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Chapter 2. Doing Social Psychology Research. Why Should You Learn About Research Methods?. It will help you do better on tests and in future courses! You can improve your reasoning about real-life events. You’ll become a better, more sophisticated consumer of research in general.

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chapter 2

Chapter 2

Doing Social Psychology Research

why should you learn about research methods
Why Should You Learn About Research Methods?
  • It will help you do better on tests and in future courses!
  • You can improve your reasoning about real-life events.
  • You’ll become a better, more sophisticated consumer of research in general.
    • More critical evaluation of the information presented.
developing ideas beginning the research process
Developing Ideas: Beginning the Research Process
  • Step #1: Start asking questions. This is where all social psychological research begins.
  • Step #2: Search the literature.
  • Step #3: Begin shaping the idea into a hypothesis.
    • A testableprediction about the conditions under which an event will occur
  • An organized set of principles used to explain observed phenomena
  • Usually evaluated in terms of three criteria:
    • Simplicity
    • Comprehensiveness
    • Generativity
refining ideas

Refining Ideas

Defining and Measuring Social Psychological Variables

conceptual variables and operational definitions
Conceptual Variables and Operational Definitions
  • Conceptual variables are abstract or general variables.
  • An operational definition states specifically how the conceptual variable will be manipulated or measured.
    • Transforms the variable from the abstract (conceptual) to the specific (operational).
measuring variables
Measuring Variables:
  • Self-reports or surveys
  • Naturalistic Observation
  • Case studies
descriptive research discovering trends and tendencies
Descriptive Research: Discovering Trends and Tendencies
  • Goal is to describe people and their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
  • Observational studies
  • Archival studies and meta-analysis
  • Surveys
    • Importance of random sampling
correlation research looking for associations
Correlation Research: Looking for Associations
  • Goal is to learn about the relationship between variables.
    • How similar or distinct are two different variables?
    • How well does one variable predict another variable?
  • Role of the correlation coefficient
    • Concurrent vs. prospective
correlation research looking for associations1
Correlation Research: Looking for Associations
  • Advantages
    • Can study the associations/predictions of naturally occurring variables that cannot be manipulated or induced.
    • Can examine phenomena difficult or unethical to create for research purposes.
    • Offers freedom in settings in which the variables are measured.
  • One very serious disadvantage
laboratory experiments
Laboratory Experiments
  • Conducted in settings in which:
    • The environment can be controlled.
    • The participants can be carefully studied.
  • Field Studies
  • Conducted in real-world settings.
  • Advantage: People are more likely to act naturally.
  • Disadvantage: Experimenter has less control.
types of variables
Types of Variables
  • Independent Variables: The factors experimenters manipulate to see if they affect the dependent variable
  • Dependent Variables: The factors experimenters measure to see if they are affected by the independent variable
internal validity
Internal Validity
  • The degree to which there can be reasonable certainty that the independent variables in an experiment caused the effects obtained on the dependent variables
  • Control groups are important in ruling out alternative explanations for results.
    • Random assignment v. Random sampling.
  • Important to minimize experimenter expectancy effects.
external validity
External Validity
  • The degree to which there can be reasonable confidence that the results of the study would be obtained for other people and in other situations
  • External validity considerations:
    • Representative vs. convenience samples
    • Increased use of Internet-based data collection allows for more diverse sets of participants
    • What is the setting in which the research is conducted?
considerations in experiments
Considerations in Experiments
  • Deception: providing participants with false information about experimental procedures
    • Can add to realism
    • Studies have shown participants are rarely bothered by use of deception
  • Ethical Concerns
  • Cultural concerns