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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Methods and The Social Self

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Emily Impett

PSY220H5 – Social Psychology Lecture 2 - September 19, 2013 Methods; The Social Self Outline - Research Methods - The Social Self Research Methods Why Should You Care About Research Methods? - Intuition is good, but not always correct o Often times our predications of how other influences us are sometimes accurate, and sometimes not - Some events don’t occur frequently enough in daily life o Riots o Mass suicide in cults How Do Social Psychologists Test Their Ideas? - Participant Observation - Archival research - Surveys - Experimental research o Often viewed as gold standard in social psychological research Participant Observation - Social psychologists place themselves in real situations to understand social phenomena better - Researcher can either be present (ethnography) o IE. Understanding other cultures, they would move to that county and live with people - Researcher don’t have to be physically present o IE. The prof records relationships, but from the videotapes, the social psychologists was able to code people’s interactions (IE. Their reactions) - Video example of a participant observation o Lying  guilty hand (when telling the truth, hands tend to move more, and when telling the lie, the hand movements cut down) o The guilty eye, where he maintained eye contact when he was telling the truth o He kept saying “I”, “my” and “mine” whenever he was telling the truth Archival Methods - Records of any kind, such as: o Police reports, medical records, sports statistics, diaries, newspaper articles, novels, suicide notes - Often times, we can answer interesting questions by capitalizing available data (public) Playboy Ads (example for archival methods) - York university researchers analyzed “playmates of the year” from 1977 to 1996 - Body sized decreased - By the last year of the study, all of the women were underweight according to Canada’s health guidelines Playgirl Ads (example for archival methods) PSY220H5 – Social Psychology Lecture 2 - September 19, 2013 - Playgirl centerfolds analyzed from 1986 to 1997 - Body size increased dramatically in muscle, not fat NBA Study (example of archival methods and participant methods) - Analyzed videos of all 30 NBA teams during 2008-2009 season o Wanted to see if players who touched each other more, if they would win - Participant observation: coded occurrence and duration of touch from videos o Looked at high fives, fist pumps, hugs etc. - Archival methods: statistics from NBA website o Number of shot each player took, number of wins etc., - RESULTS: teams that touched each other more for longer durations, won most of the time Surveys - Researchers ask participants questions about their attitudes, thoughts, emotions or behavior - Allow us to measure attitudes, behaviors, or feelings that are difficult to observe - Can obtain representative samples o We can randomly sample people from specific populations, so we can generalize the results that can be applied to populations at large - But beware of generalizing from a non-random sample Why Have Sex? (Example for surveys) - 1,549 intro psychology students completed a survey regarding their reasons for engaging in sex - How frequently do you engage in sex because…? o The person had a desirable body o I was in love o Etc. U.S. 1939 Election (example of - American magazine, Literary Digest, sampled 2 million people and asked who they were planning on voting for - Predicted that Alf Landon would win by a landslide, but Franklin Roosevelt took every state but two - What went wrong? Non-representative sample!) - Literary digest readers were mostly conservative, but the majority of voters were relatively more poor o More likely to support the democratic representative? Correlational Method - How much do two variables go together? - Correlation coefficient (r) ranges from -1.0 to +1.0 - Positive r = weight and height o As weight go up, height tends to go up (vise versa) - Negative r = skipping classes and marks o The more you times you skip a class, the lower your mark will be Correlation does not Prove Causation! - A causes B PSY220H5 – Social Psychology Lecture 2 - September 19, 2013 o Maybe something in alcohol can cause depression - B causes A o People who are depressed may seek out for alcohol to cope with depression - Some other variable, C, causes both A and B o People who come from lower socio economic classes, are more likely to drink and be depressed - It is very difficult when you have a correlation between two variables, to know which variable causes which one Experiments - Independent variable = manipulated by the experimenters o The experimenters set up different conditions in order to see how they influence another variable (dependent) - Dependent variable = measured - Random assignment to different conditions (on the independent variable) o Participants all need to have an equal chance to be assigned to the different conditions o Any differences we see in the independent variable, are due to the random assignment of the multiple groups Do Violent Videogames Cause Aggression? - 43 undergrad men and women randomly assigned to play one of two videogames o Mortal Kombat (chosen as the violent game) o PGA Tournament Golf (chosen as the non-violent video game) - Then played competitive game with a confederate in which they could punish the confederate with blasts of white noise - Results: people who played mortal kombat, punished the confederate by making them listen to the blasts of white noise more then those who played the non-violent game Recap - Social psychologists use a variety of research methods - Experimental methods allow us to make causal claims The Social Self Video - The guy in the first valued appearing tough - The guy in the second video valued appearing funny to people The Self - What is the self? - How do we know and feel about the self? - How does culture influence the self? - How do we present ourselves to others? What is the Self? - The self is a concept – a set of beliefs and perceptions you have about yourself o (Relatively) distinct entity o Contains multiple sets of beliefs o Organizes knowledge we have about ourselves PSY220H5 – Social Psychology Lecture 2 - September 19, 2013 o Influences how we think, feel and behave Cocktail Party Phenomenon - The ability to pick a personally relevant stimulus (example your name) out of a complex environment - The reason this existence because our brain organizes that links thing preferentially to ourselves Class Experiment - Take out two pieces of paper and a pen or pencil - Left side of the room was told to close their eyes, and not to peak - People on the left side of the word recalled more words than the right side of the room - Difference? o Right side was asked to write down all the given words that contained the letter “e” o Left side of the room was asked to write down all the given rooms that described their personality Self-Reference Effect - Like the demonstration in class, people are much better at trait adjectives when asked to determine if they related to themselves - People were overwhelmingly better at remembering adjectives describing themselves - When it is about us, we tend to remember it better Implicit Egotism - Refers to the unconscious tendency to prefer people or things that resemble the self o Example: We tend to like letters that are found in our own name
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