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York University
PSYC 2110

Chp- 2 Methodology • Hindsight bias- tendency for ppl to exaggerate how much they could have predicted the outcome after that it occurred • When studying behavior the results may appear to be predictable • Study by Roese and Olson- in one study participants were told that the village would be destroyed and they said they 'knew it all along' and vice versa when they were told that it would be saved • The trick- predicting what will happen in an experiment before you know how it turns out • Formulating hypotheses and theories • Theory- organized set of principles, used to explain observed phenomena • Hypothesis- a testable statement/idea about the relationship btwn two or more variable • Social psychologists 1. develop a theory 2. test a hypothesis derived from that theory 3. based on results, revise theory & formulate new hypothesis • E.g. kitty genovese's murder lasted for 45 mins, no one called the police - 38 witnesses WHY? • Psychologists theory- the more ppl witnessed the murder, less likely anyone would intervene b/c they 'assumed' someone else had called the police- diffusion of responsibility • Operational definition- the precise specification of how v= variables are measured or manipulated • Video- Naturalistic observation on 'mypsychlab' • 3 methods of research: 1. Observational method- a technique where a researcher observes ppl & systematically records measurements of their behavior • Goal is to describe a group of ppl or type of behavior • Varies- the degree of which the observer actively participates in the scene • The observer tries to participate in the study, tries to blend in with the group and observes by becoming an insider. The participants' behavior is not manipulated and no opinions are based on it Aka Enthography • Definition- method by which researchers attempt to understand a group or culture by observing it from the inside w/o imposing any preconceived notions( a personal belief or judgment not founded on proof) they might have • e.g. study- the world will come to an end and a spaceship will come to rescue them. Researches joined the group to closely observe the behavior of the cult and they continued to stick to their belief and tried to convert others. • Interjudge reliability- level of agreement btwn 2 or more ppl who independently observe & code a set of data; By showing that 2 or more judges independently come up w/ the same observations, they are not the subjective(personal) impressions of 1 individual • Archival analysis- form of O.M. where researcher examines accumulated docu • ments, archives of a culture( diaries, novels, magazines) ; tell us about how a society views itself • Key point: allows a unique look at values and interests of culture • e.g. body index and weight in girl and boy models in north american society. 1. Correlational method- researchers systematically measure 2 or more V's and assess the relation btwn them ( how much 1 can be predicted from the other) • Key point- whether 2 or more vs are related- if so, determine the strength of that relation • e.g. whether ppls level of compassion is related to how much money they donate toward famine relief • Correlation coefficient- statistic that assesses how well you can predict 1 v based on another • e.g. how well u can predict ppls weight from their height • + correlation= increases in value of v1 are associated with increases in value of v2 • e.g. height are weight are +vly correlated; tall person= more weight • -- correlation= increase in value of v1, decrease in value of v2 • e.g. the more a person smokes, the less years he lives • Ranges from -1.00 to +1.00 • +1.00 = 2 vs are perfectly correlated in a + direction. • --1.00 = 2 vs " " " " - direction. • 0 = no correlations • Surveys- research in which a representative sample of ppl are asked questions about their attitudes/behavior • Advantages: 1. allow researchers to judge the relationship btwn vs that are often difficult to observe e.g. how often do ppl engage in safer sex 2. Ability to sample representative segments of the population ( age, gender, educational background, etc) 3. Random selection: way to ensuring that a sample is representative of a population, by giving everyone an equal chance of being selected • Disadvantage- accuracy of responses - what ppl think and what they actually do • Correlation does not equal causation • Examine whether the occurrence of A is related to B • e.g. watching violent tv shows causes children to be more aggressive- 3 possible causal relations 1. Watching violent tv shows causes kids to become more violent OR more aggressive kids watch more violent tv shows OR no relation btwn the 2 vs- neglecting parents 2. Experimental method- researcher randomly assigns participants to diff conditions and ensures that these conditions are identical except for the IV • Only way to determine causal relations bc it allows experimenter to make causal references • IV- researcher changes or varies to see if it has an effect on some other V • e.g. the number of ppl witnessing the emergency • DV- researcher measures to see if its influenced by the IV • Random assignment to condition- process where all participants have an equal chance in any condition of an experiment through random assignment. • Internal validity- ensuring that nothing other than IV can effect the DV. Experimenters randomly assign participants to diff experimental conditions • Keeping everything the same but the IV= internal validity • In Latane and Darley's experiment, other than the # of bystanders present, their personalities also play a role e.g. some participants were bought up by loving parents that nurtured and taught their kids to help others where as others were not. • Probability level (p-value)- • Key to a good experiment is maintaining a high internal validity • External validity- extent to which results of a study can be generalized to other situations and to other ppl • Mundane realism- the extent to which an experiment is similar to real-life situations • Psychological realism- • Cover story- study given to participants that is different from its true purpose; cover stories are used to maintain psychological realism • Replication- repeating a study, generally with diff subject populations, in diff settings, or by using diff methods • Meta analysis- statistical technique that averages the results of 2 or more studies to see if the effect of an IV is reliable • One way to increase external validity is to do field experiments bc the participants are unaware that the events
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