PSYC241 Chapter 2: Methodology

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PSYC241 – Chapter 2 – Methodology
Social Psychology: An Empirical Science
-hindsight bias: the tendency for people to exaggerate how much they could have
predicted an outcome after knowing that is occurred
- 3 methods:
The Observational Method: Describing Social Behaviour
-Observational method: technique whereby a researcher observes people and
systematically records measurements or impressions of their behaviour
-Ethnography: method by which researchers attempt to understand a group or
culture by observing it from the inside, without imposing any preconceived
notions they might have.
-Interjudge reliability: the level of agreement between two or more people who
independently observe and code a set of data; by showing that two or more judges
independently come up with the same observations, researchers ensure that the
observations are not the subjective, distorted impressions of one individual
-Archival Analysis: a form of observational method in which the researcher
examines the accumulated documents, or archives, of a culture (eg. Diaries,
novels, magazines, newspapers)
oCan tell us a lot about a society’s values and beliefs
Limits of the observational method
- Certain kinds of behaviour are difficult to observe because they occur only rarely
or only in private
The Correlational Method: Predicting Social Behaviour
-Correlational method: the technique whereby two or more variables are
systematically measured and the relationship between them is assessed
-Correlation Coefficient: a statistical technique that assesses how well you can
predict one variable from another – for example, how well you can predict
people’s weight from their height. Positive & negative correlations
-Surveys: research in which a representative sample of people are asked (often
anonymously) questions about their attitudes or behaviour
- Often used to predict how peoples response to one question predict their other
- Allow researchers to judge the relationship between variables that are difficult to
- Surveys often provide answers that are representative of the general population
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