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Lecture 2

Unit 1 - Lecture 2 - Measuring Behaviour.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYO 1011
Professor
n/a
Semester
Fall

Description
PSYO 1011 Measuring Behaviour 1 Lecture 2: Measuring Behaviour September 14, 2009 Kitty Genovese: • Stabbed/raped repeatedly for 30 min o Screams/pleas heard by 38 neighbours o By time police finally called, she had died • Think Boondock Saints John Darley & Bibb Latané: • Diffusion of Responsibility o Psychological state in which each person feels decreased personal responsibility for  intervening due to presence of multiple bystanders o Explains Kitty Genovese • Hypothesis o Tentative explanation or prediction about some phenomenon o Form of “If—Then”  i.e.) IF an emergency occurs, THEN the greater the number of bystanders, the  less likely any one bystander will be to intervene  Test by gathering evidence through conducting research 6 Steps to Scientific Understanding: 1. Initial Observation/Question: • Kitty Genovese Incident o Why did no one help? 2. Form Hypothesis: • Hypothesis o Tentative explanation or prediction about a phenomenon o Developed through gathering clues & logically analyzing them o Form of “If—Then” • B & L o i.e.) IF multiple bystanders are present, THEN a diffusion of responsibility will decrease  each bystander’s likelihood of intervening 3. Test Hypotheses (Conduct Research) • Experiment o Method of gathering evidence • B & L o Create ‘emergency’ in controlled situation o Manipulate perceived number of bystanders o Measure helping 4. Analyze Data • Collect & draw tentative conclusions PSYO 1011 Measuring Behaviour 2 • State if data supports/does not support hypothesis • B & L o Helping decreases as the perceived number of bystanders decreases o The hypothesis is supported  If not supported, revise and retest 5. Further Research & Theory Building • Additional studies support the hypothesis • Theory o A set of formal statements that explains how and why certain events are related to one  another o Broader than hypotheses o Typically specify lawful relations between certain behaviours and their causes • B & L o A theory of Social Impact developed based on their findings & other findings 6. New Hypothesis Derived From Theory • Theory tested directly by deriving a new hypothesis & conducting new research o The more research that supports the theory, the stronger it gets o Less? Theory modified or discarded Two Approaches To Understanding Behaviour 1. Hindsight Understanding • “Life is lived forwards but understood backwards” • Pro: o Can provide valuable insight o Foundation on which further scientific inquiry is built • Con: o No way to determine if thought up alternatives are correct • D & L thought up diffusion of responsibility through hindsight understanding 2. Prediction, Control & Theory Building • “What causes what” o Understand causes of a given behaviour  ▯Predict conditions it will occur in during the  future o If conditions can be controlled  ▯Behaviour should be produced • Scientific alternative to hindsight understanding • Theory development strongest test of scientific understanding o Organizes information in a meaningful way o Testable  Generates new hypotheses whose accuracy can be measured through gathering  evidence o Predictions made by theory supported by findings of new research o Conforms to Law of Parsimony PSYO 1011 Measuring Behaviour 3  If 2 theories can explain/predict the same phenomena equally well, the simpler  theory is prefer
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