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PSYC 215
Michael Sullivan

SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY STUDY NOTESCHAPTER ONE THE MISSION AND THE METHOD How do people get by in a world that offers them thousands of choices at every moment Social psychology is the scientific study of how people affect and are affected by other individuals Tripletts winding study showed that winding time was faster when children worked side by side as opposed to working alone Ringelmanns study of men pulling a rope as part of a group he found that as the group size increased individual effort decreased These two studies show opposing views social psychology is complicated 1908 marks the first social psychology textbooks RossMcDougall 1924 Floyd Allport One dominant attitude was Gordon Allports observation that attitudes were the most useful and important concept in social psychology predicted study of SELF Kurt Lewins idea that behavior is a function of the person and the situation to predict a situation you must know two kinds of information We must know something about the person and about the situation Shortly after Hitler Milgram did his shock obedience study Authority won more often than not Behaviorism theoretical approach that seeks to explain behavior in terms of learning principles without reference to inner states thoughts or feelings reward and punishment Freudian psychoanalysis theoretical approach that seeks to explain behavior by looking at the deep unconscious forces inside that person 1970s scientists found approaches to measure behavior 1980s social cognition and how people think in general 1990s Influence of evolution on psychology and the influx of biology psychologists sought to extend and apply the basic ideas of evolution to understanding social behaviors Prior to the 1970s people had little to no concept of selfesteem or cared about it ABC triad Affect how people feel inside Behavior what people do Cognition what people think about Social psychologists are interested in how people feel about themselves others and various issues selfesteem prejudice and attitudes Study thinking like old people made individuals act like old people Unconscious is to reinforcement as psychoanalysis is to behaviorism Anthropology is the study of human culturethe shared values beliefs and practices of a group of people Economics is the study of the production distribution and consumption of good and services and the study of money Some social psychological theories are based on economic principles social exchange theory predicts commitment to relationships by considering factors such as the costs rewards investments and the number of alternatives available In relation to political science social psychologists study political behaviors Sociology is the study of human societies and the groups that form them The 1990s has been dubbed the Decade of the Brain neuroscience 3 Clinical psychology focuses on abnormal behavior whereas social psychology focuses on normal behavior Cognitive psychology is the basic study of thought processes ie how memory works and what events people notice Developmental how people change throughout their lives Personality important differences between individuals Many social psychologists are motivated by a wish to make the world a better place Applied research is research that focuses on solving particular practical problems Human intuition is a poor method for discovering truth Common wisdom is not good enough for science The scientific method involves five basic steps 1 The researcher states a problem for study 2 The researcher formulates a testable hypothesis as a tentative solution to the problem ie that homework improves grades 3 The researcher designs a study to test the hypothesis and collects data Anyone observing the data collection process should be able to replicate or repeat it again 4 A test is made of the hypothesis by confronting it with the data Statistical methods are used to test whether the data are consistent or inconsistent with the hypothesis Usually researchers test their hypothesis at the 05 significance level If the test is significant at this level it means that researchers are 90 confident that the results from their studies indicate a real difference and not just a random fluke 5 The researcher communicates the study results They submit a manuscript of exactly what was done and what was found Only about 1020 of manuscripts submitted are accepted If other social psychologists dont believe the results they can replicate the study themselves to see if they obtain similar results Social psychologists are not content knowing what people do They want to know why they do it Theories are unobservable constructs that are linked together in some logical way Withinsubjects design experiment in which each participant is exposed to all levels of the independent variable betweensubjects design is an experiment in which each participant is exposed to only one levels of the independent variable Independent variable the variable manipulated by the researcher that is assumed to lead to changes in the dependent variable Important difference between manipulated independent variables and measured individual difference variables Social psychologists recognize behavior as a function of both situational and individual difference factors Situational factors can be manipulated individual factors cannot be genderageintelligence etc Dependent variable the variable in a study that represents the result of the events and processes Operational definitions observable operations procedures and measurements that are based on the independent and dependent variables Confederate a research assistant pretending to be another participant in a study Construct validity of the cause the extent to which the independent variable is a valid representation of the theoretical stimulus Construct validity of the effect the extend to which the dependent variable is a valid representation of the theoretical response Quasiexperiment a type of study in which the researcher can manipulate an independent variable but cannot use random assignment take people as they are Internal validity the extent to which changes in the independent variable caused changes in the dependent variable usually very high in experimental studies Confounding occurs when the effects of two variables cannot be separated Researchers often must manipulate more than one independent variable in an experiment in order to produce changes in a dependent variableIf an experiment includes more than one independent variable or factor it is called a factorial design allows us to examine both main effects and interaction effects A main effect is the effect of a single independent variable on the dependent variable ignoring the effects of other independent variables Interaction effects are the joint effects of more than one independent variable on the dependent variable Employment rate after graduation and selfawareness 2008 Reactance an unpleasant emotional response that people often experience when someone is trying to restrict their freedom Experimental realism the extent to which study participants get so caught up in the procedures that they forget they are in an experiment Mundane realism the extent to which the setting of an experiment physically resembles the real world External validity the extent to which the findings from a study can be generalized to other people other settings and other time periods Correlational approach a nonexperimental method in which the researcher merely observes whether variables are associated or related Correlation the relationship or association between two variable Correlation coefficientr the strength of the relationship between two variables A positive correlation coefficient means that if one variable increases so does the other while a negative correlation coefficient means that if one variable increases the other decreasesrange from 1 to 1 closerstronger MetaAnalysis a quantitative literature review that combines the statistical results eg correlational coefficients from all studies conducted on a topic Replication repeating a study to be sure that similar results can be obtainedCHAPTER TWO CULTURE AND NATURE There are suggested limits to socialization In the 1970s1980s most psychologists accepted the view that the differences between men and women were due to parental care and upbringing Differences between males and females are partly innate cannot be fully or easily changed The human psyche is a broader term for mind encompassing emotions desires perceptions and all other psychological processesto understand something you have to know what it was designed to do
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