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PSYB10H3 Lecture Notes - Party Game, Sympathetic Nervous System, Psychophysiology

Course Code
Elizabeth Page- Gould

of 4
Lecture 2 Methods and Social Cognition
social psychological toolkit: type of different experiments and measures that you will in
general see across a lot of things we learn in class
-self-report/surveys: we may be doing a self report right now; obtained by pencil-and-
paper (traditional), computer survey (more widely used now) and interview (not as
-reaction time tasks: common procedure; sit in front of computer screen and you have
press various buttons in a certain speed; were interested in the speed at which you can do
various tasks; the reason for this is in the late 1800s, a Dutch scientist basically identified
that the harder a task is, the longer it takes you to do it, eg, adding 2 numbers together or
dividing 2 numbers together which is slightly longer to do which reflects how much it
takes you to think about it because of it, reaction times are very interesting; usually meant
the longer time spent, the concepts are more distally related to each other or its a harder
task; obtained by computers, stop watches (old school), video/audio (code the time stamp
when they hit the button);
-priming: where they try to elicit a mood in you or put a context, make something
accessible in your mind, a certain concept; can be subliminal, something you dont even
see depending on what the stimulus is that could range from 30ms to 100ms, but around
100ms is the threshold for awareness depending on what stimulus youre talking about;
we also do explicit priming; if she flashes an image of a lady screaming, then the
professor expects to see a change in behavior; fear is something people prime all the time
-nonverbal/verbal behavior; obtained by video cameras (common and good way, can go
back and recheck), audio recording (reduced quality based on what behavior youre
looking at) and close observation (through one way mirror which is imprecise since you
cant go back and double check your work later); behavior is a hallmark of social
psychology, we like action that people do
-neuroscience and psychophysiology; complex expression = behavior
research and statistical methods; dont have to do any statistics, but will need to know
what statistics to use for what experimental design
Marc Hauser, Harvard; hes a social cognitive evolution psychologist, spans a lot of
things; turns out he faked a lot of his data and currently in the process of being kicked out
of Harvard; he did videotaped his monkeys and people went back to check and saw that
the behavior he reported were not there at all; prefer videos so that people can come and
check to make sure youre not lying; very rare, in 7 million papers in the last 50 years less
than 500 found to be falsified in some way, its still a lot, but less than 1%; science
corrects itself since everybody is fighting with everybody else
neuroscience: obtained by functional MRI (fMRI, measure the amount of activity that
is in each brain area, great for localizing on particular brain areas), brain-damaged
patients (eg, theres a few neurological disorder, if you have a motorcycle accident,
damage to the prefrontal cortex which loses the ability to control your impulses, they
dont realize the extent they lost to basic brain functioning in social environments, they
cant perceive the cues that other people are giving them when they did something
inappropriate of that nature; an example of an area in the brain that became lesion that
meant that it atrophied or was damaged as a result, change in the ability to assess the
social world) and electroencephalogram (EEG)
psychophysiology: obtained by spot and band electrodes: put a bunch of electrodes on
people; temperature sensors, plethysmographs (the amount of blood flow thats
underneath the particular sensor; send infrared laser into someones skin, the amount of
red thats observed reflects the amount of oxygenation of your blood which bounces light
back after absorbing a certain amount, from that we know how much blood is flowing
from your finger tips or in your ear or anywhere), and saliva (get lots of stress hormones
from it, you get other fun sex hormones which predicts interest in stuff); look at social
responses from stressful activities; For example, the game Taboo (fun party game), its a
game where you prompt people when theyre supposed to guess a word thats on the top
of the little card where you cant say 5 little words thats also on the little card that are
closely related; when people are prompting, their sympathetic nervous system totally
actively engage; the heart starts contracting more strongly as well as quickly; depending
how good or poorly youre doing, the heart starts to put out more blood on each beat even
when youre just resting or decreases the amount of blood you put out
-Scientific Method: Pioneer in the scientific method, Iraqi researcher was a physicist but
interested in vision, drew on experiments and revision; Francis Bacon and William Watt;
they came up with the Hypothetico-deductive method (we have a hypothesis and we
deduced it and were going to revise it as well); 1. Examine past knowledge/research and
other findings; 2. Form a theory: should start off theoretically; 3. Form an operationalised
hypothesis (lets say I’m interested in anger, but how do I study anger? I need to
operationalise it by making into something tangible that I can actually measure that would
support or falsify my hypothesis if it were incorrect or correct; to study anger, I could do
lots of things, common one is facial displays of anger including burrowing of the brow as
well as raising of the teeth and lips, from that you can tell if a person is more or less
angry from the degree the muscles are being activated, then you can operationalised
anger; 4. Test hypothesis; 5. Revise theory (people still test hypothesis when repeated
tests show that their theory is not right, science corrects itself, so it will be revised)
-Variable Types: Dependent variable=DV and its outcome, this is what you want to see
the effects of;
independent variable=IV and its predictor; IV only implies causation when it is
manipulated; is usually what people are interested in both; randomly assign then
manipulate change values of my independent variables in order to make a causal claim
about the outcome in my dependent variable;
-Empirical Design: Correlational (2 dependent variables; sometimes you have researchers
say they have independent in their correlation design; in a statistical point of view, if
youre correlating 2 things, then they’re both considered to be dependent variables;
correlation looking for a general relationship between 2 things; saying if this hand goes
up, does the other hand also go up; its just looking for relationship; within a correlational
design, there will be no experimental manipulations, but there should be random
samplings, what that means is that I have a random population, lets say utsc students that
I’m going to randomly send emails; random sampling important because if you dont do
that, then you might be detecting a relationship that only reflects a subgroup of your
population and is not an accurate generalization of the whole population)
classic correlational finding: ice cream sales strongly correlated with drowning deaths;
study very well replicated and repeated and its true since more swimming occurs in the
summer, but it doesnt mean ice cream causes drowning deaths; in fact, what it means is
that simply both occur at the same time which allows you to predict one from the other
the statistical analysis that we use are correlations, regression, Bayesian hypothesis test
the proper interpretation: covariance and prediction, no causality; if you have a
correlational study, you can say that these 2 things covary with each other, you can say
they predict each other but you cannot say they cause each other, correlation does not
equal causation
Quasi-experimental design: there is a defined predictor and outcome, IV and DV;
independent variable not manipulated; known groups IV, men and women would be
known groups, they exist, they cant assign someone to be a man or woman and then test
their outcome; reason why we use it is we didnt experimentally manipulate memberships
in those groups, eg, ethnicity, you dont create ethnicity, you dont know if it creates an
outcome, but you can say there are differences between this ethnicity and this other
stratified random sampling: there are random sampling, but you get a certain number
from each group, so you keep going until you fill up both conditions
you see a control group in experimental design; important, you need to know how one
groups responses relate to another group’s responses; you cant make a statement about
just women because you dont know if its actually about women, it could be women and
men, but you didnt test it; you need at least 2 groups
theory of mind (quasi-experimental designs): develops between 3-4 years; its the
ability to think about or predict what somebody else is thinking and to know that your
thoughts are not their thoughts; almost everyone develops this ability between the ages of
3-4; people who dont, tend to have serious psychological problems; take 2 age groups, 3
year olds and 5 year olds and put them in a paradigm; so if their dads come into play for
the 5 year old group, the 5 year olds will tell them whats in it because they know their
dads dont know whats in a M&M bag (theres actually pocky in there); from this design,
there is a difference between 3 and 5 year olds, we dont think age develops that, but
develops over time
the analysis that you use for quasi-experimental design are almost the same with
correlational studies except you can use ANOVA in the analysis of variance because that
can take into account groups; with correlational design, they are usually continuous
variables; proper interpretation for quasi-experimental design are covariance and
prediction, but no causality; you can discuss differences between the groups, make up
ideas as to why you see these differences, but membership in the group does not cause the
outcome variable because you didnt manipulate membership in the group
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