[PSYCH 3325] - Midterm Exam Guide - Everything you need to know! (13 pages long)

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PSYCH 3325
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Research Methods in Social Psychology
Why conduct research?
-Common sense is contradictory (ex: absence makes the heart grow fonder vs. out of
sight, out of mind)
-Research allows us to have confidence in our understanding of things
Why learn about research methods?
-Not all research is good research
-Critically evaluate research results
-Do the methods being used make sense given the question being asked?
Scientific method:
Hypothesize
Operationalize
Measure
Evaluate
Revise/Replicate
Hypothesize:
A hypothesis is an explicit, testable prediction about the conditions under which an outcome
will occur
Two key features of a hypothesis:
1. Statement about at least 2 variables and how they are related
-Variable: anything that can potentially hold more than one value
2. Can be operationalized and tested
Where do hypotheses come from?
-Previous theories and research
-Support or discredit a theory
-Explain a discrepancy between findings
-Apply a concept from one discipline to another
-Personal experience
-Own explanations for why something happened
Theories vs. Hypotheses
-Theories cannot be tested directly
-provide overarching set of principles for explaining phenomena
-Hypotheses are more specified
-derived from theories
-Theory: Depeche Mode is the greatest band of the 80s
Operationalize
-Operationalization is the process by which we make a theoretical variable one that we
can measure
-Ex: Self-control
-How do we define this?
-How might we measure this?
-Ex: Mooching
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-How do we define this?
-How might we measure this?
-Conceptual definition
-Actual concept being dealt with
-Broad and abstract
-Ex. Self-control, aggression, reinforcement, etc.
-Operational definition
-Measurable version of conceptual variable
-Specific and concrete
-Ex. Eating cookies, intensity of electric shock given to someone, money, etc.
Measure
Observational Method: used to describe the nature of a phenomenon, researcher observes
people and records details and impressions of their behavior
-Questions being asked: What is Y? Why does Y exist? How often does Y occur?
-Strengths:
-Easy to do
-Can investigate behavior in natural settings
-Study situations that are unethical to recreate
-Limitations:
-Can be difficult to observe some behaviors
-No information about causation
Correlational Method:
-used to examine the relationship between variables
-allows researchers to know how much one variable can be predicted from the other
-Questions being asked:
-How does Y change when X changes?
-Is Y associated with/related to X?
-Can you predict Y by knowing what X is?
-the Correlation coefficient: statistical calculation which indicates the degree of
association between two variables
-r signifies the size and direction of the relationship between two variables
-r ranges from -1 to +1
-much (but not all) is done with surveys
-impractical and even impossible to assess everyone draw a sample from the
population
-random selection: a representative sample of people is randomly selected and then
asked the same questions (like a lottery), every member of the population has an equal chance
of being selected allows conclusions to be drawn about a larger population
-strengths: researchers can study naturally occurring variables that might be difficult or
unethical to manipulate, surveys (if used) allow information to be collected about a lot of
people very quickly
-limitations: random selection can be difficult to achieve, provides no information about
causality
-correlation does not equal causation!!!
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