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PSY 331 (27)

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University at Buffalo
PSY 331
Lindsey Streamer

1/29/14 What is social psychology? - Classic definition o Doesn’t capture everything - Alternative definition o Study of human experience o Too broad^ - Yet another alternative o Study of how people function as individuals in a social world Social psych in the world - “opposites attract” o Examples? (quiet and outgoing) - “Birds of a feather flock together” o Examples? (people that are similar to each other) - Dilemma? o Both seem reasonable! o Rely on what research says, not what “makes sense” The science of psychology - Psychology=science o Ideas are empirically tested - Empiricism: the practice of relying on observation o “let’s take a look” - Scientific method o Rules and procedures used to gather, analyze and interpret info Population vs. sample - Population: entire group of all relevant individuals - Sample: a smaller group selected from population - Logic: o Population usually impractical o Samples much easier o Test sample o Generalize to population Sampling issues - Most studied group: psych 101 students o Who does this generalize to? - Not necessarily everyone! - But: not necessarily no one else - Should have reason to expect group differences o Example: WNY vs. southern CA  Study of romantic relationship dynamics  Study of surfing experience o Can be empirically tested Observational research - Observing and describing - No attempt to manipulate (change) behavior o Naturalistic observation  Ex: playground, bar o Participant observation  Ex: Leon Festinger o Archival research  Ex: TV commercials - Advantages: o Observe behavior in natural setting o Sometimes it’s the only way - Disadvantages: o People may act differently when watched o Observer bias  Evidence: worm study Correlational research - Measure relationships between variables o Variables not manipulated o Ex: age and price of car - Correlation coefficient: r o -1 to +1  Direction (- or +)  Magnitude (strength) - Advantages: o Predicts behavior  Ex: employee personality traits - Disadvantages: o Cannot determine causality  Reverse causation • Ex: health and income  Third variable problem Experimental research - Research designed to test cause-effect relationships o Manipulate the independent variable  The “cause” o Measure the dependent variable  The “effect” o Random assignment - Advantage: o Conclusions about causal relationships - Disadvantage: o Some things cannot be manipulated 02/19/14 Attributions - Definition: determined causes for outcomes o Example: test performance o Internal: something about you
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