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Chapter Chapter 14: Replicability, Generalization, and the Real World, Part I

PSYCH 303 Chapter Notes - Chapter Chapter 14: Replicability, Generalization, and the Real World, Part I: Cultural Psychology, Ecological Validity, External Validity

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Colleen Seifert
Chapter 14: Replicability, Generalization, and the Real World, Part I

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Generalizing to other settings
Ecological validity, or mundane realism
A study’s similarity to real-world contexts
A type of external validity that refers to how similar a study’s manipulations and
measures are to the kinds of situations participants might encounter in their everyday
Does a study have to be generalizable to many people?
Theory-testing mode
When researchers test association or causal claims to investigate support for a theory
Theory-data cycle is the process of designing studies to test a theory and using the
data from the studies to reject, refine, or support the theory
In theory-testing mode, external validity matters much less than internal validity
Basic research tends to be done in theory-testing mode
Generalization mode
When researchers want to generalize the findings from the sample in their study to a
larger population
Uses probability samples with appropriate diversity of gender, age, ethnicity, and so on
(in other words, they are concerned about external validity)
Applied research is in generalization mode
Frequency claims are always in generalization mode
Association and causal claims are sometimes in generalization mode
Cultural psychology: a special case of generalization mode
Subdiscipline of psychology focusing on how cultural contexts shape the way a person
thinks, feels, and behaves
Primarily uses generalization mode
Figure and ground study
North Americans focus on the focal objects of a picture, not the objects in the
North Americans process the focal object separately from the surrounding scene
Japanese people focus on the background as much as, or even more than, the
“focal” object
Japanese people process the focal object in context, and then the context changes,
their memories are less accurate
Theory testing using WEIRD participants
Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic
Not representative of all the world’s people
Does a study have to take place in a real-world setting?
External validity and the real world
When a study takes place in the real world, sometimes referred to as a field setting, it
has a built-in advantage for external validity, because it clearly applies to real-world
Many laboratory experiments are high in experimental realism: they create settings in
which people experience authentic emotions, motivations, and behaviors
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