Presentation on theme: "RESEARCH METHODS IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY"— Presentation transcript:
1 RESEARCH METHODS IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY 1. Introduction2. Ways of Knowing3. Goals of Research4. The Scientific Method5. Research Settings6. Research Methods1. Descriptive/Correlational2. Experimental7. Theory in Science8. Research Ethics
2 Ways of Knowing Tenacity (Faith) Authority Consensus Reason Observation
3 Goals of Research To “understand” human behaviour Describe Identify and classify regularly occurring sequence of eventsExplainSuggest why events occurred.PredictFind regularities and predictable relationships that exist between variablesControlRegulate the occurrence of the phenomenon
4 The Scientific Method Observation and Discovery Exploration of a phenomenon which helps to generate hypotheses.DemonstrationGather data to demonstrate, confirm, or support the hypothesis.RefutationGather data to refute, disconfirm, reject a hypothesis.ReplicationRepeat the study to examine generalizability, understand contrary evidence, etc.
5 Research SettingsLaboratory StudiesField Studies
6 Descriptive/Correlational Methods Goals:1. systematically describe social behaviour2. systematically describe relations between variables.Some types of descriptive/correlational methods include:1. Observation studies2. Archival studies3. Survey studies
8 Descriptive/Correlational Methods, cont. Archival StudiesArchival analysis is a form of the observational method whereby the researcher examines the accumulated documents, or archives of a culture (e.g., diaries, novels, magazines, and newspapers).Inter-judge reliability is the level of agreement between two or more people who independently observe and code a set of data.
10 Descriptive Statistics Central TendencyMeanMedianVariabilityStandard deviation
11 Correlation Correlation Coefficient Scatterplot A measurement of the degree to which two variables are related. Ranges from –1.00 toScatterplotA graphic representation of a correlation; one value is plotted against the horizontal axis and the other against the vertical axis.
12 Causation Covariation Temporal precedence Third variable The presumed cause (X) and effect (Y) are related to each other.Temporal precedenceThe X occurred before the resumed effect YThird variableThe relationship between X and Y is not explained by the presence of other plausible causal agents.
13 Experimental Methods Independent Variable The factor that is systematically manipulated so that the researcher can examine its effect on a dependent variable.Dependent VariableThe variable (usually a behaviour) that is affected by the independent variable.
14 Experimental Methods, continued Random selection or random samplingEvery person in a given population has an equal chance of being selected for the sampleRandom assignment to conditionAll participants have an equal chance of taking part in any condition of an experiment.
15 Experimental Methods, continued An operational definition is the specification of how variables are measured, or manipulated.Construct ValidityThe degree to which both the independent and dependent variables accurately reflect or measure the constructs of interest.
16 Experimental Methods, cont. Internal ValidityThe extent to which conclusions can be drawn about the causal effects of one variable on another.See also “experimental realism”
17 Experimental Methods, cont. External ValidityThe extent to which the results of a study can be generalized to the larger contextGeneralizability across situationsGeneralizability across peopleGeneralizability across culturesSee also “mundane realism”
18 Inferential Statistics Statistical SignificanceThe likelihood that an observed relation or difference between two variables is not due to chance factors.Probability level (p-value): a numerical indicator of how likely it is that the results of an experiment occurred by chance and not because of the independent variable (p < .05 means that there is less than a 5 in 100 probability that the results may be due to chance.)
19 Bias in Psychological Research Random ErrorCauses random variability in DVSystematic Error or BiasCauses nonrandom variability in DV other than that caused by the IV.
23 What is a Theory (and Related Constructs)? A symbol or an analogy of an observable phenomenon.2. ModelA constructed representation of a part of the universe.3. TheoryA theory attempts to explain a phenomenon. It contains constructs of that phenomenon and describes the relations among these constructs. It incorporates relations between the theoretical constructs and observable variables that can be used to measure those constructs.A theory is not necessarily supported by research findings. Theories are usually partial, incomplete explanations of a phenomenon, subject to expansion and revision (Continued next slide)
24 What is a Theory (Continued) 4. HypothesisA simple declarative statement derived from a theory, usually regarding the nature of a construct and/or its relation to other constructs.
25 CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING SCIENTIFIC THEORIES 1. ComprehensivenessExplains a wide range of phenomena2. Internal ConsistencyPropositions and assumptions are consistent and fit together in a coherent manner.3. ParsimonyContains only those concepts and assumptions essential for the explanation of a phenomenon.4. TestabilityConcepts and relational statements are precise.(Continued next slide)
26 Criteria for Evaluating Scientific Theories (Continued) 5. Empirical ValidityHolds up when tested in the real world.6. Heuristic ValueStimulates thinking and research.7. Applied ValueHelps solve problems in the real world.
27 Ethics Informed Consent Risks and Benefits Deception Privacy, Confidentiality, and AnonymitySpecial Groups
28 Informed ConsentA description of the study should be provided in advance, including mention of: the purpose of the research; expected benefits of the research; methods (tasks to be performed); any effects, risks or inconveniences of the procedure; rights of the participant; and any possible alternative procedures.
29 Risks and Benefits Protection from harm The onus is on the researcher to avoid or minimize risks to the subjects, both in carrying out the research and in publication of the results.
30 DeceptionDeception is a situation in which subjects have essential information withheld and/or are intentionally misled about procedures and purposes.A thorough debriefing is particularly important in studies involving deception.
31 Privacy, Confidentiality and Anonymity Right to privacyPersonal information given by the subject will be confidential. Wherever possible, the researcher will take steps to ensure the anonymity of the subjects.
32 Vulnerable GroupsSpecial care must be taken with vulnerable groups to ensure ethical treatment (e.g., prisoners, people with mental disabilities, other cultures, etc.)