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PSYB10H3 (611)
Chapter 2


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Elizabeth Page- Gould

Chapter 2: Methodology: How Social Psychologists Do Research PAGES 27-55 FINISHED PART I: Social Psychology: An Empirical Science. - Hindsight bias: people exaggerate how much they could have predicted an outcome after knowing that it occurred. PART II: Formulating Hypotheses and Theories. - Theory: an organized set of principles that can be used to explain observed phenome- na. - Hypothesis: a testable statement or idea about the relationship between two or more variables. - Diffusion of responsibility: thinking someone else would call the police (killing of Kitty Genovese) PART III: The Observational Method - Observational method: the technique whereby a researcher observes people and sys- temically records measurements of their behaviors. - Very useful method if the goal is to describe what a particular group of people or type of behavior is like. - Operational definition: the precise specification of how variables are measured or ma- nipulated. - Ethnography: the method by which researchers attempt to understand a group or cul- ture by observing it from the inside without imposing any preconceived notions they might have. Chief method of cultural anthropology. - Interjudge reliability: the level of agreement between two or more people who indepen- dently observe and code a set of data; by showing that two or more judges indepen- dently come up with the same observations, researchers ensure that the observations are not the subjective impressions of one individual. Archival Analysis - Archival analysis: a form of the observational method, whereby the researcher exam- ines the accumulated documents, or archives, of a culture (e.g.. Diaries, novels, maga- zines, and newspapers). - Shows values and interests of a culture. PART IV: The Correlational Method - Correlational method: the technique whereby researchers systematically measure two or more variables and assess the relation between them (i.e. How much one can be predicted from the other). - Correlation coefficient: a statistical technique that assesses how well you can predict one variable based on another (e.g. How well you can predict people’s weight from their height) - Surveys: research in which a representative sample of people are asked questions about their attitudes or behavior. - Random selection: a way of ensuring that a sample of people is representative of a population, by giving everyone in the population an equal chance of being selected for the sample. - Correlation does not prove causation. PART V: The Experimental Method: Answering Causal Questions - Experimental method: the method in which the researcher randomly assigns partici- pants to different conditions and ensures that these conditions are identical except for the independent variable (the one thought to have a causal effect on people’s respons- es). - The most preferred method in social psychological research design. Independent and Dependent Variables - Independent variable: the variable a researcher changes or varies to see if it has an ef- fect on some other variable. - Dependent variable: the variable a researcher measures ti see ugh out us influenced by the independent variable; the researcher hypothesizes that the dependent variable will depend on the level of the independent variable. Internal Validity in Experiments - Internal validity: in an experiment, keeping everything the same but the independent variable. - Random assignment to condition: the process whereby all participants have an equal chance of taking part in any condition of an experiment; through random assignment, re- searchers can be relatively certain that differences in the participants’ personalties or backgrounds are distributed evenly across condition
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