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Lecture 3

POL101Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Observer-Expectancy Effect, Participation Bias, Content Analysis

Political Science
Course Code
Michael Painter- Main

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Important Terminology
Research Question
Independent Variables (IV)
Dependent Variables (DV)
Thinking about 1 IV and looking at how it influences 1 DV
Experiments try to think about things in a causal manner - something actually causing
something else
Experimental features
Goal: Test very specific relationships
Do so through:
Temporal priority - gives researcher the ability to pick one IV and systematically allows them
to vary it as they wish
Another feature of control: You want to keep your groups, how they're exposed to IV and
how they response with DV as systematically similar as possible
example experiment: same actor, same background, same tone
everything needs to be as controlled as possible
allows you to zero in on the key IV while everything else is constant
Random assignment: someway of figuring out certain traits of peoples characters won't
have an overwhelming influence on the data, so you assign the experiment to random
minimises difference we see between people and within each group
Experimental features
Base/Control - normal version vs Treatment - the applied IV
Example: group that doesn't see anything vs group that sees pictures
Experiment environment: The key themes we wanna make sure are held at a
consistent rate
Experiment subjects: minimise vast majority of characteristics subjects hold that
might undermine our IV and DV relationship
Experiment locales
Natural/field setting
laboratory: a controlled settings, allows for control over external factors that we
wanna hold standard - allows you to make sure stimuli or lack of stimuli is received in
the same manner
internet - multi dynamic area to collect data
Experimental goals - theory building, knowledge gathering, Whispering to princes:
normative element to these things - ultimate some of these things can help policy makers or
Experimental Designs
Post-Test: Basic design - some topic I wanna know the relationship between IV and
control and at least one other group that receives the "treatment" - they
randomly assign a whole wack of people with one of the IV groups and
measure the DV from them - one IV with different categories
Problem: we don't know people's attitude toward support of outreach program
before their exposure to the experiment
Ask them prior whether they're supportive or not
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