Chapter 2. Methodology: How Social Psychologists Do Research. Social Psychology: An Empirical Science. A fundamental principle of social psychology is that social influence can be studied scientifically.
Chapter 2 Methodology: How Social Psychologists Do Research
Social Psychology: An Empirical Science A fundamental principle of social psychology is that social influence can be studied scientifically. The results of some of the experiments you encounter may seem obvious, because social psychology concerns topics with which we are all intimately familiar—social behavior and social influence.
Social Psychology: An Empirical Science Scientific methods of answering questions are of three types: • the observational method, • the correlational method, • the experimental method.
Formulating Hypothesesand Theories Social psychological research begins with a hypothesis about the effects of social influence.
The Observational Method: Describing Social Behavior Observational Method
The Observational Method:Describing Social Behavior Suppose a researcher wants to investigate how much aggression children exhibit during school recesses. Interjudge Reliability .
Archival Analysis Archival Analysis
The Correlational Method: Predicting Social Behavior Correlational Method The technique whereby two or more variables are systematically measured and the relationship between them (i.e., how much one can be predicted from the other) is assessed.
The Correlational Method: Predicting Social Behavior Positive correlation Increases in the value of one variable are associated with increases in the value of the other variable. • Height and weight are positively correlated; the taller people are, the more they tend to weigh.
The Correlational Method: Predicting Social Behavior Negative correlation Increases in the value of one variable are associated with decreases in the value of the other variable. • Vaccination rate correlates negatively with disease rate: The more often people get vaccinated, the less often people get the disease.
The Correlational Method: Predicting Social Behavior Surveys Research in which a representative sample of people are asked questions about their attitudes or behavior.
Advantages of Surveys Random Selection
Limits of the Correlational Method: Correlation Does Not Equal Causation
The Experimental Method: Answering Causal Questions The only way to determine causality is to use the experimental method. Experimental Method Method in which the researcher randomly assigns participants to different conditions and ensures these conditions are identical except for the independent variable (the one thought to have a causal effect on people’s responses).
The Experimental Method: Answering Causal Questions Experimental method is the method of choice in most social psychological research because it allows causal inferences.
Independent and Dependent Variables • The independent variable is • The dependent variable is
Internal Validity in Experiments Experiments should be high in internal validity. Internal Validity Making sure that nothing besides the independent variable can affect the dependent variable.
Random Assignment to Condition A process ensuring that all participants have an equal chance of taking part in any condition of an experiment. Through random assignment, researchers can be relatively certain that differences in the participants’ personalities or backgrounds are distributed evenly across conditions. This powerful technique is the most important part of the experimental method.
External Validity in Experiments External Validity The extent to which the results of a study can be generalized to other situations and to other people.
Basic Versus Applied Research Basic Research Experiments: Designed to answer basic questions about why people do what they do. Applied Studies: Research designed to find ways to solve specific social problems.
Cross-Cultural Research Cross-Cultural Research Research conducted with members of different cultures, to see whether the psychological processes of interest are present in both cultures or whether they are specific to the culture in which people were raised.
Ethical Issues in Social Psychology • Social psychologists are concerned with the welfare of their research participants. • Researchers also make discoveries that can benefit society. • To gain insight into such critical issues, researchers must create vivid events that are involving for the participants.
Ethical Issues in Social Psychology Informed Consent Agreement to participate in an experiment, granted in full awareness of the nature of the experiment, which has been explained in advance.
Ethical Issues in Social Psychology Deception Misleading participants about the true purpose of a study or the events that will actually transpire.