Presentation on theme: "Doing Social Psychology Research"— Presentation transcript:
1 Doing Social Psychology Research Chapter 2Doing Social Psychology Research
2 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.
3 Developing Ideas: Beginning the Research Process Step #1: Start asking questions.Step #2: Search the literature.Step #3: Begin shaping the idea into a hypothesis.An explicit, testable prediction about the conditions under which an event will occur
4 TheoriesAn organized set of principles used to explain observed phenomenaUsually evaluated in terms of three criteria:SimplicityComprehensivenessGenerativityPreference for “mini-theories” rather than the all-encompassing grand theory
5 Basic and Applied Research Basic research: Goal is to increase our understanding of human behavior.Often designed to test a specific hypothesis from a specific theory.Applied research: Goal is to enlarge our understanding of naturally occurring events.Additional goal is to find solutions to practical problems.
6 Defining and Measuring Social Psychological Variables Refining IdeasDefining and Measuring Social Psychological Variables
7 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).
8 Construct ValidityUsed to evaluate the manipulation and measurement of variables.Refers to the extent to which:The manipulations in an experiment really manipulate the conceptual variables they were designed to manipulate.The measures used in a study really measure the conceptual variables they were designed to measure.
9 Measuring Variables: Using Self-Reports, Observations and Technology Participants disclose their thoughts, feelings, desires, and actions.Problems with self-reports:Not always accurate and possibly misleading.Affected by the way in which questions are asked.Can be inaccurate because memories for past thoughts or behaviors may be suspect.
10 Table 2.1: Are Condoms Effective In Preventing Aids?
11 Measuring Variables: Technology New technologies used in contemporary social psychology include:Computers in experimentsReaction time measurementsPhysiological measuresBrain imaging techniques: PET and fMRI
13 Descriptive Research: Discovering Trends and Tendencies Goal is to describe people and their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.Observational studiesArchival studiesSurveysImportance of random sampling
14 Correlational 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 coefficientConcurrent vs. prospective
15 Correlational Research: Looking for Associations AdvantagesCan study the associations 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 disadvantageCORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION!
16 Figure 2.1: Correlations: Positive, Negative, and None
17 Figure 2.2: Explaining Correlations Three Possiblilties
18 Experiments: Looking for Cause and Effect Used to examine cause-and-effect relationships.Two essential characteristics:Researcher has control over the experimental procedures.Participants are randomly assigned to different treatment conditions.
20 Table 2.3: Random Sampling Versus Random Assignment
21 Laboratory Experiments Conducted in settings in which:The environment can be controlled.The participants can be carefully studied.
22 Field Experiments Conducted in real-world settings. Advantage: People are more likely to act naturally.Disadvantage: Experimenter has less control.
23 Types of VariablesIndependent Variables: The factors experimenters manipulate to see if they affect the dependent variableDependent Variables: The factors experimenters measure to see if they are affected by the independent variableSubject Variables: Variables that characterize pre-existing differences among study participants
24 Main Effects and Interactions Main Effect: The overall effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable, ignoring all other independent variablesInteraction: How the effect of each independent variable is different as a function of other independent variables
25 Table 2.4: Female Infidelity, Male Honor, and Culture: The Conditions
26 Figure 2.3: Female Infidelity, Male Honor, and Culture: The Results Based on Vandello & Cohen, 2003, 2005.
27 Statistical Significance How likely is it that the results could have occurred by chance?If 5 or fewer times in 100 possible outcomes, then considered to be “statistically significant.”
28 Internal ValidityHow reasonably certain is it that the independent variable caused the effects obtained on the dependent variable?Control groups are important in ruling out alternative explanations for results.Important to minimize experimenter expectancy effects.
29 External ValidityTo what degree can the findings be generalized to other people and to other situations?External validity considerations:Is the sample representative?What is the setting in which the research is conducted?
30 Mundane vs. Experimental Realism Mundane Realism: The extent to which the research setting resembles the real-world setting of interest.Experimental Realism: The degree to which the experimental setting and procedures are real and involving to the participant.
31 Meta-AnalysisA set of statistical procedures for examining relevant research that has already been conducted and reviewed.Allows one to combine the results of individual studies to measure the overall reliability and strength of particular effects.
32 Ethics and Values in Social Psychology Researchers have a moral and legal responsibility to abide by ethical principles.The use of deception has caused particular concern in social psychology.Virtually every study now has to be evaluated for its ethics by other people before the study can be conducted.
33 Current Policies and Procedures Role of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)Importance of informed consentNecessity for debriefing
34 Values and Science Ethical principles are based on moral values. But do values affect science in areas other than ethical issues?Can science be totally unbiased and objective?How should values affect scientific inquiry?
35 Culture and Research Methods Culture affects research methods in the following areas:GeneralizabilityUniversalityTranslations of language