PSYCH 360 - Chapter 2 Study Guide

5 Pages

Psychology & Brain Sciences
Course Code
Linda Isbell

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Chapter 2- Conducting Research in Social Psychology Two types of Research: Basic Research: research designed to increase knowledge about social behavior Applied Research: research designed to increase the understanding of and solutions to real-world problems by using current social psychological knowledge Steps in the process of Social Psychological research: Step 1: Select a topic and review past research. Step 2: Develop a theory and generate some hypotheses. What is a theory? A theory is an organized system of ideas that seeks to explain why two or more events are related. What makes a good theory? • Predictive accuracy – Can it reliably predict behavior? • Internal coherence – There should not be any logical inconsistencies or unexplained coincidences among any of the theoretical ideas. • Economy – Contains only the principles or concepts necessary to explain the phenomenon in question and no more. • Fertility – The ability to fire the imagination of other scientists so that the ideas in the theory are tested and extended to a wide variety of social behavior. How do you determine the predictive accuracy of a theory? You can determine the predictive accuracy of a theory by formulating a hypothesis. Hypothesis: an educated guess or prediction about the nature of things based upon a theory. Methodologies – Observational, correlational, or experimental What kind of study should you do? What is the difference between a lab study and a field study? Field Study: the researcher studies individuals in a natural setting. Lab study: the researcher creates situations and carefully controls them. Step 3: Obtain approval to conduct your study (ETHICS) Deception: a methodological technique in which the researcher misinforms participants about the true nature of what they are experiencing in a study. Confederate: a trained member of the research team who follows a script designed to create a specific impression on the research participant. Institutional Review Board (IRB): a panel of scientists and nonscientists who ensure the protection and welfare of research participants by formally reviewing researchers’ methodologies and procedures prior to data collection. Informed consent: a procedure by which people freely choose to participate in a study only after they are told about the activities they will perform. Debriefing: a procedure at the conclusion of a research session in which participants are given full information about the nature and hypotheses of the study. Why is debriefing necessary? 1. Provides educational experience 2. Helps correct problems with or misunderstandings about the study Step 4: Collect the Data Sample: a relatively small group of people who are selected to participate in a research study. Population: all the members of an identifiable group from which a sample is drawn. Step 5: Analyze the Data and Reevaluate the Theory Use statistical analyses to analyze data and make sure that a difference wasn’t found due to chance. Step 6: Report the results at a conference, in a journal, etc. What is replication? Replication involves repeating a study’s scientific procedures using different participants in an attempt to duplicate the findings. What is a meta-analysis? Meta-analysis is the use of statistical techniques to summarize results from similar studies on a specific topic to estimate the reliability and overall size of the effect. Scientific Methodologies Observational Research – a scientific method involving systematic qualitative and/or quantitative descriptions of behavior Three common types of observational research: 1. Naturalistic observation 2. Participant observation 3.Archival research What are the benefits of observational research? Benefits of observational research are 1) that it allows researchers the opportunity to watch behavior in its “wholeness,” providing the full context in which to understand it, 2) provides researchers the opportunity to record rare events that may never occur in a controlled laboratory environment, 3) allows researchers the opportunity to systematically record events that were previously seen only by nonscientists, and 4) allows researchers to observe events that would be too risky, dangerous, or unethical to create in the laboratory. What are the drawbacks? Drawbacks of observational research are 1) conclusions must be made carefully because observational research does not manipulate events to determine their effect on outcomes, 2) observer bias, which occurs when preconceived ideas held by the researcher affect the nature of the observations made, 3) a researcher’s presence can significantly alter the behavior of those being studied, and 4) observational methods pose the most ethical problems involving invasion of others’privacy. Correlational Research – research desig
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