1) Systematic observation: observing behaviour as it occurs.
(ie. naturalistic observation, survey method)
2) Correlation methods: observes two or more variables and see correlation
3) Experimentation method: similar to correlation method but correlation method doesn’t
really answer “causation”. To find causation or why, they use experimentation.
-> must meet two requirements to succeed, the random assignment of participants and all
factors other than the independent variable held constant (variable you are changing as
much as possible)
Problems with experimentation method?
External validity: To what extent can these experiment findings be generalized to real life
situations (a problem in the experimentation method because usually controlled in a lab etc)
Experimental realism is also important, if the participants don’t feel it is real the external
validity may be compromised
Mundane realism: degree experimental situation similar to everyday experiences.
Inferential statistics: the likelihood that results were occurred by chance only ie. if the likelihood
it was only by chance was 5% or less it is significant, and probably not by chance.
Meta-analysis: combines data from different studies and comes to a conclusion of magnitude
and effects of the independent variables
Minority slowness effect: If you hold a belief you believe is controversial or people disagree you
will be less inclined or slower to state it
Deception: unique to social psychology, in the sense that researchers withhold or conceal
information from participants so they can monitor the “true” behaviour. ie. if people know the
purpose they may change their behaviour (has ethical issues).
-> deception should never be used to persuade people to join a study, however TEMPORARY
deception is alright if people are given informed consent (as much info as possible about a
research project before deciding to participate, and debriefing after the study)
Affect: our current feelings and moods
Schemas: our mental framework that help us organize social information.
-> common events (scripts), people (person schema), social role (role schema)
Schemas influence three basic processes:
1) Attention: information we notice
2) Encoding: process of information stored in memory
3) Retrieval: recover info stored to use
Info usually consistent with our schemas are noticed and info that doesn’t fit is more likely
Info that corresponds with schema more likely to be encoded whereas ones that are very
different may be encoded in different place (so unexpected we make a mental note of it)
We recognize information better that is consistent with our schema, however we recall both
Effects are stronger when schema is strong and well developed. Also stronger when cognitive
load (how much mental effort we use) is high. (ie. attention/encoding/retrieval) Schema show a strong perseverance effect (unchanged even in contradictory information)
When we see someone different from our schema (ie nice black man instead of ghetto) we
don’t change our schema we just say this person is an exception.)
Schemas can be self-fulfilling: beliefs/expectations affect behaviour in a way that it actually
makes it happen
Heuristics and Automatic processing: the way we reduce our effort in social cognition
Heuristics: simple rules for making complex decisions/inferences in a fast/effortless manner
Representativeness heuristic: quick judgement based on how much the stimuli or event
resembles something else. Ie. “guy has a douche look” you met someone that was douche that
looked similar so you think he might be one too. (more similar it is to one group more likely It
belongs). Problem with this thinking is you ignore base rates (likelihood of it being true).
Availability heuristic: judgement based on how easily info brought to mind, the greater the
judgment. Something that is more “available” or known/easily thought of or remembered has
greater impact on judgment. Also the amount of info we can recall impacts judgment too
Priming: increased availability of info resulting to exposure, (helps put you/be ready for some
certain mindset of thinking)
-> automatic priming: when individual is unaware of priming stimuli
Medical student syndrome: suspect themselves or others have some serious illness
Anchoring and Adjustment heuristic: tendency to use a number value as a starting point to
which you make adjustments to afterwards. Ie. bargaining, or say you visit a beautiful city during
a very dirty time and conclude “it really isn’t that nice”, you later learn there was a reason (civil
strike) you may rationalize but you won’t really change the view “it really isn’t that nice” you
never go back to “its beautiful”.
Automatic Processing: after lots of experience with something it becomes unconscious social
processing. (ie. meet 100000 black people that love chicken, you just assume)
ie. riding a bike -> shift from controlled processing to automatic processing, can be bad ie.
stereotyping (light hair probably not as smart) unconscious effortless thought
Automatic processes (Amygdala), controlled processes (prefrontal cortex)
Negativity Bias: a greater sensitivity to negative information compared to positive information
Optimistic Bias: predisposition to expect things to turn out well overall
Overconfidence Bias: greater confidence towards our beliefs/judgment than is justified
Planning fallacy: when something takes longer than you expect it to complete
Brace for loss: expect a negative outcome due to some event. (people brace for the worst and
turn pessimistic when they anticipate possible news that have negative effects on them)
Counterfactual thinking: tendency to imagine other outcomes in a situation other than what
actually happened (what if’s and what could have happened etc, if I only studied more)
Upward counterfactual- comparing outcome with more favourable ones (may feel sad)
Downward counterfactual- compare outcome with less favourable (may feel happy)
Thought suppression: prevent thoughts from entering consciousness
-> monitoring process: searches for evidence that these thoughts may surface, if found
-> operating process: kicks in and tries to distract oneself/think other things than the unwanted
thoughts When we have information overload, the monitoring process kicks in but we don’t have the
cognitive capacity to utilize the operating process. Instead, another process known as the
Rebound effect happens. (ie. unwanted thoughts occur at an even higher rate than before
efforts to suppress them began)
Often don’t look at “moderating variables” jump to conclusion instead of looking at bigger
picture for convenience. Ie. more men get more pay on average (women disadvantaged)
however, in actuality men have 8 yrs more experience on avg.
Affect (current mood) vs Cognition (views/processing info).
-> If we are in a good mood, our cognition (views/processing) maybe different ie. the world is a
brighter place, more accepting to meet new friends etc.
Influence of Affect on Cognition
-> Our current moods will strongly affect our reactions to new stimuli, ie a good mood you
perceive new stimuli more favourably
Mood-Dependent memory: what we learned in a certain mood may be easier remembered
when we are in the same mood. (ie. current mood is kind of a retrieval cue for the other time
you were in that mood)
Mood Congruence effects: more likely to remember negative info in a bad mood, and positive
info in a good mood.
-> happy can also increase creativity studies show
Influence of Cognition on Affect
-> Two factor theory (Schachter)- cognitive changes -> infer some kind of mood or emotional
reason. Ie. increased physical arousal in presence of LG -> you like her maybe..
-> Another way cognition may change affect is when you activate schemas which make us label
say an individual. You then have some kind of affect based on the schema you have which can
lead to prejudice, discrimination etc.
-> A third way cognition may change affect (mood) is based on efforts to regulate emotions. Ie.
people tend to attempt to soften the blow of negative or tragic events by saying they were
inevitable. “out of my control” to make themselves feel better ie. strategic choice.
Attribution: process which we try to understand reasons behind behaviour