CAS PS 261 Study Guide - Fall 2018, Comprehensive Midterm Notes - Time, Narcissism, Ford Focus

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CAS PS 261
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
Fall 2018
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Research in Social Psychology:
Descriptive methods (the “what”)
Observational research/naturalistic observation
correlational /survey research (ex. questionnaires or interviews)
Detecting associations between variables
Experimental methods (the “why”)
Lab experiments
Field experiments
Correlational research cannot establish a causal relationship
Correlation is not causation!!
Two reasons for this:
Directionality problem - measuring a bunch of
variables at one time so you can’t say for sure that
the cause is because of just one
Third variable problem - even if you can figure out
the variable, there’s the possibility that the other
variables are accounting for the association
Headlines can be misleading:
Important questions: What methodology was used? How is the
sample selected, its size, random or not, etc.?
If you can get a big enough sample size, almost any two variables can
have a correlation
Spurious correlations: two almost completely unrelated things that
are found to have a “correlation”
Experimental research: researcher manipulates (changes the value of)
one variable, and measures related changes in a second variable
IV = what you manipulate
DV = what you measure
Experimental group receives the “treatment”
Control group treated identically but does not receive the
“treatment
Experimental Research - Two Key Components
Random assignment
Random assignment used to ensure the equivalence of
groups before the experiment
Experimental control
Careful of extraneous influences and possible confounders
Trying to eliminate any potential bias
Everything needs to be exactly the same
The only thing that should change is the IV
Advantages and disadvantages of experiments
Major advantage
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Assess causality/draw causal conclusions
Disadvantages
Lack of “everyday”/ mundane realism
Researchers argue that even when there is no
mundane realism, there is
psychological/experimental realism which means
that real cognitive processes can still be simulated
Generalizability
How can you really generalize to the whole
population?
You have to ask whether this even matters, some
researchers aren’t interested in whether it happens
in the real world but CAN it happen?
Correlational and Experimental Research Compared
Making Sense of Social Psychological Research
The Hindsight Bias - ability to have foreseen an outcome after its
occured: “I knew it all along / I saw that coming”
We overestimate our ability to predict an outcome
Individuals can predict outcomes of research no better
than chance
Exceptions to research findings do not invalidate the overall
results
The Self and Self Serving Bias:
The self concept
The answer to the question: Who am I?
I am _____.
The collection of an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about him/herself
The self
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Document Summary

Correlational /survey research (ex. questionnaires or interviews) Correlational research cannot establish a causal relationship. Directionality problem - measuring a bunch of variables at one time so you can"t say for sure that the cause is because of just one. Third variable problem - even if you can figure out the variable, there"s the possibility that the other variables are accounting for the association. How is the sample selected, its size, random or not, etc. If you can get a big enough sample size, almost any two variables can have a correlation. Spurious correlations: two almost completely unrelated things that are found to have a correlation . Experimental research: researcher manipulates (changes the value of) one variable, and measures related changes in a second variable. Control group treated identically but does not receive the. Random assignment used to ensure the equivalence of groups before the experiment. Careful of extraneous influences and possible confounders. Everything needs to be exactly the same.

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