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Lecture 2

Psychology 3780F/G Lecture 2: Psychology 3780 - Lecture

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Psychology 3780F/G
Erin Heerey

Class 2 Lecture Think of an idea: things that are relevant, things that are weird. Observe the world around you o Idiosyncrasies: for example, why are people attracted to notattractive people? o Puzzles o Mysteries Think about your interests o Whats the most interesting thing you learned about in social psychologyinterpersonal relationshipssome other class? Have you observed it in action? What do you think about the differences between the science and the phenomenon in the world? Chameleon effect: in lab vs. real world. Supposed to predict both how much other people like us and how much we like others. Sources The world around you (campus issues, local issues, media highlighted issues) o Go back and read original articles from press reports. Personal interests (why x happens the way it does) Casual observations of others (while waiting in line) Practical problems (e.g. stereotyping immigrants) Research reports (scientific corpus; popular press) Folk theories of behaviour o Opposites attract or birds of a feather flock together? Narrow your idea Focus on a population o Kids, executives, romantic couples Focus on a social behaviour o Sharing, competition, romantic attraction Focus on a social topic o Cooperation, persuasion, emotion regulation Read the research literature on your idea Start with a review paper or two (if they exist) o Summarize relevant work o Often identify controversies in the field o Controversies = open questions o Dont believe everything you read Ask yourself if the theoryexplanation really makes sense. Read two highly cited papers on each side of the controversy (if there is one) or that claim different things about howwhy your topic happens. Use the background reading to come up with a research question targeted precisely at the topic of interest. Ultimately, you want a question o That can be answered as yes or no o That can be answered by a pattern in the data Some donts Topic is too safe or too easy Topic is too difficult (cant be answered by examining patterns in the data) Topic isnt interesting to you Topic is too broad Topic with no previous literature: probably doesnt exist
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