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Psychology (9,573)
PSYB10H3 (611)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Elizabeth Page- Gould

Chapter 2: Methodology: How Social Psychologists Do Research Social Psychology: An Empirical Science: The results of some of the experiments you encounter will seem obvious, because the topic of social psychology is something with which we are all intimately familiarsocial behavior and social influence There is a well known human tendency called the hindsight bias, whereby people exaggerate how much they could have predicted an outcome after knowing that it occurred. The trick is to predict what will happen in an experiment before you know how it turns out Social psychology is an empirical science with a well-developed set of methods to answer questions about social behavior o These methods are of three types: 1. Observational method 2. Correlational method 3. Experimental method Method Questions Answered 1. ObservationalArchival Description: What is the nature of the phenomenon 2. Correlational Description: what is the relation between variable X and variable Y 3. Experimental Description: Is variable X a cause of variable Y Formulating Hypotheses & Theories: Theory: an organized set of principles that can be used to explain observed phenomena Many studies stem from a researchers dissatisfaction with existing theories and explanations They develop a theory, test specific hypotheses derived from that theory, and based on the results, revise the theory and formulate new hypotheses Hypothesis: a testable statement or idea about the relationship between two or more variables Researchers often observe a phenomenon in everyday life that they find curious and interesting, then construct a theory about why this phenomenon occurred and design a study to see if they are right o Genovese was attacked while walking to her car and brutally murdered (lasted 45 minutes. 36 residents saw, and none came forth to helpBibb Latane and John Darley did an experiment on this o Hunch: the more people who witness an emergency, the less likely it is that any given individual will intervene, the neighbors might have also assumed that someone else had called the police (diffusion of responsibility) The Observational Method: Observational Method: the technique whereby a researcher observes people and systematically records measurements of their behavior o Describes what a particular group of people or type of behavior is o Method varies according to the degree: One extreme, the observer neither participates nor intervenes in any way (ex. Debra Pepler & Craig--observed schoolyard bullying by using hidden cameras, and putting microphones in waist pouches around students; operationally defined a power imbalance as a discrepancy in terms of height and weight between the children involved.) o Age-old problem with the observational method: people change their behavior when they know they are being observed. www.notesolution.com
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