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PSYC 3310 Study Guide - Final Guide: Group Cohesiveness, Health Belief Model, Interrupted Time Series

Course Code
PSYC 3310
Kieran O' Doherty
Study Guide

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Chapter 3: Research Methods in Applied Social Psychology
Methods of Data Collection
Variable: property of a person/object/event that varies in quantity/quality
Construct validity: reflects the meaning of a variable accurately
Question type:
Current/past information
Problems: memory lapses and withholding information
Problems: Hard to interpret, must be specific, they sometimes have no
Frequency, intensity, timing
Problems: memory lapses, better for recent behaviour
Question wording
oDifferences in wording = ↑ effect on responses
oShould be exact, simple, no loaded Q, short, no double-barrelled Q, no
Question sequence
oMaintain interest throughout
Start with general/easy Qs
Demographics at the end
oContext effect: Qs affect subsequent Qs
oControversial topics at the end
Response format
1) Close-ended questions
Specific and pre-determined set of responses
Easy/quick encoding
Time-consuming design
2) Open-ended questions
Free response in own words
Hard to interpret
Internet survey
oKnow response rates (% completed survey) and response bias (effect non-
response on results)
↓ response rate and response format

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Leads to ↓ representativeness and ↑ bias
↑ participants and ↓ time and ↓ $
Interactive Qs
Observational Methods
Observational methods: observe/record participant
oExample: measure physiological processes, audiotape
oTwo types: participant observation and non-participant observation
1) Participant observation
oResearcher as active participant in social situation
Example: becomes part of the group
oParticipant may know they are being studied
Risk changing behaviour under study
Lose objectivity
2) Non-participant observation
oResearcher remains separate from event  does not want to influence behavior
oCan observe directly/indirectly
Direct (systematic) Observation
Using checklists or coding system
Serve a specific purpose (address specific questions)
Carefully planned out
Recorded systematically
Indirect Observation
Recording physical traces of the target behavior, such as empty
alcohol containers in trash to track drinking patterns
Review archival data for difficult to observe behaviour, such as
weather + crime = ↑ aggression
Research Designs
1) True Experiments
Questions to determine cause of behaviour
Does the manipulation (IV) lead to changes in the DV
Three kinds of variables:
Manipulated and experimental condition
Measured to determine changes
oExtraneous Variable:
Held constant (so it doesn’t change DV)
Ruled out with random assignment of participants

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Internal Validity:
oExtent to which IV influences DV (and nothing else)
2) Quasi-Experiments
Allow comparisons with non-equivalent groups
Usually out of researchers’ control, such as people’s exposure to a natural disaster
No random assignment
a) Pretest-Post-test Design
Initial observations (pretest)  treatment  observations again (post-test)
Compare before and after treatment
b) Interrupted time series
Lots of observations are taken before and after treatment
Determines patterns of behaviour before and after treatment
Can determine long-term effects
c) Non-equivalent control groups
Similar to pre/post but includes control group
Control group: pre-existing group that is not the same as treatment group
3) Correlational Studies
Measures variables and determines correlations/relationships
Cannot determine causal relationships
4) Descriptive Studies
Observe variable and summarize observations
Cannot determine why behaviour occurs
Can be exploratory  describe the phenomenon
Research Settings
Lab setting
oAdvantage: removes extraneous variables
oDisadvantage: lack of ecological validity (similar to real-life)
Field Studies:
oAdvantage: Studies conducted in natural environment
oDisadvantage: not as much control as labs
External validity:
oExtent research can be generalized beyond a particular study to other people,
times, settings, regions, etc.
Qualitative Research Methods
1) Narrative Research
Gather detailed story on individual/group and collect data
Restore/reorganize story into contextual framework (historical/cultural)
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