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Chapter 2

social psych chapter two.rtf

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University of Toronto Scarborough
E- Page Gould

social psych chapter two: doing social psych DEVELOPING IDEAS: BEGINNING THE RESEARCH PROCESS asking questions -psychology study beings wth a question and they come from everywhere - questions also come from reading about research that has already been done searching literature - best way to search published materials on topics of interest is by using electronic database of published research (PsycArticles, PsycINFO) - treeing: going from article to article hypothesis and theories hypothesis: testable prediction about conditions under which an event will occur - formulating a hypothesis is critical step toward planning and conducting research - allows us to move from realm of common sense to scientific method - as hypotheses proliferate and date are collected to test hypotheses, proposal of theory is made theory: organized set of prinicples used to explain observed phenomena - theories are evaluated in terms of 3 criteria 1. simplicity 2. comprehensiveness 3. abilit to generate new hypothesis (generativity) basic and applied research basic research: research designed to increase understanding of human behaviour, often by testing hypotheses based on theory applied research: research designed to enlarge understanding of naturally occuring events and to find solutions to practical problems - basic and applied are closely connected - Kurt Lewin - encouraged basic researchers to be concerned with complex social problems - urged applied researchers to recognize how important and practical theories are REFINING IDEAS: DEFINING AND MEASURING SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL VARIABLES conceptual variables and operational definitions: from abstract to specific - first develops hypothesis - conceptual variables: variables typically in abstract, general form - ex. prejudice, conformit, attraction, love...etc. - must transform conceptual variables into variables that can be manipulated or measure in study operational definition: specific procedures for manipulating or measuring a conceptual variable - no best way to transform variable from abstract (conceptual) to specific (operational) - only trial and error - there is systematic, statistical ways of checking how valid various manipulations and measures are construct validity: extent to which measures used in study measure variables they were designed to measure and manipulations in experiment manipulate variables they were designed to manipulate measuring variable: using self reports, observations and technology self reports - participants disclose heir thoughts, feeling, desires and actions - individual questions or sets of questions that measure single conceptual variable - Rosenburg Self esteem scale - questions that measure individual's overall self esteem - give researcher access to individual's beliefs and perceptions - not always accurate and can be misleading - bogus pipeline - participants were leed to believe that their responsed will be verified by infallible lie detector, report about themselves more accurately and endorse socially unacceptable opinions more frequently than those not told abou pipeline - affected by way that questions are asked (how they are worded or context they are being asked in) - elicit very different responses depending on context in which question occurs - participants report on thoughts or behaviours from past, and participants memory for these thoughts or behaviours may be suspect - reduce problem: developed ways to reduce time elasped b/w actual experience and person report 1. interval contingent: report their experience at regular intervals (once a day) 2. signal contingent: report their experience as soon as possible after being signalled to it (a beeper) 3. event contingent: report on designated set of event as soon as possible after event has occured - in contrast --> narrative studies: collect lengthy responses on general topic observations - observe people's actions interrater reliability: degree to whcih differnt observers agree on their observations - advantage: avoid faulty recollections and distorted interpretations of own behaviour - disadvantage: if individuals know they are being observedm their behaviour may be biased by desire to present themselves in favourable light technology - equipment used to measure physiological responses - heart rate, levels of particular hormones, and sexual arousal - computers used to record speed with which participants respond to stimuli - eye tracking tech to measure where and or how long participans look at particular parts of stimulus - fMRI scans; with visual images of brain activity - with participant is thinking, making decisions , responding to audio or video stimulicertain parts of the brain are stimulated and light up (increased activity) TESTING IDEAS: RESEARCH DESIGNS qualitative research: collection of data through open ended responses, observation and interviews quantitative research: collection of numerical data through objective testing and statistical analysis - meta-analysis: integrates research findings of many different studies descriptive researchl discoverin trends and tendencies - goal of descriptive research: to describe people and thought, feelings and behaviours observational studies - researchers ue hidden cameras and microphones to record the incidents of bullying and per interventions archival studies - involves examining existing records of past events and behaviours - newspaper, medical record, diaries... - advantage: cause researchers are observing behaviour secondhand, they can be sure they didnt influenc behaviour of their presence - disadvantage: limitation of available records, not all are complete or sufficiently detaile d surveys - conducting surverys involves asking people questions about their attitues, beliefs, and behaviours - many questions can be addressed only with surveys cause the involve variables that are impossible or unethical to observe directly or manipulate - ex. people's sexual behaviours or their optimism about future - most important issues: how to select people - first must identify populaton in which they are interested - get sample similar to population on important characteristics random sampling: method of selecing participant for study so that everyone in population has equal chance of being in study correlational research; looking for associations correlational research: research designed to measure association b/w varibles that are not manipulated by researcher - can be conducted using obserational, archival or survey methods - can sugges how similar or distinct two different measures are correlation coefficient correlationa coefficient: statistical measure of strength and direction of association b/w two variables - can range from -1.0 to + 1.0 - absolute value indicated how stongly the two variables are associated - the larger... the stronger the association - if coefficient is positive or negative it indicates the direction of relationship - positive correlation indicates as one variable increases so does other - ex. smoking and lung cance are positively correlated - this correlation is not perfect, people who are heavy smokers will not develop lung cancer and some people who never smoke get lung cancer and some who smoke a little will, so, correlation is less than +1.0 but greater than zero - negative correlation indicates as one goes up the other goes down - ex. number of classes missed vs. GPA - concurrent: correlations obtained at single point in time across number of individuals - prospective: correlations that are obtained at different times from same individual - useful in determining whether certain behaviors at particular age are associated with others behaviour at later age advantages and disadvantges of correlational research - advantages - study associations of naturally occuring variables that cannot be manipulated or induced
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