
Words 459
Pages 2
The Computer in Research
• Computers can be very valuable in conducting a literature research
This is because of a computer device such a modem can access information stored remotely on databases; that is we can search databases containing information of psychological abstracts to obtain references relevant to our work.
• Controlling aspects of an experiment can easily and efficiently carried out by programming instructions to your computer.
Example: In can control specific intervals of a stimuli by means of slides; while advancing the slide projector it can also simultaneously control other functions in the laboratory such randomizing conditions in blocks or trials so that the stimuli can be presented in certain predetermined orders without the programmer changing the conditions manually.
• Helpful if there are repetitive operations to be performed that the opportunity for human error is great.
Example: It can repetitively record the time when a response is made and store it in a floppy disk or hard drive.
Uses of Computers in Psychology
• Computer networks for data gathering and analysis
- The sharing of information among micro computers with mainframe networks over long distances.
• Computer analysis on physiological events
- Includes cardiac activity and electro oculographic changes
• Computer as a research tool
- Computer administered surveys; an automated laboratory
• Computer Generated Speech and perception and production of synthetic speech
• Human and computer interaction
- Aids for writing, learning to program and so on.
• Computer and operant conditioning systems
- Amplitude measures of operant conditioning.
• Clinical assessment of biofeedback data
- includes eeg and ekg
• Supercomputing in psychology
- Cognitive modelling and artificial intelligence

• Teaching applications of microcomputers
- Instructional programs in psychology.
• Networking Systems

Computer Stimulation
- This is where student does not collect real data but fictitious values have been packaged into a program as if the data collection were original.
Pitfalls and Limitations
1. Computer paralysis of the laboratory.
- Computer paralysis – technologically induced disease that occurs when the researchers have not been inoculated against some of the inevitable problems that attend the transition to a computerized laboratory.
2. The Shotgun Disaster
- Involves a massive body of data which the researcher plunge into statistical analysis without having sufficiently thought about the variables and their implications that leads to mentally overwhelming or mind-boggling data.
- Ex. One student is asked for the partial correlation from an 18x18 data matrix, couldn’t even carry the print out that resulted, and much less comprehend it.
3. Don’t lose track of your raw data.
- The most serious problem that arises when computers provides us much information that you don’t want and may overload you.
- May happen when you miss apply your package program.
- Example: You may have a random model whereas the programmer selected the error term for a fixed model.
4. The Law of Hammer Revisited
- Etzioni (1975) pointed out that

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