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Chapter 2

Social Psych Study Notes - Chap 2.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 2233
Professor
Suzanne Ricard
Semester
Fall

Description
Social Psych Study Notes: Chapter 2 • Many social problems, such as the causes and relations to violence, can be studied  scientifically. • Hindsight bias: people exaggerate how much they could have predicted an  outcome after knowing that it occurred. • Theory: organized set of principles that can be used to explain observed  phenomena,  • Hypothesis: a testable statement about the relationship between variables.   • Diffusion of responsibility: if there is a large crowd observing a crime, they all  assume someone in the crowd will call the police, take action.  They in fact, do  nothing. • Operational definition: the precise specification of how the variables examined  will be measured or manipulated  • The observational method o A researcher observes people and systematically records measurements of  their bahaviour. o This can be done a number of different ways; from not participating or  intervening in any way (fly on the wall method) to observing the  group/culture from the inside without imposing any preconceived notions  they might have known (ethnographic method). o Problem; people act differently when they know they’re being  watched/recorded.    Unobtrusive observation, where they don’t know they are being  watched remedies this situation. • Interjudge reliability: an agreement; two or more people who independently  observe and code a set of data.  By showing that two or more people agree, it  ensures that the data is not the subjective impressions of one individual. • Archival analysis: the researcher examines the accumulated documents, or  archives of a culture.  Diaries, novels, suicide notes, music lyrics, media, all tell  us a great idea about how a society sees itself. o Gives a unique look at the values and interests of a culture.  • Correlational method o Technique where researchers systematically measure two or more  variables and assess the relation between them.  Can they predict one  another? • Correlation coefficient: o A statistic to assess how well you can predict one variable based on  another (how well can you predict people’s weight based on their height?) o +1 means they’re perfectly correlated, ­1 means there is no correlation o Correlation does not prove causation.  Just because something is  correlated, doesn’t mean it caused by that correlation. • Experimental method: the systematic orchestration of a social event o Most commonly used by social psychologists • Independent variables: the variable a researcher changes or varies to see if it has 
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