September 24 , 2012
Psychology A01: Lecture 2.2: Finding Answers Begins by Finding Questions
Correlational Studies – through observation, links and relationships are seen
o Eye gaze and social rank in chimps.
o Perceived attractiveness related to height? – Women taller than
women – attractive?
o Older – attractive, younger – awkward, ugly.
Scatter plot – the taller you are the heavier you are.
Correlation 0 – x changes, y doesn’t
+1 correlation – x and y increases by 1
-1 correlation – x and y decreases by 1
o More romantic movies, less excited about own love life
Movies are idealistic but real life isn’t that way
Maybe watching it, makes your love life look bad
Maybe the poor romantic relationship causing the watching of
o Is the movies causing it or s the person of blame
The in-between – tall thinks their ugly, short thinks there hot. 0.3 0.6
Correlation doesn’t equal causation
The Third Variable Issue
Variable x – pre-existing level of health and fitness
Variable b - days absent due to illness
Variable a – decision to participate in fitness training program
Taller people make more money
o Wealthier = better nutrition/gene family = taller
o Tallness symbolizes leadership capability
o Wealthier the family = better the job
Those who go to the gym, don’t call in sick a lot
o Some people who are relatively healthy, more likely to go to the gym =
o Unhealthy less likely to workout, but more likely to be sick
Are film crews causing global warming or is the global warming causing the
o Sharks live as long as they live because they don’t experiment, they
eat fish – picky eaters Operational Definitions
What makes it tricky is the need to make the connection between abstract
theoretical ideas and concrete variables that can be manipulated or
o Prejudicial behavior emerges when self-esteem is lowest (poor
o How does one define self-esteem?
o When economy is poor, increases in prejudicial behaviour. Why?
Because when people are unemployed, cant support family,
low self-esteem, frustrated, anger – portrayed on an out-group
(anybody from some group that’s outside of your group -
cultural, races, languages, programs, music, religion).
We don’t understand out-groups, we fear them; we unleash our
negativity on an out-group.
When our self-esteem takes a hit, we are more prejudicial.
Operationally defining – taking a vague psychological theory, to independent
variable (manipulate) and dependent variable (measure), concrete
o Define it so that you could do something with it
Compare people with good and bad self-esteem
o Half people are told they did well on the test and others did badly.
o They made the subject feel like an idiot that were blamed for knocking
over the cards displayed more prejudicial behaviour towards French
Is it prejudicial or anger driving