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Lecture

The Science of Social Psychology

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCH 253
Professor
Hilary B Bergsieker
Semester
Winter

Description
The Science of Social Psychology - Paradox of choice – how much choice is enough? How can we tell? - Changing behaviour – which sign will be successful? How can we tell? - Research methods – procedures a researcher uses to gather information - Armchair philosopher vs. research cycle: question of how things relate, research, selection of how things relate, formulating hypotheses, selecting research method, collecting data, analyzing data, reporting the results, selecting a research topic based upon a theory - Developing a question: broad types – descriptive, casual connections - Gottman’s Research o Step 1: identify behaviour that differentiates happy vs. unhappy spouses o Step 2: does that behaviour predict the fate of marriage, and if so, why? - Challenge of Obviousness o Hindsight bias: tendency to be overconfident during predictable situations “I knew it all along” - Few choices make people feel less overwhelmed with too much choice - Other people doing something makes others feel the necessity to do the same to be a part of the same norm “Join your fellow guests in helping the environ” - Challenge of Biased Filtering o Confirmation bias: tendency, when evaluating a hypothesis, to focus on examples in which it is true o Why is it problematic? Insufficient information o Why do we do it? Wanting it to be true o Not looking at the bigger picture, too focused on a specific area/point - Participants: Sampling o Convenience Sample  Participants who are readily and conveniently available  Generalizability issue (external validity) o Representative Sample  Participants resemble the population relevant to research  Difficult and expensive - Non-random sampling o Self-selection – volunteers (helpful, extraverted people) o “Hand-picked” participants – researcher biases - Participants not blind to condition o Demand characteristics – what the researcher wants participant to do - Participants: Ethics o Informed consent, privacy/confidentiality, freedom to withdraw o Respect for dignity of persons, minimizing harm, use of deception - Research Designs o Observation Methods  Observing people in their natural environment  Scientific observation – serves a formulated research purpose, planned deli
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