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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Notes

5 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY220H1
Professor
Jennifer Fortune

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Chapter 2 t The Methods of Social Psychology
Two key elements of the scientific method are: theories (explanations) and hypotheses (predictions)
TheoryÆ an explanation of why an event or outcome occurs; it identifies the underlying causes of an
event or phenomenonÆ framework for understanding why something occurs
HypothesesÆ a specific prediction about what should occur if a theory is valid; it provides the means by
which a theory can be tested
Most theories build on prior scientific work; involves applying a concept/principle from one field to
another related but distinct field
Just world theory (Melvin Lerner)Æ humans need to believe that the world is a fair and just place; we
are all motivated to believe that ppl usually receive what their deserve
Just world theory states that humans want to believe that the world is a fair and just place, because to
believe otherwise would threaten the assumption that p}o[}Áv((}Á]ooÁ]vo](X
I.e. hard work brings rewards; laziness and dishonesty do not pay off
Operational definitionÆ a specific, observable response that is used to measure a concept
I.e. concept of attitudes toward religion; the operational definition (measure) is scores from 0 to 10 on a
response scale
Two types of measures are most common in soc psych: self-report measures and behavioural measures
Self-report measureÆ asking ppl directly; i.e. belief in god, optimism about the future, visits to the
dentist
}v[oÁÇÁ}lµov}oÁÇovÁ]oo]vP}}}v}v]XXouÇv}
be aware of internal states such as unconscious motives that can affect their actions
Socially desirable respondingÆ a form of responding that involves giving answers that portray the
respondent in a positive light
Behavioural measures are often unobtrusive measuresÆ assessments that are taken without the
realization of the participants, thereby minimizing socially desirable responding
PsychometricsÆ a sub discipline within psychology that is devoted to understanding and refining
methods for psychological measurement
Focus on two properties of measures that represent accuracy: 1. Reliability 2. Validity
ReliabilityÆ refers to the consistency or stability of scores on a measure; the extent to which a measure
](}(^v}u_(oµµ]}vU}Z}À]uv}P
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ValidityÆ the extent to which a measure really assess what it is supposed to assess- whether scores on
the measure actually reflect the assumed underlying concept
In correlational research, investigators measure two or more concepts and see whether the concepts
are associated with one another
Various kinds of correlational studies differ primarily in how researchers obtain the data: by asking
questions; by using historical information; by watching behaviour
Positive correlation: two measures change in the SAME direction
Negative correlation: two measures change in the opposite direction (as one goes up, the other goes
down)
*correlations do NOT show that measures are causally connected--. When two measures are correlated,
the cause of this association cannot be known with certainty
Benefits: correlational methods are quite flexible; can be designed to explore many diff issues; obtaining
correlational data is often easier than trying to set up an experiment; obtained in naturalistic settings
(not a lab)
SurveysÆ most common kind of correlational research in soc psych; a correlational study in which the
researcher asks questions to respondents, either in a printed questionnaire, on a computer, over the
telephone, or during an interview
Counterfactual thinkingÆ refers to thoughts about how past events could have turned out differently
ZZ}(vÁv}ulZ](]v]vPPvoo}oP}[v
Representative sampleÆ P}µ}(}vvZµoÇ(ooP}[v(}uÁZ]Z]
was drawn and to which the researcher wants to generalize the results
Random samplingÆ µ]uv}]vÁZ]ZÀÇ}v]v]µo}[vZÆoÇZ
same probability of being in the study; it produces a representative sample
Archival researchÆ correlational investigations that are based on pre-existing information obtained by
researchers, such as historical records, newspaper articles, or other forms of public data
Observational studiesÆ correlational investigations in which researchers watch participants and code
uµ(}uZ}ÀZÀ]}µU]Z^o]À_}(}uÀ]}
Participant- observational researchÆ a special type of observational study in which a researcher actually
i}]vv}vP}]vPP}µ}}ÀZuu[ZÀ]}µ
I.e. Festinger study on a doomsday cult that believed they saved the world from destructionÆ lead to
development of dissonance theory
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Description
Chapter 2 J The Methods of Social Psychology Two key elements of the scientific method are: theories (explanations) and hypotheses (predictions) Theory an explanation of why an event or outcome occurs; it identifies the underlying causes of an event or phenomenon framework for understanding why something occurs Hypotheses a specific prediction about what should occur if a theory is valid; it provides the means by which a theory can be tested Most theories build on prior scientific work; involves applying a conceptprinciple from one field to another related but distinct field Just world theory (Melvin Lerner) humans need to believe that the world is a fair and just place; we are all motivated to believe that ppl usually receive what their deserve Just world theory states that humans want to believe that the world is a fair and just place, because to believe otherwise would threaten the assumption that p}o[Z}L}Z]oo]Lo]: I.e. hard work brings rewards; laziness and dishonesty do not pay off Operational definition a specific, observable response that is used to measure a concept I.e. concept of attitudes toward religion; the operational definition (measure) is scores from 0 to 10 on a response scale Two types of measures are most common in soc psych: self-report measures and behavioural measures Self-report measure asking ppl directly; i.e. belief in god, optimism about the future, visits to the dentist }ZL[oZ}l ZoL}oZoL]oo]L2}}}L }L ]::oKL} be aware of internal states such as unconscious motives that can affect their actions Socially desirable responding a form of responding that involves giving answers that portray the respondent in a positive light Behavioural measures are often unobtrusive measures assessments that are taken without the realization of the participants, thereby minimizing socially desirable responding Psychometrics a sub discipline within psychology that is devoted to understanding and refining methods for psychological measurement Focus on two properties of measures that represent accuracy: 1. Reliability 2. Validity Reliability refers to the consistency or stability of scores on a measure; the extent to which a measure ]Z}^L}K_o ]}LZ7}Z}]KL }ZZE2Z www.notesolution.com
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