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Chapter 2

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McGill University
PSYC 215
John Lydon

Chapter 2 -Hindsight Bias: People's tendency to be overconfident about whether they could have predicted a given outcome -Hypotheses: Predictions about what will happen under particular circumstances. -Theory: A body of related propositions intended to describe some aspect of the world. -Balance theory is the theory that people like to have consistent thoughts and behaviour, for example is person A likes person B, and B dislikes C, then A will begin to dislike C or B. -Theories are more general than hypotheses, which are more general than findings from the studies that test them. Observational Research (45) -Participant observation is observing some phenomenon at close range. Archival Research (46) -Researchers look at evidence found in archives of various kinds like record books, police reports, sports statistics, newspaper articles and databases containing ethnographic (anthropological) descriptions of people in different cultures. Surveys (46) -One of the most common types of study -Simply asking people questions -Can be conducted via interview or written questionnaires. -Interviews or written questionnaires -Small collection of students or large national survey -Random Sample: Taken at random from the population. (When the investigator is trying to discern the beliefs or attitudes of some group of people). Everyone in the population has to have an equal chance of being chosen. -Population: Group you want to know about (eg US college students) -Convenience Sample: Taken from some available subgroup in the population (eg students questioned as they come into the student union). Not random, and can be biased in some way (it may include too many of the same types of people) -Biased info is sometimes worse than no info -Reader polls can be misleading and should not be valued because the people who take the time to respond to these polls are likely to be different than those who do not respond -Sample size: a sample of about 1200 people from the US population is sufficient to estimate the population value to a degree of accuracy of plus or minus 3 percent and to be 95% confident that the true value is within that range. National polls taken before an election are generally within 2% of the actual vote. -Southerners: more agreeing to the statement: “If someone does you harm, you should turn the other cheek and forgive him” but were also more in favor of violence in response to insults, or threats to home and family. Also more likely to be violent in socializing children, like spanking them. Correlational Research (49) -Correlational Research: Research that does not involve random assignment to different situations, or conditions, and that enables researchers to make strong inferences about how these different conditions affect people’s behavior. To determine whether a relationship exists between two variables. -Experimental Research: In social psychology, research that randomly assigns people to different conditions, or situations, and that enables researchers to make strong inferences about how these different conditions affect people’s behaviors. Enables researchers to make strong inferences about how different situations or conditions affect people’s behaviors. -Correlation is not Causation: Does variable 1 influence variable 2, or the other way around (reverse causation)? Does a third variable influence both? -Self-Selection: A problem that arises when the participant, rather than the investigator, selects his/her level on each variable, bringing with this value unknown other properties of a relationship difficult. -Correlation research cannot prove a causal relationship because of self-selection. The investigator had no control of the participant’s score on a given variable. -Strengths of relationship can range from 0 (no relationship) to 1 (perfect variation). It can also be -1 if being higher on one variable directly means being lower on the other variable. 0.2=slight relationship, 0.4=moderate relationship, 0.6 or above=strong relationship. -Can be helpful for alerting investigators to various possibilities for valid causal hypotheses about the nature of the world. Also helpful when experimental studies would be unethical or difficult, for example when researchers can’t randomly assign people to certain variables like gender or intelligence, or to a condition that held long term risks. -Longitudinal Study: A study conducted over a long period of time (or 2 points in time) with the same population, which is periodically assessed regarding a particular behavior. Rules out the opposite direction of causality; something that happens when you’re 30 cannot affect what happened to you 20 years ago. Experimental research (52) -Best way to be sure about causality. -Requires and independent (manipulated, hypothesized to be the cause of a particular outcome) and dependent (measured, hypothesized to be the outcome of a particular causal process) variable. -Dependent variables can be measured by verbal reports, behavior, physiological measures, or neural measures. -Random Assignment: Assigning participants in experimental research to different groups randomly, such that they are as likely to be assigned to one condition as
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