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Lecture 2

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William Huggon

Lecture 2: Measuring Self-Report:  Unstructured: Open-ended and more difficult. A combination of structure and unstructured and shows how one’s nomological net needs revision.  Scaling: a continuum from very negative to very positive attitudes. Measures can have infinite questions on one attitude object. 1. Bogardus Social Distance Scale:  Measuring attitudes towards members of social or ethnic groups that is based on the assumption that one’s liking for a group is reflected in the social distance that one finds acceptable in relationships with members of the group.  How close are you willing to let that social group get to you?  There are always going to be prejudiced people. However due to social norms not every single of then would admit that they are prejudiced.  People taking the scale indicate if they would willingly allow certain ethnic groups into increasingly close relationships with themselves.  There would be a list of questions from I would accept close kinship by marriage to I would exclude from my country. There is a continuum of prejudice and people might feel more comfortable responding to the continuum than by answering whether they are prejudiced or not.  They can determine how prejudiced they are by seeing where they fall on the continuum. 2. Thurstone’s Method of Equal-Appearing Intervals:  An attitude scale in which the many possible scale items are rated by a panel of judges.  These judges sort the statements into 11 groups which are theorized to be equidistant. Make sure that the most extreme questions are of similar strength. E.g. I have no interest in the church is NOT the same in strength as I hate the church!  Each question’s answer has a number that correlates to how you feel about that religion.  Thurstone scale does not indicate causation.  The statements used in the final scale are a sample of statements from each group that has the highest level of agreement among the judges.  Respondents are asked to check the statement in which they most agree to.  The participants would not see the number in the bracket that indicates how biased they are to the church. 3. Liker’s Method of Summated Rating:  An approach that does not require the judges first sort the items and where respondents indicate the extent to which they agree or disagree with a statement.  Strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree etc.  Most commonly used.  A value of -2 to +2 associated with these options.  A person’s score is the sum of all the values of the options they picked across all items.  Some items are reverse coded.  To insure scale homogeneity, only items that correlate well with the total score are kept on the scale. 4. Osgood’s Semantic Differential:  An attitude scale which includes various subscales that measure the connotative meaning of the attitude object.  Subjects are supposed to mark where they lie in a line from good to bad  Literally measure the distance between the line.  A respondent’s score consists of the average of the ratings.  Approach is based on the finding that there are 3 elements of meaning to all concepts: a) Evaluation: good or bad. b) Potency: strong or weak c) Activity: active or passive  Use different wordings and also polar opposites words 5. One item scales  One single question that asks how positively or negatively one feels about the attitude object.  Very quick.  It can also take the form of a thermometer scale, where one is asked to indicate on a scale of 0 to 100 how warmly one feels towards the attitude object.  One-item scales are often used in surveys and experiments because they do good job to measure attitudes and reduce redundancy.  Other questionnaires types have a lot of similar questions being asked.  Problems with Questionnaires (DPAVELDCSL) 1. Dimensionality:  some scales measure more than one variable. E.g. depression scale also measures anxiety and prejudice scale also measures political conservatism. 2. P  Q does not mean that Q  P:  All professors are human, does not mean that all humans are professors. If someone is prejudiced, they will not support affirmative action. It does not mean that all people who does not support affirmative action are prejudiced. 3. Ambiguous items:  Agreeing with one thing means one thing but disagreeing with one thing means several other things. E.g. “Men and women should have equal rights”. Agreeing is good, but a person who disagrees could meant men should have more rights than women OR women should have more rights than men. It does not mean that they are sexist. 4. Items with different variability:  All ethnic groups should be removed from my country is NOT the same I feel negativity towards some ethnic groups. 5. Extremity Bias:  Some people are just more willing to choose the extremes of a scale.  Usually when there are a lot of extreme answers, the questionnaires just get tossed out.  Solution: fake endpoints, reverse coding  Sometimes people want to fake good and not want to go to the extreme answers. Thus to prevent this, add one more VERY extreme option that would not make sense whatsoever. Prevent people from feeling so self-conscious about their extremes. 6. Left-Right Bias:  Some people like one side of the paper more than the other side.  Put 2 contradicting questions. How much do you like the church and how much do you dislike the church. If you have the same answer for both questions, then that is problematic.  Solution: statistically, reverse coding 7. Defining and Determining the Extremity:  Some scales have questions like “the worst pain ever felt”, this is invalid as different people have different thresholds of pain. Different people have also experienced different types of pain before. 8. Context:  We can prime groups with different conditions.  E.g. How bad are politicians? We can prime one group with good politicians and prime one group with bad politicians and they would each have different answers according to their prime.  How bad is bad? Kicking a puppy is pretty bad. What about a serial killer? Depending on what else is on the list, everything is relative. 9. Social Judgment Theory:  People will compare the new idea to what they already know and will decide whether to reject or accept the idea.  E.g. How cold is -4 degrees? Depending on if it is asked in the winter or in the summer. The answer will be different in winter and in summer. Different levels of adaptation.  We would say that it is not so cold in the winter but it is very cold in the summer. We change our mindset in different environments. 10. Lying:  To fake good.  Self-deception and social desirability.  Solutions to Lying: (BSCIP) 1. Bogus Pipeline:  Fake lie detector machine.  Shows that participants might hide certain undesirable attitudes until they felt they would be discovered.  Problems: a) Participants may still lie due to embarrassment, pride etc. b) Depends on if the participant would rather be caught lying or tell the truth depending on how their social desirability. 2. Speeded Responses:  Decreased response time increased truthful responses because it takes less time to tell the truth.  Problems: a) people have a different baseline response times, so speeded responses does not always mean truthfulness. b) Increased response time might be due to some people might have a long and hard time to tell the truth. c) Decreased response time might be due to people having rehearsed the lie before. 3. Computer Administration:  People might not try so much to fake good/bad for an experimenter.  Problems: a) People are more likely to lie when they are anonymous. b) Possible confusions with questions will be unresolved. Ambiguity: should men and women be treated equally. c) Might treat questionnaire with less seriousness if no experimenter is present. 4. “Indirect” Measures (no self-report): (HELL) A. Head movement:  When people listens to messages they agree with, they tend to nod more than shake their heads and vice versa.  Problems: a) Head movements are not universal. What we do in NA does not mean that they do it in the rest of the world. B. Eye contact:  If 2 people like each other, they wil
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