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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Social Study Guide.docx

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Carleton University
SOCI 2150

Chapter 2 Social Study GuideSocial Psychology An Empirical ScienceMany social problems such as the causes of and reactions to violence can be studied scientifically There is a wellknown human tendency called the hindsight biaswhereby people exaggerate how much they could have predicted an outcome after knowing that it occurred A study by Roese and Olson asked students to read a story based on World War I events about a young soldier who had a plan to save a small village that was about to be invaded In one condition the students were told that the soldier managed to convince others in the military to accept his plan and the village was saved Students felt that it was evident all along that the village would be saved In another condition students were told that the solders plan was rejected and the village was destroyed These students thought it was obvious that the village would be destroyed The trick is to predict what will happen in an experiment before you know how it turns outLook at the Milgram experiment about shocks being administered Social psychology is an empirical science with a welldeveloped set of methods to answer questions about social behaviourFormulating Hypotheses and TheoriesTheory an organized set of principles that can be used to explain observed phenomenaMany studies stem from a researchers dissatisfaction with existing theories and explanationsThese psychologists engage in a continual process of theory refinementHypothesis a testable statement or idea about the relationship between two or more variablesTheory is not the only way to derive a new hypothesis Researchers often observe a phenomenon in everyday life that they find curious and interesting They then construct a theory about why this phenomenon occurred and design a study to see if they are right Consider the Kitty Genovese murder where she was attacked and killed for 45 minutes and no fewer than 38 of the apartment residents admitted later that day that they had heard her screamsResearchers Latane and Darley referred to the diffusion of responsibility as the more people who witness an emergency the less likely it is that any given individual will
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