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PSYC 215 (296)
John Lydon (79)
Chapter 2

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PSYC 215
John Lydon

Chapter 2:  Research: o Hypotheses: predictions about what will happen under particular circumstances o Test broader theories about behaviour  Theory: body of related propositions intended to describe aspects of the world o Supported by empirical facts  Balance theory: if A likes B, B dislikes C, then A will dislike C or will dislike B. o Theory that people like to have consistent thoughts and behaviour  Hypotheses are tested by studies, which test predictions about what will happen in concrete contexts  Theories are more general than hypotheses  Observational research: o Observation  Participant observation:  Involves observing some phenomenon at close range  Social psychs observe social situations in semiformal way: taking notes and interviewing participants  Tentative conclusions gleaned from observation should ideally be tested with other methods  Archival Research: o Library o Looking at evidence found in archives or various kinds o Eg. Southerner’s respond more aggressively to insults than northerner’s- Cohen/ Nisbett  Surveys: o Very common o Asking people questions o Need a random sample- very important o Convenience sample: contacting people as they enter library,= is NOT random and may be biased in some way o The number of people needed to get a reasonably accurate count, is independent of the size of the population in question  Correlational research: o Determine whether a relationship exists between two or more variables o Important way to begin a line of inquiry o NOT causation! o Does 1 influence 2? Or is it the other way around?  Reserve causation o Or does a Third Variable influence both/? o Can never be sure about causation o Correlation cannot prove causation because of self-selection  Investigator has no control over the level of particular participant’s score on a given variable o Strength of relationship= 0, NO relationship o 1 = covariation is perfect o  Experimental research: o Enables researchers to make strong inferences about diff situations that affect people’s behaviour o Best way to be sure about causality = experimental research o Independent variable: one that is manipulated and thought to be the cause o Dependent variable: is measured, thought to be the outcome of particular causal process  Measured by verbal reports, behaviour, physiological measures, neural measures o Random assignment: ensures participants are likely to be assigned to one condition as to another → there should be no differences across experimental groups o Random assignment also rules out the possibility of self-selection bases in samples o Control condition: same as experiment except is lacks the one thing needed to produce the expected effect on the dependent measure  Natural experiments: o Events occur that the investigator believes to have causal implications for some outcome.  Eg. Measure people’s happiness before and after they get married. Turns out that people are happier after marriage than before.- but these results are scarcely decisive  External validity in experiments: o Experimental studies weaknesses:
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