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PSYB10H3 Study Guide - Dependent And Independent Variables, Prefrontal Cortex, Parasympathetic Nervous System

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Elizabeth Page- Gould

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Lecture 2:
Methods in Social Psychology:
-social psychological toolkit
-research and statistical methods
how do you feel right now? and you would report on how you feel
-traditionally done by pencil and paper method, or by computer
-people interview other people as well (surveys)
-Reaction Time tasks: you sit infront of a computer screen and you complete various tasks and we
measure the speed at which you can complete those tasks
-Dutch Scientist had discovered that the complex the task, the more time it would take the participant to
-the longer the reaction time=the concepts are more distantly related to each other
e.g. it takes longer to divide two numbers then it is to add
Priming: I try to ellicit a mood in you, or put a concept in your mind
-subliminal: you are not aware you are being primed
-explicit priming: you are aware of being primed e.g. scary face on the screen will ellicit some changes in
behaviour (fearful expressions)
Behavioural Coding:
-trying to understand behaviour through different methods
-video cameras : best method because we can go back and check erbal and nonverbal behaviour
-audio recording : can be used to check verbal behaviour
-close observation: not precise because we cannot go back and check
-Functional MRI: measures the amount of activity in each brain area; good for localization of different
brain regions
-brain damaged patients: e.g. paitient that has just been in a car accident having damaged the medial
prefrontal cortex, will have lost the ability to control their impulses, and also to pick up on social cues that
they have done something inappropriate
-different parts of the brain that are damaged can tell us how we perceive the social world; and we can
also compared this to other animal brains and how they behave in social environments
EEG: Electroencephalogram used to help investigate social processes
-spot and band electrodes: put a bunch of electrodes on people and also examine their saliva to be able to
measure differences noted when they are put under different social stress situations
e.g. the game Taboo: interesting from a social psych perspective
-during the game, the person who is prompting, their parasympathetic nervous system gets activated
-hearts starts beating more strongly; more blood pumped throughout the body
Temperature sensors: measures changes in the fingerspot temperatures

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Pethysmographs: infrared laser is sent through skin, or any other body part, and the amount of light that
is absorbed compared to the amount of light that is reflected back can give us a reading of the amount of
oxygenated blood that is presented under that point; we can now determine the blood flow, changes in
blood flow when people are experiencing different situations
Saliva: we can find stress hormones from saliva; and also sex hormones from saliva
Research and Statistical Methods:
Scientific Method:
Imen Al-Hassan: first guy from Iran who wrote his experiments in a scientific manner
Hypothetico-deductive method:
-we have a hypothesis and we deduced it.
1) Examine past knowledge/research
2) Form a Theory
3) Form an operationalised hypothesis: make something operationalised: we have to make what
we are studying tangible. E.g. if we want to study the degree of anger in a person, we must relate it to the
change in the facial structures e.g. furrowing their eyebrows, glaring of the teeth.
-test hypothesis
-revise your theory (ideally) :some scientists will keep running the same tests again and again even if
there is still something wrong with the design so its important to remember to revise the design
Variable Types:
-outcome is your DV: dependent variable
-independent variable: predictor variableIV only implies causality when its manipulated
e.g. you assign an independent variable and then you have to manipulate it in order to be able to say that
A causes B by noticing the differences
Correlational Design: two dependent variables
-if you are correlating two things, then they are both considered to be dependent
e.g. if A goes up, then B will go up, or if A goes up, then B will go down. (looks for relationships)
-no experimental manipulation, but there should be random sampling
*random sampling is important because if you dont do random sampling, you could only be testing a
certain subgroup of the population, and it is statistically wrong to generalize your theory for the whole
population on such a basis
E.g.: an increase in ice cream sales are correlated with drowning deaths
-most people eat ice cream in the summer, and most people swim in the summer therefore drowning is
more prevalent

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-this does NOT mean that eating ice cream will cause a person to drown. Correlation does not imply
Statistical Analysis: we can use correlation, regression, and Bayesian analysis
Proper interpretation: we can say that the two variables co-vary with each other, and that they can
predict each other e.g. the sales of ice cream went up therefore, because they are correlated with
drowning deaths, the rate of drowning deaths will go up as well
BUT we cannot say that they cause each other (we cannot say that eating ice cream will cause you to
Quasi-Experimental Design: a defined predictor and outcome (an independent variable and dependent
variable is present)
-however we cannot manipulate the independent variable, we use something called known groups
e.g. Known groups: men and women: we cant manipulate gender, or assign someone to be a man or a
women for them to participate in the study
-because we dont manipulate the Independent variable, we cannot say that A causes B we cant imply
-we can note differences in the groups, or correlations, but we cannot imply causation
Stratified Random Sampling: still random sampling, but a certain number of each group is obtained; we
will keep going until we fill up the needed quantity for each group
Comparison or Control Group: we need two groups to compare (a control, and a group that we comparing
to the control)
e.g. cant investigate a psychological claim about women, and then only examine women, you need a
control with women and men, in order to make claims about gender having an influence on behaviour
Theory of Mind Study: the ability to think about what someone else is thinking, and ot know that your
thoughts are not their thoughts (people develops this from age 3-5)
-knowing what I know is not what somebody else knows
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