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Experimentation finding a cause.docx

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Steve Joordens

PSYA01 Sept. 24/26 Shark Example! Sharks live as long as they do because they don’t experiment. They are extremely picky eaters.  When they actually attack a human, it is because of prey confusion. The simplest experiment involves two groups:  Control group: group that exhibits natural behaviour  Experimental group: group that demonstrates how behaviour changes. Terminology An experiment typically involves contrasting ‘behaviour’ across two or more conditions that differ in some way that should matter (i.e. affect ‘behaviour’), according to some theory. Dependant variable is the variable that reflects behaviour of interest. Independent variable is the variable that was changed to create critical difference across conditions. 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 measured. Example: Prejudicial behaviour is linked to our self-esteem? Economy can bring on prejudice:  When the economy is bad, people lose jobs (loss of self-esteem), and they take it out on ‘out groups’ (groups that are different from your own). o This is a ague theory. How do we take it to experiments? Manipulate self-esteem to get one group to have intact self-esteem and other half to take a hit to their self-esteem.  In this experiment, a stack of slides was knocked over and the subject was blamed for it despite it not being their fault. How do you measure/define prejudice? People do not openly display their own prejudices? PSYA01 Sept. 24/26 People who took
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